October 8, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up

I told you you'll never truly get rid of me. Stop trying.

In lieu of a final Crossing the Aisle post, we've got a mini Weekend Wrap-up, beginning with a farewell tribute to The Groom Says on GroomsAdvice.com. 

My Favorite Posts from The Groom Says

Fellow groom pioneer Chris Easter (co-founder of The Man Registry) has been a good friend and drinking buddy since I began this wedding journey two years ago. Having an appreciation for odd and borderline offensive humor, Chris first asked me to guest post on Grooms Advice back in January of 2010, and we've been coming up with more and more man-centric, immature content since then ... including one post about Kellie Pickler's wedding video that deeply hurt one of Kellie's hardcore fans ... who may very well have been her mom. 

More feelings we hurt, 
then the more hits we get, see?
Now write, monkey, write! 
- Chris Easter

[the haiku above is fabricated]

So thanks to Chris for the generous tribute and the kind words. And readers, please continue to keep up with TMR and GroomsAdvice.com. Remember that Chris has a slew of gift options available on his registry site, all at ridiculously good prices. 

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Check out: How to dress a groom (Spongebob underwear not included) on MarthaStewartWeddings.com.

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And for readers in the Western Great Lakes/Minnesota and Wisconsin region, I've got the 411 on an event in your hood that might pique your interest.

This Thursday, October 13th, the Independent Wedding Association is hosting a Wedding Fair and (infinitely more important) Groom's Night at a bocce, bowling and bistro joint called Pinstripes. (Sounds like we need a Pinstripes in LA.) Rather than a stuffy, convention hall feel, the IWA boasts a cocktail hour atmosphere with an emphasis on the grooms. Yes, that means (but is not limited to):
  • Unlimited bowling (that alone is worth it)
  • Suit fitting and groom grooming demos
  • Cigar and drink sampling
  • S'mores bar
  • Boutonniere alternatives (perhaps they've seen my Out of the Box collection?)
  • Wedding lounge recommendations
  • And a FREE companion ticket for your 2Es ... or your man date

Tickets are a more-than-reasonable $15, and all the info is on their website @ independentwedding.com. If any of you Great Lakers end up going, be sure to email me a shot of whatever man cave the IWA's got set up over there.

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For tickets and event inquiries, please contact Becca Dilley (Founder of the IWA) at dilley@gmail.com. Be sure to tell her The Groom Says referred you. I get free s'mores with each referral.

October 3, 2011

A First Anniversary and a Reflection on Two Years

When I started this blog back in September of 2009, it was meant to be a light read for our wedding guests and a distraction for fellow grooms who might stumble upon it. In addition, I hoped to entertain my fiancee (my 2Es) by exposing, exaggerating, spinning and capitalizing on our adventures, our discoveries, and our missteps as first-time wedding planners. And that was it. Those were the elaborate plans I had drafted for this virtual project.

Between then and now, it's become something else. A year before our wedding date, publishing an initial post on The Groom Says, I knew a few things about weddings; today, a year and a day into marriage, I know more about weddings than a man could ever want to know. And I'm glad that I'm able to offer advice on attire and decor and venue load-in times. I'm glad that there are male voices in the wedding world and that, in some respects (and in some parts of the country), we're leaving the pink-toned, cutesy, bride-centric weddings behind. We're making weddings more collaborative. If I've played even the smallest role in that movement, then I'm pleased.

2Es and I celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary yesterday. We drove to Big Bear Lake on the 30th, packing enough clothes and equipment for an entire Cub Scout troop, and set up camp in the pitch black of the Pine Knot campground. We were verbally assaulted by a park ranger and took the difficult course down a rather steep mountain on crap mountain bikes and, despite our over-packing, neglected to bring chairs -- but we had the time of our lives. Our anniversary was spent very simply in each other's company, reliving the perfect and not-so-perfect moments from our wedding, crafting vegan s'mores from Kmart-brand products (graham cracker pie crust, dark chocolate bar, vanilla frosting) and talking about the changes we've made in each other's lives. I've made her more socially anxious; she's converted me into an aisle-seat lover. I don't even remember what drove me to window seats in the past. That alone is an argument for marriage.

I write this on the same day that my fellow Angeleno and more popular wedding blogger Becca signs off of her own blog, A Los Angeles Love. Unlike her, I guess I'm not prepared to divorce myself completely from The Groom Says. "This space has been so important to me over the last two years," she writes, and I couldn't agree more. Like Becca, who began ALAL roughly at the same time that I did, this has been a place to share successes and failures alike ... to vent, to laugh, and to practice a craft that I love. I've made friends who will forever remain friends. I've loved sharing these experiences with you all, and I'm so appreciative of those of you who've made it a worthwhile journey.

But 2Es and I have plans. We have life plans and career plans, and while the latter does involve writing (in fact, it depends on it), it doesn't involve coordinating weddings or promoting groomsmen gifts or advising on formalwear. But it does involve supporting my family, and one cannot do that with a humorous groom blog that brings in zero income. So while this may not be a final farewell, it is a revised mission statement of sorts. I'll stop in from time to time. I'll post on occasion. The blog will continue to exist here in cyberspace with miles of archives to read through should one have an entire weekend to kill. 2Es and I still have to publish our wedding photos somewhere, for chrissake. And I've got to get The Knot to start responding to my emails with more consistency. I'm not "done" done.

You know, a little under a year into The Groom Says, I contacted a wedding industry leader (whose assistance and support I've greatly appreciated over the last 24 months) about joining an elite club of wedding bloggers. She said, regretfully, that the group did not permit any male members because "the grooms tend to drop off the face of the planet right after their wedding." And I guess I can't argue with that principle ... except that I've seen just as many bridal bloggers put their blogs to rest post-wedding. I think it has very little to do with being a male blogger and much more to do with moving on.

"I think how much you enjoy your wedding
depends on how much you're involved in the planning of it." 
- 2Es

until then, readers, whenever that may be,