When I met Brad, it wasn't long after we had started dating that I had a gut feeling that he'd be the one I'd end up marrying one day. But of course, I never would have told him that early on. That'd be cray! Fast forward 4 years later, my gut feeling ended up being right. He asked me to marry him at the Christkindlmarket at Daley Plaza in Chicago.
For those who haven't visited Chicago during this time, the Christkindlmarket is an annual event that takes place during the holiday season. It is set up as a little European village and features a large Christmas tree and small nativity scene. At the market, you can buy beer, wine, holiday ornaments and other Christmas decorations that are sold by vendors from Germany, Ukraine, Austria, etc. The Christkindlmarket has become a favorite tradition of ours over the years. And when I saw this special ornament hanging from one the vendor's booths, it was a dream come true!
Whether you decide to have a big traditional ceremony back at home or a small, intimate destination wedding, you will offend people along the way. Don't let this bother you. There will always be something to complain about. Maybe they'll be upset that your wedding date falls during a time when they normally take a family vacation. If you're doing a destination wedding, maybe they will be upset because of the cost or time of year. Just try your hardest to not let this get to you. It's so hard to please everyone, and at the end of the day, that is not what your wedding day is about.
Your wedding day is about the two of you making the decision to spend the rest of your lives together. That's a pretty big deal, if you ask me! We had many friends and family members that were hurt that they couldn't make it down to Mexico for our wedding. And while we deeply missed them all there, we tried to stress to them that it's not about the actual day we said our vows. It's about all of those other days we get to be with them (holidays, birthdays, fun outings, etc.). Those are the days that are most important together... all of the meaningful days that follow that first one.
At the end of the day, we knew that a destination wedding was right for us. We wanted it to be a fun and memorable experience for everyone, and yet be as least expensive as possible, as we paid for it on our own. My best suggestion to you at this point in your wedding planning is to get you to think about what is most important to the both of you. Think about whether having a grand, formal wedding is what you've always dreamed about. Or do you envision your wedding being about spending more time with your closest family and friends? Either way, your wedding will be beautiful and meaningful because you have put thought into what is most important to you today as well as in your future as husband and wife.
I’ll leave you with this piece of advice that Brad’s mom told us once and that helped to keep us focused on what we wanted the most:
“A wedding is one day. Marriage is a lifetime. What’s more important?”