I’m Almost Done With Wedding Talk…

But first, I have to plug Offbeat Bride. I don’t remember how I stumbled upon it the first time, but B. and I weren’t engaged at the time. A like-minded friend, however, was. So I forwarded her the link. She reported back that it was a pretty funny site with some useful information.

After B. proposed, and the (unprecedented, for me) giddiness wore off, I knew right where to go. I headed to the Offbeat Bride blog and poked around. It was created by a local writer, Ariel Meadow Stallings. She had also written a book which I purchased immediately. It was hilarious and candid and tremendously helpful for girls who hadn’t actually been planning “their big day” since they were 5. I never even touched a bridal magazine. I never stepped foot in a bridal shop. Ariel’s book, (and the countless women who’d followed her advice before me), confirmed my suspicions that I didn’t need to. B. and I should be true to ourselves. We wanted our wedding day to reflect who were were as people. And it just so happened that it was a hell of a lot cheaper that way too! :)

offbeat brideMidway through our engagement, Ariel started the Offbeat Bride community. I joined, filled out my profile, and added the forum topics to my RSS feed. The useful tips and leads poured in and I was also able to offer some ideas of my own. I am convinced that if it weren’t for O.B., I would have been at a loss regarding the ceremony, rings (which we ended up getting from Etsy) and hairstyles among other essential things. I know how to plan a party. That I could do in my sleep. But this was a little bit more than that. And one thing I have in common with every other bride in history is that I wanted the day to “be perfect”. Fortunately, my criteria for “perfect” is simple: my man, my friends and family, some karaoke and plenty of booze.

The Offbeat Bride blog profiles weddings to inspire other couples who are planning their day. So when it was all over and done, I knew I wanted to submit a profile for us. I definitely owed it to O.B. to share the love. Ariel is really doing a great service to future couples who want to rail against the cookie cutter wedding and make something as uniquely theirs.

Thanks for everything, O.B.

And now, back to our previously scheduled program…

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Wedding Day Wrap-Up

You KNOW you want it.

We had a short but sweet ceremony in Discovery Park. Alex played “The Air That I Breathe” on acoustic guitar. Elyse read “He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven” by William Butler Yeats and then delivered a beautiful (and religion-free) ceremony, thus fulfilling her officiating duties perfectly. B.’s vows promised, among other things, that he would always want to read my blog. I managed to squeeze a quote from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” into mine.

And then we partied. Oh my how we partied. The Sunset Tavern was the perfect venue. The bartenders were spot-on. The karaoke was wildly popular and our friends all gave astoundingly good performances. Even people who usually steer clear from the mic rocked hard that night. B. and I kicked things off with our first song (as opposed to first dance…that shit ain’t pretty) with “Suddenly Seymour” from the Little Shop of Horrors.

We were a little disappointed in Starry Nights Catering, but everyone else seemed to really enjoy the food. I think we just had really high expectations for the food because of all the trouble they gave us. (They wouldn’t let us taste the food for free even after we paid the deposit, which was HALF of what we owed. Their initial proposal was astronomical. They wanted to charge a $200 handling fee for renting 2 banquet tables and linens. Luckily, the wedding coordinator took care of that by renting the equipment herself.) The little tarts with playing card suit crust (playing cards were our theme) were really good though. And very cute.

I also want to give a shout out to the wedding coordinator (who also does full planning, but we didn’t need it), Melissa Bryan of Lush Parties and Events. She was amazing. She thought of everything including many things that never even occurred to us. Not every lady has been planning their wedding since childhood. She also fully understood the low-key affair we were after. Thanks also to Booze for recommending her.

And now for the pictures!!

The ceremony.

wedding ceremony

The reception.

karaoke wedding

Marriage So Far

So far, being married is awesome. Not much has changed between us but it feels good to be able to call B. my “husband”. It just makes me feel warm and fuzzy every time I think about it. And I definitely don’t have that post-marital depression that I read about it the wedding books. I don’t know why anyone would be sad that planning for their wedding is over. We had an awesome party but we will have other awesome parties. And we did what we set out to do. Being married was the whole point so it is now that the adventure begins.

The only disappointment is that there aren’t really any cool nicknames for “husband” like there are for “wife”. I told B. to feel free to refer to me as “the missus” and “my old lady”. I think they’re cute. But there’s no good male equivalent. “Hubby” is horrible. I can’t even say out loud. It’s cringe-worthy akin to the likes of “panties” and “lover”. chubby hubby

I can’t use “My Old Man” because that’s obviously my father. I guess I could call B. “Daddy” but people might think I’m serious (and therefore gross). I don’t really understand why “My Old Lady” is interchangeable between mother and wife but it is. And I suppose I could say “My Mister” but that might be a little TOO archaic. Would people have any idea what I was talking about?

I feel like I must be missing the perfect cute antiquated husband nickname. Anyone know what it could be?

How My Time is Spent

I may have dropped my Whole Foods cookie on the floor, but I ate it anyway because it was $5. I didn't know it was $5 until after it was wrung up. It sure didn't taste like a $5 cookie but at least there were no discernible lint bits seasoning it.

I have been reading books about weddings. I justify it by the fact that every book has a counterculture title implication like “anti” and “alternative”. Unfortunately, most of them are still pretty damned annoying. They offer advice like “Moisturize, get a massage, and drink Cosmos with your girlfriends to relax!”, a packing list for your honeymoon (in case your mom is still packing your suitcase for you” and “Eat a hamburger on the day of your wedding! You'll need the protein to give you energy! (If you're a vegetarian, eat a veggie burger.)” PHEW! I thought that I was going to have to throw away 15 years of vegetarianism in order to make it through my wedding day. Luckily, I found one book that I love. It's written by a Seattleite who is an ex-raver and I must admit that after reading the book and her blog, I'm a little obsessed with her. She's sardonic, hilarious (filthy jokes abound) and my kind of candid (meaning she regularly drops the f-bomb. Furthermore, she actually gives useful advice. Unlike the other books I've read, she writes with the assumption that you actually have SOME idea of what's involved in a wedding and, like, how to take care of yourself. And OMG we have so much in common! She appreciates high camp, her mom is new-agey and she is a former rat owner! I'm quite convinced that we would be BFFs.

The internet makes creepy stalkers of us all.

Life Update w/ Pictures

I've had quite the busy summer. In addition to lots of camping, Brugos and I went to Maui, with the Brugos clan. Also, last weekend, I went to Vegas with a big group of people.

Maui
Maui was amazing. I liked it much better than Oahu. Less commercial touristy stuff and more outdoorsy touristy stuff. We went snorkeling with Sea Turtles and parasailing. We spent lots of time in the water. We went to the jungle and wandered around. It was so beautiful. I also got to meet a very large chunk of Brugos' family including his awesome 90-year-old grandfather. Parasailing is much different than I expected it to be. It feels very safe and secure. We went tandem and it was nice to be up there with Brugos so we could identify the BIGGEST FREAKING MANTA RAY WE'VE EVER SEEN! This thing was at least 10 feet by 14 feet, easily over half the size of our boat, and it was just swimming along on the surface of the clear blue water, scaring the poop out of us with its giant teeth.

Sea Turtles are really mellow and friendly, but it's like a strip club in there. Don't touch them or it's a $60,000 fine, as our guide told us at least six times.

Check out some pictures from Maui here. I tried to only put in one or two cliche Hawaii sunset pictures.

Vegas
Vegas was as nuts as people say it is. It's non-stop action in a booze-filled 24-hour theme park for adults. And it's a blast. We stayed at the Flamingo hotel with had a very 60's Vegas vibe. I loved it there. We spent a lot of time at the topless pool (where most people remained topped, but it was much less crowded than the rest of the hotel).

On Friday night, Brugos and I saw the Tournament of Kings at the Excalibur hotel. It was jousting with a little bit of fabricated evil thrown into the plot. After a brief nap, we met up with the rest of the gang and wandered around the strip till 4 in the morning. It's really easy to stay awake in Vegas because of the oxygen they pump into the casinos. Lesson #1: Bring your own booze. Unless your at a gambling table, it's fucking impossible to get served. The good news is, it's totally OK to bring your own booze. Everywhere.

Saturday, we used our coupons to enjoy a Champagne Brunch at one of the hotels. Champagne and an all-you-can-eat, genre free buffet for $15! Why not?!

After brunch, we spend time at the pool and also utilized the WATER SLIDE. Later, we got cleaned up and Brugos and I left for our romantic dinner for two at Il Mulino in Caesar's Palace. This is an Italian place Brugos had been to with vendors and said it was the most amazing Italian he'd ever had. And lo, it WAS amazing, if a little overkill on the presentation. This place was CLASS. We got no appetizer (because they bring you 3 different kinds of complimentary bread, salami, cheese and grilled zucchini before you even order your drinks) and shared 2 pasta dishes. We saved a little room for the tiramisu and coffees.

We took our leftover pasta back to the hotel and met everyone (who had gone to a Spaghetti Factory knock off for dinner) to get cabs to the Luxor for Fantasy!, a topless revue. Of course, we were all hoping it would be just like the show in Showgirls. It wasn't, exactly, but it was perhaps the most surreal show-going experience I have ever had. I bought our tickets months ago and apparently that put us right in the front row. Thinking the worst that could happen with these seats was in-your-face-boobies, I wasn't sweating it. But the guy at the box office seemed to be excited about something. Turns out, when you're in the front row, the star of the show chooses a guy to fixate on for the remainder of the show. That guy was none other than my baby. It was fine and all in good fun, but after about the 20th time Stephanie said something to “Chris” in the middle of her act, Brugos actually started to blush a little. In the final number, she even wrote “I heart Chris” on her stomach on magic marker. No shit. It was a very special show for all of us.

And then there was the comedian. He was either the wost comedian ever to take the stage or the most high-concept genius. He was pure text book. He may as well have been wearing a crazy tie and standing in front of a brick wall. His jokes included “Men and women are different.”, “Smokers in airports are funny”, and even, I shit you not, A LORENA BOBBIT JOKE. That lasted 5 minutes. Seriously. Lorena fucking Bobbit. From FIFTEEN YEARS AGO. It was made even more uncomfortable by the fact that he didn't get any laughs. At all. And the sound and light guys actually turned off his mic and spot light at one point. That was the funniest part because it made Shecky mad. And that was what made me think PERHAPS MAYBE he was in on the joke. But probably not.

Anywho, after the show, we had some drinks at Red Square, a communist themed vodka bar. It was here that Brugos and I really started to feel bad. Brugos had been a little sick to his stomach all day, but now we were both kind of ready to be back at the hotel.

As we stared forlornly at the cab line, a limo driver came out of nowhere and offered us a ride for $40. Total. For 8 people. Um…yes!

Brugos and I retired to our room and it was there that he proposed to me. Apparently, he'd been planning it all day and (thankfully) didn't want to do it in public. So there we were in our room, my guy asking me to marry him, me accepting and wanting to show him how deliriously happy I was about the prospect. But rumblings were beginning in our bodies and we weren't yet sure why. We went to the Brunswick’s room to announce the engagement and hang out, but it wasn't long before it became apparent that we needed to be in bed. Or rather, near the toilet in our own room. Lesson #2: Never eat at a Vegas buffet. Even if you have a coupon. You'd think it would be impossible for a vegetarian to get food poisoning. You'd be wrong.

After no sleep and puking all night, we had to get up and check out of our hotel room. Brugos was done and feeling better but I still had some stuff to work out with the toilet. I threw everything into my suitcase and spend as much time supine as possible before we had to be out of our rooms. I began to feel better as we walked around in the sun killing time before our plane left, but it was some time before I keep eat anything again.

Despite food poisoning, it was still one of the best vacations I have ever been on. I can't wait to go back.

See some Vegas pics here!