Monday, December 31, 2007

Keep the Groom Away from the Future In-Laws

Our guest list currently stands at 330 people. Which is a lot. It's quite a bit bigger than I had initially anticipated. The majority of the list comes from my side of the family, which includes immediate family (of course); aunts, uncles, and cousins (we're close on my side, so of course), and my dad's cousins and their children, which includes many people that I haven't seen in years (or ever, if I think about it).

The conflict arises here:

When I pictured my wedding, I imagined that it would be a large affair, but not 330 people (or even 275 with the "only ~80% of the invited guests will show" rule). Without having sent any invitations out, I'm already hearing (second party) that people are coming to the wedding. The wedding is turning into a family reunion, which is, on one side great - who doesn't like a family reunion?, but on the other, I'm not able to invite some of my friends, a difficulty everyone faces when planning a wedding, but really just not a fun situation.

Now to the title of the post. On the recent family vacation, my fiance, my dad, and I were relaxing in the hot tub, when the topic of wedding showers came up. "Oh, well, I'm sure your mother will have a shower with her tennis friends."

"I don't know, I think traditional etiquette says that a shower should only include people who have been invited to the wedding." (I am not stating this as fact, I'm actually not sure, but I think I read it somewhere.

"Well, I'm sure some of your mother's friends are going to be invited to the wedding."

At this point, I told him that I wasn't sure, because the guest list was already at 330, when my fiance joins in:

"I'm pretty sure that a lot of my family won't be able to make the trip to the wedding, so we might have that many people."

"OK, so we can invite more people, since they probably won't come."


Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Bridesmaids Strike Again

The day after Christmas, my entire family (and my fiance) jumped on a plane for a 5 day family vacation. As I have mentioned in a couple previous posts, my sisters are two of my bridesmaids. Which means that I am trapped in a house with them. Which means that, even though another bridesmaid flew in to look at bridesmaid dresses last week, these two have been surfing the internet.

They found that that one of the dresses that they liked but didn't even come in green, apparently does come in green. Some sort of green called "Apple," which could either be perfect or completely hideous. So now I'm on a hunt to see if there are any stores at all that have a sample dress in that color. I even checked a couple that are where we are on vacations - no dice.

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Bridesmaids Luncheon

After we finished delaying lunch hour at Belle Saison, we headed to
the Olive Garden for lunch. We did manage to narrow down the number of
finalist bridesmaids dresses from nine to three, which meant that I
could erase a lot of the pictures ok my camera that we had taken

Then my sister asked me why i was getting so stressed out about "the
planning." I told her how I felt like my mom was undermining me at
every decision.

"Well, you're really being difficult when Mom and Dad talk to you about the wedding. They're concerned that you're not doing the research."

"That's the problem. Mom doesn't think I'm competent enough to research things, narrow down vendors to a list of options and choose one. I'm 26 years old and in business school, I think I'm capable of doing due diligence."

And so it went, back and forth, until I finally said I didn't want to talk about it anymore. And then she did, so round and round it went until my friend stopped us in time for a stonily silent car ride back to the apartment.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

More Bridesmaid Extravaganza

One of the reasons that I wanted to look at dresses at the bridal store was purely selfish - I wanted to try on veils and get the girls' opinions. This also meant that I got to put on my dress again! I think this dress thing is becoming an obsession which, if you knew me, you might not expect. I'm going to be the girl who wants to put on her dress and wear it around the house, but I guess that's better than the girl who actually wears the dress around the week before the wedding.

My saleslady helped me put on my dress again, though I fear she was hoping that we would leave so that she could go to lunch. We pulled a few veils, and my sister found the perfect one, which even comes in a color that matches the "cafe" trim on the dress. Finally, we left the store around one, with the "narrowed down" list of nine dresses.

Then we went to lunch. . .

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Mischief

Well, I was going to finish my story about the bridesmaids dresses, but I am currently distracted by my plot to teach my fiancé a lesson. One of the first things (or maybe it was just around the first Christmas) that my mother-in-law told me about my fiancé was that when he was little, she had to really hide the Christmas presents, because he and his brother would unwrap the presents while they were at work, play with them, and then wrap them back up.

My family does not tolerate those kinds of shenanigans. When we were growing up, my parents always threatened to take our presents back if we peeked, and we believed them. The one time I did peek in the closet at the presents, the toy that I thought was so awesome turned out to be for my sister.

My fiancé has a bad habit of trying to guess what his present is, which always ruins the surprise factor which is the fun part of the Christmas. This year, I am going to teach him a lesson. He thinks he’s guest what his present it – a travel golf bag. As soon as he said it, I saw my chance, so I started giving him a hard time about how, by guessing his present, he had ruined Christmas.

I can’t wait until he opens the real present and is surprised that it’s not a golf bag.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Bridesmaid Dress Extravaganza

Friday my sisters and another of my bridesmaids came into town and we went to look for a suitable bridesmaid dress. I had already determined that the color should be a medium green. Alfred Angelo calls it “clover,” but I’m not that picky, anything reasonably close will work. An hour later than we (I) had planned, we left the apartment. The reasons for the delay were numerous; my sisters woke up a little late, so did my other friend, then there were showers to be had, then my sister had to run to another store to pick up a Christmas gift.

While my sisters ran to the store, I had a talk with my friend. I asked her if she had seen “Meet the Fokkers.” She had, and I asked her to signal me if I said anything mean to my sisters by saying “muskrat.” Hopefully she wouldn’t have to use it, or if she used it, it would keep me from showing any frustration towards my sisters.

Finally, we left and set out for Belle Saison, where I had found my wedding dress. The salesperson that I had worked with was very helpful in finding dresses for me to try on based on what I told her a liked or disliked about other dresses. We walked in, and even though I hadn’t been in a couple months, she remembered me! What a nice feeling.

We went towards the racks and started pulling dresses. Then my sisters headed to the dressing rooms, as one of them would probably fit into the sample sizes, and the other helped her change in and out of them. All in all, I think we made my little sister try on at least 40 dresses over the course of two and half hours. I think at least that many because once we “narrowed them down,” we still had 9 dresses. I felt bad for the saleslady that had been so helpful, because I still wanted to try on veils with my dress, so I asked my sisters to get with my friend to try and cull a few dresses from the bunch while I changed into my dress.

More later…

Friday, December 21, 2007

Toilet Paper Dress

I was perusing the web for things to write about today, since the big "bridesmaid dress try-on extravaganza" occurs today, and found this story that appeared yesterday in the New York Times. The website Cheap Chic Weddings sponsored a contest for designers to submit entrants in the toilet paper dress contest.

This is the part I like - the website and Charmin asked the designer to make another dress for a bride, so she could wear it on her wedding day. Which is a nice gesture, because otherwise, this woman could have worn a toilet paper dress of her own making to her wedding.

If you go to the NYT website you can see that the dress does look (almost) like it was made out of fabric. It certainly is designed as if it was with real fabric, and is very pretty, I'm just not sure that would be something I would be willing to do.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

New Favorite Wedding Show

One of my bridesmaids flew into town yesterday to hang out/be in Austin while my sisters (and now she) tried on bridesmaid dresses. We made some cookies, peanut butter blossoms for the curious, and then we were sitting around. I asked if she minded if I turned on "mindless wedding TV."

"What's that?" (I know - I can't believe she's this ignorant either).

There are shows that devote the entire time to covering a wedding planner tackling a wedding.

We watched it enjoyably, then my fiance came home and the three of us made and ate dinner. After dinner, we were cruising through the DVR, since everything is a re-run, and we found out/I remembered that I had DVRed the show "My Big Fat Fabulous Wedding." It's my new favorite. Produced by VH1, the show is on the same "trashy" level as "Bridezillas." The brides and grooms are just ridiculous in the way they spend, or rather in the way in which the brides completely ignore their husbands requests for a budget.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Inflexible Church Lady?

I did get a response from the church lady who is in charge of the ceremony music. Unfortunately, it does not look good. I’ve been delaying my response.

She wrote to me to say that I didn’t need to contact her until January to schedule a meeting in mid-February. She also gave her appointment schedule, which is two days in the middle of the week from 3-5 in the afternoon. This really doesn’t work for us, since we live in Austin, the church is in Houston, and my fiancé can’t take off multiple days in a row from work, and both of us would strangle each other if we had to drive to Houston and back in one day. I’m not trying to be self-centered; I really understand that those times usually work for people.

The other part of her email which worries me is that the meeting lasts for 45 minutes to an hour. We sit with her and listen to the different music selections. My fiancé and I really do not have the longest attention spans, and I think it would just be painful. I think my plan is to email the church lady to see if she could send us a list of the selections, and we could listen to them on iTunes or something, and then get back to her with our choices.

I mean, that would be simpler. Something tells me that my plan might not fly….

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Oooh, Pretty.

I love it when I take a step back, look at myself, and see a silly little girl playing at planning a wedding. The latest silly thing is that an invitation sample came in the mail last night. And it’s the greatest invitation sample ever. The invitations are the kind that you can customize the style you choose with any color paper, ink, whatever you can think of. I ordered a sample of one of the kinds of invitations that I liked, and that my fiancé had said he liked as well.

Oh, what a treat! I knew that the sample would include all of the paper samples, but I guess I didn’t realize how many there were. There were three different packages with all the different colors of papers. Oh so fun. Until the two of us tried to sit down and match colors. The first set I tried made our colors look like we were having a John Deere wedding, according to my fiancé. Well, that won’t do. Won’t do at all, but my fiancé wasn’t exactly ready to judge thirty iterations of green/yellow combinations.

Luckily most of my bridesmaids are coming into town tomorrow and Thursday, so we can look at dresses, so my fiancé was able to say the magic words, “Can’t you just do this with the girls and then show me one or two options?”

Sure honey.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Church Lady Woes

Since we are having a Catholic wedding, I have expected to have the occasional "run in" with the stereotypical "church lady." Now that we've selected the readings and vows, it's time to coordinate with the music minister to arrange for the church accompanist. Last week, I dutifully emailed the contact person, but I got an out-of-office message dated the day before.

That's no big deal, I mean, occasionally I would extend my out-of-office at work while I was still catching up the day I got back, just to let people know that I might be slow responding. It's been over a week, and she still hasn't responded. Hmmm.

I asked my mom if she was still out of town (she knows some other people at church), but she said that the music lady was in, but to be careful when I emailed her again, because she was "very sensitive" about that sort of thing. I'll wait patiently for a response, but if I don't get one, it sounds like I'll need to gather the gold, frankincense, and myrrh offerings...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sneaky Planning

I must admit that sometimes I feel unnecessarily embarrassed about planning for the wedding. For example, the other night was the final for the class I TA, which meant that I had to proctor the exam. I had just finished my exams that morning, so I had absolutely nothing to do until the next day, when we would have to start grading.

What’s an engaged girl to do with nothing to do, but a laptop on the desk in front of her – look at bridesmaids’ dresses for when most of her girls are in town, of course. The problem is, I think my professor might think less of me for looking at dresses. It doesn’t help that some of the bridesmaid dress websites are ridiculously girly/slutty. Who wants a slutty bridesmaid? I mean, she might want to look slutty, but if you’re having a church wedding, the last thing you’d want is a neckline down to someone’s navel.

I kept the profile pretty low for the first hour or two, looking at dresses, but keeping a gmail window up for when the professor came into the room. After a while I was bored with looking at dresses and I decided that switching to cakes was a fine idea. Men can certainly respect looking at cake. So I spent the rest of the time answering questions and looking at all of the cakes on the Knot website.

My professor came and was watching over my shoulder while I looked at cakes, which was a little weird (I mean, how fast do you click through things when someone else is watching), but he did give me a good piece of advice. He said that when he got married, he and his wife went cake tasting too early in the morning (8:30) and he got sick from too much sugar in the morning.

Note to self – be sure to build up sugar immunity before going cake-tasting – that was the moral, right?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bridesmaids Coming to Town

Yay! Three of my bridesmaids are coming into town to try on dresses.

I can't wait. I'm sure it will be an amazing afternoon filled with hidden disagreement, possible infighting, and unresolved anger! No, I don't think it will, but if I didn't have great bridesmaids, that could be the case. I think we'll have a good time.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


OK - So to clarify the point of the previous post, it is not that I want to do business with a company that doesn't have a contract. My point is that the MOB tends to cut me off in the middle of sentences to state the obvious. As a graduate student pursuing my MBA - of course I would get something in writing. I actually kept pestering the DJ company with questions about how flexible the contract was with regards to the time of the event and whatknot.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Quick DJ Update

Just enough time for a quick update between trying to not fall asleep standing up and studying for my last final.

After I got the emails back from the DJ, I called my mom to talk to her about it. I told her about the price discrepancies, but she seemed fine with it. Of course, then came the, "have them send the contract to you and then you send it to me, so I can look at it."

Then, I should have kicked myself before I said, "Oh, they didn't mention it (picture this part in slow motion). Maayyybbeee thheeyy doonn't haavve onn-

"Well, if they don't have a contract, we're not using them."

OK - Of course we wouldn't use them, but what are the odds that they don't have a contract. Or that if they didn't have a contract and we asked them to, they would most likely put something in writing for us. My mom was just so final about it. Argh. I kind of feel like I'm acting as the wedding planner and my mom is acting like the bride. Hopefully that feeling will go away after finals.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

More DJ Talk

When last I posted, I had just called the DJ to get more information on booking them. As I said, I called them, but had to leave a message with the office at 10 o'clock (I don't know why they weren't open). Maybe they were open, but just really busy.

Well, the woman who called me back called and asked if I was available, but got my first name completely wrong. Then we clarified it was me, then I finally figured out who she was, she hadn't said when she picked up the phone. I had been on their website, so I just wanted to clarify a few points.

1) Have you ever performed at an event at our reception site (Ans: no, but apparently the event coordinator's mother lives somewhat close).

2) We've found some songs that we want on our list, but I certainly don't want to plan four hours of music out (Ans: oh, well that's why people like our DJ service, we have an online planner where you can select every song that you want us to play)

3) Oh, no, we don't know what songs we want to play, is that a problem? (Ans: Ohhhhh. No, not at all, our DJ's are great at reading the crowd.)

4) [This question was on behalf of my mother, I dunno, maybe she was thinking there was an opportunity for arbitrage?] If we buy the extra time at the discounted rate before the event and then don't use it, do we get a refund? (Ans: No, I don't think we've ever had anyone buy it, but I can ask and get back to you)

5) How much is a wedding reception (Ans: The price is $695 for 4 hours) !!! In my head, I thought that I had seen that the price was $595 in a website generated email they had sent me.

In the meantime, the event planner sent me the "welcoming email" which I had previously requested on the website, which had the new price on it. I responded to it by saying that I had been on the website several months ago and the price listed was $595 for four hours, had the price changed?

A few hours later she responded that the prices hadn't changed, but that price was only for Beaumont brides. ??? I'm a little annoyed, mostly because, seeing as my fiance is a lawyer, this seems like false representation. Unfortunately the unreasonable "But I want it" bride in me really likes the rest of the qualities of the DJ service, and wants to overlook it.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Planning "Issues"

This morning has been annoying. I've been putting off calling the DJ I want to book, because I don't like talking to strangers on the phone. I realized that one of the Bridal Extravaganza's (or supercalifragilisticexpialidocious whatevers) is coming up in January, so I'm trying to book the vendors I know I want before then, in case our wedding date turns out to be "popular;" I don't want a random other bride to see the vendor at the show and book them up. I don't like using the phone partially because I'm a shy person, but I also really like being able to see someone's facial expressions and mannerisms while they're talking to me. If I could, I would email all the vendors, but the MBA in me knows that if I did that, I wouldn't nearly be doing due diligence.

So, I got all the information I might need together to talk to the DJ: a list of questions (though there aren't many), the website for the reception site, and the list of Knot questions for your reception music vendor.

I slowly dialed the phone. I pressed "send." I waited. The phone rang. Again. Again. Again. The answering machine for the office picked up. Yargh. I left a very polite message, and now I just have to wait for him to call me back. (This is where my mother inserts a comment about how if I had called them yesterday, they would have been there.)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Wedding Mapper

Alright, this is a shameless plug, but one of my good friends has a wedding website, and she found a cool mapping feature. The site is called, and it looks like it is based on Google Maps. You get your own map web address, and then you can place map markers on points of interest with their own descriptors. They have special markers with designs for the church, reception site, people's houses, and the airport. It lets people take a look at the city they will be visiting and where their hotel (which you can also mark) fits into the locations for the different sites. This site would be really great for destination weddings, or really, any wedding where many of the guests will be coming in from out of town.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Alternative Registries

Recently, one of the Google ads that popped up above my email was for a registry service that didn’t necessitate using actual products in actual stores to register. Writing that, I realize it sounds like I’m about to get into some sort of money laundering scheme. Which I’m not. I don’t think.

My fiancé and I have wanted to include things for the honeymoon in a registry but haven’t been able to find a site that will do it. Until now – this site is actually pretty practical. To create a registry, you just make a list then put an approximate price in for the item. Your guests can login to the registry and make contributions towards different items – which is good because the guests don’t have to contribute the entire amount.

My problem with the site is – you’re basically asking your guests for cash. That’s what they give the company, and the company cuts the couple a check. The kicker is that this company adds a percentage onto the guests’ gifts to cover their costs (the site claims the take is as low as 1%). Really, you’re just asking your guests to pay a premium for the guise of etiquette. Wouldn’t something like a tasteful statement on our webpage such as, “We are planning on going to Greece for our honeymoon. Yada yada. We plan on allocating any monetary gifts towards our honeymoon, with extras such as a really special dinner or a sailing trip.” I’m still undecided as to what we can do. Goodness knows I don’t want to offend any of my guests, and they will be checking everything we do against Emily Post.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Betting on Losing Weight

My fiancé found another interesting article in the New York Sun while he was toiling away at the salt mines. Apparently two Yale professors decided that a great incentive to lose weight would be commit themselves financially to the task. One of the professors tested the method on himself. He made a bet with a friend of his that if he didn’t lose 1 pound per week, he would pay his friend $1000. The two professors have founded a website based on the plan ( – based on the “carrot and the stick”). They hope to eventually roll out the plan to help companies incentivize their workforces to lose weight, be healthier, or be on time for work. The payments for failing to meet goals will be paid out to charities, though not of the participants choosing.

Maybe it’s because I’m marrying a lawyer, but, ladies, I smell a class-action lawsuit on the horizon. Women have been doing this for decades! Think of all the brides you know who purchased their rather expensive wedding dresses just a size (or more) too small to motivate themselves to lose weight before the big day. Think about how much more effective the wedding dress was than buying a pair of jeans a size too small. I think these professors need to stop patting themselves on the back, and realize that they’ve only taken an existing weight-loss strategy and modified to the point that men and corporate America can understand it. Ladies, we should all be disappointed in ourselves for not exploiting this opportunity sooner.

Find the article at:

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Worst Promotional DVD Ever

The last time we were at my parent’s house, I decided to bring up the subject of a DJ. To which my mom says, “Oh, I already found one.” Exclamation points go off in my head.

Me: Is it the one I emailed to you, the one that was listed on the other reception site’s (the one we didn’t pick) recommended vendor list.
MOB: No, this one is one I found on the internet, the cheapest one I could find. It’s $100 cheaper than the one you sent me.
Me (internally): Oh my gosh, it’s some random idiot who has a website.
(externally): Who are they, do they look like they’re good?
MOB: Well, they sent me a DVD when I registered on their website. They might not be that good, because they kept calling me to try to pressure me into sending in a deposit. Do you want to see the DVD?

I decided to watch the DVD, even though all sign pointed to this operation being extremely shady. I really think it may have been the cheesiest DVD ever. Not only did it have “really cool” PowerPoint-style transitions between each of the scenes, the weddings featured looked like they were the tackiest things ever. Most of the guests were under dressed (and dressed sloppily) and looked really uncomfortable in front of the camera (even thought the DJ company was also billing their “really cheap but just as good” videography services).

I looked up the company online. It’s a national chain, and it looks like they book dates and then just hire any random DJ they can find. One of the “benefits” of using this company is “you don’t have to meet with the DJ before the reception,” he’ll just show up an hour before he’s supposed to be there. I don’t really feel the need to have a heart-to-heart or connect on a “personal level” with our DJ, but I think it would be good to sit down with him before the reception to go over everything.