One week from today I will be marrying Nik. The boy I met in a Rose Garden. The boy I have sat with on countless beaches watching the ocean. The boy I have flown around the world with. The only boy I have ever followed. The boy that I love.
Our engagement has been longer than most. Nik proposed on October 2, 2009, and the phases of emotion and excitement over those fifteen months have been fascinating. For the first week, we did not tell anyone. It was our little secret that we were going to commit ourselves to each other, and it was bliss.
When we did start talking, we told only our families and our closest friends. I cannot speak for Nik, but I did not broadcast our engagement to the world because I was not interested in the overexcitement that people feel they have to express when they find out you are engaged. For this reason, I am happy that Nik never gave me a diamond to wear on my hand. I did not have to explain myself to everyone I met, and I am thankful for that.
After we moved to San Francisco and settled in a bit, we had to start making decisions about the big day. First, we picked Sutro Heights Park as the venue for the ceremony. There is a platform on the ruined foundation of an old house, and from the top all you can see is the ocean. You are separated from the city, but aware that it exists while the coastal vegetation grows ad-hoc all around. For some reason, it is almost always empty and is therefor perfect for an intimate celebration between two families.
Then we found a couple other locations that we liked better. The Rob Hill campground would have been the perfect setting for a super-casual ceremony and reception with everyone camping out and eating smores. Then there is the yurt at Green Gulch farms in Marin with an amazing view of the city. And when I saw photos of a ceremony at the Headlands Center for the Arts, my jaw dropped and I knew that could be the place. But it wasn’t. Our decision was made, and Sutro Heights was the place.
Choosing the reception location was a little bit easier because my mother and I found a beautiful Victorian house that could serve two purposes. They could stay there while they were in town, and the main floor and back yard are perfect for a small party. Nik and I walked through the space, and when he smiled and was excited about it, that was that.
The rest of the “big” decisionsâ€¦catering, photography, florist, music, equipment rentals, invitationsâ€¦were easy. I never bought a wedding magazine. I never went to a bridal show. I never really asked my friends for advice. I did continue to browse through design blogs on a regular basis, but I knew that I wanted it all to be simple, affordable and beautiful, so it all is.
The dress was also easy. I went out one day last October to a vintage shop near our old apartment and played dress-up. I probably tried on 20 dresses of various wedding-potential and found two that I loved. Fortunately, one was a little too tight around my rib cage so I picked the other. Then I went back to the shop a couple months later and asked the fantastic ladies that work there to help me accessorizeâ€¦and we played dress up again.
During this planning phase of our engagement, it took a while for me to put all of the puzzle pieces together in my mind. I knew that each little element would be great on its own, but I struggled with seeing it all together at the same time. Nik and I went out to the park to take stock of the layout and test a couple ideas, and that is when the ceremony suddenly made sense. I could finally visualize our friends and family standing there with us.
Then my mom and sister came out for a long weekend in May, and they spent a solid three days asking me questions about everything. Luckily, I had answers!! We also visited the Victorian house, and my sister and I talked through everything. This goes here, that goes there, we could move this here and that there. My vision became our collective vision, and it all made sense.
At that point, in early May, the planning was done and Nik started talking about the wedding as much as I did. We could not do anything more and our pencils were put down, but we were daydreaming together. That is when I started getting emails from our guests and the excitement really began. All of a sudden, we were getting married next month!!
Now we are a week away and the biggest unknown is the weather, but that’s okay. I have just made a massage appointment for Wednesday, Nik and I are going on a day trip tomorrow, and we are simply taking it all in. We cannot wait to see our friends and family, and know that this coming week will be one of the most fascinating and memorable weeks of our lives. We will be charging our camera batteries and I will try to write down my thoughts as often as possible.
We are getting married!!!!!