Archive for April, 2007

Men get off so easy

Thursday, April 19th, 2007

Male and confused? Here’s a question that touches on the manly side of nuptial duties:

Dear Never teh Bride,

My dear boyfriend is going to be a groomsman at his friend’s wedding this summer. This is the first of his good friends to get married and the first wedding he’s been to since he was a kid, so he really has no idea what to expect at a wedding in general and what exactly his role is as a groomsman. There’s tons of stuff out there for proper etiquette for bridesmaids and maids of honour, but not so much for the groomsmen and best men. So what should he be doing to be a good groomsman? Oh, he’s also across the country right now (he’ll be in town about a week before the wedding), so there’s not much that he can do on a day-to-day basis.

All best,

Well, Sarah, your boyfriend is in luck, since so much of what groomsmen are traditionally responsible for takes place just before and on the day of the wedding. But your guy shouldn’t worry too much if geography prevents him from taking on as much responsibility as he’d like to. His friend chose him to be in the wedding party knowing that he was across the country, so it won’t come as too much of a surprise when he can’t make the big male-bonding trip to the tux shop.


If your boyfriend is at all worried about being unable to attend certain pre-wedding festivities (such as engagement parties, co-ed showers, bachelor/stag parties, and the like), he should address these concerns to the groom-to-be directly. That said, let’s have a gander at what he can (and should) do.

Prenuptial duties:

  • First and foremost, he can support the groom! Your guy’s friend may need a listening ear between now and the wedding, and long distance is cheap.
  • Plenty of tux and suit makers have web sites…so if menswear hasn’t been chosen yet, your guy can offer up suggestions in the form of urls.
  • He can also get his measurements (and rental fees, if applicable) to the groom or the other groomsmen in a timely fashion. Doing things on time is one of the best gifts you can give a harried bride- and groom-to-be!
  • Before the wedding, he can earn major points by helping the bride’s family and the groom’s family however possible. This may mean picking things up, hanging things up, or putting stuff on tables.
  • Along with his fellow attendants, your guy can concoct devious post-wedding car decoration plans…this is recommended only if the bride and groom have a sense of humor, of course.
  • And speaking of plans, he can help plan any pre-wedding festivities that will take place during the week before.

Day-of duties:

  • When the big day rolls around, your boyfriend should help with the set-up and clean-up if there aren’t on-site employees handling these tasks.
  • If he is an “usher” he may be charged with the task of helping people to their seats. Sometimes this means choosing their seats for them.
  • He will likely then be seen as a font of information by those with questions — he can prepare himself for this by familiarizing himself with the ceremony and reception details, learning the order of reception events, and knowing where the bathrooms are.
  • Your guy may also be tasked with helping the groom dress and relaxing him before the main event. He should remember this mantra: Funny anecdotes from childhood, good. Nips of whiskey, bad.
  • During the reception, there may be an attendants dance, during which he should dance with the bridesmaid he escorted into the ceremony.
  • And, finally, if his tux was a rental, he should return it on time.

I know what you’re thinking — men get off so dang easy when it comes to weddings. And yet there are still entire books written for groomsmen. I can’t imagine what they say, though I envision them as being filled with pictures of boobies and recipes for signature drinks containing Jaeger. If you’re as curious as I am, you could buy your man a copy of I Need To Do What?! A Wedding Guide for the Groom, Best Man, & Ushers.

Laugh it up, ya’ll

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007


It’s going to be another quick post today, as I am still dealing with the ramifications of the wall o’ water I mentioned a few days ago. But in between the laying down of towels, I am at least enjoying a good laugh while reading Somebody is Going to Die If Lilly Beth Doesn’t Catch That Bouquet: The Official Southern Ladies’ Guide to Hosting the Perfect Wedding The title alone is enough to make me giggle, but as someone who has had wedding bouquets launched directly into her arms while single middle age ladies looked on in despair, I can also relate to the book itself.

If you’re looking for a tongue-in-cheek wedding book that will cure you of the prim and proper wedding book blues, this is it!

“But what do you want me to wear?”

Tuesday, April 17th, 2007

I spent this morning watching my mother shimmy in and out of potential MOB dresses. Now, my wedding colors are pale gold and chocolate…yes, I know it’s a summertime wedding. The first words out of my father’s mouth were, “She’s going with an autumn theme?” This is why I’m steering very clear of anything even remotely orange or yellow or red. Let’s just get past that, shall we?

So to ensure that the photos look good — because I’m a sucker for a good photo — I asked my mom and her girlfriend and The Beard’s mom to wear something brownish, if they didn’t mind. The last bit is in there because I thought everyone would have more fun if they wore whatever made them comfortable. Instead of surprising me, however, everyone under the sun is asking me what I think they ought to wear…and “Whatever you want” is apparently not an option.

Here are some examples of suggestions I made:

Twelfth St. By Cynthia Vincent brown semi-sheer wool-blend v-neck dressNicole Miller light brown stretch silk slit back dressAcrobat brown linen crochet v-neck dressAlexia Admor brown shimmer lace v-neck dress

I should note that my mom is kind of a ‘young mom,’ and is thus comfortable wearing dresses of this sort. YMMMV*. What sort of dresses are they, you ask? Going clockwise, we have a Twelfth St. By Cynthia Vincent brown semi-sheer wool-blend v-neck dress, a Nicole Miller light brown stretch silk slit back dress, an Acrobat brown linen crochet v-neck dress, and an Alexia Admor brown shimmer lace v-neck dress. All lovely choices for an afternoon garden party wedding where browns are an option.

*Your mom’s mileage may vary.

N.t.B. and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Rainy Day

Monday, April 16th, 2007

Water is currently sloshing downward from the roof, through the upstairs neighbor’s stairwell, through one of the walls of my kitchen, and down into the kitchen of the neighbor below. Time for my landlord to mobilize his ragtag crew of maintenance men? Maybe. Paint is actually bubbling and when you poke the bubbles, water comes streaming out. This is not a good way to start a long day.

I have but mere seconds to spare, as I must go bail out my hallway. So here, for your enjoyment, is a picture of a bias cut silk gown by Natalia Misslin:

Bias Cut Silk Wedding Dress

Wow ’em with flowers

Friday, April 13th, 2007

You surely already know that I am no fan of the ubiquitous Jordan almond. Sometimes, however, presentation is everything. A trio of rock hard candy-coated almonds in a scrap of tulle? No thanks. Rock hard candy-coated almonds sewn into a flower made of ribbon and lace and other dainty things? Well…alright. Confetti Flowers takes its name from the word “confection” and features a goodly selection of fanciful ways to present guests with tooth-bustin’ almonds.


Be warned, however, that some of these faux blooms do not come pre-packaged. While most are assembled as shown by a “bomboniere specialist,” others require a certain amount of cutting, stuffing, sewing, and embellishing.

I think, were I a sweet-toothed guest receiving such an intricate favor, I’d feel rather guilty about tearing it open to get at the candy within!

Too expensive to eat? Nah…

Thursday, April 12th, 2007

So I have my dress (a discontinued number from the Bonny Essence collection) and I’ve ordered my cake (a three-tiered monstrosity of pecan torte with caramel, spice cake with peaches and cream, and white cake with lime curd from Teresa Palko Weddings). Guess which was more expensive…

If you guessed the dress, you’re right. But if you guessed the cake, you wouldn’t be too far off. Only a handful of Benjamins separate the two where price points are concerned. For some reason, this simple fact is a never-ending source of delight for me. Talking it over with The Beard last night, we decided that I’m so tickled by the cost differential because there are so few times in one’s life when one can justify spending hundreds of dollars on dessert.

And, boy howdy, do I love a good dessert, especially if it’s pretty. Like these from Piece of Cake Desserts in Mesa, AZ:


I should add that while weddings should be a once-in-a-lifetime event, many wedding cake designers also create elaborate and wonderful anniversary cakes. Once I’ve enjoyed ten or twenty years with The Beard, I plan to drop mad cash on a second utterly luxurious cake, even if it means that we (and our future children) will be eating cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a month!

Wood you marry me?

Wednesday, April 11th, 2007

Not so keen on a metal ring? You’re not alone. Some people don’t care for gold or silver or platinum. Others have pesky metal sensitivities that can cause icky rashes. Still others are looking for something exists outside the norms of typical commitment jewelry, but is still recognizable as such.

Woodworking artisan Gustav Reyes saw a niche and decided to fill it. After deciding that the initial monetary outlay required to create fine cabinetry and other furniture was just too high, he began to search for an alternative way to employ his skills. Rings, he noticed, were small enough to be crafted from found and salvaged wood and thus Simply Wood Rings was born.


Reyes’ rings are beautiful and they are inexpensive, but what appeals to me most is that they can be made from a variety of wood sources. In fact, he’ll make customized rings using almost any piece of 12″x1″x1″ piece of timber, and the technique he uses to shape the ring ensures its lasting structural integrity.

Wedding rings are the most common request but, Reyes caters to all sorts of ideas such as a mother who canít part with her grown sonís baseball bat from his Little League days. Reyes even made a ring from ancient bog oak, a white oak tree that has been preserved in the bogs of Europe, carbon dated at 4,500 to 5,000 years old.

How cool is that?