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Sprinkled With Nuts

My goodness.  It’s time to pull the weeds out of this keyboard, take the “Gone Ice Fishing” sign off the screen, and fill you in on everything that’s been happening over here.

I’ve been trying on dresses that make me look like a $3,000 dollop of whipped cream.  The salesladies at the bridal store keep saying “you look great!”  But I do not.  I look like I should be topped with a cherry-red hat and sprinkled with nuts.  I tell them that I hate poofy dresses, and they stare at me like I’m reciting instructions for breaking the necks of little songbirds.hazelnutsWe registered last weekend.  I walked around Crate & Barrel zapping pots and pans while Scott set up an Amazon registry on his iPhone.  I was okay with our division of responsibilities until I saw that he registered for a robotic arm, a container of glow-in-the-dark silly putty, a 12-foot ladder, and magnetic paint.  I’m not sure what he’s planning to build with these things, but if it’s not a 3-quart All-Clad saucepan, I don’t support it.hazelnutsI made our save-the-date cards instead of having them printed.  I used paper, twine, glue sticks, and white wine.  I mailed them.  Some of them looked like they were made by a second grader in an underfunded afterschool program, but there’s not much we can do about that now, is there?save the dateOf course, before I mailed the save-the-dates, we chose a date and time for this shindig: we’re getting hitched at an apple cidery in late July!

After we booked the venue, things got a little complicated.  You see, the thing about real, working barns is that they don’t have lights in them, so you have to rent 900 feet of bistro lights and pay to have them draped in the rafters.   And the thing about throwing a party in the countryside is that you can’t let your guests zigzag back to civilization afterwards like the Great Gatsby, so you have to rent buses.  And you can’t ask your older relatives to stand in the middle of a field in the summer heat for the ceremony, so you have to rent chairs.  And your barn doesn’t have a kitchen, so you need to rent a tent for your caterer.  Et cetera.chocolate hazelnut biscottiPlanning this thing is more complicated than I thought it would be.  I’m not saying it’s hard.  Gaining political asylum is hard.  Defeating an incumbent is hard.  In comparison, planning a wedding is a piece of cake.  But that’s the thing: even if you’re a non-traditional kind of girl who isn’t going to toss a bouquet, or serve a tall white cake, or drive off in a fancy car, you still have to decide on some kind of schedule and, well, a cake alternative.chocolate hazelnut biscottiIn a fantastic essay called The Lesbian Bride’s Handbook, Ariel Levy captures the trickiness of the casual wedding.  She writes:

We just wanted a big, awesome party where everyone could meet and go bananas. . . The thing is, though, you have to serve something, and you can’t very well go naked.  You can call it a party about love all you want, but you still have to make all the same decisions that every other bride has to make, and you have to make them very carefully unless you want everyone you know to schlep to some crummy party in the middle of nowhere.

And I do not believe in crummy parties.  I believe in glamour.  I believe that when you are on your deathbed clinging to the murk of your memories, some will stay with you purely on the power of the atmosphere: the way a punch bowl looked surrounded by daisies at your fifth-birthday party, the feel of a certain set of blue sheets the first time you traveled alone.  There was no way I was going to let this thing be shoddy. . . If I was going to have a party about love, it was going to be the classiest party about love ever.  I did not experience this imperative as relaxing.

Amen, sister.  I don’t find it relaxing either.  In fact, the only time I’ve felt relaxed in the past few weeks was after I banged my head hard against the car door and saw darkness and a lot of pretty sparkles on my retinas.  Scott thought I had a concussion, but I didn’t go to the doctor because I felt fantastic.chocolate biscottiI’ll tell you what else is fantastic: biscotti.  They’re like cookies playing hard-to-get–they’re crunchy to the tooth at first, but if you dunk them in coffee they soften right up and melt in your mouth.  If you like that sort of thing, I have a chocolate hazelnut biscotti recipe for you.  It’s David Lebovitz’s recipe, actually–I just swapped hazelnuts for almonds and recommend reducing the baking time for the second round, lest they burn.  (And make sure the logs are completely cool before you cut them, otherwise they’ll crumble.)empty coffee And with that, I’m off to give Thunder a pat on the head.  She’s been doing such a good job managing my wedding-planning schedule. thunder on calendar Happy weekend!

 

 

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61 Comments Post a comment
  1. Eggton, it’s been too long. Good luck with the wedding planning!

    April 3, 2014
    • Thank you, my dear! I’ve missed writing so much. I hope things are well with you guys in Boston!

      April 3, 2014
  2. Happy Wedding Planning – Happy Weekend:)

    April 3, 2014
    • Thanks, my friend. By the way, I love the Kermit The Frog quote in one of your recent posts. So awesome.

      “No matter how large the swamp; be your own frog.”

      April 3, 2014
      • Thanks – love Kermie:)

        I know a few brides that went vintage with their bridal gowns – more classic and timeless versus puffs and clouds of white/ivory. I went that route and worn a spun gold dress and then did more jewel tones for the bridesmaids. I look back at my photos and we do not look dated to me.

        April 3, 2014
        • wow–spun gold! I can imagine it. What a great idea.

          April 7, 2014
  3. Oh, myyy! I don’t envy you. I planned my wedding a little – courthouse, awesome lunch, visited the one and only Rock and Roll hall of Fame, a break to recover… Then the pub. Someone bought me a cake, or I wouldn’t have had one – it was served on the pool table with the pizza! I couldn’t have asked for a better day, and it goes sooooo fast!

    April 3, 2014
    • That sounds so wonderful. What a lovely day! I am really looking forward to the courthouse part, too, and to the end of the night when we’re eating pizza and hanging out at one of our favorite bars! I believe you that it goes quickly. Scott’s sister threw us a little engagement party this weekend and it was, as they say, a complete blur.

      April 3, 2014
  4. I think you should hum the tune to Alouette next time you’re at a fitting. They will think you’re French and classy, but really you’re thinking of plucking a poor birds feathers off. And beak. And eyes. They’ll never know how creepy you actually are.

    April 3, 2014
    • Brooke comin’ in hot with the quality advice once again! You should start a column, woman.

      April 3, 2014
  5. Sara #

    This post made me laugh. I was in your shoes a year ago, and got married last August. Wedding planning was WAY harder than I ever wanted it to be. I also wanted more of a non-traditional big party kind of thing… we ended up getting married in front of 100 people on a beach, with dinner & stuff in a nearby hotel ballroom. It was perfect and wonderful and tiring and so many other adjectives that I could run on and on. Then, in December, my (now) sister-in-law called us up on a Thursday and said, “can you drive up here (two hours away) to city hall tomorrow? We’re getting married!” It was crazy and exciting and fun and more adjectives. Point is, everyone has their perfect fantasy day. And no one’s version is right or wrong – you just make the best of how YOU want it to be, and it will be everything you ever wanted. Good luck!

    PS- I still think Thunder is just about the cutest dog ever. 🙂

    April 3, 2014
    • Sara, thanks for this. I’ve only been to one wedding on a beach and it was phenomenal. The weather had been bad all day, but the sky practically split open with light *right* before the ceremony and it turned everything all opal-colored. It was gorgeous. I also know of two acquaintances who got married at city hall in New York City, and then went out to dinner. The people at the table next to them were incredible–they paid for their tab. Isn’t that awesome?

      We’re trying to figure out a way to work Thunder in the wedding. Scott thinks Thunder could be the ring bearer. I have my doubts.

      April 7, 2014
  6. Ah, wedding planning… so much fun. I love your analogy of looking like a 3,000 dollar dollop of whipped cream, because that’s exactly what I think of when I see really poofy gowns. They seem so impractical. I don’t envy all the work you have to go through to plan a wedding in a barn, but I bet it’s going to be absolutely fantastic. I can’t wait to see the photos! 🙂

    April 3, 2014
    • I can’t wait to see the photos either! We found a photographer who I really like, so I think the photos will be good, though I don’t want to spend much time doing posed ones–the cocktail party is always my favorite part of every wedding! (other than dancing, I guess.)

      April 7, 2014
  7. Oh the fun of doing it yourself… Oh, wait, it’s not fun! Godspeed my dear and bless your heart for planning your own wedding. If I ever re-marry it’s going to be Vegas baby!

    April 3, 2014
    • If I got married in Vegas I’d wear a huge emerald green taffeta dress. I’ve always wanted a dress like that–I muse have seen one when I was little.

      April 7, 2014
      • I would go vintage pin-up, in my skates if at all possible!

        April 8, 2014
  8. Ooh! Wedding planning! I had to undergo a round of Prilosec OTC, and a week before the ceremony, I found that the top of my head transformed into an oil slick from all the stress. And I cried a lot. I’m told this is all very normal. And I LOVE that Ariel Levy essay – love love love it.
    And you know what else I love? Cookies that are meant to be dunked in coffee. Fantastic – must try this recipe. 🙂

    April 3, 2014
    • Dana, it’s so funny that you say that because I just started taking a prilosec equivalent because the day after we got engaged I couldn’t stop puking. PUKING. And I never do that. THAT’S HOW EXCITED I WAS. Which is weird, because we talked about getting married all the time–it wasn’t like this was totally out of the blue, even though I was surprised. . Anyway, my stomach started driving me crazy with nervous excitement, and it hurt. HUH?? So now I’m on prilosec. What the HECK?

      April 7, 2014
      • Yeah, even when I’m happy, if it’s a happy-stress, my stomach decides to burst into flames. Highly annoying.

        April 7, 2014
  9. Anna Kelly #

    As a former couture bridal gown consultant, I’m appalled that you’ve not received better service – in CHICAGO, no less! Not sure if you’ve been by there already or not, but there’s a wonderful designer called Palazzo based right in your fair city. Go see Jane and tell her Anna (formerly of J. Major’s in Charlotte) sent you! She has a much more sleek aesthetic than the bridal world in general. Hope you find something you like, and good luck with all the planning!

    April 3, 2014
    • Thank you so much, Anna!

      Guess what??? I found one after I posted this. It’s lace. I LOVE IT. But I kind of wish I had gotten a chance to go to Palazzo and see Jane–thank you so much for the recommendation.

      April 7, 2014
  10. Here’s what I got from this post: you don’t plan to throw a bouquet. That is one of my least favourite wedding traditions, and actually makes me wince. WINCE. So, I’m happy to hear it won’t be happening on your watch. Also, your photos are magnificent and your save-the-date cards are way cool.

    April 3, 2014
    • The bouquet toss is pretty humiliating for everyone. And a little condescending, in my view. Bleh. Maybe I’ll just ask all the old people to line up and I’ll chuck it at them. That sounds way more fun and has good photo potential…

      April 7, 2014
  11. No wonder you haven’t written in a while. Congratulations.

    April 3, 2014
  12. I was a bit wary when I read the bit about glue sticks and twine, only to scroll down and see that your save the dates are totally awesome! Nicely done 🙂 And…glow in the dark silly putty…? At least your guests will have, um, a range of differently-priced items to choose from? Oh and the biscotti looks amazing, btw!

    April 3, 2014
    • Well, I have to admit that the save-the-dates pictured are definitely the nicest of the bunch. The rough drafts and some of the others were a bit. . . scraggly. In the end–what with my 9 trips to Michaels for replacement stamp pads and pens, I’m not sure it turned out being cheaper than ordering save-the-dates, but it was fun!

      April 7, 2014
  13. I love this! You are going to be a gorgeous, elegant bride, without a hint of meringue. (Actually, you should have those. Meringues. “Better these than me” meringues on a table with other sweets. I love a chocolate chip meringue!) You can absolutely find a non-poofy dress, by the way. Have you considered short? It’s the new long. Sending tons of hugs from the Family Fly to you and Scott!

    houseoftheflies.wordpress.com

    April 3, 2014
    • “Four Weddings and a Funeral” immediately popped into my mind with Andi McDowell trying on dresses that weren’t “too much meringue.” Thunder is much cuter than Hugh Grant any day. I want to draw a bubble over her head — “Bollocks!”

      April 4, 2014
      • Oh my gosh, Sandy Sue! I wonder if deep down in my brain I remembered that line from the movie (which I saw in the 90s) and that’s why I wrote about whipped cream and meringue?? That’s awesome. I should watch that movie again. I bet Hugh Grant looks so young in it.

        April 7, 2014
    • I have seen the cutest short wedding dresses! There’s one that I like and might get for the rehearsal dinner (it might be a bridesmaid’s dress, actually). I don’t usually go for bows (in fact, I don’t think I have anything with a bow on it) but I do like this: http://www.davidsbridal.com/Product_Double-Weave-Floral-Matalasse-Dress-with-Bow-VW360144_Bridal-Party-Bridesmaids-White-by-Vera-Wang-Bridesmaids

      April 7, 2014
      • Gorgeous! You would look stunning in that one.

        April 8, 2014
  14. Thunder is adorable! She is one laid back wedding planner! 😀

    April 3, 2014
    • Yeah, give her a belly rub and it’s like all the stress of the wedding just melts right off her. 🙂

      April 7, 2014
  15. Sounds like it’s going to be a wonderful wedding. The biscotti sounds wonderful.

    April 3, 2014
    • Thanks, Cheri! I can’t stop eating this biscotti, but today I was in starbucks and I saw their vanilla almond biscotti and now I want to freeze the rest of these chocolate ones and try vanilla ones. . .

      April 7, 2014
  16. I love this post especially much because I can relate to every single sentence. (Although I haven’t hit my head like that in a while…) We’re also wedding planning now, and despite our best efforts in making it decision free, we find our selves making lots of decisions. We hand made our invitations. That experience, full of wonderful and quality time spent together, is enough motivation to make sure this is the only wedding I ever have – and now…biscotti!

    April 4, 2014
    • Meredith, tell me everything. I’d love to make my own invitations. How did you do it? (And congratulations!!!)

      April 7, 2014
  17. Katherine, congratulations!! …and all apologies: wedding planning is the worst!! The good news is that you’ll get through it and there will be presents to open and checks to deposit. 🙂 🙂 Good luck!

    April 4, 2014
    • Our first wedding presents came in the mail the other day–a big stock pot and champagne flutes–and I ran around the house like a kid on Christmas morning, like “ME ME ME OMG PRRRRRESENTS!!” It was not my finest moment.

      Did you ever write about your wedding on Bon Appetempt? In your new book? I suppose I’ll find out soon. Eek! So excited for it to come out.

      April 7, 2014
  18. First, may I just say if Scott can make a three-quart All-Clad saucepan from a robotic arm, a container of glow-in-the-dark silly putty, a 12-foot ladder, and magnetic paint, you both can retire forever and just roll in the dough from forthcoming sales. Which would also ease the wedding decision making because money will be no object. You can hire a flunky to make the decisions and follow up for you. Cute as Thunder is, preferably one with opposable thumbs. Those may come in handy for signing the purchase orders for bistro lights, etc. I love your homemade Save the Date cards! And, based on your recommendation, perhaps I need to give biscotti another chance. Yours look wonderful.

    April 4, 2014
    • Speaking of bistro lights–the lighting companies we’re talking to charge $1.50 to 2.50 per foot of bistro lights, but you can BUY THEM on-line for a dollar. It’s infuriating. We can’t string them ourselves because the ceiling is super high, and I don’t want Scott falling off a ladder the morning of the wedding and having to walk down the aisle in a cast, like the girl in the Blue Cross/Blue Shield health insurance commercial. Of course, if he just gets cracking on inventing those instant All-Clad pots and pans, we could probably afford the best doctors in all the land, and a broken leg wouldn’t be that much of a problem. . .

      April 7, 2014
  19. Aw, look at you go! I’ve given up on wedding planning at least a hundred times since getting engaged. I proposed the idea that we should elope, go to the courthouse and get it over with, to which the future husband said “great!” and then listed off the family members he would want to fly in to the secret elopement…. which was followed by my furrowed brow and explanations that if people are buying plane tickets then it’s a wedding and we damn well better feed and entertain them…. and then we are back to square one.
    i haven’t even tried on a single dress and we haven’t set a date, so you are LIGHT YEARS ahead of me! You’re doing so well!
    I don’t know if I would want a glow in the dark 3 qt all clad but … then again, why not? Did you go to a registry event at crate and barrel? If not you should totally go they open up early and serve little hors d’ouvres and you get to walk around a ping things with the little scan gun.
    your location sounds amazing, your save the dates are adorbs, and i can’t wait to see how beautiful you look in whatever dress you pick out! 😉

    April 4, 2014
    • Um, I have NOT gone to a registry event at Crate & Barrel but I will do anything for a free appetizer so I’m ON IT, SISTER. Call me when you do start to plan, okay? I will probably own 200 mason jars by then, and a veil, and an ungodly amount of burlap for some reason, and lots of random crap that I will gladly loan you if it helps keep your sanity in check. (Though I can’t make any promises about my own mental health at that juncture.)

      April 7, 2014
  20. You couldn’t have encapsulated my own feelings on the subject better had you been even more slightly concussed. Good luck with the planning!

    April 4, 2014
  21. jenny_o #

    Our daughter just got married and what you are describing sounds pretty normal 🙂 Good luck with the plans!

    April 4, 2014
    • Oh what fun! What was her wedding like?

      April 7, 2014
      • jenny_o #

        She had a fairly simple wedding, but still had all the craziness of things going wrong at every turn, and each step snowballing into more and more, which is what I was describing as “normal”. Heck, even I was stressed out, and all I had to do was clothe myself and arrive on site, so it’s no wonder the bride and groom feel the pressure 🙂

        April 8, 2014
  22. Those invites are awesome (credit to you & the white wine). Planning a wedding, even if it’s more of a love celebration than high-stress/formal shindig, gives one a bit of crazy eyes, but it sounds like yours is filled with love, which is what will matter most. Congrats!

    April 5, 2014
    • That’s right–it’s supposed to be about love, isn’t it? Sometimes I get so sick of the flimsy plastic chairs and overpriced table cloths that I forget. But it’s falling into place, thank goodness. Today I decided that instead of spending money on cut flowers (which were driving me bonkers), we should shoot for potted plants that can be planted or donated after. I feel so much more comfortable with that! Horray! (Of course, I guess I still need a bouquet, as i can’t very well carry a potted petunia down the aisle with me. . . )

      April 7, 2014
  23. maurnas #

    Those invites are cute. But I shouldn’t have read this before breakfast.

    April 6, 2014
    • Thanks, my friend. Hope your week is going well!

      April 7, 2014
  24. I’m happy to hear that I’m not the only one who despises fluffy dresses that make me look shorter than I already am. The barn sounds absolutely perfect. Spiked apple cider? Those STD are adorable. I love homemade cards. Your wedding is going to be great. I can’t wait to hear what Scott makes with all the cool stuff he registered for. That silly putty sounds fun.

    April 7, 2014
    • Yeah, they make hard apple cider! It’s actually pretty dry–it doesn’t taste like Woodchuck or the ciders they sell in the beer section of the grocery store; it tastes more like champagne. I think we’re going to serve some before the wedding, as people are milling about outside. Yippee!

      April 7, 2014
  25. i *never* thought about what would go into having a wedding in a non-wedding-ready place: that’s crazy (and it always looks SO EASY AND EFFORTLESS ON PINTEREST!!!!). and certainly planning a wedding is first-world problem territory, but it really can be difficult and carries with it its own terrors; it can be stressful and exhausting. So true about how casual weddings are just as difficult to plan as schmancy ones, too: it’s still a big party that you want to go off with out a hitch (except for your own “hitch,” of course), and it requires an epic amount of patience and time. I’m sure you’re doing great with the plans, and you still have lots of time. also, biscotti.
    ps: i’ll need scott’s amazon registry list RIGHT AWAY.

    April 7, 2014
  26. Amy #

    oh my gosh, isn’t registering SO MUCH FUN?! I love your save the dates…totally adorable! It sounds like you’ve gotten so much done with your wedding planning. I’m majorly impressed. It’s gonna be a gorgeous affair, I’m sure 🙂

    April 8, 2014

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