–This is the third and final volume from Prof about his Wedding. For Parts 1 and 2, click here.–
So here we are, boys and girls, down to the wire, a mere 11 days away (and counting) from my Big Day. While I was calm at the close of the last edition, it couldn’t have been more than a day or two before the stress and worry set in. It’s probably true of every wedding but it was quite suddenly that there seemed to be a million things to do, most relatively small in scale, but their sheer multitude and the steadily eroding time began to creep up on me in the stillest of moments when I lay down to sleep at night. Small details to check on, people to call or text or otherwise touch base with, things to order and/or construct, and others still to browse. We work busy and often opposite schedules so finding the time to accomplish things together was a significant obstacle. But I am happy to report that the wave of stress has receded and though it will be a busy week and a half, we are ready and eager.
One of the biggest areas of stress was our not having shopped for our rings with under a month to go. The turnaround time on jewelry can be somewhat lengthy and being the procrastinators that we are by nature it was a detail we left until much too late in our planning process. We then spent a couple long days together bouncing between jewelry locations, hitting all the major chains and a few department stores, refining our tastes but never finding the correct final choice for either of us. I’ll only speak for myself in this regard, given that this is ‘A Groom’s Perspective’, but the ring selection process was more difficult than I anticipated. I am not much of a jewelry wearer but I am also not the type of man to choose something plain, as those who know me might expect. I explored different colors, metals, rings with diamonds, knowing that I wanted something with subtle style, something mundane and natural enough that I’d be comfortable wearing everyday but unique just the same. If I’m going to wear something for the rest of my life it’s going to be perfect, a standard that seemed less and less achievable in our time crunch. But with 13 days to go we both discovered our rings at separate small, family-owned, high quality stores, each of whom took extra care and effort to have our rings available in time for our Big Day. I won’t say much about hers, but a quick shout-out is due to Trends Jewelers in Raynham, for finding the perfect ring to suit my Beloved. But MINE… mine is just awesome and it’s due to the lovely folks at Attleboro Jewelers that I was able to get what I wanted, in my price range, extra rushed from Canada to be placed on my finger October 18th. My deepest gratitude to Nancy and Ashley and my highest recommendations to you, dear readers, to visit them right in the center of downtown Attleboro – individually-crafted quality and service second to none!
With that said, I probably shouldn’t do it but… you guys want to see a picture of my ring?
BOOM! Two-tone white and yellow gold with a carved center, I am actually quite excited to put it on in a week and a half. One ring to rule them all… wait, that’s something else… But I am very happy with it. Just wait until you see the uniqueness that AJ has picked out…
The Arbor (an Update)
What was once a pile of birch gifted to us from our friends’ recent wedding has risen to Arborific life at the skilled hands of my brother and Best Man. A few final touches still remain to be made, such as a drapery over and across it, but I am quite excited at the results:
We changed our first dance song with three weeks to go. I had held this vision, even before I asked her to marry me if I’m going to be honest, of learning to play Elton John’s “Mellow” and performing it at our wedding. Of the many great songs AJ has shared with me over the years, most bestowed upon her by her parents, “Mellow” is one of the first. It is a sweet song, one that most people have never heard, and early on in our relationship it came to very much be “our song”. When the topic of our first song came up in our early wedding planning I was able to slyly and mostly nonchalantly steer her in the direction of “Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison, another song that speaks to our souls, and keep my secret plans under wraps. Buuut… its Elton John and as the months of attempted practice wore on, I was not nearly accomplished enough to execute it (I nailed those first eight bars, though!). I shared my halted intentions with AJ and though I still think it would have been pretty cool if I could’ve pulled it off, we are both glad to have “Mellow” as our first song, the one that always should have been.
In similar fashion, my bride-to-be has changed her entrance music, turning to a timelessly beautiful piece of classic rock. I won’t reveal it here but I will say it is one of her favorite songs from one of her all-time favorite bands and will make the most fitting soundtrack to her approach.
Best Men Tattoos
As a brief respite in the middle of our planning, we each celebrated our Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties two weeks ago, each excellent and wild times had with our nearest and dearest. While she journeyed to Western Mass for a weekend extravaganza, my day began with the two men I’ve known longer than anyone else, my brothers and co-Bestmen, heading to Stray Tatts tattoo parlor for some matching brotherly ink. They both are married with kids so to symbolize each of our passage into marriage or King-dom we got a crown with an ‘E’ in the middle of it, drawn by my brother Steve and embellished by the one-and-only Electric Eric:
Though it’s obviously not for everyone, getting inked was the perfect activity for we three kings, a Best Men’s gift that will last far longer than any pint or shot glass I might have gotten them, and perhaps the beginning of a new family tradition.
What else have we accomplished recently?
We met with both Rick, our officiant, and Will, our dj, for a final time within the past few days, making a very important addition of Tina Turner’s “Rolling on a River” to the “must-play” list. We got our marriage license and even though it’s simply the permission to get married, it somehow seemed like a more official step than others. We’ve ordered and received the materials for our wacky namecard table and I’ve even got a large box of dapper men’s oxfords sitting in my kitchen to be gifted to my groomsmen (cherry brown with grey suits, yeah that’s pimp).
The pieces of our nuptial party puzzle surround us on all sides in our apartment and they are gradually coming together to form the Day we’ve been envisioning. Tensions between AJ and me have certainly risen at times over the past couple months, time frustrations being the cuprit far more often than divergent visions. But there’s something that I very much believe and of which Rick reminded us in our last meeting: no matter what else happens, we will makes vows to one another, put rings on fingers, and take the fantastic and beautiful next step in our life together. All else is additional and optional. Keeping that priority firmly in mind has brought a sense of calm even in the most stressful of times.
The Day is close enough now that I can really feel and see it and that is honestly a bit strange. But I am excited for our Wedding to express a part of our joined identity in thanks to the people who have made us who we are. I am eager to be standing in the moment of anticipation as I watch my Beloved approach. And I am honored that she has chosen me to take this journey with me as her companion. I can’t wait to see how the rest of our story unfolds.
Here concludes ‘A Groom’s Perspective’. To see how it all turned out you’ll just have to follow me on IG and Twitter @DrProfEsq (or be at my Wedding). Thank you all for your interest in my view of the nuptial process, a fun and indulgent undertaking that I truly hope we’ve made our own. Until next time, my friends, party on and be excellent to each other.