Wedding Whimsy

Wedding planning is coming along, and I am starting to get really freaking excited.
Brian and I have found the perfect venue (bird’s eye view in this post) that matches the vibe and feel of what I described – and it’s also full of whimsy (to be explained).

The venue is a working ranch and small winery with acres of vinyards, lavendar fields, and almond trees.  (This means we’ll get drunk, but still smell nice, and we’ll have a good source of protein nearby in case the zombie apocalypse breaks out during the festivities.  We really do plan for everything.)  The ceremony will take place on a grassy hilltop that has panoramic views of the surrounding golden brown hills (so we’ll see the zombies coming way before they’re within biting distance).  The reception will take place in a converted barn that has three levels of seating and is decorated with kitschy, cute antiques.  There is bocce ball (possible weapons), a pond (possible place of safety), and joy (zombies despise this).

This place is different, and by different, I mean whimsical.  On the garden walk from the parking lot to the barn, there are little scenes set up with knick-knacks and stuff.  One scene displays Dorothy’s ruby slippers and the witch’s rusted-over old bike.  There’s a display with a stove, dishes, and a rusty metal bloke named Julio dressed in an apron and chef’s hat.

This is why I don’t cook.

The bathrooms across from the barn look like they were decorated by the people who work in those restaurants where you have to wear flair on your vest in order to fit in.  Hats, gloves, feathers, and an old-timey chair reupholstered in lime green kept me company while I emptied my bladder.  I look forward to emptying my bladder in that same room with my best friends holding up yards of white fabric beside me!  Squee!

Once we found a venue, Brian and I got ourselves a wedding planner, and omigod, if you can fit this into your budget, I highly, highly recommend it.  In fact, a good wedding planner will pay for him/herself in both time and money.  I hate doing research, but I come from a thrifty family where we hate paying more for things than we should – so this is where a good, skilled wedding planner comes into play.

Our wedding planner Stephanie gives us lists of vendors to look through, and she can recommend them in groups of different price ranges.  She’s worked with these vendors before, so she knows the quality of their services, and she’s quite honest about what we’ll get for our money.  She’s open to working with vendors that Brian and I have found who aren’t on her lists.  She schedules meetings with vendors we like and attends these meetings with us.  She also helps us through the contracts to make sure we know what we’re getting into – huzzah!

Basically, she’s a godsend.  Brian and I don’t know what the hell we’re doing, and we’re also super shy around new people, and we’re really good at being awkward.  If we met vendors by ourselves, we’d probably end up hiding under the table and only coming up to shout things like I LIKE FLOWERS! and PLEASE MAKE ME PRETTY! before ducking back down.  Stephanie is cool because she asks all the questions we forget to ask like, “Do you accept M&Ms as payment for your services?  My clients have agreed to pick out all the brown ones if you’d like.”

Stephanie is like a cross between our therapist and our Jedi Master of weddings.  She is strong with the force.  But she’s prettier than Yoda.  And less hairy.

Plan a wedding for you I will.

So far, Brian and I have chosen a photographer and a DJ.  We have a meeting with a florist this week and I go shopping for a dress this weekend!!!

My ovary is doing flips just thinking about it.

Say yes to the OCD

I tend to obsess over things.

Indeed, I diagnosed myself with a minor case of OCD after obsessing and compulsing over the criteria in my Intro To Messed Up People textbook that was required reading in undergrad.

Wedding planning has proved to be no different.  In fact, it has proven to be worse.
As a result of looking through countless wedding venue websites, calling venue people to leave messages and asking questions in emails, visiting lots of venues in person and being told all their frickin rules and restrictions and through-the-roof prices, I now have new obsessions and compulsions to add to my list.

1.  When I enter a large space, I immediately size it up and start calculating how many round tables could fit in this space, seating 10 people each, and where the dance floor could be.

Doesn’t matter where I am: the conference room at work, a park on the way home, a wide aisle in the grocery store.

2.  When I watch a movie with a wedding in it, I find myself noticing details about the wedding I didn’t give a fondant about 6 months ago: the kind of chairs they have, how many people are seated at a table, the kind of fabric draped as decoration.  Yesterday I paused Wedding Crashers several times to drool at all the gorgeous tents and chairs.

If only my Hollywood dad were Christopher Walken.

3.  I’ve started to have the freaky everything-that-can-go-wrong-will dreams that make me feel the opposite of rested in the morning.  What’s the most maddening is that, in these dreams, I end up obsessing over weird things that I would never do in real life.

For instance, last night I dreamed that I was practicing my wedding dance moves in this big class of women who were all getting married at this same venue in the coming year.  Not only was this class a requirement for getting married at that venue, but the dance moves they wanted us to know were horrible 80s hip-hop moves.  No, kind sir, it is most definitely not hammer time.  And I was dressed in what I was going to get married in, which was these grey leggings under my wedding dress, and on my feet were these clunky, slip-on clogs that I couldn’t dance in, and ankle socks that matched the bridesmaids dresses.  I remember that I kept tugging on the leggings to keep them down, and on the socks so they’d stay up. *shudder*

The good news, after all this searching and obsessing and our refusal to settle, Brian and I have found a wedding venue that WE LOVE and we have set a motherfucking date!

Brian flew us over the venue to get a bird’s eye view

Not only that, but we’ve also found a partial wedding coordinator which makes me feel sooo much better when I look forward to the next 10 months.

I can’t wait to get to what I call the fun stuff, which is mainly dress shopping and renting several chocolate fountains.  Not at the same time, though.

Amber Waves of Matrimony

Hello, readership.  I’ve missed you.  Have you missed me?  Don’t answer that.

Did you know that planning a wedding can be very hard?  Yup, this Mutha Fackin’ Marriage and Family Therapist is getting married.  Making it honest.  But honestly, how do people plan a wedding and see their clients and manage a therapy department AND write blog posts?   Paging Wonder Woman!

It’s like that pie chart y’all saw in college: in the legend you have school, friends, and sleep.  And that pie only gots room for two.  Mmm, pie.

Right now Brian and I are looking for a venue.

It’s hard because we have taste.  Normal people might call this being picky, but I just call them a-holes.

We have this vision of what we want, and we are surprised and frustrated that we haven’t found it yet.  Picture this:  it’s a hill in the countryside of Northern California.  There is dead, dry golden grass.  There are gorgeous, twisty oak trees.  The sun is setting and it gives everything a warm, golden glow.  There’s a barn that’s rustic but not too dirty or full of horse poop.  Maybe an animal or two, just hanging out.  And there we are, stuffing cake into the other’s face, acting all lovey-dovey you could just ralph.

*cue angels singing*

Doesn’t that sound amazing?!

That was the environment in which we met and started dating at this summer camp for kids, and it was kindof awesome.

That’s all well and good, but it seems to be proving hard to find a venue that is rustic but not too rustic, and that is conducive to having a wedding, but not so conducive that it’s like a freaking wedding factory.

And then once I find a venue (or once I get so desperate for a venue) that looks pretty cool, isn’t perfect, but I could see it working, then Brian vetoes it.  And vice versa.

Dear, sweet mother of god I hope marriage doesn’t require so much freaking compromise, because I am already sick of it.

Someone give me a barn along with an unlimited amount of money, stat.