The 3 Greatest Tips for Wedding Planning.

The 3 Greatest Tips for Wedding Planning.

A lot of people I know are really passionate or excited about a particular subject. Sports, for instance, is a big one. Crafts is another. These are both totally foreign to me but I say more power to you if you dig it.

For a long time, I didn’t feel that anything was particularly my passion. Sure, I love to write, but that’s just fun. And, sure, I am the Mario Kart champion, but trophies are much harder to cling to when you can only see them if the Wii is turned on.

Then my sister got married. And I discovered something:

I love weddings.

Since my sister’s wedding, I have been in a lot of weddings. A lot. Like, 10. You wish I were exaggerating. And for every single one, I loved to hear about the colors and the cake and the ideas and the hugs and the candy and I love candy and do you have any candy?

All of these things have combined to make me an expert on the ways of the wedding. I cover many specialties, from Wettinquette to… well, this is only my second post on the subject. But for my THIRD one I’ll have two links to share with you. Can you stand the anticipation?

This particular compendium of knowledge will bring to you The 3 Greatest Tips For Wedding Planning.  Are you ready for this? I SAID, ARE YOU READY FOR THIS. Good.

1) Understand that while your wedding is perfect in your head, no one else is in there. Hopefully.

This is a tough one for a lot of bridal homies. In your mind you can just see it all: The lime green and neon yellow polka-dot bridesmaid dresses, flowers the color of the sun and a matching squeaky toy for your dog, who will be serving as ring-bearer. And that is all fine and dandy. But you need to bring those around you into your head. Help them BE the vision. BE the vision. BE… the… vision…

Basically what that means is help people out. When they ask you if you meant marigold yellow, say NO (politely) if that isn’t your vision. And then maybe take it a step further and google some examples or give another crayon shade that more closely matches the colors you need. In short, don’t expect people to be mind readers. The whole process will be a lot faster if you can be clear from the beginning.

2) Know that if you ask for opinions, you will get them. 

In college, a friend of mine I’d known for a while was getting married. I asked how things were going and she said that her bridesmaids hated the color of their dresses. I asked her how she knew and she said she asked them in an email and they told her. She went on to reveal that no one had actually purchased these dresses, but she had sent out a picture and asked what they thought.

Now. I’ve said before that I think if the bride walks up to you and says, “Guess WHAT?! I found purple miniskirts on sale and in EVERYONE’S SIZE YAYYYYYY!” it is not your place to then say “Ughhhhhhhhh, puuuuuuuuuuuurple is uuuuuuuuugggggggllllllyyyyy.” But if she emailed you a picture asking for your opinion? I think you have the right to give it to her. Nicely. Do not send back a picture of dog doo to convey your thoughts.

So, all you brides or brides-to-be out there, understand something now: If you build it, they will come. No, that wasn’t it. Maybe it was Shake and shake the ketchup bottle; none will come, and then a lot’ll. Still doesn’t sound right. I know! It was If you ask for someone’s opinion be prepared to hear their opinion. Like, for real. 

3) Abuse your friends and their wedding knowledge. 

They say it’s all about who you know. For weddings, this is really, really, really true. Really. If you are anywhere from 20 to 30 years old, a friend of yours is getting married somewhere. Trust me. Sorry if you weren’t invited. But they are getting married and this is your chance to make them work for you: Get recommendations of vendors, ideas, and everything. 

For rizzle. This might be the single most important step of wedding planning. The woman who made the cake for my wedding was recommended by a friend and then my sister. She had a ton of references, pictures and delicious slices for you to taste. And she turned out to be awesome. 

Or the guy who took our pictures, Allen. That guy knows how to take a picture. He was recommended to me by The Carl House, where we got married. (Daniel and me, not Allen and me).  And he was faaaabaulous. He also recommended our amazing videographer. Our florist was recommended by friends and my sister (do you see that I kind of stalked my sister’s wedding when I planned my own? LEARN FROM ME.). As a result, we got a ton of top-notch people who knew what they were doing and made it fun to boot. That’s a funny phrase, “to boot.” Anyway, do this. Seriously. Your wedding will be awesome.

Or just go to Vegas.

Welcome to the Elevelds’

Welcome to the Elevelds’

Daniel and I are going on vacation for at . Yay! In order to allow our cats to live while we do this, we are asking some friends to come over and make sure there is enough food, water, people to glare at, etc.

When we watched the house/cats for one of these friends, she thoughtfully put together a very helpful information sheet with details about the cats, her house, contact information, and more! I’ve decided to return the favor:


Hello, Monica and LeeAnn. Thank you for watching our cats. We’ve spoken to them about it and they’re all sorts of excited about seeing you. They might look angry but that is just their love language. Below are a few ground rules and expectations regarding your time with our feline friends. Please let me know if you have any questions.

~ As Monica’s house is clean enough to perform surgery in at any given time, and LeeAnn could organize the home of a group of wild blind orphan monkeys, I expect my house will not be quite as “clean” or “mold-free” as you’re used to. We think it adds personality. If, however, this is a serious issue for you, please feel free to clean at any time. We have some Tide-to-Go sticks in the pantry. They might be old.

~ You might notice loose change on the floor, dryer, counter, etc. Please do not remove this change from the surface on which you find it. We are firm believers in being prepared for an emergency and at any given time can access at least $1.17 just by walking down the hallway.

~ We have two cats. One is large enough to pull a covered wagon while the other one is so small we often have to play “Marco! Polo!” in order to ascertain her whereabouts. Feel free to play with with her. Or just let her stay lost. She seems to like it.

~ To feed them, we put food into a big bowl. The little cat, Robin, is absolutely not kidding around when it comes to getting her meals so we find a larger bowl keeps the bloodshed down to a minimum. The big bowl lives on top of the washer. The food also lives there. We don’t do a ton of laundry.

~ We give them water in an even BIGGER bowl. This is usually because the dog shares it with them. Also because we forget to give them water every day so we find it best to give them a few days’ worth at a time, just in case. Feel free to report us to the animal agency of your choice.

~ As Daniel works with lots of small metal pieces, you will likely find these everywhere in the house. I vacuumed as far as the cord would stretch, which is the living room and about half the hallway, so you should be safe until then. If being barefoot is very important to you, you will find paper towels in the kitchen and can make a path throughout the house that is free of small metal dangers.

~ Strewn throughout the house you will find many weapons and accessories, including but not limited to: two swords, a machete, various guns, a bow and arrow, possibly another machete, a few Japanese scary sticks, several airsoft guns, and enough bullets to supply a military bunker. If any of these make you uncomfortable, I recommend playing with them for a while to get used to them. The broadsword is especially fun.

~ We can’t find the remote. Let us know if you see it.

~ We only have two cats. A third one hangs out on our porch sometimes. It looks like Batman, the fat cat. It is NOT Batman. Do not attempt any cuddling. It doesn’t like cuddling. Only our porch.

~ Please note my talent at carefully arranging our pictures to be “eclectically organized.” You can tell me in person how much you loved it, or leave a note/gift that conveys your level of envy at my mad decorating skillz.

I think that’s it for now. Please review this list carefully and see me with any questions. We have nothing but peanut butter and I think some Pringles but it’s all yours for the taking! Thank you for your service to your friends, your country, and your local domestic pets.

~Kristen and Daniel

Please note the trash in both the left and right corners of the picture. 

The Awkward Bathroom Encounter

The Awkward Bathroom Encounter

Yesterday, I was at church for a meeting. I was participating and laughing – oh, the laughing – when suddenly I realized I had to… you know. 

I had no choice. It was time for The Awkward Bathroom Encounter.

Women, you have all endured this. You find the bathroom and realize with some horror that it is for one person at a time only. And the door is shut. And as hard as you try to see if the light is on under the door or listen for any sounds while also keeping an eye on the hallway because if your pastor sees you crouching by a bathroom door he will report you and then you won’t be able to go back to your meeting, you just can’t tell for sure. So what can you do but knock?

But this isn’t just any knock. This is the most stressful knock in the history of time. What if someone is already in there?

For me, that’s the worst feeling. I don’t want anyone to think I am rushing them, like WHY HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE BATHROOM FOR THREE MINUTES DO YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY OR WHAT. I am merely gathering information – if someone is in this bathroom, I will move on to the next one. All women learn this around the same time they master the art of the ninja kick in order to flush the toilet. And yet I think all women also fear hearing a voice from the other side of the door, saying the dreaded words we hate: “Someone’s in here right now.


It’s not easy being a girl. All men have to do is walk into the restroom and give a manly nod because no man’s bathroom is for only one person at a time, and if it is it will be available in .23 seconds since that is all the time they need. Men. 

In case you are not as familiar with this process, I have broken it down for you, step by step, in the list below. Enjoy:

The Plucky Procrastinator’s Guide to The Awkward Bathroom Encounter:

1) Realize you have to make a sacrifice to the porcelain throne soon. Ignore it because you don’t have to go that bad and you can wait.

2) 30 seconds later, realize you cannot wait one more millisecond or this will be first grade in Mrs. Bishop’s class all over again.

3) Locate nearest bathroom. If in school, you’re in luck! Most of those are multiple stalls. If you’re at church or K-Mart, prepare yourself. 

4) Investigate thoroughly. Is the door shut because someone is on the other side or because the door is heavy and always swings shut?

5) It’s because someone is on the other side. Duh. 

6) Stand straight, take a deep breath, and knock a solid three times. No more, no less. 

7) If no one answers, hooray! Open the door slowly, like you might if you were diffusing a door bomb while on roller skates. 

8) If “someone’s in here,” proceed to verbally vomit all over them with your apologies and explanations. 

9) Run away to the next bathroom, praying the first person didn’t recognize your voice, doesn’t have a child in your class, and is not leaving the bathroom any time soon.

10) Blog about it. 

Awkward Encounter-ers, form a line to the left. 

Life Lessons from Disney

Life Lessons from Disney

I love Disney movies. I really do. I love them so much I have a whole playlist on my iPod that is dedicated to Disney and BFF Jen and I jam out to it on every road trip we take.  

But the last time I listened to my Disney playlist, I started thinking of how all of these Disney characters are, in theory, role models for children. Follow your dreams. Believe in yourself. Talk to animals and see if they talk back. And after some thought I realized that most of these Disney characters are complete morons. 

Just look at Pocahontas, for instance. She wants more in her life instead of the hum-drum marriage to Kocuom. Fair enough. And to show us just how excited she is, she sings to us about going around the river bend. Beautiful. Be free, Pocahontas. 

Then she literally gets to a river bend where she has to make a choice: Go the smooth route (aka, marry the dull guy) or fly like a bird in the wind. Except this is no longer a metaphor – she is literally deciding between taking the smooth route around the river or the terrifying, rock-filled, Native American-killing death route. Go the smooth route, you idiot. Is this really a consideration for you? You’re so caught up in your desire for a super-cool life that you want to brave the rapids in your little cardboard canoe? Negative. You make bad choices. 

Totally worth the thrill. 

So let’s move on to one of my favorite characters: Mulan. Oh, Mulan, you ignorant fool.  You are clearly intelligent. You are clearly clever. So why, WHY did you think that cross-dressing was your best option? Let’s reason this out for a moment: You become a man. This is the first warning sign. It was way too easy for you to make that transition. To each his or her own. But seriously, girl, go talk to your school counselor. 

ANYway, you become a man, and then you join the army. I’m sorry; how is this supposed to work out? Do you think that cutting your hair and not showering also gives you the ability to fight a battle? Pumpkin, you’re going to get killed. And then your dad is going to have to fight anyway. So maybe next time work on a new plan that involves accepting that life can be hard and talking dragons rarely have pure motives. 

And, yes, I know she did succeed. But only barely. And she had a lot of help. A lot. 

I rest my case. 

And last, but not least, Belle. Girl, you have got to stop going into strangers’ houses. Who taught you that that was a good a idea? I know your mama didn’t. It must be that fool of a father you have because he did the exact. same. thing. Seriously, don’t go into strangers’ houses. Definitely don’t go into strangers’ castles. And, for the love of Nancy, don’t go into strangers’ castles when it’s dark and stormy outside.

And don’t go into the West Wing, either! You clearly have some boundary issues. Yes, you’re a prisoner due to a selfless sacrifice you made for your father. Cry me a river, build me a bridge, and get over it. IN YOUR OWN SPACE. Just because you get rewarded for your shenanigans by getting to marry a sexy prince does not make it okay. 

Seriously, why would you want to go here anyway? You also have some thrill issues that concern me. 

Crazy broads, all of them.