All The Feelings

I’m writing this post-wedding and post honeymoon, so this won’t be as emotionally charged as it would have been say….the day after the wedding. When all the feelings happened.

First, let’s talk wedding weekend. It was amazing. A friend told me that she would have told everyone she knows to elope while she was planning her wedding, until she actually experienced the wedding weekend. I felt the exact same way. We had a blast! For a while before the wedding I started to second guess everything I planned, I thought I compromised things I shouldn’t have, I started to be afraid that I would regret this and that, your regular panic attack inducing thought spirals….but it was all amazing. Thanks to our designer, caterer, photographer, BAND (AMAZING), cake baker, coordinator, our friends, and our families. Notice I did not say anything about our shuttle service provider…’nuff said.

If you are planning a wedding right now and want to throw up your hands and run to Vegas, read this and know — it is worth it. As long as you let go of everything on the morning before your wedding. Everything is in motion by then and all you need to do is be the bride. All the planning and all the stressing, it is worth it.

There were hitches, of course (see above shuttle service comment), but for the most part, it was the exact wedding I planned.

Then the morning after happened. We had a lovely brunch at the hotel where we were all staying and as I said goodbye to some guests that afternoon it started to dawn on me…. this is over. The planning is over. The anticipation is over. All those reasons to get together with friends and family this past year…over.

I am very close with my friends, to the point that someone remarked that they were surprised my friends weren’t coming on my honeymoon. When you move away from home and live in a big city your friends become your family. And since moving to LA, I missed my second family. But having a wedding, bridal showers, and a bachelorette party gave so many reasons to see them. And planning the wedding in my hometown gave me extra reasons to see my real family.

Plus, I wasn’t a bride anymore, I would never be a bride again. I know it sounds bratty, but it’s fun to be the bride! A couple of friends are getting married next year and I found myself being jealous of them. Jealous of the whole journey they are about to take. The way I’m jealous of people that have just started watching “The Wire” for the first time. It’s exciting and scary and everyone walks away with their own take on it. When I told my husband (eep!) that, he was like “have you forgotten the last year?!”. I guess so, I guess it’s a little like a mother forgetting how childbirth feels once she’s holding her baby.

On top of all that, I was exhausted. I didn’t sleep for the last few days before the wedding from all the stress and excitement. I was this raw, tired, premenstrual (oh yeah) nerve.

But I was also beyond happy and relieved. We had pulled this thing off! And I had married this incredible person who I couldn’t imagine loving more yet find myself falling more and more in love. I am now someone’s wife.

I feel bad for the amount of crying I did on my first full day of marriage. But because my husband and I have been together for a while now, he got it. Thank God for the honeymoon where I didn’t cry at all (until we left because it was perfect and I didn’t want to come home).

And now we are married…. I have lots of feelings about that.

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5 Movies to Watch the Week of Your Wedding

Amidst all the craziness and, if you are like me, puking from a stomach flu, of the week leading up to your wedding, you think you won’t have time to watch 5 movies or any movies (or write a blog about movies). But you will, at 4 a.m., when you wake up worried about whether or not you remembered to write a note for a gift or being just plain excited as hell. The wedding week is filled with insomnia, whatever the reason may be. So after you’ve caught up on “Scandal”, here are five films about weddings that that will make you laugh, cry, and maybe help you get back to sleep for a few hours (you need your beauty sleep!).

#1 “Bridesmaids”

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How could this not be the first movie you watch before your wedding? Not only does it contain one of the funniest scenes ever to take place on an airplane (“I am Mrs. Iglesias”) but it is a great movie about friendship. And it is a reminder about how important it is to maintain those friendships during the whole process (especially in the week before, because y’all I would have died without my maid of honor) and how sane your friends will keep you and sometimes how insane they will drive you. It’s also a great way to make you feel better about an hiccup you’ve had in any of your wedding events. Sure your dress might have been hiked up inside your underwear during your bridal shower, but did your maid of honor have an epic meltdown and try to crush a giant cookie? Bonus eye candy in the adorable Chris O’Dowd (Yes, you are getting married but as my mother says “Just because I’m not hungry doesn’t mean I can’t look at the menu.”)

#2 “Father Of The Bride”

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Just the first one because the second one is about a baby, and we aren’t there yet (or maybe ever). This is a great movie about the family side of it. It is a sweet, funny reminder about what some of your family (especially dad) might be feeling about this big day. Steve Martin reminds me a bit of my own father in this movie, especially in the grocery store scene, ripping hot dog buns out of packaging because “George Banks is not going to take it any more”.  It puts a lot of those budget arguments in perspective too.

#3 “Steel Magnolias”

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I feel like this is probably mandatory viewing in the South before your wedding. There is no Southern girl that cannot recite at least the first scene by heart (“My reception! My reception! Ferns, dancing, tons of people! Every pink flower west of the Mississippi. Wedding cake in the dining room and the groom’s cake… Hidden in the carport?”). The movie only begins with a wedding, almost to remind you that there is a life after your wedding, as Shelby says to Clairee, “there are still good times to be had!”. But the wedding is the catalyst for everything else that happens afterwards to a certain degree, all the happy and the sad. This classic is also a good look at the mother and daughter relationship that often gets strained during the stressful planning process. Obviously Shelby and M’Lynn don’t agree on too much with her wedding…except the groom’s cake (“It’s awful!”), or her life choices, but that’s life. Also, if you’re worried about any of the choices you made fashion or decor wise you can take solace that your ceremony venue probably doesn’t look “like it’s been hosed down in Pepto Bismol”. Unless that’s your thing….

#4 “Four Weddings and A Funeral”

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A rom com told a bit from the guests’ point of view, you can almost get a whole different perspective of your wedding. Sure, this might be the most significant day of the your life, but for some people, even though they love you dearly (or maybe in secret), this is just another wedding they will go to in their life. Your guests are people with problems, lives, loves, and jobs. Remember they have taken this time and spent money to come and be with you and your spouse to be…not that this should make you feel pressure, just that you should remember how amazing it is that all these people want to celebrate the beginning of your lives together when they might be dealing with tons of other bullshit. Bonus eye candy with 90’s floppy haired Hugh Grant bumbling his way into Andie MacDowell’s heart….and our’s.

#5 “The Wedding Singer”

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Another movie full of fashion do’s and don’ts (mostly don’ts), this fun rom com has a great soundtrack and the adorable Barrymore/Sandler pairing. The wedding from the staff’s point of view almost, the movie shows Adam Sandler in various states of sanity singing at weddings (and falling in love with Drew Barrymore).  If nothing else, this movie might make you happy that you chose a DJ.

Bonus: “Inglorious Basterds”

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Full disclosure: this is what I watched when I was sick this week. It’s long so you can doze off and still wake up knowing what is happening. No wedding related reasoning behind it, it’s just, who doesn’t love Brad Pitt killing Nazis?

Weight a Minute

With almost 5 months until the big day, I’ve had a lot on my mind. A lot of my hips, thighs and butt to be exact. And to be honest, I’m freaking the f**k out about it.

The mania to lose weight before your wedding is insane. I’ve always been overweight, but at no point in my life have people just said out loud TO MY FACE “So you are going to lose weight. right?” Like….what?! But when you get engaged, among a lot of stupid things people say to you, the weight loss question gets brought up the most. And I’ve seen it happen to brides much skinnier than me. I mean, no one ever says to the groom “I bet you are going to get rid of that gut before the wedding”.   But somehow the idea of brides on juice fasts is just another part of the wedding industry machine.

Guys, I really thought I had this part of wedding planning covered. I’m old pro at dieting. Food has been my best frenemy since middle school. Years of therapy helped me pinpoint the triggers to unhealthy eating and dieting habits. And a HUGE event deadline? Well let’s just say that  I thank God every day for therapy because without that, I’d be an even bigger mess about wedding weight loss than I am today.

For those of you fortunate enough to never have to go through this, let me lay it out for you. You’re going along fine, eating whatever you want, then you get yourself on a diet. You measure your Greek yogurt, you put your fruit in Tupperware and when everyone is having cake for Helen in accounting’s birthday, you politely decline and have a carrot. You’re so proud of yourself and the weight is coming off. Then something happens….you stop losing, you have a really bad day,  or you’re too tired one night to make your baked chicken and steamed spinach for dinner, so you order a pizza. Then you figure, well I had pizza, might as well get some ice cream. And then you remember how much better pizza and ice cream is than baked chicken. And it’s over. There’s tons of self loathing, which leads to more eating. And now you are back to where you started, plus 5 pounds.

THAT is one of the many reasons why going on some crazy diet or meal plan is not something I am interested in. Because while I haven’t lost much weight, I haven’t gained it either. And as they said back in my Weight Watchers days, sometimes no gain is a loss.

But if I’m totally honest with you the whole weight loss issue boils down to one thing: pictures.  Pictures that last for the rest of your life, that you hang in your house as a reminder of that special day, that your grand kids will look at one day and say “Gee Grammy, you were so pretty!” or “Oh wow Grammy, you look exactly the same!”.  I don’t want to be going through my wedding photos and nixing gorgeous shots because I think my arm looks fat or I have a double chin.

Part of me feels like this is an unavoidable thing since most women whether they’re thin, average, overweight or professional models all think they look terrible in pictures. I have one friend with not an ounce of fat on her, that thinks her smile is weird. I have another gorgeous friend who hates her arms ( I can relate), and another who works hard at avoiding a double chin in photos so much that she contorts herself in ways unimaginable before taking a photo. Women are so hard on themselves.

I go to spin class and inevitably in almost every class there is a bride-to-be working her ass off and an instructor yelling “YOU WANT TO LOOK GOOD IN THAT DRESS!”. It’s upsetting and disturbing. But you better believe I start pushing harder too. I certainly don’t want to look back on wedding photos and be embarrassed at the big fat girl stuffing her face with cake.

I know that tons of you out there will be helpful and say, “I know a great diet!”. And let me say in advance, thanks but no thanks. It is dieting that messed me up so much in the first place, so I’m good without the 30 Day All Pineapple plan or the 22 week Protein Solution or whatever. And you are probably saying to yourself, “it’s only 5 months, get over it”. And part of me agrees with you. But its the principle here.

As a lifelong dieter, I’m sick of it. Sick of counting fat, calories, carbs, sodium or whatever we are supposed to be counting these days. I swear, if I have to measure one more cup of Greek yogurt I’m going to scream! And plain steamed broccoli?! No one really wants to eat that, if they say they do, they are lying!  I want to eat delicious things! As an adult, I’ve learned that delicious doesn’t mean fattening…. all the time. But I want to want fruits and vegetables because they are fresh and taste good, not because they are zero points on Weight Watchers. I want to want to workout not because some trainer is shouting at me about dress sizes, but because I want to run faster and be stronger.

This is a rough conclusion to come to at this moment in my life. This moment where enthusiasm for steamed broccoli and Greek yogurt needs to be at an all time high and desire for  donuts needs to be eliminated. Especially because if I do want to lose weight I’ve found that counting is the best way to do it.

This post took me 2 weeks to write because this is such a loaded topic, not just for me and not just for brides-to-be but for lots of women. I have no real solution. No real answer that will both let me eat pizza and ice cream and lose weight. Or eat Greek yogurt and steam spinach and feel satisfied.

All I know is I’m wearing a wedding dress in 5 months…and I hate my arms.

 

 

 

Dreams

I’ve started to have the wedding dreams already.

In this dream, I woke up one morning and called my mom. I told her that I wanted to get married TODAY! The dream is snip its of me gathering the wedding party and getting them in makeshift outfits that we pick up along the way to the church as we rode through L.A. in a white limo.

We pick up my mom at some point and she had a wedding dress that she got for me because my actual dress that I picked out wasn’t ready yet. Next she tells me that the band and caterer that I originally booked can’t do the wedding that day. And that’s when I started to second guess this decision to get married in a hurry.

We get to the church, which looks a lot like the lobby of the Opryland hotel and I peer inside. There is my wedding party and maybe one third of the guests we invited (which is fine by me, but that’s another blog post). Everyone is scrambling around and no one knows what to do. It is at that moment that I KNOW this isn’t the right thing. This isn’t my wedding, this is something thrown together out of fear and/or impatience.

In the dream, I ask my mom what day it is and she informs me that it is April 1st. Relieved, I tell her to go in and inform the wedding party and guests, APRIL FOOLS no wedding today! And somehow this would be okay with everyone. I woke up from the dream like it was one of those you-have-to-cut-the-wires-on-a-bomb-to-disable-it dreams. The kind that you shoot out of bed from and have to calm down your breathing.

I’m not sure what this means. Maybe subconsciously I was wishing the whole process was over but then the other side of my brain intervened at the last minutes and was like  “No! No! Stop! You want a wedding and you’ve already done most of the work. Just wait it out”. I don’t know if this is a metaphor for my relationship or just the first in a series of wedding panic dreams.

I imagine it has something to do with my constant worry about the amount of change that has happened in the last 6 months. Or it could be that I’m just really excited to become a wife.

Or it could be the garlic bread I ate before bed.

I had a normal post planned, then I saw this

Watch this Bride walk down the aisle, what she did had everyone in tears

I’ll spare you the tissues or the barf bags. She sings. She sings a song as she walks down the aisle. And no, I didn’t cry.

I cringed and got very angry.

Because this is a wedding, not a fucking talent show guys. It is a forum in which your life is joined with another. Now I get the sentiment, it is really sweet and clearly moves the groom, whom I’M SURE it was for, certainly it wasn’t because she wants to use this as an audition tape for The Voice. What makes me think that might be the case? 

The caption:

If ever there’s a moment in a girl’s life when she’s guaranteed to be the center of attention, it’s when she’s walking down the aisle at her wedding. This bride took advantage of a captive audience to bring the house down. Everyone was in tears – especially the groom.

Are you kidding me? Seriously? “A captive audience?!” And if you manage to get halfway through the video when she is actually walking towards him like this is her own personal music video…..SHE’S WEARING A HEAD MIC! Like Britney Spears! It is ridiculous!

And here’s the issue, this song isn’t about the groom or her love for him, I mean it is on the surface. But what is really going on here is that this was purely something she did for herself. Because she wanted to sing. And that isn’t cool.

There are a lot of things I’d love to do at our wedding that play to my talents. But I’m not going to do them. I’ll tell a funny story or write a silly toast for the rehearsal dinner or bridesmaid’s luncheon. I’ll edit a video montage for the reception. That is what those events are for. But your wedding ceremony is about two people becoming one. Not one person demanding attention from everyone. Because you are the bride and people are going to automatically pay more attention to you; you’re in a huge white dress for God’s sake! You need something more attention grabbing than that?!

I’m sure there is a story behind this video. I’m sure he is dying and this is his favorite song. Or this is the song they danced to on their first date. This can’t possibly just be an ego maniacal bride that needed to somehow get a video of her singing to go viral.

 

 

Barf. A wedding post.

So occasionally I’ll talk about wedding planning. Ugh, I know. Sorry, it’s on my mind.
Mainly I need to talk about this article I read yesterday:

5 Lies the Wedding Industry Is Selling You

Among the lies you are being fed, brides-to-be, is the one about not seeing each other before the wedding. This article is urging to actually have BRUNCH with your husband to be before the wedding. Personally, I’m fighting everyone to KEEP the tradition for my wedding. Everyone is telling me to do that “first look” photo instead. And, no offense if you had one at your wedding, but I think it ends up looking super hokey. It’s like “Get ready, get emotional….right…..NOW! (take the picture!)”.  I like the idea of the doors opening and locking eyes across the church. And smiling and saying hi and seeing everyone see me for the first time. And guys, yea, I’m going to look awesome, but I get to see HIM for the first time! He’s going to be in a suit and tie and be so nervous and handsome standing there at the end of that aisle. And then I can hold his hand and tell him that I’m there. And we won’t ever stop looking at each other….until 3000 guests separate us for the entire night. I have my entire life with this guy. One night of exchanging knowing glances across a room while being cornered by a mob of adoring family and friends isn’t a drop in the bucket. I think we can handle it without an hour alone to stroll along the street together or whatever.

Another lie you’re being told is that it is “your day”, you again, being the bride. Here’s where I agree.  But while the article urges you to say “it’s OUR day” (barf). It isn’t your intended’s day either. The day doesn’t belong to either of you.

It is a day for your family and friends. You are throwing them a party to say thank you. Thank you for welcoming this person I am marrying into your life. Thank you for supporting this union. Thank you for listening to me while I moan about whether or not he will EVER propose, knowing the whole time that he was going to. Thank you for being a part of this ceremony. Thank you for sitting through the ceremony. Thank you being there when I lied down on your apartment floor and told you “I’ll never meet anyone! I will die alone!”. Thank you for not throwing it in my face that I DID meet someone like you said I would.

I also really liked that they ended saying that this ISN’T the most important day of your life. Exactly. Ladies, gents, let’s get a little perspective here.

Your life will be full of so many wonderful, terrible, important days, that eventually your wedding will fade to a sweet haze of a memory, with only your photographs to recall your dad’s mismatched socks or your cake with the very definite lean to the left.