DiaryofSelf Marries in 2020

T – 18 Months: First Wedding Countdown Milestone!

Hello readers! This is DiaryOfSelf and I can now say that I am 18 months away from walking down the aisle and saying I do to marrying Franklin. I’m not going to do any major counting down on any websites or apps until after my cousin’s wedding at the end of April. I’m kind of counting down HIS wedding because I’m going to be a bridesmaid. By the time of his wedding, Franklin and I will be less than 14 months out from our wedding.

So let’s start with what I’ve done so far for my wedding!

  • Booked the venue
    • Comes with an in-house caterer
  • Booked all the major vendors
    • DJ
    • Photography and Videography Team
    • Officiant
  • Asked my grandmother to read a wedding-related scripture
    • The bible scripture will be of my choosing since I don’t want any verses with the wife having to obey or have to be subservient sexist bullshit
  • Decided on the women who will stand beside me during the ceremony
    • Have not asked them yet. I’ll do that about 9 or 10 months beforehand
  • Decided on who will be the best man and two of the groomsmen
    • They won’t be asked yet, but the best man and one groomsman will be asked sooner than the other two because they have to fly from out-of-state
  • Chose wedding colors
    • The colors will be blue and gold, since that’s one of the results that showed up when I was looking at a royal color scheme (since my wedding will have some similarities to the royal wedding)

What we’ll be doing next between the end of the semester and the 12-month mark

  • Get a strict hold on the guest list
    • We’ve been asked by vendors and we just keep giving them a range based off of what we came up with when having the venue consultation back in September
    • We want to start paring down the guest list if we go past the maximum our venue coordinator set and add people if we’re under the minimum
    • We need to decide the minimum age of kids to invite
      • Exception will include my niece, who will be the flower girl (she’ll be 6 at the time of the wedding) and Franklin’s nephew, who will be the ring bearer (he’ll be 3 at the time of the wedding). They’re in the wedding.
  • Maybe we’ll figure out the last groomsman, but I know for sure we will need to get that figured out by the time I asked the women whom I want standing by my side

Ugh, the next six months are going to drag since there won’t be major needed bookings to be done.

DiaryofSelf Marries in 2020 · Rant

Stop Proposal Shaming! Rant and a Recommendation for Proposing

Another edition of “DiaryOfSelf needs to stop going on Reddit because she’s become way too sensitive to any wedding-related things she did or didn’t do”…

It is now apparently a bad thing to to a proposal in front of people. People say proposals are SUPPOSED to be private, and this is an opinion shared by the sheep who go on Reddit AND some people in an online group when I announced how my proposal happened. I had to tell the online group that the way the proposal happened is how I WANTED IT!

I’m somewhat of a narcissist so I WANTED at least my parents there since I wanted someone to take pictures and video. I wonder why everything I’m doing is wrong in the eyes of the internet. Is it because I’m staying traditional and everyone else is running away from and actively avoiding tradition? Is it because I’m somewhat of a narcissist and NEEDED an audience (although it ended up being a small audience)? Why do people feel entitled to be sheep and parrot the same wedding-related bullshit? Just stop, internet. Just stop.

I was proposed to at the beginning of kickboxing class. There were a little more people there than usual for the summer (for some reason, there would barely be many people this past summer compared to my first kickboxing summer), one of the coaches who was recovering from hernia repair surgery was there, and I knew the proposal was about to happen when I saw my parents show up with my brother (I was surprised my brother was there). Like I said, I wanted my parents to be there and I have wanted that aspect since I was with my previous ex.

This leads to my recommendation on proposals. You and your significant other should TALK about how you or your significant other want to be proposed to. Do you want a private proposal? TALK ABOUT IT! Do you want only a small handful of people around? TALK ABOUT IT! Want to be proposed to in front of a lot of people? TALK ABOUT IT! Talk about it during the same time you have the pre-proposal talk when you talk about what you want in the future (like if you want to get married or if you want to have kids). As people say in varying ways, “The proposal shouldn’t be a surprised, but when and how should be a surprise.”

DiaryofSelf Marries in 2020 · Rant

Enough with the Budget Shaming! Another Wedding Rant

I’m going to do my best to not commit budget-shaming myself, but I’m writing this rant for a reason.

Remember when it was seen as a bad thing to not attend college? Now people who go into the trades shame college students for getting a degree and feel like trades give people a real future. Now, when it was thought to be weird to have a small wedding budget, now it’s seen as a bad thing to have a budget larger than $10,000 and sometimes you even get shamed for having a budget larger than $5,000.

And I hear the same unoriginal rhetoric of “We’d rather put the money towards a house” because people don’t have original thoughts anymore or don’t know how to form their own opinions. I hear it from people who were already married! I get it. Not everyone is/was able to afford the wedding they want. It doesn’t mean you have to take out your jealousy on those who want a more expensive wedding.

I first saw the budget-shaming against higher budgets on Reddit. It’s one reason why I don’t really visit the wedding planning subreddit anymore, though they’re more anti-traditional than anti-higher budgets. However, that subreddit seems to attract a huge majority of people whose entire wedding budgets are under $10,000 even though there’s already a subreddit for that. Not only do people on the internet have to budget-shame, people at my job budget-shame too! One person used the unoriginal rhetoric while another person said everyone they knew with weddings $20,000 or more ended up divorcing. So by other people’s logic, Franklin and I will be divorced because we’re not having a small wedding. It got to the point one time that I actually told off some people at work for the budget-shaming. You know, just like I called out sexism on a project I got kicked off of. Luckily the most vocal budget-shamers WILL NOT be invited to my wedding.

Look, I’m not going to spend $60,000 on my wedding that Franklin and I are paying for ourselves, and I’m not going to spend 5-figure amounts of money on a dress. However, we’re definitely going to be spending more than $10,000 on our wedding. I can afford it, and I’ve shared some ways to save money that I learned with Franklin. I don’t tell my brother that I’m having a real wedding while he just went to the courthouse. I don’t tell family members that they’re poor because they had a wedding at their house (I have been to three family weddings held at someone’s house). So why do the people who spent less on their wedding have the right to be openly judgmental on MY wedding or anyone else’s more expensive wedding?

All in all, stop budget-shaming people who want to spend a lot of money on their wedding.

Self-Reflection · Try Something New 2018

Try Something New: New Things in November

In this blog, I pledged to try one new thing each month in 2018. The new thing could be trying a new food, doing a new activity, or going someplace new. I have asked my fellow readers and my boyfriend to hold me accountable. At the end of each month, I will tell you all what new thing or things I have tried. I will also discuss the barriers that caused me to not try it before.

I officially call this the “New Restaurant Month” because all new things I tried involved going to new restaurants. First off, I finally went to Hard Rock Cafe!

Barriers to going to Hard Rock Cafe: I have wanted to go there for years. Honest. I was supposed to go there for my childhood friend and her husband’s combined bachelor/bachelorette party back in 2016 (read my wedding review here). However, whomever was supposed to make the reservations failed to do it in time and we had to have the party elsewhere. Over a year later, I wanted to go there, but then went to an expensive sushi place instead.

Why I finally made it to Hard Rock Cafe: I told Franklin we had to go there since we were nearby for a bridal expo.

My thoughts on Hard Rock Cafe: Eh, probably not going to go back. I asked for no onions on my burger and I still got it. It wasn’t the waiter’s fault, honestly. I think the cook tried to sneak onions in my burger since it was underneath the cheese. Maybe next time, I’ll get the mac, chicken, and cheese. Despite the insane amount of calories in it.

I also went to a new Asian restaurant!

Barrier to going to that Asian restaurant: It didn’t exist until two years ago, but I never got the chance to go there.

Why I went to the Asian restaurant: I originally wasn’t planning on going to dinner after the exploring membership class at my UU church, but Franklin didn’t have a Skype meeting with his classmates, so we went.

My thoughts on the Asian restaurant: Best. Spicy tuna roll. Ever! I also loved the intimate atmosphere in there, despite it seeming like an open space. And even though the price of the food there is more expensive than the nearest sushi place from where I live, the price for two people wasn’t as expensive for some reason. Yeah, doesn’t make sense to me either. I’ll hopefully return there.

The third restaurant I went to is Olive Garden!

Barrier to going to Olive Garden: I got it mixed up with another Olive restaurant that I went to in years past that I didn’t like.

Why I went to Olive Garden: It was one of the restaurants with something for free for veterans and I didn’t want to go to the same places we went to last year (Sorry Friendly’s and Red Robin). Franklin’s a veteran, so date night!

My thoughts on Olive Garden: Despite it being crowded, our food came out fast! Even our waitress was surprised! Tip: Olive Garden is one of the many restaurants where you can put yourself on an online wait list and you won’t have to wait as long. You still have to wait, but if I didn’t check online, we would have been standing there for 35-40 minutes instead of 10 minutes.

I also went to a steakhouse for dessert, but to keep it brief, it was for the free veterans’ dessert (and my paid dessert). The desserts were big and we got full before we could finish. We wished to just share one dessert.

And finally, I went to an Italian restaurant that also has the name “Olive” in it!

Barrier to going to an Italian restaurant: I just don’t go to any very often.

Why I went to the “Olive” restaurant: Earlier this month, Franklin and I went to a consultation for the photography and videography service. We went out to dinner after that.

My thoughts on the “Olive” restaurant: For a restaurant that’s connected to a hotel, it wasn’t small. It wasn’t big either, but we weren’t cramped. Also, the chicken tasted so fresh! It’s too far for me to go back there unless I’m in the area, though.

Total Restaurant Visit Count: 5.

Next month’s Try Something New will be my last Try Something New post since this was for 2018 only. After next month’s post, I will be talking about why I decided to try at least one new thing each month and reflecting on what I did. I will also announce what I will be doing for 2019 since I already decided what I will be doing then.

I must also tell you that I will be spending a lot of time studying for my mid-December final exams. Just like before, this means I may not make many blog posts. If I do, they were probably pre-written in any spare time I have and are scheduled to automatically post.

Try Something New 2018

Try Something New: New Thing in October

Sorry this was posted late! I’ve been busy with school. I got over 100% on one of my midterms!

In this blog, I pledged to try one new thing each month in 2018. The new thing could be trying a new food, doing a new activity, or going someplace new. I have asked my fellow readers and my boyfriend to hold me accountable. At the end of each month, I will tell you all what new thing or things I have tried. I will also discuss the barriers that caused me to not try it before.

I didn’t get to do much because of being busy with stuff, but I ate my very first corn dog!

Barrier to eating a corn dog: I never ate hot dogs much, so why would I eat a hot dog surrounded by batter and on a stick?

Why I wanted to try a corn dog: Dad was taking me home from my midterm exam (driving anxiety causes me to not be able to drive on Interstates. Don’t judge) and he was very hungry. We went to Sonic and I decided to try a corn dog.

My thoughts on the corn dog:

  • It was crispy
  • How do you eat a corn dog once you start seeing the stick? I ended up eating around it like I had corn on the cob on a stick and was turning the stick. Or do you bite into the corn dog and drag your head up so you can let the meat and breading slide off the stick?
  • I have had… I lost count of how many hot dogs I had.

Rant: Why I’m No Longer Participating in the Light the Night Charity Walk

Let’s start with a timeline.

February 23, 2018. The man who should have been my future father-in-law lost his brief battle with lymphoma (but the death certificate says leukemia).

April 2018. I was looking up the awareness ribbon color for lymphoma out of curiosity. I encountered the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society webpage and read stories. I then encountered information about Light the Night charity walk. I saw the nearest walk was about 30 minutes away from me. I had been turning anger into advocacy that year, so why not turn Franklin’s family’s anger into advocacy?

May 2018. I struggled to tell anyone about my idea, although I knew that I will need plenty of time to collect money. I also worried about how Franklin would feel about this.

End of July 2018. I knew I wouldn’t get enough money to even do the charity walk, so I told Franklin about what I wanted to do, but would no longer be able to do. Franklin thought it was thoughtful and still wanted to do it.

September 2018. We get our wedding email set up due to advice from many wedding forums. I saw something from Light the Night and saw a team was created. What I didn’t know is that this would be my only idea that was put in place. I saw Franklin was made team captain. I was angry. This was MY idea! I was the one who found out about this! Why is a white man once again taking charge of something that a woman, especially a woman of color, started? This was when I first considered not doing the walk. I later found out that the person who creates the team page is automatically made captain. I eventually created a page and added myself to the team.

October 2018. Franklin posts the team page to social media to get us donations. He’s asking for the donations as a good birthday gift for me. I discover we are getting donations on our team page, but to my anger, all the donations were going to Franklin. The original plan wasn’t to do it for the money, but you’d be angry too if one person was getting all the donations and no one else was. Nowhere on the pages does it say that it was my idea. White men never give women, or women of color, credit for anything. White men always want to lead everything. I’ve had enough. I’m no longer walking. I will find a way to remove myself from the team. Franklin is starting to become like my ex. Why is this happening after I get the ring? Is he changing to his true self now that I’m “locked in” with him?

Fuck white men.

DiaryofSelf Marries in 2020 · Self-Reflection

Am I Feminist Enough? Feminism and Weddings

When a feminist goes through wedding planning, she (or they) becomes aware or is already aware of traditions that are misogynistic and women-are-property-based. Feminists will choose to chuck traditions out the window. Websites like A Practical Wedding and The Feminist Bride preach about outdated misogynistic traditions and how to raise a middle finger to the patriarchy which still exists today. But what if, like me, there are traditions that a feminist wants to keep? After reading many posts on r/weddingplanning as well as The Feminist Bride, I started questioning if I was truly a feminist.

Some traditions seen by feminists as misogynistic and women-are-property-rooted include changing your last name to your future husband’s last name, having your father walk you down the aisle, being walked down the aisle in general, being “given away”, having the bride’s parents pay for the wedding, even changing your prefix from Miss or Ms. to Mrs.

Guess how many of those aforementioned misogynistic traditions I’m doing because I’m very big on tradition? Everything except being “given away” and having my parents pay for my wedding. Instead of the part where the officiant asks who’s giving me away, I’m having the officiant ask our families who welcomes Franklin as part of my family and who welcomes me as a part of Franklin’s family (and the family members will say “We do). Before I became a feminist and while I was still with my previous ex, I wanted the welcome into the family instead because of two families becoming one and such. Franklin and I will pay for our wedding because I read so many stories where families contribute financially and try to butt in with what they want. Since money usually comes with strings attached in this case, we want the wedding WE want and will not accept input of how OUR wedding should be.

I’m changing my last name because despite it being seemingly simple, it is often spelled wrong. Someone is walking me down the aisle because it will feel awkward walking by myself. Dad’s walking me down the aisle because I’m a daddy’s girl (I know some feminists just barfed at daddy’s girl). I never thought that Mrs. would be sexist because according to The Feminist Bride (which is a bit too radfem for my taste. If I was a radfem, I would not be marrying a man), men don’t need a change in prefix to show a change in relationship and sexual status.

So what does this have to do with me questioning my status as a feminist? Am I personally gatekeeping based on what other feminists did to deal with weddings? Probably. Am I falling into confirmation bias due to what I’m reading in regards to feminism and how the wedding planning subreddit seems to be based on being non-traditional? I barely looked at that subreddit ever since I got engaged since the only non-traditional thing about the wedding is that Franklin and I are an interracial couple. I should continue with taking breaks from invalidating readings.

However, I will still try to add some feminist elements to my wedding. I’m still deciding on who to have as my officiant, but if it’s my pastor from the Unitarian Universalist church, I know she will be well aware about how to make a ceremony feminist. In the ceremony and in speeches, women WILL speak first. I’m putting the song “Blurred Lines” on the “Do Not Play” list. The religious reading will be a scripture that DOESN’T say I need to be subservient to my husband or that I have to obey him. There will be other ways my wedding will be social justice aware, but I’ll talk about that in a future wedding planning blog post.

Before I go, I plead for someone to donate to my Light the Night fundraising page that will benefit patients going through blood cancers and their families. While I am no longer walking the charity event because no one is giving me credit for coming up with this idea and every donation going to Franklin, I will leave this up until November 3rd. I’m tired of white men not giving credit to women, especially women of color.