Thursday, August 28, 2008

Unity Schmoonity

The unity candle, which is now a part of most traditional U.S. wedding ceremonies, is not really all that traditional. Wikipedia guesses that it is about 30 or 40 years old. So how did this new ritual become to many as necessary as marriage itself?

You know how it goes: At the beginning of the wedding ceremony, a representative from each family (usually the mothers of the bride and groom) light two taper candles, which represent the bride and the groom. Later in the ceremony, the bride and groom use the two taper candles to light the large pillar (unity) candle together.

There is major disagreement about whether the bride and groom should blow out the taper candles. Ten or twenty years ago, nearly everyone blew out the tapers, to represent the bride and groom leaving their respective families and starting a new family together. Today, the opposite is true – most brides and grooms leave the tapers lit to symbolize the continued existence of their individual identities, separate from their relationship as a couple.

Alternatives to the unity candle began to spring up over the past ten years as well, mainly because many couples opted for outdoor weddings, which make it difficult to keep the candles lit. If the candles go kaput, so does the lovely symbolism. One alternative is the sand ceremony, where the bride and groom each have a different color of sand, which they pour together into a larger vessel. This ritual can also be performed with different colored water or wine.

Crazy things can happen on one’s wedding day. (It has always puzzled me that people say they want their wedding day to be perfect. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had a “perfect” day when I do the same things I do every other day – things at which I have a ton of practice – like going to work, eating lunch, answering the phone . . . . So why on earth would I have a perfect day when I do a bunch of things I’ve never done before – like wearing a poofy white dress, feeding the Mister cake in front of a gazillion people, lighting a candle at church . . . .)

The candle can refuse to light, leaving the couple (and all their guests!) speculating about the future of their union. And I’ve watched enough America’s Funniest Home Videos to know that the unity candle ceremony can have fiery consequences. Tulle + fire = danger!


I respect the fact that some people want to take these risks. (Actually, I think these people are crazy! Who am I kidding?) I have visions of tripping up the altar steps and into the candle, followed by STOP, DROP, and ROLL.

What I do respect is the desire to include a ritual within the marriage ritual that further solemnizes the marriage. Rituals provide security, stability, meaning, and a sense of belonging. But why have we as Americans chosen a ritual whose main risk is catching fire and whose main benefit is to candle manufacturers? I've heard the story of a Catholic priest and a Protestant minister each "blaming" each other's church for the unity candle ritual. Instead of calling it a Catholic ritual or a Protestant ritual, they agreed to call it a Hallmark ritual, and to discourage it in weddings they perform.

The Mister and I have therefore spent some time considering the rituals for our marriage ceremony. More on that later. But for now, we've reached this decision: No unity candle for this clumsy dame. Sheesh!

What about you? Do you plan to/Did you have a unity candle ceremony?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Guest Blogger: Tipper!

Hi! I'm Tipper, and I'm interrupting your regularly scheduled wedding blog to bring you this urgent message: Please consider adopting a pet!

Before buying a pet that was specially bred for purchase, please at least consider animals already looking for happy homes. Aside from the major concern that purchased pets may be from puppy mills, where animal cruelty and serious health hazards abound, there is an even more important reason for considering adopting rather than buying a pet. You can save a life. According to the American Humane Association, an estimated 9.6 million animals are euthanized in the United States every year.

Rather than going over the specifics of this heartbreaking statistic, I’d like to focus on the positive aspects of adopting a pet. When you adopt a companion animal, you gain the lifelong gratitude and devotion of a pet that would otherwise be homeless. And the devotion and happiness go both ways! There are hundreds of “
Happy Tails” on, describing the joy that adopted animals have brought to the lives of their families. And pictures, like these!





So, my little two-legged friends, please consider adopting one of us four-leggers. We're worth it!

This is Tipper, signing off with an extra slurpy smooch. Back to your regularly scheduled blog.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Must Have Shot List

What’s up with those incredibly long must-have shot lists that people give their photographers? It’s a great idea to pick some shots you’d like to have, but 85?! That’s what recommends.

For example, why do I need a posed, formal picture alone with my parents? By the time we get the proofs back from the photog, the Mister will be a part of my family (and I a part of his), so why would we exclude him? Will my parents ever display a picture of just the three of us without the Mister, when I’m in my wedding dress? Like, if I get divorced (God forbid!), and they want to cut him out of the picture? I’m sure no one would notice the giant poofy white dress. Maybe my mom can show it to new prospects for my second husband! Not. Gonna. Happen.

Why have so many posed shots, anyway? I’d much rather enjoy part of the cocktail hour talking to my family and friends than standing on the altar steps with a frozen smile in a parade of flash bulbs.

I know! The photographer can take pictures of the Mister and me actually enjoying our own wedding, surrounded by the people we’d put in the formal pictures. But I’m so kooky – everyone knows we’re not supposed to enjoy the wedding. We’re just supposed to look like we’re enjoying it, for the pictures. (Wink.)

If all else fails, the Mister and I can get a life-sized cutout of ourselves. Insert our faces here:

While we enjoy our guests at the cocktail hour, the people who want a ton of formal shots can take them with the cardboard us.

Cardboard is soooo slimming.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

From the Very Beginning

The Mister called me last night, outraged that I claimed to have cankles in my last post. He says that I DO NOT have them, and that I should edit my post to remove the offending remark. I love that he’s stickin’ up for me, even if it’s against . . . well . . . me.

This proves one thing. And it’s not that I have lovely, slender ankles. It’s that love is blind. Not every guy in the world thinks my curves are slammin’, but I’m so lucky that the Mister does. Once I had someone ask whether the Mister is a leg man. I replied, “If he were, do you think he’d be dating me?!” Tee hee.

Mama says, “I may not be perfect, but parts of me are excellent.” So true. I know a few people who wouldn’t like the furriness of the Mister’s back, or the fact that you can almost fit the remote control in his ginormous belly button. Me, I like that he’s warm and cuddly, and his belly button makes me laugh. I’m grinning right now just thinking about it.

I really believe that there’s someone out there for everyone. Sometimes it just takes a little time to find said person. I’ve dated some real doozies, and stuck it out in those bad relationships because I thought that love wasn’t supposed to be easy. My last relationship was with a really nice guy who wasn’t right for me (and I wasn’t right for him). It literally never occurred to me that the effort we had to exert to keep the relationship going shouldn’t have been necessary.

That’s not to say that love is always easy. Fortunately I have two excellent models of happy marriages (Mama and Mr. Mama; Pop and Mrs. Pop). Add to that the Mister’s parents (Momma Mac and Mac Daddy). These relationships prove that love, like a well-rooted tree, is natural. It grows and bears fruit without trying. There may be hard winters that the tree must endure, but there are also optimistic springs and lush summers. So while love may not be easy, it is natural. My feelings for the Mister are the very first time that love ever felt right. Magical. Inevitable.

A commercial I heard this morning said, “If your girl is one in a million, then there are seven thousand other versions of her in the world.” I’m certainly not going to say that there is only one person for everyone in this world. I’ve seen widows who had wonderful first marriages find love a second time. While the concept of a one-and-only soul mate might not account for these stories, my feelings for the Mister have convinced me that the person or people you are meant to love are imprinted in your soul. In the words of the poet Rumi:

The moment I heard my first love story I began seeking you,
not realizing the search was useless.
Lovers don't meet somewhere along the way.
They're in one another's souls from the beginning.

When I look into my soul, I see that the Mister has been there all along.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Epic Shoe Quest

And now for a topic that is near and dear to Mrs. Pop (my stepmother). The wedding shoes!

I've asked a lot of people what they would change about their weddings, and most brides say they would have worn more comfortable shoes. Even Mama, who is a shoe maven herself, said that the shoes she wore to her second wedding (to Mr. Mama, my stepdad) were killers. This may be in part because Mama's ex-mother-in-law offered them as the wedding gift, but when the bill came, ex-MIL declined to pay it. They were nice shoes, but they weren't extravagant by any stretch of the imagination. Instead of the shoes, ex-MIL sent a clear plastic bowl in the shape of a clam shell. Did I mention it was PLASTIC? And shaped. Like. A. Clam. It was so ridiculous that Mama and Mr. Mama kept it for a very long time, just so we could laugh over it. It may still be in the basement for all I know.

So, I decided early on that I would NOT be wearing uncomfortable shoes. The last time I wore torture-inducing shoes to a wedding, my sister got married. I took the shoes off to dance for a while, and I couldn't get the darned things back on my swollen little piggies. (Those are my toes, for those of you without kids or friends with kids.)

I found some cute tennis shoe ballet flat skimmers that had a white ribbon bow for $25, which I replaced with a blue bow for my "something blue." Loved them. But when I went to try them on the next day, they were too small. Same thing one week later. And nary a larger size was to be found. How on earth did that happen? Do my piggies swell on a regular basis? Or were they shrivled when I bought the shoes in the first place? I don't understand. The shoes are like these, but white with a blue bow:

Next were a pair of seersucker blue and white striped mary jane Nikes, also for under $30. These are super comfy, but they do nothing to make my cankles look slimmer. Tragic. I wear them out and about (with cankle-covering pants), so I don't feel that they were a waste of moolah. They just probably aren't wedding-appropriate footwear.

I've thought about wearing blue mary jane crocs under my poofy white dress. My boss at work poo-pooed the idea, saying, "You want shoes that make men say, 'I wish I had married her!'" I take it flat rubber shoes with holes don't do the trick.

Mrs. Pop sent me a pair of cute ivory flats in the mail. I really love them, but they are just a smidge too big, so they make little blisters on my heels. (On the other hand, the shoes may fit swollen pigs perfectly, so you can bet they'll be in my go-to bag on the day of the wedding!) My favorite thing about these shoes is that Mrs. Pop bought them in my style, which is significantly more casual than her own. I felt totally understood! The shoes are similar to these, but in ivory:

Instead of continuing to try making comfortable shoes look fashionable, I thought I'd try a pair of fashionable shoes, in hopes they'd be comfortable. I bought these cuties, but I literally couldn't walk in them. They must have been made for someone with dainty, narrow little feet. Back they went.

Today I found my dream shoes. They're Doc Martens, so they're comfy! (And they satisfy my love for all things British!) AND they're mary jane dress heels, so they'd be (at least a little) more formal. DOC MARTEN HEELS! Why, oh why, can't these be in white or light blue?! I keep trying to figure out with what I'd wear them, so i can justify buying them. I haven't come up with anything yet . . . .

In my fantasy world (where money is falling out of the sky for everyone and there is no more hunger or war), I'd have a custom pair of these babies made, in light blue. I could turn 'em into tap shoes and live my not-so-secret dream of taking tap lessons with either the eight- to twelve-year-old set or the wonderful little octogenarians who do it to keep in shape. But I'd rather donate the money to Heifer International (a nonprofit organization that alleviates hunger, poverty, and environmental degradation through gifts of livestock and training) than wear expensive-shoe-guilt along with these:

The upshot of this is that I'll keep the three pairs of flats I've currently got. If my pigs are tiny, I'll wear the skimmers with the blue bow. If they're swollen up to the size of snausages like my thumb on the day I got engaged, I'll wear the ivory flats from Mrs. Pop. And if my pigs are somewhere in between, I'll wear the Nike mary janes, cankles and all.
But that won't stop my epic quest for inexpensive, comfortable, low-heeled, periwinkle blue, mary jane shoes. I think these shoes are like Snuffleupagus -- they may not actually exist. Now that I've stopped looking for a great guy (got one!), I've got to be searching for something, right?

Recipe for Makin' Love

I’m sincerely hoping that our first dance to the uber cute song “Recipe for Making Love” by Harry Connick, Jr. We have a few other songs that have very special meanings to us, and we could sway back and forth to those songs. Bless the Broken Road by Rascal Flatts. True Companion by Marc Cohn. C is for Cookie by the Cookie Monster. You know. The classics.


As much as I like those romantic slow songs, I’d like for people to be entertained by our first dance. I love the whole
trick-first-dance-followed-by-a-rockin’-dance-number, but it’s become so common that people sort of expect it nowadays. I think something between the stand-and-sway and the trick-first-dance is the way to go. Thus the delightful Harry Connick song.

As you guys know, I’ve been planning a
family wedding photo guestbook. And I want to give people the opportunity to write something in the book other than their addresses, which we already know, or they wouldn’t have gotten their wedding invitations, so they wouldn’t be at the wedding, and they wouldn’t be signing the guestbook. Duh. So I started thinking about our first dance song, and I came up with this question for people to answer in the guestbook:

If marriage is a recipe, what are its ingredients?


Whaddya think? Do you like the question? What are the ingredients?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Creative Calligraphy

I love calligraphy. Who doesn’t? It’s romantic and delightful. And it adds an air of formality to wedding invitations. Check out these lovlies:

But it’s ‘spensive! An internet source I found charges $5 per envelope, and that’s for three lines. If you’ve got someone with a super long address, ca-ching! Since we’re dispensing with the inside envelope and the tissue paper in our invites, we were hoping to add a level of pomp and circumstance, but not at that price. Uh uh.

I have tried to teach myself calligraphy before.

Just kidding! My handwriting teacher in grade school was Mrs. Crab. Really. She gave me “unsatisfactory” grades on all my assignments. Not because my handwriting is messy or illegible. It’s not! I got bad grades because I didn’t slant my letters toward the right side of the page. Apparently this showed either that I was obviously defective or willfully disobedient. Either way, she hated me.

Even assuming I could master calligraphy, it would take every spare moment between now and our wedding to address all the invitations. Talk about writer’s cramp. Also I’ve been known to make mistakes when writing things out. I can just imagine my darling aunt wondering why on earth she wasn’t invited to our wedding, when her arch-enemy neighbor with the big towering house that blocks her view of the park was. Invited, that is.

Time for some creative thinking!

There are some amazing fonts out there that look like beeeeautiful calligraphy. AND they can be employed using the guest list and addresses I’ve already typed into the computer. Cool, no? So I get the effect with none of the cost or effort! Here are some examples of the font I selected: Ahem. I am very well connected.

Anyhoo, we intended to use black envelopes for our invitations to fit with our black-and-white color scheme. (Mama thought this was a shocking breach of all that is good and faithful in the world. “But the envelope . . . it’s BLACK!” Dun dun dun!) Black computer printing on black envelopes? Not so much. So! To use what I am now calling “Computer Calligraphy” we’ll have to either: (1) print out labels and affix them to the black envelopes, or (2) use white envelopes and stick them through the printer. I think either idea is grand.

We wouldn’t use those silly Arvey labels from Office Hut. Obviously. I’m a classy girl! We’d make our own labels using The Magical Xyron Machine that my MOH is loaning me. But the sticky label cartridges for the MXM are also ‘spensive. Those white envelopes are looking gooood. I’ll keep you posted.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Pip Pip!

Apparently, signature drinks are all the rage in the wedding industry. They were created so that couples who couldn’t afford an entirely open bar could have an open beer and wine bar with one cocktail made from hard liquor that was their “signature drink.” The idea was soooo cool that it quickly spread to people with more moolah. (Why should the frugal folks get to have all the fun?) Then people started having signature drink “menus” of multiple drinks with incredibly clever names (like Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue). The exceptionally creative Miss Cream Puff over on weddingbee even created an entire signature drink menu around her pets:

I don’t really drink hard alcohol. And there’s a good reason. I’m a drinker, not a sipper. Gulping candy-flavored hooch on half-price martini Thursdays means that my legs are so rubbery they’re practically liquefied. One martini. Two martini. Three martini. Floor. Or, as Mr. Mama likes to say, “You had ti many martoonis.”

The Mister and I recently went out to the super cool place we got
engaged. When I started talking about the year I graduated law school, he laughed and said, “I graduated high school that year.” (I did graduate college in three years, so that means that the Mister and I have a six-year age difference. Usually I’m pretty good natured about being a cougar. Rawr. But the thought of dating a highschooler while I was graduating law school?! I felt positively ancient!) I marched right over to the bartender and said, “I need a very big my-fiance-made-me-feel-old drink.” I don’t know what he put in there. And I think it was free. I don’t really remember, because I sucked it down, got over feeling old, and tritzed back to the table. I was tooootally fine for approximately eleven and a half minutes.

So, when our wedding caterer asked us about a signature drink, all I could imagine was me slurping hard liquor out of the dreaded
bubba keg (which the Mister LOVES and I loathe), slurring my vows and whatnot. Um, no thanks.

But the Mister had a brilliant idea. What about Guinness as our signature drink? It pokes a little good-natured fun at the entire concept by being anything but a mixed drink. Guinness fits right in with our “across the pond” reception décor (more on that later). And it has the added benefit of being drinkable (rather than purely sippable)! The caterer threw in even more fun by suggesting that waiters pass our high fallootin’ signature drink in tiny beer mugs. Pip, pip! Cheerio, old boy! I can’t wait to hear all those teensy clinks as people toast with the little buggers!

See why I love my Mister?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Going Carless! Ooh la la!

So, I’m going carless. This sounds somewhat risqué, like going braless or even topless. (A side note here – whenever I say I’m going to a tapas restaurant, people always think I’m saying a topless restaurant. Does anyone else have this problem?) But what I mean is that I don’t currently own a car. This is practically blasphemy in the Midwest, home of car racing and big trucks. Once, I met my MOH at a restaurant for lunch, but it was closed. We decided to go to a restaurant about six stores down the strip mall, and she got into her car and DROVE there. (Granted, she has a really cool car – a MINI Cooper named Stella).

Let me explain. The place where I live with the Mister has only one parking spot. Usually, I would just park on the street, but we live near a busy downtown building, so all the spots are metered. If I ever decided to stay home for the day (say, for example to meet the cable guy, who has come to my house four times in the past two days, and still, no cable!), I’d have to put money in the parking meter on the street. There is a nearby garage, but it costs $40 per month to park your car there. I work for the State, so I can park in the free State garage, but it’s about ten blocks away. So then I started thinking, “If I’m going to park my car so far away, do I really need a car at all?”

In the downtown area where we live, there’s a grocery store and a hardware store and a mall and a movie theater. In other words, the majority of the stuff I need is within walking distance. (And a lot of things I don’t need, like great pubs and restaurants. I hope walking to these locations will make up for the caloric intake!)

Sooooo, the Mister and I decided to try an experiment. When the lease on my old car ended, I would just walk to and from work. This wasn’t so much of a stretch because: (1) I was already riding my bicycle to work a few times a week for fitness and environmental reasons, and (2) it takes about as long to walk from my house to work as it does to walk from the State parking garage to work. If I needed the car on the evenings or weekends, I would ask the Mister. And if the car and the Mister were busy, I could always rent a car. We would take it one day at a time. Whenever it got unbearable, I would just go get a new car, and the experiment would be over.

It’s been two months so far, and it’s going swimmingly. The whole walking around thing reminds me of being in college, when I didn’t even dream of having a car. If what I needed was off campus, I just learned how to do without. A girl can get a lot of wedding thinking done while sashaying about town.

I’ve only rented a car once during this experiment. I reserved a subcompact car to save on gas and to get into those teensy tiny parking spots, but the rental agency gave me a giant V-8 two-door and expected me to be happy about a car that vroomed unnecessarily. I took Mama and Mr. Mama for ice cream in it, and I had to fold Mr. Mama into a pretzel to get him in and out of the back seat. He was crabby.

I’d be lying if I said that I never felt slightly trapped by not having a motor vehicle at my beck and call. There are times I want to just drive off, away from responsibilities (or at least toward my Mama and my MOH, both of whom live too far away to walk). But those few trapped feelings are greatly outweighed by the benefits of going carless:

I can eat corndogs and not gain weight.
I see the same people on my walks every day, and I like the feeling of community.
Mother Earth approves of my smaller carbon footprint.
While my backside (or my dignity, as my grandmother used to call it) is less plump, the opposite is true for my wallet.

There are a few drawbacks. Like the crazy guys who ask me for money every day. And my hairdo is usually a hairdon’t by the time I get to work. But little miracles happen all the time on my walks. Last week another (obviously crazy!) guy said, “Pardon me ma’am. You have a beautiful figure. I’ll bet you get that all the time.” Um, no, I most certainly do not! I was walking on air for days.

I get two reactions to the experiment. COOL! and WHAT?! People either love or hate the idea – there’s no middle ground. Some folks can’t fathom going without a car, while others secretly wish they could. I realize that there are a gazillion people who ride the bus or their bikes or walk to work every single day, and it’s not like I’m some nutty radical who’s changing the universe just by waiting to buy a new car. But I am literally the only person I know in my profession who doesn’t have a car (and isn’t even shopping for one).

So, anybody else out there going carless? We should all meet up at the local topless (I mean tapas) restaurant to bond.

Blog the Dog

I'm sure you’ve noticed that our beloved dog is more than just a pet – he’s a member of our family. There are several reasons for his honored status, not the least of which is that he’s a cute, furry little guy who sometimes looks like a kitty and other times has the gravitas of a civil war general.

He’s also a member of our family because he taught all of us to love again after the tragedy of losing my twin brother. To be honest, I didn’t believe that I would ever be able really to hug someone after that loss. The very thought of meeting new people who didn’t know my brother seemed a betrayal of his memory. My world was supposed to stop growing on the day that my brother’s life ended, right? Instead, a cuddly little furball pushed open the door to my heart with his little paw, and the healing began.

He’s not a genius. He gets confused when you ask him to do something as simple as lying down. And he can’t find a treat you put right in front of his nose (mainly because he’s too busy trying to please people that he forgets all about the reward.)

He understands five commands: SIT, DROP, DOWN, HUG, and KISS. The last two show his biggest asset – his heart. He puts his paws on your legs and nuzzles you for hugs, and he licks your nose when you ask for a kiss. I’d take those two actions over LIE DOWN any day.

He likes his sleep. Interrupt it, and you get a harrumph of monumental proportions, followed by his grumpy old man look. It says something along the lines of, “I am tolerating you because I love you, but keep it down in here!”

He was five years old when I rescued him from God knows what, so he came complete with a number of serious issues. He foams at the mouth when I leave home. I think he really believes I’m never coming back. He jumps on my head during storms, and he destructively scratches the door from which I leave every day. He sometimes tinkles on the corner of the couch. Fortunately, his aim is so bad, he misses the couch entirely and hits the puppy pad I put out for this particular purpose. He’s absolutely convinced that every visitor to our house intends to steal him away from us, and he routinely shakes from head to toe when in the presence of more than a few folks. He takes beef-flavored doggie prozac every day. In short, he’s a hot mess.

There is a trend these days of including dogs in the wedding party. I LOVE this idea. I mean, isn’t it a bit weird that you wouldn’t include a family member/roommate/best friend on the most important day of your life?

But when you have a dog that’s a hot mess with separation anxiety, is it really fair to put him through the ordeal? If he were 100% healthy and secure, I’d have him dressed in a cute little ringbearer’s outfit walking down that aisle.

But he’s not. And I love his wellbeing more than I love how cute he'd be at the wedding.

So I’ll just have to tell him all about it when it’s over. Just one problem -- he won’t understand a word I’m saying . . . he only speaks Chinese. He’s a shih tzu after all.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


If marriage is the simple, straightforward theme of our wedding, then I suppose I can splurge a bit and have a motto.

In the Spring of 1939, with war against Germany all but inevitable, the British Government's Ministry of Information commissioned a series of posters to be distributed throughout the country at the onset of hostilities. The posters were a message from the King to his people to stress an “attitude of mind” rather than a specific aim. On the eve of a war that Britain was ill-equipped to fight, it was impossible to know what the nation’s future aims and objectives would be.

At the end of the Summer of 1939, three designs using the crowns of George VI as the only graphic device went into production. The first poster read “Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution will Bring Us Victory.” The second carried the slogan “Freedom is in Peril.” The third design simply read “Keep Calm and Carry On.”

The first two designs were distributed in the Fall of 1939 and began to appear in shop windows, on railway platforms, and on advertising boards up and down the country. But the “Keep Calm” posters were held in reserve, intended for use only in times of crisis or invasion. Although some may have found their way onto government office walls, the poster was never officially issued and remained virtually unseen by the public until a copy turned up more than fifty years later in a box of dusty old books bought in auction. It was displayed by a pair of British shop owners who began reproducing it after its immediate popularity.

I first saw the poster on, and it immediately put me into the right “attitude of mind.”
I learned more about it on the website of a secondhand bookshop, and I liked it so much that we registered for the poster as a wedding gift, to serve as a constant reminder in our married life.

While some might see a wedding as both a crisis and an invasion, I think it’s neither. I do think, however, that it’s very helpful to be reminded in this time of great change to Keep Calm and Carry On.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Thematic Elegance

Apparently every wedding is supposed to have a theme. It seems like these themes usually involve the word, “elegance”: Simple Elegance, Casual Elegance, Calla Lily Elegance, Victorian Elegance, Autumn Elegance, My-Day-MUST-Be-Perfect Elegance, Barking Mad Elegance, Spray-Tan Elegance . . . . You get the idea.

Image from

At the recommendation of Miss Pineapple over on, I read A More Perfect Union: How I Survived the Happiest Day of My Life. When the author, Hana Schank, and her fiancé (both of whom are Jewish) began planning their wedding, they had this discussion about their theme:

"Well, the magazines say that a good way to start planning a wedding is to pick a theme, and everything else follows."
"Oh man," he said. "What kind of theme?"
"They suggest things like 'Hearts and Flowers,' or, you know, 'The Wild West,' that kind of thing."
"Like, 'Romance Under the Sea'?"
"Yeah," I said. "I'm thinking maybe we should go with 'Man's Inhumanity to Man.' "
"What about, 'Anti-Semitism Through the Ages'?" asked Steven. "I mean, it is going to be a Jewish wedding."
"Ooh, good one. We could do a Czarist Russia table, a Spanish Inquisition table, a Nazi Germany table."
"The possibilities are endless, really. That's what makes it a good theme."

This has gotten me thinking – what’s our wedding theme? As much as I like “Man’s Inhumanity to Man” (wink), it’s not really our style. And since I’m not remotely elegant (I tripped over my own feet today at work), I suppose that anything involving “elegance” is out. The colors we plan to use are black and white, but that’s not a theme, it’s a color palette, right?.

In vain I searched good ole’ Martha Stewart’s website for theme concepts that fit what we are trying to accomplish. And wasn’t any help either. But
Courtney over at nailed it. “The theme of our wedding is marriage.” Amen, sistah.