My boyfriend and I recently moved from Detroit to very rural (like, very very rural) Wyoming to own and operate a small business. We uprooted our lives, moved crossed country, left our families, and own a business together so, yes, marriage is part of our plan.
Our issue - and the reason I come to you - neither of us care about the ring, the engagement period, the planning, the wedding. We just want to and plan to be married. I feel like we could navigate things were we interested in the traditional steps. Instead, we're in this limbo where marriage is the goal, but we can't figure out the right timing to jump into things.
Here are the scenarios we've discussed:
We're going to Vegas in a few weeks for a work trip. Let's do it there by ourselves. Very simple. Done.
Both sets of parents are coming to visit us later in the summer. Let's plan a small ceremony with them. This leaves out our grandmothers and siblings though. I can rationalize eloping, I don't feel great about inviting some family but not others.
We can rent a local ranch and invite our parents, siblings and their partners, grandmothers, and a few very close friends. The total number would be under 30 and we would pay for a long weekend of activities and lodging for everyone.
I previously come from a marketing/events background so we're capable of planning a big event, but its just so... ugh. Our family is largely drama free but I know the girls will do the "but you really need to (insert item here)!" bit when they find out that I don't have a diamond and don't want traditional dress and there's no bridal party.
My mind honestly isn't made up yet. Tell me that we'll regret not having photos and that we'll regret rushing things. Tell me that small family drama turns into huge family drama and we should just elope in Vegas in three weeks. A part of me says this wedding isn't just about us, it's about our families and they deserve to participate so we owe them at least a ceremony.
If you don't want a wedding, DON'T HAVE A WEDDING.
My friend was marrying her longtime boyfriend, the third marriage for the groom. He invited his second wife as they were on good terms and she could wrangle their young son who was in the wedding party. Before my friend walked down the aisle, the ex-wife drunkenly announced it was a good thing the bride was keeping her name cause there have been A LOT of Mrs. Hislastnames!
During the cocktail hour, my husband tucked a few singles into my palm before heading to the restroom. (To tip the bartender because he knows I never think to bring cash anywhere.) I gave him an appreciative kiss. The ex-wife appeared out of nowhere to damply whisper in my husband's ear, "Did you just pay her a dollar to kiss you? See what I'll do for you for TEN dollars."
It's worth noting that neither I nor my husband had ever met or been introduced to this woman.
What if I just sprinkled wedding horror stories throughout the blog all the time? Good idea or TERRIBLE IDEA?
I've been loving cringing at the recent wedding horror stories, semi-smugly thinking I had nothing to contribute since our wedding day was awesome. Not sure if it's too late, but just remembered a little incident from our wedding I had pretty much forgotten/blocked out. I was having so much fun on the night it didn't even really upset me at the time, but on an intellectual level, I still think, wtf?
Our reception was held in a marquee in the gardens of a small property, right next to a converted grain silo that served as our wedding night digs. The silo also had a bathroom that only my husband and I were using. At one point during the night, I was busting to go to the loo, but one of my husband's friends held me up at the door to the silo. He alluded to the fact that two other friends were inside, and that I couldn't go in yet. Assuming they were up to some harmless mischief decorating our bed for the wedding night, I stayed outside til the other two busted out and they all ran away.
About two seconds into doing my business, I realised what they had actually been doing inside was putting plastic wrap over the toilet bowl. I was slightly drunk, holding up a big bunch of tulle, and pissing on my legs/the floor/everywhere. Miraculously, nothing actually got on my shoes or on my tea-length dress, which I'd been holding out in front. So I kinda just had to wipe myself off, get back to the party, and pretend nothing happened.
To this day I am still perplexed as to why someone would play this kind of prank on a bride, and why they would find it funny? These guys are all around 30, most married or with long-term partners, and usually some of the most sensible and responsible people I know. Seriously, what the
I imagine you have an overabundant supply of horror stories, but I thought I would contribute - for catharsis, if nothing else. I realize it might be way too long. If you decide to publish it, please keep it anonymous.
I consider my engagement and wedding to be the worst year of my life. It was cosmically bad.
Starting with my engagement, my husband proposed during one of the worst, most chaotic times of my life. I was finishing up a bunch of requirements for my degree (which mean lots of exams) and planning to present a paper at a conference in Europe for the first time. Stress compounded by more stress. I was working constantly and getting sick from the amount of stress, plus we were in a long distance relationship. He proposes because he is sweet and loves me. I am shocked and too stressed out to respond with the proper amount of happiness and excitement, even though I knew I wanted to marry him. I don't have time or energy to call people and tell them the news, so our engagement begins not with a bang but a whimper. I call my bf and have her tell my friends. Pathetic, but not for someone running on four hours of sleep each night. We are in a long-distance, cross-country relationship so we have to spend the first few months of our engagement 1000 miles apart - which is not fun - until I can move to where he is, my hometown. It's hard to be excited or even to feign excitement when a colleague notices the ring on my finger.
Then it gets really bad. Everyone expects me to start planning the wedding - my FH, my family, his family, my friends, are all asking questions. My FH and I are paying for the wedding with some help and have a budget under $10,000 (maxing out my possible student loans) but a guest list of 150 - which is doable if you plan it well and do everything yourself. There is not the possibility of hiring a wedding planner. My husband is a sweet-heart, but not up to the challenge of planning, booking, and organizing a large event. My mom is controlling and we have the opposite taste in everything, so she cannot be trusted with decisions. She also makes everything more difficult that it has to be - she could discuss table settings for weeks, when I need to make fast decisions without a lot of effort. She insists on stupid traditions, like having the table linens be the same shade as my dress - when we can't even afford table linens. (Do people actually do that shit?) I'm living 1000 miles from all my friends that could help and they are also pursuing degrees that make them equally busy. Despite these facts, everyone is asking me questions about the date, the venue, the decor, my colors, the bridesmaid dresses, themes, and other crap that I could not care less about because I am focusing on my education and career. When I respond with frustration, it is awkward. I'm engaged - shouldn't I be happily planning and chatting about how great the wedding flowers and my hair will be? My mom is furious at me that I'm not "including" her, even though I am not planning the wedding until I finish my degree requirements. My FH is texting me questions that I don't want to respond to, which creates friction and makes me look like a bitch… I tell everyone that no one is allowed to talk to me about the wedding until I am ready to plan it. I'm the worst bride-to-be ever.
Then I complete my work and move back to be with my FH and my family. I move from the South where it is 90 degrees and humid to the North where it is 40 degrees and rainy, after completing three exams and pushing myself to finish a major project. I am so stressed out, which combined with the major climate change makes me very, very sick. Sicker than I have ever been. I have to go to the doctor multiple times a week for a month. I have a weakened immune system that will not revive itself. I essentially become sick in every way possible. My skin breaks out in rashes, I have multiple infections, I cannot stay awake, and I cannot digest anything. I feel so sick, I want to die. This goes on for months as I try to plan a DIY wedding on a budget in a tiny studio apartment. I try to have my mom help, but she questions my every decision and makes me feel bad that I cannot afford nice linens or big floral centerpieces or to have our entire huge-ass extended family attend the wedding. I have to cut her out so I don't lose my mind. None of my friends live in my hometown, so I can't have them help. I give my husband tasks that he can complete, but he isn't going to be able to do the invitation calligraphy or make centerpieces, so I do it alone while I'm sick and barely able to stay awake for ten hours at a time. Everyone wants to talk about weddings with me, unaware of how much I have begun to loathe weddings. Oh, and I somehow managed to sew over my finger with a sewing machine the week before the wedding when I was trying to sew table squares while dictating a letter to my MOH. Yes, my finger was completely impaled by a sewing needle and it was gross. I had to use the hand wheel to pull the needle out of my own finger. Luckily my MOH was a med student and not phased at all.
Oh yeah, and the week before the wedding, my husband and I had to pack up all our belongings to prepare for a cross-country move for my work - so we had the stress of the wedding and moving at once. We were both cranky and over-worked leading up to the wedding.
The wedding finally arrives and I am healthy! I have been practicing yoga and following a strict gluten-free, sugar-free diet to regain my health. The wedding is a disaster. First of all, I either did everything myself or hired someone who was clueless (which happens when you try to go cheap). Every time I tried to delegate work, it ended up being MORE work because the person would check back with me 5+ times even though I insisted that I did not care and that I trusted his or her best judgment. Or the person ended up complaining about the work, even though it was miniscule compared to what I was doing. (Who are these DIY brides who have friends and family that are willing to help without complaining!?) My mom continued to vocally protest every decision that I made EVEN on the wedding day. I had made detailed instructions for the bridal party and photographers, but no one payed attention and would either disappear or ask me what they were supposed to be doing. A week before I had emailed the photographer a list of shots that I had put together and coordinated with what shots family members wanted. The photographer did not have the list at the actual wedding and expected me to remember them all. My face was twitching during the photos because I felt so overwhelmed by trying to organize the chaos of my own wedding. One of my friends stepped in and helped manage everyone, so I could survive the ceremony. And of course my mom said something very rude to that friend, which made me cringe all over. She not only insulted me, but had to insult the person who was trying to help the most. Perfect.
I was excited for the reception, which was at a different location (we did a church wedding). Everyone at the reception hall had detailed instructions and I met with the staff multiple times before the wedding. They seemed very capable. I was confident that everything would be beautiful and go smoothly. It did not. A lot of the decor was not set up - which is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but matters on a personal level if you made it by hand and had to forgo other things to spend money on it. The centerpieces looked awful - really awful! - because they had been half set up and so they looked pitifully small and weird. The staff had also sprinkled silica gel on tables because they didn't realize the little packets marked "toxic" were to make sure the dried flowers stayed dry. Silica gel is dangerous if consumed and is most definitely not glitter. We ran out of wine early at the reception, because we anticipated that more people would drink beer since it was summer, but that was not the case. An uncle also berated me about our wine selection, which was disappointing since we had invested a lot of time in picking out the wine and money in having an open bar. Also, I had designated a friend to be in charge at the reception so no one would bother me, but the staff still came to me with every question. Everyone that I had hired for the wedding seemed capable before the event, and helplessly confused during it. I still have no idea how this happened. Luckily I got two glasses of wine before we ran out!
I thought things would improve when the dancing started, but no. We had chosen to set up an iPod instead of getting a D.J. to save money. I've been to receptions that use an iPod instead of a DJ, and they have been awesome rock-your-socks-off dance fests. For some reason, it did not work for us. The music and chemistry of the crowd did not jive. People were not happy with the music we chose and kept making requests, which meant everyone was nagging my husband and me to change the music to a different song while we were trying to enjoy our reception. The venue was not conducive towards dancing either. It was not dim enough for our friends to feel comfortable dancing in view of my Quaker-like relatives that looked on with cold stares - and I had placed my these austere relatives right next to the dance floor, which was a horrible decision. Eventually the dance floor got going, but then the reception had to end. Leaving the reception with my husband was our favorite part!
On top of having a somewhat disappointing wedding, my mom continues to criticize my wedding and all the decisions I made, and it happened over a year ago! Every time she attends a wedding she has to tell me how they did things better. This annoys my husband too. We're thinking of having a "no one is allowed to talk about our wedding ever again" rule. I limited contact with my mother because I was hurt by so many things she had said during the engagement and wedding, as well as afterwards. I needed time to recover.
Even if circumstances had been friendlier or at least less unfortunate, my husband and I were somewhat doomed from the start. I have never enjoyed dressing up or being the center-of-attention. I also despise being treated like a princess -- which is the default way to treat a bride, at least in my experience. My husband hates planning and is also an introvert, so he found the wedding stressful even though he was excited to get married. We did not really look forward to or enjoy our wedding that much, which is sad. Part of me wants to say that we should have eloped or "Damn familial obligations and social expectations!" But I can't quite say that. There was something really amazing about seeing how excited people were for us at our wedding. There was genuine, contagious joy, even in the chaos. So I'm happy that we included our family and friends in our wedding, even with all the stress. And now I have 1000 pictures of myself in case I want to become obsessed with my appearance!
My Mom reads wedding blogs, so I am too much of a wuss to relate the details.
Long story short, my Dad has a drug problem. He kept his shit together most of my life, so his current drugged out wackiness still manages to surprise me. His behavior on the day before the wedding, during the ceremony, and at the reception was so outside of normal adult behavior (even intoxicated wedding guest behavior) that my Uncle called me after the wedding to see if my brother and I wanted to arrange an intervention. I cried in private several times on the day of the wedding, but had tried not to not dwell on my Dad. The day after the wedding I asked my brother if he thought anyone else had noticed my Dad's antics, or if I was just tuned into his behavior because it was my wedding. His response was that you would have to had been unconscious the entire time NOT to have noticed. I cannot even count the number of people who have asked me since, "So, what's the deal with your Dad?" My wife and I were really concerned about her conservative Christian family doing or saying something hurtful; we were totally worried about the wrong family member.
Bride had maids that ranged in size from 14 to 26, all with big 'ol boobs. Despite this, she had us mail order dresses that no one could try on ahead of time and couldn't be worn with bras (any, not even strapless). The dress arrived, I tried it on and dutifully sent her a picture of me in it, even though it wasn't a pretty site. So we're at the destination wedding and us maids all suit up and everyone looks absolutely embarrassing. The dresses tugged and pulled and created rolls where there usually were none, plus one riiiiiiiped open all the way down the back moments before the ceremony. Due to boning and fabric with zero give, the dresses were physically painful to wear and we looked terrible to the point of us all being panicked about ruining her pictures.
Bride heads off to a 3 week honeymoon planning to return a few days before her large local reception. Us maids all got together to pen an email where we profusely apologized for looking so terrible in the dresses, apologized for putting her in this position, and expressed our concern that we ruined her wedding pictures. We offered to all buy new dresses within her wedding colors, would pay for them without complaint, and assured they'd all match her vision. Bride responded that we were immensely selfish for interrupting her honeymoon, that we all should have lost weight prior to her wedding (ya know, because she got a boob job and tummy tuck. seriously) and that she "told everyone about the dresses" and would be so embarrassed if we showed up wearing something different.
In the years since, the Bride talks to zero of her four bridesmaids. I think the wedding was the turning point where we all realized how she treated people.
Planning the wedding was incredibly stressful. My husband and I both come from conservative families, and no one could seem to wrap their minds around a casual wedding in a park where I didn't care about things like bridesmaids or carrying a bouquet. I can't tell you how much my mother and I argued, or how hotly she criticized all my choices. My father regressed into a middle school child and gave me the silent treatment for five months.
So it was no surprise that when my father's best friend offered to play the violin at our wedding, he had no idea what kind of wedding I was having, and my parents couldn't help him. I tried my best to explain it to him, but he didn't get it, either. We eventually agreed that he would play the wedding march. He couldn't make it to the rehearsal, but he was a professional and it would be easy for him to figure out when to start playing, right?
The day of the wedding, the pastor asked the guests to turn their cameras off; a friend of ours would take pictures and we would be happy to share them. My father walked me to the beginning of the aisle. The guests stood up. We waited for the music to start. Nothing happened. I craned my neck to see what was the matter. Instead of holding his violin, my father's friend was TAKING PICTURES. I didn't know what to do. Everyone was staring at me. The pastor clearly had no idea what to do, either. We all stood there like a frozen tableau for a solid minute, until the violinist decided he had enough pictures and started to play. The rest of the wedding went off without a hitch.
Afterwards, my father, mother, and my father's best friend all told me they thought the wedding was going to be a disaster, but they were so surprised when it wasn't!
Also, we have almost no photographs of the reception because our photographer decided he would rather talk to mutual friends than, say, photograph guests. Be careful when you hire friends!
I don't know, ESB, this one might be too depressing for wedding horror story week.
My wedding day was kind of miserable. It is an experience that I would prefer to forget. The good news is I love my husband and I love being married. So perhaps the end justifies (or at least makes more bearable) the means?
My mother was an emotional wreck the whole day of my wedding. It started when I was taking pictures with the bridesmaids and groomsmen before the ceremony. I had to ask her to move to a different spot because she was in the picture. She ran to the bathroom crying. About 15 minutes before I walked down the aisle, my step-father cornered one of my bridesmaids and asked her to tell me that my mother was upset and that I should console her. My whole family is very passive-aggressive and avoids confrontation. Luckily my bridesmaid refused point blank to do this. She had my back.
As we were lining up to walk down the aisle, my mother was visibly upset so I pulled her aside and asked what was wrong. She started crying and told me "You haven't taken one picture with me yet, not one!" (insert foot stomping here). I told her that we were doing family pictures after the ceremony because we ran out of time before. This wasn't very consoling to her. I didn't know what else to do so I gave her a hug and said "I love you mom, I don't want you to be sad. I promise we will take a lot of pictures after the ceremony." She was still not pleased. I learned much later that she spent the whole ceremony with a stony, sour expression on her face. I'm so thankful that I couldn't see her while the ceremony was taking place.
After the ceremony, while we were taking family pictures, my mother was MIA. She was found crying in the bathroom again. Her behavior took me completely by surprise and I spent a good portion of the wedding worrying about her and trying to get her to have some fun. My attempts were futile. I was so anxious I barely had a drop of alcohol. In the meantime, my husband proceeded to get drunk. He wasn't the only one; by the end of the wedding his friends were completely sloshed, which I think was a bit of a shock to my very conservative Christian family. The minute the reception was over my mother went to the car without saying goodbye and insisted on leaving immediately, even though there were a few things I needed her help with. After everything was sorted and we were ready to go, I had a hell of a time getting my husband into the car. Once we got home, he passed out on the floor, halfway under the bed as he tried to get our cat to come out and play. I deiced to leave him there and go out for drinks with my bridesmaids. I needed it.
On the bright side, my bridesmaids were the best. They were extremely supportive the whole time and helped me have some fun amidst all the crazy. They made the ordeal survivable. And the pictures from the event are incredible, so there is that. I can console myself with the fact that at least my wedding LOOKED like it was perfect.
If I had it to do over again, I would elope. Probably in an exotic location. I would bring only my bridesmaids and my photographer with me. And I would match my husband drink-for-drink so that at the end of the night, he would have to carry me home.
my mother-in-law bought a dress almost identical to my wedding dress.
she was searching for a dress for months and continuously lamenting about how MY mother purchased the ONE color she intended to wear. this, despite having told me to let my mother pick first and then tell her so she would wear a different color. after months and months of, quote, ONLY finding dresses she liked in either blue or white (red flag #1) she purchased a pale (very pale pink and grey) floral, floor length gown. the only problem being, it was strapless, trumpet shaped, floor length and made of delicate, individual silk ribbons. it was literally, identical to my wedding dress in almost every way except for the color (my dress which she had seen and said she cried because of how beautiful it would look on me).
i freaked out and had to actually tell her i thought they might photograph too similarly and would make for odd photos. she returned it, but then continued to talk about how THEY WEREN'T THAT SIMILAR to anyone who would listen AT the actual wedding festivities.
A friend of mine found out she was pregnant a few months after she got engaged. Both she and her fiance grew up in pretty conservative Christian families (in fact, her fiance was in school to become a pastor at the time), so announcing this news to their families was not easy. But they decided that they couldn't keep it a secret -- the wedding was not supposed to happen for a whole year. Thankfully, the families seemed to take it pretty well. It was decided that the wedding date should be moved up so that the bride's belly wouldn't be noticeable in her wedding dress.
Everything was going along smoothly on the big day, until just moments before the bride was about to walk down the aisle. An extended family member approached her from out of nowhere and whispered to her that she should be ashamed and should not be wearing a white dress. The bride burst into tears and ran into the bathroom, leaving the groom waiting up at the altar. Her father told the offending guest to leave immediately. We consoled the bride. She made it down the aisle. They now have a gorgeous daughter who is the light and joy of their lives.
This is from my brother's wedding. Fortunately planning mine has mostly been smooth sailing.
I somehow became my brother's MIL's best friend during his wedding, probably because I work around obnoxious drunk people all day (bartender) so sober-crazy doesn't faze me. I first met her at the "bridesmaid's luncheon" the day before the wedding when she spent the time before her daughter, the bride, showed up going on and on about how irresponsible and immature her daughter was, and how "she thinks she knows what she's doing but she clearly doesn't!" This was in regard to the bride not including some "key shots" in her list for the photographer, and how she was going to regret not having those shots "for the rest of her life." After my future sister-in-law got there, they got into a yelling match over whether the flower girl's flowers were peach or ivory, and the fact that SIL "didn't care one way or the other" was yet another sign of her immaturity.
That night was the rehearsal. I helped unload the car and ended up carrying a shadow box display case. "What's this for?" I asked MIL once we were inside. "Well," she replied, "it's for the ring bearer's pillow topper in case he proves he can't handle the responsibility. We'll display it by the guest book for everyone to see."
For you see, she had spent 1300 (?? her estimate) hours making this thing (imagine a doily that is supposed to lay on top of the ring pillow), and it was just "too precious" to trust to the ring bearer if he demonstrated a lack of care for it. To see if he was up for the task, she made a "practice pillow" out of some old dish rags for the rehearsal.
The ring bearer, our adorable 3-year old nephew (who gifted us with the tearful outcry upon learning his title, "...bear?...I'm not a bear! I'm Damian!!") was, you know, 3 years old, and probably not up to the great responsibility of a pillow doily. He was given the practice pillow with five minutes of stern instruction from MIL, followed by a prayer from MIL that the Holy Spirit guide him in this task. I'm not kidding.
Rehearsal began, Damian did a surprisingly dignified strut down the aisle to his father (our brother/best man), where he dutifully stood for about 30 seconds. MIL was looking pleased as punch, and then the color drained from her face as Damian then shouted "THIS IS BORING!", sprinted back up the aisle, and threw his pillow into his mom's face as hard as he could.
MIL burst into tears and ran out of the sanctuary.
Various other drama aside (including MIL deciding the pillow topper didn't get enough viewing by the guest book and positioned the shadow box next to the cake at the reception), she then decided it was appropriate to spend half an hour telling me about how unsuitable she found my brother and how it was going to take 20 years of a happy marriage for her to believe this was a good decision.
We ran off and eloped, and it was beautiful and lovely and perfect. Almost.
Because our whole engagement was five days (after 8 years, so not totally rushed...), and I sorted out the paperwork, dress alteration and ring in lunchbreaks, we weren't able to get my ring resized in time. No problem. I'd wear it for the ceremony and once we were back, get it resized.
Ceremony was a summer evening in a lovely garden and then afterwards we had a picnic on the beach with really good red wine. By the time we packed up, it was dusk, we were slightly drunk, and as I flicked the sand off the picnic blanket my brand new wedding ring also flipped off into the sand. Where it went... not sure. Clumsily throwing myself on hands and knees to search for it in the half-dark almost certainly buried it, though we kept sifting through the sand trying to find it. No luck. Having managed to keep hold of my wedding ring for a good two hours before I had lost it made me feel a bit ridiculous but I was convinced I'd find it once the sun came up. Feeling like I was going to throw up all night I finally went back to the beach on my own in the early morning while new husband was still sleeping and directed a CSI-worthy sand search. No luck. In the end, I called my jeweller a couple of hours later (cue a somewhat amusing conversation to the incredulous guy as I explained I lost my wedding ring ON my wedding day) and just bought another identical ring by phone. My husband and I have decided to not talk about this forevermore so it doesn't become all we think about when we think of our awesome elopement. Needless to say, once in possession of my new ring, I got it resized pretty fucking quickly.
i had my final dress fitting at my seamstress' house, tried my dress on for my grandma and mom, was totally happy with it, paid for the alterations and took my dress home. the next day, at work, i receive this e-mail from my mom:
"Regarding your wedding dress, your Grandmother was saying that she thought it was way too tight up at the top - she was really surprised about it, and actually I was sort of too. I wish she had spoken up during the fitting. It seems VERY tight under your arm pits and in the back, to the point where your flesh is hanging over somewhat. I don't think it's you having gained weight or anything, but I think the seamstress must have misjudged and took it in too much. Is it comfortable? Are you sure you don't want to have it let out just a little at the top?"
YOUR FLESH IS HANGING OVER SOMEWHAT.
these are not words that anyone ever wants to read in an e-mail, especially when it's about your wedding dress, a week before your wedding. family is supposed to have your back, not your back fat. and speak up at the dang dress fitting -- that's what they're for!
I just booked a little gig on a short film, which means the next ten days are going to be hec-tic. No time for lovely, leisurely blogging with speedy wifis.
So here's the plan: Send me your very best (i.e. WORST) wedding horror stories, and I'll throw em up on the blog via iphone.
They can be stories about your wedding, your best friend's wedding, your crazy-ass cousin's wedding.... Or, vendors!, stories about crazy-ass brides you have had the misfortune to work with. I promise to keep it all anonymous, as usual.
Because you have impeccable taste, I thought I'd ask...
I'm wearing this for our wedding (thanks to Net-a-Porter's unbelievable sale). I'll accessorize with nude or snake print heels, my great grandmother's heavy gold wedding bracelet, and delicate gold earrings and necklace, gifts from my partner. Since nothing about this getup says "bride" I'd like to wear something on my head. But what?
I have longish, dark, wavy hair and plan to wear it half up. I don't think a veil would work, though I do love fingertip veils with wide lace at the end. I generally despise those giant, poufy hat-like things all the rage since the royal wedding, most blusher or birdcage veils, and the boho flower crown look.
My fiance and I are getting married in less than 4 months in Las Vegas and I don't have a dress. I am not even close to knowing what I want or what would be appropriate. My guys and his best men are wearing black suits, white shirts and black ties. My best ladies are wearing a short black dress of their choice (I want them to really be able to wear their dress again).
We are getting married at a hotel (see: attached photo of ceremony space). We're ditching the purple uplighting, dimming the lights and adding lots of candles. Followed by drinks on a double decker bus and dinner in a swanky restaurant's private dining room with 30 of our closest friends and family.
Everything is set - except for the dress and I have no idea where to start. Can you or your readers help me out? What would you wear?
Dear my readers,
What would YOU wear to get married in Vegas?
(Under $1000, s'il vous plait)
I think I'd go for this baby from Alexander Wang Resort 2013 (thx Anna!), which is sadly not for sale yet.
Gotta thank Virginia for calling my attention to these:
Just wanted to make sure that someone else--who is also opposed to the bridal "costume change" (except at Indian weddings, where it's part of the ceremony, has meaning, and is great)--had seen the $300 lace bloomers up on BHLDN that are supposedly for changing into after you change out of your reception dress but before you leave to go on your honeymoon. A separate (TERRIBLE) outfit for the rice-throwing portion of the evening?
I have a post-mortem wedding question. I know that it's fairly common for people who skimped on photography to be a little bit sad afterwards, but here's the deal. My fiance and I completely upped our photography budget, thinking, this is going to be our only take-away from the day. And while we have some very beautiful images, we don't have the pictures we really want from the day because our (very award-winning) photographer arrived 45 minutes late, all of our photos were rushed, and he spent time during dinner, etc. frantically taking (too few) pictures of details and pictures that were missed earlier in the evening. Our photographer somehow seemed to miss all of the details and a lot of 'moments,' and perhaps something was 'off' or 'wrong' that day, but we wouldn't know, because he never mentioned it.
Now, looking at our recently arrived proofs is very bittersweet. After the wedding I began to come to terms with the fact that we had missed a lot of opportunities for portraits (it's fine if I just had one with my bridesmaids, because, well, I was only going to frame one anyway- right? and it's kind of OK that we don't have a picture of my husband with his brothers and dad together). I told myself they'd be well-represented in the candids (but there were only about 120 candids from the 5 hours spent dining and dancing) and that seeing some great candids would more than make up for it. It only got worse when I realized that so many of the details i poured my heart into were not captured (everything from the details of the invite- which we gave him to photograph to the fact that or that our signature cocktails were orange and blue- a nod to the college town where we wed).
I know we have little recourse now, having already paid, and also having the quality of our photos, etc. held hostage at the whim of the photographer. I guess my question is two-fold, do you (and your highly esteemed professional photographer friends) think we have any recourse/options? And besides telling myself to stop wallowing, do you have any suggestions to make me feel better/what we can do now to try to capture some of our missed moments?
Give it a year.
In a year, you will not give one shit about the wedding photos.
Sooooooooo I've been in Austin for almost a week, visiting my MIL, helping H with a shoot, and mostly sitting on my ass. I begged Kat (one of my fave Texans I've never met) to write something that would inspire me to drag H out of the house....
Helloooooo ESB-ers! As we all know, Austin pretty much kicks ass. In fact, Ms. ESB is there right now (and for some reason HAS NOT EATEN FRITO PIE YET). As such, she’s asked me to put together a wee lil what-to-do-in-Austin post.
Now, this list is by no means all-inclusive. My husband and I visit a lot because we have family and friends there. We tend to do things on the cheap so that we can spend our dollars on really great, locally-made stuff from incredible artists. We’re also kind of outdoorsy and like to spend a lot of time hiking, walking, or just sitting outside in the shade with a good beer. Austin is perfect for being outside (when the weather isn’t super hot), so I cannot recommend enough that you explore the outdoor activities the city has to offer!
Torchy’s Tacos, Tacodeli, and Taco Shack – All Austin institutions. Pretty delicious. I prefer Tacodeli, but really, it’s like picking a favorite ice cream. Can’t lose.
Spider House Cafe – A funky neighborhood coffee/tea spot. Kombucha on tap (if you like that stuff. GROSS.) Great atmosphere.
Caffe Medici – Seriously good coffee, and the one on West Lynn is in an adorable neighborhood.
P. Terry’s – Austin’s (much better) version of In-N-Out burger. Their black bean burger is delicious, and their fries are great. We always try to hit it. Several locations around town.
Iron Works – Really good old-school Texas barbeque in downtown Austin. They have a 2-story porch that overlooks the creek.
El Chilito – An order-at-the-window taco shop that’s pretty tasty.
Amy’s Ice Cream – An amazing Austin ice cream shop (that’s spread all over Texas). Actually, it’s more like frozen custard. Really intensely rich and so, so good. My father-in-law calls all locations near him when it’s time for Peppermint Ice Cream to hit the coolers and stocks up for the year.
Kerbey Lane – Pretty delicious breakfast around the clock. Fun pancakes like lemon poppy seed, etc, that change pretty frequently. My favorite thing to get is the Eggs Francisco: English muffin topped with scrambled egg, tomato, avocado, and queso. Ask for black beans as a side.
Mi Madre’s – Excellent Mexican food. We try and go for breakfast. And don’t worry if it looks crowded or if you have a hard time finding a parking spot – the restaurant has TONS of seating, so send someone in to check if there’s a wait. There usually isn’t.
South Congress – This is typically what we do on any given trip. It’s touristy and popular, but for a reason: it’s Austin in a nutshell. There are great shops, restaurants, and street vendors, and the whole drag is walkable. I recommend starting with breakfast either at Magnolia Cafe (on S. Congress & Johanna) or at Jo’s Hot Coffee & Good Food (the sight of the famous “I Love You” graffiti, on the north end at S. Congress and James). Do it before it gets too hot. You can eat lunch anywhere on the strip – there are tons of food trucks and a few good restaurants worth checking out. They offer everything from cilantro lemonade to Thai food, so I recommend surveying before settling on one place.
6th Street – Hit 6th Street after dark if you’re into bar-hopping. If you go around dinner time, lots of bars have rooftop seating and you can enjoy a nice drink before all the college kids get there. It’s a major spot for college students and bachelorette parties, so be aware that it gets kind of loud and crazy after 10 pm. They close the street down at night for safe(ish) walking conditions.
Hamilton Pool Nature Reserve – If you can spare the 30-minute drive, this is totally worth it. A great swimming hole and perfect for the humid and hot Austin summers.
Barton Springs Pool – Also a great place to swim, but in Austin proper. It’s COLD, so be prepared!
Bob Bollock Texas State History Museum – Again, I’m kind of a nerd about these things, and I love it. The last time we were there, artifacts from the “Belle” (La Salle’s ship) were on display. Really, really awesome.
Tubing on the Guadalupe – There is nothing better than taking a day to drink beer and float on the river when it’s blazing hot outside. It’s one of the post popular things to do in the Texas Hill Country (and for good reason). So if you have an extra day to do it, pack up a cooler (here are the rules about open containers) and head south on I-35 for about 30 minutes to New Braunfels. Now, you can tube on most rivers in the area, but the Comal recently adopted some strict rules about river activities. So tubing the Guadalupe is the way to go. AND DON’T FORGET SUNSCREEN. You will fry otherwise!
Here are the directions (there are a couple of ways to get there): The first is to go south on I-35 and exit for FM 306. This way tends to be packed and slow-going, so if that’s the case, then do this: go south on I-35, take the exit for 306, go straight until you see Hwy 337, and turn right onto Hwy 337. You’ll cross over Hwy 46 once, but when you see it again, turn right on it, then turn right onto FM 2722 and then take another right on FM 2673. It’ll be on your right when you dead-end into FM 306.
Pedernales Falls – Less than a hour away, this state park is really beautiful. A nice break from the city. Great hikes. Uncommon Objects – Fantastic thrift/junk-type shop on South Congress. I could spend hours in there.
By George – Beautiful clothes. Can’t say enough good things about this boutique.
Toy Joy – A really, really cool toy shop stocked floor-to-ceiling with all kinds of neat shit.
Prototype Vintage Design – on South Congress and Milton. Not thrift prices, but really great. Honestly, any vintage shops on South Congress are very well-stocked and not too expensive. I’ve found some amazing stuff on this street.
Hike in Zilker Park – Austin has good parks and is famous for outdoor activities, and this is no exception.
Places I haven’t tried, but are on the list:
Salt Lick (in Driftwood, NOT ROUND ROCK) – One of the most famous barbeque places in the state. Nick is chomping at the bit to try the one in Driftwood after a visit to the mediocre location in Round Rock. I’m vegetarian, but I would totally try their brisket.
Uchiko – Everyone is raving about this Japanese food place, so it must be good. It’s on the list. [Editor's Note: My MIL took us here the day after I arrived. It is NOT cheap -- we did a tasting menu, and I'd rather not know what the final bill came to -- but it was truly an incredible meal.]
Taco Xpress – I’m always on the hunt for a good migas taco, and rumor is, theirs is awesome.
Bows + Arrows – This shop’s stuff has made the rounds on the interwebs and looks really fantastic. Can’t wait to go there. [Update: The proprietress of Bows + Arrows up and moved to Nashville. Her new shop, Arrow and Arrow, is online only. There is a pair of cute stores, JM Dry Goods and Spartan, at 215 South Lamar where B+A used to be. ]
Schatzelein – Beautiful jewelry from independent designers.
Finch – Sells some fun stuff, including Heath Ceramics.
Strut – Great prices. From what I’ve heard, some really fun things can be found here.
Eastside Café – Have heard so many good things about this place. Definitely worth a shot.
So I hope that’s enough to get you started should you ever be in the area. Austin is always changing and new shops and restaurants are constantly opening. You really can’t go wrong as long as you stay away from chains!
My fiance and I live on the east coast, but are getting married in the midwest (where both of our families are). My parents are paying for most of the wedding, with a few contributions from my future in-laws. My fiance and I are both students so paying for a wedding ourselves was pretty much out of the question. It is a smallish wedding, nice but nothing over the top. I am super busy and didn't want to make myself crazy with unnecessary details and DIY b.s. Our wedding is less than 30 days away, and my mom has recently gone off the deep end and made it all about her.
My mom and I went together to pick out the venue, did the tasting, picked out flowers, had a trial-run hair appt., bought decorations, etc., TOGETHER. My fiance came along to scout the venue but wasn't able to make a second trip back to the midwest so the rest of the decisions were mostly made by my mom and me. My mom is very controlling and can be very negative. While I am usually very easygoing and pretty much let her call the shots, I was more firm and assertive with the wedding planning. Partly because I do feel like it's one of the few times in my life it is about me, and partly because most of her opinions were based on impressing the guests rather than any of her own preferences.
Fast forward to now, less than a month before the wedding, and she has now called to tell me how angry and hurt she is because she says I excluded her from EVERY decision about the wedding. That is not how I see it. She gave me input on almost every decision, but in some cases I made my own decisions and did not go along with her input. To be clear, the overall wedding is exactly what she wanted (as in the venue, food, ceremony, etc. are all consistent with her "input"). The details that I didn't compromise on are minor, like table runners, number of people in the wedding party being even on both sides (she wanted it to be even, I said my fiance and I were going to ask who is important to us and not worry about numbers), I let the bridesmaids choose their own dresses (she wanted them to match exactly), etc.
There are a few decisions I made on my own without asking for her input (readings for the ceremony, the sash for my dress), frankly because I was pretty tired of her criticism (she spent at least 30 minutes on the phone criticizing my fiance's choice of suit, for one example). For the record, there was not one decision she directly said she wanted to make on her own, just a lot of criticism and indirect comments.
She has now told me that she is irreparably hurt and that "this can never be undone." She has also said that my excluding her has ruined the wedding. To add to that, she said I am selfish, self absorbed, and that she will be bitter forever about how I ruined this for her because I am her only daughter. She said that weddings are supposed to be a "mother-daughter" event (I would disagree and say they are a family celebration, and the focus should be the couple).
I feel terrible that she is saying this to me, but I also feel like I included her in every decision so I feel like her hurt feelings are unwarranted. My guess is she is mad that she didn't get to MAKE every decision. I also think it is new for her that I am being a little more assertive and she's having a hard time accepting it. I don't want to have all of these negative feelings and anxiety about how she's going to behave the day of the wedding. My fiance is great, my friends are all happy and supportive, and my dad doesn't seem to have any hurt feelings (my parents are still married so they talk to each other about this). So if not for this, I would feel great about the wedding coming up.
I'm not sure, should I apologize to her? And if so, for what? Am I being selfish? Right now I feel terribly guilty and am not sure what to do.
Your mom is behaving like a five-year-old because she's sad that you're all growed up. (Irony, much?) She just realized that in 30 days, you realllllllllly won't need her any more.
You DO NOT owe her an apology, but cut her some slack. Just tell her, "I love you, mom. The wedding is going to be beautiful."
My fiance and I are getting married very soon. We are getting SUPER excited, but I have a really strange guest list situation that I need to resolve. When we made our list months ago, my fiance included a couple who are his friends from undergrad. These friends live in Texas and the wedding is taking place in Chicago.
Among their group this couple is NOTORIOUS for saying that they'll be somewhere and then inexplicably not showing up. In fact, when they replied yes for our wedding another friend made the comment, "Don't believe them." Our final number is due to our caterer on Friday, and we would really like to avoid paying for people who are unlikely to actually show up. Last night my fiance asked what their travel plans are so we could decide to include them or not. They said they're planning to make the 20 hour drive, but they don't know when they're traveling, whether they'll take one or two days for the trip, and they have no reservations at a hotel or plans for lodging.
We think there's a less than 10% chance that they're actually going to follow through and be at the wedding. We all know that it's expensive to host a wedding, and we had to make some hard decisions about our guest list, so I think the difference of 2 people is significant enough to think about.
So here's my question: What do I do? Do I take them out of the final number, even though they say they're going to come? That doesn't seem ok to me. Can I include them in the final number, but invite a couple of other local friends at the last minute in the event that they decide to bail? Is that rude to the last-minute guests? Or just deal with it?
I'm not going to lie, I regret the decision to invite these people over other friends, but I'm wondering what's acceptable now that we're dealing with this situation.
Include the flakes in your final numbers (obvs) and prepare to be pleasantly surprised if they show.
Now go write your fucking vows. This is not something you should waste your energy on.
So I got married almost a year ago, and to celebrate our first anniversary we're heading to Peru to hang out in the Amazon and amongst the Inca ruins.
Now I can guess in advance you're against renewal ceremonies, but hey I love this man insanely, and want to tell this guy I love him all over again. I've arranged a little renewal ceremony up on top of the mountain where Machu Picchu is with a shaman.
What the hell do I wear to this?
Yeah. Like I said over here, a vow renewal implies -- to me -- that someone has broken a vow.
But that's not my biggest problem with your plan.
Here's the bigger problem: Unless you have an actual connection to Peruvian/Andean culture, "arranging a little ceremony" to coincide with your vacationstrikes me as an asshole move.
I mean, a pair of atheists orJews or fucking METHODISTS would never be permitted to get married (or renew their vows) in a Catholic church, right? So why is it cool to just waltz into Peru and hire a shaman?
Should you insist on going forward with this, tribal hats may be purchased on etsy.
I've debated whether or not I should ask you (and your lovely commenters) this because I'm afraid I already know the answer. But I'm so torn about it!
I kind of.... hate my sister/moh's girlfriend. I've NEVER told or even hinted at this. I mean, she makes my sister happy and SHE loves her so why the hell should my feelings about the gf matter? They don't! I've also recently learned that a lot of my family doesn't either. Both my parents, my other sister, my groom, several close friends... we're all on the same boat of dislike but have never breathed the tiniest word about it. Partly because it isn't our place but partially because my sister is really sensitive/get REALLY offended REALLY easily. But I don't know how to emphasize how unlikable she is! My mom, who never talks bad about anyone, calls her a manipulative liar! In the past she's lied about things just to cause drama between my sister and I. She baby talks ALL the time! She always butts in advice when no one has asked! When she gets drunk she becomes super rude and will pick fights with anyone, my sister included. Then they bicker in front of everyone making us all uncomfortable. She even really inappropriately flirts with my fiance! She just doesn't understand how to properly behave at least 75% of the time.
To cut to the chase, the gf's presence irks me so much that I want to figure out a way to ask my sister VERY politely to not get ready with us pre-wedding. OF COURSE she's still invited to the actual wedding, just the morning hair/makeup/familypre-bonding time. But the gf is SO used to be included in all family events even sister-days.
I'm worried that 1) asking will offend my sister SO MUCH that it'll ruin or make the wedding day super awkward and a thousand times worse than if I had just sucked up and let the gf hang around. 2) Asking will reveal my well hidden complete dislike of the gf and strain the relation between my sister and I.
I don't know what to do! Do I continue to grin and bear it to keep an already established peace and not upset any balances? Or do I let myself have a selfish moment, possibly mar a relationship, possibly ruin my wedding with my sister mad at me, and have my dream wedding morning with JUST my sisters and moms?
I read your blog daily, and I was hoping to never have a problem that would rise to ESB-level, but unfortunately I wasn’t so lucky. I will try to be as brief as possible.
My FH is from New Zealand. He has a younger brother, "Mike", who is 34. Mike has been with "Emily" for at least 7 years (they have lived together for that long). They are not engaged, and I don't think Mike has any plans to propose (a whole different topic completely). When I first met her last year in Auckland she immediately vented her frustration with not being engaged and told me she planned to propose to Mike on Leap Day (2012). However, in January, my FH proposed to me. Emily never proposed to Mike. And FH and I are happily in love and planning our wedding. Unfortunately, I am Facebook friends with Emily.
She posted this as a status update after I had posted an engagement photo of FH and me on Facebook (her status postings are in blue and are only altered to change the names of people referenced):
May 18 It's amazing how someone (or a pair of people in this instance) can burst your bubble so much that you give up on your own hopes and dreams...sad but true
Now, let me say she is overall a pretty negative person, so posts like this are not shocking. But I couldn’t help but realize the timing of the post, the “pair” reference, etc. I mentioned it to FH and while we assumed it was in reference to our engagement photo, we tried to give her the benefit of the doubt. I forgot about it and went on with my life.
Then a week later, she posted this as her status update:
May 28 Yes, I'm hoping that one day Mike and I will be able to take time out to enjoy life a bit before we're too old to move! I keep reading people's status updates and think, shit, where do people find the time and money to have fun (this includes going out for dinner or coffee for god's sake let alone going away for the wknd, going overseas, entertaining, etc. etc.??) Jealous much, fuck yeah! It's tak...ing me a lifetime to save to go to a family wedding in LA (my first time overseas - voluntary) - It's very, very likely I may need to forfeit that cos I'm still too fucking poor!! Never mind study loan shit. Prostitution has been an option for many, many years, but I'm still struggling with the concept to go ahead with it...and Mark would kill me. Donations to the "Emily Fund" very welcome.
Hey Linz - thanks for the feedback - I can see where you're coming from :) But firstly, I'm too old and ugly to be fluttering my eyes at punters to earn $$, secondly I am working (part-time while studying full time) but business is shit wit...h the current econmic market, thirdly, our internet costs are a flat rate per month despite how much I use (which isn't too much at all) so happy days, and finally, I do get to spend time with family and friends every now and then which is absolutely great, but I miss being able to go out for dinner/coffee/anything once in a while or being able to buy something nice without having to consider how I am going to live (survive) for the next week. I never buy clothes, and I haven't even had my hair cut or coloured in over 7 years to save $$. I do it all myself - that's why I look so shit. One day I'll win lotto and hopefully get a well-paying job, too!! ;) Postive thinking mate, I'll get there!!! :)
This one caused me to be somewhat angry because she’s complaining about having to save for our wedding in LA (Los Angeles), and I'm like, don't do me any favors. But, I also felt sorry for her becuase she's having to save for our wedding, so I bought a New Zealand Groupon for a dinner and was preparing to email it to her. P.S. Mike owns his house in Auckland, and they are not poor. Let me also say Mike is also on Facebook, and I have yet to confirm whether he has seen all of these crazy posts.
Then prior to my sending the Groupon, and just after I had posted about 30 engagement photos on Facebook, she posts this as her status:
May 31 I know, I know, jealousy makes you nasty - but come on! If you knew the circumstances, you'd so be backing me on this one!! Yet another kick to the guts! Pity it's extended family doing the kicking - perhaps it's time for a revist of the mid-life crisis I had earlier this year... :(
This is pretty much when I got actually angry/annoyed. I am kicking her in the GUTS? I talked to FH and told her that she is crazy, and I really didn't want anyone at our wedding that isn’t happy to be there and happy for us. He agreed that she’s crazy. He says her whole family is crazy, and we have to treat her like a person with a disease. Long story short, even though his parents, my FH, and I all think she’s a bit crazy and rude, we are still supposed to invite her to our wedding (per my FH). FH is convinced that she won’t come because she either can’t afford it or just won’t want to be there (weird that Mike wouldn't buy her ticket, but again, not my issue). I don’t want to take that chance! But, I gave in, and said I wouldn’t deal with it for now.
Then she posted this as her status today:
11 hours ago I need to remind myself that I should never envy others because everyone has their own life (and shit to deal with) and you never know what's gonna happen in the future. (just trying to justify a jealous reaction to certain things and, naturally, to a wedding coming up next year... *^&#^*(@(*$*(@(^(@*) I need to remember to love & appreciate what I have now and stop comparing my life to others (a ...heavy burnden I've carried from my high school years of comparison and competing - YUKKY memories, but true, hence the reason I hate my RGHS years!) BUT, life is what you make of it - I am happy now, and I have genuine people in my life who love me for me, so that's all that matters. Ok, had my rant. Thanks for reading/listening! Have a good weekend peeps xx
So, now I’m just at a loss. FH is still saying we need to treat her like she has a disease. I’m wondering why if she’s so off her rocker that Mike is with her. He’s a good looking, nice, smart guy. And this is just unbelievable.
So here’s my question: I know she’s obviously very disturbed and super unhappy with her life. But I'm also incredibly affected by this behavior. I just don’t think I can let this go and have her show up at our wedding and put on this attitude. Plus, she'd be at EVERY event because she's "family," and Mike is a groomsman. FH doesn’t want me to say anything to provoke her. Also, our save the dates are going out next week, and I cannot imagine the backlash from that.
What can I do? What should my FH do? How do I get him to do it? What do I do with the Groupon? Any Kiwi-readers want it?
Your FH is right. You have to invite the crazy lady.
Hide her damn updates, and FOR THE LOVE OF GOD ease up on the engagement-photo stream.
Firstly just wanted to say that I enjoy reading your honest, to the point advice on your blog. When I started planning our wedding, a civil ceremony to unite a Canadian (me) and a Dane (him) here in Denmark, I realized I wasn't a super traditional bride. It was refreshing to see others wedding plans and great to see that I'm not the only one out there not lusting after yards of tule and diamond studded tiaras.
We did absolutely everything ourselves, from the cooking to the decorating, and although I wouldn't recommend it to everyone, I enjoyed every bit of it. Anyway to that token I wanted to share the photos of our perfectly quirky wedding day, made even quirkier by me breaking my foot a week before, a giant high heels meets train tracks oopps.