liv: Detail of quirky animals including a sheep, from an illuminated border (marriage)
Here we go, the middle of the list hits A song that you would love played at your wedding.

As you probably know, I'm already married, and I had my wedding five years ago. wedding reminiscences plus video )

I have no intention of having any more weddings to choose music for. I'm already married, as are all my partners. And maybe poly people aren't supposed to say this, but I really think I've found my people and hope not to end or change my current relationships. Friends who have looked into these things in more detail think it's not actually illegal to have weddings, in the sense of ceremonies indicating lifelong romantic commitment, to more than one partner, as long as you don't try to register the relationship as a marriage for legal purposes. But I am not really sure of the details and anyway at the moment we don't have any desire to be married to more people than our existing spouses, even if it is (or became) legally ok.

It is fair to say that I never intended to get married the first time either, so maybe I'm wrong. I suppose we've vaguely talked about the possibility that those of us who are EU citizens may need to marry those who are not for immigration reasons and safety, but I really really really hope it doesn't come to that and if we were in that situation there wouldn't be any singing and dancing, just whatever paperwork we needed for survival. And hypothetically my current relationships might come to an end and then I might find a new person who really wanted to get married to me. But then the song I would choose would depend so much on the person and the circumstances that I can't really speculate what it would be, and I don't really want to because it involves imagining the ends of relationships I really want to keep.

I'm not in general a fan of the wedding tradition of the First Dance to a romantic song. Partly because I'm not much of a dancer, and partly because I think there are better ways to do symbolic consummation. And then finding a song which is lyrically appropriate is surprisingly hard; a lot of songs in the style that's appropriate to slow-dance to are really breakup songs, or at best they're hugely monogamy-assuming and heteronormative. As [personal profile] elf pointed out in this meme, a lot of poly-friendly songs are about casual hey we're just doing this as long as we both like it relationships, which is kind of wrong for a wedding.

I think it was [personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait who pointed out that the most inappropriate possible song for a wedding is She moves through the fair, since it mentions our wedding day but primarily as a euphemism for death. I am very fond of it, mind you. And I have attended a wedding where the big romantic moment Song was Hey, that's no way to say goodbye by Leonard Cohen, which is a gorgeous song but way depressing if you go past the opening lines:
I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm,
Your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm,
Yes, many loved before us, I know that we are not new,
In city and in forest they smiled like me and you

I never daydreamed about my ideal wedding when I was single, so I never had a concept in my mind of what song I would love played. If I happened to be in a relationship where we had a song that was meaningful to us as a couple, then perhaps I'd choose that, but I can't help myself thinking about the detailed interpretation of the words. So, just out of interest, do any of you know any songs which are good for weddings, talking about serious relationships but not about possessiveness? Or songs that are good for non-religious communal singing?


Nov. 17th, 2016 05:52 pm
liv: Detail of quirky animals including a sheep, from an illuminated border (marriage)
My dear dear friend [personal profile] hatam_soferet is getting married today. In honour of this wonderful occasion, I have made a small donation to the American Civil Liberties Union.

more about charity giving )

I am not writing this post to show off what a great person I am; I am sure many of you give way more to charity than I do or contribute directly in ways other than financial. I'm thinking of doing the latter too but it's going to take some medium-term arranging my life to make happen. I'm writing to encourage discussion, to let people know about Thousand 4 £1000, and to offer a kind of minimal solidarity. I've definitely had thoughts about needing to hoard up all my spare money as an escape fund, but eventually decided that doesn't really make sense, I'm not eating into my savings to an extent that's going to make a difference to whether I can get out or not. And seeing other people talking about their giving as a response to bad political news has been comforting to me, so I wanted to pay it forward.

And most importantly, congratulations to [personal profile] hatam_soferet and about-to-be husband. I wish you many years of supportive partnership and domestic bliss, and I'm sending very, very much love along with the donation in your names.
liv: Detail of quirky animals including a sheep, from an illuminated border (marriage)
So eight years ago, on 29th February, I asked Jack out and he said yes. And then some years elapsed where we decided the relationship was in fact serious and long-term, and I moved back to England and we had lots of detailed discussions and eventually got engaged. Four years ago, on 29th February, we did not exactly celebrate the anniversary of getting together, because we were too busy getting married. So today is a day that I couldn't have begun to imagine in 2008, and seemed impossibly far away even in 2012: our first ever wedding anniversary.

contains soppy )

We had hoped to do something really exciting for our first! ever! anniversary! but when it came to it, we're both just over-stretched and tired, so we opted for just a weekend in a little self-catering cottage (with, amazingly, its own semi-working water mill!) in the countryside not far from me. And we mostly spent the weekend staying in and cuddling and playing board games and watching a low-effort film. We managed a couple of meals out in indifferent pubs, and a half-hour stroll in what is a very pretty but not too touristy area. And we had a few relationship conversations of the kind that you often don't get time for in daily life. But basically we were just tired, and needed a weekend to recharge. It was extremely lovely to be able to do that together, I must say.
liv: Detail of quirky animals including a sheep, from an illuminated border (marriage)
I generally disapprove of pictures of text on the internet, so let me take the opportunity to write out what our contract actually says, while I'm talking about it.

relationship stuff )
liv: Detail of quirky animals including a sheep, from an illuminated border (marriage)
[personal profile] bugshaw asked for Colours you saw that day, and when I put the calendar together I accidentally put her prompt on a day when I'm working from home, then travelling back to Stoke probably after it gets dark. So I don't have many opportunities to go out and find interesting colours. I will talk about the colours in our home instead.

domestic )

[December Days masterpost]


Jun. 18th, 2012 05:41 pm
liv: Detail of quirky animals including a sheep, from an illuminated border (marriage)
Among other things, [personal profile] jack and I spent this weekend unwrapping our wedding presents. It's taken a month because we dashed away straight from the reception to the unhoneymoon, leaving a big heap of presents under the stairs at my parents' house, and I've been busy every weekend since then, so this was the first chance I got to go back to Cambridge and actually deal with them. I am really, really bowled over by how lovely our friends are!

People took us seriously when we said we didn't want duty presents of household items because that's the tradition for getting invited to weddings. So many people gave us cards with lovely lovely messages, and many people gave us or our chosen causes money. And a few people gave us the presents we asked for, even though we weren't very specific: beautiful things. So now we own actual artworks, unique, non mass-produced pieces, some made by our friends, some commissioned by them, and some bought from artists who sell their work commercially. And in a whole bunch of different media, paintings, prints, sculptures, and some incredibly lovely ceramics. This makes me feel grown-up in a way that useful, practical household stuff could never have done.

Next job is going to be writing thank you letters to all these amazing wonderful friends, of course. But the thing is, I want to thank not just the people who gave us shiny things, but everybody who gave us advice and recommendations and moral support through the wedding planning. And everybody who contributed to the ceremony and the reception. And everybody who dealt with geography and found time in their lives to come and celebrate with us. The shiny dress was nice, being the centre of attention was nice, but getting to see all my friends at once was absolutely amazingly unforgettable.

I hope I don't sound too much like an Oscar acceptance speech )

Then there is [personal profile] hatam_soferet. I can't find words to express how wonderful a gift it is that you created artwork for us! Wanting to commission a piece from [personal profile] hatam_soferet was one of the big reasons why I came down on the side of getting married rather than just making a private commitment to [personal profile] jack. The final piece is beyond any superlatives, but another amazing thing was the process of designing it, all the discussions we had, all the little progress reports she sent as a counter to the stress of last-minute wedding preps, the details that reflect shared history and express so much affection and friendship as well as being incredibly beautiful. I'm near to tears writing this; I can't believe that the rest of our lives are going to be made more shiny by having such a beautiful work of art to look at, reminding us not only of our exciting and joyful wedding, but of the even greater joy of having such a dear friend in our lives.
liv: Detail of quirky animals including a sheep, from an illuminated border (marriage)
I got home from honeymoon a week and a half ago, and I'm finding myself completely blocked on posting until I've written up the wedding. At the same time I feel embarrassed that I'm still going on about this now it's over. I think I'll just write something, and hopefully that will let me get on to the much more interesting posts I have stashed up, as well as giving me something to look back on in future years. As ever with these endless wedding posts, you are absolutely, entirely welcome to skip if you're sick of it.

I got married! )

OK, that's far too long already; I'll write up the honeymoon (in somewhat less excruciating detail!) later on. But the conclusion is that my friends are absolutely wonderful, and I'm really pleased that I did finally come down on the side of going through with a formal wedding ceremony.

D minus 3

May. 17th, 2012 04:18 pm
liv: bacterial conjugation (attached)
I can't quite believe I'm getting married on Sunday... I've reached the stage of calm I usually get to in the last couple of days before a big exam: any preparation I haven't done by now just isn't going to get done, so que sera sera. Partly I think I've just run out of panicking energy, and partly I have (as of yesterday!) actually ticked off everything that was on my to-do list. The only thing I'm still worried about is that I don't quite have the numbers; we've deliberately set things up to be informal and flexible, which I think was the right decision, but this means that lots of people have decided to come or to bring partners or otherwise changed their plans rather at the last minute, so I don't necessarily know who exactly needs transport and who exactly is coming to the ceilidh... I think it will probably all work out somehow, and if there's a slight hitch somewhere I'm sure people will be understanding.

Just a couple more wedding-related bits, then. I really will shut up about this very soon indeed! This is stuff that I'd like at least a proportion of the guests to see but don't need to disseminate to everyone, and I think it's of minimum general interest because non-guests can have opinions about my eccentric choices.

First, in place of a hymn at the wedding, we're hoping to sing the Discovery Channel song from XKCD. The reason is that it's a happy, geeky song that's easy to pick up (even if you don't already know it). It would probably be good if at least a handful of the guests are expecting it, because that'll make it easier to start off the singing rather than just sitting there feeling awkward. The lyrics are in the order of ceremony, and I'm hoping to get the music onto the sound system at the Guildhall, but this may require a bit of tech wrangling to extract the soundtrack from the video...

Second, we've decided not to have a photographer. We just care more about actually having a fun time with our friends, than about putting on a performance to be recorded for posterity. These days it's standard form for people to bring cameras to weddings. So we're hoping that some guests who are amateur photographers will just show up with their cameras and take some snaps; there's no pressure on any one person to feel responsible for making sure we have "perfect" wedding photos, but the hope is that the collective will come up with something that we can look back on as a souvenir. And if that doesn't work out, the fallback is that we'll do a studio session in our wedding outfits at some point in the future when we have plenty of time and no hosting of a big party to worry about. So if you're hesitating whether to bring a camera, and you happen to see this, please do err on the side of bringing one!

Annnd my incredibly brilliant baby sister sent us a photo of our cake in its protological stage from a couple of days ago:
a huge array of eggs and chocolate

Now all I've got to do is pack in order to travel home straight from work tomorrow!


Mar. 29th, 2012 02:32 pm
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
I had a seriously awesome weekend, with good food and good company. I sat in the sunshine with [personal profile] jack drinking berry smoothies from some random middle eastern café. We had a great time at [personal profile] khalinche and [ profile] timeplease's housewarming, along with such wonderful people as [ profile] shreena, [personal profile] kerrypolka and [ profile] jacquic, eating barbecued veg kebabs and cake and drinking stunningly tasty Madagascan rum. We stayed over chez [ profile] doseybat and enjoyed a tasty brunch including Lithuanian rye bread and plenty of tea with her and [ profile] pplfichi. We ate the classiest Indian meal I've ever had at Trishna with [ profile] fishpi and his partner R. We saw the Hajj exhibition at the British Museum, and then met up with [personal profile] hadassah and [personal profile] angelofthenorth for Afternoon Tea (and wedding ceremony plotting) in the amazingly swanky surroundings of the conservatory at the Chesterfield, Mayfair. It was after all that loveliness, though, that I ran into some drama.

apparently I have Issues )

So, what do you think? Should I stand up for myself, donate the makeup to charity or a friend who'll actually use it, and get married wearing my own natural face? I'd risk quarrelling with [personal profile] hadassah over it, and my appearance probably would be blotchy and washed out, and the dress would look wrong without the rest of an outfit at the same level. Or should I spend the next few weeks practising and getting used to makeup, and take up the kind offer to help me get ready on the morning of the wedding, so that I'm a beautiful bride and so I'm not rejecting my friends' generosity?

A couple of things I'm not really looking for here: one is feminist solidarity and affirmations of my right not to wear makeup if I choose not. I know I have that right, and I'm deeply grateful to previous generations for all the fighting they had to do for makeup to stop being compulsory. The question is not whether I have the right not to wear makeup, but whether wearing or eschewing is actually a better idea. I do completely accept that there are some occasions when makeup is a good choice; I'd wear it without protest on stage or if I were appearing on TV, for example, and I have to admit that a highly formal occasion when I'm wearing a beautiful silk dress is a situation that definitely favours makeup over bare face in general. The other is to be assured that it's my wedding so I can do what I like. Superficially, yes, I can, but I actually don't want to. One of the aspects of wedding expectations that I kind of reject is the view that it's about being a princess for day. I actually do care about what will be comfortable and enjoyable for my friends, it's a public event, not just an excuse for me to behave like a spoiled brat.
liv: bacterial conjugation (attached)
Ages ago when [personal profile] jack and I first started talking about getting married, we couldn't decide if we wanted to have a cool anniversary or if we wanted to get married during a summer weekend. [personal profile] jack facetiously suggested we could do both, and the more we thought about that, the more it seemed like actually a good idea. So yesterday we invited our immediate families and [personal profile] jack's best man to the registry office where we declared that we wanted to be legally married to eachother. Now we are married according to the English legal system.

changing state )

Also, you know what's really lovely? Making things legally official led my geeky, grammar snob husband to make a post with HTML hearts and multiple exclamation marks. So I reckon that's a win.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
So [personal profile] angelofthenorth's wedding made me realize that this getting married plan is actually happening. I don't know of any weddings in my social circle between hers and ours. (There may be some that haven't been decided yet, of course!) But anyway, our intentionally long engagement, which was supposed to allow time for planning and decision-making without too much time-pressure, has nearly all gone. There's only half a year left, which means we need to come to some definite decisions right now, in order to allow people we're paying to do complicated things to book us in.

The venue and catering are sorted, the celebrants have agreed in principle to be present. The two big things that aren't even decided are the dress and the un-honeymoon. (There are a couple of things where we've made a general decision but need to fix up the details, notably the guest-list and the artwork.) But, dress.

I fear I'm becoming a clothes bore )

Plus, I need to find something for [personal profile] jack. I find it really sexist when the bride puts lots of money and effort into a marvellous dress, and the groom just hires a generic suit. Besides, we seem to be still living in a Beau Brummel world, where men's formal dress comes in various shades of grey or black, and is designed to look good on men who have the classic inverted triangle body shape, broad shoulders and slim waist, and even tailored I don't think that is going to really show [personal profile] jack to his best advantage. What I'm hoping for a is something along the lines of an eighteenth or early nineteenth century style frock coat, either an earlier justacorps or a slightly more recent but still very period cutaway coat. But I haven't had any success in finding such things; reenactment garb and stage costumes, yes, but not actual serious clothes. Also, steampunk. Steampunk is all very well, but I am pretty certain that something from an earlier era, Regency or earlier still, would work better for [personal profile] jack. Does anybody have any ideas?

Now I think of it, I'm not sure the naked icon is quite the thing for talking about clothes! But I don't have a better one.
liv: bacterial conjugation (attached)
I'd really like to involve lots of our friends in the wedding, rather than inviting people to a staged show where they would be the audience. Obviously there are arguments for and against doing it this way. I am pretty sure I'm not going to turn into Bridezilla, but I'm sure everyone thinks that, and I'm open to the argument that it would put too much strain on friendships and it's better to just pay professionals to do everything.

So here comes a poll. I'm mainly just canvassing opinion at this point, so don't feel you're committing yourself to anything. Obviously we don't even know who is going to be able to come at this stage!

thoughts? )

I haven't put any textboxes in for you to specify which parts you'd most like to do, if you do want to help out. But I think that's probably better for the comments, along with pedantry about why my poll is wrong and ambiguously phrased and I'm an insensitive clod. I should add that all your advice about ceremonies and rings and clothes and everything else has been very much appreciated so far; you are collectively wonderful already, so don't at all feel you have to do more!
liv: bacterial conjugation (attached)
[personal profile] liv, of Dreamwidth, (formerly [ profile] livredor of LiveJournal) intends to marry [personal profile] jack, also of Dreamwidth, (also known as [ profile] cartesiandaemon, of LiveJournal) on 29th February 2012 in Cambridge Register Office.

You have 15 days to present any formal legal objections to this marriage, (although you might have to do some work since I don't use my documented name here, and the registry office hasn't yet learned about internet usernames).

Valid objections are:
  • We made the classic folksong mistake of not finding out before it's too late that we're actually close blood relatives.
  • We made the classic SF mistake of spending too much time hanging around memory altering devices or travelling faster than light, and one of us is already married to someone else but has erased all memory of this.
  • We made the classic internet mistake of creating false personas and spending many years convincing people to believe in them, and we're not who we say we are.
  • We made the classic romance novel mistake of trying to force an unwilling partner into marriage for nefarious reasons.

Invalid objections are: anything else, particularly anything along the lines of "it should have been me". If that's the case, I would say it's mostly your fault for not speaking up sooner, (with one or two exceptions who did ask but wanted to marry me on terms I couldn't accept).

And yes, I will post something similar using our offline names, but I don't want to link those to my journal. The names are also on a noticeboard tucked away in the depths of Hanley Town Hall, but honestly I don't think anybody in this city knows me well enough to know of any potential objections. And even if they did I can't imagine they would go and look at the noticeboard in the depths of the town hall, so this seems a singularly inefficient way of "publishing" a notice to marry.

Note that we actually intend to celebrate our wedding on 20th May; this is just the legal formalities. We're considering providing some opportunities to object to the emotionally meaningful part of the wedding too, but we haven't quite worked out the logistics of how to do that, because that's the part we're making up as we go along.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
The wonderful [personal profile] hadassah has generously offered to accompany me on a fact-finding mission to look for potential wedding dresses. Bear in mind that I want a bright-coloured party dress that I can wear for other occasions, not a traditional wedding dress or anything white. However I'm basically terrified of clothes shopping, and although [personal profile] hadassah is very good at it, she is also a foreigner and doesn't really know where the best places are.

So for UK based people, my question is where in London would be a good place to look? I'm looking for any recs at all, department stores, boutiques, little off-the-beaten-track indie or even vintage shops that stand out above the rest... If I have a day in London, where should be my top priority?

For everyone, do you have any advice about how to go about shopping for a serious dress? I'm basically intending to spend a few hundred pounds for something off-the-peg but nice, and then spend perhaps as much again getting it altered to fit me perfectly, and buying accessories including high-end underwear. I would really prefer something made out of natural materials and ethically manufactured if at all possible, but I think the former is easier to find out than the latter. Do you know of any designers / brands who are known to pay a decent wage for the people who manufacture their clothes?

Also my plan is to avoid mentioning the W-word, because I don't want to be charged a premium and I don't want to be steered towards stuff that looks wedding-y. I think I'll say "I'm going to reach the third of a century mark next year, and I'm planning a big party", both of which are true but aren't as connected as that would imply.
liv: bacterial conjugation (attached)
Congratulations to [personal profile] angelofthenorth and NZ on their respective engagements to lovely men!

One thing about being engaged (I don't know if it will happen to you guys) is that I find I'm attending weddings with my note-taking brain switched on. I spent the whole of Saturday thinking, hm, that's a good idea, maybe we should do that, or, hm, that works really well for them but it wouldn't suit us, or very occasionally, hm, I don't really like that, let's not do that. And next week [personal profile] jack and I are attending a wedding workshop for mixed faith couples (thanks to [ profile] lethargic_man for bringing it to my attention). The main reason for this is because I want to meet Jewish people who are religiously committed enough to attend community-oriented workshops and also in serious relationships with non-Jewish partners. But I figure it'll help if I show up with some idea of what I'm expecting our wedding to look like, as a starting place for discussion.

Part of my trouble is that I never really included "marriage" in my life plans, so I never fantasized about what my wedding would be like. And it seems inappropriate for this particular relationship to start from a religious framework (either Jewish or Christian), so I almost have a blank slate. I should note that I don't think it's inappropriate in general for mixed couples to use some religious elements in their ceremonies, I just don't want to do so.

As usual when I can't decide things, I appeal to the internet! Please express some opinions on these issues. Don't worry, we won't just democratically do whatever you suggest, so don't bother reassuring us that it's completely up to us and we can do whatever makes us happy. I'm asking because I think it would really help to know your reasons for why something seems like a good idea or a bad idea, both from the practical point of view of organizing it and from your own subjective ideas about what sort of things you would enjoy / appreciate as a guest.

The main principles I'm working on here are: I don't want to be a princess for the day, I don't want anything excessively elaborate or ostentatious, and I don't need it to be planned and coordinated down to the last detail of the table decorations matching the wedding stationery. Rather, my main aim is for my friends to have a good time, with a degree of formality that will make it feel solemn and real and provide dressing up opportunities for those who like that sort of thing, but without the formality and the ceremony taking over the event.

hard decisions are hard )

OK, that grew to giant proportions. I'll stop brainstorming at you for a bit! I think part of my reaction to [ profile] elemy's wedding is that I am sort of feeling that I'm depriving [personal profile] jack of the simple grandeur of a mainstream C of E (style) English wedding. I have ideological objections, sure, but there is something about it that speaks to the heart, if only because it has such strong emotional associations. So I need to find something pretty wonderful and personal to us, because it won't have that weight of repetition to make it meaningful.
liv: cast iron sign showing etiolated couple drinking tea together (argument)
What are the political implications of getting engaged to be married?

I would like to pretend that my intended marriage is just an arrangement between me and my fiancé, and has no effect on anyone else. I would like to, but in honesty I can't, because although we are by far the most affected, marriage is by its nature a public act. Getting married does send out messages to the world at large. The most prominent is that I love [personal profile] jack and intend to build a life with him; that's entirely true and I have no problem with it. But there are a whole load of other connotations I don't really agree with. People would have some justification in arguing that going along with getting married in spite of this could be doing actual harm. I've wrestled with my conscience on this, and I have concluded that the primary message about my commitment to [personal profile] jack outweighs all these potentially negative secondary messages. But it's only on balance, it's not an absolute conviction.

mah issuez, let mi show u them )

In general, I am aware that marriage has a lot of baggage attached to it. I still want to get married, because I want to make a public commitment to be part of [personal profile] jack's life in the long term, and marriage seems like the closest fit to what we want, even if it's far from perfect. In some ways I'd prefer it if civil partnerships or something like the French PACS were available to opposite-sex couples. But I would be a total hypocrite to complain about that, given how many people are excluded from any kind of marriage altogether, and how many advantages I get from having access to a relationship model which is recognized pretty much everywhere in the world.
liv: A woman with a long plait drinks a cup of tea (teapot)
We both made FAQs when we got together, so might as well do it again now we're engaged. Plus, quite a few people are asking these questions and I'm sure more would like to ask them but may not want to appear nosy.

Part I: the engagement )
Part II: the marriage )

[personal profile] jack's version is shorter and funnier, by the way. I've tried to be comprehensive, but I've probably forgotten something! I'm open to most questions, but reserve the right not to answer them!
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (mini-me)
[personal profile] liv and [personal profile] jack are delighted to announce our engagement.


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