There are a billion things that run through your mind after your love pops the question. First you can’t believe it’s happening, then you are jumping excited that it’s happening, then you can’t believe it’s happening again and finally you call family and friends to validate what just happened. Afterwards you stare at each other with googly eyes and really take in what just happened. Soon after that, I am talking minutes, reality dawns on you.
I’ve mentioned that I always saw myself having a small, intimate wedding. Fortunately for me, Lee feels the same way. Unfortunately, and to no surprise, my family had a very different idea of what my wedding should be. Now you chamas know that latin weddings are a sight to behold. They are huge events, with all the family from abuelitos to tios, tias y primos, and let’s not forget close friends, neighbors... the list can get pretty long. I am in a unique situation, this may sound familiar, in that most of my family is abroad and I have only seen them a handful of times.
Mira, a girl has got to be honest. I am first generation, and my immediate family consists of mami, papi, my sister and mi abuelita preciosa. The other half of my tight knit family group is my mom’s best friend and her family, giving me a wonderful tia, tio, primo y primita, the princess of the family (and my flower girl!), who are all in New York. When I think of my day, my family and my side of the ceremony, I think of them. This was a difficult concept for my family to wrap their heads around. I wasn’t getting married in a Catholic church, in a puffy dress or with long flowing hair which was bad enough. Now I didn’t want to invite la familia too?
Part of it is the money, because Lee and I just don’t have enough to throw a traditional big latin wedding. I would have family flying in from Venezuela and Portugal, and of course that number would go up because each guest always has an entourage. But, that’s not all of it.
The other part, the most important part, is that moment I look back and see my family one last time before Lee and I are pronounced husband and wife. When I think of that moment, I see a handful of people made up of family and close friends that have seen me grow, stood by me through thick and thin and made me who I am today. A wedding isn’t just about the joining of bride and groom. It’s the joining of two families, two cultures and two worlds of tradition. My wedding will be no different; it’ll just be a bit smaller. By a bit, I mean my entire wedding will consist of 35 people. Seriously.
Once I explained why having an intimate wedding was so important to me, my family understood. Even though I am having a small wedding, I still want my extended family to celebrate with us. Maybe through an engagement party, bridal party or post wedding party. Lee and I were thinking of spending some time in Portugal to meet my dad’s side of the family and gorge on natas, and go to Venezuela to see my mom’s side and gorge on arepas con queso fresco. Yum! At some point Lee needs to meet the rest of la familia, and we will have a big family reunion, but that day won’t be my wedding day. It’ll be a different wondrous day that we will always remember.
There is a lot left to do for the wedding. Pretty much everything. But for now I have won the battle of numbers with my family. I may not have won the war on the subject, but I will take every win I can get!
Remember to keep in mind that at the end of the day, this is your day as much as everyone else’s. Know your limits: what you can do, what you won’t do and when you can’t settle for anything else. I don’t need a particular cake, fancy food or crazy music. What I can do is send out announcements with personal notes from Lee and I to extended family. What I can’t do is wear a puffy dress- it just doesn’t fit my personality. I want to show off my latin curves! What I can’t settle for is anything less than my dream wedding, which means small, full of love and bursting with scrumptious mini desserts.
Do you want a big wedding? Small wedding? Heading for a number somewhere in between? First off I want to wish you good luck before battle.
Now sound of below on your dream wedding number. Whether you invite over 300 guests or you’re keeping it to 20, let me know!
Next up: To have or not to have a wedding planner.