Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Welcome to the Monkey House

H and I are not a typical couple. We pride ourselves on it. We like restored dishware with skulls on it. We own pistol bookends and a gun vase. We watch ghost hunting shows and dissect them more than we did the election. We're not edgy. But we're not traditional either. This meant that there would be no church. This also meant that the location where we got married had to be real unique.

We still get the cake, right?

H and I spoke about getting married for a while. We figured we would get married back at Miami (where we both went to school), that way we could create a memory of Oxford of us together. We even went as far as telling all our friends - most of whom are Miami grads as well, that they should get their drinking caps on - because we're forcing them to go back to school.

Despite H's mother's advice that we secure a date and place immediately, We decided to take a few days to just enjoy being engaged - like every couple should do. That may have been our first mistake. Naturally, every place in Oxford was booked by the time that we called. We could have compromised and planned a wedding over Thanksgiving Break or in th
e dead of winter, but that was not really what we wanted. That, and O-town (as we affectionately call it) lacks certain "unique" party spaces. There was Marcum Conference Center and Shriver Center. The only thing, we thought, that separated these venues from the Concord Banquet Hall in Lake Zurich, Illinois was that these were in Ohio. This made it easy to justify our decision not to get married at Miami after all.

We haven't had the heart to break it to our friends that Oxford is not going to happen. *Sigh*

Books bound in Leather and the rich smell of mahoganey.

In a very short time, we went from having our dream wedding in a quaint college town with all our friends and $0.25 wings and penny pitchers to being venue-less and idea-less. H's greatest fear was about to be realized: we were going to have to get married in Indianapolis. Now, this isn't to say that Indy is not a great town: it is. Its closer, there are more options, the prices are good, there are hotels to stay at. I just don't think this was what she wanted...at all. It may give too many people too much of a say in all of this. We have to include more and more people in the planning. We have to rely on people for their knowledge with respect to the area. Oxford - fine, its a blank slate - people have no opinions. Indianapolis - suddenly, we are entertaining opinions. They're like belly-buttons. This has been the toughest part for me - us - the managing of expectations of everyone else. I want to make people happy, but most of all, I want H to be happy.

We procrastinated (a theme for us) and spent one Sunday night - a week after the engagement -
looking at unique venues on-line. There were several and we found ourselves getting excited about the process. Maybe we could have a cool wedding in Indy? Is that possible? That's when we saw it. In fairness, this one is all H (with a slight wink to my sister-in-law Jill and Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City). She seemed to recall the Indianapolis public library being kind of cool. We went on-line. It, in fact, was cool. Real cool. And affordable. Is this it? We wanted it...bad.

I was all over this. The next morning I stalked the Library, until I was able to get some information. It was available - it was sweet. Everyone over there was extremely helpful. I put a lot of credence into the idea that we have to like who we decide to work with. To put it mildly, I loved the vibe from everyone at the Library. They were energetic. They were trying to grow a event business at the facility. I may have logged 4 or 5 billable hours speaking to these ladies over the next few days. H and I were pretty sure that we wanted to get married here - so, we signed the rental agreement and crossed our fingers. We arranged for a time to see it when we would be in town. The problem, however, was that this being Indianapolis, we had to hear everyone else out. H's mother and aunt were big fans of a private club on the circle. We agreed to see it before we made any decisions (though, I think the decision had been made). I loved this place - it was old school. Like where you'd expect a Gossip Girl wedding to be held if Dan and Serena finally come to their senses (Little J and Nate?). This was a blessing - its great when your two decisions are both places you can deal with. The club, however, kept stressing tradition and "making it look like a church." That was kind of a
turn off for us. You can have all the carved walls and marble floor in the world, but don't you dare think that making something look like a church is a good selling point to us.

Over to the library. It was a no-brainer. This place is ridiculous. The lighting. The old and new. The fact that Vonnegut's name is engraved in the wall (see what I did there...the title makes sense now). This was "us."I think we could have spent the entire day in there. I could sense H getting into this. Her mother was a little more reserved - which worried me. I really want her to love the decisions we make. Ultimately, though, this is our decision. We called the club and released the date - we were library or bust.

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