Going Bridal
Bridezilla Confession Booth
bridal sins confessed

Cavalcade of Bad Bridal Fashion
bad photos & bad dresses

don't let your guests stiff you!

Wedding Planner (evil)
deeply bitter, but funny

Bridezilla Shop
Anti-bride Gear

Shut Up, Bridezilla ecard
say it electronically

shut up about your fucking wedding
The Anti-Bride Store
t-shirts starting at $12.99
greedy bride
Greedy Bride Store

wedding shoes

Martha Stuart's Excruciatingly Perfect Weddings
Best. Parody. Ever.





Saturday, July 20, 2002

Sara: I've always been this way

Something I found on my server that I thought was gone forever - Sara's Evil Wedding Planner. This was a little something I worked up while I was working on Excite Planner - we were trying to do a deal with one of the wedding sites (which never happened) so I had to show what a wedding-planning template for Planner might look like. And I had some fun with it. This was the version that just got passed around at meetings. I stripped out all of the Excite interface stuff, so you can enjoy the content. I'm sad that I've lost my personals site design - it used collaborative filtering, like Amazon. "People who dated this person also liked these people...." "I have dated this person, and I would like to post a review" and other features. The world probably isn't ready for that yet.
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Sara: Things are better on long skinny forks

Ryan and I hit a bunch of garage sales this morning. Total take: 1 brass floor lamp, $5, for my living room, which has lousy lighting for doing handwork, 1 fondue pot, $5, avocado green with wood handle, and 3 religious storybooks c.1950, $1, whose illustrations will be useful for another web project I have bubbling. Ryan got a pair of new black ankle boots with nifty heels for $3. It was a fine morning.

The books were from an estate sale. Estate sales are so freaking depressing. At least this one didn't have a sad box of old underwear, or the contents of the kitchen pantry, or family photograph albums for sale. The stuff we leave behind is so meaningless, even more so when it's been picked through, appraised, and marked with little round sticky tags.

coverThe fondue pot is my second one. The other one I have was a truly inspired gift from Ryan and has been used several times. I have an idea brewing for a pre-wedding fondue party. Maybe it will be the rehearsal dinner, maybe it will just be an evening for friends a few weeks before the wedding, before the serious insanity begins and my family arrives (I'm not saying these two things are related, of course). Anyway, I'm going to be collecting fondue pots when I see them for less than $5 at garage sales or Goodwill, in preparation for such an event. My dream is to find an electric one for doing meat, but if that doesn't work out I'm sure I will gain finesse with the flame-driven version. Let's not talk about how long it took me to figure out how the little liquid fuel thing works.
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Friday, July 19, 2002

Sara: Won't someone please think of the children?

Models in wedding porn ads never ever look happy. Maybe they need a sandwich so they can stand up and show us what the dresses look like.

My dress for wedding 1.0 was by Marisa and the only magazine ad I could find for it featured a model wearing black lipstick and a bird's nest on her head. I got tired of people asking if I was getting the bird's nest headpiece, so I cut her head off, and kept the headless-model photo in the planning notebook that I took to the florist and everywhere else.

Virtual model - this is sorta fun. You get to build a model with a body that looks like yours, and then try a bunch of dresses on your little 3D friend. Unfortunately, you can't control the model's behavior - she's very docile and only wants to turn around and around and around. There is no Tantrum button. Personally, I was cranky and ready for a nap after trying on 5 or 6 dresses, so I guess RoboSara really is superior to me
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Thursday, July 18, 2002

Sara: Making progress on the corset

Sudden weird energy burst leads to actual construction. More in the sewing journal.
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Sara: Does the world need another wedding message board?

Like, say, here? Just wondering...I've been working on setting one up for another site, and it wouldn't be more 'n a few clicks to get one running on going bridal, too. So, the question isn't can I do it, it's should I do it? Opinions? I'm thinking something a little more down to earth than what's out there now, geared toward the Clueful Bride. Is this even needed, though?
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Sara: Wheat/Chaff

I'm slowly realizing (weeks after everyone else figured it out) that I am seriously over-extended right now. I was solidly overwhelmed before we left for Bonnaroo, and it has only gotten worse since we got back. I feel so drained a lot of the time, and I was sick this week, which isn't too surprising given that I've been ignoring my body lately. This has to change. I hate change.

I've set some time aside this weekend to make lists of everything that I have taken on for the rest of this year, and then I am going to decide what has to go. Actually, I'll be happy if I can just get the lists made and then take a few days to think/pray/negotiate and come back to them later. It's hard because I'm doing so many things that I really do enjoy, but there are simply too many of them. Unfortunately, my default setting when I have to much to do is to go into avoidance mode and not do anything at all. Really bad coping mechanism, that. What's that phrase I'm looking for...um, Vicious Circle? Yeah, that's it.

My very wise friend Whitney reminds me sometimes that the fact that there is a job that needs to be done and I can do that job does not mean I am called to do it. I think I sort of believe her, but then I keep diving into things headfirst because I really do want to do them and then they all pile up and suddenly I'm having a meltdown and eating my body weight in slimy Little Debbie snack cakes and writing really crazy-long run-on sentences without enough punctuation and it's tranq dart time again.

Who here is surprised to learn that I probably put in an average of 38-39 hours a week at my 32 hours-a-week job because I can't just leave when there is stuff that needs to be done? Again, it's all things that I enjoy doing, but I understand why they try to kick me out at 5:00 every day - it's the cumulative effect of losing those extra hours in a life that has been set up around the idea that I only work 32 hours a week at that job. My spiritual director has a sign in her office that says, It's your church, God. I'm going to bed. If I'm in this God business for the long haul, I really need to take better care of myself, and part of that is going to require accepting that I have limitations on how much I can do.

Not that I can blame my mania on the fact that I'm working for the church - I was the same way when I was an HTML monkey at Excite, which was even more destructive because the culture there encouraged it. Shudder. That really seems like a lifetime ago.

I'm sorry for dumping about this - is there anything more tedious than listening to someone blather on about how busy they are? Ooh, yes, I'm just so in-demand and everyone wants a piece of me and I'm so completely essential to the continued function of this planet that the whole place will just fall apart without me but oooh it's so stressful poor me. Smack.
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Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Dennis: Is there an etymologist in the house ?

As a fellow literally obsessed with words and how we hang meaning on them, I will occasionally get a tingle in my writer sense when I realize I've been using words all my life but never really looked up what they mean. To wit, the word 'bridal'. Besides the obvious "of or relating to a bride or wedding" digging through a couple dictionaries last night I found associations with veils, processions, and preparations. Learned that a bridal box is a hope chest, a bridal rose once meant corn and that a bridal veil is also a North African shrub. But in the middle of most entries would be that word 'bride'. Flip over a page and there's the self explanatory "a woman newly married or about to be married" staring at me. However, just below it I hit an interesting alternative meaning: "a small joining that resembles a bar, consists of one or more threads, with or without ornamentation, and is used to connect various parts of a lace pattern." I grinned thinking how the traditional meaning and this alternate so suited my dear Sara, how it added a depth of meaning to this site for me. I liked that the joining was small, that it could be decorated or plain but that it served to connect.

And it appealed to me because of it's relation to my favorite definition for 'wedding' in Mister Noah Webster's wonderous book (first delivered unto the American people in 1806 in an effort to create a culture distinct from Mother England don't you know): "an act, process, or instance of joining or uniting in close association often of opposed or disparate elements." It's not what we share in common as couples that makes the union so great, so much more than ourselves alone. It's the things we each bring to the pairing. Our own unique, silly, brilliant, wounded, joyous stuff. We offer it up and often it is a world away from the stuff the other person is presenting to us. But put it all in a pile and join it in the pattern of a life together and you might really have something special. That is the hope after all isn't it ? That is the dream of a common language that poet Adrienne Rich wrote about ? If nothing else I can assure you it is my dream and one I share with Sara. I offer a small benediction from uber-insightful singer-songwriter Nanci Griffith to those on the same page:

Here's to all the dreamers, may our open hearts find rest
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Dennis: This is so not going in the centerpieces...

A rose by any other name is, well, not this flower

Sara adds:
Amorphophallus means "shapeless phallus," but another name itís known by is the Corpse Flower, which is derived from the fact that when it blooms, it releases a powerful odor for the first eight hours when itís ready to be pollinated. Though the odor may be offensive to humans, it is very tantalizing to the carrion beetles that do the pollinating of the plant.
[fascinating facts and photo swiped from Quail Gardens]

Use amorphophallus in casual conversation at least five times today. You'll be glad you did!

Here are some nifty ideas for flower centerpieces you might enjoy.
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Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Sara: Before the 'net, brides only drove their friends insane. Now we can do it on a global scale.

I spend too much time on a couple of wedding message boards. Reading other people's complaints often makes me feel rather well-adjusted by comparison, although I now get an unsightly facial tic when I read the words 'do whatever you want because it's your special day and it's all about YOU!' because I've seen them used to justify all manner of guest abuse. For the record, it's not all about ME. Very few things are.

For those of you who have managed to live rich, full lives without visiting any of the major wedding sites, imagine this, repeated across thousands of topics. Person posts asking for opinion on the practice of, oh, let's say, having the wedding party enter riding elephants. Several people post saying that person will be a social outcast forever if they do elephant-riding. Several other people say that they had elephants and no one complained and they are still married and previous group of posters are snobs with no sense of how expensive/complex/elephant-esque weddings are. Some other people post and ask for people to please be nice and respect cultural and regional differences regarding elephant-riding. No one is happy and original poster is probably ready to throw herself under first passing elephant.

Yes, there is some actual information exchanged through all of this, but I mostly go for the train-wreck of it all. I just can't look away.

I rarely post anymore, maybe because I've around long enough that all of the topics have lapped themselves - oh, look, it's another discussion about how to ask for money on the wedding invitation. Skip. One explaining why it is essential to follow the two-month-salary "rule" for engagement rings if a guy really loves you...skip, with extreme prejudice. It's creepy to see people parroting back DeBeers/Bridal Industry propaganda verbatim, but it happens all the time. Critical thinking is not encouraged.

The thing that is hardest about planning the wedding, for me, is separating out what actually has meaning for us from what has been fed to us by wedding porn and Martha-freakin'- Stewart and people whose goal in life involves selling us $30 bridal thongs. That is a battle which rages on inside my head. I don't want to be a tulle-wrapped wedding sheep, but I do want to have a good party that feels like a wedding celebration. So, there's a lot of wheat-and-chaff work that needs to go on.

The important part, the ceremony, comes right out of the Book of Common Prayer, so that's not something I need to worry about. I can just enjoy the beauty of it and reflect on it now. It's rather calming, and puts me back in the right place. [complete text]
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Sara: Reading is Fundamental

Martha Stuart's Excruciatingly Perfect Weddings

Best. Parody. Ever. Worth it just for the photo of the band playing at the wedding: Hell Toupee.

None of which changes the fact that I covet Martha's Big Honking Pink Wedding Book, to my complete and utter shame.

and, totally random but hilarious:
Hello Girls: Hunks from 70's Magazine Ads

There's nothing like a big hunk of 70s Man, and these guys are on postcards that you can send to a friend, or decoupage to your fondue pot*, or frame and pretend that they're your boyfriends.

*may not actually be a good idea what with the fire and the oil and the burning

As a link between today's posts, there is much maligning of fondue pots as gifts over on them-thar wedding message boards, which I think demonstrates an appalling lack of sense. Fondue pots rock. As one of my 70s-era fondue cookbooks states, "everyone enjoys a gay dipping party now and then." I love old cookbooks, especially as shown here: Gallery of Regrettable Food. I also enjoy buying vintage recipe card sets (the kind that arrived by subscription every month) at garage sales and giving them to Ryan, who then has to look pleased. We made some beautiful decoupaged switchplate covers with them recently. Mmmmm....technicolor meat dish.
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Monday, July 15, 2002

Sara: Stitch -n- Bitch

I love these embroidery kits and patterns! The Portraits are entirely fabulous.
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Sunday, July 14, 2002

Sara: The Bridal Barn Adventure

Yesterday's bridal shopping odyssey was fun! We started off our day at the Big Bridal Chain Store. There is endless debate in various wedding forums about the quality of the dresses in said store, and whether or not one is doomed to Tacky Bride Hell by buying a dress there. Going Bridal says no. The styles are knockoffs of more expensive dresses, and for the most part they are good interpretations. The quality of the dresses isn't great, but then I sew, which makes me a huge fabric snob. As much as it bugs me to say it, $500 doesn't get you beautiful fabric out in Bridal World, which is a suburb of Bizarro World to be sure.

We were treated very well there, even though we didn't have an appointment. A horror story would make for more interesting reading here, but actually everyone was very nice and helpful and all the other chicks trying on dresses looked happy. Sigh. How is one supposed to get great literature out of this? To complicate matters, there were no outright horrible dresses. I tried on one dress which had a lot of things (pearls, satin roses) hanging down in the back, which I thought the kitty might find amusing, but that wasn't really the level of awful I was looking for. The bridesmaids dresses were really basic. So, nothing horrid enough to highlight here.

After that, we went to the local Bridal Barn, which was a bit surreal. It's set up kind of like the big chain store, with dresses in bags on huge racks, sorted by size. You have to fill out a really confusing form in order to get through the locked gate so you can see the dresses. The interesting thing about the form is that it says something about agreeing that it's ok that the store has ripped out all of the manufacturer tags and replaced them with its own tags (and, really, couldn't they come up with a better name to put in them than Bridal Mart?) which is probably illegal. But whatever.

We were assigned a consultant, who actually remembered Ryan's visit to the store two years ago. Very hard to snark on dresses with very nice consultant present. She was determined to bring me dresses that looked good, and some of them actually did. It confirmed my decision to have a low, wide square neckline on my dress. Those looked really good on me, and the corset will give me Maximum Boobage, so I think it will be fabulous. Speaking of boobage...I don't remember this from wedding 1.0 dress shopping, but I was given a strapless longline bra to wear at both stores. Both were, of course, entirely stretched out and horrid, but the one at the second store was the best - they had written the size of the bra on the both cups, and sometimes the writing showed through the white dresses. I was amused by the big rack-o-bras in the fitting room. (see photo)

Frustrated in our attempts to find The Butt Bow that Ate Fremont, we settled for trying to recreate the Going Bridal logo. See photo above. The train on that dress was longer than the aisle at St. B's. It was huge.

Then we ditched Nice Consultant and went over to the bridesmaid section, where we were free to indulge in a bit of giggling. I made Ryan try on the dress that was dubbed Bridesmaid From the Year 5000 - a two-piece lime green sequin number with exposed midriff. If we were having the Trek wedding in Vegas, I guess that would be a good look, especially if we painted her skin blue. The skirt is long, straight, and very tight. Also available in colbalt and pink lemonade. I thought it was a prom leftover, but they can special order it in multiple colors, so it must be intended for bridesmaids. Really skinny bridesmaids with zero body fat and no sense of shame whatsoever.

Overall, underwhelmed by bridesmaid dresses. I'm glad I got to see what's out there, but I think Ryan and I can find something more interesting for her to wear by avoiding the Bridal Industrial Complex. The junior bridesmaid dresses seemed to be scaled-down adult dresses, and I didn't see anything I liked. I still want to make the dresses, but if I run out of time, we will probably hit the mall instead of Bridal Barn.

Another wedding blog: Here Comes the Blog.

Today is the birthday of the best thing that ever happened to my brother, his fabulous wife, Beth. Happy Birthday Beth!
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