Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I have acquired a camera and have taken pictures of one of my centerpieces. I got the inspiration from the OffBeat Bride Tribe photo stream. It's like this particular bride was in my head. She even wore her glasses to the wedding! I wish I could find those pictures again so I can comment and thank her but it's pure madness digging through those archives.

For the wedding, we'll toss a smattering of chocolates around but I think you can get the effect without them. Behold!

Centerpiece Side

Centerpiece Top

Chocolately Delicous

I made five centerpieces last night. They look awesome and make me squee with delight! Emily even helped me by prowling around, pouncing on ribbons and pulling silk flower heads off their stems for me. We had such a good time together. For once I wasn't frustrated by her need to be with me like she needs to be beed with. I actually enjoyed her company.

I showed one of the final pieces to Matt (minus the chocolates) and he said, "That looks nice. I like the simplicity of it and that you made it. None of that wasteful, expensive bullshit. Homemade, just like your bangers and mash."

Hooray! Matt's compliment made me beam and I gave him a big squeeze and sloppy kiss. Now for pictures, but where is my camera? Nowhere to be found. I frantically searched the house and about a half hour later, Matt said to me, "What the heck are you looking for?"

"My camera."

"Oh, I have that. It's at work. I was taking pictures of truss and moving lights and such for the website."

Dumbfounded, I opened my mouth to do my usual whining and thought, "How could I be mad at him for that?" I couldn't so I resigned myself to waiting for the camera to come home, which could be today or next year. Sorry, dear readers. I know you are on the edge of your seats but, like me, you'll just have to wait.

In other wedding blither, I read this today. Please to make my own wedding cake? I know, I know. I have to let some things go to the professionals but the idea is certainly hilarious. Besides, a professional wedding cake means dark chocolate cake with layers of ganache and a ganache glaze.

Man, there's going to be a lot of chocolate at this wedding.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Moving Along

Matt and I took his mother out to dinner last night. In fact, we took her to our rehearsal dinner location and when we sat down for dinner I thought to myself "Why the hell aren't we having the WEDDING here?" Hmm, the giant staircase leading upstairs and the fact we have a hefty list of old folks might have something to do with it. Anyway ...

We all enjoyed our meals and I enjoyed my seasonal brew, which knocked me on my ass about halfway through the glass. Excellent. His mom liked the place and we got her sign off on it so I sent the confirmation off this morning. It's a casual, laid back brew pub that sells four beers year round and makes and additional four seasonal beers. Hooray for seasonal beers! Even more hoorays for seasonal WINTER beers!

The more I plan this, the more I love the idea of a January wedding. Books and firelight and chocolate, snuggling, fuzzy beer, my great-grandmother's fur, acceptable alternatives to floral centerpieces, a snowy honeymoon. We have less than six months to go. Eep!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Lasting Forever

I went to Michael's today in search of floral ideas because I've been struggling to communicate with the florist what it is I want when everything I like is so stupidly and unnecessarily expensive or I am allergic to it. I felt hindered and needed inspiration. I needed to hold something in my hand to get a feel for size, color, and texture.

I started rooting through the vintage-style silk flowers and, to my own surprise, created a really lovely bridal bouquet. I started rooting deeper and created several more bouquets. I thought to myself, "My god, these are gorgeous but they would cost a friggin' fortune if I had them fresh."

I began to feel downtrodden about it when my mind started whirring, "Actually, what's wrong with silk? These look totally bad ass and I like the idea of making my own arrangements and decorations. Besides, the wedding is in January. Fresh flowers are out of place anyway."

Convinced, I gathered up all the arrangements, grabbed some ribbon from the bargin bin, and headed to the cash register. I mean, who cares if they are silk, right? I MADE them and that's way more awesome than handing the creative control over to someone else.

I think when my mom sees how gorgeous the arrangements are and how excited I am about making my own centerpieces, she'll cave. Besides, when we were discussing the flower budget, she sighed and said, "You know, I don't even remember what any of my flowers or centerpieces looked like."

Again, it's funny how the things I thought I wanted keep turning into these incredibly different, amazingly inspired, beautiful things that I get to do myself. It's nice when price doesn't impede the imagination and lord knows I have enough of that to go around.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Jump Around

Scanning through my minuscule archives, I realize I made a lot of decisions about the wedding and then those decisions turned into complete different decisions. I'm curious to see how this wedding ends up.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Honeymoon Planned

Well folks, we've been around the world and finally decided on St. Lucia. Planning ensued. We were inches away from sending a deposit when Matt said, "How about skiing in Colorado?"

Seriously? Really? Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god! I am so totally, like really, all about a winter wonderland honeymoon. In fact, I've been dreaming about it since the day we decided to have a winter wedding.

Within 48 hours, I had blown away our travel agent with this 180 and together she and I planned and booked the trip. Snow! Mountains! A fireplace! Outdoor hot tubs! snowmobiling! Snuggling to keep warm! What could be more perfect? I'm totally EXCITED!!!

Sunday, June 22, 2008


My family had an estate yard sale at my grandparents' house yesterday. I was sent to the basement, of course, which was fine with me. I'm a good negotiator and I only cried once, when a woman bought Tiny Teddy--a toy that brought so many memories rushing back to me, I had no choice but to release them in a flood of tears. She asked if I was sure I wanted to sell it. I told her, "Yes. Sometimes one just has to let things go." She paid me for it and then gave me a hug.

At the end of the sale, I wandered upstairs and discovered these in a box full of tie tacks, clips, and random cuff links.

Mother of pearl set in silver. They need a serious cleaning but I picked them up for Matt to wear at our wedding. It's been difficult cleaning out my grandparent's house. It's even harder to think that, in just a couple of weeks, the house will be sold and I'll never set foot in it again. In the meantime, I'm glad to find all of these wonderful treasures and to be able to use them on my wedding day. I hope Matt will continue to wear them over the years to come. I'm sure he will.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I Don't Need a House Full of Things, I Need a House That is PAID FOR

Matt and I are both in our thirties. We own a home and a business. We have a Dyson, a well-established kitchen, sheets, curtains, furnishings, fine china, water pitchers, ice buckets, ad nauseum. How much more stuff do we need? So ...

We decided to register our honeymoon. Once we have our trip booked, we'll go online and set up everything. I think it's a grand idea for those who are willing to be modern about giving a gift and just think of the Thank You card for things like a "Hike on Gros Piton," "a sunset cruise along the coastline," "fresh croissants in a French bakery," "Friday night street party in Castries."

The more traditional guests can purchase items from a registry. Yes, I have one because there are a few things I could use and would like to have like some necessary cookware and kitchen gadgets. I've got a soft spot in my heart for a Le Creuset french oven in, um, Caribbean Blue ...

Monday, June 16, 2008

More Treasures

As we clean out my grandparents' house, I find myself crossing more items of my wedding registry plus finding all sorts of neat things to use at our wedding, like these vintage, Waterford champagne glasses:

Vintage Waterford

It's a terrible picture, I know. Anyway, my brother inherited the set of eight and said we could use a couple for our toast. I have no interest in keeping them but am thrilled to be using them at my wedding. With a big smile on his face, my dad handed me this cute little number:

Teeny Tiny!

It sat on my grandmother's knick-knack shelf for thirty years. It's so tiny and we are going to use it as a cake topper. I love the expressions on their faces. Hilarious!

As much as I miss my grandparents, it's been nice to find things that I can use at my wedding. While these little details won't mean anything to our guests, it will mean the world to me to have reminders of loved ones past. My mom is even going to give me the knife she and my father used to cut their wedding cake, which was a gift from her parents. So much vintage! So much love.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Monday, June 9, 2008

Meeting the Officiate

We had our first meeting with the officiate today. It was awesome. At the end of the meeting, he handed me a book of Mary Oliver's poetry and told me to read a poem. I selected "Morning," After I finished reading it, Matt said, "That's you alright. Loving the mess out of that cat and being happy in the kitchen. Although I would like to change the words around to the cat howling at the door and then tearing up your garden only to come in and puke on the rug NEXT to the linoleum." We all laughed and I passed the book to Matt. He read, "Picking Blueberries" and stopped periodically to say, "Don't worry, honey, the dear doesn't die."

Matt has never read poetry to me. I was thrilled! He picked the poem stating, "This is for that pound of tasteless blueberries you bought last week, except when you made the pancakes, those were good. Oh, and for that time in New Jersey when we almost hit a deer on our motorcycles."

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Vintage Table

This weekend, I came across a ton of old family wedding photos, some dating back to the early 1900's. I even found one of my great, great uncle (who was a dandy) and great, great aunt (who was wearing orthopaedic shoes on her wedding day)! I snatched up this photo, along with a few others, and decided that I would like to display these at our wedding. My parent's have tons more photos so how fun will it be to bring them out from dark, cobwebby closets? I'm hoping Matt's mother and grandmother have some photos to share as well.

I also picked up my grandmother's ring. It's perfect and it needs minimal restoration work. The ring had to be cut from my grandma's hand after she passed and the cut was made through the date engraved on the inside of the ring but only through the day. Once the ring is joined back together, it will read Dave & Betty 01-42. I plan to have Matt & Cindy 01-09 engraved alongside it. There are 52 years of marriage bestowed upon this ring. I’m a lucky girl.

Dave & Betty

Friday, June 6, 2008


My mom just called. She found my grandmother's wedding band and said that WE COULD HAVE IT!!! I almost cried on the phone when she told me. It's a 2 mm platinum band, plain on top with filigree work on the sides. It's exactly what I've been looking for and have been unable to find.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Items, in No Particular Order

White and cranberry has extended itself to ivory, burgundy, and gold, which will be a nice and cozy vibe for an otherwise cold winter day.

I'm dying my crinoline. Awesome.

Matt and I set up an appointment with the officiate. So that's on a roll.

We decided that we are going to have a fifteen minute grace period for the ceremony. On the invitations, we will write 3:00 but the ceremony doesn't actually start until 3:15, which we will note on the program. It's hard to expect 120 people to all be on time. We figure this way there is some breathing room and it won't push into our reception time.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Wedding Cake

I want a croquembouche. People keep telling me it's weird. WELL at the wedding we went to this weekend they had one and OMFG IT WAS SO GOOD. No one thought it was weird. In fact, they ate that shit up.

We're totally doing it. Enough said.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Honeymoon, Foiled Again!

The place we both liked doesn't take reservations for next year until early November. So sad! We decided to write it off the list and keep looking. Matt started talking about going to Vermont but we would have to fly and then drive a long distance and UGH. I said we should go out to the Eastern Shore for a couple of days and then take a rail trip throgh Italy next summer. Matt liked this idea and so do I.

It totally sucks that deciding on a honeymoon is the,well, suckiest part of the planning. Part of me doesn't even want a honeymoon; it just seems expensive and uncessary but Matt really wants to do it so I'm trying to be cool about it.

In good news, I had a nice day with my mom.
  1. We decided on flowers for the ceremony, peace lilies. Simple, pretty, big but not extravagant, and we can bring them home to keep in our house for ages.
  2. I mentioned that idon't want a guest book and asked her, "Am I going to care about it in forty years?" She laughed and said, "I remember it's the one thing I forgot to bring that day. We had to turn around to go back and get it and it made me feel stressed and you know what? Forty years later I don't even know where the damn thing is and you're right, I don't care. "
  3. I requested that she start gathering wedding pictures of her and my father, both sets of grandparents, great grandparents, etc. In addition, any newspaper announcements they could find would be great because I want to do a family history table. (Note: I must make sure to let Matt's mom and grandparents know to start hunting these up as well.)
  4. I tried on my great grandmother's mink stole and it is so-ho-HO awesome and will look even more awesome with my dress. What handsome winter wedding pictures we will have!
When all was said and done, I took her for a manicure/pedicure, which is something I rarely do but she loves to do. I was grateful that when I expressed my disdain for nail polish, the girl buffed and shined me instead. Score!

So Matt and I will figure out the honeymoon eventually. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy planning the actual event.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


1) The first dance. Not doing it. We went back to that Modest Mouse song we liked so much and decided we didn't like it after all. I said to Matt, "I really don't want to do this. Can't we just eat and drink and not do all of the stupid traditional bullshit? I would like to cut the cake and have a toast but that's it, really." He thought that was a most excellent idea.

2) Tuxedo? Matt is going to wear one. I'm excited about this because Matt looks smoking hot in a tuxedo. He puts the ass in classy.

3) I decided to carry a small bouquet of ivory roses. My grandfather recently passed away and he loved roses so much. He had the most wonderful gardens. I miss him so much and feel like this would be the perfect way to honor him.

4) I decided to wear the shoes I wore to my matron of honor's wedding. I was her maid of honor. Simple, gold ballet flats. They look cute with my dress and can be my something old.

5) I took my dress out of the closet today and ran my hands over it. It's so simple and pretty and in every way perfectly me. I'm really looking forward to wearing it. Me, wearing a dress! It happens so rarely.

I'm enjoying planning this wedding. It's fun to plan a non-traditional, traditional wedding (if that makes sense). I feel lucky to live in an age when society has loosened it reigns enough that I can plan a really nice wedding that suits mine and Matt's personalities. I'm all for tradition, heck that's why I'm getting married, but like most everything in my life I'd like to do it my way.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The $1000 Honeymoon

Can I do it? Yes I can!

So all that excitement about Iceland? Well, I decided I am just NOT up for all of that traveling to stay there for only a week. A trip like that deserves at least two weeks and some puddle jumping to the mainland. Matt's business is in a serious growth spurt and it's not easy for him to walk away for that long even in January. We'll see the world once he hires an employee or two. After all, we are young. We've got nothing but time.

So, on the bookshelf at work, I saw a couple of B&B guides for the Mid-Atlantic region so I brought them home for perusal. I found a few nice areas to consider that are within a five-hour drive so I started digging deeper. Several days and many internet searches later, I found the perfect little B&B in the Hudson Valley. It's priced right and I am totally in love with one of the rooms. In addition, there are tons of wineries, breweries, and great restaurants in the area. Cross country skiing, historic sites to visit, etc.

The price for four nights is $600 plus tax. That leaves us $400 in travel expenses, entertainment, and dining. Since breakfast is included and they serve cookies and beverages all day long, I think we can make that work and we can have a few nice days enjoying each other's company. The sweetest part for me is knowing we can afford to return to celebrate anniversaries if we so desire. While I'm not a huge sentimentalist, stuff like that makes me happy! Happy!

So if Matt is down with it, I think we'll get this booked and check one more item off the list. Hooray!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Green It Up

Ladies and gentlemen, please purchase a wedding TerraPass to help offset your wedding's carbon footprint.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


I like this photographer and think I am going to hire him.

In other news, Matt asked his friend Mike to be the best man today. Mike was totally floored and honored to do so. Good times, folks. Good times.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


The invites were an awesome find and are totally not what I ever would have thought I wanted. Funny how everything in this wedding is turning out to be full of things I never thought I would want but every detail is perfect.

My matron-of-honor and I went to Target to browse their stationary and, low and behold, we discovered a clearance sale. Ladies, I repeat CLEARANCE SALE. I purchased my invites for $4.98/box. Each box came with 25 invitations, envelopes, and response cards with envelopes, so I purchased four boxes. That's a whopping total of $21.12 including tax. When I ran the numbers, the total cost (including postage, mailing envelopes, and direction cards) was well under $100. Unreal.

The invites are:
  1. Off-white card stock with a deep ivory toile floral pattern.
  2. A vellum overlay tied to the card stock with an ivory ribbon.
  3. Sophisticated without being overly formal.
Reasons why these qualities are awesome:
  1. The reception is in a historic manor home that has a very vintage, very French feel to it.
  2. My dress is ivory with an organza overlay and ivory ribbons.
  3. Our wedding is semi-formal.
Seriously, perfect. We budgeted about $400 for invitations but since I have a design background, I can do all of the layout, text, and printing myself. Another added bonus is that I can spend the saved money on a car service!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Matron of Honor and Natty Boh

My matron of honor, Tess, is going to be in town on Tuesday. Yippie! We are going to drink coffee and stay up all night talking about invitations and parties and other sappy wedding things. I can't wait to try on my dress while she is here. I'm been itching to put it on since I brought it home!

I designed our save-the-date magnet, which is a cleaned up version of this with the appropriate text. If you are from Baltimore, or have ever lived in Baltimore, you are laughing right now and saying "awesome." If you aren't here's a little history:

The one-eyed, moustached man is the Natty Boh icon. Natty Boh is Baltimore's beloved beer. We plan to serve it as one of our four beers. The girl is the UTZ potato chip icon. Matt and I grew up on UTZ potato chips and they are only distributed locally. What can I say, Matt and I are Baltimorons through and through.

In addition, I am planning to use (as close to as I can) the Natty Boh fonts for all of our printed materials. I love the look of modern and vintage, which is pretty much what our wedding style is. Tess and I will go shopping for materials and ideas while she's in town. Yippie!

It's nice having a year to plan this thing. I'm really enjoying the process and am hoping this will be an event where even the old people totally rock out and everyone leaves holding a good happy feeling and crying out, "We don't want it to end!"

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Just Cut It

I tried growing my hair out. I really did. I tried for like two months. Please don’t tell me I just needed to get past the awkward phase. It was all awkward and heavy and YUCK and it was only just below my chin. Now it’s all neat and trim and rockin’ and Cindy.

Folks were recommending I grow my hair out for the wedding. You know, so I had more options for hairstyles. I figured it was worth a shot and I could always cut it off if I decided I wanted to. Well, I decided I wanted to and I think I’ll still have options. For example, look how EXCITED this chick is!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Matt wanted to go to an all-inclusive resort Mexico.


He could not be swayed. I mentioned, "We've been there before. Let's go somewhere new. We are getting married! New chapter in life. New adventure! Let's celebrate it that way." Whine, whine, whine. More whining, incessant whining.

He said, "Okay, how about Iceland? It's either Iceland or Mexico. You pick."

I cocked my head and looked at him funny for a minute before bursting out into a huge smile and throwing my arms around him. "Iceland! Awesome! They have northern lights and hot springs and snow mobiles in the highlands! YES! Oooooo, we should totally do that!"

"I was joking. Are you serious? You really want to go to Iceland?"


Matt saw the excitement in my eyes and said, "Alright, let's do it."

So it looks like we are going on an Arctic adventure in January and we are totally jazzed. If things work out, we'll be heading over to Stockholm for a couple of days as well.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Turning in Circles

Ah ... the first dance. When the slow song comes on and all eyes are focused on you and your betrothed while you turn in high-school-dance circles, whisper nervously to one another, perhaps exchange a kiss or two, and everyone applauds when the dance is over and you are left glowing with memories.


Okay, maybe not gag for everyone but gag for me. I was conflicted because slow dancing in front of a room full of people is totally not my thing. I was willing to try it out though so Matt and I spent an evening listening to slower-tempo songs and moving around the kitchen to them. Nothing felt natural to me but Matt really wanted to have a first dance. So, like everything in our relationship, we talked about it and then compromised.

"What is it you don't like about it?"

"It feels forced, common, and uncomfortable to me."

"Yeah, it does feel a little weird. Even though the songs are great, they don't feel like us."

"We are both excitable people. The slow thing doesn't feel right. Maybe we should try something with a slightly faster tempo. Nothing too outrageous, just something that lets us move a little more."

"That's fair. Hmmm, how about Modest Mouse's People as Places as People?"

I thought this was an excellent idea so Matt put the song on and we tried it out. We loved it! It will allow us to mix a little bit of the slow stuff in with a more rock n' roll style dance. We'll be able to shake off our nerves and cut loose a little bit without offending anyone.

Although we might go with Van Halen's "Jump." One never knows ...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Who Says a Man Can't Have an Engagement Ring?

For the past month, Matt has been wanting a ring. When I thought about it, it seemed unfair to me that I had a ring and he didn't. What's the big deal? The man wants to wear a ring. I'm okay with that, in fact, I think it's sweet; however, I didn't want him to wear his wedding ring because that felt too special.

I went to the mall and browsed through the jewelry carts in search of a suitable placeholder/engagement ring. At the fourth cart, I happened upon a plain, black-anodized steel ring.

"Cool," I thought, so I bought it and I gave it to him. He was totally floored by the gesture and he liked the ring a lot. I can't say "he loved it" because Matt only loves the following things:
  1. Me
  2. Our two cats (whose birthday is today!)
  3. Hot Dogs and
  4. Tater Tots
I'm sure our families will find this gesture unusual but, well, they all know me and I'm kind of unusual. Matt, well, if you know him, he's Matt. The Matt-truly a breed of his own.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tradition with a Twist

A winter wedding has forced us to be creative in our planning and has also helped to save thousands of dollars on wedding expenses. The most important thing we decided was "Keep it simple."

We decided to honor tradition as closely as we could while working our personalities into the celebration. After all, that's the kind of couple we are, traditional-with-a-twist. Here are some things we have planned so far:

  • This dress. Contemporary but still very much a wedding dress. It was on sale for $350, thus leaving us with loads of cash for other things we want. Also, since there is no train, it's light-weight enough that I can dance all night in it without getting tired. It is very much my style.

  • Matt is considering buying a suit. I really want him to wear a tuxedo though. *pant, pant, pant* I'll keep on the DL about this one and see if I can find a way to let him think a tux was his own idea.

  • Spring flowers seem out of place in winter and I think cranberries in an arrangment slightly larger than my hand will be striking against the dress I chose. Other arrangements will possibly include cranberries and white chrysanthemum. A nice winter theme, I think.

  • To go with the cranberry idea, my mom and I are going to make cranberry preserves as a wedding favor. Delicious, homemade, and cost-effecient! I am rather fond of the culinary arts so this is just another opportunity to explore new ideas.

  • The Ceremony: The room and the enclosed atrium have huge skylights which will let in the afternoon light. The atrium also has a big, round fireplace-perfect for a winter wedding. It might be cold and grey outside but it will be warm, lovely, and bright inside.

  • We are having a cupcake cake! Enough said! I wanted a croquembouche but everyone told me that no one will eat it. Meh.

  • We are getting married on a Sunday in January. This allowed for flexibility in start times so we could plan the day around our wishes and our travelling guests. Not to mention it saved us tons of cash on the site fee (we even got a fifth hour for free) and has dropped the price in other areas as well.

  • We have one member each for the bridal party. This was one of Matt's requests and I was totally okay with it. I chose my friend, Tess, to be my matron of honor. I have several close, UH-mazing friends but she's the closet thing in the world that I have to a sister. My own mother gets us confused sometimes. Matt is still in limbo about his best man. He'll figure that one out.

  • We have not defined colors for the bridal party. Most likely, Tess will wear a black dress that flatters her and Matt's Best Whatever will wear a classic tuxedo, just like Matt.

  • For our personal till-death-do-us-part touches: Matt's wedding ring is 6mm and made out of tungsten carbide, which is a shiny, blackish grey, and friggin' NEAT! It's a super cool ring that will hold up well to the beating it will take. Matt works with his hands a lot and tunsgten doesn't scratch or dent. I'm still not sure what I want. My engagement ring is friggin' fancy and I've been having a hard time finding somthing I like.

We still have quite a bit of planning to do but for the most part, we feel like we have things under control. We have eleven months to figure the rest out.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I thought I was actually going to write more in this thing but I've been preoccupied in the kitchen.

Matt and I have made some solid plans for a nice, budget wedding that we like to call traditional-with-a-twist. I was feeling a lot of pressure to either bend completely to tradition or bend completely away. All of this bending made me feel like I was going to lose my mind. I wasn’t getting anywhere. There had to be a way to combine both. After all, as much as I am an individual, I still respect and admire tradition. So I sat down and thought about what I had to work with, wrote out some lists, and began to move forward.

Matt’s business only allows him a small window of time in which he can get away so it was either January or August. August = TOO BLOODY HOT, so it had to be January. I had a tough time dealing with this at first. I kind of envisioned an outdoor wedding and instead found myself having to do something entirely indoors. While most people said, “You should just do it in the fall like you want,” I was thinking of anniversaries and celebrations in the years to come. Granted we can’t guarantee what the future may hold, it was important to me to consider it. Fortunately, Matt and I both love winter. A January wedding would force me to be creative and by gum, I was going to make this thing happen. Here it goes:

About a month ago, I went to try on dresses with my mother. I felt like this would help me to make some decisions; I needed to see myself as a bride. I was right. The second dress I tried on was the one for me and it was on sale for $350 so I went ahead and bought it. Yes, a year early but I loved it so much and there is no doubt it is the right look for me, elegant yet contemporary. My dad nearly cried when he saw it and Matt smiled and said, "My baby." Yes, Matt saw the dress. We aren't superstitious about things like that. Besides, it will be hanging in our house for the next year, he was bound to see it anyway.

Once I bought the dress, the rest of the logistics planning came to me like a flood. Here are some of the things we have nailed down:

Matt and I chose to get married on a Sunday, for the following reasons:

  1. While everyone will tell you, “It’s your day, you can have whatever you want,” that’s a load of malarkey. You can have what you want between specified hours, with the approved caterer and production team, this DJ company, etc, etc. This completely sucks.
  2. We get an entire wedding weekend. Yes, an ENTIRE wedding weekend. Complete with pampering, time with family and friends, and a chance to absorb everything that is happening to us.
  3. No Central Maryland rush hour traffic on Friday night, no busy Saturday afternoon shopping traffic. No stress. Done.
  4. Site rental fees drop SIGNIFICANTLY for Sunday receptions. For example, our reception site wanted $5000 for a Saturday rental but only $1500 for a Sunday. SCORE!
  5. Start times are usually flexible for both ceremony and reception. We can have an afternoon into evening wedding no problem! This is excellent since the ceremony site has a giant skylight. Let the sun shine in, or the rain beat down on the glass, whatever.
  6. It's different without being off the wall.

The ceremony is in an interfaith center. My father really wanted a Christian ceremony, which I was not opposed to, and an interfaith center is a nice compromise. The room we will be in is minimalist and non-denominational. I found a rather awesome Protestant minister to perform the ceremony, who offers readings from poets like Rainer Maria Rilke—see again, awesome. The room has lovely art glass windows but the best part is the previously mentioned HUGE skylight that is set in a vaulted ceiling. I can bring the outdoors inside and this was the selling point for me. There is another skylight in the atrium, as well as a fireplace so there will be a fire burning for our wedding, which is cozy, inviting, warm, and passionate.

Our reception is in an old manor house/restaurant. Matt and I both knew this was the place we wanted to have our party even before we talked seriously about getting married. A river runs through the woods behind the manor house and the grounds are lovely even in winter. It’s easy to get in and out of the house and tent so, again, there is that element of bringing the outside in. The following is provided:

  1. An event manager that is present at the event to ensure things run smoothly. This is SO incredibly important.
  2. And outstanding, phenomenal, glorious, wide variety of food.
  3. Exceptional service.
  4. An event team that is willing to work with you as opposed to having you work with them.
  5. Four beer options, one of which can be seasonal beer. Mmm … rich, hearty winter ale.
  6. We can make our own CDs to play in the manor house and hire a DJ to run the dance party for us out in the (heated) tent. Perfect.
  7. Flexible Sunday hours.
  8. Fires in the gas fireplaces.
  9. Since we are getting married in January, we got the fifth hour for no charge.

To make this happen, Matt and I cut the guest list to family and a smattering of our oldest friends, which still ended up being around 120 people (sheesh!), and chose to do it on a Sunday. It’s totally affordable this way. In addition to being affordable, we get to have a smaller wedding than originally planned (by my parents), which is what we really want, and my parents still get to have a decent-sized event, which is what they want.

Remember earlier when I spoke about having to be creative? Well flowers are one item I had to think long and hard about. I am opposed to a bouquet of spring flowers in winter so I started working on winter themes and came up with Cranberry and White Chrysanthemum. Not only is this strikingly simple and indicative of winter, it will save us a ton of money. In addition, my mom and I are going to make cranberry preserves as a wedding favor. How delicious! Looks like I’ll be spending more time in the kitchen. Hooray!

We have lots more planning to do but I’m really excited how things are coming together. It’s nice to have a year to think, plan, and execute. I have a supportive mother and a fiancĂ© with yea or nae opinions about what he wants—no questions asked, no reasoning needed. He either likes it or he doesn’t—he’s a guy, after all. I’m grateful that he is being a part of this as much as he can because really, while all eyes are on me coming down the aisle, it’s not just my day. This day isn’t just for me, it’s for Matt, our families and our friends. It's a time to celebrate who we are and I'm doing my best to make that happen.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

How Does this Sound for an Engagement Announcement?

Cindy and Matt are getting married and boy are they excited. Well, with the exception of the American wedding industry, parents holding the checkbook, and 500 pp. wedding planners full of useless information.

A January 2009 wedding is hoped for but next weekend in Mexico is sounding just grand right about now.

Hi, I'm Cindy. Over the next year, I'll be documenting the ups and downs of planning a wedding as a 30-year-old, agnostic, minimalist whose parents are old, hyper-traditional, Catholics.

Matt and I got engaged December 1, 2007 and have had no success in finding a venue, setting a date, or even really considering anything other than heading to a resort in Mexico with our oldest friends and our parents. Oh and the parents, they don't like that so much.

So here's to making it happen and trying to remember that it's the rest of my life to which I am looking forward, even if it means I have to do the fucking chicken dance.