Saturday, April 16, 2016

The when, where, and why: wedding edition

You know what's really, really fun? Wedding planning.

When we got engaged, we didn't have any sort of idea about when to get married. Before we could even think about that, we had to make the big decision about which visa option we wanted to go with. I knew exactly 0 things about the American immigration process before, and I've since learned that it's extremely complicated.

One option we looked into was the K1, or 'fiancé visa.' You apply when you get engaged, and then there's a waiting period of 6-8 months before the foreign fiancé can enter the US to get married. Then they can get a green card and live in the US indefinitely. We ultimately decided not to go with this option because of the long waiting period, having to be apart for months, not being able to plan a wedding because it's at the whim of the government when the visa is approved (and you must be married in 90 days of the foreign fiancé entering the country), and also because David wouldn't be able to work for at least 4 months after he got here.

The downside is that I have to give up my job, but the thing is... I'm still trying to finish my master's. I don't think it was realistic anyways for me to work full-time next fall and also finish my degree.

We decided to get married first before going through the American immigration process. What that means is we can do it whenever we want to, and also that we have to spend the first year of our marriage outside the US. Since David has that handy dandy European Union passport, we basically have the choice of living anywhere in Europe (such a problem to have, am I right?). We considered other places in France, Switzerland, and the UK... but is there any place better than...



No, obviously there is not. It's not official official yet, since David kind of needs to have a job there to facilitate us moving there. But that's the plan!! I can hopefully get some kind of job teaching English. There are SO many European travel plans swirling around in my head already. Shalom and bonjour will live on!!

After we get married, we can apply for David to get an immigrant visa to be able to move to the US. The wait time for that is about a year, so that's the amount of time we'll plan on staying in my favorite city in the world, Paris, before moving back to my favorite state, Wisconsin.

So back to the wedding plans. I'm aware that a lot of Mormons feel like they can plan a wedding in like 2-3 months, but that's not my style. We thought it would be ideal to have about 6 months to plan. After doing some preliminary planning, we decided on the end of September. A fall wedding sounds lovely to me!

The first thing to decide on was the temple. Mormons get married in temples instead of just normal church buildings. 


When you don't live in the West, or the 'Book of Mormon belt' as some jokingly refer to it, temples are few and far between. I definitely didn't want to get married in Utah, although there are beautiful temples there. My parents got married in Washington D.C. because in 1984, that was the closest one to Milwaukee. We considered doing that, but it happens to be closed for maintenance during the time period we were looking at.


The closest one to us now is in Chicago. It was never in the cards to get married there because I'm not a fan at all of the look of it. Yeah, I'm a little high maintenance.


I kind of envisioned for most of my life that I would get married in the Nauvoo temple. It's about 5 hours south of us in Illinois, and is the second closest one after Chicago. I always liked the church history angle, and I like the more old-fashioned classic style of it.


We eventually ruled it out because we liked the idea of being unique and having our "own" temple that no one else we knew got married in. Also, Nauvoo is a town of about 1000 people and there is NOTHING close by. I'm not eating at a crap restaurant in Iowa to celebrate my wedding. Again, hi, I'm a little high maintenance.

The wild card temple we both felt good about right away was Palmyra, New York. Knowing how much we like to travel it makes sense that we would travel for our wedding. Palmyra is also a small town, but it's 8x as big as Nauvoo and much closer to big cities. It looks New England-y to me because everything there is red brick and cute. We are still getting the church history angle that we liked. I've been inside the Palmyra temple, and you can actually see the Sacred Grove from the windows. The other big reason for choosing Palmyra was how beautiful it is in the fall. I went there a few years ago at the beginning of October and WOW.


It won't quite be the height of fall on September 28th (that's the day!), but I'm still anticipating some lovely changing leaves in our wedding pictures. I did my research. This is northern New York and it's where the leaves start changing first.

Another plus of Palmyra is that it's about 1.5 hours away from Niagara Falls. We'll do a mini one night honeymoon there. We're planning on our real honeymoon being in Greece :) :)



I'm a visual person... I need pictures to envision these things because everything seems too good to be true at this point.

The last major planning step is figuring out the reception. We're going to have it at one of 2 places on September 30th here in WI.

For the life of me I can't decide on which venue I want. We toured 2 places that both have their pros and cons. Hopefully sometime this weekend we can nail something down.

The Milwaukee County Historical Society is drop dead gorgeous. It's in downtown Milwaukee. Of course, you have to pay for the beauty. It also seems like a slightly more awkward layout than the other place. I just can't seem to say no to it because hello, it looks like this. This is like who I am created in room form.


The Waukesha Rotunda is the other place we're thinking about. It's also elegant, but not as gorgeous. It looks like the Pantheon in Rome, so that's kind of cool. The layout and size are better and it seems a little easier with less to worry about because more things are included and it's set up as a venue. The Historical Society is actually a museum.


I can see us having a great party at either place. The caterer we like is available at both locations. We found one that will work wonderfully with the David and Marissa picky eater club. Can you say sliders and mac and cheese as wedding entrées?

So, anybody want to choose for us? We almost resorted to "eeny meeny miney moe" last night.

In conclusion, we're so excited and happy. We hope lots of our loved ones can join us to celebrate. Can't wait for September!


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