Thursday, December 27, 2007

GUESTBOOKS: USEFUL OR A WASTE OF SPACE?

Thanks for the comments.

It's interesting to think about doing this at a lower cost, as Tara suggested -- I imagine there *MUST* be a way of pulling it off, without spending $6500 bucks to do it!!

I do agree with Linda, too, though, that this type of thing may be intimidating to people (or at least not in keeping with the traditional idea of a guest book)-- Not that I would be spending this much $$$$, but can you IMAGINE being the guest to drop the bowl? Can you imagine being the bride in that situation? Ugh. That's the one comment my mom made when I emailed her a link to the Steuben bowl, with the subject heading "If I had all the $$$ in the World" -- her reaction: "I'd be really afraid someone would drop it."

Either way, not sure I'll be going with a glass bowl - but it is something to keep in mind. I'm checking out martha stewart link too....she always has interesting and crafty ideas, so that is a great suggestion!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A WEDDING FAIRY QUESTION: GUEST BOOKS - USEFUL OR WASTE OF SPACE?

IF I had all the money in the world, *THIS* would be my "guestbook":


Photo is courtesy of Stuben, the maker of this beautiful work of art.

I think this (for those of you who don't feel like going to the link, it's a glass bowl that guests can literally etch their signatures into) is an absolutely BEAUTIFUL signature piece, and such an interesting, unique way of handling the guest book situation.

I'm trying to figure out whether a guest book is necessary, useful or [insert any positive adjective here].

I understand the point of them, for sure -- but when I go to weddings, I NEVER really know what to WRITE. Getting too personal feels uncomfortable to me, but writing "Congratulations! We're so excited for you!" also feels--well--boring.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the guest book concept -- I'm having an internal debate right now about the necessity of having one (given my experience as a guest with them -- and how whatever I end up writing never seems to be all that memorable), and if people have alternative ideas.

Just to clarify, however: I AM OBVIOUSLY NOT GETTING THE CRYSTAL ETCHABLE BOWL, as I am not part of Women Entertainment's "Platinum Wedding" show!!!

Stay tuned!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

NOTHING TO DO WITH ETIQUETTE, BUT... (WE HAVE A WINNER!)

Thanks, ladies, for all of your help with the shoes.

I am so impressed that Steve Madden has a make-your-own line - awesome!

Colorifics and Seychelles were also really good ideas. Really cute stuff!!!

I didn't mention what I was looking for (sorry) -- I didn't have the shoes (obviously) for my first fitting, so we estimated I would need a heel no higher than 3 inches. I figured between 2-3 inches was what I would go for -- but then I found these shoes...

I ended up finding a pair at Stuart Weitzman which I loved in the store (of course, the 6 1/2, my normal size, was too big on me -- and they didn't have the 6!) Sigh. Admittedly, I knew they were over my price range BUT I figured I'd throw caution to the wind--and try the size 6 from Zappos. They *say* on Stuart Weitzman they are 2 inches-- but they seem pretty low to me. Either way, I'm hoping they will work with my dress!!!

Just tried them on -- a *teeny* bit snug -- but I've already stretched them out a bit by wearing them with socks :) I figure they will give a little bit more once I break them in -- given that it's a low heel, I also figure it'll be more comfortable than what I otherwise would have gotten! I absolutely love them, so I'm hoping they work out.

Here they are! http://www.zappos.com/n/p/dp/30704635/c/933.html


Admittedly these were a bit over my price range, but they were exactly what I was looking for.

Thanks to all for your helpful advice!! :)

Stay tuned! Much more to come. Just spoke with my mom, and she reminded me that TallGuy and I need to go tux shopping for him soon. UGH.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

NOTHING TO DO WITH ETIQUETTE, BUT...

....why is it so dang hard to find wedding shoes?

I've already bought and returned two pairs that I ordered on-line (too big, then too small), and I've gone to every store in NYC imaginable that would carry them.

What gives?

I guess everyone's into non-matchy matchy wedding shoes these days.

But is it so hard to find a pair of pretty white ones for the girls who don't want metallic strappy sandals?

Geez.

Sorry for the vent, but I'm curious if others out there are experiencing the same thing.

Any thoughts?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

SEATING SLIP-UPS (REDUX, TAKE TWO): Q + A TIME.



Hi Everyone!

I thought I'd take some time to write a post while TallGuy is happily playing GuitarHero III on the Wii. I think this may have been the best holiday present I've ever gotten for him - AND it gives me time to do my girly wedding stuff without feeling guilty (not that he isn't totally happy with my doing it - but at least I feel like he's completely 100% occupied with something else!)

I received a comment/question from a reader, to which I wanted to respond (since I think these questions help many people out there tackle similar issues):

This is from Kirs10la (thanks for reading and the question, K!)

To mix things up a little bit, I'm going to answer Ks question IN CAPS AFTER EACH COMMENT/QUESTION, SO AS TO MAKE IT MORE CONVERSATIONAL. IF ANY OF YOU HAVE TROUBLE READING MY RESPONSES, LET ME KNOW (I WILL PUT THEM IN BOLD AS WELL TO MAKE IT CLEAR WHERE I AM RESPONDING.

"Let me start by saying... that I agree with your beefs on the slideshows and grand entraces/exits. Cheese balls with cheese on top.


[WEDDING FAIRY]: THANKS FOR BACKING ME UP ON THAT ONE. I THINK SLIDESHOWS AND GRAND ENTRANCES CAN BE DONE TASTEFULLY AND ELEGANTLY, FOR SURE, BUT THE MAJORITY OF THE ONES THAT I ENCOUNTER ARE ALWAYS SO OVER THE TOP. I WAS AT A WEDDING RECENTLY WHERE THE HAPPY COUPLE CAME INTO THE ROOM TO THE THEME SONG FROM ROCKY. I ALSO WAS AT A DIFFERENT WEDDING WHERE THE SLIDESHOW WAS LITERALLY 20 MINUTES LONG - I THINK BRIDES CAN DO WHAT THEY WANT, BUT ANYTHING THAT SEEMS EVEN REMOTELY OVER THE TOP, OR OVERDONE, SHOULD BE RE-THOUGHT.


But let me take on the Sweetheart table from the Bridesmaid/ Groomsmen point of view. My Fiance and I have been in many weddings in the 5 years we've dated. There is NOTHING we loath more about being wedding attendant than sitting at the head table. We want to sit with EACH OTHER. AND we don't want to be sitting with people we hardly know while the other sits at the head table for two hours during a 4 course meal.

[WEDDING FAIRY]: I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU ABOUT THE HEAD TABLE SCENARIO BEING AWKWARD WHEN ONE HALF OF THE COUPLE IS NOT IN THE WEDDING PARTY. THAT HAPPENED TO ME WHEN TALLGUY AND I WENT TO A DESTINATION WEDDING - TALLGUY SAT AT A TABLE WHERE HE LITERALLY KNEW NO ONE, BECAUSE I WAS IN THE WEDDING PARTY. IT WAS REALLY CRAZY.

For our wedding we are having a Sweetheart table because to fit a head table of 22 (maid & men, plus their husbands/wives/bfs/gfs, plus us) is too big to work in the room we have. We thought about doing "family" with us at the table but I have no immedaite family besides my parents (family full of only children... scary I know). And neither of us want to sit up there with our parents only (what could be more romantic than sitting with your parents?!). So we're doing a Sweatheart table by default. BUT we promise not be on platform or eat filet while everyone eats pasta, AND we promise to mix and mingle with everyone (we're both super social so I don't see it being a problem).

K, I DON'T SEE IT BEING A PROBLEM EITHER. MY CONCERN WITH SWEETHEART TABLES IS--AND ALWAYS HAS BEEN--HOW THEY ARE DONE (IT'S REALLY NOT THE ACTUAL INSTITUTION OF SWEETHEART TABLES ITSELF). IF THE TABLE IS DONE ELEGANTLY AND THE BRIDE/GROOM ARE INTERACTING WITH GUESTS, EATING THE SAME DISHES (!!) AND ON THE SAME LEVEL - LITERALLY :), THEN I THINK THIS MAKES SENSE AS AN OPTION.

IF SITTING WITH IMMEDIATE FAMILY IS NOT AN OPTION, THEN YOU ARE RIGHT THAT THIS SCENARIO MAY WORK THE BEST.

Do you think a sweetheart table is OK for us? Do you have any better ideas?

[WEDDING FAIRY]: IT SOUNDS AS IF YOU'VE REALLY THOUGHT ALL THE SEATING SCENARIOS AND ISSUES THROUGH. I DON'T THINK OF THIS AS A "BETTER" IDEA- BUT ANOTHER SUGGESTION COULD BE TO SPLIT UP YOUR WEDDING PARTY, AND YOU SIT WITH THE PEOPLE YOU FEEL CLOSEST WITH AT ONE TABLE, AND THEN HAVE TWO (OR HOWEVER MANY YOU NEED) OTHER TABLES OF THE GROOMSMEN/BRIDESMAIDS, ETC. THE LIKELIHOOD IS THAT YOU WILL BE GREETING GUESTS AT THE OTHER TABLES DURING DINNER, SO IT WON'T BE SUCH A BIG DEAL WHO YOU CHOOSE TO SIT WITH - AND IF ANYONE FEELS OFFENDED, THEN I THINK THAT'S SILLY AND UNCALLED FOR IN THE FIRST PLACE. IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU HAVE A LARGE WEDDING PARTY, SO PEOPLE SHOULD REALLY UNDERSTAND IF THEY ARE NOT SEATED WITH YOU OR AT A HEAD TABLE.

BOTTOM LINE: I THINK A SWEETHEART TABLE WORKS FOR YOUR SITUATION, AND YOU ARE BEING A GREAT, THOUGHTFUL BRIDE BY THINKING THROUGH THE ISSUES. IF YOU FEEL LIKE SPLITTING UP THE BRIDAL PARTY, AND SITTING WITH YOUR CLOSEST FRIENDS, I THINK THAT WORKS TOO. IF YOU ARE THE MOST COMFORTABLE WITH THE SWEETHEART TABLE, I SAY GO FOR IT!


TallGuy just glanced over at my computer and asked me who I was yelling at :)
Sorry for the ALL CAPS, but I thought it would be easier to answer the question this way.

I hope this answer helps people out there. I really enjoy reading about your own experiences - they really help me, too, try and figure out all this stuff as I plan.

By the way - I went to the Nutcracker ballet last night - so sweetheart tables were totally on my mind.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

SEATING SLIP UPS REDUX: THOUGHTS FROM THE WEDDING FAIRY

A few months ago, I received a comment from a reader, which I wanted to share here, as I re-visit the concept of table arrangements--in connection with my own experiences as I plan my wedding to TallGuy (May, 2008).

"I stumbled upon your blog after googling "sweetheart table" and was very happy to find someone else as puzzled about this as I was. It just seems self-absorbed and weird -- if a couple is putting together a reception and inviting guests, why don't they want to sit with them?!?

I love your blog. I find myself simultaneously fascinated and horrified by the proliferation of wedding planning. I really enjoy your posts and hope that you revisit some topics now that you're planning a wedding of your own and compare what it's like being the host rather than guest."

Thank you, Belda! In an attempt to connect my own experiences to what I've written about, I thought I'd start with the topic you addressed in your comment: Sweetheart tables, but more generally, table arrangements.

Seating arrangements are HARD! No question about it. TallGuy and I definitely do NOT consider the sweetheart table as an option. At every wedding I've been to with a sweetheart table, it's always felt so separated and isolating - I hadn't seen the bride at one wedding, and I went up to the table to congratulate her - I felt as if I were interrupting. To each his own - and I'm sure it does make it easier to have to "choose" who to sit with - but it's not for us. The concerns I raised in my prior posts are STILL concerns - being a guest vs. being a bride has not changed a thing.

TallGuy and I are most likely going to have round tables of 8 and 10 (I prefer tables of 8 - I'm trying to create the effect of a "dinner party", and 10 per table seems too impersonal to me).

TallGuy has 2 siblings, and I have 2 siblings. The idea is for us to sit at a table with them (and their significant others/husbands, etc.) - which would give us a table of 10 for the "head table", so to speak. We only will have 4 bridesmaids and groomsmen (8 total, 4 on each side)- and we really don't think the 2 bridesmaids and groomsmen who are not family members will be offended - we don't really see this as a "head table", given that our table will all be family members.

The question becomes, then - what to do with our flower girl/little groomsman? (6 and 8 respectively?) The little boy and girl are TallGuy's niece and nephew -- i.e. his sister's children. I adore them - but seating has become tricky, here.

Including them to have a table of 12 is not an option, as that circular table arrangement is WAY too large - and I would prefer not to seat them at the most prominently placed table in the room (in case they get antsy or overtired, for example, during speeches - placing kids at the center of attention is not the best idea, no matter how well behaved they are - and they are indeed very good kids).

The issue is that ideally, the children's mother will be at our table. There will not be a babysitter at the wedding reception. So how will it work if they are at a table NOT with their mother? Could we seat them with a close relative/family member? Is that inappropriate? A bad idea in terms of making sure they don't get too antsy, etc.?

I am having a lot of trouble figuring out where to seat them. This is a quandry that I will have to tackle in the next few weeks/months, which raises a whole host of issues I've discussed before - and table arrangements AND children combined is something that presents a new set of challenges!

Thoughts are welcomed - while I write about wedding issues, I never have professed myself to be an expert.

As you think about this issue (if you do want to comment), things to keep in mind: this is a black-tie, Saturday evening wedding in New York City. As I mentioned, there will not be a babysitter at the reception, but there will be one upstairs in the club, so they can leave when they want to get out for a while. There are no other kids invited. Finally, one other thing to keep in mind: we are doing the dinner first, THEN the dancing. We're treating the event like a dinner party - the band is awesome, so we know people will be up dancing all night, and don't like the breaks in between songs and dinner, etc.

In any case, I thought it would be interesting to re-visit seating arrangements, as I begin to think about my own experience with them.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

I'M BAAAACK: WEDDING FAIRY AS GUESTZILLA? A COMMENT AND RESPONSE.

Hi everyone!

So sorry that I have been down for the count the past few months. Between moving apartments, working long hours in corporate Manhattan life, and getting entrenched in wedding planning, I realize that I have been a very delinquent poster.

I just received an interesting comment, the tone of which, I suppose, could have been intended to upset me? Offend me? Rile me up? Who knows. Instead of being reactive, I decided to take from it that there is a WHOLE LOT of need for discussion about wedding planning, as people are coming from VERY different places.

Which makes me realize that posting--whether it gets people excited, thinking that they totally agree with me, annoyed, upset, or angry--also gets people talking. And thinking. And that's a cool thing.

Here's the post--not word for word, as I think you can get the tone--and point--from this bit (in response to one of my "seating slip ups" posts -- one of my more "controversial" topics):

"...you sound like a guestzilla. I was pretty shocked by your blog post, and hope to GOD that none of the friends I invite to my wedding would ever think the way you do.

Having been to many of my friends weddings, I can personally say that:
- Most of my friends have done the sweetheart table simply because they don't want to offend anyone in having to choose who to sit with.

- I personally LOVE watching my friends' slideshows and seeing cute pictures of what they look like growing up. It's their big day and I am there to celebrate them, and their relationship. If you are truly a friend who actually cares about those people, you would NOT think a slideshow is vein at all.. It's their DAY for goodness sakes...not yours

- I don't see anything wrong with a grand entrance.. it just makes the event as a whole a little more exciting... there is a reason why a wedding is different from any other party"

I'm not going to take this point-by-point, because I don't need to defend myself to anyone-if you absolutely cannot stand what you read, don't tune in-but I do want to note a few things:

I am proud (and not surprised) to say that as I plan my own wedding, my opinion regarding comments I've made before - about sweeetheart tables, about slideshows, etc. -- has not changed -- AT ALL. This is not to say that there is a "right" or "wrong" to any of this. But, having been to a myriad of weddings, I have come to understand that there are things that I wouldn't want to do - and it's an opinion shared by some of my friends who have attended these weddings as well. Does that mean I'm right? Not at all.

The goal of "Don't Be That Bride" has always been to provide a fresh perspective to brides-to-be, based on an outside, objective observer's standpoint.

Does it make me a bad friend because I think slideshows are boring? I would hope that wouldn't be the basis of judging a friendship. Is it posible for people to interpret sweetheart tables differently from this poster? Definitely!

There is never a black and a white. If people choose to call me a guestzilla, I don't take offense. What I DO have an issue with is people not understanding that there are two sides to every coin, and not everything is as it seems.

I encourage this poster--and anyone else who disagrees with any opinions I have--to keep reading, and to keep an open mind. You may not agree with me (and that's ok!), but I welcome constructive comments which can help people learn the complexities of wedding planning--and hopefully help others as they delve into the dirty details.

I think my next series of posts will be about how my wedding planning has been intersecting with some of the issues I've raised before.

Before I go, I wish to say thank you to those who are sticking with me.

Stay tuned!