We spent the weekend in Seattle with two of my favorite people, a couple that flew up from Sacramento for the full-blown Seattle experience.
Friday night--Oktoberfest. (You know...because when you think "Oktoberfest", you think "Seattle!")
A word on Oktoberfest:
I'm no expert on German culture, but whomever plans these American Oktoberfest celebrations is undoubtedly a) racist and b) an alcoholic.
It's just beer. That's it. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't there more to it than that? Aren't there bratwursts and parades with giant floats of Dirk Nowitski and Einstein? Something!?!?
Saturday--A glorious result to a glorious football game on a glorious day in Seattle. (Washington 31-California 23.)
Throughout the weekend though, the "wedding" subject kept arising. No surprise I guess, it was the first time we'd seen them since becoming engaged, and because they've been married for five years, they're about as close to Yoda as we will find at this stage of our lives.
Funny though, every person you speak to about the process of wedding-planning has "one thing." As in, "If I could tell you 'one thing' it would be choose carnations over roses" or "If I could tell you one thing, it would be to not sit your drunk, racist uncle near the stage where the R&B group will be performing."
And every "one thing" is different.
So it isn't "one thing".
It is, at last count, one hundred thirteen things.
Some are great advice. Some are self-serving. Some are absolutely ridiculous. I offer you a sample:
"If I could tell you one thing, it would be to make sure you get something to eat."
Fine point. There are countless stories of the bride and groom never getting a single morsel of the food they agonized over selecting. They're left hungry, exhausted and pee-your-pants drunk.
I've seen it dozens of times, but I really don't have much sympathy. In most cases, it is entirely their fault. A few tips to ensure you eat:
-Avoid The Sweethearts Table.
You think "Oh look how charming that is when the bride and groom are alone, in the center of the room, with everyone they love around them looking on."
They think: "Well my meal hasn't arrived--what a perfect time to talk to the bride and groom!" Don't even think of picking up a fork without your offensive line (immediate family and/or wedding party) surrounding you!
-Do Pictures before the Wedding: Oh please. You know damn well that you shouldn't be wearing white. Does it really matter if you see each other before the wedding? Do yourself a favor, get dressed two hours early and be able to grab some delicious coconut prawns during cocktail hour.
-Skip The Salad: Give yourself a head-start on the rest of the populous by going straight to the main course at the head table. A few bites of steak and fingerling potatoes will get you through the night much better than a few scraps of lettuce, dummy.
"If I could tell you one thing, it would be to stop and take mental snapshots of your wedding day."
Oh come on! You stole that from The Office and it was a stupid idea when they did it.
"If I could tell you one thing, it would be to be careful who you let speak at the wedding."
Great idea. In fact--this is an entire entry in and of itself (that I'll write in about 3 days when I'm out of ideas.)
I tend to think this applies more to the Maids of Honor than anyone. (Sure, there is the occasional half-whitted Best Man who doesn't realize that the ROAST is Friday night and the TOAST is Saturday. But beyond that, even poor best man's toasts are usually okay.)
I have seen some disasters on the female side, most of which begin with a small sniffle and then turns into a snotty, sobbing mess.
Maids of Honor--if you write something down and you think it might make you cry, WRITE SOMETHING ELSE DOWN! There is nothing more pathetic than Maid of Honor blowing her nose in her fingers and nothing more gross than her hugging the bride and groom immediately after.
Brides--Who says your Maid of Honor has to do the toast? We're getting married in an era where online ordainment, in-wedding photo booths and bins of candy in lieu of cake are such commonplace that they're almost becoming cliched. Pick someone who can get through it. For all of our sake.
"If I could tell you one thing, it would be to hire a wedding planner---even if it is only for the day of the wedding."
This is one of the rare topics I don't have a strong opinion on. On the one hand--I see it. I see why they are there and I see why they're so heavily compensated. On the other, holy mother of all that is good they are expensive.
I'm leaving this up to my bride and her mother. There is one thing I can tell you for certain though--if we do in fact have a wedding planner, you better believe they will be wearing a massive headset (complete with an 8-foot antenna!) and will be required to talk to all of the vendors like she's talking on a CB-Radio.
"Breaker! Breaker! We're ready for the Flower Girl. Over."
"10-4. That's affirmative. We are go for the Flower Girl at 1632 hours."
"If I could tell you one thing, it would be to not use my photographer."
With the exception of "Realtor", I can't think of a service-provider that is more universally loathed by their clients than wedding photographers. Check out your facebook page--you know eleven of them and had no idea.
But you are going to hire one. And you are going to pay through the nose for hundreds of really nice-looking pictures of people and things that were in no way what you were hoping for.
"If I could tell you one thing, it would be to register for an authentic Indiana Jones whip."
Brilliant. Not only a great gift (for any occasion) but will come in really useful for disciplining the neighbors' kids.
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Thanks for reading,