An update

I haven’t updated this in ages! I wonder if anyone follows it? I only use it these days to preview privately blog posts I’ve written for APW. *koff*

APW pretty much fulfills my wedding-blogging needs, but here are the boring details I don’t talk about there.

1) P and I have purchased wedding rings. I’ll prolly pay for them, since he paid for my engagement ring. They’re going to be thin yellow gold bands (3mm, 9 ct for him; 2mm, 18 ct for me). Mine’s going to be shaped around the curve of my engagement ring. Apparently people who do this and want to wear the wedding band by itself turn the curvy bit inwards. This revelation by the nice lady at the jewellery shop blew my mind.

I have to say, I am a big fan of the jewellers we are using. They’re really nice, they have a beautiful selection of antique/secondhand jewellery, and the prices seem pretty reasonable (though admittedly we didn’t bother shopping around for the wedding bands).

2) I bought yet another wedding dress! It’s huge and poofy and I haven’t given it a second thought since buying it. I kind of felt guilty when I first bought it, but now I am like, whatever, and am quite relieved not to have to worry that people will think it’s too ~unusual~ — because it isn’t. I’ve also stopped feeling guilty about spending so much on various dresses because a) none of the dresses I’ve bought have been that expensive and b) we can afford it, so whevs.

I’m going to wear the new poofy dress for the English ceremony and my adorable vintage ’50s dress from San Francisco for the Chinese ceremony.

3) I’ve also got a beautiful baju kebaya for the Chinese wedding dinner. It’s pink and green and embroidered with flowers. *___* I love it. When I tried it on in the shop a whole phalanx of admiring aunties turned up and stared at me through the entrance.

I also got matching kasut manik which I have to say are really auntie in style, but very comfy in substance.

4) All music selection duties have been delegated to P (actually planning the whole English wedding has been delegated to P, but, details!). Organ music will consist of Handel, Bach and Widor. Unfortunately, not being a churchgoer myself, my main association with organ music is with vampire movies (the old-fashioned black-and-white Gothic terror kind, not the new-style sparkly bishounen kind). Luckily I did do some classical music lessons growing up, so I recognise the Handel and Bach (although we played it on the clavinova, not the organ), and the Widor is sprightly enough to overcome vampiric associations.

P is going to choose the hymns because I do not know any hymns and er don’t really care. A friend of P’s has very kindly offered to compose music for the wedding, so he’s in discussions with the friend about composing something for the first dance. I had been kind of hoping that we’d forget there was such a tradition as the first dance ….

5) We have pretty much booked the honeymoon! We are going to Italy — the Ligurian coast. P sort of knows the area, as he taught English in Bologna for a while, and it fulfills all our requirements — a short flight from the UK, relatively easy to get around, and has culture as well as good food and good weather. We’ll be there for five days between the weddings and I’m pretty excited about the accommodation we’ve booked.

I was happily telling my sister about the beyootiful B&B we’re gonna stay in, and she was all, “Why didn’t you book a 5-star hotel? That’s where I’d wanna go on my honeymoon!” And I kinda see her point, but I don’t think it would add much to my experience to stay in a 5-star hotel — certainly not enough to justify the expense. I really like small quaint pretty places to stay, and comfort is way more important to me than fanciness.

6) Me to P: What would you say your theme for 2012 is gonna be?

P: “Getting married”.

Me: Mine’s “Transitions”.

P: Aw, yours is more intelligent than mine.

Me: To be fair I had time to think of the answer before I asked you the question.

A protest

I won’t name names because I suppose blogging for A Practical Wedding means I’m sort of part of the wedding blogosphere now, but can I just say:

- believing you were French in another life

- secretly wishing you lived in 1750

- old Jane Austen novels (what, as opposed to the new ones?), and

- rustic daydreams

are all four of them COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THINGS. Jane Austen was only born in 1775! She was not French in any way! (If you want 19th century novels by a female author with French in them, try Bronte — to this day I have no idea what was said in several of the conversations held in Jane Eyre.) And if you insist on conflating rustic daydreams with 19th century literature why not go for bloody Hardy or somebody like that.

This is what happens when you fall into the lazy writing habit of speaking entirely in buzzwords. I think it’s definitely possible to write intelligently about style, but as with everything else it helps if you interpose your brain between style stimulus and verbal response.

Thinly veiled desire

I’ve been dubious about wearing a veil at the English wedding, because I was worried about the fact that my vintage dress is already a trifle costumey, and I didn’t want to make it too fussy with the addition of too many accessories. Silk flowers in my hair, I thought, or maybe a feather hairband.

But these glorious pictures at Lillian and Leonard have me swayed. The bride is wearing what looks like a silk tulle chapel veil with a decidedly vintage dress, and she looks beautiful.

long veil 1

long veil 2

The full-length silhouette is just so sweet and old-fashioned and lovely. And it’s encouraging that the dress and veil seem to be different shades — the dress is more of an aged cream, the veil is white — but they still look great together. One of my concerns was that if I got a white or even an ivory veil (not that I’m physically capable of telling the difference, but I’m told there is one!), it would make the dress look dirty as it is vintage and it is not a pure white colour.

But sigh! Her outfit is lovely. Maybe I will try a chapel veil, though I will really need to try any veils on with the dress to see what it looks like. I ought to be careful, though; probably a big part of the reason why it looks good is because the bride is gorgeous.

(Pictures from Lillian and Leonard, link to source post above.)

My baby shot me down :(

It’s not really my baby who shot me down — it’s everyone else! A while ago I was pondering the hen do and wondering what I’d like to do for it. And a lightbulb went off over my head:

 A Lord of the Rings marathon!

It was perfect. It was something we could do at home, in our living room. We’d’ve all watched the movies before, so we could chat while it was playing if we felt like it. We could cook! And bake! And just generally hang out! It would be like a slumber party, with extra geek. It would be cheap.

And The Lord of the Rings — as you can kind of guess from my journal name — has a lot of emotional significance for me. LOTR fannishness was a major component of my bond with my two closest friends, who are my bridesmaids — my maid of honour M and I cosplayed for the release of The Two Towers, walking airily around a shopping mall dressed as a hobbit and an elf respectively, and I first bonded with S when she noticed that I wore a Burger King replica of the One Ring on a chain around my neck. (Yes, I did actually do that as a 17 year old. What can I sayI’m a dork.)

My sister also loves LOTR, and when I floated the idea her jaw dropped.

“That’s amazing!” she said. “It would be so great!” We basically high-fived over the genius of the idea.

Emboldened, I floated the idea to all the other friends who are likely to attend my hen do.

Silence descended on the table.

No,” said everyone, pretty much simultaneously.

I was taken aback. “But — S, I thought you liked LOTR!”

“If even S is rejecting the idea, you know it’s not a good idea,” said another friend firmly.

“You can do a LOTR marathon any time,” said S.

I just didn’t get it. I still don’t get it! Everyone then said, “Ooh, how about an afternoon tea party, that would be nice” and you can do an afternoon tea party ANY TIME!

The girls have decided that I need to be surprised about the hen do, and it sounds like they might be planning a whole weekend event. And it’s just a bit weird! Part of the reason I thought the marathon would be a great idea was because it would be inexpensive, and from wedding forums and the like I’ve heard the gripes about brides demanding extravagant hen dos. It’s not that I’m expecting tea at the Ritz now, but I s’pose it will be something fancier than a marathon. I guess it’s because I’m pretty much the first of my peer group to get married, so nobody’s had the time to get jaded about wedding fripperies yet.

I have emphasised that the option of the marathon is always there. If their afternoon tea party or whatever never gets off the ground, I’ll be there with the DVDs and a bag of Doritos.

6.5 months to go

Feels odd that the wedding is so soon! It’s just at the point where it’s still comfortably far away, but close enough that I have to start getting my head around the fact that it’s actually going to happen.

Couple of weddingy things:

My first post at APW is up! You can read it here: Confessions of an Ex-Weddingphobe. Man, Bride Wars was a bad movie.

We’re going to book a car! I know I said in my previous post on cars that I don’t care about cars, but then I realised there is one type of car for which I have a certain affection, and that is the Volkswagen Beetle. They’re just so cute and round! I suggested it to Cephas, with a link to a family-owned company that drives them around Norfolk and Suffolk, and he and his parents thought it was a good idea: “Special but informal.”

The thing I like best about it — besides its roundness — is that the one we’re probably going to book is cream on the outside and red on the inside, like red velvet cake. I do like it when connections just happen.

My sister on weddings

Sister, while watching Don’t Tell The Bride: How come we don’t get married in temples?

Me: Yah hor. I dunno! But English people and Americans used to get married at home too. Like, marrying in church was the more formal kind of option. I think they got married by the minister at home, though, so it’s not like us, where we just kind of do it by ourselves.

Sister: Maybe the minister got too many people to marry so he got lazy and told them, ‘I’m not coming to your home anymore. You come to me.’

Me: I don’t know how getting married in a church became the standard option actually. Maybe ‘cos people watched royalty, like Queen Victoria or whoever, get married in these big churches — ‘cos if you’re royalty you gotta get married in somewhere like Westminster Abbey, right — so they were like, oh, we wanna do that too.

Sister: What about the queen of Bhutan?

Me: Hah?

Sister: (thoughtfully) Oh yeah, I guess the queen of Bhutan didn’t get married in a temple. But what you’re saying is if she did get married in a temple everybody would start following her and get married in temples.

Me: Er, maybe …

#

Sister: I want to have a magician at my wedding! ‘Cos when you watch Don’t Tell The Bride you think about how you’re going to have your wedding, right, and I was thinking about doves, and of course doves makes you think of magicians, and I want a magician! He’d do all the stuff with disappearing doves. And he’d stand on a stage, in the middle — and everybody would watch him.

Me: But where would you do it?

Sister: In a theatre! With everybody sitting in the seats.

Me: So where would people eat?

Sister: There’d be a buffet outside! And people could take their plates and come into the theatre and eat on their laps …

Me: Your wedding idea is kind of falling to pieces there.

#

Me: Do you know what my dress looks like? I sent you a picture, right?

Sister: It was … long. And white.

Me: Hmmmm.

Progress report

I ought to post more hor. We’ve been mad busy here at Casa de Hobbits (or Jobbits, as I s’pose it should be spelt for linguistic consistency). I’m wrapping up work stuff before going on a period of unpaid leave, P is trying to get a move on with jobs, and we’re both trying to figure out wedding logistics.

The crib

I’ve been entrusted with the task of booking a self-catering crib in England for my parents and their entourage. Cue days of staring soberly at eccentrically punctuated reviews on travel websites. Pro: my familiarity with London rents and recent experience of booking accommodation in San Francisco has made all the prices look affordable. Con: my parents are probably used to a higher standard of living than I am. Will, e.g., broken door handles and dodgy blinds make a serious impact on their enjoyment of the trip?

The wheels

P’s mum thought it would be nice to book a vintage car to cart P and me around on the day of the wedding, so P has been dispatched to sort this out.

I have discovered that I really don’t care about cars. They fall into two categories for me: sort of square, and sort of round. Rolls Royces are square, and Proton Wiras are round. So I have, as much as I am able to, excused myself from the process of automobile selection.

The entz

This was really P’s idea — I had nothing to do with it. P thought it would work with the venue to have a silent disco. I’d never heard of this, but apparently you just get a load of headphones and then people dance with the headphones on, never knowing if their fellow dancers are listening to the same music or not.

The friends we surveyed thought this was hilarious. It is a bit of a novelty thing, but my friends are not really dancey people anyway, so anything that gets them on the dance floor is OK in my book. Of course, it has the added advantage of being a bit cheaper than a real live DJ.

The getaway

My dream honeymoon destination was Hokkaido. Hokkaido of the fields of lavender and the creamy ice cream! I envisioned a ryokan where we’d sleep on tatami and soak in wooden Japanese baths and have exquisitely arranged local food at meals.

Well, that’s probably out of the question, for reasons of both money and time. Most likely we’d take any honeymoon we were having in the two weeks between the weddings, and the best flight we’ve found stops over in Frankfurt and Tokyo, and takes 18 hours. Not really the sort of trek you want to take a week and a half before a second wedding! So we’ve agreed to go away and think about it again, selecting destinations that are no more than a few hours’ travel away from either England or Malaysia.

The cake

P’s aunt has offered to make this! After some hmm-ing, I requested a red velvet cake. Everyone likes red velvet cake, right? It is a bit of a departure from my original vision of pandan chiffon cake and Japanese cotton cheesecake, but those are fiddlier to make and I wasn’t sure how we’d manage getting them from a Chinatown patisserie to a reception venue in a whole ‘nother town. It’s nice to have a cake from a relative of P’s instead of from a professional bakery, and the detail about the red velvet cake that I sort of liked was how it’s white on the outside and red on the inside. Secretly Asian!

So everything is ticking over! There’s not as much being done on the Malaysian wedding at the moment, but there are fewer pieces to line up there — accommodation for P’s relatives will be an issue, but we’ll just use our own car, the entertainment has been booked, and we’re not even having cake. We’re going to have enough food as it is!