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Archive for November, 2008

Poetry gets a bad rep. Folks moan about their terrible high school reading assignments in thin-papered books.

 

Sure, there is a lot of poetry that you wouldn’t want at your wedding. From cliché greeting card sentiments to hard to understand, badly translated poetry. But there is some great work out there that you can both enjoy and perhaps use to inspire aspects of your wedding and relationship.

 

First, I want to prove to you that poetry can be fun. I spent two years at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY studying for my MFA. It was the best two years of my life because it was a gift to have the time to write poetry and be surrounded by so many liked minded writers.

 

Reading at Busboys and Poets in DC

Reading at Busboys and Poets in DC

 

There, I met poet Jee Leong Koh. He is a more formal poet than I am, but he addresses some spicy themes and uses thoughtful humor in his poetry. Check out his blog: http://jeeleong.blogspot.com/

 

Poetry is meant to be read and heard, and sometimes performed, by real, live poets. You can hear poetry readings online at a lot of sites. Here are two great archives:

http://poets.org/page.php/prmID/361

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/journal/audio.html

 

Poetry is a space for careful thought, consideration and exploration of an otherwise chaotic world. Sometimes questions are answered, sometimes they are simply posed. Poetry lives by being read and shared. I hope you’ll consider reading some.

 

Advice:

If you are interested in having more familiar poems at your wedding, check out these great sites:

 

Poets.org, from the Academy of American poets, has a list of famous poems about weddings:

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5857

 

The Offbeat bride (who isn’t?), has a list of “Awesome wedding readings for bad-ass couples”:

http://offbeatbride.com/2008/07/wedding-readings#more-859

 

The Indiebride (which doesn’t seem to have new posts anymore), has some readings listed, too:

http://kvetch.indiebride.com/index.php?t=msg&th=2271&prevloaded=1&rid=0&S=95c44beba3d13f0d88f915d1a8ffdbb9&start=0

 

Other suggestions? Use the “Comments” section freely.

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Our friends

We work closely with the following NJ venues:

Merri-Makers

The Mezzanine

Perona Farms

WEDDING RELATED:

Invitations:

Italian designer in Boston Angela Liguri

Flowers:

Flowers on Long Island: Clawflowers

Celebrants:

Ann Keeler Evans, Celebrant (PA based)

Celia Milton, Celebrant (NJ based)

Anita Vaughan, Celebrant (Chicago based)

 

Cakes:

Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, NJ

Travel:

Travel to Italy: Amore Travel Guides 

Green Wedding ideas:

Blue Planet Wedding

Michigan weddings:

WedMichigan Blog

Photography:

Tony Richards Photography

Custom songs:

Custom Crafted Songs

Car service:

Executive Transporation of Louisana

WRITING RELATED:

Poet Jee Long Koh’s blog

You can hear poetry readings online at a lot of sites. Here are two great archives:

Poets.Org archive

Poetry Foundation archive

 

Poets.org, from the Academy of American poets, has a list of famous poems about weddings:

Poets.Org Wedding Poems

 

The Offbeat bride (who isn’t?), has a list of “Awesome wedding readings for bad-ass couples”:

Offbeat Bride Readings

 

The Indiebride (which doesn’t seem to have new posts anymore), has some readings listed, too:

Indiebride Readings

 

BEYOND WEDDINGS AND POETRY:

Personal story of adoption from Ethiopia: Shasta Grant’s blog

Smith College alum blogs

Botanical Images by photographer Melabee M. Miller

 

 

 

*MUCH* more to come. Want to be listed? Email me and send me your information: ChloeMiller(at)gmail(dot)com.

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Holidays.

Holidays tend to be stressful, romantic, nostalgic, dreadful, tiring and relaxing all at once. When you put so many people in one room together, combine it with food and everyone’s picky eating habits, topped with alcohol, you never know what will happen. Or maybe you do because the same thing happens every year.

 

Advice:

Enjoy this Thanksgiving. I try to avoid clichés, but this one is a good one: Be thankful.

 

We’re alive, eating and enjoying each other’s company. One day this might not be possible. Instead of worrying about that, take the day in and enjoy it.

 

Turducken

Turducken

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It is uncouth to discuss money in the United States. This is inconvenient. 

 

If we were more open about money, we’d know how much people paid for things (i.e.: did we pay too much?), how much people make (i.e. why don’t I make a more appropriate salary?) and ideas about how to save better (i.e. why don’t I have any money left?) I found that Italians I met in Florence, Italy were quite blunt about money. They asked how much things cost, how I paid for them, etc. At first I was a bit flustered by such questions, but now I see how useful they can be.

 

I wish couples would be more upfront about what they paid and how they figured out how to pay for it.

 

When you are searching for a wedding venue, as we are right now, you have to know what questions to ask since some costs aren’t immediately disclosed.

 

Here are a few things I’ve discovered you should ask about:

 

Ceremony fee: If you are getting married onsite, there may be a per person or one-time fee to hold the ceremony there. This pays for the set-up, staff, etc.

 

Alcohol: You may receive a per-person price for the food, but check to make sure it includes the alcohol (for the reception, dinner and after dinner drinks.) Sometimes you can bring in your own alcohol, which lowers the final price tag considerably (depending on whether or not there’s a corking fee.)

 

Tents: Especially if you are renting a space and hiring an outside caterer to come in, you may need to pay for tents. This is not a small fee.

 

Insurance: Some smaller venues that do not regularly hold weddings may ask you to buy insurance.

 

Staff: Sometimes you are asked to pay for extra bartenders, waiters, etc.

 

Valet parking: Is this an extra charge at your venue? It is a particularly important question at a more urban site.

 

Gratuity and Tax: Some venues include these numbers in their per-person totals, some don’t.

 

Holidays/off-season dates/afternoons: Weddings cost different amounts depending on the day and time of day. It can be shocking how much they vary. Ask about holiday rates, afternoon and off-season weddings. Off-season dates might also make it a less expensive trip for your guests (airfare, hotels, etc.)

 

Advice:

It can be an English major’s nightmare to plan a wedding according to a budget. Each website, attachment, etc. tallies numbers differently. Be patient. Ask a lot of questions and work to come up with a final number for each venue so that you can better compare and contrast prices. Remember, you are buying a product/service and have the right to understand what you are purchasing.

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I distinctly remember being a teenager and watching one of the 90210 characters go to prom in a “Mermaid dress.” (Was it Donna?) She could barely move and missed out on most of the fun, excluding the fun she created by trying to walk.

 

I want to find the perfect wedding dress: it shouldn’t cost a fortune, it should be comfortable and I should be able to walk.

 

I forgot an important detail regarding the bathroom.

 

My friend Grace recently wrote:

 

My dress was ivory, and much to my mother’s dismay, very plain (i.e. no beading or sparkly stuff).  But for the reception I wore a traditional Korean dress, which had a big red skirt.  When I was dress shopping, to be honest, my main concern was whether or not I would be able to go to the bathroom w/out assistance!

 

At a friend’s wedding, I accidentally walked into the bathroom as she was trying to use the toilet, and I was freaked out to see the maid of honor and a bridesmaid having to hold up her dress so that she could do her thing.   So that dictated the whole “can I go to the bathroom alone in it?” rule for me and my dress. 😉

 

Good point!

 

I will add going to the bathroom to the list of necessities on that important day.

 

This weekend my fiancé and I saw the Broadway show Avenue Q in Detroit. In one scene, a bride emerges with the largest, gauziest wedding dress you’ve ever seen. Suddenly, she is illuminated: there are lights under her dress! Would it be appropriate to add a detail like to that to the dress? That might determine the theme of the wedding.

 

Advice:

While you are trying on dresses, see if you can bend down (what if you drop something?), sit down (you want to eat at your wedding, right?) and breath (that’s key.) You don’t need to be able to do yoga in your dress, but you should be comfortable.  

 

Readers: let me know if I’m forgetting anything!

 

Grace in her traditional Korean dress

Grace in her traditional Korean dress

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Read all about it!

Wordarrangement was recently featured in an article in the Philadelphia Marriage Examiner.

Words of Love: So Soft and Tender

Forget what the song says, words of Love are exactly what we need to hear. (Did you ever notice that we all shift uncomfortably in our seats when someone loudly proclaims “I love you?” “Go get a room,” someone is sure to cry. Yet we are all totally fascinated by someone storming out the door in the café screaming “I hate you?” What is up with that?)

 

Chloe Miller, poet, at her site Word Arrangement can help you find exactly the right words to say “I love you.” If you have trouble expressing your emotions in poetry, she’s your go-to girl. There are lots of wonderful poems out there and I always encourage my couples, if they like poetry, to look for metaphors that align with their values. But how incredible to have your love immortalized in your very own poem!

She won’t just find words for the bridal couple, she’ll help out the person making a toast or simply giving a gift to the couple. Use the poem in your program or on your website. Have them printed on Melabee M. Miller’s roses or sent to you to be transcribed onto your own backdrop. After you read it, frame it and hang it on your wall so that every day you remember how much you love one another and why you embarked on this wonderful journey called marriage. How wonderful to know that your love is great enough, that with a simple discernment process, this very talented poet can tell the world your story.

THE BRIDGE: for Christa and Jas, 2006

His proposal bridged east and west

as they kissed between the words.

In her poems, she immortalizes

her story, then his, now theirs.

Two narrators, one plot. They are engaged

after five years of sweetness.

The unwritten years’ ink

fills in craters, lifts the sun and moon.

She bakes with measured flour,

adds pinches of spice, sugar until it tastes like home.

The earth provides colors, flavor,

and the couple builds, creates above.

One more (great) way to move from “I do” to happily and healthily ever after.

 

 

BY:

Ann Keeler Evans, M.Div., The Wedding Priestess, helped 1,000 couples move from “I do” to happily, healthily ever after. For examiner.com she writes about weddings with meaning. Find her at http://annkeelerevans.org or write office@annkeelerevans.org

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I received some email responses to my post “To wear white or not?” My favorite was from Courtney, a fellow Smithie alum.

 

She found a gorgeous *pink* dress at Filene’s Basement. Filene’s holds an annual wedding dress sale at select stores (twice in Boston.) Here’s the link: http://www.filenesbasement.com/bridal.jsp

 

A number of people have suggested it to me, but I was hesitant to try it because of this line on their website, “News reports so often compare it to the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain that the event is now officially called the ‘Running of the Brides.’” (Yikes.)

 

Courtney said that she went around noon after things were calmer and the dresses were back on the racks. Sounds like good advice!

 

Here is the lovely bride and her dress:

 

 

 

Advice:

As you know, I haven’t gotten my dress yet. I hope you’ll share your dress shopping knowledge with the readers. Where did you get your dress?

 

I’ll post your dress or wedding day pictures – email them to me here: chloemiller(at)gmail(dot)com.

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