Sunday, May 31, 2009

And somehow, I'm still not wearing a ring.

Yeah, we're still planning a wedding in New Orleans. Jonathan doesn't seem to be heding away from this one; I think this is the right idea. I hope.

Plans are pretty much in full swing, actually, to the extent that this version of the wedding event this far out can be planned. My mother did really go out to the park last Tuesday and put down cash on the barrelhead to reserve us the Peristyle. I use the term "reserve" loosely, of course; it's not as if the park is going to do anything to indicate to anyone that the space is being used for an event on that given Saturday. It simply means that we have the right to tell people to scat should they get in the way, and that if they won't we can call park security... who will show up eventually, I'm sure.

We're looking at photographers, and we think we've settled on Marc Pagani Photography. This item is the biggest outlay by far, so we want someone really good. We'll probably actually be using his top associate, Scott Myers, rather than Marc himself.

I've redesigned the invitations, and I've been looking for printers. For whatever reason, the girl that I'd been using before has completely flaked on me. And truth be told, she was always a little bit flaky. Well, I'm not going to beg anyone to let me pay them a few hundred bucks, so the search began anew. I'm excited about the new potential printer I've found - she's a zine maker! Anyway, more on that if it evolves into a real deal.

As far as the save-the-dates, those of course have been redesigned as well. I've ordered a rubber stamp with the design; we'll see how that turns out. It may or may not be acceptable. Hopefully it is, and I can "print" them myself on the billions of 3.5" x 5" cards that I've already bought.

We've emailed a limo company in New Orleans; they never wrote back so I s'pose I'll have to call them. We want the '56 Bentley. Just for me and Jon, and just for us to arrive to the ceremony in and leave from the ceremony in... and maybe, just maybe, arrive to the party in, depending on price. Who knows; maybe it's worth it to have a driver for the day.

As far as food, there's only so much we can figure out ten months in advance. We're not having caterers, and we have a good idea of what restaurants we'd like to get trays of food from. The big things left to figure out are where we can get vegan dessert items, if we can get a vegan cake, and where to have lunch after the ceremony. These things will largely be addressed when we're in town in August.

So, uh, what's left? Well there's flowers. My mom cares about them, apparently. She wants to decorate the house. I told her power to ya; use ranunculus and dogwood, cuz those are our flowers. She asked about my bouquet, and I told her that I'd already ordered it - because it's silk. I think she tried to jump through the phone. "Silk!?" Yes mother dear, and what ever are the ladies at the country club to think? Why they'll be aghast, simply aghast...

And then there's the minister, or as Jon likes to say the preacher. The more I think about it the more I know that, since the ceremony will only involve the tiny group of us, it's not going to feel "real" to me if we don't have it done by a "real" minister. We've found one guy who will do it for about two hundred bucks. No problem, says I. I'm going to look around for a minute for other officiants though, just to see what's out there really.

Oh, and then there's the dress. I've got my eye on one from Aria - they finally started doing a ball gown style and it's just to die for. I may be heading down to DC in July to hit up the showroom and see how these dresses look on me, as opposed to the size zero models on the website. But I can't make any decisions, because I've promised mommy dearest that we'll go shopping together when I come down in August. Thankfully, my darling Monica may be coming to town at the same time and able to join us. Either way, I'm going to need a stiff drink afterward.

The rings? We been done havin' those. There's Jonathan's suit, but that's his deal. He'll worry about it when he sees fit.

So yeah, I guess that's the big stuff. There are, of course, a thousand and one details. Where will we set up food at my parents' house, and where will the guest book go? Oh, right, and what the hell am I doing for a guest book? I've got some ideas, but they haven't really gelled. And then, what about the out-of-towners? Gotta find a hotel to suggest. Can I get a good rate for them? Am I making gift baskets? Do I need to make map cards so they know how to get to the party?

The more I think about it, the more this doesn't feel like a small wedding at all. But then, is any wedding ever really small? I mean, it always ends up with two people getting married, right? Which if it's being done for any of the right reasons is always fairly huge.

I'm having a pessimistic day today, in general. So all I can think about the wedding is that I want more to be established, and that my hands are tied in having any more details set until the date is nearer. I'm also being utterly plagued by the feeling that, well, I've done this all before... and that it didn't go so well that time. Need I tell you that it's not a good feeling?

I keep having the urge to talk to my mom. I've been fighting it down, because she makes me feel worse about five times more often than she makes me feel better. Right now she's excited and happy about the wedding plans, and if I brought all this doubt and fear and frustration to her I feel like I'd just be tainting the well. My relationship with my parents is too fragile, not to mention too crucial to this event now, for me to risk it. But... but... she's my mom. If you can't talk about your wedding fears with your mom, who can you talk to? I guess this is why I have a therapist.

The stupid truth of all of this is that I shouldn't even be thinking about the wedding right now. I am quite limited in what more I decide for this thing, at least until our trip in August, on top of which I have approximately a million other things I should be paying attention to. Work is insane, both of my Etsy shops are languishing, and I just signed up to table at a zine fest in less than a month - not to mention that we haven't finished unpacking, we still need to buy furniture, and I haven't really addressed needing to move out of my studio and get it rented. And yet, I can't seem to put down the bridal fever. It's like a disease. Oddly, despite its level of complication, thinking about the wedding is easier than dealing with some other things that are going on.

And finally: green dress or blue dress? Please submit your vote via comments.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

How *do* two vegans get married? Apparently they do it in New Orleans.

Yeah, really. When they're us, anyway. Luckily for the world, very few people are quite as discombobulated as we are - it took us over a year to realize that we should just get hitched in the closest thing I have to a home town.

This does not seem to be yet another far fetched dream or pie in the sky plan on my part - I believe this one to be both fo-real and mutual - that is, both me and my intended feel that it's a good plan. And when it comes to weddings, believe me when I tell you that mutual really is the best way.

So what is this crazy new plan of ours? It's pretty simple - simple being another good feature of weddings, I've discovered. I believe I outlined it in my last post maybe. The two of us, our two sets of parents and my sister, our two witnesses, and possibly an official officiant will do a short ceremony somewhere in City Park. Where in City Park? We're hoping for the Peristyle; I'm sending my ma over there next week to try to secure it. The park staff is wildly unhelpful and you can't do pretty much anything over the phone or internet; you have to show up, money in hand in full, to reserve.

And what, you ask, is the Peristyle? My grandpa's band used to play for dances there, I used to call it the lion pavilion, and it looks like this.



It's a large structure bordered by water on one side, which makes it somewhat hard to get a good shot of. I'm going to try to get my own pictures when we go down in August. (Yeah, we're going to New Orleans in August - what of it?) But you get the idea. Big ol' pretty ol' neo-classical dancing pavilion, guarded by giant stone lions, built in 1907. In my opinion, freaking awesome. Rental for a whole day? $475 plus a refundable $100 trash deposit. A-yup.

So yeah. Short ceremony with very small intimate group hopefully at the peristyle (it has a roof!), definitely somewhere in the park; then the same small group will travel to a lunch/brunch type meal. Me and Jonathan are probably going to rent a fancy vintage limo! Yeah, like a Bentley or something. Because now we'll be in a city where we need cars, and how weird does it feel to get married and then drive yourselves away in a rental Toyota Corolla? Anti-climactic, no? So we'll probably hire us a fancy and/or schmancy car, just to take us to the ceremony, from the ceremony to the brunch, and then from there back to the hotel. We deserve a little frill, don't we?

Alright, so where will we have this lunch/brunch? Here comes the first in what is sure to be a very long line of "what the hell are the vegans to eat in the city of meat and seafood" questions. Yes, there is now an all-vegetarian restaurant in New Orleans. Will it still be open next March? Well, I definitely hope so. Can I plan on it? Probably not. No offense to them; just that restaurants flicker in and out faster than lightbulbs in that town. I'm also not sure what the place is like, or whether they can even seat a group of ten. I know the space, and it's somewhat small and convoluted.

It will likely end up being a situation where we convince some very-non-vegetarian restaurant ahead of time that it's worth making two vegan meals for the party of ten. Fun! Will I try to convince them to make us all a special vegan (or at least vegetarian) brunch? Yes, yes I will. Let's just say I'm not holding my breath.

Then we, uh, rest. Jonathan and I will need some quality time to ourselves to digest the whole "we're now husband and wife" thing... and to be the hell away from our parents. There's a threshold, you know. I'll likely also need a minute out of my fancy dress and shoes. Because yes, there will be fancy dress. And yes, there will be fancy shoes. And yes, I'll choose the most comfortable of these items that I can that still allow me to look fabulous. And no, it won't make a damn bit of difference, because heels are heels, and after about two hours you have to take those f*ckers off!

And then, in the eveningtime, the party. Before I discussed this plan with my parents yesterday, I'd been possessed with an idea that truly surprised me when I had it: to have the party at their house. For those of you who don't know me, you just have no concept of how weird that is. Just trust me, we're talking twilight zone, outer limits stuff here. Well, when I got on the phone with mama yesterday morning she suggested it before I could even ask. (Whew.) So it will be - party at the folks'.

This will not be any kind of huge party. It's just so that we can invite some friends, and my mom can invite some family (and some friends). For this portion of the day, food will be much easier to control. We won't be doing any kind of sit down dinner - there will be plenty of food, but just trays of it everywhere. For that, we really hope the vegetarian restaurant is still open and still offering catering trays! We'll probably also get some nice bits from Mona's, my favorite middle eastern restaurant in the world. Best babaganouj and grape leaves evah, here I come.

The main problem we run into is dessert - the only possibilities for vegan baked goods are 1) Whole Foods or 2) baking them ourselves. I may enlist my darling friends Thomas and Roseann to attempt the latter with some awesome cupcakes; both have shown some success in that realm. And I can probably get some awesome cookies ordered from various Vegan Etsy team members. Cake, though, is another matter. I don't want to tie myself into doing anything that involved or time-intensive as I'll be rather busy and stressed. I'm also not thrilled about the idea of supporting Whole Foods - part of why I'm excited about the New Orleans plan is that I love the idea of putting some money into the local businesses there. But there's still plenty of time to decide what to do; we can always explore options during the August visit.

So, anyway, we'll decorate my parents' backyard will all that crap I'd already bought to decorate The Foundry with - I have string lights and votive candles galore. It's a gorgeous backyard - it doesn't need much help. My mom has a friend who apparently knows about florals - I've told her my flowers are ranunculus and dogwood. Dogwood, yes, is the new wedding flower - a nod to Jonathan's Virginia-ness, and the fact that I love them (and have them tattooed all over me). Mom doesn't know about the tattoos yet. She'll find out soon enough.

And that's it. A ceremony, a brunch, a party. A wedding day. Depending on various factors like the hotel we stay in, what we decide about what to wear, how much liquor we decide we need, and so on, the total bill will fall somewhere between $5 and $10k, and my parents are so damn excited that we've decided to do it on their turf that it sounds like they'll be footing the majority. We haven't broken it to Jon's parents yet; they're actually not in the country at the moment. We think they'll be happy though; New Orleans is much more their pace than New York is, and I don't think they understood the money we were looking at trying to do things here. They'll just be happing that we're really for truly doing it - a point that was a bit fuzzy for a while there, to say the least.

It's all so much more reasonable and so much less stressful than what we'd tried to do here in NYC. I love this town, but damn, it ain't cheap. I'd love to do something this small and laid back here, but it's not really feasible in a place with no family, no friends that own houses, no nothing. This is more or less "plan 2", the Central Park plus dinner plan, plus a nice party for us. It's the 'nice party' part that makes it feel like a real event, and the part that we couldn't swing here without a very significant layout.

We're excited about the new plan. Yep, we. As in both of us. I called my parents and told them all about it because Jonathan told me to. How ya like that? (I like it plenty.) Until I started thinking of a New Orleans wedding, I had no idea how meaningful it would be to me. But once I allowed the possibility, it was as if the flood gates had been opened. (Pardon the pun, but hey, I'm allowed.) The best part? We get to keep the old date, good ol' March 20th, 2010, the vernal equinox - which means we can still used the match boxes we had printed! This, also, is something that Jonathan figured out. I do love that boy so.

Someone on our block plays piano, and someone on our block apparently plays clarinet. It may or may not be the same someone. I'm not talking kids practicing here; I'm talking about professional adult playing. I turned off my music so as to better listen to the clarinet practicing "flight of the bumble bee" that's going on this evening. This is what has replaced the karaoke parties and endless child's practice on the recorder of "hot cross buns" from our old building.

Yes loves, things are good.

But ah, life it is the unpredictableness. So I'll evoke my old plea: keep your fingers crossed for us?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Maybe I'm... *not* stupid?

And we plod along in our doofy way. We've successfully moved into the much larger new apartment. We're nowhere near finished unpacking - we actually can't finish unpacking until we buy some new furniture. Two whole rooms of the new place remain unfurnished! It's kind of ridiculous. And then there's the issue of my studio, which I can't even begin to contemplate. Blegh.

Last weekend was our anniversary. At which point I thought I was going to get my ring back... and didn't. Honestly, we're just terrible at this. It was a mess of miscommunication. It seems like if I don't tell him exactly how and what and where, he's paralyzed. But if I do, it's miserable for him and then for both of us. So then what? But I'm so bad at waiting.

So you wanna hear the really funny part? Of course you do. We're talking about a wedding again. And we're talking about having it in New Orleans. A-yup. It's actually the most practical plan we've come up with yet. And I don't mean we're talking about it as in I'm trying to convince him; I mean he really thinks it's a good idea!

It would be a simple, day-long affair: late morning ceremony in the park, involving about ten people (us, the parents, the witnesses, my sister, possibly an officiant if we can't get my sis registered); then brunch/lunch with the same ten people. Then, in the evening after resting, a party for a larger audience - extended family and a larger group of friends.

And I'm really excited about it. I'm scared to be excited about it, of course. (The word would actually be terrified.) It will have to be solidly the plan for at least a month or two before I believe it's really happening, and even then I'll be skeptical. How could I not be, at this point? This is plan three. Maybe third time's the charm?