Daily Archives: June 4, 2012

The very strange experience of being wooed by wedding venues. R.I.P., Richard Dawson. And thoughts on a crazy French Open day

After three weeks of driving around most of Long Island looking for a place, and a date, to hold our upcoming wedding, my fiance and I have finally figured out where we’ll be saying our “I do’s” in front of people we know and love.

It was a strange, strange process, finding a wedding venue, filled with questions you never thought you’d ask (“how many kinds of pasta would that cocktail hour station serve?” ) and encounters that you just don’t deal with every day.
Couple things I discovered/learned during the process…

1. Every single thing you ask for when you meet the catering director of a venue,   you will get. It’s better than shopping for a car. Can we have (fill in the blank) food? Sure!  Can this place accomodate X number of people? Of course! Can we ride into the reception on three unicorns, two goats, and a donkey? Why not!

Seriously, the competition for weddings is pretty intense in New York, with each couple having 8,000 possibilities, it seems. So it was nice hearing “yes” to everything we asked for.

2. One place was so interested in us signing a contract with them that they offered to do a tasting for us and our parents, before even agreeing to a deal. So last Sunday we got a two-hour feast filled with appetizers, main courses and desserts, for free. Food was great, and the chef even came out to check on us.
I felt bad when we didn’t pick them; they cooked all that food for us! But picking a wedding venue is a cold-hearted business…

3. The only hard and fast rule of this process so far: “No new friends!” Our guest list is already too big for several of the places we looked at, so we have told parents (and ourselves) that they’re not allowed to make any new friends for a while.
4. Finally, a word to the wise about places with “great views.” We got all excited about several places and how beautiful they looked for pictures, and for guests to look at. But then we realized: We’re getting hitched at night. Nobody will be able to see the views, it’s too dark. 

Kinda ruins the vista when all you see is black sky, huh?

**If it seems I feel the need to always write blog posts about celebrities from the 1980s when they die, well, that’s because I do. So today I want to spend a few words on Richard Dawson, the legendary game show host and star of “Family Feud.” and “The Match Game.” who died over the weekend.
Couple things I wanna say: First, Richard Dawson must hold the record for most women ever kissed on television. For nine years the dude kissed, on the lips, every single female who appeared on The Feud.

Besides it being pretty sexist, can you imagine the outcry if he did that today? Blogs would rip him apart, women’s groups would call him a pig, and all that stuff. Even as a kid I thought it was weird how he kissed all of ‘em, old and young alike.
Second, I think he got away with it because he was British. British men are automatically 25 percent more charming than American men, a female friend of mine once told me.
And third, Richard Dawson was a wonderful reminder of when game show hosts had distinct personalities and styles. Him, Wink Martindale, the sartorially splendid Gene Rayburn, all of them were great colorful characters who were more than hosts, they were entertainers (Yes, I’m a game show nerd, sue me).

So long Richard, and may there be lots of women in heaven who will kiss you right before you scream “Survey SAYS!”

**Haven’t written about the French Open yet this year, but Sunday’s action demanded a few words from me. In the span of like an hour, the No. 1 player in the world Novak Djokovic was down two sets, the great Roger Federer had dropped a set, and No.1 on the women’s side, Vera Zvonareva, had been drummed out of the tournament.

But thankfully for tennis fans like me, Nova and Roger recovered against the lesser lights they were losing to.  The incredible consistency of the men’s top three (some guy named Nadal has a chance to win this tournament, too) means I look forward to the semis of Grand Slams so much, because they always involve two of those three playing each other, and then facing the other in the final.

Can’t see it happening any another way this week. Hoping Federer can find a way to win one more Slam.