Gay Weddings

Seeking guidance in WA

Keith and I have been in civil partnerships (in CA and WA) for nine years now. We have been planning for some time on getting married on our tenth anniversary, 21 Dec 2012. As we live in the Seattle area, we intended on heading across the border into British Columbia and having the wedding there, although it would have been a little complicated to get our families up there as well. Along comes January and it's beginning to look a lot like WA will soon be able to recognise our marriage. So we're re-thinking the plan and considering holding the wedding much closer to home. But that has its own complications...

We are both atheists, and we both have religious (and supportive) families. We don't want to "co-opt" a traditional faith-based ceremony, and besides, we're already a dozen years or so into our "new life together". So we're thinking of a ceremony built around recognising our existing relationship, and how we connect with our friends and family, and confirming that ten years is just the beginning of things.

That's the easy part, really.

The harder questions are Where? Who? How? and not incidentally, How Much?

Assuming we can have the wedding here in WA in Dec, we need to find a venue. Dec 21 is the Friday before Christmas, which will be a big deal for our families (my family will be travelling from CA). I don't know if we'll have trouble getting a venue for that evening, or if our guests will have difficulty arranging time for travel. And we're not sure how large a net to cast for guests in the first place -- we'd love to have everyone we know attend, but budgets intervene.

I've never done this before, and although we have most of a year to figure it out, the clock is ticking. Where do I start?

 - Wolf

Re: Seeking guidance in WA

  • You basically start with two things:  a budget, and a vision of what you want. 

    For the budget, you look at what savings you now have that are not needed for other purposes, and what you can save between now and the wedding.  That is your maximum budget.

    Then think about what kinds of parties you like.  Is it an elegant dinner party?  A big bash with loud music and dancing?  A leisurely brunch?  Do you prefer a small party where you get time to talk with people, or a big one where you might only have a few words with each person?

    You'll then need to mesh the two together.  That involves research into what the things you want cost, and deciding what your biggest priorities are.  For example, maybe you want a large party with dinner and dancing, but your budget won't cover that.  You might then need to decide whether you want a large party with just cake and punch, a smaller party with dinner and dancing, or something in between.

    The biggest mistake people make is in thinking that they must follow every detail of what they think of as a traditional wedding.  What you really need to do is to include each detail only if it is meaningful enough to you to justify the cost.  For example, you don't actually have to have yourselves and all your attendants in tuxedos.  It is fine to have a wedding in which you wear suits you already own.  Or any other garments of your choice.  If the tuxes are important to you, then go ahead and get them.  But don't think you have to have them.

    In any event, welcome and happy planning!
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