Monday, October 25, 2010

Wedding Gifts: Eating, Smiling, Crying

Mr. Octo and I were, in a word, overwhelmed by our wedding gifts. Our guests were incredibly generous and thoughtful, and we were really quite humbled by the kindness they showed to us. Mr. Octo was not at all familiar with the concept of a bridal shower before our engagement, and after our bridal shower in my hometown, I still remember how he looked at the pile of presents and said, "I just can't believe that people did all this for us." So, we have a lot to be grateful for.

However, there were a few wedding gifts that really stood out in how special they were. Want to see?

My friend Bonnie and I have been pals since our Teach for America days. She is well aware that two of my most crippling vices in life are beer and cheese. She is also an avid Weddingbee reader. She and her husband Richie combined their knowledge of two of my favorite foods and my post about our honeymoon destinations to order this:

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a spread of Vermont cheeses and a selection of local craft beers chilling in the fridge of our suite when we arrived in Burlington, VT. OMG, you guys. Mr. Octo and I filled up the in-room double Jacuzzi, cracked two Magic Hats, ate way more Brie and crackers than I'm comfortable admitting to you, and watched cable TV (we don't have cable at home because we are two broke-ass mofos). To us, it was the most luxurious, decadent thing EVER.

Next, we have the gift that makes me grin every time I look at it. Mr. Octo's friend from high school, Laura, is an artist. Her wedding gift to us?

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LOL at Mr. O looking like a creepy lurker as he holds the painting. He didn't realize he'd be in the photo.

A matted and framed watercolor painting of our ceremony site, Heinz Chapel. She painted this herself! I can't believe I even know someone this talented!

If you need a refresher on just how accurate her artwork is in its details, here is a comparison with a photo of Heinz Chapel taken from roughly the same angle. I can't find my camera charger, or I'd take even more close-up shots. The likeness is so impressive.

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(Source.)

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You should have heard Mr. Octo and I gasp in unison when we unwrapped this painting. I am so touched that she put so much time and effort into creating this gorgeous memento of our wedding for us. What an amazing gift. I mean, seriously, LOOK at that PAINTING! I LOVE IT SO MUCH!

Finally, the big gift. The gift which caused Mr. Octo and I to share a good, long cry when we opened it two days before the wedding, and which will probably make me cry as I write about it.

When MIL Octopus passed away, FIL Octopus kept her wedding band. Unbeknownst to us, he had plans for it. FIL Octo worked with a local jeweler to have his wedding band united with MIL Octo's, into the shape of a cross. He then had a white gold heart laid over the cross, as well as an aquamarine, MIL Octopus's birthstone (as well as the stone in my engagement ring). Their names are engraved on the back.

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The cross sitting on my bouquet (Corey Ann Photography).

Then, he gave it to us as our wedding gift, with a note that read, simply, "God's greatest gift is love." (Also: yep, crying.)

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With our rings (Corey Ann Photography).

I normally think of myself as a pretty good writer, but in this instance, words fail me. I tried, but I can't describe how it felt to be given a gift of such intimacy and magnitude. You'll have to use your imaginations. All I can say is that Mr. Octo and I will absolutely treasure this gift, above all others, for the rest of our lives.

Have you been given any particularly meaningful or thoughtful wedding gifts?

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