Sunday, December 11, 2005

Zee Wedding Itself

What a happy happy day. It keeps coming back to me in moments and I can't help being moved by the kindness and laughter that happened. I will write more, but for now here are some first pictures. This link should be good for a couple of months at least.

Ben's Pictures (sorry folks, the link is now dead)

For everyone who was there, for everyone who thought of us that day, you all made it very special for us.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Zee Final Countdown

Less than 14 hours to go. How do I feel?

Not nervous, not at all. Let's see what tomorrow brings.

A few small mishaps (photography-wise, but it's been fixed in the meantime) but generally okay. I'm both looking forward and slightly nervous about tomorrow. I'm nervous about the crowd of people we are having, I'm not nervous at all about marrying G.

This my last post as a single woman. Look forward to photos in the near future....

Zee Bride

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Zee Guests

100 people!!!

About 100 people have said they will come to help toast and cheer our marriage on Friday afternoon. I had no idea we were so popular, it's really flattering. All the same, it's a bit overwhelming. I hope everything goes well on the day.

I'm lagging behind in this blog because there's so much to do. Even though we are keeping it super simple, there are lots of little things to do. I just shot off a page long email to G with what needs to be done or what is being done or what we have done. I think he's a bit shell-shocked too.

Zee Parents arrive on Saturday, after my hen night. Oh. My. God. I hope I'm in decent shape when they arrive. I have warned them at least, and they get in mid-afternoon, so I should be functioning by then.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Zee Invites

The invites have been sent! Well, are being sent. We still have a few people/groups to send them to, but for the most part, they are on their way. We sent it electronically, by email and personal message via a forum. Why not take advantage of the technology? I'm not fussed for the format, and if people do want to print it out, it is in a nice design with a picture and everything. If you want to see it, go to Zee Groom's page. That has everything but the actual location listed.

It's exciting getting the RSVPs back. Everytime I get one, it feels special, knowing that this person wants to be with us on our day. That is really starting to make the excitement grow.

I've been with G for 3 years now, and I still love every minute of it.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Zee Restaurant

So, we finally (and yes, I know, at a late juncture) got around to looking for a restaurant for us to eat and drink and celebrate at. As you might expect on a Friday in December, it's a wee bit tricky.

Basically we want to keep to our Bavarian theme and find a nice Bavarian or German restaurant not too far from the Standesamt (civil office) to go to. A bit of travel is okay, but not a 60 minute drive (even though I know several great restaurants that far away that would fit the bill). Saturday we spend an hour walking around downtown, trying to find a place. Several of our first choices weren't available, which has left us with a couple of other choices.

We have reservation at Augustiner am Platzl. The nice nice part upstairs is unfortunately booked, and the downstairs-ground floor bit is a bit open. There's a mezzanine level between the ground floor and upstairs, and that's where we have the reservation at the moment. It's okay, but a bit open and could be pretty smoky, depending on the clientele downstairs.

The next place we have a tenative booking at is at Nürnberger Bratwurst Glöckl am Dom. Here we have a nice corner that's not too busy in a very traditional setting. The problem is, I don't know if this is booked 100%, as they seemed really laissez-faire about the whole thing and didn't get back to me by email to confirm the booking.

The third place we could choose would be this room in the Löwenbräukeller. We are planning on having around 12 guests, so G is a bit worried it would look empty with just us in it. I think that it could be quite a nice little setting and if it's decorated for Christmas (which they already suggested would be included in a Christmas menu), it could look quite nice.

Opinions, especially from people in Munich who probably have a clue as to where these places are and what they are like, are welcome. Even for all you abroad, shout out your opinion!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Zee Last Stand

Slowly, here and there, I'm hearing about plans for a stag weekend and hen night for G and I. Not together, separate, but happening the same weekend. My stomach has gone into knots because not knowing much of what is happening has left me feeling a bit uncertain. I'm just letting my type-A personality get the better of me, because I don't know and can't say what's going on. But I do like a good surprise, and D, who is organising mine, is a fab organiser and I'm sure it will fun for everyone.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Zee Bill

A bill arrived this week related to our wedding. Now, I'm a little bit unsure about what exactly this bill is for. I think it's the cost of for the local government to issue us a paper saying we don't need a Familienbuch (family book) for use foreigners. Germans normally have a family book, which states who married who and who their children were, nice and official-like. The kids hand this over when they get married, and it supposedly reduces the paperwork. Since we don't have a nice and official-like book, we have to pay a fee for the Bavarian government to grudgingly say, "Okay okay, we'll let them get married here anyways. Even if they don't have a family book."

We are paying €260 for this privilege and honour. This is based on our yearly income. So, in a way, fair enough, rich people should pay more. But, it's not like they actually ask for any proof. The woman behind the desk just asks how much you make, types in whatever number you say, and then they base it on that. So if you were slightly unscrupulous or felt that it was a silly way to tax people or felt you has already paid enough in Germany taxes without the right to vote for anyone in control of how they use that money, you could possibly, perhaps be tempted to say a number a bit lower than the actual amount you earnt...

But of course we didn't do that. No sir.

Sunday, October 09, 2005


Spam has now reached its oily grip to comments on blogs. I have now turned on verification to slow the spammers down. Ha! Take that, you filthy spammers!


There isn't actually that much to update. We've sort of figured out a plan for the day, although nothing has been committed to yet. In other words, this might be what happens or it might end up being totally different. But it's probably a good bet.

Wedding at 1:50 pm. I've been told it takes around 10 minutes. Seems like a very short time for a very important ceremony, but I guess when I add up all the time running around to get the other paperwork finished, it's not that short. Afterwards we'll have some sparkling wine, Lebkuchen (gingerbread cookies) and Glühwein (spiced wine) to celebrate. One of my friends has very kindly offered to serve the drinks for this, which was really nice. I didn't even mention the idea, she volunteered herself. This could be inside or outside, depending on the weather. If it's not pouring rain, we'll probably do it outside. The place we are getting married is right by the Englischer Garten (a big park in the center of town), so we can have it on the bridge leading into the park.

After that, things get a bit fuzzier. It'll be early on, so too early really for dinner. Maybe we'll go have coffee and cake somewhere and then go off to dinner. The two Bavarian weddings we went to this summer seemed to have a lot of eating involved in them. A brisk walk to the Christmas market at the Chinese Tower, cake, then head off to dinner at a nice Bavarian restaurant. Still trying to decide where we want for a nice Bavarian restaurant. Something centralish, with good food and good service and possibly a private room for around 10 people. Any suggestions more than welcome!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Zee Date!

We have a date for the wedding!

First I'd like to thank Lisa at Lisa's Office for the quick and extremely reasonably-priced translation of our birth certificates. Sent last Thursday, picked up today, €15 each. Bargain!

With official translations, birth certificates, (apostilled & legalized), proof of occupation, proof of residency, certificate of it's-okay-for-this-guy-to-get-married, and passport in hand; I headed down the marriage office to get a date. When I got there, I suddenly worried about not having G there with me and no copy of his passport. But I still managed to get a date, although we have to go down tomorrow together to sign one more form (an affidavit for me to say it's okay for this girl to get married). I think part of the reason she gave me the date rather than telling me to come back tomorrow was that there was an old couple in the office next door (there's no door between them), and I do mean old, like over 65, wanting to get married and the old guy was being a right annoyance, shouting "I'm a customer, you can't treat me this way!". We were looking at each other, shaking our heads in sympathy for the woman working with this jerk and so she was a bit more accomodating for me. :)

So, here it is:

DECEMBER 9TH, 2005; 1:50pm.

Isn't that exciting? I'm excited. A few hiccups to work out, but that is finally set!

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Saturday, September 17, 2005

Paperwork is finished

To my great relief, the birth certificate arrived on Wednesday with the appropriate stamp and signature on it. It's now off at the translator, and by this time next week, we should have a date!

Very exciting indeed! That's worth a few exclamation points.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Drama with the Consulate

What a pair of weeks!

Let's rewind to middle of August, when I last posted.

I phoned the Germany embassy in Ottawa to ask if I simply had to send my birth certificate or if there was more to it or what. I spoke to the receptionist, explained that I needed my Canadian birth certificate "legalized" by the Germans so I could get married in Germany. He said to me, "Okay... but what does that have to do with us?". Sigh. I explain again, using small words, that it has to be done by the German embassy in Canada. He then passes me onto to someone who has more clue than he does.

She a right old hag, as I explain what I need again. She says "Where was the certificate issued?" I say, "Canada". She snaps "WHERE in Canada?" like it's an obvious question when I'm phoning halfway around the world. I kept my cool, since I needed her help, but oh, at other times, she would have had an earful. I tell her it's from Alberta and she says "Oh, we don't deal with Alberta. You'll have to contact the consulate in Vancouver to help you." Great.

Since Vancouver is 3 hours behind Ottawa, I decide not to hang around to phone them, but rather send an email asking the following: 1. Do I send you my birth certificate? 2. Do I need to send anything else? 3. How much does it cost? I get an email very late the following day (so basically two full working days) saying "my colleague who can assist you in this mattter is on holiday. I kindly ask you to contact Mr. XXX* next week - Email:
Thank you very much!"
*Name removed to protect the incompetent.

Now, this ticked me off, because to me, these were bloody simple questions. It seems there is only one person in the entire office who deals with "Legalisation" of birth certificates. Why the hell do you have colleagues for if they can't even take over for you to answer to simple questions? Everyone in Germany has been up until now been helpful and friendly, but these overseas Beamters are doing my nut in.

So, Monday, I email him. No answer. So I phone him later. No answer, only voice mail. I email again. No answer. Finally, Tuesday, I get the info I need. Told where to send it, say that I will pay for the stuff, etc etc. Oh, yeah, he did try and fob me off onto the Calgary office, saying they did it too, but I wasn't allowing the buck to be passed any farther. I send one more email to ask how long it will take. Answer: "I can not give any guaranteed processing time and mailing time which will be needed. We send out mail to GErmany once a week on Fridays via the foreign office in Berlin." Once a week to Germany? Via Berlin? What, is this the 19th century and the Pony Express only leaves once a week? It might not seem unreasonable, but when I compare that G sent his off to Australia and got it back direct within 10 days, it seems very unreasonable to me.

So, I pray that it would arrive last week, but no luck. So far, nothing this week, so I phoned yesterday to see if he had received the birth certificate. The guy is away AGAIN until Monday! I phone the extension he gives as the assistance and finally get someone who seems interested enough to help. She says that they haven't received my letter yet. I'm thinking, this is weird, I sent it 2 weeks ago, they should have it. She welcomed me to phone again today, which I did. Still no sign of it. At this point, I started to make a polite stink about it. I told her I was certain it was 2 weeks since I sent the letter and I know it doesn't take 14 days for the mail to get to Canada from Munich. I started to ask if it was on his desk, or if it was in the mailroom or somewhere else. No, no and no; I'm told. I added the comment, "Well, I hope it hasn't been lost, as it's my original document and the only one I have", which believe it or not, seemed to press her a little. She asked for my email address, but I ended up taking hers. About 20 minutes later, I got an email saying that my birth certificate had turned up. Out of the blue. I so wonder where it was. I'm guessing it was just sitting on Mr. XXX's desk, without it being sent.

The woman was helpful enough as to fax me a copy. But upon getting the fax, I was even more ticked off. The document is signed and stamped and dated. Guess when it was dated? AUGUST 30TH!!! So, 8 days earlier. I could have had it this week if they had sent it. If I hadn't put the pressure on, I wonder how long it would have sat there, nothing happening to it.

Well, the good news is that I should have it in my hot little hands by Wednesday at the latest. And I found someone very reasonably priced to translate it, so that is some more good news. Finally.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

More paperwork to do

In the vain hope that we had all our paperwork, we went down to the Marriage Office this morning. Much busier this time as when I was down there last, maybe because it was morning, maybe because it was summer. I knew it wasn't complete because there was no translation done yet, but we thought we might be able to twist a few arms to give us a date. No such luck. We both need to send our birth certificates back to our respective nations to get "officialized" by the authorities. G needs an Apostille to say "Yes, this is an Australian birth certificate" and I need the German embassy in Canada to say the same about mine. What a runaround. I'm phoning them this afternoon to make sure of the address and such. Hope I don't have to apply in person. That would be a real downer. And probably kill the idea of getting married in Germany PDQ.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Bavarian Wedding

Last Saturday we went to another wedding. This time it was a real one. It was the marriage of two others who met through our Bavarian band. So pay attention kids, joining a band is the way to meet your spouse! So, rather than writing about it here, I'll let you enjoy it from Zee Groom's point of view.

Boarische Hochzeit

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Landshuter Hochzeit

Today's post isn't about our wedding, it's about a wedding that took place 530 years ago. It was the wedding between Hedwig, daughter of the Polish King and that of Georg, son of the Landshut duke.

Every 3-5 years, Landshut reenacts the marriage celebrations of Hedwig and Georg. It's Germany's largest historical pageant and if you have the chance to see it, I recommend you go. We went on Sunday and it was a fun afternoon out. It's very realistic costumes, from the hats down to the shoes. Even the horses are kitted out in medival style harnesses. I'd never seen so many side-saddles before Sunday. What I thought was very cool were all the falconers. Here's a picture, but careful, it's big. Maybe more later.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Review of Ultimate Wedding website

Since the most recent spate of visitors has been from the Ultimate Wedding website, I thought I should return the favour with a link and a review.

I like the website in general. They are trying to turn a profit by working as a middleman for wedding shopping, but they do a good job. It's a clean design with simple descriptions to get you where you want to go. I can't comment on the prices, as I don't shop via it, since it's set up for the USA, possibly Canada.

They have a lot of articles in the form of checklists such as: Honeymoon Packing Checklist, Ceremony Music Checklist, Name Change Checklist, Wedding Day Hair Checklist, etc etc. I haven't explored them fully, but I think they could prove useful.

Also useful to someone wanting ideas are contributions from members of the website. These include lists of songs, marital vows, wine ceremony speeches, etc etc. This is a good resource of material for people to get ideas for their own ceremony.

Where the board really shines is in its online forums. These are well organised and the members really seem to be out to help each other, not just trash talk. I think they work far far better than The Knot's forums do.

Unfortunately, there are a couple of technical problems with the forums that keep me from participating as much as I otherwise might. When you click on a link, it is reeeeeallllly sllllllllloooow to load. And I have broadband, there's no reason for this, other than there must be too much background stuff being reloaded each time. They have updated and it's a bit faster, but it still is quite slow in my opinion. The other problem is that the notification of new posts on a thread you are tracking is usually about a week old. If you are interested in joining the forums, by all means do so, but don't rely on email notification to keep you updated on new posts.

All in all, for someone looking for good advice from other brides to be (it does seem to be only brides, no grooms, sorry!) and somewhere where they can rave about their very cool table centerpiece without fear of the reader getting bored, this is a good place for you.

If you do log on, feel free to drop me a Private Message (PM). I'm on there as ZeeBride, funnily enough.
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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Dirndl talk - Look below for pictures!

These were the 4 dirndls I tried on. I sent the pics to my parents and my dad liked the way number 2 looked on me and I agree. But if you look closely, you'll also see the angle I'm standing at is a bit more flattering and it has more to do with that than the dirndl itself. The winning dirndl is much nicer looking too, the first two are sort of "every day" dresses. I'm sure to anyone from outside of Germany, no, make that Bavaria, would think that it's not every day you wear a dirndl. But to be honest, although it might be slightly unusual to wear one just around town, no local would really bat an eye at it. People do wear them all the time, to church, to a special party, to the opera, to the beergarden. Candidates 3 and 4 are a little more special, something more what you would wear to the opera or to... hmm... what's another good special occasion? Oh yeah, a wedding. Hah!

I was talking to my mom (who was being very good about not pressuring for specific dates of where and when to be) and she pointed out that the Chinese think that red (like my apron) is a lucky colour, and is often used for weddings. So we got that going for us as well. I'm happy.

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Candidate number 1 at Zee Dirndl Try-Outs
Candidate number 2 at Zee Dirndl Try-Outs
Candidate number 4 at Zee Dirndl Try-Outs

This is it, Zee Winning Dirndl, candidate number 3

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Zee Dress! Now bought!

So I now have it. It is the dress I tried on last week with G. in tow. I put it on and Dee immediately said it looked good and I should get it. I tried on a few different blouses with it as I wasn't 100% on the first "trial" blouse I had used. I tell you, it's hard work doing all those buttons up and undoing them again. Along with the dirndl (and the apron that came with it) and blouse, I also bought a lovely silk scarf to go with it. Did I mention that this was at the outlet shop for Loden-Frey? So the scarf that normally cost around 80 Euros was marked down to 30. A good reduction on the dirndl and blouse too.

While there, Dee also tried on a few dirdls. It was fun, as I'd never seen her in anything like a dirndl and she's never had one. It took a while to find one that fit and looked nice, but when we did find it, it was really good. She looks fab in it. So if she has a dirndl now, we'll have to get G's best man some lederhosen for the big day too, ha hah. Since he doesn't live in Munich or even Germany, we'll probably try and borrow a pair for him instead.

Anyways, it's late now, so I'll post pictures of the dirndl later this week.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

It's been a relief to be able to show people that we are actually taking steps towards getting married. Now when people ask us how the wedding plans are going, I can say "Well we have a ring," which is better than having nothing, which is also pretty close to what we have.

G. wants to wait to do his paperwork in July, because then it will be good for the 6 months before getting married. All the paperwork has to have been issued within the last 6 months when you register. I told him if he did it now, it would probably arrive in July, which would do, but there's no convincing him. Sigh. Sometimes you have to pick your battles, so I'm letting this slide for a bit longer. My parents want to come over (did I mention we decided on December?) and so they are anxious to get a firm date out of us.

We also went and looked at dirndls yesterday. I tried on a few, all were very nice. I love trying them on; they are all so different in colour and patterns, even though the basic idea is the same, I feel like it's totally different each time I try a new one. And unlike other shops, where there are shelves and shelves full of the exact same shirt in different colours, there's usually only one dirndl of a certain colour in each size. Far more variety.

Anyways, there was one we both quite liked, but I'm going to take my best friend down with me on Tuesday to see what she thinks. G also didn't really want to know 100% if that was the one I was getting - he wants a bit of a surprise. Heh heh, maybe I will get that red latex jumpsuit...

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Zee Ring!!!

So, finally, only 6 or so months after agreeing to marry, one of us has a ring. We finally found a ring that both of us liked and that was a reasonable price. It's 14K (585) white gold with two small sapphires and two tiny diamonds. I was doing my best to buy something without diamonds, but they are almost impossible to avoid and at least the ring is second-hand, so the diamons weren't mined recently at least.

It feels weird wearing it all the time, but I'm getting used to it. I take it off to shower and to do the dishes, as I don't want to get it covered in soap film, nor lose it down a drain! If I forget to put it back on right away, I'm starting to notice it's missing.

G. still lights up when he sees it on my finger. Bless his cotton socks.

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There it is, Zee Ring!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Zee Update

Once again, very busy at work, plus nothing to report. Well, until now.

We have a ring! It's getting resized and cleaned right now, so more on that when I get it back. That's all I'll say for now.

Yesterday I had a couple of other women who are also getting married over for dinner and drinks. It was a nice evening. We are all pretty down to earth about what we want so it was nice to find some like-minded individuals. What was funny, even though none of us is really into the idea of a "big wedding", we managed to talk about wedding stuff for around 5 hours! How we met, the proposal, dresses, everything. It was a lot of fun, getting it out of our systems and having sympathetic ears to listen. I'm sure we would have bored everyone else around us silly, but it was a great evening for us!

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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

To party or not to party?

Sorry, I know I have been negligent towards my blog the last little while. I do apologise, I have been incredibly busy with work. The stuff that might pay for parts of the wedding takes priority over just gabbing on about the wedding.

Anyhoo, I now have a HUGE stack of wedding magazines to look through, so hopefully there will be more to say after that.

Right now, I'm thinking about what a good friend of mine said to me. She said that it was all well and good to get married one day and have the party another, but that it wouldn't feel the same. And I can see what she means. The wedding is one day, one special day and the feelings we will have that day will be hard to recreate on another occasion. Sharing this feeling with friends and family would be good. But at what point does it stop being a small intimate affair and become a big production? I know a lot of people in Munich. A lot. And there are lots of people I would invite to my party, but not as many who I would invite to my wedding. But some guests are hard to separate from the others. For instance, our band. It wouldn't be good to just invite a few from the band, it has to be either everyone or no one. That's about 20 certain just right there. So much for a small intimate affair.

I don't know. I like the idea of sharing the joy, but it seems to me it would be stress, my ultimate avoidance. It's a thought that I have to ruminate on a bit, and also discuss with G to see what he thinks. Your comments on the idea are welcome.

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Saturday, April 09, 2005

Zee Royal Wedding

Well, they did it. Despite delays, rumours and various snags, Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles managed to get married a few hours ago. Good for them, 35 years is a long time to wait to marry your sweetheart.

Camilla even managed to find time to change outfits between the marriage ceremony and the blessing. Pretty quick that girl. Looks like the weather was as nice as it was for us last Saturday in Windsor, so the pictures should be good. Congratulations!

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Monday, April 04, 2005

I'm back

Did you all miss me?

England was nice. Unfortunately we didn't make it to the jeweller that I wanted to visit. G's knee was giving him grief and the driving was making it worse. I'm disappointed, but I'd love to hear from anyone who has visited their shop.

Last Saturday we strolled through Windsor Park and while having a quiet drink in a pub right by the castle, a wedding party turned up for some pictures. It's a lovely green area and a few shots of the castle in the back (and maybe the Queen peeking through the windows, comparing the bride and groom to her future dil and son, hah!) would be a good setting for wedding photos. It was fantastic weather too, so that lucky couple should be happy with the results.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Missing me?

Just a quick note to explain the lack of posts - we are away for a few days, as I previously mentioned here. We are back soon, so I'll be posting again in a few days. In the meantime, read all the fun in the archives again. Or click a link. Or find something else to amuse yourself with.

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Thursday, March 24, 2005

Funny search results

I couldn't resist posting about this...

I'm the number one search result on a major search engine, whoo-hoo! I feel very special. It's on Yahoo, which is a very respectable search engine. However, the search isn't really very satifying if you are the searcher. I'm the number 1 result when you search for girls in red latex jumpsuits. I didn't even remember, but I said the words (no girls however) in my post here. Betcha whoever it was searching was very disappointed when they found me. Hah! Sorry, I really shouldn't laugh... To those of you in Atlantic City, I salute you. Please pardon my childish giggles.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Another nightmare

Another nightmare. Again centering on Zee Dress. I'm finding this odd as it hasn't really been a priority item for me and I have hardly been thinking about it of late.

Anyways. Set-up: for some bizarre reason, we are getting married in a really big auditorium/gymnasium. We do a civil service down at one end and then walk up the slightly tilting floor to do a big pomp and circumstance Catholic service religious wedding. The floor is the hardwood that you find in a gym. There are bleachers and seats on one side for all the guests and on the other side is the outline of a big cathedral. But we are inside, along with the cathedral.

I'm in a back room, trying to get ready. For some reason, half of the members of my Bavarian band are also there, helping me to get ready. We are speaking a mix of German and English. One guy (who normally I don't get along very well at all with in the band) is steering me to some back room and I go along quietly. The back room happens to be a wedding dress shop. I look around to see where my dirndl is, but it's not there. I don't know if I forgot to buy it or if it got left at home or if it was deemed not appropriate or what. Everyone is saying to put on my dress. My dress is a big lacy wedding dress with a high collar and long sleeves. I find it horrifying, am stressed and don't want to wear it. In fact, I refuse to wear it, saying that if my new dirdl isn't here, then I'll just wear one of my old ones. I look at my faithful old green one (as seen in my profile pic) and for some reason reject it. I try on my shorter blue one, but find the skirt is way too short and that my panties can be seen from nearly every angle. (There goes the PG rating for my site)

So I'm starting to feel desperate here. Everyone keeps telling me to put on the lacy dress. I say okay, I will try it on, but I don't agree to wear it without checking it out first in the mirror. This comment puts everyone in a kerfluffle, saying, "No! You can't see yourself in the dress before the wedding!" I tell them I'm going to look whether they like it or not. I try it on and it actually doesn't look too bad. I then ask what G is wearing to the ceremony. As it's a dream, I suddenly see him standing out by the altar, chit-chatting with his parents while waiting for me. He's wearing his lederhosen.

Well, if he's wearing lederhosen, there's no way I'm going to wear this lacy white thing. I refuse, to great protests from my band. I decide the most decent thing I can wear is my band uniform. That is a long black skirt, white blouse, red vest and green jacket. Sounds horrid if you haven't seen it, but it's actually not that bad. In fact, if you want to see it (minus the jacket), check out the picture of all of us on the band website: Our Bavarian Band. The band members helping me get ready aren't too happy with this for some unknown reason, but they agree it will fit better with Greg, except they say it won't work because he's also wearing the band uniform and the two matching red vests will clash. So I someone contact Greg via telepathy or some similar power and get him to take his vest off. I put on the band uniform and wake up.

Very strange dream and I'm going to blame it on the Turkish döner I had last night (instead of my "regular" Greek gyros) and the Coopers (South Australian)beer.

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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Rings I like

I thought it was about time to have a more visual post. Here are some specific rings that I like or think look interesting.

This first one has a blue zircon there in the middle.

This has too many diamonds and is a bit out of my price range, but I think it's lovely and looks very delicate.

This is a lovely sapphire ring I'm thinking about possibly getting. I wish the background was white though, as it makes me feel uncertain about the colour.

Here's a ring without stones that I like. It is 3 different gold colours braided together.

There have been surprisingly few ruby rings that I've liked; but here's a nice one with a platinum band.

I am absolutely in love with this ring. It's by far my current favourite. It's an eternity ring with green tourmaline for the stones.

By the way, for those of you who know and understand, I've hot-linked all these pictures. I feel it's okay to do such, as all these rings are from retailers, so they should be happy for the free publicity. If you want to visit the retailer, right-click on the picture and get properties for the web link. Hot-linking, however, does mean the pictures could disappear on me. Please write me a comment if they do.

"Do It Yourself" Wedding Tips - Save!


The sun is shining, the birds are singing and Munich has finally burst into spring after a very long hiatus. None the less, I'm in a bad mood. This may explain why I thought that the email I got was so ridiculous.

I'm on a few mailing lists for bridal and wedding advice. Sometimes there's a bit of useful information, more often there's just filler to advertise their products. But the one I got today just caught me the wrong way. It was entitled "Matching my veil to my hairstyle?" I guess it irked me because it just seemed like such a superficial and unimportant thing to want to know about or to do. I'm willing to work out to look good for my wedding, but I'm not willing to panic over hair-veil conflicts.

"Do It Yourself" Wedding Tips - Save!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Working out

Is there anyone in the world who in the months leading up to their wedding says to his or more likely, herself, "I look really good, I don't need to do anything to look better for the wedding"? If there is, I want to meet them and check them out for myself. I don't know how their bodies look, but their egos must be healthy at least.

Weddings bring out your vanity. You have to look good for this day. That is a simple must, no ifs ands or buts about it. At least in your own head. Everyone attending will think you look beautiful probably no matter what, but in your mind you have to look absolutely fabulous. More fabulous than normal.

This means working out and/or dieting. To a level you would never think about if it wasn't for the fact that there's this really expensive dress that you are supposed to wear and so-help-me-god, I will fit into a smaller size. I can't be the only one out there who has delayed dress shopping until they have lost a few pounds. Can I?

So, for the first time in around 18 months, I went to a gym today. I used to belong to one here in Munich, but found myself not going and paying a lot of money for the privilege of owning an unused gym card. So I quit and was happy with that decision. However, I now realise I actually did enjoy going to the gym, but that it worked much better when I had motivation. My previous motivation was to be fit enough to referee the soccer (football) games I had committed to without keeling over from exhaustion and to qualify to ref the next level. Now my motivation is not to have flabby arms and a big butt coming Zee Big Day. Let's see if I keep motivated...

Friday, March 11, 2005

Zee Feed

This pages now feeds the hungry masses!

Thanks to the kind efforts of Murray C., my blog is now included in the feed list for Munich Blogs. If you want to read about others in Munich, that's the place to do that. Some interesting stuff in there.

Just below, you'll see a picture of the lastest bridal magazine I'm reviewing. Cleverly named "Brides". I'll have a review up on the weekend.

Brides UK edition

A rather poor picture of the front of the current Brides magazine. Unfortunately, it's the only one I could find.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Zee Royal Comparison

I thought, just for fun, I would compare our upcoming nuptials to that of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles. We are labeled 1. and in regular print; Camilla and Charles are labeled 2. and in italics

1. Zee Bride and Zee Groom;
2. Camilla Parker Bowles and Prince Charles
1. 33 & 26;
2. 57 & 56
Aha, Camilla picked herself a toyboy too!
Length of time they have known each other
1. approx 29 months,
2. approx. 32 years
Wedding announced
1. Publicly, Jan. 1, 2005;
2. Publicly, February 10, 2005
They’ve wanted to for longer, but we still beat them.
Engagement ring
1. None yet;
2. The engagement ring is said to be an Art Deco era ring once owned by the Queen Mother. The platinum ring has a square-cut central diamond with three diamond baguettes on either side.
Okay, they beat us here. But I like the choice of Art Deco.
Wedding date
1. Jan. 20, 2006 (probably, don’t book your flights yet);
2. April 8, 2005
Wow! Get your skates on kids, hope everything is ready!
Wedding clothes
1. Traditional Bavarian;
2. Designed by London designers.
Horses for courses, as the Brits say.
Civil or church ceremony?
1. Civil;
2. Civil
We shall do things civilly.
Wedding location
1. Standesamt, Munich, Germany;
2. Town Hall, Windsor, United Kingdom
This is also the same as us.
Number of guests
1. less than 20;
2. for the actual ceremony it’s unclear- there are 2 rooms, one holds up to 30 people, the other up to 100
Pretty small as well.
Does the Mother of the Groom want to attend?
1. Yes, but may not since she lives on the other side of the world.
2. No, but there will be a blessing and reception held at her "house" just down the road.
Well, Liz claims it’s to help keep the wedding low-key. Others claim it's because there will be too many commoners around. You choose.

So, as we can see, some similarities, some differences. My theory about why they decided to do the wedding so quickly: They were worried about it being overshadowed by ours because of our growing fame from this blog.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Wonderful online jeweler

I found a great online link: Fantastic stuff, and as we plan on being in the UK over Easter, we're going to take a trip to check them out.

For the first time in a long time, I wore a ring today. Normally I don't wear rings at all, but I was wearing all black and have a cheap little black, white and grey ring that is kind of cool so I just decided to slip it on. I couldn't stop fiddling with it all day. I'll be so bad when I get a ring that I'm supposed to wear all the time. At least for the first week I would imagine. I'll just have to make sure I don't stand near any open drains or elevator shafts that week...

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Zee Advertising

Eagle-eyed readers may have noted that I have a few ads scattered about the blog. They are there in the vain hopes that I might earn some money for the wedding via them. So far, with the Google Ads, I've earnt... wait for it... $1.15 US. Whooh! On the way to paying for the whole she-bang!

But seriously, why not if they will possibly pay me a little something and the people who come regularly to the blog can find them useful? Most things should relate to weddings and such, so it's not like they are totally off-base.

If you find them terribly crass and annoying, tell me and I'll consider removing them. I'd rather have regular blog readers than a couple of bucks from Google.

Yes, this too is an ad. :-)


The shop I mentioned in the previous post is not the same shop we got bad service in. It is a totally different shop, but located just around the corner, that's why I confused it with the other. Still, when the catalogue doesn't have prices, it doesn't encourage me to go into the shop.

More ring stuff

One of these days I will have a picture of an actual ring that belongs to me to show you. In the meantime, I will be forced to simply to talk about rings in general.

A catalogue arrived in the mail today. It was from a dealer here in Munich that I found online. I won't bother to give their name or link, as I wasn't very impressed. I sent them an email asking them to send their catalogue to me, since there weren't any prices listed on their website. Well, their weren't any prices listed in the catalogue either. What's the point in that then? The designs were quite boring and hardly worth printing on the paper. Well, that is perhaps slightly unfair, there may have been one or two interesting ideas, but out of an entire catalogue, not very worthwhile.

In fact, after looking at the address of their shop, I now believe it is the second shop we went into the first time we went ring shopping here in Munich. So, with no prices and lousy service, they neither get my business or even a named mention on my website. So there.

I would like to thank She Dances in Dragon again however, for her (I'm assuming this after a short look at her blog) very helpful advice. I haven't had a chance to look at her links in full, but certainly will do so tomorrow. Until then, sleep well kids.

Monday, March 07, 2005

What is Zircon?

A commenter, She Dances in Dragon, made some very good suggestions on my ring browsing post. Thanks very much for that. I look forward to the next post with links! In the meantime, here is a link so that you can inform yourself about zircon vs. cubic zirconia. Zircon: Brilliant but Misunderstood. I didn't know about it before She Dances in Dragon made the suggestion, so thanks again!

"Do It Yourself" Wedding Tips - Save!

Ring browsing online

I've been looking at estate and art deco jewelry, as it's more unique and they seem to be more likely to have other gemstones than just dimonds.
Here are some good links:,%20Art%20Nouveau%20and%20Georgian%20Rings

I don't know any of these vendors, but they certainly are good places to get some ideas from.

Any other links and I'd be happy to see them.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

I don't know if I'm being overly sensitive or if I'm just totally wrong about this, but could it be that nearly all the people who I know who are divorced are less enthusiastic when I tell them I am getting married? Not thinking of anyone in specific, just generally. Am I just projecting here, or are they really thinking, "Don't do it you foolish girl!" in the back of their mind? Just thinking out loud here, not really worried about it.

Zee Nightmare

I had a bad dream last night about the wedding. I'm sure it's pretty common for people to have them about their weddings when they are planning. You have a lot to think about, so the thoughts keep swirling around your head after you go to sleep and the stress of the occasion puts a negative spin on it. As it is, mine was pretty mild, and upon waking, more funny than scary, so I'll share it with you here.

Faithful readers will know, I don't want a big white poufy dress. What I do want and plan to wear can be found here. Anyways, in this nightmare, I was wearing a white sheath dress down to around my calves with a thin gauzy layer on top of it that hung tightly to the dress.

Well, for whatever reason, I was in a panic and had to run to get to the ceremony. But as I started to run, the gauzy layer started to catch air and fill up. It wouldn't go down! My dress was being inflated, I looked like I was wearing a big puffy white tube. I kept pressing down on the sides to push the air out, but it wouldn't come out. Of course, I was still trying to run at the same time as doing all of this, so I was quite constricted. I woke myself up because I was starting to hyperventilate! Hah! Well, I thought it was funny as soon as I woke up, but at the time of the dream, it was not fun.

Just a little moment to share with you that hopefully you'll also find funny. Anyone else have any nightmares?

"Do It Yourself" Wedding Tips - Save!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Zee Paperwork

So, I went down to the local "Hochzeitbüro" aka, the Wedding Office. It's in a building just behind the central building in Munich that is used for getting your resident's permit, registering where you live, changing your name, applying for work visas, registering any extra toes, etc etc. Okay, not the extra toes, but if you have paperwork to be done in Munich, this is likely the place you have to go to get it done.

The Wedding Office building is slightly nicer than the building I'm normally in. The front building has a bit of a smoky, grimy atmosphere to it. The back building is nicer and there's a reason for this. They hold the actual wedding ceremonies here. But it's not that nice, it's still very much an office building. I saw a few people mingling around the front who were obviously part of a wedding, right clothes, several bouquets of red roses. They were standing near a kiosk where you can buy softdrinks and chocolate bars. Now, I'm no old-fashioned romantic, but that didn't really strike me as how I wanted my guests to entertain themselves before or after the ceremony. But I digress.

The reason I went down there was to see what was necessary for an Australian and a Canadian to wed in Germany. I'll give you one guess as to whether it's lots of paperwork or just a little..... thinking hard?.... Good guess! I have smart readers; it's not just a little. Here's a list of what we need:

- A birth certificate, not older than 6 months and translated into German by an official translator.
- A current passport (okay, this is not a difficulty, I admit)
- Proof of residency in Munich
- Proof of job status, including the original certificates for any degrees held.
- A piece of paper (paper A) that says we don't need another piece of paper (paper B). Paper B would be a signed statement or certificate, I don't know which, saying that we were free to marry.
- G need to provide proof of his single status, a certificate being issued less than 6 months ago. Don't ask me for details on what this is, I forget right now.
- G possibly needs a "Ehebedenklichkeitsbescheinigung". Yes, that is one word. No, I don't know what it means, other than it talks about marriage (ehe) and a certificate (bescheinigung). It's in brackets, so it's possible he doesn't need that.
- Happy news, we don't need an intrepreter for the ceremony. See, learning German has finally paid off.
- G needs an Apostille to sign for all the documents from Australia, and I need "legalisation" for my documents from Canada. Apparently it's not enough that you have the official documents and certificates, someone even more official has to stamp and say they are official.
- I need to fill out an affidavit saying I'm not related to G by blood or by marriage.

So, after we get all that done, we can register to marry. Phew!

Of course, for nearly all these papers, there's going to be some sort of charge. And don't forget the translations either. I'm starting to wonder if a quick trip to Las Vegas wouldn't be cheaper. Well, maybe not really, but a little. I think I might check out how difficult it is in Austria, since it's just a hop away. If it's significantly easier, it might be worth a shot.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Magazine Review: Hochzeitsplaner

Finally the promised review of the first German magazine I bought. Here's the cover:

The first impression is pretty good. I like the fact that the table of contents is right at the very start of the magazine. It's in German, which is fine because I do read German, but I have treated it more as a picture gallery than read the articles. Most of the "articles" are just advertising different wedding services like dresses, make-up or jewelry. One interesting thing is that it's the first magazine that I've come across that had specific articles and clothing examples targeted for the groom. At least 6 separate articles which actually equals only around 10 pages or so, but that's 5% of the magazine and I haven't seen anything in other magazines. Of course, some of the outfits are truly atrocious and I can't imagine any man wearing them anywhere, never mind to his wedding. I mean, would you marry someone wearing this?
No, I thought not.

But not everything is so strange looking, there are lots of nice dresses, some flower ideas, some hairstyling ideas, some ideas for sayings and prayers for the ceremony. Plus an actual wedding planner, with a checklist of things to do at a certain number of months.

And, as a nice comparison, many of the ads do show the price of the dress advertised or at least the model number! This was my main complaint with In Style magazine. Glad to see the Germans are more pratical in this regard.

The thing I probably appreciate the most is that it is Germany-based, so the suppliers they list are far more likely to be useful to me/us than any of the the North American or British magazines.

The thing I liked the least was the fact that although the issue is billed as their winter/spring issue for 2005, all the bridal fairs they list fell within January or the early part of February. Doesn't do you much good if you go to buy the magazine now, does it? And you can't tell me they didn't know these things before they went to press. However, I will accept it if someone tells me that there aren't any bridal fairs in Germany in spring 2005. Until that happens though, I'll be a bit miffed.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Link it baby!

G has put a link to this page from our other website. Don't think there will be too many links from that to us, but in case you are interested enough to check it out, click here. Lots of nice pictures from previous holidays up there.

Plus, still not really knowing what we want for rings, send us your ideas! Either comment with a link or email me with your piccies.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

I try and limit myself from gabbing on and on about our nuptials and the planning within. At least that is, with the people who don't want to know much about it. Of course all our friends are happy for us, but most probably don't really care to hear the details. If they want to hear the details, they can read them here instead. But of course, sometimes it comes up in conversation. For example

"What did you do on the weekend?"
"We went ring shopping."
"Oh, how was that?"

At which point, I'm caught between telling the whole (and in my biased eyes, interesting) story or the short not-much-information version. I've got it wrong a few times too, as to who would be interested and who wouldn't. Some people who I assumed wouldn't want much detail kept asking more and more questions. Some people to whom I started to tell the minutiae quickly glazed over with a desperate look on their face of "Please make her stop. Please. Somebody."

To those who I've bored, please forgive me. It's pretty exciting for me to be getting married to G and although I realise it does not affect your life very much and that you aren't so interested, I sometimes get caught up before I can stop myself. As I said, I do try and gauge interest before providing more than just a framework. In a couple of instances, I got it wrong. However, you have to give me credit for seeing the bored look in your eye and stopping when I did.

To those who are interested, thank you for your interest. This especially applies to people like Gen, Kathie, Shirley and Dee. Them especially because they have been regular commenters on my blog, which encourages me to post more. I do read all the comments and they have provided some good advice along with the encouragement. Thank you for that.

"Do It Yourself" Wedding Tips - Save!

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Ring shopping

G and I went ring shopping today. It was very interesting, because we went into all sorts of shops, from antique dealers to modern designers to Tiffany.

We first went into an antique shop near the Theatertinerkirche. There were a couple of interesting rings in the window, so we went in. I tried on 2 pearl rings and 2 ruby rings. One of each looked good on my hand. The pearl ring had a very small pearl, but it looked so much nicer than the big one. It was 8k gold, with the pearl and two small diamonds on either side. The ruby ring that I tried was a ruby and diamond of about equal size, sort of diagonally across from each other (if you think of the band as horizontal, the stones were diagonal). The ring itself was platinum. I'm pretty lucky in that I can wear both gold and silver coloured jewellery, so that wasn't an issue. Both rings were from around 1920 or so. The man in the shop was very nice, telling us about them, saying his opinion of which one suited me better, saying how the rings were made and how the process of resizing them works. It was hard to say which was nicer. I think I was a bit more drawn to the ruby and diamond one, but the pearl ring was also very nice.

I know I said I didn't want a diamond, but as I said, it was mainly a diamond solitaire I had a problem with. Also, these rings being older, the diamonds in question may have originally come from a troubled area, but I wouldn't be playing any part in contributing to the diamond operations of today. Plus, it seems that most rings have at least a few little diamonds thrown in for effect. So although I'm not going to pick a ring based on its diamonds, I'm not going to give up on a beautiful ring just because it has a 0.05 carat diamond on it.

Second, we went into a jewellery designer shop in the center of town. The window display had for the most part only gaudy (to my eye) rings, but we thought that there was enough interesting stuff to take a look inside. Inside, there was nothing. One woman looking at jewellery and 2 salespeople fussing over her. Plus strangely, two teenagers in the corner, colouring and shading on a piece of paper. When I went to look at what looked like their catalogue, the saleswoman snatched it from underneath me and took it over to the customer her and the man were fussing over. Okaaaaaay. Obviously not interested in our business, so we left.

Next, we went into Tiffany & Co. for a kick. Neither of us were serious about it, but hey, we're potential customers, why should we be scared? But we were nervous. However, the saleswoman was very polite when asked us what we were looking for. When I replied wedding rings, she invited us to go upstairs to look at their collection.
Upstairs was several different styles for rings. She asked us what type of metal we were interested in for the ring, but we didn't have anything in particular that we wanted. If we had, I'm sure she would have then continued on with stone size, etc etc and then whipped one out. There was a fair selection not on display. But without something to go on, she just encouraged us to look around. They have a very stunning display of diamond engagement rings. Not wanting any of these, I didn't bother to try them on, but they did sparkle very nicely under the lights. I tried on one ring with a red stone (not ruby but I don't remember what it was) and two diamonds on either side, but it wasn't so great. The band was very thin and I didn't like that. The woman explained that's done so the attention is on the stones, which is certainly would be, but it was not me. Cut into my other fingers too, because of the way the band was shaped. I also tried on one simple gold band which was nice, but nothing really special. Would be cool to have a ring from Tiffany of course. Fairly affordable too, as gold rings go.

The next place we went was on Maximillianstr. For those of you who don't live in Munich, you have to understand that Maximillian is a street full of very expensive shops and boutiques. If you are a high fashion boutique, you want to be here. Think, Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, 5th Avenue in New York, Bahnhofstr. in Zurich or the Ginza District in Toyko. Well, after surviving Tiffany's quite nicely, we figured we could handle anything on Maximillianstrasse. We went into what seemed to be a Cartier/Wempe combination. I was not impressed, and this had everything to do with customer service. We told the salesman the rings we liked, one of which G spotted which was a diamond solitaire. He pulled them out of the window, put them on the tray and just sat there. Every other shop we had been in, the people told us something about the ring before we even touched it. What was the material, what the stone was, the age, something. He just sat there, I had to ask him to tell us something about the ring. He then rattled off at such a pace that I told him to please slow down. Even slower, he was still fast, obviously not caring whether we really fully understood him or not. When I asked him where the diamond came from, he shrugged and said, "Oh, I'd guess South Africa." This is CARTIER! I expect them to know where their diamonds are from. He did come around a bit and say there was no chance of it being from somewhere like Sierre Leon or something because that wasn't allowed in Germany. Of course he didn't explain how it wasn't allowed or how that would be proven. I was totally underwhelmed with the service there and wouldn't recommend it to anyone. Go to Tiffany & Co. if you want a big name.

The final shop we went in was the kicker. It was another antique store, but only for jewellery. It was next to, or rather, in the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Munich. We went in and the man was behind the desk working. He smiled, welcomed us and encouraged us to look around. So, we did. Lots of big gaudy looking rings again, but a couple of interesting ones. We saw one ring, a sapphire with two diamonds on the side and thought at first, a bit too much. I have such small hands and fingers that rings quickly look big and nasty on them. But we decided just for the heck of it to give it a try. The man got it out and gave it to me to try. Well, to our surprise, it looked very nice on me. It was also from the 1920s, an Art Deco style. The sapphire was a very very dark blue, I thought it was a black stone at first. It was delicious. It also cost around 5000 Euros. Mmm, not so delicious. I got him to pull another out of his window display which was an emerald with side diamonds, but it was twice the price and to be honest, didn't look as nice on me either, although it was lovely. The salesman was really friendly as well, and had the good idea to get the sales tax back off of it by writing the receipt in the name of one of our relatives or friends who came over for a visit. At 16%, this is a nice little tip to help reduce the cost. However, even with this reduction, it was way beyond what we were thinking of paying for a ring. But funny enough, it's the one stuck in my head now.

It was fun going out and trying rings on, because although we know our budget, we didn't let that limit us too much from trying things on. Today was just a shopping, not a buying day, so why not try different things on? It was great fun and we'll probably have to go out again to check out a few more stores. The antique jewellery was definitely the most appealing and there are lots of those around Munich. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Everyone is starting to apply pressure for a specific date. Even G, who like most typical men, wants to be involved only to the point where he doesn't actually get any responsibility other than showing up, is starting to want a specific date. So I guess next week I'll have to go down to the authorities and ask about how we go about getting signed up for this sort of thing. That'll make everything seem a bit more real, having paperwork!

P.S. I did get a German wedding magazine last weekend, I'll have a review up soon.

"Do It Yourself" Wedding Tips - Save!

Monday, February 14, 2005

Valentine's Day extravaganza!

Seeing as it's Valentine's Day, I thought I would make a special effort to post today, so look for several more post throughout the day. I'll twist the space-time continuum (did you know how to spell that word? Neither did I until just now) and change the time to late so that this post hopefully stays at the top.

Website review - Weddings

Finally, what I would consider a pretty decent wedding website. And it’s not even dedicated to weddings! has over 50 articles and Q&As about weddings. The link is direct to the wedding section. The articles are 1 to 5 pages or so in length and are informative, not just filled with fluffy advertising for some florist in southern California or some hotel estate in the Carribean. Most of the articles are exerpts from wedding books, so that is where the advertising is, but I feel that is fair enough. If something really hits home, then you might consider buying the book.

The articles range from ettiquette questions (how to invite your fiance’s ex-wife) to ideas for photographs to how go about changing your name (useful even if you aren’t in the U.S.) I really enjoy the clear style they are written in and the consiseness of them. The magazines seem to struggle to give decent content, whereas I found the articles at iVillage to be very meaty. They also have a message board section which I have yet to explore properly, but which looks promising as well. has a British counterpart,, but I’m afraid it didn’t strike me as anywhere as well organised and good looking as the American one. Really, it looked like an amateur’s website in comparison. They only had a couple of articles on weddings, plus their message boards, which I couldn’t access due to difficulty registering. I find it hard to believe there’s another ZeeBride out there, but they seemed to have a problem with that name, claiming someone else had that name. Even if that name was taken, no one ever uses my alternate log-on name, and I couldn’t get on with it either. If they sort that problem out for me (I did send them an email about it), I’ll perhaps go and have another try. But for anyone who is interested, I’d check out the American one first.

Today's Love Is:

Perhaps some of you know the silly little cartoon Love Is. Sometimes it's silly, very occasionally it hits the spot. So here is my very short list of what love is today.

Love is... travelling 4 hours on a train to deliver him his passport when he's forgotten it.
Love is... being nice and not biting his head off when you meet up with him to give him the passport.
Love is... knowing he still thinks you're beautiful even when you have a cold.
Love is... getting sweet emails from him when he is away.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Make contact!

If you have any magazines or websites you'd like me to review, drop me a line. You can contact me via email or leave a comment.

Lack of magazines

I am finding that to my surprise, there seems to be very few wedding magazines here in Germany. I noticed this a few weeks ago, that my average store with several racks of magazines had no wedding magazines. At first, I didn't want to mention it here in the blog, as I thought "Aha! A gap in the market! I shall take this gap and claim it as my own!" But since this very entrepreneurial (and extremely over-ambitious) idea, I have come across 2 wedding magazines. Both entitled something exciting like "Hochzeit" (wedding in German). I finally tracked them down at a large magazine shop in the main train station, but I didn't have time to browse through them properly to pick one over the other. And as I was already carrying my briefcase from work, I didn't particularly feel like adding another kilo or so to the heavy load. I will get one this weekend though and tell you what I think of it next week.

I do wonder about this significant difference between Germany and North America. In Canada and the States, wedding magazines can easily be found in most places that sell magazines. Does that mean that North Americans are more pressured into getting married? How can our values or opinions be so different that they can create an entire publishing industry?

I've never really thought of Germany as being very supportive of women's movement. The idea of a woman's place being "Kirche, Küche, Kinder" (church, kitchen, children) is no longer said directly out loud, but lots of things about living here seem to indicate that it is still expected. Children finish school at 1 in the afternoon, which is not very conducive to both parents working, is it? I can name a very large company here in Germany where over 60% of the employees are women, but only 2% of the top management is female.

But now I wonder...

An entire industry built up in North America for getting married; easily 6 magazines to choose from in an average store. Here, I had to search to find two. Are North American women being led to believe that getting married is the ultimate achievement? For no matter how much you deny it, advertising has an effect.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

First tries

Tried on a couple of dirndls today. It wasn't very successful, as it was just a last minute idea with 15 minutes to go before the store shut. The women running the dirndl department were trying to be nice, but they actually really wanted me out of there so they could leave work punctually. I tried on a couple just to get a feel for them. G was with me. I don't think it's a big deal if he sees Zee Dress before Zee Big Day. In fact, I would rather know that he likes my outfit as well as I myself. Anyone have any strong opinions on the matter?

"Do It Yourself" Wedding Tips - Save!

Monday, February 07, 2005

Website review - So You Wanna...

I found this link for advice on purchasing a wedding gown. SoYouWanna buy a wedding gown? It's very well-written with very practical advice, with a bit of tongue in cheek humour thrown in to keep it interesting. If you are thinking about getting married and want some first advice, look here! They have related SoYouWannas as well, including buying an engagement ring, being a maid of honor, hosting a wedding shower and renting a tuxedo. Great website, not just for wedding things.

Zee Dress

We have decided. We are going to wear traditional Bavarian clothes for the wedding. G in lederhosen and me in a dirndl. For those who perhaps don't know, lederhosen are traditional leather pants or shorts that men wear and dirndl are those milkmaid/Heidi dresses you see the women wearing. I'm wearing one in my profile picture in fact.

There are several reasons we decided to do this.
1. As we decided that the wedding here in Germany is likely to be small with big parties back in Australia and Canada, it would make for good pictures when we went back to said places in our "Trachten" (traditional clothing). Most people haven't seen that type of clothing, so they would find it interesting.
2. It would feel comfortable. I'm used to wearing a dirndl and G has lederhosen too and we wear them often enough that they wouldn't feel weird to wear.
3. It's not clothing that we would only wear that time and never again. While we still live here in Germany, there are plenty of opportunities to wear Trachten.
4. It won't cost the earth. Although you can spend a lot of money on this type of clothing, the industry isn't already trying to gouge you by saying "Oh, it's your special day, you should spend the money". There are lots of nice outfits to be had for a reasonable price.
This is probably the main reason:
5. Part of the reason G and I got together in the first place was that he was interested in joining the Bavarian oom-pah-pah band that I play in. In fact, he did join it, after borrowing my old cornet for the first 5 months. When the band has a concert, we also play in Trachten, although there's a set uniform. So, in a way, it would be significant to show what brought us together.

So although it won't be a standard white dress, it will still have a lot of meaning. And I still get to go shopping! Yippee!

"Do It Yourself" Wedding Tips - Save!

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Wedding Dress News tomorrow

I promise, a big post tomorrow about the wedding dress. No final decisions have been made, but more than a vague idea is in place. Until then.

P.S. If you find yourself looking at any other posts and want to go back to the front page, just click the big title Zee Wedding - Zee Story at the top of any page to bring you back to the most recent one. Took me a little while to figure that one out. Until then.

"Do It Yourself" Wedding Tips - Save!

Friday, February 04, 2005

You know you are engaged when...

You know you are engaged when:

- You find yourself constantly thinking about next year, going so far as to mistake 2005 for 2006.

- You want to tell the WORLD you are getting married but you find saying "my fiance" somehow strange.

- Every dress that is white gets a second look.

More to come

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Okay, this website is driving me slowly nuts. I have been trying for the last half hour to make a small edit in a previous post and to get the changed version of the post to load up. It is not working! Publishing normally only takes a few seconds, so I know if it's taking 5 minutes, something is afoot. I've tried a couple of times and it still is being ornery. If any of you other bloggers out there have some advice, I'd be happy to read it.

Thank you to all who have made comments, it's great to get feedback from everyone. And thanks to all who have popped in to take a look around, from Australia, to Sweden, to Canada, to all across the States. Keep looking! I tell you, I'm in love with my Stat program. To quote Ferris Bueller, it is so Choice. It's cool to be able to see where everyone is from and what brought them to the site.

I hope others will find my site entertaining or informative. I'd like to read some other wedding blogs as well, to see how different people are doing different things, but nearly all that I find are for weddings that took place in 2003 or so. Not really as exciting as reading new and fresh posts, filled with drama and intrigue.
Will she get the ring she wants? Stay tuned to this blog!
Will his friends really duct tape him to a lamp post for his stag party? Find out this week!

Zee Snow!

Munich is covered in snow! About 30cm (a foot) of snow has fallen in the last 24 hours. For all my northern readers, this might not be so impressive, but it's a lot for Munich. I'm impressed with how the city hasn't shut down; the sidewalks are being plowed, along with the major roads, as many people as usual are out and about on the streets.

Now, if we could get married next January with this kind of snow all around, it would be fantastic! I'd love it. I hope it won't simply be a miserable cold and rainy day. Not that it matters in the end, I am aware that marrying G is the aim of the day, but it would make for good pictures.

For those of you who may have tried this link yesterday, I'm sorry, I messed up. It should be working now. Let me know if it doesn't.

"Do It Yourself" Wedding Tips - Save!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Developing the Blog

I was quite excited to find a few new tools for some of the behind-the-scenes work of this blog. I have just added a stats counter to the template, so I know if anyone other than myself actually reads this thing. I will have to look at every visitor as a success, rather than being despondent that millions aren't reading my words of wisdom.

Plus, I found a new resource for saving money on your wedding. Check out the link below. It's for an e-book by Stephi Stewart. I listened to a radio interview with her and she sounded pretty on the ball. Plus, she personally responded to an email I sent her within the day! I was very impressed.

"Do It Yourself" Wedding Tips

Engagement Party?

Now that people are starting to find out that we are engaged, there have been a few questions of "So when is the engagement party?" Some a bit teasing, some very serious in their need for a reason to party.

An engagement party could be fun, but I do wonder what to do. Perhaps a house party like we did last year over Easter. We provided the alcohol, everyone else brought food. It was a great time, (other than the red wine stains on the wall which did eventually come out) and I wouldn't mind doing something like that again. Someone suggested something a little more dress-up than just a get-together in the bar, but that starts to sound like planning and coordination of a level I’m not prepared to do. It’s not that I don’t want to do any planning because I’m scared of it. I’ve planned lots of events, from 4 person casual lunches, to 150 people weekend extravaganzas. The reason I don’t want to get too involved in planning anything is because it’s easy to get wrapped up in planning, worrying about are the guests enjoying themselves, is there enough ice, etc etc, and forget to enjoy the party yourself. If it’s something simple that I feel comfortable with, I know I will have a lot more fun.

Before we have an engagement party, we should have some sort of physical token to show to people that we are actually engaged. A ring, a locket, something. So that will be the first step, before any party/engagement announcements are made.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Knot - Update

The Knot sent me an email today. It said "Where are you getting married? We've pulled together everything you need to plan a wedding in your area: Hundreds of vendor profiles -- sites, photographers, florists, bands, and more" blah blah blah. Which would make you assume that from the oodles of information they collected from me when I registered for the site, they had some about things near me in Munich. Nah-uh. Just a link to their over-filled front page, with the list of everything for the U.S. C'est la vie.

But while we are on the topic, random impersonal emails from companies aren't the only ones I can get. You too can write to me: Or if you prefer to deal with the male half, I'm going to make him able to post on the blog, so if you are very lucky, you might see a post from him one of these days...

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Rings and things

I've been thinking about wedding rings and wedding dresses the last few days. I'll share my thoughts on rings for this post.

As I mentioned before, at the moment, I don't have an engagement ring. I can live with this, but I do want a ring. I've never really thought about it much before. I don't wear rings normally, so a ring would become extra symbolic, as no matter what it is, it's a ring I'm going to always wear. Within reason though, I might take it off when mixing up hamburger meat with my hands. But always in the sense it's not going to be taken off just because it doesn't match my shoes.

I'm not so crazy about a big diamond solitaire for a lot of reasons.

1. Diamonds are overpriced. Diamonds aren't rare, they are extremely common. A market was artificially created for them by keeping tight control of how many got out to the public. This has eased in the last few years, but the grip of good marketing is still in effect.

2. There are too many blood diamonds out there. Countries like Sierre Leon, Liberia and Angola fund their civil wars by selling diamonds they mine in their countries. Lots of times the people that these rebel groups use to mine the diamonds are kept like slaves. Do I want to wear a stone that went to buy guns that went to kill innocent human beings? If I do get a diamond, we'll make sure it's a Canadian diamond or another diamond with a certificate of origin from somewhere peaceful.

3. Solitaires stick out. Occasionally I am not the most graceful of humans. With a big rock on my finger, I am likely to rip up sweaters, scratch glasses and leave injuries on my or G's head during what was supposed to be a tender moment.

So what would I like? Well, both G and I were talking about something with rubies, since Ruby is my middle name. Pearls possibly, since it's our birthstone too (and I can't scratch anyone's eyes out with a pearl). But basically, we're going to just go out shopping and see what we like. Don't know if we'll get something matching to work as wedding rings together, or two individual rings. If anyone has any suggestions, whether of what to buy or where to look or a style they think we should check out, I'd love to read your comments.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Website review - The Knot

Really, this place should be called Zee Knot, in deference to me, but I guess I will just have to live with the snub.
Nice clean front page, with lots of information listed. The unfortunate thing is, you have to register to use any of this information. Registration is of course free, but I was forced to give a lot of personal information before registration was complete. It also forced me to pick a state/province, which is silly, as "Bavaria" wasn't listed as an option. Okay, now having gone back to see the page, I see they have an option of "Not applicable", but tucked down within the other Ns, rather than somewhere easy to spot.

Because there is so much information, it would be good if they had an obvious newbie's guide to take you on a tour of the webpage, to see what's available.

On my own, exploring leads me to the link for local resources. Hmmm. No Germany (no suprise), so let's see what they have for Canada. Canadian resources are limited the Toronto area. Is this because they have only started the Canadian section, or is because they really think that people will go to Toronto for their reception from Vancouver or St. John? Either way, it hardly encourages more Canadian viewers to check it out. A whole potential market and new advertisers basically left out in the cold.

But the site is not completely useless if you are not from the States. Some of the good things they have are some very nifty looking and useful tools. Included in this are a checklist for the wedding, a tool for planning your budget, a guest list which also then corresponds to the invitation list and to the gift list. At first glance, what I like most is the budget planner because it includes so much which you might otherwise forget and helps to distribute everything appropriately. You can take out things that aren't applicable and include other things that they don't. Very practical and useful.

I have to say, I did experience a micro-second of panic when I clicked on one of these pages for the first time. Because you have to enter a date for the wedding, I picked a random date in January next year. So when I went onto the checklist, there it was in big letters, "Only 350 days left!" I think it was the exclamation point which scared me the most. But it's also the first time I started thinking about a wedding date being a deadline. Eeek.

There are other nice features of the webpage which I haven't had a chance to explore yet, so I'll review them more after I've had a chance to play with them.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Shameless publicity

In an attempt to become rich and famous, (hah!) I have submitted my blog to a few blog search engines. was good enough to include me in their list, so here is their reciprocal publicity. Thanks Blogwise! I won't forget you little people when I reach the top!

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Getting married in Germany

Getting married in Germany may be a bit unlike what you are used to. In Germany, many couples have both a civil and a church ceremony. You can't just get married in a church, you must do a civil ceremony too. A friend of mine figures it's to restrict the power of the church versus the state, which is an interesting theory and very possibly true. You can also only have a church wedding if you pay church tax. This is an extra tax of around 9% that you "voluntarily" pay to the church that comes off your paycheck. I say voluntarily because you don't have to pay it, but a lot of expats don't realise this when they move to Germany. They put down their religion on their work forms, not realising that it means they will be paying an extra tax. If you want to give to the church, all fine and good, but a lot of people I know find it a bit bothersome that they are taxed 9% for their faith. Once you are on, you have to it's of course a big hoopla to get off. Not too big, but it might make you a bit uncomfortable if you are religious but want to tithe the money somewhere else. Don't worry, no one I know has been struck down by lightning for removing themselves from this tax.

ZeeGroom and I will be having only a civil ceremony.

I was looking through some of the online information about marriage in Munich from the Munich webpage, and as I don't have all the details, I won't write exactly what is needed. I have to go down in person to get all the goods. But I have to share with you this one tidbit. They have a list of songs that they can play for your wedding. Most are just your normal standard stuff, but some of the song they have go a ways in helping blowing away the stereotype of Germans as conformists. But perhaps go a ways to giving you the idea they have no taste.

How Deep is Your Love - BeeGees - To me, this song always had more to do with "getting it on" than getting the ring on, but perhaps that's just me.
My Way - Frank Sinatra - "And now, the end is near, And so I face the final curtain" What a nice sentiment to start your married life with. And does this mean that whoever chose the song is going to get his or her way for the rest of the marriage?
Que' sera' - "Hitchcock" Doris Day - Okay, this song isn't so bad really, but the fact that they list it as a song from Hitchcock is really a bit weird. It was in the movie The Man Who Knew Too Much but still, I think Doris Day would have been enough.

But saving the best for last:
Hells Bells - ACDC!!! I really really would like to see the couple who get married to this song. They must be extremely cool or extremely clueless. Hah! It made my afternoon.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Telling People

I'm enjoying telling people that I'm engaged. It's always nice to be able to tell people good news and everyone I know would think that this is good news. As G and I already live together, it hardly comes as a shock to anyone, so no good expressions of amazement on people's faces, simply a 'bing' type look, a smile and an immediate "Congratulations!" Makes me feel good, the exact opposite of shoot-the-messenger.

But one thing I'm not enjoying so much is not being able to give any details. Most people have not immediately followed their congratulations with "So when's the wedding", but it usually comes within the next few minutes of conversation. We are vague, thinking probably January next year for the actual paperwork, then a party in February or March in Australia, then another party in June or July in Canada. Everyone in Munich is now asking themselves "And what about us young lady?" Yes, definitely another party here in Munich at some as-yet undetermined time.

But know I'm thinking about it, and June/July next year is when the World Cup is taking place. Here in Germany. It would be really really inopportune to go away for all of that excitement, when it's happening right here. Hmm. More thinking required...

The rest of the review of InStyle Weddings Issue

Things I like.
I like the fact the articles finish in order in the magazine. I hate it when you have to go searching around the back of the magazine to find the last one and a half pages of an article.
I like that the articles are well-written and seem to respect the reader. It seems to be a style that says "We understand you are really happy, but we also know you have a lot of decisions to make." Nothing too frothy and lovey-dovey.
As you would expect from a bridal magazine, the photography is excellent and the clothes that are displayed are tasteful. Not necessarily my taste - there's a doozy on page 159 that you would have to pay me the 6,990 bucks it costs just to wear it - but no red latex jumpsuits for you to show off in in front of the vicar. Hey, maybe by the time things roll around to the day, I might be interested in that look. But that wasn't what I looking for when I bought the magazine and that's happily not what is in it.
Being from InStyle, there are some clever stylistic things to do with your hair and the location you choose. Other things too that are perhaps a bit more fashion than just bridal. But I might just being saying that because it's my first one. I guess I'll have to buy another and compare. :)

Things I don't like.
The pages and pages and pages of ads. I'm not surprised, but when I pay $6.50 Cdn for a magazine, I would hope to get a bit more meaty substance than was provided.
I'm sure many brides probably appreciate that there are so many ads for ideas they can see pasted in front of them. But I would appreciate if some of them listed the price of the outfit the model is wearing. You (you being the advertiser) may feel that's a bad idea, listing the price, as people will just flick through, either shocked at the prices or simply looking for the cheapest dress. Well, I have two things to say to this. One, they list the prices of the dresses used in the articles, so I think most women would have an idea of what to expect. Two, either they are going to fall in love with your dress and seeing the price doesn't matter or they are going to shop around anyways. Do all of us future brides a favour, start listing the price discreetly in the corner!!
Okay, if that is really too much to ask - although I feel is shouldn't be - can you at least then put the name or number of the style on the page so we know what to ask for when we go into the shop? That truly is the least you can do, rather than making us go online and find it on your website, which also doesn't have the price. Sigh.
The last thing I didn't like, which relates to the first thing I didn't like, was that there wasn't enough practical information in it. I suppose this is how they sell magazine after magazine, by only telling you a few tidbits at a time. Well, like I said, I'll buy another one in a few weeks and see how they compare...

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Review of InStyle Weddings Issue

I can't remember exactly why I picked this magazine over the 9 or so others hovering in the same part of the magazine rack, each with a skinny beautiful girl with a white dress on the front cover. I guess it wasn't specific to any particular region; it didn't look over the top on ideas of how to waste-sorry, spend, your money; and I was under pressure from ZeeGroom to "just pick one so we can get out of here", so probably the words "Great choices for any budget" and "easy ideas" caught my eye.

The magazine is 376 pages long. The first page that isn't an ad is page 27, the start of the contents page. The next is page 32, the second page of the contents. That's right, they space two pages of contents over five pages. Next is the editor's note on page 50. The first actual article comes on page 89. I was going to put quotes around the word actual, because it's basically a promotion for an event designer. But it is in print and it isn't an advertisement and it does give at least one idea. $325 US for a bouquet? Ackkk!! Ack was my reaction to reading a lot of the things in the magazine; $5000 US and for a cinematographer to film your wedding (you get a 12-14 minute DVD, no sound). Ackkk!! The price of the first outfit I saw that I actually liked, $4030 US. Ackkk!! At least that included the Manolo Blahnik shoes.

Which leads me to an aside: Was I the only one who hadn't heard of Manolo Blahnik before I watched Sex and the City? Living in Europe puts you behind the curve on a lot of pop-culture things, but was a pair of shoes that cost on average over $400 a thing that your average North American knew about before? I so do wonder. Maybe it's just me who is behind the curve.

More later, and I promise, a true review, not just first impressions.


I started writing this last night, and "Breakdown" is a very apt title, as did in fact seem to do that as I was trying to publish this. I hope it's not a regular feature of their service.

Anyhow, as I was saying. The breakdown title in fact refers to my lack of willpower. Less than a week after finally informing my parents, I broke down and bought a bridal magazine. (You can see the cover below, I'll give you my rating of it later). I really wanted to buy one, even though as I've stated before, I really don't want the hoopla of a big wedding. But it was like there was some power over me, drawing me to the section of magazines with white dresses on the covers, willing me to buy one. By the way, it's amazing how many bridal magazines are out there. How can they sell so many on a regular basis? Who buys these? I suppose a nervous bride (they are definitely targeted at the bride, not the groom!) would probably buy a stack. I bought one, and felt deliciously guilty buying just that. G just rolled his eyes at me and told me to get one, as I obviously looked like a kid locked out of the candy store, staring up at them.

The draw I felt to buy one reminded me of a similar feeling I used to get when I was dating. I would meet some guy, have a couple great dates with him and feel giddy about him. You know, that initial rush of attraction. If I had too much time on my hands after one of these dates, I found my mind wandering, thinking about our future life together, whether we'd have a boy or a girl first, how my first name would sound with his last name... and then I would pull myself back to reality, hating myself for getting carried away with things that I truly (I swear to you) did not want or expect. Honestly, I've never wanted to change my last name, it's so cool and most guy's last names don't measure up, but I still would daydream about it. It was like the hormones in my body were pressuring me to make whoever the poor guy was my mate, whether my conscious mind wanted to or not. I felt the same feeling when I went to buy the bridal magazine, something my conscious mind didn't want to do, but still wanting it. But at least buying a magazine is something considered fairly normal. I'm sure the boys and men I dated would have ran off in a panic if they had an idea of what coursed through my mind so early in the dating sometimes.