Disclaimer: I promise, under no circumstances, will this become a wedding blog. I know many of you come here, first and foremost, to see pictures of pretty exotic places and for a temporary escape from your cubicle jobs. Also, I’m going at this blindly—I have to say, I never really thought I’d get married and, therefore, have never so much as flipped through a wedding magazine or watched a wedding show (the horror, I know!)—so I’m sure I’ll commit more than a few faux pas along the way. (For example, at what point do you send out save-the-dates for a semi-location wedding when you already know of four other people getting married the same day?!) Thankfully, I have a couple friends who have tackled this minor task in the past year, and they’re already proving to be excellent sources. Since more than a few of you have e-mailed me asking me the status on the pending nuptials, I figure you deserve an update so…here goes.
A date: May 22, 2010. Yes, it seems like ages away (and is, really), but since, collectively, we were all so persuasive as to coax my sister into going on Semester at Sea come spring (which she is now more than stoked about, you’ll be happy to know!) that was the earliest possible date we could do it. She’s sailing around the world from Jan. 16 through May 6, and getting hitched before she goes would be pretty damn near impossible. Scott didn’t see why we couldn’t just throw something together this fall—“I mean, we could just rent out a barbeque truck and park it at the beach!” Boys, sigh—but we’re getting married in California, which means it’s pretty imperative to book a place nearly a year in advance, not to mention I already have quite a few travel commitments for the fall, plus the majority of guests will be coming from the South and East Coast, and you can’t really spring something like this on them with just three months to plan. So yeah, May 22 it is, which is exactly a year and two days after he proposed.
A location: The reception will take place at the Pelican Inn, no more than 100 feet off Muir Beach, just north of San Francisco over the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s a cutesy 16th-century English cottage and pub—coincidentally, built in the 1970’s, ha—and we’re renting out the entire place for the weekend. I can finally release this information, as we met with the wedding planner at the inn yesterday and it’s officially a go (well, as soon as we put down the deposit in two days’ time)! When I started Googling wedding locations in Marin, this was the first place that caught my eye. I’d never even been there and was already obsessed. It was the first place we stopped by on our Tour de Venues, and we both fell head-over-heels in love with the place. So quaint and rustic, so us. Our proposed date was free, and, voila, here we are.
Due to the size of the inn, we can only have 100 people max. If you hail from the South, or have ever been to a Southern wedding, you know this is a tiny fraction of how many people usually grace the guest list (I’ve even been to one where the attendance exceeded 1,000!). Thus, we’re having to be pretty picky about who makes the cut, which is proving harder than I thought. I guess we’ll just bank on a good portion of people not being able to make the cross-country trip. The following month, however, there will be a Tennessee reception at my parents’ house, so that pretty much gets us out of inviting the entire state to the San Francisco affair and not offending anyone. Crisis averted!
The ceremony will was set to be on Muir Beach itself. Call us cliche, but we’re total beach people. Considering I never thought I’d have a Big Day, I didn’t have any preconceived notions about what I wanted. As we live in Northern California, a beach wedding seemed pretty fitting. When we went to check it out, there was a playful otter sunbathing on the bank. We took that as a sign.
HOWEVER. Upon meeting with the wedding planner, we realized how logistically impossible this might be—especially considering you have to get a permit from the federal government and also can’t set up chairs on the sand—so instead, we might just settle on a lawn ceremony and incorporate the beach in some other way (like a late-night beach bonfire, for example, which we were told we could do without a permit).
The wedding party: My sister. Had I decided to have a full-blown bridal party, I would have five lovely ladies from each of our families, my BFF in New York and BFF in Nashville, not to mention a handful of close friends in all the places I’ve lived these past few years to take into consideration, and therefore would be looking at about 47 bridesmaids. I thought it easier to keep it simple and just have my sis up there by my side. Likewise, Scott will have his brother, Jim. I’ve already ordered Kari’s dress from the J. Crew weddings catalog (in the Mediterranean blue)—in fact, like the venue, it was the very first one I ever looked at. (What can I say? I’m an easy bride!) Let’s just hope she doesn’t gain (or lose!) a significant amount of weight while circumnavigating the globe next spring.
Also, I fully intend to have Scott’s (and now my!) niece and nephew—Kiva, 5; Jack, 3—as my flower girl and ring bearer. Shhh, just keep that on the DL until I have a chance to “formally” ask Kiva when I see her next week. Their Grammie, my mother-in-law, Joan, is the most talented seamstress this side of the Mississippi, so I have no doubt they’ll be dressed to the nines.
The ring: While I was back in Tennessee, I went and had my grandmother’s ring divided; she had two diamonds—one was her engagement ring from my grandfather; the other, my great-grandmother’s, which will now go to Kari—and a diamond band. They fit like a glove; I didn’t even have to have them resized. The jeweler said it was best not to split her ring and band apart, as they’re melded together and antiques, so I’m just going to wear them as is. This probably isn’t proper etiquette, but I don’t really care. I’ve never been a traditional sort of gal in the first place. Besides, I’m using Scott’s grandmother’s ring from 1942 as my official band anyway.
Invitations, save-the-dates: I’m hoping my cousin Kelly, who designed this site, will be available for hire in this realm. She’s pretty in demand these days with lots of big-to-do clients, but hopefully I’ve now booked her well enough in advance!
The wedding cake: My best friend from Tennessee, Megan, just happens to be a very talented pastry chef, and she said she wouldn’t have it any other way than her making our cake. Score! Doesn’t mean Scott and I still won’t be out there playing the field and doing tastings in the meantime.
Hair, makeup, vendors, etc.: The heavens opened up and the Beauty Gods sent me an angel. I go to Glow, this most fabulous spa in San Mateo, for a monthly wax (hey, don’t judge…I spend a lot of time in a bikini!), and have the most spectacular waxer (waxist?), whom I adore. Coincidentally, she owns the place and is pretty amazing at hair and make-up, too, so she’ll likely be doing my sister and me. She also works with a whole lot of low-cost vendors, so I think she’s going to hook us up with everything else we may need.
The honeymoon: Here’s what you’ve all been waiting for, right? Well, after much debate—Samoa, Tonga, back to the Maldives, how do we even choose?—we’ve pretty much settled on two weeks in Fiji, sipping boat drinks, working on our tans and logging lots of spectacular dives. Possible contenders include here, here and here (or maybe a combo of two of them, depending on logistics). We really wanted to check out the new underwater resort, Poseidon, but alas, after talking to management, it’s not set to open to 2011. Guess we’ll just have to go back!
Whew, that was a lot accomplished in a short period of time, considering I’ve been in town maybe all of 10 days since getting engaged, no? (Self pat on back.) Now, I can relax for a couple months (haha, wishful thinking, right?) until I have to worry about minor details like seating charts, flowers and, I don’t know, a dress? In the meantime, anyone have any recs for a not-too-cheesy wedding template for our website? We want to throw something together to keep our out-of-towners informed, but are completely against using the Knot (at the same time, we don’t want to pay an arm and a leg either). Thoughts?