Wednesday, February 9, 2011

How to plan a wedding in Haiti

Growing up I was never one of those girls who dreamed and planned their wedding out exactly. Sure, I thought about it sometimes, had a few ideas, but never really held on to them for very long. To tell you the truth, in recent years when I thought about trying to plan a wedding in Canada, it kinda freaked me out. Anyone who knows me well knows that I really do not enjoy shopping, too much choice overwhelms me and I get a headache and run out of the store or mall! From what I could see, the wedding industry is made for people who like shopping and choice and all the newest things. Not my idea of fun at all.

And now I'm in Haiti trying to plan a wedding and its the exact opposite! It's all about limited choice here and it makes decisions so much easier - except when you can't even find one choice.

How have things been coming along. Well, let's see.

Venue - check
The trick here is to find a comfortable venue that is close enough for your guests to get to too, but far enough away to deter uninvited guests. We are having the ceremony and reception in the auditorium of a radio station about 20 or 30 minutes away. It's got air conditioning (a definite plus for April in Haiti), modern kitchen and sound system.

Caterer - check
Two local ladies who cook in the university cafeteria will be doing the catering. Since they consider Cal and I "their children" they are giving us a good deal and I know that they will do a great job with everything.

Dress - check
Now for this, I went out of the normal parameters of a Haitian bride. Brides here typically rent their wedding dress (a great idea which I think should take hold in North America), which I did. But, as I've moved past my 8 year old desire for an 80's style, pouffy, wedding gown, I decided to rent my dress from a bridal shop in Santiago, Dominican Republic where they have many more contemporary choices! You get the dress, tiara and veil, all for $80 US!

Flowers - almost check
Found a florist in Cap Haitien. They can order flowers from Santiago. To see their selection, I looked through the photo album of weddings they've done before. They don't actually have any flowers in the store. Now, I know they quoted me the "white girl" price, so we're gonna negotiate some more before we order. But we'll be able to get rose bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres, flower girl baskets and a few arrangements for the altar.

Engagement/Wedding rings - check
Again, for more selection, we decided to get these in the DR. We were able to get them on our trip there but had to get them sized back here. The day we sized them is a day that I was reminded as to how abnormal my life is here sometimes. We were recommended to go to a guy in Limbe, about 10 minutes away. We found his house and he was all set up in his gallery (front porch) with his table and tools, complete with propane torch at his side. I was very skeptical and suspicious, especially as he started to cut my rings, but he seemed to know what he was doing. He got the job done, my rings fit now. Although I think I'll take them to a jeweler in Canada to get cleaned up a bit.

So that's where I'm at - so far so good. Now, I'm just praying that this country will stay relatively peaceful until after April 23 so it's safe for my friends and family to come and celebrate with us! 


Rose said...

Fun times:) Good luck with the rest of the wedding preparations, most of importantly your relationship with Cal and not all the flowers and music for a day. That being said, can't wait to be there for that special day.

Anonymous said...

Mezanmi Janelle! Blessings in your planning and preparing


jenny said...

So exciting! I think the idea of renting dresses is awesome! Have fun with the rest of the planning. :)