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Archive for January, 2010

First contributor

We got our first contribution to the Unity Quilt the other day! My friends Rachel and Jason were the first to get theirs to us. Rachel is a friend from college. We spent two years at Drake University in Des Moines, IA together before I left. I loved my time at Drake, but my second year was a challenge. So many of my friends had transferred, I was having a crisis of identity, and I was struggling to figure out what the hell I was doing. If it wasn’t for Rachel, I may not have survived. Thanks Rach.

I’ve heard from a lot of other people who say they’re going to send something, and I love that so many people have really embraced this idea. We weren’t sure how it would be received, but if everyone follows through who says they will, this will be a really cool project.

Again, if you’d like to contribute, let us know and we’ll get you the info you need.

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After writing this sentence the other day — “Rather than a shower for the women only (god I hate that!), we’re going to host a family meet n’ greet slash shower.” — I thought maybe I should clarify the hatred part.

I don’t hate showers. I think they’re a nice way to support people going through big life changes like marriage or babies. But I hate the culture that requires women to carry the burden of this tradition. In most cases, I’d assume, the man in the situation is equally excited to be getting married or having a baby. Not all, but most. Yet he rarely gets to be part of the celebratory showers. The woman only gets showered with gifts like hand mixers and pacifiers, and granted, the man probably benefits from these gifts, but he isn’t part of the actual receiving.

Which means, of course, that it’s the women who give the gifts and throw the showers. And let’s face it, all those showers add up and it can be a burden. There, I said it. I love you and I want to buy you gifts and throw you parties, but it’s hard! Last year I had so many wedding and baby showers, I nearly went broke!  I wanted all those people to have all those things, that’s not the point. The point is that, where are all the men in this! They’re getting married too! They’re having the baby too! Why aren’t the men at these parties? Why aren’t all the male friends and relatives helping out with planning and paying?

Since Mike and I are both getting married, I want us both to enjoy the pre-wedding celebrations. And I want our male friends and relatives to celebrate with us. And I know, I KNOW!, it’s a lot of work to put on these parties, so I don’t want it all to fall to my girls. In fact, we’re throwing our own shower (slash meet and greet) with our families. We’ll be planning and paying for much of the party, even though I’m sure many of my relatives will offer to help.

If my friends express any interest in throwing a shower or having a bachelorette party, I’m all for it. But I don’t expect it, and if it comes up, I will do my best to take some of the burden off them. I can help plan, buy supplies, etc. And I’d be fine with a “girls only” get-together, too, if that’s what they prefer.

I don’t hate showers, and I’ve participated in my fair share. I just don’t want to be responible for putting anybody out, and I don’t want anyone to assume they have to do anything for me. Share the burden. Lighten the load. Get rid of the load. Get the men involved. Whatever. We’re throwing a big family get-together because it’s what we want, and beyond that, we have zero expectations.

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My friend Lindsay suggested that we break down the wedding traditions we’ve been detailing in our Wedding Traditions Explained series from our own point of view. We thought it was a good idea, too. So here it is:

Tossing the bouquet and garter
We will not be doing either. In fact, we won’t even be having a bouquet or garter. I might carry something down the aisle, but it will likely not be flowers. So no tossing.

Including bridesmaids and groomsmen
We’re not having either. We decided it was unnecessary and it would save us some time, stress and money to forgo a wedding party altogether.

Giving away the bride
For awhile I thought if anyone was going to walk me down the aisle, it would be both of my parents, not just my dad. But then I decided the whole escorting down the aisle thing was silly. At least for me. Mike and I will be walking in solo and leaving together. Symbolic eh?

Bridal veil
Skipping it. I’ll wear the pretty lace hair adornment that my friend Katie bought me, and that’s it.

Wedding rings
We will have wedding rings. I like the symbolism here. We both had engagement rings, and we’ll both have wedding bands. And we both split the cost on all four.

Flowers
No final decisions, but I don’t think there will be flowers. Other decorations, yes. Flowers, probably not. No real reason, except we want our decorations to be fun, simple and sort of whimsical, and other ideas seem to work better than flowers.

Bride on groom’s left
We’re not sure yet what we’re doing with placement. We’re not having “sides” because my family is so much bigger than his, so we just want people to sit wherever. I think which side we stand on will depend on what looks and feels right. When we were in the backyard once, getting an idea of how things would be, it seemed like one side was sloped a little more than the other. Being 15 inches shorter than Mike, it makes sense for me to not stand downhill from him.

Wedding cake
No cake. But we will have an ice cream bar and a cupcake bar! Aw yeah.

Something Old…
I will have something old (dress, shoes), and something new (hair piece, rings), and something borrowed (earrings), and maybe even something blue by then, who knows. But none of it is to fulfill the ‘requirements’ of this old saying.

The “wedding”
Yes we’re having a wedding, but there is no purchasing of brides or whatever.

White dress
Nope. It’s green and ivory.

First kiss
Yes we will be having a first kiss. Except we’re trying to think of a good alternative to “you may kiss the bride.” Maybe something like, “You may now take your first kiss as a married couple.” Or something. Thoughts?

Carrying the bride across threshold
Um no. There will be no carrying of the bride over anything.

The honeymoon
Yes yes yes! We’re on a serious budget for the wedding so that we can have enough money for a honeymoon. Nothing fancy though. We’re thinking maybe a short cruise or something. But we definitely want to get away after the wedding.

Bridal shower and bachelor party
Rather than a shower for the women only (god I hate that!), we’re going to host a family meet n’ greet slash shower. Basically we want our families to meet before the wedding, so we’re going to host our own big get-together, and instead of having separate showers, the meet n’ greet can second as one. Then I guess it will be up to our friends if there are any other showers or bachelor(ette) parties. No expectations there.

Wedding march
This relates to our aisle walk above. No wedding march. And as we explained awhile ago, there will be no music either.

Taking hands during the ceremony
I’m sure we’ll hold hands at some point. Right hand to right hand though? That seems a lot like a handshake…

Toasting
We haven’t given this much thought actually. Maybe? But our reception is going to be more like a casual backyard party, and formal toasts might seem awkward. Or not. I’m not really sure. I have a feeling unless someone speaks up strongly about wanting to do a toast, we’ll probably skip this tradition.

Throwing rice
Definitely not. We won’t be departing in any big fashion, and in fact we’ll probably be staying later than most of the guests in order to clean up. So rice throwing or bubbles or sparklers… pretty obsolete.

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