September 30, 2009

No Sleep 'Til (We Find the Right Venue in) Brooklyn

When consulting bridal magazines, you're told that there are four main options when it comes to location:

(A) bride's hometown
(B) groom's hometown
(C) current place of residence
(D) Bali

Well, 2E's and I added a fifth option to the list:

(A) bride's hometown
(B) groom's hometown
(C) current place of residence
(D) Bali
(E) that borough where you had your first apartment, where you stayed for a year and a half before relocating to your current place of residence ... the borough with the bad connotation because there was that sublet fiasco and you lost like $600 worth of furniture and the tenants were @$$holes but you're still somewhat fond of the place, wouldn't you say, and oh, there's that crazy good pizza place

Brooklyn has great attributes like character and vibe and racism and culture. It's the most populated borough and is home to Coney Island, BAM and some awesome gentrification. For signage purposes alone, Brooklyn is by far our best option. All the walls and buildings are labeled accordingly, so our guests will never get disoriented:

It even comes with it's own abbreviation. BKLYN. That saves three whole letters. That's like $5,000 in invitation costs.

2E's and I have already set aside time to tour three BKLYN venues in our trip to New York in late October. We'll also be meeting with our florist slash designer slash miracle worker as well as hunting down catering companies that accept ladies footwear as payment (we have a few of those around the house that we can part with).

Until then let's reflect on BKLYN's better qualities - the character and architecture and antiquity and gang violence and cityscapes.

Inspiration #6

September 29, 2009


Yesterday 2E's posed a rather serious question over a hurried breakfast... 

Tiger Woods or Patrick Dempsey?

...and, as I do 9 times out of 10 when she poses a question (serious or not), I nodded, and I smiled. After all, I've read about this. I'm kind of an expert.

There's a moment right after you pop the question when your to-be-bride stands before you, awestruck, mouth agape, motor functions lost. And in the moment you may think that you've entranced her with your unique and charming proposal, that she is so overwhelmed by you and your words that she's fallen into a dreamlike, ethereal state.

What you've actually done is awakened a beast of the brain, suspending use of the temporal lobe and releasing a tight cluster of chemicals that she has been storing since birth in the hypothalamus, located here:

These chemicals are rather emotional, highly anxious and may cry unexpectedly. In other words, when 2E's asks out of the blue, as she's sipping her Trader Joe's coffee,

Tiger Woods or Patrick Dempsey?

I assume it's the chemicals talking.

2E's: Which suit? Answer me!
1E: What am I answering?
2E's: Tiger Woods. Or Patrick Dempsey.

And she gestures to the magazine that sits exposed on the kitchen table. Dempsey stands smiling on the left in a crisp, casual but formal stroller jacket; Woods on the right in a traditional double-breasted tuxedo.

1E: Dempsey.
2E's: Dempsey?
1E: Dempsey.
2E's: ::judgmental pause::
1E: What?
2E's: Nothing. I gotta go. Love you.

And with that, she was gone. No explanation. No guidance. Just the smell of organic free trade coffee and a chemical residue in the air.

And even after she was out the door  -- because it's a good habit to get into -- I did what all us grooms must do in situations like these. I nodded, and I smiled.

Inspiration #5

September 28, 2009

Inspiration #4

Criss Angel is performing matrimonial magazine magic in our apartment and I'm kind of freaked

Yes, the stack that occupies our kitchen table has quadrupled in size overnight. I squashed a fly with one of them this morning, only to find that we had two more copies of that exact same magazine. It's a bit like that scene in Signs, where the daughter leaves untouched glasses of water all over the house that will eventually be used to kill the aliens. Only without the aliens.

For the contents of bridal magazines, please consult this pie chart:

In other words - as far as grooms are concerned - we are not their target readership. That is, unless you have that special brand of spare time that permits you to sift through 400 pages of pure estrogen, only to stumble upon the 2.8 pages that may be mildly helpful.

Flipping through one particularly weighty monster last night (I do so mindlessly in the evenings to make my 2E's happy), I came across a model standing in a tattered gown in knee-high grass, a dark brooding sky behind her, a bull's horn in her right hand and a bull attached to that horn. Model and bull, side-by-side in a pending rainstorm. It was like something out of a Reese Witherspoon backwoods comedy about an urban girl who marries ... oh, I don't know ... Harry Connick, Jr.?

We'll call it Something Borrowed, Something Blew. 

No, that's not it. I'm thinking Hitching the Hicks.

2E's asked me to participate in a bridal mag quiz this weekend, to which I replied "OF COURSE." The quiz asked bizarre questions akin to:

Which of the following would be your ideal musical entertainment on your big day?

(A) The bride's teenage brother's experimental metal band
(B) The groom's mother's harmonica stylings
(C) A steel drum band you stumbled upon in the subway last week
(D) Your iPod

Ideal? Hell, none of these. Ideal would be a live band that didn't exude pure cheese and/or price out to 8 million dollars for the evening. Ideal would be Huey Lewis and the News.

To be fair, the magazines may prove worthwhile. I mean, if I ever need to flatten something, I know precisely where to go. And, you know, if those aliens ever show (those very masculine aliens), perhaps the Carolina Herrara spread on page 461 will be their kryptonite. Let's only hope.

September 26, 2009

Inspiration #2

We Like Music...?

We're sitting in the Starbucks lounge at Barnes & Noble, working through another wedding planning session. Highlights include the lack of available electrical outlets and the fact that this particular B&N Starbucks' straws are about twice the size of their average sipper. Hot dog!

Our first assignment is to come up with a list of "things" that represent "us."

(No, I don't really know what that means.)

This all-too-magical list will help us decide on a theme for our engagement shoot as well as any props or costumes that we'd like to include in our session. I think it's going well.

FIANCEE WITH 2E's: So what do we like?
FIANCE WITH 1E: We like mocha frappuccinos.
2E's: Uh huh ... and what do we like?
1E: Um. We like music...?

One might think it's easy to produce on the spot a list of common interests. I could whip out a list of things that I like in a heartbeat -- validated parking, Huey Lewis tunes, the dentist scene in Little Shop of Horrors, I could go on -- but things that we SHARE? Stab me!

So far 2E's has concluded that she'd like to wear a pair of boots at some point during the shoot. I told her that was a fantastic idea. (Cue the Moral Support music).

September 25, 2009

Inspiration #1

The Groom Says

With 12 months and counting before the big hoorah, I've been pestering my bride-to-be, nudging her, suggesting she keep a blog to share wedding updates, announce milestones, provide tips to other soon-to-be brides, etc., etc.

Well. Here we are.

Yes, I've decided to take the reigns on this one. I mean, let's face it - even when he wants to, the groom doesn't get to take the reigns on much in this process. So I might as well take what and when I can.

(All the married men are shaking their heads, adding, "It doesn't end after the wedding, Madman. Get used to it.")

We've known this for centuries. We GUYS aren't built for this. Our ancestral cavemen never had to participate in this ritual. "This" being ... oh ... comparing venue pricing; researching catering companies; snipping decor pics out of 2-inch thick bridal magazines. We're no good at it. What are we good at? Easy:

1. Grilling
2. Saying no to things we don't like
3. Prioritizing
4. Feeding ourselves (this is typically #1 on our list of priorities)
5. Amusing ourselves (typically #2)

And the most important item on this rather short list -

6. Moral support

For instance ... yesterday my dear, dear fiancee with two E's applied for a competition that was advertised on a blog that celebrates LGBT unions (our photo business is listed as a gay-friendly vendor on their website). The grand prize was a near-free wedding photo package from a fantastic Texas-based photographer. Via G-chat, she asks,

FIANCEE with 2 E's: Read what I wrote?
FIANCE with 1 E: Sure, sure - I'll read it tonight.
EE: But I have to submit it in the next 8 minutes.
E: O-K, I'll read it now.
E: Awesome. I love it. So sweet. ( <---- notice the moral support?) EE: You want to tweak it at all?
E: No-no, it's in your own style and voice and it's great as is.
EE: I think it needs an ending.
E: ::silence::
EE: You wanna write an ending?
E: ::silence::
EE: You there?
E: I'm kind of in the middle of something.
EE: What?
E: Hell's Kitchen.
EE: ::silence::
E: Anyway, you should write the conclusion. So it's in your own words. It'll be GREAT.
EE: Uh. Fiiiiiiiine.

There's a good chance we won't win this thing. Why? Well, for starters, the prompt was to write about how our relationship has "persevered" against all odds, and our competition is a handful of gay and lesbian couples whose biggest problem ISN'T antique or modern wedding bands ... but rather the legal RIGHT to wed in the state of their choice.

HOWEVER - my 2E's writing was so raw and love-infused that it inspired the photographer to contact us and offer us his services, free of charge. It's an unspeakable deal. We were both floored. She cried a little.

And so - the first post on this blog wraps up on a VERY positive note. Thanks to 2E's gawd-just-do-it-already approach, we stumbled upon someone who was willing to give back to the world in a HUGE way, and in a time when many people can't give, and in a time when others don't feel like giving at all.

Me and my bride-to-be have a wedding planning date scheduled for tomorrow. Perhaps I'll wear a wire.