You could have an outdoor, Hawaiian themed rehersal dinner and then a more traditional wedding. We had our rehersal dinner in my parents backyard and it was wonderful.
I got married 10 months ago and we did a very casual wedding/reception and people are still talking about how fabulous it was. You can still have the arboretum wedding with a pig roast. Believe me, it will be incredible. Just remember not to get all caught up in the wedding hype. The most important thing to remember is that you are getting married and spending the rest of your life with this person. Keep it simple and fun. Do what best reflects your personality and his. You will both be happy with the results.
You could do a more traditional wedding ceremony then do the Hawaiian themed reception. Or maybe you could have a very short formal reception, then invite guests to a Hawiian cookout. While they travel to the cookout, you could be getting your pictures taken. I think a Hawaiian party would keep guests very entertained while they wait for you to finish the pictures.
Sit down and find out all the reasons he likes his plan. I'm guessing he might want something fun, silly, informal, and inexpensive. Then tell him all the things you like and don't like about his plan. Some of the things will be rational, some won't. Maybe you like his parents, but once a pig bit you.
Then explain what you like about your plan and see if there's anything he likes about it.
Then look long and hard at that list of things you both like, and see if you can come up with a plan that uses them. For example, he might think your church wedding will be too bland, but if you choose lots of bright colors, that might be okay. He might think your garden reception will have delicate foods, but if you choose something substantial he will be happy. You might think the pig roast sounds inappropriate and he may remind you that this is not true for your particular friends and lifestyle.
On those things you can't compromise on, do one thing at the wedding, and the other at the reception. Perhaps you can dress him up for a short wedding ceremony with just a few friends and relatives, and wear your dream dress, and get lots of fabulous photos for the album there. Then you change and have a big, fun to-do at his parents house. You have the elegant dream wedding cake, and he has palm-tree-decorated chocolate cupcakes for the bachelor cake. Etc.
Remember that the important thing is that at the end, you will be married to the right guy and you two will have shared the moment with friends and relatives who want to be there.
I did the cake for a wedding a few weeks ago at an Arboretum and the outdoor wedding is beautiful this time of year,plus it's more of a relaxed atmosphere and saves lots of money on decorations. Why not do the wedding outdoors,using the Hawaiian theme for flowers,etc then follow up on a big pig roast at the parents home? The only drawback on having the reception is losing guests who don't want to drive elsewhere for it. BUT THAT"S OKAY!!! It saves you money! You both have great ideas which could EASILY be incorporated for an unforgettable wedding.
How about a Hawaiian theme rehearsal dinner, a church wedding and a arboretum reception. By the consider yourself lucky--my stepson is planning his wedding and is holding out for a NASCAR themed reception--never said he was bright.
I want a Victorian wedding but he wants a modern wedding. How can we compromise?
He may be objecting to the elaborateness of a Victorian style wedding theme-is he's worried you want to put on a period piece and he'll have to wear one of those 19th century wedding suits? Maybe you can incorporate some Victoriana in the flowers and your gown, and let him wear a complimentary modern tuxedo, for example.
Centerpieces could be Victorian, but the cake a bit less frilly. Things like that-little touches of Victorian with complimentary modern.
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