My sister is gonna hate this…

I realized that last year, wedding year, I wrote posts about my mom and dad on their respective days. But it being siblings day, I can tell you a little about my sister – my matron of honor (if we are keeping the wedding theme going). First of all, she will hate this because feelings are not her thing. But buckle up, sis, I’m bringing all the feelings.

So there I was, sitting for the toasts at the reception and the best man finishes a really beautiful speech. I expect my dad to start or my maid of honor to go up. My sister hates being the center of attention (yes, we are opposites) and had decided not to give a matron of honor toast. But as I looked around for my dad, my sister appears at the front of the hall with the microphone in hand. She tells the story of our complicated childhood of her constant torments (she tried to sell me outside a grocery store when I was a baby for 5 cents) and she talks about how totally different we are. Then she says we are the best of friends now. And I was a puddle. She of course ended the speech by tormenting me one more time. But that’s my sister. She’s surprising and complicated.

Actually, she’s simple and complicated. She’s simple in that she says exactly what she thinks. There is no guessing on subtext or implications. My sister is the most honest, straightforward human I have ever known. Sometimes to a fault. I’m the opposite. I’m not a liar, my sister would have never put up with that crap. No, I’m a diplomat — younger siblings often are the mediators and the family– I say only what needs to be said or I say the things that you don’t want to hear in a way that you might be okay hearing them. Not my sister, if that dress is ugly, you will KNOW that dress is ugly. And she isn’t trying to hurt your feelings, that’s what you have to know about my sister. In fact, she’s trying to help you. She wants you to look good. This was something I had to remind myself while we were wedding dress shopping. She wants me to look good, she wants me to be gorgeous on my wedding day. That is why she said that the strapless number with the ruffles I loved made me look like a marshmallow. My sister would never do something out of malice…she is far too kind for that.

And THAT is where she is so complicated. You see this honest, doesn’t give a fuck exterior and you think she’s tough, she’s hard, she doesn’t care about what you think or anything. That is where you don’t know my sister like I do. She is incredibly kind. She is so amazingly unselfish and giving. She’s generous…to a fault. And she’s so funny. My sister makes me laugh more than most people. She’s got this great brand of self deprecating humor that comes directly from my grandmother. My Mimi. When Mimi passed away, for a while, the only person that I wanted to talk to was my sister. Because she made me laugh, she let me cry and then she made me stop…because all those pesky feelings.

But here is her secret: she’s got more feelings than any of us. Underneath it all, she’s sensitive. I don’t think she cried during my wedding ceremony, but at the end of the father/daughter dance, I snuck a peek at her wiping her eyes and sniffling.

My sister has taught me how to not take shit which I am still working on.  My sister has taught me not to care what other people think of me.  My sister has taught me to step outside my comfort zone. She’s taught me about honesty, about expectations, about life…

I’m so lucky that she is my big sister. She was my first friend, my first enemy and my first teacher.

DelGuercio0497

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?

Not too much longer

 

I’m not one to count down days because my dad once said “don’t wish your life away” and my best friend once said “don’t be that girl.” But it is a mere 9 days until my wedding.

And I’m scared. I’m scared that I will not be the greatest wife in the world like the T-shirt I bought myself says I will. I’m scared that I will trip going down the aisle. I’m scared that nothing will go right and no one will be where they need to be on time. I’m scared people won’t have fun.

But my biggest fear isn’t what will happen on November 15th. It’s what will happen on the 16th and beyond. We’ve been saying “we’ll do it in January” a lot –to people we want to hang out with, to each other about big projects, to the world. January is when it all goes to normal. And that is sooner than you think! They are already playing Christmas music at Macy’s!!! MACY’S, the store KNOWN for celebrating Thanksgiving when all other stores ignore it. Thanksgiving is a Macy’s tradition! But that is a rant for another time and another blog.

Anyway, being out of a job has been frustrating but it has afforded me the luxury of time that not a lot of brides get as they plan their wedding. So in that regard, I’ve been fortunate. But that also means that I’ve been planning a wedding and the wedding took over my life in a way that, to be honest, I’m a little ashamed of. I did some other stuff too. I got a website, I took some classes, I wrote (not as much as I should have), and I tried to jump start a dormant acting career.

But honestly, wedding planning has been the answer for all life’s questions for the last 6 months at least.

“Becky, you seem upset?”
“Oh, I’m just mad about this small detail of my wedding that I’m clearly blowing out of proportion but that right now seems to be the only thing that will make the wedding work.”

“Why are you stressed, Becky?”
“Trying to make everything work for the wedding, because I have this notion that I can control it all when I can’t.”

“Becky,  why do you have no time for all these important career boosting events?”
“Ugh, you know how wedding planning is…”

“Becky, why are you so tired?”
“I’m just lying awake thinking about the wedding and all those things I can’t control.”

I’m going to miss that excuse, I’m going to have to come up with new one’s now.

“Becky, you seem upset.”
“Oh, you know I have no idea what I’m doing with my life now that the wedding is over and I’m constantly terrified.”

“Why are you so stressed Becky?”
“Because I haven’t worked in my industry in over 6 months and I’m afraid no one will hire me and if I do get hired it might wreck the little momentum I have in the acting arena.”

“Becky, you’ve got no time for all these important career boosting events.”
“Ugh, you know how lazy I am.”

“Becky, you seem tired”
“I’m staying up until 1am watching ‘Nashville’ to distract myself from my life.” (BTW, how good is that show, how did I JUST start watching it?! Can we talk about my conflicting feelings about Rayna and Deacon?)

I think a lot of brides put off thinking about the after part of the wedding. Maybe because most brides have a job they know they are going back to and a career trajectory they know. Maybe they know whether they want to have kids or not and when that will happen. Maybe most brides have their lives figured out and the wedding only made them temporarily insane.

But to me the day after your wedding seems like the biggest day after Christmas feeling ever. But like the after Christmas feeling looks to New Year’s as a boost, we have our honeymoon right after! And then we have the holidays right after that!

So I guess maybe I’m not so much worried about November 16th as I am about January 2nd.

 

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Envelopes and Bumpers

I think it started with the invitations, but it was probably going on under the surface for a while….the unraveling of my sanity.

I mean, first came the car incident. I call it an incident and not an accident because accident implies a certain amount of seriousness that this incident did not have. I hit a parked car going 5 mph, not a big deal but I did mess up my bumper pretty good.  And I was driving for a riding sharing program at the time.

Maybe it goes back to that. To when I had to start driving for the ride sharing program because with so many conflicts I had for wedding related activities, I wasn’t able to find sustainable work in my field. So waking up at 6am to drive people to work was probably when the threads of my sanity started to fray. And the constant concern that I wasn’t pulling my weight. Once the incident occurred, insurance was no help with the damaged bumper, in fact, insurance was the opposite of helpful.

Then… there were the invitations. Let me just say that I am pleased with how they turned out, the design is exactly what I wanted and blah blah blah. But it was envelope drama that got me. I’ll spare you the details because that shit is boring, but suffice to say I spent way more time at paper stores talking about paper than I ever have or ever plan to in my whole life..which paper held ink best and which wouldn’t make my custom rubber stamp smudge as the originally purchased envelopes had. And I was running on a deadline.

I work well under deadlines usually, but this time was different and as I shouted at my fiance that THIS WILL NEVER WORK!! It hit both of us that the last two months was starting to take a toll on me.

Then today as I sat in my car in the Trader Joe’s parking lot crying about not having a good enough dress for my rehearsal dinner and angrily texting that at it HAD TO BE IVORY, I thought that maybe I’m missing the point of this whole thing.

The tough thing about planning a wedding is seeing passed the details and looking at the big picture. I think that’s true for planning any big event whether it’s a party or a TV show. Sometimes getting it just right, the way you have it in your head, gets to be more important than the actual thing you are planning. I need to constantly remind myself that whether or not we have the correct number of gift bags that at the end of the weekend, I won’t just be the bride, I will be someone’s wife.

It’s scary and exhilarating to think about being able to say to the world, “This is my husband, I am his wife” . So in a way, it’s easier to be the bride and obsess over dresses and invitations than it is to be the wife and deal with wrecked cars and stalled careers.

And soon enough, I won’t have envelopes to freak out over or cakes to pick out and I’ll have to get my bumper fixed, and that’s probably the most terrifying thought of all.

Father of the Bride

I couldn’t really decide the best way to pay tribute to my dad, so this is sort of two blogs in one.

“FORCE FIELD”

My sister got married when I was 19. I remember dancing with him at her wedding and promising that I wouldn’t get married for a long time and it wouldn’t be a big affair…..I kept one of those promises.

Honestly? I’ve got a bone to pick with my dad. I don’t think it would have been so difficult for me to find the right guy if he hadn’t been such an outstanding model of what a man should be. Not just a man in a marriage and a man as a father, but a man as a human being. Because of my father, I expected the man I marry to be strong, stable, reliable, funny, intelligent and giving.

Believe it or not, it was a lot to ask of all the myriad of jerks and hipsters that I dated in my 20’s. In fact, I probably went out of my way to avoid guys like my dad in an attempt to not be like my mother (see Mother’s Day post). But in the back of my mind I knew it was inevitable. Like my sister, a mini version of my grandmother, married a not so mini version of my grandfather (my brother-in-law clocks in at 6’5), my eventual marriage would be Jackie and Dave part two.

My dad always made me feel safe. I looked for my mom’s approval first in a lot of things I did in my life. But I looked to my dad for the final nod. Not because of some patriarchal thing in my family. If anything our family was a matriarchy, with my mother and grandmother as very strong forces in my sister and I’s life. No, I looked to my dad because not only was he able to look at everything logically and unemotionally (unlike my mother and I) but because he just has this air about him that makes everything feel like whatever he said to do was the right thing, the best thing. Even the unsafe things I chose to do. (The unsafe things I chose to TELL him about at least).

There is this great quote that I post every Father’s Day on Facebook, where he is thankfully not a member, in his honor that is the perfect tribute to everything he did for me.

“There’s a look little girls have who are adored by their fathers,’ Bea said. ‘It’s that facial expression of being totally impervious to the badness of the world. If they can keep that look into their twenties, they’re pretty much okay, they’ve got a force field around them.”

—Maile Meloy, Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It

 

“WILLIE, MICKEY, AND THE DUKE”

Every relationship has a language and my dad and I speak baseball. My father loves America’s past time with such a passion. And my sister and my mother never really loved it. But I fell in love at some point when I was 7 or 8. My father would take us to ball games on every family vacation and he and I would sit and keep score while my mother and sister would sit bored eating hot dogs. My sister was the athlete of the family but I played softball. My dad coached me until I was 13 until coaching teenage girls became too much. But I kept playing until I graduated high school. After high school when I went away to London my dad and I would talk, not about what I was doing or what was going on at home, but we would talk about baseball. When I was so lonely in my first year in New York I would call my dad on Sunday mornings when I knew my mother wasn’t home to ask all her questions about my life (I’m still broke, sad and tired) but we would talk about baseball. When I first started dating my fiance…..my dad and I talked baseball instead. But when it really mattered, when I was faced with some pretty big decision in my life, I could always call on a Sunday morning and talk it out, and then talk baseball. It’s kind of appropriate that Father’s Day is on a Sunday.

When I was a kid, my dad had this cassette that I played until it broke, “Baseball’s Greatest Hits”. It had Abbot and Costello’s “Who’s on First” and songs about baseball greats like Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Jackie Robinson and my dad’s favorite, Say Hey Willie Mays. It had a few general songs about baseball and one song called “A Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request”. As a Cub fan it hits home “to the home of the brave, the land of the free and the door mat of the National League”. And to my father, it was a hilarious song. We listened to it all the time.  My sister and my mom thought it was weird and morbid how much we loved this song. So when I told him I was getting married, the first decision we made was to dance to that song at my wedding. Before I booked a band, caterer, found a dress, found a venue or anything, we had the song…..now we just have to get the band to play it.

 

 

Becky and Dad 1990

(Side note: My mother is the photographer here and while she is a multi-talented…photography is not one of them)

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.

I hate this part

When I was dating, my least favorite part was the first few dates. Where you talk about where you’re from, what you do, how many siblings you have, where you went to college….the basics. There’s a line from the play “Women of Manhattan” where a woman is on a first date and she explains her date that she wishes she could give him a shot that would just insert all of that bullshit into his brain and that get on to the deeper part. And that is what I wish for you, strange reader that was hoping she would be reading a wedding blog and but instead is reading this.

All you need to know is I was single in New York and now I’m engaged in Los Angeles. It happened that quickly it seems now. Although six months ago, I didn’t think it was happening fast enough. But now I feel like life is a car that’s brakes are shot hurtling down Mulholland Drive at breakneck speeds. I’m even making reference to L.A. streets now instead of New York!

I’m getting married in 10 months and I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about that. I’m not so much into the whole wedding planning scene. So if you are here hoping for tips on DIY garlands and party favors…sorry.

It’s a about change, relationships, life, wedding planning and finding a role in a new city. And a little bit about flowers. But only a little.