Monday, December 28, 2009

Does Everything Have to be Interesting?

I've hit a certain point in planning where the dreaming/imagining phase is over, and I need to make some concrete decisions.  Not about the big stuff, like venue, dress and whatnot, but about the myriad of details--programs (what paper, content, where should we put it, what should hold them, how many should I make), favors (what favor, how to present it, where to put it), table numbers (design, buying the paper, what will hold them up), etc.

It's like a bucket of ice in the face.  Now I have to make *real* decisions that have *actual* consequences, and there are a lot of them. Like being an adult, dammit. I fully realize that I'm bringing this upon myself, by feeling that each decision needs to contribute to make our wedding "interesting" and "personal" and "memorable" and "better than winning the lotto jackpot."

Por ejemplo, table numbers.  Why oh WHY can't I just be okay printing out some numbers in Times New Roman, 100 point font, Scotch-taping that sucker to the floral centerpiece and calling it a day?

Well, I'm going to blame the rest of you and the brides that have preceded me. I'm kidding! Well, I mean it in a good way--I feel that brides share so many great ideas about details for their wedding that it's just nearly impossible to resist incorporating some of that inspiration.

How far does one have to go in order to find really cool table number ideas?  Not very far, turns out.

Aaawww.  This would be a great way to incorporate the pugs. Like the one sticking all her paws into my arm right now, as hard as she can.  This would also mean that I would need to take pics of the dogs and wear my crazy even more loudly.

Engagement pics of me and the man? I kinda like it--we get to use our engagement photos for another purpose (although come to think of it there hasn't been any other purpose, so maybe I should just say to give our engagement photos "a" purpose), plus it's personal and cute.

Or table "numbers" based on locations? That would be cool. For Mr. Pug and myself, we could name the tables after our favorite bakeries.

While I would never want anyone to think that I would attempt this DIY project (it involved pencils, multiple layers of paper, circles, and a whole lotta other stuff that stressed me out), I LOVE these.  Mrs. Taffy--are you reading this? I LOVE these.

Oh the choices, the choices!

Who knew that choosing a table number design could be a process that can take days, much less over an hour? I fully realize that I'm being disingenuous here, that if I'm really going to complain about the weight of making choices then I should just chill out and not care, but truth be told it's mostly fun, just a little tiring once in a while.  And it's much easier to write a grumpy post sometimes.  It just flows out of me.

Ah. That was therapeutic.  So, what are you doing for table numbers? And what wedding-detail decision has taken inordinately more time than you wanted/expected it to?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

How Cute Can a Cookie Be?

Pretty damn cute, as far as I've seen.  We want to do edible favors so that people would be more likely to take/eat them--plus my sister and I wanted to do something a little homemade for the wedding.  We've decided on little lavender and lime shortbread cookies that we are going to stack in cellophane bags, and tie up with a ribbon.  Cute, huh?

Well, I did have what I thought was a cute idea until, in what seems to be a constant rule whenever I click on over to, Martha Stewart and her minions showed me what "cute" really looks like. To compensate for my feelings of lameness, I darted some feisty commentary back at the screen.  That'll show her!

(First off, I'm not icing cookies with letters on them. I am also NOT twisting and tying TWO ends of cellophane when one end will do)

(So I just have to buy little $5 boxes, line them with edge-punched tissue, make around 12 cookies per person, and tie each box with string? So easy!!!!)

(Hmm, if *only* I can get our cookies to be lopsided *just so*)

(This is actually more what I was thinking in terms of the actual cookie bags, but mine will just be slapped down on a table, no tiers involved)

(Um, no)

Fine Martha minions, you win (if any of you take up these cute packaging ideas I salute you! I'm just too lazy to do that kind of thing).

Anyway, speaking of favors, I also decided that it would be efficient to have the cookies double as escort cards by attaching tags with people's names and the table number.  Here are some examples of edible escort cards.


If this all works out, hopefully I will be showing you pictures of the final product after the wedding.

What were your escort cards like? Would you eat lavender and lime shortbread cookies? (Hint: the correct answer is "Yes!!!")

Monday, December 21, 2009

Well I Guess that Answers the Question

Who watches Say Yes to the Dress on TLC? 
(funny enough, I found this image by typing in "asian girl raising hand" in google)

If I had 50 hands, I'd raise them all.  But let's back up a second.

You know that whole thing about not letting the groom see you in the dress before the wedding? When I first started wedding planning, I decided this was a silly rule and that I would let Kevin see the dress.  Maybe I wouldn't shove it in his face and try it on for him, but I wouldn't make any effort to hide it, either.

Then as time passed, I thought wouldn't it be nice if it were a big surprise?  Wouldn't it be kinda cool to see the expression on his face as he saw me for the first time in full regalia, with admiration, love and amazement in his eyes?  I would just DAZZLE the bejeebs outta him.

Source (somewhat of the effect I would be looking to have on him--although not quite as mopey)

But then again, meh. I don't know.  I was on the fence.

Then one day, Kevin and I were sitting on the couch and Say Yes to the Dress was on (I was watching, he was surfing the internet).  And this bride was wearing a dress that looked *awfully* like mine, and I said to Kevin "Huh, I think that's my dress", and Kevin looked up from his computer.  The camera switched to another bride, and I watched impatiently to see when they would cruise back to "my" dress.  Then they flashed the screen showing the dress and the designer.  We have a winner! It was my dress.  

Source (This is not me, the bust area is a big giveaway--I wish!.  I promise to have pics of me in my dress when I go in for my fitting)

Kevin went back to surfing the internet.

Well, gee whiz--*thanks* TLC! I guess you answered my question!

I wasn't upset, but more stunned that *someone else* was wearing *my* dress on TV. How dare she.  Later that day, I asked Kevin if he was upset about seeing my dress. He sighed, rolled his eyes, and said "I don't even remember what the dress looks like." Keeper.

And you know, I don't think Kevin will even remember what my dress looks like after he sees me in it at the wedding.  It's just not on his radar.  And that's okay with me--I know he's going to think of me as a beautiful bride and that's what matters.  Furthermore, let's be honest, I got the dress for ME! Mememememememe. Not for him.

Did you let your future hubby see the dress before the wedding? Why or why not?

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Artichoke Has Landed

Last time I left you with a sad, sorry picture of what was me during the search for an invite motif.  I sat in front of the computer for hours, typing in search after search in Google Images.  Kevin went to bed.  Even the pug went to bed.  It was just me, the upteenth showing of a Cake Boss episode, and the internet.  And finally, I found artichoke!

It was perfect. The most perfect artichoke.  Okay, I know what you're thinking (an artichoke? ok DORK), but just look at the artichoke:

(copyrighted by Bobbi Angell--do not use without permission!)

Some of you may still think that I'm weird, but I love this artichoke.  It's a beautiful drawing.  It's drawn by Bobbi Angell, who drew for the New York Times Home & Garden for over 10 years.  Her work is copyrighted, and being the good law-abiding citizen that I am, I emailed her and asked what the fee would be to use the drawing.

And held my breath.  I didn't have high hopes. I was thinking $200, at the lowest $150, which would be a deal-breaker.  She wrote back in 30 minutes, letting me know that the fee was....$50! I can do that! I can totally do that! Yesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes yippee!!!!!

My level of excitement was absurdly high.  After everything was settled with Bobbi, she sent me high resolution files of two versions of the artichoke.

Artichokes are not only appropriate for spring, the time of year when we're getting married, but Half Moon Bay is well-known for its artichokes! They're even going to be on our menu! Oh my g I'm getting so giddy again writing about it.

Is it possible to love an artichoke? Because I think I do.

I swear, it'll look good. I'll show you.

How did you decide what design/motif to use for your invites?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Invite Decomp

Do you find that you look back on certain aspects of wedding planning and are totally mortified by the lack of perspective which influenced the process?  Let me introduce to you one of my favorite words, and one that could be applied to myself, um, more than once.

1. Medicine Failure of the heart to maintain adequate blood circulation, marked by labored breathing, engorged blood vessels, and edema.
2. Psychology The inability to maintain defense mechanisms in response to stress, resulting in personality disturbance or psychological imbalance. 

This describes the state of mind in which I found myself one evening, growing delirious with the difficulties of picking a motif for our invites.  I was one second despondent, the next second giggling, and shooting annoying emails to my sister at a rate of 5 emails per minute.


 I think our last conversation ended with her saying "I can't deal with you anymore, you're decompensating."  I didn't even know what she meant until I looked it up.

How did I get here?  It started innocently enough.  I wanted my friend K to create a line drawing of the coastline at Half Moon Bay so that we could use it on our invites.  We went through multiple iterations (okay, about 24).  And finally, being the gracious bride that I am in accepting my friend's free services, I decided that I *no longer* wanted a coastline.  The drawings were great, it was more my own flawed concept. *Blush*

It was up to me to find something, and quick. I searched. And searched. But I was having a hard time, and by "hard" I mean stressful and miserable, because I had put my friend through all this work only to change my mind at the end, and I had to find something that would work and represent us and the style of the wedding and spin gold and babysit my future children and all that good stuff.

I kinda gave up. I began to think I would just forgo an image and have nothing but the text.  The only things I could think of were--hm, how shall I put it--well, you'll see.  Here is a mere sampling of what I began to think would be totally appropriate to put on our invites:

Potatoes! Kevin and I really like eating potatoes! Mashed, pan roasted, fries, gratin, you name it, we love potatoes!

 Our new vacuum cleaner! We love it! Sometimes we open the closet to peek at it.  A clean home brings harmony to our relationship. Vroom! Vroom!

 Kevin and I rather like these little pug bums.  Maybe, like, a bouquet of pug butts?

 And a pain killer. Any pain killer. Because at that point it seemed like a really good idea.

As you can see, while one can certainly call these "inspired", perhaps it's not "inspired" in a good way.  So what did I find at 1:30 am furiously searching the internet? An artichoke!

No, I'm serious. We're doing an artichoke.

What parts of the planning, if any, threw you close to decompensation?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Is That a Ring in Your Pocket?

Per my directive of "try again" after Kevin proposed the first time, Kevin took it to heart and tried proposing a few more times.

Proposal #2

I don't even remember when exactly Proposal #2 happened, but I do know that Kevin treated me to a very lovely and special meal at Daniel restaurant.  I thought this could be the night he proposed.

So before we go to dinner, I look at Kevin in his fine suit, all handsome:

Then I look closer, and see this:

Well gee whiz. What the hell could that be. It makes me laugh thinking about it, because it escapes my imagination how he thought I wasn't going to notice.  I burst out laughing, and the "surprise" was ruined. There was a bit of an awkward moment as we could have gone ahead with the "will you marry me?" part, but somehow it got decided to yet again, put it away for another day.

Proposal #3

Kevin and I were about to go spend a week in Cape Cod in summer 2008.  I noticed that when he was packing, he was secretive about the whole thing, and at one point when I reached for his bag he wrapped his arms around it like it was a hapless babe, his eyes got real big, and he said "No!!"  This guy has no poker face.  So endearing.

While staying on Cape Cod, we took daily early morning walks on the beach.

One day (happened to be my birthday) we're headed out the door to go take our daily walk and he abruptly stops, mutters, goes back into the room and comes out with a shoulder bag. Veerrrryyy subtle.  It was cute, and I could tell he was nervous so I just went about my way.

So we're walking, the beach is nice and empty, and he gets down on one knee and asks me to marry him.  And that's that.

And how, you may ask, was my appearance for this special occasion?

Haaawwwtttt.  Hey, he still asked, didn't he?

Let's hear others' proposal stories, whether single or multiple!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Here's a Ring, Now Light a Match

The story of how Kevin and I met isn't terribly interesting.  We were set up by a friend.  For our first date, he suggested going to a cafe that offered a ginormous amount of baked goods. So we got married (he had me at the baked goods!).

The story of our engagement, however, is a little more interesting.  I spoke about it in general terms here, but to get a little more specific, there was a big time lag in between the first time that Kevin showed me the engagement ring and when we became officially engaged.  I was proposed to multiple times (a la one of my fave bees ever, Mrs. Ladybug).  And no, it's not that I rejected him the first few times--I knew we were going to get married--but it was more that I rejected his proposal method multiple times.

"Proposal" #1
It's around the winter holidays, and I know that Kevin probably already has my ring.  Why? Because we picked it out together eons ago and Mr. Smooth accidentally emailed me instead of the jeweler to announce that he wanted to move ahead with the purchase. Hehe.

We spent some time with my family over the holidays and I think there must have been some pressure for Kevin to propose and give me my damn ring, because he "proposed" when we got back to our apartment in NYC.

And where, oh where, did this hallowed event take place? Feast your eyes on this beaut of a locale.

I mean, he must have spent who knows how many minutes thinking about, of all the places in NYC at which he could propose to me, how our bathroom would be the ideal spot.

I was stepping out of the shower, had just picked up my towel (so yes, basically nekkid), and Kevin comes in and says "Look, here" or something unintelligible like that, and shoves the ring in my face. Ha!  I mean, what if I had been doing something else right then? Like #2??

To be fair, this was not (at least, it better not have been) the way he wanted to propose, but with the pressure he was feeling, he wanted to at least show me that he had the ring.  I think my response was something like "what do you want me to do with this" and "try again".

Next time, two more proposals.

Anybody get proposed to more than once?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Danny and Annie Perasa

Do you know this couple?

If not, please click here to listen to their story or here to read part of it.  And grab the Kleenex (and maybe a pug for extra comfort) because you will absolutely bawl.  Just to lighten things a wee bit, I will photoblog my reaction to their story.

In short, Danny and Annie Perasa are a couple that took advantage of StoryCorps, the nationwide project that is building an oral history of everyday Americans by setting up recording booths in various places where people can come in, share and record their story.

The Perasas kind of became the face of StoryCorps because of their utterly disarming, romantic, and real love for each other.  Danny may not have grabbed any passerby's attention just with his looks, but his adoration and sense of romance, oh and I mean heartbreaking romance, that he felt for his wife was truly out of this world.

Some excerpts taken from here (imagine a heavy, mesmerizing Brooklyn accent):

DANNY PERASA: She started to talk and I said, listen, I'm gonna deliver a speech. I said, at the end you're gonna want to go home. I said you represent a 34 letter word. I said, that word is love. I says if we're goin' anywhere, we're goin' down the aisle because I'm too tired, too sick and too sore to do any other damn thing. And she turned around and she said, oh, of course I'll marry you. Then the next morning I called her as early as I possibly make sure she hadn't changed her mind and she hadn't and every year on April 22 around 3:00, I call her and ask her, if it was today would she do it again and so far the answer's been the same.

ANNIE: Yeah, 25 times yes (laughs).

DANNY: You see the thing of it is I always feel guilty when I say I love you to you--and I say it so often. I say it to remind you that as dumpy as I am, it's comin' from me. It's like you're in a beautiful song from a busted old radio and it's nice of you to keep the radio around the house.

Perhaps one of the most touching parts of their story is, tragically, from an interview they gave in February 2006 a few days before Danny passed away from cancer.  They were talking about preparing for his death and the funeral, and he said this:

DANNY: I'm workin' on [the funeral]. She said it was her call. She wants to walk out behind the casket alone. I guess that's the way to do it because when we were married, you know how your brother takes you down, your father takes you down? She said, well, I don't know which of my brothers to walk in with, I don't want to offend anybody. I says, you walk in with me, you walk out with me and the other day I said who's gonna walk down the aisle with you behind the casket, you know, to support her and she said nobody; I walked in with you alone. I'm walkin' out with you alone.

It is partly their love story that has made me seriously consider walking down the aisle with Kevin.  It's so romantic.

And finally, to really get the waterworks going--I mean, isn't this the love we aspire to?

DANNY: (Crying) I could write on and on about her. She lights up the room in the morning when she tells me to put both hands on her shoulders so that she can support me. She lights up my life when she says to me at night, wouldn't you like a little ice cream or would you please drink more water. I mean, those aren't very romantic things to say, but they stir my heart. In my mind and my heart there has never been, there is not now and never will be another Annie.

This is what my pug thought of my antics:

Any love stories you particularly admire?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

If Toula Can Do It...

Ms. Potato Chip wrote about a clever addition she had to wedding vocabulary: Bridol.

"Bridol -noun- 1. a bride who becomes your idol or role model; 2. a previously engaged woman (or man) whose planning style and general attitude invoked feelings of respect and admiration."

My bridol isn't real-life, although I'm sure many real-life brides have embodied the attitude which I so admire in my bridol.  Whenever I fret about things not going just right at the wedding, worrying about how I will be pouring my blood, sweat and tears into an event that I can 100% guarantee will not turn out exactly as I had planned (that's just impossible), I try to calm my mind and think of Toula.

Oh Toula, you are so wise. You are my comfort.

It's Toula (aka Nila Vardalos) from My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  Remember this little sweetie?  Remember her dress?

Yeah.  While I was embarking on a dress search to end all dress searches in order to find that perfect one, and then doubting whether I had made the right choice and calling my sister repeatedly for her affirmation, Toula practically gets a dress handed to her that makes her look like, as she says, a "snow beast."  And is she complaining? No, she laughs. I feel so small-minded next to her.

Remember her bridesmaids' dresses?


Granted, I'm not having bridesmaids, but I think that this dress (again, a choice in which Toula had NO SAY) would make some brides huddle on the floor and weep.  But did she freak out? Worry that just because her cousins have no taste, that that would reflect poorly on her and ruin all her pictures?  No, Toula just let her cousins wiggle away in those pastel purple concoctions.

But you know what?  Toula got married. And she seemed to be having a ball.  She was still married to Aidan (he's Aidan to me) by the end of the day. Most of what we consider important aspects of the wedding did not turn out as she may have wanted, but she let it roll.

So brides (and grooms)--if things start to go a little askew or awry at any point during the wedding planning or the event, let us all take a deep breath and remember--Toula had it WAY worse and she didn't throw a crazy. And she got married to a hunk.

Disclaimer: easier said than done.  While I will try to remember and practice this attitude, I hereby state that I do not in any way waive my right to later complain or express any disappointment with any aspect of the wedding.

What things kept you calm during your wedding?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Pop Quiz

After I eliminated guest entertainment options that would involve me crafting something, I thought about wedding games.  Generally, when I hear "games", I kind of groan and think of those painful getting-to-know-you games that they would make you play the first day of camp in middle school that were actually not games but just devices to torture me (I was shy).  And for a wedding, why would adults play games? Sounds silly, right?

However, in reading about games you can play at weddings, in general it seems like they are well-received and guests appreciate them.  They can often be funny, and if they're low-pressure I don't think they will give people the hives that I go on my first day of summer camp. (unless playing spin-the-bottle on the first day of camp would have been the norm--I could have been all over that)

I'm seriously considering the shoe game, played by Mrs. Eggplant and Mrs. Tomato.

(Mrs. Eggplant feels confident, confident, dry and secure! raise your hand, raise your hand, if you're sure!)
(if you do not remember the above jingle, we are just not of the same generation)

With the shoe game, you seat the bride and groom back to back, in a place where everyone can see 'em.  The bride and groom each have one of their shoes, as well as the shoe of the other (get it? So the bride has her Louboutin in one hand, and his Salvatore Ferragamo in the other).

Then, the DJ/emcee/what have you asks a series of questions, such as "Who is the better kisser?"  The bride and groom each lifts the shoe of the person they think best fits the answer.  Sheesh, you know what, some of the most elementary things are so hard to explain on paper.  But you get it, right?

This game usually gets a lot of laughs, is low-key, and you can find various questions to ask on the internet, like here. Here are some samples:

-who made the first move
-who's the better cook
-who said "I LOVE YOU" first
-who has the wackiest family
-who's the better driver
-who spends the most time in front of a mirror
-who is most likely to eat dessert for breakfast

And hopefully, this game will not turn into something like this:

Hee hee.

After I posted this on my original blog, I got some great suggestions for questions from awesome member penga and my sister, including the following:

Who's got better hair?
Who's more likely to lose things?
Who's shoe is smellier right now?
Who's side of the closet is cleaner?
Who's most likely to have more of the bed in the morning?
Who'd be better with a gun?
Who has the most items of clothing?
Who's most likely to be on a FBI wanted list?

Anyone else play the shoe game at their wedding or see how it's been done?  Any tips for those of us considering it?  Any suggestions for questions?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Let Me Entertain You

As I have mentioned, we are not having dancing at our wedding, so it is important to have activities at the wedding that will entertain the guests.  For example, we are going to have a DIY faux-tobooth (with silly props) and wishcards that will be displayed on memo boards.

But we need something more. Like, a burlesque stripper a la Gypsy Rose Lee:


What a great musical ("EV-erything's coming up ROSEs and DAFFodils...").  I could create invitations with pictures of dollar bills that say "Bring your singles, ladies and fellas!" And for favors, give out those nifty pens that show a person stripping when you tip the pen over.

I hope this was obvious to every single one of you, but I was kidding.

In reality, I did consider some G-rated ideas from Martha Stewart Weddings:

Flag Timeline Board

Full directions and pdf template are here, but basically you print out a large board with different years on it, and guests get to take little flagged pins with their names on it and shove it into the board on the year that they met you.  This was cute, but I would have to: (1) make flags for the pins; and (2) they kinda lost me at this step:

"1. Download the PDF onto a disk or thumb drive, and take it to a print or copy shop that can print on oversize paper. (You will need 17-by-46-inch paper in order to print out the full-size timeline.)"

Yeah, that sounds like too much effort for me. 17 x 46? Really? 

I Spy

With I Spy, basically you lay out cards that have moments/scenes printed on them.  Guests are supposed to capture with disposable cameras provided by you.  Cute, but, I'm a scrooge and I don't really want all those photos.

Next post, I'll show you a "no DIY needed" activity that I think will entertain the guests.

Have any of you used these ideas or others for non-dancing entertainment of guests?  What are you secrets to success? What's your favorite song from Gypsy?