I wrote this post for Dana to run on Broke-Ass Bride a few months back. Then I sort of modified it for the new Offbeat Bride book. But I’ve never run it on APW, and I think it deserves to be here. It’s one of the most packed-with-useful-to-me stuff posts I wrote after our wedding. Because learning about my and our relationship to money, ohhhhh boy. That’s applicable to marraige. So, long overdue, what learned about money when planning our wedding.
First of all, I have to say that one of the reasons that I started my blog is because I felt like the only bride in the world with a sensible approach to money when I read wedding media. It sucked. While my partner and I are no longer broke (though, *boy* have we been) we still are fairly cautious with our money. Add to that the fact that we’re a one bread-winner household at the moment (my husband is in law school) and, well, we don’t have a money tree in the backyard. So we figured we’d throw together a nice wedding on a oh-dear-god-it-feels-expensive-to-us-but-I-guess-we-can-do-this kind of budget. Ha. Well, about two seconds into wedding planning I started to feel like the poorest and saddest bride on the planet.
I finally hit the wall when I read about a ‘budget’ wedding on one of those big-shiny-wedding-blogs. It read something like this: “Well, since we were doing a wedding on a budget, we obviously had to be very selective in our choices, and limit what we spent money on. That’s why we decided to really limit things when it came to our music choices. In the end, we decided to only hire a string quartet, a gospel choir, and a rock band, to keep things simple and affordable.” Continue reading What I Learned About Money While Planning My Wedding
I’ve started this sentence three times, because I can’t find words to adequately express how excited I am about today’s post. There has been a lot of talk on the blog about wanting to hear about what the term ‘wife’ means from a lesbian or otherwise queer perspective. So, who did I turn to first (more to come, of course)? Well, quite obviously Lisa and Terri. You’ll remember them from their fancy budget wedding, and then their gothic one year anniversary legal Iowa wedding. Oh, and they write the awesome e-comic Godseeker. So here they are, with their post, which pretty much sums up why I think marriage equality is important to EVERYONE. Not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because the expanding definition of marriage makes all of our unions better, and makes us wiser. And this post taught me the term “role fatigue,” which will give me weeks of thought. So get ready:Lisa (my wife) and I have been talking, on and off, about how we’re utterly baffled at why some people balk at both marriage as an institution, and at the concept of being a “wife”. We understand why not everyone wants to get married, but not why they should by afraid of the institution existing. Here we are, a couple of liberated, over-educated feminists, and all we can do is stare blankly in confusion.
And we’ve come down to this idea- we lucked out by being lesbians. Sure, there’s the oppression, the legal ramifications, and the odd co-worker or stranger that needs a talking-to, but just at the moment, I’m feeling a bit like we won the lottery. Continue reading Reclaiming Wife: Remember The Lesbians
Many of you (including one Team Practical member who works at the magazine) emailed me this week about the New York Times Magazine cover article yesterday "Married (Happily) With Issues." If you haven't read the article, go do that now. In a way, there is not much to say about this piece of writing. Elizabeth Weil crafted a funny, honest, intimate portrait of her marriage, and trials of trying to use your type-A skills to work on something so ephemeral yet so centrally important as marriage. But the essay reminded me that I'd never talked about premarital counseling, why we did it, and why I think it's important. So, it's high time.
First the facts. We did our premarital counseling with the rabbi of the congregation we are members of, the rabbi who was officiating at our wedding. It was 'free,' by which I mean we pay thousands of dollars a year in support of our congregation, and there is no extra charge for life cycle events, though we did make an additional donation in thanks. (Suddenly paying for it doesn't sound so bad, huh?) And because I know I'm going to be asked: our rabbi is phenomenal, but she only marries and counsels members of her congregation, because she is so swamped I think she never sleeps. Continue reading Pre-Marital Counseling, And Why I Think You Should Do It
The lovely Cara will be joining us as a wedding graduate soon, but after a long week, I had to sneak peak this wedding for you, because it will make you smile big-big-big.
Facts And Rambles:
1) This wedding took place blocks away from my long time home in Brooklyn, at The Farm On Adderley. I ate there the first week they opened, right around the time we saw a site specific To Kill A Mockingbird a block away. That’s when we knew our ghetto-ass neighborhood had made it. And now it hosts practical weddings. Oh, Brooklyn.
2) This video was not part of the couples plan to take over the world with their wedding. Instead they spent $100 to make a little photo corner with a frame from e-bay and some cool fabric. Then the photo corner got totally outta-control, and later they thought, “Heeeyyyyy…. this looks like a stop motion film.” So they made it one.
3) Don’t you want to be at this wedding? I do. F*ck pretty weddings, let’s bring on the fun.
4) Cara and I (and um, Alyssa) want to reassure you that this is not one more thing you have to live up to*. No, no, no. It’s just a snippet of surprising wedding magic, shared with Team Practical, since you’re part of the support that makes such magic happen. Happy Friday, kids, and kisses from Brooklyn.
If you get angry at how totally screwed you feel (rock, hard-place, hard-place, rock) when planning a wedding as in intelligent woman, then people call you the-word-I-won't-even-say-here-because-it's-so-un-feminist. So it's time for a new word:
Engragment - The feeling of rage that so often sweeps over you when trying to plan a wedding within the bounds of reason, while staying true to yourself.
Possible uses: Honey, I just called that super hip, low-key venue that we saw on the blogs. You know the one's all the budget/DIY couples were using? Yeah. It costs $7K for a Saturday afternoon, and that doesn't include tables, chairs, plates, or the security guard and the venue DOC that we have to hire. I feel so engraged I could rip out my hair.
So. Wife. Being a wife. There are loaded words, and then there are *loaded* words, and I think wife falls into the second category. I first started thinking about this concept when I got this comment from Cindy (remember Cindy?) right before the wedding:
"Meg, I love being a wife. So far in life, it's been my most satisfying and challenging role. So here's to the rest of yours and David's life. Cheers."
David was reading my comments over my shoulder (as he does) and he stopped at that one. "Wife?" He said, "That's sort of a surprising comment. It's something I feel like you don't hear very much these days. People don't say 'I love being a wife' unless they are talking about how they love being a stay-at-home soccer mom, and I'm pretty positive she doesn't mean that."
"I'm going to be a wife THIS WEEK," I screeched. "I better love it. I better not become a stay at-home-soccer-mom-with-a-minivan. I better not lose myself. Certainly! Not!" Continue reading Reclaiming The Word Wife