Recently in Bridezilla Category

finally photos

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It's looking like I'm never going to do a write up of the Vegas trip, but now that it's so late as to be totally irrelevant I finally posted my photos. I had a lot of fun with the camera taking pictures of the crazy neon on Fremont street, the new Wynn hotel, the Bellagio's Fourth of July decorations, Venetian, and various scenery around the strip.

Plus a few wedding photos, taken by our friend Pru at the ceremony. We had intended to put our wedding clothes back on and spend a whole day taking photos of ourselves around Vegas. But with temps hitting 110° F there was no way. At least my dress was short, but Georg was in a wool suit! We managed about a half dozen photos before we gave up.

the celebrated mr. k

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Trying to write an organized trip report in chronological order is preventing me from writing one at all. That and the jet lag. (Didn't get to sleep until 1 am last night!) Instead I'm going to try writing about parts of the trip as they occur to me and see how that goes.

So Georg surprised me with tickets to the new Cirque du Soleil show, Love. This makes the fifth Cirque show in Vegas: Mystere, the original; O, with a water theme; Ka, with a fire theme (it also seems to be vaguely Asian from the posters); Zumanity, the "adult" show; and now Love, with a Beatles theme.

Now, I've always wanted to see Cirque du Soleil. Ever since the first time we went to Vegas I've wanted to see them. I never said anything because the tickets are so expensive. Especially that first time, we were broke and stayed at the tiny Algiers motel (gone now, so sad) and only did free things and rode the bus down to Fremont St. because we couldn't afford a taxi, much less a rental car. Expensive show tickets were just not an option. And I never said anything since then because, as I might have mentioned, I'm a cheap bastard.

Lucky for me, Georg is not. And though he had no idea how much I wanted to see Cirque du Soleil, he knew how much I like the Beatles. So he surprised me with tickets to Love. Which was just about perfect. A total surprise, and totally wonderful.

The show is at the Mirage, formerly the home of Sigfried and Roy, and they did it up with a mod theme: a giant Union Jack in the entry, mod bullseyes and Peter Max style murals inside, and cute outfits for the ushers. I had worn my stewardess dress, not thinking that it would be taken as a thematic costume. But I got compliments on my "groovy outfit" from a couple of the ushers (who were also made to put on British accents). Also a patron ran up to me before the show and said she had to know where I got my outfit. When I told her I had made it, she said "I know you did, but when? Nineteen-sixty-when?" I told her I had made it a couple of years ago but it was a 1966 pattern. She said she knew it because she used to make all her own clothes in the 60s and they looked just like my dress.

The show itself was great. Our seats were pretty close, although when we sat down, most of the stage was obscured by a series of hanging scrims. When the actors started to come out I was frustrated because I couldn't see much through the scrims, and thinking to myself that I'd have to be careful not to express my disappointment to Georg because I didn't want to seem ungrateful for such a nice gift. But just when I was thinking that, the scrims dropped and the music started and the stage basically exploded with people dropping from the ceiling and running in from all sides and coming up out of the floor. It was an amazing effect.

The show was full of elaborate staging and acrobatic feats. As I mentioned I had never seen Cirque du Soleil before, so I didn't know what to expect. But I definitely didn't expect them to set up half-pipes so four guys wearing mop-top wigs could skateboard around the stage. Or women hanging from ropes in the lotus position, sitting perfectly straight without using their hands. Or puppeteers with rows of tiny yellow galoshes that stomped in unison. Or a flying bed, or a guy in drag dressed as Queen Elizabeth I, except there was no skirt in back, just the bare pannier. Or a giant parachute-style cloth to briefly cover the stage and much of the audience, including us. I found out later that visual images were projected onto the cloth. I guess that was a special treat for the nosebleed seats.

The logistics of the show boggled the mind. The floor kept going up and down and I think they must have had several different platforms, because they replaced the props so quickly. Or one time they blew bubbles, and you could see that the floor was covered with bubble juice. I know from experience how that stuff gets, especially on a smooth surface. At the end of the number they dropped the floor away, and brought it back perfectly clean and safe for dancing. I don't think there was time to clean the soap off so they must have had another floor.

The props included 2 classic Volkswagon Beetles, and one was wrought iron! Well actually it looked to me like cast iron that had been made to duplicate the wrought iron art car Beetles. But still, it was beautiful. The other Beetle was shiny white, and looked like a late 60s model. It had the completely chrome bumper so it had to be from before the 70s, but the rear window was too large to have been from the 50s. Anyway, the white Beetle looked really nice, but I wondered how they made it go. It appeared to be moving under its own power, but the rear trunk (where the engine would go) was empty. In fact the car looked like most of its innards had been removed, so that dancers could climb in and out from all angles. Maybe they had a small electric engine inside somewhere. Also I think the roof was reinforced, because several times a dancer jumped onto the roof, with no denting or even momentary distortion.

Later on there was a third Beetle, another white one. When it came out I thought it was the same as the first one, but different: the bumper looked dull and the headlights were covered. Just as I was wondering what they had done to it, the Beetle flew apart into a dozen pieces! It was actually a group of dancers carrying Beetle parts on poles, moving in unison so the car appeared to be driving onto the stage like the others. Sort of a puppet, I guess. The parts must have been made out of fiberglass for weight, which is why the bumper and headlights looked funny.

One funny moment was near the beginning, when all the dancers were dressed on mod costumes. There was one woman in an amazing minidress, a black A-line with a high collar and giant yellow polka dots. She had light green tights and match pink cap and boots. Georg leaned over and asked me "did you see that dress?" I told him "Oh yeah, I'm going to be copying that!" She never got as close as I would have liked, but it looked to me like that polka dots were appliqued. They were so big, and fit exactly on the dress, six around from the hem to the bust. I don't see how they could have done that if it was a printed pattern.

Our only quibble was that they mostly played the monster hits -- for instance they played my two least favorite Beatles songs: "Yesterday" and "Hey Jude." We wished they had focused on more lesser-known Beatles songs instead. But as Georg mentioned, they needed to play the big hits to appeal to the Cirque du Soleil fans who might not know a lot of Beatles songs. And I must admit, sad but true, many people seem to genuinely like hearing the same few songs over and over. I don't understand it, but why else would classic hit radio stations like Sunny 93.9 exist.

So anyway, they mainly played the big hit Beatles songs, with a few exceptions like "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite." Which, duh, you couldn't very well do a show about the Beatles with "circus" in the name and not use that song. Then for the hard-core Beatles fans they included snippets of dialogue from studio outtakes that they had gotten from George Martin. Martin also remixed a lot of the music. Which sounds like it might be bad, since so many remixes these days are just taking a good song and ganking an over-aggressive beat onto it and then calling it a remix. But Martin did some interesting things with mixing multiple Beatles songs together. For instance they did a number that was all groovy and psychedelic and Maharishi-y, with "Tomorrow Never Knows" and "Within You Without You" mixed together. And then in the outro I caught a snippet of "The Inner Light" from the Rarities album.

I still wished they had gone for a few less obvious choices in the big numbers. Like instead of doing a performance around "Nowhere Man," they could have played "I'm a Loser" or "It's Getting Better." (Although "It's Getting Better" would require a sense of irony that might be lacking in the typical Vegas audience.) But at the end of the show they gave us a survey which asked for suggestions for improvement, and we were able to suggest a broader range of music and also more early music. Although, as Georg pointed out, it was natural for them to go mainly for the later Beatles songs because those tended to be more theatrical.

Before the show Georg and I talked about when we first started listening to the Beatles, and who were our favorite Beatles. Actually Georg didn't really have a favorite, although like me, Paul was his least favorite. John used to be my favorite, and then I started learning more about him and found out that he was kind of an asshole. I guess junkies can be like that. Then George was my favorite. He gets major coolness points for supporting Monty Python movies, not to mention the Rutles. But lately I've been developing more of an appreciation for Ringo. Compared to the other Beatles, his complete lack of hubris is a wonderful thing.

(Speaking of the Rutles, Georg and I agreed that the only thing that would have really improved Love is if they had included the Rutles in the musical selection. Cirque du Soleil performing to the Rutles, wouldn't that be a hoot? Goosestep Mama, oh yeah! Maybe if Neil Innes ever does another Rutles reunion show, he could call it "Rut" and have acrobats in goofy costumes.)

I heard on the radio that today is the show's opening night. Ringo, Paul, George and John's families, and George Martin are going to be there. I bet tickets for tonight's show were hard to get!

best bridal party ever


we have proof


No time as yet to post my photos, but Lisa posted a bunch of great ones. More later!

stuff it, bridey

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With joy I delete the unwatched episodes of Whose Wedding Is It Anyway from my DVR. I enjoyed that show a lot, but enough is enough. Especially as my own planning started to get hectic, I began to feel an unreasonable resentment of all those TV brides spending more than my annual income to be pampered and hand-fed and sheltered from all possible problems.

The first season was easier to take because it had more of a range of weddings. Some high-end but some decidedly low-end, for instance one where the bride made all the food herself. (And she wasn't a Martha Stewart-style caterer either; just a young woman trying to save money.) But I guess the show decided that people were more interested in the fantasy, and the newer episodes are always about expensive weddings, except for the "budget" weddings where the narrator tut-tuts that the couple had "only" $13,000 to spend.

watch it


attn mac people

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If anyone is reading this who has a Mac and has successfully installed the Windows Media Player plugin, could you contact me please? Thank you!!!

always look on the bright side

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Y'all are probably as tired of reading my complaints as I am of making them. So how about a more cheerful post.

The sewing went much better today. Thanks largely to Mod_complex' suggestion of using my teflon presser foot on the lace. Actually she suggested a rolling presser foot, which I don't have, but I do have a teflon presser foot, and that helped a lot. No more of the lace getting stuck or catching in the machine.

And while I'm looking on the bright side, the lack of stability in the lace, which was so crazy-making last night, made for the easiest easing of sleeves I've ever done. Seriously, it was great.

(If you have no idea what "easing of sleeves" means, and you care, go look at the shoulder seam of a woven shirt or jacket. The seam probably isn't totally flat; the sleeve probably stands up a little bit. That's because a set-in sleeve is bigger than the armhole it goes into. It has to be "eased": first the sleeve is gathered, and then sewn carefully so that none of the gathers get sewn into the seam. It's hard to describe it if you can't see it. But you end up with a smooth seam if you do it right, and a sleeve that puffs gently out from the armhole. If you mess up, you end up with little puckers or creases in the sleeve at the edge of the seam. I confess that I find sleeves challenging, and do mess them up more often than I'd like. So it was a relief to find it so easy with this lace.)

I got way more done tonight than I had expected. The bodice is entirely put together. Tomorrow I'll do the skirt, and then the lining on Wednesday. Then Thursday I can relax and hem while watching TV. It looks like I'm not going to end up in a crazy rush to finish sewing, like I usually do.

Best of all, a scheduling conflict later in the week that has been causing me major stress resolved itself all on its own. Talk about the bright side.



Did not get a lot done yesterday. I thought I'd work on the dress in the morning and then take a nap in the afternoon. Instead I fell asleep around 8:30 am and slept until 11. Then sat around feeling indolent and out of sorts most of the afternoon. I did work on some techie things but didn't get anything resolved.

I started sewing late in the afternoon. That lace is really hard to work with. I like to think of myself as fairly experience at sewing, but I guess not so much as I hardly ever deal with unusual or difficult fabrics. This stuff is crazy. It shifts all over the place, and the weight of the presser foot makes it stretch out and unravel. I solved that problem by setting the presser foot on "baste," hardly any pressure, but now the lace doesn't want to move forward on its own. It gets stuck in the machine unless I pull the fabric through by hand.

All I got done was zigzagging the edges, and I was exhausted. I felt like I had been working in the garden for hours, not sitting in front of my sewing machine. So I guess it didn't matter than I started so late; I wouldn't have accomplished much more anyway.

The next step will be assembling the silk underdress, which should be much easier. I decided to go with lining instead of underlining, because I need the lining to cover the raw edges of the lace. Even with the edges being zigzagged I don't think it will hold up to wear without unraveling.

cutting done

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Just finished cutting the fabric for the wedding dress. Good golly that lace was hard to cut. It kept shifting around, and I also had to overcome major anxiety because it was 5 times more expensive than anything I've ever worked with before. A mistake would have been brutal. But I didn't make any mistakes; or if I did, I can't tell.

The lace has a beautiful finished edge on the selvage, and I cut the pieces sideways so I can use that finished edge instead of a hem on the sleeves and bottom of the dress. I'm a little worried about the lace stretching out as it hangs. Maybe I'll try to lay it flat rather than hanging it up, until after the wedding.

I thought I'd have time today to zigzag the edges, but cutting took way longer than expected because I didn't have enough silk. I spent all afternoon laying the pieces out different ways to try and make it all fit. I finally did get all the pieces to fit, but I had to cut corners like including the selvages (I don't like doing that, but it isn't much heavier than the main fabric, and it's only in the seam allowance so it won't show) and sometimes laying a piece slightly off the edge of the fabric so the corner of the seam allowance was cut off. Hey, I just used the expression "cut corners" figuratively and literally at the same time! Ha!

Tomorrow I have to zigzag all the pieces and sew the underdress and underlining together. That is, if I do an underlining rather than a lining. I still haven't decided. Maybe I'll see what Threads magazine has to say about the two options.

pearls or no pearls?


I finished the sample dress last night! I'm really happy with the fit. Now I need opinions on accessories to go with the dress.

eyelet potato sack


I just finished the first sample dress. The pattern for the loose, more mod dress. It was a bit of a disappointment. Rather unflattering. In fact, it looked like a potato sack. An eyelet potato sack.

I'm bummed for several reasons: first, I thought (and still think) that of my two choices, this pattern is better suited to my lace. But there's no way I'm going to say my vows in front of God and Elvis wearing a lace potato sack.

Second, I was so sure this pattern would be the one that this morning I bought just enough dupoini silk to make the underdress of this pattern, but not enough for the other. Still, that may work out: with careful placement (and a short skirt on the underdress) I may be able to get the other pattern out of the silk.

Third, I made the sample dress out of an eyelet that I really liked, and don't want to go to waste. I may be able to salvage it by making a wide belt (like 3-4 inches wide) out of the leftover green linen from the underdress, and putting some darts into the eyelet. As it is, if I try to put a belt on it (as in view 5 in the picture) it gets all bunchy. But with some alterations I may end up with a usable dress out of this.

Looking on the bright side, this is why I made a sample dress. Now I know why I always avoided tent dresses before: because who wants to wear a tent?

more on the dress


I have the wedding dress narrowed down to two new patterns. I already have a dress in the pattern I was thinking of before. I wear it to art car trips, and in Houston I discovered it's a bit big now, and with the high waist and loose fit it looked dismayingly like a maternity dress. Next!

how to be sure

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When your boyfriend spends the morning running errands with you, including going into Sally Beauty Supply without complaint. Then spends the afternoon repairing decorations on your art car without you even having to ask. And then buys you a lovely dinner. That's how you know you're marrying the right guy.

the trouble with books

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The trouble with getting a stack of books from the library is that I always start reading them right away, even if I'm trying to save them for my trip. I read the guide to planning a long-distance wedding, which was beyond useless. If I had looked at the publication date -- 1994 -- I would have realized how out of date it would be. A whole chapter on how to view phone books from your destination city on microfiche at the library, but nothing about the Internet.

The only useful information in the entire book was a reminder that each state has different requirements for divorced people getting marriage licenses. Georg and I are both divorced but neither one of us had thought about that. The Nevada license bureau website says that we don't need copies of our divorce decrees (whew!) but we do need to know the exact dates of our respective divorces. I have no idea whatsoever. I don't even remember the year of my divorce. I know it was in the late 90s. '97 probably. I guess I'll ask my lawyer. He might have kept a file on me. If not, he'll be able to tell me how to find out.

Actually I'm being too hard on the book. Mostly it was useless because most of its advice doesn't apply to me. How to interview a caterer over the phone, how to make sure a wedding planner in another city is doing what you want rather than what they want, and isn't ripping you off, that kind of thing. And can I just say, thank god I don't need this advice. I want our wedding to be a vacation, not an ordeal.

the veil

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I put a bid on a wedding veil on Ebay.

the shoes

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The wedding shoes arrived today!

the dress


I haven't done anything lately except work and gardening. So let's talk about the dress!

it's my day


I've been reading the Etiquette Hell website. Scary stuff.

It's kind of amazing how far people will sink. From what I've read so far, there are two main types of stories: first, brides with a monstrous sense of entitlement who place enormous burdens on their guests, relatives and/or attendants, and are totally rude and ungrateful about it. Second, relatives or attendants with a monstrous sense of entitlement, who decide that someone else's wedding is all about them and do their level best to ruin the wedding. But the common thread in all the stories is people screaming at each other. So much screaming.

It's hard to pick out a worst story. One that stands out is the mother of the groom who demanded that the couple move their wedding across country to her town, where none of the bride's family could attend; demanded veto power over the location, food and flowers; doubled the guest list even though the couple were paying for the event; and then, without telling them, hired a pair of dwarves to dress up as bride and groom "dolls" and perform a comedy skit about marriage at the reception. All the while berating the bride for destroying her son's life, and telling the rest of the groom's family that the bride hated them all. That one was pretty bad.


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With six ayes and no nays, I think I can safely prattle at least a little bit without offense. Thanks to the magic of extended entries, I'll put the details behind a cut to protect the sensibilities of the wedding averse.

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