Friday, December 19, 2008

Colours of Celebration

Thanks to iDiY (listed over on the blogroll), here's another super cool wedding tool to help you pick your colors for the big day. Multicolr tool by Idée labs returns random cool images from Flickr with colors you choose. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


A few months or so ago, the Mister and I invited our MOH (who now has her own superhero name: Super Tall Girl) and Sassy Minister (our celebrant) to the food tasting for our reception dinner. We also invited the moms, but they were either unavailable or wanted to be surprised by the food. So it was just four crazy kids and the suuuper nice catering lady.

As we walked into the tiny glass vestibule at the catering place, we were not alone. There was an angry bee attacking anyone within range (which was all of us).

Now, I remember my first (and only) bee sting. (I’m knocking on wood here.) I was about five years old, wearing a blue and white gingham dress, standing in the driveway. A bee flew up said dress, and stung me on the tummy. I burst into surprised, hurt tears. I have almost no memories of my early childhood, but I remember the bee sting incident. Yowch.

In the tiny glass vestibule, however, I would have gladly thrown myself into the bee’s path (if there was a way to throw yourself into the exceedingly random and zippy path of a bee) to protect my friends. The Mister and Super Tall Girl are allergic to bees. I think Sassy Minister is too. The Mister has one of those special shots to counteract the allergic reaction. In a drawer. At home. Good thinkin’, Mister. And Super Tall Girl once drank a bee out of a coke can, and her lip swelled up so much from the sting that she couldn’t get her sweater over her face before going to the hospital. Every time I think of this, I am reminded of people who intentionally stretch out their lips with plugs and even film canisters, because it’s beautiful in their culture. I think this beauty trend has spread to some of the barristas at Starbucks. By the way, what's the masculine form of "barrista"? Barrister? Isn't that an attorney in London? Now I have a new mental image: a barrister in a wig making lattes.

"Non-fat, no foam, half-caf latte? Got it!" But I digress.

We tried to shoo the bee out into the open air, but he kept dive-bombing us. We tried to escape out of the vestibule and into the catering building proper, but the bee blocked our path.

So we smushed the bee. And I feel bad about it. But there it is. Moving on.

We went into the room to begin our tasting, and the first thing I noticed was the tablecloths. We asked for white tablecloths because: (1) they’re the least expensive, and (2) we love how they look. But one inexpensive white tablecloth over a table looks like a sheer slip that doesn’t adequately cover one’s dignity, as my grandmother used to call it. We added another layer of tablecloth, and it looked great. And it was still reasonably priced. On to the tasting.

First course: tea sandwiches! We tried four kinds.

Avocado and bacon = salty yumminess.
Cucumber and watercress = deeeelightful.
Chicken salad = quite nice.

The fourth kind was salmon mousse. Super Tall Girl is a pescatarian (a vegetarian who eats seafood), so she tried this one first. I said, “How is it?!” And she said, “I’d rather not say.” Uh-oh. I took a big bite, and discovered that the catering folks had obviously substituted pink globby glue for the alleged salmon mousse. Ick. Um, no thank you. The pink globby sandwiches are pictured on the right, below.

We also tried mini beef wellingtons, my all time favorite appetizer. They rocked. The Mister ate Super Tall Girl’s portion.

On to the main course.

We wanted to have a vegetarian option, and we nominated Super Tall Girl to pick it. Whatever she said was what we were going to serve. She selected the marinated, grilled portabello mushroom over the black bean wellington. Yummy!

The rest of us decided between two chicken dishes: chicken with bourbon sauce and sautéed apples, and chicken with a mushroom dijon cream sauce. It was a no brainer. The Dijon cream sauce was so good, the catering lady agreed to put extra sauce on the Mister’s plate at the reception.

Then we began discussing the sides. Green beans amandine or asparagus? The Mister and Super Tall girl liked the asparagus. Sassy Minister and I liked the green beans. We were at an impasse. So Sassy Minister pulled rank on us all: “Jesus prefers the green beans.” Um, green beans it is. Who’s going to argue with Jesus?

Same problem with the roasted potatoes and the Vermont white cheddar mashed potatoes. The Mister and Sassy Minister liked the mashed, and since Jesus agreed with them, that’s what we picked. I didn’t realize that Jesus had such well-defined tastes. Or that going to seminary makes one especially attuned to them. Thank goodness Sassy Minister was there to lead us. And that we didn’t pick devil’s food cake for dessert. (Wink.)

We also added carrot soufflé, which tastes like a cross between a delicious veggie and a dessert. Everyone loved that.

By the time we made all these choices, we were laughing so hard that we disturbed the people in the next room, who were having a very serious food tasting, apparently. The catering lady said that we were the most fun people she’d ever had for an appointment, and that we were part of the “party set.” She thinks we should have glowsticks at the reception. Like a rave or something. Whaaa?! We want people to dance, not OD on techno music and ecstasy, right? Besides, if we had glow sticks, Mama would have a heart attack. ‘Nuff said.

Then we left the catering place (via the same dangerous glass vestibule through which we entered) and went to have beer. The whole day was one of the most fun parts of planning the wedding so far. Surrounded by friends, munching on food, and laughing our . . . ahem . . . dignities off.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


So very sorry I have been MIA. I was out of town at the Mister’s parents’ house for the Thanksgiving holiday. The week before that, I was doing the single most crazy aspect of my job – hosting a delegation of VIPs from another country. For. An. Entire. Week. I dread their visit for a month before they come, and I get so darned attached to them that I cry when they leave. It’s an exhausting, rewarding experience. And I’m glad it’s over. I’ll be back to full blogging strength soon.

Because of the VIP visit, I missed my ten-year reunion from school. Bleh. But I did get to see some friends who visited for the reunion. Photo!

From Left to Right. Top Row: Doc (aka Smarty), Dopey, Dopey’s Wife (Bashful), Sneezy (the Mister) Bottom Row: Sleepy, Grumpy, and Happy (me!)

Grumpy is one of my best friends from school. We’re quite the pair – Grumpy and Happy. Although, as you can see, he’s really happy on the inside. He just pretends to be an outraged curmudgeon most of the time. (To be honest, that’s part of what makes him so loveable.)

I hadn’t seen Doc in ages, but it was as if the decade had never passed. She’s fun and smart and darling. I heart her. We drank martinis and acted like idiots that night. Fun!

It was great to introduce the Mister to some friends who are scattered across the country. He had fun (even though he looks like a mini-grump in this pic). Actually, he’s the most fun of the bunch. This pic (from the same weekend) shows his personality much better:

Man, I love him.

Are you seeing some long-lost friends over the holiday? Or at your wedding? Sometimes I feel like a sheep dog, herding all my loved ones as close together as I can. Woof!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Miss Chief

Sometimes I would like to be a superhero, so I could have my own action figure. I still have my brother’s underoos superman cape that he wore when he dove into the empty bathtub and bonked his head. Apparently, the cape is not imbued with superpowers. It is, however, imbued with eau de my mom’s basement. But I love it.

Well, I may not be a superhero, but I can make myself into a cartoon character! Using, you can apply all kinds of effects to your photos, including cartoonizing them. (Some people get annoyed at turning nouns into verbs. Like “calendar.” When did we stop saying, “I’ll put that on my calendar,” and start saying, “I’ll calendar that.” Interesting. So I’m sorry to those non-verbizers out there.)

The best thing about fotoflexer? It’s freeeeee! You upload a photo, mess around with it, and save it back to your computer as a jpeg.

I think I might call my cartoon strip, “Miss Chief.” I’m bossy, so the chief part works great. Add the Miss, and you get the very thing into which I get myself all the time. Mischief.

I think the cartoon thing would work out for me, because I’m always learning some kind of funny lesson. It usually takes more than four frames’ worth of experience to get there, though. If only I learned as quickly as Ziggy! Then I’d have more time for wedding planning! But I would also be a tiny little bald guy.

“The Mister” already sounds superheroesque. Miss Chief and The Mister! Here we are . . . .

Friday, November 7, 2008


I do not want to wear a glittery rhinestone tiara at the wedding. I know, I know, everyone says the wedding is my day to be a princess, but really I’m just a regular girl who’s marrying a prince of a man. Kind of like Cinderella.

To be honest, I just don’t like sparkly things that aren’t real. I mean, if the Queen of England offered me a diamond and platinum tiara, I’d wear it for sure. Something made out of foil-backed plastic and spray-painted base metal – not so much. If you have a tiara, more tower poo ya, as my friend Erika used to say. They look amazing on other brides (and
downhill skiers), but they just aren’t my thing.

But today, I saw
this amazing diy craft to make my own crown . . . out of lace!

All you need is some lace and a little modge podge or white elmer’s glue. You can jazz it up a bit with paint and gold or silver leaf, too.

While I might not be royalty, I do like to think that I’m a lady-in-waiting on the diy wedding court. Whether I have the chutzpah to wear a crown on the wedding day still remains to be seen. So for now, I’ll just leave you with the royal wave.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Well, my sticky situation is re-stuck. No details now . . . . But please think good thoughts for me. I need 'em.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sticky Situation

After fretting for weeks about the who-walks-Jules-down-the-aisle conversations, they went great. Mr. Mama, with whom I lived growing up, was more than happy to share the honor(duty?) with Pop. And Pop graciously did the same, with nary a ruffled feather or word of complaint. Whew!

Then I started thinking about what would happen when we got down to the altar. The officiant usually says something like, “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?”

The tradition of giving the bride away apparently came from the days when marriage was as fiscal a transaction as a relational one. One set of parents was giving money to the other set, and the act of giving the bride away signified that the arrangements were complete. It also meant that the bride was no longer financially dependent on her parents, and was now dependent on the groom.

I am a feminist. And by that I mean that I try to differentiate the position of women from that of a doormat, to paraphrase Rebecca West. So I gave no small measure of thought to the idea of nixing the “Who gives this woman” part of the ceremony. First of all, I’m not a possession to be given away. I’m a person, for heaven’s sake! Second, to the extent I “belong” to my parents, they’re not giving me away--they can’t get rid of me that easily! They’re just marring me off. (Wink.) Finally, I’m not going to be dependent on my groom! I don’t like being dependent on anybody. (Does anyone else have trouble clicking on the “Submit” button on internet forms? Can’t the button say, “OK” or “Enter” or something?! I do NOT want to submit! (I guess that makes it clear whether we’re going to say “obey” in our vows.) Humph.)


But the Mister is nothing if he’s not traditional, and if I wasn’t going to say “obey,” he wanted the “who gives this woman” yadda yadda yadda in the ceremony. I do like tradition as much as the next gal . . . so I agreed.

But I wanted to change the response! “I give myself freely!” seemed just about right to me. It effectively says, “I own myself!” Mama and Pop were horrified. Horr. If. Fied! Apparently, the idea of a ukulele band was more palatable to them than me giving my own self away. They might not agree on much, but they backed each other up on this one. Who am I to fight this kind of parental unity?

Besides, I realized that this is their one really active role in the ceremony. I’m not doin’ the unity candle. If I take their speaking part, they might feel compelled to speak now rather than forever hold their peace, if you know what I mean.

OK. So what WAS the response going to be? I didn’t want to leave anyone out of the equation, so the usual, “Her mother and I do,” wasn’t going to cut it. I belong to Mr. Mama and Mrs. Pop as much as I do to Mama and Pop! If I’ve done nothing else in this blog, I hope I've made is abundantly clear. I also wanted to avoid the dads talking over each other or murmuring different things. So, with the help of Mama, I came up with a two main options:

Pop and Mr. Mama: We do.

Pop and Mr. Mama: Her parents do.

I pitched these to Pop, who murmured something about it not sounding very official. He doesn’t get to be too involved in the wedding planning. And this is his speaking part! He’s not the type to come up with ceremony wording, but he does like to vote on the options. So I called Mama to brainstorm. And she came up with a winner! Without further ado . . .

Officiant: Pop, do you and Mrs. Pop give this woman to be married to this man?
Pop: We do.
Officiant: Mr. Mama, do you and Mama give this woman to be married to this man?
Mr. Mama: We do.

Sticky situation . . . well . . . unstuck.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Out Loud

My favorite part of planning the wedding so far has been the opportunity for people to say nice things to each other. After my twin died, I realized that while people say lovely things ABOUT their friends and family, people hardly ever say those things TO their loved ones. I made a conscious decision to communicate all the nice things I heard about others directly to them. Life’s too short to only hear the spiteful gossip, no? And when I’m thinking something nice, I go on and say it. Why not share the love?

When parts of the wedding involve saying kind things, it makes me even happier than I already would be planning a giant hoedown with a big white poofy dress and lots o’ cake. That’s pretty danged happy.

One opportunity we had to say the good stuff was at our awesome engagement party. First of all, it was a party to celebrate that another party is comin’ up! (The wedding. Duh!) If a party on its own is great, then a party to celebrate another party is great squared.

My MOH planned the shindig. It. Was. Amazing. We had about forty people there! Nearby friends . . .
. . . and family.

I wore the special locket with my twin’s picture inside, so he could be there too. Here I am showing it to Mrs. Pop.

Super-MOH didn’t do it all on her own – this lovely lady (I’ll call her Soul Sister) helped with the preparations and laughed so much, she got us all in on the act.

Did I mention there was cake?

But my favorite parts of our engagement party were when people got to say and write nice things. My MOH put engagement pictures of us on each table, along with bottles of wine, which the guests signed with well-wishes and funny quips.

My MOH and Pop each gave a toast.

And I toasted the host, my best girl.

My neighbor once said that he didn’t want flowers at his funeral. “Don’t wait ‘till I’m dead,” he said. I sent him the biggest bouquet I could find the very next day.

There are lots of chances to say the really important things in life. I like the few moments just before I drop off to sleep, because the good thoughts swim to the surface of consciousness like little silver bubbles. But there are regular every day moments too – in the car at a stoplight. When you’re cooking dinner. Sometimes I think nice things when I’m brushing my teeth, but no one can understand what I’m saying through the globs of toothpaste. (Mrph toodee, schlobbr!)

Don’t forget the big moments too, especially at a wedding. Saying your vows. Whispering to your spouse just after you recess back down the aisle. Toasting your parents.

The next time you hear or think something nice about someone, just go on and say it. Out loud.

And now, to end this post on a less sentimental note, here’s my favorite photo from the engagement party. Pop. Being . . . Pop. Love it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Link Between Earth and Sky

After my twin brother died, I had a dream. It was about designing and making jewelry in memory of him. I started a jewelry business and began selling my jewelry locally. This creative outlet helped me make something lovely out of my grief. Holidays, which were especially painful times without my twin, became times of anticipation and happiness. Just knowing that people were opening gifts of my jewelry from their loved ones made those days seem lighter and better.

I paired each piece of jewelry with a card bearing the meaning of the primary gemstone and a quotation that relates to the meaning. I hoped that the recipients of the jewelry would find meaning in their gems, but also in the world around them.

While I will never be fully healed from the loss of my twin, I have had a different sense of wholeness since I met the Mister. Instead of continuing to expand my jewelry business, I began to focus on building a life with him, which included planning our wedding. The wedding planning became a new creative outlet, and I focused less on my jewelry. Part of me even wondered whether the work of my jewelry was nearing completion.

This week, however, I received an email that reminded me why I design my jewelry and sell it in places where it can reach people I don’t even know.

Here is the email:

My Fiance (Charlie) purchased one of your necklaces for my birthday which was September 11, 2008. Our wedding was to be on November 15, 2008 and we are both Scottish so we were using the Celtic theme for the wedding. This necklace follows on that theme you could say. One of the things on the enclosed reading material really hits home more than ever, "The Tree collection contains wood, which symbolizes life. In the Celtic tradition, trees represent the bridge between earth and sky, between mankind and God." My Fiance died on September 20th in a hit and run accident, he was on his way to his second job to help with our wedding. This necklace means the world to me and I wear it everyday. I would like to get a similar necklace for Charlie’s sister.

This incredible woman is only a month from the loss of her fiancé (and less than a month until the day she was to marry him). Her pain must be acute and unfathomable. That the necklace represents her continued link with her beloved is amazingly, heartbreakingly beautiful. I am humbled to play a tiny part in a love that lasts beyond death.

That she wants to share that link with his sister awes me further. I know that God will bless her giving spirit and mend her heart.

I responded that I would be honored to create a similar necklace for his sister. And I told her that, while she will never forget Charlie, in time it will become easier to remember him.

As the Mister and I continue to plan our wedding with Scottish traditions, we are reminded that each day is a gift. We will remember our lost loved ones on our wedding day. Although we never met him, Charlie will undoubtedly be among them.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Speaking of pencils . . . the Mister and I are trying to come up with a cute phrase to put on the pencils for our pinwheels.

Here are some options, most of which were suggested by Ellie over at the lucky nest. Which do you like?

love makes the world go 'round

life without love is like a pencil without lead -- pointless

love is the signature of our lives

write your own love story

Friday, October 17, 2008

Million Dollar Pens

As I was scribbling notes in the middle of the night last night, I started thinking again about practical weddings. I was on my back in bed, writing on a scrap of paper, glad I was using a pencil, because pens don’t work upside down.

Then I remembered the
urban legend that NASA spent $11 million to develop a pen that would work in zero gravity, while the Russian Cosmonauts simply used pencils. While the story isn’t actually true (regular pens do work in space, after all), it got me thinking about “solutions” that the wedding industry has dreamt up for problems that don’t actually exist.

Like flowers. They were originally used as wedding decorations because they were plentifully available and free. Church ladies used to pluck stems from their own gardens. Now we buy them from florists who fly them in from the other side of the world. You already know about my eco-friendly plan to
pick flowers out of my neighbor’s backyard.

And clothing. People used to wear their best dress clothes to their weddings. Now brides (including me!) buy dresses that we wear once. And we make our friends do it too by selecting bridesmaids dresses that will never be worn again.

I’m guilty of the one-time-use dress, but I did ask our female attendants to select their own black dresses in the hopes they’d choose one they already have or buy one that they’ll wear them again. The men are wearing the tuxedos they already have. Only one or two of them don’t have tuxes; most everyone else can get dressed right out of their own closets.

And my dress (named Alice Bell, after Mama’s namesake) cost $250. I found her online. I thought she’d be perfect, if only her skirt were made of a different material. I went to the store that carried her, and found that her skirt was made of the very material for which I had hoped! Angels began singing, and lights from heaven shone down on us, as we ran in slow motion across the room toward each other. Maybe it was just elevator music, compact fluorescents, and me stumbling over jeweled slippers and tulle underskirts, but it sure did feel like a spiritual moment. There were scores of other lovely dresses there, but I tried on Alice Bell first. I knew she was the one.

Unfortunately for my MOH, we hadn’t planned on going dress shopping that day, so instead of wearing my everyday undergarments, I had on something fancy I got from the Mister for Valentine’s Day. She was more than a little surprised when she helped me in the dressing room. I think I heard her scream, “My eyes! My eyes!” but it may have only been a polite, “Oh! My goodness!” I haven’t worn those bloomers since.

My MOH told me I couldn’t buy the first dress I tried on, and made me try on a bunch more dresses. I know she was looking out for my best interest, because she certainly didn't want to see more of my skivvies. I tried on ones that looked like costumes from Swan Lake – feathery bodices and tulle skirts poofing out from the waist so much that I had to turn sideways to get out of the dressing room. I tried on ones that were covered in elaborate beading that scratched the undersides of my flabby arms as I waved them around, imitating dance moves for the reception. And ones that looked like rumpled bed linens. Ones that imitated bordello curtains. Dark champagne ones. Blinding white ones. Satin, organza, chiffon ones. Heck, I even tried on ones that had huge bows on the butt, just to show some solidarity with the 80’s brides who had no other choice.

But Alice Bell and I were made for each other. I asked about ordering her, and the saleswoman told me that my beautiful girl had been discontinued. “Either buy her now for $250, or never see her again.” So I paid her paltry ransom and took her home that very night. To be perfectly honest, I would have bought her if she had cost four times that much. But my conscience and my pocketbook are oh-so-glad she didn’t.

Alice Bell has moved into my neighbor’s guestroom, far from the prying eyes of the Mister. In fact, the window of her room looks out over the garden where the flowers for my bouquet will grow.

No, friends. I don’t need $11 million pens. I like my pencils just fine.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


So sorry to have fallen off the face of the earth lately – the Mister and I have had a series of visits from our dogs-in-law who have decided that pooping on our rugs is the height of propriety.

First, Momma Mac visited with Opie. God love him, Opie is one hundred and sixty three and a half years old. He just couldn’t help the pooping. Then Pop and Mrs. Pop dropped off Tilly, who is recovering from a life-threatening bout of rocky mountain spotted fever. (No, I’m not kidding.) The poor gal was completely traumatized by her illness, and wasn’t really up for visiting quite yet.

Opie and Tilly are both poodles. And the first three letters of “poodles” are . . . .
‘Nuff said. :)

Anyhoo, we’re still cleaning the rugs and mopping the floors. I promise more wedding blogging soon. But in the meantime, here’s a picture of Tipper (our dog) with Opie.

Friday, October 3, 2008


I realized this week that I’m in wedding planning limbo. Somewhere between brides who plan weddings for $1,000 using 1970’s mugs from the Salvation Army as their stemware, and brides who spend $20,000 on their table linens alone.

The brides in the first category think it’s absolutely insane that I’m considering giving away vintage handkerchiefs at the ceremony. Isn’t the money better spent elsewhere? Why am I even thinking about such an inane detail?! The brides in the second category are probably scoffing at the fact that I’m not having hankies monogrammed for each individual guest.

Isn’t there something to be said for moderation? Why can’t I be fiscally conscious while still dreaming up personal little details? For me, the best part of the wedding planning has been using my budget as an inspiration.

For example, I could order an entire letterpress invitation suite, but I would have to cut half the guest list to pay for it. Instead, I’ve figured out a low-cost way to get the wedding stationery we want. The Mister and I designed the invitation, RSVP, and thank you cards. I put all the documents in one 8.5”x11” print-ready .pdf document. Soon, I’ll upload the document on the low-cost letterpress printer’s website. He’ll send me the letterpressed copies, and I’ll cut them myself (or have Kinkos do it). I’ll order more paper and envelopes from another high-quality, low-cost source. Then the Mister and I will assemble the invitations using the magical xyron machine. Lovely, custom letterpressed invitations at a fraction of the cost of ordering them. Yeah. That’s what I’m talkin’ about.

I don’t think any couple looks back on their big day and thinks, “I wish we’d spent more on the wedding.” But it’s easy to get dazzled by the wedding industry and start shelling out buckaroos like there’s not a recession comin’ down the pike.

I guess most brides in the planning stages see a budget as the most restrictive part of the wedding. I think it’s the most freeing! I’m very grateful to have some money to spend and that I get to use the right side of my brain to orchestrate the wedding we want within the amount we’ve got. It’s so much fun to stretch myself by trying out new creative roles: florist, stationer, makeup artiste!

Thrifty. Stylish. Personal. That’s what we’re going for. How ‘bout you?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Lost in Translation

Blogging isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. Posting ideas and feelings for others to comment upon makes me feel . . . vulnerable. Fortunately, most of my readers know me very well, and they put everything I write into context.

But I’ve gotten a few readers who know me only through my blog, and their responses to my blog entries have been interesting. Almost without exception, I’ve gotten fabulous, encouraging comments that are filled with internet friendship and kind wishes. Almost without exception, I say, because there is one. One reader for whom my writing style seems to engender . . . harsh responses.

In response to my post about the Mister nixing my ukulele idea, she commented: “I'm sorry but this bridezilla attitude that the bride is the end all be all most important thing in any wedding has got to stop.” Did I mention that the post was about the Mister forbidding the use of my idea? Hmmm.

Another quote from the same gal: “. . . you need to realize that for all but 3 or 4 people who attend your wedding, it will be just another day.” I don’t know about you, but I’ve never thought of a friend’s wedding as “just another day.” Smiling so much at the happy couple that my face aches; crying tears of joy during the ceremony; giggling at some silly mishap that makes the day even more memorable; dancing until my feet won’t fit back into my shoes . . . . Just another day? Not for me.

I suspect our wedding day will be special for more than just a few. As I wrote in an
earlier post:

My twin brother died seven years ago, and his absence has been more palpable in the wedding planning than it has been since the year he died. Our family has been through so much tragedy. And we’ve had so many loving friends who tenderly held our hearts as we’ve grieved. Now, instead of planning a funeral and just trying to make it through each day, we’re all planning a wedding and looking well into the future. In short, this wedding is the anti-funeral. Not just for me, but for all of us.

So when I listen a little too much to the opinions of family and friends, and I agonize over how to meld them into a single, coherent day, it’s not because I’m indecisive or too nice (people who know me know that’s certainly not true!). It’s because I want everyone who helped ease the grief to get a piece of the joy.

That’s just on my side of the aisle. The Mister lost his older brother to cancer. So his feelings and motivations echo my own. His wonderful family understands my family in a way I could never have dreamt of, let alone hoped to find.

When I read my own blog entries, it is obvious to me which sentences are punctuated with a wink. I understand that my intentions might not be so clear to others – especially those who don’t know me in the real world. This blogging thing is a bit more complicated than I expected it would be.

In the spirit of giving the written word the benefit of the doubt, I’ll assume that the reader meant her comments in the kindest way. I just ask that she do the same for my blog. And a word (or two) to the wise who comment around the ‘net: Be gentle. Real people with real feelings write these blogs.

As Mama’s Mama always said, “If you can’t say something nice . . . .”

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I and Me, He and Him

Here's our second wedding grammar lesson! Please remember that I welcome any comments or suggestions.

It's easy to get confused about using "I" and "me" when you're describing an event that involves another person. It helps to separate the actors. Let me explain by using an example. Which sentence is correct?

The Mister and I will not smash cake in each other’s faces.
The Mister and me will not smash cake in each other’s faces.


Try this. Separate each word in the subject into a separate sentence:

The Mister will not smash cake. That sounds right! (And if he does smash cake, my MOH will beat him down.)

I will not smash cake. That sounds right, too.

Me will not smash cake? That's obviously wrong. Unless you’re the Cookie Monster.

Now put them together.

The Mister and I will not smash cake in each other’s faces.

Let’s try one more. When Jack Sparrow suggested a pirate-themed wedding to (he and I) OR (him and me), we said, “Shiver me timbers!”


Again, separate the sentences.

Jack Sparrow suggested pirates to I? Arrrr! That’s wrong.

Jack Sparrow suggested pirates to me. Ahoy! That’s right!

Jack Sparrow suggested pirates to he? Again: Arrrr!

Jack Sparrow suggested pirates to him. Ahoy! You’ve got it!


When Jack Sparrow suggested a pirate-themed wedding to him and me (or to us), we said, “Shiver me timbers!”

Now if you've got a pirate-themed wedding with cake smashing, I don't know what to tell you.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Short Locks Rock!

Who else is rockin’ short wedding hair? Every bride I know grew out her hair for her wedding, either to wear in loose curls or a structured up-do. If I grew out my hair, it’d be a stringy, tragic mullet.

Seriously – I don’t have a ton of hair, and what hair I do have doesn’t improve with length. Split ends galore, my friends. I finally got my hair cut into the bob of a little French girl, and I love it. It’s comfortable and easy to style. And it feels like me.

Sure I’d love to have amazingly huge hair for the wedding. In fact, I wish I had African-American hair, because of how thick and glossy it is, and how it holds style in a way my hair wouldn’t even consider on its most reasonable day. I guess a big afro wouldn’t really suit me, but a girl can dream, right?

Anyway, I’d love to hear from some other short-haired brides out there. How are you wearing your hair for your wedding? And what made you choose your style?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ah choo!

Some time ago, Mama and I had a difference of opinion.

We were talking about the tragedy our family has faced, and how we wanted the people who supported us then to celebrate with us at the wedding. She said, “There won’t be a dry eye in the house!”

Knowing that my tears usually end up in the ugly cry (like Paris below), I thought it might be nice to give something helpful to our guests with similarly tearful tendencies.


I remembered reading about the super cute tissue packs that people provide to wedding guests, and I thought about doing something similar. I researched the cost of the packets (either to buy them prepared, or to prepare them myself), and I realized that hankies would cost about the same. Two of my aunts and my MOH had small collections of vintage hankies from relatives that they would like to use for something meaningful, and they offered parts of those collections to me. I was so stoked!


I told Mama of my plan, and she said, “Well, that’s basically assuming that people will cry at your wedding!” Um? I was confused.

This disagreement has long since been resolved, and Mama bought me a beautiful lot of vintage hankies on eBay. (Mama is an eBay warrior!) But this got me thinking . . . IS it rude to provide handkerchiefs at the wedding? Does it send a self-centered message? Or is it sweet and old fashioned? Just wondering.

All this thinking about cloth over paper has spilled over into my everyday (nonwedding!) life. I switched in the past year from paper napkins to cloth napkins, and I LOVE them. They make each meal seem more special, AND they’re good for the environment. Just toss ‘em in the laundry with your clothes, and out they come, ready to be reused.

I’ve got this cool coworker who lives on a farm with a peach tree, an apple tree, a cherry tree, huckleberry bushes, and a wonderful vegetable garden. She brings in loads of delicious local organic produce for all of us to share. If she leaves our office, I’m totally going with her. She’s amazing!

So this week, I was telling her about the cloth napkins, and she said she’d switched to hankies too. The very next day, two beautiful new hankies were on my desk. I haven’t used them yet – they’re so pretty that I don’t want to blow my nose on them. But I imagine it’s only a matter of time. My Kleenex box is running awfully low.

So here’s to hankies (and the friends who give them to us)! Ah choo!

Tagged! Why I Love My Country

I’ve been tagged by sexyredframe! If you haven’t read her amazing love story, you MUST check out her blog. The request: give five reasons why I love my country.

1. I love ice cream socials. Like the kind some neighborhoods have on the Fourth of July. Because I love ice cream, and I love socializing. And the feeling of community makes both sweeter.

2. I love that, no matter how the presidential election ends up, the next presidency will be extra-historic. We’ll either have a president of color or a woman vice president. Woot!


3. I love baseball games. Singing the national anthem give me goosebumps, and singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” at the top of my lungs is the Most! Fun! Ever! Plus I get to drink beer, sit outside in the sunshine, and watch guys run around the field. Baseball is as American as apple pie.


4. I love State fairs. You get to pet the animals, eat corn on the cob, and ride on the Ferris Wheel. There’s music and a rodeo and people selling all manner of odd things. It’s nice to see families together, enjoying the summer.


5. I love the grand range of countryside we have in the U.S.: from the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans, white with foam . . . . There’s no other place quite like it.


I’m tagging Father Stacy, Elaine at Little Lives Photography, Meg at A Practical Wedding, Vane at Brooklyn Bride, and onesmallstar at Etsy Wedding.

Here are the rules:
1. Link back to the meme creator Caz

2. Link to the person who tagged you

3. Link back to the originator of the positive SA blog movement Cheap Thrills

4. Give 5 reasons why you love your country

5. Tag at least 5 people
Enjoy thinking about why you love your country.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Topper Trends

Mama asked me this weekend, “What are you doing about the cake topper?” And I said, “OhmygoshI’msoexcitedaboutthecaketopper!” Mama replied, “Uh oh.” You see, whenever I’m sooo excited about a creative wedding idea, it has about a 20% chance of being crazy.

Mama admitted she wasn’t up on the current world of cake toppers, so here are three of my favorite trends:

First off, you’ve got the handmade, creative cake topper, which includes these clothespin darlings from thesmallobject:

And these birdies from Ann Wood:

And the bride, groom, and their dog from Miss Shortcake on weddingbee:

The problem with these toppers is that the first two are exorbitantly expensive ($135 and $280, respectively), and the third requires mad papier mache skillz that I do not have. Besides, half the fun of the wedding is coming up with a creative, reasonably-priced solution to each problem using the skillz I do have.

Next trend: Vintage toppers!


I love vintage toppers, but they are a bit small for the huge, beautiful cake Momma Mac got us.

The third trend I love is the use of letters and words. Both the Mister and I love books and reading. And we’ve decided to decorate the cake with the words of our vows, rather than flowers or other decorations.

The first idea we ‘stormed up was this paperweight based on the artwork of Robert Indiana. I love the simplicity (and the sentiment!), but I’m a bit worried that the paperweight will be too heavy on top of the cake. It costs $65. We’re still thinkin’ about it.

We could incorporate our initials, which is a huge trend in the wedding industry right now. I love the simplicity of this design too! And they’re very affordable at around $20 to $30 each.


Our final idea is to use the words of our vows on top of the cake, so that folks wouldn’t have to circle the cake to read them in their entirety. I can make a vow topper any size we like, so it would be in proportion to the cake. I also adore that this idea focuses on the most important part of the wedding – the promises we make to each other. Shouldn’t they be the centerpiece of the wedding?

If we choose this option, I would print out the vows on lovely white paper. To coordinate with the black ribbon on the cake, and to echo the design of our invitations and programs, I would adhere the white paper to black cardstock, so the vows are framed and emphasized. I would do two copies of the vows, and stick them back to back with a skewer in the middle, which could be inserted in the cake to make the vows stand up straight.

Spoiler alert: Our vows are written on this sample cake topper, so if you’d rather be surprised at the wedding, read no further.

I told Mama about the vow topper, and she was initially dismayed that it would be two-dimensional. But now she is beginning to like the idea (or so she says!). Which idea is your favorite?