April 15, 2010

The DIY project that wasn’t (also: Why I don’t DIY)

Posted in Ceremony, Flowers, Planning at 5:13 pm by Andrea

Back in December, right around the same time I found this pretty little number, actually that same weekend, I decided to start my first DIY project. The plan: to make tissue paper pomanders to line the aisle in the church. They looked so pretty when other people did them and seemed like a great place to save some funds.

Pretty, no?

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The problem is this: I forgot that neither me nor anyone else in my family is crafty. And not only are we not crafty, we have no interest in being crafty. Every time I walk into Michael’s (and by every time I mean once every five years) I get overwhelmed and have to leave because, other than the glue guns, I have no idea what any of the stuff is and I start to panic that I’m supposed to know what to do with all of it!. Make my own shower gel? No thank you! So that was a minor oversight.

Luckily, my mum’s best friend (AKA my MOH’s mum) happens to be a crafty genius. We invited her over under the guise of having tea and then we ambushed her with foam balls and floral wire and sheet after sheet of tissue paper. HA! She was more than happy to oblige, so we got to work.

Our one crafty participant demonstrating her mad pomander-making skillz.

Me pretending to enjoy crafting in order to keep team morale high.

My mum and I with looks of extreme concentration on our faces.

(Morale is dropping rapidly)

So we cut and attached wire and fluffed out tissue paper flowers and two hours later we ended up with a partially finished pomander. Three people. Two hours. Partially finished. Also, it was bigger than my head. And then we quit for the night.

See? For reals. Ridiculously gigantic.

In the months that followed our forays into craftiness, I started receiving calls and emails from my mother that said things like, “I found a vendor on the weekend who sells pew bows. Have you thought about those?” and “When are you going to take all these foam balls and tissue paper out of my laundry room?”

Then, in early March, we went to meet one of our potential florists. The pomanders came up in passing and she pretty much put the kibosh on them. She told us that her contract stated that no other floral decor was to be used, as she didn’t want people to think that tacky DIY projects (my words, not hers, she was much more diplomatic) were her work. So she included pew decor in her floral quote. My mum was ALL over it. She’d been looking for an out for months, and if it meant paying an additional $400.00 for pew decor, she was ready to pay cash on the spot to put an end to her craft-induced agony.

And that is why we won’t be having any tissue paper pomanders, or really any DIY components to the wedding. Am I jealous of people who can DIY? You betcha. Am I planning to follow in their footsteps? Absolutely not! My sanity is worth far too much to me.

So, if you know anyone who needs a stupidly large, half-finished tissue paper pomander, be sure to let me know.

November 10, 2009

Meeting of the minds

Posted in Ceremony, Planning at 2:41 pm by Andrea

This past Sunday we met the minister who will be officiating our ceremony.

First we attended the church service, which was dedicated to Remembrance Day. It was a long service because of the special occasion, but it was incredibly moving. It was great to see that so much thought had gone into the service – it certainly wasn’t the same routine that you would normally see; it was clear a lot of time, thought and work went into it to make it very meaningful. Having been raised in the Catholic Church, this was actually the first time I’d attended a service in the United Church. It really resonated with me. Since the ceremony is so important to me, it was great to discover that I’d definitely made the right decision in terms of the church.

After the service, we introduced ourselves to the minister and, after a brief stop in the church hall for some refreshments, we went up to minister’s study and had our meeting. It was really wonderful. I think it’s human nature that people enjoy talking about themselves, but we don’t get the opportunity to do it all that often (without having to stop to ask about others – darn social conventions!), so it was kind of fun to get to shamelessly ramble on about ourselves. The minister wanted to know everything from where we were born, our mothers’ maiden names and our religious affiliations, to how we met and why we wanted to marry one another. When it came to that last question, I went first and listed all The Guy’s many wonderful and endearing traits. Then The Guy went and, gah!, the things he said! The minister had to direct me to the tissues, because I welled up almost instantly. I don’t think anyone has ever said so many wonderful, kind, thoughtful things about me all at once. It was very touching and meant a lot to me.

We also talked a little about why we had chosen the United Church, and I explained the many personal reasons I have and how I feel the United Church’s values and beliefes best align with our own. Seeing how well things were going, I got up the nerve to mention that I am very sensitive about issues of equality and ensuring that the language at our wedding demonstrates this (e.g. at no point should anyone say anything about marriage being, “between a man and a woman,” for me, marriage is, “between two people”). The minister was extremely receptive to this and said that this is actually the exact language the United Church uses! He mentioned that it’s also an issue very close to his heart.

We left the meeting feeling that we could not have found a better church and minister for us. It was like the stars aligned and we somehow managed to stumble upon the perfect circumstances.

It was funny though, I realized afterward that I had never been asked, or asked The Guy, why we wanted to marry one another, not in that up front of a context anyway. And I think it isn’t a question that’s asked frequently enough. We know we want to marry our partners, we know we love them, but it’s incredibly powerful if you take a moment to list all the reasons you’re marrying your partner. Think about it. Share your ideas with one another. I know, for us, it served only to make us fall more in love with one another.

Yeah, it was a good day!

October 29, 2009

You gotta have faith..

Posted in Ceremony at 1:56 pm by Andrea

Gotta love George Michael for that fancy little tidbit of wisdom!

So, I headed over to Weddingbee this morning for my first of a few visits each day (okay, who am I kidding? By “a few” I obviously mean a kajillion) and stumbled across Miss Pretzel’s post about how she met Mr. Pretzel, and that it was their shared faith that really brought them together in the beginning. It made me think about The Guy and me and the fact that we also share a faith. Sounds simple, right? It’s not.

The Guy and I are both Catholic. We were both raised in the Church. In fact, The Guy even went to a Catholic elementary school. And The Guy’s mum is very involved in the Church to this day*. Neither of us feels a connection to the Church though. For him, it’s just because. For me, it’s due to personal** reasons and beliefs.

We are both believers. I pray regularly. I have faith. But my desire to get married in a different church has been made clear to The Guy from day one. So, the same day we found our reception venue, we went church-searching as well. We ended up at the United church in my hometown, and I immediately knew it was the place.

st.paul's

St. "The Guy's first name" Church

We’ve attended a couple other weddings in the United church, and I’ve done a good amount of research into United beliefs and they very much align with our own. This is a place where I feel comfortable making the most important vows of my life. This is a place that I feel is inclusive and open-minded enough to be a good representation of us. This is the right place.

We meet with the Minister next Sunday after attending a church service. I’m really looking forward to the meeting and to learning even more about the United church at the service.

To me, the ceremony is the most important part of the day, so finding a church that would let us be us was high on my list of priorities, and I think I can now confidently check it off my to do list!

*Because of The Guy’s mum’s involvement in the Catholic Church,  I was very, very concerned about my strong desire to not get married in the Church. She’s been great about it. She still occasionally asks why we made that decision, but overall she’s very supportive and I’m truly lucky to be marrying into such a wonderful family!

**I really want to stress that this is entirely personal. I totally respect people of any and all faiths and my beliefs/feelings are no in way meant to reflect my feelings towards others. This is just about my personal experience with religion.