Thursday, February 25, 2010

Are there always this many weddings?

So...for anyone else out there reading this who is engaged...have you noticed that now that you're getting married, it seems that EVERYONE else is, too? Not that I mind - it's kind of exciting to check out Facebook and see that a whole bunch of people I know are engaged. This mostly happens when I randomly stop by the profile of someone I haven't talked to in 2-10 years.

The only thing that gets me down about this fact is that far too many of these newly-engaged people don't seem to have discovered the wonderful, offbeat wedding websites and blogs out there. I routinely see girls who are fighting with relatives, tearing their hair out over the insane amount of rules some venues have, or staring in shock at the price of what their wedding is "supposed" to look like. Now granted, some of these girls might be totally happy underneath, but I really just feel like they just haven't made it past mainstream wedding media yet. They haven't seen all the awesome, totally authentic (and when I say that, I mean authentic to the bride and groom) "wedding graduate" posts over at A Practical Wedding. I know, I know, this is the second post in a row that I've lauded Meg's creation. But I kind of want to get all my engaged acquaintences together in a big group say, "Listen. This place doesn't have ALL the answers, but it sure can help keep you sane and remind you to stand your ground on stuff that matters."

Speaking of standing ground...I'm gearing up to defend our venue choice to my future mother-in-law. Who, for the record, is an amazingly wonderful woman, and I'm really excited to be her new daughter. What's kind of funny is...she's kind of stepped into the stereotypical "mother-of-the-bride" role when it comes to opinions about the wedding, whereas my mom has pretty much said "It's your wedding, do what you want!" while still chipping in her two cents when it comes to questions of "how will this particular thing work?". Anyhoo. Not sure how keen my new mama is gonna be on us getting married in an amphitheatre, but I'm pretty sure she'll understand. In fact, I know she'll's just that I'm also expecting a few months of, "But you know, you could get married in our church!" I love God. I just feel closer to God when I'm outside, and I've always felt compelled to get married outside. As for rain location...well, we're talking about reserving the place I work just in case. I'm a little worried about fire code there, and I'm tempted to say "Screw it, we'll get married in the rain!" but maybe we WOULD be safer with a backup plan. And considering it's where I boss might let me reserve the space for a small fee, and I'd pay her extra if we ended up actually using it? I dunno.

In unrelated is my future father-in-law's birthday. I called him while Scott and I were watching Garden State to wish him a happy birthday, called him "daddy" because I love him and I feel weird calling him Steve, and talked about the weather for about two minutes. I got off the phone and Scott told me I'd probably just made his dad's day, because a) no one ever talks to him on the phone that long because he's such a quiet man and b) he always wanted a daughter. So, I'm happy that I probably made him happy.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

New title!

I don't know why I didn't have this title to begin with. After I published that last blog post, I suddenly realized that A Theatrical Wedding was the perfect title for this blog. I mean, think about it. We're both actors. We met on a stage. We got engaged on a stage. We're getting married on a stage. Plus, it's kind of a little tribute to my favorite wedding blog, A Practical Wedding...get it? Practical Wedding, Theatrical Wedding...the only thing that could make this better is if I titled it A Dramatical Wedding instead. You wanna know why? Good, I'll tell you. Because then it would fit all the above descriptions, AND it would be sort of honoring my favorite musical. Because my favorite musical is Cats. Yes, you heard me right. Cats. And this is part of the opening song:

Practical cats, dramatical cats
Pragmatical cats, fanatical cats
Oratorical cats, delphioracle cats
Skeptical cats, dyspeptical cats
Romantical cats, pedantical cats
Critical cats, parasitical cats
Allegorical cats, metaphorical cats
Statistical cats and mystical cats
Political cats, hypocritical cats
Clerical cats, hysterical cats
Cynical cats, rabbinical cats

However, I just don't think A Dramatical Wedding has quite the same ring to it. Possibly because "dramatical" isn't a real word. Too bad T.S. Eliot didn't write the first line of that chorus as "Practical cats, theatrical cats." He totally could have.

So, there you have it. New blog title. Same old me.

Shakespeare in the park, with a side of wedding

So for the past week, we've been discussing (or RE-discussing, I guess) the idea of getting married at the amphitheatre where Scott proposed and where I practically live all summer long doing Shakespeare shows. And then somehow last night while standing in line at the Chocolate Lounge with my friend Esha, we actually officially decided in that random, laid-back, spur-of-the-moment style that I'm pretty sure only we could pull off. It went a little something like this.

Esha: When is the wedding?
Me: Eh, we dunno. Septemberish. We've gotta work around Montford's show schedule a little, 'cause we're talking about getting married at the amphitheatre.
Me: I know! I think we're probably gonna do it.
Scott: Let's decide! We're getting married at Montford.

And that was pretty much it! This is great for a lot of reasons. For's nice to know we finally picked a venue. It's not absolutely everything we wanted, of course. I wanted something a little more out in nature, and Scott wanted something with an indoor option if it rains. I'm sure that over the next few months, I'm going to have a couple of doubts about whether or not it was a good decision. So, with that in mind, I'm going to go ahead and blog about all the reasons it IS a good decision.

1. It's cheap. I actually don't know exactly what John would charge us, but I know it'll be cheaper than a regular wedding venue. And of course, I suppose we officially have to clear things with the board of directors...but I'm ON the board, so hopefully that will help a little bit. I don't see why anyone would have a problem, but then again, you know how committees are - there's always going to be a naysayer who will list all sorts of reasons why it's a Bad Idea. But all that venue.
2. There is PLENTY of space to seat people. Which is great, because there are tons and tons of people I would love to invite to this wedding. Granted, we'll probably have to rent chairs, since the amphitheatre seating is just grass and wood and dirt, but then again, we might have people bring their own lawn chairs to sit in.
3. There is plenty of parking, which was a major concern for a lot of the other low-budget venues we've looked at.
4. There's no need to set up a dance floor; people can just come down to the stage during the reception.
5. The food tables can all be set up ahead of time and kept backstage until after the ceremony.
6. It's a theatre. Which is perfect for us.
7. It's outdoors, which is what I've always wanted.
8. It's easy to get to, yet it's still kind of remote - you can't even seen the parking lot from the theatre because it's over the hill, and in the summer you can't really see the houses that are nearby because they're covered up by trees.
9. There's a great little grassy field really close by that will be great to take pictures in; we hold rehearsals there sometimes when there are two shows rehearsing at once and not everyone can have the stage. The field is right next to a tiny, tucked away corner of the cemetery that Thomas Wolfe is buried in...and to be honest, I'm just enough of an oddball that I'm considering the possibility of taking wedding photos IN that little graveyard corner. It's really a sweet, peaceful place.
10. It's where Scott proposed, so it would be great to get married there.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


So I just realized that I posted our "About Us" story, but never our actual proposal story. I think at the time I didn't really think I had much to write about it, I was just happy it'd happened, but now that a couple months have passed, I wanna revisit the day.

Actually, I have to back up to before the actual proposal. We'd been talking about getting married pretty much since we attended his cousin's wedding in February 2009. It was a very delicate subject in the beginning, since he had just BARELY gotten used to the idea that he even wanted to get married. He had been a confirmed bachelor for the better part of six years (at least, in terms of commitment). But as time wore on we talked more and more, so really, we had decided to marry each other long before the proposal. I think that's the way most relationships go nowadays.

Also, I had seen/tried on/knew about the ring before he popped the question. We'd been looking at rings all over town for a couple months, but we were kind of just browsing to see what we liked and what looked good on my hand. Then the day after Thanksgiving, we were out shopping - sounds like a crazy plan, but it was a tiny mall on the outskirts of a bigger town, so it was actually a pleasant experience. We wandered into the jewelry store, I tried on a solitaire...and it was somehow just perfect. Not only was it perfect, it was WAY marked down. We left without buying the ring...but Scott knew it was what he wanted, knew it was a fantastic ring for the price (it's seriously worth about twice as much as he paid for it - he knew that right away because he used to work in jewelry), so about half an hour later he went back without me and bought it. I just wasn't allowed to see it in his presence until it was officially mine, but I did sneak a few peeks after he gave me a hint for where to look.

The first proposal attempt kind of failed. Scott and I were both determined that he was going to ask my father's permission before he actually gave me the ring, and of course the Sunday that he first tried to ask, my dad ended up being out of town. Cut to the next Sunday, December 6th. He managed to catch my dad alone and talked to him. I knew things had gone well because my dad was in a good mood all through lunch (granted, my dad's in a good mood most times anyway). However...I had no idea at the time that Scott meant to propose to me THAT DAY. I thought we'd go out somewhere later that week. So I was in no hurry when we went out for a drive; we dropped by Wal-Mart to pick up some Christmas gifts, and I was taking my sweet time.

When he FINALLY got me back in the car, he made me close my eyes. And keep them closed for about ten minutes while we drove into Asheville. I know the roads well enough to know exactly where we were going. We parked, he led me up some steps, then told me to sit down. I started to...and the seat was wet from snow. So he told me nevermind, just stand. I did, opened my eyes...and he was on one knee in the center of the balcony at the amphitheatre. He had driven by the week before and pulled up a throne leftover from the summer season for me to sit on, not anticipating the snow.

I don't think I could have asked for a better proposal. My favorite place to be in the whole world is onstage, and I've spent many a day rehearsing right on the very spot he proposed. And now whenever I go back to do another show, I'll remember that. In fact, as of right now, there's still a message on the green room chalk board (I have keys to the theatre) that says "Mandy and Scott got engaged here! 12/6/09". And we're even thinking about maybe getting married in that same spot.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Rambling frustration

We still can't find a venue. Mainly because everything seems to come in a "package deal" and I still don't WANT the things in most of the packages. It's mid-February, we're trying to plan a September wedding, and so far we can't really plan ANYTHING because we don't have a venue.

I just want a field with parking. Seriously. And I can't FIND ONE. We considered this place on Ollie Weaver's a big open field with an old farmhouse on it. We used to plant tobacco there when I was a kid and tobacco was still a profitable crop. The people who own it know my dad and would let us use it for free, but there's still the issue of parking. It's a big enough field to park all the cars...but if the ground is wet at all, the only people able to get in and out will be those with 4-wheel drive.

It's frustrating. I feel like my whole life is just stalled. Of course, that's not just due to wedding planning. It's also the fact that I haven't been onstage in months (been busy directing, but still, I need my fix) and I didn't make the last show I auditioned for. Scott did, and I'm really excited for him, but I still feel untalented. I know, that's just the way the business works, sometimes even talented actors aren't right for certain roles, but that doesn't stop me from feeling frustrated. Plus it won't stop snowing, plus I'm not making enough money but I don't want to quit my job because I actually like it, plus in the winter I'm just frustrated and unmotivated in general. Even at the best of times, I'm horrible at calling people and making plans to hang out, even though I LOVE my friends and am happier with lots of social interaction...I just have to be talked into going out. And in the winter, when all my MPP people are split up over various venues, I rarely make the effort. I'll probably be mopey and moody until we start up rehearsals for whichever Shakespeare show starts off our season. Damn, I should learn the season order, I'm on the board of directors. Oh well.

I can't wait for summer.

Monday, February 1, 2010

This is sort of loosely a response to this post over at A Practical Wedding, talking about how wedding sexism isn't limited to brides becoming bridezillas - grooms are very often left out of the entire process, and not by the brides. Society does its very best to ignore grooms whenever it comes to wedding planning.

Now, for anyone who for some reason is reading this and doesn't know me, I actually enjoy most "traditional" gender roles. I certainly don't think women OR men should be forced into gender roles, but I think it's just as ridiculous to expect all women to shun tradition and become career-oriented ladder climbers. Feminism is about freedom of choice, not about breaking all the rules if you happen to like those roles. I like wearing pretty dresses, cooking things from scratch, and having dinner on the table for my boy when he comes home (mind, we don't live together - my other blog has a whole post on that - but I still cook him dinner when I can). I sincerely hope we're financially about to live off one paycheck once we have children so I can stay home to keep house and raise babies instead of paying someone else to do it for me. I wear aprons to cook and big flowered hats to garden, and I'm perfectly content being an old-fashioned housewife in a lot of ways. Of course, I'll be off to the theatre every chance I get, but still.

Even with my preference towards traditional gender roles, it still burns me up that men are so left out of the planning process. Even most other women I'm sure would say, "Oh, he doesn't really care about the details" or worse, "It's YOUR wedding". Many of them held that view with their own weddings, I'm sure. But. Um. It's not my wedding. It's OUR wedding, as in it's the beginning of OUR marriage, which is something we certainly intend to be a joint effort even if I do want to be the one baking pies and dusting furniture.

And yes, I am aware that some grooms really don't care. I'm aware that MY groom doesn't really care that much about the details...but the thing is, some grooms do. And even though Scott doesn't really care what kind of paper we print our invitations on, I still don't make those decisions without him. He deserves the chance to say, "Um, no, I'd rather have something a little less flowery" or "Honey, we should have SOME kind of decoration on these railings". This wedding is a representation of both of us. Both of our styles, both of our opinions. I'm certainly not going to plan anything without his approval.

Maybe that's where some of this came from - maybe this whole "it's all about the bride" mentality is at least partly due to the fact that weddings were something women owned, something women could plan without having to get male approval on everything. Society just took the idea and bastardized it. Let's hope the recent bridezilla trend is the deepest bastardization this particular fashion will see, and then like all fashions through history, it will revert to something else. Something better.