Sunday, July 01, 2007

Ramblings of a Bride-to-Be

When I registered this blog in late September of 2005 (my first post was actually not until October 2nd), the second post I wrote was a musing on the words "awesome" and "awful." Adrian commented to that post, his first (of many!) comments to my blog, and directed me to a hymn that demonstrates exactly what I was discussing, namely a misunderstanding in our culture of exactly what awe is, and what it means for something to be awesome or awful.

This September, Lord willing, almost 2 years after that blog exchange, we will sing How Sweet and Awful is the Place at our wedding. We wanted a solemn but beautiful hymn to open the service, and this one fit the bill! I love the old Irish melody and the words are simplify lovely and rich in meaning. I think it will be neat to sing this hymn, especially, because of our history with it :-).

Okay, so everyone wants to know more details about the wedding. I'll list some major ones, and feel free to ask for more details on comments. I'll probably oblige, assuming you ask usual questions. Don't ask me to post pictures of my dress, though :-).

So, our wedding is set for September 22nd, around noon or 1:00. My pastor will be officiating, and it will be held at my home church. Lane is the best man and Hannah is the maid-of-honor (those were really easy choices for us to make - hehe). Oh, and Lane's daughter (3 1/2) and son (almost 2) are going to be the flower girl and ringbearer (all the girls say "awwww"). We're Presbyterian geeks, er. . . traditionalists, so we've chosen to use the PCA BCO marriage service as the template for our service. The reception will also be at my church.

My church's sanctuary is in tones of green, so we chose burgundy, ivory, evergreen, and a medium dusty rose pink as our colors. Hannah and Ila will be in burgundy dresses, and Lane and James will have burgundy vests to match. Hannah's bouquet will probably be ivory roses with some really dark red roses mixed in, tied with a pink ribbon, and Ila will carry a flower petal basket with ivory rose petals. I'll explain my bouquet in a different post, as I haven't completely ironed that out yet :-), and it's a whole other explanation. I'll be in ivory for the sole reason that I don't want Adrian to think he's marrying a ghost, and I would definitely look ghostly pale in white!

Um, I'm not really sure what else people want to know, so if you're curious about something, feel free to ask :-). I'm sure I'll be posting more in the coming weeks.

Oh, and for those who are interested, we will be initially living in Blacksburg. Adrian has an internship there in a fiber optics lab (same type of stuff that his doctoral thesis covered). We're not sure where we'll end up more permanently, though, until he secures a more permanent job after the internship ends.


Mrs.B. said...

Thank you for sharing the details with us. (o:

I was wondering how you plan on wearing your hair? And is Blacksburg in Virginia?


Susan said...

Oh, sorry. Yes, Blacksburg is in Virginia. That's where Virginia Tech, which is where Adrian had already been living while working on his master's and doctorate.

My hair will definitely be down. Adrian has given me no other option ;-). I'll wear a veil over it with a tiara and blusher. I'm going to experiment with ways to attach my super-slippery-and-straight hair to the tiara while my hair is down. I think I might try having my mom braid a tad bit of my upper side hair over the tiara circlet, to secure it. We'll see :-). The veil material is embroidered ivory sheer material.

VeggieGal1983 said...

How about the shade of nail polish?

You could get a French mani and then choose one of your colors for the pedi.

Susan said...

I'm actually not going to paint my nails (or Hannah's). I've never liked the feel of nail polish, so I'll just keep them plain. They probably will be grown long, though; I have strong nails that can grow a decent length without snagging.

ashley@twentysixcats said...

Mmm I love the look of French manicure & pedicure! :-)

Are you wearing jewelry?

Susan said...

I'm going to wear my Mom's pearls, which I think will go nicely with the undisclosed-style of neckline (trying to drive Adrian nuts wondering, hehe). I don't know about a bracelet. And my ears aren't pierced. I'm also going to wear my engagement ring :-D. No toe ring, though.

ashley@twentysixcats said...

Oh right, you told me about the pearls. I think they will go nicely with that low-cut plunging neckline. ;-)

So pretty much... you're wearing a dress and veil and tiara... and everything else will be au natural. :-)

zan said...

I'm not a big fan of nail polish, either. I like the way it looks, but my nails chip so quickly. I do keep my toe nails painted in the summer.

I just painted a clear finish on my nails to make them look polished when I got married. I wore a simple silver celtic cross and my engagement ring on my right hand. Actually, I don't even remember what hand I wore my engagement ring on. LOL! I, also, wore a simple veil and headpiece, but had my hair up in long curls. I thought about having it down, but decided that it would be the rare occasion that I would have an up-due because I was paying someone to do my hair and I wanted something fancy. You can get your hair done professionally and still have it "down." My sister has really long hair and the hairdresser did a great job with her hair when she was my bridesmaid.

I don't have pierced ears, either. I am thinking of getting it done since Nathan likes to buy me jewelry, but haven't gotten around to it.

I think you are making a good decision with the color of your gown. I think, maybe, the white drowned me out a bit. Ivory is very old-fashioned, too. I like your colors, too.

Do you have any other music picked out? What are you marching to? I did Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring and Trumpets Voluntare (spelling?). I wish I hadn't done Trumpet's because the organ was very old and the organist couldn't do the trills very well. A lot of the keys were stuck. Oh, well. The recessional was "The Church's One Foundation," which worked out pretty well. We had a congregational time of singing in the middle of the service and we sung ALL the verses. ;-) The Presbyterian thing that we did skip was the sermon. My sister's had a long sermon and we even sat in the front pews. We just had a little homily at our's. Nathan was OK with the Presbyterian service, but thought a long sermon was a little too much for him. Are you guy's having a sermon?

This is long enough. Keep us posted!

zan said...


I know that hymn, you chose, very well! I think we used to sing it EVER Sunday at the Presbyterian church we used to go to. I do like the simple tune.

Susan said...

We don't have a whole lot of music picked out. Adrian and Lane need to sort out the prelude. I'm going to incorporate Anne's Theme into the service (more on that in a later post), because I simply LOVE that piece! The other hymn we're singing is In Christ Alone, and we're using Wedding Day at Troldhagen (sp?) as a postlude. We haven't settled yet on a processional.

Adrian and I like the idea of seeing all the verses to hymns too, by the way, Zan :-). We are going to have a short sermon, a "charge to the couple" that will be about 10 minutes long, by my pastor.

Tammy C said...

I think ivory is a good choice-it is an old fashion color and since your blog is called Old -Fashioned Girl it seems to fit you well.My cousin was married in an ivory dress many years ago and it was a gorgeous gown as I am sure yours will be.

1:00 was the time of my wedding so I vote on the 1:00 time(like I have a choice !!)

Anonymous said...

SO excited so for - Thanks for the blog link from HSA. We are getting married on 9-21-07 and also using the Book of Church Order for our vows. Would love to chat with you further. We're in the same planning stage right now. Email me @ if you get a chance.

Jessica said... exciting...I can't wait to hear more!

It's amazing all that can happen in two years (or even one!)...I love the fact that you're going to be singing a song that you two "have history" with!

And I love your colors! And even though I understand about not wanting to post pictures of your dress now...I sincerely hope you post LOTS of pictures after the fact! =)

Lydia said...

I didn't know you had posted more details about the wedding. Sounds like a wonderful wedding!

I totally agree that the ivory dress is the way to go for your skin tone. I had a friend last year marry in an off-white dress partly because of her pale skin and reddish hair. It looked much better than stark white.

I am really into music so I loved hearing about your music selections. Traditional hymns are wonderful for a wedding. "In Christ Alone" is an excellent choice too. I remember when you did a post about that song. The first time I heard it was at my cousin's wedding 2 years ago. I don't think it is a common wedding song though so don't worry about that. :) I also really love the classical pieces at weddings. Strings are beautiful instrumentation for a wedding, I think.

I am singing in a small ensemble this next Saturday (July 14th) at a friend's wedding. She wrote one of the pieces which I think is especially neat but she has a great talent for music composition.

So happy to hear more details. I guess you are not having any other bridesmaids or are you? And will Adrian wear a tux or just a traditional suit?

Thanks for sharing with us. :)

ashley@twentysixcats said...

We sang "In Christ Alone" at my roommate Tree's wedding. I love that song. :-)

The song that is sung at every wedding (it seems) is "Be Thou My Vision". Which is why I didn't want it sung at my wedding. :-)

I love Anne's Theme too. :-) I used it for my bridesmaids' processional. I came in to "Canon in D" - traditional, I know, but I love that music.

Susan said...

That is interesting, because I never thought of ivory as really old-fashioned, but everyone seems to think so, which is fine, since that's kind of the idea I'm trying to get across. Burgundy with dusty rose definitely has an older feel.

We've decided on noon, by the way, so sorry, Tammy :-). We figured the earlier the better, and closer to lunch time.

Hi, Lindsay! I actually happened upon your HSA profile a few days ago, so that is so fun to have you comment :-). I will try to e-mail you soon, but these next few weeks are crazy! I'd love to talk with you, and that is so fun that we're marrying only a day apart. If I don't get back with you in the next few weeks, please feel free to e-mail me: susan dot garrison at gmail dot com.

Jessica, I have a feeling Hannah will take care of picture posting for me, after the wedding :-). I'll appoint her that duty!

Yes, Lydia, you guessed correctly. Hannah will be my only attendant, except the flower girl. I wanted to keep my attendants to about 5 or fewer, which began to look nigh on impossible, so we decided to keep it simple :-).

Adrian will wear a tux, but not one with tails.

Ashley, I'm with you. I *love* "Be Thou My Vision", but it is sung at about every wedding. So we opted out of it. Oh, and you used Anne's Theme in your wedding??? ;-) What brilliant and kind friend of yours suggested that? :-D

Kacie said...

The colors will be beautiful! And September is such a wonderful time of year.

The processional is a fun song to choose. I used "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" just like Zan. It's such a regal song! For my pastor's wedding, they actually had the congregation sing "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee" a capella as the bride walked down the aisle.

Are you having a cake and punch reception? Tell us about the cake! :)

Kacie said...

Ooh, and before I forget: If you plan to print programs or have an order of service to pass out to your guests, you might consider finding a spot to put your new address on there.

We put something like "As of June 4, you can find the happy couple at 234 Lovers Lane, Pittsburgh, PA 15291" for example. That way, after the guests go home, they can update their address books.

Susan said...

Kacie, I've never heard of the congregation seeing something a capella for the processional. I think that's a neat idea! And thank you for the idea for printing our new address in the program. My mom and I really like that idea!

We are having a lunch reception: 2 types of lasagna, tossed salad, bread, fruit, tea, punch, and wedding cake.

I'm not sure what the cake will look like. One of our good family friends, who taught me to decorate cakes and who used to have a catering business, is going to decorate the cake, and I'm going to pretty much let her have free reign :-).

Susan said...

*congregation singing

ashley@twentysixcats said...

I have a cake topper you can use! :-D

Susan said...

Hmmm. I have a feeling this involves cats. . .

Melissa said...

Yay, wedding details!!! I love your muisc selections. At my aunts wedding we sang "In Christ Alone" everyone loved it.

The colors sound beautiful!

If I EVER get married, I plan on having a John Deere theme.

My Aunt had only one attendant,so naturally my uncle had only the best man.

It sounds like plans are coming together beautifully!!

Many blessings!

Alynn Deatsch said...


I am trying to get together some plans for September and figure out who can come and such. I don't have your e-mail, so I am commenting on your blog. Can

Alynn Deatsch said...


Sorry! I accidentally sent that before I was finished. My e-mail is We are working on flights and such. But, I can give details in an e-mail!

Thanks - Alynn

Susan said...

A John Deere theme, hmm? That's unique. I actually thought about a really fall-themed wedding, which it still will be some, but we don't have a strict theme, I guess. I should think John Deere would be pretty easy.

Hi, Alynn! My e-mail is susan dot garrison at gmail dot com. Look forward to hearing from you :-).

Becky Miller said...

My dress was ivory. Matthew wrote and recorded an original song for our processional...that was really cool.

Susan said...

Yay for ivory dresses :-). The plan right now is for Adrian to write a poem that Lane will set to music, to be performed during the ceremony (Lane on piano, wife Sarah singing). It's still in the works, though :-). I like the idea of having a personal song in the ceremony :-).

Kacie said...

The menu sounds great! Everyone will love it, I'm sure.

Here's some more things to consider: :)

Since you seem to be quite the frugal bride, I'm sure you already know about the wonders of eBay and Hobby Lobby. Every other week or so, Hobby Lobby seems to have its bridal items on sale for up to half off. The same goes for flowers.

I got our cake topper at H.L. for about $12 on sale, and we really like it. It's sitting on a shelf now, so it's nice it can serve as a decoration after sitting atop a cake.

Also, I got the makings for pew bows and general decorative flowers for soooo much less than it would have costed at a floral shop.

Do you plan on doing a unity candle? Sometimes, couples will have their soloists perform at this time. If you do, you'll find that the solo takes much more time than the lighting of the unity candle. We did our candle business, then each took a rose from the flower arrangement on the alter nearby. We then went to the pews to give our parents hugs and the flower. That was nice, and wow, it got the church crying!

Eltinwe said...

Your pardon, please, for many disjointed and only vaguely related comments, all strung together here. I have lots of opinions/comments and they're going to have to be categorized.

Hair: For Adrian, you have to wear your hair down. Try pulling a few of the front bits back, in loops of braid, either under the tiara or over it, but attaching it enough. And try wearing it like that a while, as you experiment, because you really don't want it coming apart! I didn't have that problem, but I had SO many pins in my hair it took the two of us about 20 minutes to find them and get them all out! It was less than ideal.

Nail Polish: Good for you! Nail polish looks silly anyway, and false tips look even worse. It's like overdone makeup for the fingertips!

Jewelry: I'm sure pearls will go well with your eXtreme cleavage design. They'll at least draw the women's eyes up a bit. ;-) If you plan to wear your engagement ring, left hand or right? If you do left, just remember to pull it off before the wedding ring has to go on!

Theme: You say you don't have one, but really, you've inadvertently created one. You could even call it "Old-fashioned Couple". Antique sorts of colors, elegance, simple beauty. And I recently went to a John Deere themed wedding... at least, if not that, it was definitely farm-girl themed. The cake topper was a tractor with a bride and groom on it. The bride had white bridal cowboy boots and hat. It was a fun wedding, but definitely not themed on elegance or simplicity at all.

Special Music: Cool idea, and really nice to have Lane and Sarah doing it, if that works out. There are plenty of times you could do this to "cover" other activities, as kacie suggested, a unity candle usually has a special music to it. I wonder if Adrian remembers my special music time and what we did?

Music: I thought "How Beautiful" was the always included one, but I guess "Be Thou My Vision" is too. I'm a big fan of "In Christ Alone" and "How Sweet and Awful" both. But I just assume that Adrian and his bride will pick 100% good music. Further commentary to be found in an e-mail.

And I'm impatient for you to state your bouquet intentions because then I can say what a brilliant and beautiful idea it is, and how smart you are, and how great it will be. I just did? Oh, well then I'll say it again later. :-)

Susan said...

Kacie, I have indeed discovered E-bay and Hobby Lobby. I like JoAnn Etc. way better than Hobby Lobby, in general, but Hobby Lobby does have excellent weekly offers! I've gotten candles, invitations, ribbon, etc. on sale there, or with coupons. And we found really pretty pew bows (much prettier than at a typical store) on E-bay for a great price and got to use them in my brother's wedding (last month) as well. And same with centerpieces for the reception. We're going to reuse all the globe vases (less than $1 each) that Ben and Steph used for flowers, but put lit candles in them instead, and just change out the ribbon.

Great idea for the unity candle, too! Our solution for that is to light the unity candle during the second congregational hymn. That worked really well for my brother's wedding, and solved the long solo problem.

Oh, I'm happily wearing my hair down, and Adrian doesn't really have to coerce me, Anna. I just like to tease him about it :-). I'll probably do just what you said: pull back a bit of the front and secure, and I'll also try wearing it that way a few times before the wedding day. My mom and I will experiment with ways to secure it, because it will take some creative securing with my super straight and silky hair.

Interesting. I always was under the impression that the norm was for brides to wear their engagement rings on their left for the wedding day, slip their wedding ring on after it, and then switch it after the ceremony. Anyone else have insight?

Adrian did tell me you thought I was brilliant for the way I'm doing my bouquet. It just *simplifies* matters so much! And of course. . . Anne's Theme. . . I can't go wrong there ;-). It'll probably be a few weeks before I explain all that, because I have to work out details with various peoples.

Adrian C. Keister said...

It's always interesting to find out more wedding details on this comment page. ;-)]

I love Susan!

In Christ,

Jessie said...

*I know what the dress looks like!* *I know what the dress looks like!* (Read that in a very preschool-ish chanting voice)

I can't wait to see you tomorrow- we'll have so much fun Monday and Tuesday sewing!! : )

PS- That's a wonderful hymn to sing. We love it at our church. I'm telling you, you're Free P at heart : )

VeggieGal1983 said...

"Nail polish looks silly anyway"

I don't think my idea was silly You think it looks silly on everyone? I'm with Ashley on this one. I think nothing completes an open-toed shoe look like pedicured feet! Color is fun! No reason to be plain and boring all the time!

Eltinwe said...

Only two followups.

First, I'm not going to argue over nail polish... if you like it, enjoy. I'm very much a natural sort of girl, and I don't wear makeup, nail polish, pierced ears or anything of the sort. I know not everyone is like me, and I don't think it's a moral issue.

Second, some brides do leave their engagement ring on their finger and put the wedding ring over it. However some of us are silly enough to not want to take our wedding ring off immediately after being married. (I'd planned to never take it off, but practicality made that go by the wayside.) What I did was wear the engagement ring on my left hand, and slip it off onto the tip of a finger on the other hand in time to have the wedding ring put on the finger, and then I put it right back on again. I know others do other things, but that was what someone suggested I do, and since I wanted to wear it and not have to take it all off again to swap rings, it seemed like a good suggestion.

VeggieGal1983 said...

I don't think I was arguing, but it did shock me that you would think it is "silly" and I'm curious why you choose that word.

ashley@twentysixcats said...

Paul asked me to keep my engagement ring on my left hand in the ceremony as a guide for where to place the wedding band! :-) I actually switched them (put the band underneath the engagement ring) as we walked down the aisle after the recessional. But I've seen people wear their wedding band on top of their engagement ring all the time, so I don't think it's a big deal. Does your engagement ring even fit on your right hand? Mine doesn't, so it's a good think I left it on the left, or I would have had to wear it on my pinky! ;-)

And yes, my cake topper is cat-themed. And actually I don't HAVE it since someone STOLE it from me. Sigh. Please, don't ever do that... think it would be really funny to steal the bride & groom's cake topper and make them pick it up in person when you live TEN HOURS away.

My dress was ivory, too, although it was very close to white.

Susan said...

That's funny that Paul wanted help to figure out which finger to use :-). My ring does fit on my right hand, but it sure feels weird on there!

Eltinwe said...

My engagement ring doesn't fit on my right hand either. I just put it on another fingertip of the other hand briefly so the wedding ring would be under. Tradition has it that one wears the wedding ring underneath because it is closer to the heart.

I chose "silly" for nail polish because... well, because I think it IS silly. I think it's silly to think you can improve on your looks by changing the color of your finger and toe nails just as I think it is silly to think you can improve on your looks by painting your face. I have always found that the way God made things is the most attractive. Painting body parts just presumes you can do better than God can, and is not only presumptuous, it's downright silly.

Theresa said...

I am so happy for you. I am new to this blogging thing but I needed to stop and tell you good luck with your weddding. I love weddings. I am hoping you post lots of photos. May you have a blessed marriage. Congrats.

Beverly said...

I had to comment on this post --- I'm ashamed to say that I've been a lurker :-)

God bless you in all of your wedding plans. It is wonderful to see how God works in His children's lives. How Sweet and Awful is one of the hymns most dear to my heart ... I love it. It is going to be a beautiful song for your wedding.

God bless!

Crystal said...

How fun reading all the details here and I can't wait to see pictures afterwards! :)

My sister arranged a piano, harp, violin, and vocal arrangement of "Household of Faith" which was our processional. I'd never seen a vocal processional before, but I loved the end result. It was perfect for us. We also had this as our recessional.

My sister also wrote a song ("He is the Tie that Binds Our Hearts Together") which was sung during the lighting of the unity candles. That was very special and meaningful to us and she had our input before composing the song so that it expressed our hearts and desires for our marriage.

Oh and I wore my mom's dress and veil - yes, it was dated, but it was inexpensive, saved us a huge hassle, and it was special to be able to do so.

I wore my hair down as well - we pulled a little bit back in the front and used those "screw in" type of hair pins to keep the veil really secure. It worked well.

Isn't wedding planning so exciting! I enjoyed almost every minute of it - especially since every minute that passed meant it was one minute closer to me being Mrs. Jesse Paine. :)

ashley@twentysixcats said...

"Painting body parts just presumes you can do better than God can, and is not only presumptuous, it's downright silly."

Wow... that's a really strong statement to make.

I want to say more but I don't think Susan wants this to become a forum for whether girls should wear makeup and finger-polish. :-)

Eltinwe said...

*laugh* Oh dear. Ask Adrian about me and "strong statements" and whether I get along with them, if you really want to know. I WAS trying to dismiss the subject, you know. I didn't figure that in comments on a wedding post was a great place to get into the applications of your philosophy of God and man, you know? If you MUST know, lets take it elsewhere.