ABOUT THIS: My boyfriend and I are getting hitched in Iceland this summer. Okay, you're all caught up.

Our Registries


Tuesday, August 31, 2010



From: Daniel
To: Anna
Subj: two strange questions

Hello, Anna:

Good afternoon! I just wanted to check in, say hello, and send along two questions Eric and I have. These are not strictly hotel-related so it is TOTALLY fine if you don’t know; we just need to get the answers before the invitations go out in mid-October, and asking you seemed like the right place to start. I am prepared to research these myself as well, but I thought I’d start with our lady on the ground in Reykjavik!


We are obviously going to have a civil marriage ceremony, which we learned takes place at the Reykjavik District Commissioner from Monday through Friday in the afternoon. As the reception is on a Friday night, we were wondering if it is feasible to have the ceremony at the courthouse and bring all of our guests! I have no idea what the space looks like (or if it can accommodate over 50 people piling into one room), but it is something we have thought about. Do you have any idea of this kind of thing can be done?

We are planning on contacting Icelandair to find out if we can get any kind of group rate discount on the flights. This is probably as easy as contacting the airline ourselves, but we were wondering if the hotel does any business with Icelandair and might recommend a contact we could speak with at the airline.

These are my silly questions of the day! Really, we are just trying to get all of the information we need for the invitations squared away, and then we can move onto the fun stuff when I come see you in December.

Thanks again for everything, and I look forward to hearing back from you.

Hope you had a great holiday!

Best as always,
Dan and Eric


From: Anna
To: Daniel
Re: two strange questions

Hi My Grooms.

How are you...you don’t need to go to the commissioners offices. you can have the ceremony at the Grand Hótel Reykjavík with all of you guests, and the commissioner will come to you… how does that sound?

What we will do Daniel is when you come over to see the hotel what we will do is look at few rooms and you and Eric can pick your favorite room…But these two rooms Ásgarður or útgarður on our penthouse floor we will have.

Regarding the airline, Rósa Guðmundsdóttir is our contact person and not only is she great but she is a group specialist: rosa@icelandair.is.

I am of to Oslo tomorrow but I will check my emails…

Remember if you don’t ask you will not get the answer.. I am her to help you… so ask away, it does not matter about the silliness of the question!

My best regards,


Monday, August 30, 2010



Aunt Carol and Uncle Lloyd have a friend named David Rosengarten, who owns a restaurant in Reykjavik called Icelandic Fish and Chips. Despite being known as one of the best restaurants in the city, Icelandic Fish and Chips is basically a fast-food joint, featuring only counter service and take-out. The most expensive thing on the menu costs 1290ISK, (Icelandic kroner), which converts to about eleven American dollars.

I really want us to have our rehearsal dinner there.

The rehearsal dinner, to take place Thursday night, will feature our immediate families, a total of 18 (I think...ish?) people. One of those people, my niece, requires a gluten-free meal, which you can order at Icelandic Fish and Chips! Really, it's the perfect place. I hope we can all sneak in after it closes and eat local fish until we die. I am looking forward to planning this in the days ahead.

(Amended to add that I almost didn't include a photo with today's entry. Despite the fact that they are delicious, it is surprisingly difficult to find an appetizing photo of fish and chips.)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I Did Promise This Was Going To Happen

I did promise this was going to happen right here:

I know this post wasn’t necessarily about planning (or weddings), but it was either this or the other option, which was to copy and paste five different options for menus with no additional commentary. So, you’re welcome.

Three options for dinner menues...let's see what Icelandic wedding food looks like together! Hey, come back!

Menu #1 - Dinner buffet
Wild game salad
Mixed seafood “ceviche”
Freshly baked bread, pesto and hummus

Main courses - cold
Salmon “kulibyaki”
Grilled seafood-spear with soya-chili broth
Chicken spear with ginger-chili sauce

Choice of 2 warm meat courses
Breast of turkey honey glaced
Fillet of lamb with mint-citrus
Tenderloin of beef with mustard-mushroom crust
Fillet of pork with fruit and mushroom stuffing
Mixed warm vegetables, sauce and accompaniments

Menu #2 - Light dinner buffet
Gravlax salmon
Smoked salmon
Vegetable sushi
Shrimp and scallop in tomato vinaigrette
Wild game salad with melons and pine nuts
Freshly baked bread, pesto and hummus

Cold main courses
Roast beef
Chicken spear with ginger-chili sauce

Warm main courses
Leg of lamb with fresh herbs
Breast of turkey filled with spinach and fruits
Mixed vegetables, sauces and accompaniments

Coffee, tea and chocolates

Menu #3 - Cocktail Buffet
1. Petits choux with tuna filling
2. Char with basil
3. Shrimps and tomato salad
4. Blinis with sea trout caviar
5. Smoked cod with garlic sauce
6. Scallops and salmon tartar
7. Bacalao with mango salsa
8. Oriental tiger shrimps
9. Deep-fried shrimps
10. Salmon sushi
11. Vegetable sushi
12. Tuna sushi
13. Ham rolls with cream cheese
14. Grilled beef barbeque spear
15. Beef carpaccio
16. Roasted lamb with thyme
17. Chicken spear “Tandoori style”
18. Chicken wings with chili sauce
19. Spring rolls with vegetable
20. Deep-fried bacon sausages
21. Meatballs in blue cheese sauce
22. Wild game paté
23. Sarah Bernhard cakes
24. Macaroon cakes
25. Chocolate cake
26. Chocolate soufflé with berries
27. Chocolate covered strawberries
28. Petits choux with vanilla cream
29. Vegetable platter with dips and sauces
30. Broccoli jalapeno
31. Cheese platter with grapes
32. Fresh fruit spear

Friday, August 27, 2010



From: Daniel
To: Anna
Subject: Rogge Wedding at Grand Hótel Reykjavík

Dear Anna:

Eric and I are so excited about our reception at the Grand Hotel. We have just a few introductory questions.

*Can you tell me the capacity of the fourth floor room you’ve sent me pictures of?

*For the night of the reception, what are the hours we will have the room for?

*Is there a separate area available for a cocktail hour before going into the reception room?

*Is there a space in this room besides just the seating/table area? We’d like to have a reception area big enough to accommodate some dancing as well!

*We are pretty settled on the idea of having a buffet. For the cocktail buffet, do we choose the number of pieces we want from the list of 32 you sent me?

*For the sit-down dinner OR the buffet, is there an after-dinner portion of the menu (coffee, tea, dessert) that I haven’t seen yet?

*I see the prices for beer and wine. Is there also a full bar available for guests?

I know these are quite a few questions! I’ll have a few more when we actually move on to the greater planning for the weekend regarding a location for the ceremony, etc., but for now I think this is it. Basically, we are in the process of putting together a budget, and would like the costs of the reception itemized as much as possible before moving on.

Thanks so much for your continued help and I look forward to discussing this further!

Daniel Rogge


From: Anna
To: Daniel
Subject: Rogge Wedding at Grand Hótel Reykjavík

Good morning Erick and Daniel,

How are you two … Down below is my answers to all of your questions.

*Can you tell me the capacity of the fourth floor room you’ve sent me pictures of?
  • For Banquet 72 people for reception 100 people

*For the night of the reception, what are the hours we will have the room for?
  • What hours do you need the room? Usually it is around 17:00pm -02:00 Am 

*Is there a separate area available for a cocktail hour before going into the reception room?
  • Yes Miðgarður Bar, please see photo:

*Is there a space in this room besides just the seating/table area? We’d like to have a reception area big enough to accommodate some dancing as well! 
  • In this venue we have a b side where we can have all the dancing and a langue seating area. Please see attachment Háteigur B.

*We are pretty settled on the idea of having a buffet. For the cocktail buffet, do we choose the number of pieces we want from the list of 32 you sent me?
  • Yes please… please do hesitate to bring your ideas into it..
*For the sit-down dinner OR the buffet, is there an after-dinner portion of the menu (coffee, tea, dessert) that I haven’t seen yet?
  • Most wedding have coffee/ Tea and liqure and offer wedding cake. Each menu I have send you includes coffee / tea… Regarding dessert is there anything special you would like… ?
*I see the prices for beer and wine. Is there also a full bar available for guests?
  • With the dinner, people offer usually red or white wine please see attachment of selection of wines we offer for groups, other than that we will have a bar in the room 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Order in the Courthouse


Our dream scenario for the actual ceremony: take all of our guests to the Reykjavik courthouse and have the whole ceremony there. Can we do this? Is it big enough? As yet, we have no idea.

But what’s that? What’s that you say? You say that YOU TOO want to get married at the courthouse in Reykjavik? And you are either a straight couple OR a gay couple? Well, have I got the website for you. This one!

(And to all you straight couples out there, I just want you to know that I TOTALLY SUPPORT your right to marriage equality! And that is awfully big of me to say, because when I think about what goes on between you people behind closed doors, I just feel that Ick Factor. Ew. I'm thinking about it right now. Shudder.)

Aaaaaaaaaanyway, now you know how to get married in Iceland. Let’s take a closer look at the documents you’ll need.

1. Hjónavígsluskýrsla - Oh, crap, I’m lost already. Is that Icelandic for “Cool Ranch Doritos”? Because those I have.

2. Birth certificate - That we have too! We are two-sevenths married already! But the presentation of this particular document does give rise to another one of my insecurities. That being, the nation of Iceland will have no problem with the fact that we’re both boys, but then they’ll look at our birth certificates and be all, “Yeah, I’m afraid it’s come to our attention that you are seven years older than Eric. Therefore, you are a pervert.” Marriage fail.

3. Certificate of marital status - This might be my favorite passage on the entire site: “Some countries do not issue a certificate of marital status. If that is the case in the country of either partners, a declaration of honour is required, issued by the bride/groom stating that she/he is not married.” Hmmmm. I have a partner. I have a birth certificate. I THINK I even have a Hjónavígsluskýrsla or two lying around here someplace. What I do not have is any high-class, British-y, sarcastically uppity extra letter “honour,” and I’m not sure Eric is going to give me one.

4. A divorce decree if bride/groom is divorced - Nothing to worry about here. Divorce? Oh, no, not in this country. See, everyone in America is trying to protect the notion of “traditional marriage,” so surely none of those people would ever be so hypocritical as to get a divorce. I mean, that would be ludicrous!

5. An official document if bride/groom is a widow/widower - Eh. Bummer. No joke.

6. Legal stay in Iceland
- This actually means “show us your stamp in your passport.” What a country!

7. Passport - We’ll definitely need a passport. It has a stamp that says I’m allowed to get married in Iceland.

You may now kiss the groom! Or bride. Ick.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Meanwhile, Back in America


There are moments when this entire thing seems impossible. Not the “person I am marrying” part of the process; Eric and I have always thought quite highly of one another during our lengthy courtship. What I’m referring to is the actual event of our nuptials. The “being at my own wedding” part. The moment when we will walk into the room in the pictures from yesterday’s entry, look at our attending friends and family, and know that we are at Our Wedding. In 359 days. In Iceland. It’s a type of outlandish that borders on the supernatural.

Whenever I start to think that way, I look at these pictures:

These are pictures of our Brooklyn apartment before we lived here, pictures sent to me by the former tenants who were moving out after having a baby and discovering it made the place quite a bit smaller. We were living in LA at the time, of course, and knew we would have to find a place from clear across the country. Miranda found the apartment for us on a “Mommy Mafia Of Park Slope” mailing list to which she subscribes, and I flew home by myself for one day to meet the landlord, see the place, sign the lease, buy a bed, and get back in LA in time for work Monday morning.

Here are some more:

I hadn’t lived in New York for over five years. I used to stare at those pictures in disbelief that I would ever end up living there again. It all seemed so theoretical, so academic. And yet it is from that very living room that I’m typing these words. So I’m pretty sure that if we can move across the country together (with our two cats, no less), we can plan a wedding reception that gets us married and gets our friends and family nice and drunk and full. They deserve at least that much.

I know this post wasn’t necessarily about planning (or weddings), but it was either this or the other option, which was to copy and paste five different options for menus with no additional commentary. So, you’re welcome.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Room


Anna sent me a load of pictures of the room in which we just might have our reception. I told you she was good!

Let's all learn together:

Monday, August 23, 2010

Grand, Baby, Grand


We have chosen a location for the reception! It’s so, so, so…grand. Eh. That probably sounds more poetic in Icelandic.

After briefly considering some locations outside of Reykjavik city center (centre?), Eric and I decided to go with the big city (200,000 whole people! Two-thirds of the country’s population! Fun facts about Iceland sprinkled where you least expect them!) after all. I guess we thought hotels outside the city would be less expensive, but since they are so few and far between, good locations outside of Reykjavik tend to be quite a bit MORE expensive. Not to mention quite small. Add to that the fact that people are already flying across the ocean to attend the wedding. In the final analysis, we thought it best to limit everyone’s travel as much as possible after touching down in this strange new land. Guests will stay at the hotel, of course, and we’re hoping the ceremony won’t be more than a few steps away. More on that when I actually get around to doing something about it.

In Reykjavik proper, we jettisoned a few possibilities because they were too expensive, a few more because they were too small, and one, our very favorite hotel in the city, because it was a heady mix of both. Also, because we are two boys who have no natural instinct for this kind of thing (honestly, I thought Bride Wars was in another language, though I’m guessing so did many female viewers as well), we wanted to go with a location that had an on-site planner to, y’know, do everything for us from 2,600 miles away.

And so we settled on the Grand Hotel, the largest hotel in Reykjavik which, let’s face it, is going to look super-cool on the invitations. I have already made contact with a truly lovely event planner under the hotel’s employ and, seriously, we’re going to make her do everything. Her name is Anna, and her last name consists of forty-seven or so letters, some of which are recognizable as letters and some of which look like English and Gaelic had a threesome with an umlaut and this new alphabet is their crazy zombie baby. From our one telephone conversation, I can already tell she is more than up to the challenge. I was so excited to make contact that I hung up the phone after our conversation realizing that I never even mentioned to her that Eric and I were a same-sex couple. Worried, I emailed her immediately to clarify, to which she wrote me back, “My grooms to be: Lovely! Thank you for your email.”


I look forward to meeting her when I go to visit Reykjavik for a long weekend in December. Oh! That’s something that’s done as well! I will be flying out to Reykjavik on the night of December 2 to meet with Anna that Friday so she can show me around and we can see the sights. Except I don’t know how much we’ll actually be seeing, as December in Reykjavik features twenty-four hours of darkness. Y’know, per day. No wonder my round-trip ticket cost $300.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Geography Lesson


In honor of the fact that I did absolutely no wedding planning at all whatsoever today, I present you with the following: the distance travelled between New York and Reykjavik, as rendered on a Dixie Cup emblazoned with a map of the world.

Class dismissed.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

East Hampton


It’s averaged about 90 degrees as a high in New York since we arrived in April, creating a continuing feeling of perma-summer that started when I first moved to LA in 2004 and will probably end around the time the first snowfall hits New York this winter. LA weather is beautiful but tremendously dislocating, and during my years there I would find myself turning to people and asking unironically, “Wait, what month is it again?” And so, back in New York, we decided to escape the oppressive heat of our basement apartment (er, sorry, “garden apartment”) with a weekend in East Hampton at the house of my aunt and uncle. So, at this very moment, Eric and I are sitting out by the pool, drinking wine and staring at a Word document called “Wedding To Do” that may take up the remaining bandwidth of the internet. Sorry, Hulu users. The internet is full.

Here are some highlights of Wedding To Do:
*Book venue
*Finalize invite list
*Decide invite send date
*Compile contents of invite
*Collect mailing addresses
*Find out if we can have a group attend ceremony at Reykjavik courthouse
*Group rate from Icelandic Air?
*Make schedule for weekend

I’ll say this first: we want everyone invited to our wedding to come to our wedding. When you have a destination wedding, there seems to be a statistic floating in the ether that 50% of your guests will end up responding no. But as our friends David and Miranda (who had a beautiful hippie wedding on the banks of a river in Oregon three and a half hours from the nearest international airport at 9am on a Friday) cautioned us, “We invited 180 people, told the venue we would be having 100, and ended up with 150 guests. People. Are coming.” Pile onto that the political correctness of attending a gay wedding, and then sprinkle in what seems to be a latent desire on the part of EVERYONE ON THE PLANET to “one day go to Reykjavik,” and any expectation that we were going to have 15 family members standing on an iceberg while Iceland’s lesbian prime minister dips us in devalued kroner and pronounces us wed...pretty much flies out the window. In front of me right now is an Excel spreadsheet called "invite list" containing four color-coded columns.If you’ve ever planned a wedding, you can probably guess at what each of these columns is named. If not, I’m not telling you any more, because I want you to stay my friend.

And so, the guest list. In talking about this with our married friends, we have quickly come to realize that the guest list is by far the most explosive element of the wedding planning. My sister-in-law referred to the guest list as “The Biggest Fight We’ve Ever Had,” and I’ve anecdotally deduced that the old maxim “weddings cause fights” begins with this very first chore.

Oh, look. Wine.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Married in Albania


Last weekend, I was back in Massapequa visiting my parents on Long Island. We went around the block to visit my ninety-one year-old grandmother, where she greeted us with a plastic bowl of peanut M&Ms and thoughtfully turned down NCIS for the duration of our visit. Because Jewish grandmothers from Long Island are required by the Torah to cut helpful articles out of the newspaper (I’m paraphrasing the Torah), she had clipped out a piece from Newsday about Judge Vaughan Walker striking down California’s Proposition 8 as unconstitutional. She handed me the article and asked, “What does this mean for you?” To which my answer was: “That mom still has to go to Iceland.” Because as long as this insane political tug-of-war continues (You can! But now you can’t! Now you can! We meant can’t! You’re an abomination! But I love Ellen and Neil Patrick Harris! How can such a paradox live inside so many Americans?), we don’t want any part of getting married in the place where everyone’s rights are supposed to be self-evidently equal, but of course are not.

And now, a brief trip around the world.

Back in July of 2009, I was floored by a piece of news. The primarily Muslim nation of Albania, previously best known for a) being attacked by Mussolini and b) a song written by Coach on Cheers introduced a piece of legislation that would have paved the way for legal same-sex marriage there.

In Albania.

The final gay rights bill did not, in the end, include legalized gay marriage, but it did advance human rights for gays in a number of important ways. And you’ve got to give a little credit to a country where homosexuality wasn’t decriminalized until 1995. Oh! And gays can serve openly in the Albanian military. USA! USA!

Anyway, all this Albania Mania got Eric and me to thinking there was probably a reality show in this somewhere. If our own country didn’t want us, we would travel to all of the world’s nations that would allow same-sex couples to wed, pouring our big gay greenbacks into the economies of the countries who wanted us most: Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden. Eric and I both work in television production; surely, with one TV show we would tap into the zeitgeist and find a politically correct production company to fly us around the world and pay for us to get married. Twelve times. Hey, look. I paid for a new car and a move to New York with money provided by a wildly successful game show that consists entirely of people falling hilariously into water and mud. All I’m saying is that stranger shows have happened.

We were stymied not by the challenges presented by the rigors of television production, but rather the residency requirements of some of the countries where same-sex marriage had been legalized. It’s not that I wouldn’t want to live in Belgiuim for three months before we were allowed to get married there, but, y’know, who would feed the cats? And in The Netherlands, where you can smoke weed inside the Anne Frank Museum, you cannot wed a same-sex partner unless you are a citizen. That’s fine. We didn’t need our own show anyway. Look at what a reality television career did to Britney and Kevin. RIP six years ago, Brevin Federspears!

Enter Iceland.

While I’ll grant you that Canada might have made for a slightly more obvious choice, there are actually a few reasons we decided on Iceland instead. To start, they just legalized same-sex marriage two months ago, so that’s awesome. And they have a lesbian Prime Minister! And they passed their gender-neutral marriage bill by a margin of 49-0. And magically, the country didn’t spontaneously collapse. (Lucky for us, that had already happened.)

We love Canada. We love Vancouver and couldn’t imagine having a wedding anywhere else in Canada (I LOVE YOU TORONTO LET’S NEVER FIGHT AGAIN CALL ME), but Vancouver is six hours away from our place in New York. So, in a victory for opportunistic spin, we were able to tell my mother, a famously nervous flier, that her flight from New York to Reykjavik would be shorter than her flight from New York to Vancouver. And she’d need a passport (her first ever) either way.

Then of course, there’s this "America" country you may have heard about in the news. The ones with the Palins and the Roves and the “wedge issues” that keep people from gaining equal rights as a means for a group of people to score cheap political points at that group's expense.

I completely respect anyone who gets married in one of the states that allows for full marriage rights (sing ‘em with me if you know the words: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Washington, D.C.), but there’s something about it that just doesn’t sit right with us personally. We lived in California during the 2008 election and the whole Prop 8 mess, and we decided that we didn’t want to get married in one state and then leave that state and not be married anymore when we got back to our home state. Or, worse yet, get married in one state and then have the voters of said state strip our legal right to be married away on Election Day. I’m so glad for the existence of those 18,000 couples who got married in California during the too-brief time it was legal there, especially because those 36,000 brave souls live in a legal limbo that helpfully complicates the argument that same-sex couples are either married or they’re not.

But at the end of the day, Eric and I are determined to have a wedding, not a "Gay Wedding." We’re intent on excluding the phrase "gay wedding" from our invitations, in our vows, in our speeches. We are two people who want to get married. Just being normal is our subversive form of activism. We’ll get married in this country when it’s legal everywhere, and it can just be called a wedding. Until then...sorry, mom, you’re still going to have to get a passport.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Countdown Begins

In 365 days, I am getting married.

Our families already know. So far, the most measured response we’ve received was from my mother, who is only disappointed that we won’t be spending her sixty-fifth birthday at Disneyworld, reprising the trip we took for her last landmark birthday five years ago. Other than that, mom and my stepdad are appropriately thrilled. My brother and sister-in-law, Adam and Rebecca, have been heroic in their enthusiasm, despite the fact that they will be first-time parents of an eight-month old on August 19, 2011. I can imagine how stressful it must be to know that they will be traveling halfway around the world with a person they haven’t even met yet. A person who, due to the somewhat peculiar circumstances of our wedding, is going to need a passport soon after he receives his birth certificate.

Eric’s parents responded with the same unadulterated joy that accompanies any good news from their children. His mom squealed so loud we could hear her from her house in Washington State, despite our current geography on Interstate 80 in Western Pennsylvania. We told her over the phone while Eric and I were driving from New York to Ohio to meet the rest of Eric’s family for a wedding/reunion outside of Toledo. We were able to tell the remaining Rogges in person, a lucky rarity as his parents live 3,000 miles away from our apartment in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

With a year to go until our disparate set of anniversaries (the day we met, the day I legally changed my last name to Eric’s, and so on) gets washed away in lieu of one authoritative Wedding Anniversary, we have the same concerns as any other couple embarking on this time-consuming, stressful, and possibly quite expensive venture: how many guests to invite? How far in advance do we send out invitations? Isn’t it redundant to contact people via email JUST so we can find out how to contact those same people via regular mail? Can we pile all of our guests into the courthouse and have the ceremony there? And, seriously, how much is this thing going to cost?

In many ways, we are the typical American couple: we were introduced at a mutual friend’s Oscar party four and a half years ago, moved in together two years after that, and relocated to New York earlier this year to be closer to my family and, god bless it, further from LA. We work full-time. We wish our New York apartment were just a little bigger. We have two cats and one day want kids. We spend Thanksgiving with my family and Christmas with his. We vote and pay taxes. We are The Real America.

Except that we cannot legally marry in this country. And so, in order to gain recognition as a married couple by a federal government, we are taking our wedding to a place where we can be legally married. A country we think deserves our money, and if the news is to be believed, they can really use it.

And so, next August 19, on a Friday afternoon, Daniel and Eric Rogge will be married in front of their family and friends in Reykjavik, Iceland.