February 28, 2011

Monday Morning Rant

A Twitter conversation upset me a bit more than it should have last week.

Strike that -- it upset me more than I should have let it upset me. A bride who shall go nameless sent last week's e-Groom post (some responsibilities for grooms who find themselves online more than the average person) to her fiance. In short, he and his buddies joked about how "ridiculous" this blog was. This comment sums it up:

I wouldn't trust any dude that blogs about weddings.

As any fellow blogger will tell you, I didn't feel that these guys were attacking me personally. And I don't mean to single them out either. But I feel that it's all part of a much bigger, unspoken conversation.

I don't hear from grooms too often, but I hear from their brides. I hear from brides who are obliterated from all of the planning and the scheduling and the emails, brides who express their frustration over social media websites and don't eat right and wake up at 5AM after having a panic-inducing nightmare about their to-do list. To most men, this sounds absurd. How could something like a wedding get someone so worked up?

But it does. Brides reach out to their grooms for help (or send them blog posts to inspire them), and they get nothing in return. Or a bride is afraid to reach out because, since Day 1, their groom has said Whatever you want honey, I don't care how it looks, you could do whatever you want, and I'll be happy. That's not a gift, men; it's a curse.

And for every bride who's planning a DIY wedding and loving every minute of it, there's one who just wants it all to go away. I know, by the end of our 15-month planning period, we were spent. 2Es didn't want to see another wedding as long as she lived. That was in part due to me being in New York for a good portion of it and escalating frustrations with our venues -- but it's not uncommon.

So from the dude that blogs about weddings -- let me just say that there is nothing masculine, manly or admirable about a guy who sits back and lets their bride do all the work. Helping with wedding planning is no different than opening a car door, than carrying the groceries, than cooking your soon-to-be-wife a three-course meal. It's no different than taking out the trash or putting the seat down or taking her out to dinner. It's no different from being a gentleman.

And dude -- if you're too manly to do any of the above, then maybe you should marry one of your fantasy football friends. I bet you guys could have a really nice, low-key civil union without any flowers at all.

February 25, 2011

Razor Burn Victims: the winners of our GROOM GIVEAWAY revealed!

A huge THANK YOU to all who submitted their stories of pain and humiliation. Shaving was a true nightmare this morning. Thanks for clouding my mind with horrifying images.

Without further ado, I announce our victors:

The Winners

Dan "The Demon Barber"
"No Eyebrows" Erin
"Still Has Flashbacks" Randy
"Looks Like Leprosy" Theresa
"Never Again" Katy

"You know what, never mind. I don't need a shave. I can shave any day. Just do the haircut. Really. I don't need it!"

Honorable Mentions

"Sensitive" Steve
"To the Bone" Tatamwari
"Nerves of Steel" Tony


If your name has been called ... Congratulations! Please email me and I'll be in touch shortly about how you can retrieve your Royal Shave gift certificate.

Please note: Winners must respond within a month of this post (by March 25th), or the prize will be awarded to one of our Honorable Mentions.

And a big thanks to The Art of Shaving for donating their outstanding services! Please visit one of their 23 Barber Spa locations for a one-of-a-kind shave and an introduction to their amazing product line. You won't regret it. 

Giveaway Reminder + a word from Best Man Justin in France


Reminder, brides and grooms:

Our The Art of Shaving contest is open until NOON! The winner will be announced around 1PM this afternoon. Just leave a comment describing your (or your groom's, or your hubby's) most hilarious/horrendous shaving experience. Five readers will receive a complimentary Royal Shave -- a $55 value -- at The Art of Shaving!

(See the complete collection of photos on the Joanna Wilson Photography blog.)

If inspiration is what you're lacking, you're in luck! Former Best Man Justin has agreed to share a calamitous shaving tale of his own. You've been warned:

- - -

Those of us who claim to have "grown-up" on film sets learned to pick up the secret film terminology along the way. One of the earliest terms I remember learning is continuity, and I have the scars to prove it.

Contrary to my own quasi-logical dissection of the word (CON-tinuous NUITY-newness), the term actually refers to "continuous unity" -- the continual matching of location, script, wardrobe, weight, and facial hair. Sometimes a film will span the day-in-the-life of a character (a la Training Day, Collateral, Die Hard) but is typically shot over several days, weeks or months.

Another thing about movies that pertains to shaving is where you film them. Film shoots can sometimes take place in the most remote locations with extremely limited resources. I was on one such West Coast shoot when I was nineteen. My peach fuzz was growing quickly enough that I had to shave every day but slowly enough that I was in total agony. All I had was my rusted, jagged, 7-Eleven brand "razor" (issued to every nineteen year-old boy in the suburbs along with a Playboy and a copy of Frampton Comes Alive). And all they had was cold water. Ice cold water.

So what is one to do in the absence of a scented, alcohol-free, three-fold hot towel treatment?

You can't begin the film looking like Leo and end up looking like Jonah

I'll save you the bloody details, but by the third day I resembled James Franco's arm in 127 Hours. The make-up woman hated me. I certainly could have used Steve and his mustache socks back then ... and now that I'm older and more experienced with The Art of Shaving (thanks to you, Groom), I finally have the chops to appreciate such royal treatment.

Bring on the chocolate mask.

Your pal,
Justin

February 23, 2011

The Art of Grooming (and a GROOM GIVEAWAY)

Who could forget the classic barber shop scene in Guys and Dolls ("The Oldest Established..."), in which a throng of half-shaven men and their barbers hop out of their chairs to join Frank Sinatra and Stubby Kaye in song. Shaving just isn't the social occasion that it was then; today we buy blades at Costco by the dozens and perform the act with haste and hustle, omitting the care and precision that men used to value in a shave. And none of us sing while we're doing it.

And yet, there's one institution that has kept the tradition alive: The Art of Shaving, a throwback to the 1940s barber shop that specializes in quality shaving products and offers manscape services at 23 Barber Spa locations throughout the US. I stopped by my local The Art of Shaving Barber Spa last week to clean up a bit and rediscover the art of fine male grooming.

I arrived only minutes before my 11AM appointment and browsed the store's products for a moment before being escorted to a room toward the back with faded canary-and-white wallpaper and wooden cabinets on both ends. A man named Steve (who fits the part to a tee, from his ash grey vest to his argyle moustache socks, pictured above) directed me to an antique barber chair on the near side of the room. Within seconds, the antique chair was reclined and the hottest hand towel imaginable was wrapped up and around my face. It's a good thing I trusted Steve and his 'stache socks; there's something very personal about toweling another man's face.

Toto, I don't think we're in Supercuts anymore.

My cheeks were just beginning to sweat beneath the cotton cloth when Steve clicked on (what must have been) the old-fashioned radio in the corner. Steve's all about Elvis and Sinatra; timeless music, he says, puts people in the right frame of mind. He removed the towel and began chipping away at my stubble with a straight razor.

Though it might add a few minutes to his morning routine, Steve follows this same procedure at home (hot towel to relax the pores, straight razor to shave). At some point he threw another scalding hot towel on my face -- this time with a lemon scent. Johnny Cash came on and I swear he was singing about burning lemons.

No cucumbers or Norah Jones at TAOS -- just crooners and
cotton pads.

After a detailed shave, Steve got to work on some vintage chocolate pudding -- or what was, in actuality, an after-shave mask that was painted onto my face, followed by yet another towel (this time ice cold and with a lavender scent). There I was, in the manliest place I can imagine, coated in a thick, rose-scented, deep cleansing cream that replenishes nutrients and guarantees a glowing complexion. The Chairman never had it this good.

The most unusual request Steve gets from his clients? "If I'll shave their chests. Or their legs."

Clockwise from top left: the classic reclining armchair; not chocolate pudding; antique chair mechanics; the old school Barbicide and whatever else Steve thumb-dropped into my coffee.

It's no surprise that The Art of Shaving Barber Spas accommodate bachelor parties, pre-wedding celebrations and other man festivities on the weekends; I sent my own boys to the TAOS Midtown Manhattan location on the morning of our rehearsal dinner, and Boris (the Russian version of Steve; infinitely hotter towel) gave them the same royal treatment. They haven't shaved since.

Inside this vintage towel heater? More moustache socks.

A huge portion of The Art of Shaving's business is their one-of-a-kind line of razors, badger brushes, shaving and skin care products. Fortunately, Store Manager Sean Covert was there to help us make sense of it all. Aside from assisting disoriented customers and providing useful information (for instance, that none of TAOS' products contain alcohol or synthetic dyes), Sean also provides shaving consultations for men who don't realize there is an art to a good shave.


And for those grooms who find TAOS' balms and masks and essential oils to be too feminine (you know who you are), Sean says that Zirh's Platinum "Revive" under eye cream is a must-buy. No matter how masculine you are, no groom wants dark circles and bags under his eyes on his wedding day.

The Art of Shaving doesn't allow grooms to register at their stores (hint-hint, TAOS), but there are some amazing products and deals available. The best thing about the TAOS' product line is that full-size kits begin at a reasonable $100, and because items are sold a la carte, you can craft your own kit to meet your desired price point. Having said that, Sean recommends:

  • For the groom who's buying for several groomsmen -- the new hypoallergenic Travel Kit (prev. $150, now $75), which comes in unscented, sandalwood, lemon or lavender (Sean's pick)
  • For the groomsman who's buying for his groom -- the ProGlide Power Shave Set ($150), which comes with the leading men's razor and the 4 Elements of the Perfect Shave
  • For the guest who's splurging on the ultimate groom gift -- the Contemporary Shaving Set ($255), a badger brush and razor combo (with "nostalgic" ivory handles) on a nickel-plated drying stand
  • For the bride/bridesmaid -- the Perfect Shave Gift Set ($146) comes in a The Art of Shaving signature gift box

Sean demonstrates the "knuckle shave," an essential for bare knuckle boxers and hand models

But what could make The Art of Shaving more like a man cave and more suitable for bachelor parties and morning-of get-togethers?

Booze.

No, I'm not suggesting that TAOS get a liquor license and set up an antique bar cabinet in the back room (though how sweet would that be?). But what about BYOB? Or, if that's not an option, what about a complimentary bottle of champagne for grooms and groomsmen who spent a certain number of dollars? After all, if a groom brings in seven groomsmen for a shave, they're bound to spend a good 2-3 hours in the parlor.

A flatscreen wouldn't hurt either, though I imagine an old pre-war tabletop television set would be more appropriate. SportsCenter was around in the 1940s, wasn't it?

Gifts for the nostalgic groom, the modern groom and the groom who (for some odd reason) likes to read

***GROOM GIVEAWAY***

To prove their love and dedication to all things groom, The Art of Shaving has decided to gift a Royal Shave (a $55 value) to five Groom Says readers. Ladies -- this is the perfect wedding gift for your groom or anniversary gift for your hubby. Men -- did I mention there are three scented towel treatments? Need I say more?

To enter, simply leave a comment below detailing your (or your significant other's) most hilarious or horrific shaving experience. Be as general or as graphic as you'd like. The five most entertainment anecdotes will win a free Royal Shave at the TAOS location of your choice. The winner will be announced at noon (PST) on Friday, February 25th.*

Let the commenting begin!

- - -

Angelenos - to set up an appointment with Master Barber Steve Gonzalez, call the Century City location at (310) 785-3993.

Also follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/thelabarber.

(see all of Joanna's photos from our excursion on her blog)

- - -

The fine print: The prize is a complimentary Royal Shave courtesy of The Art of Shaving (5 prizes available). Prize can be redeemed at any one of the 23 Barber Spa locations across the country; visit http://www.theartofshaving.com/locations to determine if there is a Barber Spa location near you. Tip is not included and strongly suggested. Questions? Email me for more details.

*Winner will be announced at noon on Friday, February 25th. Winners must respond by Friday, March 25th, or the prize will be rewarded to a fellow contestant. 

e-Groom: another role for men who can't design but can type real good

Earlier this month, I devised a new role for grooms who aren't built to design but still want to be involved. I coined him the MC Groom.

And this morning I've decided to unveil another role for men who don't quite fit into the traditional planning process -- a position designed for grooms who can't seem to step away from the computer, for those who value email above all other forms of communication, who e-shop and e-ticket and e-finance. This one's for the men who forget that there was a time when we didn't have the internet (What?). These grooms may be playing Farmville at the altar, but that's kind of why you agreed to marry them in the first place. It's not the most inventive name in the world, but we call him:

the e-Groom

Steve's idea of groom attire is a full-on turtleneck and contacts

The concept? There's no need to peel your groom away from the computer when there's a million wedding-related errands that he can run on the computer. No more legwork, men. Check out these e-tasks:

  • TheKnot.com - If your groom is computer savvy, chances are he's got a pretty good handle on Excel, Access and all those other programs that typically collect dust on your desktop. So put him in charge of that overwhelming to-do list (find helpful hints and checklists at The Knot and the new Google Weddings website), and in no time he'll have developed a 12-month plan, neatly organized in a spreadsheet that's (not surprisingly) compatible with your iPhone. 
  • YourWeddingWebsite.com - Give your geeky guy full reign when it comes to the wedding website. If he's proficient in Dreamweaver or any other web design platforms, he'll be in heaven. If not, he'll gladly hunt down the best cost-free option that has the most flexibility with layout, customization, etc. Either way, give the man some direction in terms of design and you'll be online in no time.
  • YourWeddingWebsite.com/blog - And as an added bonus, because he's heading up web design and upkeep, he can also be in charge of the wedding blog. (Who the hell would want one of those, especially from the GROOM's perspective?!) Trust me, it need not be revolutionary or time-consuming. Even if it's a one-paragraph entry, your families will love his witty take on yesterday's "tropical wedding theme" debate.
  • Target.com - One of the frustrating things about gift registries is that the stores will most likely add, drop and tweak their products in the course of a year (those dinner plates that were teal in March are now purple in November). On top of that, with stores like Target and CB2, there's a whole other online component, and new items are constantly being added to their inventory. So ask your e-Groom to stay up-to-date on new and discontinued products (hint: he can sign up for the stores' newsletters).
  • Yelp.com - Rehearsal dinner venue hunting can be exhausting -- especially when your plan of attack is something like, Let's just drive around and stop whenever we see a place we like! Make your life easy and ask your man to narrow the search on Yelp or Citysearch, where he can browse restaurants by neighborhood, feature, cost and cuisine.
  • Etsy.com - Don't worry, ladies, I'm not suggesting that e-Groom will assume all Etsy-related responsibilities -- and by responsibilities, I mean you staying up until 3AM, trying to decide which antique birdcage best fits your motif. There are numerous groom-friendly Etsy shops where he can purchase homemade or vintage ties, socks, cuff links and gifts for his groomsmen (and don't forget TheManRegistry.com, renowned man sanctuary).
  • Photoshop.com - Between our ceremony and reception spaces, 2Es and I must have gone through a hundred floor plans before deciding on our final two schemes. If e-Groom knows his way around Adobe (Illustrator, Photoshop, etc.), ask him to sketch out a floor plan for you. He can get the measurements from your venue contact and throw in the DJ booth, bar, cocktail tables, dinner tables and gift table as needed.
  • Gmail.com - Correspondence is a huge part of wedding planning; sorting through, filing and responding to emails from vendors can be a full-time job. So if your groom excels at e-communication, ask him to be the contact person for proposals, quotes, contracts, appointments and so on. He can create a Gmail account specifically for the wedding (plungetakers@gmail.com) so that you can both be aware of what's happening. He can also take the lead on getting vendor referrals from previous clients. 
  • Google.com - Based on our wedding experience, I'd say that 90% of planning is devoted to research. We need to find a caterer. We need to find ceremony texts. We need to find a song for you and your mom. Lucky for you, 100% of that 90% can be done online. So tell your e-Groom that you need welcome bags that don't look cheap but are actually really, really cheap, and see what he can come with up. And don't forget to let him have a say in the final decision; after all, he did just spend two hours Google searching "really, really cheap nice bags."
  • Flickr.com - Post-wedding, you'll find that more than half of your guests have photos to share from the wedding -- and all of them managed to get you doing the worm in that blurry hour between 11PM and midnight. Ask e-Groom to perform one final, hassle-free task: compile all of your friends' and family members' photos, sort them chronologically, remove the duplicates and share them with the whole crew on Flickr or Shutterfly. Just don't complain when he makes that worm photo your Facebook profile pic. 

February 22, 2011

The "Neither" Pile: sorting through our wedding sh**

Upon returning from New York in October, we promptly unpacked our suitcases, sorted through our laundry, buried our C&B gift cards in the backyard and literally dumped everything from our wedding onto an old wooden desk in the hallway. Actually, it wasn't unlike the state of the desk before we left for the wedding -- everything in disarray with a surplus of STDs and invites packed into the top drawer. We even threw our marriage certificate (which had traveled to Baltimore and then France with Best Man Justin) onto the "wedding heap," not knowing what one does with a marriage certificate.

(Still gotta figure that out, in fact.)

And the desk stayed that way until ... well, until this past weekend. It wasn't an urge to clean, or newfound initiative, or even a burning desire to "relive the wedding," but rather a C&B purchase that required us to throw out that damn desk.

We could hear [clutter expert] Peter Walsh's voice echoing through our apartment: if you're going to keep something, make sure it's either useful or beautiful. Useful or beautiful. It's a mantra that men love, actually; it gives you the freedom to take all the ugly and useless crap and toss it.

So 2Es and I went through it all and separated it into three piles: useful, beautiful and neither. The useful items are going to newly engaged friends of ours; the beautiful items will be going into a scrapbook album (separate from our wedding photo album); and the neither is in the dumpster.

In the "beautiful" pile -- a postcard from Bob's Big Boy in Baker, the last stop on our bachelor party journey

It's funny what you cling to, what scraps from the wedding you really find worthwhile, what each of us consider beautiful. Cleaning out my own memory boxes (cause once you go through one, god knows you have to go through them all), I came across all of the travel arrangements and paperwork from my trip to Chapel Hill in June of 2009 -- the all-too-memorable "asking permission" excursion. I handed 2Es a piece of computer paper with some notes scribbled in pencil, thinking she'd probably want to hold onto it.

"Um, why would I wanna keep this?" she asked.

"Cause that's the cheat sheet I used when I went to Chapel Hill," I explained. On it were her parents' addresses, a back-up address (her Dad's office in Durham), plus my rental car and flight information.

"OK... but there's gum on it."

Right she was. I'd dog-eared a corner of the page with a stick of spearmint gum. To me, that 20-month old bond only fortified its sentimental value. She rolled her eyes and added it to the beautiful pile.

I guess she let me have that one.

February 17, 2011

Marry A Music Man: Choosing Your Wedding Entertainment

Look, I can appreciate the fact that I'm more inclined toward wedding planning than most grooms out there. I've learned to accept that. Not every guy can be (or wants to be) the MC Groom...

Drew represents the other class of grooms -- grooms who don't necessarily meet their brides "half-way" on the wedding planning front, grooms who happily settle for one wedding-related task. And he's got a pretty good idea what that task could be.

School us, Drew.


The Most Important Decision of Your Life: Your Wedding Entertainment
by Drew Stoga of GigMasters.com

As we all know, brides-to-be are usually the ones to take the lead when it comes to wedding planning. Sure, the guys weigh in on the big decisions, but it's no secret that we aren't exactly calling the shots in terms of flowers, caterers, etc. And most of us are okay with that -- I know I was.

Back when we were in the throes of wedding planning, my wife (in her infinite wisdom) gave me just two responsibilities: select the drinks and the music, two things I knew a lot about.

In my time at GigMasters, I've noticed that most couples tend to split up the planning responsibilities this same way. It's the groom-to-be who is typically in charge of finding and hiring a wedding band or DJ while the bride (and often her family) takes on just about everything else.

We work with what we're given.

We all know that music can make or break any party. There's nothing worse than a lame wedding band or a DJ who can't read the room. The Macarena was all the rage back in 1995, but most of us don't want to hear it at our wedding reception (do we?).

Before you start contacting wedding entertainers, you first need to ask yourself a few key questions to determine what you're looking for: How big will your wedding be? Are you looking for "background music" or an entertainer who will steal the show? Do you want to hand-select the songs played at your reception? Are you worried that your country music-lovin' uncle from Texas won't like the same tunes as your teenage cousin?

(P.S. You shouldn't be. It's your wedding, after all.)

And besides -- your music-lovin' uncle secretly loves the Biebs

A few seemingly obvious tips: if you're planning an intimate wedding, you don't want a big band; if you plan on dancing the Hora, you'll want a band or DJ with Hora experience. It's not rocket science. You just need to know what you want.

Then there's the ongoing band vs. DJ debate. Clients are always asking us which is better. The answer, of course, depends on you. If you're worried about money, bands typically (but not always) cost more than DJs. Also, with a DJ you know you can hear your favorite tunes, played just the way you know them. That being said, there is no substitute for live music.

That's true. There's absolutely no substitute for this guy.

Choosing a performer for your wedding is an important decision, and if it's the only one that your fiancee's given you, you definitely want to hit it out of the park. Plus, it's a great way to one-up your in-laws. If your guests are blown away by your wedding band, they'll forget all about the flower arrangements that your mother-in-law picked out. If that doesn't motivate you, nothing will.

Good luck out there, grooms, and happy planning!

- - -

Drew Stoga is the Marketing and Communications Associate at GigMasters.com, the #1 event entertainment booking website. Drew enjoys spending time with his wife, his puppy and his grill.

February 16, 2011

Etsy Love: Liquid Courage

Some flask highlights from the Liquid Courage etsy shop:

Argyle groom

Outdoorsy groom

Distressed but still patriotic groom

Vintage and/or bike enthusiast groom

Au natural groom

Occasionally directionless groom

Sentimental groom

- - -

Check out the wide range of affordable, sweet ass flasks (and all available in 4, 6 or 8 oz sizes) at Liquid Courage

February 15, 2011

Guest Post: Google Gets Wedded

In the spring of 2010, in the midst of #venuegate (our frustrating pursuit of an affordable venue in NYC), I posted about our love/hate relationship with Google Docs.

Nine months later (with the wedding under our belt), I'm pleased to share my guest post on Mindy Howard's Tweet My Wedding blog:

GOOGLE GETS WEDDED

Google does searches. Google does maps. And now Google does weddings. There really is nowhere else to go from here.

Cheers,
Madman

February 14, 2011

Submarines, Stooges & Seersuckers: Christina Matteucci Talks Weddings

In September of 2010, the following press release buzzed through the New York periodicals and events blogs: Christina Matteucci Promoted to Executive Director at david beahm destinations. For those outside of the industry, this was perhaps a minor blip on the radar. For those in the industry, this came as no surprise. Christina has been David's right hand at david beahm design for nine years, a talented and trusted assistant and mentee to one of the most profound minds in the world of weddings.

With that promotion came Christina's newest role: to head up dbd's most recent venture, david beahm destinations, a hand-picked collection of exotic and luxurious wedding destination locations. (If you're thinking to yourself, Now there's a job with perks, you would be 100% correct.)

When it comes to offering advice to brides and grooms, it's the designers and planners and coordinators themselves who we hear from most. More often than not, the advice comes from those select few who have their names etched on the door. This groom, for one, thought it was time that we hear from someone who is "behind the scenes" but still remembers every client by name and has overseen (in one capacity or another) every single event that has been executed at the hands of david beahm design.

We pestered Christina continuously, begging her to share her unique perspective with the world. Ultimately she bartered a minute of her wisdom for an hour-long reflexology massage. Done and done.

- - -

CHRISTINA -- THESE DAYS YOU REIGN AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AT DAVID BEAHM DESTINATIONS. I IMAGINE YOUR BEGINNINGS WERE SOMEWHAT HUMBLER...? OR WERE YOU ALWAYS SUPER DUPER IMPORTANT?
Reign, huh? Well, now, that's an interesting word. I've always thought of myself as David's Goddess-in-Charge; I'm just titillated that you are in agreement, Madman. But the truth is that I started with David fresh out of NYU as his secretary. I had been subscribing to bridal magazines since the age of 13, and I yearned to be that girl in the white dress. So, naturally, what better fit than to work for the man who had just created the "Wedding of the Century" for Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones? I walked into the office my first day just knowing it was going to be a glamorous experience. I had hit the jackpot after all! 

I FEEL A "HOWEVER" COMING ON...
However, during my first year, I emptied the trash, got the mail and processed flowers. But I kept my ears perked and somewhere along the way I learned what it took to keep things organized, the staff running smoothly and maintain David's sanity. I made myself indispensable and earned my title and my crown.

David and the key to his sanity

HOW INVOLVED, YOUR HIGHNESS, IS THE "IDEAL GROOM?" IS IT POSSIBLE FOR US TO GET TOO INVOLVED?? (DON'T WORRY, YOU WON'T HURT OUR FEELINGS.)
I don't believe that there are grooms who are "too" involved. You, my dear Madman, were the ideal groom and did your brethren proud. I love it when a groom has an opinion and is passionate about the look of his big day. However, if that is the case, you need to be involved from inception and should, at all costs, try to support your brides (not add to their stress). I've seen too many grooms walk in for a sample presentation only to turn to their betrothed and say, You chose PINK??? You know I hate PINK!!! If you want a say in the look and feel of your wedding, you are absolutely permitted, you've earned it -- but jump right in from the start. 

GIVE US THE SKINNY ON YOUR FAVORITE DESTINATION.
Oooooh. Well, I have to admit, I am more than a bit partial to Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Limited Edition collection. Especially for the gents, the Virgin Limited Edition collection of properties can be a playground for your nuptials. Not only do they provide an unparalleled level of luxury and boutique services that your bride will adore -- if you choose a location like Necker Island, you will have the opportunity to live like Sir Branson, surrounded by surf, sun, sand and an assortment of big boy toys -- like the Necker Nymph: Sir Branson's underwater aero submarine. James Bond, anyone?


Above: the Necker Belle, Branson's 32-metre catamaran and world-class super yacht. Below: the Necker Nymph, a 3-person underwater aircraft. Imagine taking either of these babies for a spin as part of your "pre-ceremony" celebration.

AND I'M GUESSING BRANSON'S GOT A CHAMPAGNE TUB IN EVERY ROOM...
Hmmm, I've never seen one of those at any of our destinations, but I always get a good giggle when I encounter a washlet in the bathroom. Madman, did you know those things come with lasers now?!?!

GROOMS LOVE A PHOTON-POWERED BIDET. SPEAKING OF CLEANING UP -- DO YOU PREFER GROOMS IN SUITS OR GROOMS IN TUXES?
This totally depends on the location and the venue. If you're having a Plaza wedding, by all means, gentlemen should be in tuxedos. But if you're having a wedding in the Napa Valley, I love a bespoke khaki suit and carefully chosen custom tie. And of course, if you are a Southern gentleman, you know seersucker is the ONLY way to go. 

Whatever you choose, invest in something that fits well and that makes you feel amazing. Remember, you'll have to ... uh ... I mean ... your bride will have to look at the pictures for years come. Ill-fitting tuxedos and suits are NOT an option. If you don't know what that is, turn to a professional. Please.

If you think the tub is classy -- try getting out of it.

3 FLOWERS EVERY GUY SHOULD KNOW:
(1) Roses -- romantic, graphic and hearty
(2) Tulips -- graceful, utilitarian and cost effective
(3) Gardenias -- classic, fragrant and the ultimate wedding flower

As far as I'm concerned, these are Mother Nature's trifecta.

THREE WAYS TO MAKE A MODEST BUDGET WEDDING LOOK LIKE A MILLION DOLLAR WEDDING:
The devil is in those details -- 

(1) A welcome gift for traveling guests makes a HUGE impression -- and you can do it on the cheap with a little thought and preparation. Having a wedding in the Caribbean? Provide your guests with bottled water, suntan lotion, flip flops and that all important aloe vera gel!

(2) Splurge on the things you love and skimp on the things you don't. Are you a foodie? Go for the gusto and impress your guests with that raw bar: shrimp, oysters and all -- but maybe you pass on the giant clam ice sculpture.

(3) Invest in a great photographer. An excellent photographer can make the smallest detail seem quite grand in your recollection of the day. Protect your investment (big or small) with high-quality coverage of your celebration that will live long after the flowers fade.

THREE STOOGES, FROM MOST MARRY-ABLE TO LEAST MARRY-ABLE:
(1) Curly
(2) Moe
(3) Larry

What can I say? I have a particular affinity for the bald-headed boys.

 Moe: "It's a toupee! I swear!!"

AFTER NINE YEARS IN THE BIZ, WHAT SINGLE ACT OF COURTESY OR GRATITUDE HAS MADE THE GREATEST IMPACT ON YOU?
To this day, my favorite memory is of a young bride preparing to walk down the aisle with her parents. Just before the doors opened, she turned to me and David with tears in her eyes and simply said, Thank you for making my dreams come true. With that, the bridal march began and off she went to begin her new life. I melted. 

OKAY, SITUATION TIME. ONE OF YOUR GROOMS IS PLANNING A SURPRISE HONEYMOON, AND HE'S CHOSEN REYKJAVIK, ICELAND, IN LATE DECEMBER (THE "WET SEASON") WHEN TEMPS ARE IN THE LOW 30s. DO YOU (A) GIVE HIM SOME MORE SUITABLE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE OPTIONS, (B) ALERT THE BRIDE TO THE LOOMING DISASTER, OR (C) LET THE MAN DO HIS THING, SINCE 4 HOURS OF DAYLIGHT TRANSLATES TO 20 HOURS IN THE BEDROOM?
Unless the bride specifically asks if I know anything, I am letting the groom do his thing -- and, hey, 20 hours in the bedroom ain't so bad either. So you better be able to cash the check you write, blokes.

ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH ALL OF THE WEDDING-MINDED MEN OUT THERE?
I think it's high time I give you and your gentlemen readers a little invitation from me to check out david beahm destinations. It's by password only, and I've made one up just for my handsome groom: Madman2011. You boys get out and start traveling now ... we'd love to show you the world. 
- - -

Click on the link above, enter the password, and enter the world of 
david beahm destinations.

To speak with David's Goddess-in-Charge regarding david beahm destinations or david beahm design's custom events, email Christina directly at christina@davidbeahm.com. You can also visit
www.davidbeahm.com for further info.
- - -

Necker Belle and Necker Nymph photos courtesy of 
Virgin Limited Edition.

February 11, 2011

Breaking Up with Crate & Barrel

We've had good times, Crate & Barrel. We'd known of you for years, and we'd stopped in occasionally -- you know, when we had time to kill before a movie -- but we've grown really close these past 16 months. We had the whole registry thing, the registry brunch before that ... and then we hung out with your sister, which was initially kind of awkward but ultimately fine.

And now I feel like we're at that place where -- and this is really hard to say, by the way, but -- I think we've learned all that we're going to learn from each other, and we've spent all the money we're going to spend, and we've got to go our separate ways. 


I know you felt it, too, when we were hanging out last weekend. It just felt done, you know. And we're not unappreciative. The new wok, the new salad spinner, the new vegetable cutting board with the collapsible strainer that fits right over the sink (and I mean right over the sink) -- you're really generous. You're practically my best friend.

But it'd be wrong to just ignore the fact that 2Es is totally obsessed with you, that she depends on you in a really unhealthy way, that she turns into a different person every time she re-prints and re-prints (and re-prints) our registry.


I sort of had an epiphany upstairs on Saturday. Sure, 15 months ago, I would have traded everything I owned for that Steamer Bar Cabinet. I would have sold my ass on the street for that vintage home bar with the built-in wine rack and the removable separate tray and the uncanny ability to swivel. 

But I've grown up, CB. I said, Do we really need this? And in the end, I agreed that 2Es' decorative leaning bookshelf that doubles as a vanity was simply more cost effective. 

(And I don't use words like cost effective.)

So so long Crate & Barrel. I'm sure we'll run into you online from time to time. Just know that we'll be thinking about you and using all of the awesome crap you gave us. And tell your sister I said sup.

Love,
Madman

February 9, 2011

5 Cuff Link Sets That Won't Bore You to Death

Chris Easter from The Man Registry has stopped in to clean out my fridge and rant momentarily about the impressive collection of groom-friendly cuff links that he keeps in his closet at home ... which, coincidentally, are also available at TheManRegistry.com.

Rant on, Chris:


Looking for a gift for your groomsmen that will actually be used for years to come? Cuff links are a great option. Guys can wear them and look dapper not only on the day of the wedding but at plenty of other formal or semi-formal occasions in the future. But rather than giving your guys the ubiquitous monogrammed version, why not go with something a little more interesting to let them know how much you appreciate them? Today there are many creative cuff link sets available, designed to fit the unique personality and interests of almost any guy.

Here are some options to consider:

Secret Agent Cuff Links. The name's Bond. James Bond. Give your favorite international man of mystery these tubular-shaped silver-toned cuff links, which feature a secret compartment that can be unscrewed to reveal a thank-you note or a more traditional "your mom" joke.

"Yeah, well, I'm gonna walk your mom down the aisle. Boo-ya."

Spiderman Cuff Links. Perfect for the comic book lover, the guy who's nostalgic about his childhood action figures, or your third cousin who's got a serious Andrew Garfield man-crush, these Spiderman head cuff links come packaged in an engraved silver-toned case that can be imprinted with the recipient's name or a special message, such as Thanks for being my best man - and my superhero!

Spidey's gonna shoot his web when he sees these 

American Flag Cuff Links. Whether you support the left, the right, or the Rent is Too Damn High Party, love of country is (hopefully) the one thing that binds us all. Our American flag cuff links come packaged in an attractive, personalized silver-toned case featuring the name of the recipient, making them an ideal gift for a military or any patriot.

These puppies just one-upped the flag pin

Airplane Cuff Links. It's a shame that the airlines don't give out that those plastic, clip-on airplane wings anymore. Fortunately for you, we've got the next best thing. Any pilot, airplane aficionado or world traveler will love these spitfire airplane cuff links, which also serve as a nice segue into a conversation about the mile-high club.

Interesting story about how I got these: see, I pushed the attendant call button, and my shirt somehow came unbuttoned...

Horseshoe Cuff Links. FACT: 88% of groomsmen that wear our horseshoe cuff links end up going home with a bridesmaid. The other 12% end up puking their guts out after closing down the open bar. I like those odds... 

...but I'll probably still end up in the bottom 12%.

Be sure to check out The Man Registry's engraved cuff link collection. Also, don't forget to take us up on our offer of free shipping on all orders over $149.

- - -

Chris Easter is co-founder of TheManRegistry.com -- the leading website for all things grooms. After struggling to find guy-friendly wedding resources during the planning of his own wedding, he co-created The Man Registry. The site offers a unique wedding registry for men, custom groomsmen gifts and a wealth of content aimed at helping men survive in the world of weddings.

Also check out The Man Registry's blog at GroomsAdvice.com.

February 8, 2011

6 Helpful Hints to Avoid Looking Foolish

Ladies & Grooms,

Please head straight down that corridor, make your third right and find the door marked The Man Registry for my latest guest post:

NAILING THE [WEDDING VENDOR] MEETING

Because no groom deserves to look like an idiot.

Cheers,
Madman

February 7, 2011

MC Groom: A new role for men who don't design and brides who need a hand

The most common questions I get from brides are, Madman, what can my groom help out with? What jobs am I supposed to give him? Why do I end up doing everything myself?!

First things first, ladies: you have to be willing to let go. There are those brides amongst us (and you know who you are) who gripe about juggling a hundred things at once but won't let their man come within three feet of their inspiration notebook for fear that they'll stain the pages with their soiled man fingers. (Yes brides, you know precisely who you are.) And I suppose there's nothing wrong with wanting to single-handedly execute your dream wedding ... but you may not get much sympathy while you pull your hair out one strand at a time.

Now assuming that you're willing to share some responsibilities, there are an infinite number of ways in which you can split the workload. If you're one of the lucky brides whose groom is willing to meet you halfway, I've devised a new role for grooms that allows the two of you to divvy up the tasks from the get-go. Introducing:

The Master of Ceremonies Groom

Joel Grey, MC Groom pioneer, heavy on the blush

It's simple: MC Groom is in charge of any and all things related to guest hospitality. His responsibilities include but are not limited to:
  • Male on Mail. MC Groom will stuff, stamp, send out the Save the Dates and the Invites. When guests respond, he'll be responsible for managing the guest list (that means keeping track of RSVPs, updating mailing addresses, hounding guests who don't respond, etc). 
  • MC Groom Inn the House. Your groom will also assume the sometimes unpleasant tasks involved in guest accommodations, like researching hotel options and being the point-person for the hotel's group sales coordinator. It might also involve alerting out-of-town guests about the block of rooms that are set aside and ensuring that all guests get the decided-upon rate.
  • Music and Food. Brides, you won't like what you're about to hear, but just know that you can't possibly book all of your vendors yourself and keep your head on straight simultaneously. MC Groom will manage. He'll do all the research, share his findings, manage contracts and handle all of the correspondence with your DJ/band and your caterer, the two vendors who will please and feed your guests' ear drums and taste buds, respectively. He'll ensure that the music that's played will appeal to all of your guests and guarantee that the caterer caters to any dietary needs of your guests. Don't worry, brides, you can still help him choose who those vendors will be and help decide the menu for the evening. And an added bonus -- you're still responsible for the venue(s), the coordinators and planners, the officiant, the florist/designer, the photographer and the videographer. Win!
  • The Mini-Wedding. What a blessing it is that MC Groom is accustomed to eating, because he'll be in charge of choosing the venue for the rehearsal dinner and working hand-in-hand with his parents (assuming they're hosting the event) to plan the festivities.
  • Favors. I know this is a touchy territory; some brides revel in the fact that they can send their guests off with homemade chocolate chip cookie-scented candles, and we wouldn't dare take that joy away from you. But for those brides who aren't as crafty, your groom may have some ideas to run by you and may be the perfect sounding board for yours.
MC Groom Charles hand-drew these cartoons and quotes on these otherwise ordinary containers. Every drawing was unique. 
(Photograph by Joanna Wilson Photography)

  • Information Hotline. MC Groom will assume the daunting task of ensuring that everyone knows exactly where everything is being held and how to get from this thing to that other thing. And in the days leading up to the wedding, he can field all of the phone calls from your long-winded guests who have inane questions. Someone needs to tell cousin Mark that, no, he shouldn't wear open-toed shoes to the reception.
  • Liquor Cabinet. And yes, he will gladly take care of the booze, which makes sense since he's going to be communicating with your caterer directly. He'll select the beer and the liquor and mix some specialty cocktails for you to sample at home. He's such a gentleman... 
  • The There-and-Back. If applicable, MC Groom will be responsible for researching transportation options for your guests, whether that involves a taxi, a trolley or an eight-person bicycle.  
  • We Love Our Garlic Press. My 2Es can attest to the unanticipated burden of sending out thank you cards. You planned a wedding for over a year, and once it's through (while you're genuinely stoked about your new Calphalon stick-free wok), the last thing you want to do is sit down and put those feelings on paper. The fact that you're given a full year to complete the task doesn't help either, as you only end up delaying the inevitable. So let MC Groom express your gratitude. Buy some stationery you approve of and put them in his trusty hands, confident that he can mail out four or five dozen envelopes in twelve months time. 

MC Groom will also be charged with the traditional groom responsibilities -- his own attire; attire, rentals, accessories and gifts for his men; and the gifts for his parents.

MC Groom Charles took "arranging the groomsmen footwear" to the next level. Photo by Joanna Wilson Photography.

Granted, this list is by no means comprehensive. Each wedding is its own beast. You may decide to hire a guitarist for the ceremony or rent a photobooth for the evening, either of which you could add to his to-do list. Or you may want to book some reception sitters to care for the infants and toddlers when they turn loopy; MC Groom could certainly handle that task.

Grooms, if you look at this list and think, But I'm doing everything now!, I'll be more than happy to provide you with a longer and infinitely more horrifying list of all of the things that you're not doing. And brides, if you're hellbent on hunting down a chic, dilapidated old school bus to transport your guests from place to place -- I think we can let that slide.

    February 2, 2011

    80% Diet, 20% Statham: a groom's guide to looking good and feeling good

    I had the following image taped to the back side of our front door for the duration of our wedding engagement:

    Dempsey

    It was meant to be a source of inspiration, meant to push me to shed some pounds, get trim and toned for the wedding, and grow increasingly handsome. It never worked.

    Three months after the wedding, I began a training program with Damon Valley, the exercise, nutrition and motivation coach behind La Vie Physical Fitness. Damon kicks our asses every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Pan Pacific Park here in Central LA, and after three weeks of consistent ass-kicking, I am already in the best shape of my life. Last week we compared a recent photo of myself with a photo taken on our honeymoon; the men in the photos are completely different people. And it's a bittersweet feeling ... because I know that I could have made the change before the wedding had I developed a real course of action.

    Instead, I chose to tape a photo of Patrick Dempsey to the front door. 

    Seeing and experiencing these positive results, I can't in good conscience keep Damon to myself any longer. Grooms (and brides) -- if you're at all interested in altering your body for the big day, in whatever way that may be, the first logical step would be to read Damon's suggestions below on how to get started, how to approach training and (the most difficult part) how to keep it up. And if you're not doing anything tomorrow morning, I'd suggest too that you join us at the park and officially get your ass kicked.

    ---

    SO DAMON -- WHAT CELEBRITY MIGHT YOU PIN TO THE WALL FOR INSPIRATION?
    Without a doubt, it would be Jason Statham. He not only has a great physique, but an athleticism and work ethic that every man could benefit from. So many guys hit the gym focused strictly on aesthetics, following exercise plans from muscle magazines. Normal guys over-train in no time. And the worst part about those programs is that they are not functionally beneficial. They're designed for genetically and chemically gifted people

    YEAH, I'M NEITHER OF THOSE THINGS.
    But with Jason, you can see he is balanced. He doesn’t just look muscular, but he is strong, flexible and possesses a high level of conditioning. He busts his ass, and the results show. I find that inspirational.

    He's actually holding a dumbbell in his left hand

    GROOMS HAVE, ON AVERAGE, A YEAR OF WEDDING PLANNING TO LOOK FORWARD TO. FOR THOSE GUYS (AND GALS) WHO WANT TO SLIM DOWN AND TONE UP FOR THE BIG DAY, WHAT ARE THREE SIMPLE STEPS TO GET THE BALL ROLLING?
    Step One: Develop a Plan of Attack. Achieving any goal, fitness or otherwise, always begins the same way: you must take one step. That first step is very powerful; it sets the pace for those that follow. So make that first step really count. Be prepared. Plan things out.

    Define your goals as specifically as possible to establish a game plan. Set some basic smaller goals that, when achieved, take you closer to your primary goal. Then set a simple weekly schedule, allowing time for training as well as sleep. The last thing you want to do is commit to a six-day, double split training program when you can barely find the time or energy to train for just three days. So keep it simple and be consistent.

    I SEE THAT YOU CRAMMED A FEW MINI-STEPS INTO STEP ONE.
    Step Two: Fruits and Veggies. You cannot train on a bad diet, period! So cut out the refined carbohydrates and sugars in your diet and replace them with whole fruits and veggies. These foods are nutrient-dense and low in calories. Eliminate processed foods as well; they're loaded with unhealthy preservatives and empty calories that make you fat. If you need to cheat (which I do discourage), make it only one day per week, preferably for one meal. Make it the same day each week so that you establish discipline throughout the remaining days. You've all heard that diet is 80% of the equation, and is it so true.

    YES, AND THE OTHER 20% IS OUR JASON STATHAM SHRINE.
    Step Three: Train with Purpose. Don't think for a second that you can lift a weight here or there, or spend hours on a treadmill, and that you'll instantly transform your body. I see so many people just spinning their wheels in the gym, training with a low intensity. They are wasting their time, and they'll never see results. You have to really work hard for it.

    One of the best things you can do is set performance training goals and commit to them. Aim to improve each workout, either by lifting more weight or doing more reps, and you'll get the most out of your training.

    CAN GROOMS REALLY EXPECT "HUGE" RESULTS IN A YEAR?
    Absolutely. A year is plenty of time, but it won’t happen overnight. There needs to be long-term commitment, discipline in training and a proper diet. And there needs to be consistency, day in and day out. That's what it takes to make a serious transformation.



    FITNESS-FRIENDLY BEER OR COCKTAIL:
    Alcohol consumption slows your metabolism, which is no good for fat-burning ... but if you do go out and drink, I recommend straight vodka. Definitely steer clear of the fruity drinks; they are often loaded with sugar.

    THE THREE HEALTHIEST ITEMS AT A LAS VEGAS BUFFET:
    1. Fresh fruit.
    2. Raw salad bar veggies.
    3. The breakfast oatmeal, without milk and sugar!

    GIVE US A BRIEF EXERCISE ROUTINE THAT A GROOM CAN DO ON THE MORNING OF HIS WEDDING TO PHYSICALLY (AND MENTALLY) PREPARE FOR THE GAUNTLET:
    You can’t go wrong with a body weight circuit routine. Do the following exercises, 10 reps of each, with no rest between them. Do 5 to 10 circuits, depending on your ability. This works the entire body and requires no equipment.

    a. Jumping jacks
    b. Prisoner squats (right)
    c. Burpees with push-ups
    d. Reverse lunges

    NICE. AND TO GO WITH THAT ROUTINE ... THE ULTIMATE GROOM WORKOUT PLAYLIST?
    Well, I'm a Rock fan, so my mix would include some Disturbed, Papa Roach, Linkin Park, Slipknot and the like. I think it's important to get motivated when training, so any music that gets you in the mood is perfect. And when you are really feeling pumped, you perform better as well.

    OK, SITUATION TIME: A RATHER FEEBLE GROOM CAN BARELY CARRY HIS LAUNDRY BAG ACROSS THE HALL ... LET ALONE CARRY HIS BRIDE ACROSS THE THRESHOLD. WHAT DO YOU DO? (A) PUT HIM ON AN INTENSIVE STRENGTH TRAINING PROGRAM, (B) TEACH HIM A FIREMAN'S CARRY AND HOPE FOR THE BEST, OR (C) BUY HIM A WHEELBARROW AND SUGGEST THAT HE PUSH HER OVER THE THRESHOLD?
    I don’t know, C sounds pretty good! Let's hope the wheelbarrow isn't needed...

    No, the answer is (A). I would definitely include some power moves, exercises that build overall strength throughout the entire body, so dead-lifts and squats are a must! Pull-ups and other pulling movements would also be included to improve upper body strength. I love pull-ups because they require you to lift your entire body weight! If you can do that, you can certainly carry your bride over the threshold. Unless she's an adult gorilla. That's another issue entirely.

    - - -

    Read more about Damon's fitness programs on the
    La Vie Physical Fitness website.
    Email Damon at damon@lvpf.net
    Find Damon on Twitter at @thedfval

    Photo of Damon by Joanna Wilson Photography

    TOMS Groom-Wear

    I only yesterday discovered TOMS Wedding Collection: 4 shoes -- available in various colors -- best suited for grooms and their groomsmen. (TOMS, for those of you who don't know, gives a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair bought online or in-store.) The prices are fair, the initiative is impressive, and these slippers put the trendy back in flimsy footwear.

    And I do have to show some serious man love to these Ash Waxed Twill Men's Cordones (below, $69), probably the most stylish wedding-friendly shoes I've ever seen. I could absolutely rock these at the altar.


    And ladies -- 2E's is considering these understated Silver Women's Glitters ($54) for her second wedding.


    See the full collection at http://www.toms.com/wedding-collection/.

    February 1, 2011

    Weddings on Wheels: an Interview with Komodo

    A couple weeks ago I tackled one of TheKnot.com's predicted wedding trends for 2011: Man Caves. This week, I'm capitalizing on #8 on that list: Food Truck Weddings.
     
    Waffles, tacos and dumplings -- oh yes! If you have a hunger for 
    gourmet food trucks, embrace it wholeheartedly by requesting 
    makeshift sidewalk carts during the cocktail hour or food 
    trucks for the wedding after-party.
    -TheKnot.com

    The Groom Says actually called this trend in July of last year when we did our profile of LA's most mobile sensation, the Komodo food truck. Komodo's been named the hottest food truck in Los Angeles by nearly everybody, and rightfully so. Their gourmet fusion street food pleases both low- and high-brow clientele, giving food truck fans a range of burritos and tacos and a basket of Truffles Fries that make all those little voices disappear.


    And on top of it all, Komodo does weddings (as well as private parties, fine dine catering and craft services), offering a full wedding menu including appetizers, three-course dinners and "after-hour munchies." Their selection of entrees, hors d'oeuvres, soups, salads, sandwiches, sides, pastas and platters is as diverse as it is delicious.

    I had an opportunity to sit down with Eric Tjahyadi, Director of Marketing and Events for Komodo, pick his brain about the Food Truck Wedding trend and bribe him for a free burrito.

    ---

    ERIC -- SO YOU AND YOUR BROTHER ERWIN (EXECUTIVE CHEF) ARE TWO OF THE CO-FOUNDERS OF KOMODO. EVER THINK YOU'D BE AN L.A. SENSATION?
    Never in our wildest dreams. Erwin has always been super talented, and he knows his palette, so I knew people were going to love the food. However, we never thought it would be such a hit. We actually entered the food truck industry fairly early in the game when there weren't as many trucks out there -- with the intention of eventually opening up a restaurant -- so this was a delightful surprise.

    AND NOW WE'RE WATCHING TRUCKS COMPETE ON TV.
    I think food truckers are creative, resourceful and passionate hustlers, so if you mix them together, there's bound to be exciting moments. We definitely enjoyed watching The Great Food Truck Race. We were originally scheduled to be on it, but due to scheduling conflicts we had to withdraw our involvement. Looking back ... we would have had so much fun competing.

    WHEN DID YOU GUYS BEGIN TO CATER AT WEDDINGS?
    One of our first big events was a wedding actually. It was at a beautiful home in the Hollywood Hills with tons of stars and celebrities. It definitely catapulted our popularity within the Hollywood community.

    MOVIE STARS ARE WHORES FOR BURRITOS. HOW MANY WEDDINGS ARE YOU DOING THESE DAYS?
    Weddings are seasonal events. We've been noticing that we do more from late spring to early winter. During our busiest season, we do 1-2 weddings per week. Not all of our weddings are the same, either. We've been to some interesting and non-traditional events in the past, so it's been a learning experience. One wedding we did was in a beautiful home overlooking the Malibu beach. There were a ton of Indonesians in the wedding party, so it was fun serving Indonesian-inspired cuisine to real Indonesians. 


    YOU MUST HAVE PEOPLE MAKING TWO, THREE - EVEN FIVE TRIPS OUT TO THE TRUCK DURING THE RECEPTION.
    Sometimes we use the venue kitchen to cook, depending on the facility and the wedding party's preference.

    WHAT BOOZE GOES BEST WITH KOMODO FOOD?
    Great pale ale beers and chilled white wine.

    SPEAKING OF THE MENU ... ANY FAVORITE ITEMS? ANY MUST-HAVES?
    Grilled Thai-spiced duck with cucumber salad. And Peruvian ceviche. 

    THE PERFECT KOMODO GROOM CAKE?
    White vanilla frosting with dark chocolate sponge cake and layers of wild berries. 

    OKAY, SITUATION TIME: A GROOM RUNS UP TO THE TRUCK MINUTES BEFORE THE WEDDING, PANICKED, LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO HIDE. CLEARLY HE NEEDS A PEP TALK. ANY WORDS OF WISDOM? OR DO YOU GIVE HIM A DOGGIE BAG AND SEND HIM RUNNING INTO THE WOODS?
    We would tell him to man up and personally escort him to the altar. Life is full of twists and turns -- you can't be afraid to take risks. That's been our philosophy since we started our business, and we never regretted it.


    ---
    You can check out Komodo online at komodofood.com and follow them on twitter (@komodofood) to find out when the truck will be in the neighborhood. For booking and catering inquiries, call (310) 498-7606.