All I know about love

Because I am coming down off of the wedding high and still very much in sap mode, and also feel the need to add my two cents to the deluge of wedding/love advice on the internet for all the people who aren’t 22 and starry-eyed but still feel like embarking on the journey that is wedded life, and also because I’m trying to get back into the swing of regular blogging and this is an easy post, I thought I would share the vows I wrote — and the words I wish I wrote.

The ceremony was simple, short, and pretty stock. (I’m a fan of brevity. Which is why I love Twitter still.) To round it out, I asked the officiant to read this poem by Neil Gaiman, which speaks to love as someone who has been in love and watched it die and dared to bother with the whole mess again. As such, it means a whole lot more to me than the promises in the vows; I’ve heard, and said, those before, and know they hold no special power in and of themselves. I’m sure few younger/less experienced people would ask for this poem to be read at their weddings. But from where I stand, it’s beautiful. And I’d say that even if Neil hadn’t written it.

For the first dance, I chose The Book of Love (the Peter Gabriel version; the original is awfully…morose). Lyrics are linked above and, I think, pretty self-explanatory. It’s the sweetest, most true song about love (not lust, but the real deal) that I know.

Having shared all of those words, here are mine. Because of course my vows were in list form. Only they’re not really vows so much as a few of the many, many reasons I married the man.

  • I love that you buy me just-because flowers.
  • I love that you listen to me ramble — or at least pretend to listen — when I’m talking through something.
  • I love that you repeat things I’ve said back to me, because it proves that you are at least sometimes listening.
  • I love that our goals and values are so closely aligned.
  • I love that you support my goals even when you don’t share them.
  • I love that you remember to water the plants when I forget, and where I parked the car, and that you check if the front door is locked before we go to bed because you know I’m going to ask.
  • I love that you make me take me time, and remind me that sometimes I need to buy things for myself, too.
  • I love watching you play with the kids.
  • I love doing things as a family — playing games, going on outings, or just snuggling in bed watching Wreck-It Ralph for the 50th time.
  • I love that you are so good at fixing what’s broken, be it a garbage disposal, a computer, or a car.
  • I love that we laugh. Every day.
  • I love our life. And I can’t wait to see what we do next.

I also gave him this necklace, with our initials and the date stamped in the back. It’s an inside reference, this necklace. When we were first dating, he gave me this plush heart from ThinkGeek. A week before the wedding, I saw this pendant and realized it would be the perfect gift for him. And Wendy, bless her, made it happen with half a week to spare. Go order things from her. She does great work.

So…it wasn’t your ordinary wedding. But it was very much us. And that was the goal.

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NaNo — blog? No.

I have, you’ll notice, added a couple of Novembercentric metrics. This entry is also brief; I am laying down the lion’s share of my words elsewhere this month.

NaNoWriMo word count:

29,687

Wedding freak-out level:

Nearly all invited guests have accepted. I keep changing my mind about the menu. Which, remember, we’re cooking ourselves. We have not selected the music yet. Nor have we worked out the logistics of the wedding day. I have done nothing about the honeymoon except for reserving the hotel room.

Loving:

The weather. It’s been alternating between bright sunshine and cool rainy/misty. Both showcase the changing leaves beautifully.

Reading:

The Handmaid’s Tale. Finally. And very slowly. (It’s an eventful month.)

Watching:

Falling leaves. I know I’m supposed to be watching fall TV, but it’ll still be there in a few weeks. The leaves won’t.

Listening to:

Spotify, in search of wedding tunes. When I was 18, I could have filled a shelf of cassette tapes with love songs. But I’m 43 and a mom and my playlists don’t skew so heavily to the sappy side these days. This ish is hard.

Working on:

The house. I know we won’t have many wedding guests coming by the house, but we will have some. And the week after the wedding will be a freight train, between the honeymoon, Thanksgiving (which is to be a family affair — all grandparents on deck — at our house), and the start of the Christmas festivities. I would really really REALLY like the house to be clean the day before the wedding, so that it is relatively clean the day before Thanksgiving when I am cooking and doing familymoon laundry all day.

Anticipating:

Not planning a wedding anymore.

Making me happy:

I was contacted by a potential client the other day. I do so like it when the work comes to me.

 

Oh, right…I’m getting married in a month and a half

I’d best be getting on with the preparations, hadn’t I?

All right, I completely forgot to write a post for today, so this is a cop-out pictorial of the things I’ve been working on this week.

First off, I dug out and washed up the glass vases and candle holders I plan to use at the reception. (All battery-operated candles, because kids and fire means nobody can relax and have fun.)

I decorated some pumpkins. I wrapped light strings around the pip garland; it looks really pretty lit up. (And yes, I’m going to take off the tape and hot glue those down. I am just waiting until I have all of my gluing projects together before I dig the gun out.)

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This vase is nice, but we’re going to have black tablecloths on the tables — black metal wouldn’t show up, really. So I painted it. And some leaves, because I’m weird like that. Pics to come.

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Weddding in a box. (Really, almost all of my decorations fit in that box. Including the bouquets, pictured bottom left.)

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Today’s dilemma: I designed the invitations to bleed (print off the edge of the page), but my printer apparently can’t print bleeds on paper this size. So I have to tweak my design. I have some ideas about how to do that without starting from scratch, but I haven’t had the chance to test them out yet.

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I also scheduled the engagement pics (tomorrow), and a dress fitting (next weekend). I’m putting together an Amazon order of food-related things for the reception (cake stand, plates/cups/napkins, etc.), and R and I are looking at recipes. We’re also putting together a group of games for the kids to play with at the reception, because grown-up parties are boring.

It’s coming along. More slowly than I’d like, but we’ll get there!

How many knots am I tying here?

Weddings are stupid expensive.

At what other time would someone pay more than $200 for a cake without batting an eye? Don’t get me wrong — I love cake. And I get that cake decorating is a skill; it’s one I certainly don’t possess. But why does the cake have to be that fancy, anyway? Can it not just be pretty and tasty? Why must it be art?

Why in the world should I spend more on a dress I will wear for three hours than I do on a month’s rent?

The price of everything related to weddings is over the top. The paper you send out asking people to come. The paper they (are supposed to) send back letting you know if they will. The pictures. The food. The music. The venue. Every last little detail, if it has the word “wedding” associated with it, is going to cost more than it would if you said this was an anniversary party, or a birthday party, or a reunion.

Obviously, I’m looking to save money on our wedding. And, having been around this block once before, I know some tricks. But I think the biggest one is this:

Don’t invite 200 people.

That’s it. That’s all. No matter what you do, it’s going to cost more if you invite a bunch of people. Your venue will cost more, your food will cost more. your beverages (if you’re supplying the adult kind, especially) will cost more. You’ll be expected to pony up for a higher level of entertainment. Because a ‘do of that size is no longer a party — it’s an event.

I’m not an event kind of person. For starters, in no context would I ever want 200 people looking at me.

So, small. Small venue means small guest list. Small ceremony, small reception. No seating charts, no sit-down dinner, no 12-tier cake. The trade-off: A more personal touch. We can take care of a lot of the details ourselves, make it truly reflect us and our relationship. We will also have more time to spend with our guests, rather than nod and smile as we dash out the door.

It’s a step above a courthouse wedding, but not a wedding.

So, how’s it going? Well, I have most of the flowers and ceremony/reception decor. We’ve set a preliminary guest list, a preliminary menu. We have a venue, an officiant, a photographer, and a familymoon hotel reservation. I have also picked up some family heirloom-type stuff: The Christmas ornament we’ll use as a cake topper, the Jenga game that will be our guest book. I still need to get my dress fitted, and we need to go clothes shopping for the groom, the mini-mes, and the matron of honor. We need to work on a Spotify playlist. And a trip itinerary. We need to decide upon and order the cake — I do acknowledge that if I want it to look good, I need to let someone else do that part. (Or do I?) I need to decide if I’m having hair and makeup done.

In other words, if we did no more work between now and November, we’d still be getting married. Because the important stuff is taken care of: We have a day, a time, a place, and a person to make it official. We could get married in our pajamas, serve Pop-Tarts and apple juice, and we’d still be married.

Actually, that would be a fun way to go. But I already bought the dress, and all these flowers.