Some people say that planning a wedding is like training to be a project manager. Some say that it’s a once-in-a-lifetime creative outlet for all your novel ideas. Other say it’s a must-do experience for any bride-to-be. I think the truth is probably a combination of all of the above perspectives. Personally, wedding planning for the past eight months has permeated so much of my life, that it is beginning to reshape many subtle details in my daily life.
For one, I never have to worry about any awkward silences in starting a conversation again, because the other person invariably asks “So how’s wedding planning going”, and it never gets boring from there. This topic of conversation has also drawn many of my recently married or engaged friends to congregate and commiserate over an instantly shared bond. The typical conversation goes something like this:
“Oh my gosh, have you sent out invitations yet?”
“I just did, and oh my gosh, I never realized how expensive it is to custom design it on Shutterfly?! How much did you spend per invitation? Oh and all the postage, don’t even mention it.”
Even though I wasn’t a type A person before this all started, planning a wedding and coordinating and delegating have made me into a task-listing paranoid type A personality. I have my google doc spreadsheet perpetually open on my browser, and neurotically check off tasks from my monthly to-do list on a almost daily basis. Excel tables and schedule-making are quickly becoming strengths in my talent arsenal. Crossing off items on a list has never proved so satisfying.
Wedding planning has made me queen of google search. For all the dozen different vendors that brides have to contact and select, I have perfected my skills on Google so that no vendor is obscure enough to escape my search. From wedding forums to online magazines, I can almost instantly find the hidden page where prices are listed and compared. Thank goodness for Google. I can’t imagine what brides-to-be did in the pre-Google era.
Then last but not the least, planning between two people has revealed a lot of areas for conflict between my fiance and I, but has also helped us to smooth the rough edges in our relationships. For instance, we are learning to communicate better so that we make expectations clear for the other person, what we’re able to do and not able to do. We are learning to share burdens better, and how to help each other, or comfort each other when you can’t offer much help. Most importantly, we’re learning more of our differences and how to work together despite the differences.
So while I can’t say that I’ve enjoyed every aspect of wedding planning, the stressful coordination and micro-management. That would just be a blunt lie. But, I can say that I am growing through this experience, and I would have it no other way.
Back to food.
This week I’m introducing to you an unique summer recipe that I learned during a cooking class I took at our medical school a year ago. Gazpacho is a Spanish dish, halfway between a salad and a vegetable soup, usually served cold. It’s very versatile. As long as you have the basic ingredients, such as bell pepper, tomato, basil and red wine vinegar, the rest is up to your creativity. As a summer night appetizer, it’s very refreshing and also healthy. I made mine with a watermelon base, since it’s my favorite summer fruit. Since watermelons are made mostly of water, it’s well suited to this type of soup-y dish. So pick your set of ingredients and take it away!
- 8 cups of watermelon rind
- 1 cucumber, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced finely
- 1/4 cup basil, finely sliced
- 1/4 cup parsley
- 2 Tbsp shallots, finely minced
- 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- salt to taste
Mix all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Puree 1/3 of it in a blender and pour the puree back into the mix until you have your desired consistency of chunkiness and smoothness.
Refrigerate and serve chilled. Lasts up to 3 days.