Archive - November, 2005

Taking matrimonial bliss into our own hands

pizza proposal

“Will you be my…husband?” is something few men ever hear coming from the mouths of the women they love. And yet, a survey conducted in 2003 by Korbel Champagne found that one in three Americans know a woman who has proposed marriage to a man. They also found that 70% of Americans agree that it’s socially acceptable for women to propose marriage to men, almost 50% of all women would propose to their significant other, and a whopping 80% of men would accept a proposal from their significant other.

According to columnist Dennie Hughes of USA Weekend Magazine, the good news is that no diamond is required. But there are still some important factors to consider.

The most important thing is that it shouldn’t come as a total shock to your intended. Be sure marriage is something you’ve both discussed and agreed on. Then, consider his comfort level (how does he feel about private vs. public proposals?), write out a speech from the heart, plan, rehearse (especially if family or friends are involved) and deliver.

That’s all well and good. Sure, I could pop the question, but doing so would just make The Beard stutter like he does when I toss out such give-him-hell gems as, “You’re never going to be ready to get married, are you?”

I guess there is always Leap Year.

Leap Year was the traditional time that women could propose marriage…When the rules of courtship were stricter, women were only allowed to pop the question on one day every four years. That day was February 29th.

It is believed this tradition was started in 5th century Ireland when St. Bridget complained to St. Patrick about women having to wait for so long for a man to propose. So, according to legend, St. Patrick said the yearning females could propose on this one day in February during the Leap Year.

The first documentation of this practice dates back to 1288, when Scotland passed a law that allowed women to propose marriage to the man of their choice in that year. They also made it law that any man who declined a proposal in a Leap Year must pay a fine. The fine could range from a kiss to payment for a silk dress or a pair of gloves.

(More) tips for the frugal bride

wedding on the cheap

I have no illusions about my eventual wedding. I may have mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again: I have six younger siblings. My father is a good provider for his family, but he cannot afford to be oppulent. I don’t have any savings that aren’t dedicated to my eventual retirement. So, I know that when I get married it’s going to be a relatively simple affair. Neither my family nor I can afford to drop a thousand dollars or more on a dress, much less anything else.

So, for my own future reference and possibly yours, I will now present a list of things any bride can do to create a frugal yet fabulous wedding.

Get high tech. Spend the forty bucks to splurge on wedding planning software like Smart Wedding 4.0 that keeps track of things like spending, guests, seating, appointments, vendors, and gifts. It’s like having your very own wedding planner…except this one won’t push you into buying nasty little packets of stale Jordan Almonds.

Go to the library. Or better yet, to one of those bookstores that have a little cafe and will let you read books like Denise and Alan Fields’ Bridal Bargains: Secrets to Throwing a Fantastic Wedding on a Realistic Budget while drinking a latte.

Be confident in your ability to find the perfect dress for less. Don’t feel you have to settle for retail prices. Surf the Internet classfieds, check EBAY, visit sample sales, consider checking your local Salvation Army or Goodwill outlet, and look for knockoffs. Sometimes having an original dress handmade by a tailor can be less expensive than buying it off the rack. Making your own dress with help from books like Susan E. Andriks’ Bridal Gowns: How to Make the Wedding Dress of Your Dreams is also an option.

Instead of booking an expensive hall, consider letting mother nature host your wedding. She has wonderful taste in colors!

Finally, use any resource you can. Plenty of Web sites, such as Brilliant Wedding Pages, have oddles of money-saving tips and tricks that will help you choose favors that are so fantastic, a dress that is so divine, and a setting that is so sublime that no one will ever know you’re a budget queen.

Now, if only there was a cost effective way to inspire The Beard to go ring shopping…

One-stop weddings

tiara table

Being that I am a Boston girl, I couldn’t help noticing that the 7th annual Baystate Bridal Expo, the largest two-day Boston bridal show, will be coming to the Bayside Expo Center in January. According to a press release, the show will…

sparkle with glamorous gowns, elegant formal wear, door prizes, fashion shows, live music and entertainment, DJs, photographers, videographers, limousine services, ice-sculpting demonstrations, breathtaking floral designs, wedding ideas from participating sponsor, Stop and Shop and food samples from Bostonís top caterers, bakeries, and banquet facilities. Brides-to-be can plan their entire wedding in just one weekend, itís one stop shopping and planning with many of the best wedding professionals in the area.

But is it worth it? Apparently, these shows have been around for decades and can be a great resource for the future bride (and perhaps groom) who goes into it with the right attitude and as an idea seeker. Expos are filled with folks whose main goals involve getting your money. According to the expo tips on BrideandGroom.us, it’s best to wear comfy shoes and clothes, bring a friend or relative, and fill out as many contest entry forms as humanly possible. Also, future brides and grooms should bring pens and notebooks because the fashion shows and cake displays can all be great sources of ideas.

As to how to find one in your area, they recommend you:

Check out websites, wedding publications and bridal shops to see where shows are in your area. If youíve registered your name anywhere as a bride-to-be, you will more than likely receive information about bridal shows in your mailbox or e-mail.

Just be prepared for the resultant spam.

If I must cave to uniformity…

chinese tailor

…I can at least ensure that the ladies standing at my side on my wedding day are wearing dresses they will be able to use again and again, like this one from Chinese Tailor. I like this dress because of the fact that it is simple and yet flashy in a discrete way. From far away it will look relatively plain but up close it will shine. Plus, they are hand-sewn, made to order, and relatively cheap.

For the boys

Tux shirt

Because ladies only comprise one half of matrimonial bliss, I thought that I would address the topic of tuxes. As the future bride shops and shops and shops for the perfect dress, the future groom briefly thinks “tuxedo” before going back to playing fantasy football. That’s fine, I suppose, as long as the groom isn’t inclined to wear a t-shirt tux like the one above. But, in the interest of educating the ladies so they can educate their men, here are a few tips on tuxes from Simon’s Men’s Clothing.

When shopping for a tux, look for:

Traditional style – A black, single breasted jacket with notch lapel and pleated trousers have been in style for decades and will still be fashionable for decades to come.

Basic black – Don’t get creative with the color. A basic black tux can be worn to any formal function. If you want a splash of color, try a unique tuxedo shirt or formal set.

Year-round, tropical wool – Unlike polyester blends, wool breathes and adapts to the weather. Wrinkles fall out to keep your tux looking crisp.

Tailored fit – An ill-fitting tux ruins the classic look. Make sure an experienced tailor alters the tux so it fits properly.

A cake as unique as the people eating it

Super cool cake

A friend of mine from college got married a few weeks ago. He is one of a kind and thus I must imagine his lovely bride is also a unique lady. This was their cake. I am not sure, but I think their wedding decor was autumn themed. I just love, love, love the colors on the icing leaves and the stick figure cake topper. I must applaud them for choosing a cake design that reflected their tastes. I sincerely hope it tasted as good as it looked.

Help is on the way

This week, I am visiting my family in Florida. I love my family dearly, though I must say that comments like, “You write a bridal blog? Why don’t you apply some of that knowledge toward becoming a bride?” and “How about you and The Beard get married before I am dead?” are getting a little old, and I’ve only been here for two days.

Desperate to get out of the house and thinking about the fact that brides come in all shapes and sizes, I decided to escape to the bookstore to see what they had in the way of dress buying guides.

I found How to Buy Your Perfect Wedding Dress by by Ronald Rothstein, Mara Urshel, and Todd Lyon. The authors recommend thinking about who you are before thinking about what you want to wear. Are you a princess at heart? A bad girl? Sophisticated? Lighthearted and fun? Then you should think about what kind of wedding you want. And then, lastly, consider your body type. The book helps future brides learn the ins and outs of colors, fabrics, accessories, and which dresses flatter which body types.

I thought about picking it up rather than just sitting in the bookstore cafe, but I didn’t want to scare The Beard and the non-judgmental quiet of the bookstore was a welcome relief!

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