Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Me, me, me

I never thought I would get married. It wasn't that I had anything specific against the institution, in fact I wholly supported others doing it and doing it well, I just never envisioned myself wearing a ring, walking down the aisle and swearing to G-d I was going to love this person forever. At best, I thought, I might live with someone forever. Who needed the vows?

And then I fell in love with IC. We had been friends for 10+ years, best friends for about half that, and our relationship from day 1 was on a marriage track. It wasn't scary, like I thought it would be. It was the most normal, natural thing in the world and suddenly the vows really, really mattered. I want to marry this man in front of G-d, our families and our friends. I want to swear to be his forever and to take care of him in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer (wait, do Jews even do that? Whatever--I want to swear whatever Jews swear. And I think I want us to write our own vows too, just as soon as we nail down every other detail necessary to get a wedding going.)

Somewhere around week three of our relationship IC said "I know it's early but I have to ask you a couple of things." Did I want children? Would I take his last name? And, obviously, we'd have a destination wedding, right??

Right. Yes. Definitely a destination wedding.

We are close friends with a couple who had a destination wedding a few years ago in the Bahamas and it was just perfect. You're on a beach with your best friends for a weekend. Nothing could be better.

IC proposed this September past. We told everyone we wanted to get married asap. No reason to wait, we knew everything there was to know about each other and we wanted in. We talked about late February or early March. People laughed. It takes time to plan a wedding, they'd say. Pshah, time. We're in love! And it's basically just throwing a party. We don't care how it happens we just want it to happen. We started looking for venues, focusing on the Caribbean. The projected late Feb/early March date got pushed back to late March. Then late April. Then we found out that our religion, we're both Jews, doesn't allow weddings in late April ("Counting of the Omer"). And there's only one weekend left in April, the first weekend, where a wedding might be possible. Most of May is taken up with Omer Counting too and, anyway, Russian tradition (I was born in Russia, he was born in Israel, both live in New York for most of our lives, he represents Queens I was raised out in Brooklyn) discourages marrying in May (although turns out that's a widespread superstition). So now we're at June. Maybe. We're still hoping for that early April weekend to miraculously happen.

When I say I never wanted to get married, I mean it, to the point where I never pictured my wedding. I didn't know what kind of dress I wanted or what kind of flowers. I never pictured a setting or a color scheme. I had missed out on years and years of daydreaming and was now starting from scratch. I never mocked the girls who loved weddings and planned every detail of theirs by the time they were 8, but I had never wanted to be one of them either. Oh how I'd like to be them now.

It's over three months since the proposal and I have got, literally, nothing accomplished. Oh, I can tell you about every resort on every Caribbean island from St. Thomas to St. Vincent, Tortola to Tobago. But we don't have a venue (I'll illustrate the problems we've had finding one in future posts. Please, contain your anticipation!). I haven't picked a dress. I never even heard of engagement photos until like last week. I don't understand the concept of favors. I'm still unclear on the word "bustle".

This blog is here to help me work everything out. I have bored and annoyed my non-wedding-planning friends on Twitter, Facebook and my 18 other blogs (kidding, just the two others!) for long enough. It's now time to annoy and bore the masses, right here on my wedding blog. I hope you'll help. I really, really need it.


  1. Karol - I love this - and am so happy that you are getting married (b/c I am, at heart, truly a wedding planner and would trade politics for weddings anytime). Did you try the shul in Curacao? It's lovely...

  2. Best wishes for as little stress as possible; I too am one of those people who hasn't had the whole thing planned since age eight. I don't have too much experience with weddings but I did help my brother and SIL a couple of years ago with theirs (they planned a simple but fun one in about three months). I like your "throwing a party" perspective, and I have faith it'll come together right when you need it.

  3. Congrats! I still remember planning our wedding. We didn't do a destination, and my wife really worked on the details. I'll be honest. The only detail I really cared about was that at the end of the day, I just really wanted to be married to my best friend. Don't ever lose sight of that.

    Best of luck to you.

    P.S. If you chose a really exotic location and need an inexpensive photographer that plays poker, I think I know someone.

  4. Regarding vows, conservatives that we are, we opted to use the traditional vows (in our case, from the Book of Common Prayer) rather than writing our own. Writing our own vows would have been like saying we were reinventing marriage in our own image. By saying the same words that had been said by millions of couples over the course of centuries, we were entering into a settled institution rather than one of our own creation.

    If nothing else, opting for the traditional vows takes one more item off of your to-do list.

  5. For pity's sake, if you've never heard of engagement photos, don't do them! There's nothing that *has* to be done for a wedding, only taking your vows. Don't fall into the trap of doing what's socially expected simply because. The whole thing is nothing but a ploy to separate you from your money and at the end of the day it doesn't strengthen your marriage one bit. Spend your money on something that you actually want, rather than are expected to have.

    My .02, of course.

  6. Hi, I'm Karol and I take pictures of my food in restaurants before I eat it. You think I'm not going to want engagement photos now that I know there is such a thing!?

    And thanks to everyone (except Jamie) for the advice and thoughts. Totally appreciated. :-)

  7. Engagement photos are to show how much you aged after you planned a wedding.

  8. Hahaha. That's probably true. I actually found a good photographer (http://dmomentphotography.com, for those in NYC) with a great rate but trying to nail down a time to book him has been the problem. Although I'd like to do it soon as we're both still tan from our Aruba trip.