Ask NtB Anything: The Answers!

Last month, I invited y’all to ask me anything and you did. Sorry it’s taken me so long to answer! It’s been a busy summer, but I finally found a free moment today and did not want to disappoint. Enjoy!

You asked, I answered!

Auntie M
So the last time I saw you was in NYC with a bunch of drunken nuts. I’m so glad to have reconnected, and I’m glad you asked us to ask. I’ve been wondering: How *did* Genus become NtB and a wedding expert?

Oh, it’s a silly little story, and a none too exciting one, if I’m honest about it. I’d like to say that my enormous talent and wit attracted scads of attention, and so the wedding industry practically begged me to join up. But the reality is that I set up a little personal blog just to complain that The Beard was dragging his feet on the whole marriage issue. A few comments on the Manolo’s Shoe Blog later, and he asked me to come on board to head up his bridal blog. As for expertise, that came later, along with writing a book and lots of other nice things like freebies and invitations to events and friendships (online and offline) with tons of amazing people.

Do you think there’s any way to plan a $5,000 wedding any more? Even small numbers doing things on the fly, it’s only seeming doable if we do it at the court house and go directly home for bologna sammies afterward. Am I being unrealistic? ALSO: What’s your favorite color? Just ’cause I wanted to throw an easy one in there after that doozy. Ooh! And: what’s your dream honeymoon locale?

Let’s get the easy ones out of the way first: my favorite color is black and my dream honeymoon would probably be an African photo safari. Mainly because it’s the one destination I can think of that’s absolutely out of my price range at the present time and is simply a no-go scheduling wise at the moment.

As for the $5,000 wedding, I do think they’re still possible, but that is provided you have the time, the DIY skills, and the steely determination to pull it all off. Knowing what you want – and I mean exactly what you want – and not having caviar dreams on a Carvel budget can also make a $5,000 wedding a reality. The downside of the $5,000 that is more than just a backyard party is that it takes a lot of work.

Think wedding planning is stressful when your main to-dos involve choosing between option X and option Y? Imagine staying up long into the night to decoupage labels onto the mason jars you spent three weekends thrifting and trying to get your printer to stop eating your homemade labels. Then imagine doing that over and over again, just with different projects and sets of problems. I know, I know… there are people out there for whom the thought of designing and making every tiny part of a wedding sounds like heaven. I just happen to not be one of those people (though sometimes I secretly wish I was).

Okay, I’ll bite: how many cups of coffee do you drink in an average day? Regular Joe, Rocket Fuel, or the Dreaded Unleaded? Cream? Sugar? Unleaded sweetener? Black like the remnants of my tattered soul? What? I’m a Virgo! I’m all about the details.

Oh, coffee… father, mother, secret lover. If I take you to mean standard mugs, probably between 7 and 10 before lunch. Lately I’ve been trying to cut out coffee in the p.m. hours, simply because I feel that water leaves me feeling more hydrated and energetic. As for flavor and strength preferences, when it comes to typical American coffee I go for the Regular Joe and I like it black like the remnants of your tattered soul, yes. 😉

I have always wondered why you call him The Beard. I certainly have my suspicions, but I’d like to know the real reason. Also, is Paloma a family name because it is beautiful. I really like it.

I call The Beard “The Beard” simply because way back in the day when I started blogging about how my boyfriend didn’t want to get married and how that made him a big jerkface, keeping things anonymous felt like the way to go. Also, he has a beard.

As for Paloma, it’s not a family name – we’re not even Spanish! The reality is so boring. It was just the only name we came across that we both liked. Up until Paloma, we’d get close but were never on the same page. For example, I liked Chloe, he liked Zoe. He liked the name Meredith, and I said “No naming our baby after your exes, thanks.” That sort of thing. However, what’s funny is that Paloma was almost born in Spain. We were back for about a week and a half when I went into premature labor!

What’s your parenting style? What do you want most for your daughter as she grows up? How will you help her achieve it?

That’s a toughie! I like to call myself a hands-off dictator with a penchant for free-range kids. Mostly, I let La Paloma lead the way – particularly when it comes to developmental tasks like learning to use the potty or eating new foods. Basically, I don’t like to structure her world too much because I don’t like to imbue my own with too much structure, and soon enough she’ll be operating within the confines of the school day and then the work day. In our household we don’t make a lot of rules for rules’ sake. BUT when it comes to safety and health and basic courtesy and so on, I rule the roost. When it’s important,
I don’t hesitate to gently enforce that I get the final say, but I also will explain – over and over – why I make the rules I do.

I guess what I want most for La Paloma in the future is that she DOES what makes her happy and brings her satisfaction. Too many people have dreams that they never pursue, and I think that is the cause of a lot of unhappiness in adults. Pursuing dreams and passions is hard in that it usually takes a lot of DOING. Currently, La Paloma’s big dreams involve figuring out how to get people to give her chocolate, so at the moment, I am just trying to lead by example even though she doesn’t really understand what I’m doing most of the time. Still, she seems me engaging in a wide variety of activities, some of which I let her help with. As she gets older and her dreams get a bit more complex, I will do whatever is in my power to expose her to the wider world of those dreams through education, exposure to the professional side of her dreams, encouragement, and so on.

How many pairs of shoes and boots are in your closet?


Uncle Fester
If you are driving your car at the speed of light and you turn on the headlights, what happens? How old should a highway be before you tell it that it’s adopted?

Awesome questions, Uncle Fester! For the first, nothing since achieving light speed travel is impossible. But traveling at speeds at fraction away from the speed of light? Since the speed of light is constant for any inertial observer, I assume the headlights would simply operate normally.

And for the second, I think that’s okay to start offering up age-appropriate materials to your adopted highway – picture books, for example – whenever you feel your highway is developmentally ready for that kind of information.

2 Responses to “Ask NtB Anything: The Answers!”

  1. Note to Jen: The one thing you don’t want to be tight budgeted with is the photographer (I know I’m a photographer and a bit biased). I’ve talked to lots of couples who had a friend, or family member take photos at their wedding, and sorely regretted it later. There’s no do-over, and those are your memories!

  2. Jasmine says:

    Thanks for taking the time to answer all our questions!