Things we know:
- I am not a shrinking violet
- I have no issue with being centre stage
- I am an old romantic and quite a traditionalist
So why then would I opt to get married on another continent with neither family or friends surrounding me?
Things we also know:
- Chris hates being the centre of attention
- Large social events are his idea of hell
- I don’t think he has ever stepped foot inside a church
Ahhhh. So he coerced me in to eloping to New York for our nuptials. That makes sense…
Far from it. I was both an instigator and a full supporter of our plan. I was the one that researched the venues; that found us a wedding planner. I booked it all.
But why? Why leave family and friends at home? Why choose to marry in a city you’ve never been to? Why cheat your friends of a party? It’s not just about you! (all these things were at some point alluded to in the run up to our big day).
It took a little time for people to get their heads around. Especially knowing me; knowing my penchant for a party; knowing my penchant to be a princess!
The reasons were straightforward in my mind. A wedding in the traditional sense just didn’t feel right.
- Our local church was where my Dad had walked my sister down the aisle. Our local church was where I’d last stood to read my eulogy as I said a heart-wrenching goodbye to my dad. Our local church was not an option.
- Getting married with an audience without my dad there did not feel right.
- As much as I know they would have been fine, Chris’s parents had split years before. I didn’t want him to be worried all day about how they were faring.
- It was all about us. And I knew Chris would hate speeches and all eyes on him. And as it was our day, not just mine, I realised all that was important to me was our commitment – not a party, not a massive debt (we’d just bought a house) and not even having our nearest and dearest there to witness it.
Some might say it was selfish. Some might say it was cruel to cheat my mother the chance to be there. Some did say it. But I would never have gone ahead without her blessing. And it shocked me at how happy she was for us. She understood our reasons and supported our decision. For that I am truly grateful.
So we did it. We got on a flight with hopes, dreams, a Roland Mouret dress and Yves Saint Laurent heels.
We met with our wedding planner, Carol (www.fabnycwedding.com) and registered our intention to marry at the New York City Clerk’s office. And that was it. The only thing we had to worry about was exploring the amazing city, not chipping my French mani and ensuring my tan was kept on point. Oh, and not eating so much in five days that I couldn’t fit in to my dress; that one was a toughie but I’d take it over table plans and dietary requirements any day!
We had a day that was solely about us and love. Yes, I missed some aspects of the big frills wedding. But if I had the chance to do it all over again, I’d pick the wedding we had every time because it was right for us.
Not that I’m intending to do it all again. Five years in and we’ve only just scratched the surface of a life together. Now to wangle a 10 year anniversary return trip… with maybe a reccie before then…
What are your thoughts on getting hitched abroad? Could you marry without your family and friends? Any questions about our big day, drop me a line!