August 10, 2010


Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 1:25 pm by Amy

One of the many traditional handfasting items we’ve chosen to have in our ritual was a handfasting besom. When I was feeling more than adventurous I was thinking I’d make it and decorate it and it would be all sorts of pretty… etc.

Turns out, a friend of mine (or, more really a friend of a friend who is really just an accquaintance to me, but she’s fabulous!) is particularly adept at making handfasting besoms – and not just by making them pretty, but by taking the cosmic energies between your birth name/date and the date of the ceremony. She has sent me some of the information that she’s gathered and while some of it I already knew, there was some that kind of startled me.

My parents weren’t religious people. They don’t attend church regularly or anything like that. I don’t ever remember them making my brother and I go to church (although now him and I are probably the most religious of our generation – even if it is in different forms) or really bringing up the notion of deity during our upbringing.

She took our full names into consideration. While I knew my first name, Amy, was Hebrew/Latin for Beloved. I did not know my middle name, Michelle, was Hebrew/Latin for Close with the Divine.

Also, the date of my birth (8/13/1983) is the Feast Day of Hekate “and associated with the Divine Forces of Asgard.”

She went on to write: 

“You were born at a Time of Stability, under the direct influence of the Divine Force – and that is the Dark Mother herself Hekate.  In the identification of the Asgard connection we have another Tree that is not only symbolic, but is one of the main Sacred forms known also as the Axis Mundi – World Tree – Ash.

I’m still trying to decipher all of this. While I knew that my birthday was also a feast day (not only for Hekate, but for Diana/Artemis as well) through a friend of mine with the same birthdate, but different year, I don’t know if hers is the same or not because of the year difference. However, I’m curious to discover more about this.


August 4, 2010

1 month and counting

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 12:10 pm by Amy

Our handfasting is one month from today.

I’m letting it sink in.

There is still a TON to do and I’m having a bit of a freak out to be honest. We still haven’t gotten all the invites out. We don’t have the ceremony completely finished yet and we still have to get ALL of our ceremony decorations.

I managed to find one thing so far that I really like:

Photo from

Those lanterns are going to hang from shepherd’s hooks along the aisle way. We’re going to make “faerie hair” and tie that off from the hanger part of the lantern to kind of flow in the wind.

Well, that part is taken care of… now for the rest of it.

We’re thinking of getting hay bales for people to sit on. Mostly because they’re cheaper than renting chairs and I think they’ll look nice covered on the top with some unbleached muslin.

The gazebo… *sigh* I have no idea what we’re doing there. Sunset is apparently RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of our ceremony (great planning on my part… duh) so now we really have to figure out lighting. The lanterns will help and we will have tiki torches around the perimeter of the site so people should be able to see without too much of a problem. However we need to have lighting in the gazebo (I’m hoping to borrow a gorgeous pair of antique candelabra)

I know, they’re so gorgeous I can’t stand it.

So I’d like to have them to put taper candles in. I think that would look really nice. If not, well, I’ll see if anyone else I know has a pair of candelabra I could use. But we definitely need some light. Also, we’re putting some white faerie lights around the two front most pillars. Not really sure if it’s going to be enough though.

I’m worried we won’t have enough light to finish everything we need to finish. I’m wondering if it’s a possibility to move the ritual up to 6:30 instead of 7. That would negate the need for a TON of lighting.

But for decorations – well, I’m not really feeling anything one way or the other. I’d love to do yards and yards of faerie hair to have around the perimeter of the gazebo. (That’s not going to happen – that would cost WAY too much money) and take some fishing line and tie feathers off on the line and hang them from different heights. I could probably get away with the feathers and fishing line.

It’s so close. I’m going shopping on Thursday for everything so I need to make up my mind by then. AUGH!

Caterer Booked!

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 8:42 am by Amy

Yesterday we had our initial appointment with the caterer we chose for our legal ceremony. Since we’re 13 months (officially!) away from the big day, there wasn’t much we could do except get our names on the calendar.

Our caterer also wanted to meet us at the venue to go over where they would be setting up and general logistics. That will be next month – and then in October… the one thing I’ve been looking forward to more than anything…


I love food. I mean LOVE it. So doing the tasting is something Garry and I are both really looking forward to.

We were given a list of things to think about between now and our next meeting. Approximate guest count, table linen colors (seriously?!), narrowed down food choices (so we can put together a tasting), time of the reception and ceremony… etc. I didn’t realize that it would go much beyond “Okay, I need you to bring food at this time”, but we’re lucky that the restaurant that’s doing it is super detail-oriented and will take good care of us.

They’re also taking care of all the rentals (place settings and linens) for us so that will be extremely helpful.

We got lucky that they were willing to go the extra mile for us.

July 23, 2010

Keeping Track

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:51 pm by Amy

It’s not a big secret to many of our friends that between Garry and I, I’m the organized one. I carry around a “mom” purse filled with just about everything and anything you could possibly need throughout the day – which includes a small notebook full of ideas, concepts, drawings… (you get the point) for our handfasting and wedding.

However, we were still having trouble remembering to do stuff like call our friends to see if we could borrow tables for food and finish the invites (which I’ll be honest – I think we’re just going to need to send them online). His phone didn’t have email capabilities and mine didn’t get signal in our office (and let’s face it, was dying).

So yesterday Garry and I went to our local Verizon store and got a pair of Droids.

They’re a little more fancy than what I’m used to (I had a Blackberry Pearl before) and I’m fairly certain I’m probably not going to use it to it’s full potential. But, I’m hoping now that I can get a signal at work when I think of things to remind Garry to do he’ll remember to do them (or I can do it myself).

We rely on Facebook a LOT so this will help.

July 21, 2010

Choosing a caterer

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 10:40 am by Amy

Now that our venue is booked for the legal ceremony I feel a little more relaxed and can focus (sort of) on the handfasting.

What I’m noticing is that it’s incredibly difficult to focus on planning two ceremonies at once.

For the handfasting we still need to get the port-o-potties figured out. Apparently there was something mentioned on our community list-serv about switching companies regarding that. I just wish he’d remember to do that instead of playing video games when he gets out of class.

Until we get that part of it all figured out (and find out if we can even camp – I don’t know if it was even brought up when Garry cleared it with the land owner) all I can do now is work on everything else.

My mom wants to book the caterer for the legal ceremony like yesterday.

I spent some time a while back going over the different catering companies, what they offer and their price. For us, we want a company that has unique food (ie, not just steak, baked chicken and ziti) and a lot of the catering companies around here, unfortunately, fall under that category – or they fall under the “Italian food” category. I’ll be honest. I love Italian food. However, we live in a fairly Italian area and there are TONS of good Italian restaurants and as a result everyone has Italian food for any and every special event.

So we decided to look elsewhere and luckily there is a local cafe that has amazingly inspired food. One look at their menu and I was hooked!

There is an option for a sit down meal, or you can have food stations varying in cuisine from Indian, to Tex-Mex, to Mediterranean, to Latin (get my point!) They even have a fancy-shmancy picnic option where you can get a variety of picnic salads (think potato salad, but much fancier) and grilled stuff too. We scheduled an initial appointment with them for August 3rd and from there maybe schedule a tasting. I’m hoping so. The cost is also pretty reasonable in comparison with all the other companies out there.

The lesson here is if the food is a big deal for you (and it is for us because Garry and I LOVE to cook) then to really look into some of the smaller companies out there. Ask your favorite restaurant if they do catering (This restaurant is one of my favorites in town!) and you might end up pleasantly surprised.

July 12, 2010

Venue Booked!

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 12:33 pm by Amy

Garry and I went to check out a local venue and it was everything we had hoped for! Even better – the parking is right next to the ceremony site so our elderly grandparents won’t have to walk very far.

It’s absolutely gorgeous!

My mom called just a while ago and booked the venue for Sept. 3, 2011. Holy cow! We’re actually getting married!

We’re going to hire a decorating company to come in and do some draping on the ceiling and around the posts. It will look gorgeous without being *too* frou-frou. YAY!

Garry and I also went to one of my favorite local restaurants and had dinner for our “date night.” The food (as always) was excellent! We’ve decided that they’ll do our catering for us too! Now just to book them, schedule a tasting appointment and schedule our consultation with the people from the decorating company! It’s awesome being productive!

July 9, 2010


Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 1:56 pm by Amy

Still no rain today – however there are some clouds looming overhead. At this point, I’m hoping the rain will hold off a few more hours until after we’ve gotten a chance to look around the venue we’re scoping out later today for our legal ceremony. I’m hoping going and seeing a venue will give me a better idea of what I’d like to do. If we really like this place we’ll book it right away I imagine, but there is one more we might take a gander at (a local Victorian mansion!). As for right now I’m just stuck on what I want to do look-wise. There is a lot of pressure to be unique from everyone else, but really I don’t care if I’m unique – I care more about being happy. If everyone else on the planet is doing the same thing, well then I guess I have good taste. The problem is trying to define a style for Garry and I. He could really care less so long as there is nothing pink involved and I’m having a hard time breaking out of the “wedding” theme. I guess looking at all the blogs and sites out there where people come up with these really creative ideas are causing me to put the pressure on myself.

In just about an hour I’m going to our local grocer (well they’re a regional company) to learn how to make a bouquet. They always have GORGEOUS flowers in the store and honestly, buying a bouquet from them would run me about $50 if they do it for me (for an average sized arrangement). If I do it myself – it would end up being cheaper I imagine.

I have a list ready to go of all the different kinds of flowers that are in-season in September and I can get an idea of what I can do. The must-have flower are white asiatic lilies. I would like to keep the palate to whites, off-whites, greens and brown. I also really like texture. (branches, foilage and flowers with interesting textures are all good in my book)

While this bouquet will be for our handfasting – it does give me an idea of what I want to do for our legal wedding too. I also want things to be cohesive (but not so matchy-matchy that it’s boring) with the centerpieces being “related” to the bouquets.

After writing all of that, I’m sitting here thinking to myself how absolutely surreal it is that I am actually engaged and I’m really going to get married. It’s one of those things that for the last… oh… *counting on my hands* 5 or 6 years now I’ve been planning in one form or another. No joke.

July 6, 2010

The ring

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 10:23 am by Amy

It’s been a while since I’ve updated, mostly because now that Garry and I are “officially” engaged, it’s been a little crazy.

I don’t have a photo of the ring yet (still working on that), but I have something just as good!

Garry’s proposal

I still think it was a moot point, but it did make him feel all special – and that’s what’s important. However, he posted the video on Facebook that morning and it was apparently viral through our circle of friends before I got home last Tuesday.

This week we were planning on getting a lot done. Then the weather decided it was going to be ungodly warm. Grr.

We live on the second floor of old house (like 1890’s old) that was converted into a triplex. It gets WARM in there. Yesterday we had a bunch of people over (which was a BAD idea) and we don’t own a proper air conditioning unit to cool our living room (our living room doesn’t have windows that can open – so it has to be one powerful enough to cool two rooms) and it was pretty miserable. I’m still recovering.

Fortunately the AC we do have is capable of cooling our bedroom so at least we were able to get some sleep last night. However this means that the only room that will be anywhere close to tolerable is our bedroom, making any sort of work we want to do on our wedding this week next to impossible. (Really, I just wanted to print my handfasting invitations)

On Friday I have two appointments – one with a florist and another with a venue and we’re going to dinner at a potential restaurant that may do catering. Of course, it’s supposed to RAIN all day on Friday. Awesome. Although I’m sure by that point I’ll be fine with waltzing about in the rain.

June 29, 2010

Breaking the news – part 2

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 12:38 pm by Amy

Telling everyone we’re getting married is a little bizzare. Normally I’m the type of person that relishes in all the attention and general fussing-over that comes with this sort of thing, but there are some things that I’ve found really annoy me about breaking the news.

1. When people cry (and it’s not grandma).

2. When people hum the Bridal Chorus. *I loathe the Bridal Chorus.

3. When the barrage of questions come in (the where are you having it? did you pick colors yet?)

4. When they ask how he proposed. Um, yeah. Not going to go there.

5. When people immediately ask if they’re invited.

6. When people offer to plan your wedding for you. (My inner Martha says NO!)

7. When people immediately start giving you suggestions. (Unless I ask for them – or you’re name is David Tutera – I think I’m good)

8. When people say “Oh, yeah, don’t ask me for help – I’m too busy”

9. When people say “You’re getting married?” and it sounds like I am going to contract the plague.

10. When people act jealous.

What I’d really like is “Congratulations – if you need help with anything feel free to ask.” OR even just congratulations! Really, is it that hard? I guess it’s because we feel compelled to know every, single detail to live vicariously through that person because we’re secretly a little masochistic and either we don’t know or forget how stressful this really is. Luckily most of my good friends have been really supportive and have offered to help me with this, that and the other thing. I’m eternally grateful for that.

*Okay, so the Bridal Chorus. It is used in just about every wedding I’ve ever been to. Either that or Pachabel’s Canon. Yeah that annoys me to, but it’s not as easily hummed as the Bridal Chorus. I’m all about tradition (okay, well maybe not) – I can appreciate tradition, but I appreciate creativity more. That video of the people dancing down the aisle? GENIOUS! I wish I would’ve thought of that! I might see if we can get some sort of chant situation going when we’re all making our way down the aisle.

The imagery I associate it with (the Bridal Chorus) is nothing short of the patriarchy dominating over women and reducing them to nothing more than a peice of property to be handed to the next owner – you know, like buying a used car.

On top of that – when my brother and I were young my mom decided for a brief while she would make dolls. She bought these little buttons that when you pushed them they’d play music. Even as a kid, for one reason or another I couldn’t stand the Bridal Chorus. I don’t know why, but it just bothered me. Well my little brother took this as his opportunity to really grate on my last nerve and chased me around the house pushing the button of that damn thing playing the Bridal Chorus. Eventually we were fighting in my bedroom and somehow the little button broke, fell behind my bed (where I couldn’t get it) and continued to play non-stop only at a reduced speed and a little off.


My mother thought it was hysterical and she left it there for a while until she finally pulled the bed out and got the annoying little thing.

I hate the Bridal Chorus. I hate it I hate it I hate it!

Luckily my dear friends have agreed to play violin and flute at our ceremonies. YAY! That makes me a happy Amy.

Themes good to me…

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 12:34 pm by Amy

Okay, I needed to throw a pun in there. Lack of (good) sleep and the humid temperatures are making me a little crazier than normal.

I’m still trying to figure out the venue situation. There’s a really nice water garden near where I live (actually it’s dead center between our hometown and most of Garry’s family) thath as a pavillion  that seats 150.

We did our first draft of our invite list and we came up with 107. That’s good – we want it to be small enough to be manageable, but large enough to be a fun party.

It was a hard thing to do since I’m not close with the vast majority of my family. When I say I have a “small” family, it’s because I don’t know about all the cousins and extended family. We never lived near enough to them (nor were my parents particularly close with them either) to justify them being close family. We have 22 people that are considered “close family” and even within that there are people I rarely ever get to see or talk to.

So watching Garry fill out his “side” of the list (we’ve divided it into my family and personal friends, his family and personal friends and then our mutual pagan community friends to get a good idea of the balance) was a little disheartening when it was twice as long as my list. Granted I wasn’t planning on inviting a ton of people (most of my friends from high school and college I rarely talk to anymore so why invite them when they’re not a huge part of my life?) so I guess I shouldn’t be upset. I think because I know when my parents see the list they’ll be like “Why is he inviting so many more people than you?” and since they’re paying for it there might be an issue there.

But, more on that and the notion of “family politics” in another post.

Theme weddings. They’re something that could be really cool if done correctly and really awful if done wrong. There’s a fine line between good theme and bad theme and from what I gather, it’s all about subtlety.

So in other words, it doesn’t have to be like a passion play (damn!) or require that people dress up in costumes (although if you have people willing to do that it could be really fun – but really it’s only fun if everyone participates). A theme, I suppose in my interpretation, is something that will keep everything cohesive. I found a fantastic site yesterday that does an excellent job of taking an idea and making it work without being too overbearing.

Also – the show My Fair Wedding (On We Network) shows how you can take a theme and get the idea across without being so blunt about it.

I started brainstorming theme ideas in my head. Garry and I have a pretty geeky background and group of friends. We like nature and camping. I like things that are Victorian, boho, kind of Midsummer Nights Dream (the naturey-fae part of the play) sort of thing. I think Garry will go along with whatever, but he’s definitely into fantasy and sci-fi novels (think Lord of the Rings kind of stuff). Somewhere in there, there’s a theme.

How do I put it all together on $5K? That, my friends, is the big question.

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