Archive | July, 2010

Low-maintenance, chilled out bride?

29 Jul

With just over 4 months to plan our wedding, I didn’t think there was room for being high-maintenance. However, with all the crazy stories I’ve heard from friends and read online, I worried I would join the fray of bridezillas to whom so many cable TV shows are devoted. Shelia O’Malley’s blog post on this topic allayed my fears a bit. “Low-maintenance, chilled out bride,” she repeats. I tested myself on O’Malley’s qualifiers:

1. “They want their wedding day to be a fun day for all.”

I’m a people-pleaser. I’m also very “why can’t we all just get along?”  I will sacrifice my own comfort for everyone else’s fun (if I’m not careful).  Constantly revise the seating chart to maximize happiness for all? The RSVPs aren’t all in and I’m already doing that.  I constantly need intervention to stop trying to make everyone happy. So check plus on this one.

2. “They want their bridesmaids to be comfortable.”

As a former bridesmaid, I cared very much about this. It is impossible to find one dress that looks good on everyone. Possibly an A-line, but the trend always veers towards strapless satin sheath in the wedding world, and satin is not a forgiving fabric. One of my bridesmaids wore a previous BM dress as a Miss America costume for my Halloween party a couple of years ago. In gazing upon the powder blue, lace-laden two piece ensemble, I thought to myself: there must be a better way. After picking my colors from a t-shirt I own, I set out thinking my bridesmaids could all find green or purple dresses in their style, their preference. Then the questions on fabric and shades of purple arose and I realized “going it alone” may not be as laid back as I originally thought. So we ended up at Alfred Angelo for the sake of matching the color, and if you’re going that route, I highly recommend them. Not only do they have an endless number of styles, but they disguise themselves nicely as human beings unlike the sheep-herding salesman fare of David’s Bridal (who also spam you heavily). It’s to be decided if my ladies actually are comfortable, but this was 100% my goal. A for effort?

3. “They want to make sure that everyone has a rocking good time.

As mentioned in item #1, I live to ensure others are comfortable/having fun. So staying up until 3:00 am trying to make a DJ request list varied enough to please everyone’s tastes on the dance floor and not offend any guests made perfect sense to me. We did upset my 11-yr-old niece by banning the Electric Slide, but she’ll recover by dancing to literally everything else. Ah, resilient youth. Rock On.

4. They themselves want to have a rocking good time.”

I wanted to say ‘duh’ to this one. Who doesn’t want to have a ‘rocking good time’ on his/her wedding day? Apparently lots of people (see qualifier #4). No matter what goes right/wrong on the big day, when there is music, I will dance. When funny things happen, I will laugh. When a guest makes an inappropriate comment via microphone, I will also laugh. Honestly, if my dress ripped right in half, I’d still laugh. I am not worried about not having fun. Check plus plus.

5. “They do not want to have a nervous breakdown because the flowers are salmon-pink instead of fuschia.”

I’d love to make fun of this, but I had a moment of eggplant vs. grape anxiety. I picked eggplant purple from the fabric swatches, but most of the dresses my gals tried on were grape. And they were lovely. Then viewing those same dresses in ‘online eggplant’ gave me color choice remorse.  Computer monitors added an unnecessary blue tint to the purple. And then of course once I saw real dresses with real fabric? Freak out removed. Being on the 4-month plan, it was easy to write off any hue regret as frivolous, but I cannot tell a lie: sighs of relief over real life eggplant were real. And I heaved them. Check, please?

Final Analysis: Low-maintenance? Yes. Chilled out? Only slightly.

Wedding registry = ideal life, not real life

7 Jul

The iconic KitchenAid stand mixer

Wedding registries aren’t for the life we actually live, but the life we wish to live. There’s something about getting married that makes us think we are going to become the next Julia Child. Take for example this Smithsonianized staple of the legendary chef’s kitchen.

Now I know Julia Child discovered the art of French cooking late in life and made an entire career out of it, but I am not in this much denial. We elected not to register for this ‘must have’ item, as I know it will be a stylish reminder of how inadequate I am as a baker.  We always have the option to purchase our own later once we get heavy into pots de creme making. But in our real life, the only thing we bake starts with a mix.

But here are a few things from our list that might be delusional.

OXO Salad Spinner

When I’ve gone to buy wedding gifts from a registry, this is the one I always laugh about. It makes sense, no one wants soggy lettuce. But to buy a device that spins the water off always seemed excessive to me–what’s wrong with good old-fashioned shaking? It’s so easy to buy the prewashed greens these days (and I’m a sucker for easy in the kitchen). But of course in my ideal life I’ll be growing my own greens in an organic garden and will need to wash and dry them in large quantities. Plus it does look fun to use, I’ll admit. Too much fun, I fear. I tend to get over zealous about new kitchen gadgets: I’ll start researching Spinner’s Anonymous in Florida just in case.

Body Glove Snorkel Set

For those of you who aren’t up to speed, we are moving to South Florida, so this isn’t a someday-when-we-take-a-honeymoon kind of gift. We could drive a few miles in any direction and arrive at the ocean. There are snorkel boats by the dozen. We could take a weekend trip to the Keys and see schools of blue tang surgeon fish, eagle rays and the like. We could get underwater cameras and document our aquatic finds on our very own snorkel blog!  That’s the great thing about ideal life, you can be that awesome. Or you can sit in the beach chairs we also registered for (which boast five positions, color me relaxed).

Oster Flip Waffle Maker

In my life before I met my fiance, this would have been the biggest delusion of them all. While the idea of strawberry waffles lightly brushed with powdered sugar sounds delicious and something I should serve at brunch with mimosas, I usually stick with fancy omelets. I used the  Belgian waffle maker in the dining hall at college, sure, but until I met my almost-husband, I hadn’t even made pancakes at home!  I love the taste of carbs drenched in maple syrup, but it’s a lot of effort for that many calories I guess. And I hate to use up all my carbs at breakfast, as I cherish eating them throughout the day. But my betrothed would eat pancakes or waffles every morning if he could (he’s a type I diabetic, so he has to plan ahead to eat them). And in our ideal life, I too will make stacks of perfectly browned waffles. I’m the one who requested we get the flip handle model (because it looks more fun to use). Plus we can always serve them with a tropical fruit salad (tasted my first lychee last week) and as I write this, Aaron is growing borajo seeds he ordered online to one day plant a tree. See, in ideal life we own a little SoFlo bungalow with a borajo tree growing outside that we gaze at while eating waffles from our lanai (just like they did on The Golden Girls, just exchange the waffles for cheesecake).

Golden Girls on the lanai. RIP Bea, Estelle, and Rue.