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?

It's vs. Its

The subtitle of my blog involves using the best grammar I possibly can, and that’s what I’ve been trying to do. In addition to my own attempts at writing properly, I wondered whether you, dear readers, would be interested in a few tips. So every once in a while, I’ll slip in a quick post on grammar, steeped (of course!) in the imagery of the wonderful wedding world.

Before I begin, let me just say that I know I’m not an authority on all things grammatical. So here’s an open invitation to correct my grammar:

On to the lesson: It’s vs. Its

It’s is a contraction, meaning it is.

Its is possessive, meaning something belonging to it.

So you would write:
Have you seen the officiant? It’s an Elvis impersonator!

And you would also write:
Carrie’s headpiece featured its own bird!

But you would NOT write:
At MacGyver’s wedding, each table had it’s own centerpiece made from paperclips and chewing gum.

Happy Monday!

The Cat's Pajamas: The Engagement Shoot

I am sooo excited to blog about our engagement shoot, which our friend gave us as a wedding gift. Did I mention that she’s a mother of three and the photographer? I’ll call her Wonder Woman. Because that’s what she is. Wonderful. You can find WW's work at

WW usually takes photos of children and pets. Which is why her style suited us perfectly. I’m a child at heart, and our dog thinks that the Mister is . . . well . . . another dog. We’re playful and silly, and WW’s style suited us perfectly.

She scoped out some super cool locations near where we live, and then let her creativity (and the Mister’s natural beauty) do the rest.

Without further ado, the engagement pics:

I like that this building says, "Office." Um . . . what kind of office?!

Probably the most fun thing about an engagement shoot is how much you get to kiss. WW kept saying here, "Keep kissing! Keep kissing!"

We just tromped around finding places that had great color and made us laugh.

My future last name will begin with an "M" . . . .

We ended the session in my backyard, with our grumpy little old dog, who just wanted the Mister to Put! Me! Down! This photo should give you an idea of how strong the Mister is. I'm not light as a feather, friends. My baby book says that I look like "a sturdy little Dutchman." Ouch.

This one's my favorite. It's how the Mister makes me feel. Calm and happy.

I love what these photos say about us: how we feel about each other, how we feel about ourselves, how the air around us is electric and filled with words to be spoken and emotions to be expressed. Being in love is the cat's pajamas, kids. It takes talent to capture it on film. Thank you, thank you, thank you Wonder Woman. We love you so very much.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sing, Dance, and Speak French

Has anyone else watched “Platinum Weddings” on the We channel? I TiVoed several episodes, and watched my own marathon today. The first wedding I saw had gorgeous tall centerpieces at the reception that look like this:


The next wedding’s centerpieces looked like this:


And the next:


That’s when I realized why they don’t air the shows back to back to back. All the weddings look the same. They all have the “sexy lounge area,” the old Hollywood glamour theme, the ice sculpture, the caviar/lobster/raw bar, the hanging crystals . . . . Several even have the very same chargers on the tables.

Can most of the guests really tell if the bar costs $6,500 or $65,000 (which was the actual cost in one of the episodes!)? Not after the first two drinks, anyway. With $30,000 to spend on flowers, isn’t there something a bit different out there? As Mama says, “For that price, they should sing, dance, and speak French.”

The show certainly is a refreshing change from the horror of Bridezillas (which I also guiltily TiVo). But a source of innovative ideas it is not. I’ll stick with the real gals on weddingbee, a practical wedding, and snippet and ink, thanks very much. And when I’ve got a little hankerin’ for bedazzled, bejeweled, b’expensive weddings, I’ll watch Platinum Weddings. In moderation.

For now, I’m all blinged out.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Office Depot Centerpieces

The previous two posts detail the personal flowers we'll be using for the wedding. So far, our floral budget consists of four flowers for the mothers and some floral tape. Dats it. "But we still have the ceremony and reception to decorate!” you say. And you’re right.

The ceremony will be held in the church where I was baptized, confirmed, served as a deacon, and am still a member. Fortunately, it’s beautiful on its own.


Helloooo, Gorgeous! Even better, they provide a lovely white floral arrangement at the front of the church. And they’ll let us use their wrought iron candle holders that go at the end of each pew. Sure, I could decorate the church further, but why gild the lily? I can’t remember anything different about the ceremony décor of any wedding I’ve ever seen in a church. ‘Nuff said.

But surely we must have floral centerpieces for the reception! Not so much. The Mister and I love the way that candle centerpieces look on the tables – warm and inviting and intimate. So I started brainstorming ways to make the candle centerpieces uniquely ours. We wanted the centerpieces to do double duty by informing guests of the table names and numbers.

I’m really jazzed about the table names! Based on our love of all things British, and the fact that I used to live in London, we are naming the tables after central London tube stops. Westminster. Covent Garden. Tottenham Court Road. Piccadilly! I’m all excited just typing the names! Makes me want to sip a cuppa Earl Grey while humming “God Save the Queen.”
Mind the Gap! And whatnot.

By the way, does anyone else love that the Brits *actually* say “whilst”? Like, “Whist I was washing the dishes . . . .” It makes even the most mundane thing seem just a smidge fancy.

I love the silhouette trend, so whilst I was designing the centerpieces, I incorporated chandelier silhouettes into the design to add an elegant graphic element to the table numbers. Enough talk! Here’s the eye candy:

Sorry for the blurry photos. Time to get a new camera!

Here's how to make one: (1) Print your design on paper. (2) Wrap paper into a cylinder and secure with double stick tape. (3) Put battery operated candles or throwies inside the cylinder. (4) Well, there is no fourth step. That’s it, folks. Couldn’t be easier. If you want to use real candles, you should wrap the paper around a glass cylinder, so the paper doesn’t catch on fire. (You know my fear of fire at weddings.)

We’re using two on each table, a big luminary made on 11x17” paper with our table name, number, and the chandelier graphic that Mrs. Flamingo at weddingbee so graciously gave me, and a smaller one made on 8.5x11” paper with another chandelier design in reverse. We’ll put multiple lights in each luminary. If that’s not enough light, we’ll also do individual luminaries wrapped around single candles with candelabra silhouettes. Here’s an assortment:

The best part is that they can be made in advance, using regular old copy paper from the office supply store. Lots of visual drama for notta lotta moolah.

Anybody else shopping at Office Depot for their centerpieces? (Wink.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Backyard Bouquet

Remember the 80's? Poofy sleeves, giant shoulder pads, and gargantuan bouquets dripping with flowers? Brides had to have a special plastic handle to support those heavy bouquets. I get carpal tunnel just by looking at pictures of 'em. Dramatic and interesting, but not quite my style.

I’d like to carry a small bouquet of lilies of the valley. They are delicate and sweet and represent a return to happiness. And they’re sometimes called Jacob’s Ladder (my twin brother’s name). I used to pick them from the yard for my mother to put in tiny vases. My grandmother (Pop’s mom) used to wear lily of the valley perfume.

But they're so danged expensive! It costs a gazillion dollars to order them from a florist, because they are flown in from New Zealand. I may not be having an uber-green wedding, but that seems like a lotta jet fuel for a little bouquet. What happened to the days when people would go into their gardens and pick flowers for their bouquets? They were local and beautiful and meaningful and . . . wait! My super neighbor has lilies of the valley growing right next to her house right at the time I'm getting married! Super Neighbor to the rescue!

So, I asked her if I could collect them the day before the wedding. (No, I'm not going to dress like the hamburgler and sneak over to mow down her prize garden! Shame on you for thinking such a thing!)


She said yes! Right after I pick them, I'll condition them in water so they won’t wilt, and then I'll wrap them up for my own sweet little posy.


If some freak frost destroys the crop of lilies, I’ll just roll with it. I have a tiny Bible that my Mama gave me when I was a little girl that I’ll happily carry. Remember, I’m not putting pressure on this wedding to be perfect, so whatever happens will be wonderful.

I know that a lot of people do their own wedding flowers using grocery stores or floral wholesalers. Anyone else out there doing their own flowers out of their backyard?

Next up: the ceremony and reception decor.


I love flowers, but I don’t love that most flowers delivered by florists are grown halfway around the world, then flown in at a very high cost, not just to the end consumer, but also to the environment. Holy carbon footprint, Batman! So I started thinking about ways to reduce the monetary and environmental cost of our wedding flowers.

First I started with the boutonnieres. I mean, how hard can those little babies be to mess up?! I checked Martha Stewart’s wedding videos out of the library, and watched all the floral parts. One thousand eight hundred sixty-two and three-quarters hours later, I got up off the couch, went to the grocery store, bought some rosemary, wrapped it up with some pussy willow branches, and in less than sixty seconds ended up with this:

I put it in a bag in my fridge just to see how long it would hold up. Five months later, it still looked great. I must have bought some bionic rosemary.
I like what I created, but I want it to be a smidge less vertical, so I’ll incorporate some other local greenery when the wedding rolls around, like boxwood (from Mr. Mama’s front porch) and some tiny succulents, like hens and chickens (which might just be Pop’s favorite plant). Easy-peasy.
We’ve got two women walking in the processional (one is my MOH, the other is the Mister’s groomsmaid), and I contemplated giving them flowers. But if my MOH has a bouquet, to whom will she hand it when she fluffs out my train? My other attendant is a man. (In fact, we call him my Mantron of Honor, because if there are maids and matrons, there should be mans and mantrons, no?) While he’s masculine enough to get away with holding a bouquet for part of the ceremony, it seems unnecessary. The female attendants may carry books that reflect their feelings about the day. Perhaps a Bible and a collection of Jane Austen novels – whatever they like.

Which brings us to the darling mothers. I asked them all what white flower they’d like for us to present to them at the ceremony. Mrs. Pop picked a white gardenia, which she carried at her wedding to Pop. Mama picked a white calla lilly, which represents simple beauty to her. The Mister’s grandmother selected a classic white rose. And Momma Mac picked a peony . . . a pink peony! I don’t think she saw the part of my email asking which *white* flower she’d prefer. And, to be perfectly honest, I don’t give a hoot whether all the flowers match. If a pink peony she wants, a pink peony she shall have! I may have to order these flowers from a florist, which will have an environmental impact. But it is a much smaller impact than most wedding flowers, and I think it’s worth it. Flowers make them happy. And it’s only four flowers. I’m cool with it.

Next up: My bouquet!

The VETO! Dun dun dun!

So . . . there’s been a bit of confusion about my tongue-in-cheek discussion of the Mister’s “limited veto power.” Let me assure you, readers, that the Mister is involved in this wedding shindig – probably more involved than he would really like. We discuss every detail, and we make the decision on each one together. I’m more of the brainstormer, bringing him ideas to accomplish our shared vision, whereas he generally gives me a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” on the ideas I ‘storm up.

Sometimes, we’re immediately on the same page, and he wholeheartedly agrees with my ideas. Most often, he tweaks my concepts, and we agree that the result is better than what either of us could have dreamt up alone. Other times, I come up with something crazy, and he looks at me dubiously while I try to convince him of the idea’s merit. Then there are the rare times when I come up with somethin’ that he hates, and that’s when he uses . . . “the veto.” The big “V” is just his way of telling me in no uncertain terms that he hates my idea. I suppose we call it a veto because it’s a funny, non-threatening way to shortcut to the end result of what would otherwise be a long conversation.

The best example of how he used the “V” was on the wedding music. I got it in my head that we should have an iPod reception. It’s modern and technological and free! But the Mister had always envisioned having a deejay or band, and the idea of an iPod manned by a friend made the reception feel cheap to him. He was also worried that the technology would fail, like what happened at
Mrs. Tulip’s reception. So, we decided together to hire a deejay. End of story. No drama-filled yell-fests. Just a nice conversation where we compromised.

I guess “veto” is a bit of a misnomer, but the Mister and I still like it. It makes me think of
Schoolhouse Rock:


I’m just a bill. Yes I’m only a bill. And I’m sittin’ here on Capitol Hill. (wink)

Monday, September 15, 2008

When Butterflies Attack Part III

Now that you’ve read When Butterflies Attack Parts I and II, which focus on the music that will be played while our guests are NOT throwing things at us, here is the exciting conclusion to the story, which will focus on what the guests will hold (but NOT! throw) during the getaway.

By the way, does anyone else love calling the newlyweds’ exit from the church “the getaway”? It conjures up images of a bank stickup by a gang of hooligans, the dumbest of whom is waiting in the getaway car to whisk the other robbers away from the police. Of course, the driver hasn’t left the car running, so he has to try to start it several times once his co-felons jump in. Once it’s started, it runs out of gas halfway to the safehouse. Man, I hope that doesn’t happen on my wedding getaway. Note to self: check gas gauge on getaway car; hire smart driver.


OK. I’m back from my 1970’s movie flashback. I want something cute for the guests to hold during the getaway. Some folks have suggested ribbon wands, which are a great idea! They kind of look like the streamers that people throw off cruise ships when they depart. I have some trouble, however, imagining my future father-in-law waving a ribbon wand around like a princess. I wanted something that was a little more unisex, while still being whimsical.

We’re getting married in the breezy spring, and so I decided on . . . pinwheels!

I realize that not everyone gets as excited about pinwheels as I do. But they’re so fun and childlike, and they’ll send us off to our reception in a whirlwind of springy laughter. Perfect. Also, the Mister had already exercised his limited veto power on the getaway by banning ukuleles, so he just had to let me have my pinwheels, right? Right!

The other thing I love about pinwheels is that they can be personalized to match your wedding colors. You just cut out squares of the color paper you want, cut some small slits in the squares, fold up the paper, and pop it on a stick.

Martha Stewart’s website was the starting place for my pinwheel how-to, but she recommends using a wooden skewer or dowel rod as the stick. I tried that, and it was really hard to get the pin into the wood. My fingers looked like a pincushion! Yowch! That’s when I hit upon the idea of using a pencil. That’s how we used to do it in grade school. You can personalize pencils for your wedding, which would make a great little mini-favor for the guests when the pinwheel has lost its whimsy. I’m thinking of putting something like, “Write your own love story!” on the pencil. What do you think?

Anyway, here’s the how-to:

Cut a square of paper to the size you'd like your pinwheel to be (the ones I made range from 3 to 6 inches). Fold each square in half, diagonally, and in half again (also diagonally), then unfold. Cut along each crease two-thirds of way to square's center, dividing each corner into two points. Bring every other point to center so points overlap.

Poke a map pin through center, and kind of squidge it around a bit to make the hole bigger than the pin (so the pinwheel will rotate). Thread a small bead onto pin behind the wheel, and poke the pin into the pencil eraser. It works best if you poke the pin into the eraser down at a slight angle, so that the metal part that holds the eraser onto the pencil stops the pin from going all the way through the eraser. That way, you have no sharp ends sticking out.

Blow on the pinwheel and watch it rotate. Giggle. Repeat.

Here's a mockup, using paper printed with our vows on one side, and a circle design on the other. You like?
I realize that it is still highly unlikely that my future father in law (or any of the male guests, for that matter) will be waving a pinwheel during our getaway. And I’m OK with that. I just want one uber-cute, daydreamy, innocent, uncomplicated, silly little thing at the ceremony.

Pinwheels. Hooray!

When Butterflies Attack Part II

Ok, so now that we’ve established that our ceremony getaway can’t involve projectiles or flames, it’s time to chat about what it will involve.
My first thought was kazoos. Seriously. (Wow – I never thought I’d use the words “kazoos” and “seriously” right next to each other. That’s weird.)


Anyway, kazoos are fun and silly and just what people need to let loose a little. But they’re kinda expensive for about thirty seconds of use. Also, have you ever been trapped in a car with a five year old and a kazoo for any period of time? It’s torture. Since I do have friends with kids, into whose hands the kazoos will inevitably fall, I nixed that idea.

Next I thought about ukuleles. Seriously.


There’s a group of school-aged kids who play in an awesome ukulele band in my town. They’re really upbeat and fun. Unfortunately, I have given the Mister limited veto power over wedding decisions, and he chose to exercise it on the ukulele band. I mean, where is his sense of adventure and folly for heaven’s sake?! Also, the uke band was a tad expensive for thirty seconds. So I couldn’t really put up a fight on the veto.

What do kazoos and ukuleles have in common (other than the obvious fact that someone utterly insane thought of using them at a wedding)? They’re both noisy! (Am I the only person who likes tap better than ballet, because it’s noisy?) So! If I could come up with something loud that would not offend the Mister’s delicate sense of wedding suitability, we’d both be happy.

Enter . . . the bagpipes! Talk about LOUD! And they have the added benefit of jiving with our shared Scottish heritage. Our Presbyterian church has its own Scottish heritage, so they practically have a bagpiper on retainer. She (yes, SHE!) is a talented cute lass who agreed to play something upbeat for us as we run from the church to the getaway car.


But I was worried – without something to throw, would the wedding guests feel cheated? Should they have something to hold to make our escape more festive? Tune in to our next installment for the shocking conclusion of
When Butterflies Attack . . . .