Thursday, May 20, 2010

Another guest of honor: The iPhone

If Greg wasn't marrying me, there's a good chance he'd propose to his iPhone. He uses it to check e-mail, navigate when we're lost, read Kindle e-books, watch baseball games with MLB.TV — pretty much everything except make a call. ;)

I'm not smelly; he does that with his hood when he's deep in thought, hehe!
(personal photo)

Despite no service in Mexico, he brought it along — to read. Hello? Beach?!
(personal photo)

And on our big day, I doubt he'll be able to put it away. I don't mind as long as he knows when to keep it tucked away and when to show it off, like in these gorgeous wedding photos:

We definitely need one of these!

We know our techy friends will have theirs too.
(Christine Remoulet Photography via Google search)

Wedding-day text? This makes me melt!

With the dawn of Apple's newest gadget, the iPad, at least one officiant is getting in on the action, too! Only in the Bay Area, home to Silicon Valley — though I gotta admit, it looks way slicker than a black portfolio.

I love that something so influential in our lives will make an appearance on our big day. Do you agree or think phones have no place at a wedding?

Monday, May 17, 2010

How dorks divide up chores

CC photo from pfly on Flickr.

Sharon and I both hate mopping.

Well, we hate it for different reasons. I hate the moving-everything-out-of-the-way-and-putting-it-back-after part, and Sharon hates the actual-sweeping-and-mopping part. Once we articulated this, the solution was simple: have Sharon do the part that I hate and vice versa.

We divide other chores similarly. I never have to vacuum, and Sharon never has to do the dishes.

Why the rest of the world cares about this, I do not know. But I love her, and we make a great team.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Robot performs wedding ceremony?

It's crazy but true! Greg found this gem this morning at; there are photos too, of course.

My favorite parts of the article are that people get robots to hang out with elderly people or play baseball.

In terms of our officiant, we have a couple of ideas in the works, but now it's time to enjoy a nice Sunday in the city!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Playing the name game

The infamous post-wedding name change is always a hot topic for discussion with brides. It seems I have four (realistic) options. I haven't made up my mind yet — and I know there's plenty of time — but I'll introduce this early as I'm sure the process will evolve.

Something to keep in mind... (source)

(1) Do the traditional change = MyFirst MyMiddle HisLast

This is the most popular choice, and I admit that throughout our relationship, I've doodled my name in margins that way. Of course, it feels funny (a few more letters than I'm used to), but like anything, something that can be adapted to. And beyond the usual symbolism of becoming a family unit, there'd be an added bonus. My new initials would be the same as the code for an airport Greg used to frequent pretty often. And we're all about airports, as the proposal showed. :)

One big downside to me (and I know it sounds petty, but I really despise this) is the bureaucracy and paperwork I'd have to endure to make any change. I hate calling customer service as it is; I get angry and emotionally distressed; it ruins my whole day. This would involve lots of interaction with a lot of (possibly exasperating) people and some fees.

Another part of me holds back because of my past as a journalist. I've written articles under my fairly distinctive name, and I like that when I google myself, the (relevant) results that come up are actually me. I also did some nerdy cool things in college that got me interviews and the like, so of course those would be great to keep on the radar. I'm afraid that if I change my name, I'll pretty much be abandoning all that hard work.

(2) Compromise and hyphenate = MyFirst MyMiddle MyLast-HisLast

Phew. I got tired just typing all that. It's long. I knew a gal in grade school who always had issues with getting back results of standardized tests because she had a hyphenated last name. It was a pain. Though not as bad as couples with unfortunate names, I suppose. (Don't worry, we don't have that problem.)

This would possibly help with recognizing my previous name, though. Future employers could look up my maiden name and see the fun stuff, but there's no guarantee that'd come to mind.

Also, not that we're anywhere near this, but there's the possibility of kiddies to think about. If I go to the trouble to hyphenate, would we have to make another name decision when Greg Jr. or Sharonette comes along? Thinking about more name changing gives me a headache...

Note: There's also a spinoff of this option that I've read about. It's got all the same words, just no hyphen. Brides on blogs and message boards call it having a "communal last name," where both yours and his would go in the last-name box. This is just too complicated for me, so I'll just leave it at that.

(3) Get confusing; make your maiden name your middle name = MyFirst MyLast HisLast

I can just see this one being messed up by banks, airlines and the like; I've heard some states don't even let you mess with your middle name. Plus, I am not thrilled with what my initials would be. I have a very common middle name, but I feel like my supershort last name would sound brash wedged in the middle. And I'd have to mention my middle name all the time to make it matter? I think this one's pretty much out of the running.

(4) Do nothing = MyFirst MyMiddle MyLast

A gal's easy way out! No "what if I get googled" worries, no paperwork to fill out, no new signature to practice. Greg tells me he wouldn't mind this, but would I look back when I'm older and care that I have a different name as my husband and, possibly, kids? Would the meaningfulness be lost? Hmmm.

Please feel free to give your input (even anonymously) in the comments; there's no name requirement to post. :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I believe in (Disney) magic

Though I promised in my last post that I'd try to be a grown-up for the wedding, it's very hard since I've been a Disney kid forever. My brother and I grew up amassing the signature VHS clamshell cases and replaying our favorites until the poor tapes would actually start to jump.

 If a Disney movie's on, I'll be up front like Lucky of "101 Dalmatians."

(Now that I'm older, my feminist tendencies sometime impede my love for the princess films. I'm not one to silence myself to get a guy or get married because a law says so. And this social commentary is a bit disturbing but has a point. Then I remember that these ARE stories, and the warm fuzzies of childhood glee return. Anyways...)

Disney has a hold on all things sentimental movie-wise, so it was no surprise when I found myself back in the day beside my pal Christina (hi!) checking out the Kirstie Kelly for Disney line of wedding gowns in our high-school library. Each design is inspired by a different Disney princess, and I love this one based on my headstrong, bookwormy pal Belle.

Style B2810

And logically, Disney gets in on the location game, offering weddings and honeymoons at Disneyland, Disney World and even on its cruises. Don't worry, this was totally nixed by both of us. Surprised? I honestly think that would be overkill, especially being around crowds on your big day.

Besides the obvious, there are ways to integrate some Disney magic into the wedding experience without going hokey or over the top. Case in point: A few days ago, The Wedding Chicks featured a gorgeously adorable engagement photo session by Wildflowers Photography inspired by the Disney and Pixar hit "Up."

I'm not usually a fan of themed photo shoots, but this one is too cute! Fitting for such a moving film.

From the screen...

... to reality!

Check out the rest of the shoot here (complete with grape soda!). For those that have seen the movie, aren't these photos perfection? For those who haven't, get on that!

Are you a Disney fan? Would you be a little weirded out by a full-on Disney wedding?

Friday, May 7, 2010

How dorks pick wedding songs

It's an exciting Friday night at the Sharon & Greg household.

I'm sitting on my netbook, going through songs on my iPhone. Sharon is at the iMac, combing our iTunes collections. We are simultaneously editing a Google Docs spreadsheet to compile potential wedding songs. Every so often, one of us says, "Turn down your music and tell me what you think of this song." We are both sitting in our pajamas.

We've got a good list going, which no doubt will evolve over the next year. I have about nine Spanish pop songs listed at the moment, though I doubt our guests would tolerate that many.

I'm forbidden from giving away much of the list, but I know 1, 2, 3, 4 will make the cut.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wedding venue hunt: A wild fantasy

After focusing too much on gorgeous outdoor space, I became entranced by something I can only describe as a fantasy. Looking back, there was a whimsical quality to it, but it was all just too "me."  It'd be perfect if I were marrying myself, but I'm not, and Greg wasn't thrilled with it. To his credit, he entertained the idea until my parents checked it out and I was ready to pull out my checkbook.

I wanted to have the wedding at the San Francisco Zoo. Check out this photo and tell me that's not magical:

A gorgeous carousel shot by Lilia Photography, another SF wedding photography crush!

I used to ride on that carousel all the time when my grandparents would take me and my brother during the summer, aww! I am also a big animal lover and a kid at heart, so I melted when I found a very special real wedding profiled on Offbeat Bride. Karen and PJ went with the zoo, and the childlike joy of it all awed me. Candy bouquets, more carousel action and ROCK BAND!

Rock out with your ring out!
(click and scroll for a slideshow — source)

And my "everything in one place" requirement would have been met, too. The reception hall is plenty big and has nice high ceilings with a lodge vibe.

I love the exposed wood beams!

You could even use the African Savanna as a ceremony site! Reminds me of "The Lion King.'' :)

My animal friends!

My parents, brother and future sister-in-law took a site tour. I got proposals from the in-house caterer. It would have been within the budget. But...

When push came to shove, I knew it wasn't our place because Greg wasn't feeling the same magic I was. I guess I still long for the world to be a big Disney movie, where townspeople break out into well-written songs and animal friends can solve your problems.

The San Francisco Zoo really is a special place to feel like a kid again, but for our special day I suppose I'll stop letting my 5-year-old self take over. :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Wedding venue hunt: The great outdoors

This month, I took advantage of a great airfare deal (thanks Airtran sale e-mails!) to fly to San Francisco and get the venue party started. (And we've almost decided, wee!)

Knowing that trip would be the only one maybe until the holidays, I knew I'd have to get picky with visits, so I researched for months with our vision in mind. Here's the fruit of my many hours of labor...

San Francisco has no shortage of outdoor space, thanks to Golden Gate Park, which played a big role in my childhood. My brother and I would ride bikes and rollerblade with my parents on Sundays; the city has blocked off some streets to cars for more than 40 years (and has even expanded to Saturdays!). We'd also often feed the ducks and take long walks around Stow and Spreckles lakes with our grandparents. So the park gets major brownie points in the "meaningfulness" department.

The city offers various sites for ceremonies, such as the Shakespeare Garden pictured below, for great rental prices, and I like that our money would be going toward urban parks, something I definitely support. From what the city's PDF says, it'd be a budget-friendly choice, too.

However, this conflicts with having the ceremony and reception at the same place. Not only does that cut down on inconveniencing guests (especially out-of-towners who would have to rent cars), it's better for the environment (less driving) and keeps the celebration from lulling!

Another obvious choice for the Bay Area would be wineries. While the famed Napa Wine Country would be amazing, I'd nixed that area early on since it'd require a ton of driving and a hefty chunk of my change. A cool alternative presented itself in Casa Real, an event center with an indoor ballroom and gorgeous outdoor courtyard at the Ruby Hill Winery in Pleasanton out in the East Bay.

(source - see more of the venue in the slideshow, done by Choco Studio, one of my SF photography crushes)

Despite it having a huge "pretty factor" with its elegant-yet-rustic Mediterranean look, the minimum they quoted me for a Saturday wedding was too high, driving would again be an issue and Greg and I aren't emotionally attached to the whole wine thing.

While these ideas didn't fit our needs, they are great venues and have beautiful outdoor space. But I'd put too much emphasis on the outdoor aspect and was falling behind in other areas. I had to refine my search more and decide what things we could compromise on.

Am I crazy for counting out these fab outdoor sites? Or would guests' commuting be too much of a hassle, especially in Bay Area traffic?