Thursday, April 30, 2009

Good news, and a funny cartoon

I'm going to cement my geek rep here by posting this link to a Penny Arcade comic: Mr. Period's Forum Tips . Apparently the wedding world is not the only place you'll find people who act like jerks on the internet! (Shocking, I know. Also, language NSFW. Also, if you don't play video games, the comic won't make much sense, except for the joke about the backslash.)

And, on a totally unrelated note ... I have a tracking number for my invitations!!! I am so happy and relieved. Part of me is still worried that they'll send the wrong number of invites, or that my box will be intercepted and eaten by angry beavers or something, but I really do feel like a weight has been lifted. We may actually get to invite people to our wedding in a timely manner! Phew!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wine Wednesday: Rigol 1897 Cava

It took me a while to warm up to white wines. It took me even longer to figure out sparkling wines. I always assumed they were for Special Occasions. I also assumed the only good ones were expensive, because the cheap ones I'd had at college parties tasted vaguely of vinegar. Econo Boy loves sparkling wine, but even he never thought to just grab a bottle for an everyday meal.

As has often been the case, Dorothy and John at the Wall Street Journal showed me the light. In December, they wrote a column encouraging readers to try more sparkling wines with food. They also mentioned Spanish Cava as a great bargain.

My very first Cava, the Rigol 1897 Brut, made me a complete sparkling wine convert.

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It was marvelous -- nutty and lively, with melon and honey notes, and no hint of vinegar. Econo Boy and I had it with cheese fondue, and it was so much fun to pop that cork, watch the bubbles fizz in our glasses, and make a special night out of a weeknight.

Our wedding sparkling wine will also be a Cava: the Segura Viudas Brut Reserva.

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What does this wine taste like? Uh ... well ... I don't know.

Econo Boy and I took a bit of a chance on this one. The liquor store where we bought our wedding wines had this on sale for $6.50 a bottle, and it had glowing reviews from Wine Enthusiast and Wine & Spirits. But we haven't been able to find it at a liquor store out here, so we just decided to go for it and add it to our order. Wine & Spirits wrote:
Segura Viudas regularly hits the tops of our charts for Cava. The Brut Reserva is the best Cava we tasted last year, regardless of price, a graceful, complex bubbly with dry apple flavors wrapped in smoke, spice and minerals.
Sounds promising -- I can't wait to sip it from my champagne flute!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Weddingtainment: Ellie and Awesome, "Chuck"

The cake didn't arrive? Your caterer brought shrimp cocktail instead of shrimp skewers? The flowers are the wrong color?

Don't worry. Your wedding is still going better than Ellie Bartowski's. Luckily she's taking it in stride.

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Last night's "Chuck" finale featured the wedding of Chuck's older sister Ellie and her fiance Devon, better known as Captain Awesome (because he is a hot doctor who enjoys skydiving and other Awesome activities). Unfortunately, an enemy of our reluctant spy hero shows up to ruin the festivities. Not only does he threaten to kill Ellie unless Chuck does what he wants ... he threatens the cake! Clearly Chevy Chase is pure evil.

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If you're up for an hour of goofy, wedding-related fun, go to Hulu or right now and stream "Chuck vs. the Ring." The episode is a bit heavy on the "Chuck" backstory (so don't worry if all the talk of the Intersect has you totally lost), but I think anyone who's ever planned or attended a wedding will sympathize with Chuck's horror as ... well, I won't tell you the whole story. Just know that it involves paratroopers, the worst wedding band ever, a last-minute alteration to a bridesmaid's dress, and some pretty scary in-laws.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Random wedding dislikes

When planning a wedding, you are bound to run into at least a few trends and traditions that just make you want to scream and run away, often for reasons you can't quite identify. Here are 5 wedding things that make me go "ick." I have no real reason to dislike any of the things on this list (with the possible exception of #4) -- it's more a knee-jerk reaction. But I'm feeling a bit punchy today, so I might as well vent :-)

5. Wedding favors
The perfect storm of emotional blackmail and WIC salesmanship -- "but if you don't give favors, how will you thank your guests for coming?" I also hate that every time I see a picture of a table setting with those adorable little favor boxes, I flirt with the idea of giving out favors just because the boxes would look so cute on the tables! Clearly, I have a problem.

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4. People who obsess over what their family members are wearing to the wedding
If I run across one more bride on a message board throwing a fit over the color of her fiance's mother's dress, I will scream, and then possibly set the living room on fire. News flash: if you told your aunt to find a baby pink dress and she sent you photos of a coral dress, this is not a crisis. Not even close. And don't start wailing about how the pictures will be ruuuuuuuined if your family members aren't color-coordinated. No, they won't. I have tons of great group shots of friends and family that look fantastic despite the fact that no one told us what colors to wear. Some of us clash. So what? We look happy, we're all wearing outfits we like, and the pictures are great because they contain people I care about.

If your family members *ask* you what color they should wear, by all means, give them some ideas. But otherwise, stop mailing fabric swatches out to your aunts, uncles and cousins and let them dress themselves like grown-ups.

3. Pickup skirts
Heavy, poofy, princessy -- everything I wanted to avoid in a wedding dress.

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2. The Tiffany blue-and-brown color combo
I know it's cool, I know it's stylish, but for some reason I can't stand seeing these colors next to each other. I think it looks like a mistake, like someone dropped a Tiffany's box in the mud and decided to make the best of it. (In general, I'm not a big fan of brown, so maybe that's my problem.) And am I the only one who finds it a little scary that Tiffany's has achieved the level of brand awareness where they have a color named after their company?

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1. "The Bridal Chorus" by Wagner (a.k.a. "Here Comes the Bride")
Maybe it was that time I heard a "Bridal Chorus" ring tone on someone's cell phone in a NYC coffee shop. Maybe it was learning that in Wagner's opera Lohengrin, the source of the famous "Bridal Chorus," the bride betrays her husband and ends up dead. Maybe it was all that time I spent as a child singing "Here comes the bride, big, fat and wide," with my friends as we married the Barbie with no hair to that Ken doll whose head kept falling off. (Our Barbies lived rather Shakespearean lives -- everyone either ended up married or dead.)

But I hate this song. I mean, I HATE it. It's like nails on a chalkboard to me. I'd rather walk down the aisle to "Muskrat Love." (Kidding ... sort of.)

What are your random wedding dislikes? Do you love anything on my list and think I'm a nut? Let me know!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

How many excuses does it take to change a light bulb?

Aaaaand we're back to here.

My recalcitrant printer agreed to mail my invites on April 15 and send me the tracking number. On April 16, having heard nothing, I contacted her to ask what my status was. She replied that she was out of town for a family emergency.

She returned on the 21st, and when I contacted her, she told me my new delivery date is April 30 ... more than two weeks after what she promised me in March.

Sigh. I want to give her the benefit of the doubt, I really do, and I don't question that she's had some bad luck of late. But after three and a half months of terrible communication and multiple tales of woe, she's starting to remind me of that student who always has an excuse for why she can't turn something in on time -- "my grandmother's sick," "my car broke down," "I'm super-busy and so stressed out," etc. etc.

It's gotten so bad that Econo Boy and I have already chosen and customized the Wedding Paper Divas invitations that we'll rush-order in mid-May if the Etsy invitations don't come through. If May 15 rolls around and we still don't have a tracking number, all we have to do is click "buy."

A couple of people have contacted me wanting to know this seller's name so they can steer clear. I don't feel comfortable trashing her by name, but I will advise anyone looking on Etsy for a printer to read the recent feedback *very* carefully (i.e. look for neutral as well as negative feedback -- neutral feedback doesn't get counted in the feedback score -- and make sure you're looking at feedback from fellow buyers, not sellers who sold things to the owner).

Wine Wednesday: Reds that knocked my socks off

Econo Boy has described my memory for certain wines as "disturbingly good." That's only partly true. A boring wine that I don't like much won't stick in my head -- in fact, I'm pretty sure I've bought the same dull, thin Bordeaux twice because I couldn't remember trying it and not liking it the next time I went to the liquor store. But I remember the good ones. Two years after our trip to Sonoma I still recall the peppery pop of Cline's Ancient Vines Zinfandel, the mouth-watering bubbles in J Vineyards Brut Reserve sparkling wine, and the soulful, classy finish of Benziger's Reserve Cabernet. (Granted, being at the winery makes it easier to remember the winners.)

There are two reds I've tried in the past few months that I know I'll remember for a long time.

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The Altos las Hormigas Malbec 2007 is special from the moment you pour it into the glass. It's deep purple, really almost black, except around the edges where you can see a dark garnet color. It tastes as complex as it looks -- it's spicy and dry, but fruity and rich. It was far and away the best Malbec I've ever tried, and I can't wait to try the 2008 vintage. (The 2007 was enormously popular and can be tough to find.)

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Forest Grove Cellars Syrah 2006, from Washington's Columbia Valley, is more approachable than the Malbec -- less spice, a softer finish -- but it too is a full-bodied, complex, powerful red wine. The best way to describe it is "mouth-watering." If you're looking something to pair with grilled steaks at your next BBQ, this is the one. I'm not usually a fan of Syrah/Shiraz, I often find them too sweet and rather unimaginative, but this one gets my unreserved seal of approval.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

3 totally awesome things that have nothing to do with weddings

OK, I'm sick of weddings again. But that doesn't mean I can't blog! Here are three totally awesome things that I think you should know about. They have nothing to do with weddings, but did I mention they're awesome?

1. "Chuck," 8/7c Mondays on NBC

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Take a sweet, smart guy whose life hasn't quite gone as planned -- that's Chuck Bartowski, our titular character. Now add a CIA-defector ex-roommate who plants the nation's secrets in his head. Throw in a gorgeous secret agent assigned to protect him (the fantastic Yvonne Strahovski as Sarah) and the hilarious Adam Baldwin as the National Security Agency's Major John Casey. Occasionally show us Chuck's screwed-up co-workers at the Buy More where he makes $11 an hour as a Nerd Herd tech support guy. Sprinkle with great alternative-indie music, ironic 80s references, and a bunch of villains named after obscure Philadelphia sports figures. The result: the most entertaining hour of TV all week.

"Chuck" sounds so off-the-wall that it's hard to explain to people who haven't seen it before, much less sell them on watching it. But trust me: all of those nutty elements I just mentioned work seamlessly in the show's context. If you're looking for 44 minutes of pure fun, go watch an episode on Hulu (I suggest "Chuck versus Santa Claus," one of the series' best episodes to date). Then tune in for the season's last two episodes, because if NBC cancels this quirky gem, I'm going to be completely crushed.

2. "Flower" for the Playstation 3
"Flower" is even harder to explain than "Chuck," but I'll give it a go. It's a short game you can download from the Playstation Network for $9.99 (i.e., don't look for it on or in stores). You play as ... well, sort of as a gust of wind. You steer by tilting the controller, and the object is to bring a barren landscape back to life by hitting a series of targets shaped like flowers. When you hit a target, you hear a musical note; hit lots in a row and the game becomes almost symphonic.

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The graphics in "Flower" are stunning, and once you get used to the controls, it's an almost giddily good ride. It's unlike anything else I've ever played, and it's both exhilerating and oddly soothing.

3. The Matthew Shardlake novels by CJ Sansom

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Matthew Shardlake, born a hunchback, is a lawyer in Tudor London whose connections with religious reform movements provide him with both powerful allies and terrifying enemies. In the first novel, Dissolution, Shardlake's patron and fellow reformer Lord Cromwell sends him to investigate a murder at a monastary, one that is being dissolved in accordance with King Henry VIII's new religious rules. The subsequent three books -- Dark Fire, Sovereign, and Revelation -- follow Shardlake as he continues to navigate the thorny webs of politics and religion, while trying to do right by his legal clients and solve murders.

The Shardlake books are alive with rich historical detail. CJ Sansom has a PhD in history, and it shows -- he gets the details right without beating his reader over the head with his knowledge of life in 16th-century England. The mysteries are sophisticated without being overly convoluted, his characters are fascinating, and his prose is elegant and readable. If you like historical mysteries, I strongly suggest you stop reading my blog right now and go immediately to the public library or bookstore. Dark Fire is my favorite, and I think Sovereign is the weakest of the four, but they're all well worth having on your nightstand.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wine Wednesday: Pinot Grigio

My wine-drinking education continues. Did you know that wines get discontinued?

I didn't. I mean, it makes sense that if the 2007 bottling of a particular varietal doesn't sell well, the vineyard might not make a 2008 version, but I'm used to seeing the same wines vintage after vintage on the shelves in the store. So I was rather startled last week when the nice man at the liquor store called us to say that unfortunately, the Gimenez Riili Torrontes will not have a 2008 vintage, and he could not get us enough of the 2007 to fill our order. (Rats! I really liked that wine, and with Torrontes gaining popularity in the US I'm surprised the winery pulled the plug on it.)

A Pinot Grigio was the obvious replacement. Nobilo is atypical for its varietal, much richer than you usually expect from a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, and we wanted something crisp and light as a contrasting selection. We have two likely contenders: Hogue Cellars Pinot Grigio from Washington, and Clos du Bois Pinot Grigio from Sonoma.

The Hogue is a well-known bargain buy; it usually costs around $8 a bottle. The Clos du Bois runs more in the $12-14 range, but with a sale we may be able to swing it. The two are also quite different in taste. The Clos du Bois is delicate, with pear and grapefruit flavors, very crisp and light. The Hogue has a bit more punch to it, with lime and pineapple notes, and it's slightly fuller-bodied. The Clos du Bois is my personal favorite, but both are good buys -- and with summer just around the corner, this is a good time to start thinking about which white wines you want to sip on your porch after dinner! (Man, I want a porch.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Negative vendor reviews

The other day I was surfing WeddingWire and I came across something that made me worry a bit -- a negative review for a vendor we booked. Granted, this is one negative review among the dozens of glowing ones, but it still took me by surprise, and suddenly I was questioning whether we'd made a mistake.

Earlier today another negative vendor review caused me to bite my lower lip and worry. I signed into Etsy to check in on my invitations (they're supposed to ship tomorrow, according to the timeline we agreed on -- wish me luck!!) and saw another buyer recently left my seller negative feedback due to non-delivery of an item. That makes two non-delivery complaints in the past month. Yikes. I really don't want to be #3.

All of which got me wondering -- why are negative reviews so much more influential on my psyche than positive ones? The customer isn't always right, after all, and no one review can tell the whole story about a vendor or about a particular transaction. Plus, sites like WeddingWire have no way of verifying that the reviews come from people who actually used the company, and I've heard there are some unscrupulous folks who will post fake bad reviews to beat down their competition. (This is obviously not the case with Etsy feedback, where a reviewer can't post anything unless he or she bought something.)

So why is it that user "RosieluvsJake" complaining that a vendor screwed up her order can make me start wondering whether we've made a huge mistake, automatically becoming more important than the 7 positive reviews posted earlier?

What about you guys? Do bad reviews make you nervous? Or do you ignore anonymous commenters on the Internet because you can't know if they're legit?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sale alert!

Attention shoe lovers! is having a 15% off sale! Enter code spring15 to get 15% off your purchase.

In related news, I just ordered the Coloriffics Grace sandal.

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I decided I needed to look into wedges since the ceremony is outdoors, and this is one of the few pairs that didn't have a cork heel. The sale knocked them down to under $50, and with free shipping and free returns I figured it's worth a try to see if I like them! I'm a bit worried about the ankle strap, since I have fat ankles (and no, that's not my imagination -- the last time I was a bridesmaid I had to cut off my circulation to buckle the ankle strap on the adorable-but-painful shoes we picked out), but worst-case scenario, I drop them at the UPS store on my way to the library next week.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

To DOC or not to DOC?

Early on in the wedding planning, I came to a disturbing realization: almost everyone assumes the bride is in charge. Even if your fiance is organized and efficient and happy to talk to vendors, it is darn near impossible to get a caterer or venue coordinator to call the groom, no matter whose number you put down as "primary contact." Our moms are slightly more effective buffers (apparently mothers of the bride and groom are also permitted to have knowledge of wedding-related events), but from where I'm sitting, just about everything seems to be the bride's job.

And right now I'm frakking sick of it. (Yes, that was a Battlestar Galactica swear word. Yes, I'm a geek.)

Yesterday while fielding half a dozen questions about the wine order, while simultaneously trying to re-order my veil and figure out what's going on with the invitations and organize a conference that it is totally not my turn to organize (long story), oh yeah, and write a thesis chapter, it occurred to me that I don't want the wedding day to be like this. If the cake is 15 minutes late or the rental place didn't bring enough silverware or the bathroom runs out of toilet paper, I don't want to know about it. And frankly, I don't want my mom to know about it either, or Econo Boy's mom, or Econo Boy (not that anyone would ask him what they should do, he's just the groom, grrr). And I certainly don't want to be the one on the cell phone trying to figure out what's going on and how to fix it.

I think I may need a DOC.

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A DOC is a day-of coordinator -- someone responsible for making sure things run smoothly, for setting up the pretty menu cards I designed, for calling the rental place and telling them to bring us the rest of our forks, for running out to the store if the venue runs out of toilet paper.* Our caterer is great, and can handle most of the setup and take-down, but I'm starting to think it would be really nice to have someone else there who is the point person for all problems and will make sure some of the details fall into place.

I'd also love some help from a pro with figuring out the ceremony. Since our ceremony is at the venue, I don't have a sweet church lady helping me figure out who comes from where, and the venue employees are not much help (the contract explicitly states that the venue employees are there to make sure we abide by the mansion's rules, and are not responsible for helping us with anything at all).

The downside: it's another expense. We can afford it, but I feel guilty adding yet another line to our budget. Also, at 3 months out, it may be difficult to find a good coordinator who isn't super-expensive.

Plus, is it really necessary? Econo Boy thinks we can ask family to handle a lot of the stuff I'm worried about, but I am not particularly comfortable with asking aunts, uncles or grandparents to arrive early and make sure all of the table numbers are in the right place. They're our guests, not free labor.

What do you guys think? For those who are married, is a DOC worth the expense? If you didn't have one, how did you handle things?

* The toilet paper thing? Based on a true story. According to my friend who was a bridesmaid at this wedding, the mother of the bride ended up leaving the reception and driving 30 minutes to the nearest grocery store to replenish the supply. You can't make this stuff up.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wine Wednesday: It's ... done?

Whoa. We ordered our wines.

To be perfectly honest, I had no intention of ordering any wine until at most 6 weeks before the wedding. But a major sale at a Denver-area liquor store prompted us to action. Econo Boy's wonderful mother played a huge role in this: she alerted us to the sale, called the store to verify that some of our top picks were being discounted, and moreover is going to pick up the cases for us and store them in a nice, cool basement room with a consistent temperature.

3 of our picks are ones I've blogged about before: the Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc, the Gimenez Riili Torrontes, and the Casillero del Diablo Cabernet. What else is on our wine list? The Domaine des Rozets Coteaux du Tricastin.

Yes, this was seriously the only picture I could find. Image from

This charming French red is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault. The family friend who threw us the wine-tasting party brought this as his recommendation, and it was love at first sip for me -- truly one of the best light reds I've ever had. It thought it tasted like dried cherries, sweet and a tad acidic, with a bit of spice and mineral sharpness on the finish to keep it from being flabby.

As much as I loved this wine, I wasn't sure if we'd be able to serve it at the wedding. Our friend got it at a rather obscure liquor store, and my online searching indicated that it could be tough to find. Imagine my delight when my future mother-in-law reported that her local store (the one running the sale) carried it!

Now I just hope we have some left over after the reception ...

Incidentally, I'm not going to stop blogging about wine just because we've picked our wedding wines. My love for wine goes way beyond wedding planning, and there are still many untried bottles in our closet and some great wines I've tried but haven't written about yet. So stay tuned, and keep posting suggestions for new ones to try -- I love having excuses to try new bottles!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Shirley Tan and Jay Mercado

After the crushing disappointment of Prop 8 in California this past November, I was very heartened to hear that same-sex marriage will soon be legal in two other states, Iowa and Vermont!

But as Sweet T points out in her blog entry for today, state-by-state victories will not confer federal marriage rights to same-sex couples, a fact that carries devastating personal consequences for some partners.

Currently, a California mother of two named Shirley Tan is fighting deportation back to the Philippines. Her partner, Jay Mercado, cannot sponsor her for permanent residence because they are a same-sex couple. Her lawyers have argued successfully to postpone her deportation date, but there is a very real possibility that Ms. Tan will be sent away from her two sons and her partner.

The legal issues here are largely a result of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, which explicitly states that domestic partnerships and even actual same-sex marriages from states where they are legal are not valid relationships when it comes to sponsoring one's partner for permanent residency.

Right now, 95 Congressmen are co-sponsoring HR1024, the Uniting American Families Act, which will eliminate discrimination against same-sex couples in immigration cases, and 17 Senators are co-sponsoring the Senate equivalent, S424.

Click on those links -- they'll take you to more information about those bills, including a list of co-sponsors. If your congressional representative and Senators are not on the list of co-sponsors, contact them and urge them to support these measures to help families like Ms. Tan's. If you have your own blog and agree with what these bills are proposing, spread the word.

I'll close with Jay Mercando's moving words of commitment to Shirley Tan and their family. When asked what they would do if Shirley Tan is deported, she replied,
"We'll move, and we'll be together. We raised our family, and we won't let anyone tear us apart."

Friday, April 3, 2009

Uh ... oops

When I went to pick up my dress back in January, I decided to go ahead and order a veil. I knew exactly what I wanted -- a 2-tier fingertip veil with some sort of edge and minimal "poof." The saleslady showed me a 2-tier veil with a corded edge that I thought was the perfect length, and had the sheer, sleek look I wanted. We'll call that one Veil A.

She then suggested I look at a vermicelli edge veil -- she only had a 1-tiered sample (which we'll call Veil B), but I tried it on and decided I liked the delicate vermicelli edge with my gown. So I asked for Veil A with Veil B's edge, and thought I was all done.

Well, today the veil came in. I picked it up while racing between errands, then took it home, and with stars in my eyes, I perched it on my head ...

And people, let me tell you, that "minimal poof" thing totally did not happen. I have NEVER IN MY LIFE seen this much tulle!

This veil could double as a parachute if we decided to do a skydiving wedding. I could use this veil as my drag chute if I ever took up street racing. That umbrella that Mary Poppins uses to fly away into the atmosphere has NOTHING on my veil -- I'm pretty sure that if I stepped outside with this thing on a windy day it would transform into a parasail and I'd soar into the clouds.

This sassy bride is totally rocking the puffy veil. Me? Uh ... not so much. Image from

So now I'm not quite sure what to do. Looking at my receipt, it appears that the salon ordered "Veil B with 2 tiers" instead of "Veil A with Veil B's edge" like I thought, but I didn't notice that when I paid, which is 100% my fault. On the phone, the salon owner said she can't return the veil because it's not technically the "wrong veil" from the manufacturer's point of view, but did say she'd be willing to exchange my veil for one they have in stock. I'm going in tomorrow to see if there's one closer to what I wanted that I can swap it for. But if that doesn't work ... well, there may soon be a new posting on Craigslist. "For Sale: World's Poofiest Veil. Ivory. Never worn. Could possibly give the wearer the ability to fly!"

Thursday, April 2, 2009

In defense of brunch

The new blog Help Me Pay For My Wedding has been the subject of some talk on wedding blogs and boards lately. In a nutshell, a newly engaged woman is asking people on the internet to donate money so she can throw her dream wedding in a fabulous venue. The discussion is going about how you'd expect, with some people thinking she's clever and others getting in a lather over how tacky, spoiled and entitled she is. When I first read about the site, I leaned more towards the latter, but quickly calmed down -- I'm not really tempted to throw any of my own money her way, but if she wants to see how much money she can get from strangers just by asking it's an interesting social experiment.

But when I visited her blog, what did make me mad was her explanation of why she couldn't possibly do anything other than a Saturday night wedding:
One option to reduce the cost was a suggestion the salesperson at dream location offered - get married on a Sunday morning and serve brunch. Somehow, the stunning wedding I’ve imagined does not include toast and scrambled eggs. Ugh.
Gaaah! The horror! The nerve! She insulted brunch!!

Image from The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs,

Brunch is a quasi-religious experience for me, and not one I equate with toast and scrambled eggs. Back in Colorado, on Easter, Mother's Day, and other random Sundays, my family used to join my uncle's family for brunch at their country club. We would put on our Sunday best, drive down after church, meet up with some of my favorite people in the whole world, and enjoy a delicious buffet containing some or all of the following:
  • Homemade pastries
  • Prime rib sliced to order
  • Omelets made in front of your eyes from whatever you wanted
  • Belgian waffles
  • Stuffed French toast
  • Mimosas
  • Fresh fruit
  • Shrimp cocktail
  • Lox
  • Blintzes and crepes
It was a special family experience, as well as a delicious meal, and I think it was every bit as yummy and elegant as anything we're planning for our Saturday dinner wedding. As I wrote a while back, I would have *loved* to serve brunch at our reception, but was soundly rejected by a horrified Econo Boy, who insisted that we couldn't serve brunch to people who had made a special trip out to Colorado for our wedding.

So I guess my question is, what's the problem with brunch? Why do so many people (including Econo Boy) seem to consider brunch not good enough to serve to people who have traveled to attend your wedding? I've always considered brunch luxurious, even decadent, and definitely worth a special trip. But are my childhood memories blinding me to the fact that brunch just isn't as "classy" as dinner? Or am I right -- brunch rules and should totally be served at more wedding receptions? Inquiring minds want to know!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wine Wednesday: Mixed Drinks

My mixed drinks IQ is pretty small. Growing up my parents never had hard alcohol in the house unless someone gave us a bottle as a gift, and those would sit gathering dust for years. When I hit college I discovered that I liked vodka with cranberry juice ... and almost nothing else when it came to hard alcohol. (OK, margarita on the rocks, but only with an enchilada platter.)

Long-stemmed martini glasses are the ultimate in cool, IMHO. If only I liked martinis ....
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Originally we weren't planning to serve any hard alcohol at the wedding, but the caterer we chose provides us with a bar package that includes tons of mixers and all of the necessary glassware: highballs, doubles, and even martini glasses if we want them. So we decided we'd like to buy a couple of bottles of alcohol for simple mixed drinks -- think gin & tonic, rum & coke, vodka & whatever. (To keep it simple, we're steering clear of mixed drinks that require multiple types of alcohol, like White Russians, Cosmopolitans, and Lemon Drop Martinis, or that need slightly exotic ingredients, like the Mojito, which needs fresh mint.)

The question is, which drinks should we pick? How many should we serve -- 1, 2, 3? And are there any obvious options I'm missing?