The first time I met Alanna, my fiancé Mike’s sister, I knew I wanted her to marry us. Never mind the fact that I met her on her front porch, while completely hungover from the previous night’s New Year’s Eve shenanigans. Having only known “Mike” (not that Mike, new Mike) for approximately 9 days-we like most normal couples…met on match.com (hysterical laughter is necessary-we are still shocked) a lot of the stories he had shared about his life seemed outlandish and little did I know, I was on the verge of finding out they were actual & factual.
Looking like an Ohio version of Drew Barrymore, Alanna’s light, welcoming spirit was not at all put off by the fact that we had shown up unannounced on her Cincinnati doorstep January 1st. Dubbed the Red House, her home seemed to me, a sight for sore eyes. The pleasantly cluttered front porch was the backdrop of perfection for the tarot cards (whipped out quickly upon my request), cigarettes and most importantly REAL life talk. Her voice was magnetic, she was every bit as charming and witty as her brother that I was rapidly falling for. She gave me a tour of her home brimming with self-created artwork, children, pets and a fantastically beautiful husband, sporting a man bun to die for, whom I have yet to see out of the kitchen. I wanted to flip through every single canvas but I stood stoically, not wanting to give myself away. I, being the closed-mouth woman that I am, never mentioned to Mike
the rapidly flashing thoughts in my brain about being part of this eclectic, complex family. In another part of my brain, I grabbed the bongos I don’t currently own, flopped down on the floor, started a drum circle and sipped espresso for the remainder of the afternoon. For Christ’s sake, this man had NOT mentioned marriage……while sober anyway. I should mention at this point, this was an interesting twist, Mike is anything but a hippy at first glance. A decorated War Veteran, from his stature, to his posture, to his overall aura, he oozes everything you’d see out of a 1970s Vietnam Sergeant. His life story will come at another time, likely in the form of a novel. No joke.
At that point on my own personal path, I cherished my single-lady status as well as the coveted alone time. Having been previously married at 19 and a mother to two daughters, “alone time” was an utterly foreign concept. My brain was seething at my heart, demanding this togetherness nonsense come to an immediate halt. These moments of seething, I would later find out, Mike had actually given a name…”Jess’s Hot Lava.” Apparently, I would throw hot lava in his direction any time he started to get too close.
Once the hot lava reached a manageable point, Mike asked me to marry him in Vegas, May of 2016. We were so incredibly into one another we passed up opportunities as well as unbelievably short lines to meet both Mario Lopez & Mike Tyson. Shrug. Missed opportunities for sure, but we couldn’t see anything but one another. We had no plan on when or where these impending nuptials would take place but unbeknownst to us, the universe was already at work.
Enter Partington Spring House…. In August of 2016 one of my very best friends, requested to see an 1800s Stone home tucked just outside our favorite little Village of Yellow Springs. The team of sisters had been scouring the area for years looking for a prospective property to expand their burgeoning photography studio into an event venue. Mike & I stepped onto the property and felt an instantaneous connection. Not unlike what we had experienced in such a ridiculously short time as a couple. I was glued to the Spring itself, this little place on the earth was my “barefoot nuptials” spot! I couldn’t fathomhow I would make it happen, but I knew it was “the one.”
This is normal for my personality, I’ve been told I jump into the fire and then decide how to handle things…”look before you leap” was one of the phrases my mother used on repeat throughout my formative years. I’m still more of a leaper, it’s my adventurous/gypsy soul at work. One of those innate characteristics that I couldn’t change if I tried-and believe me momma I’ve tried, I’ve given it hell actually, hence why we are on try #2 in the first place.
The gypsy soul brings us back to my wedding theme and how I became a GASP…bridezilla. I had one of those freakishly weird moments in life where I sat up in the middle of night out of nowhere and said, “Bohemian Wedding.” That’s it. Next stop Pinterest. I didn’t already have a wedding board dating back to Feb 2016 locked away privately. That would be bizarre J This, Mostly a Maloney board would soon become flooded with scraps of what I envision as my outside-the-box dream wedding and I would soon be consumed with my quest to locate antique goblets. For real CONSUMED. Things get serious here, it has become so serious in fact, that I cannot make it to any appointment on time, as I am constantly detoured by Estate Sales & Thrift Stores on my Goblet Expedition. Hello, my name is Jessica and I am a gobletholic.