Change in venue!

I wanted to let everyone know that the wonderful The Manolo has invited me to write his bride blog and I'll be enjoying myself over there from now on. Pop on over to Manolo for the Brides to see what's new!


A real shotgun wedding - Pt.1

I spoke to the family this past weekend and my stepmother was practically frothing at the mouth asking when she could be a part of a wedding and when babies would come. I told her to ask The Beard and was not surprised when she asked me to put him on the horn. The Beard was saved by the bell, however, when my father bellowed from the background that it wasn't fair to put the man on the spot.

But, never fear, my stepmom has other tricks up her sleave. For her birthday, which is coming in October, she told me that she will ask for a shotgun. She will use that shotgun to drag Never teh Bride and The Beard to Georgia, where she will (allegedly) drug us and tell a justice of the peace that we're cousins.


Everyone is kin in Georgia, I suppose.


MSN presents the Worst wedding gifts ever

By Miles Stiverson

With the summer in full swing, chances are good you'll be attending a wedding -- or maybe a few -- and as a guest, you'll be faced with the age-old question: What should you give? If you're thinking about anything that appears on the list below, please reconsider. Brides told us the worst wedding gifts they received.

Highlights include dollar store junk, empty gift cards, broken kitchenware, Why Men Love Bitches, and, naturally, Febreeze.


Get in my matrimonial belly!

Who hates those stale Jordan almonds that are often stuffed into net bags and scattered around wedding receptions by wedding planners hoping to send some business to their brother the dentist? Raise your hands along with me. Come on...an unsuspecting guest could crap their teeth on those. I see it as warfare. Nothing but agression set upon singles and old folks by the bride and groom.

Why can't they have something like what we see here: Delicious little handfuls of Jelly Belly jelly beans in color coordinated little bags specially stuffed for your wedding. They even have a handy equation on their Web site to help brides and grooms to be calculate how many beans they will need to make their special day even sweeter. Never teh Bride really, really likes this idea.


There must be something in the air

In the past few days, it seems that my circle of comrades has been hit with wedding fever. An old friend from high school wrote me an e-mail to announce that she and her beau are shopping for a ring. I didn't have the heart to tell her that it is more fun to let the ring be a surprise. Then I found out that a fellow I have know for something like four years got married last autumn and is "absolutely loving it." And then I received a note from a pseudocoworker that stated he wouldn't be around much in the next few weeks because he will be embarking upon matrimonial bliss!

The others, who have all been mentioned before, are knee deep in wedding plans and picking out colors, venues, and cake toppers. Meanwhile, I'm getting snubbed by my paternal grandmother because I'm simply taking too long to tie the knot. Thanks, grandma!

So did I not receive the memo? More importantly, did The Beard not receive the memo?


The Beard versus The Greys

Ack, ack, ack!

Yesterday, Never teh Bride found another grey hair. And, the day before that, still another. That makes four since The Beard's birthday. Four! I showed them to The Beard, hoping to help him understand the reality of the situation and the impending fall of my youthfulness, but he simply looked at me and said, "Are you having a quarter-life crisis? I got my first grey hair when I was 20." Oh, woe.

I'm feeling decidedly old.



No offense to this cake's designer, who was doing a lovely job until he vomited up his alfredo sauce while pushing in what appear to be real yellow and red roses, but this cake sucks. It's as boring as some of today's reception decorations are boring. Think of the last few weddings you have attended. I bet I can describe at least some of their elements. Unisized tables, all round, with square white tablecloths draped over square unicolored tablecloths. There was a definite theme color that perhaps did not vary much in hue from the wedding party's theme. There were uncomfy, dentist's convention chairs or the ones made to look like tropical wood but really aren't.

I know chairs are going to be uncomfortable. Halls most often have only a single size and shape of table. And wedding cakes are heinously expensive. But come on, take a tip from this IN-FORUM article, Something old, something new...:

Square tables are 'in' and round tables are 'out.' Receptions are asking for a combination of sizes of tables. Monochromatic color schemes for tables and for decorations [are out].
Catering trends have stayed similar to last year with receptions going away from sit-down formal meals to cocktail-themed parties. Martini bars have become a part of many wedding receptions as well as different entrees such as salmon and tilapia. Vegetarian entrees are very popular with many guests as well as dessert receptions instead of dinner. The trend here seems to be "anything but chicken!"

See? This ain't your mother's wedding, honey. The Finger Ribboners may be serving a traditional turkey dinner at their wedding reception. I think this is HAWT. Another couple known to me will be having their reception catered by the worlds best diner. Yes, diner. And I heartily approve.

I'm not sure I even want my outdoor, beachy keen wedding/reception catered. Considering my wedding will be somewhat informal (in terms of location, not dress, mind you), I see no reason not to have the festivities commence buffet style, with a nice ham, and all sorts of other picnicky outdoorsy sorts of foods.


Almost great wedding tips for the guys.

I say almost great because this handy guide makes some assumptions that don't apply to everyone, though they do probably apply to most people. Concerning the ring, I know many ladies who would be happy with a simple promise ring as their engagement ring. I somewhat believe that I would be unjustified in expecting an engagement ring from The Beard because once married, I wouldn't wear it. Yes, Never teh Bride is a big fan of the traditional, simple gold band like the one you see here and no doubling up, thank you very much.

On the other hand, the aforementioned guide doesn't do what so many other guides do and imply that men are stupid neanderthals who ought to stay as far away from the wedding planning process as is possible. I do think men can and ought to be part of the budgetting and planning process, even if it's the bride's parents paying for it all. I firmly believe he ought to pick his own tuxedo and have a say in the wedding party colors. He should pick half the music and be responsible for finding the names and addresses of those he wants to invite. And, if he's a nice one, he could offer to help put together the invitations.

Personally, I think the wedding band making classes they used to offer, or perhaps still do, at the Attleboro Area Industrial Museum would be the best way to procure the future couple's wedding bands. I have always loved do it yourself projects.


The bride or the cake?

Just look at that frosting. No, seriously. Here we see a dress to chock full of flims and flounse to make it worthy of the wealthiest king's table during feast times. It's like spun sugar. Cream cake. Cotton freaking candy. When I saw this dress for sale, I seriously wished that it would be someone's dream dress, if only to spare the feelings of its orgininal occupant. Becuase, really now, who bought this and why? And when? For some reason, I keep seeing it gracing the curvaceous form of a young Delta Burke in some fictional marriage to a pickup loving construction worker named Bubba.


Another grey hair

Yeah. Never teh Bride found another grey hair this morning when putting up her locks in her usual pre-wash matronly bun. This was, of course, a total bummer, particular as it closely followed a marriage-related discussion with The Beard in which no minds were changed.

To the left, you can see an artist's rendering of myself and The Beard in wedding attire. I'm kidding, I'm sure you knew. I would never have a flower half the size of my head incorporated into my hairdo. And I'm no fan of carnation corsages, either. Seriously, though, folks, during our conversation, The Beard admitted to thinking about a marriage that involved both of us. I was careful to ask whether he thought about it with anxiety or excitement.

He said excitement, but also noted that he simply doesn't feel ready for marriage because he is still a student (he is a late bloomer) and doesn't have a steady job (he's a sometimes bartender with a trust fund).

The Beard also brought up something that he has said in the past: that he doesn't want to commit to marriage until he feels he would be able to care for me, financially. Yes, his intentions are noble. Distressing, but noble.

I, in turn, told him of my fears that I would get to be past my prime before he felt he was ready to take the plunge and then would choose a younger mate. And that he might not take a new mate, but my uterus would be tired and shrivelled and unusable. I also discussed how living in the liberal northeast has lowered my chances of getting hitched and given me all sorts of friends that believe marriage is just a piece of paper, etc. Hey, guys, I support you in your unmarried bliss! It just isn't the lifestyle for Never teh Bride!

When I told him that I wasn't really trying to pressure him (after all, a man tricked or cajoled into marriage wouldn't make a very good husband!), he answered that he wasn't uncomfortable with my discussing marriage when I felt like it. Apparently, in whatever ways I feel like it. I even went so far as to admit that living together without being married makes me a little uncomfortable sometimes.

And then I found a grey hair. You can draw your own conclusions as to how I'm feeling.


I do!

Last night, I had a dream that I married Danish director Lars Von Trier. It was the Von Trier from a certain film of his wherein he was wearing a tuxedo and sitting at a desk. I wonder what this means, particularly since the dream came in the wake of a conversation that occurred between myself and The Beard. I was feeling rather glum, thinking about how everyone I know is announcing engagements and wedding dates and *gasp* pregnancies, when he happened to inquire as to why I was feeling glum. Finally, unable to worm my way out of answering, I said, "I am jealous of all the girls getting married."


On track, according to medieval times

From Medieval Children, by Nicholas Orme:

"By 1600...it appears that the mean age for men to marry was 28 and for women, 26."


Weddings Never teh Bride can get behind

Who wouldn't enjoy a wedding in three acts? I think it would be great if the three acts were a nibbling and drinking session, the ceremony, and the reception. Love the marquee. Also, though there is no picture shown, love the popcorn stands that were set up and popping away before the show. It's cute and, furthermore, it's way more original than stupid ceramic bird table favors or biker outfits for the bride and groom at the reception. Seriously, I've seen that. I went to the wedding of a boyfriend's step-uncle in high school. During the reception, which I seem to remember was held in a dingy and rather frightening Elks Lodge, the newlywed couple changed out of their ceremonial duds. He wore jeans and a leather vest with no shirt. She wore a white spandex number that left little to the imagination. Both were sporting a plethora of tattoos. I still don't know what to think about it. Tastfully done biker wedding? Sure. Creepy backroom bar biker wedding with bulgy spandex? Puleeze.

Then there are those weddings that are held in the traditional church setting but feature an interesting venue for the reception. Case in point: Two longstanding friends of mine will be tying the knot in 2006 and may be holding their reception at the world's best diner. Yes, DINER. I said freakin' diner. Would I normally think that was cool? No. But you have to taste this place's food. There will almost, I think, be something retrocool about the whole thing since the diner in question has the most uniquely bizarre ambiance I've ever basked in while eating giant fried oysters.

Of course, the classic wedding will never go out of style, which makes me happy. The only thing I would like to change is the tradition of crappy catered food and shoddy cake.

And, in case you are interested in marrying a shoe, here is the proper proposal etiquette, courtesy of Saucony:


The Beard gets old!

Another year closer to an unmarried death or another year of wisdom gained? You be the judge. If you happen upon The Beard on this, the anniversary of the day he was jettisoned from his mother's loins, wish him well and then, in your best Jewish grandmother voice, ask him when he's going to finally marry that nice girl of his.

I love you The Beard!


Let them eat cake!

Oh, man, cake. My other nemesis. Sorry, The Beard, but Never teh Bride had a first love and that love was wholly dedicated to sweet, soft, ooey-gooey cakey goodness. Which, of course, was why Never teh Bride was a pudgy, globular little pre-teen. My relationship with sweets has been a rocky one, which is why I try to distract myself with exercise whenever I sense The Beard thinking about what to eat after the huge bowl of pasta we just shared. Ladies, if you don't already know, there is nothing more fattening than living with your man.

Anyway, cake. One of the best and worst elements of any wedding is the cake. On one hand, they are beautiful to look at, like this simple yet artfully decorated number to the right. A fruit cake, not a fruity cake. I'm guessing the "fruit" is made of sweet, sweet icing.

The problem with most wedding cakes, however, has little to do with the outside, icky as it often is. Yes, wedding cakes look great, but they often taste awful. Sure, a cake is a cake to some people, but I am not some people. I mainly detest bakery cakes. The sponge inside is usually dry like Wonderbread or flavorless or crumbly. And half chocolate, half vanilla colored, with neither tasting like either? Who thought up that travesty? I've always supposed that it has something to do with bland palattes. Since the nuptual couple wants to satisfy everyone, they simply can't have a unique cake. Humph. I must disagree. People are there to celebrate the couple and to drink the free booze...not to stuff themselves silly.

I love this cake. I'm usually not a big fan of the sea or nautical themes, but this is just so clever and visually appealing (yes, it came from a beach wedding) that I can't resist. Why ought it not have something tasty in the middle? Like a real fruit compote with a little bit of rum, or a nutmeat puree with a thin chocolate cream instead of that vile chocolate pudding one often finds. Of course, it's not quite chocolate. More like...sweet brown goo.


No, no. Never teh Bride's fantasy cake is made out of light and fluffy white cake drizzled with some sort of classy dessert booze, no doubt amaretto, and chocolate ganache. And yes, there will be chopped nuts, possibly almonds, somewhere in there as well. And marzipan on the outside, molded to the shape of the cake. It will be hellsa almondy and tender and wonderful and if Uncle Earnest just can't stomach almonds he can sit quietly and get drunk and eat banana pudding or some other thing from the children's dessert buffet. And he can freaking like it.


Never teh Bride's Dress Critique: A clean sweep

Here she is! The blushing bride! Standing among the relics of her grandparents' forgotten lives! Seriously, what's up with the butterflies?

You know what trains like this remind me of? It's a toss up. I think of the guys with the sticks on ropes that smooth out the baseball field around the seventh inning. I also think of the large sweepers they use in outlet complex parking lots to pick up the day's debris. That grey carpet is now 20% cleaner because she's been pacing the room.

I know they have a bunch of neat little tricks to hoist up the back end of these sorts of dresses, but what happens in a crisis situation? What if revolutionaries crash the wedding? What if a sexy, sexy ex-lover wants to steal you away just before the ceremony? Or what if the stupid, freaking pinning on the train breaks?

What do you do, soldier? What do you do?! How do you sit down at the banquet table for the toasts? How do you dance? How do you go to the bathroom?

And anyway, how do you keep your clumsy dad from stepping on the damn thing when you're walking down the aisle, which is the only time (except for photography sessions) that you're not going to have the dang thing pinned up to your bottom? This dress, in my opinion, is a dashed-dreams wedding waiting to happen.

Let's keep it simple.


A waistline your friends will envy

Sometimes I ask myself why people persist in stuffing themselves into unflattering wedding gowns. The only reason I can think of is that they just don't know. I'm no Angelina Jolie and I'm okay with that. My arms aren't as lithe and lovely as I know they could be, if I simply had enough willpower to hit the weights. I'm short and almost stumpy. Which is why, of course, I would not put myself into anything with thick straps that fell at my shoulders. Ladies, wide straps are going to make you look thick unless your weight falls somewhere between feather and envelope. Or you're 5'11".

And where is the waist on this dress? If one is not blessed with a waist, I believe one ought to create one via illusions, mirrors, and clever lighting. Whatever it takes. No, really, it's not that difficult. A nice princess sort of cut (can you tell I'm biased?) and voila! A waistline all your friends will envy!



It has happened again. Two people who are known to both The Beard and myself have announced their engagement and pending nuptuals. So, being vastly interested in the topic of matrimony, I, upon finding this out, yell into the other room where The Beard is playing video games, "The Moos are getting married!"

"Hey, that's great," he answers.

The Moos even drew a little comic of themselves watching a beautiful sunrise, a stick figure proposal, a ringed left hand, and the subsequent Castle Greyskull sandcastle. Grrr.

So, Beard, I'm thinking to myself, if it's that great, why haven't you asked me to be your lawfully wedded wife.

Doesn't "all your friends are doing it" mean anything anymore? Is peer pressure dead? I rue the day I decided that I would surround myself with progressive liberals who think marriage is just an extension of traditional gender roles that need to be done away with at all costs. Sure, I love a man who knows how to wash a dish, but aren't we taking things just a little too far? Isn't there a time when stepping it up a notch (BAM!) seems prudent?

Well, it seems some people think so...people all around me. Maybe it's just not The Beard's bag. I'd hate to have to leave him for that but eventually, I suppose sadly, it would come to that.

Rawr! It's Bridezilla!

What stands one hundred feet tall, has pointy flesh-ripping teeth, and wears a virginal lacy veil? Yes, that's right...it's Bridezilla. Never teh Bride hates this towering beast as she hates all people who cannot handle things not going their way. Yes, as far as I am concerned, flexibility must be maintained, even when it is "your day."

How can one tell is the blushing bride is on her way to becoming a rampaging reptile? Ask yourself:
-Is her list of instructions for the wedding party fourteen collated pages long, with color coding and tabs?
-Are all non-wedding related topics verboten?
-Did she buy extra dresses, in multiple styles, just in case?
-Is the future husband sporting a perma-dazed expression?
-Did she pick out her own engagement ring?
-Has her choice of bridal party members changed numerous times?

Please, for Never teh Bride, don't let this happen to you. Learn to spot the signs and to fight the feelings!


Never teh Bride's Dream Wedding

Perusing the online offerings of the Boston Globe this morning, I noticed that they were featuring photos of readers' weddings. Two out of the three weddings were simple ceremonies held on the beach while the other was an extravaganza that involved an asymetrical dress that looked more flamenco than bridal.

Now, like any dreamy-eyed girl, I like to think about the details of my own perfect wedding. Not that I hold any illusions of perfection in the reality of it. Seldom do weddings turn out just so, and teary, disheveled brides are the result.

Poor things. I think there might be less stress on future brides if the future husbands were to offer just a teensy bit of help. I know that The Finger Ribboner is handling all the details of her wedding to MDJ. But who knows...he may just be stepping back from the whole thing because he'd rather not interfere with her dream wedding. Or maybe he's a lazy git. Or maybe she's taken the reins and isn't willing to share responsibility. Really, I have no idea and it's none of my beeswax.

Anyhow, while looking at the photos of other people's weddings, I was struck by this idea shown in the photo above. Each folding white chair (which are a fixture in my dream wedding) has been decorated with a pretty gift bag (presumably in the wedding party's colors) filled with fun stuff that's also useful. That's right...none of these awful ceramic centerpieces. I once attended a bridal dinner wherein at each place setting sat a ceramic bag. Yes, a faux bag crafted out of off white ceramic festooned with fake-looking pink flowers that resembled piped icing. I thought to myself, when bringing the damn thing home for my ex roommate who loved to break pottery, who would spend valuable wedding money on such crap?

Useful doesn't mean jordan almonds or a commemorative matchbook. I want to married on the shores of the Banana River, out of doors, with plenty of white folding chairs and tulle ribbons and baby's breath (since it will hold up in the heat) and a portable dance floor and a cake that's homemade so it actually tastes good and not like the cruddy dry cakes I've been subjected to at other people's weddings. Do you hear that people? Whipped buttercream frosting is disgusting when it's topping a mass-produced sponge cake!


If you build it, The Beard might come!

If the inferior ring designs offered by some jewelers have gotten you down in the dumps, check out Blue Nile Diamonds, where the nearly-a-bride and the want-to-be bride and the non-bride alike can ice themselves out with high class bling.

Some people may be wondering where Never teh Bride and The Beard met. The short and easy answer is that we met at a party. The long and drawn out answer involves a lot of complecated settings, scenarios, and feelings, including rebound lovers, alternate Beards, and erzatz butt sex perpetrated by bisexuals and straights alike!

The important part is that we met more than three years ago. That's right...THREE. People hundreds of years ago used to get married in negative time. They were pre-married by parents or elders or the command of some spirit that could only be contacted via the psychodelic paste of a rare tropical tree.

Now people are so afraid of jumping on to the matrimonial train that they take years to even get engaged and then stay engaged for nearly a decade before setting a date. Or they become progressives and live yuppie-style with a grand spotless house and matching ten speeds. Or they take scads of lovers. Now I don't necessarily think those folks aren't on to something, but I definately know those lifestyles aren't for me. I want to get married, even if it means I have to work harder to lose weight because of knee-jerk reports of marital weight gain on msn.

The Beard is not ready. I think I am. In fact, I think he is. The weekend before last, we attended a social event in the home of some close friends. One of the two couples I mentioned in a previous post (they are getting married, blah blah blah) were also in attendance. She had a deep maroon ribbon tied around her finger and I jokingly asked if it was to help her remember that she is engaged. The man and future wife simply haven't gone ring shopping yet, if you hadn't already guessed. She had picked out two and then he was to choose between them.

How unromantic, I say. Sure, there is nothing wrong with dropping hints. I don't particularly need an engagement ring, but if The Beard were to be replaced by his goateed double from a parallel universe, the double would know what I wanted in terms of finger-wear: a single round diamond in a simple six-pronged white gold setting. Easy. Classy. And, furthermore, classic. A ring that will never go out of style.

Maybe I'm just old fashioned, but I believe the man ought to choose the ring and that ring ought to be a surprise.