Thursday, April 29, 2010

teaching our guests to share

After seeing this post, over on WeddingBee, I decided to steal yet another DIY project.

Photo sharing cards. Pretty much the best idea ever. It makes so much sense considering the fact that nearly every guest will likely bring a digital camera to our wedding.

Originally, we considered the idea of purchasing a universal card reader and setting up a photo download station right at the wedding with a laptop. We thought of having a friend look after the station and help guests get the photos downloaded. Although this may be a more effective method because guests won't have to take the time to do it themselves from home after the wedding, we decided we didn't want to ask any of our friends to sit at a table all afternoon and the security of the equipment also came into play.

Enter photo sharing cards. And with inspiration from the internet in hand, I once again set myself down in front of Photoshop to get the project completed. Thankfully, unlike our invitations, the design was simple and within a couple of hours, I'd put an order in with Vistaprint for 250 business cards with our design. And $7-ish and 2 weeks later, the result was met with smiles.


Instead of sticking with the same artwork that is on the rest of our stationery, we decided to go a different route for the stationery that will be around on the actual wedding day. So we purchased some clip art from an Etsy seller because there was no way I could manage to make those cute little owls myself. Mr. FP has a serious obsession with cute owls, so these ones were perfect and we decided to use them for our programs as well. (More on those, coming soon.)

Total cost for this project works out to about $13: business cards were FREE, plus $5 shipping and the clip art was only $5.95 and since its digital, there was no shipping costs. Sweet.

I really hope guests actually use these puppies because we're looking forward to seeing the photos they've captured on the big day. And we'd like to be able to see them somewhere other than on Facebook, with their crumby resolution. Hopefully, 250 business cards scattered around the reception won't be able to go unnoticed.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

ah, sweet freedom

Oh. My. Gosh.

Exams are finally over.
I can breathe now.

Yesterday was the first day in... 5 weeks? that I didn't have to adhere to strict exam study schedule. I sat around and watched TV for hours. And I loved every minute of it.

As unproductive as yesterday was, it was preceded by a busy weekend. We're currently prepping for our trip to Florida this weekend and so we had a crap load of stuff to get done for both the trip and the wedding. Mr. FP is seriously lacking in summer apparel, so we got him some shorts and I picked up some sunscreen because I am pale as pale can be and the sun will eat through my skin like nobody's business. The wedding is officially two months away (since yesterday, eek!) so I have no desire to return from Florida with a massive burn that will still be present on the big day.

As far as the wedding goes, the invitations are close to completion. Like I mentioned in one of my last posts, the RSVP's has to be re-ordered and we're still awaiting their arrival. Thankfully, I was able to gather my bridesmaids to help out with invitation assembly so I just have to stick in the RSVPs and seal them up.

We also managed to get some pretty decent stamps for the invites and RSVPs. I know tons of blogging brides who have struggled with the stamp issue as they've had to deal with everything from polar bears to Zeus in their search for wedding stamps, so I was a little concerned about what kind of choices we'd have. Honestly, I was dreading having to use Olympic stamps. As proud as I am that the Olympics were held in Canada this year and that our athletes did so well, the Olympics have been over for months but we're still hearing about them. So I had no desire to continue the spread of Olympic fever with our invitations.

Of course, when we arrived at the post office, we discovered the only ones available in a book of 10 were Olympic themed. Story of my life. Thankfully, there were some pretty ones available and although they were slightly more expensive, they were worth it.


We like pretty colors.

And because we're going to deliver a ton ourselves before we leave on the weekend, total postage costs for invites and RSVPs only amounted to $40. Way less than I had originally thought.

We also received the ties for the groomsmen and our wedding bands this past week, so I'll have more on that soon.

So what if I'd rather blog than pack for the trip? Totally practical decision, obviously.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

DIY: photo booth chalkboard

As you can clearly infer from these posts, I am obsessed with the wedding photo booth phenomenon. Or is that fauxtobooth? I don't know.

Either way, I'm lovin' it. And most of my favorite examples include a chalkboard upon which guests write their messages to the happy couple when they get their photos taken. See below.

Loooooove.

In spite of this love affair, there was no way in hell that I was going to fork over $30 or more for a pre-made chalkboard. Plus, I wanted one in a fancy frame which suited the colors in the backdrop which has yet to be decided. And that means, I'd probably have to get something custom done. Because I'm picky. And since we still don't know for sure what we're doing as a backdrop, there was no way I could commit to a color at this point. Remember how indecisive I am?

Thankfully for me, there is a wonderful invention known as chalkboard paint. So a couple weeks ago, we head over to Home Depot to grab a can. For a mere $21. Sweet.


But what good is a chalkboard without a pretty frame?

Originally, I had planned to get a really cool antique frame which I hoped to locate at one of the many local antique stores. But with exams and a trip to Florida in the works for next week, we have had zero time to go antique hunting.

Once again, thankfully for us, there is a wonderful little invention known as the dollar store. We were in there last weekend when we stumbled upon some of the ugliest frames I have ever seen. Okay, the ugliness aspect is not the good part. The good part is that they were frames. And the other good part is that I happen to have an extensive collection of acrylic paints left over from our centerpieces.

So I've got a before and after for you today. Although I ended up forgetting to take a picture of the frame before I painted it, the one below has the exact same finish so it's a pretty good example of how ugly it was beforehand.

Yeah, I know, ew. We're not bronze people.
But after a few coats of paint, it gets much better, I promise.

Ta-da!

Although you can't really tell from the photos, instead of going for a matte finish, I chose of the acrylic paints that dries with a glossy finish and I'm glad I did, because it's more durable and it's gives it more of an antique look.

And after the 3 days is takes for the chalkboard paint to dry properly, I was able to make sure it actually works. "Chalk"... I know, how creative am I?


Even though I hate waiting for the paint to dry for 3 days and I wouldn't recommend it for use in an apartment because it's stinky, it was all worth it. The $21 can of paint is going to last forever. I've already done this frame, a plain canvas and a few large pieces of cardboard with it and the can is still 3/4 full.

The acrylic also ended up working out great for us. But it's not super durable, especially the ones that aren't glossy. So if I thought it was going to get a lot of wear and tear, I'd probably go with a spray paint that's designed to bond with plastic.

The cost is what really makes me smile. Since I already had the acrylic paint, the only costs involved were the $1.50 for the frame, $1 for chalk and $21 for the chalkboard paint. And since we still have an abundant amount of paint left, it's really works out to about $6. Crazy.

Of course, there were a few more costs. Once I saw how well this worked out, I decided to buy a few more frames so our guests would be able to use multiples. Mr. FP thought 1 was enough. I did not. But since they were a dollar, he couldn't object too loudly, bless his heart.


An extra $6? Totally worth it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Exciting news! I recently received an offer to become a wedding expert over at Wishpot, an online gift registry website.


Let's face it, wedding expert I am not.

An expert purchaser of things online, on the other hand, I most definitely am.

I've been having a ridiculously good time finding things to add to my lists, which you can see here. Let's face it, this is just feeding my online shopping addiction. Especially when it comes to the wedding. But hey .... ... um, never mind, there's no excuse for that one. It's feeding the addiction.

And I like it.
Check it out and see for yourself, fellow shopping addicts.

Monday, April 19, 2010

DIY: stationery struggles

Did I ever mention that I'm the most indecisive person ever? Because if I didn't, well, it's true. I'm pathetically indecisive. Even after making decisions, I'm indecisive. I doubt my choices and end up back at square one faster than you can say 'bob's your uncle'.

Case in point: RSVPs.

Remember how excited I was? How thrilled I was with our stationery choices? Well, I still am. For the most part. Floral design = love. Invitations are the same. But the RSVPs were bugging me.

They were the first of our stationery orders. Technically, they were our Vistaprint trial run. Before I knew how awesome the company was, I needed to try them out. And the cheapest way to do this was with the RVSPs. We'd always wanted postcard RSVPs so we went ahead and put the order through and we were thrilled with the result.

But I'd always had two major problems:
1) I thought the design may have been too overwhelming on such a small space

2) The postcards from Vistaprint have a glossy finish and that makes them a tad difficult to write on. Not horrible, but not great. And the more I thought about it, I didn't want our guests to have to use permanent markers just to fill them out.

So yesterday, I reordered them. Instead of postcards, we went with their note cards, which are the same size but they're available in linen finish to match our invitations.

The downside, they're more expensive. For 50, it works out to about $29. Although it's not ridiculous, it's more money that I wanted to spend to fix the problem. But I'm taking comfort in the fact that I like the design more and that guests will actually be able to fill out their names with the writing utensil of their choice.

After all, not every one is a sharpie fanatic like I am.
I don't know why they aren't, but hey, to each his own.

Friday, April 16, 2010

mama drama

Oh mama drama, I thought we were done with you forever.

Okay, that's a lie, but it would be nice to get through an entire week without some sort of wedding-related drama occurring in the family. Tough luck for us, there. Once again, we are forced to face mama drama. This time, it's coming from the Mr.'s side.

The subject this time? The rehearsal dinner. Since my family's cottage (aka, the wedding venue) is 40 minutes out of town in the middle of nowhere, there's a limited amount of place to hold the rehearsal dinner. In fact, there's only 2 restaurants within 30 minutes of the place. And since we're obviously having the rehearsal at the cottage, it doesn't make sense to drive 40 minutes from the main city, rehearse and then drive 40 minutes back to the city to have the rehearsal dinner.

So we decided to host the dinner at the restaurant of the local inn which is only 5 minutes away from the cottage. Initially, we had also planned to book a couple of rooms so Mr. FP's parents could stay there and the groomal party would have a place to stay the night before and to get ready in the morning. And we were able to solidify everything 2 months ago, well in advanced.

Perfect, right? Yeah, we thought so. After Mr. FP and I were discussing the invite list for the rehearsal dinner with his parents, the drama started. For us, keeping it small is important. Not for financial reasons really, but just because we want to relax and hang out with our closest peeps. When this was revealed to his parents, they flipped. Apparently, his mom has had a mental image in her head for the last 4-ish months that the rehearsal dinner would be a chance for all of the out-of-town guests on the groom's side to get together. Did she ever tell this plan to us? Nope. But she had it in her head. So when we broke the plan that we didn't even know about, she was extremely hurt.

To make matters worse, in our quest to keep the dinner small, we decided that it would only be the wedding party, both sets of parents, my grandparents and the minister and his wife. And since Mr. FP's brother isn't part of the wedding party, this meant that he would not be on the invite list. Obviously, his parents were not impressed.

Now, I know that traditionally, the rehearsal dinner is open to immediate family and out-of-town guests. And trust me, I heard that over and over again. I have now come to loath the word 'tradition'. But since when have we ever done anything traditionally? We don't give a flying you-know-what. First, Mr. FP has never been close with his brother, in fact, his brother has never been anything but cruel to him and since we started dating, the only references his brother made to my existence involved insulting my chosen career path. He's an ass. Even his parents will tell you that, and Mr. FP certainly will. So when it comes down to it, we don't want him there. Honestly, inviting him to the wedding was a bit of a stretch for us, so there is no way we consider him one of our nearest and dearest. Maybe that's wrong, maybe we should fix it. I don't know, but that's how it is. Second, remember that whole keeping it intimate thing? Well, almost every single one of the guests on his side are from out of town... except maybe 4. Out of 50. So inviting all of the out of town guests is ridiculous.

While I understand where his parents are coming from because it's a time for them to celebrate too but it simply isn't going to work for us to have the rehearsal they wanted. So we're having the one we want to have. Or, at least, I thought we were. At this point, his mother is refusing to eat at the inn because the out-of-town guests will be there. Although there's a separate dining area for larger functions, she thinks its rude to eat at the same establishment where her family is staying. So her plan is to get up and leave our rehearsal dinner so she can check in with the other guests. Yep, that's right, she's planning to partially boycott our rehearsal dinner.

Personally, I don't think its rude. Honestly, I don't think any of the relatives staying at the inn will expect to be invited... I mean, it's a rehearsal dinner. Emphasis on the rehearsal part. His parents keep bringing up the fact that traditionally, the grooms parents are in charge of the rehearsal dinner while reminding us that they had 200 people at their rehearsal dinner.

And we keep bringing up the fact that traditionally, the brides family pays for the whole wedding, the bride is a virgin, there's a 4 foot cake, the whole town gets invited, and the couple has to stand in a receiving line for 10 hours. How many times can I say it? We're not traditional; nothing about our wedding is traditional; why the hell would we care about tradition?

At this point, they want us to have the dinner at another local restaurant but for logistical reasons, we've rejected that idea. Too far away, too small, not great food. So we're back to having it at the inn where everyone is staying even though his mother... and I quote.... "took that option off the table." She's joking, right? Telling us where we are and aren't allowed to have our rehearsal dinner?

Gosh, I wish that were the case.

Even after an attempt to compromise, we've gotten nowhere. Obviously, they're extremely concerned with getting enough time to celebrate with their family. Initially, we both thought... um, isn't that what the wedding is for? Well, apparently that's not enough. So the Mr. and I tried to work out a compromise. Most of the out of town guests will be there early the day before the wedding so we thought it would be nice to have a lunch that day or maybe breakfast the day after the wedding with just his family. If we have something like that, will they be okay with having the rehearsal dinner where we want with who we want? Nope. At this point, his mom is playing the passive aggressive card and refuses to deal with any of it.

Ugh.

Can I just ask one question?

What ever happened to the idea of eloping? Because it's sounding pretty damn good right about now.

Okay readers, advice. Now. Pretty please. I'm in the middle of exams and I don't have enough brain power left for this one.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

the name game: the decision

As I've expressed before, I've been struggling with the name changing dilemma that most women are faced with after the proposal. And although it took almost a year and a half of thinking about it, I've finally reached a decision: Miss FP I was born, and Miss FP I will remain.

Okay, not really. Although it would be sweet if I had been born with the name Miss Fancy Pants...

The point is that I've decided to keep my maiden name. Boy, that was the longest decision of my life. I don't think I've ever had such a hard time making a choice and I don't think I've ever been given as many opposing opinions on one subject. Every time the subject came up, people were quick to give an opinion. One of our more traditional family friends was not so impressed, and willingly expressed that to me: "I had my maiden name for 30 years and I still gave it up, why can't you?". Although I normally would have offense to that comment, the thought that she was more attached to her maiden name than I am to mine simply because she had it 6 years longer than I'd had mine makes me giggle.

Mr. FP still seems to be on the fence. He would love for me to take his name, but he's happy that I'm doing what will make me happy.

In the long run, I'm not 100% sure this is the best option. We're still fuzzy on what will happen when we have kids. It'll be a bit of a logistical nightmare for us to have different names once we start procreating. I wonder what name we'll give the kiddies, but it's far enough in the future that I don't have to worry about that now. I'm doing what's right for me right now, and that's good enough.

As for the other considerations, I decided they simply didn't matter to me. Yes, it's a romantic idea. But to me, it feels like a barbaric practice. Why me? Why am I the one sacrificing a little part of me? Shouldn't this go both ways?

In that vein, we did give the idea of each of us getting something new in the way of names serious consideration, but that opened a whole new can of worms. Hyphenation? Too long? Combining both to make a new one? Too weird sounding, trust me. Thinking of a brand new one? Seriously? How the hell does someone go about doing that?

As for the biggest hurdle I grappled with throughout the decision making... the idea that taking his name will the marriage feel more real and will solidify us as a new family... well, that one sucked. I do think there's a possibility that the same name might make us feel like our own family after the wedding, but like I said, none of those options worked. Plus, we've always had an us against the world kind of attitude, so being a strong team shouldn't be an issue. A team logo won't make any difference to the dynamic of our relationship.

As for the name making it feel more real, well, in my opinion, that's dumb. I don't need to attach a new name to make me feel more like Mr. FP's wife. I will be his wife with or without his name. If I needed a name to make the marriage feel more real, chances are I was more consumed with the wedding planning process than the actual marriage part.

The logistics of the engagement period and the forms we fill out don't make us life-long partners... we make us life-long partners. Well, I guess the marriage certificate is kinda useful too, but considering the fact that tons of couples have to feel married without a marriage certificate because they are denied the privilege of being recognized by the government, I think we'll make do.

Emotional issues aside, the logistics work out 10,192,092 times better this way. Since I'm keeping my name, I don't have to waste a month of my life after the wedding in government offices trying to convince officials that I didn't just suddenly adopt a new identity. I'll still be me.

Win-win.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

egad.

This past week has been an exciting one in the fancy pants household. Tons of wedding stuff has arrived and I'm so happy to finally be allowed to order and finalize. We put off many of the expensive ideas and online orders until we were sure that we knew what we wanted. I say "we", but really, it was me. I'm the indecisive one. And this fact prompted the always logical Mr. FP to suggest that we wait before making any major and costly decisions. But with a little over 2 months until the wedding, now is the time to get things done!

First off, the components for our programs and photo sharing cards arrived from Vistaprint. More on those coming soon. I swear.

Next, we received our amazing paper lanterns. So far, we're only in possession of the 12" ones, but paperlanternstore just received more 14"-ers in, so we'll be ordering them shortly. For any one else looking for paper lanterns, I highly recommend the paperlantern store. They had really good prices, tons of colors, and their shipping was both reasonable and fast. Plus, they ship to Canada, and since that's a hard thing to come by, they had us from hello.

Finally, the components for our DIY paper lantern lighting project arrived as well. That will require a post all on its own, so I promise to update soon... once we're actually sure we know what we're doing. It's all a little fuzzy right now. Electricians, we are not.

Although it's a relief to start finalizing things, so many of these arrivals are still in desperate need of some DIY effort that it's becoming overwhelming. I know I shouldn't panic because once school is done (2 weeks from yesterday!) I will have a month and a half to focus 100% on the wedding. This should give me plenty of time to get all of my DIY projects for the wedding done. Plus, I've already had tons of people offer their help, so I'm set.

Yet, as I look around our apartment, I'm still feeling antsy. With paper lanterns, programs, centerpieces and invitations all in need of some kind of work, our small amount of living space is slowly being encroached upon by wedding paraphernalia. Plus, exams are well under way which means that class notes, novels and textbooks are scattered everywhere.

On top of the fact that we're drowning in stuff and I'm stressed about exams, we're still having major parental drama on the Mr's side (more on that later, too) so emotions are running high. And what does that translate into? Arguing. Lots of it. It's frustrating because we're usually such a good team. We usually have an "us against the world" kind of attitude, but lately, we've both been so stressed that that concept is starting to crack a little. Thankfully, we're still working through our awesome couples book and trying to stay as patient as possible.

Even so, it's a lot to handle.

Did I mention that April 24th could not arrive any sooner?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Giveaway Winner! Vistaprint


... kmattso2!

Congrats! I've sent your e-mail off to Nick from Vistaprint, so he'll contact you with the information on how to claim your prize (keep an eye on your junk mail just in case his e-mail goes there).

Many thanks to everyone else who entered and for those who didn't win, I highly recommend that you take a look at Vistaprint for any stationery you'll be needing; wedding-related or not!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Vistaprint Giveaway: 100 Save-the-Dates or Thank You cards!

Although I was a little skeptical to head down the DIY stationery route because of my serious addiction to all things paper, there wasn't much in the way of wedding invitations on the market that suited our tastes or our budget. Invitation kits from Michaels never suited our aesthetics and although I would love to support on of the many artists on Etsy, the money simply wasn't there.

So, after a little (and by a little, I mean a lot) of time spent Photoshop-ing, we nailed down our design and decided to get prices from printing companies. By far, Vistaprint was the clear choice for us. They had the formats we needed, really helpful templates, and awesome prices (more about my obsession with them here). At this point, literally all of our wedding stationery is coming from there. So far that amounts to invitations, RSVP postcards, business cards with our wedding website, business cards with the address to our Flickr account so guests can upload photos, our programs and after the wedding, we'll be ordering Thank You cards.


Clearly, I'm obsessed. Which is why I'm so excited to announce that I'm hosting a giveaway for either 100 save-the-dates or 100 Thank You cards! I feel especially good about this giveaway because Vistaprint has been a great resource throughout our wedding planning process and I'm happy to spread words of praise for them.

If you want to know more, you can check out their main site at vistaprint.com or vistaprint.ca (for Canadians obviously, which is what I've been using). And since receiving the offer to host this giveaway, their wedding resource page was brought to my attention. This will be especially exciting for all you brides/grooms-to-be... check it out here. Plus, something else I found out is that they'll send you a free sample kit of their top wedding products. Um, how cool is that? I wish I'd known about that 4 months ago. Darn.

So for the love of your wallet, please check them out. Seriously. You will not regret it. I know I sound like their PR lady, but it's just because they've been so helpful to us in the past few months. And I think if more couples knew about them, they'd be more willing to pull out their creative spirit in the stationery design process.

Okay, that's my shpeal. Now for the goods. To enter for your chance to win either 100 save-the-dates or 100 Thank You cards from Vistaprint, here's what you need to know:


How to enter:


1) Leave your name/nickname or some sort of identifying feature in the comments below.

2) Become a follower of my blog to enter a second time.

3) Enter a third time by re-posting this giveaway on your own blog and leaving a comment with a link to your post.

4) Enter a forth time by Tweeting/Facebook-ing/social networking the contest and leaving a comment with a link.


Make sure to leave a comment each time you enter (ie. one when you leave your name, another if you become a follower etc.).

Entries good until 7 a.m. Monday (April 12) morning. I'll choose a winner at random and announce sometime shortly after (in between my frantic exam study sessions), so make sure you check back then to give me your e-mail so I can send you the details. Happy entering and good luck!

Monday, April 5, 2010

groomal party clothing

Like I was discussing in my last post, I would love to leave all wedding planning until my brain is a school-free zone. But, time sensitive issues are ... well, time sensitive. So as much Mr. FP insists I focus only on school, it just ain't happening. That's right, Mr. FP, too bad.

Obviously, clothing is another time sensitive bit of wedding planning. Last weekend, I was finally able to drag Mr. FP to a suit store to get his clothes for the wedding. And other than the shocked look on the face of the man who was helping us when we said we were shopping for wedding attire but that we didn't want to rent a tuxedo, it was a good time. I rarely get to watch him try clothes on (last time was for engagement photos) and it was fun to have his "best lady" tag along as well. We enjoyed mocking him together when he had to get felt up by the salesman. After a mere 30 minutes, he settled on a two button, charcoal suit with a subtle pinstripe which was on sale for $200.

Originally, we had no idea what we wanted to do for the groomsmen so I got Mr. FP to look through the photos of formal wear on The Knot's image galleries to get a better idea of what he wanted for them. He's a see it and like it kind of guy, not always the best at articulating a general idea, so this worked really well for us. As soon as he saw this picture, he knew that's what he wanted. 5 minute decisions are our type of thing.


To add some uniqueness and cool factor, we've also picked out some types from Etsy seller toybreaker. I found their shop months ago and have had it bookmarked ever since because I love them so much (silkscreen anything just floats my boat). Thankfully, so does Mr. FP. He decided the "Crash" design was his favorite, so we'll be ordering one for him in charcoal and 2 for the groomsmen in black. I cannot wait to see them. Although they're ever so slightly more than we had planned to spend, they'll pull double duty as groomsmen gifts so I'm not worried about cost at this point.


I was also originally a little worried about how graphic these ties were. Although we love them for their uniqueness, I was concerned about how they would work for more formal shots. We love them now, but in 20 years, we might think they look dumb. Obviously, this can be said about anything in the wedding, but my dress is a fairly timeless style so we at least have some hope to remain current for a few years. (Unlike my aunt's 90's wedding. I highly doubt the poofy sleeves and head-to-toe beading will ever come back. At least, here's to hoping.) Thankfully, Mr. FP decided to wear a jacket rather than just pants and a dress shirt like the groomsmen, so that should tone the tie down ever so slightly when we need it to. And for the rest of the warm (we hope) June day, its likely he'll be jacket-less, so the tie will be enjoyed in all its glory.

We were able to secure a dress for Mr. FP's best lady, which is a huge relief. We had originally hoped to get something local, but nothing in the city really worked, so we decided to just order a bridesmaid dress in black so she would match the guys. Ultimately, the day turned into a multitasking trip to the bridal store for a black bridesmaids dress and my sister's prom dress. A unique and interesting experience (is it just me, or have prom dresses gotten a whole lot sluttier since I graduated?). Unlike Mr. FP's 30 minute decision, this one took much longer but we did end up settling on a black, strapless, tea length dress for the best lady.

Plus, I got to see my sister get stuck in the doorway of the dressing room because the prom dress she was trying on was so poofy that she couldn't move around. Good times all around.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

weddings and marriage

In case you didn't see yesterday's post by Meg from A Practical Wedding which includes an excerpt from the book Altared, this post is for you. Like Meg re-posted from here, I'm re-posting because I think we could all benefit from hearing words like these more often. So in between the frenzy of perfecting your invitations and scheduling meetings with photographers, take a minute to read it and get some perspective. Who can say no to that?

Weddings are not marriages, and I wish they were. Weddings are to marriage as a single bamboo shoot is to a jungle, as a seashell is to the ocean floor: nice enough, not unrepresentative, and almost totally irrelevant. Marriage is all about the long road, about terror and disappointment, about recovery and contentment, about passions of all kinds. Weddings are about a party-- which is why I think marriage should be approached with blinking yellow lights, orange safety cones, and all other signs of great caution, and weddings should be encouraged as things apart. Why should we expect that looking pretty in white (or the flattering color of your choice) and doing a credible fox-trot has anything to do with staying calm in the face of resentful indifference, selective deafness, Oedipal disorders, or horrible stepchildren? It should be enough, it seems to me, to look as good as one can and enjoy the party. Brides who cannot enjoy their own weddings are either possessed of too much knowledge (this marriage is a mistake) or too much something else (like women who scream when the bouquet has one too many sprigs of baby's breath). I wish that crazy, over-the-top weddings (doves dyed pink, twin elephants, wedding favors from Gucci, and Handel's "Water Music" played by Yo-Yo Ma) led to marriages that were extravagant celebrations of love, that the excess foretold a lifetime of generosity, sensuality, and matching elephants of kindness and loyalty. I wish that simple little weddings, barefoot in a cranberry bog, with ten friends as witnesses, would lead to a life in which less is really more and stays that way. Marriage requires common sense, self-awareness, compatible senses of humor (Jackie Mason will not be happy with Oscar Wilde, although Bernie Mac might be), compatible sex drives, and enough, but not too much, perseverance. Weddings, on the other hand, offer just a day's happiness, and require only a willingness to dance-- even badly-- and embrace the world and big love for a short time.


p.s. I am so picking up this book on the weekend...