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The Graddy Wedding Marathon

A few weeks ago I wrote about my experience while shopping for wedding dresses, and now that we’re coming up on our 2 year anniversary, I thought it’d be as good a time as any to give a recap about how we went about planning The Graddy Wedding Marathon.

While it probably doesn’t seem like it by looking at the goofy Insta stories I post of him, Lee suffers from pretty severe crowd anxiety, so when we were planning our wedding, keeping the guest count relatively low was a priority for him. Although I completely understood where he was coming from, we both come from large families, so the reality of that actually happening was a bit concerning for me.

What’s more, we both own businesses in my home town, as does my mom, so there were going to be TONS of local friends that we would run the risk of offending if we skipped over them on the guest list.

Still, Lee wanted to keep the guest list around 125-140, which seemed doable, until we realized that family and wedding party would put us at 116 guests. When we made a list of our friends and friends of the family that we truly couldn’t imagine celebrating without, the list had easily grown by another 100. Although we all know that not all of your guests will attend, the chances of receiving 90 rejections to a local wedding seemed unlikely.

So we came up with a plan. The venue we were going to be working with was going to give us the keys on Thursday and allowed us to return them on Monday morning (even as a wedding professional calling in favors— this is VERY unusual). Regardless, I called the venue and asked if we would be able to use the venue for two events during the weekend, if we still agreed to be cleaned up by Monday morning. They agreed, and we moved forward with the plan.

Essentially, what it boiled down to was this: we decided to have a rehearsal dinner and welcome party on Thursday night and get married on Friday, with the 125 guests Lee had been promised. Then on Saturday morning, the entire venue would get re-set for a second wedding reception on Saturday night. Yes. A second reception. Two dinners, two dresses— the whole nine yards. Our parents, bridal party, and the other 100 people we just HAD to celebrate with would be invited to the Saturday reception.

And that’s what we did! So while many couples argue about a band vs. a DJ, a food truck vs. a sit down meal, and all of the other wedding related decisions, we were instead, able to say Friday or Saturday? And move on.

Was it completely exhausting? Yes. Did it completely blow our budget out of the water? Absolutely. Was it totally worth it to not have my husband start our life together mid-meltdown? Of course.

While having two back-to-back wedding receptions certainly isn’t for everyone, it was the right choice for us. So if you are faced with a somewhat non-traditional circumstance leading up to your wedding day, don’t be afraid to think outside the box!

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