March 31, 2010

March 30, 2010

A 2E's Weekend in NYC

My beloved 2E's joined me in the big city this past weekend to help celebrate the Opening Night of The Irish Curse Off-Broadway and be my self-proclaimed "hot fiancee date" for all things opening-related. I know. I'm blessed. 

The AMNH turned us away because her purse was too hip.

(You can read the AP theatre critic's review here via the Huffington Post, should you be so inclined.)

It was a wild weekend, between theatrical madness and festive dinners and in-law brunches (the MOG, FOG and FOB joined us as well), but we all made it through in one piece. In fact, 2E's and I had enough steam to keep our tasting reservations on Mon. -- one scheduled for noon, the other for 5PM. And despite the lack of sleep, despite the rain, and despite the fact that we were still full from the parental brunch overdose this weekend, we believe we made a decision!

(I say believe because we've learned not to rush into our decision-making. I call that progress, readers.)

For us, the decision-making was more about the person that sat across from us than the food that was presented to us. We knew the food would be good. For 2E's and I, the top priority was personality -- both in the caterer and in the menu they crafted. Not only do we want someone who is approachable, likable and willing to work with us and for us (who doesn't), but we also want a menu that reflects both our personalities and our caterer's unique flair and style.

Leaving the Party Rental Manhattan showroom (where we were surrounded by countless stemware and flatware and Chiavari chair-ware), 2E's and I seemed to be on exactly the same page ... and, of course, it was the caterer who we expected to fall in love with in the first place ... the one who first swept us off our palates with her initial ideas about what she might serve at our wedding, based on one 30-minute phone conversation with my fiancee. So we're going to take what remains of this week to review our options, take a fifteenth look at the menus (our eyes may glaze over permanently), make a final and informed decision, and cross one more damn thing off our endless to-do list.

***One other quick note: after our first tasting, we shared some of our preferred caterer's baked mac & cheese with our Irish Curse writer and producer (they were bowled over) and our producer's brother Keith. Keith's been married for 22 years now and decided to pass on the following when he heard about our engagement (paraphrasing alert):

You already know you're going to get a lot of worthless advice now from anybody who thinks they know anything about being married. When I got married, all of my co-workers were weighing in, and they said, "Here's the thing: you have to lay down the ground rules first thing. First thing. If you want to play 18 rounds of golf three days out of the week, you tell her that that's what you're going to do, and you do it."

And so I asked them, "How often do you play golf these days?" And they all said, "Oh, once or twice a year. If I get out there."

So here's MY worthless advice: everything she says is right. I know, it's hard to imagine at first, and you won't want to admit it. But after about a year or so, you'll realize, "Oh man -- Keith was right -- everything she says is absolutely right. Huh." And that's it. That's the key.

March 25, 2010

Groom. Taste. Food.

I'm thinking back to my very first post on this blog (back to a time when this blog was actually titled Nod and Smile) and a list I'd created of the typical groom's skills and priorities -- a list that shared no components with those of women and brides.

"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)"

Needless to say, my views of and opinions about the wedding industry have changed in the past six months. I've become more worldly in my old age. I've found that comparing venue pricing isn't as complicated as it seems and that many brides are as disturbed by bridal magazines as we are...

...but even then, I knew that #4 would come in handy sooner or later. As a matter of fact, that day is Monday.

2E's and I will be visiting our two favorite Brooklyn caterers in a few days to sample some of the menu options they've been pricing out for us for the last month. They couldn't be more different -- one has its own storefront, a set menu of items to choose from and fixed pricing, and the other is independently run, has no "home base" per se, and creates a custom menu for each client. Both setups have their own advantages; god knows we're not making our decision based on their corporate structures. Honestly, all that matters to me is that the food tastes fantastic. 80% of our guests are traveling over 1000 miles to make an appearance at our ceremony, and we have every intention to serve the best damn food that we can ... within our budget.

You really can't have enough ClipArt.

Side note: "Within our budget" is like the new "in bed," isn't it?

GUY: "She's trying to make it work ... in bed."
GROOM: "She's trying to make it work ... within our budget."

Needless to say, we're excited about the prospect of meeting some new people, sampling some amazing food and convincing them that a few mentions on The Groom Says blog are valuable enough to take $1000 off the estimate.

Haha. No, but seriously. Is it?

At the start of this caterer-selection process, I anticipated doing thousands of tastings. Thousands per week, perhaps. That is, until I found out that tastings cost $$$ ... X number of dollars to cover the cost of the meal and the time and the service ... X number of dollars that will be deducted from our final bill should we decide to book with them. Upon that discovery, our anticipated number of tastings dropped from 20,000 to 2.

And no complaints! None at all. I know how time-consuming and expensive it is to cook up two servings of glazed duck last minute. And if they didn't charge, I can only imagine how many people would take advantage ... people like me ... like grooms. Don't believe me? Just pay a visit to any culinary academy on Free Eats night. Or any participating Denny's on Free Grand Slam Day. Ben & Jerry's on Free Cone Day. We're a desperate people, we.

 Not unlike what 2E's and I will be sampling on Monday. Minus the links.

Second Side Note: Today is my 2E's birthday! She turned 26 this morning with our kitty Scooter by her side. If you have a moment, wish her a Happy Birthday on Twitter @jofosterwilson.

much love,

March 24, 2010

Ultimate Groom Decided (& He Cheated)

Hi readers,

I understand many of you were unable to sleep at night while awaiting the Ultimate Groom announcement from The Man Registry. For that reason, I waited an extra day to share the results.

Congratulations to TRENT McCOOL, winner of the Ultimate Groom Contest!

Now, look, I don't want to be "that guy" today -- but Trent essentially found a loophole in the system, and that's how he was able to conquer the other men. See, nowhere in the contest rules did it exclude robot grooms ... and that's precisely what Trent is. A robot groom. Trent is a robot.

(Hey, I was a judge. I had certain privileges.)

Robot hands. Robot smile. Manufactured robot happiness.

Seriously though, the guy published a book of their email correspondence. He, like me, is doing long distance planning. And a long distance relationship. He's booked the DJ and will be booking the caterer shortly. He talks to his fiancee about life and the future and stuff. He made Save the Date magnets, for chrissake. He's a damn robot. And because The Man Registry did not have the foresight to include a "no robots" clause (it is 2010, men!), this is the result. He is victorious. He gets a bunch of free stuff. So, whatever. Congratulations Trent ... 

... friggin' robot.

March 23, 2010

The (Father of the) Groom Says

Some days, when the wedding moons align just right, I'm able to take a step back, look at this wild whirlwind of an industry, and I think, How the hell did it get like this? I don't remember weddings being this complicated when I was a kid. Back then they were pretty formulaic: one-hour church ceremony, cocktails in the lobby outside the banquet hall, and a three-hour seated reception with minimal decor, cake and the same 20-song playlist. There was no need for a "groom blog" in those days. There was hardly a need for grooms at all...

I decided to consult the one person who I knew would give me a straight answer: my Dad. And with his 30th wedding anniversary a little over a month down the road, I imagine he knows more about marriage than any blog or blogger could claim to know. It was a privilege to pick his brain, and it's a true honor to call him my FOG. 

10.)  I've been working out so I can be in shape for the wedding ... with the added benefit of being able to see my shoes should they become untied. 
9.)  I believe that a good FOG, like a good groom, is there to provide moral support, not to intervene in the wedding plans. 
8.)  I do not become rowdy if I indulge in one too many martinis. I just fall asleep.
7.)  I do not intend to mention those embarrassing moments of yours when making small talk at the reception. Though there are many of them and they are pretty embarrassing.
6.)  I will not request the electric slide.
5.)  If I get to dance with my new daughter-in-law, there is a less than 17% chance that I will step on her foot or kick her in the shin.
4.)  I will do my best to keep the MOG in line. 
3.)  I can hand-wash dishes should the cost of the reception exceed your budget. 

2.)  I am thrilled about the prospect of having 2E’s as my daughter-in-law.

And the number one reason is ... 

1.) Other than being your father, FOG is a position I have been looking forward to all of your life.

Yes, but by wearing my hair long and avoiding direct eye contact, it is doubtful that anyone will notice.

It is amazing that MY 2E’s and I were able to plan a wedding back then, prior to the existence of the internet and bridal websites, e-mails, cell phones and iPhones, twitters, blackberries, Bridezilla cable shows, shopping networks and satirical blogs. Come to think of it, maybe we did have it easier in those days... 

My folks were a hot couple back then. That red print carpet ... not as hot.

MOG and I split the planning 50-50. She planned the wedding and I planned the honeymoon. They were nearly equal tasks in those days.

Ours was a simple reception at my new in-laws' home with a few close family members. No band or DJ, but I do recall someone turning on the radio.

I initially thought the Beatles, a band that had a few hits during my high school and college years ... but I'm going to go with the G-CLEFS, a group I became friends with during an endless summer at the Beachcomber in Cape Cod after graduating from college. 

Our church required us to attend a weekend retreat on marriage before we exchanged vows ... which we forgot to attend. Since our wedding and honeymoon plans were set, a postponement was not an acceptable alternative. Fortunately, we convinced the Priest that we would be responsible adults in marriage, albeit a little forgetful.

It really isn’t a secret. If you truly respect and love each other, the relationship will last. If not, oh well.
Five shots of your favorite liquor an hour before the ceremony should do it. Add or subtract a shot for every 20 pounds above or below 170. Vodka eliminates the need to follow up with a package of breath mints. Possible side effects include vomiting during the exchange of vows.


March 22, 2010

And now ... the Co-Maid of Honor (and other admirable positions at a wedding)

Yesterday we were able to identify, lure, trap and ultimately define the rare but certainly existent Groomzilla. After we schooled him on appropriate, groomly behavior and released him back into the wild, we came across yet another unusual breed. One that travels only in pairs. One that grooms are completely unfamiliar with.

Co-Maids of Honor. 

No, ladies, it's not the sharing part that baffles us. It's the title. It's a contradiction of terms. As loyal Groom Says reader (and rockin' bridesmaid) Julie G. points out, "There would never be a co-best man situation!"

Right you are, Jules. We would never let that happen. Not on our watch.

Co-Anything is rather obnoxious, isn't it men? The prefix "co" implies that something was done together, in tandem, with a partner. And still, the definition of co-pilot is "a qualified pilot who assists or relieves the pilot but is not in command."

Let me reiterate: "not in command." There's nothing "co" about it, really. It's entirely "yo." As in, "Yo, co-pilot, fetch me a rum and coke while I steer this friggin' plane ALONE." Buzz Aldrin may have been a co-pilot on the Apollo 11 mission, but it was Neil Armstrong who took on the Commander role, and it was his foot that first touched down on the moon's surface.

Choosing to have two maids of honor (or ::shiver:: Co-Maids of Honor) implies that you, dear bride, have two totally awesome besties who are perfectly equal in every way. Or you have two sisters who you love dearly and equally, and you could never choose between them. You wouldn't even entertain the thought. It would destroy you and them.

The trouble is -- and I know this, of course, from my extensive research and invaluable years as a bridesmaid for hire -- despite how equal they may be in your heart and mind and soul, they couldn't possibly perform the task equally. One will undoubtedly prevail as the true Maid of Honor (probably the one you would expect to prevail at such a thing) and will end up doing the majority of the work. It's not mean or pessimistic. It's just science.

When it comes to choosing wedding parties, men are infinitely more efficient and less emotional. Why? Because, very simply, we remove the emotion. For instance, we grooms ask ourselves a single question to determine who our Best Man will be, and that question is:

If I needed someone killed immediately but knew that I couldn't do it myself, who would I go to?

Bam. Best Man.

Meanwhile, brides trouble themselves with a questionnaire a la the Spanish Inquisition in the hopes that they will not offend any one of their girlfriends/sisters/step-sisters/sisters-in-law/cousins/nieces/childhood playdate pals, beginning with the most important question of them all:

Who will ask ME to be THEIR maid of honor?

"This seems like an awful lot of trouble to go through ... no? Anybody?"

Then women begin ranking their friends and relatives (using a point scale as intricate as my honeymoon location rating system), asking themselves who would and wouldn't be hurt if they were or were not asked, asking themselves if they need to return the favor for the five or six women for whom they've served as a bridesmaid in the past, and asking themselves (once again), Who will ask ME to be in THEIR wedding party???

This is how brides end up with 23 bridesmaids and 2 Co-Maids of Honor.

I imagine there's no real "solution" - at least until brides realize that the prefix co- is not an accurate or trustworthy part of our vocabulary. Co-authors. Co-heirs. Co-managers. Bi-partisanship. Real health care reform. They're just figments of our imagination ... as cute as they may be.

March 21, 2010

The Groomzilla

OK, so it's not a new concept, but it's one we've never quite defined. Thanks to WE-TV, we know more than we'll ever need to know about the Bridezilla phenomenon ... but how much do we know about their male counterpart?

Not enough, is the answer. Not. Enough. 

As with brides, it's a fine line between a "concerned" and "caring" and "involved" groom, and the infamous "groomzilla." It's the difference between having an opinion and making demands. Some grooms may disagree (and as with any rule, there are exceptions), but grooms should never make demands. Grooms can make recommendations. Suggestions. Hints. Cases. Points. PowerPoint presentations.

Grooms cannot make demands. Some examples:

CONCERNED GROOM: I don't feel like we're DJ people ... do you? I've just always pictured us having a band. I don't know, maybe that's just me.
GROOMZILLA: I really won't be happy unless we have a band. I won't dance to a DJ. Seriously. You know how much I hate Moby. ... I won't dance. End of story.

CARING GROOM: Do you want to look at some other options before we pay that much for a wedding coordinator?
GROOMZILLA: No, scrap that idea. My Aunt Mildred will do it. She's very loud and she has a watch. Wedding coordinating done.

INVOLVED GROOM: What if we split it up? What if I did the Save the Dates and you did the invites? Then it's less work for both of us and we both get to do something...?
GROOMZILLA: I'm absolutely doing the Save the Dates. And the invites. I'm so much better with Microsoft Word. It's not even a competition. Honey - honey - honey - trust me. I got this.

No, Groomzilla, you don't got this.

A groom's primary responsibility, as I've ALWAYS said, is moral support. You are the comfort. The shoulder. You're the one that yells at the photographer when he suddenly tells you that "this date doesn't really work" for him. The one who celebrates with her when the new catering estimate comes in dollars below your budget. And occasionally, yes, you're there to play devil's advocate. Your two cents are always welcome.

But you aren't the star of this show. Leave the diva at home.

You know those Snickers commercials with Betty White and Aretha Franklin? Perhaps they should have one for grooms ... one where the best man pulls the groom aside:

BEST MAN: Christ, man, you're acting like Whitney Houston up there! Have a friggin' Snickers!

March 19, 2010

For the Kid in All of Us (Grooms)

Walking home after last night's performance, I stopped by the Westside Market on Broadway and 77th to pick up some "bachelor food." After all, I am living in the city now, with 2E's on the west coast, and there's just no need for me to make my world famous shrimp dinners while I'm living life as an island.

(See About a Boy for island-living reference.)

What I found while browsing for pre-made sandwiches and plastic pasta cartons was a Lunchables pack. You remember Lunchables: the yellow, rectangular lunch boxes designed for 10-year-olds and for parents who don't have time to throw a nutritious lunch together at 7AM. And what did I do ... ? I went ahead and bought one.

Why? you ask. Why ignore the voices in your head? Why ignore the adult in you who says, Those are for kids, fool! You're 26-years-old! Those aren't healthy, even in the most lenient definition of the word. It's not even DINNER - it's LUNCH! You damn fool!

Well, I'll tell you why, readers. For one, it was $3, and every other pre-made lunch/dinner was at least $10. But more importantly, it's a thing we do. Men. Grooms. Whatever. We have these boyish impulses, impulses that go against every established notion of what is right or normal or O-K. Despite those notions, I sat down last night and took a miniature slice of ham and a miniature slice of cheese and put them squarely atop a miniature Ritz cracker and enjoyed it. Sometimes I even made a Ritz cracker sandwich, despite the fact that there are an equal number of ham slices, cheese slices and crackers. I broke the mold. I did something ridiculous. And you know what? I had completely forgotten about the fruit punch-flavored Capri Sun that came with each and every Lunchables box. It made my friggin' night.

Knowing I have this boyish side, 2E's knew she wouldn't have to work too hard to convince me that we should look into Coolhaus and having their services at our wedding. The beautiful, wonderful people at Coolhaus make ice cream sandwiches. They do God's work.

2E's and I have been planning on having an ice cream bar at our wedding as opposed to a cake; in our minds, it's a nice way to spice things up and make the close of the evening a bit more unique. We imagined we'd be doing this on our own ... providing our own toppings, etc. ... until we learned about Coolhaus.

To put it simply, Coolhaus asks you to pick a type of cookie (brioche, oatmeal raisin, sugar, etc.) and a flavor of ice cream (chai, apple pie, mango, cookies and cream, etc.), and then they make magic. They're otherworldly. They do edible logo wrappers. They'll set up a table and prepare made-to-order sandwiches, or you can reserve the truck for your wedding or event, and they'll pull up outside in true NY/LA Food Truck fashion. Even for the effect, it's totally worth it. This is Coolhaus.

Coolhaus is based in LA, but when we heard that they were planning on having a truck in the NY area in the next few months (and heard how reasonable their prices were), we were sold ... as was the 10-year-old in me ... cause he is absolutely getting a chocolate chip & dirty minty chip ice cream sandwich when he realizes -- mid-reception -- that girls still have cooties.


(you can awaken your inner child at

March 16, 2010

Man Meets Mermaid, Man Nearly Drowns for Mermaid

My good friend (and recent bride) Lauren sent me the following link on Green Wedding Shoes, a SoCal-based wedding inspiration blog:

Underwater Engagement Photos + Save the Date

or what I affectionately refer to as 

Man Meets Mermaid, Mermaid Falls in Love with Man, Man Nearly Drowns for Mermaid's Underwater Photo Fetish

You have to give this couple credit for originality and ballsy-ness; not only do they choose to photograph their Save the Date below sea level, but they do so in full wedding fatigues. We all make stupid faces underwater (that's a given), but to make stupid faces underwater in a wedding gown -- undergarments included -- is another feat entirely.

But my favorite thing about this post has to be the following photo...

...the photo that convinces me that she (Stacey) is in fact a mermaid -- or perhaps was a mermaid -- and that he (Jeff) is in fact not. While she (Stacey) has struck a balletic pose, leg extended, gown flowing regally behind her -- like something you'd rightly see on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel -- he (Jeff) is clearly thinking, WTF?! WHY are we doing this again? Christ, I'm probably making that stupid underwater face I always make. Oh - perfect - now I'm out of breath.

Having said that ... he (Jeff) is obviously a noteworthy groom for diving in and going along with his former mermaid bride's aquatic photo request. Go you (Jeff).

I'm hoping Jeff and Stacey's series inspires similar exotic Save the Date shoots. I imagine a shark diving bride convincing her bank telling groom to shoot their pics in 4' x 4' steel cage off the coast of South Africa ... the bride appearing elegant and calm while her groom goes berserk as the Great Whites snap at the couple and take hefty chunks out of her train. 

Or, above sea level, I imagine a snake charming groom who (somehow) convinces his 3rd grade teaching bride to shoot their series in side-by-side tanks piled high with garters, ribbons, kingsnakes and the occasional boa ... the groom smiling as the creatures slither in and out of his shirtsleeves while the bride cries uncontrollably.

So here's to the ballsy groom with the mermaid bride -- may your ballsyness reach far and wide.

All photos by Kelty at Steep Street Photography

March 14, 2010

A Quick Congrats... my longtime pal, and one of my favorite grooms, Ulises and his new wife, Meredith. Uli and Mere were married on Captiva Island in Florida yesterday afternoon, March 13th, 2010.

I'm at that weird but wonderful age now when all of my high school and college friends are beginning to get hitched, and it's just bizarre to think that Ulises -- the guy with whom I spent countless nights raiding the local Burger King drive-thru, playing PS2 into the wee hours, causing trouble and wreaking havoc and breaking hearts (well, HE broke hearts, anyway) -- it's bizarre to think that he's now a married man, beginning a new life in a new state with a new Facebook status update.

Congrats to Ulises -- another survivor, and a great friend. Cheers.


Readers have been emailing, tweeting and Pony Expressing me this past week, asking for an update on our ceremony location connundrum. So here is the update, faithful readers. Here it is, in true press release format:

"14 March 2010

No one at the nowhere agency has not informed us of anything.

No one at the no name agency in nowhere hasn't told us that a no name company may be doing nothing in particular in the place where we were planning to hold our ceremony. It was not confirmed by no one special that this nothingness would affect not only our ceremony but also our reception venue. This is in no way public information, so please keep your know-nothingness to yourself.


No news isn't good news. No news is absolutely crap. 2E's and I are utterly frustrated, deciding ultimately that it's the wedding gods' intention that we hit every speedbump along the way.

Half-rationalizing and half-bickering, 2E's and I summed up our current debacle. Kneeling on the floor of the DVD section in the Atlantic Avenue (Brooklyn) Target, I realized that this was that moment, that crappy, frustrating moment that brides and grooms always gripe about and eventually laugh about after the ceremony. "The long, painful road here," etc.

So we've hit it. Our first major speedbump. And we're still here. We're still standing. Even though we're 3,000 miles apart. Which is AWESOME. ... Sarcasm.

So there's the update. Nothing to it.


-- via Madman's mobile

Location:W 45th St,New York,United States

March 7, 2010

BAM! A Brooklyn Bridal Show Revealed

To 2E's dismay, I was in the company of hundreds of women this afternoon on the second floor of the BAM space in Brooklyn. BAM!

In truth, I was expecting worse. I thought I'd see millions of crazed Brooklyn brides packed into a poor excuse for a hallway, fighting over free samples of layer cake and mini-cupcakes. (Well, I was right about the mini cupcakes.) What I found was a relatively low-key event with some very cool industry individuals -- many of whom I've been chatting with via Twitter from across the country.

Here are three highlights:

Love Jenna Calligraphy
Jenna spotted a lost, lone groom in the crowd and introduced herself and her calligraphy company. She quickly won me over -- not only with her impressive 20-lb cardstock (seriously, it's painfully thick), but with her calm, collected demeanor and one-woman show attitude. Oh, right -- and the beautiful display of sample scripts. We'll definitely be thinking of Jenna when it comes time for invite envelopes. 

Edible Manhattan
I thought I'd share a fantastic idea that I picked up at the show: Edible Manhattan (and, soon enough, Edible Brooklyn) provides a complimentary food mag by the same name that celebrates "local food culture, season by season." And the publication acts as a great complimentary gift for your out-of-town guests. Flip to the back of the book for a list of Edible-approved restaurants, wine shops, wineries, coffee shops, bakeries, organic resources, etc. Contact Edible directly and ask how you can get a box of their most recent issues shipped directly to your door.

UPDATE 6/16/2010: Due to a large demand for publications, there is now a $2 charge for issues of Edible Brooklyn.

Just About Married
I was pleased as a masculine cup of punch to meet Anna Leath, who heads up Just About Married's day-of coordination and consulting services. Working under the umbrella of Xochitl Gonzalez's boutique wedding planning firm, Always A Bridesmaid, Anna does just about everything you might expect a wedding coordinator to do ... and a bunch of things you would NEVER expect. Like ... the things you would normally forget. Make a smart move and inquire about Anna's day-of and hourly services and her reasonable prices.

Thanks to Great Performances for hosting a very chic, impressive event. The free glass-o-champagne was a nice touch. Only -- next time -- you may want to have something on tap. We grooms tend to be more appreciative when it comes out of a spout.

March 2, 2010

Swayed by Stock Photos

It's decision time. 2E's and I are knee-deep in this honeymoon business, and our latest self-imposed task is to choose the exotic destination that will suit us best. 

Men love honeymoons. We love any all-inclusive vacation, really. And we love this one in particular because it's the week-long calm after a year-long overcast. I'm gonna soak it up. No doubt about it.

So the decision-making process is pretty complicated, when you think about it. There are hundreds of cities to choose from, hundreds of resorts to research, and they all have their own ups and downs, advantages and disadvantages. My method involves an intense rating system -- far more complicated than anything concocted by the Olympics officials -- utilizing color coding, nautical engineering and 2 (count them, 2) decimal places. Only after putting each destination resort through this gauntlet of reasoning can we know, really and truly, what works for us.

2E's method involves looking at the photos on the resort websites. She likes the one where the couple is in that bungalow on the water, the fisheye shot of the courtyard that has several mini-pools, and the one where the hotel is on stilts. She loves the stilts.

I can't say I'm a big fan of her method. There's no science behind it. She's been swayed primarily by stock photos. And there are no decimal places. Not even one. Fuggedaboutit.

Ultimate Groom Contest! (Ultimate Grooms Only, Please)

The Man Registry is SO clever. They come up with this kickass Ultimate Groom Contest, open to all grooms who are residents of the U.S., and then they make me an official judge so I can't even enter the competition.

You are SO clever, Man Registry. So. Clever.

And why would I want to enter the contest, anyway? Is it purely for the title -- The Ultimate Groom? Is it bragging rights? Years of Twitter posts about how awesome I am? Perhaps it's the prizes, which include a honeymoon kit, a grilltopper set and the hottest pocket square you've ever seen.

It's definitely the pocket square.

If you're a groom, it's definitely worth checking out. And if you're a bride, it's definitely not open to you. But it is open to your fiance, and it's pretty much your bridal duty to nominate him between now and March 15th. See the contest rules and a complete prizes list here.

FYI - the contest is also sponsored by some awesome industry peeps (The Dessy Group,, Adam & Even, Grilltopper & MissNowMrs) and will be judged by the most unworthy group of grooms that the blogging world has ever seen. If that's not incentive enough ... honestly ... I don't know what is.