Thursday, December 2, 2010


Even if the blog's been quiet for the last few weeks, it doesn't mean I've been avoiding wedding stuff. In fact, I've probably been more productive in the last two weeks than during any other single time during this wedding process. Of course, all that doing has left very little time for writing. And somehow I'm still behind on the doing (it really never ends. I swear I end up adding two items for every item I cross off the to-do list.) So I hope you'll forgive me for a cursory check-in post as I try to sort out the jumble of accomplishments, DIY projects, silly-but-important freakouts, ceremony thoughts, and joining-family joys that I've been grappling with lately. Because here's a fraction of the wedding jumble, as it currently stands:

We ordered our invitations. Hmm. It sounds so deceptively easy when you say it like that. "Oh, we ordered our invitations" doesn't hint at the hours of angst that went into this checklist accomplishment. I may have spent several days pouring through every recycled paper invitation option on etsy (again), every option on Printable Press, every option on Hello Lucky, and every option I'd previously bookmarked for invitation inspiration. Didn't I mention at some point that I didn't care about invitations? Why yes, I did. Well, I gave up. I admitted that I wanted something that made my soul sing a teensy bit, and soul-songs on recycled paper don't seem to happen with the $1.50-$2.00 range invitations. And I admitted that if I had to think about finding a good printer (ours is terrible) and cutting paper and gluing little pieces of paper to make invitations, I would have screamed and thrown a wedding tantrum. So I sucked up the extra dollar per invitation and made my aesthetic soul and my to-do list happy. Sometimes, mini fortunes are oh-so worth it. (wheee money! whee wedding!)

We decided on our ketubah. I fell shell-shock in love with the first ketubah I found over Thanksgiving weekend. Although I've been lazily researching and bookmarking over the last year, I never found anything that made me think "Yes, absolutely YES."  But then I finally got serious about our four-month-out wedding needs (side note: HOLY CRAP FOUR MONTHS), typed something about modern art ketubahs into Google, got directed to a random blog, and gasped. I then showed it to Jason and his jaw dropped. I then spent the next day scrolling through all 800 ketubahs on because I simply couldn't believe that we found our ketubah with my first browser click. Well... it turns out we found our ketubah with my first browser click.  But I had to work through the shock and doubt to really believe my gut.  I think there's a lesson in here somewhere, but if previous wedding lessons have taught me anything, it's that I haven't learned my lesson yet.

We met with our rabbi again, we're re-reading the New Jewish Wedding, and we're starting to talk about the pre-wedding rituals and ceremony ideas that resonate with both of us. This is the raw, momentous, joyful, and bone-achingly important part. This is the part of the wedding that's connecting me to thousands of years of family history, to our present values and relationship, and to our future plans for an ethical Jewish life. We're talking about the beauty and deep wisdom in how our tradition approaches so many aspects of the wedding, and we're talking about which traditions we want to choose and the ways in which we can truly make those traditions ours. It's the part of the wedding that I curl up with at the end of the night, when the rest of it is sending me spinning in headless chicken circles.

We planned out a rough honeymoon itinerary for our Guatemala honeymoon, with the help of our new Lonely Planet guidebook, some of your comments and emails (thank you!) and some internet searches. I can now buy our plane tickets, make a honeymoon registry, and dream about a new camera. Mine broke a year ago and now, after looking through photos of Guatemala, I need a camera. It's been a long time since I had a good excuse to take great travel photos, and I'm itching for it already. I wish I had money to get a DSLR and learn how to use it, but oh well. That can be a post-honeymoon goal. I'm okay with my nice point-and-shoot interim goal because I'm going to Guatemala.

I bought a necklace and a pair of wedding shoes. I returned the shoes and bought a second necklace and earrings. I then ordered another necklace and pair of earrings. (I told you there was a silly-but-important freakout in there. More to come on this particular bout of the wedding crazies in an upcoming post.)

I had my first wedding shower. Jason's mother and their family friend organized and hosted a shower over Thanksgiving. I spend a lot of time before the shower feeling bad about all these women spending money on shower presents and just asking them to host a girl's afternoon. But I get it now. After being overwhelmed with generosity and love from all the women who love Jason, I get it. This deserves its own post too.

I wrote half my shower thank you cards before running out of stationary. Jason then discovered an insane Black Friday (Sunday?) deal on thank you cards at Target: $2.00 for a box of 25 cards. And they're perfectly nice! They aren't as nice as the Paper Source cards I just used up, but they're nice! And given that I'll probably need to write about 150 cards in the near future (showers, holiday, wedding) I'm thrilled with "$2.00 and nice," especially if it's dressed up with the content of heartfelt gratitude.

We ordered rubber stamps: one with our return address (for those 150 thank you cards and 100 invitations) and one with a succulent-looking flower that we can use to accent our table numbers, escort cards, and random paper goods. I decided I couldn't stomach trying to print our return address on envelopes. I also decided that a well-designed self-inking address stamp was far prettier than labels, just as easy to use, and inexpensive when ordered via vistaprint.  And heck, if we say eff it to the floral design stamping (which is a real last minute eff-it possibility), I lost a whole $7 in the transaction. Big whoop.

We decided on our wedding centerpiece idea. For real this time. And while it won't be cheap-cheap, we get to use the pasta sauce jars we've been saving for the last year mixed in with some inexpensive Ikea pieces, succulents, and whatever flowers are in season the day before our wedding.  Now, we just need to prepare ourselves for our biggest DIY wedding endeavor, which will involve goo gone, spray paint, dirt under our fingernails, a last minute trip to buy flowers, and some wine to ease me into a proper "eff it" approach when something surely goes haywire.

There's more. Oh goodness, there's more. But maybe I'll wait to relate that until after our trip to Costco and Ikea this weekend. And until after I actually put in our rental order (I know, I know. I'm procrastinating and still haven't made up my mind on the stupid glasses.) But the point is, there's been a whirlwind of forward motion that caught me up and left me without time or perspective to write. And it feels good to whittle away at this darn checklist.


  1. So I finally bought a DSLR this year and I'm in love with it - but what I was really surprised to find out is that you can rent cameras and lenses. For something like $150, you can rent an entry level DSLR and lens for the length of your honeymoon, and then you can put the other $200 you would be spending on buying a new camera towards the purchase of a DSLR in the future. You would get really amazing travel pictures for a fraction of the price of a new camera. even lets you rent point & shoot cameras for very cheap. You should seriously think about it instead of buying a p&s that you'll want to replace immediately. And the DSLR is sooooo nice for honeymoon pictures.

  2. YAY! Wow, you are making major progress. Congrats!!!! Great deal on your thank you's! I also got Target thank you's which looked nice, but the envelopes were not so pretty once I added my not-attractive handwriting. So I decided to print a label with pretty font and a design to stick on with the return and mailing addresses, and that was just what they needed to feel "special." Sounds like your return address stamp will give your envelopes that pretty touch. I would love to get a return address stamp someday, but we move too much, haha. Maybe if we ever buy a house.... :)

    Anyhow, CONGRATS on tons of progress.

  3. That is one smokin' list of to-dos gone from the checklist. Progress! And a big YES to the Target Thank You cards. We got letterpress ones that were not letterpress priced. No, they weren't recycled, but something's gotta give sometimes, y'know?

    Also, Ellie, that's a good tip about renting cameras . . . I had no idea! We got a new DSLR earlier this year, and it was great for our post-wedding getaway. Although, I must admit, there's something to be said for the unencumbered-ness of sticking a little p&s in your pocket and frolicking away!

  4. I was so anti bridal showers when we first got engaged, mainly because I felt so bad about the cost involved. I told everyone I didn't want one. I ended up with 2 surprise showers. Afterwards, I got it. It wasn't about me (well it WAS, but it also wasn't). It made them so happy to do it for me. Overwhelming and awesome, all of it.

    Yay for conquering checklists! Getting close for you!

  5. Oh it is so good to hear things are going well on your end and you're making progress. My end, not so much. But I'll just revel in your accomplishments today and pretend they are mine too. If you let me. ;)

    I really need to hear more on this necklace/shoe freakout.

  6. it's allllll coming together :-) Go you!

    I think it's rad you wrote your thank you cards immediately too - I'm into writing them right away as well. It's always such a nice gesture. I'm not sure why thank you notes are no longer in vogue (I don't think I've EVER received one from gifts we've given!) But I think they are classy and totally necessary. :-)

  7. I am impressed with all of your progress, but mostly I commiserate with your desire for a new camera.

    I'm dying to get a new camera. It's the only thing I want for Christmas (well, besides a snuggie because I'm flipping freezing, but Tony is constitutionally opposed to Snuggies, so camera it is).

  8. @Sarah - no joke, I love my slanket (which is of much higher quality and warmth than a snuggie). I got it for secret santa last year. See if you can swing that at your office and start to drop solid hints...

  9. Ooh nice to see these items being checked off. Wow and 4 months - where did the time go?'

    So good that you're writing your thank you cards now (think my husband still has some and it's too late and I'm too tired to hound him any more).

    I was thinking of posting this super simple enamel bottle DIY -I'll do it next week and we'll see if it provides any inspiration for your centerpieces.

  10. If the goo gone is for removing the labels on the jars, you probably don't need it! I have been hoarding pasta jars for a long time and find that soaking them in water for a few hours or overnight allows the labels to pretty much just rub off... at most, a few swipes with a sponge gets all teh gunk off!

    Congrats on checking off so many big giant ticky-boxes on your to-do list! Time flies!

  11. you are doin the damn thing! i can't wait to see your invitations! pre-writing thank you cards = awesome.

  12. YAY! Yay yay yay! I love getting things done. I know it feels like there is so much left, but this is a serious list of accomplishments.

    And woman, I feel you on the "love the first thing you find and subsequently doubt it and do a bunch of follow-up research" front. I FEEL you.

    Also, can I tell you a secret? The beau ordered our rubber stamps for our return address label from Etsy. He found two designs he loved, and they were inexpensive enough, so we got both. Guess what? Two weeks later, they arrive, and he triumphantly stamps them all over a sheet of paper to test them out, and shows the sheet to me (no, he is not usually into stamping, but weddings do these kinds of things to all kinds of people). So I look at the piece of paper, and back to his grinning face, and I go: um, we don't live in that city. Instead of Santa Barbara, he'd put down "Santa [hislastname]." Seriously. For both stamps. And he approved both proofs without noticing.

    He was SO MAD.

    We only reordered one.

    //end of pointless story

  13. This is the best checklist post I've ever read!

    Dying to see the jewelry! And which ketubah did you end up getting? This goyish girl has no understanding of what this actually is (still, even after you explained it to my dumb ass), but they are BEAUTIFUL!

  14. I'm a check-list junkie so I'm glad to hear that things are coming off the list for you.

    I also can't wait to read about your shower. Being that I'm not used to people doing things for me, I am not sure how it would resonate if that happens to me but I would love to read about your reactions to yours!


I love active conversations, including (civil) disagreement. I don't love spam or people who use internet anonymity to be rude and disparaging. Spam and rudeness will be deleted.