Monday, April 26, 2010

I need a drink!

My wedding reception is being held at a venue that only serves beer and wine. That's right, no hard liquor at the wedding. While that may piss some people off, as soon as they realize that it's 2 more free alcohols than they had before they came to the wedding, they'll be fine with it. I've been to several beer & wine weddings, and had a blast. In fact, one of my favorite wedding memories ever - my buddy Paul getting blasted and doing the Harlem shake on the bus back to the hotel - stemmed from a beer and wine only reception.

That being said, I LOVE beer. My last semester at college I luckily only needed 1 regular course and 1 elective course to graduate. The elective course I chose to take: Beer Tasting. I'm not trying to make a, "In college, I majored in alcohol management, and horticulture if you know what I mean" type of joke, I'm actually serious, I took a beer tasting class. Thanks to UNLV for having an incredible course under their hotel management school. It was in this class I learned about beer for about an hour and half, then spent another hour and a half tasting beers we just learned about. Many people would take a sip of the beer, swish it around in their mouths, and dump the rest in the discard bucket. Not my roommate and me (and actually the teachers as well). We quickly established ourselves as the class drunks beer enthusiasts. It was in this class that I honed my love of beer. I cultivated it. I owned it.

Unfortunately at most weddings, I usually pass up my beloved libation. I think the only reason that's the case is because of limited beer selections. When given the option to drink Bud, Bud Light, Miller Light, Amstel Light and maaaaybe, if I'm super lucky a wild card beer like Stella Artois, I tend to go vodka tonic or Jack & coke. I'm not trying to be a beer snob at all, but I think the reason a lot of people shy away from beer is because you present them with options that all taste very similar. If you don't like the taste of one of those options listed above, you probably aren't going to order beer at the reception mentioned above. Weddings usually offer at least 2 varieties of wine that taste distinctly different from one another. Why should your beer be any different? In my eyes giving someone the choice between Bud Light, Miller Light, and Coors Light is not giving them an option. You wouldn't serve 3 different but very similar Pinot Noirs, would you?

So, I'm left with the decision of what beers to have at the wedding. Our venue has a really awesome outdoor kitchen that has a couple drafts that pop out of their granite counter top. So when I say I can get a few kegs, I don't want you to think this is a college keg party. Additionally, some (most) beers just taste better when they're not served in bottles. Plus, don't we all just love having a pint glass full of beer? So I was thinking that I would get a couple small kegs to have beer on tap and then also potentially buying low quantities of many different beers so people could try various brews through the evening.

After watching a documentary called Beer Wars this last weekend, I would really rather not have any Anheuser Busch beers at the wedding. Before you throw your arms in the air and start calling me a snob, or an elitist, please know that it's for the exact opposite reason. I'd much rather introduce people to the little guys out there fighting to at least coexist in the industry. I'd love to show my guests fact that there are other options, and let them know that the Bud Lights (American Style Lagers) are only ONE variety of beer out there, not the definitive and only style. After all, some keywords that we've used when planning our wedding have always been: fresh, local, relaxed, small companies. Why shouldn't our beer reflect that as well?

I do, however, have one concern. If my selections are too far "out there" I run the risk of ostracizing people that just like Bud Lights because they like Bud Light. If I don't supply beer that is familiar, and they genuinely don't care for any of the selections I've picked, they're left with nothing. There's no jack & coke or vodka tonic to fall back on. I'm going to have to find at least one beer that while it isn't Miller, Coors, Bud, still tastes familiar. I seem to remember a beer by the New Belgium Brewing Company (they make Fat Tire) called Blue Paddle that was their answer to the Pilsener Lager. So there are beers out there that would allow my guests to take baby steps into the beer garden. Maybe I need to get back into beer tasting. It'll be horrible for the diet, but it'll make for an enjoyable reception.

If you have any beer suggestions please leave them in the comments!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A note about photographers

A good photographer is worth his/her weight in gold. It's one of the best splurges you can make for yourself on your wedding day. A good photograph is timeless. It's something that will be passed down for generations. A good photograph can transport you to the exact moment it's taken. Can make you smell things, taste things, feel things, etc. That's why I feel so at ease and confident with Callaway Gable.

On the flip side, I came across this wedding photo, and wanted to show what a BAD photographer will let you do.
The dreaded duckface. It's become quite the fad lately and can be found in nearly every drunk high school or college student's facebook photo albums. Some know the look as Zoolander's "blue steel" others know it as stupid...

Gather round kids, this was Grandma on her wedding day. Didn't she look so beautiful. Classy and regal! Oh, that?...that's Grandma's duckface. All the hot girls were doing the duckface back in the day. You hadn't "arrived" till you brought the duckface out. Oooh and the next picture, that's Grandpa getting photo bombed by a groomsman with his penis out!

To see beautiful photography go to: Callaway Gable Photography
To see more duck faces visit: Stop Making that Duckface!
To see photo bombs visit: This is Photobomb

Monday, April 19, 2010


In the key of Journey's "Lights"

When the lights go up at the reception
and they brighten up the spaaaaaace...
Do I want to set them up at my wedding?...

Oh oo oh
Ohhhhhhhhhhhh oooo ohhhhhhhhh
Oh oh oh.

So you think renting's costly...
well my friend I think it's costly too.
Do I really want to DIY it on the dayyyyyy?

Oh oo oh
Ohhhhhhhhhhhh oooo ohhhhhhhhh
Oh oh oh.

It's sad, oh there been mornings
where I thought I could set up you
without a harm

Oh oo oh
La La Lights
La la La
Oh oo oh
Ohhhhhhhhhhhh oooo ohhhhhhhhh

When the lights go up at the reception
and they brighten up the spaaaaaace...
Do I want to set them up at my wedding?...

Oh oo oh
Ohhhhhhhhhhhh oooo ohhhhhhhhh
Oh oh oh.

SO, right now these twinkle string lights for our outdoor reception are at the forefront of my mind. If you follow my tweets or facebook statuses you know for the last few months I've been either bitching about lights or stressed about them. These beautiful little bulbs of illumination are completely bending me over and having their way with me.

When we first started planning our wedding we decided that we wanted to decorate our reception more with lights and candles than with flowers. We thought that this would be a much cheaper option. Both Rebecca and I really love the look of string lights hanging overhead at a reception and this just seemed like a no brainer.

Flash forward a few months and we meet with our vendor who sends our world into a downward spiral. The rental companies all charge for lighting per the foot. Additionally, built into the cost of the lights is a set up fee. It really makes sense, and I completely understand it, but it's something we completely overlooked (see: no shit moments in wedding planning). It makes something we thought would be relatively cheap a rather large expense.

We made the executive decision to buy the lights and set them up ourselves the day before the wedding. The price difference (not including the poles) put a couple hundred dollars back into our pockets. Not to mention we can most likely resell our lights after the wedding. We enlisted the help of our family to set everything up with us. My side of the family is Jewish and has never strung lighting before, but I felt totally confident when Rebecca's uncles were going to help us out. I know it's a total stereotype to think that all Christians know how to string lights because of Christmas, but they HAVE to have better knowledge and experience than I do! I got really excited that we had this dilemma figured out!

UNTIL the contact at our rental company graciously gave us tips on securing the poles, something we hadn't even thought of. She could have said "good luck guys!" and sent us on our way to eff this up, but she was nice enough to guide us.

Unless we drive each pole into the ground (something we hadn't asked our venue if we could do) each pole holding lights would have to be weighed down. Suppose someone bumped into a pole early in the evening and yanked down the lights because we didn't weigh it down properly?! I know that's a pretty big "what if" but when alcohol is introduced into the equation, those "what if" scenarios become exponentially more likely. It's more like "when someone bumps into it" not "if".

So at the end of the day, do I want to be on a ladder driving a 10ft high pole into the ground the day before the wedding a few hours before the rehearsal? No. Well, I take that back, I think I'd definitely do it, but the question is, do I have the ABILITY to do it?! You're reading a blog written by the guy that... wait, that sentence says enough... "you're reading the BLOG of a guy..." I'd venture to guess most male wedding bloggers aren't exactly handy at manual labor.... but anyway, yes, you're reading a blog written by a guy that 3 months ago fell through his pool shed roof as he was trying to tie a tree up in his back yard. Enough said. Okay, so driving the poles into the ground, while a sturdy option, may not be allowed or feasible.

Second option is weighing down the base of the poles. This is what we'd have to do. I've spoken to many people (including our rental contact) and they all suggest weighing down each pole with 100-150lbs of weight. Wow, really? Maybe I can have friends just man a pole throughout the night. I'll be sure that servers bring them food & drinks if they just stand on the base of a light pole all night. Even though it's MY day and my guests should WANT to do this for me, I guess I'm not going to ask anyone to do that. So we've got to get sandbags. Heavy expensive sandbags. We either need to buy them, rent them, or make them.

It was at this point in the light dilemma contemplation that I realized the expensive fee for the string lights is worth the price. By the time we factor in purchasing lights, poles, sandbags, and factored in the stress of hanging the lights it seems like we're just overmatched. Were we really going to make our own sandbags? I mean we're across the street from a beach so there's plenty of sand, but carrying burlap sacks of 100lbs of sand the day before my wedding sounds more like a cruel bootcamp story than the day before a wedding.

I'm all for DIY when it saves you money but doesn't overload you with anxiety and stress the day before the wedding. For instance we're still doing our own centerpieces. Brilliant - we've got this! Our invitations - done, by us! We're taking on a lot. The lights I just saw as a wedding day disaster waiting to happen.

At the end of the day I feel like I was a little defeated by the lights, but I also feel such a sense of relief from laying down and letting this one go. I know that this solution may not work for everyone because budgets are too tight to rent. Believe me, we're kind of there ourselves. At this point we're robbing Peter to pay Paul with our budget. We decided to go even smaller with our already cheap centerpieces to help pay for lights. We made our own invitations to help pay for the lights. It was just important to us, and at the end of the day it's something that I don't want to have to stress about the day before my wedding.

By the way, this is not the first project/dilemma that's gotten the best of me and beaten me. Stay tuned to hear how the Gocco bent me over as well!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Perfect Card Box Giveaway!



For those that didn't win, now is the time to buy a Perfect Card Box. FREE Shipping promotion happening as we speak!

I'm thrilled to announce another Temple of Groom giveaway. This time I'm giving away something that you can definitely use at your wedding - The Perfect Card Box. Put this card box on your gift table and you don't have to worry about misplacing any cards (especially ones with cash!). Your table will just look nicer with the perfect card box instead of a bunch of cards strewn around. It's just a nice finishing touch! It's all about the details, right?

This is a great way to display a couple of your engagement session photos, or maybe just some of your other fun pictures. The box locks, so if you've got that one friend that loves to get blackout drunk and steal stuff (who doesn't have a friend like that?!) you won't have to worry that the honeymoon fund you were counting on will disappear. The winner will get his/her choice of white card box or black - a $79 gift for FREE! Hop over to The Perfect Card Box to take a look at what they have to offer.

1. If you aren't a follower of the Temple of Groom blog, follow it (on the left side of the screen there's a section titled "Become a Temple of Groom Follower") - if you already follow the blog you can skip this step.
2. Leave a comment on this post!
3. Email me: (this way I can easily contact you if you're the winner)

The contest closes on MONDAY (April 19th) at 4:00PM. I will enter every entry into the computer and let it randomly pick one of you! Good luck!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A tough sad lesson

Other than details about Rebecca or myself, I try not to divulge personal information about my friends or family on the blog. Some bloggers are smart and never tell their friends about their blog and can therefor post about every facet of their lives without fear of phone calls from irate friends. They post behind a cloak of anonymity that I unfortunately don't share.

When friends and family are such a big part of life and the wedding planning process, it's hard to keep them off limits. Sure, I've put up several blog polls the day after blowout fights with my parents to settle the score (ie do you need cutesy stamps for a save-the-date?), but that's as much as I've brought anyone into the Temple of Groom world. I think I've been successful while keeping them out of it... until now. I recently learned a lesson and it's something that I feel should be written to perhaps keep readers from going down the same path as I did. For the first time I need to bring my friends into the Temple for a bit, and I'm praying they don't mind.

The past few months have been a difficult for several of my friends. A couple of my close buddies are going through relationship breakups right now. It's the worst. I hate seeing them sad and mopey. Breaking up is the worst. It's the hardest thing to do, but it's so completely necessary sometimes and usually it works for the best. It's just impossible to see that while you're going through it. If my friends are reading this, I really hope they know that they can call at any hour of the day and I'll be at the bar waiting with shots in hand if they need it.

I'm sure you're wondering what the meaning of this post is. The sad lesson I learned: Don't book your buddy's girlfriend to be a wedding vendor. Believe it or not 2 of my friends had girlfriends that were professional makeup artists that could do hair as well. Months ago they offered to do Rebecca's wedding day makeup and hair. We happily accepted. It would save us money and we'd get to use people we know, loved, and trusted. Without lifting a finger we had a makeup artist AND a backup makeup artist. Flash forward and our friends' relationships have unfortunately hit much harder times. Our wedding is so insignificant to the feelings of our friends that when they apologized for the loss of our wedding makeup artist it was almost comical. It's really the LAST thing I could care about right now. However, I feel like it's a very valid lesson to be learned. Think twice before you just assume that your friend's girlfriend can work your wedding. In our scenario, both friends' relationships were in very good standing when we originally spoke to the girls about helping out on our wedding day. Relationships are just obviously very tricky and breakups can come out of nowhere. Unless someone is engaged or married it makes it difficult to depend that they will still be around when the wedding comes around. It's something that we didn't even consider. We'll find another makeup artist, but more importantly, anyone out there looking for an awesome Temple of Groom approved guy? My friends are awesome.

Shower time

In a couple weeks Rebecca is going to have her wedding shower. She really wasn't sure if she wanted to have one or not, but as we've gotten closer to the party, she's getting pretty excited. She really didn't know if the get-together/games thing was her. I think that a lot of the silly games kind of turned her off and made her think that bridal showers were just not "her". BUT when she realized that it was just a party to alleviate the stress of wedding planning for a day, and just let her relax with her family and close friends back home, AND it makes her feel like a bride for the first time she recognized that a shower could be a good thing. Last but certainly not least, we've gotten our first taste of getting items off our registry. We have a pavlovian salivating response every time we see the UPS truck go by. It's been awesome.

I wanted to post Rebecca's invitation to the shower because I think it's really great.

With a little help from Ernie, Rebecca created the entire invitation herself (I cropped out the details of the party: where, when, etc). She did all the photoshopping. Believe it or not Ernie's shower cap used to be pink and I kind of demanded that we change the color... she really got bit by the DIY save the date/invitation bug. OR maybe it was all that whispering I've been doing in her ear when she's asleep "Rebeeeeeecccaaaaaaaaaaa youuuuuuu want to make your shower invitation! Youuuuu can do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

117 days and Rebecca has a work trip?!?!

I have 117 days until my wedding. Wow. Last Thursday marked the 4 months out mark. The wedding nightmares have started to become more frequent. Every time I wake up I wonder if I'm the only guy that has the type of wedding nightmares I'm having. They aren't the kind where I don't know if I've sowed my wild oats, or I don't know if I'm ready to get married... they are the kind where I realize I forgot to invite 2/3rds of my guest list, or that I screwed up with the venue and told them the wrong date of the wedding. Do other guys have these types of dreams before the wedding. I guess the majority of guys probably have "I'm late to my own wedding" dreams since a lot of them are only responsible for showing up on time when it comes to wedding planning.

Rebecca left today for a 2 week business trip. I know that it's probably not a great thing to blog about someone not being at the house but a note for all burglars: whenever Rebecca is gone I like to let our shotgun sleep in her spot in the bed beside me. I also get a chance to set up all my "Home Alone" booby traps without getting yelled at by the fiance. Am I kidding... who knows? What are the odds that a geeky wedding blogger sleeps with a shotgun? Who sets up "Home Alone" Rube Goldberg-esque booby traps? Is it worth finding out? That's really your call.

ANYWAY (sorry for the tangent) that means that I'm kind of on my own for wedding stuff for the next few weeks. Most likely it just means that nothing SOLID will get planned but there are things I need to cross off the list when she's gone. I wonder if this is one of the first times in history that the groom has been in the driver seat all alone wedding planning. Granted, I'm probably just going to let the car idle for a little, then maybe put it into neutral and let the wind push it down the street, but I will be driving the wedding planning for the next few weeks.

I've got a lot on my mind right now and I thought about cramming it into one massive post - but I think I'm going to split it up. Wow, a multiple post day. Haven't seen one of those in a while.

I can't believe I'm getting anything done when my pup's daycare has a webcam I could be watching!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Just the Tip

Rebecca and I are working through our wedding budget right now and something that we've had in the back of our minds, but really haven't accounted for, is tipping. SO, we've been cutting back on our up front wedding costs so we can appropriately tip vendors as needed.

My question to anyone that has wedding experience, or anyone that is engaged and has been thinking about tips: Who do you tip and how much should one generally tip? (let's assume everyone hired does a geat job!)

I know that I'll most likely get a comment that just has a link to another wedding site w/ a blog titled "Here's how to tip!" but I would really love to hear your thoughts on tipping your vendors. It'd be great to get any personal advice you may have! Help us!