Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Like rabbits!

Ever the over-achievers, two couples of this summer's Team Matrimonial are already expecting!

It looks like our rounds of wedding attendance will be replaced by rounds of baby showers. Time to start cooing over the cute things on the web....

Hopefully, someone will name their child Zeke or Zelda. (The H for Horse is nowhere near as much fun.)

The babies can rewrite history as settlers and Native Americans float above their cribs...
Show down in the Wild West from SaltyandSweet

Just what Bay Area renters need:
A portable "Grow with me" growth chart from Inklore

For the future executive...
kraftykim, via thoughtfulday

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rings from Nature

Ooops! Somehow I stumbled into jewelry while Christmas shopping for other people.

Though my rings are fairly traditional, even vintage style, I'm loving the organic shapes, raw diamonds, and architectural balance of these designs, along with the artists' commitments to "right relationship with the earth, people and our natural and social environment as a whole."

These are great options for someone looking for designs a little more fashion forward than what's offered at Brilliant Earth (and further fodder for the files of "if we did it again, but slightly differently."*)

Shibumi Gallery, in Berkeley, is another stylish source of sustainably crafted, artisanal rings, as is the blogosphere's much beloved Beth Cyr.

Wouldn't this be a great ring for a surfer girl?

A stunning non-traditional engagement ring...

Todd Reed

Todd Reed

Todd Reed

*Or, recalling the advice from my niece to get one engagement ring for each finger, perhaps these are required as part of our marital contract ;-)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Anniversaries and milestones

What, anniversaries already, when you're still posting wedding recaps???

Well and duly noted, Observant Reader.

It is, however, a year and a couple days since Eric and I got engaged (a story I recounted here), which, to my mind, was the point at which our commitment became permanent. At first, the commitment felt like such a private thing that a public ceremony and party seemed superfluous. But, as a wise person pointed out, a relationship may be private, but a marriage is public.

Simultaneous with that anniversary, a number of milestones were growing near: would the blog reach 50 followers, 200 posts, or the blogoversary of a year of posting first?

50 came first! (Five more posts until the bicentennial. Another month 'til the blogoversary.)

I am honored, Dear Readers, that you take time to check in on Chez Barefoot and share your thoughts. It's been such a pleasure virtually meeting the thoughtful, down-to-earth wedding bloggers. You all saved my sanity more than once during the wedding planning process. I've learned a ton from your comments, and from reading your blogs. My wedding planning -- and life! -- have been considerably enriched by sharing this journey with my virtual friends. (I even have a partial post called "How blogging helped me write my dissertation." Eventually I'll get around to finishing it and demonstrate how procrastination was actually a useful scholarly tool. Take note, current PhD candidates!)

What's next? I just received 944 wedding photos -- some more of those will surely show up in this space. I have some more ideas about planning a green and sane wedding that I'd like to share... and these will probably segue into thoughts about having a green and sane married life: having more time, more joy and less stuff.

Friday, December 11, 2009

For the treehugger who's been nice, very nice

Oh my. I'm supposed to be finishing up my Christmas shopping online before we wing off to Pataogonia, but instead I've stumbled across a new Etsy love: nodeform. The balance and design of swirly architectural/ organic shapes is just amazing.

Maybe Santa's reading...

I'd love to wrap my arm in leaves...
Or bark...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The princess and the pea, and the elusive organic cotton sheets

Once there was a princess who was both sensitive and thoughtful. When it came time for her to wed, family and friends asked what kinds of gifts would please the blissful couple. Linens to stock the new household was the answer.

But not just any linens. Because of her sensitive skin, the princess insisted on sleeping on sheets that had a count of at least 500 threads per inch, and towels that felt soft to the hand. And because of her thoughtfulness, she wanted linens that would create the least amount of pollution in their production.

She and the prince visited a large emporium to caress all the linens until they found sheets and towels that met their needs for both softness and sustainability, made of organic cotton.

They conveyed this information to their friends, who generously gifted the perfect organic cotton towels to the happy couple.

The couple was so pleased with the towels that they returned to the emporium to purchase a few more for their houseguests to use. They were then dismayed to learn that the organic line had been discontinued, and towels in their color were no longer available.

Through the magic of the internet, they were able to find other organic cotton towels, but some were the wrong color and others appeared poorly made. Sadly, they left the store with conventional cotton towels, disappointed that it was so difficult to find the type of sustainably produced towels they sought.

{Anyone got a good source for soft organic towels???}

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

How we almost avoided a first dance

Neither the Mr. nor I are especially graceful dancers. Of the two of us, he has more skill. My style is more to bounce and bob in some semblance of rhythm with the music. I have no real moves.

While dancing with one of the mister's friends at a wedding the month before ours, the friend suggested that I might want to look into dance lessons before our wedding (!). Yeah, I'm that uncoordinated.

Over the summer, we had planned to take some ballroom dancing lessons at a place just a mile or so from our house. But with the mayhem of dissertation writing, job starting and wedding planning, the plan never became reality.

We figured we'd have the DJ start the music while we were cutting the cake, so that guests could immediately begin dancing. At first, the plan went well. The infectious '80s music drew everyone onto the dance floor.

But then... our plan was foiled! The Women of Honor stopped the music for toasts, and to start the dancing again, the DJ played In Your Eyes and everyone spread to the edges of the room. I think they even chanted first dance, first dance. This despite the fact that it was after 9, and we were sweaty from dancing for hours.

So there we were, in the middle of an empty room, with nothing to do but dance.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The trouble with wife

Of all the terms we have for our beloveds, wife is not sitting well with me.

Fiancee felt so glamorous. It implied limitless potential. It was redolent of endless rounds of chic parties, cocktail dresses, and Audrey Hepburn's effortless grace and style.

Wife brings all that glamorous potential down to the ground with a thud. Pot roasts. Vacuuming.

Don't get me wrong. I'm thrilled beyond belief to be Eric's spouse. His life partner. His companion. Even his muse or 'better half.' I just don't want to be a wife.

I brought this up at a party with some recently married friends.

Me: Is anyone else having trouble with the word wife?
Woman #1: Yeah, it's an ugly word. Like 'moist.'
Me: Moist?
Woman #1: Yeah grimaces ] moist, wife. Ugh. Those words don't role off the tongue. Not like husband.
Man #1: "Moist wife" - that's just how I like her to be. heh heh.
Woman #2: Wife might be ok. Just wait 'til you're a Mom.

I know that there's a move to 'reclaim' wife. Good. We should do that. In the meantime, I think I'd rather be a partner or a spouse.

Husband is awesome. During our reception, I was running around, inquiring of every guest: "Have you seen my HUSBAND?" So fun.

But 'wife', in my mind, is too much tied to confining, 1950s-style images, of the loss of idealism and creativity so brilliantly captured in Revolutionary Road. I feel like I might suddenly become invisible. Wife seems so tied up with essentialized images of 'how women are' and 'what women should be': endlessly caring, subverting their needs to those of their families, putting their dreams and goals on hold to nurture those of others.

Is anyone else having trouble with the term wife?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Persimmon perfection

What an adorable and tasty way to do escort cards/ favors all in one! The persimmons could be delicious snacks, mid-party, when energy is waning.

Now there's a whole new category in my mind: if we did it again, but slightly differently. This idea is definitely filed there.

Which is not to say that I would have done anything differently. Although people say that things will go wrong -- and it's certainly a good idea to be prepared for that eventuality -- I can honestly say that virtually nothing* went wrong.

Our persimmons were artfully scattered, along with pomegranates, as table decor. Local, seasonal, and easy to procure, they picked up the deeps reds and oranges of the flowers and gentlemen's ties.

Guests took home these healthy snacks. A month later, they are just eating last ones. The sturdiness of autumn foods like pumpkins, squashes and pomegranates makes me think of fortitude, forbearance, and persistence.

*To my knowledge, three rather minor things went wrong.** There might have been others, but I was blissfully unaware, having handed off the reins to our Day of Coordinator. I didn't even know about two of the glitches until the end of the evening, when Eric told me as we were driving away. I am so grateful that he shielded me from fretting about these details during the evening. The other incident -- the result of misunderstanding combined with a bit of deafness -- I dealt with in two minutes and then things were fine.

** Maybe there was a fourth: Guests weren't able to hear the splendid acoustic stylings of our friends during cocktail hour because of the poor acoustics of the reception space. Oh well.

Thanks to wedding guests Rob and Madeleine for the photos!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Our wedding on Green Wedding Shoes!!!

Wow, wow, wow!

I've been reading Green Wedding Shoes for ages, seeking inspiration and admiring all the stylish, sophisticated weddings featured there -- and now we get to join that exalted company!

Aiii-yiiii! Go check it!

I am so honored that our our efforts toward an environmentally and socially responsible wedding inspired photographer Kate Harrison to create a new promotion. She wrote to me:

[Y]our amazing & close to your heart (and mine!) efforts to have a
sustainable and organic wedding really knocked my socks off and fired me up. ... your wedding inspired me to create "bee-green", which encourages couples to incorporate five eco elements into their wedding for 5% off their photography.

How cool is that??? I couldn't be more pleased that Kate is encouraging other brides to consider sustainable, organic, local and reusable options! What a great way to share the joy, while stepping lightly on the planet. Now, go forth, and bee green!

Godspeed, Team Matrimonial

Part of what made my journey toward the wedding extra special fun was that it was shared with four other couple friends: Data Monkey and Mountain Man Mike had the lead off last May. (We'll soon be going to a baby shower for those precocious kids!).

The wedding season really got rolling later in the summer, when the weddings of BootCamp, Dr. Cowgirl, and Doc Water and Doc Bee occurred in three consecutive months... leading up to the grand finale, Barefoot on the Beach Day, in late October.

The final three weddings were deeply intertwined. Doc Water and Dr. Cowgirl had been housemates in grad school and remain close friends. Doc Bee and Mr. Barefoot were grad school friends on the east coast, and both ended up in the Bay Area, where they collaborated on research projects. Dr. Cowgirl and I bonded during our first days of grad school when I admired her intricate ring, and I got to know Doc Water when they were housemates.

We were all at a dinner party, when Dr. Cowgirl's husband, the soon-to-be Dr. J, observed that he had never been at a party where everyone in attendance was married. All being newly married, none of the rest of us had either. Wow. Go, Team Matrimonial!

Sharing the ups and downs of the journey - as well as paper lanterns, twinkling lights, vases, invitation beta, decor tricks, registry advice, dress shopping expeditions, minor freakouts and hair styling tips - with these lovely folks made it ever so much more sweet and memorable.*

It was bittersweet, then, to bid Doc Water and Doc Bee farewell last night, as they gave away their house plants and cleaning products, and urged us to down what remained of their liquor cabinet, as they prepared to point their car east and begin new jobs in a distant southern metropolis.

Too soon, too soon! We just finished celebrating! Sometimes being a grownup kinda sucks.

*especially, perhaps, because I don't have sisters -- these ladies filled in on the pre-wedding girl-talk.

Monday, November 30, 2009


What we did:

How we felt:

It just makes you dizzy...
Hard to believe that it's been a month already!

See more of Kate Harrison's exuberant artistry here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Zen and the art of Thanksgiving

Wedding planning is not the only social occasion to have been professionalized and perfected to the point of making ordinarily sane people crazy.

In the age of local, free-range, organic, fair trade food, Thanksgiving has its own conundrums (conundra?), including whether to serve turkey at all.

Consider, as the New York Times explains:

Your grandmother did not have to worry about this; a turkey was a turkey. Your turkey, however, must be free range and organic, and your sweet potatoes should be heirloom and local. Not only should you pick our own pumpkin, you should process it yourself (while hearing the voice of Martha Stewart say that she would never throw away the seeds — such a tragedy that would be!), and not only should you make your own fudge, but you should use the appropriate (fair trade and high cocoa content) chocolate. It’s a wonder you’re not making your own marshmallows, though Martha thinks perhaps you should.

Put this all together, along with your own sense of inadequacy (if you don’t have one, congrats — but are you sure?) and you have a situation that cannot be other than overwhelming.

Given all this pressure toward perfection, the Times has a perfect Thanksgiving recipe: just relax. After all,
When did performance anxiety and guilt become prerequisites for offering family and friends nourishment and hospitality?
Words the queen of social stress needs to hear! It's so easy to focus on what could go wrong, rather than on what will inevitably go right when dear ones are gathered at Thanksgiving, a wedding or any other social event.

We'll be joining friends and colleagues in San Francisco -- so much easier when someone else plans the menu!

Wishing you all a happy and relaxing Thanksgiving!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

How green was our wedding?

I'm still having a hard time digesting our glorious Beach Day into bite-size pieces suitable for blog-serving. It was epic. It was metaphysically earth-shaking. It was one of the most beautiful days ever. How do I take that and turn it into blog recaps? I don't yet know.

I do want to share what we did, and what we learned in this space, eventually. When we first started planning the wedding, I was lost at sea, awash in an overwhelming number of opinions, options, and "musts." The sane voices out there were such a welcome respite from all the gauzy images and lists of must dos (on which I was eternally behind!). I want to add our experience to the catalog of sanity.

It was important to us to have a wedding in line with our daily values, as environmental professionals. I've found tips for sane and green weddings all over the web. Before the wedding, I started to compare our plans with this list of eco-chic wedding tips from San Francisco Style Unveiled. Herewith, some more of the results:

26. Order your programs to be printed on 100% recycled post
consumer waste paper that has been processed without chlorine.
hmmm... Mr. Barefoot got them printed at the local print shop. Not sure what kind of paper was used. I'd have to say, though, forgoing programs entirely would probably be a more eco-friendly alternative. As I wrote here, unless the ceremony is in a religious tradition that many guests are unfamiliar with, it's not like there's so much going on that people can't keep track of it.

27. Rather than hosting a full bar, have a personalized cocktail made of organic ingredients – including organic vodka.
Fail. Beer, wine and gin were from BevMo. Sometimes, convenience rules.

29. Use food that is in-season for the reception.
Check. Katie Powers Catering focuses on local, organic, seasonal food that is shockingly delicious! People are still talking about the food!

30. Keep the wedding small. The more guests you invite, the bigger the carbon footprint left from the wedding.
Define 'small.' It all depends on your point of view. For folks with huge, gregarious families, a 100-person wedding might seem small. From my point of view, it was by far the biggest party I'd ever thrown.

31. Donate the flowers from your wedding to a hospital.
Or how 'bout you guests? All the flowers and vases went home with guests. Check.

32. Give each guest an 11-watt compact fluorescent bulb as a favor. Each replaced 50-watt incandescent bulb with the wedding favor will save 685 pounds of carbon dioxide.
Neat idea. Maybe next time...

33. Give a recycled handmade paper bookmark with wildflower seeds as a favor. This can be planted once they are finished using it.
Check. Something like that... we gave these birdseed hearts - the guests can share the love with our feathered friends. I'm not convinced that favors are absolutely necessary, but these were so cute, and in keeping with Mr. Barefoot's love of birds, that they felt right.

34. Purchase wedding shoes that you will wear again.
Oh, yeah, baby. Can't wait to wear the Jimmy's to holiday parties!!! That's why I bought 'em. Check.

35. Use a caterer who composts the leftover food.
hmmm.... honestly, I have no idea what they did with the leftover food. I would have been really stoked to bring home a doggie bag or two - it was that good!

36. Use locally grown flowers for your arrangements.
Check. Hooray for Local Flora! I have to show you her gorgeous arrangements.

37. Throw rose petals after the ceremony, rather than releasing butterflies.
Or nothing. Our national park beach location precluded throwing or releasing anything, which was just fine with me. Who wants to pick birdseed out of your hair on your wedding night? Check.

38. Give antique wedding bands to each other.
See #47.

39. Have your invitations made on bamboo paper.
How 'bout cotton paper, with some post-consumer content?

40. If you want to have a camera at each table for guests to use, rent the digital ones rather than single use.
Check. How many dozens of digital cameras were flashing that day??? We did get some single use cameras at the dollar store for the kids to play with. Quite a lot of fun for them. I wonder how many pictures of knees we have.

41. Travel by train, rather than by plane.
Does taking BART to try on my wedding dress count?

42. Purchase your dress or tuxedo from a vintage boutique.
Fail. New stuff all the way. Mr. Barefoot got a swanky handmade suit; my dress was from a bridal boutique. His suit is clearly re-wearable, which is how I convinced him to get a new one for the wedding (he was fine with wearing one of his two current suits). My dress, not so much. The question now is what to do with it? Initially, I had thought I'd donate it to Brides Against Breast Cancer, or possibly sell it, but I'm feeling more sentimental post-wedding. And I really want to wear it again < blushes >. Suggestions?

43. Take an eco-considerate honeymoon. Travel close to home or consider eco-tourism for your honeymoon destination.
Does hiking and whale-watching count? Patagonia, here we come!!!

44. Consider having a meat-free menu at your reception.
Check. I think everyone survived. I didn't hear any complaints. See #29.

45. Have an outdoor ceremony and reception.
Check, on the ceremony. The reception was indoors.

46. Hire vendors who are committed to being “green” and providing sustainable wedding practices.
Check. The best!

47. Purchase a conflict-free gem for your engagement ring.
Check. Love Brilliant Earth!

48. Live green after the wedding.
Working on it. The next initiative: cutting down on the use of paper towels and plastic containers.

49. Give organic chocolate as a favor.
Yum. Great idea. See #33.

50. Use all local wedding vendors.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Love in the age of Facebook

While cleaning out my email in-box, post wedding, I came across this message:

Eric said on Facebook that you two are married. We need you to confirm that you are, in fact, married to Eric.

To confirm this relationship request, follow the link below:

It made me wonder: do people going around "spousing" those they are not married to?

Could I "spouse" a bunch of friends to make a simultaneous stand for marriage equality, and for polyamory?

If FB allows same-sex couples to spouse each other, is FB implicitly making a stand for same-sex marriage? Have opponents of same-sex marriage realized this, and if so, will they start to boycott Facebook?

Does the legal definition of marriage in the state or country where a user is based determine who they can "spouse"?

In a country that allows polygymy, would men be able to spouse more people than in a country that does not?

Who needs the New York Times Weddings section when you've got Facebook??? Not only is there waaaay more information on our FB pages than in the genteel bios of the Style section, but now my far-flung friends also know of our new status.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I can't wait...

... to see more of Kate Harrison's amazing photos from Beach Day!

A tantalizing peek is here.

It makes me cry everytime

Though not necessarily crafty in the usual material sense, our friends are gifted when it comes to words, music, and images. Two of Mr. Barefoot's friends played folk and bluegrass music at the cocktail hour. You've already seen some of the fantastic photos friends and relatives shot that day.

The ceremony, which featured readings from my two brothers, two close college friends of mine, and three grad school friends of Mr. Barefoot's, along with a blessing from my mother, the one minister on site who had been ordained through a proper bricks-and-mortar seminary, was my favorite part of the day.

A dear friend became the Rev. Jo B for the day, repaying a debt, with interest - as he pointed out - incurred when I was flower girl, ring bearer, officiant, and witness at the impromptu ceremony atop a Kauai hill joining him and my dear college friend more than a decade ago. The children of this couple, along with my nephew were our adorable flower children.

Our officiant's wife, one of my dearest friends and Woman of Honor, read this poem. I tear up every time I read it.

Teodoro Luna's Two Kisses

Mr. Teodoro Luna in his later years had taken to kissing
His wife
Not so much with his lips as with his brows.
This is not to say he put his forehead
Against her mouth--
Rather, he would lift his eyebrows, once, quickly:

Not so vigorously he might be confused with the villain
Famous in the theaters, but not so little as to be thought
A slight movement, one of accident. This way
He kissed her
Often and quietly, across tables and through doorways,

Sometimes in photographs, and so through the years themselves.
This was his passion, that only she might see. The chance
He might feel some movement on her lips
Toward laughter.

-- Alberto Rios

Monday, November 9, 2009

A wedding hike

I had very few particular dreams about my wedding. However, I'd always known that I wanted to be barefoot: grounded to the earth, and bare-headed: open to the sky.

These requirements meant that the wedding had to be outdoors. I had dreamed of getting married high on a bluff, reflecting our love of the mountains, but we knew that for the comfort of our younger and older guests, this was not to be. When we found a reception site less than a mile from the beach (itself a few miles from where we got engaged), it was clearly the ideal spot. The location was even more special because I had once worked on the land, restoring native plants to the area.

We could incorporate our love of hiking and the outdoors into the ceremony, by inviting guests to park at the reception site, and stroll 20 minutes down to the beach.

While Beach Day dawned sunny and bright, the fog moved in at midday, obscuring my vision of the 'perfect' day. My friends insisted that the fog added a romantic, ethereal touch. I tried to believe them. The previous day's rehearsal had been hot and sunny. Where was that weather when we needed it???

But where is the beach? On a clear day, you can see the waves from this point.

Not only was it foggy, it was chilly. Our guests are bundled up in heavy coats!

Such dense fog! Those faint white lines at the top of the photo are chairs at the ceremony site on the beach. From the crest of the path, you can see the beach, and Rodeo Lagoon, separated from the ocean by a thin strip of sand.

Oh, there are the chairs! But where are the waves??? The fog is so thick you can hardly see the water from the beach.

The walk to the beach was one of the very best parts of an utterly fantastic day. The festivities had officially begun, but we weren't yet in deeply in the swirl of it. It was just the nearest and dearest, out for a hike, albeit in fancy clothes.

Two of my oldest friends - my Ladies in Waiting, as they dubbed themselves - helped carry the back of my dress, keeping me from fleeing, we joked.
"This is surreal. I don't feel like myself," I said, struggling to remain calm.
"This is a ritual moment of transition. You're not supposed to feel like yourself," one of the Ladies sagely responded.

Guests gathered in the gloom on the beach.

When guests reached the beach, they could kick off their shoes and wiggle their toes in the sand. I wore spangled flip-flops for the walk, replacing them with the glorious Jimmy Choos later for dancing.

Here we come... The fog is lifting! Hooray!

Fog lifting over the lagoon....

The last wisps of fog are vanquished by the warm, autumn sunshine!
An apt metaphor for love.

Thanks to guests Madeleine and Srabani for the photos!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

On the utility of a honeymoon

Our Beach Day was so momentous and powerful in so many ways that it's been difficult to break it into bite size pieces suitable for blog posts.

Add to that the extreme fatigue and inertia I've felt ever since the wedding, and you can see why posting's been a bit slow lately.

By Sunday evening, after the wedding, I felt like a balloon from which all the air has suddenly escaped... so much excitement, energy and enthusiasm for so long, and then vrrroooooooossssshhhhhhh! all the air escapes, and the balloon deflates. This, in itself, is a good argument for escaping to a tropical beach for a couple weeks. Our work schedules didn't allow more than a couple days off - though we've got a big trip planned over the winter holidays, that doesn't provide the R&R needed immediately post-wedding.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A week on the California coast

After the amazing-ness of Barefoot on the Beach Day (about which I have much, much more to say very soon),

Most folks enjoyed the sand between their toes!
(Thanks to Mr. Barefoot's talented cousin Madeleine for these photos.)

we took off up the coast to rustic Elk, in Mendocino county, and stayed in the Garden Cottage, with spectacular views of the ocean and gardens, at Greenwood Pier Inn. Thank goodness for a day and a half of R&R - I have never been so tired in my whole life. Every time I sat down, I nodded off.

From our second story deck, we watched the fog recede, roll in, head out again, and then decorate the sunset. We soaked in the hottub under gnarled cypress and twinkling stars. We ate leftover wedding cake and drank champagne in bed.

Today, I head along the coast in the other direction, for an annual departmental retreat in Big Sur. Originally, I was worried about missing the first few days. Now, I'm grateful to have a reprieve from teaching this week, while the new reality sinks in.

It seems strange to leave my brand-new husband just after making it official. My brother, who got married at City Hall one weekend in DC, while his fiancee/ wife was living in NYC, assures me that the separation that followed their marriage did no harm. (They now have two kids and seem happy as clams!)

And, we'll be heeding the words of one of our wedding readers, who, quoting Kahlil Gibran, instructed us:
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.
More soon....

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A perfect beach day

This says it all!

And, yet, there's so much more to say.

Everything came together: the officiant, the weather, the families, the guests, the beach flags, the Quaker moment, the Ladies in Waiting and their dresses, the flowers, the flower children, the blessing, the music, the food, the wine, the cake, the sun, the sand, the hike (in the wedding dress!), the barefeet.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Into the mystic...

from our engagement session with Rosaura Sandoval
(more photos on her blog soon)


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

At the precipice

How does it feel to be two days away from my wedding? Like I'm about to depart for the biggest trip of my life, and, per usual, my bags aren't packed. I know I'll be rushing around gathering things together until the final hour, but once that plane takes off on Friday night - the Welcome Dinner - I'll be ready to relax and enjoy the flight.

The awesome thing is knowing how much I want to go on this "trip." Usually when I head out into the field for my research, I have mixed feelings about being sad to leave home while being excited to start a new project. But with this "trip," I have been working through the "leaving home" part - that is, giving up my life as a single person - for the last nine months, and I am ready to go!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ahead of the curve

A whole photo spread of (non-wedding) pomegranates at Rock 'n Roll Bride, and confirmation that orange is the hot new wedding color at a 2000 Dollar Budget Wedding tells me we are on the right track with our 30 pounds each of persimmons and pomegranates for decorating. Not only are they are pretty color scheme, they healthy eating, full of vitamin C and micronutrients, and guests can take them home.

But what's that rain outside??? The forecast was for clear all week!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Gifts for girls and grooms

As I've mentioned before, when I'm stressed I shop. As the length of my To Do list increases, the siren call of Etsy increase proportionally.

Mmmmm.... everyone needs a clutch, right?

And I want my guy to be able to find his way home, where ever we may roam:

Would that I had planned ahead enough (always my downfall!) to have ordered these from Anne Holman.

Ah ha! Lucky me! dlkdesigns does RUSH ORDERS for overwhelmed brides like me! Woo-hoo!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Blissful Bubble of Engagement vs. Real Life

The wedding books and blogs don't tell you that life doesn't stop when you decide to get married. I bought into the myth that a Blissful Bubble of Engagement would surround me after I started sporting that flashy ring, magically melting all obstacles and diversions that threatened to impede, in any way, my Big Day.

However, Real Life has carried on with its normal intensity: babies have been born, people have died, new relationships have formed, old ones have been strained, or strengthened, or both. More than one set of couple friends has broken up, resulting in both parties wanting to avoid situations focused around Love and Romance. Minus four, at least, from the guest list. The father of one wedding participant passed away not long ago. The wife of another recently had a baby, precluding their travel to participate in the wedding. My only remaining grandparent-age relative had a hip replacement, and another revered colleague had back surgery. Two more dear ones whom we will miss at the wedding.

Much more importantly, friends and family are coming from near and far - from all over the east coast and midwest, and even the UK and Australia (where my dad is coaching crew right now! Hi Pop!) - to celebrate with us. Our most recently married friends, Doc Water and Doc Bee, are concluding their honeymoon in Italy to return for the wedding. Family begins arriving Wednesday and Thursday, Friday night is our Welcome Dinner at a nearby brewery, Saturday is the Big Day.

Friday, October 16, 2009


With eight days 'til the wedding, Mr. Barefoot in the midst of an incredibly stressful situation at work, and my new job, life is a bit hectic here at Chez Barefoot. We continue to muddle forward, but blogging, dishes and laundry are all falling by the wayside. We'll get them all in hand - at least the latter two - by the middle of next week when family starts to arrive. Meanwhile, I've got to locate some bamboo poles for my beach flags, and some babysitters for the youngest guests.

I've had my hair trial -- two and a half hours of messing around with my shockingly thick hair to figure out that:
1) there's too much of it to put in a French twist,
2) a tight chignon gives me a headache in about 2 minutes,
3) thick ropes of hair make nice square knots,
4) with enough curls and hairspray in it, it will look great even when it falls down.

Now, here's the thing about the hair trial: I'm so glad we did it, because even with my favorite stylist, who's known me forever, the first few styles didn't work very well. The look I thought I wanted didn't work as well on my as it did in photos. Thank goodness we got the kinks in the system worked out ahead of time, so that we're not wasting time on the Big Day. However, all this was on the clock, at my stylist's usual $75/ hour rate. When you add the trial together with the Day Of styling, the price mounts, very, very quickly! Ah, well. At this point, my checkbook is pretty much open all the time. It's easier to pay for something than stress about it in these final days.

We're moving along here: the re-ordered rings are right this time, and being engraved;* the dress fits perfectly,** and will be picked up by a friend on Sat. morning and taken directly to the wedding venue; Mr. Barefoot's suit looks dashing on him; my best friend picked a poem to read at the ceremony that made me both laugh and cry. At the same time.

We meet with her husband, a practicing Jew, now known as the Rev. Jo B., after his online ordination, tomorrow to finalize the DIT ceremony.*** Though our friends may not be crafty in the traditional art-project way, they know their way around the English language, and have already contributed so many beautiful words and thoughts to our marriage.

*I left my engagement ring to be engraved and am wearing my delicate eternity band. Wow.

**As long as I am not bloated. No cabbage, no beans next week!

***This post was about hair, but Wed Head has completely obliterated my ability to stick to one coherent train of thought.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Another decor score

Hooray for the re-using proclivities of my sustainability-minded, penny-pinching environmental science friends and colleagues!

So far I've scored:
  • several dozen colored paper lanterns
  • votive candles
  • bud vases
  • tall glass vases
  • Mason jars
And now, the pièce de résistance, the gorgeous white lights that will decorate the dance floor. Borrowed, for free!

Photos courtesy of T.G., who got married at the Headlands Center for the Arts last year.
How cool is his wife's dress???