A Blogazine, based out of Park Slope, Brooklyn, that features fun and interesting articles. Topics include: parenting, society, real estate, career, style, spirituality and more. Written contributions are always welcome!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Abbi Crutchfield: "Planning the Disaster"

Abbi Crutchfield, Photo by: Anya Garrett

I knew I was dragging my feet on my wedding planning when my long-single cousin announced her engagement. Not only did it come three months after my own (unbeknownst to her, as I have not yet informed my extended family), but she will have been married six months before my ceremony is scheduled to take place. It’s not cold feet—it’s cold cake…and cold dress, and cold invitations... Every detail is frozen in my brain, too precious to thaw for fear it become a tangible, wrong choice. The prospect of planning a wedding is so overwhelming that my fiancĂ© and I have been putting it off like a dinner date with obnoxious neighbors. And in our minds, that is sort of what a wedding is. The best way to discover what I will have on my Big Day is to rule out what I will not have. Chicken fingers, for example. When these turn up at a reception, the bride and groom are sending a strong signal…or three: “We don’t care that you’re here. This should shut your kid up. Heck, we would have bought fish sticks, but we can’t afford the ketchup,” I learned this after several formal dinners catered by Applebee’s.

I Give You the Top Five Tips I Have Learned from Attending Other Weddings.

1. The friend who is the worst at karaoke will be your soloist. I used to think it was an accident, but after sitting through enough off-key Ave Maria’s I could see the method to this madness. A weak warbler is cheap entertainment for the guests, and the bride and groom (collectively, "The Broom") are too dazed and exhausted to be bothered by it.

2. The sky is the limit but the basement is bottomless. People fuss about a set budget, but there is no end to how inexpensive you can go with your wedding. Take the music. A live band is cheaper than a famous musician. A DJ is cheaper than a live band. An iPod is cheaper than a DJ, and your “Party Mix” tape is cheaper than an iPod. Plus your friends already know all the words to it.

3. The dress is a blip on the radar. One of the most costly aspects of the wedding is oddly enough the most forgettable. As a guest, I never investigate what fabric a gown is made of, nor can I see the detail from where I am sitting. In fact, the moment I always remember is when "The Broom" starts crying, so if you’re going to invest in white material, try a box of strong tissues.

4. Flowers can hurt egos. Arguably the most dangerous part of a wedding day is the violence that occurs when catching the bouquet. This competition is not for the luck the floral bundle represents, but for the minimal level of skill required to win. It’s like tossing a beach ball over the fence, and the fence is invisible. The simplicity of the task turns everyone into Willie Mays. To keep elbows out of faces, one might consider lighting the flowers on fire and distributing Super Soakers.

5. Waiting sucks. The more you have going on before the reception—photos, announcers, special dances—the longer it takes to get food. Food is the only reason people came. Never underestimate the power of a complimentary meal. Think of free bagels in the conference room. Now put those bagels under a long PowerPoint presentation on maximizing company growth. Makes you mad you sat down, doesn’t it? Don’t worry. At least there are chicken fingers in the caf'.

A comedy virtuoso, Abbi Crutchfield keeps her plate full in New York city with writing, performing stand-up, improvisational comedy, creating sketches, starring and directing in short films and producing a live comedy hour show in Park Slope called The Living Room. She is also a regular contributor to Hip Slope Mama.

To find out more about how Abbi and her fiance met and got engaged visit their wedding site on theknot.com For a daily laugh, read her Curly Comedy blog.