Archive for September, 2007

Why the Bridal Industry Hates Us Fridays

September 28, 2007

Item: Personalized Cake Toppers
The pitch: When the party is over and the cake is gone you can have a keepsake to treasure and display for the years to come. These cake toppers are works of art that are a lasting reminder of your very special day.
Price: Oh, we’ll get to that

Can I really blame the industry itself for the explosion of personalized cake toppers? If there is demand, surely companies must supply. But much like the makers of handguns get sued when someone commits murder using their product, I’m going to go after them anyway. In fact I’m thinking of filing a class action lawsuit on behalf of all couples who woke the morning after their wedding and said, “Did we seriously just spend two thousand, five hundred dollars for a figurine of me flashing you my crotch on top of a wedding cake?” Speaking of handguns, let’s take a look at what the personalized cake topper industry can provide for your special day.

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Incidentally, the text that accompanies the last one will provide a special little Friday treat for all you Virginia Polytechnic Institute alumni: “In case you’re curious, the big turkey is the mascot for Virginia Tech University.” Awww, how cute. Virginia Tech’s mascot is now the turkey. That’s adorable.

“Four be the things I’d have been better without: love, curiosity, freckles and doubt.”

September 27, 2007
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Pic from cupcakeblog.com

When a bird is embarking on the last remaining week in which she will ever be able to say truthfully that she is in her 20s, her mood trends toward something other than sunshine, cupcakes and gardenias.* So it was with delight that I opened a birthday present a dear chum surprised me with the other day: The Portable Dorothy Parker, a collection of short stories written by the woman for whose writing ability we would both sell an ovary. When one is in a contemplative and sardonic mood there is no better companion than America’s sharpest writer and the absence of this volume has been notable on the Parker shelf of my library.  

It’s occurred to me over the last few days that Parker need not amuse me only on the run-up to my birthday. She can also add even more sparkle to my big day. How? Well every bridal magazine and web site is insistent that I should be inscribing poignant quotes or poetry on everything wedding-related I put in the mail for the next year. So I’m thinking Mrs. Parker will be perfect. Perhaps:

By the time you swear you’re his,
shivering and sighing
and he vows his passion is
infinite, undying —
Lady, make a note of this:
One of you is lying.

Or perhaps, her “Day Dreams”:

We’d build a little bungalow
If you and I were one,
And carefully we’d plan it so
We’d get the morning sun.
I’d rise each morn at rosy dawn
And bustle gaily down;
In evening’s cool, you’d spray the lawn
When you came back from town.
A little cook-book I should buy,
Your dishes I’d prepare,
And though they came out black and dry,
I know you wouldn’t care.
How valiantly I’d strive to learn,
Assured you’d not complain!
And if my finger I should burn,
You’d kiss away the pain.
I’d buy a little scrubbing-brush
And beautify the floors;
I’d warble gaily as a thrush
About my little chores.
But though I’d cook and sew and scrub,
A higher life I’d find:
I’d join a little women’s club
And cultivate my mind.
If you and I were one, my dear,
A higher life we’d lead;
We’d travel on, from year to year,
At no increase of speed.
Ah, clear to me the vision of
The things that we should do!
And so I think it best, my love,
To string along as two.

Oh, of course I’m not serious. Just being feisty. It’s a privilege of age, my grandmother used to say. My fiancé is counting on my crankiness from having turned 29ish long subsiding by the day of the wedding. In fact I believe that as we’re standing before the altar he’s specifically counting on another Parker assessment: “That woman speaks eight languages and can’t say no in any of them.”

 *My favorite inanimate objects. Besides bourbon, of course.

For Richer, For Poorer, Force Majeure

September 26, 2007

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Vows, as written by Gabriele Pauli, the German politician* who announced last week that she wants marriage vows to expire after seven years.

 I [state your name] take you [state name of spouse-to-be, trying to remember name of the one that you’re on at present] to be my temporary husband. To have and to hold loosely from this day forward until the same day seven years forward. For better or for worse, with a seriously helpful out-clause in the case of the latter. For richer, for poorer, which I will be if I have to keep paying for goat cheese tartlets and cranking out personalized “Our Mix” CDs every seven years. In sickness, provided it is not chronic, and in health, provided that I am not marrying you for your wealth in the hopes that you’ll be kicking the bucket soon. To love and to cherish for the duration of the warranty on our refrigerator. From this day forward, until my desire to bone the pool man do us part. Amen.

 * Referred to in the piece as the “flame-haired” politician. Can someone please explain to me why every time some woman who happens to have red hair does something hotsy-totsy they feel the need to mention her hair color? Seriously, it’s 2007 and yet I still consider it an effing miracle I’m not stoned by Puritans for being lasciviously hued when I walk down the street.

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand WTF?s

September 25, 2007

It’s classic chicken or the egg. Do some couples lose their minds simply because they’re involved in a wedding, or have they always harbored the desire to make complete asses out of themselves? There is no better litmus test perhaps than their wedding photography. Not the official stand-in-front-of-the-venue-and-smile shots or even the ones of the couple skipping along looking like the young goofy kids in love who, statistically speaking, a solid 50 percent of them are. I’m talking about the other shots. The ones where the couple decides they’re going to act like the photographer just happened to come upon them releasing white doves in front of a gospel choir on the steps of the Jefferson Monument. Or, the ones where the groom takes his bride’s garter off, with his teeth, in front of a camera. We’ll call these WTF? Photos:

1. This photographer’s rates are quite high. After paying him, the couple could only afford the bathroom of a circa-1983 McDonald’s for the reception.

 

2. Try to look at this photograph without thinking about the six irritated bridesmaids at whom she snarled to heave her up onto the piano carefully so her dress wouldn’t wrinkle, then hissed at to go find her a goddamn appletini.

3. Is their any more magical moment of the big day than when the groom conducts the traditional fake fellatin’ o’ the bride while perched on the best man’s back? 

4. The New York Times instructs couples interested in having their announcement featured in the Weddings page to photograph themselves with their heads evenly aligned. Really this couple isn’t that far off as I’m assuming that she’s lined her head right up to the one with which he does most of his thinking.

5. In exchange for attending your wedding and bringing you a nicely wrapped coffee maker, I ask only for a tasty meal, some decent champagne and maybe a jordan almond or two. I do not ask for, nor do I particularly ever want to see, a photograph of you lurching toward the room where you conceived your first child.

6. Or a photograph of you actually conceiving your first child.

7. And finally, our WTF? Photo winner of the week. The couple who decided to stage a sexualized Dudley Du-Right episode to celebrate their entry into the holy sacrament of marriage. What I really love about this sequence is that the first two pictures set the stage for the husband to arrive in the last frame with the presence of Eric Bana or Captain America. And then he shows up looking like the dude who helped you find your AV cables at Best Buy last weekend.

Pompous Hearts Insufferable Monday

September 24, 2007

 

OK, this week’s New York Times couple isn’t even trying not to get the PHI Monday nod. They’re the featured wedding this week in the paper, and they’re the featured wedding here in our hearts. Why?

* Upon first chatting up his bride, “Mr. Garbarino remembered: ‘I made some ridiculous drolleries…'”

* The bride describes their wedding on the roof of the Chateau Marmont as “Gatsbyesque.” Yes, if Jay Gatsby had taken to hosting parties in the same venue where Britney and Lindsay swap fluids with professional greaseballs, while wearing the ugliest dress to which Ralph Lauren has ever affixed his name. And if Jay Gatsby was ever the type of jackass who would use trite and woefully inaccurate expressions to describe his parties.

* “Mr. Garbarino wore a white Prada tuxedo with white Converse sneakers.”

* Because one of their guests actually uttered the words, the couple “wears adulthood lightly–and I mean that in the most delicious sort of way.”

Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Or, Why We = Brangelina

September 24, 2007

On our way up to the rooftop terrace of the Hay-Adams for a site visit Saturday we were let in on a little secret. The night before, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie had a private dinner up there. Frankly it comes as no surprise to me that we share similar proclivities as the Hollywood It Couple. We were just the other day talking about adopting four kids from um, whatever country it is that they keep buying babies from. Physically speaking we’re total doppelgangers. And when we want to cook something, we don’t even turn the stove on, we just level our smoldering gazes at the food. Oh and he dumped that chick from Friends to start dating me. (That poor lamb is so unlucky in love.) I’ve got to go. I’m trying to figure out where we can pay $5,000 for a private dinner tonight.

Why the Bridal Industry Hates Us Friday

September 21, 2007

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Item: Personalized Rhinestone Mrs. Brief

The pitch: Flash your lover boy (or your pals!) with a fabulous asset — your new title, of course, spelled out on these sexy undies. Add your married last name (up to 12 characters) in twinkly rhinestones. Available in black, white or light blue. 100% cotton. Specify Size 1 (small/medium) or Size 2 (medium/large). Made in the USA. PLEASE NOTE: Underwear is not returnable.

Price: $26 each

As I picture the next year leading up to my wedding, I imagine no moment where I am flashing my gal pals my rhinestone-bedazzled unmentionables. But I also haven’t penciled “labotomy” onto my wedding to-do list either, which apparently means I’ll be a tough nut for the wedding industrial complex to crack. There’s so much about the ad copy for these babies that I scarcely know where to start. First, that upon marrying, one of my greatest assets becomes my new “title.” Second, that the underwear are not returnable. This makes me think that the purchase of these panties should be required for all brides. Knowing that there was no way to recoupe the $26 shelled out for 85 cents worth of fabric and plastic jewels would make the divorce rate plummet. And finally, that they are made in America. Of course they are. Because even though we outsource the production of just about everything else to our nimble-fingered, underpaid, not-as-complain-y bretheren on the other side of the world, someone has wisely convinced this company that they will likely incite World War III if these other countries’ workers become aware that we have so little else to do with our money in America that we’re spending $26 on a rhinestone title-flashing bit of fabric that covers our privies.

It occurs to me though, that these would make phenomenal teacher gifts for kiddies to bestow. “Look what I got you Mrs. Smith!”

So Wait, Does That Argue For or Against?

September 20, 2007

I’ve been debating whether to have a morning wedding and lunch reception (a la JFK and Jacqueline Bouvier) or an afternoon wedding and a dinner reception (a la everyone on the planet right now.) The evening scenario would foster more of a drunken throwdown, and the afternoon I think would be more of a bright, cheery, and elegant bash. Plus, if we go with the afternoon reception we will be able to capitalize much more successfully on the incredible view from the roof of the Hay-Adams. (Oh and before I go any further, I decided last night to go the old school morning/lunch scenario route so don’t bother filling up the comments with anything other than validation of this choice or I’ll likely slip a wingnut.)

Anyhoodles, but I’m debating this yesterday morning and my friend–who has been very supportive of either option so this wasn’t a judgment–says, “Well, you know my oldest sister had a morning wedding and she got divorced 15 years later…And she’s the one who turned out to be a lesbian.”

It occurred to me that we can totally turn this into a Choose Your Own Adventure Wedding!  choose.jpg

Turn to 12 noon for possible divorce and alternative lifestyles.

Turn to 6 p.m. for young guests puking their daylong drinking onto your aunt who is a nun.

I Do…Not Sleep

September 19, 2007

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On the typical night I crawl into bed around 11:30 and I’m out like a light within 10 minutes. Throw a DVD in and I’m snoozing faster than Bill Murray after a glass of warm milk. But lately I’m finding that I don’t even consider heading to bed until 1 a.m. and once tucked in, I stare at the ceiling for more than an hour. Why? Not because I’m fretting over whether we still have diplomatic options to hasten our exit from Iraq or if there are more troubling ramifications pending from the high-risk mortgage market collapse. No, I’m lying there pondering whether it would be better to put eight people at a table, or 10. And if we do have 10 at a table, should we forego the more elegant arm chairs in favor of the armless ones, to give people more space?

It turns out I’m not the only insomniac about the wedding. And if you’re thinking I’m referring to my fiancé you would be, oh, how do I put this delicately? Hilariously misguided. No, one of my dear friends confesses that she’s been tossing and turning across town at night, debating whether Coquilles St. Jacques makes more sense for our reception than lamb chops with demi-glace.

Perhaps I should comfort myself with the knowledge that I can stay awake pondering wedding frippery because a mile down the road (and across the street from where we’ll be celebrating) our president is pondering how best to handle that other scary, significant stuff.

…And with that, Bridal Bird added another two hours to her sleeplessness.

The Ticker

September 18, 2007

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I’m thinking of adding a crawl to the bottom of the page that updates every time I get in a wedding-related snit with any of the following: Fiance, Mother, Sister, Father, Event Coordinator at Reception Site, and Perky Pre-Cana Couple Asking About Our Sex Life. Some of those will remain at zero for the duration of the process. However, some of them already have their hash marks. By the end of the year they’re bound to be scoring higher than any team playing the Orioles. Zing!

Here’s the tally thus far: Fiance-2; Mother-1.

And that’s within the first two weeks. Normally, my fiance and I are not the argumentative types. Sure we have the occasional Sunday-morning tift about whether we’re going to watch Chris Matthews or George Stephanopoulos, but what couple doesn’t? (…um, I’ve just been informed that no other couples fight about this. Carry on.) Even my mother and I have a fairly calm relationship. My sister keeps claiming that picking the date and reception site are the worst parts of the whole process and that things will calm down as soon as that’s done. I’m hoping that I can trust she’s correct. Because if not, I’ve got an itchy hash-mark drawin’ finger.