Re: Ask The Mineshaft : Wedding Bells are Aggravating Edition

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charming dance
found it the other day browsing


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 3:47 PM
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1. Your room has to be big enough for the number of people you invite. That said, figure about 60-80% of your guests will show up. Lower end of that range if there are lots of couples and/or out-of-town guests. Higher end if everyone is local.

2. I'm the wrong person to ask about this because I am not much for themes. I'd go for the place that looks nicer.

3. The hotels that we reserved blocks of rooms at gave us a significant discount.

4. Are you set on a hotel? They tend to be overpriced with crappy food. If you choose another option, sometimes hotels have shuttles that guests can use. Or, you could do what a friend of mine did, and rent a schoolbus for guests for the day. (Also helps with the prom theme.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 3:52 PM
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Rent a barn and put on a show!


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 3:54 PM
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See if the walls in the CC ballroom can be draped w/fabric. That would cover the colours you find unappealing.

Otherwise, you could go for tropical seaside and blend the "above" colours into "below" colours. Use a warm-shading-to-cool sandy neutral at, say, eye level to floor, to be the transition, then go for under-the-sea as the table colours.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 3:56 PM
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RTFA, then go ask Megan.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 3:59 PM
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Other than the room rates, I'd lean pretty strongly towards Crappity - better for the blandness to fade into the background of your unique snowflake of a theme.

The RSVP count is touchy - does the 175 include some definite no-shows, so that you're really looking at say 160 possible guests?

I dunno - my basic take is to trend towards what seems fun and easy, not stuffy or hassle-ey.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 4:12 PM
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4 is brilliant but suggests and awful lot of fabric.

I wanted to say something along the lines of 2.4. Are there no firehalls?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 4:13 PM
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4 is brilliant but suggests and awful lot of fabric.

I wanted to say something along the lines of 2.4. Are there no firehalls?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 4:13 PM
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Naw, come on, dude. This is HG asking for herself, right? She totally knows the archives and totally knows how to make a great time and she's asking how to weigh the trade-offs of the choices she's got. I have nothing to offer on that.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 4:13 PM
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8 is not my fault. Please invite me anyway!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 4:14 PM
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9: If she's so together and knowledgeable and shit, how come she's asking this crowd?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 4:15 PM
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Under The Sea

I presume the first two numbers will be "Earth Angel" and "Johnny B. Goode"?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 4:16 PM
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I agree with 2.4 too.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 4:18 PM
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To satisfy the refresh junkies? Because this is what is on her mind? Because people might come up with other options (which they already have)?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 4:21 PM
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Wedding receptions have themes?! I had no idea. I thought the theme was just "We got married!!! Woohoo!!"


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 4:24 PM
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If you are inviting some percentage of old farts, you can count on them coming, first, but count them out of the dancing.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 4:29 PM
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14: Aw, you are just NO FUN.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 4:32 PM
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True enough.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 4:58 PM
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like a typical wedding theme, say theme to the Godfather (in this case, whaa banjo and fiddles....)


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 5:01 PM
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Anyway, my recipe for a perfect wedding is one judge, one nice shade tree in the park, a couple of witnesses, and a nice dinner with a large table's worth of friends to celebrate the occasion. Which isn't what she's looking for.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 5:03 PM
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my recipe for a perfect wedding is one judge, one nice shade tree in the park, a couple of witnesses

Is this a wedding or a lynching?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 5:23 PM
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I want to emphasize 15. I have never been to a wedding or a reception with a theme, unless you count (1) love (2) drunkenness (3) appeasing relatives.

There was one wedding I went to where the bride's dress may have been a theme unto itself. It was blue rubber with a tight skirt that flared out beneath the knees. The groom dressed in an electric magenta zoot suit.

That was a good wedding. But still, no theme.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 5:27 PM
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A couple of years ago, I went to a themed wedding. The bride had a weakness for a Disney wedding... so they picked Nightmare Before Xmas.

It was on Hallowe'en and it was wonderful.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 5:33 PM
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21: There's a difference?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 5:34 PM
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2. The color scheme and gaudiness of the convention center (reds and golds and super high ceilings) seems like it would prohibit the theme that I got all excited about: Under The Sea.

You just need to modify your Under The Sea theme a little bit, like "Under The Sea During An Algae Bloom," or "Inside A Whale."


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 5:54 PM
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22: It was blue rubber with a tight skirt that flared out beneath the knees.

Doesn't this belong in the Boys and Toys thread?


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 5:56 PM
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Convention center. Guests might be somewhat irritated at paying $130 for crappy old hotel. Also, if people are bringing kids, assuming you're getting married in ye warmer months, i matters if the hotel has a pool. Wifi is nice, too.

Or, you know, you could just go with big capital city. Obviously I have no idea what your budget is, but assuming that *most* of the wedding activities are being catered one way or another, and depending on how far the drive is, you'll probably have more options price-wise in big city. Plus more for guests to do.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 6:02 PM
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(Also, don't plan a wedding during the morning or during a mealtime, is my advice. Heavy hors doeuvres (I hate that word) is much cheaper than a meal, and better facilitates people wandering about and chatting. And who wants to be running around in the damn morning, anyway? Do a cocktail hour wedding.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 6:05 PM
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There are actually probably fifty hotels within a three mile radius, just lining the highway on either side.

"We'd love to have you stay at Crappity Inn where the reception will be ($130). Slightly more economical rooms can be found at these nearby hotels:"


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 6:26 PM
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My wedding planning has made me pretty sad. The thing that continues to bother me beyond all reason is that fi's parents really want to stand next to the huppah for the ceremony. I really don't want them there. It's not that I don't like them, it's just that of all the ritual gestures in the world, the one where your parents sit the fuck down while you stand before your people is the most meaningful to me.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 6:29 PM
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Congratulations, heebie.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 6:38 PM
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Don't be so stupid to have such a silly wedding. Do something small and understated, as your plan is awful, self-indulgent, and silly, as well as expensive for you and your guests.


Posted by: Matt (not the famous one) | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 6:50 PM
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Ugh, I'm sorry, Wrongshore. That kind of thing can be so very depressing.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 6:54 PM
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Wow, Matt. Way to be a dickhead.


Posted by: chopper | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 7:00 PM
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34: Honestly. No invite for Matt!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 7:03 PM
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Whoa there.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 7:05 PM
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The bride is clearly the author of this week's Modern Love, and Matt was her spurned semi-hostile ex.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 7:18 PM
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(now turned, of course, fully hostile)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 7:18 PM
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Dude. That was completely uncalled for. (Guests are going to have to pay for a hotel room if they travel to the wedding, regardless of whether the theme is Under the Sea or Puritanical Uptight Asshole.)

---
I haven't been to a themed wedding, other than the coordinated colors couples usually pick out. One was at Christmas and held in a club near Philly, and they used the hall's seasonal decorations and incorporated them into their theme, which means of course the conical lights centerpieces evoking Christmas trees were worn on the heads of the guests, evenutally.

Unless one counts Catholicism as a theme. Or open bars.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 7:23 PM
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30: Is that the prevailing ritual? I ask because my niece and the groom had everyone they were related to, along with the guys with the video and still cameras up there right with them. The scene reminded me of a NYC subway during rush hour.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 7:27 PM
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Catholicism would make a nice theme for, say, a Jewish wedding. Well, the ceremony is orthodox Jewish, but for the reception, we're all going to dress up like Catholics!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 7:28 PM
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Ha!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 7:29 PM
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How about "Welcome Business Travelers"? Everyone can wear their rumpled, travel-stained, clothing and drink too much while trying to hide their own wedding rings.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 7:29 PM
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we'll have a fair number of guests with babies and toddlers. Ourselves included.

You're immature, heebie, but I wouldn't call you a baby or a toddler.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 7:30 PM
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On the topic: If it were our wedding I'd totally be pushing for the Crappy Old Inn, but I think this has less to do with the pragmatics of the situation and more to do with my profound negative aesthetic reaction to recently built convention centers.

Molly and I had a wedding that was really expressive, I think, of who we were and what this meant. In the end, that was more important than weather there was really enough room for all the guests and whether the hotel rooms were worth what people were paying. At least, that's how it seems to me in retrospect.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 7:33 PM
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41: That would just mean they were going to serve booze. Orthodox weddings -- very little booze!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 7:38 PM
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The main meta-advice I'd give is to ensure the day stays about celebrating a marriage, rather than putting on a pageant or playing perfect hostess. There is so much pressure -- wedding-industrial complex which tries to sell you on the idea that the marriage will be annulled if the flower girl drops her pomander, family expectations -- that comes from the outside that it's very easy to forget that you're getting married, not auditioning for Hostess of the Year in Snooty McSnoot magazine or designing a movie set for a wedding to be performed in one take.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 7:41 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 7:41 PM
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it's very easy to forget that you're getting married, not auditioning for Hostess of the Year in Snooty McSnoot magazine or designing a movie set for a wedding to be performed in one take

Oh, ick. I find it hard to believe that it's easy to forget you're not doing this. But I take your word for it; I haven't done it.

Now, though, I'm trending in the direction of at least one thread already on this topic.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 7:54 PM
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I find it hard to believe that it's easy to forget you're not doing this. But I take your word for it; I haven't done it.

Actually, we did manage to keep it focused on celebrating the day. But to pretend the influence isn't there, or is the sort of thing only I've ever heard of, doesn't help anyone, because all of this stuff is packaged as normal, even mandatory for the day, by an industry that has an interest in spending your money.* And even if the bride is relatively sensible, chances are there's someone in her family who isn't. And part of it is surely because for a lot of people, this is the only large dinner party they've hosted, so they don't know what's necessary and what isn't.

*yes, yes, even the 'small and tasteful' ones.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 8:03 PM
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You know, a "cave" theme works in almost every kind of hall.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 8:20 PM
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How about a "veldt" theme?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 8:32 PM
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If you go for the larger hotel, a "convention" theme may work well. Maybe an Auto Show Convention? Or a Bridal Industry Convention, which would have the advantage of justifying the cake and jordan almonds. You could have a raffle for a prize giveaway. The winner gets a free ice sculpture and discount coupons at Gentleman Jim's Tux and Formalwear Rentals.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 8:34 PM
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Or a Game Show Theme. I'm sure you could work NO WHAMMIES into your vow.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 8:35 PM
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OH CRAP! I meant to type "save as a draft" because I hadn't finished writing this. Fuck. Then I left for seven hours.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 8:37 PM
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Damn, damn, damnit. I wanted to rewrite several parts of this and be around for the conversation.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 8:38 PM
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55: well, you did save a draft.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 8:38 PM
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I'm really annoyed at myself. And sick. Going to bed.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 8:43 PM
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Plus it's actually a very real dillemma, but I didn't phrase all the nuances to my own satisfaction yet.

The thing about hotels vs. shuttle-busses to a different place: if you've got a baby, you've got to go when the baby goes. You can't put the baby down and return to the party.

And the theme is just to be silly and have fun. Plus there's a link with a bunch of pictures and words.

Plus, fuck you, Matt in 32. But thank you to all the folks who called him out on his assholenish.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 8:46 PM
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You can't put the baby down and return to the party.

Duct tape.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 9:02 PM
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I second 29, unless I totally didn't understand the logistics and layout of the highways and hotels and everything.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 9:05 PM
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I think you're completely right about the hotel (if you're doing it at night--if it's earlier in the day, any venue that could handle everything in one location & provide a few rooms for kiddie-watching would probably work fine, but there might not be anything that could do that in a small town except a hotel). I found it less stressful on the day itself to be the bride at a wedding where everything took place in one location, w/o a lot of separate vendors to coordinate or transportation to arrange, than to be the bridesmaid at a more dispersed wedding. And that was without kids (it was, in part, to make life easier on elderly grandparents who we really wanted to be there).

But, I would not want to rely on 1/3 of your guests or anywhere near that not being able to come. I vaguely remember being told that 20-25% noes is average, but you don't want to count on more than 10% assuming that most guests live nearby or can make the trip reasonably easily, & I suspect trimming the guest list would be a whole lot more stressful than finding a new theme/decorating idea to get excited about. (I've never been to a wedding with a theme either--just as long as it's at your initiative because you think it'll be fun & not because some wedding-industrial complex person is telling you that you need a theme, colors, etc.) Is Old Crappy Hotel at least significantly cheaper for the wedding itself, if not for the guest rooms? Otherwise I'd go with the newer one....

You may be able to reserve a smaller block of rooms at a cheaper hotel nearby, or you could just suggest some possible cheaper alternatives on a printout w/ the invitation/website & people could make their own arrangements.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 9:09 PM
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And parents under the chuppah is traditional but I've been at just as many weddings where it was just the bride & groom, or bride & groom and best man & maid of honor (I haven't been to especially traditional Jewish weddings though, let alone Orthodox).


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 9:21 PM
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You may be able to reserve a smaller block of rooms at a cheaper hotel nearby, or you could just suggest some possible cheaper alternatives on a printout w/ the invitation/website & people could make their own arrangements.

I'd recommend this, too. We had an insert in the invitation with the three places where we'd reserved a block.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 9:34 PM
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Or, you know, you could just go with big capital city.

I'm with B. back at 27 on revisiting this idea, possibly. Is it a real dealbreaker for you, sleepie-geebies?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 10:09 PM
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You should totally get married at the cathedral of junk.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 10:11 PM
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My girlfriend has a friend who's getting married in January at Disneyworld. Should be interesting, to say the least.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 10:21 PM
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Maybe you should mistakenly invite people to your rehearsal instead of the wedding, show up hours late, grump around for a little bit cursing yourself when you realize what you've done, and then go home and go to bed.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 10:50 PM
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Props to you for thinking of and including the small kids/parents. We recently had to cancel trips to two weddings because of strict "no kids" policies. Seriously, who the fuck wants to have a wedding where no kids are allowed to show up even for the dancing at the reception? (Old school east coast Wasps, that's who).

As a new parent, my guess is that you may lose a lot of the parents (realistically, mostly the moms) even if you're all staying at a hotel, so it doesn't seem worth it. I'd suggest a non-hotel venue, and planning the wedding during the day with some room adjunct to the reception room w/some kind of daycare setup. Maybe a good friend who loves kids and is willing to set aside some mats, toys, and cribs? Even hiring someone to do day care might work out.

But the most important, and hardest, thing is to make it your own day and not give in to pressure that annoys you from either family or the wedding industry. Don't go w/the convention hall if it kills your theme! (WS, I nosily and inappropriately urge you to tell the parents that you don't want them there -- the price of pissing them off is well worth the gain of not feeling like you compromised on your thing).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 11:08 PM
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seems like it would prohibit the theme that I got all excited about: Under The Sea.

So it's not Sifu and Blume we're talking about, then.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-20-08 12:13 AM
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Under The Sea would be great. Everyone wears their wetsuit and sweats copiously. You could actually charge your guests and call it a wedding-weight-loss-spa.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 11-20-08 12:19 AM
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like a typical wedding theme, say theme to the Godfather

Fleur and I attended the wedding of one of her childhood friends, the daughter of Italian immigrants. The whole extended family was there, including a number of guests from the Old Country.

All at once, the band struck up the Godfather theme, and we both looked at each other aghast, thinking "Mega faux pas!". But to our astonishment, the seats were empty in a flash, and the entire Italian and Italian-American contingent was on the dancefloor, evidently delighted with the thoughtful musical tribute.

That was a weird moment, I tell you. It sort of made me wonder whether the father of the bride--the monolingual, barely literate immigrant--really acquired all those houses he owns on the strength of his successful barbershop.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-20-08 12:20 AM
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70: I thought the Blume and Sifu wedding was being officiated in comments here. You don't even need to invite Kobe. He'll just show up! Automatic celebrity wedding!!1!one!!!

(max-style: "That 500-comment diversion on Iranian carp sex toys and their impact on the ongoing financial crisis was totally worth it!")


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-20-08 12:21 AM
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I thought the Blume and Sifu wedding was being officiated in comments here.

No, they're getting married the traditional way, but Sifu will be live-blogging the ceremony from his iphone. (Meanwhile, best man The Editors will upload photos with amusing satirical captions.)


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-20-08 12:29 AM
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74: That's (ex)change (of vows) we can believe in.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-20-08 12:33 AM
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40, 63: I've been to two orthodox Jewish weddings, one of which had parents by the huppah. The in-laws have pictures going back a few generations of this, however.

69: Thank you for the nosy inappropriateness. I continue to indulge daydreams in which I do this, but recon missions by my fi suggest that the resultant heartbreak would be disproportionate. While the situation may foreshadow boundary issues to come, I don't think that putting my foot down here solves them.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-20-08 1:29 AM
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If you are inviting some percentage of old farts, you can count on them coming, first, but count them out of the dancing.

Small point, but don't count the old farts out of the dancing if any proportion of them are Hispanic. IME, Latino old farts dance like gangbusters.

For the rest, if there are only two (overpriced) hotels in town, aren't there any compensating B&Bs you could offer your more indigent guests. For the rest, generally people don't mind paying a bit high to attend a wedding if they can afford to. My instinct would be to settle on the place where you prefer the reception/ballroom environment, and then force everything else into shape around that. Nobody will really care about the bedrooms etc.; it's the wedding and the party they're interested in.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 11-20-08 4:30 AM
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Thinking about this in purely logistic terms, the overpriced-rooms problem will surely go some way towards solving the undersized-ballroom problem, won't it? (as in, the RSVP rate will presumably vary negatively as the room price - obviously this sort of cost-rationing might be undesirable for all sorts of other reasons but there you go).


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 11-20-08 4:35 AM
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It's a deflationary economy, heebie. Put off thinking about it until tomorrow.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-20-08 4:45 AM
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And per 12 maybe see if you can get the local high school gym. (No help on the baby-sitting though).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-20-08 7:24 AM
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the local high school gym. (No help on the baby-sitting though).

The parenthetical comment needs to go back and reread the previous phrase.

High schools are lousy with potential babysitters. Heck. maybe the Home Ec students would watch the kids for class credit.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-20-08 8:08 AM
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(copied from the wrong thread.) Hey, wait a second. Heebie, you're a professor. A college must have function rooms, with a nearby room where you could set up the babysitting. Have you looked into that?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-08 8:21 AM
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81: Assumes facts about time of wedding not in evidence (nor probable).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-20-08 8:24 AM
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Well, the school I teach at is another town away, in the wrong direction. But there is a big state school in town.

But part of the appeal of a hotel is that I also like weddings where you can just stumble off to bed when you're good and drunk.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-20-08 8:24 AM
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84: I also like weddings where you can just stumble off to bed when you're good and drunk.

Worked for me.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-20-08 8:27 AM
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I like those weddings too, but people always end up saying rude things like "Excuse me, were you invited?" and "Get out of my room."


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-20-08 8:38 AM
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I'm going to post a new thread where I write out the questions that we're actually debating. Unfortunately this post was a bit premature.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-20-08 8:39 AM
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Sifu will be live-blogging the ceremony from his iphone.

A friend of mine is pushing for a live video feed. That means you west coasters would have to get up at 7:30 to see us get married.

I have taken to referring to the wedding industrial complex as the WIC. Not to be confused with the program that gives out food stamps.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-20-08 8:50 AM
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Can't a Rev. Moon mass wedding be arranged?

As long as people are going to continue getting married, they might as well go all out.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-20-08 8:56 AM
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Such anxiety over a supposedly special moment drives me crazy. (not heebie per se)

Food, music, friends, family, alcohol. mixed up liberally. Assign one person as the enforcer to remove anyone adding stress.

If you want to keep the numbers lower, have a party with beer and barbecue close to the wedding (before or after).


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11-20-08 8:58 AM
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Posted by: CIALISjojo | Link to this comment | 02-25-10 12:57 AM
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Hey, i've been to weddings where people have asked which side I was from and yet still provided a valuable service. viz. letting the people who hated the DJ an alternative option involving noise music.

(this is prob. not a helpful bit of advice.)


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 02-25-10 1:16 AM
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(this is prob. not a helpful bit of advice.)

But it might have been in 2008!


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-25-10 2:13 AM
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