In another part of life, I am a wedding photographer. In the world of photojournalism, it’s also known as selling out.
As I have reached the age where most of my friends who want to have a grand wedding have had one, and the chances for my wife and I to attend weddings will either be a shotgun second or wait for our friend’s children to give us the nod has dramatically increased. Because we are usually firing off photos at a staggering rate, we forget to stop and smell the roses. The tradition and pageantry of a nuptial event is one of life’s greatest joys (in my opinion) and this weekend we had the honor and privilege of attending one as a guest.
What’s more, it was for none other than my brother and co-blogger Clarke’s younger brother, Kyle.
Being little brotherless myself, Kyle has always been the ideal surrogate candidate for little brotherly envy and admiration, even in hobbies and interests. He’s a gamer, a Death Cab fan and a lover of nature, and all are instant draws for me. Clarke beat him only when necessary, and he seems well-adjusted as a product of this. Kudos, Clarke.
Without getting into too much sap here (the speeches all gave us plenty of tears) I am dedicating this special list to things that you should consider trying or revisiting in the next two weeks that could help you emulate a few pieces of this amazing evening.
Find the acoustic versions of your favorite dance tracks
Subtle placement of some truly fantastic tracks throughout the wedding delighted me. This is a distant departure from the usual tracks that are heard at every single wedding and make every caterer and wedding host want to jab their eyeballs out (Bruno Mars’ “24k Magic,” for example).
I would like to suggest the group Above and Beyond as a good start into this genre of music. Its soulful, instantly permeating your skin to your bones, and it does so even without insane speakers. This will knock your socks off, and add a wedding to the mix? FOGGEDDABOUDDIT.
Play a video game with a friend
Kyle sucks at Halo. I said it. Come at me.
However, Kyle does have a rare friend group that still manages to find time and interact via video games. As I imagine it is with my group as well, finding time to play together can be difficult, even when the games try to make it as easy as possible to do so. At the wedding, Kyle’s wonderful bride Rachel allowed him and his groomsmen to wear Super Smash Brothers themed broaches, which was an incredible personal touch.
If you have the means, pop in a video game with a friend soon.
Buy Super Smash Bros. on Amazon
Holy Balls. Usually as a photographers we don’t get a chance to sample all of the dessert fare at weddings. At this one I made sure to do so, and even twice on some. Since fall is here and everyone’s beach bod can go straight to hell, a wedding is a great way to readjust your metabolism. By that I mean ask it kindly to work a little harder this winter.
Not a dessert person? Me either. Usually not my bag. I am more of an 18 breadsticks at Olive Garden kind of guy. But I implore all of you in the next few weeks to indulge in a treat of some sort, be it fried, backed, caked or flombe’d (Grammar? Not checking. Love this word).
Crash a wedding
You didn’t hear this from me. BUT, if you do decide to crash one, either give my wife and I a call to go, or at least let me interview you on the experience. While at Kyle’s wedding, theories of the viability of crashing a wedding abounded. There’s an entire movie about this sort of thing, and things seemed to work out pretty well for them.
The main problem is obviously backstory, so here are a few tips that I think I can share to help:
- Be a distant cousin, but not too distant. Look at the seating chart to try to pick a very old aunt that will work.
- Do NOT try to get the number of the drunkest person at the wedding. All eyes are on the situation, you will be compromised
- Don’t be too good or bad at dancing. Be a ghost. Not like a Prince ghost, and not like a Casper ghost. Be always present, but not intimidating.
- Do not offer to make a speech to the couple.
- Do not thank the father of the bride for the evening, he has the two real cousins waiting for you out in the parking lot
- Don’t park in the parking lot.
This is all I have. Run with it.
Above all else, Love
Don’t let romanticism die. Occasionally my cohort Clarke will whoop up a piece on ties to all things love and romance, and they should not be missed. In the meantime, simply show something some love. Your car, your spouse, your mother, your garden, your level 58 World of Warcraft alternate character build. It doesn’t matter, just let something else know it’s appreciated.
This one stays short, you need to know nothing else here.
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
Ignore the Idiot-in-Chief – Hispanic people and culture are a vital and a dynamic part of America’s culture and society. So celebrate that fact by taking part in some of the activities hosted around town as part of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which goes through Oct. 15.
The month commemorates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America, and this year is focused on Hispanic Americans who served their country.
Among the activities you can still catch are the History Colorado Center’s, 1200 Broadway in Denver, Chicano Murals Conference (which is aimed at protecting and preserving the Chicano/a murals of Colorado); the Latin Beats: Sonidos de las Américas Concert at the Boettcher Concert Hall, arranged by the the Mexican Cultural Center and Colorado Symphony; and the CHAC Gallery and Cultural Center’s, 222 Santa Fe Dr. in Denver, Lowrider Culture Art Exhibit, running all of September.
Learn more about the month and activities at www.hispanicheritagemonth.org.
Laughs with Tone Bell
Tone Bell is one of those people who seems to show up in everything and always leaves me laughing. He has done the whole sitcom thing and is getting into bigger movies, like this year’s “Big” reboot, “Little,” but comedy stages are the ones that gave him start.
He’ll be doing his thing at Comedy Works South at the Landmark, 5345 Landmark Place in Greenwood Village, at various times from Thursday, Sept. 26 through Saturday, Sept. 28.
Purchase tickets at www.comedyworks.com/comedians/tone-bell.
Clairo at Summit
By all accounts, 2019 has been a great year for pop music, and per usual, it’s women who are absolutely fucking running the game. Well established names like Carly, Taylor and Lana have all released remarkable efforts, but new voices have also been killing it. Voices like Claire Cottrill, better known as Clairo.
“Immunity,” Clairo’s debut album, is one of the best of the year – dreamy and catchy and melancholic simultaneously. It might take a few listens to get under your skin, but it absolutely will.
As she’s so new to the scene, I’m curious to see how she brings her tunes to life on the stage, which she’ll be doing at Summit, 1902 Blake St. in Denver, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5.
Get your tickets at www.summitdenver.com.
Go close to home with Spider-Man
We’ve just a handful of months left in 2019, and I honestly don’t think you’ll have any more fun with a movie this year than you will with Spider-Man: Far from Home.
I thought Tom Holland’s first entry in a new Spidey series was good, but this one leveled up in absolutely every way. There’s precious little heaviness as compared to the recent Avengers entries, and what is there is lifted with grace by Holland and the rest of the cast, all of whom are operating on the highest levels.
The movie has been available digitally for a few weeks, but if you’re looking for it at the library, Redbox or want a physical copy, it’s available Tuesday, Oct. 1. Whichever way strikes your fancy, just watch the damn thing.
Get covered in dust
Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials is one of the three best fantasy trilogies of all time and can absolutely murder me every time I read it. It’s dark and beautiful and searching and romantic – basically everything a person could want in good story.
A couple years ago Pullman announced a new prequel series called The Book of Dust, which deals with the situation when Lyra Belacqua was new to the world. Unsurprisingly there’s no way it can match the majesty of the original series, but The Book of Dust is still a treat none of us were expecting.
The second entry in the series, “The Secret Commonwealth” drops on Thursday, Oct. 3, and you best believe I’ll be diving in that day. You should, too.