Thursday, September 30, 2004

The Second Reading

I'm leaning heavily towards (with the fiancee's approval, of course) a reading from First John (4:7-16 if you're scoring at home) for the New Testament Reading at the ceremony. It was one of the recommended possibilities the church gave us.

I particularly love a nugget at the center of the reading, but I'm worried the start and finish are a bit of overt in their Christianity. Don't get me wrong...I want an Episcopalian ceremony, so I won't leave Jesus out. But I also don't want to feel like I'm too over-the-top for my Jewish and non-believing friends and family. But wait a minute...I never feel offended at an overtly Jewish wedding, or at a non-religious I being too concerned? Should I just say to heck with it (not hell...we're talking about God here) and be myself and let everyone lump it? Don't know.

This would be another one of those Issues I Sort Of Knew On Some Level Would Come Up, But Am Still Sort Of Disarmed To Face.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Where's Swankette?

I am someone who holds my personal information close at hand. As in, I don't even know what my home telephone number is. You would have to ask the groom, or a friend or loved one. I don't give out addresses or phone numbers unless I have to. Well, when you're getting married you have to give out that information. A LOT.

I realized this at work today when someone asked me for my (work) address to send me something. I started to give out my home address and realized that just wasn't right. I've given out my address so frequently over the last month that "home address" is the default setting for my brain now. Scary!

The good news: The home address will be changing as of 12/1/2004 (moving into sweetie's condo once the lease on my apartment is up). I'm contemplating changing my address with the bank, cell phone company, etc., and then just "forgetting" to put a forward order in. Could save me a whole SLEW of junk mail!

Really, in all the books and stuff out there about weddings, they never get into this kind of information. Who knew? Well now, kind readers, you know. Spread the word.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Mark your Calendars

Money has been spent, the deposit is paid on the church, so there's no turning back now.

Saturday, July 30, 2005 at 5 pm we'll be at St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral on Capitol Hill in Seattle, Washington getting married. Where will you be?

We have decided that there will be a eucharist (i.e. communion). Sweetie and I have been given the option of serving as chalice bearers, but we're too likely to spill or drop something so will leave that to the professionals.

The one deer-in-the-headlights moment of the night was when the coordinator asked us how we wished to process into the church. Apparently there are a LOT of options available. After about 5 minutes talking about the important issues (Dad must walk me down the aisle, I'm having both male and female attendants) we are leaning toward a full processional. That means everyone gets in on the act. The groom and his attendants, my attendants, priest and deacon, cross, bible. There will definitely be some pomp and circumstance in this affair.

Now the only wedding/church related matter immediately at hand is the premarital counseling. The remainder of the planning will resume after the first of the year.

Next up: Finalizing the reception site and finding a caterer.

Want a joint?

Actually, we DID get that joint checking account yesterday, albeit with exclusively her money (for now, anyhoo). It wasn't a big deal to me, although signing the forms saying that if one of us dies, the other gets all the money felt very husband-and-wife-like.

We started this joint thing way early. We'd only been together about a month when we got a joint video store account in the Tri-Cities. I stole a page from some buddies' playbook and announced to all of my friends: "Well, Michelle and I are feeling very happy together, and we have decided it's time to take the leap: we're getting a joint video store account."

Most people just wanted to hit me when I said that. Not my brother, who said "Congratulations!" and gave me a big hug. It ain't just chromosomes that make him a best man.

As of now, I can't figure out any other way we've intermingled in the eyes of the law. I guess there are loads of those to come...when we officially begin cohabitating, sharing bills, etc. in two months. (Can't wait!)

Monday, September 27, 2004

Merging Lives

There's a lot more to this wedding stuff than planning a kick-ass party. We're merging our households, our finances, our lives. No longer will we be making decisions just for ourselves, but for the two of us as a couple. For the most part I am 110% confident in our ability to make this merge without issue. We fight well, our strengths and weaknesses complement each other well, and we are able to work things out to a common goal.

There is, however, one area in which I think this uniting of lives will very difficult to resolve. That is the merging of our CD collections.

Sweetie catalogs his CDs librarian style. Alphabetized last name first. Easy enough.

I used to catalog my CDs that way because I didn't know there were alternatives. Then I read High Fidelity by Nick Hornby and my life was opened to so many new options. Since that time I have alphabetized my collection by first name. It really makes it so much easier, because you no longer have to deal with questions such as these:
  • Brian Setzer Orchestra, J. Geils Band. Do they go under the last name of the frontman, or is that considered a band name? What about Ben Folds Five?
  • How do you alphabetize MC 900 Ft. Jesus?
  • Adam and the Ants, Siouxsie and the Banshees?
  • Franz Ferdinand? (The CD purchase that prompted this post)

Don't get me wrong, I'm capable of alphabetizing all my CDs according to the proper rules, I just don't want to have to think that hard when I'm running late in the morning and need some rocking tunes to get me going.

And don't go saying we should keep our CD collections separate. If we can't join our CD collections there's no hope for a joint checking account.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Stay tuned...

The date will be official on Tuesday, when we book the church. We're waiting to announce until that point in case something changes.

There are a LOT of considerations that you have to make when booking a wedding, including some we didn't even know of when we first put tentative holds on the church and reception site. But if nothing else, it's been an exercise in how awesome a groom I've got.

After busting my butt for two weeks to try to coordinate a place and time to get married and have a big party it looked like it was all ironed out when the potential conflict came to light. I had had enough of calling sites to find out they were too expensive, too small, too far away, or too booked, so the groom graciously took up the task of doing the new research.

I think this is the biggest hurdle. Finding the right location at the right time and the right price is an exhausting task. Soon it will be all about the fun stuff we get to do there.

Sunday, September 19, 2004


This post is at the prompting of the groom. In my tales of the wedding fair he has been most entertained by my stories of the DJs.

There WILL be a DJ at our wedding. We must have dancing, and a single band won't be versatile enough for our needs (unless you can recommend someone who can do both the Time Warp and True Love). However, the ego of some of these guys astounds me. WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR GUESTS FUN AT THE RECEPTION. Sorry, guys, I understand the importance of a DJ to make the fun flow, but YOU are not to be the center of attention at this party. I am. Well, my sweetie and I, but you know.

It must be hard to distinguish yourself as a DJ, and harder still to upsell clients to the higher-priced package. One DJ company, in trying to explain why we should go for the higher priced package, explained that with the least expensive package you get to meet with your DJ, but with the premium package you get to HAVE LUNCH with the DJ before your event. How can anyone hire a DJ they don't get to have lunch with? That subtle, casual conversation you engage in over meals is SO the foray of the wedding reception DJ.

When we get to this decision I fear it's going to be a tough one. I want a good DJ, but I don't want the guy with the big ego who must be the center of attention for the whole night. Is there a test we can give them to assure we make the right choice?

Wedding Fair

I went to a Wedding Fair on Saturday. Much of it was what I expected... vendors with booths set up trying to convince me to hire them for the big day. I left the event with a shopping bag full of brochures. There was also the requisite schmaltz - upon entering the event I was conferred with a pink heart sticker proclaiming me "Bride-to-Be."

There were brides in all manner of assemblages. Brides solo (such as myself), brides with their grooms, brides with their moms, brides with a friend. The thing that I still don't get are the brides with entourages - mom and several friends, no groom, without fail. I can understand the benefit of bringing someone along with you to pick up the brochures and look at the scrapbooks, but why do you need to do it as a group of five? Is this a fun day for you and your friends? Please tell me you at least went to the pub afterwards and had a good laugh about what you saw while you were there.

There were a lot of vendors and booths appealing to the every-bride out there. Reasonable prices, pleasant people to work with, people we might likely hire for our wedding. However, there was also a significant showing by vendors who must be appealing to the 22 year old brides whose Daddy's are giving them the platinum mastercard with no limit and for whom the sky is the limit and this is their dream day. One photographer can put your wedding photo on a purse if you want. (WHY?)

But there was one vendor that completely blew me away, not only by the product they were offering but also by the number of people interested in their services. It was a photographer/video company. The special service they offer that no one else offers is that they will take photos and video of you getting ready for the wedding and of the ceremony. Then, during the first part of your reception, they will edit it together into a video, so that at the reception you can SHOW YOUR GUESTS VIDEO OF THE WEDDING. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't these people the same people who were AT that wedding a couple of hours ago? Unless you have a large number of friends and loved ones with short-term memory disorders, is it really necessary to show them events that happened earlier in the day THAT THEY WERE A PART OF?!? Sorry, folks, we'll be spending that time out on the dance floor at our wedding.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Gerbera Daisies

They're pretty. I don't like the orange ones--too fiery: they burn my corneas--but a combination of red, yellow, and pink will be FABULOUS. Joyful, happy, bright, fun...just the way we'll both want it.


***The groom came to the preceding conclusion on his own. He did not simply say "yes dear" to the bride's choice in floral wedding decoration. He voiced his opinion when she brought home Gerbera daisies of various colors, and eliminated the orange ones of his own volition.

***The groom can talk about how pretty flowers are without being even remotely uncomfortable or at all challenged with regards to his manhood. So there.


From youth little girls are trained to look forward to their wedding day.

I think it started for me when I was around 3 or 4. All I remember of the event is that I was CRUSHED (as only a 3 or 4 year old can be) because I was not allowed to dance with my older brother. My mother has filled in the rest of the memory for me. Brother was the ring bearer at a friend of the family's wedding. It was the dance where the wedding party all dances together, so the brother was required to dance with the flower girl. OH, THE INJUSTICE! What I would have given at that moment to be allowed that dance.

I think at some subconscious level (since I don't remember the details of my event) that early event planted the seed in my mind that it's better if you're part of the wedding party.

What no one ever bothers to tell you, however, is how much fun the engagement is! It's started to dwindle a bit now, but for the past two and a half weeks he and I have been the stars of the party. We've been treated to nice meals by friends and family. We've received flowers. We've received cards. We've received e-mails. We've been toasted with champagne. EVERYBODY LOVES US!!!

For a while we were considering with all the wonderful attention that we should call off the engagement and then get RE-engaged several times over the next year. Once we thought about it a bit we realized that at some point it might get a little old. People might start to take it out on us.

But gosh, it sure is fun while it lasts. And if getting ENGAGED is this much fun, imagine what a blast getting MARRIED will be!!!!

Monday, September 13, 2004

Location, location, location

Sweetie and I may have the church booked within the next few days. We've been attending services at St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral since shortly after Easter. It's a beautiful church with a great community. In high school I shared a significant moment with a friend that passed away the summer between high school and college (right before she started her Senior year of high school), so it's got some major sentimental ties as well.

Our first choice date isn't available, but our second choice date is. It's expensive, but I think we can make it work out. The question we need to answer now is are these compromises worth this awesome space.

One way we could mitigate the cost factor is to have the reception in the parish hall. It's been 15 years since I saw the space (and I was playing Simon Says at the time, not evaluating reception facilities), so we're going to have to see it before we can make a decision.

Here's the quandry I'm facing now:

For the past several years St. Mark's has hosted Tent City* for one month every summer. That means they could potentially be there the date of our wedding.

If we just hold the wedding there I've got no problems with that. The tents are located around the back side of the church, so it would be quite possible that we would both be oblivious to each other.

The reception is another story. The windows of the hall would basically overlook the tent city. Don't get me wrong, I am 110% in favor of helping the homeless and the part that tent cities play in that goal. If you know my personal history you know how closely this touches my life. But the idea of holding my reception there is a bit offputting. There's a part of me saying "What will people think?" or "That's so unattractive?" But there's a voice that's just as loud, if not louder, saying "Here I am spending GOBS of money on a huge party, and if the sweetie and I just eloped and spent that money towards homeless causes the world would be much better off." The thing is, I want the big party AND I want to help the homeless. I just fear that if I'm overlooking their plight while dancing away with friends and loved ones that voice may get a little too loud for my liking.

So is it completely crass of me to ask the church if Tent City will be there on the date in question? Is it reprehensible that I'm having these thoughts to begin with?

They never mention these sorts of quandries in the wedding books.

Saturday, September 11, 2004


Just stumpled across this link while writing a post for my other blog.

If you don't know sweetie's and my history with game shows you should go here. We both get gameshows (and how to prepare). We've both intelligent people, so I know we'd have what it took to pass the test. I'm pretty sure we could make it past the audition. If nothing else, our story would make great TV chit-chat.

Too bad we don't live in New York, or one of the other audition cities.

Anyone want to fly us there as an advance wedding present??? :)

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

We love you, friends!


We are very sorry. Upon making the original list for invites, Princess Swank and I were surprised to find 242 people we loved and their families on the list. We've been repeating the motto that we'd rather be surrounded by people we love in a less-good setting than be in the perfect place with only a few friends...but 242? I had no idea we were so popular. A reception in a Fotomat booth catered by Taco Bell would be, well, less desirable, even with all the people we love there. So we had to cut. Ruthlessly. Between 70 and 90 people. All of whom we love. And for that, we are sorry.

I mean, it's our wedding--it's not like you'd get to see us anyway.

But it was still nothing short of devastating to do.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

TiVo and weddings

When I set my ReplayTV to look for "wedding," it finds loads of Style and TLC shows about weddings. It also finds episodes of:

The Gilmore Girls. "All of Stars Hollow turns out for Liz's Renaissance-themed wedding."

The Golden Girls.

Happy Days. "An Army rule may halt Richie and Lori Beth's wedding." Clearly long after Fonzie jumped the shark.

The Golden Girls. A different episode, believe it or not.

The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. "Will and Lisa elope."

Divorce Court. "A couple who met for the first time on their wedding day seek a divorce." No shit???

The Golden Girls. A THIRD episode. I'd think funerals would come up more often for Bea, Rue, Betty, and Estelle.

Beverly Hills, 90210. "Donna and David plan there [sic] wedding." Oh, ReplayTV about a proofreader?

Spider-Man. Yes, the cartoon. "Spider-Man's rivals crash Peter and MJ's wedding."

Suddenly, Susan. "Susan flees before completing her wedding ceremony."

Saved by the Bell. Jessie's father's wedding. Wasn't Jessie Elizabeth Berkley? And whatever happened to Mario Lopez? And is there even another nominee for worst TV show in history? But that's another blog for another time and place...

The Nanny. "Maxwell's sister is engaged to a duke but loves her chauffeur."

Clifford the Big Red Dog. Mr. Carrington gets married.

The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. A second episode. "Will's mother forbids him to attend his aunt's interracial wedding." Of all the episodes thus far, the only one I think I could stomach watching. But I won't.

Dharma & Greg. "Dharma and Greg park cars as a wedding gift." Could be funny. I'd watch it if I were on a plane and the headphones were free.

Will & Grace. "Grace reveals her ex-boyfriend's faults at his wedding rehearsal."

MXC "Wedding Industry vs. Trucking Industry." On Spike TV. Hmmm. Might be worth a look.

Martin. "Martin gives away an annoying wedding gift that may be priceless." Yick. This show might challenge Saved by the Bell, actually.

Total: 82 hits for "wedding." Holy moly, are we obsessed with this event in our culture, or what? I mean, the percentage of time spent getting married on TV is much greater than the percentage of time spent getting married in real life.

Total shows I'll tape: 2. The Simpsons (Homer helps Principal Skinner win back his fiancee) and one episode of A Wedding Story.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Naming the in-laws...

Has anybody else been through this? I want to call my in-laws Mom and Dad. It'll be weird at first, but I can adapt. I think they're awesome, and I'm stoked about the wedding, and I'm totally ready to be a part of this family, etc. So I asked what they'd like me to call them. The Mother-In-Law-To-Be said Mom would be okay if I was okay with it. The Father-In-Law-To-Be, a former Marine drill sergeant (it's a good thing I'm on his good side!), thought, and said I could call him "Sarge." Smart-ass. Well, I can play this game. So I called him that for a full day and a half. Then, he says "I don't know that I want you to call me Sarge anymore." Okay. I'm ready for the big moment where I can call him Dad...and he says...

"Go ahead and call me 'Gunny.'"

Haven't tried that yet.

Things not to say to the mother of the bride...

upon learning of the engagement:

"I hope they have to get married so that you can have grandchildren soon."

Yes, somebody actually said this to my mother-in-law-to-be.

And the groom speaks...

Welcome to The Wedding Blog, y'all. The Fiancee and I are pretty danged psyched. Just finished a weekend with her folks...and it's great to set aside this area to write...

Look forward to seeing you here! Chip in all you'd like!


Saturday, September 04, 2004

The Ring

Sweetie bought me a diamond solitaire for my engagement ring. We can go back together later to get it put into a different setting if we want to. It's VERY sparkly, which makes it very lovely. Sweetie said when he went to the store he told them he needed the sparkliest thing he could get, so he definitely called that one right!

I've never worn a ring on that finger before. The last time I wore ANY ring with ANY regularity was almost 15 years ago. The first few days the sparkles overtook me so much I didn't notice there was anything on my finger. (I've started to grow on the solitaire, so we may not get it reset) After that it started to pester me a bit - in that I'm not used to wearing something on that finger, and it feels weird to continuously have something there. But I figured as with everything else that after three days I would be fine with it.

I think it worked, because today I took the ring off for the first time (getting a manicure, because I'll be showing the ring off to half of Portland this weekend), and I really did notice it was gone and count the minutes until I could put it back on again.

I've really been contemplating this a lot lately. It announces to the world that I am spoken for, that there is someone that I am going to spend the rest of my life with. WHOA! It makes me realize how many times in my single life I would scope out whether or not the cute boy had a ring on his finger before I proceeded any further in conversation. How often that is one of the first judgments you can make on someone, based on whether or not that ring is there.

It also lends an air of maturity. There's no pretending anymore, I really am a grown-up now. Today when I went to get my oil changed the amount of respect that I got out of the workers at the oil change place was amazing. It COULD just be coincidence, but I've gotten my oil changed at this place many times in the past with exactly the same level of service, and today it suddenly took on a whole new tone.

So put on your sunglasses, because that's a darn sparkly ring I've got on my finger and it's going to stay there.

The Start of Something Big

The sweetie is a poet, so I knew that when the proposal came it would have to be poetic on some level. It could not have been more perfect, and now the wedding needs to live up to the perfection of that day.

The sweetie's side of the story differs a little, but here it is from my point of view:

For my birthday this year the sweetie gave me a birthday card that said something to the effect of, "We should go bowling in Canada, so that years from now we can look back and say remember how much fun it was when we went bowling in Canada!" Of course I instantly insisted that we must go bowling at Canada at some point, because you cannot give a girl a card that says that and then not go bowling in Canada.

We had plans to go to Canada this summer anyhow, so that we could go see a Vancouver Canadians baseball game as part of sweetie's current quest. Originally it was going to be an overnight trip, but due to a friend's surprise birthday party and schedule conflicts we had to make it a day trip if it was going to happen this summer.

When it turned into a day trip I figured that we would skip the bowling on this trip. Vancouver is only 2-1/2 hours away, so a trip in the future is quite likely to happen. However, sweetie was INSISTENT that we go bowling. This was my first inkling that perhaps that would be the big day. Which is interesting, since sweetie insists that although he had made potential plans he did not know for SURE it was the day until we were well into it.

So we went on a road trip to Canada. We left at 7 am Sunday morning so that we could stop for breakfast on the way. Originally the plan was to go bowling after the 1 pm game. However, due to a shorter trip than we remembered and gliding through customs (10 am on a Sunday morning is definitely an easy time to get across the Canadian border. ) we decided to go bowling before the game. For the record, I won the first game, sweetie won the second game, and I had the best overall score. (But none of the scores were good enough to post here)

We then went to a very exciting baseball game between the Vancouver Canadians and the Everett Aquasox. I remember one of the coaches got thrown out of the game early, but other than that the events of the game were overtaken by more exciting events later in the day. Couldn't even find a recap of the game that suggests the excitement. Oh well, such is life. I already had the idea planted in my head that today would be the day, so at one point I was CONVINCED I saw him feeling his pocket to see if the ring was still there. Upon later questioning he said he was checking for his cell phone.

On the drive home sweetie asked me if he could take me out to dinner to celebrate his last day of summer before school started. I agreed. A little later he pulled over at a rest stop, suggesting, perhaps, that he was feeling a little sick. Sweetie suffers from HORRIBLE food allergies, so this is nothing new to me. Little did I know he was feeling fine, but simply finalizing plans for later that night.

I snoozed for a little while. After I woke up he asked if he could pick where we went to dinner. I said sure. First of all, he was treating. Second of all, I thought he was sick earlier in the day. I figured he'd be picking somewhere he knew wouldn't make him even sicker. His response was "GREATLETSGOTOTHEFIVESPOT!"

Now I knew that something was up. The Five Spot was the location of our first date, but is also an old standard for us. If you're visiting us from out of town we're going to take you to dinner at the Five Spot and then walk over to Kerry Park for the view. Although it's a special place for us no one should be THAT excited about going to the Five Spot for dinner.

When we got to the restaurant we happened to end up at the table we sat at on our first date. Except I was a little confused at first and was thinking we sat at the next table over. But it was still odd that we ended up here and not in a booth. We had a bit of discussion as to what table we really DID sit at on our first date. By this time I was nervous. Not at all hungry, but had to order something to eat.

We placed our food and drink orders. I ordered fried chicken and a diet coke. Sweetie ordered salmon cakes and just wanted water to drink - but then asked the waiter to bring a pitcher of water. He MUST be nervous!

Right after we placed our orders sweetie gave me a lovely little speech. I started tearing up as soon as he started talking. I do remember he said something to the effect of, "This is the table we started out at 7 years ago, and today I want to start something even more with you." He got to the big moment. He's asking the question, he's pulling the ring out of his pocket...

... and then the waitress showed up with my diet coke! She soon realized what was going on, and you've never seen a waitress run so fast in her life. Later she came back to apologize, but I told her that I always have a Diet Coke by my side, so it's appropriate that I have a Diet Coke at this moment in my life.

The rest of the night was a blur. We called family and friends. We went to his brother's house to announce the news to him and his wife. I was uncapable of forming a coherent thought of my own without being prompted by a question from someone else.

And thus the adventure began!


On Sunday, August 29, 2004 my sweetie of several years proposed to me and we are now planning a wedding for late July/early August 2005.

Being a type-A former business major with a background in event planning who is a girl (meaning I have the bride gene implanted in my DNA) this event could very easily consume every second of my life between now and the big event.

This blog is my attempt to thwart that from happening. I hope that if I get all of my thoughts/ideas/obsessions/etc out there on the written page that my brain can continue on with other things. It may be of interest to no one other than myself, but that will be your decision to make.

The groom is being given the opportunity to post here as well. Don't know if he'll actually bother to do so or not. All I really do know right now is that I'm marrying the most wonderful guy in a little less than a year and we are going to have one heck of a party to celebrate that event!

Stay tuned, it's going to be a wild ride.