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171 days and counting...

Posted by Angel Babbitt Harris April 24, 2013 02:37 PM

As we slowly shift gears and get back to normal in Boston, I wanted to share a quick wedding planning update. We finally chose a caterer! The Mister and I are incredibly excited to work with East Coast Grill in Cambridge for our reception. Their bold flavors and friendly, casual atmosphere are a perfect fit for the vibe we want our guests to feel on our wedding day. Shout out to ECG's catering team with Catering Director, Becky, at the helm. She has been a joy to work with.

Next item on the checklist: Wedding dress shopping. Oh joy!

Engaged couples, how's your wedding planning coming along? Drop a few lines in the Comments section and share any trials and triumphs you are experiencing.


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Photo Credit: Me. Taken in front of the restaurant before our tasting last week.
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Boston, we love you.

Posted by Angel Babbitt Harris April 19, 2013 11:44 AM

It has been a difficult day and week for Bostonians.

My fiance' and I want to send out our heartfelt condolences to those impacted by the devastation brought to our city. Our prayers are with the Richard family, who live in the same neighborhood we call home, and the other families who lost loved ones this week.

Our prayers are with the over 180 people injured during the bombing on Monday and to all the first responders who have remained steadfast and courageous as they continue to protect our city. RIP Sean Collier.

Our prayers are with Patrick Downes and Jessica Kensky Downes, the local newlywed couple who both lost their left leg below the knee as they watched the Boston Marathon at the finish line when the deadly bombs were detonated. Their story hit me to the core, a beautiful couple with so much to look forward to now have a long road of recovery ahead.

Emotions are high. Our city is bruised, but we are NOT broken. Boston is home to some of the best and brightest. We are a proud city. We breed innovation. Heck, we breed future Presidents and leaders. We are the city of champions. Don't ever forget that.

Boston, I love you. We love you.

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The Mister and I dancing in Copley Square last summer during our engagement photo session. This spot is a short distance from where the Marathon bombings took place. Photo credit: Maureen Cotton

Will my feminist friends hate me if I change my last name after the wedding?

Posted by Angel Babbitt Harris April 10, 2013 07:28 PM

Okay. Perhaps hate is a strong word. Let me explain.

I recently read "Why Should Married Women Change Their Names? Let Men Change Theirs" penned by Guardian columnist Jill Filipovic. The article left me feeling a tinge of hateration toward my choice to add the Mister's name to my own after we get married. It led me to wonder how my feminist crusader-type friends would react to my choice. Through research on the topic, I discovered that everyone from feminists to traditionalists, conservatives to liberals, and average Joes to average Janes have an opinion on the matter!

Let's begin with Filipovic's point of view. In her article, she states that our names are part of our identity and to change them is to give up the most "basic marker" of who we are. She goes on to explain that she understands why women do it given the social judgement of a sexist culture we work so hard to lean in to every day of our existence as womankind.

Then the article took an interesting turn. After stating that she gets it, she proceeds to criticize women who change their last names by saying the reasons we give are not good enough, they make no sense. The always popular response of "We want our family to share a name" or "His last name sounds better" are just excuses.

The article closes with a push to challenge men to change their last names. Hmph. I guess if Jay-Z did it, every man should.

I struggled with accepting Filipovic's article as the gospel and decided to poll my Facebook friends, coworkers, and even people I sat next to on the train. Surprisingly, most people agree with Filipovic. Many women in my circle kept their names or are choosing to keep them after marriage, with some doing the hypenation thing, and a nearly extinct few dropping their names completely.

Eeek! I may be outnumbered on this one.

My reason for deciding to add his name is simple: it's MY choice. How's that for a feminist stance? I don't subscribe to the notion that changing my last name means that my identity is gone forever. The addition of his name does not result in the subtraction of who I am as a person. I'll still be me.

Boston.com, what do YOU think?

Women: Did you or do you plan to change your last name once married?
Why or why not?

Men: Did you or would you pull a Jay-Z and take on your wife's last name? Why or why not?

Same sex couples: Where do you stand on the issue?

Weddings for two: Couples say no to the guest list, yes to fancy elopements

Posted by Angel Babbitt Harris April 4, 2013 12:57 PM

Last weekend while stalking some of my favorite wedding blogs, I came across a post highlighting a couple who had a stunning wedding. The bride wore an expensive gown, the groom looked dapper in his suit. The ceremony took place atop a mountain set next to a farmhouse. The photographer captured still shots of a beautiful bouquet and a well-appointed tablescape. The photos chronicled a truly romantic ceremony, but one thing was missing -- there wasn't a guest in sight!

Wedding planners are calling this trend weddings-for-two, pre-planned elopements where couples wed in private with all the frills of a celebration for 200 people, but a guest list of zero.

Some might call this trend oxymoronic and question why a couple would spend thousands of dollars and countless hours obsessing over details that will never be experienced by a single guest. Others may question whether or not it truly is a wedding-for-two if the photos end up on a blog (or Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) for millions of viewers to see, including the family and friends of the couple, who probably feel slightly offended that they weren't part of the day.

Research on the topic led me to a recent story covered on TODAY. Freelance writer and editor Wendy Grossman Kantor offers readers a candid account of why some couples are choosing to ditch the guest list in exchange for the fancy elopement.

According to the couples Kantor interviewed for the article: no guests equal no stress. Clearly, the newer generation of engaged couples are making their own rules. As I mentioned in an earlier post, we're actually paying for our own weddings, so why not get exactly what we want. For some, that 'want' means spending their budget on creating a day that's more about them and less about the distant cousins, coworkers, neighbors and their plus ones.

Personally, I can't wait to hit the dance floor at our reception and Cupid Shuffle with all of our wedding guests! Guests bring the fun factor. You can't have a party without them!

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