Archive for September, 2012

Dear Van Guy….

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Stop it. Just stop it.


Is not likely to work very well.

First off, she left you.

I don’t know why she left, but when a woman actually walks out the door, that usually means the relationship is pretty broken. This is probably about a lot more than toilet seats left up or garbage not taken out. If it isn’t about more than that, then do you really want her back? I’m just asking.

It isn’t that I don’t feel your pain. I do. I’m guessing that virtually everyone over the age of twenty has made some grand, foolish gesture to get someone back in their lives, and I’m certainly no exception.

But you know what? Grand, foolish gestures work a lot more reliably in movies than they do in real life. Most of all, a very public proposal combined with a cringing apology? Yeah, that’s not the most romantic gesture you could make. Apologies combined with proposals tend to make women wonder whether it’s that you want to get married, or whether you just think an engagement ring will get you out of the dog house. If Mr. Twistie had proposed to me in the middle of a groveling apology, he would be a single man today.

Face it, man, you blew it. Apologize, sure. Ask for a second chance, okay. But wait until you and Linda have fixed what was broken before you propose.

It shows a lot more respect for both of you than this does.

Making Your Money Count

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

There’s a lot expected of a wedding these days, and not just emotionally. I’m talking about the trappings. I remember a time when I had never heard of chair covers, and the wedding photos were good enough if they were in focus. Most brides did their own make up and nails, though there might be a hair dresser involved. The bride’s jewelry was often either her ‘something borrowed’ or a gift from her parents.

Today, well, it’s all about the details. In actual dollars, most couples don’t have more money to spend, but there are more things to spend the dollars on and more social disgrace for doing it ‘wrong.’

So what is a bride on a budget to do?

Napkinly Ever After

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

It’s pretty common knowledge that I’m big into crafts and DIY. Readers here have heard for years about my handmade wedding lace, self-catering, and so on and so on and so on. I’m a big fan of seeing the happy couple’s fingerprints all over a wedding, whether it’s intended to make the event unique or simply save a buck or two.

Well, I recently found a project that’s intended for the wedding day, but also has the advantage that it’s something practical you can keep and use for years afterwards, too.

In a recent article at Green Wedding Shoes, you can learn how to make these delicious stamped linen napkins from carving the stamps to setting the ink.

Just choose your own colors, carve or purchase a stamp that speaks to you, heat your iron, and go to it!

This is a particularly nice project for a small wedding or for head table needs… unless you have a lot of trusted volunteers who can help out or a very long timeline. It won’t save you cash, either. This is about putting your – wait for it! – personal stamp on the celebration.

But the great advantage is that the napkins can be saved and reused for anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, dinner parties, or even just to class up wednesday night mac and cheese.

Me? I’m not getting married again any time soon. The first one is still holding nicely, thank you very much. But I may just make these anyway. They’d be nice for Christmas dinner or as gifts for friends who entertain.

LOVE/HATE: Diamond in the Rough

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

I’ve never been a fan of diamonds. When I read Anne of Green Gables for the first time at the tender age of ten, I knew I had met a kindred spirit when she talked about how disappointed she was the first time she saw a diamond and it wasn’t the brilliant purple of amethyst as she’d imagined. By the time I’d read my way far enough in the series for Anne to get engaged to Gilbert (Spoiler!), I was very much in favor of her choice of a pearl for an engagement ring.

When Mr. Twistie and I set the date, I did Anne one better and got a ring with no stone whatsoever. I love my sterling silver frog prince and wouldn’t exchange him for all the tea in China, let alone all the diamonds in South Africa. At least I do drink tea.

But there’s a trend in engagement rings that has very nearly turned my feelings about diamonds upside down: uncut diamonds.

This ring by Bario-Neal features a rough diamond flanked by a combination of yellow sapphires and citrine. Depending on the size of the diamond (.5 – 1.0ct) and choice of metal (yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, or platinum) it runs between $2,050 and $3,524.

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE this ring. I like the fact that there’s an understated elegance to the main stone, and, yes, I do have a bit of a thing for citrine. I like yellow. One of the things I’ve always liked least about diamonds is one of the things that everyone else seems to prize most about them: the aggressive sparkle. I’m not a sparkly person. In this case, the sparkle is mitigated and I’m delighted.

My silver frog is still very much my favorite engagement ring of all time, and in no danger even if Mr. Twistie could afford to spend two or three grand on something that doesn’t need replacing. All the same, if I were getting engaged today instead of back when I did… I might be tempted to look at this or something very like it. I’m not afraid of my jewelry looking dated someday, nor of standing out from a crowd. I’m not much exercised about traditions that were created mostly by companies that profit from the creation of the tradition. I just know what I like, and I like this a lot.

So what say you? LOVE it? HATE it? Something else? Tell me what you think!

Quickie Question: Where to Go?

Monday, September 17th, 2012

This is what leaving a wedding looked like fifty years and change ago. In fact, it’s a shot of a lady named Billie Mercer leaving her wedding reception with her new husband, Ned, in 1956. You can read about her wedding and how weddings have changed here, if you like.

One thing that was a given back then that isn’t as much of one now is that the happy couple would change their clothes and set straight off on their honeymoon.

These days it’s rare to have a getaway outfit. I believe the last one I personally witnessed was in 1978.

And while it’s still most common to head out on the honeymoon right away, it’s no longer an absolute given. Some couples hold destination weddings where the wedding and honeymoon are one and the same. Some plan to wait anywhere from a day to a year for the big trip. I still think one of the best decisions Mr. Twistie and I made was to spend our wedding night in a charming little B&B in the town where we were married. We ate at one of our favorite restaurants, relaxed with each other, had a bang up delicious breakfast, and dropped by my father’s house to spend a little time with family and open up gifts people had brought to the reception before we started our long drive up the coast to Canada.

Had we started driving right after we left the reception, I think we would have been more tired and less relaxed before we started our serious travels. We wouldn’t have gotten very far, and we probably would have been doing it in our wedding finery since there wasn’t a place on site to change.

In short, we found a way of doing things that made us feel comfortable and did it just that way.

So what about you? Are you heading straight from the reception to the airport/boat dock/open road? Do you plan to spend the week after your wedding lazing on the beach where you tied the knot? Are you planning to finish paying for the wedding and then worry about a honeymoon? Will you spend the night in a hotel or your own home and then head off?

And for those of you who have already done the deed, what did you do in this regard? Is it something you would do again, or a regret?

Twistie’s Sunday Caption Madness: The Extreme Fashion Victim Edition

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

Hello all!

It’s time once again to play Twistie’s Sunday Caption Madness. You all know how this works. I post a picture that’s beyond desperate for a funny caption or three. You provide said captions via the comments function. Next week I declare a winner, and we all traipse off singing songs of praise.

This week’s image comes to you straight from Tim Gunn’s worst nightmares and it looks a little like this:

Ready… set… snark!

Tasty Is Always In Good Taste

Friday, September 14th, 2012

This is a pretty typical wedding meal. Hunk of meat, blop of starch, spears of veggies.

Is there anything wrong with that? Not really. It’s all edible, it’s all reasonably safe. Done well it can even be quite delicious. But is it truly what you want to serve?

I think that’s a question that just doesn’t get asked enough in bridal circles. You go to have a tasting with the caterer, and chances are you’ll be offered a red meat option, a chicken or fish option, and – if you ask for one – a vegetarian option. The meat will have sauce. The vegetables will be the currently popular ones. The veggie option will almost inevitably be pasta based.

Again, nothing wrong with that. I’ve eaten dozens of such meals and lived to tell the tale. But what if it doesn’t meet your needs or your tastes?

Before you accept the expected, sit down and think about how you want to feed your guests. Really consider whether you want to serve standard options or whether you want to do something else. After all, if you’re committed vegetarians, do you really want to serve meat at your wedding? Are you a carnivore who believes your vegetarian friends deserve more than a stuffed mushroom and some tomato-sauced penne for dinner? Is there nothing you hate more in life than steaks and chicken breasts, but nothing you love more than cheeseburgers? Do you fear losing your foodie rep if you serve the same old, same old? Do you hail from a cultural background where the old standards of USAian wedding food would cause nothing but confusion and consternation from your family and guests?

And if you decide the standard is not for you… what the heck do you do next?