That’s today, as evidenced by SMS:
Bodger, however, is unimpressed:
See you on the other side of marriage!
That’s today, as evidenced by SMS:
Bodger, however, is unimpressed:
See you on the other side of marriage!
In case you’re reading this and thinking about getting married in Virginia, you can apply for and receive a marriage license in any circuit court in the state–not necessarily for the city or county in which you plan to be married. This is how we ended up getting a license from Middlesex County Circuit Court, rather than deal with the mountains of bureaucracy at the John Marshall Courts Building.
We also visited Libby Hill Park (our ceremony site) today.
Not a bad view, eh?
I think almost all things for Friday have been purchased, ordered, or acquired.
And in preparation for Wedding Victory Tour, I have purchased a windbreaker. Very exciting!
Several months ago, our friend Chris, acoustic phonetician, photographer, audiophile, and all-around badass, generously offered to take engagement photos of us. At first, we declined because we figured that without a large wedding (and Save-the-Dates), we wouldn’t need any glammed-up-yet-casual photographs of ourselves. Moreover, I assumed that as the world’s least romantic couple, taking couples-based photos would be an uncomfortable and awkward experience.
I eventually changed my mind about this and decided that engagement photos would be good practice for wedding photography. Chris cut us an awesome deal (a new camera strap and Mexican dinner!), and we roughly planned to take photos when spring hit Champaign.
Unfortunately, Spring of a Thousand Changes happened, and we ran hard up against our date of exodus from the Midwest. This is how we ended up taking our engagement photos in the week that we moved, graduated from grad school, and packed for seven weeks on the road.
Did we buy new outfits? (No.) Did I pluck my eyebrows? (No.) How did my nails look? (Horrible.) Was I totally frazzled? (Yes.)
I cannot believe that I am the only person who approached engagement photos (and couples photography, in general) with trepidation! Does anyone else feel uncomfortable about the prospect of being romantic in front of a photographer? How do other couples look so natural and happy?
[Actually, the Internet will prove that some people are just really bad at taking romantic photos.]
When Chris requested that I send him photos of what I liked and disliked in “e-photography” styles, I basically nixed all romantic poses, including reclining, kissing, embracing, carrying, staring into each other eyes, smiling at each other, and holding hands. Suffice to say, he had his work cut out for him.
I’d like to tell you that taking engagement photos was not awkward, but I’d be lying. It was awkward. We’re not very affectionate, so the addition of two other people–even though they are our friends–made everything feel somewhat forced. Sometimes, I didn’t even want to make eye contact because I’d start to giggle or feel really uncomfortable. When he told us to talk to each other, I somehow ran out of things to say or wanted to gripe about things like the eight-thousand things still left unchecked on our to-do list (No good for engagement photos!).
This is not to say that I think Chris wasn’t an excellent photographer; we’re just bad at being romantic. He was super-professional and didn’t insist that we take photos that we weren’t comfortable with. He basically just let us goof around as ourselves for most of the time and suggested some even cooler shots that we wouldn’t have thought of. He even had a handkerchief on hand when Harrison sliced open his hand on a particularly vengeful tree branch in the U of I arboretum.
And, in the end, his photos look reallllllly good! Within twelve hours, he had edited our photos–no cheesy vignettes or edge-softening. The changes aren’t even noticeable. The photos just look really nice.
Yes, taking engagement photos was a little awkward. At least, it was for us. We’re certainly not styled to perfection, by any means. But we have a collection of colorful photographs that capture us looking happy and honestly like ourselves in one of the most stressful weeks of our lives. And as a bonus, we got to hang out with Chris for a few hours, which was a rare treat in a time of dissertations and job applications.
So, would I take engagement photos again? No, probably not.
Am I glad we did it? Fo’ sho’ yes!
Thank you so much, Chris! We wouldn’t take engagement photos again UNLESS they were with you. You are a great friend, and we will miss you terribly. Best of luck and know that whenever we watch “Inglorious Basterds,” we will think of you.
[Check out more of Chris' work here.]
And without further ado, photos! (Click to enlarge.)
How do you feel about engagement photos? Did you take them, and what was it like? Are you planning on taking them?
Apparently, 2013 is a year that the 17-year cicadas will descend upon Richmond, VA in massive swarms.
I’m not talking about the run-of-the-mill, annual, green and white cicada. No, I’m talking about the black, orange-tinged, red-eyed cicadas that emerge from the ground in large, noisy quantities. After engaging in cicada orgy, they quickly die off, leaving the ground littered with their crunchy-yet-squishy carcasses.
I don’t remember the last time the 17-year cicadas arrived in Richmond, but general math skills tell me that it happened in 1996. Harrison remembers that “they were everywhere” and were “really loud.”
“And I saw them having sex,” he adds.
Enough people are concerned about the emergence of the cicadas in wedding season that Cicada Mania even has a section of the website devoted to how to deal with them at your wedding. Basically? You’re screwed.
We’re getting married outside, and Richmond falls right in the middle of the reported brood appearances. In all likelihood, in addition to our parents, we will have hundreds, if not thousands, of [uninvited] wedding guests in the vicinity of our nuptials next Friday.
[More cicada commentary: "They're like little space aliens," says Harrison.]
However, given that our wedding on May 24th is actually very small, I don’t see the need to move our “ceremony” inside. Our officiant claims to have a seven-minute ceremony memorized, and we have no music, readings, or unity candle rituals. There will be no tent and no outside food for cicadas to crawl in. And if there are some cicadas in our pictures, that’s fine, too. According to Harrison, there is around a 1% chance of having your wedding fall in the middle of the 17-year cicada emergence. Maybe it bodes well for our marriage…thousands of little good-luck bugs.
This all being said, if one flies up my dress or crawls up my neck, Ima’ scream reaaaaaal loud.
Kayla, my de facto bridesmaid, threw not only an engagement fiesta in the fall but also hosted my bachelorette party last weekend. Well, really, I should say that Kayla, Cassandra, and Jin threw me a bachelorette party because all three contributed in their own, er, special ways.
Kayla knows that I aim to become the “Modern Face of Temperance.” [Seriously, Carrie Nation was a real badass, but she wasn't really endearing herself to anyone by chopping up bars with an axe and a grumpy face, was she?] She prepared this delightful “mock-tail” bar with really delicious fruity drinks, none of which were sullied by the foul taste of alcohol.
I sampled a lot of beverages….
Kayla also amassed the strangest, most obscure facts about engagements and weddings for some trivia.
Staci and Ester, who had attended the most bachelorette parties, did the best. They were gracious winners.
Cassandra and Jin? Um, not so much. Jin may have confused “wedding bands” (the rings) with musical groups. Oops.
Me and Aileen? If we were tested on wedding knowledge, this would be our grade.
For dinner, Jin gave us a lesson on how to make kimbap (Korean rice rolls filled with vegetables and other tasty fillings, including radish that gives you cancer when eaten in massive quantities.)
Actually, we all gave ourselves a lesson on how to make kimbap. Trial by fire!
Some of us had better results…
But that’s okay because Jin would never laugh at your kimbap. Ever.
For her part, Cassandra really made a concerted effort to give my bachelorette party a “traditional” feel: a crown, a sash, pink balloons. She also did her damnedest to try to embarrass me with phallic gummy candies and “dirty” gifts. (Little did she know that I have no shame, mwahahaha!) She even covered a pair of lacy underwear with so much bedazzling that it can pull double duty as a chastity belt.
Somehow, I made room in my tummy for Staci’s blueberry lemon cake.
Meanwhile, Cass made room for some imitation crab stick but was embarrassed about it.
And then it was off to our local noraebang to finish the night with Korean karaoke!
Thanks so much to Kayla, Cassandra, and Jin for hosting such a delightful and fun bachelorette party. I’m not very conventionally fun by
20-something anyone’s standards, so I appreciate the time and effort they took to celebrate my last month (Eek! Less!) of non-married life. Though, I hope that when I am married, I will still eat kimbap and play games and not be embarrassed by singing “Since U Been Gone” at the top of my lungs….
I will preface this post by saying that Mica and I have wildly different opinions of southern California. I once spent a summer in Pasadena, and I think Mica’s experience is limited to a family reunion in San Diego and watching my brother graduate from Harvey Mudd.
So basically, neither of us knows anything about what SoCal is actually like. That said, Mica is terrified of southern California because everybody is beautiful, there’s lots of traffic and smog, and they have earthquakes [Mica: Also, mudslides and wild fires]. I think southern California is pretty much the greatest place ever because the weather is nice all the time (except when they go into deep freezes and it gets down into the 40s), they have ocean and mountains right next to each other, and everybody is beautiful. Nowhere are all of these things more true than in Los Angeles.
You may have noticed on our previous “Tentative Tour Dates” post that Los Angeles was listed as an unconfirmed destination. That’s code for, “we would like to go there, but we have no couch on which to surf.”
Fortunately, through the miracle of the internet, we were able to connect with somebody who in fact does have a couch (The couch, at this point, is a metaphor; we will actually sleep in a real life bed) on which we can surf. Not only that, but the proverbial couch is in Hollywood Hills! Major thanks to our friend Catherine for hunting down LA’s most fabulous airbnb listings!
I didn’t even know Hollywood Hills was the name of an actual place, but it is, and how can it not be full of richy rich people/houses/trees/dogs/trash cans?! We’re less than a mile from Mulholland Drive! I don’t really know the significance of that, but they made a movie about it! It has to be awesome, right?! [Mica: Yes, because all things that have been made into movies are awesome. Twilight franchise, I'm looking at you!]
As you can see, I am excited. After our stay, I reckon we will leave LA via Sunset Blvd. and Rodeo Drive, just in case I haven’t OD’d on chihuahuas and Ferraris yet. If you have any recommendations in or around the Hollywood Hills area, please let us know!
Bonus: If you made it this far, here’s a song that is vaguely about California and is a throwback to our first year of dating. Awwwwww.
It snowed a foot here on Sunday. I am excited for summer and driving to places that are warmer and prettier than Champaign, IL.
Today, we are two months out from getting married, hooray! And we are 79 days out from the kickoff of Wedding Victory Tour! Here is a list of rough tour dates where we have confirmed that we will be couch-surfing with some very generous friends and family. If we are coming to a city near you, feel free to drop us a line, and we will try to meet up! We’d like to see as many of you as possible as we make our way around the country.
* denotes an unconfirmed destination.
5/24 – Get married!
5/24-6/11 – Celebrate with friends and family around Virginia
6/12 – Leave Richmond, VA, tour kickoff!
6/14 - Hanover, NH
6/15 – Miscellaneous Canada*
6/22 - Boston, MA
6/25 – NYC
6/29 – Medina, OH
6/30 – St. Louis, MO
7/2 – Champaign, IL
7/5 – Chicago, IL
7/13 – Seattle, WA*
7/15 – Mountain View, CA
7/19 – San Francisco, CA
7/22 – Los Angeles, CA*
7/23 – San Diego, CA
7/25-8/2 – Return to Richmond via San Antonio, TX*, Atlanta, GA*, & Durham, NC
8/2 – Return to Richmond, VA
On the surface, a wedding seems to involve primarily two people, the two who are getting married. However, as pretty much anyone (or any book) will tell you, weddings are often the result of the collaborative efforts of many different parties. In fact, I remember fondly from my Slavic Folklore class (???) in college that traditional weddings were a village affair, from the making of the dowry to the wedding meal to the parading of a bloody sheet in the streets the next day. (Ew.)
WVT is not a traditional ceremony, reception, or honeymoon, but I’d like to think that we are following in the time-honored tradition of crowdsourcing our wedding. We’ve already done a fair share of this: Ashley and Tina, my bridesmaids cum web designers, put together this website. And I’d like to think that in lieu of reception activities (DJs, dancing, bouquet tossing), our friends and families will provide the best kind of entertainment: time spent together!
This week, my lovely friend Hannah drew this awesome picture for us. Soon, I will begin my first foray into wedding crafts and attempt to style this into some sort of invitation for our Richmond friends. (We’re thinking about going out in the evening, so in effect, please save the date, May 24th, 2013!)
Now that it’s time to
finish Harrison’s dissertation and look for jobs plan the road trip, we have some questions for you, gentle readers. The US is a very large place, and we haven’t been to a lot of it. We’d love to get some ideas for this road trip from our many friends and family, spread all over the country and with diverse tastes and interests.
Feel free to answer in the comments below or shoot us an email (if you have *private* suggestions, haha).
Thanks in advance for your input! We’re excited to read it!
Well, dearest readers, we finally have an officiant and have chosen the venue for our upcoming nuptials on May 24th, 2013. Something modest and under-budget because that’s how we roll.
I have just discovered Highclere Castle can be rented for weddings to the tune of £15,000+VAT. Yeah, no big deal, right?
Actually, we are delighted to announce that we will be getting married in a more cost-effective venue that is slightly closer to home: Richmond’s Libby Hill Park!
Here’s a boring, nearly five-minute video of it:
According to the city’s Parks & Recreation website, Libby Hill is one of the three original parks in Richmond. My favorite thing about it is the nice view of the river. In fact, this is how Richmond got its name–it resembles a view of Richmond on the Thames in England, hurrah!
In the event of rain, we plan to camp out and have a very short ceremony under the porch of the park house.
One of the many benefits of having such a small, weekday morning wedding is that we didn’t have to make an official reservation for the park. I doubt anyone is going to be using the park on a Friday morning. And if other people are milling around, there’s enough green space that we will be able to find some room to get married.
Our officiant, Mr. Mehfoud, is a Richmond celebrant who has been marrying couples since 1978 and even married stepdad Steve’s cousin and his wife Laura two years ago. When I spoke to him on Tuesday, he said that he knows his short, secular ceremony by heart. We’ll be married quickly and unobtrusively, but officially and awesomely!
Now that we have the majorly important things (venue, celebrant, photographer) in line, it’s time to start planning the road trip in earnest. After Harrison turns in his dissertation draft next week, we’ll start poring over the road trip books we got for Christmas and scouring the Interwebs for cool destinations.
And also, Kayla and I started a collaborative board on Pinterest today, just for the sheer joy of distracting ourselves with wedding crafts. Because who wants to write a comprehensive exam on ESL grammar when you can make decorations out of coffee filters and whiffle balls…