Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Relationship Therapy

We just had our first pre-wedding counseling session last night — it was totally weird, and also kind of awesome… but wait, let me start from the beginning.

So, I have a lesbian aunt (well, actually, I have six… yes, six lesbian aunts… who says there’s not a gay gene?) Anyway, this particular lesbian aunt is also an ordained minister and Beau and I were pretty sure from day one of our engagement that we wanted her to officiate at our wedding. So, we called her up and asked her, but she was strangely non-committal. We later realized after several conversations with her that it was because she takes officiating at weddings incredibly seriously and wanted to make sure that we really wanted to have her style of officiating on our big day. As we’ve come to realize, her style seems really personal and really intense and we’re totally on board with it — however, it does involve several pre-wedding counseling sessions with her before the wedding, the first of which was last night.

Let me give you the general run down: she lives halfway across the country, so we did the whole thing via skype (by the way, when did technology get so cool?). Before our chat she sent us this list of questions to peruse:

1. What has changed (if anything) in your relationship since making the decision to get married?
2. Try to name what you believe you know best about her (what you understand most deeply about what makes her tick)
3. And what do you least understand about her?
4. How would you describe yourself in conflict?
5. How do you experience her in times of conflict?
6. When something good happens, what comes first to mind as a way to celebrate?
7. In your own words, what are the non-negotiable ingredients of a good marriage?
8. What elements or aspects of your answer to #7 do you think will be easiest for you to maintain? Why?
9. What elements or aspects of your answer to #7 do you think will be hardest for you to maintain? Why?

We found some questions super-easy (ahem, “describe her in conflict”) and others kind of difficult (we actually both had a lot of trouble coming up with non-negotiables). But engaging with the questions turned out to be a really fantastic exercise… even though it was kind of awkward when my aunt asked us about sexual fidelity near the end of our counseling session. Has anyone else done pre-wedding counseling? Are you a fan? I think I am.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Lying to my grandmother

Okay, so my grandmother sent me earrings for my birthday. This would be awesome, except that I don't actually have my ears pierced... and I just lied to her on the phone and told her that I did. In my defense, this is not a complete lie because I did at one point (well, two points actually) have my ears pierced. Once when I was twelve and again when I was fourteen. They grew in both times. At the time my mother told me it was because I had an insanely powerful immune system that just couldn't stand to have holes in it. However, I think I might just have been a wimp who was too wimpy to push an earring through a closing piercing. The only reason I've been able to deal with my nose piercing is that I never change the tiny stud that lives in it -- so I never have to come face-to-face with my wimp-y-ness.

Anyway... point is... lying to my grandmother got me thinking... should I pierce my ears for the wedding? I could wear these...
From Twist Online
Yea or Nay?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Okay... this whole thing is coming together... I've got someone making my dress

I've got a deposit down at a venue (a re-habbed barn which will also be our caterer).

I've got myself a fabulous photographer who was an incredible deal and just got married to a woman herself.

I sent my grandmother to a tasting with her chef friend and they returned with recommendations.

My mother is gathering antique milk bottles and ocean rocks (she's a kayaker) to create our centerpieces.

My theologian aunt has agreed to be our officiant

I've created our wedding website

The ball... it be rollin'!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Dress from Janay A. Handmade

It's all I've been able to think about the past two days. Yes, I have to clean the house. Yes, I have a zillion things to do for work. Yes, my to-do list is madness-inducing. But all I've done during my two snow-days home from teaching is think about my dress.

I found it. I found it. I found it.

I NEVER thought I would become the crazy wedding person that I have suddenly turned into. I fall asleep thinking about necklines or tablescapes. I spend my free moments thinking about how to turn folders into envelopes. I'm spending hours on etsy.com browsing page after page of handmade dresses. Who is this crazy girl?

Well... it paid off yesterday, when I typed in "wedding dresses" into etsy's search engine. 90 pages of dresses showed up. On page (I kid you not) 89, I found my dress designer.

Near the end of August, I came across a photo on a wedding blog. The bride was wearing a dress that I thought was perfect: short, crisp, vintage-looking. I couldn't find it anywhere. I had no idea where she got it. There was no information available. So I just kept the picture of it in my mind -- along the way, I came across a lot of other options. I got semi-excited about some of them, but I always came back to that one mystery dress. Well yesterday, I found it... only better.

It's everything I had in my head plus stuff I didn't even know I wanted. AND -- it's two pieces so I can actually wear it again (with a different skirt or shirt). AND it'll be handmade by a hip young designer using eco-friendly materials. AND it costs 1/3 as much as all the other dresses that I like. It couldn't be more perfect.

So.. hunting works. I didn't have to settle. I'm so excited. YAY.

Have you found your dress yet?

Monday, October 13, 2008

For the Love of a Dress

Oh. My. God.
This weekend I became someone I never thought I would be.
I cried over the beauty of a dress.
Who am I?

The "crying-over-the-dress" incident officially marks the moment that the great dress hunt morphed into something totally different than I ever anticipated.
I have done what I never thought I would do: I have fallen in love... with a dress.
Actually, with a whole line of dresses.

I went to New York this weekend to shop for dresses with my best friend who is also my MOH. First we went to David's Bridal, and nothing there worked at all. I felt like I was playing dress up in clothes that were too small for me and it was just so clear that if I got married in a dress from there, I just wouldn't feel like myself on my wedding day. So we hightailed it out of there and headed for SoHo, where I thought I would look for a dress that wasn't actually a "wedding" dress, but that I could wear on my wedding day.

So, we walked, and we shopped, and we talked... and then we saw it... a store that made me feel like I was walking on a cloud while eating whipped cream. It was one of those stores that has 3000 square feet but only like 10 dresses. Where the racks are suspended from the ceiling with fishing wire... or, more likely, thread spun by fairies and leprechauns. It was beautiful. It was incredible. I has already begun falling madly and irreparably in love.

Oh, but it only gets better. After David's Bridal, where they told me I was, instead of my usual size 6... a size 12, the medium sizes at the cloud/whipped-cream store were too big for me. Everything zipped up like it was made for my body and the store clerk kept telling me how tiny my waist was. And the dresses.... oh the dresses. They were so unique, so beautiful, so, so, so me. I never thought I could love an article of clothing as much as I loved every single thing that I tried on there. It was heaven. The dresses were wedding-y without being bridal. Everything was made of chiffon. I had never seen a silhouette that resembled anything they had there. It was perfection. It was just... oh man, it was so good. mmmmmmmmmmmm.

The prices.... oh dear... the prices.... Well... as you would anticipate... they were high. But, here's the good news... They were actually on the low end of a lot of bridal stuff -- however, they were still higher than I had budgeted. Everything there was between $1500 and $3500... and I was hoping to spend closer to $500. Oh sad. I still haven't decided what to do...


The Girls Give Me Hope.

I am the luckiest one.

My students just threw me a surprise engagement party. I was eating lunch when my boss came by and told me that he wanted to talk to me. He walked me to my classroom asking me weird questions about the Faculty and Staff Gay/Straight Alliance that I had started last year and when I opened the door to my classroom, my students (all 12 year old girls) jumped out of the corners, up from under desks and out of closets, throwing confetti and yelling "Congratulations!!" They had thrown me a surprise engagement party, complete with pizza, cookies, soda, a giant congratulations sign and a bunch of hugs. They are the cutest little munchkins. I can't believe how lucky I am.

I don't teach at a liberal school. I'd say more than half of the families that send their kids here are republicans. I've been fighting discrimination from the administration for the last year (they won't let me live on campus with my partner because we can't be married in our state). But kids are kids, they are more sensitive to justice and fairness than anyone. And... this being an all-girls school... any excuse to talk about dresses, flowers, and all-things-frilly is a good excuse.

These girls give me so much hope for the future. I owe a lot to them. In the face of things like this, we could all use a little hope right now.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Great Dress Hunt Begins

Whew.  I tried on wedding dresses for the first time yesterday. Was I supposed to cry out of joy or a feeling of accomplishment or something?  Because I didn't.  I mean, don't get me wrong... it was awesome -- I heart trying on dresses, especially when you get your own little room and someone to help you... but I didn't, like, freak out.

Okay, for one, I think I didn't get all teary because I was too busy being totally embarrassed that I had to be in my underwear in front of the co-workers that I brought with me.  I don't know why I thought they'd bring me into a different room to do the whole undressing thing... but, they didn't.  There I was practically nekkid in front of these girls that I don't really know well enough to be nekkid in front of.  Oops.

But, the other, probably more important reason that I didn't get all shmoopy is that, unlike many, I never really thought about getting married when I was a little girl.  In fact, I didn't think about it until I got engaged.  So, this whole wedding thing... although totally awesome and fun and exciting, doesn't feel like the fulfillment of some long-standing dream that I've had ever since I watched Cinderella at at three.

As a little kid I was absolutely a princess... I went through a period during which I would not leave the house unless I was wearing my frilliest dress and my ruffle-y underwear.  I played "shopping' on the playground in fifth and sixth grade.  That was a game in which my friends and I made fake credit cards and went fake shopping by the monkey bars. I mean... I was a girly, girly, girl.  But weddings just never did it for me. I think that was because of the adults I happened to have in my life: my parents are divorced. All my mom's friend are lesbians (as are six of my aunts), my straight aunts, although they've been with their partners for decades, just never saw the need to get married to them.  Marriage and weddings just weren't really a big deal in my family.  In fact, I think my family is a little shocked that I'm doing it.  They don't quite know how to act.   

I think I'm probably the only lesbian out there whose family is shocked that I'm getting married because they're so pro-gay that they're anti-marriage instead of the other way around.

Anyway, I'm headed up to NYC to do some more wedding dress shopping with my best friend and maid of honor.  Here's hoping the perfect dress falls out of the sky, costing but a mere $50, perfectly altered to fit my body (how it will look next August).  Fingers crossed.

Oh... All the dresses pictured here are Pricilla of Boston Reception Dresses... I'm really leaning towards wearing a reception dress for the whole damn thing... thoughts?