Category Archives: wedding

Rolling Resolutions: Personal, Creative, and Professional Goals

I hate New Year’s resolutions.

Basically, I hate anything that sets me up for disappointment. And setting a list of goals to accomplish in the new year always sets me up for disappointment.

Sure, I’ll start off great. But then life gets in the way, and by December, instead of looking at everything the year has brought me and everything I have accomplished… all I can see are those unchecked items on my list.

So instead, I revise my ongoing list of goals to reflect what I would like to accomplish moving forward. If it gets done in 2014, great. If I even start it this year, wonderful. Sometimes, all I have to do is mull one of the items over sometime in the course of the year. Other times, circumstances change so that I can’t, or no longer need or want to, accomplish one or more of the items on the list.

And it makes for a nice little blog post at the beginning of the year.

There is one thing I like about tying these goals to a new year: The holidays often take precedence over any type of personal or career development I have in mind. Eating habits worsen. Exercise is laughable. So I can see the benefits of “starting fresh.” But I’m still not going to make myself finish an entire to-do list in one year.

So what’s on this “All-Year Resolutions” list?

Family

Family photos

1. Be more present. One of the things I most regret about this past year, and probably all years, is not being present — but especially because this year brought us the greatest gift ever, our son. I do believe I have been more present, positive, and optimistic this year because of him. But there were also great swaths of time where I was too focused on meaningless details that, in the grand scheme of things, didn’t really matter, and I had no control over anyway. For instance, baby sleep.

wail

My God, how obsessed I was about baby sleep. I logged every minute he spent with eyes closed in an app, built spreadsheets to try to determine his sleep patterns for optimal nap scheduling, endlessly researched baby sleep, and generally fretted over every little thing. I worried about why he wasn’t sleeping in the crib at 3 weeks, 4 weeks, 6 weeks, 8 weeks, three months, four months, five. I dramatically sighed and rolled my eyes and succumbed to despair every single time he made a peep after we believed he had finally — FINALLY — fallen asleep.

The fact is, our kid has never been a stellar napper. And for a long time, he sucked at falling asleep. He was always a good nighttime sleeper — at least, he always slept appropriately for whatever age he was.

And then, at five months, when he learned to roll over, we were finally able to put him in the crib, because he could do what he couldn’t up until then: roll onto his tummy, in his favorite sleeping position, and fall asleep.

And he fell into his own natural schedule.

And sometimes he’s tired behind schedule. And sometimes he’s tired ahead of schedule.

And now we don’t really stress. Mainly because it’s become easier.

But I really wish I hadn’t spent all that time crazed over something that, for the most part, I couldn’t control.

Baby sleep, man. Shit’s nuts. Deal with it and try to stay sane.

That’s just one example, but in general, I would like to spend more time WITH my family — “with” meaning in body, mind, spirit, heart. Not half-listening to my husband, half playing Candy Crush Saga. Not too busy instagramming a great moment with my son that I miss a dozen other great moments. Not worrying about yesterday, tomorrow, and everything in between when I should be enjoying right now with my family.

Personal

1. Physical activity. The year we got married, I really upped my fitness regimen.

Okay, I started a fitness regimen. Because until then, there was nothing to up.

I’m not one of those people who thrives on the adrenaline I get from working out. I hate working out. Hate. It. But I love the results.

But we got married, and went on a honeymoon cruise, and had Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then we were TTC, then I was pregnant, then I was a busy new mom, then I was breastfeeding, then it was Thanksgiving, then Christmas… basically, a million and one excuses for letting things slide. And it’s not about looking great (though that’d be nice). But it’s about feeling great, and feeling healthy. So now that our breastfeeding relationship is nearing an end, I’d like to get back on the fitness bandwagon. Which ties in with my next personal goal…

2. Diet. Not as in, start a diet. But as in, watch my diet. As in, the things I eat.

Eat better.

Like, not having a handful (or two) of M&Ms for a mid-morning snack. Like, HAVING a mid-morning snack. Like, not eating three helpings of pie. And a bowl of ice cream. And a bag of Lemonheads.

3. Work on my book. Last year, I started writing a contemporary young adult novel. I got the first draft done, and then I took a break, and during that break, I started a side business and that has taken up the abundance of my “free time.” This year, I’d like to work on that first draft and see what happens.

Professional

1. Grow my web presence. One of my biggest goals for my side business was to start a website for Franny & Franky Designs, my new graphic design business — which I accomplished two days before the New Year. So now, in addition to having a Franny & Franky Designs storefront on Etsy, it has its own place on the web, as well. I like it.

Franny & Franky Designs website

I registered a domain with GoDaddy and used Wix.com for the hosting. I opted for Wix’s unlimited package, which doesn’t have a shopping cart. That was just fine with me — I actually thought I would do an additional storefront here, but its cart was a little limited for what I wanted to do, and the idea of keeping up a storefront on Etsy and my own site gave me a headache. So I’m just linking to my Etsy shop from there.

There are a couple of things I love about having an additional website. First, it gives me a place to showcase my custom work, which I can’t do on Etsy. It also gives me another place on the internet to work my keywords, hopefully boosting my search engine ranking over time. It’s another way for people to find me. It allows me to tell more of a story than I tell on Etsy. And… well, it’s just fun.

2. Roll out a few new product lines for Franny & Franky Designs. I’ve already rolled out a few.  I’d like to work on more. The cool thing about creativity is that action begets ideas. In other words, the more stuff I work on, the more ideas I get.

family name wix

Franny & Franky Designs Wedding state guest book alternative art print

il_fullxfull.551011848_l1nz

New York City road map heart art print at Franny & Franky Designs on Etsy

Custom Wedding City Road Map Guest Book alternative art print at Franny & Franky Designs on Etsy

Custom wedding city save the date postcard by Franny & Franky Designs on Etsy

You might notice a pattern — more wedding products. I really love the idea of many of my designs being used as wedding guest book art prints. You know, those guest book alternatives that replace the traditional guest book, where guests sign a large print that you can then frame and display in your home. I considered having one of these at our own wedding a couple of years back, but ultimately decided on a book. Now, I wish I’d had this idea back then so I could have had one of my own prints there!

At any rate, that leads me to my next goal for the business…

3. Expand my wedding business

I’ve already purchased a featured listing on mywedding.com, and we’ll see how that goes. I just wanted to start with one listing since I’m not super established yet and don’t have a huge marketing budget. It’s really a Catch-22. You need exposure to get big, but it’s hard to come by exposure when you’re just starting out. I’ve identified a few things I need to do, though, to start building this market, and I realize it’s going to come slowly since it is such a saturated market. For now, I’m reaching out to wedding planners (locally for the time being) to let them know about my products, contacting wedding bloggers and shopping sites, setting up as many free listings as possible, and working up a plan to incorporate more wedding decor content on this blog, on my Facebook page, on Twitter, etc. For example, I have a blog post planned on how to reuse wedding decor elements in your home to extend their life and give you a sweet reminder of the day.

4. Expand my business in general

I started this thing thinking, “I wonder if anybody will buy these.” Four months later, I’ve made over 100 sales, with minimal promotion. And without a business or marketing plan. So my goal this year is to develop a business plan and goals, achievements that I’ll need to reach to get closer to my goals, and steps to take to make those achievements. More on this in a later post.

You’ll notice that my professional area has more goals than family. But that’s not because the professional area is more important. It’s just because there are more actionable goals there. And, ultimately, I want to grow it to the point where I can work from home and be there for the kid’s after-school activities and whatnot.

So — what are your resolutions, goals, plans, hopes, dreams, whatever you choose to call them, for this year and beyond?

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Etsy Mondays: Amy Alexander Designs

We all know how much I love the collage-y statement jewelry trend. Well, at least, we should — remember my wedding bracelet from Etsy seller Tatty Chic?

_MG_8934

Which, by the way, I had given one of my bridesmaids to hold in her purse that night, and just finally got back from her TWO MONTHS ago. And I see her ALL THE TIME.

Well, I wanted to talk about Amy Alexander Designs for my first Etsy Monday, because her pieces are so amazing. If I were getting married now, instead of two years ago, I would totally be buying up everything in her shop.

Antique Bronze Flower Pocket Watch Necklace Jewelry by Amy Alexander Designs

Shop owner Rebecca Harris uses both new and vintage components in her creations, like this pocket watch necklace made from a filigreed clock pendant, white enamel and metal flowers, a pink glass rhinestone, and a brass chain.

Gold Bracelet, Wedding Bracelet, Bridal Jewelry, Beaded Cuff, Wedding Accessories by Amy Alexander Designs

I think if this were my listing, I’d call it “The Amazeballs Bracelet.” Handcrafted by a golden-toned double-layer butterfly with glass rhinestone detail, a metal emerald green rose, green resin flowers, a white-and-gold Swarovski rhinestone flower, gold-plated leaf and flower embellishments, and a white enamel flower with a rhinestone center.

Wedding Brooch Bridal Pin Bridal Broach Wedding Broach Gold Jewelry by Amy Alexander Designs

Her pieces would work equally well for a vintage or modern wedding. I was always looking for one-of-a-kind items like this to give my bridal style a unique edge. This brooch is handcrafted from a pastel green resin rose, vintage opal, wildflower with gold-toned trim, and gold-plated leaves.

Some more of her amazing creations (click on any image to be taken to its listing):

White Flower Bridal Hair Comb , Wedding Hair Piece , Crystal Rhinestone Wedding by Amy Alexander Designs Cuff Bracelet , Sage Green Beaded Bracelet , Wedding Cuff , Peacock Bracelet by Amy Alexander Designs Bridal Ring, Ivory Wedding Ring, Flower Jewelry by Amy Alexander Designs White Rose Wedding Earrings , Gold Plated Dangle Earrings , Turquoise and Topaz Bridal Accessories by Amy Alexander Designs

And by the way, Rebecca didn’t pay me in any way to rave about her jewelry — I just stumbled across her shop and had to give her a shoutout because her items are so unusual and sweet.

Check out Rebecca’s shop, Amy Alexander Designs, if you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind piece for your bridal look, or just for your jewelry collection in general.

XOXO

Tagged , , , , ,

One Year: New Marriage, New House, New Baby (to be)

Mister Mister and I celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary this past weekend. I can hardly believe it’s been one year — it either feels like a lot less because it seems like just yesterday we were running around planning a wedding, or like a lot more because of all we’ve accomplished in this past year. Not only did we get married last November, but we bought a house in April and conceived a child in May. While everybody did say, “Oh, wait to have kids, enjoy each other first, blah blah blah,” it was pretty neat celebrating our anniversary at almost 7 months pregnant with Mister Mister’s son.

Since our anniversary fell on a Monday, we had the bulk of our celebration on Saturday. The day was busy for me — chiropractor, haircut, trying to vote and ending up picking up a mail-in ballot instead — but after all that and a nap, we headed down to Anna Maria Island to eat at one of our favorite restaurants from when Mister Mister lived down there, which was also the site of our rehearsal dinner last year.

We also exchanged gifts on Saturday. I got Mister Mister somewhat sentimental gift to go with the “paper” theme — the book “What I Love About You” by Kate and David Marshall. It’s filled with prompts like “If we’d first met in a comic strip, the thought bubble over my head would have said…” and “One of your most irresistible physical features is…”

At 112 pages, it’s not exactly easy to fill out. It took me 2 months of slowly answering the questions — some of which I had no answer for so I goofed around, others that were pretty repetitive — on breaks at work. I was afraid to bring it home lest he find it. And while I was feeling sheepish about whether it was a dumb gift, he loved it, though he did at first think it was just a regular old book somebody else had written until he started going through it.

For his part, he got me an awesome gift: A print from the Dark Hall Mansion Yellow Submarine ’68 set. We both love the Beatles, and he knows I love quirky art, so this was an amazing gift. The quality is really awesome too, printed on archival paper and numbered. It earned a special place in our hallway, across from our gallery wall of wedding/honeymoon/pet photos.

On Monday (our actual anniversary), we opted to eat out again, but only because I was starving and the meal I had planned to cook that night was supposed to take an hour. So we went out for burgers, and then came back and ate our year-old wedding cake.

We had wrapped the cake in saran, as well as the box, and stored it in our pretty small freezer for a year, so it’s nice to have that space back. We thawed it out in the fridge overnight by taking it out of the box and wrapping the cake in a fresh layer of parchment paper, then a couple of layers of saran. And while everybody swore it would be gross, it wasn’t that bad! I mean, it was year-old wedding cake… but it wasn’t terrible.

All in all, it was a pretty sweet little weekend, and totally us — low-key and homey. We even snuck in a competitive game of Catchphrase on Saturday night. Yes, we play Catchphrase just the two of us. The dog is also not impressed.

Tagged , ,

Mr. and Mrs. Mr. Ladyfingers

What’d you do this weekend? I got married. No big.

For the record, it was perfectly perfect in every way. I forgot to wear my dress’ sleeves the way they had been tailored, a guest brought an unexpected date, I had a moment where I thought the Reverend had left without us having signed the marriage license (I remembered that we’d both signed it when we got it at city hall a couple of months ago), the DJ played a Spongebob Squarepants interlude in the middle of “Shout!” and played our cake cutting song an hour after the cake cutting, and somebody brought a baby, which made it awkward for those who we’d told could not bring their babies.

And you know what? I barely even noticed any of these things. Because we were man and wife, and that was that.

In a little less than a week, we’ll be heading off for our 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise honeymoon. This week at work will be a bit tough with that on the horizon. I’d lie if I said I didn’t get a little weepy earlier after having 11 months of planning, obsessing, crafting, and dreaming all of  a sudden come to an end after one very kick-ass party. And soon, I’ll be able to begin my recaps. I have a couple of projects to share in the interim (but you’ll probably have to wait until after the honeymoon, if that’s OK with you). But in the meantime, here’s a quick peek our photographer posted on Facebook. I think it about sums things up.

Image via Shorts Shots

Today is the Day Before The Day

The weather, so far, is so good.

On Tuesday, I said goodbye to my coworkers as a single lady, to return as a married woman.

On Wednesday, we carted all our items to the caterer and put them in their capable hands, leaving us with nothing to do but hang out with family and wait.

My stomach has been doing flips, even though I would tell you I’m not stressed out, and everybody’s been saying how calm I am. You could have fooled my tummy.

Family descended upon us.

Today, we rehearse our wedding. The girls and I will get our nails done, and then eat some yummy seafood. I’ll stay up way too late.

And then, we’ll get married.

All these months of planning, of weighing the merits of each shade of hot pink and degree of gray fonts, of agonizing over which flats to buy, of first dance selections, of tastings, of check-writing and stress-eating and fighting and giggling and marriage-license-applying and trying to keep my skin clear and trying not to bite my nails… it’s all come down to one day: four-and-a-half hours of getting hair and makeup done with some of my best friends. Two-and-a-half hours of driving and dressing and trying not to freak out. Thirty minutes of dedicating ourselves as man and wife to a crowd of our closest friends and family members. An hour of formal photographs. Four-and-a-half hours of eating dinner, dancing, cutting cake, and tossing things. A nighttime of giddiness.

At least, that’s the plan.

Did the time fly by for you, as well? Did you feel nervous physically the week of, even though mentally you seemed just fine? Did you totally check the weather like a crazy person, even though you told others not to when their weddings came along?

The Numbers Are In: The Ladyfingers RSVP Breakdown

Our final, final deadline was last Saturday, and we spent a couple of days beyond that tracking down some stragglers (like, oh, our Reverend and his wife). Like many before me, I feel compelled to share our breakdown and how we feel about it.

I love charts, so I spent way too much time this morning composing a few.

First, our out-of-town/in-town guest count.

We invited 73 people to the wedding – 39 from out of town, and 34 from in-town. Mr. Ladyfingers’ family is all up in New York, and his whole wedding party is scattered around the country.

However, sadly, more of our out-of-town guests had to decline than in-town guests. We ended up with 23 out-of-town guests and 29 in-town. As we had anticipated, most of our out-of-town guests with children couldn’t make it due to our no-children policy. It wasn’t that we dislike children, but if everybody brought their kid, with an under-80-person guest list, that would have been 1/4 of our list. Given those adults we definitely wanted on the list, this wasn’t feasible. That meant losing two of my cousins (and their subsequent families) and three of his friends he grew up with (and their families).

We have two “assumed” in-town guests at this point. One is for my single bridesmaid’s potential +1. The other is for Mr. Ladyfinger’s friend’s girlfriend… since this friend apparently doesn’t believe in RSVPs, and all he’s told us is he’ll “probably” bring her, it’s  track-down time in these last couple of days before our final count needs to be in.

And we had two out-of-town guests – an old, dear friend of mine and her husband – who never RSVP’ed one way or the other. Last I talked to her, a couple of weeks ago, she said they still weren’t sure they’d be coming from St. Louis. We haven’t heard back, so we’re just assuming “no.”

Other fun facts:

  • Of the initial 73 we invited, four “no’s” came from unused +1s.
  • We lost 10 guests due to our “no child” policy.
  • Then there’s us, who I kept forgetting to count
  • And two vendors, who get meals but no apps, but need to be included in the final count

That brings our grand total of “final” guests, including us and our vendors, to 56: 75% of our initial list, or slightly greater than the “industry standard” of a 20% decline rate.

I had a low point last week where I was mocking up a seating chart and noticed there were many more Mr. Ladyfinger folds than Miss Ladyfinger folks – only six of my family members, versus his 12. Twenty-one of his friends, versus 13 of mine. Then, it was pointed out to me that this is no numbers game, and that really, many of his friends ARE my friends, and vice versa. And family? Well, by the time dinner rolls around, won’t we ALL be family?

I also had a brief moment where I wondered if we *should* have opened up our list beyond that 80 that our venue could hold. Clearly, we wouldn’t have gone over capacity. I could have said yes to my dad’s two random friends. Mr. Ladyfingers could have said yes to his dad’s two set of cousins that Mr. Ladyfingers had never even met. I could have invited a handful of acquaintances I’m not close with, but who might be hurt and confused that they weren’t invited.

And then, Mr. Ladyfingers asked me if I was sad that we weren’t having a bigger wedding. And you know what? Absolutely, no. I am not. We’ll have 52 of our nearest and dearest with us in that room that day. At least one of us will know every single person there. We’ll be able to say hi to most of them, probably all, and hang out with many. We’ll be able to experience the night rather than being carried through it in a haze of introductions and logistics.

And had we gone for a bigger wedding, something in a venue that held more than 80, perhaps 50 or 200? I don’t think I would have been able to do many of the little touches that weren’t a big pain with 80 people. I wouldn’t have been able to hand-address our invitations, or splurge on cute rehearsal dinner invitations. I wouldn’t have been able to hand-make and package our favors. I wouldn’t have been able to make programs, or hand-stamp and write out our escort cards.

No, I’m glad we’re having the wedding we’re having. And with 10 days to go… I’m glad we’re having a wedding, period.

How ab0ut you? Was your RSVP count revealing in any way? Did the final number make you regretful that you’d done it a certain way – whether it was a low count that made you regret not opening things up, or a high count that made you regret bending to the requests of those around you? And were there things you were able to do because of a smaller wedding – or things you could not do because of a larger wedding?

30 Days and Counting: A Bad Case of the Crazies

Bride Brain [\ˈbrīd\-\ˈbrān\]:

A less invasive, but more expensive version of a frontal lobotomy. Experienced by most brides, as they enter a catatonic state which renders them incapable of sustaining any thought or conversation that does not involve cake, caterers, flowers, wedding dress designers, Chinese wedding dress knockoff designers, updo’s, hair pieces, color schemes, wedding themes, and personalized M&M’s.
Bride Brain symptoms include, but are not limited to, driving erratically because they can’t stop staring at their shiny diamond ring; being amused by the resentment of all their single girlfriends, rewinding songs several hundred times while imagining themselves walking down the aisle, and starvation induced bitchiness which is generally followed by late night binging at a Dairy Queen. (Note that this can only occur outside of the bride’s native geographic area, where they can’t possibly run into anyone they know).
Symptoms are ordinarily well controlled with valium, alcohol and endless hours of watching youtube “first dance” videos.
Yesterday, it was like a flip had been switched. I suddenly moved from a state of relative yet appropriate obsession of all wedding-related details, to an insatiable desire to answer ALL QUESTIONS IMMEDIATELY. I became acutely aware that by brain is a minefield of loose ends and logistics that cannot be quieted. I yearn for normal conversations that begin with me asking another person, “How are you?” My text messages are pushing my phone plan’s limits. I ask significantly out-of-context questions (“Speaking of game night, can you bring my bag to our wedding-night hotel that day?”). I send rambling emails to our caterer that abruptly start and end.
I’ve got bride brain.
Image via someecards
Nobody tells you that it gets like this. Wait – everybody tells you that. But you don’t know until you get there. Now, mind you, not everybody has a case of the crazies when hitting T-minus 30 days. Some never get there. Some arrive sooner, or later. I’m normally a detail-driven plan-maker, so I really should have seen this coming. I get so bent out of shape when doing dinner at a restaurant for more than 5 people. A whole freakin’ wedding? Puh-leeze. I need a valium drip.
One thing that’s helped a lot is allowing myself to abandon projects that haven’t gotten started or even gotten near halfway done. This means no bunting – in fact, no additional decoration on our deck at all. It means no out-of-town bags (sorry, out of town guests!). And, much to my chagrin, it means no vows in jars, no awesome seating signs, no alternative guestbooks, and no, no, NO additional projects that I originally didn’t plan, but which now seem so awesome to me reading about them one month before the wedding.
I told Mr. Ladyfingers not to worry, that I’d only be like this for a short while longer.
Well, until we start house hunting. And then until we have kids.
Oh, let’s face it: I’ll always have somewhat of a case of the crazies.
Have you started experiencing bridal brain? What are your tips for staying afloat while nearing the finishing line? Anybody want to come to Dairy Queen with me?

Cart Before the Horse: Thinking of “After the Wedding” Before the Wedding

I have this issue  where I always have my head in the future. There’s a saying I love which is, if you have one foot in the yesterday and one foot in tomorrow, you’re bound to be pissing in today (sorry for the unladylike language). And that’s always what I end up doing: Pissing on today because I’m so busy turning the past over in my head and making plans for the future that’s not even here yet. With me so far?

It happened when Mr. Ladyfingers and I were dating and living separately. All I could think about was living together, to the point that I had to nearly restrain myself from bringing up the idea before it was necessary. It happened when we moved in together before we got engaged. All I could think about was being engaged, planning a wedding, all that jazz. And now it’s happening while we’re engaged and before we’re married. It’s not just that I have my head in the wedding and OMG when will it get here 30-something days feels like FUREVAHHH. It’s, “After we wedding we should start putting aside the same amount of money we are currently for the wedding for a downpayment on a house, the houses in our neighborhood are $100,000 so if we stay on track we should have 15% of that by the spring of 2013 which is perfect because if we renew our rental once more, our lease will again expire in May 2013, and then once we buy our perfect house we can start trying to have babies, and during the pregnancy we can save up for my unpaid maternity leave, but wait is 33 too old to start trying and maybe we should start trying now, nobody’s ever really READY for a baby right?”

If that made you dizzy and uncomfy, then welcome to the club.

We have a joke around here that my head must be a scary place — lots of swordfights and cats covered in ketchup and people singing nursery rhymes in the corners with dunce caps on. In other words, a wasteland of bizarre and otherworldly nonsense. Considering that I have no filter, none, when it comes to the stuff floating around up there, it makes for some stupid crazy conversations. Like my three-year plan for saving, buying, and procreating. Another saying: If you want to make God laugh, make a plan. Right now, God is ROFL’ing.

I so yearn to keep my mind in the present, to focus on the task at hand, to enjoy what’s here before it’s gone. I’ve had all manner of advice in the past, and I try to apply it, but my mind just keeps traveling ahead of me, painting pictures of my family and our babies and our home and our next careers and our trips and everything.

The fact of the matter is, not once in my life, not ONCE, have things worked out the way I thought they would, or even wanted them to. They’ve always always ALWAYS worked out better than I could ever imagine. If my life unfolded exactly to my plan, I would be short changing myself. I’ve made a vow to myself that there will be no more baby talk, no more “house browsing” online, and only a minimum of collecting nursery decoration and kids’ birthday party ideas on Pinterest — at least until after the wedding. We’ll see how well I can stick to that, but my intentions are pure, I’m telling you.

Has anybody else suffered from “future-itis”? How have you managed to keep your head in today and leave tomorrow to the professionals?

LEGAL!

Guess what we did on our lunch break?

Personal photo

Yeah, that’s right! We’re now licensed to wed (well… in a day or so, given Florida’s three-day waiting period).

In Florida, the requirements are the same statewide in all counties. The license is $93.50 (less if you have premarital classes) and is good for 60 days, in any county, after a three-day waiting period. So we visited the courthouse in downtown Tampa and after about 15 minutes and an oath that everything we’d written on our application was indeed true to the best of our knowledge, we walked away with this totally ugly license. Yahoo!

I have to say, seeing that little room off to the side with the arch and the pulpit really tempted us. I half-jokingly said we should just come back in a few days and DO IT. Unfortunately, it looks like we’re really going to get hitched in front of all those people.

Was your marriage license experience as exciting as ours?

Here Come the (People Before) the Bride

The wedding planning universe is a funny, funny place. It’s full of pretty meaningless details that can go from being completely ignored to absolutely essential in a manner of hours — nay, minutes. For us, the most recent wrench has been the ceremony’s seating of the parents. Warning: You’re about to dive into a logistical nightmare of epic proportions, with every combination of our bridal party doing an endless number of things. You’ve been cautioned.

We thought we’d pretty much figured this out at our meeting last month with the officiant: The Reverend, Mr. Ladyfingers, and his groomsmen would file in from the side of the lawn, along with FFIL Ladyfingers, who would just kind of sit down without fanfare. Then, we’d do a special song for seating Mr. LF’s mother and my dad’s fiancee, and then the bridesmaid processional song would begin, followed by my processional song.

Then, I got on the phone with our caterer/coordinator to do our ceremony appointment — and it’s been a crapstorm all afternoon since.

 

 

Scottish-style bridal processional/Image via Blue Bonnet Tartan Weddings/Photo by Alison Cooke Photography

Her line of questioning, along with my vague grasp of what we’d decided in the first place, ended in an all-afternoon email session with Mr. LF on why MY way of seating the parents is the RIGHT way. He’s voiced his opinion, and I keep deciding he’s wrong. This is clearly not in the spirit of collaborative wedding planning — nor in the spirit of the ceremony in general.

I keep getting hung up on family dynamic — his parents are divorced, and my mother is deceased. And I can’t seem to recall a single way I’ve seen this done at any other wedding.

Our options so far have been:

1. The way we originally decided: Reverend, groom, groomsmen file into positions, groom’s dad files behind them and sits in the front row, groom’s mother and my dad’s fiancee each come down the aisle, solo and individually. Pros: Nobody sticks out, nobody feels awkward, the ladies get recognized, and Mr. LF’s happy because it doesn’t involve him coming down the aisle. Cons: Potentially isolating to have the mom and future-stepmom walk down all by their lonesome.

2. The way that, today, I decided was the right way: Reverend comes out from the side, Mr. LF’s dad comes down the aisle, Mr. LF escorts his mother down the aisle and takes his spot next to the Reverend, Best Man escorts my future-stepmom and takes his spot next to Mr. LF, remaining three groomsmen file into place from the side, and bridesmaid processional follows. Pros: Nice and sweet to have Mr. LF escort his mother; neither of the ladies have to stick out; smooth order of things. Cons: The big one – Mr. LF really doesn’t want to walk down the aisle. He’s never seen this done and thinks we should reserve it for me and my dad. Also, his dad would be coming down solo, which might be weird.

 

Photo by Sarah McGee Photography

3. The alternative our caterer proposed: No special seating for parents. They just come and sit whenever, Reverend, Mr. LF. and groomsmen file into position, and processonal music cues bridesmaids. Pros: We don’t have to try to figure out a solitary thing. Cons: This seems super informal and almost like cheating the parents in a weird way that probably only exists in my head.

Image via Another Damn Wedding/Photo by Christina Richards

4. The alternative Mr. LF proposed – a combo of #1 and #2: Reverend, Mr. LF, and groomsmen (minus one) file into position from side; Mr LF’s parents come down the aisle together; one groomsman escorts my future-stepmom down the aisle; followed by bridesmaid processional. Pros: Solves the issue of John coming down the aisle, in addition to the issue of no lady being solo. Cons: I don’t know that Mr. LF’s parents, being divorced, would be OK coming down the aisle all couple-like.

Photo by Luster Studios

So, assuming you’ve made it through my senseless blather, which do you prefer?

#1

#2

#3

#4

Some other combination of seating (explain in comments).

Did you have crazed thoughts about how to organize your processional? If you had divorced parents and step/future-step parents in the mix, how did you handle things?

P.S. Go figure — another option has cropped up: The groom escorting both the mother and the father down the aisle. A winner, assuming I can move Mr. LF to stop being scared of walking down the aisle?

Image via Delightfully Engaged/Photo by Beautiful Day Photography