I visited my maternal grandparents the other day. It is a little weird, maybe, because they rest in a hill near what used to be an old apple orchard, which has now been cleared for Stepford-style suburban houses. Cookie cutter.
(can we take a moment to appreciate how attractive my maternal grandparents were? 1940s yowza)
I cleared the sticks and one large branch off their gravestones, and had a quiet moment with them. All of my grandparents passed away years ago, and I guess I never really think about them as much as I should. We watched the movie, Coco, last weekend, and it roused up that good old Catholic guilt from my childhood, so when I was in the neighborhood, I stopped by to say hi.
My throat tightened as Charlie and I left, realizing that my grandpa never knew him, and my grandma hardly would remember him. I never knew one of my grandpas, and I wish I had. Charlie joyously yelled, "Bye, Family!" as he waved out the window of the Prius.
Now we can get down to how this weird story relates to wedding planning.
When I planned my first wedding, we did the whole thing the traditional way: in the Catholic church to please my grandmas, huge reception to please my family and friends. I was so much younger then. I did not know that extravaganza was not me.
However, I am glad I have a picture of me with both of my grandmas. If I had planned the wedding I am planning now, they would not have been able to come. Not having them there is something that would not have sat right. They both had their quirks (okay, and some mental health issues on one side), but they were really neat people.
It is really true that we always have a soft spot for our grandparents. It helps me get over the fact that Charlie told me my mom, YiaYia, is his favorite mom, and I am his second favorite. I get it.
As I plan my second wedding, I am hell bent on getting out of Wisconsin. I want to encourage each and every one of you to stop for a moment and consider what YOU want.
If you want your grandparents at your wedding, have it locally.
If you want just your immediate family at your wedding, have a tight guest list.
If you want to ride a horse into the sunset, DO IT.
Make sure that what ever you do for your wedding, remember it is a celebration of your committment, your love, and the beginning of a wonderful journey. Do not apologize, do not offer excuses.
So goodbye, Wisconsin - you were great for my first wedding, but this one feels bigger, and begs being smaller.
Oh, and to all my grandparents - I love you. I'll be seeing you.