Sunday, August 31, 2008

are you my aisle?

DJ and I don't have a church. We were both raised in churches, by families that still attend churches. But independent of each other, we'd both opted out. So the question of where to have the ceremony wasn't a quick answer.

Much as I love the look and feel of outdoor ceremonies, I knew I didn't want one. I'm a huge worrier with frizz-prone hair - much better to stick with a covered, temperature controlled space.

My grandma has been a member of the same church for several decades. I've been there with her many many times, and always felt welcome. It occurred to me that she might be excited about seeing me walk down the aisle in her church, so I called her to ask.

(Images from The Village Presbyterian Church.)
She was, in fact, excited. She quietly disapproves of living together before marriage, so I think it was a relief to her that we wanted to be married - and in a church, too! It seemed like things were coming together, and I was starting to picture myself walking up that aisle.

The next day, I called the church secretary and held a date in October 2009. Just a few hours later, my grandma called to say she really wasn't comfortable with the situation, and that she did not want us to be married in her church.

I won't get into the reasons - it's enough to say that I couldn't change her mind. There were some tears, but that was it. Her church wasn't the right place. It took me a few weeks to call the church and cancel, but by that time I'd expanded my possibilities.

Did we want to be married in a different church? In a wedding-mill chapel? Between the tables at a chic restaurant? Or maybe we should just run away somewhere, just the two of us. The options were rolling in, and they were starting to look like fun.

DJ and the Remix, Part 2

Part 1

So I'd just seen my first boyfriend. Although he wasn't my first boyfriend yet, he was just a guy whose name I didn't know. I stumbled out of the library and tried to play it cool.

First I asked a few friends. "I saw this guy, kind of tall, with hair?" "Oh, you mean Ben." "Ben?" "Ben!"

It turns out that his name was Ben. But wait - Ben is a common name, and there were other guys with hair whose names were also Ben! One of them was very like Ben in every way (including his name, also Ben) except that he was kind of a screwup. Sadly, yes. Very cute, probably with many merits, but a screwup.

My friends discouraged me from dating Ben, because Ben was kind of a screwup. I pedaled my bike home and tried to forget about Screwup Ben.

Luckily, someone figured out that there were multiple tall Bens with hair. It turns out that my first boyfriend was, in fact, not the screwup - but a very nice boy who liked me too. Two or three awkward conversations later, we went out for ice cream after a football game. So very 1950's of us!

Curiously enough, all three library tablemates were at the game. One was playing football, one was clowning in the stands, and one was watching both with equal interest.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

maybe we should just look...

We weren't going to start planning right away. That was the idea at first, anyway. We wanted to wait more than a calendar year to get married. Almost two, as it turns out. I didn't want a spring or summer wedding because of the heat and humidity, so I started telling people October when they asked. Before long, it was going to be an October wedding.

Great, so I had all this time. No need to worry, right? But I am a worrier, and after several nightmares about being location-less at the last minute, DJ suggested that I start looking. To get some ideas - after all, we don't need to a sign a contract this soon!

A friend suggested the Hotel InterContinental in Chicago. She had her wedding reception there several years ago, and by all accounts it was wonderful.

(Images from the Hotel InterContinental.)
Lovely as it was, it had three strikes against it: not the right space for our smallish party, inconveniently located for almost everyone involved, and more expensive than our budget could comfortably handle.

So I kept looking for options. We knew we wanted to have about 75 guests, with dinner and dancing and minimal stress. I was starting to have a better idea what we were looking for, but I hadn't found it yet.

(Images from Seasons of Long Grove.)
Closer to the right coordinates, there's a quaint little town with covered bridges and gazebos. A restaurant there does a brisk wedding reception business, so we went to check it out. But it wasn't right either. It was rustic and charming, but a little too rustic and charming. In October, the outdoor space wasn't a sure thing, and the indoor space just wasn't quite right. Not to mention, DJ and I both thought it was somewhat overpriced - although it was starting to look like we were just incredibly cheap.

Somewhat discouraged, we made our way to our next appointment. I'd been reluctant to even consider the Barn of Barrington, even though it was conveniently located and well-recommended. When we were engaged the first time, DJ's parents took us there for dinner to celebrate. Since then, they've become strictly a banquet hall, no longer a restaurant except for brunch on Sundays.

(All images from the Barn of Barrington.)
It was prettier than I remembered, and the event managers were just the right mix of professional and accomodating. The menus looked delicious, the rooms were gorgeous, and practically everything would be taken care of for us. As we walked through baroque rooms and carved stairways, I started to feel excited. This could be it!

But wait... aren't I forgetting something? Finding a reception hall is great, but where will we have the wedding?

Friday, August 29, 2008

DJ and the Remix, Part I

It was the same old story, really. Boy meets girl, girl starts dating another guy.

I remember what I was wearing the day I met DJ. At least, the day I remember meeting DJ. We were in high school, and it was the nineties. I had made a yellow and blue plaid wrap skirt, reversible to solid blue. (It was as terrible as it sounds.) Yellow tee shirt, brown sandals, green backpack.

All the tables in the library were taken. The library was a popular place for study halls, because you could read magazines and talk instead of practicing trigonometry in silence. There was an empty seat at one table, and the three people already there were vaguely familiar. I was unbearably shy, but had decided to cover it by faking charming and outgoing.

I liked all three of them, just for buying my act. One was a drama kid, a clown. He made it easy to watch and laugh and fade into the scenery. One was a starter on the football team, wearing a peeling jersey for game day. One was a fresh-faced Mormon girl I'd seen in the math and science hall.

Forty seven minutes later we scattered to our next classes, and I didn't know much more about any of them. Later, there would be tension and jealousy and missed connections. But I didn't know that yet, because I'd just seen my first boyfriend - and he wasn't in the library.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

group therapy

I used to know a woman who called it "perseverating." I used to date a guy who called it "obsessive." I'm not sure what it is, but I get really into whatever it is I'm... into.

Cases in point:

I sew clothing. Sometimes from a pattern, sometimes not. At times I've stayed up all night because I was so impatient to try on a dress. I got the shakes over the coat Shirley MacLaine wears in The Apartment, and just had to have my own - with a dress to match the lining.

I knit. I've stayed up all night knitting, too. I've gone to conventions, mapped patterns, and given myself a wrist injury. Knitting. Yes. I blamed it on work, but everyone knew it was the knitting.

I run and bike. Earlier this year I decided I'd like to bike to work. Not every day, just now and then. To know that I could. The problem is, it's 18 0r 19 hilly miles each way. But I did it - and still do it, now and then.

Now I spend hours trimming pixels from invitation proofs. More on that later.

Meet DJ, the guy who puts up with me. He doesn't seem to mind - maybe because he's obsessive about his own hobbies right there with me.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Nom de Plume

It's been a long time since I started from scratch, anywhere. I've kept the same (deeply embarassing) archive of my life for the last five years or so, two years ago came back to the same job where I interned in college, and am re-dating (and now re-engaged to) the guy I wanted to marry when I was eighteen. Yeah. It's a long story, but a good one.
I'm here because it turns out that I am really really into planning this wedding.
Hi, I'm Julia Remix, and I love a good project.