When Aaron proposed in Chile, I was completely caught off guard. Our discussions of marriage had previously spiraled into each of our independent views on what is and isn’t the purpose of marriage. Ultimately, we always landed on the fact that we loved each other and the official-ness of it didn’t much matter.
Truth: at some point, I was far more concerned with the tax benefits of being married over all else. He was completely hung up on the genuinely horrible investment that is a diamond ring. Together, we were a pretty Grinchy pair.
Needless to say, in all of our discussions about fixing up our house, growing our businesses and raising a family – we never gave much thought to the definition of a “perfect wedding.”
Post-engagement, we suggested a quick April date to our close family. Their panic was a good indicator that it was a bad (and therefore ideal) plan. We wanted a private, outdoor, non-religious ceremony – all of which went against pretty much every other opinion we received. Not going to lie – those opinions really changed some things and we quickly started to make shifts toward “something more traditional.”
I had wanted it to be just us. He had wanted it to be what mattered most. Both of us wanted family involved – but we also wanted to be traipsing about in the wilderness as we do. Many possibilities among many impossibilities made the entire project seem far more overwhelming than we’d ever hoped. Generally, it wasn’t the vibe we wanted to launch our lifetime together.
The hunt for vendors became exhausting. We took turns vetoing every option available to us because – ultimately – we weren’t doing it for us. The April target quickly turned to September. Suddenly, all seemed as though we were signing on with all of the traditional wedding madness and expense that we swore we didn’t want and wouldn’t have.
I can tell you the exact moment in which every bit of magic we’d hoped for became a reality. Just before noon on Monday, February 11, 2019.
In the midst of planning our honeymoon hike up Kilimanjaro – we called a massive audible. Knowing we were now on a clear deadline – we made good on nearly every original plan we’d wanted. And, we did it all within 1-2 months.
Quickly, we booked a wedding weekend in Sedona, Arizona – just the two of us. We drew a hard line in the Kilimanjaro plans (I wasn’t about to hike that mess while 7 months pregnant). Instead, Aaron booked a trek to Everest Base Camp – playing a little catch up to my Nepal trip in 2017. We quit shopping all of the expensive wedding venues and locked down the outdoor Pavilion at Theatre in the Park at Shawnee Mission Park in Kansas.
Every easy detail was nearly within reach – but we still had to tell the family. The same family that had gotten extremely excited and over-the-top about planning in the first place.
That might be where the greatest stroke of genius became clear. As we creeped in on the 12th week of pregnancy, we took a few short days to spring the entire plan on family and friends.
“Surprise! We’re getting married in Sedona in a couple of weeks! Because – surprise! Aaron’s going to Everest Base Camp! Because – SURPRISE! My summertime travel is limited while we bake this baby!”
There were plenty of questions. I imagine there were probably some frustrations too. There was most definitely confusion. But – in the end of it all – who’s going to actual argue with the promise of baby snuggles in a few months?
The result was the most perfect of perfect ceremonies (for us). Followed by the most amazing of summertime afternoons sharing a meal, cake, dancing and quick talks with close family and friends. I totally recommend you read about them all as you have a chance. Or, as I have a chance to write about them. It all got weird. Awesomely weird. We could never in a million years have asked for a more ridiculously untraditional series of events to commemorate this time of our lives.