What’s a “Hometown” Wedding Mean Anyway?

Truth is, I'm a Hometown-less Bride

by Erin Pullmann


There’s something that just doesn’t sit quite right with me when I look at our wedding invitations. Don’t get me wrong—they are perfectly lovely with their art deco font and glittery border. And they do the job we asked of them, namely, inviting our friends and family to join us in a glitter-soaked celebration of our sparkly, sparkly love—yes, we have a theme. They get all the details right, but there’s a devil in those details. They proudly declare the wedding will take place in Massapequa, New York. And I wish we were getting married just about anywhere else.

When I first went down the wedding rabbit hole, I read that unless you had the money to fly all your people to Venice or rent out Downton Abbey for a weekend, a wedding should take place in the bride’s hometown (thanks WIC). This advice made sense to me… in theory. This is what most of the weddings I’ve attended looked like. The bride and her bridesmaids (which include her three best-friends-since-kindergarten, two younger sisters, and seventeen super close first cousins) spend the morning crying and braiding each other’s hair before the ceremony, where the pastor shares some adorable story from the bride’s Sunday school days. (Meanwhile, the groom’s family sits quietly in the back, dressed in beige.) Everyone at the reception has known each other their whole lives. The cake is from the bakery where all of the bride’s birthday cakes were bought and her dress was lovingly sewed by Grandma, who also used to construct all of her childhood ballet costumes.

My family moved three times during my childhood. I haven’t spoken to my kindergarten best friend in over a decade. I have exactly one (male) first cousin, and zero living grandmothers. My hometown wedding was never going to look like this. Also, do I even have a hometown?

I’ve been asking this question since my senior year of high school. The year felt like one big goodbye tour for the members of my graduating class, most of whom had lived in the same small New England town their entire lives. I hadn’t moved there until sixth grade, so I’d missed the preschool Thanksgiving pageant, and I’d never met my classmates’ cherished kindergarten teacher. I had friends, a nice home with my family, and the typical tumultuous memories of spending my teenage years with these people. But when graduation day came, I had a lot less to say goodbye to.

My dream had always been to grow up, make it to a big city, and make my home there. And after several years battling the recession, I made that happen. I climbed a few rungs up the ladder in my career, made meaningful friendships, and found my person here in New York City. We’re settling into our first apartment together as we scramble to put the finishing touches on our (sparkly, sparkly) wedding. I’m proud of my accomplishments, and I cherish the community I’ve become a part of. I’ve made my home here. But I also can’t have a hometown wedding here.

As much as I love my life in New York, the city reminds me of Holly Golightly’s cat—I don’t belong to it, and it doesn’t belong to me. Knowing we’ll most likely never be able to afford to buy our own home here makes it feel temporary. Most of my friends here are also just transplants. They pack up and clear out of the city at holidays to go back to their “real homes,” just like college kids leaving the dorm for winter break. Plus, we’ve already decided that if we have kids, we won’t raise them here. I’ve seen enough poor, weary parents try to drag a stroller up the subway steps to know it isn’t for me.

Then there’s that other thing: money. It’s hella expensive to get married anywhere in NYC, even in Queens where we live. There was no venue in our price range that could give us the wedding we wanted, with all the people we wanted there. Plus, we wanted to make things easy and convenient for my parents, who’d left behind the pastoral New England paradise of my teenage years for the traffic-clogged suburbs of Long Island.

To put it gently, Long Island is not an easy place to learn to love. It’s crowded, noisy, and stripped of much (but not all) of its natural beauty. I spent some time living there with my parents during my aforementioned recession battles, and they were some of the hardest years of my life. How could I make it the site of something as important as my wedding? It’s neither the place I came from nor the place I worked so hard to reach.

Again, the devil is in the details, and this devil is named Logistics. Long Island offered more affordable vendors, but was still accessible enough that we could import our city friends for the night. My parents are generously opening up their house for the bridal party to get dressed in, as well as hosting the post-wedding Sunday brunch. And we really did find a lovely venue that felt like us, even if the address didn’t. We’ve got a solid home base for our wedding, if not a hometown. And whether they travel on the LIE or the LIRR, (or on a flight from the Midwest, where my new family comes from) the people we love will show up for us there.

As the wedding gets closer, I’ve learned to accept that I’m not a firmly rooted tree. I’m more like a potted plant that’s traveled around, sat on a few windowsills, and grown under the light of several different suns. And I can’t wait to tangle my branches up with my husband’s.

Erin Pullmann

Erin Pullmann is a writer and marketer based in Astoria, New York. At her day job, she writes the trivia questions you see on screen at the movies. At night, she writes sketch comedy for The Pin-Up Squirrels, an all-female sketch and improv team based in NYC. You can check out their work on the group’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

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  • snf100

    While my parents still live in the house I grew up in and i could have returned home for my wedding, its not what my husband and I wanted. We wanted to get married in the city we lived in and at our church with our pastor. In order to do this we made a few compromises, including my bridesmaids and I getting ready at my parents house, and had the reception outside of the city to lower costs. It worked for us and was the right set of decisions and compromises, because in our mind the wedding ceremony in particular was about the two of us and our story and it wouldn’t have felt authentic or real to either of us if the narrative was one sided. Plus our church is beautiful and our pastor is a really amazing public speaker and his sermons are always out of the park, this may have helped smooth over my parent’s sadness that we weren’t following the traditional pattern like my sister before me.

    • Juanita

      Yeah, you really have to got to what is authentic to your story. But what I really wanted to say was smoothing over parent’s sadness over not following traditions is a very real and constant aspect of wedding planning, that at times has really taken me by surprise!!

  • Eh

    Before we got engaged my husband and I discussed possible locations for our wedding. I lived in one city until I was city, then moved to a small town until I finished high school (none of my family still lives there, but my brother lives in one neighbouring town and my dad lives in another), then I lived in two different cities while in university and moved to another city for work. My husband and I have made our home in the city where we now both work. On the other hand, my husband lived in the same town until he went to university. He went to university and then college in the city where we live. Since I don’t really have a hometown we felt no obligation to any of the places I had previously lived.

    Our first choice was the city where we live; however my in-laws requested that we get married in my husband’s hometown since most of my husband’s family lives there or nearby (the furthest lives just over an hour away) and his family found it very inconvenient that his brother and SIL got married in the city when everyone was coming from their hometown. We live an hour from his hometown so it was also a good choice (as a happy bonus, things cost a lot less in his hometown than the city we live in).

    A couple of my relatives who still live in the city where I was born were upset that I didn’t get married there. It made no logical sense to get married there since my family and friends live all over the country (the largest group does live in that city but another large group lives within an hour of where I grew up). If we got married there I would have been planning from 1500km away (I know this is not really an excuse, my sister planned 3800km away) and over three quarters of our guests would have had to travel to a place with limited and expensive flying options.

    • OhNoThereGoesTokyo

      My grandmother basically disowned me because we didn’t get married where I grew up. In all honestly, I would have had the same wedding my younger cousin had this past May; because the venue she used would be the only acceptable option. If I had to plan a wedding at that venue, I would have lost my mind. It wasn’t my style at all!

      • Eh

        One of the relatives didn’t come to my wedding and obviously she would have come if it was where she lived. She complained that it was too hard to travel to my husband’s hometown (it would have involved two flights and a car ride – but someone would have picked her up). This person also didn’t go to my sister’s wedding which was one flight and a car right (again someone would have come to pick her up). You can’t make everyone happy. No matter where we had it someone would have been upset.

        My BIL/SIL wanted an all in one location which isn’t an option in their hometown. We wanted something that was a bit different (historical or artsy) and that didn’t need a lot of dressing up. We got married in an old train station that was converted into a theatre and had our reception at the golf club. It worked for us. We would have had a harder time finding something similar near where I grew up that was close to accommodations and that wasn’t crazy expensive.

        • Erin (the author)

          That sounds amazing! We would have totally gone with a historic theater if it had worked logistically/budget wise.

          • Eh

            From the outside it still looked like a train station and the ticket booth played up on its history. It was pretty perfect for what we wanted. It was also a great location for pictures (they were on the industrial side but they are unique compared to what our friends and relatives have). It wasn’t too expensive to rent (a few hundred dollars for the afternoon) and since the golf club was very reasonable it kept us in budget. My favourite comment about the theatre was from a very religious relative who said that the seats were way more comfortable than pews and he had a better view. lol

  • BR

    It’s not just the WIC. I see the same thoughts in places like APW – get married in a backyard (assuming there is a backyard available to you), invite that asshole uncle because he’s family and you love him (assuming you actually love your family and aren’t inviting 80% of them just so your parents won’t cry), weddings are about community (assuming you have a ‘community’). I don’t think there’s ANYTHING wrong with that, to be clear – some people have those options and never consider them. It just became obvious to me very, very early on that most budget-saving things were not going to work for us so we’d have to save up more money if we wanted a big ol’ party style wedding/reception.

    • BR

      Also, the ‘where is home’ question is somewhat dear to me now because on the way to our college town for some alumni event recently I asked my boyfriend where he considers ‘home.’ He’s moved a lot and I’ve moved a fair bit myself, and we talked about it a little and I kind of settled on our college area as much as anywhere else because it was such an important part of my life in ways that others weren’t. So when he proposed there a couple days later, it was amazing in a way that I couldn’t have imagined. However, it is still our little ‘home town’ that none of our families share, so we won’t be getting married there (also it is balls-to-the-wall expensive, naturally).

    • jubeee

      Yeah those weddings are not my weddings. Its really not about “the community” to my fiancee and I, its about use and our marriage. We are throwing a reception for those who we want, not every single person I’m related to. I moved back to my hometown area, so our wedding will be close by but also not hometown. I am quite happy with it because I come from a very work class area that is very close to a lovely pastural area, which is where we are getting married. There won’t be 3 best friends since kindergarten (I don’t have those) there won’t be all the cousins as bridesmaids (I do have them and its way too much for me.) I think we need to resist the pressure to live up to everyone’s very gorgeous accounts of their weddings and plan what makes most sense to us.

  • ruth

    I relate to this. Having moved 18 times growing up, the question ‘where are you from?’ is always very awkward for me. Funnily enough, we also got married on Long Island, where we now live, in a venue whose vibe felt like us, even though it wasn’t a place we were previously familiar with. Just wanted to say – I think Long Island is one of the most underrated places. I kicked and screamed moving here, but the pockets of beauty, quirkiness, and interesting people lurking under the congested suburban exterior continue to surprise me! P.s Queens / Long Island APW meet up anyone? (I live in Garden City )

    • Erin (the author)

      I am glad you are enjoying living there more than I did! Garden City was a cute town.

  • Sara

    My family moved around a lot when I was was younger for my dad’s job, but their large extended families all stayed in the same place. Strangely because of this, I’ve always considered Cleveland my hometown even though I’ve never personally lived there. It was the only constant place when I look back, though my parents have lived in their current home (in Chicagoland) since I was in sixth grade. But for some reason, I’ve never consider it ‘my’ town. Maybe its because I’ve been able to see the city of Cleveland revive itself, or our family has always rooted for their sports teams instead of Chicago’s. Hometowns are strange for us gypsy children!

    Also, I am fascinated by your bio – you write movie trivia for a living?! AND sketch comedy? I want to be your friend.

    • Nope.

      Just another Clevelander chiming in that it’s a place that demands investment and so becomes a great home town – and go Cavs!

    • qj

      Same here — my family moved all the time, but the extended family stayed in the same 1.5 driving radius around Pittsburgh, so that’s always been “home base” even if it wasn’t our “home town,” and where I tell people I’m “from” even though I’ve never lived there. :)

    • Erin (the author)

      Thanks :) I work for a cinema advertising company, so trivia is just the fun part of my job I tell people about. As for sketch comedy, that is lots more fun and hopefully will be a job one day. And sketch/improv teams make awesome wedding guests. There is an album on our team’s Facebook page of crazy dance floor antics from my wedding.

  • pajamafishadventures

    This hometown idea really resonated with me. I was born in the Bay Area and we lived there in 3-5 month stints on and off until I was about 4, so I do actually have memories of the place (mostly of a playground and a feral cockatiel). Many people consider my “hometown” to be the place I went to kindergarten, a small town in a New England state I’ve spent my entire life trying to leave and never go back to (where my parents still live). The place that feels like home the most to me? The part of NY/PA where my grandparents lived and I went to college, or the Pacific Northwest where I spent 3 years basking in cool weather and cool people (and also seasonal allergies). He lived in the same town in far Upstate NY until we met in undergrad and when he came to meet me in Oregon was the first time he’d lived out of NY.

    When we’ve talked about the “where” we talk about leveling the playing field by having a destination wedding somewhere that it’s inconvenient for everyone, including us, to get to because I just don’t feel like we can pick a location without it seeming like we’re favoring one set of friends/family.

    • Eenie

      My great idea of an Iceland destination wedding was nixed due to many family members resistance to travelling overseas. We compromised with a place that one of us is currently living and has a major airport.

    • Nina

      We had a similar case of friends and family from the Bay area, upstate New York, and New England. We ended up having a destination-ish wedding in Cannon Beach, Oregon (even though we were living in Boston). It was gorgeous and amazing and people didn’t complain much about the travel because the destination was so awesome. People asked if it was my hometown or if I had special memories tied to the place and I was like, uhhhh, I grew up 5 hours north of here, so sort of.

    • we did it. He’s from Seattle, my family currently lives in Georgia, we live in Miami. The wedding was in….Vermont. Everyone had to travel. Very few people had actually ever been there. Adventure for everyone!

  • LJ

    We actually are going the more traditional route and getting married in my hometown (in 4 days!). We live and the east coast and my fiancé’s family is all there. BUT I grew up on the west coast and my while family is there. There was literally no middle ground. A lot of people initially we’re surprised that we are getting married in the west because of the inconvenience to us. We knew that a good portion of someone’s family wasn’t going to come. We picked the west coast because we see his extended family on a regular basis, but have many fewer opportunities to see mine due to travel, vacation time, etc. and it just so happened to be a “bride’s hometown” choice. The bonus is that no one really complained because that happens to be tradition!

    • Eh

      It’s funny because my MIL is very much about tradition and asked us to get married in my husband’s hometown. My husband and I aren’t “tradition” people, so a couple of times when we were discussing things that just happened to be traditional, she would make comments like “of course, that’s how things are done” and we would have to remind her that we weren’t having a traditional wedding so the “rules” were thrown out the window (just occasionally what was traditional actually made sense for us – like my in-laws hosting the rehearsal supper – we were getting married where they live after all).

  • heather_kaye

    Yup. To all of the above. Seventeen moves here, which includes four while I was in high school. It was awful (because I was a teenager and I was awful) and I hated it and I hated HERE and I was terrible and resentful and then, oh, laws, I had to move back after college because theatre undergrad and now I’ve been here for what feels like forever. And it is The Dude’s hometown, and we’re getting married in the church(‘s backyard) he grew up in across the street from the church where I worship and work (not here because we can’t play instrumental music). And we’re living here after the wedding, barring job offers elsewhere. And with his huge, messy, extended family (who are all invited, despite the fact that even my family list was edited for the sake of numbers….which is a longer, much bitter-er rant), who are now my family. And they’re all here and everyone knows everything about each other and has keys to houses and spends every holiday together and there are all these resentments and intimacies and encyclopedic knowledge… So I guess it’s finally my hometown, too. And I don’t really know how to do that.

  • kcaudad

    we got married in the city where we lived at the time, where my husband went to college and graduated shortly before the wedding, where I worked, and were we had a small friend group and church. we didn’t consider his ‘hometowns’ for more than about 2 seconds. his parents still live in the same house in a very small town where he lived in high school. we were definitely not getting married there. his extended family lives in a larger city a few hours away, but we have no other connection to that city. I don’t really have a ‘hometown’, as my parents have moved about 5 times since I graduated college and we were not getting married where (only they) lived at the time, or in the town where I ‘grew up’ but had not been in about 5 years. the rest of my extended family is scattered about the Midwest. since we were the ones doing the bulk of the wedding planning, we got married where it was convenient for us. everything was within 3 miles of our apartment at the time. then, we promptly moved (less than a month after the wedding) to another town about 1 hour from there for a job offer. who says that your wedding location has to be ‘the place’ that you plan to live ‘forever’? it’s convenient to where you live now and makes sense at this time. that’s enough.

  • Nell

    SO many people asked us if we were getting married in my fiancee’s hometown. Yes, it is lovely – but it’s also conservative and inconvenient, so we’re getting married in our own city, thankyouverymuch.

    Because I moved around so much, I had this romantic notion for years before I met my fiancee that I’d marry someone who came from a farm in a quaint rural town, and we’d get married surrounded by the family’s flock of sheep or something. But I didn’t meet that person – I met someone who’d moved around almost as much as me.

  • Laura C

    I do have a hometown and I kind of wanted to get married there. But very few of our guests were from that area, it’s nearly an hour from the nearest airport, even the trains mostly stop 25 minutes away, and public transit doesn’t go anywhere near the venue we’d have chosen, so we’d have had to think about shuttles from the hotel to the wedding (since I didn’t want to be worried about drunk drivers leaving my wedding). And the venue we chose, in my husband’s home metro area and where we are now living, was a place that also felt like part of my childhood, and there was public transit and a nearby airport and more of our guests were either coming from the immediate area or had family to stay with here. So it made sense, and the wedding was great. But I still occasionally think about what it would have been like if we’d done it in my town.

  • Kate

    Small world, I grew up in Massapequa! Now I’m just trying to figure out where Erin’s venue is…

    We did get married on Long Island, but not in Massapequa. We briefly considered getting married where we went to college and met outside of Boston, but this was logistically easier. And also was nice to get ready in my parents’ house that morning. But I think that being considerate for your guests’ (re: travel, lodging, transportation) and planning a ceremony and party that “feel like you” is way more important than the zip code.

    p.s. The idea of someone having a wedding on Long Island because “it’s cheaper” is hilarious to me. I guess if you’re comparing it to Manhattan, fair enough. But man, LI weddings are spicy.

    • Erin (the author)

      My venue was The Riviera and Our Lady of Lourdes church. It was soooo much cheaper than any of the 5 boroughs and surprisingly worked out cheaper than most venues in New England where it’s hard to find a decent open bar package.

  • qj

    When people ask where I’m from, I normally just say, “my family.” Because that’s where I’m from. (If they’re looking for a geographic location, I always end up saying Pittsburgh, though I’ve never lived there, because that was my family’s home base while moving all over the place through childhood.”) Being from someWHERE has always ended up being less important to me than being from someONE, whether that someone is a blood-person or a friend-person. Figuring it all out can be so tricky, and it sounds like your LI wedding will be such a wonderful collection of folks near and far who are dear. :)

  • Kate M

    This must be a pretty common experience at this point in time, so many of us don’t live near our families anymore. My hometown is 5 hours away from the city I have lived in for 13 years post college. But my parents moved away from my hometown the year I did. When we were planning our wedding, we considered my hometown, it would have been cheaper and there was a lot of family coming from there. However, I had lived here for over 10 years and planning far away if you don’t have to seems silly, and all our friends are here. Either family or friends would have to travel.
    The one thing I will say though, my last grandparent died the December before our May wedding. She was still in my hometown, and was terminally ill, and we knew she would not make it to May. Had she been alive, I would have moved the wedding there so that she could come, I would have given a lot to have had her there. I am just thankful that she was able to meet my husband and know that I had met him before she died. Elderly relatives change the planning dynamic. After she died, the oldest person on my guest list was 60.

  • laddibugg

    Do people mean LITERALLY in their hometown? There are a few churches of different denominations (and one synagogues, are marriages performed in synagogues?) here in town, but no real banquet hall or place to get married not in a church. But I live in North Jersey so no one really bats an eye at going to the next town or two or three or four over.

    • Amy March

      I’m in North Jersey and what I would mean by a hometown wedding is in my actual town or within a 20 minute drive. A radius that seemingly contains 20 country clubs and 10 reception facilities. Yay density!

      • laddibugg

        Exactly. I’d consider a 20 minute drive in every direction except east…which would be New York City, Manhattan specifically. I’d consider Staten Island if the location and price was AMAZING, but it would not be my first choice

        • Amy March

          Oh no. Staten Island isn’t a hometown wedding if you live in New Jersey. I’d think of that as more of an international destination wedding.

  • Alyssa M

    Never even considered getting married in a hometown, other than the town we’ve made our home… idk, just seems like one of those WICisms that only works for a very ‘traditional’ kind of couple…

    Despite having both moved a lot growing up, like many people on this thread, it’s obvious our mutual hometown is the city where we met in high school; the city our parents all still live in. But even a wedding there would have had most of the guests traveling… and then WE would’ve been traveling…

    No, better that we stuck with our city… the place we’ve chosen to build our adult lives… and screw the “tradition”.

    • leafygreen

      We never considered it either. I heard secondhand that some of my relatives on my mom’s side were bitching about it, but come on…does it really make sense to get married 12 hours away from where *we* live?

      The family on that side ended up impressing me when several of them piled into a car and made the road trip (including my 82 year old grandma!), so it worked out anyway.

  • Bsquillo

    “As the wedding gets closer, I’ve learned to accept that I’m not a firmly rooted tree. I’m more like a potted plant that’s traveled around, sat on a few windowsills, and grown under the light of several different suns.”

    THANK YOU for putting into words something I’ve felt for years, but have never been able to describe. I grew up in the same place for the first 18 years of my life, went to college about 2 1/2 hours away from home in my home state, and then moved to Colorado, where I’ve lived for 3 years. But oddly enough, I don’t feel a strong tie to any one place. I think a lot of this is cultural- my parents both moved a lot growing up, even though I didn’t, and they never emphasized the value of growing deep roots and staying close to family (even though this is a common value in the South where I grew up). So I’ve always felt a bit like an odd bird for having no desire to return to my “hometown.” I’ve come to love my adaptability though, and I know that I could thrive pretty much anywhere I end up moving. Maybe that makes me a weed, haha ;)

  • Lily

    “As much as I love my life in New York, the city reminds me of Holly Golightly’s cat—I don’t belong to it, and it doesn’t belong to me.”

    This sums up exactly how I felt about living in New York.

  • Amanda

    “As the wedding gets closer, I’ve learned to accept that I’m not a firmly rooted tree. I’m more like a potted plant that’s traveled around, sat on a few windowsills, and grown under the light of several different suns. And I can’t wait to tangle my branches up with my husband’s.”
    This paragraph gave me goosebumps! Thanks for sharing this piece.

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  • Daphne

    I have a hometown. A small, poor town. I lived in the same trailer from the time I was 3 until I was 18 and went away to college on scholarship. I wouldn’t want to get married there anyway even if there was anyplace. My fiancé and I are getting married in a wonderful old mansion in the town where we live, about 1 hour from his family and almost 4 hours from where I grew up. This town is home.

  • When people ask me where I’m from I say “heaven.” We moved when I was 8 and 13 and then my parents moved twice after I graduated college before I got married (they’ve moved twice again). Heaven is the closest I can get to telling people where I’m from, or the Southwest of the United States if they want something a little more physical.

    Hometown marriages weren’t happening for me or my siblings. My sister got married where she was living at the time, where her husband’s family had moved when he graduated high school, so not a “hometown” for either of them. My brother got married where he and his wife were currently living, and she’d moved just as much growing up so both sides had fun traveling for that one. And I got married in the town my husband grew up in just up the hill from the house he’d lived his whole pre-college life in but where neither of us lived at the time.

    “Home” is such a nebulous concept for me. But it is definitely more defined by people than location.

  • I was born in different country, but grew up in a suburb of City A. Husband grew up in a suburb of city B, we met in college in city C, and at the time of the wedding were living in city D (at that point, I’d been there for a bit over a year, him just a few months). At first we considered having the wedding in our current city – after all, it’s our wedding, and it should be convenient for us. But we realized that made no sense as literally nobody we were inviting lived in said city, and the cost of everyone having to travel and book accommodations was so economically inefficient. We ended up getting married at a beautiful historic venue just a couple of miles from my parents’ house (where I’d lived since 2nd grade). Most of my guests were from city A, and were still there or had a base to stay at for free, and his guests (mostly family) were near city B and in Canada, so my city A was a great middle ground.

    I do agree that the concept of a ‘destination wedding’ is outdated. Sure, let’s call the getaway to a resort in Mexico a destination wedding for those living in the States. But many weddings require a chunk of guests to travel by plane, just by virtue of the fact that many people aren’t living in the same city they lived in when younger, and possibly went to college and met friends from all over, plus then moved to get another city and met friends from all over.

  • Staria

    It’s so hard to let go of how it seems things should be, and accept what is, even when what is can be so much better. I decided against bridesmaids a long time ago because I don’t have a sister, I have a lot of good friends (good problem), a lot of wonderful cousins, and one sister in law. How would I choose? But I’ll still get ready with my best (girl)friend. My man’s parents own a wedding venue, it’s a restored church on their farm, so that’s our venue. It’s lovely, but it’s nothing to do with where I grew up, so I’d like to have our engagement party on a farm that I spent a lot of time on growing up. We both grew up in the area, neither of us in this town, and we’ve both lived interstate (we’re Australian) so it’ll be a destination wedding for a lot of family and friends, even though our lives are there now. And, a lot of my friends are already married with kids, so it feels a bit weird being one of the very last ones and wondering how to decide who to invite. It’s all just going through each thing and asking yourself, is this realistic and how can I be kind to myself and get the feeling I do want? At the end of the day you’re a lucky person to be marrying someone you love anyway.

  • thank you for expressing how frustrating the “kindergarten best friend bridesmaids & seventeen first cousins” expectation is. i can’t remember the name of anyone i went to kindergarten with, nor do i have any cousins close in age and they all live halfway around the world.. i don’t feel tied to my “hometown.” early on in wedding planning, the stress of having to conjure up a childhood best friend for a bridesmaid, a hometown haunt to get married in, or how to have a wedding where most of the guests are aged 50+ kept me wide awake o’ nights.

  • saritika

    There is so much I identify with in this post. Thank you for writing it, Erin.
    Currently we are an international couple (German & American) living in Switzerland, which has yet to feel like home but which has the most amazing living quality. I am a former New Yorker, and feel exactly the way you describe.
    Now that we are trying to plan a wedding, logistics are the biggest burden. Having the wedding in my New England hometown would have been a great solution logistically, if my parents hadn’t decided to up and move across the world. Having it here in Switzerland makes a lot of sense, but I might be moving back to NY soon to take a job as I can’t find anything in our city. So much of our life is up in the air in terms of location, it seems impossible to add a 100-person wedding into the mix.

  • Juanita

    It’s funny actually since both of us are actually very rooted people. Most of his family lives within an hour of the town in DE he grew up in, and up until a few months ago I lived in the same city outside of Boston my whole life. Yet, we’re getting married in PA because that’s where his grandpa lives and we want him to officiate. We’re going to him because he (with nurse help) cares for his wife and daughter. Plus it turns out to be a pretty central location for most people in both our families. So I identify with the author to some degree, but then again sometimes wedding location is purely practical, if it makes the most sense for my people than that’s more than enough meaningfulness for me.

  • Although I think I’m much more “rooted” than you, I had a similar but different talk with my mom a few weeks ago. We moved to my “hometown,” where I still live, when I was about 8 from a city about 2 hours away. I loved where we’d lived before. Fast forward about 25 years and we’re planning our wedding in the city where I used to live. It’s still close but feels like a vacation and has some awesome venue options. I always feel guilty about everything and I was telling my mom that I felt bad because I felt like I *should* have a hometown wedding where we all live now. Thankfully, my mom is awesome and told me that a) we’ve got a great plan in place and b) that other city is/was home too. It’s ok to have more than one “hometown.”

  • Farmgirl13

    “The people we love will show up for us there”. As a person who has lived in 12+ places over the last decade this seem like an impossibility to me. In creating our guest list I struggled with the fact that so many of my friends that I forged deep connections with on my travels probably couldn’t/wouldn’t make the trek to a tiny town in the Midwest to see me tie the knot to a guy they had never met. I also wrestled with the fact that my “new” friends who I didn’t feel all that close with would probably show up even though I wasn’t sure if I wanted them too. But then people started to RSVP… A friend from Hawaii, one from California, my dad’s best childhood best friend — the one who stepped in and gave his eulogy when I was too sad to speak–…. The people we love WILL show up for us here.

  • dearabbyp

    We had only recently moved from SF to LA when we got engaged. His family was there, my family is in MN, friends are everywhere. We chose Paso Robles which was quite convenient for Californians (~3 hour drive from either SF or LA) but planes, trains, an automobiles for everyone else. They still made it. Sure, it was a destination wedding because we don’t live there, but I made my peace with the fact that we tried our best to make it both easy and beautiful. And it was.

    Also, wedding logistics are the worst, and I kind of love logistics.

  • kathleen

    ooookay so I’ve been dating this guy for over four months now. BEFORE I START MY STORY. im not looking for advice. just advicing you.

    so I honestly love being with him. he makes me feel hot and special and wanted and honestly his smile lights up my life. my heart still skips a beat whenever I see him. I still get butterflies when he touches me.

    I love him. and he loves me.

    recently he’s been starting to be distant. and it’s fine; I let him have his space. until last month he started talking about wanting to break up.
    I was very upset. I called my friends and I was crying and all that jazz.

    I went to visit one of my friends, who happens to live near the guy. on my way to her house, I ran into my boyfriend. we sat down and talked for a while. he doesn’t know what he wants. I cried. he said that he wants a break because he feels so much pressure to be good at a relationship. he also wonders if sometimes that he might also be happier single. but then he says hes with me and he laughs and he’s happy and he doesn’t know.

    so towards the end of the conversation I suggested that if a relationship is like a house, and a lightbulb burns out, we don’t burn the house down. we fix the light bulb.

    (prior to this conversation he only saw 2 options- ending it or staying together) he chose ending it, i talked to my friend about it and he gave me a contact email for me to ask for help and i did, in contacted the love doctor and he told me what to do and when i did it, he prayed for me and my biyfriend came back begging me that he was with another woman who did a spell on him that made him leave me annd i should take him back. i had to choice, i had to take him. all thanks to The love doctor who helped me. his email is prayerstosaverelationship@yahoo.com if you have any problem in your marriage or relationship please do well to contact him he is the best.

  • Riot

    This post made me laugh. You have a great sense of humour. A nod in agreement. I can completely identify with this.

  • TabithaWard

    Wedding always special for everyone’s life.

    • jenevie etic

      wedding is special and memorable.

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