Thursday, March 25, 2010

The best wedding fight I'm letting him win

So P doesn't really care about too many wedding details.  However, the details he does care about he has very strong opinions about.

For instance:
  • no halter top wedding gown - please don't even ask.  For some reason, I think he once saw a somewhat questionable looking bride in a halter style gown and thinks any halter style looks a bit slutty.  I for one, have no boobs, so I am incapable of looking slutty in anything, but I didn't even need to argue this point because I'm not a huge halter fan anyway.
  • no fancy wedding cake - no problem, I don't want one either
  • no weird DJ - again, we are on the same page here
  • no garter toss, bouquet toss, etc. - ditto
But the most important thing to him is music.  Since we are iPod DJ-ing it up, we have total control here.  He is more concerned about the slower music, as the hip hop/dance music is more my department.  He has been steadily working away at our cocktail hour/dinner music playlist, and it is a thing of beauty.  I will get around to posting it soon, I promise.

Here comes the disagreement: our first dance.  We both have songs we love.  I presented mine, which he really liked.

It's great, right?  But then he hit me with his:

He has put this song on countless mixes for me, it is a cover of a Will Oldham song, and it is so perfect.  Seriously, when we listened to it and thought about it being our first song, we both got a little teary.

So I'm letting him win this one.  'Cause his is way better.  (Just don't tell him that.)

Friday, March 19, 2010


I read this post on a practical wedding this morning and I could not stop thinking about it.  Because that is where we are at right now.  We are a little over two months out, and things are stressful.

I've found myself picking fights with P over stupid stuff about wedding planning.  (He does not read this, if he did, he would be rejoicing right now at that admission.)  Seriously.   The problem is, he doesn't care about the details.  And as  I mentioned before, I don't really have anyone helping me out with anything.

So what to do?  Most of the time, I really enjoy planning, I'm an organizer by nature and I love coming up with a vision.  But now we are getting down to the nitty gritty details, and that is not my strength.  We are having our wedding in the city we used to live, I don't have a lot of people there I can delegate things to.  One of my bridesmaids lives there, but I am afraid to give her too much. 

I don't want this to become a time that I look back at and all I remember is stress.  I want this to be about us, about our love, about getting ready for our marraige.  But instead I feel like I have so much anxiety about what has to get done and how it will get there.  I just don't want to get lost in it.

Has anyone else been here?  What did you do to pull yourself out of it?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

One year ago today

We were backpacking through Europe on our last spring break as graduate students.  It was my first time even using a passport and I was beyond excited.  It was the fourth day of our trip and our first full day in Paris.  Now if you know me, you know that I've been dreaming of traveling to Europe since middle school.  But what I was most excited for was Paris.  P, well, he was not so excited about Paris.  He was more excited about the other parts of our trip (London, Amsterdam, our Belgian tour with our dear friend, etc.).  In fact, he kept raining on my Paris parade pre-trip, and pretty much had me believing that he was dreading our 3 days in Paris.  So much so that I sat him down at our first (delicious and perfectly ordered in my rusty French) Parisian dinner and lectured him about putting on a happy face for the next 60 hours.
We woke up early that morning and headed to Montmarte, ready to see the beautiful Sacre Couer.  My French historian college roommate recommended that we pay the 2 Euro or so to hike up to the top, as it was the best view of the city.  When we arrived at the top, a little winded, I was seriously amazed.   P put his arm around me, I leaned my head on his shoulder and took it all in, trying to savor the moment.
"Hey Linds, will you do something for me?"
P, of course, was bugging me about taking a picture or something.  I turned to him, a little annoyed, and then saw him with this goofy grin on his face.  Then he said, "Will you make me the happiest man in the world and marry me?"
I replied, "WHAT?"
So he repeated himself.
Again, I said "WHAT?"  (this time, I'm told I was laughing.  Slightly hysterically. I believe this to be an exaggeration.)
Then I noticed he was holding a ring.  He wasn't down on one knee, it wasn't in a box, he just had it in his hand.  It was so him.  So perfect.  Of course I said yes.  (and proceeded to wear it on my middle finger for the next 10 days, because it was way to big, but I wanted to wear it anyway).

Here is a picture of us that we made some other tourists take a few minutes later:

(if I look a little stunned, it's because I was.  I had NO IDEA.  The boy is not a planner, this was surprising.)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Does anyone else find this totally crazy?!?

Last weekend, Gilt Groupe had a wedding weekend sale, which was pretty amazing.  They had designer dresses for more than 50% off, bridesmaid dresses, beautiful wedding jewelry, and even honeymoon packages.  While I didn't end up purchasing anything (the prices were still pretty steep, even with the discount), I did have fun looking.  I didn't expect, however, to stumble upon this:

Now, I have nothing against cleanses.  Personally, I've never done one.  I've considered it, but I just love solid food too much!  P and I are talking about doing a 10 day vegan cleanse soon, which I think will be great, but that's probably as close as we are going to get.  But, I digress.  
The crazy thing was how this thing was marketed.  One of the packages they were selling was a cleanse for your whole bridal party.  Now I've heard of some crazy brides telling their bridesmaids to lose weight, but I thought that was some sort of bridal myth/urban legend.  What would my bridesmaids do if I told them they had to do a cleanse?  Well I think they would either slap me, laugh uncontrollably, or tell me off.  And that's why I love them.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

What to wear on my head

While I have always dreamed of the perfect dress, I have never dreamed about a veil.  To be honest, I knew going into this that I wouldn't wear a veil.  (also, I have kind of a big head, which makes the whole veil thing interesting.)  Anyway, I tried one on for my sister-in-law just to appease her, but my heart wasn't in it.  (I even tried on a tiara, which is soo not my style.  I laughed out loud and I think I pissed off the bridal attendant.) 
If I was going to wear a veil, I would wear a mantilla veil.  Something about mantilla veils just gets me.  Here are a couple that make me wish I was a brunette who wanted to wear one:

OK, let's focus.  (Clearly I am feeling a little ADD today.)  After my no veil decision, I started to pay attention to hair flowers, since I'm not really a headband girl.  I discovered these from Etsy seller myrakim:

They were really beautiful, but I was still unsure about my ability to pull off a birdcage veil.  That, and I was concerned that a big a** flower would make my rather large head look even bigger.  (Seriously people, I have a huge head.  I don't think I realized this until I was getting fitted for my high school graduation cap, and then I realized why hats never look good on me.  Numbers don't lie.)  Anyway, I saved these in my Etsy favorites folder until one day I stumbled upon ohmydeer's etsy shop.  I requested a custom order, a smaller ivory gardenia, with a vintage inspired center and a little bit of birdcage veil netting (it's as close as I'm gonna get to a veil).  Here is what she came up with:

I really love it.  I'm not completely sure how I'm going to wear my hair yet, perhaps I will throw that one out to y'all in another post.  But chalk this one up to another Etsy purchase.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Honoring loved ones at your wedding

So, in light of recent events, P and I are thinking about how to honor his uncle at our wedding, while still making it a joyous, celebratory occasion.  One thing that we are doing FOR SURE is toasting with a shot of drambuie at the reception.  It was something we did in his honor after the funeral, since it was his favorite drink.   While we were taking our shots we looked at each other and knew we would be doing the same thing for Uncle Ken at our wedding.
The one thing I am struggling with is how to honor him at the ceremony.  Do we have our officiant say something?  If so, what?
Also, I've heard of the idea of leaving a chair empty w/a flower on it, but I'm worried that would just make it more difficult on his aunt.

I'm open to ideas, throw 'em at me.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pre-marital Counseling, is it worth it?

P and I are considering pre-marital counseling.  Now, don't get all freaked out and ask me what's wrong.  We are better than we've ever been, and SO ready to get married.  But I really believe in the value of pre-marital counseling when it is done right.  (If you are unconvinced, read this post.) 

The problem is, it has been really hard to find non-religious and affordable pre-marital counseling here in NOLA.  We went to two different people that I found through Internet searches for initial searches and they were just not right.   The first lady?  Creeper.  Seriously.  We left her place, took one look at each other, and we were both like, "no way".  The next one cancelled on us like four different times. 

We finally found someone who sounds like she has her sh*t together, and from talking to her over the phone it sounds like we would be compatible.  The problem?  She costs $65 a session.  Apparently this is cheap, but we are on budget here.  Especially since we just dipped into our savings to buy two expensive flights to Wisconsin on short notice.  I'm starting to think I will put my psychology major to good use and lead our pre-marital counseling sessions myself.  I kid, I kid. 

So, I'm asking y'all for advice.  Have you done it?  Is it worth it?  How many sessions do you need to go to in order to really make it "worth your while"?  

Monday, March 8, 2010

Like ripping off a band-aid

I've been debating writing this post for a while, and I'll admit, I was a little apprehensive about it.  But in order to really understand some of the decisions we are making for our wedding, you kind of need to understand what happened with our planning.  (and maybe I can just direct people to this post when they ask me why I don't have a maid of honor, 'cause I'm sick of explaining...)

So, as you may know, I haven't really had the best examples of marriage in my family.  What you don't know is that until recently, I did have one example.  You see, my brother and his wife were married for almost 8 years when the boy asked me to marry him.  His wife, let's call her Betty, was one of my closest friends.  We couldn't have been more different.  She was conservative, I'm a total liberal.  She's country, I'm city.  She hates being away from family, I moved away the first chance I got.  But we bonded when she was dating my brother 9 years ago, I was the maid of honor in their wedding, and now we really just think of each other as sisters.  Since then, she and my brother have really been my one source of stability.  Their home was where I stayed during the holidays, they were who I brought P home to meet, etc.  P and my brother got along perfectly.  My brother and I have always had a fierce closeness, we talk about everything, and we have a bond that I cherish more than I can explain. 

Flash forward to the day we got back from our backpacking trip.  Betty and my brother were the first people I called to share the news.  I, of course, asked Betty to be my MOH, and my brother to be a groomsman.  Four weeks later I found out that my brother had left Betty after months of cheating on her.  She was an absolute wreck, had lost an unspeakable amount of weight, and needed me.  I finished my last paper, skipped graduation, and drove the 7 hours to their home to try to support her and figure out what the hell was going on with my brother.  In the meantime, I picked up a pretty awful case of anxiety, and put our wedding planning on hold. 

A lot has happened since then.  Betty and my brother are in the middle of a pretty nasty divorce.  My brother and I have just begun to talk again, trying to piece together our relationship after over 9 months of radio silence (he refused to talk to me at first, and then I refused to talk to him).  Betty and I are trying to figure out how we can still be friends, without it being too difficult for her.  We decided it would be too hard for her to come to the wedding, and so now I am MOH-less.  As of now, my brother is coming ALONE, and I am trying to figure out how I feel about that. 

It's basically a hot mess.  And the truth is, a lot of people expected me to cut and run.  No wedding, no marriage, no boy.  Because I was freaked out.  But actually, this whole thing has made me love him more.  He has been incredibly supportive, understanding, and we have talked about things we never would have before.  It's definitely changed me a bit.  (I'm more cautious about other women, for one.  Which I never was before.)  It's made wedding planning extremely difficult and emotional at times.  But I know it's made us stronger. 

*By the way, I have 5 AMAZING bridesmaids.  I just didn't want to replace Betty, it just didn't feel right, which is why I don't have an MOH.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

a traditionally-untraditional processional

Hi everyone!  Thanks for being patient with my lack of blogging.  Things have been really difficult for P and I the last week or so.  This last weekend was spent grieving with his family and celebrating his uncle's life.  Honestly, while it was difficult, it was a beautiful experience.  His family really has become my family, and being there was so hard, but it was what we both needed.

So, I've been thinking a lot about the wedding processional, or what I want to walk down the aisle to.  What you may have noticed about me/us, is that I tend to embrace certain traditions, easily dismiss others, and can't make up my mind on a few (changing my name anyone?).  Anyways, we decided a while ago that we are going to have a simple guitar and fiddle duo play our ceremony.  It speaks to our southernness, we love it, and they will be joining the rest of their bluegrass band immediately following the ceremony for some serious revelry. 
I mentioned to the fiddle player (who I feel so connected to already, as she is in grad school for education, just like we were last year), that it would be so cool if they could do a blue-grassy, simple version of Canon in D.  She sent me this link, explaining that the first minute is more what they would sound like, since they wouldn't be rocking out quite as much as these guys (unless I feel like running down the aisle).  So imagine it slowed down a bit, and enjoy.
I love it.  Check it out:

Umm, amazing.  They rock.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Losing part of my new family

I haven't written much in the past week.  This week has been pretty difficult for P and I, and it's just going to get even more difficult in a couple of days.  My future uncle passed away, and we will be going back to Wisconsin this Thursday to be with the P's family and attend the funeral.  In the midst of dealing with our grief, we've both had to work, and I've had to do some wedding related stuff as well (finalize our invites, talk with ceremony musicians, etc.).  It felt weird to be doing those things, and I had a moment where I remembered that I sent my future mother in law an email about a junior bridesmaid dress, pretty much 12 hours before he passed away.  And I felt sick about it.  Then I remembered reading a post by one of my favorite bloggers ever, and I went back and re-read it.  One quote in particular stood out to me, where she says,
"Weddings are hope for the future, hope for a new generation, hope that love and family can win out over everything else. Weddings are not more important then life, and they don't stand apart from life, but they represent something bigger then us, and undoubtedly bigger then the dress we wear or the flowers we carry."

This week I will be joining my soon to be family in an incredibly difficult time.  I know it will bring us closer, and this is what being a family is all about. 

*Photo from Our Labor of Love, I know I've used it before, but this is what we need from friends and family right now, and this image just speaks to me.

**We were reminiscing about his uncle the other day, and remembered a great story about him.  Last summer, right after we got engaged, we were all up at his family's cottage in Wisconsin.  His aunt had asked me about what I was planning to do about the whole "giving away" process because of my situation with my father.  I explained to her that I was going to walk myself down the aisle.  Later that day, his uncle came up to him and told him that if I wanted someone to walk me down the aisle he would be honored to.  (at the time he was already sick, and we have always been close).  It's one of the few times I've ever seen P cry, and it was  a really special moment I will always remember.