Friday, August 7, 2009


Bridezilla-esque request #1:
I want 12 dogs with heart-shaped markings to mingle with the guests during cocktail hour. We can start with these two from Japan.
I'll paint the other 10 if need be.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Slimfast Can Bite Me

July has been a long stressful month for me. I've been working crazy long hours at work and have had to attend a number of cocktail parties, so needless to say my diet and exercise routine has been less than stellar. Add to that my Starbucks habit that tends to spiral out of control during times of stress and things only got worse. Not only are the calories unneeded, the espresso makes me crazy. During one caffeine induced bout of anxiety I texted my mom, "I'm worried I won't be able to fit into my dress."

In hindsight, I know I was being crazy. The wedding is still 9 months away and my dress won't even be fitted until 6 months from now. And once I got back to the gym I stepped on the scale and I've gained 3, maybe 4 lbs. As my friend Zipporah said, "that's just water weight, don't worry." Or as Big Dave more elegantly put it, "I take bigger shits than that, you'll be fine." Point being, I'll get back on track with my regular routine and I'll be back to my good ole self in a couple of weeks. The dress will fit. Everything will be fine. And even if I keep the "weight" on I'm sure I would look great.

Which is why wedding propaganda like this Slimfast ad from 2001 is so infuriating. Thanks, Slimfast, for trying to make me feel bad about myself. Thanks for feeding into the crazy.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Yep, he's Laotian

From a meeting with a potential wedding officiant:

"Do you have any special family traditions? Heritage we need to honor? Mark, um, what are you?"

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Recessionista bride: Bring on the fries!

Apparently faux junk food is oh-so-trendy for brides planning during our current economic climate.

From a New York Times article today:
“No one wants to be vulgar,” said Susan Holland, a party planner who has arranged weddings in Los Angeles. “No one wants the perception of abundance. A lot of people, their friends don’t have what they used to and they don’t want it thrown in their faces.”

Enter the french fry cones. And the gourmet Hostess cupcakes. And, a selection from my preferred caterer: amuse bouche sliders. Yum.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

10 Worst Father / Daughter Dance Songs recently ran an article on the Top 10 Worst Wedding Songs which inspired me to take it a twisted step further: Top 10 Worst Father / Daughter Dance songs.

1. "Thank Heaven for Little Girls" Maurice Chevalier

The particularly pervy version that comes immediately to mind is from My Father the Hero. Gérard Depardieu and Katherine Heigl before she was famous-- check it out. The premise is unsettling.

2. "Love In An Elevator" Aerosmith
I know, this one is out of left field, but Mark always brings this up as a suggestion. I guess it's the most inappropriate song he can think of.

3. "Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon" Neil Diamond

4. "Like A Virgin" Madonna

These songs come in handy for very young brides that haven't had "the talk" yet.

5. "Brown Eyed Girl" Van Morrrison

6. "Tiny Dancer" Elton John

Two sing-along favorites.... about whorin'.

7. "Sexual Healing" Marvin Gaye

Ew. Gross.

8. "Landslide" Fleetwood Mac

This seems to be a favorite song choice on wedding sites, but has anyone actually looked at the lyrics?

Well, Ive been afraid of changing

cause Ive built my life around you

Yes, Daddy, it's all about you.

9. "Butterfly Kisses" Bob Carlisle

Another cringe-worthy favorite for those who don't understand metaphors. I believe the song actually uses the term "Father / Daughter Dance" in the lyrics.

10. "Don't Call Me Daughter" Pearl Jam

The title is pretty self-explanatory.

Note: For those of you looking looking to keep the vomit to a minimum, has put together a great compilation of
non-sappy father / daughter dance songs.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Herding cats: Adventures in wedding planning

I am by no means a bridezilla. I'm not that picky about the details. I don't care about napkin colors or flower arrangements. I don't need things to be perfect. SO WHY AM I SO STRESSED?

I've been contemplating this over the past few weeks as I've endured nightmares about venue chairs and non-veggie empanadas and I've decided it comes down to one thing: Wedding vendors are like god damn, crazy cats!

I need a wedding vendor that's like a dog- happy to see me, fetches me what I want, obeys my every command. Instead I'm dealing with vendors that do what they want, when they want, with no regard to me or my schedule. I want a full vegetarian menu? Too bad, I'm getting some dead birds and I better like it. Need a quote by the end of the week? Well, they'll get around to it. I feel like I'm trying to lure Black Mamba (my cat) out from under the bed: "Please, please, caterer. If you just give me a quote I'll give you a treat." I just wish I knew the wedding vendor equivalent of "getting the broom."

It takes a whole laundry list of people to put together a wedding- even a small wedding. You've got the venue coordinator, caterers, photographers, florists, a minister, dj, dressmaker, butcher, baker, and candlestick maker. And from my experience so far, every single one is completely unpredictable. I'm going to end up like these guys trying to wrangle everyone together. I better find my cowboy boots and lasso.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tastes like chicken: Wedding hulk out #1

At a recent tasting, the caterer fed us chicken. Mark and I are both vegetarian and had told them so several times. Whoopsy.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Finding a minister: It's Tricky (tricky, tricky tricky)

We have the location. I have the dress. Now we have to find someone to make this thing legal. Since neither Mark and I are members of a church, or in good standing with the law, a priest or a judge is out of the question. That leaves us with a ship's captain, a justice of the peace, or ... Rev Run.

Yes, that's right, Joseph Simmons a.k.a. Rev Run: Hip hop pioneer, co-founder of Run D.M.C, and most importantly, ordained minister. Just think- I could book the minister and the DJ in one fail swoop. The only problem is his rates start at $50,000 for a personal appearance. Ouch. Time to start re-thinking the budget.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"So is the wedding off or what? This blog has been totally quiet, yo."

Yes, the wedding is still on! In fact, we have officially set a date: May 15, 2010.

I apologize for the lack of updates but I've just recently recovered from a a two month infliction of TBS. That's "Tired Bone Syndrome," a condition first diagnosed in 2008 by Dr. Mark Hing. It is defined by a patient's inability to do anything after a long day at work except watch horrible tv, specifically programs involving spoiled twenty somethings and bitchy housewives. But thanks to my newly prescribed nightly dose of Cherry Coke Zero I will soon be back on my feet and blogging regularly. Stay tuned for updates on my dress, the caterers, and the bane of my existence: the save the date cards.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Will there be dancing?!?

Of course, my darlings, there will be dancing!

My friend Josh casually mentioned last night that his girlfriend Dana is concerned that there will be no dancing at the wedding. Dana, you obviously don't know the Gibsons! We have sweet moves and we'll take any opportunity to get down with the get down. Add alcohol to the equation and we just gotta dance!

Case in point, my dear sister here "Gettin' Low"
á la Flo-Rida in a full length ballgown.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Our Amsterdam adventure a.k.a. Matt Damon smoked here!

It's been about 10 days since Mark and I returned from our whirlwind trip to Amsterdam. The vacation was my engagement gift to Mark — I got a ring and he got 5 days in the land of legal drugs and prostitution.

As we were packing to leave we realized that this was our first real vacation together, or as Mark put it: our first trip without mommies and daddies. We weren't going to either parents house, or a family wedding, we were just vacationing together.


Just by ourselves.

While that fact didn't bother me one bit, it sure seemed to bother everyone around us. I received a lot of sarcastic wishes of "Good Luck!" before I left town and I got the strange feeling that everyone thought we'd either 1) come back broken up, or 2) we would final "get to know each other" i.e. new, annoying traits would completely ruin our trip. To the contrary, we actually discovered we're rather good traveling companions! And to prove it, I've compiled a short list of "Good" things we discovered about each other while in Europe:

1. We both think french fries and ice cream is an acceptable dinner. And we agree that pancake + pesto = awesome.

2. Mark is rather protective of me. He spent the whole trip with one hand attached to the small of my back so I wouldn't dart into traffic. I felt a little bit like one of those toddlers on a leash but he kept me from being run over by a tram once so maybe I do need a bodyguard.

3. We both find the Dutch version of Ducktales hysterical.

4. Our afternoon napping schedules were in synch the entire vacation. What? Coffee shops can be exhausting!

5. Mark is more afraid of me than of U.S. customs officials. Good to know. This marriage may work out after all.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Great Scott!

Groom's cake? Hell, yes! From Cake Wrecks, my favorite foodie blog.

Engagement Party!

Mark and I have amazing friends here in Chicago-- every single one of them showed up for our engagement party on February 10! We haven't had this great a turn out since our 80's prom party back in 2005 (but, really, who can resist a fridge full of jello shots?)

For more pics of the great engagement party that Zipporah and the folks at Matilda's put together head on over to my facebook page. I promise to post them up there someday. For now this picture of me and my burgeoning Michelle Obama arms will have to suffice.

Tiny, tiny cakes: Part deaux

Ain't they cute? These little snack'ems took an ungodly amount of time to make but all the guests seemed to enjoy them (as well as a certain little pup.) Thanks to Zipporah for letting me use her kitchen as the dipping station.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress

I've been neglectful of my poor little blog recently. I have updates to share but have been rather tardy in posting them. So while photos of my petits four success and the engagement party continue to sit on my desktop at home, I will distract you from my laziness with this book by Susan Jane Gilman.

I'm a fan of both memoirs and short stories so Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress was a fun, easy read for me. Her personal essays reminded me a lot of myself in that both Ms. Gilman and I find humor and absurdity in our typically unremarkable lives. And we both struggle with contemporary feminism— thus her tale of being shocked by herself when she falls in love with a big, pouffy white dress at David's Bridal. That's kind of the stage I'm in right now, too; who knew I would love weddings so much? The rest of her essays range from tales of growing up with wacky parents to adjusting to life abroad. Not just about weddings, it's definitely a book worth picking up if you need a giggle or two.

Monday, February 16, 2009

We heart cats

Mark and I saw the best idea for a cake topper yesterday-- Tokidoki's Skeletrino and Skeltrina. For those of you that don't speak dork, I'm talking about the quirky little cat figurines/toys pictured to the left. So much cuter than bride and groom figurines, right?! We'll definitely be shopping at Kidrobot soon.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tiny, tiny cakes = tiny, tiny anxiety attacks

For our engagement party next week I've decided that I'm making the guests little packages of petits fours as favors. That's right, I'm making dozens upon dozens of tiny, tiny heart-shaped cakes that all need to be hand-dipped in icing and individually decorated. When I concocted this idea weeks ago it was the greatest idea ever! I love cupcakes and cake decorating so making petits fours is just a natural progression, right? Well since then I've realized that 1) I enjoy eating cupcakes not necessarily making them, and 2) cake decorating was fun when I was little and my mom was on clean-up duty.

So, this weekend may turn into a heart-shaped disaster. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

And so it begins...

I had my first wedding related nightmare last night. The nightmare was rather bizarre simply because I'm so early in the process that there's really nothing to stress out about. And yet, I woke up in cold sweats-- over the horrors of having to wear a pink lace mermaid gown.

For those unfamiliar with the mermaid gown, let me explain: it is a look that can only be pulled off by 7 foot tall drag queens performing on stage nightly at the Golden Nugget. The mermaid gown is cut so that it is form fitting through that bust, butt, and thighs and then flares out with a big poof below the knee. So, basically, it's a style of dress that makes you look a foot shorter while enlarging your hips and can only be balanced out by a big bouffant hair-do. It's the fashion industry's big F-U to all normal sized women.

And not only was the dress a mermaid gown, but it was made of sheer, pink lace. So sheer that you could clearly see my black granny panties because, of course, that would be my underwear of choice for my wedding day.

Oh, and bonus, my professionally done make-up ended up more like war paint than a wedding day glow.

As Tim Gunn would say it was a lot of look.

Friday, January 30, 2009

You know, that dude

Despite the addition of a fab-o ring on my finger, Mark is still my "boyfriend". Since I am neither french nor a dandy I will not be using the word "fiancé". It just seems so awkward and pretentious, like when people add random foreign words into their lexicon to seem cool.

Bonjour, chicas! Let's go to mi casa for some vino! And tor-tee-yas. Ciao!

¡Ay dios mio! It's too much!

The closest I've come so far is by referring to Mark as "My boyfriend, fiancé, whatever, you know, that dude". Doesn't quite roll off the tongue, does it? So he will remain my "boyfriend" until he officially becomes Mr. Mark Hing-Gibson.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I said WE?!?

I was trolling the internets for Kristen Wiig's "I said WE" skit but ran across this instead:

Hopefully our anniversaries will be this full of song...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Traditionally Nontraditional

BIG DAVE (aka my dad): "Well, you don't want a dress..."

DENISE: "Yes, Dad, I do. I'm not wearing a bathrobe down the aisle."

That's the problem I'm already running into with this whole wedding business. Expectations that I'm going to be a total wack-a-do.

Granted, years ago as a budding feminist, I had stronger "views" about marriage/weddings/getting engaged. I used to be dead set against engagement rings. I mean, it's the same as having a man put a big 'ole bought and paid for sign on you, right? Well, I loosened up on that view when I realized I'd be missing out on a really nice piece of jewelry. Some of my other views about wedding traditions have loosened as well-- I definitely think my family will be surprised by many of my choices:

For many reasons, I was still against a diamond engagement ring. My compromise instead was to 1) choose a sapphire as the center stone, the traditionally nontraditional way to go nowadays, and 2) give Mark an engagement gift in exchange. I got a ring and he got two tickets to Amsterdam-- now we're equally in debt!

The color will be....WHITE! I bet that surprised a few of you. But any objections to a white gown are completely overshadowed by the fact that I DO NOT want to look like I'm going to my prom. I've never seen a non-white dress that's worked at a wedding, so my fashion senses tell me to stick with tradition.

Wow, this one was a toughy. While I hate the idea of being "given away" (hellooo, I'm not a piece of property) at heart I'm a daddy's girl. Why hurt my father's feelings because I'm afraid people will read too much into my walk down the aisle? Plus, it was such a touching moment when my father walked my sister down the aisle that I can't imagine passing this up.

I have to admit, this is still up for discussion. I like my last name- I've become quite fond of it over the past 28 years! Of all the traditionally nontraditional possibilities- hyphenating, legally going by Hing but still publicly going by Gibson, having Mark change his name (!)- I think I still may go with the ultimate traditional-nontradition: not changing a damn thing. We'll see...

We're Getting Hitched

Yes, Mark and I are engaged! He proposed via blog (how appropriate) on December 23, 2008. It's been somewhat interesting telling people. I mean, Mark and I have known for quite awhile that we would be together forever. We've lived together for about 3 years and in a lot of ways we're already an old married couple. Case in point, The Spousal We:

DENISE: "We need to clean the dishes this weekend."
MARK: "Ok, I'll do them after I finish my stories."

So when people scream in reaction "OMG, OMG!" and jump up and down I'm somewhat surprised. Who knew a piece of jewelry would get everyone so excited?

If I'm only a few weeks into this process and already surprised and confused, wow, this is going to be quite a journey. Probably one worth recording.

I promise I'll keep the romantic drivel to a minimum. And hopefully my posts about the planning process won't seem like a transcript from My Super Sweet Sixteen. But definitely check back to see how the wedding is coming together! And if you want to see the blog that started it all, check out Mark's blog