Sunday, September 28, 2008

how unprofessional

As much as I'm looking forward to seeing our professional pictures, and know they will be lovely, I'm really loving seeing the bad pictures of our wedding. The ones where we are making weird faces or staring off into space.

Or ones where my husband dances all crazy and my sister's boyfriend makes eyes at the camera....

Or the ones where I'm lying on the dance floor...

And I'd like to state, for the record, that I'd only had one glass of sangria prior to these pictures being taken.

Friday, September 26, 2008

having your friends and family marry you

I mentioned this a ways back, but legally we got our marriage certificate back in January so that I could hop onto P's health insurance. Doing that opened up some possibilities for our ceremony since we didn't need to have someone legally marry us. We put the word out to our friends and family that we were looking for someone who wouldn't mind officiating. And after not hearing anything back (except that people felt that it was too much responsibility to be in charge of actually marrying us), I begged/conned one of our good friends into doing it, with the agreement that we'd have a quaker ceremony and that it wouldn't require her to actually do much. Secretly I'd always thought she'd do an amazing job though and we'd been kind of pulling for her to do it all along.

While P and I aren't quaker (we aren't anything, actually), we liked the idea that instead of one person proclaiming you to be married, that your community comes together to support your union. I'm going to post the text of our ceremony (which we lifted from indiebride and then edited to fit our needs), so you can see how the whole thing worked.
(We walked in to "Every Morning" by Keb Mo, which is beautiful, but since we never practiced anything before the actual ceremony was about three minutes longer than the 30 seconds it took us all to gather in the front. That ended with me making a big "cut" sign to our friend in charge of music and everyone laughing at the endless music. Silly things like that, my dogs deciding that they needed to hang out with us during the ceremony and my little cousin having to run up and grab my puppy who was attacking my dress, and horses making horse noises in the background really made our ceremony personal for us.)

(Officiant Friend):
We are gathered here to celebrate the wedding of Paul and Katie. Our ceremony today will be conducted in the manner of a Meeting of Friends, or Quaker Meeting.

At the beginning of the ceremony, the bride and groom will stand and exchange vows. After this, anyone may stand and speak if so moved. While messages are welcome, periods of silence are expected and are a time for reflection.

If you would like to speak, please stand as the last person finishes. Messages may be literal or metaphorical, and about anything appropriate to the joy and solemnity of the occasion—love, family, marriage, life, or what you will.

After a short time we will read the marriage certificate and Katie and Paul will sign it and exchange rings. Following this, everyone is invited to sign the marriage certificate in confirmation of your support of the union.

(P said his vows here, which were lovely and basically exactly like mine even though we hadn't seen each other's before).

(Then I said my vows, after remarking that "I think we wrote the exact same vows!")

(Officiant Friend)
Now if anyone would like to speak, please feel free to stand and do so.

(Open talking time - We sat for this part, which was AMAZING. We knew there were a few people who were going to talk, but so many people surprised us and said something. And what people said was so, so powerful and awesome. People read poems, blessings, told stories about us as individuals and as a couple, his dad and stepsister sang/played a song that his dad had written. It really was one of the best 45 minutes of my life.)

(Officiant friend)
Thank people for sharing. Now we will hear the reading of the marriage certificate.

(Best man)

On this the twentieth day of September in the year
Two thousand and eight
In the town of Palo Cedro, California

Katherine XXXXX &

Took each other by the hand and joyfully declared themselves married, promising to be loving and equal partners as long as they both shall live.

As confirmation and celebration of this commitment we set our hands.

And we, as members of their loving community, set our hands in witness and pledge to celebrate and support this union.
(Katie & P Sign certificate)

(Officiant friend)
Now, take hands. And all of you who love each other, please take each others' hands as well. To reach out to someone and be acknowledged and loved is a human need. Taking the hand of one who loves you is a powerful symbol of that unspoken bond.

Your hands are also the part of you that you use the most. As you go about your daily work and play, your ring is a tangible reminder of the promises you’ve made to each other. It will always be with you, visible, worn openly and with pride.

As you exchange rings, declare your commitment to one another.

I give you this ring as a symbol of my commitment to you and our family.

I give you this ring as a symbol of my commitment to you and our family.

(Officiant friend)
And now, assuming you are moved to do so, you can go ahead and kiss!

(At that point music was suppose to start playing again but we had some technically difficulties so officiant friend said something like "This sort of occasion calls for some music!" to prompt music friend to start playing the song, not realizing that he was just having tech difficulties. So we all kind of stood around and smiled for a minute until he started the music.)


(pictures taken by my cousin during and immediately after the ceremony)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

first glance

The husband and I spent the night together before the wedding, had a wonderful wedding morning breakfast together with our friends, but got ready separately (mostly so they could finish up setting things up at the house while I could get my hair done with my friends). Then we met back up at the B&B before the wedding to take pictures. I think it was perfect for us. I couldn't have imagined not spending the night with him (particularly since we live together) or not taking pictures before the wedding (such a huge time saver), but it was nice to have alone time with my friends before the wedding.

My friend took this picture of us seeing each other for the first time, in costume. While my dress has been in our house for months now, he'd never seen it.

PS- Since a few people have mentioned it, we are actually going on our honeymoon in November (Argentina!). More about that later, but I'll be around posting for the next month or so until then!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Another teaser picture

we're back!

Actually, we're still at my parent's house but we're married and all that good stuff. The wedding was perfect. A flawed perfection in certain ways (there were a few timing mishaps), but perfect. Our guests keep telling us they had fun, we had fun, there was a lot of dancing, the food was great, and the day was beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

I am in love with my wedding and my wonderful husband.

Ceremony shot stolen from my friend's facebook. I have no idea what I'm doing with my arms here, but you get the idea. And I was pleasantly surprised to see that the horses ARE in the background! I wonder if someone threw carrots over the fence for them :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Today is my last day in town before I head up to my parent's house tomorrow morning. We are meeting with our photographer tonight to go over last minute details. And then tomorrow morning I'm packing up the rest of the wedding stuff in our house to drive up there. The boy is picking up our DJ equipment on Thursday afternoon so he'll be driving up then.


Monday, September 15, 2008


The last few weeks the boy and I have been working on our wedding playlists (with the help of his ethnomusicologist best freind). He used to manage a college radio station so one of his friends from the station is going to dj the dancing part of our wedding using their mobile DJ unit, but we set up music to play before the ceremony, during cocktail hour, and during dinner. These will probably be switched up a bit before the wedding, but here's what we've got so far.

Pre-Wedding List (about a half hour)

Cocktail Hour (1 hour)

Dinner (1 hour 15 min)

take a break

We're five days out!

Yesterday was spent avoiding all wedding related nonsense. We woke up early, picked up some picnic fixings, and met two of our good friends for a day of wine tasting and food.

Having spent months with almost every weekend dedicated at least in part to working on the wedding, it was nice to have a sneak preview of what a weddingless life will look like.

I highly recommend taking a mini-break like this the week before the wedding. We came back last night so much happier and more excited about the wedding than we've been in a long time.

(Image Source: Jason Tinacci / NVV)

Friday, September 12, 2008

let them eat cake (and pie!)

I am a dessert fiend. I love the way desserts look, the way they smell, the way they taste. I like eating them and making them. If I weren't studying midwifery, maybe I'd become a pastry chef. Seriously, the thought has crossed my mind.

Many, many months ago. Maybe even before we were officially engaged my soon to be and I decided that were were going to have pie at our wedding. At the time, there was an amazing pie shop in town, run by a Chez Panisse alum. She made her pie using local, seasonal fruits, and a chalkboard in the shop provided contact info for the farmers, should you want to chat with them. She is my hero. And then, because she was too popular (seriously, the place was always packed), and her little kids were missing their mom, she closed the shop down.

So for months the backup plan was to order cake from a local bakery that has supplied the majority of the birthday cakes I've eaten in my life. Since wedding cakes from them are crazy expensive, the plan was to order a variety of their regular cakes.

But I had this nagging desire for pie. So one day I emailed the pie woman with my plea for pie (even just a few pies). And she emailed me back! Because she doesn't have a commercial kitchen, she's only able to make six pies. But any pie from her is worth its weight in gold, so we are doing three blackberry-peach pies and three apple-pear. I cannot wait!

To supplement that we are still ordering a few cakes from the bake shop I decided was going to make my wedding cake when I was about five years old. When we went to place the order today they even gave us free cake and coffee. Brilliant! I was not expecting free dessert with my piddly little cake order.

I'm really looking forward to next weekend.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

here is why you can't look so far out

So what does have to say today (after we spent hours yesterday creating a backup). Sunny. 90 degrees. Zero percent chance of rain. On Friday and Saturday.

Let's keep it that way.

And good luck to the other Northern California brides who I know are dealing with this right now!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

do not check the 10 day forecast

For those of you not here yet, I am warning you. Do not check the 10 day forecast. Mine is up to the day before the wedding, and it's not looking pretty. In a sea of 95+ degree days of pure sunshine, Friday is scheduled to be 80 and rainy. I mean, it hasn't rained in months. And historically it hasn't rained much that weekend (there was about a 5% chance). But seeing "thunderstorms" on the little chart this morning made me go into panic mode.

We are having an outdoor wedding. Basically on the dirt. Which will quickly turn into muddy mud if we get our first rain of the fall that weekend. We would have a very difficult time cramming 100 people into my parent's small house, so today I called a tent company (the one tent company near my parent's house), just to see.

$3187. For a tent. For real.

So that's kind of out the window. I'm kind of wishing I could just pretend I didn't see the little thunderstorm graphic, but part of me feels like the adult thing to do is to call around and figure out an indoor option. Just in case.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

holy mother of mixers

This is really, absolutely insane of me, but I'm about to start crying y'all. Our KitchenAid stand mixer was just reserved on our wishpot registry list. I've been wanting a stand mixer since I was a little kid. And really didn't think the chances of someone buying a more spendy thing off the registry were likely. I'm just blown away by how generous people are.


Friday, September 5, 2008


Another thing done! I went to my hair trial today and I loved it. And after showing you those two pictures this morning, I searched around online and ended up showing her two totally different images. Of course. So inspiration was a combination of low bun in the back and poof in the front:


I have a TON of hair. Even with massive thinning the first thing any hair stylist tells me is that I've got thick hair. They say it in a semi-horrified voice. So she started by trying to replicate style #1 above. It ended up something like this:

poof! So much poof. And hair. I've got a lot of hair people.

Neither of us liked it, and the weight of it was weird felt like it was going to pull it out, so she took it all down and we moved on. What she came up with was this:

I loved it. Everyone in the salon loved it (there were about five other women checking it out). It's comfortable and feels securely stuck to my head. Also I look like I have about half as much hair as in the previous style. Some pictures my sister took just now (a few hours later).

I'll be wearing it with the veil for the ceremony and pictures before, and then taking the veil off and just wearing the fascinator for the reception.

Also, I need to work on actually smiling in pictures and taking front facing pictures for the wedding!

And on a non-wedding related note, here is my sister and my puppy for added cuteness.

hair trial

We're back up at my parent's house this weekend, in part to help work on the yard, but also because I have my long awaited hair trial today.

I've been kind of dreading the hair trial. I don't totally know what I want done with my hair. And I have a lot of it. It's thick and wavy and extra-prone to tangles. My normal hair stylist jokes that I could have dreads in days (and it's true). Also I sort of forgot to ever schedule an appointment with my regular hair stylist to get my bangs trimmed so they are currently longer than I'd like.

I'd like them to be sort of like this picture of the lovely miss zooey.
But possible slightly more refined in the back (just so it sticks).
Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

the crazy inside my head

My big-decision, decision making process goes something like this. Have large, stressful decision to make. Do a ton of internet research and decide on what you want and what is possible. Fixate on the thing that is within reach to avoid feelings of sadness about the thing that is wanted but not possible (due to budget, proximity, etc). Commit to item within reach. Fixate on what was actually wanted and second guess decision to settle.

So you can imagine that my wedding planning process has been a lot of fun for my psyche. The perfect example of this is my wedding dress. It was the first dress I tried on, and I bought it because it came in petite, it was enough like the dress I really wanted that I liked it, and it was really cheap. Practical, yes, in theory. So now I've spent months second guessing, buying other random cheap dresses for the reception to make myself feel better about my original purchase, and secretly lusting over the dress I really want in an ideal world.

I had a dream about the ideal dress last night. Which makes me want to barf a little bit. My dress is perfectly fine. And ideal dress, even used, is several GRAND more. In fact, ideal dress used would cost about a 1/3 of our wedding budget. So there you go.

Our wedding is not about a dress. I love the person I'm marrying, and he will love me back even if I think the dress I'm wearing has flaws. And yet something has been set up where I honestly feel like I will regret not having ideal dress on my wedding day.

I could blab on about my irrationality for days, so instead I'm asking you to tell me that you've also felt something totally irrational in this process.

(image from brides)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

diy flowers trial

Another project this weekend was for my sister to learn how to make bouquets, since she is going to be doing that the day before the wedding. This actually led to another discovery. Right down the street from my parents is a farm that carries zinnias in a variety of colors. We went there to pick up some flowers for my sister to practice with, but FH decided that he was going to give them a call and see if they had enough flowers that they could be a potential supplier for the wedding. And the woman was thrilled to work with us! She's selling us bouquets of 15 stems for $5. That is literally less than half of what our other supplier is charging. So huge score.

My sister used the domino french spiral youtube video to get the basic idea. She ended up with this lovely bouquet. not the colors or flowers we are going to use for my bouquet, but she said it really helped her to see what she is going to need to do for the real ones.

A few things she noticed...zinnias are really small. We are going to use dahlias as the base for the real thing because this bouquet, which is tiny, took around 30 stems. She also realized that with zinnias at least, it was necessary to wire every, single stem. No question. They were flopping all over the place otherwise.

Overall we were both really happy with the result, and she is glad I talked her into doing this trial before the wedding.

dish washing, part deux

We spent the weekend up at my parents house working on the wedding, and I've got to tell you...having the majority of the wedding stuff out of our house, up there, makes it seem soooo soon!

We took all the dishes we've collected out of their boxes and gave them a proper washing in the dishwasher (as opposed to the lawn washing they previously received). The picture on the left is some, but not all, of the boxes we piled up in their kitchen. In the living room we stuck 13 boxes for our 13 tables (ooo...scary...13 tables...think my marriage is doomed?). In each box went the correct number of plates, napkins, water glasses, three random vases, and a mason jar filled with silverware.

I have no idea how I missed taking a picture of that assembly line, but after everything went into the "shed" which is really my parents old garden shed that my dad, sister,and I converted into my sister and my bedroom in high school. It's now in the process of becoming my dad's office, but in the meantime is the wedding storage room.
My dad covered it all with a painting tarp so it wouldn't get dusty.

As much as my inner control freak feels a little weird about my stuff not being here, it's nice to let go of this project and call it done. There is no reason why I'd need to recount the forks before the wedding. No reason at all.