Sunday, May 24, 2009

How *do* two vegans get married? Apparently they do it in New Orleans.

Yeah, really. When they're us, anyway. Luckily for the world, very few people are quite as discombobulated as we are - it took us over a year to realize that we should just get hitched in the closest thing I have to a home town.

This does not seem to be yet another far fetched dream or pie in the sky plan on my part - I believe this one to be both fo-real and mutual - that is, both me and my intended feel that it's a good plan. And when it comes to weddings, believe me when I tell you that mutual really is the best way.

So what is this crazy new plan of ours? It's pretty simple - simple being another good feature of weddings, I've discovered. I believe I outlined it in my last post maybe. The two of us, our two sets of parents and my sister, our two witnesses, and possibly an official officiant will do a short ceremony somewhere in City Park. Where in City Park? We're hoping for the Peristyle; I'm sending my ma over there next week to try to secure it. The park staff is wildly unhelpful and you can't do pretty much anything over the phone or internet; you have to show up, money in hand in full, to reserve.

And what, you ask, is the Peristyle? My grandpa's band used to play for dances there, I used to call it the lion pavilion, and it looks like this.

It's a large structure bordered by water on one side, which makes it somewhat hard to get a good shot of. I'm going to try to get my own pictures when we go down in August. (Yeah, we're going to New Orleans in August - what of it?) But you get the idea. Big ol' pretty ol' neo-classical dancing pavilion, guarded by giant stone lions, built in 1907. In my opinion, freaking awesome. Rental for a whole day? $475 plus a refundable $100 trash deposit. A-yup.

So yeah. Short ceremony with very small intimate group hopefully at the peristyle (it has a roof!), definitely somewhere in the park; then the same small group will travel to a lunch/brunch type meal. Me and Jonathan are probably going to rent a fancy vintage limo! Yeah, like a Bentley or something. Because now we'll be in a city where we need cars, and how weird does it feel to get married and then drive yourselves away in a rental Toyota Corolla? Anti-climactic, no? So we'll probably hire us a fancy and/or schmancy car, just to take us to the ceremony, from the ceremony to the brunch, and then from there back to the hotel. We deserve a little frill, don't we?

Alright, so where will we have this lunch/brunch? Here comes the first in what is sure to be a very long line of "what the hell are the vegans to eat in the city of meat and seafood" questions. Yes, there is now an all-vegetarian restaurant in New Orleans. Will it still be open next March? Well, I definitely hope so. Can I plan on it? Probably not. No offense to them; just that restaurants flicker in and out faster than lightbulbs in that town. I'm also not sure what the place is like, or whether they can even seat a group of ten. I know the space, and it's somewhat small and convoluted.

It will likely end up being a situation where we convince some very-non-vegetarian restaurant ahead of time that it's worth making two vegan meals for the party of ten. Fun! Will I try to convince them to make us all a special vegan (or at least vegetarian) brunch? Yes, yes I will. Let's just say I'm not holding my breath.

Then we, uh, rest. Jonathan and I will need some quality time to ourselves to digest the whole "we're now husband and wife" thing... and to be the hell away from our parents. There's a threshold, you know. I'll likely also need a minute out of my fancy dress and shoes. Because yes, there will be fancy dress. And yes, there will be fancy shoes. And yes, I'll choose the most comfortable of these items that I can that still allow me to look fabulous. And no, it won't make a damn bit of difference, because heels are heels, and after about two hours you have to take those f*ckers off!

And then, in the eveningtime, the party. Before I discussed this plan with my parents yesterday, I'd been possessed with an idea that truly surprised me when I had it: to have the party at their house. For those of you who don't know me, you just have no concept of how weird that is. Just trust me, we're talking twilight zone, outer limits stuff here. Well, when I got on the phone with mama yesterday morning she suggested it before I could even ask. (Whew.) So it will be - party at the folks'.

This will not be any kind of huge party. It's just so that we can invite some friends, and my mom can invite some family (and some friends). For this portion of the day, food will be much easier to control. We won't be doing any kind of sit down dinner - there will be plenty of food, but just trays of it everywhere. For that, we really hope the vegetarian restaurant is still open and still offering catering trays! We'll probably also get some nice bits from Mona's, my favorite middle eastern restaurant in the world. Best babaganouj and grape leaves evah, here I come.

The main problem we run into is dessert - the only possibilities for vegan baked goods are 1) Whole Foods or 2) baking them ourselves. I may enlist my darling friends Thomas and Roseann to attempt the latter with some awesome cupcakes; both have shown some success in that realm. And I can probably get some awesome cookies ordered from various Vegan Etsy team members. Cake, though, is another matter. I don't want to tie myself into doing anything that involved or time-intensive as I'll be rather busy and stressed. I'm also not thrilled about the idea of supporting Whole Foods - part of why I'm excited about the New Orleans plan is that I love the idea of putting some money into the local businesses there. But there's still plenty of time to decide what to do; we can always explore options during the August visit.

So, anyway, we'll decorate my parents' backyard will all that crap I'd already bought to decorate The Foundry with - I have string lights and votive candles galore. It's a gorgeous backyard - it doesn't need much help. My mom has a friend who apparently knows about florals - I've told her my flowers are ranunculus and dogwood. Dogwood, yes, is the new wedding flower - a nod to Jonathan's Virginia-ness, and the fact that I love them (and have them tattooed all over me). Mom doesn't know about the tattoos yet. She'll find out soon enough.

And that's it. A ceremony, a brunch, a party. A wedding day. Depending on various factors like the hotel we stay in, what we decide about what to wear, how much liquor we decide we need, and so on, the total bill will fall somewhere between $5 and $10k, and my parents are so damn excited that we've decided to do it on their turf that it sounds like they'll be footing the majority. We haven't broken it to Jon's parents yet; they're actually not in the country at the moment. We think they'll be happy though; New Orleans is much more their pace than New York is, and I don't think they understood the money we were looking at trying to do things here. They'll just be happing that we're really for truly doing it - a point that was a bit fuzzy for a while there, to say the least.

It's all so much more reasonable and so much less stressful than what we'd tried to do here in NYC. I love this town, but damn, it ain't cheap. I'd love to do something this small and laid back here, but it's not really feasible in a place with no family, no friends that own houses, no nothing. This is more or less "plan 2", the Central Park plus dinner plan, plus a nice party for us. It's the 'nice party' part that makes it feel like a real event, and the part that we couldn't swing here without a very significant layout.

We're excited about the new plan. Yep, we. As in both of us. I called my parents and told them all about it because Jonathan told me to. How ya like that? (I like it plenty.) Until I started thinking of a New Orleans wedding, I had no idea how meaningful it would be to me. But once I allowed the possibility, it was as if the flood gates had been opened. (Pardon the pun, but hey, I'm allowed.) The best part? We get to keep the old date, good ol' March 20th, 2010, the vernal equinox - which means we can still used the match boxes we had printed! This, also, is something that Jonathan figured out. I do love that boy so.

Someone on our block plays piano, and someone on our block apparently plays clarinet. It may or may not be the same someone. I'm not talking kids practicing here; I'm talking about professional adult playing. I turned off my music so as to better listen to the clarinet practicing "flight of the bumble bee" that's going on this evening. This is what has replaced the karaoke parties and endless child's practice on the recorder of "hot cross buns" from our old building.

Yes loves, things are good.

But ah, life it is the unpredictableness. So I'll evoke my old plea: keep your fingers crossed for us?

1 comment: said...

hmmm, I'm really interested to hear your take as to why you're not too keen on supporting Whole Foods?? (Someone wrote to me recently & said they were going to start an anto-WF blog!) Thanks for all the great insights!
:) Candy