Sam and Mark's Super Happy Wedding Funtime

Archive for the ‘Planning’ Category

We did an engagement photo shoot last week. It was weird.

In a good way.

I was really anti-engagement pictures. Adamantly. It was something other people did. Cute people in matching hats or boots or sweater vests. People who make me want to throw up. That said, I’m really glad we did it because it is going to make taking pictures at the wedding so. much. easier. Like a million times easier. For many reasons. Including:

  1. Our photographer is rad. Seriously. She is really easy to work with. And despite my awkwardness and anxiety, I actually had a lot of fun. I am not going to magically look like a supermodel in these pictures, she is not a wizard, but I felt really good taking them. And maybe that *is* kind of magical.
  2. Being photographed is not normal. Just going through the motions of this photo shoot is comforting. A dress rehearsal. Now, I won’t feel awkward. Well, I probably will, but I *know* I will and I *know* that’s ok and that makes a huge difference.
  3. I realized that I have to actually kiss Mark for more than half a second in order to get a decent picture. This is good information to have as PDA is not a natural thing for me. Well, documented PDA is not a natural thing for me.

So yay to engagement shoots! I never wanted one, but I’m so glad we did it. It was really fun!








All pictures from the delightful Emily Takes Photos


Before I begin my lament on shoe shopping for the wedding, I’d just like to say I know that this is ridiculous. I know. I KNOW. Which is what makes the whole process that much more painful, I don’t want to be the woman absurdly complaining about shoe shape and color choices and yet HERE I AM. There are real problems in the world. People without access to safe medical care, safe drinking water, safety in their own lives, and here I am bitching about shoes.

Let us begin.

The trouble with getting creative with my dress color is it now limits my shoe options. A white dress? The world is your shoe shaped oyster. A blue dress? Well, now you have some limitations. The world is no longer your shoe oyster. It is one of those months without an ‘r’ in it and you shouldn’t risk it. Ok, I’m done with this metaphor now.

I’ll start with the fact that I have a pair of black dansko heels that I adore. They are comfortable, they are cute, I can wear them all day. I love these shoes so much sometimes I get a little misty just thinking about them. I would wear them to the wedding. Heck, I might still, but they are black. My dress is light blue. Tea length. And something about a heavy, dark shoe under the light blue skirts and ivory lace is just a little, well, wrong. It doesn’t fit the aesthetic.

Originally, I wanted blue shoes. With a white dress, blue shoes are darling.

But with a blue dress, blue shoes are rife with danger. They need to match but not match- they have to be in the same color family, darker maybe, but not too much darker. If the shoe is too navy then I am pretty much back to my problem with the black shoes and I might as well just wear those. I could dye shoes to match. Which is a thing people do. But gah, that’s work. Work I cannot be bothered with. And bring a fabric swatch shoe shopping? Um. Who do you think I am?

Look at all these lovely blues that won’t work:





So. Blue is out. What color would go? An ivory would be nice. Or white. A twist on the theme- blue dress, white shoes. But have you spent any amount of time looking for white shoes? Let’s just say you get a lot of this:


And I’m not ready for that. That said, I’m not really ready for this either:


Apparently that’s a thing. A $2000 thing. I’m never going to be a proper modern woman.

So pretty much white is out. White, black, blue. Blerg. Maybe a nice neutral? Maybe. Maybe something with a retro feel? Yes. Retro. Kitten heel. Retro kitten heel!


Ok. Maybe not that retro.

So the search continues. I am down but not yet out. And worst case, I wear my black shoes. Ugly with my Cinderella dress. Yep. But a hell of a lot better than a pair of crystal slippers…


I may have pulled my hair up, clipped some Kleenex on my head to mimic a fancy fascinator, tossed on my wedding dress, and swished around the apartment like a pretty, pretty princess.

I have to test this thing out.

What I found is that hair makes a difference. A big difference. Originally, I was going to do my own hair. I was going to find some lovely headband on Etsy, plop it on my head, and be done. The trouble is, this dress requires more than that. This dress, like Audrey II, requires a bit more than I can eek out of my fingertips. This dress requires a full size professional.

I know what you are going to say, I know because I’ve said it: PLEASE. You can do your own hair. You can. You really can. It isn’t that hard. Get some product, some clips, watch a youtube- bob’s your uncle- bouffant. Easy. This is not an expense you should try to justify. This is frivolous. This is silly. This is everything you aren’t. Don’t give in to wedding bell peer pressure. This isn’t a requirement. You don’t need hair for your wedding. YOU ONLY NEED LOVE.

But at what point does austerity stop? I mean, I DO NOT need to get my hair done. But I also DO NOT need a dress. I DO NOT need a sit down meal, or wine, or friends or family. Heck, I could even forgo witnesses with a confidential marriage license. I DO NOT NEED ANYTHING.  I CAN DO IT ALONE.

Well, almost alone. I still need Mark.

We can have indulgences. It is OK. It is our wedding, after all. If Mark wants a bespoke suit, Mark can have his bespoke suit. If I want a professional to make my hair do something other than lie flat against my face, then let’s book an appointment. I’m not going to get my hair done because I have to have some crinkly eight tier updo I saw in some magazine. I’m not getting extensions or changing color, I’m just getting someone to make me look like my best self. I’m not doing this because of SOCIETY, but I am doing it because it is my wedding day and I’m going to wear a pretty dress, and damn if I don’t want some pretty hair, too.

Last month, I had to send an email to the vendor about ordering invitations. A simple email: “Hey, I want to order invites. Please give me details.” This should take a normal person 5 minutes. This should take a PROFESSIONAL PROJECT MANAGER 2 minutes. It ended up taking me 3 weeks.

I want to get married. I want these invitations. I want these things. I do. But- Gah. Emails. Follow up. Communication. Blerg. This crap is hard to do.

Flash forward to now,  almost a full 2 months from the first bout of procrastination, and I have finally purchased the invitations. Of course they still must be created, reviewed, printed and mailed- which takes another 789 days- but the ball is rolling. I should have them sometime after the actual event. Here’s an invitation to that thing you may have already gone to, or would have gone to, if a certain someone didn’t sit on their hands for 2 months.

I really don’t know why these tasks are so difficult for me. Maybe I think Mark will take them on and so I put them off? But. Well. Mark is many things, many wonderful things, but he is not a mind reader. I know this. And yet I still push this crap around hoping that it will be magicked into existence.

So. If you get to the wedding and there isn’t an officiant or chairs… well, now you know why.


OMG have you seen My Fair Wedding? Because you should go watch it if you have not. Seriously.

OK, nuts, right?

Oh. I see. You didn’t watch it.

Fine, let me sum up. David Tutera is a crazy Jason Bateman look-alike who runs around the country (LA and NY, occasionally TX) planning insane weddings with entire forests for centerpieces and contortionist waitstaff for Brides who dream of contortionist filled weddings.

And this is great television. These women want Jason Bateman to come in to their lives and give them the wedding of their dreams. DREAMS. Dreams they never even knew the had until Jason/David shows up with his rag tag band of circus freaks and florists.

I actually like this show in small doses. I love makeovers. And this, this, is a fun makeover. The women on the show get an amazing party that they never would have been able to pull off on their own. They get fancy-ass gowns that probably cost more than their original budget. They get tablecloths and overlays. They get live bands. They get etiquette lessons (this is the best because sometimes David tells them how to properly wipe their mouths with their napkins and explains the difference between place cards and escort cards). They get their tacky tattoos airbrushed. They get to be some totally other person who has some totally amazing wedding.

And these women want these weddings. I’m not going to get into why they want (*cough* advertising *cough*) these wedding, or if they want these weddings for themselves or for some strange feeling of obligation (to the advertisers? to keep up with the Joneses?), but they do want them. So much. And to see their dreams come true- it is a little emotional. Even if the dream is stupid and wasteful and over-the-top ridiculous, doesn’t mean it isn’t a valid dream. And to have that stupid, wasteful over-the-top dream be bigger than even you thought it could be? Well, that is emotional. That is wonderful. Just because I wouldn’t do it, doesn’t make it any less awesome. For them.

For me, it would be wrong. I want the kind of wedding where people drink too much wine and eat too much food. I want a quiet, warm stupor. I want to people to talk to each other. I want to play stupid party games. I want a glow. I want stillness. I want small and I want intimate and I absolutely do not want any contortionists of any type in any outfit or in any plastic bubbles.

And that’s the difference. I don’t want to be a princess or a queen or a duchess or any other royal personage. I want to be me. Just me. In a pretty dress and slightly drunk on wine and joy. That I can do without the circus freaks.

So I got my dress last night. It was just waiting for me in the lobby. A big white box that weighed almost nothing.

And oh boy, is it blue. Cinderella blue.

So now I have my dress and it is exactly what I wanted. Perfect color, perfect style. And yet… I feel… Well, I feel the same.

Maybe I am in shock? Maybe. The wedding shows have people crying in their dresses. The wedding shows tell me dress equals flood of emotions. Suddenly you are now a Bride. The Bride. But my dress? It is the prettiest, fanciest dress I have ever owned. It is beautiful. But it doesn’t reduce me to a quivering mass.

Because it is a dress. Really. Just a big, fluffy dress.

Want to know what does reduce me to a quivering mass? Sample wedding vows. Poems. Song lyrics. I can’t read “This Must Be The Place” without tears streaming down my face. Like a salty waterfall. My voice breaks if I try reading it out loud. A song I know (mostly) by heart. A song I’ve been singing off key for years.

Home – is where I want to be
But I guess I’m already there
I come home, she lifted up her wings
Guess that this must be the place

I can’t tell one from the other
Did I find you, or you find me?
There was a time
Before we were born
If someone asks, this where I’ll be . . . where I’ll be

Hi yo- we drift in and out
Hi yo- sing into my mouth

Out of all those kinds of people
You got a face with a view
I’m just an animal looking for a home
Share the same space for a minute or two

And you love me till my heart stops

Love me till I’m dead

Eyes that light up, eyes look through you
Cover up the blank spots
Hit me on the head
Ah ooh

This is the stuff that reduces me to a quivering mass. The words. And when I put my dress on for the first time last night and I didn’t feel magically transformed, I thought- well crap. There is something wrong with me. For real this time. But there isn’t. And there isn’t anything wrong with the women who do tear up over a dress, but for me it is just a costume. It is just a frock. What’s going to kill me, make my face puff up and go all red and blotchy is saying how much I love Mark in front of family and friends.

I should scotch guard this dress.



When I was a little girl I loved Cinderella. I wasn’t so much into princesses as I was into transformations. And I still am. I love a good makeover, be it a house, a room, or a tortured urchin.

I had the Golden Book of Cinderella. I loved the pictures. I loved that book so much I actually chewed on the corner of it because I think I wanted it to be part of me. Also because I was like 4. And 4 year olds are weird.


I would spend hours and hours reading that book. Poor, unfairly treated Cinderella was cleaned up and sent to a ball where she met a handsome prince who fell head-over-heels in love with her. Cinderella worked so hard, was so kind, she deserved to be treated kindly, to get to dress up and go out and enjoy the wonderful ball. I loved that. I loved that her nasty, mean stepsisters, who were so bent on marrying the prince ended up being ignored in favor of this beautiful woman in a beautiful dress who was content with just going to the ball. It was a perfect story. Inner beauty gets a trip outside and you end up marrying a prince.

Monday my parents and I bought my wedding dress. It is wonderful and magical and blue. And I didn’t realize until describing it to my boss (who has a daughter of book-chewing age, obsessed with Cinderella’s blue dress) that I am wearing Cinderella’s dress. If Cinderella was in Mad Men.

As soon as I realized what I’d done I was horrified. I am not a princess bride. This is not me. I don’t want to be Cinderella.

Except. Well. I do. I guess I do. My mom (actual, not godmother and not fairy) bought me a beautiful dress. A dress I would have never bought myself. A dress that makes me feel lovely and fancy and wonderful. A dress that makes me feel like something special, something other than a normal person, something not unlike a princess. And while I’m not a fan of the princess, when my boss mentioned Cinderella something inside pinged. Like a little (chewed off) fragment of that silly book started glowing inside some long lost nook of my innards. The little girl who stared for hours and hours at the lovely blue gown on the cleaned up Cinderella smiled a great big ear to ear smile at the idea that she was going to get cleaned up and dressed up and get to marry her very own Prince Charming.


Sam and Mark