A year ago I was kissing Chéri and saying « Oui! » to him for life!
I saw the concept of personalized napkins on theknot.com but they don’t ship to France, so I thought I’d make my own!
I bought a « Life is a Circus » stamp on Etsy (a site that I am obsessed with!) And then created my own personalized stamps on rubberstamps.net with images I had created with an image editing program called Gimp (on which I could literally spend hours designing things). The stamps cost me about 10 dollars (shipping not included) but they thankfully do ship to France.
Planning a wedding in Paris France is full of obstacles. How MANY times have I heard the phrase, « oh we just don’t do that here ». This is from the mentality here that one that offers a product or service for what most « normal » people do or get for their wedding. There seems to be a sort of cultural agreement that everybody has the same things at their weddings, with perhaps a variation on the quality of the things depending on the couple’s budget. Well the budget quality here is often deplorable for my taste, and I don’t want to have what everybody else has, so I rely in DIY! Besides, I am a creative person and would quite frankly rather create things myself, than go buy them (when possible within the limits of my creative talents).
So this penchant for DIY has led me to seek out some VERY useful addresses in this city, where….let me tell you….nothing is cheap ESPECIALLY for wedding planning! As soon as you say the word « mariage« , people blink their eyes and then you see €uro signs where their pupils once were. Le sigh…
So since I learned how to share in kindergarten, I am blogging about these wonderful places for you! Read more →
One of the fun things I am creating for our wedding reception is a bon-bon bar, where the cake (from Sugarplum Cake shop) and other assorted treats and douceurs will be set out for guests to take as they please. The venue where we are having our reception will be taking care of all the food and catering, but I wanted to add something that fits a little more with my personality (don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the foie gras and fresh salmon!) But the decision making that went into the menu was menu was mostly a group effort so I thought it would be amusing to make a statement with a bon-bon bar where the American wedding cake sits temptingly! Truthfully, I left most of the menu decisions up to my future in-laws as they have very good taste in food. And quite frankly, I can’t really work the menu to our Circus wedding theme unless I expect 75 French people to feast on popcorn balls and cotton candy! I wouldn’t inflict that even on myself. Oooh the tummy ache.
BUT, the bon-bon bar, now I can go circus nuts on that!
Some of my ideas for the table are : Red licorice strips, cracker jacks caramel popcorn, hershey’s kisses, marshmallows, blue jelly beans, cookies and more, and OF COURSE some dragées for my mother-in-law, but they have to be turquoise colored!
I am thinking of putting the different sweets in selected jars and pasting a charming label on it, something like this : (Feel free to save this image and use it for your own bon-bon table or party…and send me pics if you do, I will add them to this post!) :
Updated version of the card added!
So we are not sending official « Save the Date » cards to all of our guests, since it is not really a French custom. But I still wanted to send some out to my American family and friends as well as those French friends who would be youthful and flexible enough to understand the function of this little card which is not the actual invitation (a « faire-part » in French), but is just a reminder well in advance to guests so that they can reserve the date and begin planning for possible travel and hotel stays if needed. It’s polite. Read more →
Brides are a product of the industry that they now must rely on. It’s almost frightening to think that one of the most special events of your life, has turned into a money making machine that doesn’t really give a damn about you and your marriage, they just want to squeeze every penny out of you that they can under the pretext that THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY OF YOUR LIFE!!! I want to put duct tape over the mouth of anyone that says that. What on earth do they know about the most important day of everyone’s life!?!
So I got this invite from the Galaries Lafayette to go to a fashion show of wedding dresses. Oh fun! I thought. And it was kind of fun, but it was also scary. Scary like the Salon de marriage that I went to a few months ago. It made me laugh, because when I called to reserve my seat for the show, they asked me when my wedding was. I said, « Oh I’m not getting married, I am a blogger, this is for my blog. » That made the woman on the phone become very confused. She didn’t understand why I would be going there. She even go upset, when I asked her not to waste the rain forests and spam me with a bunch of publicity pamphlets. « I’m doing you a favor here by letting you reserve a seat to the show, this is really for brides of 2011 and 2012 only! » I felt like saying ‘well laaa ti daaa lady! I just can’t wait to be a bride and feel soooo special because I’ll be invited to your wedding gown fashion show!’ But I didn’t, because I knew she’d hang up on me.
The day of, I discovered that it was slightly more than a show. There was also a place to meet and greet with people who offer all sorts of wedding services. Those wedding vendors scare me! They are like vultures, literally, but they think they are swans, and that’s the problem. They all want to sell you something for this MOST IMPORTANT DAY OF YOUR LIFE! and they pitch it to you as if it is totally normal to spend an entire fortune on… just the flower arrangements, or just the reception hall rental. Your wedding becomes just a bunch of figures on the accounting sheet of some company who could care less if you live happily ever after.
I am not personally planning a wedding… I just went to this thing to see pretty white gowns for fun, but I learned NOT to say that I wasn’t getting married to the vendors, they look at you as if you are completely mad!
So with out much more ado… here is a peek at the fabulous gowns they showed :
Oh and this guy made me laugh…he had obviously been dragged here, and was not extremely enthusiastic :
And then he realized that he could distract himself by noticing that the models were hot… (not that he was interested in the male model…) :
I think the one thing I would purchase from this show would be the sparkle « oui » temporary tattoo. LOVE it! :
I wonder if these bridal salons actually « work »? Do the attendees actually find useful services and vendors to book for the « special » day? Or is it one big marketing flop? Because who in this economy can afford these overpriced « must-have » services? I think, when the time comes, I might even just go get some couture lessons over at BDA and make my own dress on the Sweat shop machines! Naaah! I’m kidding! (sort of).
Well any way, the dresses were pretty and I enjoyed that part. So…Mazel Tov to all the brides of 2011 and 2012 only! I hope you have a long and blissful marriage no matter what kind of shindig you throw. The important part is what happens afterwards and onwards.
The Salon du Mariage gave me this uneasy feeling that I was walking into the realm of that horrible reality TV show Bridzillas. It is a venue that perhaps useful to some, I found to be an atrocious institution of grotesque commercialization of what should be one of the most special days of your life : your wedding. It seems to merely be a manifestation that the wedding day focus no longer lies upon the union of matrimony or the love between two people, the attention is on every single minute detail that can be primmed, purchased, packed and posted to you, from the toenails of the bride to the napkins on the table to the way you dance with your new spouse. As Kasia Dietz put it, « I found a lot of things that I don’t want at my wedding, there. » And I saw a spectacle that made me swear to never ever make myself or my sweetheart go through that kind of wedding planning torture.
The Salon was full of “bling-bling” and “tappe-à-l’oeil,” ruffles and pink and sparkley things, for each of the stands and products and services.With each one trying to sell you the “best” thing for your wedding that’s better than the rest. You could have blackjack table at your reception…Ooo how cool, or you could have more flower arrangements than you ever thought you needed, you could even get married, sleep in and hold the party at a real château that may cost a year’s salary, or you get personally printed M&M’s (okay well I like this idea)… In fact all of these ideas and products and services ARE wonderful individually and would make a splendid ceremony and celebration. What I felt I was choking on was overload, the checklist of things that one apparently needs in order to have a good wedding, it’s the sheer abundance of it all, and the way vendors would pounce on attendees like vultures, in order to sell them something, ANYTHING! And every vendor’s booth promised the wedding of your dreams. Yuck! It was like choking a piece of candy that I thought I was going to get a lot of pleasure out of but it ended up being waaaay too sweet. And all this without even mentioning the gowns. There were maybe two in the entire salon that I would ever consider wearing, the rest would make any woman look like a pile of Chantilly cream. What is wrong with society these days? There is so much attention on the table settings and bride’s maids dresses and party favors that it seems like people are forgetting what this is all about! It’s about spending a life together. Who is going to really care in ten years if the napkins had your initials embroidered on them, or if you had roses or petunias at your wedding?!? Who!?!?!
But, there was an oasis of authenticity. At their first ever Salon de Mariage, the Sugarpum Cake Shop was THE cake reference of Paris. They hosted a small subdued stand, with simple black walls and a table laden with cake confections and photos of their previous creations. No frou-frous, no ostentatious overdone over-the-top extravagant display… just cake. Just a lady, a schedule and her cake. And she filled up her schedule with brides-to-be for tastings and design sessions, where the bride gets to decide what her cake will be like, because in spite of what everyone is trying to sell women, what they really want is simply a cake, a white dress and a husband who loves her.
Sugarplum does not only make wedding cakes, they make cakes for all occasions in any shape or design. If you have an idea they can make it edible (and delicious). I personally am addicted to their chocolate cake.
The only other stand that I was impressed by was the event planner Jean-Luc Blais stand. It was literally a decorative pièce montée all on its ow. And he of course, commissioned the Sugarplum fairies to make him a cake. So we like him!
If you go this weekend (it ends the 17th of Oct 2010), make sure you stop over to say bonjour to the ladies with the cake… and watch my video posted here to see the progress of their work on the cakes.