I’m going to start writing more personal stuff here! That was the whole point of starting this (besides diverting the stream of pretty dresses I stare at on the Internet out of my head, that is). So — how things are going now.
The English venues are sorted. The Catholic ceremony will be in the church P’s family go to — easy enough. (We have to meet the priest and flower arrangers and organist at some point. I find this daunting. P finds it funny that I find it daunting.)
The reception venue has also been booked. P’s favourite description of it is “It’s a 300-year-old building but it only looks 30” and my line is “it’s retro chic without the chic”. Nevertheless we both liked it best out of all the venues we saw when we went venue-hunting — it has the informality and friendliness we were looking for. The surroundings are pretty, the owner is nice, and we’re not paying anything for rental — only for the food and drink. When I consider how much some of the other venues were charging just for renting the place — not even counting catering or decorations — I’m pretty chuffed.
My only real concern with the place is lighting, since we saw it on a gorgeous sunny Saturday afternoon. Note to self: check out lighting. I got some good ideas for boosting lighting from a wedding blog! I will put it here for my own reference: Wedding Decor for Dummies.
It might not be necessary, but you never know. I remember one of the things that just stunned me when I first came to the UK was how dimly lit houses were. I guess the white fluorescent tubes of my childhood homes are not very nice either, but at least they’re better than a single orange bulb hung in the middle of the room about a million miles away from your desk!
The Malaysian venue is a bit up in the air at the moment. I’m fairly sure we’re going to go with one place and I’m feeling pretty good about it, though I’d like to a) see pictures (I’m going completely on my mom’s descriptions, and my mom has an artistic eye and I trust her, but it would still be nice to see it before booking it!) and b) just confirm the booking so it’s out of the way.
It’s still not my ~dream venue~ (sigh! my lovely hutan house!) but it will hopefully work well. Like the English venue, we wouldn’t be paying to rent the venue — only a per-head price for the food and drinks. Anyway with the ~dream venue~ in practical terms we’d probably have had to have the tea ceremony, ragging etc. at the hutan house and I want to do all that at my own actual home.
My main concern with the Malaysian venue at the moment is that my family actually went to see Bankers Club recently and even though I’ve shot down that idea several times, I’m worried actually seeing it in the flesh — or rather, in the wood panelling! — will stoke their passion for it. Oh god it is just so pompous. Just the name itself — !
I’m very grateful to my mom, who has appointed herself my (Malaysian) wedding planner and has set to it with her usual gusto. But unfortunately this has totally blown up my invitation plans!
I’d come up with what I thought was a pretty cute idea for the save the date cards — a picture of me and P each riding our zodiac animals (mine is a tiger and his is an ox) and high-fiving in mid-air!!! I asked my talented cousin the Architect to execute the idea (I requested a “lo-fi hipster cute” aesthetic /o\ I know I know. What can I say?). I thought once she’d drawn it out and sent me the picture, I’d slap on some text, print it off in black and white on postcards, and send them out to various friends and family.
Simple, right? Except:
1) My mom saw the sketch and described it as “real cute”. But she hinted darkly at “some implications” from “some traditional old sayings”.
“But we r modern & we r christians, or about to be, so they dont matter if u consciously make your stand,” she added airily.
“I’m not Christian! >:(” I replied.
It turned out the pantang was that the design emphasised the fact that I’m a tiger and P is an ox, and tigers are obviously somewhat fiercer characters than oxen. “The tiger eats the ox so maybe people will joke you will bully P,” said my mom.
I’m not averse to respecting pantang — like, I wouldn’t wear black to my wedding, or for Chinese New Year — but I felt I could go with this one. After all, I pointed out to my mom, NOT using the design wouldn’t change the fact that I am a tiger and P is an ox. Also, I figure any risk that I will bully P really arises more from the kind of people we each are than from our zodiac signs.
We ended up agreeing that I’d only send the save the dates to P’s side of the family (who don’t get the implication and wouldn’t care if they did) and to my friends (who are the younger generation and so won’t worry about pantang so much). You don’t do save the dates in Malaysia anyway — the proper way to do it, said my mom, is to visit your relatives with biscuits and invite them in person.
I s’pose we’ll have a different design for the wedding invitations proper — I don’t much mind what they are. I just liked the idea of having a special design of me and P that I could hang onto as a souvenir, sort of thing.
My dad had a look at the sketch and said he didn’t mind the design, but suggested that it ought to have more of a “partnership feeling”, rather than portraying one party as being more dominant. (Keep in mind that in this picture P is taller than me — because he actually is — and the tiger and ox are perfectly level. It’s not even like the tiger is showing any teeth!) Apparently they resolved this by having the tiger and ox also high-five, which I am fine with. High-fives for everybody!
However I think it’s an interesting question whether my parents would have been so concerned about the appearance of equality if P had been the tiger and me the milder animal. Or rather, I don’t think it’s an interesting question because I know what the answer is.
2) Having resolved all that, my mom is now trying to sort out printing these cards in Malaysia before my sister comes back to England, so my sister can bring them back with her. Keep in mind that as of Saturday, when we discussed this, the Architect had not yet finished inking the design, and my sister was in Malaysia for all of a week.
And now my mother is talking about doing it in colour, and embossed paper, and inserts, and oh we should incorporate your wedding colours somehow! And I’m just like — all too complicated! I have a printer and some photo print paper, all you guys need to do is email me the picture and I can sort it out from there!
This wedding is going to be an exercise in holding people’s horses and keeping their shirts on.
Progress has been made. But is it illusory progress? Only time will tell …
I realise a lot of what I talk about here is about stuff rather than my relationship with P. I guess, hm, while I do want the weddings to represent us in that I don’t want it to be some over-the-top super glam affair, they’re also something that — they’re fun, they’re something we’re gonna do together and they will have a lot of meaning when they happen. But they are basically just big parties, right? And the planning itself doesn’t have anything more to do with the core of our relationship than us going to a museum or cooking dinner together does.
I don’t know, though. Maybe I will feel different when it gets closer and it all starts feeling more real.