9.19.2014

wedding q&a part two

good thing i have a couple more engagement pictures i'd love to share - so here's part two :) it's fun for me to answer wedding questions because it helps me organize my thoughts and priorities and also makes me feel really excited and giddy. i just can't believe that we are twenty days away...ahhhhh!


do you wear your wedding dress the day of the sealing and the next day? 

in the temple, we wear very specific clothing, which must be all white, have long sleeves, and a pretty high neckline. for this reason, most lds brides do not wear their wedding dress while they are being sealed. i will be sealed in a simple temple dress (i am hoping to add lace from my mom's wedding dress!) and then will change into my wedding dress to come out of the temple and greet our friends and family (both those that were present in the sealing and those that were not). the boy will also change from his temple clothes (all white) into his wedding suit.

i feel lucky that i get to wear my wedding dress not just once but four times! i will wear it on our wedding day, the following day at our reception, and at the open houses we are having in both texas and california.

when do you first see your spouse the day of your wedding, when you enter the sealing room?

the boy and i will be meeting up a couple of hours before our sealing officially starts to walk over to the temple together (i will be getting my hair done downtown). we will be in just clothes that we'd regularly wear to visit the temple. we'll arrive before our guests so we have time to get situated, and there's a few things we do together in the temple (including taking some time to just sit together in a very peaceful place and reflect on what's ahead!) before the sealing attendees fill the sealing room. we enter the room together last, and then the official ceremony begins.

the boy will see me in my wedding dress (i'm a stickler on the groom-can't-see-before-the-wedding tradition) after we've both changed following the sealing. we'll get to have a moment together inside and then exit the temple together.

you have a big family and so many friends. is it difficult to decide who is in the sealing room? 

yes, it has been very difficult! we also want our wedding dinner the evening of our sealing to be very small, so both lists have been a little excruciating to winnow down. we came to a conclusion that we feel really good about, and we are optimistic that our loved ones understand. the boy and i have talked for a long time (since we first started talking about getting married quite a while ago) about how we want our wedding to not just be about us, but to really celebrate the people that have influenced our lives for good. we want to make everyone in our lives feel special to any degree that we can, because we are so so so grateful!

i've noticed that with so many lds weddings the bridesmaids wear skirts - would you consider that a lds thing or just something that's caught on. are you having bridesmaids and if so are they wearing skirts?

i haven't really noticed this! i bet it's a combination of: (1) just a general trend that has caught on, and (2) the difficulty many mormon women have finding dresses that are knee length or longer and have sleeves.

i am having bridesmaids! they are wearing dresses. i decided to do something a little funky with what i asked my bridesmaids to wear, and i hope it looks good all together! i know that i'll look back at my wedding in ten years and things will look dated pretty much no matter what, so although i think many of the elements are pretty classic, i'm taking some fun risks here and there :)

with so many gorgeous little nieces and handsome nephews, do you incorporate them in some way as flower girls or "page boys" as they say in the uk?

yes! combining the boy's and my nieces and nephews, we will have thirteen flower girls (and four honorary flower girls skyping in from china!) and sixteen page boys/ring bearers/little groomsmen -- not sure what to call them! the girls will all wear cream dresses and the boys will all wear matching bowties. really the only point, since we don't have an aisle to walk down, is to have coordinating pictures and an opportunity for these kids that we love so much to feel special.



i still really can't believe that this is happening -- that the boy came back, that he wants me to be his forever, that such a huge chunk of my fondest dreams are coming true with the best human i know. the boy and i are headed to utah tonight for one last weekend of wedding planning, and i'm very excited to hopefully see most of the details come together.



life is wild, but gosh life is good.

9.18.2014

wedding q&a

a couple years ago i had an engaged roommate who came home most days and complained about wedding planning. it was a time in my life when i was aching, carrying around a throbbing hope for what she had, and her whininess really bothered me. i vowed that when i was in her place, i would relish it and never complain.

now, i get it. wedding planning is super stressful! especially i think when you are like me - full of preferences and opinions and a fiery desire to find a way to have the best of everything possible. there's a lot of choices and a lot of comparison and a lot of troubles and a lot of tradeoffs. it's just real for me to say that it has been hard for me! BUT i've remembered my vow to myself stemming from my whiney roommate and my earnest longing, and i have been so careful to not complain. because there is such a deep, rich brand of gratitude and joy running through all my veins and synapses, even when they seem clogged with decisions and preferences. i am so so happy - sometimes just downright deliriously so - that my fondest hopes and desires are coming to fruition in so many beautiful ways.



i've had several questions about my upcoming wedding, and i'd love to respond - to answer queries and to have a further record of this wild and awesome wedding-planning experience.

are your parents expecting you to pay for a portion of the wedding? do your parents provide you and your now married elder sisters with the same dollar amount for the wedding budget?

my parents are very excited about their baby daughter getting married, and have been so generous in helping us to pay for our celebrations. the boy's parents are throwing an open house in texas a week after our wedding, and have also contributed to our wedding fund. the two of us are pulling some from our own savings as well. after thought, prayer and loving conversation, we all feel really good about contributing financially in different ways. the boy and i are extremely grateful for our parents and their desire to help us celebrate. although of course we have thoughtfully considered together what has been given to our siblings for their weddings, neither set of parents is particularly concerned with the concept of exact dollar-for-dollar fairness (not to say we are getting more or less), and our siblings are just thrilled for us. almost every day the boy and i just sit back and marvel together at how blessed we feel for our families and their support at this exciting time.

while we are having several celebrations and are so glad that we get to invite so many people that we love and appreciate, i wouldn't necessarily call our wedding overly extravagant. it's going to be really pretty and super fun, and (i'm not sure how to say this emphatically enough so this sentiment doesn't come across wrong) we are sooooo thrilled and grateful and humbled by and excited about all the elements that will be part of our celebrations -- but we have made quite a few tradeoffs and certainly have had to budget very carefully throughout the wedding process. a friend's gift to us was taking our engagement pictures, my cousin is doing the flowers (at cost, bless her), one of my bridesmaids is making the cake, we are having our reception at my parents' house (free!), my brother is our dj, our friend is giving us a killer deal on the boy's suit, our videographer has made only about two other wedding videos thus far in her career, and i'm making a lot of the decor myself. this may come as a shock (ha!) but i've been scheming up my perfect wedding in my brain for a couple decades, and as the prices have been rolling in, it has been quite wrenching to give up on some things i've dreamed of. but i honest to goodness appreciate that experience, and i really believe it will make my wedding sweeter than if i didn't have to make any sacrifices. it has been really good for the boy and i to prioritize what we want connected to our wedding, and we just feel really thankful for all the bonuses beyond the real important stuff (the temple, our families, and an opportunity to thank all those who have impacted our lives and helped us get to where we are). 

i noticed that you are having your reception at your parents house...so my question is...is that an lds tradition? or a west coast thing?

my parents just happen to have a really awesome space for this type of event. two of my brothers have had wedding receptions there, and it's just a really fantastic house, which was built partially for the purpose of gathering loved ones for celebrations. i was actually pretty hesitant to have our reception there for a few reasons, but i am so excited about it now. it will be so neat to remember our wedding every time we are at my parents' from here on out. i've heard of other couples - lds and not, east and west coast - having their wedding receptions at their parents' or relatives' or friends' homes that can accommodate a crowd, so i'm not sure if it's a particular religious or geographic tradition.

but i've had some other questions about lds wedding traditions/customs and i'm happy to explain.

i have never felt closer to heaven that when i've attended a wedding ceremony in an lds temple. seriously, it is the most beautiful experience i've ever had in mortality - to witness two people commit their total devotion and faith to each other and to god, surrounded by a small number of those they love best in the world. it's just celestial. we believe that when a couple is married in god's temple, they are sealed not just until death do they part, but for time and all eternity, and that they are making real promises to each other and to god. the blessings that are pronounced upon a couple by an authorized sealer in a temple are incredible and beautiful and amazing.

most temple sealing rooms can accommodate less than fifty or so guests, so wedding ceremonies in temples are very intimate. the event is usually fairly short. an individual who has been called and set apart as a sealer shares some thoughts, then asks the couple to come to an altar where they kneel to face each other. the sealer then recites a specific ordinance, which only take a couple of minutes. the bride and groom usually then kiss across the altar, stand to exchange rings, and have an opportunity to greet and hug each sealing attendee as they leave the room. it's all just so simple and sweet, yet powerful and so intensely beautiful (sorry i keep using that word, it just is). because of the sacred nature of the words said and ordinance performed, only those who are in good standing with the church can enter the temple for a temple sealing. other beloved friends and family are welcome to greet the bride and groom outside the temple, and it is customary to spend an hour or so taking pictures and celebrating all together around the temple grounds.

most lds couples have some kind of wedding reception in connection with their temple sealing. it is most common to have a reception the evening after the sealing, but i've had friends that had a reception the night before, or just a luncheon the day of, or some other kind of celebration. the boy and i have decided to have an intimate dinner the evening of our sealing, and then a large reception the next day. this decision was borne out of a desire to have our wedding day itself be quite calm and sweet and special, but still have the opportunity to party with lots of people we really like. we won't have any wedding party, wedding cake, or other "traditional" wedding things on the day of our sealing - we just want it to be tender, simple, peaceful and focused on the temple. all that good, colorful, bustling, lively fun will come the next day!

not sure why you only gave yourself a few months to plan a huge wedding....

well, i want to get married in utah, and i don't want to get married when it's cold. so we basically chose the day furthest out for planning yet closest in for weather. i'm very excited to have an autumn (my favourite season, especially in utah!) wedding. our date was also chosen with both the boy's and my professional lives and our families schedules in mind. we are really in love with each other, and after all the roller coaster of the last couple years of our relationship, we both feel highly compelled to make covenants with each other and with god as soon as possible. also, we are both very committed to not living or sleeping together before we are married, so...we are excited to begin that chapter of life soon :)

random question, have you found your vendor for macarons yet?

so funny - i saw this comment right as i got an email from amy of seine macarons, who i was so excited to find to make us some lovely treats for our reception. i'm glad to hear she comes highly recommended, because we'd already committed to hiring her! the macarons is one of the details i am most excited about at our wedding reception. i'm also excited that we are going to have some fun kids' activities, an instant picture of all our guests, both indoor and outdoor loveliness, and a dance party!


just three weeks left! some nights these days i just can't sleep. i'd say over the past three weeks it's about a 3:1 ratio for sleepless because of stress and sleepless because of excitement. i'm projecting that during the next three weeks the ratio will be flipped :)

every few days i send the boy a text that looks like this:
we're getting married! alksdjlkanvlnalskjrlkaselvnaslnaljsnvlkajslrjaslknvlakshoiasuraslkcjalsdjflkajsfahhhhhhHHh!
i'm really happy and excited about it!


9.16.2014

my brain is crammed full of...

...braided up-dos, gold flatware, ivory bunting, temple dresses, student assessment data, space saving techniques for tiny apartments, barre classes, ranunculus and dahlias, french macarons, online learning accounts, juicing, first dance songs, plastic forks, videography, mini polaroid pictures, bistro lights, spanish translations of web pages, and so many other things that sometimes i feel like it's going to go ahead and exxxxxxplode. i think i'm not very good at being engaged. sometimes i really want this wild time of my life to be over, but i also want to remember its intensity and its rushes of excitement and its washes of gratitude.

i think my phone camera roll looks a bit like my brain - crammed and colorful!

i am so happy. i am so so very happy. and the peace and assurance that stops any brain exploding is the absolute sweetest. 
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