Sunday, August 2, 2009

Short Shorts

We had some tasty, spicy mutton samosas, palak paneer, chicken curry and garlic naan with Kingfisher beer at Calcutta Indian Food for dinner, and mmm!

Then went out for ice cream at the revered Taipei Snow King. The last time we went we got chili pepper, ginger, honey and plum wine. This time we got banana, rose liquor, Taiwan beer and cinnamon. The cinnamon was especially amazing, though they were all good. A great way t0 beat the heat a bit.

Then we walked through Ximending to the part of Wuchang Street that has all the movie theaters and saw "Up". Absolutely fantastic film, though I wish they hadn't compartmentalized two important spheres of life experience - happy, domestic married life in one corner and adventure in foreign lands in the other. You can have both! Yes, you can!

Speaking of those two elements of life, planning a wedding in the USA from Taiwan is proving to be an interesting challenge, and I'm happy that I've got mom on the other end acting as our eyes, ears and telephone line. (Dad's there too, of course, but like most men isn't so into the 'wedding planning' - and who can blame him). But, we've found a venue and plan to book it soon. About as close as we're going to get to a casual backyard wedding as we need a spot that can accommodate my massive family, Brendan's family (not nearly as massive) and our wide-ranging social circle. But obviously we won't be filling up that entire pavilion with the 300 guests it can hold.

What's a lot less fun is trying to use various useful resources to plan what is essentially a big party (woo! party!) while avoiding the truckloads of bogus advice that seems to come with it - Wedding Q&A that tackles such 'tricky' questions as "what shade of white should I wear?" or admonitions to not try this or that as a DIY in an attempt to convince people to spend big bucks to hire professionals to do everything but the most mundane tasks. Apparently I am supposed to believe that wedding cake tastes good (no it doesn't! it tastes like Styrofoam coated in Play-doh, which is essentially exactly what wedding cake is) but if I try to make my own, it won't taste good at all (yes it will). There's "it's all about using color tastefully and in an eye-catching way" in which we learn that it's apparently important to "use your wedding colors" (we're supposed to have wedding colors?) in the "details" like coordinating your napkins with the ribbons on your chair covers. Err...I thought I was being fancy by not planning to pick up napkins at Dollar Plus with various inappropriate phrases like "Sweet Sixteen", "It's a Girl", "Happy Kwanzaa" and "Sorry For Your Loss". Plus I got to read the priceless phrase "gorgeous hand-sewn wedding programs" which had me in fits of giggles for a week. Seriously?

Plus, we've been clucked at a few times for admitting that we aren't going to register. We're not inviting people to our hootenanny because we want gifts and besides, we don't need stuff. "Maybe someday you'll grow up," one older relative said. Pfft. As though matching china and allowing a department store to choose our taste for us is a sign that one is an adult.

Whatever. Hey, Wedding Industrial Complex - sorry for your loss!


catherine_sr. said...

Hello! I've been reading your blog for a while and just wanted to stop by and say that I really enjoy it (I can't remember if I've left a comment before). Also, I wanted to commiserate about planning a wedding in the US from Taipei. We had to do the same thing last year, and it was a pain even with my mom doing so much of the heavy lifting back in California. I also agree about the wedding industrial complex -- it was very annoying to deal with. Everyone has an opinion about everything! (Especially if they are trying to sell you something). Despite all the silliness, however, things came together and we had a great time -- I'm sure you will, too!

Jenna said...

Aww, thanks!

If I sidestep all the 'advice' it's not so bad, at least not yet. We hope that by keeping it like planning a party and not a "Wedding" with a capital W, it won't be nearly so bad. We're not going to spend big bucks on a wedding, but we both agree that with such far-flung friends and family, it's worth it to spend good money on a party. The world can be a sad place these days and we need more reasons to celebrate - we hope to give our loved ones just that.

Just got to avoid the "Wedding Newsletters: Why You Need One" and "Jordan Almonds FAQ"s that seem to permeate every wedding planning resource...