Monthly Archives: June 2011

Chairmen and Women of the Wedding

So one of the things about throwing a budget wedding, as many of you fine folks know, is that sometimes you have to do little things that maybe you didn’t plan on doing. Like serving pizza, for instance. Or getting married on a Thursday. Or asking friends to make appetizers. Or asking guests to please wash, rinse, and dry their plastic utensils so we can re-use them.*

*Still debating that one.

Anyway, this right here is a chair:

Ring a bell? It should. Odds are you’ve either sat in one today, are sitting in one right now, or have designs to sit in one later today – or all three. Last year, Americans sat in an estimated 900 million chairs. OK, that’s not a real statistic, but it sort of sounded like one, right? Am I right? I think I’m right.

The Point, though, besides being an awesomely odd animated movie from 1971, is that one of the odd little budget-y things we’re going to do is to ask all of our guests to move their chairs indoors from the patio when the ceremony is over. Of course, if anyone is unable to move their own chair, or opposed to it for religious or ethical reasons, we’ll have waivers available on every chair prior to the ceremony so people can opt out. It’s only fair, after all.

As with many of these types of logistical/budgetary issues, a simple Pro & Con list reveals what we suspected all along: it just makes sense.

The Great Guestular Chair Relocation of 2011 | Pros & Cons

Cons

  • Unusual.
  • Tacky? Is it tacky?
  • Potential logjam of 150 confused guests, running wildly, heads jammed inside half-folded chairs, screaming and gesticulating, sobbing into their suits, bawling into their shawls, ensuring a visit from the Park Rangers summoned to shut the party down and revoke our right to ever set foot in an East bay Regional Park ever again.
Pros
  • It’s kind of fun, right? Right?
  • Excellent opportunity for excellent photos.
  • Group spirit; camaraderie.
  • The reception is being held mere yards from the ceremony patio.
  • Good blog fodder.
  • It’s kind of fun, right?
  • Opportunity for exercise before guests gorge on pizza and beer.
As you can see, the Pros list emerges the clear winner, and plus, if item #3 on the Cons list ends up taking place, well… I can think of worse wedding stories than that.
I really do think it’ll be fun. I’m not just saying that.
Right guys?

The Italian Dish Of Crisped Flatbread?

I’m just going to go ahead and say it: we’re having pizza at our wedding.

This is a homemade sourdough pizza I made one time with an egg on it. We will not be serving this at our wedding so don't even ask.

“Surely you jest,” you say with a doff of your hand and a knowing grin.

“Surely I just what?” I reply.

“No, I’m mean…” you say, flustered at my poor vocabulary skills. “I mean, surely you jest, j-e-s-t, like surely you’re joking.”

“Ah,” I say, “yes. But no. I’m not jesting. We’re serving pizza. At our wedding.”

“You’re pulling my leg,” you say, incredulous. “Pizza? The Italian dish of crisped flatbread topped with tomato juice and curdled milk?”

“That’s right,” I say, nodding, “that’s 100% right. Well, it’s tomato sauce, not juice, and cheese isn’t exactly curdled milk, so maybe it’s more like 50% right.”

A faint smile of understanding teases your lips. “I get it,” you say, index finger aloft in a gesture of Aha-ery, “I get it now, you magnificent bastard. You’re serving artisanal pizzetas! Broasted Swiss chard and nettle pizzeta with julienned yogurt and Bald Eagle cheese, and caramelized pancetta and biscotti pizzeta with a wine-glazed radicchio reduction, that kind of thing!”

I sigh, grab you by the lapels, hoist you off the ground and stare deep into your scarlet orbs.

“No,” I say very calmly, “not pizzeta. PIZZA. Bread and cheese and tomato sauce slash pesto, with toppings like sausage and mushrooms and pineapple and extra cheese.”

It finally dawns on you. Pizza.

Not pulled pork sandwiches, not barbecue.

Pizza!

The story of how we arrived at that decision will be for another post, but the general gist of the decision had to do with (1) budget and (2) logistics. First it was “can we really serve pizza at our wedding?”, then we moved on to “well, everyone likes pizza, right?” and then finally we graduated to “Hey everyone! We’re serving pizza at our wedding!”

We’re pretty stoked about it. Pizza’s not the only thing we’ll be serving, but it’s the main dish – for now I’ll keep the other stuff a secret for our guests. You know, to keep ’em honest. If I tell you everything now, someone’ll show up at the wedding, elbow everyone out of the way, and demand to know where we’re hiding the churros.

Note: to my knowledge, we will not be serving churros. I’m sorry. I’m really, really sorry.

So, yeah. Pizza. We love pizza. One time I ate so much pizza in college with Andy that I broke my stomach and couldn’t eat for a week. One time I made 24 pizzas all by myself for a fundraiser, which actually wasn’t very much fun at all, but the point remains: pizza.

So if you’re coming to my wedding, be sure to wear your pizza shoes.

Love,

Bret

Thumbs Up Everybody For Rock And Roll!

It is imperative that everyone watch this video of a little boy’s message of inspiration following his first bike ride.

He’s kind of like a mini Harry Caray.

Happy Friday, everyone. Rock And Roll.

It’s Recess(ional) Time, Children!

Recess. To cess again. Creator of the Peanut Butter Cup. Magic words to children and congressmen alike.

Recess.

It’s a kind of interesting word:

1530s, “act of receding,” from L. recessus “a going back, retreat,” from recessum, pp. of recedere “to recede.” Meaning “hidden or remote part” first recorded 1610s; that of “period of stopping from usual work” is from 1620s, probably from parliamentary notion of “recessing” into private chambers.

It also happens to be the word that Jessica and I decided to use with Wynette to indicate that she’s free to go. On walks with her, for instance, she has to sit and hear us say “recess!” before she can go explore and sniff a patch of grass. Similarly, when we arrive home from a walk, she has to sit while we take off her leash, and then she can’t go off into the house to chew on our socks until we say the magic word. Early on in our training I wanted to use the word break! but Jessica liked recess, and she won somehow. I’m pretty sure that was the first and only time she’s ever won an argument or disagreement of any kind. Yeah.

Anyway, it’s related to the word recession, possibly related to cesspool (through a linguistic process called aphesis), and is most certainly related to recessional. Look at that, we got to my point! Welcome to my point. I hope you enjoy your stay.

On Sunday, I spent the day at my good pal John’s place, recording music for the recessional at my wedding.

It certainly comes in handy having a great friend who (1) is extremely generous, (2) has a magical basement filled with wonder, delight, and unicorn puppies (and a giant movie screen and recording studio), (3) wants to help with music for my wedding, and I should also mention (4) is extremely generous. I know that (4) was a repeat, but look,  he shared one of these bad boys with me:

That right there is a barrel-aged version of what is already perhaps my favorite beer, Old Stock Ale, from North Coast Brewery in Fort Bragg (near Mendocino). It’s fairly hard to fin, tastes like a crazy combination of bourbon and beer and moonbeams, and it’s 13% alcohol and just forget about it. If you ever see one of these bottles, grab hold of it and don’t let it go. Don’t let go.

So, we spent the day recording an original tune of mine for the recessional at my wedding. It’s a jaunty, happy little folksy number, with a strummy rhythm guitar played on a steelstring and a fingerpicky lead guitar played on a classical, with occasional little banjo accents. When we were satisfied with those tracks, John laid down a nice little baseline whilst I manned the controls:

Then we decided to get a little crazy and call up John’s friend John, still known in some circles as Big John because of a time when we were younger when there were more Johns than we knew what to do with, and he came over to lay down a rippin’ solo on the end of the tune:

The thinking was, by the end of the tune, we’d want to inject some energy into the wedding as a means of indicating “Ceremony Over, Reception Beginning,” which we all know is best accomplished with some hott guitar licks.

It was a great time, and it felt especially great to be doing something creative and personal for the ceremony. My original plan of writing pieces for every conceivable moment of the wedding may have been a bit ambitious, but a little of that will still survive, and I’m extremely grateful to have all the help I’m getting for it.

A huge thanks to John (and also John) for always being so generous with his time, talent, and friendship. I owe him a lot.