Friday, July 27, 2012

HAPPY WEEKEND! hope its full of "i do"

photo by Laura Phillips

Is it me or is the wedding season in full swing? (our next two weekends are packed with wedded bliss)

I love attending weddings so much! I think they are that secret perk of being married that no one told me about... "you mean I get to dress up, have a fancy date with my husband, see people I care about, dance, eat cheese squares with spicy mustard, AND not even have to check the weather!?! Actually, I don't have to plan one single detail. Just sign the card!!" um, yes please - at least one a month.

Some people attend weddings and think - "oh, if only I could do mine over again" - where as, I'm thinking, "this attending weddings thing is tops... nice touch with the chair covers, by the way. I didn't spring for it, but it looks great. Now where is the cheese?"

I never used to cry at weddings. Now I squeeze Neil's hand the whole ceremony and sputter like a baby. every. stinking. time. I know they're going to say "in sickness and in health" and yet it bowls me over. So I predictably turn to my darling husband and ask "Is my eye makeup smeared?" and predictably he says "no honey, you look great." while opting not to mention the snot on my face. I love not being the bride- because that whole interaction doesn't take place in front of everyone I know.

weepy mess

If you haven't crossed over to the other side of already married, blissful wedding hopping, maybe some of this will help:

Two lovely wedding sites with a million resources are 100 layer cake and once wed. Makes planning a wedding (somewhat) more simple.

And I can't say enough about our choice in registry. We went with alternative gift registry. Its a site that allows you to enter in all your own choices from anywhere. You can simply say "crockpot" or you can add a link to the specific Target crockpot you love. And there's space to type so you can tell the people "we want this crockpot because every sunday we make pulled pork for the whole family." (then people can feel invested). There is freedom to link up to a million sites and there's freedom to have guests shop around for where they can get a good deal. I ADORED the gifts we got because we could be practical by saying "we need wooden salad bowls" and still get unique items, like the wooden bowl from kenya (you can't scan gun that baby at Macy's!)  We were able to request framed photos from my cousin Kevin's website, which decorated our home beautifully and supported an artist we love. We even added a bunch of 'mix CDs' to our registry and people added them in with their cards. We listened to them on our drive to our honeymoon!
I could go on and on - but seriously, alternative gift registry. the best.

From the greatest thing to the worst thing: the guest list...ughhh the guest list. Never in our lives have we been forced to classify people we love and then cut them out. Friends vs. Family - who wins? and Person he likes a lot vs. Person we both know? and  Long time buddies vs. New friends? Making the list is the worst. period. I once heard the suggestion "Don't invite someone that you wouldn't/haven't had to dinner at your place." Either we know a lot of awesome people or we have a low bar for social eating; that advice helped very little...

My guest list advice is that you will never please everyone and you will never get it right, so stress as little as possible. Be honest with those you had to cut (the very frank 'hey we're really in a bind but we want you know we care about you. can we get together soon." goes over much better than radio silence and no invite). And try focus on the top few names you wrote down (siblings, roommates, wedding party) - those are the very important people that WILL be there - this helps to distract from the game of musical chairs you have to play with the other spots of distant cousin vs. co-worker buddy. Truth is, within one calender year you'll drift away from several guests and you'll cement other relationships that will make you say "I can't believe we didn't have so-and-so there!" It is inevitable.

So much of what is acceptable in terms of wedding etiquette is changing. Can you put a website on your invitation? Is it okay to have the grooms side pay for some of the wedding? And speaking of registries - is is okay to register for parts of your honeymoon? What do you think? We had a debate about electronic RSVP over snail mail response cards. The times, they are in limbo.

How do you buy gifts for someone for their wedding - do you buy on registry (Is that practical? Is that boring?) or do you go rogue (and risk getting them that thing they hate)? or something in between (for example a few cooking items on registry plus your favorite cookbook)? One of my favorite off-registry gifts was the Wedding Gift Crate from Penzeys Spices. My Step-dad knew how much we loved cooking and made the leap, since then we've purchased the gift for several others.

Nothing makes or breaks a wedding like the music. While I'm always a fan of hearing the good ol' fashioned "Shout" at a reception - my secret favorite is a little Marvin Gaye, "Let's Get It On."  Do you have a favorite song? I always love knowing what people played at their wedding. In my humble opinion, no wedding is complete without the contemporary classic "Let Get Married (remix)" by Jagged Edge.

and if you're in need, my cousin and I know all the words. We'd be happy to show up at your reception to rock out the rap parts at the amazement of your guests...

So after the reception is the grand farewell right? Thats what they show in all the movies (here, here, here, etc). I have yet to go to a wedding where the bride changes her outfit and runs out between a line of guests like its High School football. Then hops into a chauffeured car and gracefully waves while everyone holds sparklers. Has anyone experience this? Please tell me. Until then, I put it in the same file along with getting your shoe stuck in a sewer grate at the same time a handsome man is walking by to save you - "amazing crap that's only in rom-coms" but hey, I'm willing to be proven wrong.

Our grand farewell: at the end of the reception, several giant platters of hoagies came out. (and she lived happily ever after)

Any advice or input you want to add to those who are planning to say I DO? or are you like me, on the other side, just enjoying the fact that the only thing you need to worry about is "If I start with champagne, is okay to move to gin and tonic?" and "How do I best hide from the cameraman while I dance like a fool?" oh the good life! mazel tov!!

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