Friday, January 16, 2009

Engagement and wedding details

I know a ton of you have been chomping at the bit for my engagement details since Christmas. I'm sorry I had to hold out for so long. Believe me, I wanted to be squeeing over it, but I didn't really have a chance to enjoy being engaged until I finished revisions. And really, truly honestly I haven't felt able to enjoy anything until yesterday when my editor emailed me to say I did a great job on the revisions.I poured so much of myself into that thing and knew I wouldn't feel "done" until it was officially approved. So now it is and I can move forward with my life.

Okay, ready for girly squee time? Let's go.

First, background on me and my betrothed for those of you who don't know it. We met a little over three years ago (December 22, 2005 to be precise) via MySpace. Yep, that's right. MySpace. He sent me a message with the subject line "Hi" (yes, I still have the message), saying that he was browsing through the people who live in Forest Park and I seemed cool so he thought he'd say hi. Normally I would ignore such a message from a guy because it seems like a pick-up attempt and every other guy that tried to pick me up via MySpace was icky or weird or creepy. But Scott's myspace screen name was "Reinventing Axl Rose," the name of the first Against Me! album and I'd just discovered Against Me! earlier that year thanks to my friend Amber and was totally obsessed with them. So basically, Amber and Against Me! are largely responsible for me and Scott. The Against Me! reference inspired me to check out Scott's page and I remember saying to my roommate Tai, "Hey, a cute punk boy actually wrote to me on myspace!" (as opposed to creepy dudes who's "Hi" messages included the length of their cock).

So Scott and I myspace messaged for a few days, bonding over our love of Against Me!, rum (he turned me on to my favorite, Sailor Jerry's), and our hatred of George W. Bush. I told him what bar I worked at and encouraged him to come in. Back then I mostly worked afternoon shifts. Scott, totally adorably, came in for the first time on December 27th before he had to go to work. I say it's adorable because since he had to go to work, he just came in to have a Coke and watch Jeopardy with me. My friend/fellow bartender Jme was there that day and gave him the seal of approval.

I mentioned to Scott that I had no New Year's Eve plans so eventually he invited me over to his house to hang out on New Year's. I always make fun of him because he didn't kiss me or try anything that night and I expected him too. Hello, it's New Year's, people kiss at midnight, just go for it. But we just hung out until 4 am, talking and watching comedy and music videos. Those two things sealed the deal for me. I need someone who shares my music taste. (my ex hated most of my music and it bugged the shit out of me. We could never agree on stuff to listen to in the car, he never went to shows with me, etc. I asked Scott up front if he liked Hole because that was my big test. My ex abhored Hole and since they're my second favorite band, that's just not cool.) And learning that Scott and I have the same sense of humor (we both can laugh at completely stupid shit, like Adam Sandler movies, and love political humor too) was a big bonus. Someone that I can laugh with and rock out with, these things are very important.

So I was in the midst of doing revisions of IWBYJR for my agent at the time, but Scott told me if I finished on New Years Day, he'd take me out to celebrate at the Pick Me Up cafe in Chicago, where I'd never been, but now it is my favorite source of vegan comfort food. I consider this our first "date" even though Scott wasn't asking me as a date, but he did pay so it counts, right? We listened to Rancid's Life Won't Wait album in the car (like I said music is a big deal to me, and also my ex hated Rancid, so it was good Scott loves them). We hung out at my house for a little while afterward, but Scott didn't kiss me or even hold my hand. I could feel there was chemistry, but I was perplexed and had no idea how to proceed. About eight months before meeting Scott, I'd gotten out of a relationship I'd been in since I was 17, so I really had no idea how dating as a grown up worked. My frame of reference was left over from high school. And that is why Scott will forever make fun of me for what I did:

I sent him a myspace message that in essence said, I've had a lot of fun hanging out with you lately, but I'm starting to view you as more than a friend. Do you think of me as more than a friend.

Yeah, I know. I was 26, not 16. HUGE dork. And I waited on pins and needles for the few hours it took him to respond. Fortunately his reply had the subject header: "The feeling is mutual" and he told me he'd been planning to ask me out properly, but I was impatient so I asked first. My impatience is a source of constant amusement for him.

Anyway, so Scott and I have basically been inseparable since New Year's 05/06. Before I get to the engagement, I have to share some of my favorite pics of us.

This is our first road trip together (to see Against Me! in Minneapolis):
And these are from my friend Kathy's 30th bday party on our friend Felicia's boat:
Okay, so Scott and I dated for about a year and a half before moving in together and then another year and a half passed before he proposed. And yeah, I'm not gonna lie, I knew he was going to propose sometime before Christmas. Remember how I said I'm impatient? I'm also a big pain in the ass when I'm impatient.

So Christmas Eve, I knew it was coming, it was just a matter of when. We went to my mom's house for dinner and when we came home, I was like, "Well.... now what are we doing?" He told me he had to do some things so I could wait either downstairs or upstairs. I chose downstairs so I could watch TV. He came down with a red heart-shaped box (he knows I'm a sucker for those, I collect heart-shaped boxes) and big pot filled with ice and my favorite champagne, Veuve. He said, "I hope I'm not being presumptious with the champagne. Then he got down on one knee. He told me that he'd forgotten his planned speech, but it didn't matter because he wasn't nervous, he was so sure about wanting to marry me and he hoped I was, too. That wording isn't really right at all, I know he said it differently, but exact words were lost on me, it was all about the emotion of the moment. I said yes before he even opened the box and showed me the ring. "Don't you want to see it? You might change your mind," he joked. But of course I wouldn't. And besides, this is the ring:

So yeah, that was basically the happiest moment of my life so far. I'm sure my wedding day will top it.

We've set a date, Saturday October 3, 2009. October is my favorite month and 10 plus 3 equals 13, my favorite number so it seems good. (Yeah, I know I'm weird). I'm sure you won't be shocked to find out that I don't plan on a traditional wedding at all. I'm vegan, so I ain't paying for the traditional beef and chicken sit down dinner. Nope, sorry. The wedding will be completely vegetarian, mostly vegan. I just wanted an actual reception, you know later at night around 8, just hors d'oeuvres and booze. I'm a bartender, the booze is the important part.

We also wanted to support a local business, not a Chicago hotel or a banquet hall in Oak Brook or whatever. And we wanted some place fun. So we're going with Molly Malone's Irish Pub. It looks nice, but has a pub feel. Plus their kitchen staff is awesome and totally willing to make any vegan dishes my little heart desires. There will be a short, little ceremony (my best friend and his best friend, plus his sister and my brother will be involved). I didn't even really want to do that in front of everyone, just wanted it at my house with immediate family, but I don't think our aunts would be pleased about that. So short ceremony, then the party. No DJ, just an iPod playlist because it's our wedding, so it's our music, no chicken dance, no pop crap we don't like (but there will be Pink and I hope Scott can handle that). My dear friend Jenny Hassler is going to do my makeup and she is AWESOME (as good as her music which you heard via WWRW). Leslie Hamer (who you also may remember from WWRW) is designing my invites. It's going to be a blast and I wish I could invite everyone I know, but um, Scott and I both have HUGE families so the guest list aside from family is going to be pretty limited. Don't worry, there will be blogs and pictures galore for my online friends.

Here are some details I'm still figuring out and I'm happy to take links and advice. We need someone to marry us. I would prefer to just have a friend get ordained online and do it. Because I'm not religious, neither is Scott. My maid-of-honor makes a good point though, will it be legal??? So does anyone know places where you can get ordained online and legally marry people?

Two, a dress. I don't want the white wedding dress. I just want a cute, wedding appropriate designer dress I can comfortably party in. This is my opportunity to buy something by a designer I like (Betsy Johnson, Vivenne Westwood, stuff in that vein). Anyone seen anything cute? Or know sites where I can look for deals? Ahem, Liviania and Melissa Walker, you guys know this fashion stuff, don't you?

So those are the details I know so far. I hope you enjoyed the squeeing. There will be more to come I'm sure :D


chris lempa said...

Did you not believe me when I told you that I was an ordained minister that could do weddings??

Check this out:

Marriages may be performed by ministers of the gospel in regular standing in the church or society to which they belong. --- The marriage license and certificate must be completed by the minister and returned to the county clerk within 30 days after the marriage. --- For questions see the county clerk.

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

I believed you, but then Katie made me nervous. So Universal Life Church is legal then. Perfect. But dude, you cannot be both the minister and the best man. Your best man job is too important. Who else is going to find strippers for Scott's bachelor party?

Keri Mikulski said...

Congratulations! Love the ring! Best of luck with the plans. :)

Melissa Walker said...

OMG, I'm planning my wedding for July and going slightly mad from it. Glad you're doing what YOU want.

Chris is right on the Universal Life tip--that's where everyone gets ordained!

As for fashion, check out Luella Bartley--she's got great designs and might be your style. AND, consider prom dresses. I'm serious! Jessica McClintock is still going strong. CHECK IT OUT:

Also, you might check out this site if you're feeling community-minded:

Authorness said...

Squee, Steph!!!! I say from experience that small, intimate weddings save so much hassle. We got married about 18,000 miles away from where we live and it was surprisingly stress-free--'cause we only had five guests! And my pink cocktail/wedding dress has been used over and over since the big day.

Have you checked out this site?

This site came in handy for me:

~ Vanessa

Rae said...

Can't give any ideas, but I did want to say congrats. The ring's gorgeous. :)

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

Thanks for all the congrats and thanks Melissa and Vanessa for the dress site suggestions.

V, I'm so jealous I wish we'd only have 5 people, but with the size of the families, we're gonna be lucky if we can get it down to 125!

Liviania said...

Dillard's carries both Betsey Johnson and Jessica McClintock. Look at the adult formals section - you might have either a flagship Dillard's (better selection) or outlet (cheaper) near you. Right now isn't the best price for formals (new ones have been released for prom season) but you should be able to get good sales starting around late March.

(One of my prom dresses was a Betsey Johnson for $83. A good deal can be found.)

I <3 Dillard's.

As for Vivienne Westwood, do you know any lolis? They prolly know where the sales are.

I highly rec outlet malls too. There will usually be at least a few formal dresses on sale for a good price. (But don't forget to add any alterations you need to the price. You want your wedding dress to be a good fit.)