Friday, June 4, 2010

a gift for the groom

Jon and I became engaged in late March last year, and by early May I already had his wedding present in the works. I'd had a flash of inspiration that, although slightly more expensive than I might have originally budgeted, was just too good to pass up. From mid-May on I forbade Jon to sneak peeks at my e-mail inbox, and occasionally I'd tease that I already knew what I was getting him for the wedding, and he'd probably pee his pants when he got it it was so awesome. (I should note that Jon and his brother love presents more than anyone I have ever met, so I knew it had to be a really good one to impress such a connoisseur of gifts.)

Y'all want to see? Here's the big unveiling on the night of our wedding rehearsal...

Jon looking excited for the camera...
(Crazy Steve behind him is excited too)


It's a ukulele!!!

plinka-plinka-plink (that's a strumming sound, fyi)

Yes, I got Jon a ukulele for our wedding. It's the gift that keeps on giving!

But this isn't just any ukulele -- I had it custom built. Jon had been making noise about how he wanted a nice concert ukulele for years, so I decided to do it and do it right for his wedding present. There's a personalized inlay in the headstock (up by the tuners) that you can't see terribly well in the picture above, and, with the help of the excellent and easy-to-work-with luthier, Mike Pereira of MP Ukuleles (found via the guy who runs the blog Ukulele Ghetto), I chose all of the various woods used to build the instrument. On the inside, there's a label with our wedding date and a sweet/sappy quote:

The label is based on one for another wedding uke Mike had recently built. That one had the wedding date in Edwardian Script and a quote from some Hawaiian wedding song that Mike's client had requested not be used on other labels. I asked if I could change the font (yes) and then began scouring the internet for some other appropriate snippet to put in that quote's place. I think I went through nearly every song on the Hawaiian Music and Hula Archives website and nothing fit the bill. As soon as I gave up on the Hawaiian thing, I realized the answer had been staring me in the face all along. What I ended up using, "I'll be yours for a song," is a lyric from Kathleen, the Josh Ritter tune to which Jon proposed. The source and the sentiment were both perfect.

I made Jon leave his present behind at my parents' house that night after I gave it to him so that our photographer could get some awesome professional pictures of it (for posterity) when she came over to shoot the girls getting ready the next morning. He was sad to leave it then, but has since made up for that lost day by playing it all the time, which makes me very happy. Here he is with his new uke, first showing it off to buds at the morning-after brunch and then looking up tabs on the internet at home:

a much better look at the monogrammed headstock and fretboard inlay

He loves it! As my Michigander college roommate likes to say, I am so pleased.