Friday, August 5, 2011

Seven not so quick wedding planning updates

1. We have a hall that I kind of love. We only visited two; the first one I thought might work but my mom was very tepid on it. The second one we walked into and said, "This is it." (To ourselves, while checking out the bathrooms.) I coyly took a day or two to think about it and then went and signed the paperwork. While the contact person was explaining everything to me she kept looking up, apparently anxious. I think she expected me to be chatty or jumping up and down excited or something, not standing there nodding placidly and absorbing what she was telling me about drinks. I tend to be extremely quiet (and apparently rather forbidding-looking), even more so when I'm happy. I'm so busy being happy that I lose track of the body language thing.

2. We have a photographer that I also kind of love. We found them on Craigslist. That seems kind of odd, I'll admit, but they do high-quality work for the price of low-quality work. They're a husband-wife team; the husband is retired Air Force. I went down to meet them with Mom and she had a fun time talking about ex-military stuff and homeschooling and adoption. (They have two daughters about my age who were adopted from Romania, apparently.)

By the way, I'm not linking to any of these places and people because I do want to maintain a little geographic anonymity.

3. We pretty much have a caterer. I need to email the contact lady back today and get some final details settled.

4. Scott and I compiled a provisional guest list. It has a lot of people on it. They'd all fit in the venue and I can just afford to feed all of them, but I'm still a little overwhelmed by how quickly things add up when you're inviting big Catholic families left and right.

5. Of course, we have the church. It's a beautiful church, but you'll just have to imagine it. My pastor is also pretty awesome. We've met with him twice already. I kind of expected the meetings to be more like going to counseling (somewhat unpleasant but ultimately fruitful); they were more like hanging out with a friend. Maybe Father was carefully directing the conversation to find out more about us, I don't know. Maybe he was honestly having fun talking theology with a young couple.

6. Scott and I are taking the FOCCUS on Sunday. (I get to see him tonight, yay!) I've been too busy lately to be nervous about it. I will probably hyperventilate all morning Sunday. Anybody have funny FOCCUS stories to share?

Then we're doing a Pre-Cana day on August 20. I have very low expectations for that. Father told us that if we learn anything at Pre-Cana that's a bad sign. (Another reason to keep my geographical anonymity: My pastor won't get in trouble for saying stuff like that.)

7. Some things I still need to do: A) Call the parish organist and talk music. ("Can we pretty, pretty please not use the Gather hymnal?") B) Figure out if hotels around here do that reserve-a-block-of-rooms thing. (This is the boonies; sometimes we don't do that stuff.) C) Figure out my dress. Mari said she would (try to) make it, but then she got a full-time job at a tailor shop, so now I need to find out if she's going to have any sewing-things energy leftover from that. (If she says no, I need to experience a moment of abject panic and then order something from the Mormons.) D) Figure out bridesmaids dresses. Nobody's offered to make those, and I doubt I'd be able to get all my bridesmaids together for a shopping trip even if I liked most of the stuff commonly available. So we're probably ordering those off the internet. Maybe from the Mormons, maybe not. I've talked to two of the four about styles and price ranges. One of the remaining two is not-quite-12 years old, and therefore presumably has no income, so I need to talk to her mother and basically say, "Hey, do you mind dropping a not inconsiderable amount of money on a dress your daughter will probably only wear once, since she's 12 and 12-year-olds grow too fast to rewear fancy dresses? I promise that at least I won't dress her like a tramp." Yeah. Not looking forward to that conversation a ton. E) Get addresses from everyone on the guest list so I can hypothetically send them invitations at some point.

This is about where I curl up in a socially-anxious little ball of stress, and I have to remind myself that the important thing is that I'll end up married to the man who's perfect for me, and that's all that really matters. (Although, if I do end up mortally offending certain people and they hate me for the rest of my life, that could get a little awkward.)

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Salome Ellen said...

Tip for music: there are some decent tunes in the Gather book. Find good words that fit them, and print anything the congregation will sing right into the program. And ask a dear friend/competent acquaintance to cantor, stuff you like. Organists are used to working with "friend of the bride" cantors.

Also, "Mormon" dresses are awesome; my daughter got married in one. A nearby Catholic-owned bridal shop carries them because customers needed something acceptable for wearing in Rome for the weekly marriage blessings JPII used to do. Or, depending on geography, you may be able to find Orthodox Jewish dresses, also modest. As for the bridesmaids, your friend's tailor shop may be able to recommend someone to make their dresses to your specs for about the total cost of the ordered less-than-acceptable ones. There are some cute patterns out there that are relatively easy (therefore cheap) to make AND have multi-age sizing in related styles. You can do this!!


Salome Ellen said...

By "tunes" I mean "melodies", such as Hyfrydol ("Alleluia, Sing to Jesus") or Diademata ("Crown Him with Many Crowns"). The back of the Gather book has an Index of Tunes, which you can cross-reference with other words. The organist can play familiar stuff, and the congregation can sing whatever words you give them!

Melanie B said...

Oh goodness, you make me wish my memory were better so I could tell you what the music we had was. Maybe Dom remembers? He's more the archivist.

I think as long as you keep your eyes on the real prize the details will fall into place more or less as they are supposed to. Then again, I didn't have a bunch of bridesmaids. I just told Tree to find a dress and she did and it worked. I think that's the biggest headache aside from the music.

Oh but I am so excited and loving reading all your plans. Will you share pictures of the dress when you find it?

The Sojourner said...

Salome Ellen: The nice thing about all my favorites is that their authors have been dead for, you know, at least 700 years, so I can blithely reproduce the lyrics left and right. The estate of St. Thomas Aquinas won't sue me, right?

Finding dear friends who sing and who aren't already doing something is proving complicated. (I had a friend who had one of the groomsmen cantoring and it was very nice but looked like a major logistical headache.) So, still working on that.

Mari and her tailor shop live in North Carolina. (Yes, I'm trying to have someone who lives 600 miles away make me a dress. It's a little scary.) I have other friends in the area who sew, though, so maybe I'll ask them for recommendations.

Ode to Joy for the win. :) I'm not so concerned about the congregation not being able to follow along; more about convincing the organist that yes, my friends LOVE to sing in Greek and Latin! Nobody will be upset if I have the Agni Parthene! Really!

Melanie: Yes, there will be pictures. I should have mentioned the SHOOZ, which my mom found and bought for me the other day, and posted the picture I have of them. (In my head it's always spelled and capitalized like that. It's hard to find 10 wides, so I'm excited.)

Scott said...

Call me clueless, but do we settle with the caterer before or after we find out who can actually make it? That could make a big difference in our bill.

The church is going to be even better by November when all the pillars look like marble. I feel threatened by pillars painted white with the sort of paint that goes in a house; I can't even imagine it's not deliberate uglification. (To everyone else: it's a very pretty church as it is; they're halfway through de-uglifying it and I seriously had a "Wait, WHY WEREN'T THEY LIKE THAT ALL ALONG??" moment when I saw they'd fixed some of the pillars.)

The FOCCUS was highly amusing. I got to the second question and, unable to restrain myself, said out loud, "Oh great, this is in normal-people-speak!"

Orthodox Jews > Mormons + 9000; but I imagine Mari's little tailor shop may be able to work something out better than anything else. *shrug* I'm sure the two of you will work something out, Mari's a workaholic and very good at figuring out things like this.

I think you can skip asking a certain someone about spending money on a dress for a certain someone else; take some time at some point to find out what dresses she has and whether any will do, but I know where there's no money to spend.

And you know how I feel about mortally offending people so they hate you for the rest of your life; if it's something that's one's fault, undo it if possible or make up for it or for Pete's sake at least don't try to make a mess of everything related to it so you can get off the hook; but if it's not really one's fault, then it's the offendee's problem.

Shakespeare's Cobbler said...
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Scott said...

Oh, and if you have trouble convincing the organist, it shouldn't be hard to give her the phone number of a friend who can pretend not to know any modern languages. Or, you know, several such friends.