I’m as devout a Catholic as they come these days, especially considering I went to Cal and I go to Burning Man. My dad was on his way to becoming a priest before he met my mom. My sister was on her way to becoming a nun before she met her husband. And I…well, I’m about to marry an Italian Catholic.
The Catholic church requires at least a six month timeframe of marriage prep prior to getting married. Marriage prep consists of meeting with our deacon several times, a weekend engagement encounter, family planning classes, questionnaires and discussions. It’s all so…involved. Yak.
I wasn’t looking forward to this process. I saw it as something to check off our list. But we met with our deacon tonight for the first time and he is a hoot! He was married twice, divorced once, had four boys and one baby girl of the family. He went on and on about how it was so joyous to finally have his girl. He was sure she’d have the relationship thing nailed since she grew up with four brothers. Figuring guys out would be a breeze. “It sure did,” he cackled, “she’s gay! Ahhh, life is so unexpected and wonderful. If you know exactly what’s going to happen, it’s not fun. Surprises are fun.”
By the time we left the parish office, Dean had a man-crush on our deacon. He seemed so carefree and happy to be guiding us through the preparation. “One of my sons is finally drug-free after spending time at St. Anthony’s. Another one is a police officer up in Sacramento. The other one cleaned up his act after getting his high-school sweetheart pregnant. They have a home in Pleasant Hill with their two boys. I got a boy who’s at Dodge & Cox making $300,000 a year. And I told you about my girl. She’s gay. We all support her. Blessed family, I tell you. Wonderful to watch it unfold.”
Theme: Casual, Hip, Fun
Colors: Red, Black, and White
Venue and Catering: Ace Hotel, Palm Springs
Day Of Coordinator: Gina Leslie, The Walk Down the Aisle
Photographer: CK Hwang, 39 East Photography
DJ: Mike Bocek, Exxxplosivo
Dance: Irina Senchilina, Genesis Dance Sport
Cake: Ace (I didn’t realize that this was included.)
Save the Dates: Postcards.com (I did it myself.)
Invitations (To be determined)
Programs: Claire DeLeon, Kalea Invitations
Website: WordPress.com (Dean did it himself.)
Wedding Party Apparel: Personal choice using our color scheme
Honeymoon: Jill Zucker, Frosch International Travel
Here’s how we financed the wedding: partly our own savings and the rest through rental income.
We’re lucky in a few respects. I own my home. Even in this down economy, I was able to rent it out. I preferred to live in Dean’s place because of its proximity to work. His place is $1,200 and we have valet parking.
We each put in $5,000 for a total of $10,000 of our own savings.
My first tenant paid $1,800 for each month of her three-month summer internship. She didn’t use the parking spot.
My current tenant pays $2,000 a month which includes parking. He’s been in my place for three months so far.
My mortgage is $1,800 with HOAs of $100 so all the rent was mainly upside.
We’ve put away a grand total of $21,400 into an account that’s strictly for the wedding. There’s a bit more in there because of interest and Dean’s family sent in a few congratulatory checks when they found out we were getting married. That’s more than enough. I swore up and down I could hold myself to a budget of $15,000, but we’re adding in a few things I’m sure our guests will be pleased with. We’re also upping our guest count to a maximum of 150. Even at 150 guests, the wedding will be less than $20,000.
The next post will be a complete update, including a detailed list of our vendors.
I borrow money all the time. I borrow money from our admin when I don’t have change for the vending machine. I write down the amount of $1.00 on a post-it note and promptly pay her back the next day after I get cash from the ATM. Usually I buy some other junk food item at the Subway next door to break my cash. Besides these minor debts, I owe the government for a subsidized loan on grad school. I owe the bank for my private student loan and also my mortgage. I pay these debts consistently and on-time. I pay my credit card on-time. Never ever am I in arrears. Never in my life have I missed a payment due.
These are tough times. I know. Some are having a little bit tougher time than others, but the fact that you don’t have a stable job or positive cash flow does not give you the license to neglect your debt. PAY UP! I have a friend from Burning Man who drove my car back from the playa and proceeded to (accidentally) get a parking ticket on my car. Ironically, I told him that the one thing that mattered to me was that he please not get a parking ticket on my car. Please make sure you read the signs and please do not get a parking ticket.
Well, he accidentally slept in and got a parking ticket. All his apologies cannot pay the bill. The bill is paid. Of course, I paid it. But he refuses to answer my emails. I have little faith in him paying me back, but PLEASE HAVE SOME FUCKING SELF RESPECT. It’s quite insulting when I see you out and about around town when you should be at home eating Top Ramen so you can save what little money you have to pay me back what is rightly mine.
I have bills, too. I am not prancing around in Prada and wasting money frivolously. I have a $2,900 property tax bill due on December 10th. The second 25% of our catering bill is due mid-December. I, too, would like to buy Christmas presents for my family. Pay me my money, you shithead!
On this Thanksgiving, I am most grateful for my soon-to-be husband Dean. He loves me unconditionally. He’s there for me even when I’m in the worst mood and I attack him. He reasons, “I know you’ve been really stressed out and you’re taking it out on me. That’s ok.” He’s my personal limo service. He drops me off at work. He picks me up. He buys me chocolate and sends me sweet texts throughout the day. He makes me tea at night. He buys me Lean Cuisines. He’s my biggest cheerleader and never ceases to tell people that I’m a published writer who also happens to have a “big PR job.” Every year, I’ve been so grateful for my friends and family (as I am this year, too), but this is a special year because I’ve found my best friend for life.