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???

Thursday, October 8, 2009

No naked bridesmaids

FINALLY, after interminable email discussions, we found a dress that suits the color, style, and price requirements of all involved. I can't begin to imagine how long reaching consensus would have taken if I had more than TWO special ladies.

Here's the ironic thing: I didn't want to choose a dress for them. I felt funny telling grownups what to wear, when, after years of experimentation, they know what suits them best.

I suggested that they just each choose a lovely, floaty/ non-shiny dress in one of the wedding colors. But they insisted that I choose the dress - while maintaining veto power, because of the aforementioned hard-earned knowledge. That made for a lot of back and forth negotiations, and some near meltdowns on my part. ("What?!?!? They won't bend to my iron fashion will??!??! Are they really my friends??!?!?!")

Thank you, Anthropologie! Your half price sales are the salvation of girls everywhere with champagne tastes and beer budgets.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


There's nothing like fashion to ease the weary wedding-planning mind! Check out this little beaut from Rue La La: $79 (for the shrug only), down from $400. Momentarily, it seemed like the necessary accessory. It may still be, once we get the ladies' dresses figured out...

Friday, October 2, 2009

On the importance of double-checking

Our rings have been in for a couple weeks, and Mr. Barefoot has been after me to make an appointment to go pick them up. "What's the rush?" I asked. "All we have to do is pick them up. It will take 30 seconds." In my mind, that was a task to do days before the wedding.

Fortunately, his common sense prevailed, and we went to get our rings only to find out that
1) His hammered ring came out totally differently (and not in a good way) than the model we'd seen; and
2) My ring was the wrong one! Though we'd discussed an eternity band at the earlier appointment, that was not what was ordered for us.

The consultant was apologetic and helpful, promising to correct the mistakes within ten days, and throwing in the engraving for free, but this was not what I wanted to be dealing with three weeks before the wedding.

As Mr. Barefoot calmly pointed out, we all make mistakes, and it was simple mix-up, which the store promised to fix as soon as possible. Fine. But it's another trip to the store, another errand to do, one more item on the overly-long list.

More and more, I'm coming to understand why women go into "bridezilla" mode (which, by the way, is a horribly sexist and misogynist label, which is why I've put it in scare quotes. A woman stands up for what she wants, and suddenly she's a bitch?!??! Pul-leeze!) Despite our efforts to embody egalitarian gender roles, I care much more about the look and feel of the wedding. The colors matter to me. The dresses for the Women of Honor matter to me.* The guys' ties matter to me. The flowers matter. His ring - which we're going to have to look at for the next 50 years (knock wood!) - matters. But all these details, on top of a brand new full-time job, are making me far less forgiving, flexible, and easy-going than I would like to be.

*Still looking for great v-neck, chiffon party dresses <$100 that come in persimmon, pomegranate and/or cobalt blue. Any recommendations welcomed!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Karmic justice

If only I had been a prompt RSVP-er all these years, my life would be so much easier right now!

Instead, I'm on the payback end of karmic justice for being whimsical, undecided, and absent-minded. All those times I assumed, "Oh yeah, my friends know I'm coming, 'cause I told them," or "They know I can't make it because I'm out of town that week" are totally coming back to bite me in the butt.

Guess which part of the guest list RSVP'd promptly and has already sent gifts? Those would be the friends of the super-organized, highly-effective, on-task Mr. Barefoot.

And the few friends who "still don't know [their] travel plans"... clearly comrades of Little Miss Manana, inhabitant of a universe with Stretchable Time. Birds of a feather, and all that. I love the flexibility and spontaneity of my friends! But right now, when the final guest count is due to the caterer on Friday, I wish they were a little more Type A.