Friday, June 26, 2009


I began my hunt for readings for the wedding a few days ago. I found quite a boon of reading ideas over on indiebride. I thought I'd share the poems and quotes which have thus far given me lovely chills, or just seem to describe our relationship so beautifully. Here goes.

My sister initially introduced me to this poem when she was playing around with invitation mock-ups. I feel a lovely shiver up my spine every time I read it. I don't know how well it would work as a reading read aloud by a friend or family member, but I want to incorporate it somewhere, somehow.

Understand, I'll slip quietly
Away from the noisy crowd
When I see the pale
Stars rising, blooming over the oaks.
I'll pursue solitary pathways
Through the pale twilit meadows,
With only this one dream:
You come too.

-Rainer Maria Rilke

This next quote so perfectly describes how I view our upcoming marriage. I'm somewhat tempted to have our officiant incorporate this in his speech.

You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks - all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will and you will and we will”- those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe”- and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “ You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed- well, I meant it all, every word.” Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another- acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this- is my husband, this- is my wife.

-from Union by Robert Fulghum

Here's another Rainer Maria Rilke poem. Apparently I seriously dig his style, except maybe I should say that in a more intelligent-sounding manner. Whatever. I'm not at my liberal arts school anymore. It's okay. I like the violin reference, seeing as I'm a violinist/fiddler.

How can I keep my soul in me, so that
it doesn't touch your soul? How can I raise
it high enough, past you, to other things?
I would like to shelter it, among remote
lost objects, in some dark and silent place
that doesn't resonate when your depths resound.
Yet everything that touches us, me and you,
takes us together like a violin's bow,
which draws one voice out of two separate strings.
Upon what instrument are we two spanned?
And what musician holds us in his hand?
Oh sweetest song.

- Love Song, Rainer Maria Rilke

Oh, ee cummings. I love your bizarre formatting.

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)
i am never without it (anywhere i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)
i want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

- i carry your heart with me, ee cummings

Mmmm, I love this one. I think its message is true, and the imagery of the trees with intertwining roots is so perfect, since we shall marry between two great bur oaks.

Love is a temporary madness; it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.

-Louis de Bernieres

Also, I love Ogden Nash. The first time I encountered this poem was when Garrison Keillor read it aloud one night on NPR as I drove back to campus on a Sunday night, after spending the weekend at home with Opie. I don't think I'll actually be using this one, but it makes me smile every time I think of it. I can't help but share. Read it twice or thrice through. It deserves it.

This is my dream,
It is my own dream,
I dreamt it.
I dreamt that my hair was kempt.
Then I dreamt that my true love unkempt it.

- My Dream, Ogden Nash

Here, enjoy a few more lovely Ogden Nash ditties.

Geniuses of countless nations
Have told their love for generations
Till all their memorable phrases
Are common as goldenrod or daisies.
Their girls have glimmered like the moon,
Or shimmered like a summer moon,
Stood like a lily, fled like a fawn,
Now the sunset, now the dawn,
Here the princess in the tower
There the sweet forbidden flower.
Darling, when I look at you
Every aged phrase is new,
And there are moments when it seems
I've married one of Shakespeare's dreams.

- Reprise, Ogden Nash

To keep your marriage brimming,
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you're wrong admit it;
Whenever you're right shut up.

- Ogden Nash

Simple but beautiful:

I am yours. You are mine.
Of this we are certain.
You are lodged in my heart, the small key is lost.
You must stay there forever.

- Frau Ava

It's all I have to bring to-day,
This, and my heart beside,
This, and my heart, and all the fields,
And all the meadows wide.
Be sure you count, should I forget, --
Someone the sum could tell, --
This, and my heart, and all the bees
Which in the clover dwell.
- Emily Dickinson

I declare
that I shall love you always.
No matter what party is in power;
No matter what temporarily expedient combination of allied interests wins the war;
I shall love you always.
- Edna St. Vincent Millay

I think I'm most favoring the first Rainer Maria Rilke poem, the Robert Fulghum quote, and the Louis de Bernieres quote. What are your thoughts?

An Appropriately Awesome Officiant

We decided on our wedding officiant today!

I'm very excited to check this off our list. Other significant items left to attend to? Order rings. Buy table linens. Set up playlists. Finish a list of various time-consuming crafts.Other stuffity stuff.

But instead of dwelling on what's left on my laundry list, allow me to elaborate on our wedding officiant.

See, I browse my local craig's list ads on a regular basis, usually using the search term "wedding." I've found some good deals on there, like my votive holders and my hair fascinator, not to mention a ton of furniture items and appliances. About 2 weeks ago, I was sitting in my biology summer school class, failing to pay attention, and browsing the good ol' list of craig. I found a particularly amusing advertisement for a wedding minister. I promptly sent it to my bridesmaid Kelsey via IM as she sat behind me in class. She stifled a giggle, and we both admitted it was slightly tempting to contact this guy. I e-mailed it to my beloved fiance with a title something along the lines of "For your viewing pleasure", intending to share the joke with him.

Here. I'll let you in on the "joke" too:

Click to Enlarge

And then Opie called my bluff. Finding our officiant is a task I assigned to the boy a number of months ago, so what did he do? He called Virgil the tatted-up biker officiant before I even got home from school. He reported that he seemed like a very down-to-earth guy and had offered an extremely reasonable price when compared to the officiants we've found based in Dallas. D'oh.

Guess what we did today? We drove up to Sherman and met with Virgil the tatted-up biker officiant and his police dispatcher/wedding officiant wife, at my favorite coffee shop in the Dallas area. And y'know what else we did today? We decided we want Virgil the biker officiant to perform our wedding ceremony. His wife has already made significant progress in helping us write the ceremony and they're totally willing to create any sort of ceremony we want. Bahahaha. I'm sorry, I can't help but laugh a little bit maniacally at how awesome (and moderately ridiculous) our wedding is becoming.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

And So the Wedding Dreams Begin

While I don't always remember my dreams so I may be wrong, I believe I had my first wedding dream last night, or at least my first dream wherein marrying Opie plays a central role. While so many of the things which occurred in the dream should have made it a nightmare for a bride in the throes of wedding planning, I instead awoke feeling overjoyed.

In the dream, our ceremony was supposed to begin at 6:45 pm (very close to our actual planned time, by the by). My mom looked at her watch and said it was time, so my dad and I quickly proceeded down the aisle, despite the fact that my dad wasn't dressed in any sort of formal attire, our photographer (who was indeed Jenna in the dream) had not yet arrived, and only about 5% of our guests had arrived. As we walked far too quickly down the aisle, I just couldn't stop grinning. I practically skipped down the aisle to marry my beloved. When the ceremony ended, I really did start skipping about in a field outside our venue (which was one of the few details not true to reality, but still with a very similar vibe) just so giddy to have tied the knot.

As Jenna pulled up, I told her that she'd missed the ceremony, but that was alright. We could just pretend to do it again so she could snap some photos. She was very surprised she had missed the ceremony - she wasn't actually running late. My mother had misread her watch. We accidentally had our ceremony at 5:45 instead of 6:45, hence the lack of guests and proper attire. Instead of being upset, I thought it was rather uproariously funny, and skipped on back to Opie to tell him what had happened, still as happy as a lark.

While I doubt I would handle these snafus that gracefully on our real wedding day, I think the overall message remains the same. So long as I marry my best friend, the rest is just gravy. Don't sweat the small stuff, and it's all small stuff. And all that jazz.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Cut Back Courses

To give a bit too much information, I have some chronic digestive ailments which cause me to seek out bathroom reading material to pass the time I spend holed up in there. On a recent trip to the commode, I grabbed an issue of The Knot Texas magazine that I bought probably within the first week of our engagement. Flipping through the pages, I came across an article titled "Bride on a Budget." Hey, that's me!

Spring/Summer 2009

The article has some sound advice like "shop sample sales", "think DIY for bridal party gifts" and "ask a friend to officiate." However, point 14 on the list definitely made me giggle.

"Cut Back Courses
Since most guests tend to overeat during the cocktail hour, ask your caterer about serving five hors d'oeuvres instead of six or cutting out one of the early dinner courses, such as the soup."

I mean, sure, a lot of couples out there host multi-course dinner receptions. And a lot of folks have cocktail hours. Many offer hors d'oeuvres to their guests. But what "Bride on a Budget" does all of the above? What sort of "Budget" are we talking about here? I guess it just cracked me up so since the rest of the article contains sound advice for someone in my shoes, or for someone spending maybe about twice or thrice my budget, which is still far below the national average wedding budget. This bit of advice just snuck in there and seemed to say, "Whatever you do, you had better not consider having anything other than a plated meal with all the trimmings!"

Cutting back on food is one of the main reasons we've been able to stay within our budget, so I know for a fact that there are more realistic pieces of advice regarding food for "Brides on a Budget."
  1. Have a buffet instead of a plated meal.
  2. Have a cake & punch (& hors d'oeuvres) reception
  3. Self-cater, or host a pot-luck
  4. Forget about "courses." I always feel ill after delicious food is served to me in great quantity. I guess that may have something to do with my aforementioned digestive problems, but surely I'm not alone. Unless it's the Queen, your guests will forgive your more simple fare. If they don't, tell 'em to shove it.
  5. Disregard the rule that no one has ever heard of regarding six hors d'oeuvres being standard. Throw out that whole cocktail hour hullabaloo while you're at it.
  6. Above all, stop freaking out about what Cousin Sue or Auntie Gertrude might have to say about your chosen form of guest-nourishment. If they're so picky (and rude) that they'll have problems with your latest ingenious budget solution, they're going to find something tacky about your wedding, no matter what you do. Don't sweat it.
I'm following all of my own advice except points 2 and 3. Our venue rental is not available until 4 pm so that pretty well entails a dinner reception, thus foiling idea numero dos. Numero tres is not feasible for two reasons: 1) Our beloved venue requires we use their caterer and 2) Many of our guests will be coming in from out of town and will not have access to kitchens in order to bring something to a potluck.

So, what will be on the menu for our single course buffet (sans hors d'oeuvres and cocktails)?


Ohhh yeah. Take that Ms. Manners.

Plain jane hamburgers served buffet style with all the toppings, and while the side dishes haven't specifically been picked out, it'll be something which traditionally accompanies hamburgers like potato salad, baked beans, chips, etc.

I guess we have a few vegetarians on our guest list for whom we'll have to set aside some veggie burgers but other than them.. Who doesn't like hamburgers?
I mean, really. Hamburgers, when done right, are basically a perfect form of sustenance. I'm kind of drooling right now just thinking about it. Our caterer makes a pretty darn good burger, too. Mmmm.

I also think hamburgers are right in line with the easy-going vibe of our wedding. While it may be unusual to see a man in a tuxedo (The Opester insists on wearing a tux. Since I got to choose my dress without his input, that's his prerogative. No powder-blue tuxes allowed though. Maybe avocado green...) or a woman in a wedding gown chomping down on a burger, that's just how we roll. We want folks to let their hair down, relax, and have a good time. In the end, we're coming together as a married couple, and then hosting a party immediately afterwards. Hamburgers immediately come to mind as party food, so why not wedding reception food as well?

I know I'm supposed to be the gracious hostess & bride and stop and chat at all the tables during dinner, but I really hope I get to enjoy my hamburger and pie on my wedding day!