wedding planning from abroad: 7 weeks to go


this is the point in the “wedding having” process where people are asking you, “how do you feel?!?!” and when your wedding party seem far more concerned about certain issues than you are yourself (thanks everyone!). but there’s no doubt in my mind i’m feeling cool and calm with less than two months to go before the big day. waiting a year and a half to have the wedding has turned out to be a really great decision: it really has allowed us to plan at a comfortable pace and only one thing so far has even felt close to rushed.

some of my students asked me the other day, “so! you’ll come back with a new name in a few months!” and i said, “nah, probably not”. they looked stunned. “but… but… normally women change their last name in america, right?” “yes, normally they do,” i answered. more stunned looks. i am still not 100% sure what i will be doing concerning keeping my last name or taking alex’s, but we are actually leaning right now to me keeping my name or even us creating a new name.
one time not too long ago, i asked him. “SO, do you want me to take your name?” “no, i like your name,” alex said. i kind of agree. my name feels like a big part of who i am, and suddenly changing it feels rather like getting my arm lopped off. no big decisions yet, we’ll see.

what’s been happening?


the invitations
i just mentioned above that almost everything has gone according to plan in a timely manner… except the invitations. we went through alex’s step-brother in law who runs a printing business, and he gave us a very generous rate and did a wonderful job. however, i was not informed that the paper i requested would take much more time to be shipped in and was slightly freaking out about getting them sent as quickly as possible. though it took a couple more weeks than i would’ve hoped, everything came together. the fox theme really resonated with alex and i and was exactly the kind of thing both of us had in mind. it is really great having a fiancé with similar aesthetic sensibilities to your own!


inspired by this photo (via pinterest), all of the dudes will be wearing these brown sporty jackets, brown trousers, and light-blue shirts. we’re calling it “professorial chic”. the traditional black in white is always snazzy, but it just didn’t jive with the bohemian vibe of my wedding dress. what we learned the hard way: even though you might be trying to save your groomsmen a dime on menswear, y’all still need the same jacket to look polished. we found ours during a great sale (two for one) at men’s warehouse.


reception music
it’s sort of a funny fact that the very first thing alex and i did after we became engaged was start creating our reception playlist. music is very important to us and so is a good dance party. when we met, i was working at the seattle international film festival and dragging him to loads of parties, so our fondest memories probably involved getting down to the cars or  favorite 1980’s tunes. (also, he bought me this album on vinyl, self-titled 1979, above)

however, we ran up such a big “do not play list” that we finally figured, HEY– let’s just self-deejay this thang. the whole self-deejay situation is not for the pressed for time , but with as much motivation as we have to do it, i think we can pull it off. i believe the key will be a great sound system, as decent of mixing as we can manage, and well-thought out song choices. we are appointing a “music bouncer” to keep guests away from the playlist and to make sure everything is sounding decent. i don’t think it will all go perfectly to be honest, with no one to MC the event, but to me it is a huge savings and since we have the capabilities, why not give it a shot?

on our rsvp’s, we’ve asked our guests to write in their favorite dance songs, and it’s been so fun thus far seeing what they came up with! i figured this would be a wonderful incentive to enjoy the dance portion of the party, even for those that might not normally be looking forward to this part of the evening. i know i’m always hoping “my song” will come up whenever i’m at a dance party! so far, it is very heavily 80’s inspired.


the registry
whoo, boy. what does one do when they are getting married, but aren’t exactly looking for stuff? guests enjoy giving wedding gifts, and although i would love a kitchen aid mixer or something like that, it just doesn’t really fit in with our life at this moment. i couldn’t take it to europe, and since i’m not sure our time frame for repatriating, it could be a few years (who knows?) until i could use it.

the solution? maybe you’ve heard of honeyfund, the travel experience gift registry. since alex and i are taking a (more lavish than usual) trip to greece in july, we thought it would be much more memorable to have a honeymoon gift registry than an actual gift one. on this website, you have a list of experiences (hotel, plane trips, dinners out, any honeymoon expense you could imagine) and guests can choose to gift you one of these…. the obvious choice for travel-loving expats like us looking to have a memorable honeymoon on a small budget.
i know this is not the traditional route, especially since we don’t have any additional gift registries, but i am sure it is best for us at this point. have you ever used honeyfund? (photo via)


next up… the shoes, the rings, flowers, & the decorations. only the small things left now!

previously, wedding planning from abroad: 4 months to go