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Shane and I got our first two “preparing for marriage books” from our pastor yesterday. One is ‘As For Me and My House’ by Walter Wangerin and the other is ‘Marriage Made in Eden’ by Alice P. Mathews and M. Gay Hubbard. However, anyone who knows me knows that when I am starting something new, I love reading and reading and reading about it.

When Shane and I started trying to figure out how to “go green” (further than recycling and even how to better recycle), I immediately went to the library and got all the books I could find on it. When I started learning to cook, I immediately started gathering all kinds of cook books. I am, at heart, a nerd and love reading about things that I get interested in.

Now obviously our marriage is not just a passing interest. This is a lifelong commitment. But I am still a nerd and still want to read everything I can. (Okay, wait….everything good. Our other pastor gave us a book full of Christian-ese crap that I already knew from growing up in church. We don’t need a book that is just telling us “Don’t have sex before you get married” and “Your marriage is you, your spouse, and God”. Yes. We know. Now tell us how to have a successful marriage.) <— side rant. Anyway, if you have read a good book that has really helped you in your relationship/marriage, please leave a comment with the title and the author. (And I want one that you have actually read. Do not recommend a book that you have not even read yourself.)

Also, even if you don’t have a book to recommend, feel free to leave any advice that has helped your relationship. (Even if it’s what not to do. 😉 )

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Because we are incapable of doing anything the typical way, our wedding is not going to be very traditional. For starters, we aren’t having the big ceremony and reception this year. Shane and I don’t want to have a long engagement. We know we want to be married and there is no point on dragging it out for years. (We have nothing against people who do this, it’s just not for us.) However, I am trying to graduate by next May and don’t want to be dealing with the stress of planning a wedding in a few months on top of getting good grades. Plus this will give us time to save money and not go into debt for a one day event.

So what we are going to do is get married this coming May. We’re going to do a very small thing, without a lot of fanfare or fuss. Just family and a few close friends who have been an important part of our relationship together. It is probably going to be a 10 or 15 minute deal, no one standing up with us, no party afterward. Then NEXT year, somewhere around our first anniversary, we want to have a “vow renewal” where we do the big ceremony with everyone there and a reception afterward. This is the one that we want everyone to be at. Neither of our mothers will probably be able to come to the one this year but we want the celebration next year to be the thing that everyone puts on their calendars. (Not that our actually getting married isn’t important. That’s kind of the entire point. But it’s going to be so short and we want everyone to come have fun with us next year.)

Another thing that we’re doing differently is the “gift registry”. Shane and I have discussed this and we both feel as though there isn’t much that we need. Shane has his own house which is pretty much furnished. While new sheets and towels and dishes would be nice and pretty, we really don’t need them. We are incredibly blessed. So we have decided that we aren’t going to register for these things. We are still working out the details of what we want to do but we think it is going to involve a charity of some sort. (Which will make wording invitations that much more fun! I’m sure Emily Post will be having my hide.)

That’s really all we know for now. We will keep you updated as we figure more things out!