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Childfree Wedding Planning: To Elope or Not?
Bride Andrea wanted a teeny tiny wedding
Head’s up: there’s a Black Friday announcement at the bottom of this post that’s only for subscribers!
When project manager Andrea got engaged to her now-husband, her first instinct was to elope.
Coming from a very large family (her mother is one of 45 cousins!) and the child of divorce, she wanted none of the drama associated with any of that.
This bride wanted a tiny wedding—no people! Her husband convinced her they should at least have their moms in attendance (you do need witnesses after all). So they finally decided a beach wedding at sunset would be the perfect way to celebrate.
Why was that a problem? Here’s Part 1 of our condensed interview to answer that question.
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Planning a Childfree Destination Wedding
Andrea: What I really wanted was to get married on the beach at sunset in a very peaceful, very relaxing, very low stress ceremony. Because as a project manager, I spend all of my time fixing people's problems. And you know what I want on my wedding day? It's not problems. That's what I want: not problems.
So, I decided destination wedding was the ticket. And it was rough, because even though I didn't have any nieces or nephews, every single one of my closest friends (except for one) had an under-four child.
I was getting married right at the time that they'd all been married for that three to four year mark, and were having the kids and…it was hard. I thought about it a lot and I was like, you know what? I want the day to be relaxing. And even though I would love to have my friends there, it's not worth the stress.
I find loud noises stressful. I find messes stressful. I was spending more money on this dress than I had ever spent on an article of clothing in my entire life. And I just wanted it to all go smoothly. So I picked a childfree resort in Mexico. And we got married on the beach in Cozumel at sunset.
Paulette: Exactly what you wanted.
Andrea: Exactly what I wanted. And you know what? We came to some really great compromises. On the way back from the wedding, we stopped in Missouri and we had a potluck reception, which cost me all of the plane ticket to Missouri. Which, since I was stopping on the way back was, one plane ticket instead of two.
Andrea: And my huge, enormous extended family just brought all their casseroles and we all ate together. And they got to meet my husband who was definitely ill with what we're pretty sure is alpha COVID from one of the first cases.
Paulette: Oh no.
Andrea: And he showed up anyway, which is like nowadays you'd be like, “Oh, I can't believe you did that! You went out sick.”
But you know, pre-COVID that was like, you didn't do that. He was past the contagious [stage]. So his response was just, “I'm going to suffer and prove that I love you because I'm never going to meet these people.”
Paulette: Oh, wow. So he hadn't met your extended family prior to the nuptials?
Andrea: I say extended [and] I feel like a lot of people that means they're aunts and uncles. It does not. He had met my aunts and uncles. He had even met my grandparents. I am talking about my mom's aunts and uncles. I'm talking about second, third cousins.
Paulette: The 45 plus others.
Andrea: Oh, yeah. We're talking three figures worth of people in like a big reception hall in Missouri, because you can rent out a rec center that'll fit like 500 people for $100.
Paulette: No way.
Andrea: I think it was maybe $200, but it was for like four hours on a Saturday, because it was November at that point. And they're like, nothing else is going on this season. No one's coming to the park.
No Passports, No Wedding!
Paulette: That sounds like the best combination. So what was the drama? Was it your friends who couldn't come?
Andrea: No, they were also very chill. We had a friend's reception a few months later, once the babies were a little older, a little more travelable. We all went to Temecula, which is like a small wine region. We rented an Airbnb. We played a wedding-themed murder mystery game where my husband got to cradle my corpse and dramatically yell for his wife.
It was very, very fun. And again, I'm not in my once in a lifetime dress. I'm not trying to get these perfect pictures. I'm not worried about something happening. We're just eating pizza in this house, going wine tasting, hanging out with friends, playing Cards Against Humanity.
It was all very chill. Because I didn't mind being around small children in my jeans. Who cares? We played the murder mystery game after they'd all gone to bed. Easy enough, they're upstairs, parents can hear them if they need to. And it was really the best of both worlds.
The drama was because I wanted a destination wedding and his family had no passports…
No passports??? So did they come to the wedding in Mexico or did they opt out? Stay tuned for the answer next week, or skip down to listen/watch the full episode below.
Early Black Friday Sale
I’m interrupting this regular post with an early Black Friday announcement: between today Sunday, Nov 19th and Friday, December 2nd, there’s an LVMC sale!
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How to Enjoy the Episode
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Full disclosure: you’ll receive this e-book for FREE if you refer 5 subscribers to this list. So you could technically give yourself the gift of FREE if you do that instead of buying it now 😉