Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'm alive

...and I'm an old married lady now! That's right, not only did we get married on Halloween, but I also celebrated my birthday recently. That's a lot for a girl to wrap her head around, so I haven't been up to blogging.

The wedding was completely and utterly perfect and I enjoyed the whole day from start to finish. I couldn't have dreamed a more perfect day. And it's true what they say, whatever you don't get done doesn't matter one single bit.

I might wait to blog more until we have our pro photos back, but maybe not. We'll see if the writing bug bites or not. I've definitely enjoyed the time off the last couple of weeks, and am very happy to be past the "engaged" stage and onto the "happily married" one. Our house is even almost back in order (and if you had seen how crazy it was the week before the wedding, you'd realize what an accomplishment that is!).

Friday, October 23, 2009

This is really true

What is it about Halloween? My friend and I were discussing how all of the women's costumes in the Halloween Superstore have "Sexy" in the title. Sexy nurse, sexy police's just funny.

I'm guilty of it myself, of course. I totally plan on looking hot on Halloween. ;-)

Marriage License: Check!

Mr. T and I went and got our marriage license before work today. It was really easy, and can I say how refreshing it was to be in a government office where things were run efficiently? They really had their act together.

We had to wait about 10 minutes while another couple got their license. We saw yet another couple waiting to be married that morning; the bride was in a cute short white dress with silver shoes, and her bridesmaid (I assume) was in a short purple dress.

Our clerk was pretty funny. I finally had to 'fess up that I was indeed changing my last name to Mr. T's. He was surprised, and I think pleased. The clerk said it was good I'd decided beforehand because she's witnessed a fair number of fights about that subject. I can believe it, but really? People want to get married and don't even think about the name issue until they're at the county clerk's office to get the marriage license? That's so not how I operate.

She got a little squirrelly when I was asking how our officiant should list his title, and I was surprised the Universal Life Church thing isn't old hat by now, but Mr. T pointed out that I never named the church. But I did say that our officiant was ordained over the internet, so how much clearer could I be?

It made me a little concerned, but I have countless friends who've been married this way, so I'm proceeding. We'll figure out the title thing...if nothing else, we can call the county clerk's office and hope we get someone else on the phone.

Having the license really drove it home that yes, we're going to be married in a week. I think it put both of us in a really good mood.

Now off to face my last day at work before the wedding! Oof, so much to do!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Dress: Check!

I picked up my dress on Saturday! I adore it. As one of my friends commented, it feels weird to love an inanimate object so much. I can't wait to wear it! The dress maker did such a great job.

After I picked it up I dropped it at the MOH's house; it's hanging in her guest bedroom closet. We'll have to figure out logistics of getting it where it needs to be when it needs to be there later, for now, Mr. T is just not allowed to see it, so her place was the best storage option.

I also came in under budget on the dress (Hooray!). I'm contemplating using the extra to buy myself an "after-party" dress. I can't help but think I'll be over wearing a corset by about 10 pm. Still, that means locating another fabulous dress in under two weeks. Hm.

Pumpkins: Check!

Mr. T and I got some crazy looks at Safeway last night as we bought 14 pumpkins from them. The price was just so good: $3.99 per pumpkin! The lowest price I got from the pumpkin farms I emailed was $5 per pumpkin, and that would've also meant a long drive out to pick them up. Still, I bet the pumpkin farms would've had prettier pumpkins than Safeway. In the photo you can see that some of our purchases have...character.

Because of that, I also went to another store and bought 8 more pumpkins--they were more expensive, but also prettier. Those will probably end up on the tables. The other ones will be glued and glittered and become pretty much unrecognizable as their former selves in order to take on their role as our aisle pumpkins.

I also got some small pumpkins to scatter on the escort card table and other places, but we need to get a few more of these. So, we're not entirely done, but 22 pumpkins feels like an accomplishment. It also makes our house look like a deranged indoor pumpkin patch. The cats don't know what to think.

And, happily, we only spent about half our pumpkin budget. Hooray to saving money!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Round-up of Book Reviews

I've been reading as much as ever but too busy to feel motivated to review anything. Here are a bunch of short and overdue reviews, in no particular order:

Can't remember how I heard about this one, possibly the library newsletter. This book was a thick one, and it was told from three perspectives, getting progressively earlier in the timeline, but centering on the same people. I disliked the first narrator the most, but he sets the scene for the book. The last narrator is the gentleman whose death the first narrator is investigating (got that?). It's well-written and, perhaps it's just me, but I didn't see the end coming at all (and I typically figure these things out in advance. So it's either bride brain, or a good mystery). I enjoyed this book but didn't adore it. However, I'd recommend it.

Another library newsletter pick (actually, all of the books in this post are, now that I think about it! I love the library.) This was a fun one to read right now because it focuses on Salem during the witch trials, interwoven with a modern-day story. I enjoyed it a lot right up until the end, where the author lost me. I just couldn't buy it. Still, I'd probably recommend it to a friend, with caveats. If you were interested in historical fiction and/or witchcraft, you might like it. I was reading a novel about plague times for my book club around the same time and the two books had some similarities in their descriptions of witchcraft, which was a funny coincidence.

I just finished this one. The cover references Harry Potter, which of course got my attention, and it makes sense the novel centers around a college for magicians in upstate NY. The characters themselves talk openly about Hogwarts and Harry from time to time, which I thought was a nice touch. The author also borrows heavily from the Phantom Tollbooth (I think, I'm not as familiar with that one) and The Chronicles of Narnia. Actually, the central theme of the story is a series of books centered around a world called "Fillory" but which bears a strong resemblance to Narnia. All of the characters read these books as kids and wish they could visit Fillory, even though it's fictional...and as you've figured out by now, they do actually visit it.

This book was interesting in that I was prepared to adore it, sink into it, and immerse myself into it, and what I found was a cast of awkward, disgruntled, very real characters, who wouldn't let me use their novel as an escape. I appreciated how real the characters were, but on the other hand, they were also miserably unhappy for large chunks of the novel. So, no happy escapist fiction there. I really liked it, though, and would recommend it...just be prepared to dislike the characters, particularly the main character, who's whiny and spineless a lot of the time. Still, there were some fascinating moments.

This was another thick one. I really liked it. I was prepared for this to be very "guy" China Mieville or someone like that, not that there's anything wrong with that, I just have a hard time reading it. However, the characters were well-sketched, empathetic, and warm. It's told as a narration from a warrior who has achieved a certain level of infamy and is, for an as-yet undisclosed reason, hiding out as an innkeep in a remote village. A biographer hunts him down and gets him to recall his life story, growing up as a gypsy kid in a caravan to being orphaned to attending a college for magicians at a very young age...he is brilliant and cocky and arrogant and yet still lovable. This is obviously the first in a series, and left me wanting more even after reading 700 pages, so that's a good sign. I'd recommend it to those who like a good old-fashioned fantasy epic.

This was my fave of the bunch. LOVED it. I admit I was pre-disposed to like it after reading the William Gibson quote on the cover about it being a dirty-ass masterpiece. And then in the acknowledgements the author thanks Tom Waits and David Lynch. I knew I was on to something!

The book reminded me of the Dresden Files a bit, in that the main character is very snarky, but he lacks Harry's geekiness. He is a magician, like Harry, and he's cocky, but he backs up that cockiness. Also like Harry, there's a lot of heart in the story, so you don't end up hating him, even though the driving plot is that he's seeking to kill a bunch of people for revenge. I liked him enormously, actually. At one point he meets up with an angel who hates him but is trying to enlist him to fight with her legion, which she calls "The Golden Vigil". He tells her the name sounds like a community-college goth band. That made me laugh aloud!

I would recommend this one without reservations to fans of "dirty-ass masterpieces" and hard-ass yet lovable bad boys.

Our other costume

Mr. T and I have been talking about how we can "Halloween" our wedding attire (yes, I did just make that into a verb, thank you), and he was fixated on getting a decent pair of vampire fangs, so finally I just bought him some at I also bought myself a fake tattoo of a vampire bite, and some gel blood.

We're going to take a moment alone after the ceremony, so after we are done freaking out about finally being married, we'll get into our "costumes"--he as the wicked vamp, me as the helpless swooning victim. Today I also bought a 4-pack of the Tru Blood soda. Mr. T wants to carry one around during the cocktail hour as part of his costume. Lord knows he won't drink it--he hates soda. But the bottle is awesome, and we're huge fans of the show.

The only thing left on my shopping list is a cape. I forgot to look when we were at Target, which is a bummer, but perhaps the Halloween Superstore would have a better price anyway.

OMW Week 40, WW Week 30

Forty weeks of getting up at 6 a.m. to work out! Can you believe it?

This week, if the non-digital scale is to be trusted, I gained a half-pound to a pound. I don't mind, because I'm picking up my dress this Saturday (Squeee!) and I'm seriously worried about the skirt not fitting because I've lost more weight, as I believe I mentioned. I'm stowing the dress at the MOH's house since of course Mr. T's not allowed to see it (we're keeping that tradition! He's seen my wedding shoes and hair stuff, though). After the wedding I'm totally buying a digital scale for the house. I just don't trust this analog business.

This week the women's section of the gym is closed again so they can put in new floors (about time, too). We're all in with the "smelly boys" again in the coed section, as I've been telling Mr. T (seriously, they need some fans up in that joint, is all I'm saying).

I finally got tired of my one pair of jeans that "fit" me falling off, so I went and bought two new pairs in a smaller size!! That was a super-exciting moment. Mr. T came with me and when I came out he remarked he hadn't realized how poorly my jeans were fitting until he saw me in some that actually fit right. What I said was, "I'm tiny!!!" It does take awhile for the self-image to catch up with what I see in the mirror, I'm discovering. In my head I look the same. I was so sick of my old jeans that I didn't even try to shop cheaply for new ones, I paid FULL PRICE for the two new pairs. And I don't regret it. Ha!

Booze: Check!

If anyone's wondering what $1300 worth of alcohol looks like...

There you go! Our original budget for alcohol was $1500, so we came in $200 under budget AND we also bought 8 bottles of wine for the rehearsal dinner, which was not in our initial alcohol budget at all.

We will probably end up returning some, but we just didn't know what folks would want to drink. Beer? Wine? If wine, red or white? If red, pinot or cabernet? If none of the above, vodka or tequila? And so, we probably overbought, but I really, really don't want to do a beer run in the middle of our wedding. We also bought toasting champagne (excuse me, sparkling wine!). We'll have 3-4 bottles of champagne for guests to drink before the toasts if they prefer to drink champagne...those are Moet, left over from Mr. T's cousin's wedding. The toasting ahem, sparkling wine is Gloria Ferrer, which was a recommendation from my codancer who loves champagne, so we totally took her advice with no hesitation. We are also serving the same chardonnay (Benziger) and pinot (Castle Rock) that she served at her own wedding, so thanks, Rachel!

For the cabernet we went with Smoking Loon, which Mr. T likes, and for beer we went for two more of his faves (and also locally brewed!) Anchor Steam and Trumer Pilsner. He also picked the vodka, of course, which is Ketel One, and I obviously picked the tequila, which is Corralejo (Herradura is my fave but was a tad expensive, unfortunately).

Buying the alcohol took all day. First I placed an online order at BevMo. I saved 5% because it was my first online order (Score!). We also got our chardonnay for essentially half off because of BevMo's five-cent wine sale (buy one bottle, get the next bottle of the same wine for five cents, on selected wines! Double score!). After we placed that order, we had to wait an hour for them to get everything together so we could come pick it up. So we went to Safeway, because they had an amazing deal on wines. A discount for 6 or more bottles of the same wine, PLUS an additional 10% off for 6 bottles of any wine, period. We saved $110 on 24 bottles of wine. Excuse me while I pat myself on the back for suggesting going there as our first stop! Triple Score!

Our next stop was Trader Joe's. Unfortunately they were sold out of the margarita mix, but we did buy the rest of the wine for the rehearsal dinner there, plus the remaining bottles of pinot (Safeway didn't have enough in stock).

After Trader Joe's we swung by BevMo to look at beer and pick up our order. We bought two cases of Anchor Steam there, and at this point my credit card was declined. "Oops," I thought, "I should've called them." I bet hundreds of dollars of alcohol purchases in an hour raises some red flags. So I put the purchase on another card, and we picked up the online order. The woman who helped us out to the car complimented us on our wine and tequila selections (patting myself on the back again...and Rach, you should too, since you picked the chardonnay). "It's for our wedding," I confessed with a smile, and she congratulated us. All day I told people about the wedding, whether they wanted to hear about it or not, since we were getting a lot of attention around our massive alcohol purchases.

We dropped off all the booze thus far at home and I called my card and reassured them that yes, it was me, buying crap for my wedding, nothing to worry about. The operator congratulated me and restored my card to good standing and we were off again! [Lest anyone worry about my credit card worries, it's just on the card until I can transfer money from our savings account, which takes a couple of days. We're a no-debt wedding! As a matter of fact, we have extra in our wedding savings. Hooray!]

Next we took a break from alcohol and went to Target. We bought CANDY for the candy buffet. $100 worth of candy is a lot of candy, but unfortunately I didn't get a pic of that one to show you. We also bought coloring books for the niece/nephew. I had a crisis in the middle of the lane at Target. I literally could not pick up the coloring books with the Disney princesses on them. "There must be something else," I kept muttering. I had no idea I felt so strongly about this issue until I was confronted with corrupting my niece with them. Finally Mr. T suggested Dora the Explorer and I grudgingly went along with it. He of course had it easy and picked out a superhero coloring book for his nephew. Anyway, we also picked up frames for the parent gifts (we're going to give them wedding photos, so they'll get the frames with "picture coming soon" signs in them), plus tooth whitening kits (yes, we're vain), and I got some cute Halloween tees for myself for $6 each, which I thought was a score. As we checked out the checker (who reminded me of Kristin Wiig's character on SNL) asked if the candy was for trick-or-treaters or if it WAS ALL FOR US. And then she said people sometimes told her they were going to keep the candy for themselves. We're talking about 20+ bags of candy, here. That's frightening!

Our next stop was another Trader Joe's. They did have the maggie mix, and by making nice with one of the employees, we got it in an unopened box. Hooray! After that we went to another BevMo, and since we were under budget, Mr. T approved the purchase of the Crystal Head vodka that I'd been dreaming about. It's going to look so awesome on the bar!

Plus if we run out of vodka we can crack it open.

After BevMo #2, we proceeded to Michael's, where we bought flower petals for our flower girl, spray paint for some of the used frames we bought for venue signage, more glitter for pumpkins, two types of glue, and other random stuff.

We were also supposed to make a stop at Pet Club for the littles but it was closed at this point. It was probably for the best, since we were soooo tired by then.

And finally, we stopped at Andronico's for two things:
  1. Individually wrapped candy corn packets--we love candy corn and had to have it at the buffet, but we don't want any open candy, just wrapped. Andronico's was the only store we found the packets in!
  2. The Trumer Pilsner beer, which was on sale, and because of the sale, they had cases in stock, which they normally don't. Quadruple score!

And then we went home and collapsed.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This is so true

I found this on another blogger's site. It's true, while we were at Michael's this weekend I noted that the Halloween stuff is already on sale, and crammed into fewer aisles, and there are now a few aisles devoted exclusively to Christmas. WTF?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Another Processional Option

I've been pondering my processional options. I was thinking about some of our belly dance faves like Beats Antique, but a lot of those songs have doumbek interludes and that just seemed odd to me.

Then I remembered this one:

You're My Best Friend by Queen
Ooo. you make me live

whatever this world can give to me
It's you, you're all I see
Ooo, you make me live now honey
Ooo, you make me live
You're the best friend
that I ever had
I've been with you such a long time
You're my sunshine
And I want you to know
That my feelings are true
I really love you
You're my best friend
Ooo, you make me live
I've been wandering round
But I still come back to you
In rain or shine
You've stood by me girl
I'm happy, happy at home
You're my best friend.
You're the first one
When things turn out bad
You know I'll never be lonely
You're my only one
And I love
The things that you do
You're my best friend
Ooo, you make me live.
I'm happy, happy at home
You're my best friend
You're my best friend
Ooo, you make me live
You, you're my best friend.

Pretty perfect, right? I love it, but I have concerns:
  • It's 2:50. Is that long enough for two bridesmaids, a ring bearer, and a flower girl to get up the aisle? Because if it isn't, now I need another song for everyone else.
  • Is it weird that it's sung by a gay man to a fictional woman?
  • My dad is going to make fun of me, but I can live with that (nothing new there). I just hope he doesn't refuse to walk down the aisle because of it!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

To-do list for this week/weekend

  1. Meet with officiant re: vows again.
  2. Finalize seating chart.
  3. Work on signage for bar, cupcake table, buffet table, candy buffet, gift table.
  4. Work on escort cards and room map.
  5. Buy alcohol.
  6. Decide where we're buying pumpkins.
  7. Buy parent gifts.
  8. Buy candy for candy buffet.
  9. Practice corset lacing with MOH.
  10. Send out rehearsal dinner invitations.
  11. Decorate cupcake tree (this might have to wait until next weekend!).
  12. Wash and decorate candy jars.
I'm sure there are about 80 other things I'm forgetting at the moment. Here we go!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Skirt Resolution

By the way, my dressmaker did come up with a solution for how I can dance in my skirt. We're going to bustle the skirt, but not in the traditional "wadded up fabric on your butt" kind of look. She says that it hopefully won't even be noticeable in the tiers of lace that are on the back of the skirt.


OMW Week 39, WW Week 29

Last week again, it's hard to tell with the analog scale, but I think I neither lost nor gained. I think. So I didn't bother to blog about it. I figured I was in a holding pattern and that was probably fine, since it's about time to start finalizing my dress, which we can't do until I'm at a stable weight.

This week I think I lost 3 pounds! I have no idea how I did that. I certainly didn't hold back this weekend, which was my bachelorette party (and the less mentioned about that, the better...suffice it to say there were some calorie-laden cocktails and much yummy food involved!). So, to celebrate the inexplicable loss, I got a scone and latte this morning. Seriously, I think if I lose much more weight my dressmaker might kill me.

It is absolutely frustrating to try so hard to lose weight and not have anything happen week after week, and then to all of a sudden lose 3 pounds for no good reason...3 pounds that might make my skirt not fit me anymore! I just don't get it. Perhaps I am being a lot more active lately...and I did dance for hours on Saturday night....?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October is here!

Happy Fall, everyone! I'm still waiting to find out what happened to summer...feels like we never had one, weather-wise. But here we are in October and the wedding is a month away and I'm still chasing down RSVPs (it can't be THAT hard to say yes or no, can it?) and I realized we have so many things we need to do now: buy alcohol, get the marriage license, write our vows, finish our music playlists, coordinate with out-of-towners and possibly plan other activities...

I feel pretty calm, even though intellectually I know that's a hell of a lot of work. I'm really looking forward to October 31. I know that day will be perfect, regardless of whether I've got manicured nails or if we didn't manage to frame any old Halloween pix of us for decor.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Skirt dilemma

So, the MOH and I went to my semi-final dress fitting on Saturday. The dress looks amazing! All they need to do now is line the skirt, and finish all the edges, and a few other finishing touches. I am in love with it.

Mr. T and I have been practicing our first dance, and it's become obvious that there is no way I can dance in my skirt. As soon as I step backward, I'm going to step on the train and it will all be over. Or Mr. T is going to step on my train and it will all be over. Oops. That's what I get for going for drama!

Now I'm pondering either buying a cute skirt to change into right before the first dance, or having my dressmaker whip up a shorter skirt in the same material, if such a thing is even possible or remotely attainable on my budget/within our timeframe. Hm.

RSVP Already!

So our RSVPs are due today and there are at least 12 people who have still not responded, including some family members. Frustrating! Planning a wedding has given me a whole new perspective on weddings...I will never RSVP late again. So much stuff depends on headcount; we feel a bit paralyzed until folks respond.

I was dismayed to find out that some invitations went missing in the mail. I hope the folks who didn't get their invites while other family members did weren't hurt by our apparent lack of inclusion...well, they know now that we sent them, anyway. And the invitations are so awesome that I feel annoyed at the post office for not delivering them. ;-) Here's the top of our lovely invite (I cropped out all the wording, sorry!).

We decided not to do the craters, which we were going to do as blind letterpress, but they look awesome even without them. Didn't Mr. T do a good job? Although two of my friends have commented that he should've made my boobs bigger! Ha!

Even with all the unknown replies, Mr. T and I have worked out a rough seating chart already. We did this when we were at dinner on Saturday. Pretty much any time we're together we're talking about wedding crap. I look forward to the day when we become interesting people again!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Shopping Spree

After I looked at the MOH's dress options and we had our belly dance rehearsal on Saturday (told you it was a marathon day!) the MOH and I proceeded on our shopping extravaganza. First I decided we should eat, because I was getting hangry already and shopping wouldn't improve that. We had pasta. Mmmpasta. Second, we hit a TON of stores in a very short time period:
  • A sock shop, where I got a pair of striped tights and a pair of striped socks. I think I'm leaning toward the socks; more comfy. They're over the knee, so they're still cute.
  • Four lingerie shops, and no luck there. Can you believe it? Thankfully I hit up Macy's later in the week and they solved all my problems. Love them.
  • A tattoo/piercing shop, to look at earrings. I thought I wanted black faceted cubic zirconias, but I didn't like them close up (the stone wasn't very big, actually) and they were $200! I ended up going with black horn earrings that are lovely and a bit art nouveau-ish and won't fight with the rest of my outfit. I got 10% off thanks to a coupon I've been hoarding for just such an occasion! But they were very reasonably priced, actually:
  • A costume shop, to look at fascinators. They didn't have what I wanted, so I ended up ordering another one off Etsy from the maker of the red fascinator I previously purchased:
I can't remember if I already mentioned that since my dress fabric changed, the red fascinator no longer goes with it (that's what I get for ordering too quickly!). This black one is also lovely and the black faceted stone matches the choker that I believe some elves are buying me as a (pre)wedding gift:

It looks so great with the corset! I'm a very lucky girl with generous friends.

Anyway, after all that we also went to Sephora (for Fiberwig mascara) and then Nordstrom's to check out their lingerie (another fail) and also the MAC counter, where I proceeded to empty my wallet. I love makeup! I bought all of the eyeshadows and the eyeliner from the Dita Von Teese makeup tutorial. I also bought an eyeliner brush (since I bought the Black Track Fluidline gel liner) and the highlighting face powder, and those two things were my fave purchases. First, I wanted to bathe in the face powder, it was so dewy and glowy and awesome looking. Second, I had never used a professional eye liner brush before and IT CHANGES EVERYTHING. Such control! Such fine lines! Such even lines! I will never go back to the brush that comes with the eyeliner! Sorry to wax rhapsodic, but I just can't believe I've gone this long without a proper eyeliner brush.

We went to a friend's wedding on Sunday (it was lovely, and I took NO pix, because again, I'm a bad blogger), and I tried out the DVT makeup. Folks told me it looked good, but since I forgot to take pictures I'll have to do it again so I can see how it looks on film. Sometimes I change my mind about something once I've seen a photo of it.

The rehearsal dress came in and the material is, to put it bluntly, cheap looking. However, it does look really cute on, if I do say so myself, so I'm overlooking the cheap material. I think it's not as apparent once I have it on, or perhaps I'm fooling myself. I'll ask my belly dance girls for their opinion on Saturday, but I think it's a keeper even with the fabric. The design is just so cute!

Anyway, phew! Things will only get busier from here, I bet...

MOH/BM Dress Update

After the tasting on Saturday I went to the MOH's house to look at the dresses she'd bought as potential MOH dresses. My bridesmaid has already bought her dress:

It looks super cute on her! The MOH ended up not liking either dress she'd ordered, so she's shipping them back and trying some other things. Those repro vintage dresses mess with you on the XL might be a size 14, or a size 8!

She knows she doesn't have to go with a vintage look, of course, but I think she really wants to find one she likes and can wear again. I hope she loves one in the next batch!

Tasting/Menu: CHECK!

On Saturday I had a very typical marathon day. It started with a tasting at our venue. We were there to settle the vegetarian entree and the last appetizer. The venue had an updated list of appetizers, so we selected a bunch to try in case we wanted to either add a fourth app or change our mind on the coconut shrimp we'd already selected.

We tried:
Phyllo cups with gorgonzola cream cheese, walnuts, and pears
Crab cakes with aioli
Lemon peppercorn prawns
Portobello mushrooms in phyllo "purses"
Risotto stuffed mushrooms

We opted to stay with the original coconut shrimp. They were yummy and we preferred them to the other seafood apps we tried. Likewise, we chose the portobello purses as the final appetizer. They were delicious, the vegetarians can eat them, and they don't contain cheese, which means I can eat them too! (I snuck a taste of the gorgonzola cups and they were yummy, but Mr. T thought the flavor, which was strong, might not appeal to everyone.)

For the entrees, we tried curried veggies and a lentil stew. They were both yummy, but we ended up going with the stew for two reasons: 1. It contains protein. I think vegetarians are frequently shafted on this, because folks don't like to work with tofu. 2. The curried veggies, while delicious (I reaffirmed that I'm a huge fan of turnips, to my surprise), seemed more like a side dish to us and we worried that folks would overlook them as an entree option.

The tasting was super quick and easy. I want more of those portobello purses right now! Nom, nom, nom....

Oh, and we opted not to add a fourth appetizer. Our coordinator at the venue said that it usually ended up being too much food with that appetizer/guest count ratio, and that it would go to waste.

Our other appetizer is a cheese station with "gourmet cheeses and crackers", and I think we'll be bringing in pumpkin butter and/or quince paste for some other options. The venue was fine with that as long as the items were store bought--something about health codes. I found that so interesting, as my sister-in-law handmade some of the desserts at her wedding. I guess because our venue is a hotel/caterer they are held to stricter standards? Anyway, I'm no Martha Stewart, so buying these things at a store is so not a problem!

OMW Week 37, WW Week 27

I either lost a pound or stayed the same, I couldn't really tell this week. I miss the digital scale. I might be forced to go out and spend money on one of my own!

Mr. T and I have been forced into a Tues-Fri workout schedule thanks to our busy weekends lately. It's not optimal--my body feels more tired and I don't think the workouts are as good. And then, Tuesday mornings are particularly hard after 3 days off. I guess I should be grateful we have time to work out at all! I was looking at my calendar to contemplate what I have to do the week before the wedding and realizing, "I am going to have family and friends in town starting Saturday 10/ the heck am I going to get to the gym?" I need to steal time somehow, even if it means getting up at an ungodly hour. I think the workouts will help stave off the, we need to do some preemptive work to get rid of the candy and cupcakes! ;-)

Friday, September 18, 2009

2nd Dress Fitting, Rehearsal Dinner Dress, and Cufflinks!

I went for my second dress fitting yesterday. I'd thought they were going to do another muslin, but this was my actual dress fabric--exciting! Unfortunately, they have to re-make the corset. The cutter didn't make the lace on the bodice wide enough, and the pattern of the lace was upside-down. However, it was fun to try it all on together! My first thought was that it makes me look very tall! Actually, that was my second thought. My first thought was WOW.

They are going to finish the corset that I tried on and sell it at Dickens Fair...funny to think of someone buying something that was literally made for me. I wonder who out there has my measurements?

Autumn, my dressmaker, is awesome and so nice. She is full of compliments every time I'm in there, about how great I look in the dress, how my figure is made for a corset, how tiny I look, and this last time she told me my arms look good. I could keep her around all day!

As usual, you can email me for pix...I can't post in case Mr. T checks the blog. I have another fitting in a little over a week. Yay! At that fitting I think we'll make some decisions about beading the corset and/or the skirt.

What I CAN show you is the dress I splurged on for the rehearsal dinner and/or the bachelorette. It's a little strain on the wallet, but it's so cute! Hopefully it looks as good on me as on the model...or at least, half as good anyway!

And, finally, we bought Mr. T's cufflinks today. They are Halloween with a classic look. I think you won't be able to tell they're Halloween-appropriate unless you're up close, which is very him. He likes his dark side to be more subtle.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rehearsal Dinner: Check??

I forgot to mention that we may have found the place for our rehearsal dinner, although nothing's final yet.

We gave up on finding anything near the wedding venue, which opened up some places we'd ruled out before. I emailed our favorite Chinese restaurant in our neighborhood to see if they ever close the restaurant for private parties (the place is tiny, so we'd have to buy them out), and they said they did! We've been working on a menu, and it looks like we'll also have a tea presentation after dinner, which will be really fun. I love this place--they use organic produce and free-range meats, and they're known for their tea selection. And better yet, the prices are not going to break us.

We haven't put down any money yet, or finalized the menu, but I am cautiously optimistic that we've found our restaurant! Hooray!! And phew. I was getting worried there.

OMW Week 36, WW Week 26

I'm not sure how much I lost/didn't lose this week! The digital scale I've been using at the gym is broken, so I was forced to use one of those old-school scales where you slide the pointer over and see if it balances. If I go by that scale, I lost 2.5 pounds, which seems unlikely to me. Hm.

They put new carpet in the locker room. I guess they have to replace it frequently because of all the swimmers and folks wet from the shower who drip all over the carpet. One woman wears normal closed-toe shoes (not flip flops, like all of the rest of us!) in the shower and then tracks soapy water all over the locker room. Folks' choices baffle me. That's stranger than the woman who wears jeans during her workout. Or eyeshadow lady. I do love people watching!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

45 Days to go, and counting...

...and all I have to say about that is GAH.

Today I bought our ring bearer (Mr. T's nephew) and flower girl (my niece) a couple of books each, as their wedding party gift. They're both almost 4.

For the ring bearer, I thought Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs would be fun, and then his parents could take him to see the movie!

For the flower girl, I got Beatrice's Goat, which is based on a true story. I like to annoy my brother by giving my niece ultra-liberal message books. The last one was about environmentalism.

And I thought it would be fun to give them a couple of Halloween books, and these looked cute and not too scary:

I haven't decided who gets what yet. I might have to read them first!

This weekend we're going for our final tasting at our venue, where we're nailing down the vegetarian entree and one of the appetizers. I was happy to see that the apps menu is much longer than it used to be, so it should make choosing much easier. Last time there was a lot of deep fried stuff. Not that deep fried doesn't equal yummy, but my thought is that one deep fried app is enough.

After the tasting I'm going on a whirlwind shopping spree with the MOH, to buy makeup, lingerie, and earrings. I can't wait. After saving for so long, it feels naughty and forbidden to plan a shopping trip, which makes it that much more fun.

Last weekend we went to a friend's wedding in Sonoma, and this weekend we go to another in Saratoga. It's wedding season! After Sunday we're done, until ours, that is! I'll try to blog about the weddings later, but I've been a crappy picture taker lately, so they might be short posts.

Finally, we got our first wedding gift!!! It's official, we're getting married! Or that's how it feels, anyway. My lovely friend bought us a food processor. I'm sending off our first thank-you card to her today (we bought some Martha Stewart ones at Michael's last month; that woman is a genius!).

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

RSVPs so far

It's been so exciting to have the RSVPs come in! We opted for folks to RSVP online at our wedsite or via email, so it's instant gratification. So far we have 31 yes-es and 5 nos.

I think you just can't have a wedding without offending someone, try as you may to avoid it. Someone's already complained to the MOH because they didn't receive a plus-one on their invite. Sigh.

Anyway, I'm choosing to focus on the excitement of watching it all come together and I hope that we haven't ruffled too many feathers along the way. I will think twice before commenting on anyone else's wedding choices in the future, now that I know how hard each decision can be!

Lots of folks seem to like Mr. T's invite design, which is gratifying. All that hard work paid off! They look so great, in my opinion. I'm proud of us!

Weekend Wedding Warriors

This weekend Mr. T, his mom (Future Mother-in-law T), and I hammered out our plan for the wedding table centerpieces, which she's helping us assemble.

First, we ruled out dry ice as a potential part of the centerpieces. There's actually an Albertson's near Mr. T's mom's house that sells dry ice, so we bought a pound and tested it out. FMIL T thought we could put a dish under the centerpiece pumpkin, with something in that dish to elevate the pumpkin itself, and have dry ice in the dish, waiting to be activated with water at the start of the cocktail hour. Here's what we found:

  • Dry ice melts pretty fast. Timing its placement in the centerpieces would be tricky (AKA, a pain).
  • Unless you have a lot of ice, and a lot of warm water, the effect isn't as grand as one would hope. When we had everything in place, you could barely notice the steam snaking out of the centerpieces. And for that much trouble, I want a lot more wow factor!

So, we decided to do dry ice in big cauldrons at the bar and the escort card table. Someone will still need to get the dry ice, not too far in advance of the ceremony, and then we'll have to make sure the staff knows not to activate it until cocktail hour, but apparently 5 pounds of ice and a good amount of hot water is supposed to give you enough steam to last an hour, which is perfect.

So now our centerpieces will consist of:
  • Pumpkins, which we'll need to buy beforehand and carve a few days before the wedding. We've decided instead of table numbers, we'll carve "icons" into the pumpkins, like a bat, ghost, cat, raven, etc. Then folks will be assigned to the raven table, or the cat table, etc.
  • Flowers that will go in the pumpkins. Even the "cheap" websites like are pretty expensive, so we're going to hit the SF FlowerMart and Trader Joe's between Wednesday and Friday before the wedding. This stresses me out a little, as I feel like we have a lot to do at the last minute, but I think it's better than overspending on something I didn't even want to have in the first place! And flowers die so fast--no need to spend top dollar. Unless they're Black Baccara roses. Mmmmmmm. Anyway, filling out the flower arrangements are an assortment of feather and other picks that FMIL T and I have gathered over the last few months. This weekend we also cut branches off her curly willow and spray painted them black, applying orange glitter as they dried. That was Mr. T's job this weekend! So we'll have creepy glittery sticks in the centerpieces too.
  • Fake tea lights that will sit in the pumpkins (under the flowers, which are not going to extend all the way down) and hopefully illuminate our icons so they are more visible and just plain look cool.
  • Wreaths. The pumpkins will sit in the center of these. We bought some plain twiggy wreaths at Michaels this weekend and my task was to spray them with clear enamel and apply copious amounts of orange glitter to them. FMIL T is keeping them at her house to apply other fun things to them with hot glue.
  • Votives, which we already bought.
  • Possibly scattered (fake) Fall leaves. FMIL T had bought some of these.

Hopefully it will all come together! My concern is that folks aren't going to be able to see around the centerpieces, so we've committed to buying shorter, fatter pumpkins.

We were also on the hunt for cheap frames that could hold the various signs we'll need to post, like our menu for the bar, the menu of cupcake flavors, etc. We didn't find a ton, but the ones we found were only 99 cents, so I'm not complaining.

We pretty much traipsed all over town in hunt of frames, spray paint, containers to hold all our crap, wreaths, glitter, fake tea lights, and other fun decor elements. At the end of the weekend, I was exhausted! So much for a long holiday weekend. We packed most of it up and brought it to our house, where it's all cluttering up our front entryway. And the wedding mess begins! The cats were very puzzled about all the new stuff.

And of course, I didn't take any photos because I'm a bad bridal blogger. You'll just have to see it all later, I guess!

OMW Week 35, WW Week 25

Half a pound gained this week (or, should I say, this weekend?). I know it was all the rich food we ate at Mr. T's mom's house, so I have no one to blame but myself. Sigh.

I determined that I'm probably not being as careful about portion control as I used to be when I first started Weight Watchers. I'm back to literally measuring everything and if that doesn't work, I throw my hands up! Here I'll stay.

Still struggling with the assisted pull-ups, although they were easier today. The day that I can lift all of my own weight to do an unassisted pull-up will be a day for celebrating. Also a non-"girl" push-up. I tried to do one of those and collapsed at the bottom of it. Ah, well. Baby steps!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

In Search of: The Perfect Processional Song

I thought I'd found it: Radiohead's "All I Need." And then I googled the lyrics:

I am the next act waiting in the wings
I am an animal trapped in your hot car
I am all the days that you choose to ignore

You are all I need
You are all I need
I am in the middle of your picture
Lying in the reeds

I am a moth who just wants to share your light
I'm just an insect trying to get out of the night
I only stick with you because there are no others

You are all I need
You are all I need
I am in the middle of your picture
Lying in the reeds

It's all wrong
It's all right
It's all right
It's all wrong
It's all right
It's all right
It's all right

Well, I should've expected that Radiohead wouldn't do a straight up love song. Back to the drawing board.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Hair Trial Results

Wednesday night I went to have my hair trial! Too bad I wasn't going out afterward. It was funny walking home in my tee shirt and updo.

Anyway, I really liked the stylist and knew we'd get along. She had a nice vintage vibe going on with her clothes and hair, and she was very warm and friendly. She told me she'd gotten married last year; they rented Frank Sinatra's house in Palm Springs and had a small wedding there. She wore a short flowered Betsey Johnson dress. Cute!

Anyway, I asked for a french twist with some extra wrapping detail, reminiscent of these photos:

I wanted more height at the crown and less at the base of my neck. She had some trouble with my hair b/c apparently it's long enough that the wrapping proved challenging--what to do with the ends? After back-combing, wrangling, wrapping, pinning (with a small mountain of pins) and shellacking my head, this is what we ended up with:

The wrapping is not as tidy as the inspiration images, but that doesn't bug me. I am not a super neat or tidy person, so I think this suits me better! Also, it will be slightly neater on the day anyway--this was just a trial. I love how the top goes into the wrapped sides from the back view.

My one concern is, does it look like I have a beehive? Both the MOH and Mr. T told me that I was being silly, it wasn't too big at all. And perhaps once I'm in a red corset dress instead of a brown tee, it will be less incongruous. But I'm not sure.

What do you think? The higher the hair, the closer to God?

Note my fascinator...I had the presence of mind to bring it, although I'm not sure it's going to work with my new dress fabric. But that's another story...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Review of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

I think I liked the idea of this book more than I liked the actual book. I thought it would be laugh out loud hilarious, but really I only laughed once (when Elizabeth Bennett defeats three ninjas blindfolded, rips out the last one's heart, and bites into it). There was a lot of guy humor about having "balls", but this was just okay for me.

It did make me want to re-read the original, so that's something. I wonder what Jane Austen would have thought of it. I've always thought she was ahead of her time...

OMW Week 34, WW Week 24

No weight lost this week. The Weight Watchers site says it's not a plateau until you haven't lost for a few weeks in a row, so we'll see what happens.

Not that I'm not happy with my progress, but I'm a little between sizes. If I were to stop I'd prefer it to be in another 5-10 lbs!

I'm back in the women's gym. It looks like they painted a few walls and moved some machines around, but not much other than that. I guess it took a long time for the paint to dry.

I almost forgot!

I almost forgot, I have two more invitations to send out!

The first is to our handsome president, and the second is to our celebrity governor. They won't attend, obviously (although, wouldn't that rock?!), but they may send congratulatory letters back. And by they, I mean their staff. But still.

I found these instrux for sending to President Obama and his lovely wife:

How to invite United States President to your wedding:

The Honorable Barack Obama and Mrs. Obama

The White House
Greetings Office Rm. 39
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, DC 20500

Wedding invitations to the President can also be faxed to: (202) 395-1232

Invitation Tip: The White House greetings office handles as many wedding invitation requests as they can. Send your wedding invitation at least six weeks in advance. Be sure to include your old and new mailing address in case the RSVP comes later.

And for the Governator:

The Governor & Mrs. Arnold Schwartzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814

I was just thinking we had a lot of invitations left!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Sample Bout and Corsage

We're working with Etsy seller April Hiler Designs on the bouts and corsages. Yesterday she sent us these samples. Aren't they great?

We're taking the pumpkin out of the corsage b/c it looks a little imbalanced, but I love everything else. Can't wait to see them all!!

Working on the Ceremony and the Timeline

This weekend we met with our officiant to begin to discuss the ceremony structure. We decided we want him to write everything except for the vows/ring exchange section, which is the most personal part; he says he'll help us if we need it, but he's not comfortable putting words in our mouths! Mr. T and I had a pre-meeting dinner discussion on Saturday to talk over what we wanted to cover, and then we discussed it all over again with our officiant yesterday.

Mr. T's emphasis is that the wedding is mere formality of a bond that already exists, and will continue to. Mine is that a wedding is not two people becoming one blob, but rather two individuals who are working together not only on the relationship, but on their own personal evolution.

We also discussed when we met, how we fell in love, what we admire about each other, and all that good stuff. It was really sweet to hear and to say and Mr. T actually surprised me with some of the things he said that he admired about me. I was so honored. And this is after almost 12 years! It's amazing, when you find the right person, they continue to surprise and delight you year after year. It was also nice, after a weekend of swearing and smearing ink and wasting envelopes, to remember why we're doing all of this.

We decided to include a reading, after declaring earlier we didn't want any. It was just so cute and funny and touching that we couldn't resist it. The BM has graciously said she'll read it during the ceremony for us. Since she's an actress, we thought she'd be just the person to pull it off.

Since our officiant is married to our day-of coordinator, we also met with her yesterday! We worked on a timeline for the day and talked about a lot of the little details. The issue that has me a little stymied is the costume contest, which sounds fun in theory (and we totally want to acknowledge the people who go all-out!) but is difficult in execution--seriously, if everyone wants to enter, this could take hours! So we're still working on that one.

Last night on the way home we were just so drained. For two introverts, talking about yourself all day long is exhausting! Still, I suppose it's good practice for being the center of attention on the day.

Invitations Mailed: Check!!!

We had a wedding whirlwind weekend, and among the things we did were: taking the envelopes to the P.O. to get weighed, buying postage (we picked the king and queen love stamp, above, and we were actually pleasantly surprised by how they looked on the black envelope), hand stamping each envelope with our return address, addressing the remaining invitations (I'd done about half already), affixing postage to each envelope, sealing the envelope with a sticker, setting envelopes out to dry, and, this morning, dropping the finished product off at the post office! Woo-hoo! We still have about 4 addresses to track down, but for my purposes (and sanity), invitations are firmly checked off the to-do list.

The return address stamp was a good idea in theory but bad in practice. It was hard to align, and the silver ink from the ink pad just WOULD NOT DRY. We left those out for 36 hours in 80 degree heat, and they were still smearing when we touched them, and even after we blotted them with paper towels. So, if you are our wedding guest, and you have silver ink all over your envelope, my apologies! If I had it to do over I'd have spent quadruple the amount and gotten an embosser instead of a stamp. Oh, well. In the meantime, there is silver ink all over every surface of our home. I'm mighty glad to be done with those! We've gotten one RSVP already (we hand-delivered a couple of invites this weekend), and I can't wait for the rest to roll in. Exciting!! It's nice to see all our hard work taking shape.

This weekend we also went to Michael's because I decided I didn't trust the glue of the envelopes and I wanted something to seal them with. We ended up using the seals we initially purchased from Martha Stewart Crafts for our favor bags: little grinning skull and crossbones--they are black and white, and they glow in the dark! And then we bought other stickers to go on the favor bags at Michael's. Halloween is in full force there and it was hard to stick to our shopping list. Well, for me anyway. I really wanted the silver sign with the skull on it (with jeweled eyes) that said "Beware of Bling", but Mr. T wouldn't let me. But seriously, how perfect would that have been??

While we were there I did talk Mr. T into one frivolous purchase. No, two. They were both Martha Stewart "mad scientist" products. She just has such a nice Halloween aesthetic. One was favor bags, to mix in with the ones we already have. The second was labels for the wine bottles that will go on the tables; they say "Poison" and stuff like that on them. See below; aren't they cute? I promised Mr. T I wouldn't have to go back to Michael's again before the wedding, for the sake of our budget. Ha!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Hair Trial: Booked!

I bit the bullet and booked a hair trial today. I'm going to a salon that two hair stylists I know have recommended, so while I don't have a rec for a specific person, I'm hoping the work of the studio in general is good.

Cross your fingers for me!

OMG OMG Invitations are Done! OMG!

This morning I needed to drive into work (instead of taking the train like I typically do) because my dance troupe has a gig tonight. As Mr. T and I got ourselves into the car (late as usual), my phone rang, with an unfamiliar number. I was worried that it was our landlord, so I made Mr. T listen to the voicemail as I drove. It was our invitation printer, saying our invites were done and ready to pick up! Well, you can guess that we took a little detour on the way to work and got those suckers in our hot little hands! They look magnificent and I am SO excited about them.

However, I am not excited that apparently these have been done for awhile and just sitting around and no one called us. That pretty much blows any idea of doing custom postage (we needed to wait until we had the invites done to weigh them, so we could find out what the postage would be). I shouldn't be so whiny and bridezilla about it, but the stamps currently available are just so ugly. Mr. T and I are both a little unenthused about using The Simpsons, gold wedding bands (blech!), or the liberty bell on our beautiful black envelopes with silver writing. The Edgar Allen Poe stamp from last year was amazing, but it's now outdated and they haven't released a new one with the new postage rate.

Oh, well, you can't win them all.

It also changes the trajectory of our weekend. We have to finish addressing envelopes and get these suckers in the mail!!! Luckily our return address stamp came in this week too.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Groom's Gift/Tie: Check!

I persuaded Mr. T to let me buy him the expensive tie from Sak's (the black and white striped one above). After all, I argued, his wedding ring cost me under $50, so I'd gotten off easy (uh, my rings cost him a little bit more than that!). Once he heard my very logical argument, he agreed, on the condition that this also be his groom's gift (so he's on his own for cufflinks).

I brought the tie home on Friday. We both love it and are afraid to touch it for fear of ruining its luxury. It's sitting in a box in his armoire, all wrapped up until he's ready to wear it!

One more item off the list!

OMW Week 33, WW Week 23

I was just thinking posting was light this week, and then I noticed Bilunabirotunda had done her post! Hooray! The pressure is on, I guess...I can't say that we are reinventing the wedding from scratch, but I hope our guests have a nice time anyway. Especially because their outfits will play a large part in the room decor!

Anyway, another half-pound lost this week! That makes a total of 29 pounds. It feels agonizingly slow right now, although I'm glad I'm still losing.

Today I had to use the main downstairs gym because the upstairs women's only area is closed until Sunday (I think they're cleaning the carpets and painting?). I noticed a few other women down there looking lost, but there wasn't the crowd I was expecting. Maybe folks aren't working out since that area's closed.

Anyway, the downstairs gym is really nice. Better floors (who puts carpet in a gym?), a larger, sunnier space, and nicer, more modern weight machines. I liked all of the weight machines down there better with the exception of the pull-up machine, which felt a little...flimsy, for lack of a better word. I noticed that the angles on some of the machines were different, so the way I used my muscles was different. In fact, I'm a little sore! Also, I could do more weight than normal on certain machines, and less on others. It was kinda fun. I might have to make more trips to the downstairs gym!

I will say, though, that the stretching areas were too small. I guess men aren't into stretching? Also, the women's area is way better equipped with fans, I guess because it wasn't air-conditioned until recently. And the men certainly need some fans. Some of them were very odorous. Women just smell better. Mr. T always says boys are gross, and in some respects, it's true. ;-)

I have one more adventure in the co-ed area this week and then I can retreat back to the women's area starting Sunday, if I so desire. I hope the co-ed area isn't super crowded on Saturdays. Hm.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The August Wedding Observer

Hello all, this is Bilunabirotunda. Our lovely Beth has asked me to share the two weekends (back to back!) I spent at weddings.

Executive summary: I am now jaded on normal weddings. Despite being a classicist at heart, I hope Beth and Mr. T will go all out in being themselves, having fun, and helping us have fun!

These two August weddings were nice, but kind of dull. Very similar format: Ceremony at one location, then traipse over to another location, wait around for food and/or bridal party to show up, make conversation with strangers, eat, wait, wait, wait, dance. Cake. Home.

Ceremony 1 was at Preservation Park in Oakland - non-denominational. Ceremony 2 was at Founder's Chapel at the University of San Diego, and was a full Catholic nuptial mass! My first for that.

I don't have any pics of bride 1's dress, but it was the usual white strapless affair, corset lacing - however, with a dark purple insert in the back from top to bottom, long train, and silver embroidery edging around bodice and insert. The bridesmaids wore dark purple and the groomsmen wore red. Bride 2's dress was also white and strapless, but straight, and with a layered skirt. She had a silver belt and her bridesmaids wore purple too. (She told me later, though, that her dress had been accidentally bustled the whole time!) Groomsmen had gray suits and lavender shirts, purple ties. Is this the in color scheme? I liked both dresses - not a big strapless fan, but both brides are thin and have nice figures so it worked for them. Similar veils. Both weddings also had flower girls who just walked up the aisle and ring bearers with the traditional sulky look.

Reception 1 was at the California Ballroom in downtown Oakland, and reception 2 was at the Catamaran Hotel in San Diego. It was at this point that I really appreciated the organizational skills of team 2 - at reception 1, no one, including my friend the groomsman, knew what was going on, where people should be, or when food/bridal party would show up. At reception 2 it was clearly stated in the lobby that we'd have cocktails on the beach for a certain time, then dinner in the ballroom. Cocktails on the beach was undeniably lovely - so we passed the time not unwell. I think the alcohol was free all around, but I liked the champagne/chambord cocktail the waiters brought round, so never checked it out. Also, as part of the package, exotic bird handlers walked around showing off parrots.

And there were baby hula dancers off to the side (not part of the wedding).

Reception 2 scored for flowers, dinner service, and room to sit, but the actual food was better at reception 1 - three or four buffet stations with different things, though you had to stand in line, and there was some disgruntlement. At reception 2, everyone got chicken except my vegetarian husband, who scored pesto pasta. As on an airline flight, the vegetarians do better in the mass meal production line.

The usual toasts, etc, and formulaic dances. Couple 1 do Dickens Fair a lot, so I liked the guy who said, "and may nothing Dickens wrote about ever happen to you!" Couple 1 scored for dancing - they and most of their friends are rabid Victorian ballroom dancers. Couple 1 also had a live band the whole time. And one of their friends had commissioned an original waltz especially for their wedding, which the band played! The dancing was beautiful to watch if intimidating to join. (The Vegetarian Husband does not like dancing and I was in a bad mood caused by a delayed dinner.) Couple 2 just had a DJ, and run of the mill wedding music. Fun for the young people if dull for the older ones. Wedding 2 also had higher heels because it was farther south in CA.

I liked both cakes. Cake 1 had cool molded chocolate leaves with real red currants as accents, and cake 2 was decorated only with real orchids. Classy.

Both weddings had sweet moments and periods of boredom. I guess it's hard for a wedding to be all things to all people. ;-) Couple 2 were so tremendously happy! I liked that. But my favorite moment was at reception 1: the four young flower girls were dancing by themselves, and the flautist played Pop Goes the Weasel for them to dance to. Kind of summed it all up. Get married and have a party. The rest is just showing off, and though I hope Beth will top the lists, as long as they're happy and I don't have to sit around waiting too long, this wedding guest will be just fine.