Friday Rant: Registry (Take 2)

I know I’ve talked about registries before, but now that I’m deeper into the wedding process I wanted to revisit this idea. I will admit, we made a small registry. It had 2 sets of towels, 2 sets of sheets, and some tea supplies. This is because our adorable rats chewed holes in all our linens and I really love tea. We also made a second registry. It’s a donation page for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Last year my fiance’s dad passed away from complications related to type 1 diabetes and we hope that in lieu of gifts our family and friends will take the opportunity to donate to our cause. We’re minimalists. We don’t want another blender. We want a world where people with type 1 diabetes don’t need daily injections and where their life expectancy isn’t reduced by 10-20 years.

Well, the registry gifts are coming in and guess where people have put their money…

…did you guess?

They bought the towels. In less than a week our entire registry was purchased and yet not one single person has made a donation. I’ll have to admit, I’m somewhat disappointed. I was hoping that our loved ones would donate to a cause that hits too close to home rather than buying the towels. Here’s to hoping things change…

WEDnesday: Recycle Your Wedding

This one is for those who may be in the throes of wedding planning, or maybe those who have recently made it legal and have 156 votives without a further purpose.

The site is called Ruffled Blog and it has a section called Recycle Your WeddingCouples post items leftover from their recent weddings for new brides-to-be (or grooms-to-be) to give second life. They have everything from stationary to favors to decorations to gowns. Table numbers, unused raffia, linens. It’s all there. They even have a WANTED section where you can post items you are seeking.

So far I’ve snagged 3 gallons of clear glass rocks and 2000 silk rose petals for less than $50.

Benefits of “Recycle Your Wedding”

  • Those leftovers from your wedding can make someone else’s wedding beautiful
  • Money. If you’re selling you can make back some of what you spent on decorations etc. If you’re buying it is way cheaper than getting everything brand new.
  • A lot of things have been crafted, if you’re going for that homegrown feel without the labor.
  • You aren’t creating more consumption by buying something brand new.

So far I’m a fan. Hopefully it’s beneficial for others!

Friday Rant: Bridesmaid Dresses

Ah bridesmaid dresses. Those traditionally hideous things that “you can totally wear again.” As if. Typically, bridesmaid dresses are formal. Very formal. Like Homecoming dance formal. Since high school, have you found yourself in a situation requiring a gown of satin or taffeta? Most likely not. So why should you drop $150 on a dress that you have no need for? Because the bride said so? Do you even like it? What’s that? It’s an awful shade of orange? Oh it had to be that color to match the tablecloths and napkins and centerpieces and flowers? Are you an accessory? No? You’re a person you say! It doesn’t sound like it. You’re wearing identical dresses in the same shade as the table settings  while you stand next to the bride. You’re a stage decoration.

In an effort to not be a demanding bride, I thought I would let my girlfriends have a say. I know some of you out there will suggest that I have them buy whatever dress they want in a certain color. You can read here why I opted not to go that route. I decided for financial considerations to go through Little Borrowed Dress for bridesmaid dresses. Basically, just like a tux, you rent the dress and return it when you are finished. The goal of the company is to eliminate the words “you could totally wear it again” from bridal vocabulary. The dresses are pretty, comfortable, fairly casual, and flattering. They have a few styles in lots of colors. My idea was for my friends to pick whatever dress in whatever shade of green they wanted. So I sent them the greens: mint, sage, and dark green.

The reaction I got was not what I expected, and it threw me a bit. More than one said “mint if it’s a daytime wedding otherwise the dark green.” Like there are some sort of unspoken, rigid rules on what colors you can wear. It’s not the 1890’s, we wear white after Labor Day here. Another said that, “I think  if we are all having different dress styles you should pick one color.” It’s almost as if they didn’t want choices. I personally don’t really care. I don’t view my friends as stage props. If they are there for me and supportive, they could be naked and it wouldn’t phase me. Okay maybe that would be a little inappropriate. Maybe a bathing suit. But it threw me off because it came off as superficial. I wanted them to have fun with it. To pick something they liked, not to try to adhere to some industry standards. I guess I should have explained my stance on wedding details beforehand.


Friday Rant: Wedding Diets

We have all heard it before. Your wedding is the biggest day of your life. Everything has to be perfect. Especially you, the bride. One of the first things on the majority of wedding planning checklists is “Start a wedding workout routine.” I take issues with this on a couple of levels. First, this suggests that you are trying to become someone else on your wedding day. I’m all for getting healthy and incorporating exercise into your life but I firmly believe that it’s something to be pursued for its innate benefits, not so you can look hot for one day. I ignore this list item because diet and exercise are part of my daily routine, something I make time for to stay healthy both physically and mentally. And as much as I am an advocate of healthy food and exercise, it’s not part of everyone’s personality and values. If INSANITY workouts aren’t your cup of tea or if you have a routine that works for you but are naturally curvier you shouldn’t try to change the way you are to look nice in pictures.

Second, obsession with one’s waistline can lead to some extremely unhealthy habits. Especially if you are trying to drop weight rapidly. Take this woman who used a feeding tube to lose 10 lbs. in 8 days. That’s horrifying. The majority of fad diets “guaranteed” to make you lose weight quickly don’t necessarily make you healthy. The only real way to improve health and aid in weight loss is healthy diet and consistent exercise. And it’s not a fast process. If you’re making lifestyle changes to lose weight in a healthy way, you can only expect to lose 0.5-1 lb. a week. So if you’re trying to drop 15 lbs. it would take about 4 months. In my own experience, I lost 15 lbs. in a whopping 8 months.

Getting in shape is a huge undertaking and it is not something to be treated as a side note in your wedding planning. If you want to lose weight and get healthy, more power to you. But it should be for you, not for some pretty pictures in a slinky dress.

Friday Rant: Pinterest

Here’s quite a beast to tackle. Pinterest. The platform on which 20 something women plan their fantasy weddings. A collection of people who appear to be simultaneously crafty and pretty good photographers because damn, there are a lot of dramatic photos of hands making paper flowers.

Despite having a Pinterest account myself, I am not really a fan. This is due to the pressure it puts on women to make their weddings (and their lives) “Pinterest-worthy” when in reality they will probably just end up being a Pinstrosity. I look at the Pinterest board that my girlfriend has going for my own wedding and it stresses me out a little bit. Like really, I don’t necessarily want to deal with light canopies and candles and creative escort cards and decorations in general. I have more of an attitude of “stick some flowers in a mason jar and get on with the party.” I think Pinterest cultivates this idea that you need to have cute homemade favors and hand crafted centerpieces and flower balls (fleurtesticals?) hanging from the trees swaying gently in the wind. Pinterest places an inappropriate amount of emphasis on how your wedding looks rather than how your wedding feels. A wedding is not about having the prettiest centerpieces, it’s about celebrating the start of a marriage with the people you love most and having a damn good time doing it.

So a disclaimer on my own Pinterest endeavors. When I first joined Pinterest I saw it as a productivity tool. My initial board was ideas for decorating my sweetheart’s apartment. It was easy to have everything visually in one spot. I also have a board with the clothes from my Project 333 challenge. My own wedding board is more of a collection of bookmarks for websites, vendors, logistics, and a few crafty things thrown in. There is some inspiration thrown in and a lot of crafted flowers because initially I wanted to save money on flowers by making a bunch of paper flowers instead. I don’t really participate in the social side of Pinterest (spending hours browsing other people’s pins, re-pinning, “liking,” etc.), I just like it better than the bookmarks bar in Google Chrome. It’s has a nice visual interface that I like and that’s the extent of it.

Venues: The Search Begins

Okay now that we’re a couple of weeks into engagement we are skimming the surface of wedding planning. It’s nice to have a while to plan because we can get a head start, less stress, and more options. I don’t have strong opinions about what I want my wedding to be like. The really important things to me are the people and the location. Decorations, food, everything else really takes a back seat in my mind. Besides, I have really enthusiastic bridesmaids, including one who started a Pinterest board for my wedding! I think they’re more excited about the decorations than I am 🙂

The venue is important to me because I want a location that represent us, won’t break the bank, and keeps it as stress free as possible. So we came up with a few basic requirements:

  • We want to have the ceremony and reception at the same location. Trying to coordinate two different venues is a headache, and we don’t want to have to rush from here to there to everywhere.
  • The venue has to have tables and chairs. Not necessarily for the ceremony, but definitely for the reception. I really don’t want to add dealing with rentals to my plate. Mo’ money and mo’ problems. And those tables and chairs can totally be picnic tables.
  • We want to have a peaceful, nature/outdoor environment. We are both very reflective people who love being out in nature, hiking, biking, stargazing, camping, everything. The Earth is a beautiful place and work already keeps us indoors more than we want to be. Fortunately in San Diego and in Fall, inclement  weather is not a big concern.

Thus far we have chosen nine potential venues. Five are county parks which are relatively inexpensive ($625-$1200) and all come with gazebos, dance floors, and tables (picnic tables!). We would have to rent linens which I don’t mind and AV equipment, and possibly a coordinator which would add another $300-$800. The other four are ranches/gardens which are a tad more expensive ($2000) but come with the added bonus of lighting, linens, possible sound equipment, and staff.

Over the next few months we will be checking out these venues. Slowly. In a non-stressful way. Parks are great because then we can just plan a visit then have a picnic!

Friday Rant: Transportation???

Okay so I was flipping through a bridal magazine last night and came across something in their “to do” lists that baffled me. It told me I needed to “provide transportation” to my wedding, and “rent a party bus or limo” to get our guests to the ceremony and reception.

What on earth happened on the way to weddings that suddenly we need to rent party buses to get our guests to a previously agreed upon location??? I mean, maybe it’s because I live in a driving city but the majority of the people I know have a functioning car. And generally when I go to any sort of event you just kind of, you know, drive there. Suddenly I’m expected to pay $125 an hour so what? People can drive somewhere to have a bus take them somewhere else? And for those out of town guests, well we have family and friends in from out of town all the time and they never seem to have a problem getting around the city.

Yeah, let’s put grandma in the bus with the stripper pole…

The Proposal


So I’m taking a break from Minimalist Monday this week in favor of a rather exciting development. Tristan and I are now OFFICIALLY engaged (following like, 11 months of “we’re totally getting married but we’re not quite engaged”) and since people can’t help but love a good proposal story, here’s mine.

We took a lazy morning, I made breakfast for us, then we headed over to a winery for a glass of wine and a walk around the cute little winery village. After, we picked up some shrimp cocktail, cheese, and crackers and headed over to a park for a romantic picnic. We rode the antique steam engine around the park then found a secluded spot to enjoy our picnic. We spent 10 minutes trying to open the shrimp cocktail packaging, only to discover they were completely frozen. Fail. We snacked on our cheese and crackers and laid out on the picnic blanket listening to the band that was playing in the park. Tristan started talking to me about how I was his best friend and inquiring if I felt the same way. Of course I did! Then, as the music swelled to a fanfare he whispered, “I have one more question, will you be my wife?”

It was sweet, peaceful, and understated.

The thing that surprised me the most was how not different I feel. We are exactly the same people, although now Tristan insists that I refer to him as Beyoncé since he feels fiancé is way too fancy for us (too true). Actually the biggest difference is now that it’s official I have no desire to wedding plan. I just want to float around in the contentment of being engaged.

Friday Rant: Budget Savers

I know, it’s been a while since I got a good rant in. Work has been chaos these past few weeks, so I haven’t had enough time to think! But today we are going to talk about something that really pisses me off: the budget saver.

Allow me to explain. With the average American wedding costing approximately $28,000 lots of people are out there looking for ways to save some money, myself included. And the advice from every single google result is the same: cut the guest list.

I think that’s the worst advice ever. Yes, you should only have people there that you really want to share the day with you, but that number is not always going to be small. For instance, Tristan has a very large family. I know quite a few of them very well and adore them and I couldn’t imagine them not being there for this momentous occasion (especially since Tristan is the oldest grandchild and the first to get married, his family is already excited and we don’t even have a date). Well with just his family that’s like 75 people already.

This page here is a glaring example of how kind of messed up this is. If you didn’t read it, the gist of it is summed up as

  • Splurge on: dress, hair/makeup, photographer, food
  • Save on: Flowers, guest list, bar, wedding favors

The implication here is that your single use dress and the food you serve is more important than the company you keep. And we all know how I feel about wedding dresses. I don’t know about you, but I would rather celebrate with everyone I love and naked in the middle of nowhere than have to exclude people that I would have wanted there a so I could wear a fancy dress. As for food, you don’t have to spend an obscene amount so everyone can have a fine dining experience. Especially if there are kids. What foods does pretty much anyone like? Pizza? Hot wings? Tacos? None of those things cost a lot and I doubt anyone worthwhile would complain about a delicious taco bar.