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Posts Tagged ‘Groom’

Isn’t there a saying that laughter is the best medicine? In a very unscientific way, I declare it the truth.

Sometimes we take ourselves entirely too seriously. My husband and I laugh often. We can already laugh about the wedding. Like how long it took us to plan the drinks list. We carefully named some drinks after friends in the wedding party. We discovered – after the wedding – that we’d misspelled the last name of the Chief Wonderful Woman (laughing, but still sorry!) We can laugh at the venue’s bad jokes about putting the “boys” in the bank vault before the wedding. We can laugh that the venue put a waitress in charge of me when the ceremony started. She actually said to me, “I’m in charge of making sure you actually walk down the aisle and don’t run away.” Earlier, we laughed about how our first date was on April Fool’s Day three and a half years ago.

We are even allowed to giggle at the seriousness of this union. Why not? Why not laugh at what is expected of us and what we decide to actually do?  Someone recently told me that when she first moved in with her husband, she couldn’t stand how messy he was. He left his dirty socks all over the apartment. After endless conversations and some fights, she decided to laugh about it. She took out her camera and photographed all the funny places the socks ended up – from the bathroom to the kitchen counter. She and her husband had a hearty laugh about it and then compromised about how to keep their home. 

Gregory Corso’s poem Marriage, which I briefly discuss in yesterday’s post  makes me laugh. You can read the poem here. His second stanza made me giggle in the library chair:

When she introduces me to her parents 
back straightened, hair finally combed, strangled by a tie, 
should I sit knees together on their 3rd degree sofa 
and not ask Where’s the bathroom? 
How else to feel other than I am, 
often thinking Flash Gordon soap– 
O how terrible it must be for a young man 
seated before a family and the family thinking 
We never saw him before! He wants our Mary Lou! 
After tea and homemade cookies they ask What do you do for a living? 
Should I tell them? Would they like me then? 
Say All right get married, we’re losing a daughter 
but we’re gaining a son– 
And should I then ask Where’s the bathroom?

We take ourselves so damn seriously, from the courtship to the wedding vows. I think we all know, deep down, that we are in love when we find someone who can make us laugh.

In our vows, my husband and I named things that the other represents for us. It turns out I am his scotch and he is my zucchini flower. We smiled when we said it and some of the guests laughed with surprise. 

In all humor there is some seriousness. Scotch is my husband’s favorite drink and he takes it seriously. I have never turned down a fried zucchini flower, either made by distant relatives in Italy or my mother in New Jersey. We meant what we said.

A writer friend asked me recently why I haven’t written a blog post about what it means to be married. What it feels like on the other side. I think I don’t entirely know yet. We are happy to be married, relieved to no longer be wedding planning and generally just enjoying ourselves. 

This is the life!

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Tony Richard's photograph of us just as we were pronounced married

My husband and I married one week ago this weekend. We probably won’t know for years what the ceremony and union ultimately signify for us. Immediately, however, we were joined legally. I have the pink, temporary marriage certificate to prove it. 

Since noon last Saturday, I have felt both completely different and exactly the same.

We have been slowly committing to each other throughout the last three and half years. Moving in together in a state neither of us had ever lived in before was a big step. We learned more about each other’s habits and lifestyles. Since we’d been long distance for two years and spent chunks of time essentially living together in each other’s apartment, nothing was shocking. 

For this reason, as I looked into his eyes and we said our vows before our closest friends and family, I knew I was marrying my best friend. Someone I trust, love and know.

When we walked out of the center of the circle as a married couple, I was jubilant. Simply jubilant. I knew that we were not only bound by our emotions, but also by a legal and public commitment. We had made a public vow to care for each other and our union throughout our lives. This vow would be recognized by our government.

I like calling him “my husband.” I like being a part of an institution that allows others to know and understand our relationship without question (of course, if I had taken his surname, this would have been more obvious.) I like that I could be on his health insurance. I like that we can hold hands in public.  

“Society” wanted us to marry. The word “society” is a vague one that often serves as a crutch. However, I think you understand, without labels, who I mean when I write that “society” did not always approve or recognize our relationship when we were living together as an unmarried couple. When we stayed in hotel rooms with one bed. When we accompanied each other to the doctor. We are lucky that our “society” only took it that far, considering what happens in other, less forgiving “societies.” 

We did not marry in order to please this or any other “society.”

We got married because it was important to us to share our vows of love publically and be bound legally.

I recently wrote an essay on this subject and a friend reading it noted that I sounded defensive. Perhaps. I feel compelled to explain myself to those who vote against gay marriage or see marriage as only a religious sacrament instead of a civil right with legal implications. 

For these and related reasons, we asked my husband’s friend Dr. Jonathan Ladd to read this during our ceremony:

Goodridge v. Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health

By Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall

Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family. It is an association that promotes a way of life, not causes; a harmony in living, not political faiths; a bilateral loyalty, not commercial or social projects.

 Because it fulfills yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life’s momentous acts of self-definition.

 

We are not the first couple to include part of Chief Justice Marshall’s statement in their ceremony. We will certainly not be the last.

May all consenting adults be allowed to marry and experience our jubilance, publicly and under law.

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Paramount Theater in Newark, NJ

I’ve been thinking a lot about why we are getting married. I do not doubt my desire to be with my fiancé for the rest of our lives or our love for each other. I know that I want to marry him. I know that he wants to marry me.

But why, exactly? What is propelling us in this direction? I know it isn’t simply because we are “supposed to.” It is bigger than that. 

Marrying for love is a modern concept. There is no doubt that love is the primary reason behind our union. The public and legal reasons are also important.  

I am happy to be able to share our vows in a circle of our friends and family. In the beginning of a relationship, we want to “shout the person’s names from the rooftops.” As the relationship progresses, it deepens and we still want to share it.

I talked to some married friends to ask them what helped to shape their own decisions to marry.

Shasta, one of the Wonderful Women and author of the new sewing blog The Lovely Nest, notes the importance of commitment and accountability. She writes, “I think it comes down to commitment and sometimes just knowing between the two of you that you’ll spend your lives together isn’t enough.  You want to get up in front of all your family and friends and publicly declare your love and say “this is the person I will love until I die.”  There’s some accountability in that.” Yes, Shasta, that feels exactly right.

I am touched by how Wonderful Woman Alethea uses the word “hope” as she explores this topic. Perhaps there is nothing more hopeful or optimistic than making a decision like this one. Alethea writes, “Whether people decide to get married or not, love is a big chance that we all take, whether you go in with big doubts or big dreams of a perfect union. I think getting married is an expression of hope that the way you make each other feel is so unique and valuable, that it must mean you should couple for life.  And there is an urge to say it out loud in front of everyone you know!” 

Wonderful Woman Amy writes about the “pledge” she and her husband made: “To me, marriage is telling the world that you’re in it for the long haul. If Peter and I had just continued to live together without getting married, I guess it would have felt more open-ended. I would have wondered how long we would be together. Now, whatever may happen in the future, I know that we at least went in with the expectation of forever. I am a very shy and private person, but I really wanted to make that public declaration. We wrote our own vows and they included the words “Before God and these witnesses, I vow…” as an acknowledgment that we weren’t just saying nice words; we were truly committed to what we were pledging.”

A certain proof and commitment to a relationship can’t be denied in a true marriage. Shasta adds, “I think security probably plays some role.  Sometimes I joke and ask Chris if he promises to love me forever and he always answers “I already did.”  I think there really is something powerful about publicly promising to love someone forever.” 

My fiancé and I are already a committed, nuclear family in so many ways. We are committed to each other and will make this pledge public in 10 days.

I really can’t wait.

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Most couples give their groomsmen a small gift of thanks, but buying the gifts is one of those jobs that can slip down and down the wedding planning priority list and then get rushed at the last minute.  It’s also a job that often falls to the groom and let’s face it, a lot of men are not naturally endowed with gift-buying talent.  So here’s a few ideas for groomsmen gifts that won’t break the bank:

1.  Maglite.  Starting at $10, and available in a range of sizes and colours, these anodised aluminium flashlights are waterproof and virtually indestructible.  You can even have them laser engraved – perhaps with your groomsmen’s names and the date of your wedding.  

2.  Bottle of whiskey.   It costs surprisingly little to buy a really good bottle of whiskey.  A decent Scottish single malt can be had for $30, and for $40 you could buy a bottle of Glenfiddich Solera Reserve, widely perceived to be one of the finest whiskeys in the world.  If your groomsmen are no more than 30-35 years old then you should be able to pick up a bottle of whiskey that was made in the same year they were – but you might need to scale down to a miniature if your budget is tight!   

 3.  Cufflinks.  These are a popular choice for groomsmen gifts, but that doesn’t mean they have to be boring.  Steampunk make a range of handcrafted cufflinks that start at $40 and will appeal to the inner boy in every man.  Some couples like to give cufflinks to their groomsmen before the ceremony, so they can wear them on the big day.

Mech cufflinks

Author Benjamin Parker is the editor of GroomPower.com, a wedding advice site for grooms.  It offers tips and advice on planning a honeymoon, writing the groom’s speech, and more.

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BravoBrideI first came across BravoBride in a New York Times article . It is an online marketplace *just* for weddings. Perfect. I’ve been scouring the website weekly since I learned about it. Everything from dresses and diamond rings to favors are for sale, used and new.

 

Why pay full price in this economy?

 

Founder and recent bride Susan Alexander Shapiro tells us more.

 

 

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Susan Alexander Shapiro, founder BravoBrideHow did you come up with the idea for Bravobride?

 

I got married this past July 4th and when I was planning the wedding I found it frustrating to pay for expensive wedding items that I’d use once and only for a few hours.  I looked on Craigslist and Ebay but there wasn’t anything focused on just the bridal industry.

 

What is/was the most “out there” item for sale on your site? What is the most common item for sale?

 

We have a pair of ‘wedding boots’ on the site that are really unique. Our most popular items are definitely wedding dresses.

 

How is your site different from Craig’s List or other similar lists?

What sets me apart is that you won’t find fish tanks and bicycles on the site, we only focus on wedding products. Craigslist and Ebay are probably my biggest competitors but you have to search through so many things on Craigslist to find what you are looking for and it’s only for certain regions. Our site is nationwide and we have an advanced search so you can quickly find what you are looking for. The site is also broken down into different categories, such as dresses, jewelry, items for the ceremony and reception and more. Unlike Ebay is completely free to list items and there’s never a sale upon commission. There are a few other sites that that sell used wedding dresses but we are the only site that doesn’t charge a listing fee or take a commission upon sale.

 

What can the “unbride” find on your website?

 

The “unbride” can find everything from non-traditional wedding items, like these blue shoes to a Guide for the Groom book so you’re soon-to-be husband can help with the wedding planning.

 

What guarantee does a bride have that the product advertised is indeed what the seller says it is? In particular, I’m thinking about the rings and the more expensive items?

 

That’s a good question. Like Craigslist, we follow the buyer beware rule. We can not offer a guarantee since we are only connecting the buyers and seller and don’t stock actual merchandise. For more expensive items you may want to deal only locally or use a payment service where your transaction can be protected.

 

It is wonderful that you support the Go Red campaign. How did that relationship begin?

 

I wanted to support a cause that was for women since our site is geared towards brides. The Go Red campaign is near and dear to me because both of my Grandmother’s had heart disease and if effects more woman than cancer.

 

What was the best part of your own wedding?

 

Honestly the whole day was wonderful but I think the ceremony was the most special part. My husband’s aunt married us and they meant a lot to me.

 

 

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Read a little more about the history of BravoBride here. You’ll get to see Susan’s husband Mark, too.

 

Have you bought something on BravoBride? Tell your story here.

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I hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day. TruVue Radio host Roland interviewed a number of poets for Valentine’s Day. If you missed the live broadcast, you can listen to the archived version here.

During my interview, I read three poems (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner), which I wrote for my fiance’ as a birthday present this past November.

Keep listening to hear Weddings by Artists’ custom song writer Anna Huckabee Tull’s interview and song.

Thanks for tuning in!

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(Thanks to The Ann Arbor Chronicle for mentioning this blog post!)

 

 

I attended my first bridal show this weekend at V2V , a lovely boutique in Ann Arbor, MI.

 

I was smitten with V2V and their dresses when I saw a silk gown with a gathered front hanging in their window recently. Last week, I tried on a few dresses and spoke with Julia and Tracey. They told me about the “Bridal Event” this weekend. It sounded good, but I had no idea how much fun it would really be to attend.  

 

My friend Shasta kindly drove up from Indianapolis to help with wedding plans and we went together. Saturday, we had an appointment to try on dresses from the trunk sale. There were some beautiful Jenny Yoo and Siri that we loved. I haven’t decided on a dress yet, but I have a better sense of what I might like to buy.

 

Sunday was the Bridal Event. Shasta and I arrived at 2:30, a little before the second fashion show of the day. When we walked in, the woman gathering the tickets said that we had to try the meatballs right away. I wasn’t sure what she meant until we walked up the stairs and saw the vendors sharing samples of their foods. Who knew we should have come on an empty stomach?

 

We wandered around the tables of vendors. After tastes of almond cake, raspberry chocolate truffles, meatballs, apple cider and more, we felt like we were at an exclusive party dedicated to crafting original and sincere weddings.

 

Here were some highlights:

 

TeaHous is a Kerrytown-area store that specializes in tea and tea products. They had sample earl gray lollipops that would make wonderful favors.

 

Cakes by Rubina  offered a pure almond chocolate cake bite. It tasted like a true Italian dessert.

 

Decadent Delights  shared moist chocolate cake with us. They make custom cookies and can even make cookies that match your cake.

 

I had walked by Schakolad , the chocolate factory, a number of times in Ann Arbor and never stopped. That was clearly a mistake. I tasted a raspberry champagne truffle and wanted to create a distraction so Shasta could steal us the entire silver tray of chocolates.

 

When we found Zingerman’s, we found the meatballs. At this point I was too full to want to squeeze in extras, but it was delicious. Shasta enjoyed some of the apple cider.

 

The ultimate high point was the ten minute chair massage by Bellanina I was a new woman after that (why did I have to get up?)

 

The fashion show was great fun. The models walked down the runway in the dresses carrying lovely bouquets of flowers. Here are some pictures from the show:

 

 

V2V white dress

V2V group

V2V Show 3 I highly recommend attending future shows there. The cost was $8.00 in advance, $10 at the door. This was exactly the place to be for a bride who is looking to create an authentic wedding day without the excess of impersonal, commercial vendors.  

 

Thanks to V2V and Shasta for a wonderful weekend. I’m brimming with good ideas and cake.

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