Archive - March, 2006

After the dress is packed away and the flowers are preserved

Now what?

Here’s a little something I’ve never thought about before: post-wedding blues. AKA post-nuptial depression and post-bridal depression. According to relationship psychotherapist Paula Hall, one in ten new brides is so disturbed by the anticlimax of married life that they end up clinically depressed.

Many people find the early months of marriage are full of differences of opinion. Both partners want to make sure things are right from the start, and often trivial issues get blown out of proportion.

Most problems revolve around different expectations of what being married actually means. One partner might look forward to lots of cozy evenings in, while the other wants to spend more time focusing on their career.

I imagine, however, that the sense of disillusionment that some brides experience after the top of the cake has been stashed in the freezer and the wedding gifts have been put away might have something with the inevitable shift of focus. For a year or more, many brides devote themselves wholeheartedly to the wedding. The reception. The dress. The attendants. The flowers. And so on. Once all the pomp and glamour is over, real life can look kind of drab and dull.

So what’s a former bride to do? Women’s Life recommends that they:

  • Know that you are not alone in your feelings and that they are a normal reaction to a huge change in your life
  • Discuss your feelings of loss with your partner. Don’t feel guilty about them or try to hide them. Chances are that he feels the same as you. By being open and honest you can support one another through this transition
  • Be realistic in your expectations about marriage. Building a life together takes time. Don’t try to get the same connection with your partner that your grandma and granddad have after 50 years of marriage. Nothing about married life is instant
  • Don’t feel obligated to spend all of your free time with your new husband. Remember that you had your own life and interests before the marriage and your husband liked you because of this
  • Start to focus your energy on something that you were interested in before the wedding, but did not get round to doing, for example taking up a new sport

Focus on something new, huh? Like having babies? KIDDING, KIDDING!

Making a splash with a sash

A splash of color adds interest

Now that an intense splash of color is considered de rigeur on wedding gowns, plenty of designers are stepping up to the plate with vividly-hued sashes that fall to the front, the side, or the back of the gown. I’m not usually a fan of giant butt embellishments, but I love the way the blue sash cascades on this white Amsale gown. It features a French blue taffeta sash which accents a Duchess satin strapless a-line gown with fitted bodice. The sash can be pinned any number of ways, from what I’ve seen.

It’s nice to be able to see the gown on a real bride. Too, too, too often the stick-thin models are simply swimming in the gowns in the adverts.

The vein of love

Once you go black...

Though the plain gold band remains a staple of tradition, there are plenty of other wedding bands out there to choose from. I myself like the Celtic knot designs. Titanium and black zirconium bands, like the flat band with rounded edges above from Absolute Titanium Designs, are gaining in popularity. Mixed metals that make bands more colorful and striking are also creating a stir.

Of course, regardless of shape, size, or color, that wedding band is most often worn firmly on the fourth finger, better known as the ring finger. But why? According to Cool Quiz:

Before medical science discovered how the circulatory system functioned, people believed that a vein of blood ran directly from the third finger on the left hand to the heart. Because of the hand-heart connection, they chose the descriptive name vena amori, Latin for the vein of love, for this particular vein.

Based upon this name, their contemporaries, purported experts in the field of matrimonial etiquette, wrote that it would only be fitting that the wedding ring be worn on this finger. By wearing the ring on the third finger of the left hand, a married couple symbolically declares their eternal love for each other.

The vein of love. I like it.

Nothing beats being prepared

She needs a wedding emergency kit

Most brides are highly conscious of how well their wedding day is turning out. As brides tend to be more involved in the planning of the matrimonial celebration than their grooms, they have a greater emotional investment. They want the ceremony to go smoothly and the trip between venues to be traffic-free and for everyone to show up where they are supposed to show up on time.

To put it another way, while a groom might stand un-phased in the face of an unexpected blemish or a spot on his collar, a bride might burst into tears. And, of course, there are lots of other things that can go wrong. Unfortunately, most wedding disaster guides deal with dress emergencies and beauty emergencies rather than vendor emergencies or what to do when the mother of the groom shows up dead drunk.

To prepare for the minor stuff (if you’re a bride or know one), you can put together an wedding day emergency kit that includes:

  • Extra pantyhose
  • Black socks for clueless grooms or ushers
  • Stain removal swabs
  • Feminine protection
  • An umbrella
  • Painkillers
  • Sewing kit with color coordinated thread
  • Mints
  • Band-aids
  • Hair pins
  • Clear nail-polish
  • Safety pins
  • Antacids
  • Shoe Polish
  • Pocket change
  • Snacks
  • A cell phone
  • Hair Spray

For everything else, brides and grooms just have to hope they’ve done their best to prepare for the worst. And if they are curious about worst case scenarios, they can check out Awfully Wedded : Tales of Disaster from the Big Day, a compilation of the most pathetic, heartbreaking, and embarrassing wedding stories ever.

Awfully Wedded : Tales of Disaster from the Big Day

More for the dudes

There are, among the ranks of the engaged, men who would rather take an active role in the wedding planning process rather than just let their intendeds tell them when and where to show up. I do hope The Beard will be such a fiancé (when it’s official) because too much planning tends to stress me out.

However, most grooms-to-be know as much about wedding planning as most brides to be, which is nil. Brides-to-be, of course, can choose from hundreds of wedding planning books. Books that are often devoted to lace and flounce and princess dresses and what to do if you get cramps during the ceremony. Guys might want something a little more practical, a little less pink, and a lot more manly.

The Engaged Groom : You\'re Getting Married. Read this Book.

The Engaged Groom is a great guide for groom-to-be’s who want to take an active role. It can help guys play to their strengths. And it has some great real life stories and talks a bit about less conventional choices grooms can make.

Pocket Idiot\'s Guide to Being a Groom, 2E (Pocket Idiot\'s Guide)

The Pocket Idiot’s Guide to Being a Groom educates groom-to-be’s on everything from choosing attendants to hiring a photographer to just about everything else. It covers the basics and can be a good choice for those guys who never really thought about weddings until the day they popped the question.

Ladies, don’t be afraid to buy such a book for your intended. Inside, he may find the answer to the questions he’s been afraid to ask.

And before the groom kisses his bride, a word from our sponsor

What next, a Nike bridal tracksuit?

According to an article in the Akron Beacon Journal, the scourge of sponsored weddings is spreading.

The idea behind sponsored weddings is to use matrimonial festivities as a commercial of sorts, with everything from the bride’s gown to chair covers brought to you by merchants.

The bride and groom get goods and services at a discount or for free. In exchange, companies get their name on table cards, reception banners and even on party favors. Also, the sponsors usually get a few mentions by speakers during the reception.

In recent years the idea of sponsored weddings has taken off in other parts of the country, primarily on the West Coast. And now the concept has reached the Akron area.

Christina Fanizzi and George Crosier of East Akron are engaged to be married July 1 at St. Bernard’s Church in downtown Akron before 150 guests. The total bill will be well more than $10,000, Fanizzi estimated, but the couple will pay only $2,800. The rest is being picked up by local businesses who are donating their time and merchandise in exchange for publicity at the wedding.

As party favors, Fanizzi is putting together a packet of all the business cards of the sponsoring businesses, tying them with ribbons and putting them at each place setting.

Uh, some favor. I say, ick. Advertising is everywhere in our lives, buzzing in our ears like flies. Does it have to be at our weddings, too?

Weddings, the second time around

Simplicity for the second time bride?

Statistics say that almost half of all weddings involve one or more people who are not unfamiliar in the ways of matrimony. That means there are a lot of second time brides and second time grooms out there. Being that I’m a firm believer in doing what you want when it comes to weddings, I like to imagine all those second-timers out there having the ceremony they want, wearing the dresses they want, and hosting the sorts of receptions that suit them best.

But, according to I Do Take Two, “encore brides,” as they call them, have plenty of extra factors to consider when planning their second, third, or forth weddings. The site has some good advice, ranging from what to expect when marrying a widower to simple ways to word invitations to how best to include blended family members in a wedding ceremony.

Because the bride and groom may already have home items, registry gifts are often lifestyle presents—items that reflect the new couple’s interests, such as cooking, camping, tools and sports equipment. But shower gifts should not be expensive and may be presented jointly by several guests.

When planning your special event, realize that you can invite anyone you want to your wedding. Avoid inviting former in-laws and ex-spouses, even if you’re on good terms. They may become a bit melancholy, and some guests may feel awkward around them.

Similar to first wedding invitations, your second wedding invitation would also reflect the hosts of the event. If you’re paying, you are the hosts. However, if you want to assert that your parents are hosting and they agree, then you may use the traditional form.

But I Do Take Two also has some advice that I consider rather demoralizing. Some of the guidance offered seems to assume that the second-time couple is not interested in having a grand wedding or an ornate gown or even bridesmaids and groomsmen!

Guests invited to the bride’s first wedding should not be invited to her bridal shower, per standard protocol. If they are, for whatever reason, they are not expected to bring a gift. Um, so the bride should exclude her closest friends and family, then? Because I imagine they were at her first wedding.

Not necessary: Attendants; Someone to walk the bride down the aisle; The procession. If that was your plan from the beginning, great. But I see no reason to exclude these things, particularly not the attendants! They also suggest that if you hold a rehearsal dinner, you omit any toasting. Huh?

I can understand second-time brides and grooms being concerned about how their old Uncle Erwin will feel about their getting hitched in a church or how Grandma Martha will feel about the bride wearing this or that type of veil. But I can also understand how a second-time spouse might want to hold a big shindig that totally eclipses their first (failed) marriage. To blot it out, perhaps. So my advice to any second-timers out there is that you have whatever kind of wedding you darn well please.

The floor-length dress above has an a-line silhouette with a matching jacket and is by Landa Designs

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