Friday, July 30, 2010

Readings Finalized... and a Lazy Bride

I know I went on a big brainstorm for readings... but after all of that, guess what? I'm going the safe, uninteresting, traditional route of bible readings.

In choosing a few readings for my private church ceremony next month, I decided just to go with them for the larger "renewal of vows to the public" ceremony. Mr. Smallville agreed, since he was really out of ideas about the pop culture readings. (He wanted readings from movies like Alien and Predator, and, well, no... Just.. no.)

So our readings go:

First Reading, from the Old testement Sirach

Catholic Wedding Reading #7: Sirach 26:1-4, 13-16

A reading from the book of Sirach

Happy the husband of a good wife, twice-lengthened are his days;
a worthy wife brings joy to her husband, peaceful and full is his life.
A good wife is a generous gift bestowed upon him who fears the LORD;
be he rich or poor, his heart is content, and a smile is ever on his face.
A gracious wife delights her husband, her thoughtfulness puts flesh on his bones;
a gift from the LORD is her governed speech, and her firm virtue is of surpassing worth.
Choicest of blessings is a modest wife, priceless her chaste person.
Like the sun rising in the LORD’S heaven, the beauty of a virtuous wife is the radiance of her home.

The word of the Lord.

Second reading, From the New Testament, Corinthians

Catholic Wedding Reading #4: 1 Corinthians 12:31; 13:1- 8a

If I am without love, it will do me no good whatever.

A reading from the letter of Paul to the Corinthians

Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts.

But I shall show you a still more excellent way.

If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.

And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind.

It is not jealous, is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.

It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things

Love never fails.

The word of the Lord.

Gospel Reading:
Catholic Wedding Reading #20: John 15:12-16

Jesus said to his disciples: “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.”

I think they're excellent choices, even though it wasnt a quote from Luke Skywalker, Jane Austen, or Austen Powers.

Readings, Check!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Are you FOCCUSed?

Small hurdle with the church and the small (but real) wedding ceremony, as our parochial vicor was in for the 10-year transfer to another church within our diocese. His replacement is to take over 33 weddings that the former head priest had lined up for the upcoming year. Since we only found out about this in June, and the transition was made in July, we really only had few opportunities to actually meet the new head priest and get to know him. When he called the meeting, it was a weekend that I was down with Mr. Smallville in Gloucester, so we actually drove up together on Sunday and met with him on Monday morning. Afterwards, I went to work and Mr. Smallville went back to Gloucester.

During our meeting, we were asked to take the FOCCUS test. FOCCUS stands for Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding and Study. It was somewhat a compatibility test, but more to see what aspects of life your partner has and has not discussed. It gives the priest/church an idea of what you need to discuss in the future, in hopes that you come to some sort of agreement or compromise.

It’s not a short test either. It is comprised of 200 questions, where the first 150-60 everyone would answer. And then I believe the last 40 are divided into two: 20 for inter-faith couples, and 20 for re-married couples. They ask everything from the way you raise your children, to your relationship, to finances, to family, in-laws, and friends, to your future sex life with your partner.
I especially felt bad for Mr. Smallville, because he was just in DC last weekend, so coming up yet again is a struggle in itself. And then, he was already nervous about meeting the first priest, who I adored. Mr. Smallville’s anxiety wasn’t pleasantly unfounded, because first was so welcoming and sweet when he met Mr. Smallville. He was nervous regardless, so for him to go through that again, I can’t even imagine it. And then have him say “oh by the way, you need to take this test.” I love Mr. Smallville, and he was a good sport about it in the end.
He's been a good sport about everything. There were many requirements for us to get married in a Catholic Church (called PreCana).
We were supposed to take a series of three 2.5-hour classes for Natural Family Planning, where you learn about your cycle, which would really be my ovulation cycle and when i'm "Most Fertile," since the church doesnt believe in contraception, and that we should work with our own biological nature and its signs to determine when was the "appropriate time" to either avoid or try to have a baby.
Another requirement was a 9 am to 4 pm Marriage Seminar with the church and ten other couples who are about to get married discussing everything from relationships, to children and family, to finances, to faith.
Also a certain number of meetings with the marrying priest were required, but we really only got to 2 meetings with the first priest, and a third with teh new one. And then there was the FOCCUS test. I appreciate Mr. Smallville for his efforts towards a wedding officiated in my faith.

Mr. Smallville and I answered as best as we could, taking the test at a table in the priest’s office while the priest checked his email. We’re supposed to wait to hear back from the priest if anything in the test stood out, should we need more discussion. Fingers crossed that we wont!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Invitations: A Labor of Love...

As you all know, I'm professionally a graphic designer who loves a great layout and lovely typography. I also do wedding invitations and reception print items as a side business, so it was only natural to go the DIY route for my own invitations.

Here are the results:

They're offset printed with 2 pantone inks.. one was a metallic burnt orange, and the other was a very deep dark chocolate. I used a gocco to add another color to the main invitation, a leafy branch in gold. It was printed on Textured ESSE Latte paper.

I chose a 6x9 inch gatefold pocket style invitation from my gatsby (Classic Metallic Ecru), with a main invitation card and the center, and the pocket filled with 3 enclosure cards of succeeding heights, and a bonus map on vellum paper of the area that I drew myself in illustrator. The invite cards were made using Esse Textured cardstock in Latte. I didnt go with the metallic version b/c i wanted there to be a contrast in the paper type since the colors were the same. The vellum was a white vellum that my printer found cheap for me.

The enclosure cards consisted of the RSVP, Directions, and an Info card that contains nearby attractions, Airports, hotels, and registry details.

Some added superfluous touches are the sash made of vellum, ribbon, and cardstock, and a lined envelope (liner printed on vellum). I went ahead and had the return address labels offset printed on the back flap of the invitation, as well as the front side of the response envelope. I also got mailing labels done for the addressing. I got them printed on natural white writing weight paper and then ran them through a xyron to make them into labels.

It was a lot of work because I'd chosen so many different components. I certainly kept people busy one sunday afternoon when we all gathered to put this together.

What do you think?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Tasting at Heritage Hunt

I booked heritage hunt with blind faith that the food would be good. They don't offer tastings before you book. It's a risk. I was nervous.

Mr Smallville was working, and their tasting schedule didn't work with his work schedule, so i brought my sister (who is my maid of honor) and parents to try the food. Below are the entrees we were able to try at the tasting:

clock wise from the top left: Pan seared chicken filet with a madeira cream sauce, mashed potatoes, and sugar snap peas; Rosemary Grilled Chicken breast with wild rice pilaf and buttered cauliflower; Lemon Grilled Chicken and Jumbo Lump crabcake with oven roasted redskinned potatoes and a cherry tomato/zuchini medley; Flounder stuffed with Crabmeat with steamed asparagus and Sweet Potato Mash.
The food was delicious, and put my nerves to rest, THANK GOD! Can you guess my favorites? It'll shock you, but my absolute favorite thing on those 4 dishes was the Buttered Cauliflower? I know! So strange? I hate cauliflower, but anything in that crack-like butter sauce would take my breath away. I admitted that i liekd the rosemary chicken better then the lemon chicken (which goes with the crabcake combo) so we decided to switch it. I loved the flounder stuffed with crab. I kinda wish it was a bigger piece, though. The sweet potato mash was amazing and sweet and interesting, but we found nothing that it could go with on our final menu.
We made a few edits and switched around some side dishes. I couldn't get enough of that butter sauce so I requested it for the combination choice. We basically moved the flounder over to the plate the rosemary chicken was on. I also switched out the chickens for the combo platter since i didnt liek the super citric flavor of the lemon chicken.

Here are our final menu choices:
Meat Only Choice:
  • Seared Chicken Filet with Madeira Cream Sauce
  • Garlic Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
  • Steamed Green Beans
Fish Only Choice:
  • Flounder Stuffed with Crabmeat
  • Buttered Cauliflower
  • Wild Rice Pilaf
Combination Choice:
  • Grilled Rosemary Chicken Breast
  • Jumbo Lump Crabcake
  • Oven-Roasted Red Skinned Potatoes
  • Buttered Broccoli
There will also be a children's meal of chicken tenders, french fries, and a fruit cup.
I was nervous to find out that the Event Manager, Katie Simmons, was leaving, but after meeting her stand-in, Leah Stewart, my nerves were also put to rest. Leah was very comforting and reassuring that they had most everything covered. I didn't realize they'd be setting up the room to my standards without needing help from my bridal party. That makes me so happy! Hopefully she delivers on what she says!
Food choices, check! Now onto the invitations next...