Friday, November 5, 2010

A happy husband is a cleanly husband

"The secret to a happy marriage is to roll up your sleeves and help your wife with the housework."

Andrew, I hope you're reading this.

After the honeymoon...

My friend Lauren, a recent bride, shared this article on marriage with me and another engaged friend this morning. It's titled "10 Shocking Secrets About the First Year of Marriage." In my opinion, this is largely a misnomer as I am not so much "shocked" as I am gently reminded of some of the less glamorous aspects of living together as a couple. It may be because Andrew and I have been cohabiting for a little over 5 years now or because we've dated for the better part of a decade, but we hit these bumps in the road as they came up with little or no shock to our single systems.

Andrew and I split chores. I am not, nor do I ever expect to be, Iron Chef of the household -- I can bake a cake in my sleep while Andrew can make a gourmet dish out of anything (including ramen noodles), and we're cool with that. We've always been "broke" since we moved in together and had to split rent, food, and entertainment costs so we don't expect our situation to improve at all after a $45,000 wedding. And the love weight? Let's hope the sack of potatoes I seem to have picked up around my hips and belly from lots of couch time with my fiance is all preemptive and won't come back after my wedding diet.

The one thing that does not shock me but worries me to no end is that seemingly close friends will start to drop off. I already experienced it to a degree when I first entered a relationship with Andrew and we were in that nauseating new-love period where you want to spend every waking moment together and prefer staying in bed cuddly-wuddling all day to going to parties and slamming shots at the bar with your friends. In that instance, the distancing by friends was warranted. Luckily, we both recovered our normal habits quickly and the casualties were minimal. But what will happen when we're no longer dating and are officially Mr and Mrs and become a package deal?

Most of my friends are single or casually dating and aren't even thinking about marriage, and we have very few couples to hang out with in this city of perennial singletons. Even so, Andrew and I have successfully navigated the pro-bachelor landscape as a couple thus far, endearingly referred to as "Mom and Dad" by some of our nearest and dearest friends. I hope that in marriage, my friends will still see that I'm still "me", just with a lot more bling on my finger and a last name that's much easier to pronounce!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

If it's free, I'll take it

Part of the joy of planning a wedding for such a large family and circle of friends is that the cost of food and drink for guests really eats away at the budget. Each time I think I've got my guest list cemented, I'm reminded of another aunt and uncle that I forgot out in Anywhere, USA... and their 4 children. And then the budget shifts a little bit. I can't forget that close family friend that grew up with my mom but I haven't seen since I was in middle school. And it shifts a little more.

There have been a lot of bridal contests popping up on the web lately, and believe me -- I've entered them all. Some are for photography packages, others for honeymoons or bridal gowns. I've submitted my info for each and every one of them almost instantly after finding them.

Bella Pictures, one of the largest wedding photography services, is offering a $4800 package to the lucky winner in their prize drawing. Down side is you also receive a slew of unwanted phone calls and emails from Bella within 24 hours of registering that is bordering on harassment. I guess it's the economy stupid?

My favorite luxury clothing and travel one-stop-shopping emporium, Gilt Group, is running a contest for an all-inclusive equally-luxurious honeymoon worth $5000. Applicants must plead their case to Gilt as to why they need or deserve their honeymoon to be paid for, and Gilt's anonymous panel of judges will decide. Although I doubt I have a sob story good enough to stand out, there's really no down side to this one -- everything about Gilt is simply golden.

TheKnot is encouraging engaged couples to share their stories of betrothal to subscribers on their site for a chance to win a five-night stay at any all-inclusive Dreams resort in the world. Not too shabby. And while the winners for the previous two contests are selected largely at random, TheKnot entries will be based on votes and reader comments.

This mean's I'll be encouraging everyone I know to VOTE FOR ALEXIS AND ANDREW ASAP!!!