Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Seems like you're bending over backward to make this wedding "different." What's up with that?

A: Why be normal?

Seriously, though, we've thought a lot about the concept of marriage and what that means to us as individuals and as a couple, and this is not a step we've taken lightly. (Although it may outwardly seem like we're taking it pretty lightly, that's just our sense of humor.)

Indeed, most couples think long and hard before taking such a monumental step. But this decision has been an even more significant one to us because of our personal backgrounds — our beliefs, our parents' (multiple) marriages, and our own inclination to question social norms and institutions before deciding if we want to buy into them. We're thinking critically about all aspects of starting our new life together.

When we look long and hard at the institution of marriage in America, it's less than perfect. More than half fail, and most kids grow up in broken homes. This, in our estimation, has contributed significantly to most of our society's endemic problems, such as crime, poor education, poverty, addictions, and abuse, and what Mark keeps insisting are an onset of "the Crazy Years."

If that's the norm, we certainly want our marriage to be different than the norm. Plus, we're just different. So our ceremony is going to be different too.

Hey, it could be worse. We could've had the wedding at Burning Man.

Q: Why didn't you just elope?

A: Mark wouldn't let us.

Q: I've never been to a "Hitchin' Party." What does one wear to such a soirée?

A: Layers! It's a park in the foothills, and it's October. It'll probably be warm, but it might get cooler later in the day.

Wear comfortable, festive attire. But feel free to be casual; there is no need to be fancy. Hawaiian shirts are great!

Q: Who's going to marry you?

A: Peter Drekmeier, a trusted friend and good human being. He's very tall.

Q: Is he gonna wear priest robes?

A: No.

Q: Is he going to sing?

A: Possibly. We've never been able to figure out how to stop him.

Q: Are you guys gonna dress up? In wedding garb?

A: Well, not exactly traditional wedding garb. In case you haven't noticed, it's a bit of a non-traditional shindig. I mean, it's a barbeque in a park. So, we'll be wearing something casual but festive.

Q: Will Velma be wearing a dress?

A: Yes, and it will even be white (Mark thinks this is funny).

Q: So you won't be wearing Burning Man attire?

A: No. Well...maybe.

Q: Why potluck?

A: Our community has a lot of great cooks! We're asking everyone to bring a dish to share for the meal because that's a good way to build commradery and for everyone to share a part of themselves.

Q: Who's the grill master?

A: Best BBQ this side of the Mississippi! Exclusive engagement! Direct from the Show-Me State! Longtime family friend Mark Carlson will share with us his mastery of the grill, but maybe not the recipe. He will be assisted by Justin Olson, recent CA convert with MO roots. Between them they've known Velma longer than she's been alive. Boy, do they have stories...

And for the vegetarians, Jana and Chris will be cooking up something amazing. They might even share it with the carnivores. If we're lucky!

Q: Are you registered anywhere?

A: No, but if you want to make a gift, you can donate to a public benefit group in our honor, contribute to our honeymoon or help far-flung friends come in for the party.

Q: What should I bring?

A: A dish to share. We'll provide the entrée and other stuff.

The recipe for the dish (if you want). We'll post the recipes on our website after the wedding.

A plate, cup, utensils, and napkin (we're being green!).

Blankets, lawn chairs, horseshoes, frisbee, bubbles, bocci ball, fun stuff for the park — you get the idea...

$5 for park entrance.

Your openness and sense of humor.

Q: Sheesh, you guys are making us bring our own food and silverware? Will there be any wedding favors, or are you doing this whole thing on a $25 budget?

A: Oh, come on, we're providing the entrée, drinks, entertainment, cake, and gelato. Did we mention the all-important cake and gelato?

But yes, there will be wedding favors. And they will be coooool...

Q: This is the first wedding I've ever heard of that has its own FAQ.

A: That's not a question.