Alicia, our fabulous bride blogger is back for installment 2. The big wedding decisions this week have been about the daunting guest list and ceremony locations!
"Fiancé and I are in the middle of working out our guest list. I have watched many friends go through a tug-of-war where the bride and groom feel torn about who they want to invite and who the family want to be at the wedding.
I've seen friends contend with the insistence that a dozen people unknown to them or without any interest or involvement in the couple's life be added. And I've seen the stress and trouble it caused.
People who have experienced this process have said that it is "like a test of how strong your relationship is with your partner and your inlaws, sent well before time." I always thought that I wouldn't let it happen to me, that I would exert full control of my wedding, but I'm starting to think that it's an unavoidable part of wedding planning.
The family is excited and they want to share their offspring's success and happiness with close family friends who watched them grow up. But where do you draw the line? What if you only wanted a small wedding? What if there are close friends of yours that get knocked out because of numbers? We're still figuring this all out.
On the weekend, we decided to take a break from our guest list anxiety and focus on something else. It was a majestic sunny winter's day so we got in the car and headed across to our favourite area of Sydney, The Rocks.
We don't have a ceremony venue yet and we're looking for the perfect place that is meaningful, familiar and says a little bit about who we are. We are under-cover history nerds and we've had many hot dates to the Rocks. We walk the staircases and alleyways, and slip into the cosey restaurants and cafes in the historic Rocks buildings.
The Rocks has a special significance for me. I have convict blood with a great-great-great-great grandmother arriving on the Second Fleet. Her descendants resided in and battled The Rocks for over 100 years and while it was by no means a glamourous life, I feel drawn to the beauty of the area today and my ancestral origins.
I was going to the Rocks looking for a very particular setting for our ceremony as, thanks to my time spent on Pinterest, I have a very detailed idea of how I would like the ceremony to look and feel.
I was looking for a hidden sunken garden, a quiet place with carved granite rock, frens, moss, water stains, trees and a lawn where I could add flowers, ribbons and lanterns and create "A Midsummer Night's Dream".
Getting wed beneath a tree? I do!
Alas, the magical Rocks sunken garden is not to be. It doesn't exist. There were many green spaces, but nothing matched the one we were looking for, the picture in my head. So, with so much gratitude to fiance for running with me on this idea, we're broadening our search to the Lower North Shore.
Perhaps there's a national park setting or a historic house with a private garden that will allow us to create that feeling, and yet be close enough to The Rocks for photos. But who knows?
Maybe we'll find something completely different that will strike us as the perfect ceremony venue. Wedding decisions tend to happen of their own accord sometimes, they swing with their own momentum. If only the guest list would do the same!
This is part of where I'm up to in our wedding planning. I welcome any advice, or sympathy, from common experience.
How did you pick your ceremony venue? And how did you manage your guest list?
About Alicia: Alicia is a water scientist by day and a blogger/jogger/home cooker by night. She is madly in love with her fiancé Shane, Pinterest and her fitness program. Check out her Pinterest board , her lifestyle blog and food blog, and the Bride Body fitness program she's following.
Alicia will be guest blogging for the MW Blog through the six months leading up to her wedding day.
Alicia resides in Manly, Sydney, and is a Victorian country girl at heart.