Archive for March, 2006

Right on Target

Tuesday, March 14th, 2006

Somebody\'s getting married!

A friend of mine, who goes by the name of Ladysun, is a do-it-yourselfer and soon to be married. She’s been shopping around for bargains and has budgeted carefully to ensure that her upcoming nuptials won’t break the bank. Recently, she told me how much she spent on paper goods, by which I mean invitations, response cards, envelopes, place cards, and thank you cards. The grand total with tax? $71.50. To give you some perspective, she’d budgeted $250 for invitations alone.

Ladysun accomplished this amazing feat by shopping at Target and heading straight for the clearance section. She’ll, of course, be doing all the printing herself. It’s not as difficult as it sounds and, because she bought in bulk, she has some extras to play around with.

Note: Those future brides (and grooms) who have good printers and are good with graphic design may want to consider buying pretty card stock or blank cards. You can then customize your wedding invites and other paper goods to suit your tastes and needs. Those who aren’t so design savvy can try wedding invitation software.

Anyway, back to Target. It’s a little difficult to find their wedding stuff on their web site because it turns out they partner with FTD Florists, Carlson Craft Wedding Stores, and other retailers. But they have a wide range of favors, wedding accessories, wedding albums, and shower gear for the more adventurous and creative future brides and grooms.

It may be worth checking out. And I know, I was shocked, too. I mean, Target and weddings. Who would have thought?

To love, honor, and link

Monday, March 13th, 2006

I don’t know why, but my brain is all over the place today. Perhaps it’s because this weekend The Beard announced that he actually wants to get married and by get married he means get married to me. This was, of course, not an official proposal. He said that before we make it official he wants to find a ring and decide on some special moment to propose. But that’s not stopping me from considering various wedding bands, dresses, shoes, hair styles, and so forth, and rereading everything that The Manolo and I have posted since this site’s inception at the start of 2005.

So, I thought you might enjoy perusing a selection of links and other things that are sometimes funny, sometimes useful, and always entertaining.

Mini Bridezilla Voodoo Doll

The Mini Bridezilla Voodoo Doll comes with everything an exasperated bridesmaid or future husband needs to not so subtly let the future bride know she’s being a real witch.

If it comes to your area, be sure to check out Bridezilla Strikes Back! – a one-woman show by Cynthia Silver, who was tricked into appearing on a FOX “brides gone bad” type special by producers who told her she’d be appearing in a serious documentary. It’s a comedy that reminds us that all bridezillas aren’t cut from the same cloth.

Favor Ideas’ Bridezilla comic strip captures the essence of the change that some women undergo when they go from being just-your-average-woman to being a future bride.

For those who love undergarments in general or bridal undergarments specifically, the Knickers Blog is holding a contest where new subscribers to their newsletter can win one of three bridal undergarment sets. Subscribe by March 31 and you’re entered automatically! Don’t forget to check out their fab bridal underthings guide!

Bridezilla: True Tales from Etiquette Hell

Bridezilla: True Tales from Etiquette Hell is intended as a reference guide and is chock full of etiquette “don’ts.” Sort of like reality TV for your bedstand.

Finally, newcomer to the bridal blog scene, Bridalwave (brought to you by the good folks at Shoewawa), is making a splash by showing readers what’s hot and what’s not for brides in the UK. I particularly love the site’s commentary on the good gowns and the bad on EBAY.co.uk.

Enjoy!

Bubble-headed bride becomes a bobble head

Saturday, March 11th, 2006

A big head will get you noticed

Remember when, roughly a year ago, the news was full of reports regarding runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks of Deluth, Georgia? In case you don’t, she disappeared just days before her 600-guest wedding prompting searches by law enforcement agencies across the US. The morning of her nuptials, she surfaced in Albuquerque, N ew Mexico, claiming to have been abducted and raped. To make a long story short, she hadn’t been abducted…she’d just gotten a really bad case of cold feet.

Now, the Gwinnett Gladiators ice hockey team, also of Deluth, has immortilized (but not in a good way) their local runaway bride by turning her into a bobble head doll.

The minor league ECHL team named the trinket the “Runaway Bride Any Similarity to Actual Persons is Unintended and Purely Coincidental” Bobblehead Doll.

The bobblehead features a generic woman’s face, with a veil over her head, a sweat shirt that says “I (heart) Duluth,” a pair of running shoes labeled “Adios” instead of Adidas and a picture of the state of Georgia on the back.

But is the bobble head just a gimmick or does it indeed look like Wilbanks? You be the judge!

Ms. Bobble Head

Here come the Vogs

Friday, March 10th, 2006

Putting the funky in your wedding

A while back I received a message from the Shoe Lover regarding a something new from the good folks at Fluevog. For years I wondered how funky brides were supposed to strut their footwear style as they walked down the aisle. There were, of course, always the traditional white Doc Martens, but frankly, they look darn clunky and don’t pair well with most wedding gowns.

That’s why I was happy to discover that the Fluevog Soul Mates line has come to fill that void. Yes, there are only six styles (five for chicks and one for dudes) available at the moment, but four out of the six are pretty rad – I’m not down with the Mary Janes and the men’s style looks too much like pimp gear. The heels come in shades of white and beige, and the boots stay true to the classic Victorian wedding boot without being dowdy.

Some might not like the black soles that four of the designs sport, but I doubt many wedding spectators spend much time staring at the bride’s shoes and most dresses fall quite close to the floor anyhow. Do note that brides that are considering going with vogs should find a nearby store for a fitting, as wedding vogs are non returnable.

Love ’em!

Groom seeks to grow Google gift

Thursday, March 9th, 2006

Mystery man wants money for his honey

It’s a tradition for the bride and groomto exchange gifts on or before their wedding day. The goal of such gifts is typically to present one’s future husband or wife with a memento of their wedding day.

Most grooms opt for something like a diamond heart pendant or a spa gift basket.

But one mystery groom-to-be from Minneapolis, Minnesota is putting the power of determining the scope of his gift in the hands of the Internet populace. He recently launched The Groom’s Gift, a site he hopes will allow him to raise one million dollars through ad revenue and associate shopping links. He has his own GoogleGroom search, as well as links to software and other stuff people might like.

But will it make him one million dollars? I’m skeptical. I mean, I’d love it if The Beard proposed and then thought up some crazy scheme to get me a million bucks. But the Mystery Groom is scheduled to be married in roughly three months and has only made a scant $43. He may need to start eyeing the jewelry department.

International Women’s Day

Wednesday, March 8th, 2006

For the ladies in your life

For those who don’t know, March 8 is International Women’s Day. Sure, it’s just another one of those manufactured commemorative days. Someone’s probably wearing a ribbon for it somewhere or slapping a magnetic sticker on their car. And today will no doubt pass largely unnoticed by most folks. But I’d like to encourage everyone to at least give it a passing thought or check out the web site.

As I see it, until every woman everywhere has the freedom to marry who she wants or not to marry at all, until no woman is forced to bear a child against her will or to be forcefully married to someone who bought or raped her, until things like honor killings, sexual assault, and harassment are a thing of the past, and until what’s in your pants or under your shirt becomes less important than what is in your head and in your heart, we could all use a nice gentle reminder that these issues are still out there.

If nothing else, give the ladies in your life some props today. Call your grandma. Hug your mom. Tell your daughter that she can be anything she wants to be. They’ll thank you for it.

A picture is worth a thousand…dollars?

Tuesday, March 7th, 2006

Snap!

It’s common for folks to tell brides-to-be that the photos of the big day are the one thing no new couple should skimp on. I love photos – I have entire folders stuffed with pictures of The Beard, my cats, my friends, my family – so I’m inclined to agree. I recognize, of course, that not everyone is as photo crazy as I am. I know folks that have been married for years and have all but lost their wedding albums. But most people fall squarely in the middle where photos are concerned and thus most people scheduled to tie the knot are going to be considering booking a photographer.

When it comes right down to it, there are basically four choices: 1) Hire a pro. 2) Hire an amateur. 3) Coerce a friend into doing it. 4) Leave it up to the guests, either by seeding the wedding with disposable cameras or hinting that you’d love copies of everyone’s pictures.

Options three and four are easy and cheap, but will likely get you the poorest results. Option one is the most expensive, ranging from between $1,000 to $6,000, with an average package costing roughly $2,500. Ouch! As far as option two is concerned, it’s risky, but going with an experienced photography student can save big bucks.

Brides- and grooms-to-be should start thinking about photography about 10 to 12 months before their wedding date. Pro photogs can get booked months in advance and if you can afford someone with a reputation, you don’t want to miss out because you dragged your feet. If you don’t know where to start, ask a your wedding planner, your DJ, or your recently married friends to suggest someone. Consider your budget and how important photos really are to you. Also consider what you want. Some couples would feel empty without an album while others are satisfied with a disk of electronic prints. Finally, ask yourself where you can save some dough and try one of these money-saving suggestions:

Limit the number of hours the photog is actually working. Have him or her photograph the ceremony and take commemorative pics of the wedding party. Then send him or her home. Do you really need pictures of Aunt Edna doing the Macarena?

Examine the relative merits of buying a small package, a large package, or no package at all. If you’re going to want extra copies of everything, you may save by buying a larger package. If you’re only looking for a simple set of photos to frame (and no additional prints), a small package might be right for you. If you’re a do-it-yourself kind of gal or guy, you might want to create your own album or even a storybook like this:

Photo Story Wedding - Edition

Forget prints altogether and ask for a CD of digital photos rather than prints. Frankly, a photo printer is going to cost you a heck of a lot less than a photo package. Then you print what you want and scrapbook with something like the Memory Makers Wedding Idea Book: Scrapbooking Ideas, Tips and Techniques.

Memory Makers Wedding Idea Book: Scrapbooking Ideas, Tips and Techniques

Forget the extras. Remember that any time you put the word ‘wedding’ in front of something, it doubles or even triples the price. Your photographer may offer the option of framed prints and the frame he or she shows you may be beautiful, but the photos are what counts. You can buy your own frames for a whole lot less.

If you are set on having photos from the reception but don’t want to saddle your guests with disposable cameras, consider asking a few trusted friends to document the event using their own cameras. You’ll likely get a better variety of photos than you would with a pro photog, but without lots of down-the-shirt shots and pictures of people’s ankles.

You may not particularly want pictures of the back of your head, which is what you get at most ceremonies. If that’s the case and you also don’t care about documenting the reception, consider having your wedding party gather at the photography studio the evening before to get some pics. On site photography will likely be a lot cheaper.

Finally, if you happen to have a friend with photography skills, ask them whether they might consider taking your wedding photos in lieu of a more traditional gift. The worst they can say is no and, if they say yes, they will let you keep the negatives!

Coming soon: Questions to ask photographers before booking them
Image by photographer Kwanghoon Jhin