So, once we determined that St. Lucia wasn’t going to work out, the search was on for another location. At this point, we had pretty much narrowed it down to the Carribean for a number of reasons. A tropical environment of relaxation seems to fit the bill really well. While an adventure destination like Costa Rica or Sarajevo have their appeals, we – and Tiffany especially – wanted a place where we could just lounge on the beach drinking fruity beverages all day long. The Carribean seemed to provide this kind of environment, with the option to do some adventure stuff between islands if we so choose. The other big draw of the Carribean is the time-zones. Hawaii would be 6 hours off DC, while most Europe would be the same change in the other direction. Since we’ve both book-ended work on the Honeymoon, adjusting to a major time difference seemed like a hassle to avoid if possible.
Well, the “Carribean” is a pretty small place, but a place with a lot of islands. I mean a lot! With a little help, though we narrowed it down to a few specific islands. From there, it just became a matter of sifting through the thousands of resorts and lodging options on the internet to find the perfect fit. That process actually took a lot of effort, with a large number of browswer windows being opened at any given time.
But finally, we found our spot, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, specifically on the highly recommended island of St. Thomas.
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It’s been awhile since we posted about our Honeymoon options. Most of this actual planning took place during the crazy week we were in Los Angeles doing all the heavy lifting. It’s the same week that Tiffany bought my ring, took our engagement photos and did a million other things to boot.
The plan, coming to LA was the beautiful St. Lucia, with its strong French influence under a British flag. The tear-drop shaped island had three Sandals Resorts – the all-inclusive luxury couples-only package resorts – and that was the game plan.
I bought a Lonely Planet guide to the Eastern Caribbean – which only had 25 pages on St. Lucia. Tiffany got all the Sandals Brochures and the name of an agent. We were good to go! At least, in the big picture.
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We’re going to have two musial performances in our wedding. Sarah is going to sing How Do I Live Without You by LeAnn Rimes. My sister Aeravi will be singing a customized version of Candle On The Water. This is an old Disney song from the movie Pete’s Dragon. It is actually a beautiful song from a movie that has several quite memorable songs in it.
You can hear a low-quality MIDI here, or 20-second high-quality MP3 clip here.
Disney’s version is great, but a little too dark. With lyrics like “A cold and friendless tide has found you…” and a present-tense description like “I know you’re lost and drifting,” we didn’t think that it would work as-is for the first song we hear after exchanging vows (while we light our candle). The theme of the song, however, is perfect for the candle-lighting.
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The Save the Dates adventure has certainly been a monumental undertaking. The cards themselves turned our really well, but we had some trouble printing them.
First, we got the fronts printed – four to an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper. We then had those cut down to individual 4.25″ x 5.5″ post cards. The plan was to print the backs separately. As fate would have it though, the cards were too small for any laser printers that we had access to. So we got Groom’s Man Dan to take care of it for us.
We finally got the fronts and backs printed well, when it was pointed out that we had a mis-spelled word on the backs. We were inviting people to the world “premier” of Mr. & Mrs. Link, rather than the world “premiere“. What a difference a stupid little ‘e’ makes.
So we had to re-print. But Kinkos raised their prices, so we took the files to Staples where we got some great customer service and broke their color printer. A day later, after they repaired their printer, we finally had our cards.
Now we needed addresses. We’d been working on this in the background, but now it was time to rally. Hours on the phone with friends and family, we input over 150 addresses into two Excel spreadsheets – one for Tiffany and one for me. We didn’t think as we were entering them, about formatting for doing a mail-merge, so when we were done gathering the addresses, we had to re-format the addresses to put the salutation, address, city, state and zip into unique columns.
Once we consolidated our lists, I got some labels, re-learned how to mail-merge and printed the labels.
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Well, we’re still missing 3 zip codes, but that will be done by tomorrow. Now that the first round of addresses are finished, we can fire off the Save the Dates.
We also have a list of 6 countries and 24 states that our Invitations are going to.
It’s the groom’s family’s job to host the rehearsal dinner, or so I’m told by students of Emily Post (I wonder if her
oppressive manifesto book is still sitting on the coffee table at my Dad’s house). Maybe it’s just me, or maybe this is how grooms roll, but planning this thing is quite a bit different than Tiffany and her Mom planning the wedding.
That is, I really don’t have to do anything. I’m sure I could, but I’m very happy to let others lift the weight on this one. It’s probably for the best anyway. If I had my way, we’d be eating chili-dogs and drinking bud in a place that had sawdust on the ground and served peanuts in metal buckets. I’m not kidding.
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As I mentioned before, because of where I work I have to get special permission to get married. Well, not to get married, so much as to accept wedding gifts, attend an event paid for by someone else that costs over $50 or accept drinks from buddies at a bachelor’s party. Can’t let anyone try to buy votes, you know.
So today, the letter from the Senate Select Committee on Ethics arrived. On it were the official signatures of Senators Voinovich (R-OH) and Johnson (D-SD) granting me the right to accept any gifts that our guests may see fit to offer.
If you’re interested the Committee itself, click here
I bet you didn’t/won’t have to get official permission from the Senate Select Committee on Ethics to get married. Well, I do!
See, I work for a U.S. Senator, and technically attending an event in my honor that costs more than $49.99 constitutes a violation of Rule 35 (the gift ban). Accepting gifts that cost more than $49.99 are individual violations of the same rule.
So, the event requires an official waiver, which I applied for today. Rumor has it, the request is a formality in that it will be granted. I just have to put in writing that the gifts and event aren’t the result of my official job.
Tiffany wants me to gently clarify that there will be no Rule 35 restriction when we get married. So no one should set a $49.99 budget or anything rash like that!
It’s finally done! Jed’s ring arrived yesterday from the lazer engraving place. And it looks A-W-E-S-O-M-E. So here’s the final product. I’m really pleased with how it turned out. You can see the edges are shiny yellow gold, and the inside is brushed white gold. Jed’s idea turned out to become this one of a kind, amazing ring that he will wear as a symbol of our love for the rest of his life. I know I’ve said this several times, but I am one lucky girl.
The ring in the box
a closer look
We got the ring. We got the plan.
Time to put the two together.
The first thing to do is to find someone to do the engraving. A lot of jewelry places can engrave, but the trick was to find someone that could do it from a computer image and three-hundred and sixty degrees around the outside of the ring. Plus, if I can find a place that uses lasers, that would be awesome ’cause lasers are awesome.
So WeddingVowRings.com seemed a logical choice. They have a laser engraver which uses a computer to engrave a scanned image into the ring. I contacted them and they were very friendly and very eager to do the job.
Next step is to determine the usable space of the brushed white-gold band of the ring. A careful measurement showed: 1/8″ wide by 3″ around. Now it was just a question of creating the file. WeddingVowRings told me that a .TIFF image format would be best, so I created a new file in PhotoShop at 1000 pixels/inch: 3000×125.
The next project was to get a high-resolution scan of the EKG that I could use and PhotoShop it into the file I created. The trick here was that modern EKGs aren’t like the screen that you see on TV (beep… beep… beep… beeeeeeeeeeeee… “We’re losing him!” “Damn it, Jimmy, you’ve got to LIVE!”). They measure multiple lines at a time in addition to breathing patterns. The mock-up I did gives you an idea how curvy the line is. On top of that, there’s the red grid in the background that had to be stripped out.
Using my PhotoShop techniques, I leveled the baseline for the EKG, stripped out the background noise and produced the following image:
Click to see full size
Now all that was left was to send the vendor my ring (physically) and that file (electronically). To cover my bases, I sent it with a delivery confirmation and some serious shipping insurance. It went out the door Friday. I’ll update with progress.