June 30, 2015 § 1 Comment
I didn’t expect it, but I feel more married after the marriage equality announcement than I did after my wedding. I was sober for both, for the record.
There is nothing like waking up to good news. When my alarm sounded last Friday morning, I hit snooze. After the second snooze, my husband, Mister Red Jump Out of Bed, began his morning rituals. Half asleep I made my case for him to take the car to work instead of bike. He had been in a bike accident last summer, the bike needed repair, his back was recovering from injury, and after a full day of work his feet, an hour is a long bike home.
This must be the type of worry of a spouse. Well-being worry. How would I ever handle the worry of children, when I worry this much about a grown adult? To my relief he agreed, the pain risk of riding the bike was too great.
Still in bed, I read the news on my phone as Mister Red made us breakfast. Supreme Court Ruling the Constitution guarantees the right to same-sex marriage. I felt an uncontrollable smile swell up in my cheeks. Huzzah! Boo-yah! Woop-woop! Finally! At least we got one thing right! I ran downstairs to tell Mister Red the good news.
And the VMA for best on-screen kiss goes to…
Justice Kennedy said gay and lesbian couples had a fundamental right to marry. “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family,” he wrote. “In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.”
I feel this gives my own heterosexual marriage more validity. For me, marriage inequality hadn’t “preserved the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman,” but rather took away from it. If all loving partnerships weren’t recognized, and half of them didn’t work out, what was so great about marriage anyway? I never want to be part of a club that has such prejudice as sexual orientation. It doesn’t make any sense to limit fundamental rights based on those preferences. Wasn’t this whole country founded on the ideal that every person should have the right to their own preferences? We have so many freedoms, seems like who you choose to love should be a no-brainer.
What astonished me was how many corporate entities used the news to inflate their marketing campaigns. They had these specialized logos at the ready, but where was this support 8 years ago? I’m curious to find out how many of these companies actually donated to LGBT organizations fighting for civil rights, how much, and how long they’ve been supporting. In recent years, many companies donated whether they were vocal about it or not was not to make waves among consumers who’s ideals were in opposition. It makes me wonder what would have happened if these companies spoke louder. Business sure draws a fine line.
As I preach to the choir, I can only say that now I get it. Marriage that is. If those words are true, “two people become something greater than they once were,” then damn… I’m glad I’m on that list. I’m glad everyone, regardless of who and how they love, now has the right to be on that list. The extreme intimacy of this union can be enjoyed by all, making the power of finding the right person to join in this partnership infinitely greater. Who you argue with for the rest of your life should not be limited to heterosexuals.
With that being said, marriage becomes more about the person you choose to be with rather than the sexual orientation you identify with. This begs the question, will the divorce rate go up or down?
Doesn’t matter what the cake topper looks like #lovewins
June 23, 2015 § Leave a comment
In my little girl head, underneath my pigtails, I wasn’t dreaming of my wedding day. I can’t say I had large expectations for it at all. When my life really did come down to it, the decisions were overwhelming, the etiquette was suffocating, and the true meaning lost. I hadn’t dreamed of a big wedding, but I was given the job to plan one. I had my wedding bucks and I might as well spend them.Little girl forced portrait. Thank you Pintrest.
Mister Red and I wanted to elope a few years ago, but my mother had other plans. She wanted the wedding she had been dreaming of since I was a little girl. Fair enough, I supposed. I know I sound like a spoiled brat for turing up my nose at a wedding fund my parents had saved my entire life. I know I’m a horrible person for not keeping my mouth shut about it. I can only explain that I am old enough to know the importance of that kind of cash and poor enough to know exactly what I would have done with it. None the less, technically it was their money, and they could spend it however they wanted to. So let’s throw ridiculous party and sign legal papers on the same day!
As we were first planning, I took control. I’m a TV producer, I got pre-production in the bag. I knew exactly how to eek every cent of value out of the event and it started with schedule. This wedding was going to start on time.
Oh there were, nay-sayers.
“Weddings never start on time.”
“I will be shocked if yours is the first wedding to start on time.”
“Every wedding I’ve ever been to started late.”
“Weddings don’t start on time anyway.”
Um… mine does.
Tick Tock, til the bride drinks.
I was considering the cost of the venue. I’m not about to waste 10 mins of open bar at $36 per head because I wanted to reapply my lipstick or get one more bridal portrait. No, I’m paying the professional photographers to capture over 2000 pictures on the fly, I’m sure one of those will be good enough.
Everyone you hire is a professional. Well, except for the coordinator. Venue coordinators must have a turnover rate higher than the McDonalds Drive Thru window. We went through three coordinators at the same venue in less than six months. I knew more about the job than they did. We did ask talented friends to help out, not expecting that they would be more professional than the coordinator. Professionals deliver, friends deliver. You learn quickly who to trust.
Starting a wedding on time meant setting a schedule and sticking to it. I sent my PDF to key players and referenced it often. I buffered just enough time in case we ran behind, we could make it up in other areas. Then I put someone in charge of keeping us on time. I think that person is key. They have one job. I also started to spread the word among the guests that we were starting at 6pm and WILL be the only wedding they probably ever attend that starts on time.
Even though I hadn’t day dreamed the details of my wedding, my expectations became clear. I only had two (well, three if you want to count my groom showing up). One, start on time. Two, don’t waste any money on stupid shit that didn’t reflect the celebration we wanted to throw.
In agreement to party down til death.
We shaved an hour of photography cost by omitting the “getting ready” portraits. I really don’t need to be photographed professional in my underwear or without makeup. To cut down on time and so my family could enjoy the cocktail hour they were paying for, we did formal portraits before the ceremony. Mister Red and I did a first look and exchanged private vows. Okay, full disclosure it was a Top Ten Letterman List and it was mostly jokes. By doing so we cut our grief in half because I didn’t have to stay hidden from him or anyone else (I’m not into theatrics), and we cut our ceremony down to about 10-15mins, AND we spared everyone from our annoying humor and inside jokes (for the most part).
All the jokes landed, even the one about me being a piece of property.
There was a snafu with the ceremony music because our coordinator dropped the ball, but the we were AHEAD of schedule so our talented friends were able to put out the fire in time. When the processional began lining up, we actually had to wait as two guests rushed down the aisle to their seats. Our Officiant announced that it was 6:03 and we were starting on time. People cheered. Or maybe I imagined that. I was gloating. In your face everyone. What can I say, I’m motivated by adversity.
Although we did a lot of DIY (you honestly don’t need Minted.com, just card stock and a printer), we put money into our guests’ enjoyment and used the details to express who we are. Star Wars cake, dancing to Led Zeppelin, Photo Booth with handmade props recycled from another wedding, specialty craft cocktails, giving out whoopie cushions as favors. Yes, whoopie cushions. It’s kind of a social experiment to give 100 adults whoopie cushions. They were a hit.
It’s never not funny.
I think it’s a common misconception that the bride is the guest of honor. The bride is a host. She picked out the food, she picked out the venue, she picked out the colors, she invited the people, she is the designer of the event. A gracious host makes sure her guests are comfortable and happy. A gracious host gives everyone a moment of warm welcome and gratitude. A gracious host doesn’t get too drunk while getting her hair done and puke in the bathroom before she dances with her dad.
There’s got to be a guy in the back looking up her dress, I hope its the groom.
A gracious host gives the people dinner and a show. And starts that shit on time.
And throws a good after party.
June 16, 2015 § 3 Comments
Now that I am of the age where my peers are pairing up with life buddies, I’ve gotten really adept at planning the Bachelorette Party. This isn’t one of those cookie cutter sash/mini veil/bar hopping situations. Please, I’m over 30. There are no rules like “wear black so she stands out in white.” She isn’t doing a scavenger hunt or making T-shirts. There aren’t any penis cakes. No one wants a penis cake. I can’t say it loud enough: NO ONE WANTS A PENIS CAKE. Sure depending on the chick, some of the other activities and props may be relevant, but a penis cake–that’s never a good idea. What happens when the MoH gets the hairy balls piece? No one wants the hairy balls piece.
I spared you. If you google image search “penis cake” you will gag.
I like to be original. Create an itinerary with everything the bride loves, find her feminine essence, embarrass her in good fun, and load up on the booze. You can’t go wrong with a crafty poster and a bottle of Kirkland Vodka. Before I give you the exact recipe for planning the perfect bachelorette party, let’s have a history lesson. Shall we?
To find the origin of the last single hurrah, we have to cross genders. The Bachelor Party dates back to the ancient Spartans. Leave it to those rowdy warriors to make a thing out of a dude’s last solo night. Soldiers would hold a dinner in their friend’s honor toasting and telling tales in merriment. These parties preceded the name, as bachelor is a term from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, which you should have read in 10th grade world literature class. The first recorded use of bachelor party was in 1922, and it said nothing about a stripper.
It wasn’t until recent history in which the party became a night of parading vixens, debauchery, and hazing. And in the 1960s the sexual revolution allowed females to participate in their own taboo pre-wedding celebrations (cheers).
Today, most modern couples copulate before the big day and often live together long before tying the knot. Riddle me this: Hasn’t all the sexual teasing lost it’s luster? I mean, she knows what it looks like, and she understands it’s one willy ’til death. Let’s not rub salt in the wound buy buying her a lap dance at Chippendales.
When it boils down, the bach party is about celebrating the girl before the guy, as an individual. It’s better than any birthday party she could ever have, this only happens once (or twice in some cases). Shouldn’t it ease the pre-wedding jitters instead of waiving penises in her face?
If you agree, here’s my recipe for a Non-Traditional Out-of-The-Box Bachelorette Party (AKA Her Last Smash).
1. Do what she wants to do. Go on, ask her. Maybe it’s a weekend some where. Maybe it’s the Tuesday before the wedding. Maybe it IS a lap dance at Chippendales. Whatever it is, ask and then make it happen.
2. Create a #hashtag. These are the times we live in. This serves as way to collect the memories from everyone in one place as well as a theme. And it’s just fun.
3. Logistics: take care of the food, activities, lodging, etc. so expenses don’t get out of hand for the group. Paypal, Venmo, cold hard cash helps everyone pitch in.
4. Booze Plan. Know what you are going to drink and where. Sure you can go off script, but this is the most expensive item. Figure out what everyone will drink and overestimate.
5. Props. Posters, hats, mustaches, silly things. This is also where you can get a little embarrassing. Incriminating photos, fake tattoos, headbands with cat ears, feather, banners, balloons. Whatever space your in, decorate it. No– transform it. Doesn’t take much to take a rental house from Ikea to Eureka.
6. Interactive Drinking Games. This might be the most challenging, but if you really love the bride, it’s worth it. Create a game that’s so big it’s ongoing for the party’s entirety. One time we did toasts or memories and wrote them down on guns, and everyone had to take a shot (jail bird theme). Another, more elaborate game was creating trivia questions based on the bride’s freelance work. If you got it wrong you took a drink. There are many ways to go, and people fall in love with it really quickly.
7. Delegate. Everyone wants to pitch in, and everyone is probably going through a lot of these. Even if the group doesn’t know each other, they will all want to keep costs low and do what it takes to pull off the best party the bride has ever had. Make sure it’s a weekend to remember, and let people do what they can to help.
For my bachelorette what-have-you, five of my most hilarious friends met up in Sonoma, CA for a weekend of wine tasting. The hashtag was #KTsLastSmash and celebratory Irish things (I’m Irish, Mister Red is Irish, you get it). My friend made a clover patch with over 50 Irish blessings and we toasted to every last one throughout the weekend. They printed incriminating photos of me, one was poster sized, and put them up all over the house. They gave me a tiny leprechaun hat, but didn’t demand I wear it the whole time. We drank a truck load of the finest wine and met a group of ladies dubbed as our future selves in one tasting room. It was the perfect weekend. Every bride deserves the most perfect weekend with her friends.
No bachelorette ever said, “You know what this party is really missing? A penis cake that reads: The Best Is Yet To Cum.”
Poster Sized Mantle Piece in Power Stance. Best Friends Ever.