Wednesday, December 17, 2008

That's your wedding song?

A while back, FP and I were driving around and a cheesy song came on the radio, which of course got us thinking about our wedding and what we would dance to. We came up with mostly funny, inappropriate ones. Unfortunately, we weren't really keeping track of the gems we came up with (we seriously do not pay nearly enough attention to our comic genius selves). Now, however, we came up with an idea to make mixed CD of all the wedding songs that didn't make the cut. So I'm on the lookout for songs that maybe, are sort of love songs, but if you listen to it, it's really not appropriate to play a wedding, or are just plain funny slow-tempo songs. This is our list so far:

Never Give Your Heart Away Completely, by Carlton and the Shoes
Every Breath You Take, by the Police
Crash Into Me, by Dave Matthews Band
Something Stupid, by Nancy Sinatra
Get It On, by T-Rex

Any other suggestions out there?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Please Don't Ever Use the Word Gorgeous Again

The other day, Sara at $2000 Budget Wedding (which I feel is a little like my blog kindred spirit), posted an article from the Washington Post about wedding reality shows. I don't watch these shows (mostly because I don't have cable haha), but I found the last point of the article very insightful--that there is homogenizing pressure from our culture to remake ourselves in that majority-culture image of perfection. From letterpress personalized wedding stationery to base plates to THE dress, we are supposed to recognize weddings by these markers. I am constantly amazed and sort of frightened by the ingenuity and sheer focus of other brides on these items. I have never thought about publishing a bridesmaid newsletter, making bathroom-amenities baskets, decorations etc. I don't really feel guilty about not caring about these things, but I am not immune to the mania. I've been to many weddings, and the only thing I remember from most of them is that everyone there really loved the couple and that was what made them so much fun. Yet, I still find myself scouring the web for remarkable, unique venues (piers at the National Harbor, anyone?) and wondering if I will have time with my classes and internship to learn how to sew and make fabric-covered wedding programs. Even if you don't buy the messages from the "wedding-industrial-complex," you are still obsessing about the details of your wedding. You find yourself writing a blog. Knowing perfectly well that after the wedding, you will realize that most of these things were not that important, no one else cared as much about these details as you did, and all the things you worried about beforehand didn't amount to much in the end. We are funny, ironic beings.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Beautiful Pictures of a Cambodian Wedding Ceremony

I found this photographer's blog. Augie Chang is based in San Francisco, and shot a Cambodian wedding in October 2008.

*sigh* so pretty.

Finding Meaning in Crowds

Like many of you, we really envisioned our wedding as an intimate, low-key affair. But this is before you start making a guest list, or more importantly, before your parents start making a guest list. I think maybe this is when you realize what a big deal it is to get married (though I suspect there will be more whoa-this-is-a-big-honking-deal moments). Because clearly your dad is not inviting 300 people just to watch you prance around in a big white dress. We are happy that our parents are so excited for us and so proud of our decision to choose each other that they want to include the entire world in their joy. But of course, there are limits and trying to determine those limits is daunting.

I feel very schizophrenic about guest lists. I don't mind a big party (I am the daughter of Cambodian socialites), but the thought of having to make small talk with so many people sort of nauseates me. I want our wedding to include the communities that have nurtured our parents and us, but I don't want our relationship and our personalities to get lost in the necessary coordination of so many guests. I also don't want to bankrupt my parents (inexplicably they seem unconcerned about this possibility).

I think a lot of people just make those tough cuts. Sorry, lady-who-gave-birth-to-my-favorite-cousin, you're out. But we sort of feel like this is a moment for sharing, not for playing team captain and choosing members for your team. So I want to have my cake and eat it too.

I know a large guest list dominates your budget. So basically I'm looking for affordable ways to add detail here and there that will speak to our commitment to each other, to the profundity of our decision to love each other for the rest of our lives, and to the fact that we are deeply deeply goofy people.

Is this possible? You tell me.
(all images are mine, from a fundraiser for the Cambodian Community Day organization that my parents run. I told you that they're socialites, right?)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wholesale Flowers

Do I have a date yet? No, are you kidding?
Do I have a venue? No way.
Do I know what dress to wear? What? I have to wear a dress?

But I am doing a lot of research on many other things, like flowers.

(my engagement roses)

See, I like flowers. I think they're pretty and smell nice. FP agrees. But we don't want to spend a fortune on them because well, they die, and as long as they're not dying, well, they sort of look the same to us. So grocery/Costco/wholesale flowers are totally the way to go for us. However, since I am not a florist and as I mentioned above, I can't tell flowers apart, I had no idea what kind of flowers I should be considering for the wedding. And so I have found They grow their own flowers, have tons of helpful information about doing the flowers yourself, including pictures and lists of flowers according to month (brilliant!), and they seem to have a real sense of humor. I support that. They're based in CA so I'm not sure if I will end up using them in our wedding, but I thought I'd pass along the website.

Am I planning our wedding in the most haphazard way? Perhaps. But this is how I get to have fun.

Keeping it real with that other person who's also getting married on your wedding day

For some reason I thought that knowing someone for going on 9 years and navigating a relationship through breakups, the Peace Corps, and life in New York City would make this planning business be a piece of cake. Wrong.

Our conversations go like this:
Me: Hey! Look at this gingham-patterned padded invitation! It's so cute and country.
FP (uh, foreign prince, of course): uh, okay
Me: What! You don't like it. I can't believe you're forcing me to get married in such a lame way.
FP: uh, what?
Me: It's okay. I still want to marry you.
FP: uh, I'm glad?

So we have different tastes. Sort of. Actually I've realized that the issue is not that we disagree, but that I have this unrealistic notion that we need to always be in sync because if we disagree, it means that our wedding will be worse for it. And I'll be honest, when I say in sync, I mean doing it my way. An equal partnership is actually what I am seeking and requires work, so here is my mantra, which I will be repeating many times throughout this whole process: let it go.

However, any tips on actually keeping it real with your hubby-to-be would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Now we just need a date.

TheKnot is on clearance!

Six words: snow globe save-the-date magnets.

This is What a Cambodian Feminist Looks Like

I spend an inordinate amount of time looking at wedding inspiration boards that I will never pull off (ehem, Snippet & Ink, ohhh so beautiful). So perhaps I should give you guys an idea of what I will be subjected to. The golden couple? That will me and my beloved. Blingity-bling-bling!

The Cambodian (Khmer) wedding ceremony is based on the myth about Cambodia's origin. The basic story: foreign prince sees naga princess, falls in love, accomplishes the necessary challenges to marry her, and papa naga swallows the sea and gives Cambodia to the couple as a present. Thus, the royal dress, the myriad attendants, and goooold.

I'm not really that reluctant to jump into jewels. After all, perhaps I can get my foreign prince to accomplish the necessary challenge of scrubbing the bathtub before marrying me, and I'm really hoping that the sea my dad swallows will reveal an awesome condo in NYC. But these, I know, are true myths.

I like that our wedding will link us to centuries of ancestors and stories, but it does make for more complicated planning and an exhausting day. And I have some modifications: Groom's procession to the house with a band of musicians--yes. Counting of the flowers and presents to calculate dowry--NO. Blessing from married couples--yes. Changing my outfit multiple time so that guests can see what a versatile dresser I am--no. Knot-tying ceremony--yes.

Will these modifications make my mother cry? Quite possibly.

If you're interested in learning more, my dad wrote a pamphlet about Khmer customs.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Welcome to the Insanity

I am, of course, exaggerating. I feel pretty certain that this process is no more insane than any other, but I'm an attention seeker so there you are.

I have never written a blog before. Blogging came of age while I was boiling my own drinking water in the Peace Corps, and I continue to be amazed at how two years out of culture can really you set back. Things that confuse me: ipod playlists, camera phones, poufy skirts, and Miley Cyrus. But that's probably another blog.

Anyway why am I here? Many reasons.
1. CPP (the ONE) has acquired that "oh god, she's ranting again" look. So this is a way for me to express myself without hurting or annoying the ones I love.
2. Maybe someone out there has some solutions to the questions:
Can you make your wedding your own and still respect your parents and where you came from?
Do you really have to have a color scheme?
If people are wearing tuxes, can you still serve fried chicken?

But really I'm hoping to find some perspective on this whole wedding thing. Because you tell yourself again and again that you know what's important ( I get to marry my true life partner, and this makes me the luckiest person in the world), but as soon as you start to research venues, catering, dresses, flowers, music, photographers, the important stuff gets buried. And if letting it all out here helps me remember the good stuff when I'm with my loved ones, then that is a good thing.

Welcome. Thank you for joining me.