Monday, October 09, 2006

Ten Things I Learned From...My Wedding to J

I think J and I have gotten to that age. You know, the one where everyone seems to either be buying a house, getting married or having a baby. This year alone marks three couples we know who have gotten married and two that have gotten engaged. Ah that brings me back to the nostalgia of January 18, 2003 - the fateful day of our wedding. It has been described as a queer, Quaker, fragrance free, feminist, Vietnamese, Pan Asian, Tex Mex BBQ. The whole thing went on without a hitch. The rentals came on time. The flowers came on time. The food was delicious and the decorations were gorgeous. It was as DIY a wedding as we could get without actually catering ourself (which we so weren't going to do because really we're not masochists).

A lot of the success came because we went to other people's weddings and cribbed their good ideas and learned from their mistakes. For the readers who might be getting married (or planning a big event), here are some tips, for making your special day a sane one:

1. Take as many pictures as possible beforehand. I know we're two guys getting married but this applies to the ladies who are invested in hiding their dress from the groom until the moment they walk down the aisle. I know you want to see his face go all OOOOOO about you in your dress but is it worth having your guests wait an extra hour at the reception?

2. Feed em early and often. Ok, I probably won't convince anyone to do their posed couple shots before the ceremony so I'll have to recommend that you have hors d'ouerves and drinks available for your guests when they first get to the reception so they won't be miserable by the time you make your grand entrance.

3. Buffet baby!
I know people think buffets are tacky but I love buffets. People can eat what they want and the vegetarians can avoid the meat dishes without flagging a server to find the vegetarian option. The other benefit of buffets? - seconds!

4. Have an MC (and use a sound system).
You don't necessarily have to hire a DJ (we burned cds) but designate someone to get the program going during the reception and make sure everyone can hear them. People will miss things like speeches and cake cutting if their aren't directed to pay attention. West Coast Rebecca was our and she did a fabulous job.

5. Get me the manager.
In regards to the caterer, make sure the person you are talking to when planning your wedding is the person who will actually be there at the reception. If it isn't, make sure you meet and go over things with THAT PERSON. Things get lost in translation and people forget to write things down.

6. Find a safe person to toss your bouquet (and garter). I know there supposed to be all this spontanaeity but here's a scenario you don't want to happen - An engaged woman catches the bouquet. A man WHO SHE IS NOT ENGAGED TO catches the garter. He puts his hand dangerously close to her vajayjay putting the garter back on. Collective EEEEEEEWWWWW goes through the crowd.

7. Ditch the band, even better, ditch the DJ.
Provided that your reception space already has a good sound system. It's far better to burn some cds with music you know you'll like then to rely on a band which will butcher your favorite songs or a DJ that will end up playing the macarena.

8. Use Unique Places. Unique Meeting, Wedding and Party Places in Greater Washington is one of the best wedding resources out there. It's organized by size of the location (for 50, 100, 150, and 200+) and lists the price range for the place and gives narrative of the amenities. The only down side is when you find out there's a huge dearth of reasonable (less than $3000) places that seat 100.

9. Ko Gi Bow is not actually the front for a drug cartel.
You know that cake company Ko Gi Bow in Adams Morgan? The storefront is seriously run down looking with an old cardboard cake and a dilapidated trellis. Inside you see Spider Man and Dora the Explorer cake toppers and you think maaaaaybe not. Well if you're Asian this is the perfect cake place for you. It serves the classically Asian style of cake which has a light but moist sponge and frosting with a whipped cream consistency. You can choose your filling of fruit cocktail or strawberries (that's a tough choice). And when you look for how you want your cake to look, bypass the crazy ones with the bridges and doves and fountains. Ask for pictures of the one the owner made for his daughter's wedding.

10. Make sure someone packs a doggie bag for you. Because of all of the excitement, you will eat like three bites of your wedding food. And of those three bites, you'll remember one. We DID remember the food that was packed for us that we ate with our hands at the hotel with the world's most comfortable bed.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

ummm engaged people shouldnt be in line for the garter/ bouquet toss.

they are not single.

Capt. Jack Sparrow said...

Thanks for the tips. Sounds like your wedding was pretty much a blast. My Fair Maiden and I will need these tips sooner than later.

DC Food Blog said...

Capt. Jack, feel free to ask any questions you want. Also, there is a Gay and Lesbian Guide to Wedding Planning that we've sent to our STRAIGHT friends. It's a great resource if you are doing a wedding that isn't totally traditional.

Anonymous, good point! We actually intentially threw our bouquets to two lesbians who were getting married three months later so there wouldn't be any conflict.

playfulinnc said...

God, i would love to see the list of songs you all used.

N and I have a list started, but your ideas are great.

Looks like the big day will be at the beach...not in Memphis (collective sigh of relief!).

However, seeing as we are merging NC and TN, we may have 2 types of BBQ at the reception. Don't think I won't eat ribs in the dress, cause i sooo will.

anonymous poster who know my Asian food said...

Ko Gi Bow used to sell Chinese style pastries and buns, but I'm the only person in the hood who bought them, so the owner stopped making them.

DC Food Blog said...

Anonymous Poster who bought Chinese Buns at Ko Gi Bow - Are you serious? I LIIIIIVE for Chinese pastries!!!! If I had known about it, I would have cleaned Ko Gi Bow out of their Chinese pastries every week. How were they?

Planning Elegance said...

This is great advice! When you're caught up in all your wedding day excitement and attention, it's easy to forget simple things.

http://planningelegance.com/weddingfood-for-thought/

-Planning Elegance

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winnie

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Sheena said...

Lovely and very informative post! Kudos! Hmm. Let me just share something with you… All of us love to satisfy our cravings with hearty meals and sumptuous delicacies. Food is never overlooked in any occasion especially in very special ones such as a wedding reception. Nowadays, the most practical solution for future brides and grooms is having the reception at a restaurant. From amazing outdoor sights to breathtaking dining experience, looking for the best restaurant to serve you and your guests at your wedding reception should always be considered.

1. The first thing to consider is that the restaurant should offer food that can satisfy your cravings. And because restaurants should always be punctual when presenting their specialties, restaurant owners can never blame you for expecting them to present their food ahead of time. Also, consider restaurants with good parking and public transport to provide your guests with convenience and security for their personal vehicles as they may be coming from faraway places. Also, never overlook the accessibility of the restaurant. A restaurant in or close to a nearby city will definitely be of great comfort to you and your guests.

2. The interiors of the restaurant of your choice should never be overlooked as these most probably affect the ambience of your dining experience. Of course, almost every existing restaurant having the resources to handle weddings provides packages. Check them out and you’re sure to be astounded as you can save more with them than putting every service together.

3. Also, one of the best parts of having your wedding reception at a restaurant, unlike hiring a catering service, is that you’re almost familiar with their menu for you may have eaten there before, aside from the fact that it is the most inexpensive option.

Keeping in mind that their customer’s does not only search for beautiful wedding venues but also check the nitty-gritty of the services they get, Mount Sea Resorts is one of the most frequently-visited resorts in the Philippines offering total wedding solutions. Its ‘Waves & Weddings’ meets the needs and wishes of aspiring brides and grooms internationally from cakes to fine table settings to scrumptious wedding menu.

Being a resort in Cavite (the Philippines’ historical capital), everyone from your guest is sure to experience genuine Filipino culture and food at its best!

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Utah wedding Catering said...

Good tips to keep in mind for a couple of my friends who just got engaged!
-Jack

Neuse River North Carolina said...

a Special Day for couples..