Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Post-Wedding Industrial Reflections

I got married earlier this summer and it was lovely.  I wasn't a great sport about the planning process (and had great fun mocking all of the wedding-industrial pitfalls we encountered), but it was great.  For the most part, all of our my wife's careful planning went off just as we'd envisioned.  Still, there are always a few things that pop up right at crunch time that you realize you didn't think all the way through.  You can add these to the list I started earlier this year...

We kind of had flowers after all  
So, this falls into the category of not thinking things all the way through.  After our initial hullabaloo about not wanting cut flowers at the wedding, we started brainstorming about what else we could put at the center or the tables.  We came up with the brilliant (we thought) idea to fill mason jars with different veggies.  We felt very warm and fuzzy about this idea for many weeks.  We bought the jars.  We bought some rustic, twiney-looking ribbon to decorate the jars.  We talked about putting candles around the jars.  We talked about what vegetables should go in the jars.  We forgot to talk about what to do with the vegetables afterwards.  Our wedding was in Ohio.  We live in DC.  Neither of our parents live in the city where we had our celebration.  Most of our friends and family were from out of town as well.  Unless we were going to just waste a whole bunch of random vegetables, our idea was sunk.  We already had a purple theme going, so ended up having the (actually) brilliant idea to use lavender instead of veggies.  After being talked out of a plan to go to a lavender farm and harvest our flowers myself, I ordered some dried lavender bunches from a lovely old man who has a farm somewhere in Washington or Oregon (those two states blur together in my brain.  I seriously can't tell you the difference).  Thing is, you apparently need to notify folks when an order is for a wedding.  Or a set deadline of any kind.  A few days before we were set to leave for Ohio, our lavender had still not arrived.  I called the farm.  The sweet old man said "Ah, yes, I marked that order as shipped, but we had some problems that day and nobody made it to the post office."  Problems?  A whole slew of them apparently.  He described to me a perfect storm of bad weather, flat tire on the pick-up truck and somebody quitting their job all on the day our lavender bunches were supposed to be mailed.  Wonderful fellow that he was, he sense my distress and asked me if this was for a wedding.  I said it was.  He ended up overnighting us another box of lavender for free.  As luck would have it, both boxes arrived the same day.  On that note, if anyone needs any dried lavender, um, let me know.

Follow up on the name game...  
A friend recently asked me for advice on this, which motivated me to write about it.  This is another item in the "not thought all the way through" bucket. I think I've mentioned before that I typically go by a different arrangement of my birth name than the one I grew up with, though my parents and family still call me by my given name.  Which means I have two names, kind of.  Prior to the wedding, I had some anxiety about this - I couldn't decide which name to use on invitations, for gift registries, at the ceremony...  We ultimately went with what my partner and I were both most comfortable with, which is the name I use now.  I was worried my family would be confused.  As it turns out, it wasn't much of an issue at all and nobody really batted an eye.  Most of my family members are friends with me on Facebook where I use my "common use" and not my given name, so they knew who people meant when they called me "Sumner."  What I didn't think of pretty much until zero hour, was friends who had never known me by my given name.  It suddenly occurred to me that people would be using my given name - I assumed my dad would make a toast, for instance, and call me "Lindsay" and folks would think he was nuts, or talking about the wrong person, or something.  We had always planned to put a little note in the program explaining the name thing (that I am called by two names and that both are fine), but we had imagined it more for the benefit of family.  It turned out, I think, to be more for the benefit of friends.  Go figure.


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