You may have gone too far if…

…after searching the internet for hours for pictures that sum up how you want your tables and lighting to look, you decide that none can accurately express your vision and you sit down with your trusty MS Word and create something like this:

Umm, yeah. I’ve clearly fallen over the edge of the bridal abyss. Time to come back to reality.

(On the other hand. I’m getting really excited about how the tables will look. Grey things= mason jars from FMIL Veggie’s barn. Blue things= vintage bottles that my sisters and I dug up in our backyard when we were little. Cylinders= Canned Veggies. Globes= Home made lanterns. Strung lights= Cafe lights if I can miraculously find them for free, or christmas lights.)

When did you know you had gone too far?

Who’s going to marry you? Mr. Veggie of Course.

Mr. Veggie and I (in all our non-religious, non-cultured glory) were having a difficult time deciding who should officiate our ceremony. The only thing we were sure of, was that we wanted our ceremony be personal, delivered by someone who knows us. Preferably someone who knows us well.

According to usmarriagelaws.com, in Wayne county, PA: “Any ordained minister, priest or rabbi of any regularly established church or congregation, Judges, Justices of Peace, and Wayne County Clerks or their appointed Deputies may perform wedding ceremonies. Mayors of cities and boroughs are also authorized to perform marriage ceremonies.”

So we were looking for priest, rabbi, deputy or mayor. Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, or the casting call for a Village People revival band.

If I had my choice, we would definitely be married by the construction worker. He’s rad.

Anyway, when we looked at all of our friends and family, surprisingly there weren’t any priests, rabbis, deputies, or mayors amongst them. What gives?

But then I remembered that one of my friends got ordained on-line to marry his sister. Not actually marry his sister, but do the ceremony. You know what I meant. I kind of expected it to be a long and expensive process, but when I clicked over to the Universal Life Church, I found it was as simple as this:

I like their style. I too find it annoying that people have stopped using capital letters and also think it is fraudulent to ordain an animal without a person’s permission. And, bonus, when you get ordained you get to choose your own title. This means that whoever we choose to do our ceremony can become a “high priestess”, “master”, or (I kid you not) “Jedi Knight”. Sweet.

All kidding aside though, the ease of online ordination meant that we could choose whoever we want to perform our ceremony. So we started thinking about people who know us best, people who would be able to convey our values, people who are well-spoken, people who we would want to honor with this special role. And we came up with two.

Let me introduce you to our wedding officiants:

Momma Veggie and FMIL Veggie.

Can I tell you how excited I am that the women who welcomed us into the world will be the ones to welcome us into married life? It’s perfect.

Side story: I was skyping with Mamma Veggie a few weeks ago and she asked “Have you figured out who’s going to marry you yet?”. Of course Mr. Veggie had to pipe up from the background “Well, she better figure out soon, with all the wedding planning she’s doing.” He’s hilarious.

Wondering… Who’s marrying you? How did you pick your officiant? Was the officiant an important decision for you, or not so much?

Adding Greenery without adding Green

Veggie sis Kale and I spent a marathon wedding skype session yesterday talking about wedding details that need actioning, need revising, and some that hadn’t even crossed my radar screen yet. Don’t you love older sisters? They’re so organized and handy.

One thing Veggie Sis Kale brought up was a back-up plan for centerpieces in case our flower growers came up a bit empty handed. I don’t mean to doubt the fabulous efforts of our flower team, but stuff happens. Hurricanes. Frosts. Drought. Forgetfulness. Wilting. All of these things could majorly effect the outcome of our home-grown lovelies.

While perusing the internet later that day I think I found a good solution that can supplement our flowers, uses recycled materials, is cheap, and is doable in the short 7 weeks that I will have in the U.S. before our wedding.

Bingo. How cute are these?

Hooray for beautiful edible greenery. Arrugula, chard, lettuce, yum. If I plant them right when I get home I can definitely have some lettuces, chards, and possibly some herbs by wedding day. They are pretty small, so packing them into boxes and driving them up to camp shouldn’t be a problem. And, if our guests get a little hungry and feel the need to add some roughage to their diets, they can dig in during the reception.

To make them a little less fiesta-y and a little more “our wedding-y”, I’m thinking about wrapping them in paper like this. I could even try to find an old horticulture book with fun diagrams to wrap them in.

Sweet. One issue dealt with. Or rather, planned to be dealt with. About a million to go.

Non-Tradition-al

Mr. Veggie and I sat down this week to begin thinking about our ceremony. And, we’re feeling a little, um, culturally poor. While some brides and grooms are able to draw from a wealth of meaningful cultural or religious traditions when planning their ceremony, we secular results of the American melting pot are feeling just a little bit in the dark.

I mean, sure we’re Americans, but what exactly does that mean culturally? What are American cultural traditions and just how would such traditions come across in a wedding? I certainly doubt that our organic, loca-vore, eco-friendly wedding will reflect the values of a Mickey D’s-MTV-SUV nation.

So what are we left with? A blank slate? Not exactly.

I am half Latvian and half everything else, and Mr. Veggie is half Welsh and half French. (Hmm… what would a Latvian-French-Welsh wedding look like? Tom Jones in a beret drinking vodka? I digress). But, having not grown up surrounded by these cultures, the traditions of our distant and not-so-distant European ancestors are, well… foreign.

Welcome to my brain. Pictures gathered from here, here, and here, and lovingly doctored by me.

We are Americans, and as Mr. Veggie recently pointed out, having both been born on Turtle Island, are “native” Americans in that sense. We feel strong emotional ties that bond us to the mountains, rivers, forests, and lakes that helped us become who we are today. Moreover, our beliefs and values are closely aligned with the cyclical world-view associated with the indigenous cultures of North America. But, while both of us have had powerful connections at various points in our lives with Native American culture, genetically only one of us holds mere 1/32nd of Native American heredity (Who’d have imagined a ginger-haired squaw?).

I gather that with a little research, I most likely will discover some Native American and possibly even early colonial American, or latter day American marriage rites that ring true to us. I may even dig up some Latvian, Welsh, or French traditions too good to pass up. And we’ve actually already thought of a Maori tradition we’d like to include to represent our time in New Zealand. But it all seems a bit contrived. Are traditions still traditions when you pick and choose the ones you want to follow?

I suppose I could be thankful that we don’t feel pressured to include outlandish cultural elements into our big day. But really I just feel at a loss. How do we create an intimate special ceremony, that conveys our belief system and pays homage to elements of our heritage without making us look like giant posers?

Let’s Get Dressed Boys and Girls

I know I mentioned a while ago that Future Mamma-In-Law Veggie is taking care of our flower girl and ring bearer outfits (isn’t she great?). This is no small task given the quantity and varying ages of the Veggie Sprouts. Seems like a good time to give you an update on how its going.

First off were vests and paper boy caps for the boys. In hopes of saving her sanity FMIL Veggie started keeping her eye out these months ago, thinking she would have her hands full with sewing three dresses. When these cute hats went on sale she snatched them up. Then she found these great pin striped vests. A set in size 6 and a set in size 12mos. Boys done.

Onto the girls. FMIL Veggie (that’s kind of a mouthful) has nearly finished one flower girl dress. Here it is in all its glory modeled by the oldest Veggie Sprout-ette (she has a bit of a Calvin Klein grunge waif look going, no? Look out Tyra).
The material is a very light organic cotton swiss dot in ivory. Supposedly this dress needs to be taken in on the sides, hemmed, and the straps need to be finished, but honestly I didn’t notice any of that. I just can’t believe that someone could actually make a dress, a beautiful dress, appear out of thin air. Don’t even get me started about those crazy talented bees who make their own wedding dresses (eh-hem Sewing, Poodle). Unimaginable.

One down, two slightly smaller versions to go. I’m so psyched about how they look already, and now just have to figure out how I want to finish them off. I plan on coming up with an idea and then stepping back to allow FMIL Veggie and Veggie Sister Kale to turn that vision into a reality. Go Team Veggie! They’re too good to me.

So hmmm… finishing touches for the dresses. The bridesmaids are wearing shades of gray and the men are wearing vests and gray pants. So I guess I’m thinking casual, cute, and I hate to say it, vintage-y.

Perhaps a nice wide sash at the empire waist (a la Mrs. Penguin).

Maybe a simple ribbon instead?

How about a flower?

Or two?

Or a few?

Or a dozen?

So many choices.

Now that there are less than 100 days to go until the wedding it is both exhilarating and calming to see some projects starting to come together. I can’t help but feel overwhelmed by all of the love our family and friends have already put into our wedding. It is amazing.

Are loved ones stepping up to make your day special? Any ideas on how to finish off the Veggie Sprout dresses?

NWR- A Smile to Start Your Work Week

We had a Halloween Party here this weekend to coincide more closely to our autumnal transition into winter. (October 31st is spring here, and Halloween then always feels a bit funny).

Anyhow, I dressed as Wonder Woman. Me practicing my moves:Confused Wonder Woman. Angry Wonder Woman. I-just-knocked-you out Wonder Woman.

And Mr. Veggie? You can’t really see his purple wings and skirt in this picture. He told everyone that he dressed as “An obliging Fiancé”. But really he was dressed as… (Make your guesses below). What a guy!

Hope that you are enjoying your transition into summer as much as we are enjoying the approaching colder weather. Have a great Monday!

Halloween

Here in the southern hemisphere there is some seasonal delusion about when Halloween should take place. Here, just like the rest of the world, it is celebrated on October 31st. This is all sorts of backwards. Thank you colonialism.

While in the north it makes sense to be carving up your excess pumpkins and celebrating the transition from light to dark at the end of October, here October is spring. We should be glorifying baby bunnies and chicks and wearing pastel colors (someone should invent a holiday for that). Our transition from light to dark is May. And so we’ve decided that that’s when we should celebrate Halloween.

Since we happen to have a few spare pumpkins lying around, and also happen to have a ridiculously fabulous recycling center just down the road, this party wasn’t too hard to throw together.

There was pumpkin carving, pumpkins admiring, and pumpkin soup.

I dressed as Wonder Woman. Here I am showing some of my super moves.
Nelson said that he was dressed as “An obliging fiancé”. But really he was… (make your guesses below).

Some famous movie stars decided to show up. Starsky and Hutch (Only Starsky pictured) and The Mad Hatter.
The party provided yet another opportunity to learn about cultural differences between America and NZ. Apparently some costumes that would be really offensive in the US, are ok here…. Like terrorists.

And black face. (He was a medicine man).
Happy Halloween from your neighbors to the South!