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Quickie Question | Manolo for the Brides - Part 7
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Quickie Question: What Would Make it Worthwhile to You?

When I’m watching bridal reality shows, I often wonder what the brides profiled are getting out of the experience. Okay, on Four Weddings, you get an chance at winning a fabulous all-expenses-paid honeymoon to a romantic location you probably couldn’t have afforded, plus free food, liquor, and dancing at three other weddings. Oh, and you don’t automatically get your reputation trashed on national television. On My Fair Wedding With David Tutera, you do get portrayed as a tasteless person who can’t plan her way out of a paper bag… but you do get a wedding you could never have afforded otherwise.

So yes, there are shows where I can see the payoff. It might not strike me as worth the downside, but I can see where someone else would consider it a reasonable price to pay.

But Bridezillas? The first few seasons there was a note at the end of the show that the couples featured got something like a three night stay at a honeymoon resort. I know I heard a rumor somewhere along the line that the couples get videotapes of their weddings, but I’ve never seen anything official that either confirms or denies said rumor. And these days the final credits say nothing about that honeymoon, either.

So I have to ask myself… what are these women getting out of the experience other than a chance to appear on national television as an object of derision and ritual scapegoat? After all, the point of the show is to behave as horribly as humanly possible for the amusement of others and the whitewashing of lesser bridal naughtiness on the parts of other brides. And they don’t appear to even be getting a honeymoon out of it anymore! Not that the honeymoon would have made it worthwhile to me in the first place.

In fact, I can’t think of anything that show could give me that would make up for being a national object of horror and disdain. Frankly, I stand firmly with Iago on this one: “But he that filches from me my good name robs me of that which not enriches him and makes me poor indeed.”

Okay, they aren’t filching anything. Women are lining up around city blocks for the chance to hurl their good names to the four winds and anyone with a basic cable package. I’m just not sure why.

But I’m going to ask here and now, what would be your price? Do you even have one? What do you think could tempt you to audition for Bridezillas?

Quickie Question: What’s the Most Bizarre Piece of Wedding Advice You’ve Gotten?

It’s a fact. Weddings bring out the weird in people.

Sometimes it’s charming and quirky… and sometimes it’s just one huge wth? moment from beginning to end.

But one aspect where it’s virtually guaranteed to come crawling out of the woodwork is in the area of advice. Nearly everyone has an opinion, and many of them feel that the announcement of an impending wedding is carte blanche to express them at will at the happy couple.

I got a couple of doozies. Probably the most heartfelt was from a befuddled gentleman of my acquaintance who informed me that I needed to make Mr. Twistie get me a new engagement ring because engagement rings are diamonds, and without a diamond my marriage was simply doomed. No, really, my marriage is doing just fine entirely sans diamonds. And I’m the one who chose the silver frog prince. Mr. Twistie was kind of confused with the choice at first, too, but he’s used to my meandering to a very different drummer. I don’t even march to it!

One lady I know was fervently urged to only do her ironing while her husband was away at work, lest his seeing her do housework destroy the mystery. Yeah, that one might have been more helpful if he wasn’t the one doing the laundry.

So what about you? Has anyone given you a piece of wedding/marriage advice that made you really scratch your head? What was it?

Quickie Question: What Food Would You Ban From Weddings?

So I was looking over the Bon Appetite article on wedding foods they would like to see banned. Some of their choices I can agree with. See above one of my pet peeves: things served randomly in martini glasses. If I want a martini glass, I’ll order a martini. Just put the food in/on an appropriate dish and I’ll be happy. And a fake cake supplemented with sheet cake in the back has always struck me as lacking in imagination. If you can’t afford the fancy cake for everyone, serve a plainer cake or a different dessert. Perhaps even a bevy of tasty homemade treats.

There are some that while I don’t feel as strongly, I can at least see their point. Crab cakes for two hundred is so tricky that the quality almost necessarily suffers when it comes time to serve. And goodness knows that the average steamed vegetable medley served by many a caterer at many a wedding is a sad little blop of uninspired randomness. It needn’t be, but it usually is.

At the other end of the scale, there’s the slider and the crudite platter with dip. Are these the most brilliant of culinary efforts? No, they are not. Are they overdone? Frankly, most of the weddings I’ve been to haven’t featured either. Your mileage may vary, but I have yet to attend a wedding where sliders and fries are passed out shortly before the last dog is hung, and I’d kind of like to be there for one of these midnight treats before the trend quite goes away. And a platter or two of raw veggies and dip may not be the most adventurous dish, but it’s generally been popular at the weddings I’ve been to that had them. Somebody’s eating them. Those people are leaving the party fed and happy. I think that’s more important than whether the dish is precisely what every foodie longs to see.

And for the record? I am so a foodie it isn’t even funny. Dinner at Casa Twistie has been known to feature some pretty darn adventurous stuff. I DVR cooking shows all day long and I regularly watch movies to see the cool scenes of elegant banquets while ignoring the performances of famous actors… or at least considering them less important than the food. My cookbook collection is legendary. I have a recipe for pretty near every dish that’s ever been imagined, and I know which book(s) to find it in. It’s just that making sure there’s something non-threatening for the less-than-adventurous eater strikes me as more important than making certain every dish is the latest and greatest culinary experience.


Martini glasses full of mashed potatoes and dummy cakes get my vote for foods to nix at weddings for all eternity. Bring on the mashed potatoes, absolutely, just don’t put them in a stemmed glass, please. They’re much more at home on a corner of the plate or in a bowl than barware.

What foods would you eliminate from weddings? What famous wedding food trends have entirely managed to pass you by? What’s something you’ve always thought should be served at weddings, but isn’t? Did something unusual you served make a big splash with your guests? Have you come up with something you expect your guests to talk about for a long time to come? Do you think my choices for foods to nix are utter codswallop? Talk to me about menus, folks.

Quickie Question: When Did You Know?

There comes that moment when you just know. You look at that person across the restaurant table, or in the next seat at the big game, or wherever you happen to be and you just know. This is the person you’ll marry. This is the person to whom you’ll entrust your happiness.

Sometimes it’s a big thing that tells you. Sometimes it’s something seemingly trivial. Sometimes it’s just a feeling you get at a random moment… but it happens to pretty much every person who gets married.

Weirdly enough, my moment came on my first date with Mr. Twistie. It’s really not as creepy as it sounds. We’d known each other for more than five years before we had our first date. We’d been friends. But when he asked me out, I really wasn’t thinking about forever. I was just getting back into the dating scene after breaking up with a guy I’d spent a lot of heartache on. Forever was the last thing on my mind.

And then Mr. Twistie took me on the ultimate first date I hadn’t ever thought about. He took me to Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, where we went browsing through all the used book stores, and used record stores, and the hat shop. He took me to lunch at Fondue Fred, and even dared to share garlic fondue.

Then he took me back to his place, where we watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It’s one of my all-time favorite movies. He even chose that romantic moment in the film when the passing knight slashes the throat of the Famous Historian to kiss me for the first time.

That was it. The moment. As silly, and bizarre, and even tasteless as it is… that was the moment I knew I was going to marry this man. I fought it. I told him at the end of the evening that we should probably leave our options open for at least the next few months. I was panicked. And yet, there was a little piece of me that was absolutely certain, absolutely at peace, and absolutely on top of the world doing a merry jig on at least cloud twelve. I never dated anyone else.

It’s been more than twenty-five years since that first kiss, since that moment when my heart spoke up loud and clear, telling me this was where I would be at home. Never once have I doubted. Never once have I wavered in my commitment. The heart wants what the heart wants, and mine chose Mr. Twistie for all time.

So what was your moment when you knew? Was it a big moment, or a little one? Did you fight it or did you surrender immediately? Have you ever had reason to doubt or change your mind?

Tell us all about it.

Quickie Question: Fairy Godparent, Yea or Nay?

Sometimes when you look over your wedding budget and the choices available within it, it’s tempting to imagine a fairy godmother coming along and making all your dreams come true with a flick of her wand. There are times when you’re dealing with yet another family squabble over the menu, the guest list, the seating arrangements, or the wording of the ceremony, it occurs to you that life would be much better if someone else came along to sort it all out for you.

But when I watch bridal reality shows that provide these services… I’m reminded that there are fairy godmothers, and there are fairy godmothers. After all, the one from Shrek looked so very sweet and kind and helpful. But I think I’d still rather deal with her than David Tutera.

Then again, I don’t give up control easily. Given the choice between an easy path and one that is overgrown because rational people no longer follow it… yeah, I’m going to break out my weed whacker and go attack those thorny wild berry bushes.

On my wedding day, I needed stuff to be doing with my hands so I could be calm and collected. I may have had a budget of two shiny nickels and been doing projects the morning of the big day, but that’s the sort of wedding I honestly wanted. I needed to have my hands in everything. I wanted things simple and handmade. I wouldn’t have known what to do with a lot more money.

Other brides honestly would prefer not to have to concern themselves with anything on the wedding day. There are many women who would find someone swooping in and doing everything for them, no expense spared, the very definition of awesome.

And then there are those whose preference would be somewhere in between. They’d love to have someone hand them wads of cash to use as they see fit.

So what about you? What would you do if a fairy godmother suddenly appeared and offered to simply make your dream wedding happen in a puff of glitter and pink smoke? Would you accept whatever she created, ask her to leave the money bags behind and use it your own way, or send her packing with a flea in her ear? Do you have yet another approach I haven’t considered?

Remember, there is no right and no wrong answer on this. There’s simply what approach you’d prefer.

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