Category Archives: Going Against The Grain

Morning.

The morning of the wedding, we decided we wanted to do something with our friends. Just something low-key, hang out together and not feel rushed into the “Omigawd I’m getting married and must act like a crazy person trying to escape zombies, werewolves and unicorns” bit.* Especially since we’d decided long before that we weren’t going to stick with the whole “not seeing each other” tradition. Which would be tough anyway, since we were sharing a hotel room.

So, we did.

I’d read in one of my favorite guide books that there is a “secret love pond” on the grounds of the Mauna Lani that you can actually swim in.

It’s a natural salt pool filled by the tide. There are little shrimpies (redundant?) living in it, so you can’t wear any sunscreen/chemicals/etc. And it’s surprisingly chilly.

So, off we went at 10 on the morning of our wedding.

Meandering along the eel pond. Those suckers are eerie.

Nestled back among the fish ponds.

Oh, my 18-year-old tat on full display. Le sigh.

They're starting to catch on ...

Lurvely Laura.

Gresh couldn't get in because of some "beer bottle shattering" incident. So he said ...

Those steps were slippery as sh*t. We almost had a couple casualties.

Splish splash. Obvious necessity.

You got got!

Bemused.

Amused.

Well, that was fun.

Low tide.

Crikey! It's a whole herd of Australians!

It wasn’t an especially eventful morning, but it was relaxing.

All photos by Persimmon Images.

*It’s Halloween. Obv. This is how my brain is functioning.

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Said.

For our ceremony, we decided we wanted a simple civil ceremony with certain twists that were just us. I contacted Dard Aller, who was the hotel-recommended officiant, to get his standard ceremony. I asked him if I could tweak it, which he consented to. Originally timed, it came out to 8 minutes. Apparently it lasted a bit longer than that. I have no clue what the final count was.

Greeting

“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh,” he whispered.
“Yes, Piglet?”
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw, “I just wanted to be sure of you.”

Marriage is more than the joining in the bonds of matrimony of two persons. In its right relation, it is the uniting of two souls who are already attuned to each other. It is, as Pooh and Piglet point out, being truly sure of one another. When such a true bond already exists between two people, it’s fitting an outer acknowledgment be made. This acknowledgment is the prime object of this gathering and this ceremony.

We are here to bear witness to the entry into the closer relationship these two people… of you two beloved friends who are already close in spirit. Today, exactly three years after you first realized you shared a special bond, you are now taking into your care and keeping the happiness of the one person whom you love best. You are adding to your life not only the affection of each other, but also the companionship and the blessing of a deep trust. You’re agreeing to share strengths, responsibilities and love, and to always be sure of the other.

Leigh and Christen chose the location of Hawaii as a symbolism of compromise. Here they welcome their families and friends who’ve come from half a world apart to join them as they are united in this bond. Both believe compromise is one of many vital building blocks for a strong relationship, as it is the coming together of two entities which may start far apart and must communicate, trust and respect in order to grow together and meet in the middle. It is about equality and fairness, not tugging more one way or the other, but rather ending in a pleasing common ground.

Blessing

I would like to share with you a blessing for your marriage.
May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements a marriage should. May life grant you also patience, tolerance and understanding.
May you always need one another… not so much to fill your emptiness as to help you to know your fullness.
May you want one another, but not out of lack.
May you entice one another, but not compel one another.
May you embrace one another, but not encircle one another.
May you succeed in all important ways with one another, and not fail in the little graces.
Look for things to praise, often say, “I love you”, and take no notice of small faults.
May you have happiness and may you find it in making one another happy.
May you have love, and may you find it in loving one another.

Reading of “Litany” by Billy Collins

“You are the bread and the knife,
the crystal goblet and the wine.
You are the dew on the morning grass
and the burning wheel of the sun.
You are the white apron of the baker,
and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.
However, you are not the wind in the orchard,
the plums on the counter,
or the house of cards.
And you are certainly not the pine-scented air.
There is just no way that you are the pine-scented air.
It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge,
maybe even the pigeon on the general’s head,
but you are not even close
to being the field of cornflowers at dusk.
And a quick look in the mirror will show
that you are neither the boots in the corner
nor the boat asleep in its boathouse.
It might interest you to know,
speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,
that I am the sound of rain on the roof.
I also happen to be the shooting star,
the evening paper blowing down an alley
and the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.
I am also the moon in the trees
and the blind woman’s tea cup.
But don’t worry, I’m not the bread and the knife.
You are still the bread and the knife.
You will always be the bread and the knife,
not to mention the crystal goblet and – somehow – the wine.”

In paying tribute to their love for one another,
Christen and Leigh have requested we
Recognize and honor those who are no longer with us in person
But grace us with their presence in spirit

We also honor those
Who are still refused the right to be wed
And are denied the social and legal benefits of marriage
While there have been great strides made
There is more to be done to reach the goal of true equality
And recognize the bond of love between any two people

As you soak in the serenity of the sea before you,
Please take a moment of silence for those we have recognized.

[Moment of silence]

Reading of Excerpt from “Still Life with Woodpecker.”

“Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won’t adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words “make” and “stay” become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free.”

Consent

Leigh, do you give yourself totally to loving Bride, striving to do whatever you can to help her to feel happy and secure, treating her with kindness, understanding and respect for all the days before you?

Christen, do you give yourself totally to loving Groom, striving to do whatever you can to help him to feel happy and secure, treating him with kindness, understanding and respect for all the days before you?

Vows

Christen and Leigh read their own vows.

Leigh and Christen, nothing in life is easier than to say words, but nothing is harder than to actually live those words, day after day. What you decide here today, really needs to be reconfirmed tomorrow and the tomorrow after that, and an endless string of tomorrows after that. At the end of this ceremony in just a few moments, legally you will be husband and wife, but you still must decide every day that stretches before you, that you want to continue to grow in your marriage. Make such a decision and then keep on making it for when all is done at the periphery of life, the two things that matter the most are to love and to be loved.

Wine box:

Officiant says: “I’d like to draw your attention to the box in front Leigh and Christen. They have written letters to each other expressing their feelings as they begin their marriage. We will include these letters in the box along with a bottle of wine. Together we will seal this box, and on the happy occasion of their anniversary, they will open the box, read the letters, drink the wine, and add new letters to the box. As time passes the wine will age, like their relationship. But the box and its contents will represent the past, the present and the possibility of what lies ahead. As they go forth in their ever-evolving bond, they will have a chronicle of where they have been and the anticipation of where they are going. Each time they open the box, they will be in a new time and living new experiences, but they will continually be brought back to the essence of this day and the commitment they are making to each other.
Christen will you commit yourself to this undertaking?”
Me: “yes”
Officiant: “Leigh will you commit yourself to this undertaking?”
Him: “yes”
Officiant: “please seal the box together.”

Rings

May I have the rings, please.
These rings, by their circular shape are a symbol: they’re a symbol of the love that you feel in your hearts and that you give to each other this day, but they’re also a very important symbol of the unending love that will continue to exist in your lives and in your marriage, as evidenced by the phrase “Forever + Ever” which you have had stamped on them. And as you place this ring upon her finger repeat after me:

“Bride, with this ring, I commit myself to love and adore you forever and ever.”
“Groom, with this ring I commit myself to love and adore you forever and ever.”

Your two lives are now joined in one unbroken circle. Where ever you go, may you always return to one another in your togetherness. May you find in each other the love which all persons long for. May you grow in understanding and in compassion. May the home you enjoy together be such a place of sanctuary that many will find there a friend.

Pronunciation
Leigh and Christen, under the authority of the State of Hawaii, and in the name of love forever and ever, I do now pronounce you to be husband and wife.

Kiss
Would you like to seal your vows with a kiss?

Presentation
I now present to you Groom and Bride, husband and wife.

Recessional

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Surprise Treat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Offbeat Mama, one of the spawn of the Offbeat Empire, the brainchild of Ariel posted this today. I thought it would be rad for favors.

You all know how much I love balloons, and surprise treats are super awesome too.

What about putting those little chocolate Champagne or liquors in there? Or you could do some of the things mentioned on ESB and in the comments if you really want to go ballz-out crazy.

It’s kind of like a pinanta alternative.

I dig it. Everyone digs surprise treats.

P.S.: I loved this dress by Steven Birnbaum … but Aussie didn’t like the high neckline. Also, you know how I feel about pink, but she’s got balloons.

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Detail: Bouquet.

The disc of our images came in! So now, finally, I get to show off the awesomeness of Kat and Justin‘s work. I’m going to start with detail shots and slowly work up to all the real stuff. Kat said she’s still trying to get me into the blogiverse, so I don’t want to put up too much in the case of it actually happening.

So to kick it off, I’m going to start with my gorgeous brooch bouquet. My mother gave me many of her brooches a couple weeks before she passed. My boss gave me an awesome one that looks like a 1920s flapper, Susie gave me some that had been in her family and Kath, who contributed some of hers and bought a few, put them all together. The thing was SUPER heavy, but turned out beautifully.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Not being super into flowers, I figured a brooch bouquet would be a suitable alternative. Plus it enabled me to carry something sentimental and unique.

Kath wrapped it in white organza and sewed those blue beads on to make it look like pins in a normal bouquet. In the locket are photos of Aussie’s maternal grandparents and my paternal grandparents on their wedding day. I also had a Red Sox pin in there … with a PBR pin.

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Watch.

You know those movies that are sweet but make you feel so awkward?

This is one of them.

Like when Richard asks Christine out, finally.

Richard: Do you want to sit down?

She looks at him.

Richard: You know, like with coffee or something.

Christine: Yeah.

It’s sweet. And good.

Get it. Watch it. Enjoy Miranda July and Me, You and Everyone We Know.

Christine, looking at her mobile: We have a whole life to live together, F*cker. But it can’t start until you call me.

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The Art of Pinky Swears.

They’re awesome, and somehow, always do the trick. We pinky swear to resolve fights, keep promises and make decisions. So it was only natural to have a pinky in our wedding. We used it right after our vows and before the declaration. While it wasn’t spontaneous like the thumb war or the high-five, it was still one of the more fitting moves made during our ceremony. It was keeping with our own personal ritual whilst showing a very personal side of us to everyone.

It added an extra bit of zest to the verbal commitment we made. It’s as though by including the pinky swear, it became all-encompassing. A verbal and physical agreement. And that, for us, made it more personalized.

Also? This photo makes me smile.

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Wedinated and Vegoosed: Myndi and Tim.

Name: Myndi Ruland

Age: 27

Occupation: Bookkeeper

Wedding location: Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas

Wedding Date: May 10, 2010

Length of engagement: Slightly more than one year

Tell me about your wedding: The ceremony was intended to be as short as possible. Twas a civil ceremony, religious talk makes me feel a little uneasy … We made an attempt at writing our own vows and I wish that we would have gone through with it looking back. I chickened out as the day approached.

What was your favorite part of your wedding? Everything was my favorite part of my wedding! Everything! Every moment of the weekend leading up to it and the day itself was amazing. I had my favorite people in the world all in one place and all celebrating Tim and I getting married. Did I mention this all went down in Vegas? I love Las Vegas, the lights, the commotion, the endless nights … Las Vegas, all the people I love most in the world, and marrying my best friend, what could be better than that?

What disasters did you avert … or not avert and how did you deal with it? Eh. My divorced parents that have not spoken since my high school graduation were forced together for this blessed occasion. That was awkward to say the least. I dealt with it by pretending that it wasn’t an issue and refusing to let it get in the way of the wonderful things happening.

Was there anything you would have done differently, or do you have any regrets about how something went? I would have made the groomsmen take off their bowties before the wedding. When I first saw them I noticed they looked a little goofy and notice it more in the pictures. If that is the only regret that I have, I’d say it was a pretty successful wedding.

What was your biggest challenge in planning? Not being able to see the locations of the ceremony and reception before committing to them was a little difficult. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t have a clear idea of anything that was going to take place. I had to put my faith in a wedding planner that I had worked with via e-mail.

What lessons did you learn from planning or from the wedding itself? I learned to appreciate that special time, because it’s over and done before you know it. However once its all over with, if you did it right, there will be a loving marriage to be stoked on almost daily.

What was your biggest “holyamazeballzI’mfreakininlove!” moment? Those moments haven’t ceased to happen. My husband amazes me with his level head and caring heart. It’s usually during my darkest times that he really comes through and makes me realize how lucky I am and just how much I love him.
There was one incident on the day of our wedding that I just oozed with love for him. I had the world’s most epic blister on my heel (it landed me in the ER at one point) and I needed some serious epic blister supplies. My bridesmaids were all busy getting ready for the wedding, and I couldn’t find my mom. So, my groom ran all over Las Vegas, literally ran on foot, to gather the medical supplies I needed. It took him hours to find it all.

When he arrived back, we weren’t supposed to see each other. He gave the blister gear to a girlfriend and went to get ready himself. When I saw how much effort he put in, and the selection of band aids, gels, pads, and other misc. materials I was so touched and impressed. A few hours later I couldn’t wait to walk down the aisle wearing an invisible blister band aid and marry that man. He was my knight that found a Walgreens.

What were your top 5 favorite things about your wedding?
1.) Seeing Tim as I walked down the isle
2.) The people that were in attendance
3.) The city of Las Vegas
4.) My red shoes (both the heels and the Chuck Ts)
5.) Dancing the night away to Lady Gaga and Beyonce

Top 5 least favorite?
1.) The world’s most epic blister on my heal
2.) The wind blowing at the ceremony
3.) When the weekend was over, having to say goodbye to everyone
4.)
5.)

What was the worst piece of wedding advice you received? I’m not sure that I received any “bad” advice about marriage… It all seemed pretty valid to me.

The best? The best was from my dad. He knows what a hot-head I can be and gave me advice for when I get pissed, “Don’t say things you don’t mean or will regret. Your words can leave scars on each other. Don’t have arguments that will leave scars, because you’ll regret it.” This is the advice that I have used on several occasions…

If you’ve been married for more than a few years, what have been some challenges? I have been married for barely over a year but have sure as hell become acquainted with challenges. We decided to try DIY home improvements on our house. I have high standards. He is not necessarily what they call handy. Many heated discussions have taken place as a result. As we continue to work on the house, I just try to remember that every project we have finished has turned out just fine … but I can’t help think that if I hadn’t bitched during the process that they wouldn’t have turned out as well.

What from your wedding vows/ceremony still holds the truest? The for richer or poorer part…

Any other bits of wisdom? Don’t rush it. Patience is key. When the going gets tough remember the reasons that you married the dude to begin with. Don’t be blind to your own faults. Laugh together every day.

 

Venue: Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas.
Photography: Caesar’s Palace Photography by Imagine Studios.
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Color Me In Love.

Much of my stress from this morning melted away, though temporarily, when I saw this wedding on SMP.

The colors. The blue hair! The tights. The pug. It made me happy-smile.

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Like a Sack of Bricks.

Is how I’m sure the whole “bride” feeling is going to hit me. But, um … it hasn’t yet.

I suppose nearly two years of planning and other life BS tend to dilute the overall brideliness of it, but … yeah. No.

I’ve put on my outfit a few times. I wrote the ceremony. I have paid out the ass for um … everything.

But I really just don’t feel

Pachelbel's canon? No.

But … eff it. I’m going to Hawaii. It’ll come, but knowing me, it’ll be as I’m saying my vows and I get uber flustered … hey, at least everyone will end up laughing.

And no … I still won’t blush. Don’t get your hopes up.

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Time Out.

It’s been hell this week. But not in an awful way. Just in a long way. In six days (I fought tooth and nail to get an extra day off after almost two years of working six days, and oh, how I now value that extra day) I worked 43 hours, 5 minutes and 13 seconds. Not much overtime, sure, but one of those days was my debut of putting together the papes ALL BY MY LONESOME. Be proud, peeps. Because I sure as hell am.

And, after 5 revisions, the shizz with the new coordinator is still wrong.

So, to celebrate (or separate) my day off:

Aussie and I had lunch. Sorry, no pics. Just a nice lunch outside, midday, watching the influx of tourons.

Aussie went to work. I met a friend and her hubtastic for beverages.

Upon returning home, I took the most fantastical hound ever for an amble.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I came home, made myself an adult beverage (summah-time fave: Raspberry lemonade and vodka … also? Pretty much the only thing pink you’ll ever see in my hand),

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curled up with guilty-pleasure reading,

Bitch has to do her research, right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And enjoyed the warm (!!!!) evening.

xoxo

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