To Have a Destination Wedding

When we first started to talk about getting married shortly after buying our house, Knotty Cakes Ranch, we looked into having our wedding in Portland, but with both of us having such big families who all lived so close and so many friends, we quickly realized that having a wedding, that we wanted, in Portland was going to be out of our budget. We knew we were going to be footing the bill for our wedding and as such, had to make sure that what we planned was something we could afford. We didn’t want it to just be something we could afford though. We wanted the wedding to be us.

Another couple we know, Alyson and Jeff after their wedding at Voodoo  Doughnuts. Photo by  Continuum Photography.  

We really did try to make the wedding work in Oregon. We looked into different venues and talked about different themes. We looked into getting married at Voodoo Doughnuts and having the reception at Jupiter Hotel. We also looked into having the ceremony and reception at the Gordon House, the only Frank Lloyd Wright house in Oregon. Both places couldn’t fit the amount of guests we needed to invite and we didn’t really think that most people, besides our friends, would really get our themes if we did our wedding at any of those places. We felt pretty frustrated with the whole wedding process and thought we would just go to the court house to do it, but that wasn’t really what we wanted.

Photo provided by deal of the day

After talking to our girlfriend, Honey, about her destination wedding we thought maybe that would be a good idea for us, as well. I remember the first time I ever came across the idea of a destination wedding. It was in a Martha Stewart Wedding magazine when I was in my very early twenties. It seemed so exotic, extravagant and something that someone like me would never be able to have. I mean really, who has a destination wedding? Not me. Or could I?

Since Honey got married in Mexico, that’s where we looked first, thinking it would be cheaper. But, quickly came to the conclusion that Mexico was not for us. Especially after Honey shared some of her horror stories of what happened to them while they were there. All I had to hear was Joe (the groom) was taken into custody by the Mexican police the night before the wedding and I was running for another destination! Besides, it really wasn’t cheaper.
Just the idea of anything like this happening in Mexico was more than too much for us!

Our next idea was to look at Hawaii; which really should have been the first place we looked. Anyone who knows us knows we love tiki, vintage Hawaiiana and all things Polynesian. Getting married in Hawaii was a no brainier for us. It also helped us with our wedding theme. We just needed to pick which island.

Very quickly we decided on the island of Maui. Maui has so much to offer and is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Sounded like the perfect place, to us, to get married. Next, we had to find the right venue.

Photo taken by my amazing daughter last time she was on Maui. 

We were pretty much running into the same problem we were before in Oregon. Not finding a place that was big enough to fit everyone and being able to afford it. We knew that if we opened up the wedding to everyone that not everyone would come since it was a destination wedding, but we also had to prepare ourselves in case everyone did. Just our family members were over 100 guests. YIKES! How were we going to find a place that would fit everyone and we could afford? Then it hit us, maybe we didn’t have to invite everyone.

This was not an easy decision for us to make. We didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feeling and we didn’t want anyone to think that we didn’t want them there. In reality, we wish we could invite everyone. We also didn’t want to go into a huge amount of debt and start off our marriage together with our credit cards all maxed out. We wanted to have a wedding that would have all of the little details we wanted, have delicious food, perfectly made cocktails, be on Maui and stay within our budget. In the end, we decided to have a very small destination wedding with a guest list that only included my daughter, our parents, my grandparents, Drew’s brother and a few close friends. Then we prepared ourselves for the backlash of not only having a destination wedding, but a very small one with only 21 people, including ourselves, being in attendance.

In all honestly, the backlash wasn’t as bad as we prepared ourselves for it to be. Really we only received negative feedback on our decision from one person. Not bad considering that we slashed our guest list down to almost nothing and we were going to be getting married on an island. I guess that’s one of the perks of when you are paying for your own wedding; you don’t have to sacrifice your own happiness to make others happy.

Sure, we were both a little upset, at first that this one person seemed so against the wedding we wanted, but everyone else was so happy for us that it quickly dissolved our being upset. People understood having a small guest list for a destination wedding and they were so happy for us that we were “finally” getting married. They also supported us having the wedding we wanted and understood us wanting to be smart about our finances. Knowing that my family wasn’t hurt over our decision and understood where we were coming from meant so much to both of us.

Of course, we still plan on partying it up with everyone in Oregon. We already had our engagement party and there will also be two bridal showers, a combination bachelor and bachelorette party and an at home reception in Portland. As well as, a bridal shower in Seattle. We want to make sure everyone is included in our wedding celebration and has a chance to be a part of the festivities. Regardless, if it means celebrating on Maui or back home in Portland.


calihoney said...

I just have to add-Joe was completely innocent of any wrong doing...the Federalis just like to shake you down for a quick buck now and then!;)
All and all it was nothing short of amazing- Cabo San Lucas is beautiful-spectacular beaches, snorkeling, para-sailing, sunset cruises and fun night life! To this day, our friends still tell us it was the best vacation they ever had!

We are so happy to be able to share your celebration with you two!!

kimmy kupcakes said...

HA! I know Joe didn't do anything, but man, I still wouldn't want to go through that! Scary! I'm glad it all turned out in the end though, and your groom didn't get taken away. :)


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