Thursday, August 25, 2016

Wedding Planning on St. Croix

Who knew that this blog would go from losing the Olympic Games to moving to an island to Wedding Planning! If you're still reading this, I'm very lucky to have such loyal readers.

So if you've ever met me, you'd think I'd have binders and Pinterest boards full of planned ideas for any event, especially for a future wedding. But somehow I never really thought of any plans involving my own wedding. I've seen my friends get married, and I've been in their bridal parties, but I was so focused on them that I never really thought of anything that I would do for when the time came. I never knew how much really goes into planning your own wedding and how expensive it gets. It makes you want to elope... a lot of times during the course of any given day post-engagement and pre-wedding.

But we're making it work and we're doing traditional/island/modern and our guests are going to have an amazing time. When you live on a island, you start wanting to waste less paper, use less plastic bags and go as organic as possible. When that dream fades and reality sets in, you try to get at least a balance of these things in your life, moreso than when you lived stateside.

So when it comes to wedding planning, the island lacks in a lot of the things you would need for the "details" of the wedding. There aren't really many bridal stores (just one) or party favor stores (maybe two). So two weeks ago I went dress shopping in the only store that has wedding dresses here. And I found my dress! It's absolutely not the kind of dress I thought I would wear at my wedding (I did think about it a little bit before and I always envisioned this huge dress that doesn't really exist and is probably extremely impractical for a beach wedding). And I already have plans to shorten it after the wedding because I really want to be able to use everything I have here, including the dress that I am only supposed to wear once. My mother is horrified at this idea because after all, it's a wedding dress, but in my mind it's a really pretty dress that I will wear at my wedding that would look amazing when shortened so I can wear it again and again because I love this dress (especially the back).

This brings me to what I love about living here. There is a way that things are "supposed to be" when you live in the states or probably in most places. But here, it feels like I can make my own rules for how things are supposed to be, especially with something like this which back in the states we make such a big deal about but in reality, is just one big party with our family and friends. Would we still get married without this "party" that for some reason has to be perfect and white and without one hair out of place?" Of course we would, so instead of trying to please absolutely every tradition that has ever existed, we are going to plan our party our way and we're going to be happy regardless of whether it works out exactly as we planned or not or whether there are an equal number of bridesmaids and groomsman or whether it rains during the ceremony which is going to be very much outside on the beach in the sand with no real Plan B because we're on an island and it rains sometimes and that's okay (back in Chicago, there would be a tent ready and a plan C location in case of Apocalypse, and I would make sure that all the guests knew about both the tent and plan C

So since we decided we can do whatever we want, we did want to add some tradition into this experience and that's a good thing, because being on an island and trying to gather your wedding necessities means you have to be creative. For the veil, when I didn't find exactly the one I wanted from the four I had available as my options here, I asked if anyone on the island had a veil that they loved. Someone answered and now I have my something borrowed and I love it! I would never have thought to do that stateside, but here, it feels wrong not to do this and it's all working out when I do.

Another necessity of weddings... trinkets!!! It's really easy to go online and find all these trinket things that every wedding should have. And I am not against wedding trinkets (although I am somewhat against trinkets in general since I moved here). I think trinkets that make other people feel good are great and I've ordered some for our guests because I think they'll feel really special when I give it to them when they're here. But then there are things from the island that we really want to incorporate into this big party that we're throwing. We're having friends make our card box and signs from wood they find here on the beach and we're keeping those to pass on in the future, and I love the idea of that. I love finding the balance of blending the island with modern ideals and some stateside values. This lets us retain all the good that comes from stateside living and incorporate them into what makes us love living here as well.

More party planning posts to come! It's funny because I used to have so many lovely island pictures on my phone that have now been replaced by engagement rings, wedding dresses, homemade pizzas and veils. I can't show these here (except for the homemade pizza my fiance made) because I do want my dress to be a surprise on the actual day of our big party to a certain person who always reads my blogs and is my biggest fan, but I will be sure to take some cool landscape pics for the next post!


  1. I wish there was a "like" button! :)

  2. Hoping you've had a good holiday and that wedding planning is going well!