Thursday, June 12, 2008

Fa, A Long Long Way To Run

I think it would be helpful if I gave a little more background to explain why I am such a surly bride indeed. (For some reason, that brings a mental picture of a burly bride, which in my mind looks a little like a bride with a lot of muscles and a handle-bar mustache, which is enough to make any bride surly, but I digress.)

I was really was excited when I got engaged. Although I hadn't been planning a wedding of Monica-Geller-like proportions (including book of future wedding ideas compiled since I was 6), I did have an inkling that Mr. Fiance and I would love to have a destination wedding. Sadly, I'm not much for hobbies (as in the blogs I read where women say things like "Well, my fiance and I love _____ [Scrabble, Hiking, Raising Alpaca], so our 'theme' is _____ [How Do You Spell L-O-V-E?!, A Step Up to the Altar!, The Fleece of Love!]"), but I do love the warm weather and the ocean. I could see myself walking down the aisle to Bob Marley's "Is this Love?" and having steel drums at the cocktail hour.

It also just so happens that I have a family member who lives in the British Virgin Islands. Nice, right? We regularly visit; every time I step off the plane....ahhhh....instant relaxation (I suspect this somehow relates to the rum served while waiting in line to clear customs, but I'm not complaining). So I thought - this should be easy-peasy to plan...CAKE! (Yum.) I dove into the destination wedding books and blogs. Visions of birds of paradise, mangoes, and starfish danced in my head each evening. I heard from so many people how destination weddings are CHEAP! How they CUT DOWN ON NUMBERS OF EXCESS GUESTS! How they make a wedding into a VACATION!

Unfortunately, I didn't realize that many islands don't offer "all inclusive wedding packages." (Many islands = island I was looking at.) I also didn't realize that CHEAP is referring to the cost for the bride and groom, NOT for the guests. OK, so on to Plan B. Plan B included research into hotels, restaurants, and other venues on the island and and completely gratuitous reconaissance mission to said tropical island. Two days later (well into a rum-induced haze), Mr. F (which now, in hindsight, sounds sort of dirty) and I found Our Place. The Place We Would Have Our Wedding. A gorgeous hotel on the beach, where we could say our "I Do's" looking out at the lapping waves (and while lapping up Mai-Tai's).

Of course Perfect Beach Hotel was out of our price range, but my cousin, a local to the island offered to try to negotiate the price down a bit so we could afford it. Upon returning home to the good ole U-S-of-A, I paced back and forth waiting to get a response from Cousin. Would we be able to afford our dream destination wedding??

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