Thursday, August 14, 2008

To splurge or not to splurge

One thing I chose not to splurge on - the cake. I had tasted a devil's food cake at a birthday party at the groom's house and loved it. The cake was from a nearby grocery store, Graul's. So we made an appointment to taste the other flavors there, and I decided on a 3-layer plain pound cake (top layer = devil's food) with buttercream frosting. The cake decorations are very minimal. I never liked the cascading frosting flower look. So the cake is taking up 1% of our budget.

Initially, we had other desserts on the menu to be served with the cake, but we scratched the other desserts so we'll just have the cake, champagne, and some sweet wedding favors for the guests. As a couple, we're not really into sweets that much. We'd rather consume the extra sugar through our signature cocktails. And this is pretty much an adult affair. We might have two child guests, if even that.

We were interested in personalizing M&Ms for the occassion, but decided against spending the extra dough. You can even add pictures to them now! It's just like the personalized stamp thing. It's nice, but it's just extra money for the ability to customize - not a necessity at all.

Personal wedding details

Our wedding will be this September, at the groom's family's house in Baltimore, an hour from where I live now. Having a home wedding is great because it affords you a lot of freedom, but anything you want at your wedding has to be brought over - which means rentals. Lots and lots of rentals: ceremony chairs, tents, tables, tent lighting, table service, tablecloths - and these things add up in a serious way.

The biggest part of the budget is eaten up by the reception food & drink - almost half in our case. We are using a personal chef, who helped us plan the menu, coordinate the rentals, find the music, and visualize lots of other details because we're also using him as a wedding planner. I wanted the food to reflect Californian and Latin American cuisine, to represent where we're from as a couple - with a focus on fresh flavors and ingredients with a lot of Latin flair. We tasted the menu last month, and it was delicious. Tomorrow we're meeting up with the groom's family and some friends to play mixology and mix the perfect pisco sour (Chilean/Peruvian drink), caipirinha (Brazilian), and a purple martini. Only the best recipes will win and be served at the wedding as our "signature cocktails." We're giving the drinks our own names, too.

I find talking about tablecloths boring, but if you work with the right people they can really help you find the perfect "Table Toppers" - a company in Baltimore. They have an overwhelming collection, but they're good at picking out the most relevant styles for any particular event. The reception tent should look awesome because just the tablecloths by themselves are beautiful. I can't wait.

More wedding attire - for the menfolk

I have to give a shout-out to a great company with great service, value, and selection for your men's formalwear needs: After deciding on the right color (you can ask the company for swatches in your color scheme, I asked for purple) I ordered ties for the groom, groomsmen, and fathers. If the tux rental and the bow tie didn't already consume your budget, you could also order a matching cummerbund. How cool is that. We're doing black tuxes, wingtip collars, black cummerbunds, and the purple ties. The groom is wearing a different color in the same style as the bridal party - he wanted to stand out. They're going to look sauve and debonair.

I've been seeing a lot of bridal parties rockin' the hipster formalwear socks and suspenders. I also appreciate that look, but the groom in my case is a lot more classic and formal than that. It's his special day too, you know. So in the few cases that he provides input I try to comply.

At this point I don't really know what the flowers are going to look like, including the boutonnieres, but I plan on having a 2nd meeting with the florist to iron out such details.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Unrelated to weddings: cool movie alert

Last night I watched "Eagle vs. Shark." I rented it based upon the fact that Jemaine from Flight of the Conchords is the love interest, and I was not disappointed. It's like "Napoleon Dynamite" but with cool kiwi accents, a coherent plot, and stop animation.

I'm fascinated with New Zealand from the snippets I've seen/ learned from other films. I like the small-town feel, the 70s/80s-kitsch, the mellow math rock, the unabashed nerdiness, and the accents - which I cannot faithfully mimic, by the way. I'm horrible at accents because I lack consistency. Also, New Zealand is undeniably beautiful. I'm going to look up how much plane tickets to NZ cost and cry now.

Name change

There's a crustacean on my driver's license. I have found myself compelled to become the resident of a new state, officially leaving my beloved California for the east coast. I feel like in California they're a lot more serious with their licenses, because there are a ton of cutesy little things on my new one, including a donor's heart. I also took the opportunity to apply to register to vote in my new district, so that's pretty exciting.

My "new" name is also on the license -- the first step to what will be a series of notifications of name changes, to creditors (student loan people!), alumni associations, banks -- but social security should be my next big step. It took some soul-searching for me to decide on changing my name and the combination of names I wanted, but I'm satisfied with the result. The thing is, I suddenly have an extremely exotic name. People are already confused about where I'm from because of the way I look and my weird way of speaking English (due to spending most of my time with non-native English speakers and being a confused language person in general, I think), so now the name is just going to throw them completely of my scent. Maybe I'll run into a certain Mr. Higgins who could tell me where I'm from upon my uttering a simple sentence.

The most important thing for me, regarding the name change, was that I share the same name as any future children we might have. And it's also kind of fun to have a new name.