Basically it boils down to this: If we want our ceremony in the Animal kingdom, we'll have to kick in about $4k more and cut the guest list down to 35 people.
While disappointing, this is a very clear reality check for me. It boiled down to a simple question: Which would I rather have? A chance to celebrate with my family and friends and have it paid off before we do it? Or a chance to celebrate with a handful of people in a unique venue and pay it off for a few years afterwards?
Even for a Disney Freak like me, this wasn't a choice. I'd rather be able to invite more people. When I proposed it to My Sailor, he agreed. No Animal Kingdom for us. So while we're a bit disappointed (again), it's actually freeing in a lot of ways! The decision on the dresses for the ladies has been made, and we still have the quote (which includes 65 people in a wedding AND Reception AND Illuminations Dessert Party for a little more than Disney would have charged us for the Wedding alone) from Shades of Green, so it's looking like we'll be heading back to our original plans for a morning Shades of Green wedding w/ a Brunch reception.
Also, by going with Shades of Green, I can take my bridesmaids up on their offers to help out with flowers, center pieces, and things before hand! It'll save money, time, but most of all help us all get closer to each other as we all pitch in for this event.
And ya know what? That sounds awesome. I do believe I'm starting to get a healthier perspective on this whole thing.
I used to feel bad about taking family and friends up on their offers to help. After all, they are all having to travel for our big day. But I don't anymore. I realize that helping gives us a chance to bond and gives everyone a chance to be a tangible part of a remarkable occasion. We're still getting our invitations done by a local artist, and we're probably going to have the cake topper made for us as well. Talk about a customized event!
I also realized something I lose sight of. Wedding planning should be FUN! If it stops being fun, take a step back and double check that your priorities are in the right place - rather than focused completely on one day. Yes, it's an important day, but it really is just one day.
Sure, we want to show everyone a good time, but the truth is, WE ARE IN DISNEY WORLD WITH OUR CLOSEST LOVED ONES! OF COURSE WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A GOOD TIME! I'm going to Disney World with my family, My Sailor's family, and our closest friends. And taking a smart start to our future seems so much better than a debt filled one.
Moral of the Story: Sometimes stress is an indicator that a change of plan is called for.
I actually can't wait for our Shades of Green day. After all - we're already getting the best part of this deal.