Thursday, June 24, 2010

Buy or Rent?

Despite the changes in contemporary wedding practices -- the groom can no longer just "show up" on the big day -- the bride is usually the one under the fashion microscope. However, the groom does have some decisions to make. To tux, or not not tux -- that is the question.

A bit of retail reality right now is that sales of dress and formal wear are so soft they are squishy. Perhaps a "right" wedding wear decision for a man right now is to consider buying. Especially if a suit is involved. For just about the price of a rental, a beautiful suit can be all his. And he can wear it later. (I know, that's what bridesmaids always hear about their dresses -- but in the case of a dark suit for a man, it happens to be true.)

There are sales galore right now, even at the high end stores. Check out the bargains before you commit to a rental. When it comes time for the next job interview, funeral, or even anniversary dinner out, he will be happy to have something appropriate to wear already hanging in his closet.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Selection Process -- It's a Two-Way Street

When I first became a wedding officiant, I accepted almost every invitation to officiate that was extended to me. It never occurred to me to decline a request, and I almost never did, unless there was a scheduling conflict involved. However, over the years I have learned that if the little voice in my head says "run like the wind," I politely decline a wedding and go on with my life.

The times that I fought my own instincts were memorable. In most instances, I had hoped that my misgivings would be proven wrong, but they never were.

I am much more careful these days. I have found that my own perference is for smaller, lower profile weddings. I still do many large, fancy weddings -- but I often feel like a prop in somebody's Broadway production. If I catch a whiff ahead of time of anything resembling an upcoming episode for reality television, I try to suggest another officiant with more love of show business than I possess.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Sand Ceremony: Who Brings the Stuff?

Every wedding planning guide breaks down the to-do list according to responsibilities. Although the specifics may vary a little bit, the gist is the same: every task has an assigned steward.

I recently officiated a wedding for a couple who had indicated that they wanted to include a sand ceremony as part of their celebration. I wrote the appropriate text, emailed them the entire ceremony ahead of time, and we went over the details at the rehearsal. Except the part about who would bring the vessels, and the preferred shades of sand.

Since the sand ceremony is a highly personal and personalized contemporary ritual, I assumed that this couple would select (and later, keep) their own vessels, their own colors of sand, and bring them with them to the wedding. Hundreds of my other couples have done so, without incident.

However, I should never have assumed anything. And they arrived for their wedding well-coiffed, beautifully dressed, and empty handed. The venue owner and I quickly improvised with some lovely little vases and sugar -- so nobody was any the wiser.

From now on, I will travel with a sand ceremony set in my car, just in case. And I will remember to remind a couple who requests a sand ceremony that they should select their choices of the items needed, and bring them to the wedding.