Where Should We Get Married? Ghana’s Too Trendy.

The title is a coinage by my friend Steph, a driven, hardworking and generally solid-gold fellow Yale Daily News alum/fellow photography enthusiast from college.

Both photographic and photogenic, Steph nonetheless demurs when I turn the camera on her ...

Both photographic and photogenic, Steph nonetheless demurs when I turn the camera on her.

Once, someone at the newspaper asked Steph what she planned to do after graduation. Would she go to Africa? (Yale had recently started a new program on the continent.) Bulldogs in Accra — as the program was colloquially known — seemed to dovetail with her myriad international interests.

Not a chance. “Ghana’s too trendy,” she countered immortally. (I say “immortally” nearly literally, as the quote went into a meticulously updated shared Word doc we kept at the newspaper called “Quotes of the Night.”)

This was from college, on our final night editing the newspaper (each board edits the paper for 1 year before turning it over to a newly elected team of masochists, er, editors)

This was from college, on our final night editing the newspaper (each board edits the paper for 1 year before turning it over to a newly elected team of masochists, er, editors)

I always laugh when I think of that exchange. (Or read it in my printed “Quotes of the Night” binder!) Steph wound up going elsewhere that summer, and she’s amassed an incredible work history of noble, rare and crazy jobs in far-flung regions since.

But I sympathize with her sentiment. I’m definitely the type to set bizarre (read: unrealistic) and unorthodox (read: elitist) goals for myself. I’ve always had crazy inchoate ideas about my future wedding, which I only realize are strange when I formalize them or hear them coming out of my mouth (i.e., as I relate them to a friend, whose polite smile quickly morphs into a flabbergasted gape).

Examples: I will get married on Necker Island. My bridesmaids will wear white. In fact, they will all wear traditional wedding dresses. This won’t conflict with my outfit, because that will be a sui generis amalgam of:

1) a cheongsam
2) a sari
3) Anne Hathaway’s Atelier Versace gown from the 2009 Venice Film Festival.

Do I have a sketch or a mental image? No. Those are just the meaningful elements to include. First 2 for obvious cultural reasons and the 3rd because that is one of my all-time favorite dresses. Also, Anne Hathaway shares my birthday (though not year), and I alternately am reviled by/can identify with her bold striverism.

Say what you will about the woman, but she almost always pulls out all the stops for her red carpet events. (By "her" I mean Hathaway -- but I'll keep the pronoun ambiguity because I hope some day people say that about me!)

Say what you will about the woman, but she almost always pulls out all the stops for her red carpet events. (By “her” I mean Hathaway — but I’ll keep the pronoun ambiguity because I hope some day people say that about me!)

Semi-tempted to take my vision to one of L.A.'s several make-it-from-a-photo dress shops. This creation -- if carried off properly -- would clearly negate my dress frugality idea.

Semi-tempted to take my vision to one of L.A.’s several make-it-from-a-photo dress shops. Obviously, this creation — if carried off properly — would negate my dress frugality idea.

I just get wacky ideas and overindulge them. My wedding will be like nothing the people have ever seen! Ghana* is too trendy.

*Ghana = any convention, convenience or belief that the majority of people have accepted as standard. I, of course, have dismissed all these things as insufficiently recondite for my ~*1 in a trillion*~ love. That’s the thing about wedding planning for people with my particular brand of neurosis and snobbery. It’s absolutely stultifying to realize that each choice you’re making is foreclosing a whole universe of other expressions.

My point is: We haven’t set our venue yet.

Meanwhile, enjoy this photo set from back when Steph made an impromptu trip to L.A. last November. (Gardena was too trendy.)

6 years later ... Steph had an impromptu trip to L.A. this past November and met me at the Grove. Film camera(!) still in tow!

6 years later, with film camera(!) still in tow!

Thence, I rolled out my photographic campaign to make the most of our once-in-a-coon's-age meeting. Image 1: School photo day background?

Thence, I rolled out my photographic campaign to make the most of our once-in-a-coon’s-age meeting. Image 1: School photo day background?

Image 2: Action! I have weird Kate Middleton dental tension. Not that I look like her, but I'm saying every candid of her I see I feel like she's making this nervous bite thing I'm doing here.

Image 2: Action! I have weird Kate Middleton dental tension. Not that I look like her, but I’m saying every candid of her I see I feel like she’s making this nervous bite thing I’m doing here.

Image 2a: Better attempt.

Image 2a: Better attempt.

Image 3: You would laugh if you saw how many outtakes of this simple photo there are on my camera. (I'm the selfie taker here -- don't shoot the shooter!)

Image 3: You would laugh if you saw how many outtakes of this simple photo there are on my camera. (I’m the selfie taker here — don’t shoot the shooter!)

Image 4: Bored with the exercise, Steph attempts to arrange her getaway.

Image 4: Bored with the exercise, Steph attempts to arrange her getaway.

Image 5: Aw. All those staged shots at the Grove, and it's this candid in the dilapidated Ross Dress for Less parking lot that I like most!

Image 5: Aw. All those staged shots at the Grove, and it’s this candid in the dilapidated Ross Dress for Less parking lot that I like most.

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