Saturday, June 27, 2009

If it's not one thing, it's another

Rob and I have been hitting reception halls, actually meeting with real human beings, which makes us both want to tear our hair out. Not that we're anti-social or anything... but this world of 80" rounds, chair rentals, and wine selections just is not our thing.

Last weekend, we checked out Manakiki, which until recently was at the very top of our list. I say "until recently" because although the outdoor space here is nothing short of breathtaking, the indoor space is bland at best... and that's only if we take down the curtains, which are an unfortunate floral affair entirely incompatible with our fetching color scheme. This they will do... for a charge of course.

This is the problem we've run into with finding a reception hall. Each place seems to have one thing we really love, and one thing we really hate. I find myself wishing we could combine all of the best aspects of each place, because I'd rather not have to pull a Sophie's Choice. If the place is awesome, it's way too far away. If the indoor space is nice, there's no good outdoor ceremony location. If both are nice, it's too small... and so on.

We wanted to make a decision by the end of June... but it's looking like mid-July is going to be more realistic. So it goes.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Detail work

There are many details involved in planning a wedding. Oh sure... a lot of it is great fun. You get to look at pictures and go to tastings and feel nice papers and such, but the real pain in the ass is that each of the details spawns its own little set of details, which can send a couple into a head-spinning spiral of decision making. Case in point: the invitation.

Rob and I recently ordered some samples from The Green Kangaroo, and fell pretty instantly in love with them. "Let's get these!" we proclaimed, grinning at each other full of love and awed that we're really going to be able to pull this wedding thing together. This is good, I suppose, to have this one little detail put together... but, wait a second... is it really together?

Well, there's the reply cards to consider... should we go with postcard style, or traditional? Should we have the envelopes printed with raised ink, or colored ink... or raised color ink? That's going to be extra, huh? What about calligraphy? Is our handwriting legible enough to write all these out by hand? Will it still be legible after 10 or so envelopes? Oh, that's right.. we have three colors for the wedding, how can we include them all with 2 color invites? Should we include a map/reception card or just print out something on nice paper? Is that gauche? Are we gauche? Is this how you spell gauche?

And who the hell are we going to invite, anyway... and how should we address them? One book says the woman's name always comes first and another says that a cohabiting couple is listed alphabetically... what the crap? Wait a minute, shit... do our thank you cards have to match, too? For that matter, do we have to use phrases like "request the honour of your presence"? Is that how you spell honour? Is that gauche?

But I suppose I'm happy. Happy that we have at least something done, whether or not we seem to opening Pandora's Box.

...what the fuck, now we have to choose a font, too?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Location, Location, Location

"Now, Erica... I know you wanted to have your wedding in an old mansion"

My mother is, as always, privy to my innermost desires. Not that I remember ever saying anything about a mansion, mind you... but when mom took me out to see reception halls on Memorial Day I was actually very happy with three of the places I never would have found because I, unlike mother, never googled for "Old Mansion Reception"

Manakiki Ballroom: Located on a golf course of all things (and featured above), I fell in love with the outdoor space here immediately. I'm a bit nervous about an outdoor October wedding. says the average high is 61°F, and the average low is 43°F. That's not so bad. On the other hand, the record high and low is 83°F and 29°F, respectively. The former would be wonderful. The latter... well, I don't even want to think about it.

The Lodge at Geneva on-the-Lake: My mother fell in love with this place on sight. It is, indeed, a beautiful hotel with a picturesque gazebo overlooking the lake. I like the idea of having a bridal suite (yes, with hottub), and the picture-taking opportunities are pretty ideal. It's also in the middle of Ohio wine country, which means it would be nothing short of beautiful in the fall. However, there are problems.
  1. I mentioned it was in wine country. This is a nice way of saying "East Bumblefuck". It's not that I'm not willing to drive for an hour to go to my wedding... but it's all the other little drives, not to mention finding bakers, florists, hair dressers, photographers, etc...
  2. Rob and I went last week to look, and the place was COVERED in midges. It was like something out of a Hitchcock movie. We were literally covering our ears, closing our eyes, and running full-tilt through clouds of the tiny insects in a failed attempt to make it to the aforementioned picturesque gazebo. I know there's another swarm in fall... and I'm not sure I'm willing to take the chance.
Mooreland: I think one of the first things I said about this place is that my friends Jeff and Becky Moore would find the name hi-larious. That aside, this is a really nice place. It's an old mansion on a college campus, catered by the culinary school (read: probably inexpensive). It might not be the best place for a ceremony, although the gardens are beautiful. The main problem is that it's an old mansion that has not been converted to throw a party for 100+ people. This means that the entire wedding would probably have to be broken up amongst several rooms. Now, depending on the layout this could be great or terrible.

I guess there are always going to be issues with sites, and I'm willing to take chances on things. We're just going to have to pick our poison. Should it be hours of driving with the possibility of having pictures with bugs in our teeth, risking my family missing the ceremony because they got a late tee time, or having to not only provide table cards for guests... but table cards along with room assignments and maybe a little map on how to get there.

Getting married is fun!

Adventures in Engagement Ring Shopping

Consider the salesman. Mankind invented the salesman for two reasons. To pester you while you're "browsing" and to help you in that rarest of occasions that you actually need help in purchasing something. Can you imagine arriving to purchase something (anything... a car, a couch, a hallucinogenic) and being told by your salesman "oh I can't possibly help you."

I certainly didn't anticipate that one morning when I headed out to peruse engagement rings. Oh sure, I didn't know a lot about a lot (I thought that's what shopping was for) so I completely anticipated looking like a doofus. But men looking like doofuses was something I expected ring salesmen to be intimately familiar with. They would be, I thought, humble, helpful, guides leading me through the darkness of stone settings, diamond cuts, carat weights, colors, imperfections, white golds, gold golds, platinums and cubic zirconium. Not so much. Picture this conversation:

Well meaning blond haired, bearded doofus: "I'm looking for an engagement ring."
Evil sales person: "Ah, what kind of diamond setting does your girlfriend want?"
Well meaning blond haired, bearded doofus: "I'm not sure"
Evil sales person: "Well then what kind of cut does she want?"
Well meaning blond haired, bearded doofus: "I don't know"
Evil sales person: "You mean she hasn't told you everything she wants in a ring in great detail?"
Well meaning blond haired, bearded doofus: "No"
Evil sales person: "And you haven't asked?"
Well meaning blond haired, bearded doofus: "No"
Evil sales person:"Well then I can't help you. You should go back and ask her exactly what she wants."

Did you catch that? Every single place told me to plainly ask her exactly what she wanted down to every detail. Now I know that the ring shopping ritual takes many forms these days. Some girls tell their beaus what they want. Some couples shop together. But is it that rare for a brave man to venture out on his own in the hopes of an engagement surprise? Am I really that much of a dinosaur?

Anyway, the moral of the story is: Salesmen are horrible people, and when they say "can I help you?" they lie. They can't help you at all. They can just take your money while you stand there looking like a doofus. Instead shop on the Internet. It's salesperson free, and you can watch funny videos while you shop!

A blog is born

It occurs to me that in planning a wedding there are many things I'd like to:

1) Rant about because they make me angry.
2) Rant about because I'm confused as hell.
3) Rant about because I am excited.

I'm not a bridezilla or anything (hon, do you want to confirm this?), but I do love planning things and making *lists*. This should be fun.

Oh, and if you ever need to get back to the wedding website there's a link in the sidebar.