Tag Archives: thoughts

Back to school time

31 Aug
Not for me, of course. I’ve been working all summer, but it’s that time of year, and it makes me a little nostalgic. I love school supplies, that feeling of possibility and new experiences that comes with empty notebooks and fresh pencils. And I’ve seen a few wonderful things that remind me of back to school in the blog world this past week. First, there was: 
bouguet of pencils

A bouquet of newly sharpened pencils


by Cathe Holden of Just Something I Made  

It reminded me of that line in YOU’VE GOT MAIL, where Tom Hank’s character says to Meg Ryan’s character (in an email, of course), “Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. On the other hand, this not knowing has its charms.”

And then I stumbled across this artist,  Dalton Ghetti, in a post at Urban Bride 

pencil sculpture

carved from a pencil. Really!

See more about him and more amazing photos at Kid Robot.  

 Anyway, I hope you all get to have that feeling of possibility that comes with freshly sharpened pencils this fall. I know I’ve got it coming with all the wedding planning that’s unfolding these days! 



29 Aug

Until the Sweets and I are married!


24 Aug

This just a quick post to remind everyone, including myself, that wedding planning is not all fun and joy. Sometimes it sucks. Like, really. It can also be very stressful, trying, testing, nightmare and sleepless-night inducing. Nothing’s perfect.

Here’s what I’m figuring out, though: You can’t be passive in the process and expect to feel in control. Neither can you account for every last thing. And if you don’t know what you want, you can’t wait for someone else to tell you.  I can’t tell you how frustrating that is, whichever side of the coin you’re on at the moment.

But I can get one of these at lunch and try to feel better.

sweet treat

(image from seattletimes.nwsource.com because I didn’t bother to take a picture of mine before I ate it.)

I’ll get back to happy wedding planning tomorrow.

“to make visible and real your love for each other”

20 Aug

Alright, I admit it. I watch some of the wedding tv shows — Say Yes to the Dress, My Fair Wedding, Four Weddings, Plan My Wedding, and the ancillary shows that might as well be wedding tv, like Cake Boss. Pretty cakes, pretty parties, character, you know. (But NO BRIDEZILLAS. Never again. I find that show horrifying in the most despicable ways. Those women, whether it’s for show or not, are not allowing themselves a true celebration of love, and they are not putting their relationship and love first in their weddings.)

My mother has taken to watching Say Yes to the Dress too, and I must say it amused me to no end when she asked me (after I had bought my dress) whether it was definitely “THE” dress. As I’m sure most of you know, the show espouses this idea that there is one perfect and wonderful dress for every bride, but I’m not sure that’s an idea I completely buy in to. Some of us are never going to find a magical dress that takes away all body insecurities and transforms us into a glowing vision of bridal perfection. But I do believe that I found a dress that is wonderfully in keeping with the wedding I’m planning, and I know, because I’ll be wearing it in front of all my closest friends and family, there to support me, I’ll feel happy and comfortable and “bridal” and my Sweets will think I look beautiful on our wedding day. I said yes to that dress.

Of all these shows, I think Plan My Wedding had the most practical effect on me. Those three competing wedding planners, all with designs to give the bride and groom the best wedding on their limited budget, made me stop and think: wedding planners know a lot of tricks. They have experience, expertise, and best of all, relationships. They are absolutely worth their fee if they get you more wedding (and less stress!) for your budget. Sweets and I were swayed by this thought, and we found some wonderful professionals to help us handle some of the bigger aspects of our wedding, like finding a venue with great food and appropriate space within our budget. And we’re sure we would have had to pay much more for the wedding we’re going to have without their help. Their advice and support is invaluable, too — I’ll give those ladies some more public love down the road, when more plans are in place and I can praise them appropriately. 

But the rest of the wedding shows, as much as I enjoy them, don’t always seem like they’re at all related to MY wedding.  For example, David Tutera’s My Fair Wedding, wonderfully intentioned as it seems, takes a bride’s very personal (if slightly misguided) vision for her day and turns it into a six-figure blowout that is unrecognizable to that bride and groom — the dream wedding they never even dreamed to dream, really. And if the title of the show is referencing “My Fair Lady,” then I think that’s further evidence that it’s only breeding more discontent — how can you ever go back to normal life after the day someone swoops in and makes you someone else? As Eliza Doolittle says, “I sold flowers; I didn’t sell myself. Now you’ve made a lady of me, I’m not fit to sell anything else.” (Huh. Not sure that makes my point. Does it make sense?) 

Well, even if David could swoop in and help me make my wedding into a huge event, I’m not sure I’d say yes to that, since all of our work and investment, humble as it is, is how Sweets and I are best able and happiest to represent our love and joy to our family and friends. The fact that we made it, that we made every choice together with our life and our loved ones in mind — that’s what our wedding should be. And a glamorous and extravagant wedding is not at all related to our lives.

A moment on My Fair Wedding did make a real impact on me this past week, though. The bride and groom were wonderfully tattooed and morbid-ish people who wanted a Day of the Dead themed wedding, and to have their rings tattooed on their fingers during the ceremony. David talked them out of that, of course, but it did strike me that with tattoos they were putting something on their bodies that signified their love and committment. Somehow, that seems real and wonderful to me. I hope they did it after the wedding, underneath the fancy platinum rings David’s sponsors provided. And then, during their admittedly beautiful wedding ceremony, the tattooed priest uttered the words that are the title of this post, when the couple was ready to take their vows. He said, “you’ve come here today to make visible and real your love for each other.” I don’t know if that’ a typical phrase in vows, but I love it. I stopped and rewound my dvr and listened again so I could write it down, because that’s exactly what a wedding should be, in my mind. And that’s why I believe that weddings should not be cookie-cutter, that they should be personal and related to the couples’ lives and loves, because each wedding, for each couple, is the visible and real expression of their love for each other. I hope our friends and families can see that on December 29th.

And as for my other vows, I vow never to be a contender for Bridezillas. Don’t even mention it to me.(And if you have a problem with that you can stick it where the sun don’t shine!)

the most beautiful

30 Jul

I recently asked both of my parents (married for nearly thirty-five years!) to gather some memories for me — I wrote to each of them:

“I would really love it if you would write me a letter about your wedding, about all the things you remember loving, the details that meant most to you, and the things that made you crazy about the day. Can you tell me about the ceremony? What were your vows? Whatever you think is memorable to share, I’d love to hear about. I’ve also asked Mom (or Dad) to do the same thing for me, and I’d really love to hear from each of you from your unique perspectives. Will you do this for me? Love, Sarah”

They both are more than happy to write to me about that day in 1976, but they both asked for a few days to reflect. I love that about them — so thoughtful. But what made me cry today was what my Dad said in his first response to the request:

“I need to give some serious thought to your questions regarding the wedding of Carol and Alan. Of course, the first thing I must say is that your mother was the best thing, the most beautiful:  what I loved most about our wedding.”

Already, that tells me exactly what I need to know. That Sweets and I need to be celebrating the beauty of our love, first and foremost. The day means nothing more than our love for each other.

My parents were fresh out of college when they were married, nearly ten years younger than Sweets and I will be when we take our vows, so I have ideas that we are in a different place than they were in many ways, but I’m feeling like I need the perspective that they have today on their wedding celebration in order to even begin to plan mine. They’ve inspired me every day and I need them even more now. Love to them both.

stepping out of my comfort(able clothing) zone

28 Jul

So you might remember from my previous post about undergarments (teehee) that I was planning to go shopping for wedding dresses. Hmm. I didn’t. I’m not sure what’s stopping me — or rather I’m not sure which of the reasons I’m putting it off is the best reason I haven’t yet gone and slung a white dress over my head.


ONE — I’m concerned about sample sizes. New York may have a lot of bridal stores, but still not a whole lot of larger sample sizes.

TWO — I have NO IDEA what kind of gown is going to look best on me. I’m not a super-fancy girl — I wore a little black dress to prom, and haven’t worn anything much fancier since. Neither am I a huge fan of the feeling of strapless bras, so how the heck will I wear a strapless dress? And I don’t do spaghetti straps — my shoulders are too big for those to ever look good. But really, there aren’t as many options once you move away from strapless. Maybe I’ll learn something and discover something wonderful in innovative support garments. (Wishful thoughts.)

THREE — My mom isn’t here in the city to go shopping with me. I have a few wonderful friends who would join me in a minute, and will, but I kinda want my mom. Silly, I guess, but it’s just one of those moments.

FOUR — I’m pretty sure I’ll cry in the dressing room. Not necessarily because I hate a dress, or love a dress, but… I’ll just cry. Let me put it this way: I’m famous for crying when I get a hair cut or new highlights or something. I think it’s partly the change, but maybe it’s also the long periods of time in the salon where I really have no choice but to look in the mirror, trying to decide if I like the way I look. Makes me feel too introspective, too self-aware, or something.

funhouse mirror angst


So, that’s my angst about shopping for a dress. But, if I think I’m going to get married in five months (from tomorrow!?!), then I better get on it, in case I have to special order something from a snooty bridal salon. Wish me luck on Friday for the first round!

This is for me.

18 Jul

I apologize in advance and warn away any reader who’s not interested in my melancholy thoughts. After all, this blog is primarily my space to gather my inspiration and ideas and, yes, serious thoughts about preparing for my wedding. I’m thrilled if it also is a place others are happy to visit and share and take away, but if you don’t need this post, it’s okay.

I just need to work out a little something about my frame of mind, now that I’ve spent a few months being engaged, a few weeks starting to plan a wedding. Something that the Sweets and I keep saying to each other is that the wedding isn’t the marriage, and what’s most important to us is that we have a good life together. We both only want to do this once, which I think is the truth of most people who commit to a partner and decide to get married. It’s for life. But the other side of that truth is that the one day is THE ONE DAY, and you don’t get to do it again.

So which is it? Don’t stress about all the details and just look forward to your lives together, or make sure you have the day that you both really want and that your families will remember? Will the memories of that great event and party last? Does that joy carry you through? And are the cracks that can be exposed in the peace of a relationship during the stress of the planning somehow smoothed by the balm of the emotionally rich and loving vows you take on the day?

I’m trying not to let my attitude be all about the bridal stuff, all about the hustle and bustle of planning and trying to make everyone else happy and proud and excited. And I’m trying to keep the relationship at the forefront of my mind, and make sure all my choices keep that first. But at moments, I really do just want a fabulous wedding to put a big shiny bow on all the things I’ve always thought I wanted, and for that day to spell out what the rest of my life will be like, because I’m not sure I want to have to decide what I want every day forever. I don’t like deciding. I want to just know.

I’ve got more thinking and deciding to do even now, though.