We are thrilled that our friend Jessica will be officiating our wedding!

Today, at City Hall, she was sworn in as a Deputy Marriage Commissioner so that she could legally perform the wedding.

Sorry about not getting her face in the photo.


This past week, our invitations finally started making their way across the country to their new homes.

We made them ourselves. (Technically, Rich’s contribution—very valuable—was to keep me watered & fed, and to not bat an eye when I wanted to be driven all over town to make sad attempts and printing, and then to not bat an eye when I wanted to just buy a printer. He was a champ.) It was a lot of work, and already there are a few things I wish I’d done differently, but overall I’m quite happy with them.

The envelopes and folders are from Paper and More, the typefaces are from Font Bros—I heartily endorse both of these companies, they offer extraordinary products and service at disproportionately affordable prices.

My previous secret shame of glue gun ownership has ballooned into a literal embarrassment of crafting supplies.


I officially now know why people choose Pachelbel’s Canon in D for their processional music at their weddings.  It used to puzzle me a little bit, but now I get it.

Picking something else that’s appropriate is daunting.

The music that’s played while people wander in, the music that’s played for the processional, and then the music that’s played as the bride walks down the aisle—it’s the shortest but most important mix tape of your life. Each piece has to be perfect but also has to fit with the other pieces.

Pachelbel works, and everyone knows it, so they go with it.

No disrespect to Johann, but ours will be a Pachelbel-free wedding. Humu has her music picked out. I’m working on selecting mine. And it’s a lot harder than I anticipated.

Driven by our house-pilfered pocketbooks, and by our desire to steer well clear of the frankly terrifying Matrimonial Industrial Complex, we’re avoiding vendors where possible. The first test of this is our wedding invitations.

It’s actually a big treat for me, because I don’t get many opportunities to do graphic design in printed form, and it’s really my first love when it comes to design. Thankfully, I have done enough printed work over the years that I know where all the pitfalls lie, and I’m not really worried about making any tragic errors. My main worries are about creating a design I can be happy with.

Erm... no.

Erm... no.

The invitation sets the tone for our event; every element—from colors to typefaces to language to layout to the paper it’s printed on—sends a subtle cue about what to expect. It’s a little bit tricky. We want the wedding to be casual and intimate, and most of all real. But at the same time, we also want it to have some weight and formality, some solemnity. As Linus would say, it needs to be sincere. If the Great Pumpkin were invited (he isn’t), we would want him to see the invitation and RSVP in the affirmative without hesitation.

I’ve been browsing through invitations online to get some thoughts on design, and many invitations out there are far too girly for my taste. Too many flowers, too many swirls. Sure, most of them are lovely, and well-executed, but they also look like maybe the groom isn’t invited.

I have a design underway, and I’m mostly happy with it. The wedding colors are orange, brown and cream, which keeps it gender-neutral and matches the goofy-but-I’m-keeping-them orange dining room curtains that came with our house. Also matches Trottomatic, which is doing double-duty as our wedding website.

However, I can already tell that if I let the invitation design sit for a day and come back to it, I’m not going to be happy with it. Plus, once I have it all printed, the assembly is going to be no small feat. There’s still lots of work to do, but it’s fun work. After the invitations are completely done, I’ll post the design, along with a blow-by-blow of the invitation creation.

Our Christmas Tree

It only looks like a gray alien tree in the photo. In person, it's lovely! Like the nice parts of Dickens!

Our first Christmas in the new house has been slow and quiet. I’ve had a couple of weeks off from work (SLAC shuts down for two weeks every winter), and Trott’s had some extra time off thanks to the University of California furloughs. We stayed home during the holidays. We saw most of my family during a Seattle trip in early December; Rich’s family is Jewish, and “Hanukkah” is short for “Hanukkah Is a Minor Holiday.” I did make some rookie-grade latkes (too wet), and some professional-grade wassail (too much). We went to a few friends’ parties, and I put a solid dent in the Smuggler’s Cove menu. We’ve also made a little progress on some of our house projects, but—whoa nelly—do we have a ways to go.

But we have made some solid progress on the wedding, which is a relief. I met with my friend Thayer, who is going to help me with some alterations to the vintage wedding gown I found on eBay. Rich and I finalized our guest list, and have started getting out Save the Date information.

We discovered that our neighbors across the street got married in their house, too (on May 15, no less!), and they even saved the tent they bought for the occasion, and have offered it to us. The layout of their house is nearly identical to ours, and they gave us some great logistical ideas. The list of reasons we love our new neighborhood keeps growing and growing.

Next step: invitations.

Oh, no, wait… next step: pupusas. Then invitations. Mission Terrace is the bee’s knees.

We’ve been avoiding dealing with the wedding stuff. It’s been easy, we’ve had plenty to distract us. The real reason for the avoidance: the dreaded guest list.

Here’s what we have figured out so far for the wedding:

  • The Time: the evening of Saturday, May 15, 2010
  • The Place: Our house

Venues in SF are stupid-expensive, we quickly learned, and hey, didn’t we just BUY A BUILDING IN SF? Our house holds way more meaning for us than some rental space we’re not likely to step foot in again, and doesn’t come with time limits or restricted catering choices. The critical next step, which needs to happen about a month ago, is getting invitations out.

Which brings us to that guest list trouble. There are two immediate problems: 1) we don’t have any idea how many people our house can hold, and 2) we know it’s not nearly big enough to hold everyone we want to invite. By a long shot. Spreadsheets have been employed, with elaborate flags and tallies and round after round after round of ever-more painful cuts.

Oof.

Thankfully, we have a lot of understanding on both sides of the family. I’ve heard plenty of horror stories from friends about pressure to add distant second cousins only met once, or parents’ business associates, or vague “family friends” no one seems to actually know. We know we have it easy, overall. It’s still really rough. We just have to man up, get over it, and remember we’re not throwing a dinner party. Just because we don’t have room for someone doesn’t mean we don’t adore them, and I think everyone will totally get it (especially those who have been through this before themselves).

But man, this is rough business.