the honeymoon-Friday

I think this was the morning I actually managed to sleep later than 6 am. It was pretty nice. Breakfast I think was french toast which was good but far to sweet for me since I don't eat sugar. Luckily we had cheese and nuts in the fridge in our kitchen.

We left after breakfast to hit the local shopping center. I wanted to pick up a few things for the wedding and my sweetie did a load or two of laundry. Those bikes were so great for using around Victoria. I bought some red roses and tied myself up a bouquet and we got dressed. The weather was fabulous, sunny and warm, we were so happy we would be able to get married outside in the garden right near our patio.

It was a lovely simple wedding. I wore a simple dress it was ivory [again] which really surprised me. My sweetie decided to wear just black pants, white shirt and her black silk blazer, a totally different look from the wedding at home. There were two witnesses, new victorian friends who brought gifts and our two hosts present. It was short and sweet. We all toasted everything we could think of as we stood on the patio and signed the paperwork. The we went out for a late lunch.

Our Canadian wedding was totally different from the one with family and a big party but still very meaningful for us.

the Honeymoon-Thursday

So we arrive to the Thursday report of our honeymoon. I was up at what feels like dawn. My dress still hadn't arrived but the tracking number was now working but unhelpful. My dress went to New Brunswick?! then to Seattle, then to Vancouver then finally it says it's on its way to Victoria.

We ate our breakfast quickly because we had an appointment with Whales that day. Breakfast = some kind of fritata which didn't do that much for me, I ate it though for the protein. My DW can't eat it at all because it had broccoli in it.

Our arrival time and place was too early and away from the harbor. I understand that they don't want people to miss the boat but what a waste. And why we didn't just meet at the dock I don't know. it's a very cool and gloomy day. After we get going on the boat, I was still cold even with all my gear on so I gratefully took an extra coat from the boat's supply. We picked the boat with a cabin and bathroom so there is a way to get out of the cold when needed.

The trip was fun. I love being out on the water no matter what. My sweetie was radiant with joy, she loves the water too, and animals. We saw 5 humpbacks and sea lions galore. And really had a great though chilly 3 hours on the water.

We got back in time for a late lunch, we took our bikes to China town and had lunch at the place that had been closed the day before. It was great, and we had a leisurely time eating and drinking hot tea. We then walked our bikes down Government street looking at all the stuff we had been missing when we biked by.

We got home and my dress had arrived safely though so wrinkled. I hung it up to steam. I now have my cord for my laptop and can catch up on computer stuff easily. Though not in the room, because for some reason the wifi would not work in our room. My sweetie takes a nap and I wander around taking tons of pictures on the B&B. I spoke to our host about a dilemma, is it really worth it to visit Buchart gardens? I explain that we can't bike quite that far, and renting a scooter or taking a coach bus is very pricey. He looks at me quizzically, 'why not just take a city bus?' The man is brilliant. The city bus route takes you right there! For $3 round trip. What a deal. We make plans to do that on Saturday.

Then we set off for a bike ride on the coast to work up appetites for dinner. I keep thinking oak bay is just around the next outcropping but wasn't. After about half an hour we have done a lot of hills and are ready for the trip home. Especially since we don't have lights on the bikes.

We wander down to the fisherman's wharf to eat at Barb's Place, I had been resisting going there because I thought it would all be fried fish and chips. But you do not have to get your fish fried there. We had some great fish and salads and fries and it was all yummy. Barb's is an outside eatery, but there was 3 sided pavilion to eat in so we were cozy. We got there just before they closed and enjoyed a peak of sun with the sunset.

Walked home hand and hand. Really looking forward to the wedding the next day.

the honeymoon-Wednesday

Up early again. I don't think I ever really got on Victoria time. But I loved hanging out in our kitchen and our patio drinking tea and doing qi gong.

Eventually it's 8:30 and breakfast time. It is ricotta pancakes this morning which are seriously yummy. We laze around a bit in the morning and get stuff together. I visited a fabulous yarn store the afternoon before because I came to Canada without my knitting. So I had a perfect excuse to buy something like hand painted silk yarn. So I do a bit of casting on... It's a lovely, sunny day.

We bike to the harbor and lock the bikes up. We have forgotten our helmets again. We take a long walk all along the north side of the harbor and cross the seriously funky blue bridge, we walk back through town and poke around a bit. We visit the old established Roger's chocolate store. We ponder buy presents for people at home, but then we decide it will be best if we take some home to test before buying gifts.

Next we had reservations for tea at the Empress, we figured you have to do it once. This a seriously beautiful, old hotel. We have a great table at the window overlooking the harbor. The tea is yummy, the service wonderful, the food just ok. Really not worth the price but fun to do for once. Afterwards we tour the public rooms of the hotel, they are truly beautiful. Then we take lots of pictures in the neighboring rose garden. Victoria is still full of flowers in the first week of October. We seriously thought about going to the museum but the weather is so great we can't bear to go inside no matter how many fabulous things we hear about it.

Then we took a harbor ferry on a gorge tour. It was beautiful out on the water. Afterwards we poke around Chinatown, we wanted to have dinner at the Chinese cafe we found on Monday but they were closed on Wednesdays. So we end up at Nautical Nellie's. My sweetie indulges her oyster love. I had scallops, my serious sea food favorite. They are the tiny ones and so yummy. Not having much luck with my wine choices though.

There was quite an exciting ride home in the dark. Luckily it is not far, the bikes do not come with lights. We have a great cozy evening. Wednesday was another lovely honeymoon day.

the Honeymoon-Tuesday

I am waking up early as far as Victoria time is concerned but that it all to the good. I make myself tea, commune with kitties in the garden and do qi gong. This day was gloomy, one of the 2 gloomy days we had.

After breakfast, scrambled eggs with salmon I think...we gather information and head off on our bikes. We head first to the Canada stat building [not sure what that is short for] and buy a marriage license. It is an incredible thing to be able to do. The woman also printed us out a list of marriage commissioners just in case one of our officiants didn't work out. It was a great experience. and makes me so ashamed of my country. Things need to change. Since change is inevitable, I have hope.

Then we are off to the library. They happily issue us a temporary card so that we can use the computers while we are there. The other thing we forgot at home was the cord for my computer. We get our first few pictures of our wedding in email that day. They are so sweet. My dress is on my way, but we realize there is no way we can count on getting the dress on Wednesday, so we plan the wedding for Friday afternoon.

We then hit the thrift stores for sunglasses, hats and gloves, and other stuff that just got left behind. We have great luck. Then it's off to Government street, we look at the shops, have lunch at Murchie's, an establishment over 100 years old. We visit the equally old tobacco shop and bookstore on either side of it. Then we head for home and unload.

Off to take a bike ride along the coast. it is still beautiful even with the gloom. We take pictures and just really enjoy. Not to mention we get tons of exercise and get an appetites ready for dinner. Change into nice clothes and we head off for a local french restaurant. I love to eat french food in Canada. We didn't call ahead though, and they are having a special event, the owner comes out and explains it is a special wine/dinner event, 9 courses with matching wines. He had a few no shows so he would be delighted to have us join for only $75! This is an incredible deal, but we decline since my sweetie doesn't drink. We never do get back there, which is really a shame.

We go down the street to the Superior, a tapas restaurant. It's a great place with interesting food but we don't have a very good meal due to pure bad luck. One of the items we ordered is the risotto balls. This has a very strong musty cheese in it. I am a bit a of cheese wimp but it was even too strong for my sweetie. That taste overpowered the rest of the meal and all we could taste was mould. Ah well. The adventures of eating out. We head off for home very satisfied with our honeymoon Tuesday.

the Honeymoon-Monday

Sunday evening we went for a short walk to Fisherman's wharf. Just to stretch our legs and be in Canada. Victoria is wonderful. It is cool and blustery.

We wake up on Monday, on our honeymoon in Canada. We have a fabulous breakfast of individual cranberry apple souffles and try to plan our day. Everyone in the B&B is super nice. It was kind of fun seeing the different people come and go, we were there 7 days. This is the day Canadians celebrate thanksgiving so it's a holiday for everyone. We have been looking at maps and talking. We want to look at the town, get some Canadian money. After an abortive start due to a forgotten wallet we go downtown and rent bikes so that we can get around more easily. We find the Internet cafe and check emails. DW send emails about a mutual Victorian friend, and I email officiants. We look poke into stores looking for a replacement dress and just looking. We find several downtown thrift stores, but they are all closed for the holiday.

I am frustrated and unsure what to do about the dress but other than that it is fun. There is sunshine and the harbor. We have some fabulous Chinese food for lunch and try to learn about the layout of the town and decide on the kind of things we want to do.

Find a grocery store and buy some staples like cheese and crackers and tea. We hang out in our digs, our Victorian friend has tried to call. I'll call my HN and tell her I don't have my dress. She assures me it is in my suitcase, somewhere between laughing and crying I assure her it's not. She was equally sure I had packed it. I give her the house sitter's number and ask her to go over to the house to see if she can find the dress. I'll call the house-sitter to give warning and apologize for any inconvenience. Roaming charges in Canada are pretty high I find out later. Luckily we have a phone in our room for all local calls.

I wonder around the public parts of the house a bit, it is all fabulous. DW had her first talk with our Victorian friend, hereby called VF. She gives us a long list of stuff to check out and things to do in Victoria. [we would need a month to do it all] We leave getting dinner until kind of too late and we are starving at 8:30. Because of the holiday we really should have been more organized. We eat fish in a hotel restaurant and it's not bad. We are just happy to be getting fed at that point. We walk home happy and fed and have a great night.

so the engagement's weekend sunday

So that's it right, here we are married and the engagement is completed [successfully] so no more blog. right?

well not exactly, because we still had our wedding in Canada. I'm still in mid story and I really want to finish.

So last post the reception was over and all things were great. And stuff kept happening.

I wake up early that morning, we had house guests the night before and they need to get to the airport. The twin cities marathon is being run that morning and it's route closes all the quickest routes to the airport. But I get them there is a timely fashion and get home to try to make sense of the chaos that is our home and pack for the honeymoon.

While trying to unearth and sort needed stuff, I look through a big box that came from the church the night before. This is the box with which the florist delivered the 6 bouquets and 8 corsages. There is still a corsage in there, yep my one sil never rsvp'd and never showed, but wait, there is a corsage in the clear bag marked "mothers".

The room and my head spins.

My mother never got her corsage. The flowers that I thought about so much, the flowers that she really enjoys. All those pictures, everyone else had their flowers but MY MOTHER. Why didn't anyone else notice??! I can barely understand why I was in no state to be organized, but how could my sisters, my chief ninja, the attendants, the head usher, my MOTHER herself not notice? Or did my mother notice and just not bring it up!! I feel like crying, all those pictures [that I still haven't seen 10/24] everyone else will have flowers but not her. I still feel badly about it. Everything else was small or I can let go of...even the cake I didn't get to taste. We can buy cake from that baker in that flavor...but my 81 year old mom and my wedding pictures. No flowers.

I knew things are never perfect but it hurts. So we proceed to get things ready for the house sitter. My sweetie's parents and 2 siblings come over to drop off sweetie's wallet that they took home by accident. DW's mom can barely be dragged away, she would have loved watching us open gifts. She even opens one of our wedding cards herself, I almost die from trying not to laugh. Finally they leave and we are still not packed.

Our ride to the airport, HN and HU, comes early, and they help us pack and try to keep our heads on. The first thing I do is wrap my Canadian wedding dress in a plastic bag for protection. Everything I am taking is going on the office bed along with the suitcase to get packed. It goes fairly well. We figure we'll buy stuff we end up needing. They say they will drop off my mum's flowers at hotel after they take us to airport. They get us to airport in plenty of time.

The plane to Seattle is full and our seats are 20 aisles apart. There is nothing we can do but feel sad and try to sleep. We find edible food in the C terminal and get on our short airhop to Victoria. That goes well and customs into Canada goes quickly. There is a shuttle bus that goes into downtown Victoria that will take us to our B&B.

We get to the B&B at about 8pm. The hosts have gone out to eat but have left us keys. Our suite is fantastic and everything is great. We are on our honeymoon and very happy. We unpack and I realize that the dress that I had bought special to wear to get married in Canada is not in the suitcase. It is not in Canada with us. I cry from disappointment combined with exhaustion.

This is the moment for our hosts to knock on the door, I explain to them the room is great and we are fine. I'm just crying because my dress is AWOL. They are sympathetic. I have to laugh when I think of the spectacle I probably made of myself. We go to bed, breakfast is at 8:30.

the wedding weekend, saturday pt IV

-we did a receiving line with just the 2 of us then and there at the bottom of the steps going into the dining hall, worked great.
-we had some people who could only come for the ceremony
-we greeted everyone who wanted to be greeted
-apparently the cool IKEA candles we bought are faulty, most won’t stay lit, bummer.
-played salsa and other upbeat latin music during cocktail hour, HN did all digital music
-my attendants stood behind us with drinks [water and cider] available, and we needed them with all the talking-appetizers are yummy, we visited tables separately during this time.
-we both remember to thank the servers for their hard work when we see them
-I should have reminded attendants to get guests to sign guest pages.
-I basically stuck to water, I think I had barely one glass of champagne the whole night
-numerous hair compliments, people seemed to really like it, made my own hair vine in desperation.
-I change into comfortable un-bridal shoes. My sister scolds me I hope teasingly, 'you’re suppose to be beautiful not comfortable'
-the cookie table looks great and everyone seems to be munching to this transplanted Pittsburgh custom
-corner of room with ‘guestbook’ scrapbook pages is very dark, expensive church supervisor did not know how to turn the lights on in that area.
-we go and admire the cake, it looks beautiful.
-the cake toppers of a fish and pony generate a lot of useful chit chat.
-my favorite, I think from one of my sisters, was “why do you have a shark and an a$$ on your cake”
-dinner starts at 6:00, European lounge music played
-disposable cameras never got opened & put on tables [I am hoping I can return them]
- the pork is great, the polenta, which I usually dislike, is amazing, salad and sides yummy
-I actually remember eating and the food, and I ate slowly so that we are not jumping up done when other tables are still being waited on.
-the moh and HN toast us, it is lovely.
-sweetie had said she would prepare our thank you but she either froze or forgot…so we just stood and said thanks, I hope all knew it was heartfelt
-the band and singer have shown up and are getting ready in the library, I ask singer to point out guest book location and to invite others to dance with us during our first dance and fathers dance per spouse's urgent request
-it’s getting close to 7, we visit more tables, band starts about 7:15, I change back into dance shoes
-we dance to “At Last”, my sweetie hates dancing when so many are watching but people do join us as we asked
-we dance with our dads to “what a wonderful world”
-people are dancing and chatting and eating and its all very nice.
-we get so many compliments on the band and they were wonderful. They played a lot of classic nightclub jazz and big band. [piano, sax/clarinet, bass, drums and vocalist]
-a couple of ill or elderly people come up to say good bye they need to leave early.
-about 7:30 my now MIL comes up in panic. ‘when are you cutting the cake’
-I tell her during the first band break in about 20 minutes, she is very agitated ‘people are leaving’
-I guess I am heartless because I am thinking ‘then they don’t get cake… more cake for us’
-‘we want to leave now but we want cake’ she says ‘wtf?’ I think
-my fog is still hovering, so I just smile and say we’ll do it as soon as we can, I just want her to go away
-I try to think and talk with sweetie. I suggest we wait until the band plays another instrumental then we cut the cake, she agrees.
-I go inform the catering staff and photographer of the change
-we do the cake cutting while the band is playing, it’s a shame, I had people exclaiming in disappointment “we didn’t get to see you cut they cake” so I tell them why….sigh
-The servers forget to serve us cake, and when we go up to get some one flavor is already gone. Totally bums me out but I hear it was yummy.
-singer of band announces about guest book, more talking and dancing and fun is had.
-break music is fun electronic dance stuff
-at about 8:30 my one sister starts to make noises about leaving, which confuses me since it is so early, she knows the reception is going to be done by 10:30, we had planned an early night
-I still don’t know what was going on except one of my bil was ill, but basically my whole side of the family all leave in a mass exodus by 9…it was so strange
-except our parents are very elderly, we aren’t too surprised that they needed to leave
-all I have left is a nephew, one nephew returns later, I don’t realize it at the time but my niece is still in building with her husband
-they say they’ll name the baby after us if it happens
-we are down to about 3 tables and having a nice little unplanned “after party” with a live band
-we end about 10:20, clean up starts, a close friend is supervising the room being reset.
-we cart home gifts, nephews and niece cart home other stuff
-we get home at 10:45 and it is still 85 degrees outside, unreal for October.
-we change and chill, open all the lovely cards to help us come down…and get to bed
-still not packed for honeymoon, but we are married! And it was a great wedding.
-off for Canada in 12 hours.

the wedding weekend: saturday pt III

-thoughts of ‘why did I think this was such a good idea’ and ‘I’m going to get up in front of all these people and do what?’ race at alarming speed through my head
-I want to get married certainly but the way we chose to do it, eek!!
-I somehow make it through the crushing stage fright
-DF is unaffected herself and is supportive.
-HU lets us know she going to give the nod for the prelude solo “for the beauty of the earth” aka ‘kickoff song’
-It's silly but I hadn’t realized when you are the one that is getting married you don’t get to hear the prelude music [DF picked ceremony music] or see the candle-lighting DF’s brothers did.
-DF’s old friend who is a pianist sounds wonderful!
-girls set off to “prelude in C major” they all looked awesome
-we peek a bit through windows into sanctuary, can’t really see, no center aisle
-then to “Jesu, Joy of man’s desiring” DF goes off with parents, then I go with mine down the other aisle.
-now I am feeling happy and just a bit nervous
-we are standing there with minister who look motherly and calm, and I think ‘oh yeah, people need to see this, this is why we are doing it’
-after welcome stuff we all sit down at back of stage for readings, homily and first solo
-DF whispers that she is scared and is sweating a lot, we hold hands
-someone forgot to put tissues on the pews for us.
-after readings DF tries to signal wedding party to stand and tries to stand herself.
-I’m holding her fast, she is a bit irritated then relieved when she remembers there is still homily and song to go
-DF’s father who is a retired Baptist minister gives great homily
-my niece also FG sings beautifully “Never-ending Road”
-now we get up, with HN behind me to hand it off I get DF a tissue
-we get married, vows, ring and all go well.
-second solo starts “Northern Sky”, we do sand ritual to side.
-there is a lot of giggling because the sand is not pouring due to the humidity it is very clumping and is like trying to pour old fashioned ketchup
-pianist & soloist are delighted everyone is laughing at us because they were never happy with how they did the song [everyone thinks they sounded wonderful]
-closing blessings and all, moh moves to piano to play recessional
-She plays wonderfully and after 20 seconds of “ode to joy” she slides musically into “I feel the earth move”
-everyone in the right age group laughs and wedding party leaves
-HU’s highly trained team [our nephews] move into action
-we run downstairs to dining hall to greet our guests and requests DF’s nephew to keep everyone out so that I can pee
-we are so happy, we did it and now can party! And I get to pee.
-everything was great and the hall looks wonderful.

the wedding weekend, saturday part II

Part II

-I do my best to pass out corsages and gifts and thank yous. [why on earth I didn’t give that job to someone else I can’t think now]
-photographer is taking pictures of dressing and decorations etc…
-FG delivers food from coop, she is late [and not dressed] because coop had given away part of our sandwhich order.
-although I don’t realize it until the next day that my mother is the only one who didn’t get her flowers, I’m amazed that no one else noticed. [I’m still bummed about that]

-DF arrives 1:30 or so to finish getting ready, very upset she is so late, poor sweetie
-her make up artist totally flaked out on her
-I am so relieved HN and I did makeup appt. on Wednesday and recreated it ourselves
-DF’s moh and mom arrive, they aren’t dressed, the flakey make up artist affected them as well.
-I explain to sweetie that her family cannot dress in the brides room due to lack of space + soaring heat suggest alternatives none of which are really any better
-me and my HN exit brides room so that moh can help DF dress
-since most of us are ready, my ‘side’ starts taking pictures
-it’s way too hot in room for moh, she leaves room to try to find a cool place in the church
–the steamer I brought comes in handy, moh dress is horribly creased
-I help my sweetie dress, she looks wonderful

-HU has found her true calling and is organizing her ushers into a well oiled machine
-some kind of Mexican stand off is going on between relatives on both sides over the lack of space to dress in, my sweetie feels badly, I realize there is nothing I can do and my fog is still holding
-no blood was spilt by anyone in said standoff, eventually everyone is dressed.
-sweetie asks me to fix her moh’s hair. The blood of several generations of barbers runs in my veins so I go for it and it looks nice.
-group shoe picture taken…
-more and more pictues are being taken, snacks being eaten by those who need it and I am putting down large amounts of water.
-we get lots of couple pictures taken [I can’t wait to see them!]
-DF’s ‘side’ does pictures
-HU tells me not to panic, cake has not arrived. my fog is holding, I ask the time 3:10
-I explain the cake is only 10 minutes late and give the baker’s phone number.

-everything gets pictured and done, cake arrives, I eat half a sandwich and drink water
-we skip taking couple pictures outside in garden in soaring heat
-I apologize to photographer, who is also a friend, for all the lateness and confusion, she assures me it is usually much worse
-alone in room, about 10 minutes to go major stage fright kicks in, I am exploring windows for more air while almost in a panic attack

the wedding weekend - saturday, part I

Different format…paragraphs are confusing me right now…

-I wake up at 8 am with sweetie[maybe got 6 hours of sleep]
-breakfast promised to me by houseguests not happening, they are sleeping in
-I grab some yogurt or something
-DF and I go to chiropractor who surprises us with a lovely gift.

-When back home I realize the cake vendor never sent me final amount for payment as promised
-it pours and pours down rain
-I call cake vendor and get amount
-I make out several last minute checks for people who need to get paid that day
-head ninja [=HN] comes to be a help and is as always
-HN takes a picture of each bride in kitchen before we are off
-I make several mistakes on checks, should not try to do this day of wedding.
-DF leaves for her hair appt.

-I spend time I don’t have giving houseguests directions to various places, I am totally spacey, feel fortunate I didn’t accidentally direct them to St Louis.
-gather stuff for church, HN is a goddess-send, nothing forgotten
-rain has stopped, it’s incredibly humid and heating up
-leave door unlocked for Head usher and other ninja so that they can use house to dress in if they want.

-I am 10 minutes late for hairdresser, I apologize profusely
-HN paints her nails while my hair gets done
-HU calls and says house is locked. [DF locked it between her hair and makeup appts]
-flower girl’s [she is 26] hair is done, so she goes to unlock house and do her thing, see her at church at 2.
-hair is fabulous, and given to me as a gift by my stylist, he assures me that it will stand up to the soaring heat and humidity which is totally freakish for Minneapolis in October.

-arrive at church at 12:30, only half hour later than my planned schedule
-met by church person I am paying 25.00 an hour for 10+ hours to ‘oversee’ the building aka play computer games in the office.
-the church is fairly cool at least in the dining hall and in the sanctuary, the ‘brides room’ and the rest of building is hot and stuffy, I think to myself ‘good thing I warned people [except DF] to dress elsewhere’.
-my sister who promised to be the ‘day of coordinator’ and who has tons of experience is not there even though she was due to arrive at noon.

-church person tells me my ‘flower lady’ is up in sanctuary. I stare blankly probably with mouth open.
-then I realize it’s my florist making her delivery--duh
-I go into see florist who greets me with ‘do you have any leaves?’ more blank staring on my part, before I answer that unfortunately I do not.
-florist nods at pew bows my sister made ‘these are much too blue, they need leaves. I’ll get some’ and she strides decisively out to the street to collect leaves to insert in pew arrangements.
-I enjoy a refreshing giggle fit about leaves and the flowers all look wonderful

-photographer arrives and starts setting up
-My HN and I do our make up and get dressed, yep we are gorgeous.
-we request a fan for extremely hot bride’s room, the expensive church building supervisor cannot find one anywhere
-HU and ninja arrive not dressed and get dressed up on third floor, I’m surprised they didn’t melt

-yes it is 87 degrees and not raining.

- I realize that people being crabby or worried or late is just not bothering me, I let go
-My sisters arrive hour+ late and apologize, I'm in daze, neither one is dressed.
-it’s 1:00, df has not arrived so we can't start taking pictures
-I’m in a pleasant fog and nothing is bothering me much.

the wedding weekend - Friday

My sweetie had to work this day as well. I got up early, picked my sister up from her hotel and we went to the florist to pick up the green garland for decorating. I got to see my bouquet and it was beautiful. Picked up my other ninja who is car-less. A quick run to the store to pick up a few things and umbrellas for out of town people because it is still raining. These umbrellas were forgotten in the trunk by sister who was going to deliver them. Oh well. Her car was loaded up with stuff to take to church at 2 pm for decorating, I dropped her back at hotel.

Later that morning I picked up at airport 2 of my oldest friends from Pennsylvania. Planes are running late. We all grabbed some lunch and I tried to get organized and loaded all the rest of the stuff and 7 people into 2 cars to go to church. We were crammed to the gills. Luckily the church is only 2.5 miles away, I started laughing when I realized that the flowers from the farmer’s market were cooling on the garage floor, but even if we had remembered them we wouldn’t have had the room. We met the head ninja and usher at church, everyone unloaded and I made a quick trip with HU to transport the flowers.

Eventually everyone including my sisters arrived at church and we started decorating. We were starting hours late because the church changed the time I was allowed in at the last minute, instead of starting at 11 am we couldn’t get in until 2 pm.. After lots of work, the place is looking lovely. Everyone has an opinion but people are getting along quite well. I find out way after the fact that my sweetie was freaked out and had stopped at her parents place first because her father had been having arm pains for a couple of days and she was afraid he was having an attack [but he wouldn't get checked out]. She is relieved when her father arrives feeling fine for rehearsal. Her mother doesn’t make it, and neither does one of the bridesmaids.

By a bit after 5pm everyone not in the wedding had left, and we went up to rehearse. One of my dear nephews stayed down in the hall cleaning silverware. We were at our grubbiest. The rehearsal goes fine. I got a bit testy when people tried to mess with the processional order which was decided weeks ago and I so didn’t want to discuss it over again.

Rehearsal over we all scattered to change for dinner at sil’s house. We arrived late ourselves after changing and picking up people. Many planes arrived late, my family waited for planes to land and so arrived to rehearsal very late. My parents [both in their 80’s] were exhausted from decorating and skipped the dinner entirely.

It was a very nice dinner but we realized coming home that after the church messed up all the timing of everything we should have just canceled the rehearsal dinner, it would have been so much easier on everyone. Oh well, next time we get married we’ll know better. We realized then and there we wouldn’t be meeting anyone for brunch on Sunday morning since that was the only time we had to pack for our honeymoon. We stayed up writing notes to all the special helpers to go with the gifts we bought them.

the wedding weekend -thursday

Here is the first post on the last days of my engagement.

I was extremely short on sleep this day 10/4 because late Wednesday night that I found a huge error on the program [I left out a major wedding party name] and ended up having to reprint 80 pages. This went slowly, since I was printing at high quality on a photo printer. Some there thought I was wacko for correcting the error at all, I could see their point, I calmly listened to their advice but explained that it was very important to me that those who were putting themselves out for us that day be in the program [or what is the point of programs]. I’m glad I caught the error then not Friday night, but I feel bad about the paper wastage. I did my best to not feel jealous of houseguests who were getting way more sleep than I was. It rained quite a bit that week. My mum assured me on 10/2 that it would not rain during the wedding 10/6, I am not sure why I cared so much about the weather. We were not getting married outside. My sweetie had to work all wedding week until about 3:30 on Friday. She did her best to help and run errands in the little time she had that week.

I got up early Thursday to pick up flowers for centerpieces and other decorations from the farmer’s market. Mum [florist in residence] came along to inspect, Dad to help carry. Daisy/mums, snaps, ivy, alstromeria and hypericum berries. We were only getting the 6 bouquets, the corsages for family and one big vase from the florist.
I ran over to the paper depot to get another pen for my chief ninja who wanted plum for the printing on the table designators. I did some work from home [paid work]

My eldest sister flew in late that morning to help. My super niece had already been in town for over a week helping and visiting, the head ninja showed up to help as well. My sister dived right in to updating the pew bows with berries and copper ribbon. My mom makes all the boutonnières using copper mums from the plant we bought weeks ago.

There was a lot of stamping that I think was continuing on that day, not by me. There were many leaves stamped on programs, cookie bags, escort cards etc, and the table designators were all leaves. “aspen table, birch table, beech table”. The afternoon is kind of a blur, but I did make it to yoga early that evening which was just what I needed. Then the evening is kind of a blur too, I know I was doing a lot of printing of menus, maps and so forth. And decided gift bags = nice idea that wasn’t going to happen. Let it go…

I know that evening I stamped the 20 drink/appetizer/menu cards myself. It was something I really wanted to do since everyone else had fun stamping while I was minding the printer and I wanted to give it a whirl. They did turn out lovely. Basically all crafty stuff was done by Thursday bed. No honeymoon packing got done. I got to bed late, no one could understand why I wasn’t getting more sleep and really I don’t get it either. Everyone else got more. It was like I wasn’t able to articulate the help I needed due to… stress or something.

Flowery Conditions

My fiancée and I love flowers! And today we picked up the flowers we ordered for the centerpieces. My mother who worked as a florist for years is doing the arrangements. It should be lovely and simple and fun. They are all coppery yellow, and red and creams with plum specks. There is ivy and garland. Tomorrow, I’ll see the bouquets, and I can’t wait. The boutonnières are wonderful copper mums.

All the family is coming in, everyone is talking and everything seems very loud. Most stuff is done and the few things that aren’t probably aren’t that important.. I know what I am wearing to get married in Canada.

The forecast for the weather on Saturday is improving. My mom said days ago, don't worry it won't rain. I hope she is right, I scan the weather sites anxiously at least once a day like that will somehow change things.

There is such an outpouring of love with a tiny bit of crankiness and bossiness all around. It’s a fabulous experience. There are all kinds of secret surprises hovering in the background. I just need to try to get more sleep to enjoy it. My yoga and chi gong do help. So I am off to do just that!

Memory Moon

la bella luna

Weddings seem to be a great time for memories. My mum has been remembering and sharing about falling in love and marrying Dad 60+ years ago. She has been remembering my older sisters getting married in the 70’s. She has been remembering all the weddings she helped out with when she was a florist before most places had wedding coordinators.

She has looked at the harvest moon and remembered it was the same type/look of moon when she was falling in love with Dad. I smiled to think that it was the same moon! Imagine to the moon the 60+ years of my parents relationship has been like a blink of an eye but to them it has been the greater part of a lifetime. For me it’s been a constant all my life thus far like the moon.

It’s pretty unlikely I will be with my sweetie 60 years. My mom got married when she was barely 21, I am much older. And it’s very hard to tell near the beginning of a relationship what the life span will be. All I can hope is that our love will deepen and mature, be lasting like the moon

Run away

My fiancée turned to me and said ‘we could elope’. I smiled. My niece warned ‘you won’t get your deposits back.’ Ah, now there is a reason not to elope… the money loss.

Wedding planning is both stressful and a big job. At times I have felt completely overwhelmed, disconnected from the rest of my life and cranky. My therapist said months ago that weddings bring out both the best and worst in people, and that is certainly true. It is definitely bringing out the best in me, and probably the worst as well when it comes to fears and internalized homophobia and taking some things way too personally and needing to take good care of myself.

It is something I think I will only do once in my life. I listen wonderingly to people who plan multiple weddings and nod in agreement with people who say ‘never again, once is enough’.

All in all though, here I am almost done and amazed with the whole process. It unfolded in some ways just as I thought. Some things came together with amazing synchronicity. Some people who I never thought of helped us in amazing ways, some people who I was counting on totally melted down to puddles. My fiancée and I went through a gamut of emotions and still are. But we are almost there and we are getting married. Sometimes it is like riding a runaway horse. It is awesome!

Hair Today

So there seems to big a hair component to weddings. Or I could just speak for myself and say there is certainly a hair component to mine.

One of my attendants who has some of the most beautiful hair in the world is very nervous about how her hair is going to look for the wedding. My other attendant got hers done in a special color on the optimum day before the wedding. . I know that I don’t want to wear a veil but I don’t want to wear my hair the same every day way. This is not a simple option. Veils are the simple option. Even my fiancée is planning something for her naturally wavy locks which she is not sharing. I have no idea.

I had to have ‘test’ hair done since I was so unclear what I wanted to do. I panicked when I realized fresh flowers would not actually look good in my hair. I taught myself how to make my own hair vine. [Heck, I may start offering them online for brides who don’t want to pay an ungodly amount for one] I got a migraine from all the ‘product’ that was put into my hair and had to wash it out an hour later thereby ruining some of the ‘test’.

Perhaps it isn’t really about hair though. Or the fact that dozens of pictures will be taken.. Maybe hair is just the medium in which all of our nervousness can express itself. Because we are nervous and excited. We want to look good, we want to show this is a special day for us. We don’t want to cringe at the pictures afterwards that will help jog our memories.

We can’t quite believe we are doing this. We sometimes wish we were just eloping. We feel honored that so many friends and family are going to so much effort, are supporting and loving us. We are a bit sad the journey is almost over. We are quite tired. We want to have a great time. We are shocked at some of the things people say. We need a vacation.

Basically it’s a lot. And it seems that when we are overloaded we divert ourselves by focusing on hair. I now have a new understanding and attraction to wigs.

Starting Single

I read a line in the Wedding Goddess today. It was something like ‘you walk down the aisle single and come back married’. And I thought of how simple that sounds. It is simple I guess in some ways if you look at it a certain way. Of course you could then look at birth like a woman goes into the delivery room and comes out a mother but that is also a pretty bald and laughable statement. Because that time before the wedding [or before birth] takes a whole lot of effort.

My engagement period is almost over, in less than a week it will be my wedding day. I have not been in my single state all this time, it’s been different. It’s also been different from a partnered state.. I feel like I have been gestating this wedding, this marriage for months. Instead of constant trips to the bathroom and leg swelling it has been lists, phone calls, decisions and letting go. I have been ‘between’ two states for months [or in a third] and I am going to end up somewhere different after the wedding.

I notice I am pretty comfortable in my current state and rather disinclined to change it. Although exhausting and a big job and scary it is also fun to be engaged. It is fun to plan parties for your family and friends. It is fun to have loved ones reaching out in love and support. Heck opening all those boxes is fun too. [the recycling is a challenge though] Most importantly I have gotten used to it. I have been engaged since January, and it’s almost October. I am pretty good at this engaged stuff and here I am planning on changing it all and soon. I can barely remember what it was like to be single and I realize there is some stuff I will mourn and miss from this engagement.

Sometimes the next turn of the wheel surprises us and sometimes we get a preview for months prior either way-- we change.

A Fundamentalist Fact

It is a fact that saddens me…some people like their world in black and white. Us and them. Right and wrong. I like to think I understand and empathize with that fear that drives us to try to simplify and control our world, ourselves and others.

I certainly know that fear of the mind of the void after death – which may not be a void at all but then who knows? No one knows, unless they know the truth for themselves. I love to act like truth is abstract and that there is one truth for everyone, but I don’t really believe that. I know if I know anything that truth is different for each person, that our own awareness colors all of our lives and our world into our own unique experience.

I know that I want my brother to be free of danger, free of shame, physically happy and to live with ease. I can pray this for all beings. [even politicians :)]

I also know that it sucks that my only brother can’t see past his own fear and nose to love and accept me the way that I am. Happy and content right now. Not some viewpoint he has of me from 25 years ago.

It bites that he won’t be at the wedding.

Single Digit

My e-ring had to go into the ring doctor to get some prongs fixed. It is an antique ring that was obviously worn a lot. It has lovely energy so I like to think the woman wearing it before was happy in her life and relationships. It was so odd to have that finger quiet for several days after the past months of wearing it consistently. I found that I kind of missed my talky ring. My hand really felt empty.

It made me wonder about the symbols we surrounded ourselves with…would anyone notice it was gone and think my sweetie and I had broken up? I felt like I had changed the frontage that I show to the world, just the part that people see because of course nothing had changed on the inside or in our relationship. It was a bit odd.

On our ‘days to wedding counter’ we are down to single digits. The wedding is next week. Next week! That’s like no time at all. Everyday now I can check the 10 day forecast and see what they are guessing the weather on my wedding day will be…

I seem to moving in a bubble of space and awe. Most things are done. And there is still a sizable list to do. But I feel like I am floating into that region of transformation, that place where you are neither one thing nor the other. I looked at the full moon this morning in the pale blue sky and truly was here, present, wordless for an instant/eon. We are life

Space Issues

So I have been having space issues. I had a long standing written agreement with my venue that we would be able to decorate from 11-3pm the day before the wedding.

Then last weeks with less than 4 weeks to go they informed me that new circumstances meant they could not honor the agreement. These were circumstances that they had knowledge of for the past 4+ months.

My panic is probably better imagined. It was quite overwhelming. I was afraid friends would be mad at me that it happened, that they would need to put themselves out, that we would all be nervous wrecks trying to stay up late or early the day of the wedding trying to finish decoration. Let me add these are not elaborate decorations we are speaking of here. Setting up the room [tables and chairs] linens, place settings, centerpieces, and decorating a staircase.

There were 2 things that really irked me personally, no one took the time or responsibility to give me a big heartfelt apology for the snafu and I learned about the problem so late that I basically had no options.

I know I am living in the land of the Scandinavian here where a favorite joke is 'did you hear the about the man who loved his wife so much he almost told her so?' [surely in actual Scandinavian countries this is not true] but please an apology goes a long way, even if it's not your fault personally, even if you are apologizing for your organization.

Or maybe I am just oversensitive.

Then the complete lack of options, it was too late to reschedule anything. Too late to find another venue, to late to push the ceremony start time back, to late to have the rehearsal on another evening, too late to do anything but grind through and somehow make this work. People tell me not to worry, and I try to let it go. People remind me that everything will not be perfect but I'd like to think anyone who has read this blog knows I am aware of that...what bothers me is all the effort this mix up is asking of my friends and family. *sigh* We wanted to throw them a great party after they witnessed our marriage.

I am grateful to them from the bottom of my heart though. That their space for us and our wedding only seems to expand.

Showers forecasted all August

Apparently this is the rainiest August on record in these parts. It seems fitting that my bridal ninja threw me a shower this same month.

It was awesome. She cleverly decided to hold it at a tea shop. it was nice and compact, 12 of the 15 guests were able to come. It was not too long, about 2.5 hours. For once this month it wasn't pouring all day. And since the shop cleaned, baked, and decorated we just planned favor bags and shopped for new tops beforehand. We didn't play any games

Some of my family were able to fly in, something that I never expected. Some friends who live far away decided they wanted to help shower me and sent stuff.

It was so uplifting to feel the love and support from everyone. Showers have always seemed very gift focused to me, but I found my shower really about community and love. Gifts were fun to look at afterwards and appreciate but at the time the women were the focus. It was nice for my closest friends to meet some of my family. It was lovely to look out into the room from my corner and see people that I really cared about all there to wish me well [and eat treats].

I was afraid I would cry and cursed that I didn't have waterproof mascara but I was just happy the whole time. if I didn't hate the word I would call it 'perfect'. It was certainly perfectly wonderful.

August showers are better than I ever thought they could be. Bring them on!

vacated and invited

I know it is a cliche but where did the first 17 days of August go?! Time whizzed by.

Quite a bit of time was spent on vacation in the middle of the MI woods without phones, or computers or anything. It was pretty blissful. The only thing that would have made it better was if wedding elves had completed everything while we were gone but no such luck. But we are so lucky in our house-sitters I can't really complain, they were super.

We came home to a huge to do list and the number one priority was getting the map inserts done for the invitations and getting them in the mail. Getting the inserts printed took a surprisingly long time due to people melting down at the print shop at work. Not from my job I hasten to add, my job was just 1 double sided color page copied 10 times and cut apart. Pretty small as copy jobs go. But my timing must have been bad because it took a full 2 weeks to communicate enough to get them finally done. I almost gave up and went to Kinkos until I found out how much they would have charged for the same small job [about 6x more] so I just kept pitching and it got done. The majority of invites have already been mailed and it feels great. My dh just has to gather a few more addresses and that will be it.

What I have been noticing the most is how this huge list of stuff can over ride feelings and reactions and authenticity. I can see that I could get so involved in details or trying to remember things that I could forget to enjoy the process and enjoy the last part of my engagement. Hopefully just having this awareness will help me remember to be thankful and to feel joy and wistfulness and love that is pouring in from all around. It is truly something.

in the mourning

One thing I think we are lacking in our culture is space for mourning. Perhaps because it is sad and not fun and quiet and lasts awhile. It is linked with discomfort.  So it is brushed under the rug. Or it comes out sideways as anger or something else. I am not saying that mourning is lovely and I enjoy doing it but I want to acknowledge that mourning comes with changes and is inescapable like change itself.

Most people will at least accept that mourning is part of a 'negative' change like death or divorce, but few seem to think of the mourning that goes along with anything ending. You buy your first house, you love it and you can't wait to live there. You are probably going to mourn something about your last home. Even if it's the color of paint on the walls.

I am so happy to be marrying my sweetie but I still mourn things. I mourn my much cleaner apartment. I mourn looking around my home and just seeing me, my stuff. I mourn the mental space that I had that is now given to compromising, connecting and communicating. I don't want things to be any different, they'll change soon enough, but still I miss stuff from my past.

These are not pleasant feelings and it would be so easy to just shove them away under planning and details and duties. But that makes me feel sadder. I loved my last apartment, I loved not seeing anyone else's mess. I notice that committing to someone full time does take time. Certainly my 'me time' has changed in quantity. I miss casualness. I appreciate that time and place in my past. and I am not going to just walk away without saying good bye and it might take me a while.

outed by e-ring

Ah blogger is now letting titles go on again.

Has anyone ever had a parent [any parent] tell you 'once you are a parent you are always out'? This meaning of course that once your offspring starts talking any ideas of keeping quiet about your gayness pretty much falls by the wayside. I had a serious gf once with a little girl and I found this to be true.

No one ever told me that an e-ring does the same thing. It won't keep quiet about anything anywhere. When I fell in love with my antique e-ring I didn't think much about what that ring was going to be saying to people right in front of me...whether I wanted it to or not. And of course it doesn't help that my e-ring, unlike my sweetie's, is to my surprise a diamond. It says a lot without speaking a word of english. I am also fairly committed to wearing it on my 'wedding' finger during my engagement as a sign of my transition, but would I have made that choice if I had known how it babbles on? and on and on...

It tells people I am 'taken', and if they are noticing types they see I am not wearing a band as well so they assume I am not married yet. [taken in? taken where? taken not stirred?] It lies and tells people that I am straight since it is so traditional in style. Thus making me run around behind it clarifying things when something gets verbalized. No, I am marrying X, here is her picture. oh I thought you knew I was gay. It makes me come out over and over again all the frickin heck over the place. It is exhausting. It sneaks up on me, it makes me panic when I feel I am in a vulnerable place. 'do they know, can I tell them now, I have to work with these people and so forth...' and 'will I have to add them to the constantly growing guest list'? And the queer people who assume I am straight won't even lightly flirt with me anymore, this ring is so misleading its silly.

I had no idea a piece of metal and rock could be so freakin chatty. I just wish I had the editorial rights. Looked at in the right light it is hilarious. I just wanted to find a not too expensive ring that I really liked and would enjoy wearing. I got that but I had no idea there was a megaphone attached to it.

some Room at some Inn?

Blogger seems to be unhappy. It's not letting me put a title line strange. updated later

but I'm still going to do a post about my hotel issues. Really the problem is that there are too many choices!! Way too many. Since it is mainly, perhaps exclusively, my family and friends who will be coming in from out of town and using hotels the ball is pretty much in my court. [and I am ducking and hiding behind the goal]

My family would like to have a hotel where they can all meet up for breakfast or after hours in a bar for time spent together. I of course live here so I have never really stayed in a hotel in this area. There are advantages to staying at one of the airport hotels, it's near the Mall of America if they are inclined to shop and only about 6 miles to the house, 8 to church. But there are about 20 to choose from. Trying to look at the reviews on TripAdvisor almost made my head explode.

Or perhaps people would enjoy being downtown more? Again about 20 hotels to choose from with review to try to sort through. The price is pretty much the same between the two locations and it's about 4 miles to our house and church.

Or there is a lovely hotel just a mile from our house next to the hospital but we went and looked at it and I thought it was really pricey for some quite small rooms. They can get a much bigger suite at the same price near the airport.

Then there is the issue of price in general, I of course cannot guess what people want to spend. After feeling overwhelmed for several hours yesterday I realize I am just going to have to pick a few options and people are going to have to figure it out for themselves. They can probably get thing cheaper by pricelining it in the first place.

But the task isn't done yet. It just seems to be an example of one of those things that takes way longer than what I had thought.

songs and websites

Well now it's 3 months and counting. There is a lot still to do. Some things seem to take a lot longer than I would have guessed, not sure if this is our fault. Could we be more efficient? The 'countdown' clock says 91 days, that isn't much.

My niece understandably wants us to decide on the ceremony music so that she can learn the vocals, so we have been spending a lot of time pondering that. I tried to get suggestions from her, I was thinking maybe something she already knew might be perfect for us but she went mum and insisted we pick out what we wanted. Sweet and stressful all at the same time. We knew we wanted something joyful, loving. We really wanted something that we were familiar with, something that would be meaningful for us.

One thing we quickly realized is that when you are listening to songs for your wedding you judge then in a whole other way. My honey adores Bob Dylan, and he has lots of love songs but after some concentrated effort we couldn't find one that 'fit'. Or something. Other favorite musicians are Ferron and Melissa Ferrick we love them but for the most part the they do not do happy love songs. And then there was the hunt for sheet music. We adore Kristen Hall's "wish I may" but as far as I can tell there is no sheet music available for it.

So our possible list dwindles. Right now we think it's going to be Nick Drake's "Northern Sky" and Loreena McKinnett's "Never-ending Road". Thanks IB and my master bridal ninja for the suggestions. Drake's songbook is on order and I have to call Quinlan Road to get the LM one. Hopefully it's all decided now.

Another thing I went back and forth on is a wedding website. Finally faced with the idea of mailing information packets to the 40 or so out of town guests we are planning on inviting or putting up one site and sending postcards. Guess which won? Then I proceeded to let go of the idea of lovingly crafting our website from scratch and went with a template. So that is almost done. If anyone has a burning desire to view it let me know and I'll send you the password.

Shoe update: after my tell-all shocking revelation you are probably wondering about my shoes... well I shopped and shopped. I have a witness even. I managed to get one pair of clark springers at DSW, which are both sandal and shoe like. I feel that I can now put off tennis shoe shopping until autumn. I also found a pair of plum strappy sandals with a nice square heel at the consignment shop for 4.50. The price was right but they are so strappy I am not sure I can handle them for the all day at the wedding, so that hunt will continue.

Shoes, shopping and showers

Well my master bridal ninja [thanks IB] has told me the date of the shower in August. She has reserved a tea shop so that there will be no decorating, or cooking, or cleaning up at least not by us. It sounds like heaven. I am really looking forward to it. My dear one and I decided against having a couple shower, we figured it would make the guest list way too large and we both prefer smaller, more intimate showers. I think my sweetie may be miniaturing golfing at hers. It should be a blast for both of us. A completely unexpected bonus is my mom, 2 sisters and niece are invited but I wasn't really counting on any of them being able to make it. Right now it looks like 3 out of the 4 will be attending. I am so touched and so anxious to get this house cleaned up, and it's in less than 2 months. gulp. I know I speak for at least myself and my honey when I say being engaged can be a total trip. I mean it wouldn't be a real rite of passage if it was all smooth sailing. Right? It's excellent that I have vacation and party fun to look forward to because tomorrow will be grim. [see below]

Following true internet blogging tradition I am about to share a truly horrifying fact about myself. I don't like to shop much at all and I really dislike shopping for shoes. Ok, i really hate shopping for shoes. HATE it. I'd rather go to the dentist.

There now the world can despise me or at least shake it's head in wonder. I am not much of a shoe person in general, don't get me wrong I wear them but I only have 6 or so pairs...which means they do get a lot of wear and get worn out and then need to be replaced. Which means I have to go shoe shopping. And I am totally blocked. Not only do I need to look for comfortable shoes to get married in, but I need new sandals and tennies. That is at least 3 pairs I need to look head might explode. Or more likely I'll come home with some sort of shoes in desperation and they'll end up not fitting right or something. le sigh. I'm off to DSW tomorrow, wish me luck.

wedding planning weariness

my tiredness with thinking about this wedding has reached new sleepy heights. To be fair, it's not so much the wedding planning but the planning along with everything else in 'life'. I realized a few weeks ago that if I just didn't have that pesky 'working for a living' thing to do I could handle the stress and lists quite well :)

our reception combo cancelled last week. 'something more important came up' and they were gone with nary an apology. this lack of apology sucked but I think we'll be able to find another jazz combo and if not that's why the goddess invented mp3 players.

it's given me a bit of paranoia though..."the caterer hasn't answered my last email in a week, oh no maybe something more important came up for her..." so not rational of me but oh so human.

I am so looking forward to our vacation later this summer. I realize how lucky I am to get a paid vacation and to be able to enjoy it with my sweetie. Even better we'll be camping far from civilization, my to do list will shrink to 'eat breakfast, attend workshop, nap, walk labyrinth, and save seat for concert. Sounds lovely.

my mother has stopped asking me when my shower will be, thank goodness, because I have no idea what date in August or July will be picked. [are they planning on surprising me?] I have a list of tasks to do and none are too overwhelming, it's more the number of them. things are just swirling around. shoes that are comfortable to wear for hours [not found yet], our private ceremony in canada, our honeymoon, unpacking stuff, trying to make deadlines at work, mulch the new flower beds, considering whether to invite born again relatives...

I am finding my engagement requires a lot of energy for processing. even if I don't share it with those around me. now that I think on it that's probably why I am so sleepy. that may also be why there is not much point to this post. my dad would probably ask me if I am getting enough iron. Here I am in my second engagement trimester, and it's like being pregnant in some ways. For sure you need extra sleep!

invitations and less than 4

Less than 4 months to go until the wedding. Why does that seem like such a short, short time? I guess it is different for everyone but apparently 4 is a cut off time thingy for me. All of a sudden it seems like an amazingly scary short amount of time. Really 'less than 4 months' seems like hardly any time at all. Especially when I think of the things that I need to do, make, decide, finalize and buy. Oh and address. The invitations and announcements are here.

After much soul searching and some looking I actually went with printed invitations in a much less formal style than I was originally thinking. I couldn't really find paper I loved [that I could afford] for 70 hand written ones and then at a friends print shop I saw these:

I loved these when I saw them. These look way better in person than these pictures. I was shocked how much. I could get them in copper ink! I went home and thought deep thoughts like "how much time do you really have to hand write all those invitations no matter how much you 'want' to?" and "really what are you trying to prove and to whom?" and "it's all going to end up [hopefully] recycled anyways" and "how much is sanity worth to you". When I also remembered there are tons of hand written potential fun in my future like rehearsal dinner invites, and table cards and menus and thank you notes [more than likely] I took DF with me, she liked them so we ordered the invites from a local business. We now have invites and announcements and informal cards with our monograms for thank yous. I still love them. I don't think I'll regret it.

But wow, nothing says 'less than 4 months' than looking at those boxes of invites...with our names and the date and the time's surreal. We're getting married in less than 4 months. It is going to be fun!

dress move on & what do you do

Well I did it a few weeks ago, sent my original dress choice to the consignment shop where it may or may not sell. Since the money I would make would be fairly pitiful if it did sell I have no problems with donating it to a 'good' cause if it doesn't sell.

I just hope someone will be very happily married in it. *sigh* I do really love the beading on it. Too bad nothing else was quite right.

I am still happy with my back up dress. The dress of my dreams has not yet appeared. But I have shopped for it. Since I like my back up dress so much I am not too interested in getting something custom made. [though who knows what will change in the next couple of months]

It's partially the $ factor. We have wedding bands [and lots of other stuff] to buy. Part of me is more interested on spending money on stuff to treat our loved ones, or on more long term stuff. Because even though I am getting used to me in ivory since I want a long dress I probably won't be wearing it ?ever? again. It's hard to be excited about spending a lot of money on something like that.

I do feel like it's all going to work out great.

I had to smile today, someone at work asked me about my wedding and being gay. 'what will you do since you're gay?' I didn't really know what she was looking for... she asked about the legality of it here and Canada. I appreciated her asking. And then 'what will you wear?' I think she was really concerned about whether there would be two dresses or .... I explained that different couples choose differently and then she happily listened to our dress descriptions. It was fun and odd to have that at work. I am a lucky woman full of gratitude, that's for sure.

pork is for...guests?

Pork. yep that is what we are planning on serving at our dinner-dance.

It has gotten a few quirked eyebrows. We are planning a vegetarian entree for those who don't eat meat or perhaps don't eat pork for religious reasons.

How did we arrive at pork? We so didn't want to serve chicken, especially since our favorite Indian chicken dish will probably be the food highlight of the rehearsal dinner. [for us at least] We didn't want to do seafood, too many people seem to dislike it. We seriously considered Beef Bourguignonne but our caterer's pork recipes have us salivating when we read them. So I think we are going for it, we are serving pork at our wedding. Look at this description and tell me if you could have resisted...

Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Dried Cherry-Port Sauce and Blue Cheese-Pine Nut Topping

Mmmmm. Should be tasty and different. Because if there is one thing a wedding with 2 brides needs is something to make it stand out. LOL

Hopefully in my lifetime a wedding with 2 brides won't make a wedding alternative at all.

dress decisions

I have been doing lots of non wedding stuff and thinking about my dress. I was driving home one day and glanced at my e-ring on my hand and thought "I love my ring" and then suddenly I realized that I would like to feel that way about my dress if at all possible. Since I didn't love my current dress it seemed like madness to put $300+ in to alterations on the off chance it might end up being something I love. I really like the shape and the beading of the dress but that's about it. Basically it was back up dress, but a really expensive one.

I decided to forgive myself for my mistake. After all not only does everyone make mistakes but buying a wedding dress was something I had never done before, not too surprising I made a mistake. I decided I didn't want to wear it and that I would start looking for a dress I loved.

I found a dress that I really, really like for $49.97 at Nordstrom's Rack. It is the perfect back up dress. Now I can consign or donate the first one. And I am leisurely looking for one that I love. I hope I find it. But I don't feel stressed out anymore because I have this perfectly nice one, that needs very little alterations as my back up. It is flowing silk rayon material, with a greek neckline, sheath shape so I had to go up a size so it wouldn't cling in the wrong place. Burn out satin, with some beading on the front and comes with a shrug with long flowing sleeves. The straps need to be shortened by a good 2 inches, in fact I think I'll just get bigger straps put on it, and it may need a little hemming at that point. It is such a relief to have worked that out.

I even found a great pattern for an opera coat, so I have an option of getting one made in a sumptuous fabric if I find a dress that needs it.

We are trying to decide on the menu and I am working through my invitation decisions, but it's not nearly so stressful as the dress angst.

I also realize I am getting used to the idea of ivory and me.

Mostly about cake and guests

Wow, time is simply flying.

We decided on our baker and the cake this week. One of the nice things about the three bakers we looked at is that the price was basically the same for all, so we could really go with our preference and not take price into consideration.

We are having Patisserie Margo bake our cake. She has a bakery and only does one wedding cake per day [per weekend?]. Her confections are fabulous. Her flour less chocolate cake is the best I have ever eaten. She totally understands that we don't want things to be too sweet, that we like alternative but not artificial sweeteners and since wedding cakes are not her big focus she has the time to customize ours for us.

As it stands now we are planning on a 3 tier cake. 8", 10" and 12". Round layers. One layer Chocolate, with tart cherries and whipped cream filling, one layer almond nut cake with on filling layer of apricot puree/agave nectar cream and then the smallest layer, Guinness ginger cake with lemon/whipped cream filling. It will be frosted with vanilla Italian meringue butter cream frosting and decorated with flowers [pansies and ivy]. I feel a tiny bit fraught that we put down a deposit and didn't actually fill out an order form. We seem to be finding very laid back people to work with -- it will be a drag if it comes back and bites us on the @ss. It sounds so yummy and we should have some leftovers for later.

I also heard through my eldest sister that some a couple who I invited were thrilled to get the S-T-D and can't wait to come in October. This makes me so very happy. I hoped they would be able to make it but they said they were honoured, the sweeties. It was very good news.

My dress angst still continues. I may have a plan though. It involves fabric samples.

Fairly quiet week

Many small wedding related things happened this week. I still continue to wonder about that Ivory dress on and off.

We registered a bunch at Bed, Bath and Beyond. And decided that Home Depot for gardening stuff is somewhere DF really wants to register so we did. We ran into some of DF's family at BB&B and she took advantage of the synchronicity and asked her niece to be an attendant. I am so glad that is done. I was not slow in asking her for her dress size because as soon as I saw her again I worried about the dress I had being too big. [even though it could be easily taken in] She said she is a 4 sometimes a 6. Luckily I had no problem finding and getting a 6. I can't wait until she can try it on.

We had some great contact with friends. One of our musician friends said he would be honored to play at our ceremony, so we are delighted about that. One of my oldest friends called me on Tuesday, he is definitely coming out from Oakland. I am so delighted! All in all a great week. I think we are going to have a lovely wedding and a fun reception. 2 bakers to check out in the next 10 days, and in 6 months we'll be at our reception probably getting ready to dance. Wow. 182 days to go!

first freak out

I have had time to think over the past few days and had my first official freak out about the wedding. I think it was nudged by my mother's concern that my sleeveless dress won't cover my tattoo which 'won't look very elegant'. I laughed it off but it totally fed into my 'why am I wearing a ivory dress?' thoughts. Then it just blossomed into: it's all too traditional and too weird and no one will have a nice time and why the heck are we doing this; we're gay and maybe my fiancee hates everything we planned and eloping is sounding pretty good and, and, and.

DF reassured me that the reasons we made the plans we made are still valid. We could have planned a romantic woodland ceremony but that would have been iffy in October as well as quite hard on our elderly guests. No this isn't the only type of wedding we would like but it will be nice, and then we'll have a great dinner and party afterwards.

I reassured myself that I do not have to wear the dress I bought if I decide not to. Although I think I'll love it once it is altered to me. I am not stuck with it. I can go buy dark red if I want. I basically feel more rational again so that is good. Wow weddings are something.

I also enjoyed reading Stalling's: 'offbeat Bride' and Wicoff's: 'I do but I don't'. Both quite thought provoking though coming from a straight feminist perspective is not always the same as a gay perspective.