We flew to San Juan, then took the long car ride to Fajardo and the short, choppy flight to Vieques. We loved everything about it: the battered jeep we rented to traverse the winding roads, the wild horses grazing in the ditch, the nighttime boat ride and swim in the bioluminescent bay, the impossibly pure, impossibly empty white-sand beaches. Everything. But what made a rustic, romantic weekend getaway for two would be a logistical nightmare for a wedding. We had a hard time figuring out where on the island we could bring the event in under budget, and a hard time justifying asking our guests to take tiny planes or an inconvenient ferry—with attached costs that, in aggregate, were not all that cheap after all.
Ultimately, we didn't like the thought that people we love might be priced or inconvenienced out of being able to see us wed. Even for the "would attend at any cost" crowd, it started to seem selfish to commandeer their vacation time and budgets.
Bye bye, Vieques.
Which, irrationally, pissed me off. And made me feel depressed. I guess I had sunk a lot of hope into that one idea, so when it was gone, I was bereft. We were back to square one, and time was ticking away. We scrambled for an alternative, flirting with a beach wedding in Cape May, New Jersey. After rejecting Nebraska, my home state, outright, we were revisiting that idea, too. Frustrated and impatient to make progress, Jonathan and I found ourselves fighting in a way we never had before. Not to mention that we have two sets of parents who, for different reasons and in different ways, wanted and needed to know what was going on.
Which brings me to the issue of money, for me the most heart wrenching. I'm almost 30 years old. I've been financially independent (if you don't count a few minor lapses and major gifts) since I graduated from college. I really think I should be paying for my own wedding. But the fact is, I can't afford the kind of wedding we want, and neither can Jonathan. And we're just selfish enough (or America 2005 enough) to put our wants above our means. So we're looking to our parents. And because of my sentimental, old-fashioned streak, and probably some kind of pride as well, that means my parents.