1.24.2012

A Rant About the Wedding Industry

I'm weird. You're weird. Let's get married!
Since planning our wedding, I've been glued to sites like weddinggawker.com and shows like Say Yes to the Dress and Four Weddings.

These are fun to watch, but I can only handle them to a point. I can't help but notice the ridiculous expectations these shows and sites tend to put into bride's heads. Say Yes to the Dress makes brides think that they need to have several thousand dollars to find "the" wedding dress, which is completely not true. I found mine for $550 (which still isn't chump change, but certainly nowhere near what these gals spend)!

The only thing I was really super picky about for our wedding was the photography. While we're not done planning, it's the biggest expense of our wedding thus far. Having amazing pictures to look back on over and over again was really important to me. But everything else? Meh.

As we discussed this expense in particular, my fiance said, "You know, if we spend this amount for photography, we're going to have to sacrifice it somewhere else. Like catering."

I said, "I'm okay with that. I just want really nice photos of us eating corn dogs." I laughed. He didn't. Okay we're not really going to serve people corn dogs, but I was just trying to make a point.

The show Four Weddings is particularly heinous. It involves four brides, who attend each others weddings and judge everything from the ceremony, to the napkins at the reception. It takes away the entire point of a wedding, which to remind some of you Bridezillas (another show I can't watch), is about the union and celebration of the couple. These shows make weddings all about having the right centerpieces, stemware and the perfect cut of USDA Choice Prime Rib.

While I understand that your guests should have a good time, all of that stuff is pointless. And that's the stuff that people start stressing about the most.

I want my guests to have fun. And guess what? They're going to enjoy themselves whether they drink out of plastic cups or crystal stemware, whether they have to get up and grab their food from a buffet line, or if it's served to them. We've even mulled over the idea of having a food truck come to our wedding. If I was on Four Weddings, I'm sure they'd deem that trashy, but I call it fun and unique!

Both my parents and my fiance's have expressed how surprised they are at the way weddings have evolved since they tied the knot. My parents had a simple church wedding, with a cake and punch reception, and fiance's parents had something similar. Both of our parents have been married for more than 30 years and they didn't need a lavish celebration to kick off that kind of longevity.

Now? The average wedding costs upwards of $20,000. And most couples don't have that kind of money. So what do they do? They go into debt to have the right stemware, glassware and USDA Choice Prime Rib. On top of that, there's a 50 percent chance that in five years, the couple will be filing for divorce. What a waste.

Sorry friends and family, we love you to pieces, but not enough to go into to debt for you. Our budget is about half of the average and we're saving every dime.

I've been enjoying sites like greenweddingshoes.com and offbeatbride.com which have some great DIY ideas that look nice and cost a fraction of other wedding items out there. Regardless of our budget, our wedding is going to be uniquely us, and a load of fun. I'm excited to walk down the aisle, eat some corn dogs, have fun with friends and family, and shake my groove thang until I can't shake it no more.

And if that's not your idea of a good time, you probably shouldn't attend our wedding. It'll help us stay within our budget anyway.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but our wedding will not succumb to ridiculous industry expectations.

1.20.2012

11 Lessons Learned from Snowpocalypse 2012

video
Do take your dog out for a frolic in the snow :)

Many of you are either experiencing, or have heard about the Pacific Northwest's visit from Old Man Winter. We were just talking about what a mild winter it's been a few weeks ago, and now Karma bit us in the butt. If this happens to you, take heed:

  1. Don't buy a bunch of fresh food when the news anchors start freaking out about a massive snow storm. The power is going to go out and you're going to get pissed when everything spoils. 
  2. Sticking to weight watchers during a power outage is next to impossible if you can't open your fridge. Cheetos, beef jerky, Doritos and pecans will be your survival foods. There goes your points for the month. 
  3. If the power is flickering, quickly (and I mean QUICKLY) make a pot of coffee or else you'll suffer massive headaches and become a massive bitch until the power comes back on. Not fun for any party involved. 
  4. Don't wait until 3pm to go to the only, barely-functioning grocery store in town and expect to find anything you need, never mind a propane camping stove. Or make sure you buy/rent a place with a gas range (FML).  
  5. Buy de-icer and keep it in your garage. Even though you have a four-wheel drive vehicle, it's useless if there's a thick sheet of ice sealing it shut. Yeah. Not going anywhere. 
  6. Have board games, cards and books on hand. That way you don't get upset about having to stare at your significant other's face during a 14-hour blackout. 
  7. Invest in some decent snow boots, even if you live in a region that doesn't typically receive much snow. You'll be thankful for four days each year. 
  8. Don't attempt to go to work even though you know the power is out there. You'll get sent home right after you spent 30 minutes trying not to die on the down-hill, icy walk there. 
  9. Thank God for gas fireplaces. Seriously. Thank you, God! 
  10. Stay away from trees/buildings that are heavy with icicles. You might get staked! (This didn't actually happen to me, but I saw many falling and thought, "Glad I'm not hanging out under that!")
  11. I think the bottom line is that you should always have an emergency kit. You'll be so glad you're prepared for something even as simple as a blackout in a snow/ice storm, while everyone else is left scrambling for food and Starbucks Iced VIA to survive (this is Seattle after all). 
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but snow belongs in the mountains and not at my house. 

1.15.2012

Jennifer Hudson, 1. Hana, 0



I can't lie - my sisters and I constantly made fun of the Jennifer Hudson Weight Watchers commercial when she sang out, "Suuuun in the skyyyyy! You know how I feeeeeeel!" We'd mimick, laugh and talk about how stupid that song was. Well now, I've got my tail between my legs because guess who just joined Weight Watchers? Yup. This guy.

After two weeks of trying my own thing after the new year, and the scale not moving one iota, I figured it couldn't hurt to try it out. Plus my work offers an employee discount. So I joined Weight Watchers Online in the hopes that it will keep me more accountable for what I put in my mouth, and that it will help me stay consistent with my hip exercises. Hopefully I can soon progress to some real exercises that actually make me sweat. I've been adding arm work and ab work to my routine just to see how I feel. So far, so good.

I see the hip surgeon in a few short weeks, so I'm hoping to get permission to try out some more rigorous activities like the elliptical and yoga. I feel like I could do those but I don't want to re-injure myself.

Next week, I'm going to venture to the real stationary bike. I have completed all of the assigned exercises on the recumbent, so now it's on to the real deal (told you this whole process is SLOW).

I'm just praying that the horridly rank employee that was on the bike last time I was at the gym is nowhere to be seen. There's nothing like holding down a dry heave when you're already trying to monitor your breathing. I have asthma too so his odor was starting to trigger some serious medical problems. I just don't know how someone would not be aware of smelling that bad. It was wafting throughout the room, and I was near the door where I had optimal air flow! People disgust me.

I digress.

So I'm on day one of weight watchers - here's to hoping I can lose 15 pounds in three months. And if not, here's to hoping I can lose it by October ;o)

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but I'm determined to be "feeeeeeeling gooooooooooooood!"

1.08.2012

Say Yes to the Dress

Don't worry - this 80s-tastic mess is NOT my dress ;) 

Ever since I promised not to blog about wedding stuff, it's pretty much all I've done. It's the only fun, happy thing I've really been up to lately!

Of all the things planning a wedding involves, one of the aspects I've been most excited for is searching for my dress. And last weekend, I found it!

I went to David's Bridal with my mom since they were having the $99 dress sale. It was the first place I tried on dresses - and the last! While I didn't find a dress for $99, I still found one for $550, which is pretty darn good (keeping a wedding within the budget we set for ourselves is starting to get tricky so I'm glad I came in under at least one amount I had set for myself)!

I was so excited to have my mom with me. Just last year she was going through cancer treatment and a liver transplant and to have her by my side, healthy as can be, helping me find my wedding dress was a miracle. I enjoyed every moment of it!

A Vera Wang dress had my heart strings for months, even before I was engaged (I know - I'm bad), but once I had it on, I immediately knew it was not my dress. It just looked like a heap of fabric draped over my body. Sad to say, it was a big let down.

I tried on about 10 gowns, having my mom take photos of only my favorites, but there was this one that I almost told the consultant to put back on the rack. On the hanger it looked all wrong. But I figured - meh. Trying it on won't kill anybody. Once I had it on, the stars aligned, and I sang out, "This is the one!"

Loved, loved, loved it!

The consultant asked, "On a scale of 1 to 10, where is this for you?"

I said, "TEN!"

And then my mom started crying. Anytime my mom cries it causes a chain reaction so then I started crying and had to quit looking at my mom. The consultants ended up having to bring us all kleenex.

To top it off, they force you to ring a bell and make a wish when you find your dress and the entire shop claps and cheers for you. So there I am, blubbering with my mom ringing a bell with the entire store clapping and cheering for me. It was really embarrassing. But in a cheesy way, a lot of fun.

All I have to say is, I love the dress I picked - it makes me feel like, "Wabam!"

Whatever Wabam means. I can't wait for Fiance to see it! But he'll have to wait until October 6th ;)

Sticks and stones may break your bones, but finding your wedding dress will make your wedding a reality!