As some (or all) of you know, Allison and I got engaged during our trip to New York. While we’ve told nearly everyone we know, we haven’t told everyone yet. More importantly, we haven’t set a date yet. There is a reason for this: Allison’s rather extensive family. In total, I have to deal with 19 people. That’s including my immediate family, my uncles, my aunts, and my cousins. Oh, and Nana, of course. Allison, on the other hand, has something on the order of 70 people in her family.
We went out to Nanaimo for the weekend to visit with the Collins’, and so we could start working on the finer details of controlled mayhem. This included looking at several community halls, hotels, bed and breakfast inns, resorts, and so forth. We did find the places where we’ll most likely spend our honeymoon (we ain’t going to Hawaii, that’s for sure), but we had problems deciding where to hold everything.
Our biggest problem, so we found out later, was food. We have about 130 people on a list (including significant others, if they exist). Even we if manage to whittle the cost of food down to a measly $10 a head, that still works out to $1300 in food alone. And then we’ve got the cost of the rentals, the clothes, the flowers (an extra, in my opinion, but apparently it’s unavoidable), the justice of the peace, bla bla bla. It’s going to be an expensive proposition.
Upon our arrival, we went almost directly to the Wellington Community Hall. This building has been around for several decades, and has seen many events trapse through its rooms. Because Allison is part of the community, and her parents helped build and maintain the building, we stood a very good chance at getting the hall for nothing. And that would certainly help with the mounting costs of getting hitched.
The next day, we looked through several different places to hold receptions, have people stay, and even hold the ceremony. (This was after we went to Costco to get Allison a membership and have lunch.) Most of the places we were interested in were up in Lantzville, Parksville, and Qualicum, all north of Nanaimo. Although all them were interesting, the single biggest problem I had was that for most (if not all) of my friends and relatives, these places were far out of their way unless they had a car. I knew that in nearly every case, cars would not really be an option.
When we returned to Nanaimo, the Collins’ took Allison and I to Fast Eddie’s for dinner. It’s a quasi-50’s diner-style restaurant. There we managed to totally stuff ourselves. It would probably be the last time I eat out for a while.
That evening, we started solidifying a list of all the people we had to invite. It was then the distressing news of a huge food bill began to show up. Allison had been hoping to have the entire thing for only $500, something I had to admit I was a little surprised at. But she had been thinking very practically — a large pot-luck. Although I had no objection to that per se, I felt a little guilty because the burden would then be placed on her side of the family.
This wedding is off to a slow start. We’ve got a lot of planning to do, and we have to start setting a date soon. And the number of people on the list will likely change a lot over the next few months. It’s too bad we couldn’t just run down to Las Vegas and get this all done with...