Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It Takes Two To Get Us Down The Aisle

I've mentioned once or twice how large our wedding party is. Part of the reason it's so large is that we're counting everyone, including our two officiants. They are two men who each like a member of either mine or Mr. Kettle's family. They are our pastors.

They both do pre-marital counseling for couples they marry. Mr. Kettle and I couldn't decide which one we wanted to do our counseling, so we committed to doing it with both. Now, we didn't think about how busy our schedules are. It's been a very long time since we made that commitment, and we are just now going to our counseling sessions.

There are some similarities between the two sessions. We left each one feeling pretty good about our plan to get married. There isn't much that was brought up (at least so far) that we haven't already discussed in detail.

Also, Mr. Kettle and I are pretty well matched in a couple ways. For one, we're both apparently teenagers when it comes to certain subjects. You know what I mean. We took a look at our counseling workbook, saw the word sex, and broke into giggles.

I doubt we would've done that if it weren't for the fact that we were alone in the room, but it was made all the more funny to us because we were across the table from each other and we started laughing at exactly the same time. Definitely a classic moment for us as a couple.

But on a more serious note, this counseling has done what I thinks it's supposed to do. It's made us take a long hard look at our relationship and really assess if we're making the right decision. We've talked about God, communication, love, trust, empathy, compassion, fun, and yes even sex.

If it turned out that we weren't ready for marriage in the eyes of the men who are supposed to marry us, we'd be back to the drawing board, trying to make it right. Luckily, we seem to be on the right page.

Did you have pre-marital counseling? Did it leave you feeling good about your decision to marry?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Making Decisions Left and Right

I love purple statice. I thought I was getting purple status, but after looking at the picture from before (and a quick Google search to confirm), I was actually getting purple statice. This is an amazing flower. They're so bright and vibrant. And it's a sturdy flower, which is great because I really like to run my hand over it again and again. I can't help it because it feels like a lei.

Image via FlowerShop Network

Image via Luau Shirts / When I rub my fingers over the statice in my bouquet, I'll be thinking warm and welcoming thoughts!
We recently had our meeting with our venue to sort out some details of the wedding day. We picked linens and napkins and table runners, all things I don't really care very much about. But it was a productive meeting to make sure our venue and our family was on the same page.

It's becoming a bit of a routine to roll into these places with lots o' people. There me, Mr. Kettle, Momma (and sometimes Daddy) Kettle, Mima (and sometimes Poppa) Kettle, and maybe one or two more. I'm continually impressed with these vendors who don't seem fazed by us. We come in full of jokes and distracting laughter. No meeting lasts less than 90 min, even when it's supposed to be an hour. If I had to do this all over again, one of my top priorities for vendors is that they are patient with a good sense of humor and no problem repeating themselves.

Since I was still unable to decide between two florists who had come up with very similar ideas for our wedding flowers, we decided to have a flower-off! In my mind, we'd have the two florists show up to our venue. One would be wearing red, the other blue. They'd battle it out with bouquets, table arrangement, and altar flowers. After a tough battle, one would emerge victorious, and I'd have the perfect florist.

In reality, it was much more tame. Mima Kettle picked up a sample table arrangement from one of the florists. The other florist volunteered to come to the venue and and bring two sample table arrangements with him. When we first saw them both, we weren't happy. There wasn't a clear winner. All of my newfound confidence at having re-learned my ability to make decisions deflated.

But as our supposed-to-be-one-hour-long meeting with the vendor continued, it suddenly hit me, I really liked one waaaaay more than the other. Luckily, it was the vendor who was actually there who's sample I preferred. The flowers were just right, and the decision to leave the hydrangeas out was perfect. Curly willow, which was previously my heart's desire, suddenly didn't look so hot.

We chatted with him about a couple of things we wanted edited with the flowers, and he re-did a quick estimate, and we handed him a deposit check. I was so thrilled because in that moment, that meant that all the major decisions for the wedding day were done. And we made our deadline of having them all finished by Nov. 15th!!

Wedding Venue, Day-of-Coordinator, Florist, Clothes, Hotel, Invitations, Music, Food, Cake, Done!!! We were engaged for 5 months and 14 days when we had everything done, so that's pretty good. But we were just 91 days from the wedding, so that's not so good. I figure it's what happens with a relatively short engagement (less than one year).

How long did it take you to get to the end of planning the major wedding decisions? How happy were you when it was all finally done?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Guest Book Schmuest Book

I didn't want a traditional guest book. I never have. If I wanted a list of every one's names and numbers, I'd compile it all myself. Oh wait, I did. It's called my guest list.

That being said, I did want some sort of memento for myself that would be a record of the guests who were there. Something other than my RSVP list that is. There are some great ideas out there.
Image via Give a Caricature / Having a caricature picture for them to sign would be great if we had any history with caricatures.

Image via Bow Ties and Bliss / The thumbprint is pretty popular, but to be honest, I don't want to have fingerprints of all those people on file should the police come looking...

Image via Martha Stewart Weddings / When Martha Stewart does traditional, it does look enticing... Nah.

Image via Wed Loft / Gotta love the photo guest book. It's the top contender for ideas to me right now.

Image via Lovely Little Things Blog / I can't even tell what the book looks like, but I'm fascinated with the styling around the book.

Image via Jamaica Wedding Blog / I've really loved this idea for a while, but we're moving across state lines and then an ocean in the next handful of years, I can't even imagine trying to move with a glass box/vase filled with rocks.

Image via Clark Walker Studio / We love music and we're music people, but I can't imagine ruining a record by letting people write on it. I listen to all my records on my record player.
So with all these wonderful options, I was in no place to decide when I lost my ability to make decisions. But with a few big decisions under my belt, I've rediscovered how to choose.

It helps that our photographer offers a couple great add-ons to our package. One of them is to do a portrait of us. They can turn that portrait into a guest book. The picture I linked to about shows the couple in a frame with a wide border to have room for their guests to sign.

We will have way more guests than any width of border will allow space to sign. I had another idea. I figured we would just get an obscenely large photo taken of ourselves. We will wear all white so that people can just sign the pictures. That way, everything but our faces will be space to sign, at least that's the idea.

I've got a great dress to wear. It's the same one I was planning on wearing to our pre-wedding dinner. It's pretty summery. Mr. Kettle is planning on wearing a summery look too. I figure it will work since it will be one of the only real summer-like things going on with this wedding.

I have to talk to the photographer to make sure the idea will work, but I think it might. Momma Kettle doesn't hate the idea, which is a bonus. If it works, we'll be going in a couple weeks to take the photo.