Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Where to say "I do?" Part III: In Which We Finally Check Off a To-Do List Box!

After exhausting Options 1 and 2, we were left with pretty much one other choice: a hometown wedding in the Houston suburb of Cypress, TX, in the church my parents attend (not the same church I grew up in, unfortunately).

I'll be honest. I was less than excited about a wedding at Prince of Peace. I was less than less than excited. The wedding coordinator called me by my younger sister's name twice in the first conversation we had, and the church had dark green carpet.

This isn't the church, but the walls and carpet are VERY similar.

But, things started looking up! Coincidentally, J's parents had their wedding reception in Prince of Peace's gym (back when it was the only place big enough in Cypress), so we had sentimental value! The wedding coordinator was willing to hold a date for us even though we hadn't completed our marriage prep yet! I felt comfortable planning a wedding in the place J and I grew up, surrounded by familiar people and places. So, I set aside my feelings about the green carpet, and moved forward.

And then, an even greater miracle occurred! Prince of Peace recently built a smaller Chapel across from the Main Church. It turns out the "small Chapel" holds 300 people! Plenty! Green carpet, move over and make room for pretty red and blue stained glass!!

Okay, so you can't see the stained glass, but thats what all that stuff on both sides of the altar is. And subtract the Christmas trees. They won't be there.

Helo, pretty entrance! See? You can kinda see the red and blue stained glass on the door! Again, delete the Christmas tree.
(both pictures from my camera)

So, that's the aisle I'll happily walk down in July, and we're officially doing our marriage preparation for the Catholic Church at Prince of Peace. But wait, it gets better!

Remember my excitement with St. Mary's and Mary being the perfect model of a wife/mother and yadda yadda? Wellll my friends, this Chapel just so happens to be called "The Mary Chapel." Two points for Prince of Peace (POP?).

Also, every been to a wedding with a long gap between the ceremony and reception? That was going to be us. The Church is open for weddings at 10:30 and 1:00, and we wanted an evening reception. But, the lovely (not so)little Chapel is open for weddings at 4:30pm, and we're doing it then! Another two points for POP.

And with that, our saga of church choosing is complete. And we all lived happily ever after.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Where to say "I do?" Part II: In Which We Try Again, But Fail

After our failure with our first desired ceremony location, I just wanted a church who seemed welcoming, willing to help, and supportive of our marriage. I wanted a church where we felt comfortable. I wanted a church that would say, "Oh Katie! We're so excited you're engaged! What day can we reserve for the wedding?!"

What I wanted was my church. The place I've been going every Sunday for years. The place where I'm at home, where people know my name, and where they would give me a wedding date within 24 hours if I wanted. I wanted St. Mary's.

The more I thought about it, the more sure of my decision I was. The church had just been renovated, and it's absolutely beautiful. Plus it's named after Mary. As in the mother of Jesus. What better inspiration and example could I ask for as I start my own family by becoming J's wife? Plus I wanted blue as one of my colors, and the church is blue. And it was just perfect.

"Be a good wife and mother like me!" she says.

So, only days into the wedding planning process, I had to do something scary. I asked my parents (the parents who are so generously paying for the wedding...) if I could do something I knew they didn't want. St. Mary's isn't in our hometown where my parents and J's parents live. It's about a 90 minute drive to get to College Station from Houston, and to make matters worse, guests coming into the airport would have long layovers in Houston or Dallas. It would be a bit of a "destination wedding" for everyone.

I was afraid of dissappointing my parents, but I was more afraid of ending up with a wedding I didn't want, so I mustered up the courage to bring it up.

To my surprise, my parents were way more supportive than I had imagined in my head! They were all, "Well it's your wedding...wherever you want it is where we'll do it!" and " You just make the decision with J, and we'll support you." Sigh. Exhale. Lovelovelove. Those guys are great.

Hugs! Thanks for being so awesome Mom!

I called J with the good news, and was shocked when he dropped this bombshell:

"Katie...I've been thinking, and I just don't really think I want to do it there. You's your church, not our church, and I want our wedding to be about us. Can we please just do it anywhere but there?"

Cue stomach drop, silence, and feelings of defeat.

Stay tuned for the rest of our ceremony location search!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Where to say "I do?"

Right after getting engaged, we decided to get married in the summer of 2010, and we were left with around 5-7 months to plan a wedding (gasp!). J and I knew that we had to pick a ceremony location and get a date like...immediately!

We both knew we'd get married in a Catholic Church, so you'd think we would be on the same page. But we had three options for churches that meant something to us:

1. St. Anne's, the church we will attend together after the wedding, when we live in the new apartment. Deep in the heart of Houston, surrounded by fun things.

 2. St. Mary's, the church I currently attend. In the city I live in, 1.5 hours away from Houston. Recently renovated, absolutely gorgeous.

3. Prince of Peace, the church my parents attend. In our hometown Houston suburb, surrounded by familiar things.

Since the wedding is really about J and me, and our life together (you know, since its a wedding and all), we decided to go with Option 1, our future church. No surprise there, right? I made a phone call the the parish office on approximately December 7th, and received the following information:
  •  They don't even tell you whether or not they have any available dates unless you're a registered parishioner.
  • Our new apartment is inside the parish boundaries, so we can be registered parishioners (yay!).
  • New church members can register monthly at the Monthly Registration Meeting, the next of which will be January 10th (PANIC!).
That's right...we'd have to put the wedding planning on hold for over a month, and then register, only to possibly be told that there were no Summer 2010 dates left anyway! I'd been around the Weddingbee "waiting boards" enough to know that December through February is "Engagement Season," and hundreds of other newly affianced brides were out there!!! I was not okay with sitting idly while my favorite reception venues' availability dissappeared to brides with more efficient ceremony planning tactics!

I reluctantly called J with the bad news, and our seemed-so-easy Ceremony plans began to wither away slowly. Did anyone else fail miserably with their first wedding planning task? Did something you thought would be easy turn out to be just the opposite?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Ring!

Here it is. The ring that I didn't want to put on my finger at first because it just looked so pretty in its box.

I love it. J pulled all my favorite things from my inspiration photos (round cut, small side stones, tapered band, vintageish style), and threw in some other things I love as well (sigh...beautiful filigree engraving on the sides...).

It's a keeper, for sure.