Tag Archives: wedding

Yes & yes

OMG, you guys. First of all, it is so hot today!

Clearly, this candy is good for you.

Serious. Grab yourself a spicy corn-flavored Tamboreta lollipop and a Miller Lite (okay maybe that’s just me).

Okay. Actually, this post is not about the current heatwave, and my taste in Mexican candy, but rather about the change of name in this blog. Rachel and Lindsey got married! Yaaay!! It was great.

Our waiting room was an arts classroom with some truly amazing tableaux setup for still-life study. We lined up outside the auditorium and listened to our friend Kat play guitar and sing. Listening to the singing and standing next to my dad behind Lindsey and her dad was the only time in the ceremony I almost cried.

Ike read “i thank you god for most this amazing” as the opening prayer. This poem is about the start of life and how life comes from a very mysterious origin. We shall call the origin God. Also, how the beginning of life is not a singular, biological event.

The First Reading in the Liturgy. David read from the Song of Solomon. This reading ends “Set me as a seal on your heart, as a seal on your arm; for stern as death is love, relentless as the nether world is devotion; its flames are a blazing fire” and speaks to love’s passionate awakening. The Song is a song for new lovers. (This reading also inspired our inscription inside our wedding bands.)

The Second Reading. Leah read a selection from the First Book of John, which begins “Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.” This passage creates a narrative out of the first reading: that love is not an emotion confined to poetry and passion. Love is an action, of work and deeds. (In a broader sense, this is the heart of what Christians mean to Witness.)

Our officiant, Frank Cordaro, read from the Gospel of Matthew, the Sermon on the Mount (“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven…”). If the opening poem ecstatically welcomes a new life, and the readings trace love’s evolution from passion to partnership, then the Gospel offers no conclusion, but opens the narrative beyond the partnership being celebated, and accepts all of heaven and earth into the possibility. Those who commit themselves not only to one human being, but to mercy, justice, and peace, are those who truly come to know love.

Frank’s Homily was very sweet. Frank is a radical peace activist and “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied” is a prayer very near to his heart. He spoke a bit of his own work, dedicating himself out of love and faith to a cause that routinely gets him imprisoned. But largely he spoke about us and how our positions, as women in a faith that doesn’t find women’s views very important and as gay people in a country that doesn’t find gay rights very important, offered us a privileged opportunity to realize the vision of Matthew. It was very Catholic. Very gay, feminist, liberal Catholic.

We stated out intentions, the assembled announced their support, Frank blessed our rings, we exchanged our vows, and slipped on each other’s rings. I take you to be my wife. I promise to love you wholly and completely, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, in life and beyond. I will respect you as I respect myself. I will be true to you and honor you all the days of my life.

The last bit before we left went somewhat awry. My sister handed me a glass orb in a velvet bag for Lindsey and I to break. The breaking of the glass can have several meanings. The most traditional is that it serves to balance the joy of the event with a somber moment, as it recalls the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. Additionally, the step taken to break the glass is like the step of marriage: once taken, it cannot be undone. As impossible as it is to repair broken glass, it is as impossible to undo the bonds of marriage. All this is very good, except that we couldn’t actually break it.

We stomped on it (just like we practiced), but it bounced away. Fredo, in a welcome moment of helpfulness, took off a shoe and handed it to me. Alas, even without heels on, it couldn’t break it on the carpeted floor. I called it a wrap and we kissed anyway. Anyhow, I gave Fredo his shoe back and we recessed in a somewhat orderly fashion. Mazel tov!

Golden rings

Just married.

Best part of wedding stuff? Buying ‘spensive things.

This week we bought our wedding rings. We bought them from Bario-Neal, a workshop in Philadelphia that uses reclaimed metals and responsibly-sourced stones. Ours are flat gold bands (Lindsey’s in rose gold, Rachel in yellow) that are hammered for a little texture.
I’m really happy with the ring we picked. I’m happy with the way they’re manufactured, and whose making them, and how they look, and how we picked them out together. In the million and two tiny steps it takes to plan a wedding, this was one decision that was easy and meaningful.

Inside they’re going to be engraved דודי (dodi) which is the old Hebrew word for “beloved”. (And the modern Hebrew word for “uncle”). We’re using it as shorthand for אני לדודי ודודי לי (ani l’dodi v’dodi li), which is from the Song of Solomon, “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” and is a traditional motif in Jewish weddings. [Yes, dodi is a masculine noun. No, we’re not changing it, in fidelity to the text.]

The Song of Songs is also going to be the first reading (the first reading in the Liturgy; the first reading of the whole thing is going to be an e.e. cummings poem).

Hark! My lover– here he comes springing across the mountains, leaping across the hills. My lover is like a gazelle or a young stag. Here he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, peering through the lattices. My lover speaks; he says to me, “Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one, and come!”

O my dove in the clefts of the rock, in the secret recesses of the cliff, let me see you, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet, and you are lovely.

My lover belongs to me and I to him; he browses among the lilies.

Set me as a seal on your heart, as a seal on your arm; for stern as death is love, relentless as the nether world is devotion; its flames are a blazing fire. Deep waters cannot quench love, nor floods sweep it away. Were one to offer all he owns to purchase love, he would be roundly mocked.


Aaaah. March is well on its way to lamby-ness. The wedding is well on it’s way to ALMOST HERE. Commence mild concern about how much there is left to do.

We do have our reception well under way, however, which is good. We talked with our catering manager while we were in the QC a couple weeks back. We had already met with him once (he’s also the general events manager at the Figge, conveniently), had a phone conversation, and been emailing back and forth. The only funny thing was, we had already established with him that we needed a vegetarian menu, and it wasn’t until we met again a few weeks ago that I think he realized that we wanted only a vegetarian menu.

So we talked about the menu and decided on a spread of cold things (flatbreads, hummuses, fruit, cheese, salads, crostini, etc) and two hot items (mac n’ cheese and vegan pasta). Everything will be set out most of the night for people to help themselves whenever they like. When we talked about it with my parents later, my mom was really keen on having passed appetizers early in the evening, so we’ll probably do that with some hot appetizers—spanakopita, stuffed mushrooms, and so on.

We also came to some decisions about the ceremony and reception, and now have a rough schedule for the evening. You, dear in-the-know blog reader, can see it here:

-The museum closes at 5:00 and guests can start arriving around 5:15.
-The ceremony is at 5:45 and will probably end a little after 6:00 (the ceremony being one of those aaah-three months-what –are-we-doing things).
-From 6:00 til 7:30 the guest can wander the museum galleries, eat and drink in the lobby, and mingly mingly chatty chatty. Lindsey and I will be taking photos after the ceremony for about an hour (don’t worry, if you’re going to be a part of those photos, we’ll let you know ahead of time). When we’re done with the portraiture, we’ll come down to the reception.
-By 7:30 everyone will be out of the galleries and in the lobby area. We’ll do toasts and speechifying at about 7:45. Break out the champagne.
-After that, Lindsey and I have our first dance. Blog contest: guess our first-dance song and win a prize! You do not have to be at the wedding, or even invited to the wedding, to play and win! Just enter your guess in the comments. If more than one person guesses right, they all get prizes. Then we’re doing father-daughter dances, and then the party starts when I walk in. My internet is really slow right now, but you can all imagine your own Ke$ha scenario. (Actually, our venue contract specifically prohibits glittter.)
-Last call’s at 11:00, and then we should start thinking about an after party. Davenport’s gayborhood is just down the street. #justsaying Seriously though, everybody’s kicked out at midnight.

Fun fun fun. Now we just gotta get those invites in the mail, finalize our ceremony, find dresses for the bridesmaids, a couple of other small things, and countdown fewer than 90 days.

“If this happens during your wedding, I will fix it.”

My dear friend David sent this to us. Good man. He is ready for any emergency.

“FORMER DAVENPORT, IA—Immediately following the performance of a same-sex marriage ceremony Sunday afternoon at Holy Christ Almighty Lutheran Church on Lincoln Avenue, the city of Davenport, IA and all 99,685 of its residents were reportedly smitten into oblivion by the merciless wrath of God and flung into the deepest bowels of eternal hell…”

In reply, Lindsey sent this: “I can’t seem to find the Moline gay district.” Ten years old, still spot-on.

Kindly reply by Post

Lindsey and I have been designing our wedding invites for like forever. Partially because we had a lot of disagreements over it, partially because we both feel strongly about fonts. We spent an inordinate amount of time a few weeks ago looking for a font that would allow for a specific ligature (a combination of two characters/letters into one discrete character). We finally found it, but then had to fiddle with saving the text as an image, or we wouldn’t actually be able to print them anywhere.

An absorbing, short read on ligatures can be found here.
While you’re at it, a treasure trove of decorative flourishes can be found at the aptly named From Old Books.org.

Anyways, our invites are nerdy. If I’m feeling ambitious I’ll post an image of it after the wedding. For now they’re going to be a surprise. They aren’t fancy, but I hope you like them. We printed them at Kinko’s because we ball like that. Nerd out.

And the Cake Said Yay

The title of this post refers to an anecdote, which is relayed in this earlier post here. The pink and yellow cake had Yay! very simply in orange piping. Yay.

So yeah! When we went to Moline, Davenport, and Bettendorf (sorry Rock Island, maybe next time) awhile ago to talk with wedding vendors, we met with some cake ladies on Monday morning. They’re a mother-daughter team. They operate their cake-making out of their house, of which I wholly approve. Lindsey’s grandma was a cake lady out of her basement, back in the day, so it’s a trade we appreciate.

We picked them to begin with because they have a functional website and a good Facebook page. Look at all these pictures! Seriously, the number of dumb, useless websites we Lindsey looked at are almost worse than the number of businesses that have no website at all.

Sara and Liz were very nice to meet with, and everything was well put-together. They have this slightly too perfectly Midwestern of the late-90’s house. Blond toddler, black lab, floral-print linoleum in the kitchen, wall-to-wall carpeting in the living room, wall paper with cottage-print border, a hutch of knick-knacks, a sofa throw that said God Bless This Home, the works. They were very sweet, and Sara took us through a slideshow of different cake designs and ideas. We knew to start that we wanted cream frosting and not fondant, probably round, at least three layers, and no columns or other props. The cake is more important to Lindsey, so I deferred to her opinion on things, but we both like what we decided on.

There are three round layers, all white with pink accents. The top and bottom layers have diagonal crosshatching, but the lines are etched in, not piped on. It comes to a sort of quilted effect. At the intersections of the lines, there will be small pink sugar pearls. The middle layer will have a piped drop design—a sort of bunting border, with lines of dots dropping from the border.

(c) Sara Lynn's Cakes

You can see it in the middle layer of the cake in this photo, though overall our cake looks different.

And you know what’s great? Getting to eat like six different kinds of cake. Especially in bits small enough where you can eat them all and not get too full. They put out a spread of white, strawberry, chocolate, lemon, almond poppyseed, mint chocolate, double chocolate, white chocolate, champagne, and cherry chip. I tried them all but the lemon, mint chocolate, and double chocolate. They were all excellent. I really liked the champagne, but thought it would be too much for a whole slice, and the cherry chip which tasted like Funfetti birthday cake. Mmm Funfetti. I didn’t like the white chocolate, because I think I’m realizing that I don’t really like white chocolate very much. The almond was one of my favorites, but in the end we decided on white and strawberry. The bottom and top layers will be white, and the middle will be strawberry.

Hot tip for blog readers, this means there’ll be fewer slices of strawberry to go around, so if you want some, step up early.

Do Real Men Care About Weddings

My mom and dad drove me and Lindsey out to the Quad Cities last weekend. We had lunch with Lindsey’s parents at one of the QC’s many fine microbreweries and then all visited the Figge. My parents hadn’t seen the space in person, and it was really nice to see it with them. For one, they loved it, which is reassuring. And it was nice to see it again with new eyes. They noticed a lot of the same things we did, including the awesome spaces and less than awesome acoustics.

We spent Sunday and Monday chatting with wedding people and got a lot done. There will be more blog posts soon about what all went down. On Tuesday, Lindsey’s friend John, who is also part of the wedding party, drove us back to Chicago. John has his wedding all planned out (except for the who is the husband part) already. He knows what he’s wearing, and what kind of cake and food will be served. He really likes weddings and all wedding crap, and has a very definite sense of style in the matter. He also threw in how nice it is that Wedding Everything, Inc. isn’t marketed towards men, so he can just ignore it at his leisure and pay attention to what he does like. None of it pressures him, because nothing is aimed at grooms. In weddings, it is all ladies ladies ladies. Lindsey and I have noticed that too, obvs, because all the heteronorm wedding writing out in the world presumes that A) if you’re reading about weddings, you’re the bride and B) your husband to-be has little interest/ability in planning anything.

Courtesy the Quad Cities, or more specifically, the “Quad Cities Brides” advertising pamphlet, I now have epic example of this. Lindsey picked up this handy brochure in Davenport awhile back and it’s a run-on article about how to plan a wedding-slash-buy-things interspersed with ads. Sample text:

The groom may feel like a prop compared to his lovely bride, but he and his groomsmen must still1 dress the part. And while brides have it easy because they know from the start that their wedding dress may cost a fortune and be difficult to find, it’s not easy for the groom to navigate cummerbunds, bowties, ascots, morning coats and all the other foreign words2 associated with wedding attire for men. What the groom and groomsmen wear to the wedding depends entirely on the occasion itself and what the bride wants3 the groom to wear. The good news is that the bride has been visualizing her wedding for a long time4…

If I were a man, I would cry if I read this. Now, for sure, this is an extreme bit of writing, but it’s really not an extreme sentiment. Most wedding books, websites, and magazines imply the same things: 1 Men don’t want to dress up, even for their own wedding. 2 And even if they do want to dress up, they don’t know how because men are dumb, and shouldn’t be expected to know any rules of fashion (girls only). 3 And even if he does care about the clothes, it shouldn’t matter. 4 Because the woman cares more.

Anyways, that made me sad on behalf of dudes who like looking good and couples who like respecting each other. In the future when we all get gay-married, I wonder how marketing will adjust to create consumer-anxiety in less gendered ways. Or possibly more gendered, I guess.