The life and words of Ashley, Erin, and Michelle

Wedding Salutations April 28, 2010

This past weekend I was part of a wedding party. It’s always an honor, and this was especially exciting, as I introduced the bride and groom. (I made sure to brag about it, too!)

photo by Anne Harrigan

After having been in so many weddings (this was my sixth) and having been a guest at many more, I have yet to find a go-to wedding gift. I’d written earlier about finding the perfect go-to shower gift, but weddings are a whole different animal. Usually, I resort to something off of the registry.

But then there’s a new problem: what do you write on the card?

It doesn’t help when you leave to the last minute (even during the reception!) and you brain is so mushed you can’t think of much to say beyond something generic like, “Congratulations! God bless!” But when you’re at the wedding of a writer, that hardly seems to suffice.

So, I’ve tried to come up with some creative wedding salutations since then. Here’s what I have so far:

  • For those Dr. Who fans: “May your love be like a tardis, normal to the typical passersby, but unbounded by time and space by those who enter in.”
  • For those Creative Memories scrapbookers out there: “May all your memories together be creative.”
  • For all the Photoshop lovers out there: “May your love for one another be like Photoshop: able to turn a grey sky blue, a frown to a smile and change your focus to what matters most.”
  • For those supermodels who marry each other: “May you love looking at one another as much as you love looking at yourself.” (Okay, I don’t have any friends who are that vain, but I was trying to think of something out of the box.)

How about you? What creative wedding salutations can you come up with?


Go-To Gifts for Bridal Showers March 16, 2010

It seems like everyone dreads a bridal shower. Whether it’s the games or the socialite interaction between people who have only the bride in common, it’s an accepted obligation that people do not seem to look forward to when they are preparing for a friend’s wedding.

And then there’s the gift. What do you get for a wedding shower gift? According to most bridal shower etiquette web sites, I have found that the gift should cost anywhere between $25 and $75, depending on the type of shower, and it should be something useful for the house. That makes sense to me.

But it also says that the bride’s registry should not be advertised in the invitations and should be spread via “word of mouth” or on a wedding web site. This is  something I think a lot of couples are starting to ignore, as most of the invitations to wedding showers I’ve received (or sent) in the past couple years have included registry tags.

If you haven’t noticed already, I am “going through that phase in life” where all my friends are marrying and being merry. After not knowing what to get after the first one or two, I decided I needed to find a unique go-to gift that I can give so that I don’t have to end up buying a bunch of dish towels every time someone got married. (It’s just not fun enough to give just that in my opinion.)

It didn’t take me long to find something fun that people will remember and that people will find practical: Plungers!

How often does a person get a gift of a plunger? And women who are getting married usually don’t think of the fact that guys tend to need a plunger a little more often than girls do.

From that decision came the question, “How do I wrap this?” That’s when I was able to get a little bit creative.

The first time, I found a bucket to put it in and wrapped it using some black towels rather than some paper. (Make it as useful as possible, right?) That worked for a couple of times, but it’s difficult trying to wrap a bucket in a towel. Normally, it’s a towel in a bucket, so I decided to decorate the plunger like a flower.

I used the bucket as a pot and bought two brown towels for the dirt. I wrapped the base of the plunger in the towels and taped on construction paper petals and leaves. It was cute, I’ll admit. The bride even gave me the “award” for the most creatively wrapped gift. But I kept thinking back to my logic before, “Why not make all of it useful?” That’s why I’d wrapped it in towels instead.

So, last time I had a bridal shower to attend, I scoured the shelves for something that would look like flower petals and for something I could use as the leaves. I found a green dish cloth for the leaves and some sponges for the petals. I ended up tying both of them on with ribbon. It turned out cute, and the bride loved it. Of course.

Each plunger is specially chosen for the couple’s situation and personalities. Not everyone can use a full-size plunger, so I even bought a sink plunger for my friends who would be travelling by airplane back and forth between London and the States.

If you’re attending a shower sometime soon, you’re welcome to use my idea, just make sure I’m not already going to the shower, too. Otherwise, neither of us will get the award for most creative gift.

And one last thing: when I get married, I just ask that everyone else does not get me a plunger. Trust me, I own too many already.

So, what’s your go-to gifts for a bridal shower? Or even for a wedding?


I Can’t Escape It! July 13, 2009

Filed under: Life in General — Erin Joy @ 9:07 pm
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When I went on vacation with my parents into the middle of the Black Hills, I never expected the wedding fever to follow me. Not that I’m complaining. On the other hand, maybe it’s just that I’m overly perceptive of matrimonial obsession that my life seems to revolve around. I’m not sure.

For example, the first day we were traveling around Deadwood, South Dakota, getting a feel for where we were staying, I noticed a sign for “Deadwood Weddings.” That I chalked up to the fact that I tend to notice a lot of advertisement for wedding-related services and didn’t think twice about it until a few days later.

That’s when my dad and I decided to take a hike up Crow’s Peak. Who would have thought that I’d run across a group of girls climbing this 6.5-mile, 1,500-foot-elevation-change hike for one of the girls’ bachelorette party!? How crazy is that? I mean, I go hiking in the middle of nowhere, and I am still followed by the brides. (It actually sounded like a pretty fun bachelorette party to me, considering bringing along alcohol would just be stupid and a minimal number of people could embarrass the tiara-bearing hiker.)

And to top it off, the night before that, while I was about to take a photo for a girl and her mom at Mount Rushmore, my phone starts to ring in my pocket. It was my friend Lissa. I felt awful when I answered and said, “I’ll call you right back!” and then forgot as the lighting of the carvings ceremony began. I remembered on the way back to our lodge, so I sent her a text to see if she was awake. Unfortunately, reception is so spotty in national parks/forests that I didn’t hear her call back. To the other people in the car, I said something to the effect, “It’s got to be wedding related! I just know it. Who wants to take a bet?” No one took me up on it.

I called her back the next day after the hike, apologizing profusely for not getting to talk to her the night before. I could tell by the way I could hear her smiling over the phone what she was going to ask me when she said, “Erin, I have a question.”

“Oh?” I couldn’t help but smiling myself.

“Will you be my bridesmaid?”

Even though I was standing in the middle of a grocery store, I immediately turned and pointed to my dad, who had been in the car the night before, and yelled, “I knew it!” And then I turned back into the phone and said an enthusiastic “Yes!”

Of course, this just means I’ll have to keep up my at-least-one-wedding-a-year ratio going after she and Jeremy are wedded. So, who wants to be married in 2011?


Plot Line Life June 18, 2009

Filed under: Life in General — Erin Joy @ 6:30 pm
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Every few months for the past year or so, it’s happened. I don’t know how, but my life seems to become the premise for the big screen.

27 DressesWho could forget the wonderful Katherine Heigel film 27 Dresses that premiered a year and a half ago? It was in theaters shortly before I was a bridesmaid for the fourth time. That following summer, I was bombarded with a streak of eight weekends of weddings, which I was either invited to or asked to be involved in playing numerous roles.

Let’s just say that it has not been uncommon for people to ask me if I have 27 dresses hanging in my closet. In reality, I’m working at finding one of every color of the rainbow. (I already have red, yellow, green and purple and will soon be adding blue to that bunch.)

Unfortunately, none of these weddings has caused me to discover that gorgeous yet cynical writer to fall in love with. On that same page, the next movie came out this February.

People who saw the previews for He’s Just Not That Into You in the fall insisted that I see it because of how much it made them think of me. Gee, thanks. The title alone can be taken as an insult. But, they’re right. Far too often I’ve heard that from my friends. Then I saw it for myself and couldn’t stop laughing. Can you guess which line?

Knowing it was based off a book, and because I have developed a rule for not seeing a movie without having read the book, I found a copy and read it in January.

The following month, I saw it the night after it came out with one of my friends and her boyfriend. (We didn’t see it the night it came out because the last two tickets were sold to the two people in front of us in line.) Aside from the lack of representation for any more reasoning behind the why someone wouldn’t have sex in a relationship, it was a fun movie. I wouldn’t say it put the best light on marriage, but there were many enlightening points made to people like me, the ones who over-dramaticize a single encounter with a person.

Now, it’s happening again.

Post GradThis August, another movie is coming out that, when I saw the preview, I nearly cried. It really is as if someone were following me around to come up with different premises for their movies. It’s called Post Grad.

According to the description on IMDb, the basic plot is, “Ryden Malby graduates from college and is forced to move back into her childhood home with her eccentric family, while she attempts to find a job, the right guy, and just a hint of where her life is headed.”


Aside from the (once again) finding the right guy part, that’s my life right now. Maybe I should keep an eye on the movies to find out what I’m going to do next. Or maybe I should be writing these movies.