A week ago Friday night, Ed proposed. It's taken me a week to blog here about the event partly because it's been such a busy week, and partly because it's taken me that long to wrap me head around the implications of getting married.
It was lovely: We went out to dinner to the local hibachi / sushi joint, and saw Despicable Me (which, by the way, was very much with the funny). When we got home, Ed mysteriously sent me upstairs while he lit some candles out in the backyard; finally he gave me permission to come back downstairs, took me outside, and gave me a wrapped box, which I opened to discover was full of strawberry ring pops. We'd had a joke previously that because I'd been ambivalent about getting an actual engagement ring, a strawberry ring pop would be the way to go. Once it dawned on me what was happening, he told me how much he loved me and how much I'd changed his life, got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes, and ever since I've been sporting a beautiful 18k white gold Claddagh ring with diamond flecks in the heart and crown.
But this means, too, that we can't get married in Utah; Ed's mom has a medical condition that disallows her spending any amount of time at high altitude. (Apparently flying is okay, because it's for a very short amount of time, but being at high altitude for days at a time is a bad idea.) Since his parents are currently en route to their new home in Virginia, they have no ties there (yet), and no family, so we've decided to get married in Pennsylvania.
We contemplated getting married in April or May; then I realized that Lent took up the entirety of April, and getting married during Lent might be difficult, so we pushed the wedding back to May. I called the church that Mom and Dad got married in, and talked the priest into agreeing to let us marry there on May 14th. (He seemed a bit confused as to why we'd want to get married at his particular church, and not the church Mom is currently a parishioner of. The most recent church I'd been registered at had been in Long Island, and while I had been a member of St. Ann's as a child - and had been confirmed there - it's not an especially pretty church, and I haven't been a parishioner in over a decade, despite having gone to services there for the past several months. There are simply more family ties to Sts. Simon & Jude's Church in Bethlehem - and it's prettier, too.) I got various details, including the number of the organist, whom I called today and booked. I'd have loved a piano or a cello and a soloist, but the organ apparently "pops" more, and I haven't even begun looking for a cellist or soloist yet, and I think I'll just be happy with the organist at this point.
We've also organized our wedding party: Maria as Maid of Honor; four bridesmaids (Cheng, Bronwyn, Ciara, and Ed's goddaughter Mac); Ed's friend Alex as Best Man; four groomsmen (Justin, Aidan, our friend Jason, and Ed's friend Randy); and Ori as Flower Girl.
We've been scuttling around trying to find a reception site: One place was not to my taste, but we put in a request for information and availability; two places already had a wedding booked (one place said they had the next day available, if our date was flexible); and one place most likely is available, and I'm expecting an e-mail from the Event Coordinator at some point with details. This would cover the catering and the cake, which would be helpful.
I've put in some calls to a couple photographers, and we've been researching flowers, but we still have to look into entertainment, a wedding gown, bridesmaids dresses, tuxedos, and transportation, as well as research hotels for the out-of-towners. And we have to update the wedding website, which we're not making public yet because there's no useful information to be shared at this point.
The alleged budget we were meant to have created caused some tense moments so far. We bought a few wedding planner books and wedding magazines, and the general consensus is that: (a) one needs a budget; and (b) depending on the source, a wedding will cost $15,000 or $75,000. Obviously, we recognized that the cost of a wedding depends on where you're getting married, the size of the wedding, and various configurations of options, but advising us to create a budget is like telling someone who's never set foot inside a grocery store to create a food budget. Without knowing the price range of what anything cost, we couldn't make a budget, but after doing some fairly intensive investigating this week we got a better idea of the price of things and what's important for us to have, and things won't be as bad as we'd originally thought, financially speaking.
One last note: Wedding timelines are the bane of my newly-engaged existence. They all seem to assume you're not getting married for at least a year, and God help you if you want to get married sooner than that because it simply can't be done. Many had me choosing and buying the wedding gown two months before we got engaged. After pulling out my hair, I decided that most of these timelines were (as the kids would say) whack, so I disregarded them all and found one that's not perfect but a bit more reasonable.