Monday, May 31, 2010

The Ceremony: Somebody's Gotta Do It

Wedding officiants. You can't have a wedding ceremony without one. Yes, they sign the paperwork and organize a 20-30 minute ceremony. But honestly...that's it. So WHY do they have to be so costly?

We're on a tight budget, so I definitely did my research. I e-mailed numerous officiants. $400. $500. One reverend even said he "asks for a $700 donation." $700? You've got to be kidding. At this point I'm thinking: Can we just have my little brother, some family member, ordained online?

Luckily, my future mother-in-law, upon hearing our frustrations, found a local officiant with good reviews and offered to pay for his services as a gift! Thank you very much!

A little about our ceremony: Groom 3000 and I are not particularly religious, so we're not getting married in a church. Our ceremony will be in the evening on an outdoor patio at the same venue as our reception. Very convenient for our guests! The ceremony site looks out over the entire golf course with the Catoctin Mountains rising in the horizon. It looks beautiful at sunset!

Groom3K and I did not know much about what we wanted in our ceremony, only that we want it to be about 30 minutes (it's an important moment and deserves substance) and we want to write our own vows. Other than that, no clue.

In comes Pastor Bill.

Pastor Bill's been doing this for a while and will offer us documents with examples of readings and unity ceremonies, tips on how to write your own vows, and sample ceremony timelines. AWESOME. I can't wait to see them! A few interesting snippets from our conversation:

1) He asked if any of our family members were particularly religious. My grammy is a fairly devote Catholic and was kinda shocked to hear I would not marry in a Catholic church. Pastor Bill suggested we include a sample from the Bible in our readings. He called it "throwing grandma a bone." I think this could be a great homage to my Catholic upbringing.

2) Because of our outdoor ceremony location, Pastor Bill advises us to not opt for a unity candle ceremony. For those unfamiliar, a unity candle ceremony involves the mother of the bride and groom lighting a candle each, and the bride and groom lighting their own candle from those flames and joining them in another bigger candle--unifying the flames and the families. Groom3000 is very interested in having this ceremony as a part of our wedding (both his and my parents did this) and was disappointed when Pastor Bill said it probably won't work (a blown out candle is not a positive symbol at a wedding). Momma3000 had a great idea--use hurricane glasses to protect the flames!
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3) Something that caught me off guard: Pastor Bill does not write the majority of his ceremony speech until the day before the wedding! "I'm a procrastinator," he said. At first, this freaked me out. Um, a little unprepared, no? His explanation: he likes to include any last minute details that may come up at the wedding rehearsal, and, he has to "get in the zone." As a writer, I know ALL about getting in the zone--waiting for days until the inspiration fairy finally finds you.

So cross "Find an officiant" off the list. WOOT! I think I like the idea of exploring cake options next. I'm not a huge fan of cake, but Groom3000 could be the president of the fan club.

Monday, May 24, 2010

One Milestone Down, More to Come!

We did it! After four years of countless hours spent in lectures, study sessions, and exams (and lots of fun things, too!), Groom 3000 and I finally graduated from college! Because our ceremonies were almost at the same time, we were unable to attend each other's graduations (boo). Groom3000 spoke at his graduation--luckily my future BiL is also a tech whiz and recorded the whole thing. Now that it's over, I still can't believe that I'm entering the next stage of my life: the real world of adulthood (dun dun dun). It's scary, uncertain, and exciting and I am (I hope) ready to get started. 

Despite the awkward regalia, we finally did it!

Now that school is done, it's back to wedding planning before our big move out West in two months! In the coming weeks, we plan to (hopefully): meet with and select an officiant, taste some (yummy!) wedding cakes, explore our reception decor options (why are flowers SO expensive???), and make a decision on the bridesmaid dresses. All of that on top of packing for Seattle, searching for a job, going through all my possessions at my home (ugh, where did I get all this stuff?), going to the beach for some vacay, and trying to enjoy a summer off. That means more blogging in my (and your) future. So much to do and so little time! Ackkkk!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Our Meet (not so) Cute

I went to the podiatrist today and talked wedding biz with Nurse Wendy, who is also engaged, which reminded me that I should post another blog while sitting in my three-hour (a.k.a. lecture from hell) class. Honestly, final exams are coming up so we haven't done much of any planning (womp womp womp). The story du jour is how Groom3000 and I met. For those of you who hate mushy stuff--consider yourself warned. 

"Our" story is not romantic, cutesy, or any sort of fairy tale. If Groom3000 has his way, the story we'll tell our children involves Groom3000 saving me from a snowy avalanche in the Alps. In truth, we "met" in the way I think many college students meet -- a party. (I say "met" because the first time we actually met, Groom3000 was "dating" someone else and I honestly didn't care about him. This is the time I actually paid attention to him).

Picture the typical college party--the beer pong table, the jungle juice, the Natty Lite cans everywhere. Yep, that's where these lovebirds came to realize that they might be onto something. It was the start of our junior year. Although we'd never really had a conversation before, I remember Groom3000 asking where Madagascar was on the globe, and me being a geography nerd (back in the day, my dad and I used to play "the globe game") let him know. And the rest is history! (Mainly the rest of the night is kinda...fuzzy, if you know what I mean, ha ha).

A week later, Groom took me on a date to Outback Steakhouse (fancy for college students and does this girl LOVE chicken on the barbie!). After dinner, we went back to his on-campus apartment where he had a bottle of wine and a homemade SNICKERS PIE waiting for us! I was impressed--a man who prepares for a date AND is good in the kitchen?!?! Impossible! 

After a few dates (including a blustery ghost tour of D.C.), I was hooked! Groom3000 and I can talk and laugh and be silly together for hours. He is my best friend and I'm so lucky to have such a smart, funny, gentle, and TOLERANT man in my life. He cooks for me (we have maybe TOO good of a relationship with food, ha ha), listens when I complain and rant (probably too often), and assures me that I'm amazing whenever I need an extra boost in spirit. I can't wait to marry such a wonderful man!