Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Shut Up, Weddings

It turns out I really care about this wedding. But it also turns out that I don't have a DIY bone in my body nor do I care to pay someone enough to make this wedding look spectacular. I am decidedly NOT as creative as some of you out there. I'm just not. And even when I get temporarily inspired, I think about the logistics and time involved in your gorgeous wedding projects (making them, transporting them, setting them up) and I want to curl into a tiny ball and cry from the stress and my apparent inadequacy in comparison to all of you.

But none of that changes things. My wedding will be decoratively basic and somewhat incohesive. We'll have Ikea centerpieces and papel picado bunting, and that's pretty much it. It doesn't have "colors," unless you mean "all of them." I genuinely don't give a fig what my two bridesmaids wear apart from "something purple that's not floor-length" and I only picked purple because they both said it was a color they like and not because I give a d*mn. My shoes are probably going to be boring because I have back problems and flats with arch support don't send people into Louboutin-shoegasms. I'm not having favors or fans or bunting or cute signs or anything else so many people get excited about. My chuppah is probably going to be a meaningful but unattractive concoction.

Oh. Effing. Well.

I'm having great food.
I'm having fabulous music.
And I'm getting married to the most amazing man in the entire world.

I'm trying to hold onto that, because all your beautiful weddings have been getting me down lately. Because even if you claim it was your amazing photographers who made everything look spectacular because you just effed it all, I know better. I see those little details sneaking into the photos. I can tell that you have more style than I do. Stop poo-pooing right now, because it's true. You guys see how to coordinate things artfully, whereas I'm comfortable enough with a semi-easy, semi-cheap mishmash.

In other words, I'm lazy and practical, neither of which get extolled here in weddingland. Here in weddingland, I'm supposed to give a d*mn about inane crap like what my bridesmaids wear. But here in weddingland, even if you say you don't give a d*mn and go for mismatched dresses, it's not because you don't care... it's because you're cool enough to have scoured for coordinated mismatchedness.

But it really turns out that I really truly don't care. And if that makes me some sort of unstylish funsucking beast of a bride, so be it. I'm a heck of a lot more worried about transporting and setting up all our wedding cr*p (it turns out you can acquire a ton of cr*p for DIY setup, even if you didn't DIY-make it yourselves) than I am with finding pretty details. Details are fun. Logistics are not. But details make logistics even less fun, so I'm saying eff it to a whole lot of them.

I'm a lot more comfortable stressing about finding boxes with cardboard dividers for our 45 bud vases (yes, 45 bud vases) than I am giving a fig about making Martha Stewart Poms. I mean really, poms??!! I spent a good week considering making them until I thought about the stress of making them night after night, transporting them into Malibu, hanging them from the rafters, and getting them down from the rafters and wanted to cry. In fact, I actually got so wrapped up in thinking about how to color coordinate the poms with our centerpieces that I forgot WE ALREADY HAVE 10 LONG STRANDS PAPEL PICADO FOR THE RAFTERS.

And that was the moment that I knew I'd lost it. Somehow, despite all my attempts to stay strong and fight the wedding pressures from traditional and indie weddings alike, I'd entirely gone off my sanity rails and into screaming crazy stressed out bride territory. And that was the true eff it moment. Because I've been trying to eff it the entire time, but all of the pretty pretty possibilities from women who claim to not be crafty or stylish (I call bullsh*t) snuck up on me. If they could do it, I could do it too, right? What's wrong with me that I can't do it if they all do it so well? Well, I don't think there's anything wrong with me anymore. I've decided you all have a higher tolerance for pain than I do, and I'm okay with that. I'd rather grab a glass of wine while I deal with immediate necessities like shopping lists and family politics instead of making poms.

Trust me, I still want poms. And crafty placesettings. And a fun photobooth backdrop. And possibly a color theme. And I blame all of you and your pretty weddings. But I'm thanking my last shred of sanity for saying NO EFFING WAY and grabbing a glass of wine instead as I deal with real-world cr*p like address labels.  From one unstylish funsucking bride to all the others out there: I'm dedicating my next glass of wine to you. I know you're out there. You just remain pretty quiet, but I'm letting you know that it's okay to celebrate the eff-it-ness. It's okay to be practical and "lazy." It's okay to worry about call lists instead of crafts. In fact, it makes a whole lot of sense in the middle of a wedding maelstrom that doesn't. So cheers. Cheers to the eff-it sisterhood. Come on over any time you need a break from the pretties, because I'll be here with my papel picado and rants for the next three months.

April 3, you cannot come soon enough.


  1. Dude. From my experience, food and music is all anyone cares about or remembers anyway. Yourre set.

  2. We took the cardboard dividers for our bud vases from Ikea when we bought them, and then cut them to size to fit in boxes - mostly we used beer bottle boxes. I think we had three boxes. You could also use 6-pack carriers packed inside a box, if your vases are like ours.

    Dude, our favors were Lindor truffles that I bought in multi-packs from Costco, ate half of in the week before the wedding, and dumped in a big harvest basket I stole from my cousin. That's not style, it's theft. And we only had them because my Mother-in-Law cared so much. We effed the poms because the tent was too tall, and I'm totally okay with the fact that we did. The only reason that our tent looks at all stylish is because the nature center had a gala on Friday night and left up the hay bales and corn husks wrapped around the poles.

    Trust me, the less you have to strike after the wedding is over, the better off you are. If that means sacrificing a lot of the style at the beginning, so be it, because it is soooo not worth the work the next day. You, my friend, are absolutely right and very very wise. Go forth and be lazy and funsucking. It's okay to not care.

  3. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have DIYed a single thing if J hadn't wanted it. As in, every damned DIY thing people ooh'ed and aah'ed over was done by him. I made cake, because cake is easy and fun. And you know the thing most people commented on? The beer and wine, which we had special ordered from a microbrewery in WI and tiny winery in MI. Because all anyone cares about is the alcohol, the food, and the music. Screw perfectly mis-matched dresses, color palettes, and all that - no one cares. Except the blog crazies, of which you should be proud to not be one.

  4. Solidarity, sister. I chose my venue based in large part on the fact that it was "pretty" because I didn't want to have to do any decorating - as cute as those dang Poms are, it just wasn't going to happen. There was no photobooth, no cutesy anything. There were only flowers on the tables because we sent a friend to Whole Foods that morning to pick up whatever they had. And honestly, the photographer did make it look pretty. You are golden. Enjoy that glass of wine and don't worry about a thing.

  5. And THIS is why I chose to have my wedding in our backyard. It was so DIY that I didn't want to have to also stress about transporting, setting up and taking down all in one day. Instead we were able to spread everything out over the course of a couple of weeks. I can't imagine having the wedding I had at an offsite venue. No fucking way.

  6. I heart you, Becca. You're totally right about the uber-cool "coordinated mismatchedness" thing. Actual mismatchedness is a new frontier for weddings. I'm really glad you're not worried about it: it'll be colorful and eclectic and the stupid little projects won't eclipse the actual, you know, WEDDING.

  7. I live in DC and got married in LA. So all of those logistics get even harder when you have to schlep across the country with baggage fees. So, we hung some white Christmas lights from the ceiling, attached some leftover tulle the church had from a previous wedding to the walls (our decor aesthetic was apparently wedding froofy) and called it a day.
    Plus: it looked like a wedding reception.
    Minus: not even a fabulous photographer can make it look blog worthy. Pretty, yes, blog worthy, no. (and all our rented plates matched)
    Plus: I don't give a damn if it's blog worthy. The food was amazing and we had a blast.

  8. First, go back and look at your birthday photos. Photography is a tricky thing. Second, your appeal picaro is BRILLIANT. Third, with one bouquet left to make, even my little Bean -- crafter extraordinaire -- said, "We have enough.". I think you are wise to focus on logistics over silly poms.

  9. :)

    I learned a new French phrase on January 1st that I think is fun and appropriate as you are heading into these final months before the wedding: "Lâche pas la patate." It literally means, "Don't let go of the potato," which I love, but it actually means something like a cross between: "Hang in there!", "Go for it", and "Stick with it."

    Your sticking with your practical approach is awesome. I am betting your wedding will be awesome and your minimal approach to details will be absolutely freeing.... (Both now as you don't have to make a million poms and later as you don't have to set them up, and post-wedding as you don't have to take them back down.) Sounds like a great plan to me! :)

  10. I love "Lâche pas la patate"!

    Honestly, when I look back at our wedding (now 1.5 years ago), it like, blows my mind that I cared so much about little DIY details and all that crap. They were cute and everything, but I don't know why I CARED so much, or invested so much of my time in it. In the sober light of day, it feels crazy that I spent so much mental energy on the small stuff. Planning a wedding can be fun (and it can be fun to focus on return address labels when you have a dissertation to finish, for example) but it can also be so consuming that I am honest-to-goodness EMBARRASSED now when I think about some of the stuff that seemed So Important to me.

    All that to say, it has always sounded to me like you've got a great balance going between the stuff that matters and the stuff that is not worth your mental energy. And so I swear, even if right now you feel like you're doing something "wrong" by not paying enough attention to this shit, 1.5 years after your wedding you will feel so, so grateful you drew these lines. You'll be like, "Thank goodness I drew the line at address labels--isn't that a crazy thing to care about? Of course it is."

    And then you'll remember when your granny got drunk and did the limbo or something and be happy. :)

  11. We forget everyone has different priorities and abilities. It's okay to be who you really are.

    I am not a crafter, nor am I interested in becoming one. But I do have style and style is fun for me.

    I wouldn't craft a damn thing for the wedding. But I would look for inexpensive objects to decorate with that don't cost a lot.

    I'd just strew fruits and flowers and votives down the centers of the tables. Gorgeous and cheap and kinda devil may care.

    That is easy for me, but not second nature for others. Maybe you have a friend with natural style who could volunteer?

    If not; don't worry. People will notice if they're having fun most of all.

  12. Being on the far shore of all this, I can tell you, food and music and crying about joy are 80% of a wedding loved by your guests as well as you. The next 10% is tablecloths in some kind of color and decent lighting - obviating the need for any particular centerpieces or decor. The last 10% is all the other stuff. Carry on oh wayward bride. And if you want to invite random Internet strangers I'll come. I give good presents:). Smooches to you.

  13. Heard that, woman!

    It's hard, right?! I keep trying to find a balance between the wedding blogging world and the sane real world... part of me wants to be part of that DIY crafty stylista sisterhood who blogs every day, but also part of me is COMPLETELY fine with not blogging for 7 months and having an un-blog-worthy hotel ballroom wedding (don't tell the stylish bride sisterhood)... it's so hard to not compare yourself to others. PEOPLE YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW! I know I have to focus sosososo hard on it. It takes a lot of courage to be yourself sometimes, sheesh!

    But hey, I know it's gonna be worth it in the end!

  14. i'm POSITIVE that your wedding will badass...the only time i've ever paid attention to details at weddings is when the couple is boring and all of their friends are boring by association and there's nothing better to do but examine their silk flower choices over real flowers...yadda yadda. you guys are rad - therefore, your wedding will be rad.

  15. Deep breath. First of all, this is a totally normal place to be a few months out, after a long engagement, when the physical realities of planning are starting to set in.

    Second of all, we did all of what you're discribing (or none of it, I guess depending). And have you seen our pictures? Yeah. Stunning. Pretty location, smiling faces, good photographer. Done. We didn't have ANY decorations (other than the huppah, which is not so much a decoration and was just branches and a tallis), and tiny flower arrangements (which are not noticable in the pictures and I wouldn't bother with if I was doing it all over). We had no colors, no crafty projects, nothing.

    We had good food, love, the willingness to dance and have a good time... and a blast. This is what I've been saying all along. Eff it. You'll do just fine. (Also: breathe.)

  16. Dude I so NEEDED this post!!!!!! Once again, can I tell you that YOU RAWK!!!!! Eff the Poms i say! EFF>>>>>>THE>>>>POMS!!!!!! Who needs a shrink when I've got Becca's Blog to save me from insanity!?!

    1.You are going to look great
    2.Your guests are going to have a blast
    3. No diy crapola aka pom making projects are going to stop you from walking into your new married life.
    4. You RAWK!!!!!!!

  17. Go to ANY restaurant or bar, (one you happen to frequent) and talk to a bartender about grabbing the 6-pack boxes from her when she restocks the beer. They have a ton they're just going to dump, and they'll have no problem setting them aside for you.

    Also, I'm not crafty either. I tried to be and failed. But when I'm at a wedding, or party, or whatever, I DO think, "ooh! pretty details!" and then IMMEDIATELY forget them so that I can concentrate on the better things - dancing and eating food and trying to steal some time from the bride to tell her how pretty she looks.

    I can't remember what details my cousin had at his wedding, but I do remember dancing, I do remember eating, and I do remember his bride telling me that her hot brother thought I was cute. It was a great wedding.

    Everyone is going to have fun at your wedding. Especially if you have a hot brother. :)

  18. Yes, join me sister on the lazy and practical masquerading as chic wagon. Seriously, you've got the location. Now just make the necessary logistics and details work. Forget the fluff. We will both have awesome weddings without having to stress ourselves out. It will be awesome.

  19. We had some craftsy "blog-worthy" details and you know what? Our photographers barely took any pictures of them. (I tell myself it's because they were too busy taking pictures of our loved ones having fun. Because that's what people do at weddings, with or without trendy decor.)

    And whenever I hear the word "poms" I think of a wedding I attended a few years ago where a group of us were recruited to help decorate the barn in which the reception was going to take place. I spent most of the time terrified that two of my friends were going to fall to their deaths from the extension ladder they'd climbed to hang poms from the rafters, 50 feet up. So not worth it.

  20. If it is in the budget, seriously consider a day of coordinator. They should take care of the logistics and some of the DIY projects like setting up your centerpieces and decor (break down of the entire event too). It's truly worth the peace of mind. I know - I am having a multicultural wedding in two different locations with two ceremonies and a reception in the equally uber expensive city of Newport, R.I.

    btw the DOC fee was $750...they were willing to work with my budget.

  21. @Eliie - We have your vases. Ikea didn't have dividers. We are now drinking beer. Yay.

    @C.r.a - that's why we chose our venue too. Glad I'm getting back to remembering that. Oy.

    @IRMcK - I like your style. Even if it wasn't your design-style. You know what I mean.

    @accordionsandlace - Thank you. Just, thank you. I needed that waaaay-post-wedding perspective. Especially from someone who always seems so level-headed about what matters.

    @Meg - you've been saying this for a while. I've been trying to understand this for a while. Hoo boy, it's here. Yay.

    @Lira - I'll let my hot brother know that the success of my wedding depends on him. :)

    @Moni - I have an amazing DOC. But really, the transport, logistics, and teardown at the top of a hilltop are killing me. I do events. I am therefore required to worry about these things and contingency plans for these things.

  22. "I'm having fabulous music.
    And I'm getting married to the most amazing man in the entire world."

    damn girl...that's what i'm all about! sounds like you are right on track! diy schmee-iy. music. love. that's all you need. so ya, still anxiously awaiting to hear it all come together ;)

  23. I LOVE IT!!!

    I was addicted to reading wedding blogs and pining for the perfect decor, color scheme, etc, until I, like yourself, realized I could NEVER in a million years be so creative as to accomplish one of those "blog-worthy" weddings. I sulked about it for 2 days and then realized I'm better off for it. My wedding will be plain, simple, and genuine. Four more months for me!

    You go girl :)

  24. Hey, our photographer made our wedding look more fantastic than it was but I won't pretend it didn't already look fantastic (you can actually see the photos if you want, same facebook link I sent you re: Guatemala photos...which you may not want to do, but it *would* give you an idea of how good a wedding can look with minimal-to-no decoration).

    This, however, had nothing to do with basically any of the stuff you mentioned above that people do to make their weddings look great.

    We had no color scheme (if you look, you'll see we had a lot of red and purple going on, but that was kind of an accident and my own dress was fuchsia-red). We didn't decorate the ceremony venue. AT ALL. We didn't have bunting or whatevs, or cute place settings (unless "ivory plate, water glass, napkin, cutlery" counts as a "cute place setting", which of course it does not). Pretty much all we did to decorate was spend $100 on paper lanterns, LED tealights and $2.95 each on Michael's cheapo metal flower holders that mom chucked grocery store flowers into (Mom is a talented arranger so they came out fine). We had mismatched bridesmaids but NOT because I scoured the Internetz looking for perfect mismatchery - because I really did tell them to wear whatever they wanted, preferably in a jewel tone - proving that you do not, in fact, need to coordinate bridesmaids in any way for them to look good, including color-wise. Oh, and I wore flats. Leather khussa flats with gold thread embroidery from Pakistan, but flats nonetheless.

    Pretty much the only flourish were the table cards and escort cards, and those were almost free to make. The escort cards took effort but I assure you that the table cards did not. Postcard, stick, candleholder, glue, done.

    So, honestly, I think with the rustic mountain venue, the papel picado and simple centerpieces, that you DO have a great thing going. You have "simple but colorful", "country but ethnic", and "very you - fun, sweet but sensible to the core and not foofy at all". You don't need coordination, colors, a theme, "poms" (WTF are "poms" anyway? Aren't they those fuzzy things kids glue to popsicle sticks with google eyes?) or even a lot of "stuff" to make something look great. If you have a few simple, not-too-stressful flourishes and a venue with good "bones" - which it sounds like you do from how you've described it - then you are set.

  25. I do want to add that nobody can say I'm not crafty (I make most of my own jewelry after all, and draw my own greeting cards when I have time)...just that planning it from Taiwan meant that even if I had the time to make "poms" (I still don't get WTF the deal is with poms), which I didn't, I wouldn't have been able to transport them home.

    So even us crafty girls sometimes go "eff it" and go with the venue's mostly undecorated charms.

  26. Girl- call your DOC this very minute. You should not be worrying about breakdown/setup. That's her job! And while I know you'll worry about it (ha!) trust in your vendors. I had a DOC and...a shit ton of DIY projects...and I maybe stupidly never thought of setup/breakdown. Because my DOC did it all for me with her Navy captain husband- which is exactly why I hired her! Besides, I'm bringing my pack mule Natalie who is my loving Virgo and has packed up many a wedding.

    This is NOTTTT to say you should do DIY. No siree. I'm saying- don't sweat the small shit you hired people to do, ha! From our wedding, what people remembered, despite my sick DIY obsession, was our ceremony. And that's what I remember. I married the person of my dreams and felt so ecstatic to be sharing it with everyone I loved. And I cried like a little girl giving my reading from "The Rabbits Wedding"....it's a children's book from the 1940's that was banned because it had a black and white rabbit who were in love and 'promoted interracial marriage' . Literally the whole crowd cried too- and wanted that damn book! My Rabbi even commented on the significance of the book and got a little choked up.
    People went up to my mother-in-law and say over and over that we had the most meaningful wedding they had ever been to because it was about the marriage(!!) and two people committing their lives to one another. And I'm so happy that's how people remember it.

  27. Here, how about this:
    1. Eff it, who cares? Check.
    2. Multiple glasses of wine? Check.
    3. NOT accidentally Super Gluing your fingers together while gluing tiny birds to your card holder/birdhouse? Check.
    4. TWENTY-SIX (and then some)comments per post? Check.
    5. Wedding Channel's Best Bridal Blogger? Check.

    Sweetheart, it ain't about DIY or expensive details or ANY of that. You know that. It's about YOU. And the soon to be hubs. Why do you keep stressing about this shit? Dude. Knock it off. Don't make me come out there and shake you like a bad baby.

  28. MMHM.

    and the thing is... those little details i labored over- i loved them. and i get blog comments on them.

    but when guests talk about the wedding, they talk about 1)the food 2)the music and 3)how happy josh and i both looked.

    people don't give an ish about the rest in real life.

  29. also, boxes with dividers= go to a liquor store. they gave us TONS of cardboard boxes (it helps THEM out) with little dividers in them meant for booze.

  30. You've already got what you need to have a perfect wedding. You said it yourself:

    "And I'm getting married to the most amazing man in the entire world. "

  31. I read this and kindof laughed a little bit - because I wrote a post so close to this it's not even funny. I went through the same thing. I felt like all the bloggers were just big liars who talked about simple weddings and then KABLAM - their weddings were featured on Style Me Pretty and stuff. Hahaha...

    I ended up wanting to do all the small stuff - and in the end it obviously didn't get done - and our day was dynamite anyway. Our decor was uber basic, my dress was off the rack, my girls wore whatever in gray, the flowers were yellow, and we made our programs/ceremony script/vows/itinerary a few days before the event. Despite it's simple nature, it STILL took a lot of effort. But I just loved every moment of that weekend.

    Even if no fancy shmancy wedding blog EVER featured my simple wedding - I blogged the hell out of it myself ;-)

  32. I've found in the wedding-planning process that moments like these, where you not only admit to yourself that you don't like something about weddings but also EMBRACE it - DIY-ery, for example - are the best. "Hey - I don't have to do that! I don't even have to care about it!"

    Very freeing. And we need to feel freed sometimes when we're planning a big-ass party for tons of people. Because that shit can be stressful.

    Sorry I said shit. I said it again.

  33. Long-time lurker here, now married just under three months. That being said:

    Fuck poms. Fuck elaborate centerpieces, fuck bunting, fuck trees on the fucking tables, fuck handmade favors, fuck matching everything and fuck the pressure to DIY everything.

    Well, don't *literally* fuck them, but still.

    My husband and I crafted ONE detail in our wedding. ONE. I was initially more ambitious than that, but my instinct to be an utter couch potato took over pretty fast. The logistics of our ceremony and reception venues also meant that people would have just half an hour -- between the ceremony and the reception -- to set up and decorate the reception hall. Time limits force one to set very firm priorities.

    The details are pretty, but they mean little so long as your wedding has strong bones (which you already listed). The detail shots our photographer took are nice and they add to the overall vibe of the event, but I tend not to linger over them too long. They are not the parts of the day that interest me. (Well, okay, except the one that Hubs and I DIYed. But mostly because I find it hilarious, not because the photographer took a good picture of it.)

    And in the end, nobody else noticed the details, either. They just told us it was the most meaningful ceremony/funnest/nicest/classiest wedding they'd ever been to. Mission accomplished!

  34. Ok so now tell me what you really think of DIY weddings. I think you are being too sutle.


  35. Seriously? People are not lying about the photographers. Our centerpieces looked like ass in real life...the fact that they looked good in the photos is all about the photoshop. That doesn't mean you need to do anymore than you want to do. But also, don't underestimate the power of postprocessing.

  36. You are (obviously, above comments) not alone! I too have been on the rant about unnecessary wedding details (in my case, it was mustaches on sticks, fruit in hands, and typewriters).

    But oh my gosh I'm with you on the Poms. If I see one more "unique, quirky, individual" wedding shoot with Poms I'm going to scream.

  37. People,

    Have Poms if you love them, but don't call them "unique" anymore.

  38. Crap. I have no idea of what poms even ARE. Does that mean I don't get to have a wedding?

  39. I second everything you said.
    I am planning on having Ikea vases too, in them yellow daffodils a friend is growing for me. After all is done I figure we can give out the vases as favours. Is that too cheap?

  40. I second everything you said.
    I am planning on having Ikea vases too, in them yellow daffodils a friend is growing for me. After all is done I figure we can give out the vases as favours. Is that too cheap?


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