Archive for April, 2006

Brides in space

Thursday, April 20th, 2006

For brides of the future

The wonderful and stylish Isidore Gallant of Manolo for the Men shared this bit of space-age chic with me. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency is sponsoring a Space Couture design contest to celebrate fashion beyond earth’s borders. To publicize the competition, Eri Matsui, chairperson of the contest committee, created the wedding dress above. Its many cascading ruffles have been designed to look smashing when acted upon by the pull of earth’s gravity and when floating in zero-G conditions.

Because a bride should be prepared for everything and anything! Even the vast empty reaches of space!

Sapphires!

Wednesday, April 19th, 2006


Sapphire Engagement Ring

I saw a recently-engaged friend of mine the other day. She and her fiancé took a while getting a ring and so I’d been hungrily waiting to see what they had picked out together. I prefer surprises, but different strokes for different folks! She was wearing a absolutely gorgeous sapphire engagement ring like the one above from FineJewelers.com.

You may be aware that Prince Charles gave Diana Spencer a sapphire engagement ring and that sapphires are traditionally a symbol of faithfulness. You may also be aware that sapphires range in color from deep blue to violet to orange to white. You may not know how to choose a quality sapphire. I didn’t. Every gem is different and thus there are different guidelines for choosing different sorts of gems!

EHow has a few tips to help novice sapphire lovers find the right stone.

Ask if the stone has been treated in any way. Some common treatments to enhance gems include irradiation, heat treatment, dyeing and coating. Not all of these treatments will devalue the stone, but always ask so you know what you’re getting.

Study the color of the stone. The most valuable sapphires are deep, pure blue, and do not change color when moved into different light. Stones that are too dark or too light are of less value than royal blue stones.

Make sure there are no visible inclusions in the stone or scratches on the surface.

Examine the cut of the sapphire. Oval shapes – like Princess Diana’s ring – are popular, but sapphires come in a variety of cuts. Make sure the light reflects evenly off the surface of the stone when it is held face up. Look at the surface of the stone from several angles to be sure.

As an aside, if you want to say “Awwwww” today, have a look at this illustrated story.

A forever fresh alternative to flowers

Tuesday, April 18th, 2006

A bouquet with some sparkle

Up until today, I’d never really considered the plight of brides with hay fever or pollen allergies. What bride wants to walk down the aisle with watering eyes and a runny nose? Sure, there are always silk flowers and greens, but a lot of the silk bouquets out there look cheap. Reader Deena pointed out a fabulous and funky alternative: the crystal bouquet!

Like flowers and floral arrangements, crystal bouquets come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and, of course, prices. You can buy them pre-made or you can try making your own with a kit. A crystal bouquet featuring large Swarovski crystals can cost as much as $1,000 while less luxurious bouquets go for about $100. A kit from Wedding Day Originals will set a future bride back about $50 but I’m not sure wire weaving is for everyone.

Unlike flowers and flower arrangements, a crystal bouquet won’t wilt in the heat, doesn’t need to be preserved, and can be tossed about a bit without losing any of its beauty. The stunning bouquet above is sold by Advantage Bridal and features over 150 large Swarovski crystals on beautifully woven silvery stems.

The Cakediva

Monday, April 17th, 2006

A cake fit for a princess!

Because I’m sure that many of you are absolutely stuffed with Easter sweets like I am, I thought, “What’s the harm in just a little more sugar?” I love cake. But I love love love imaginative and crazy cakes. The fabulous and whimsical cake above was created by Charmaine “The Cakediva” Jones. The Cakediva specializes in cakes with one-of-a-kind flair and can create confections that will feed up to 1,000 people. The cakes come in flavors as diverse as pink champagne, banana, and tangerine. And available fillings include guava, coconut, and Bavarian crème. Some of her more extreme creations include a bust of Michael Jackson, a ski boot, a whole piano, and a well-lit haunted house with edible windows.

Her client list reads like a Who’s Who – The Cakediva has made cakes for the likes of Erykah Badu, Michael Jordan, Jay Leno, and Susan Sarandon. But she’ll make you just about any wacky cake you desire. Including a box of Total Cereal!

Advice for your ears

Friday, April 14th, 2006

The Wedding Podcast Network

Despite the fact that I usually avoid anything that includes the words “pod” or “iWhatnot,” as well as weird Internet slang, I am totally digging the Wedding Podcast Network. Contrary to what some folks believe, podcasts do not require listeners to have an iPod.

The WPN, as it’s calling itself, features a variety of programs led by wedding industry experts like John Mahdessian of Madame Paulette, wedding cake designer Sylvia Weinstock, and Tatiana Byron from 4PM Events. The podcasts address everything from event planning to gift registries to relationship advice. While most of the programs likely appeal to future brides, they even have a program called ‘Grooms With a View‘ that features real husbands talking about how they took part in the wedding planning process.

To check it out, just visit the site and download the podcast mp3 of your choice. The WPN is shaping up to be a great source of advice that brides and grooms to be can listen to on the go.

There’s Something About Siri Bridesmaids Dresses

Thursday, April 13th, 2006

They call her Mellow Yellow

I love perusing the pages of Siri’s online catalog of bridesmaids dresses on days like today when the weather is crummy, I’m tired, and my to-do list is pages and pages long. Looking at their gorgeous dresses for the maid-of-honor and the bridesmaid (and even the alternative bride and fun MOB!) cheers me up in no time flat because going through their selection is like feasting my eyes on a rainbow. They have wonderful patterns and fabrics, of course, but, oh, the colors! All those vivid greens, oranges, blues, yellows, and pinks – it’s springtime in bridesmaids dress form!

As an added bonus, their styles tend toward the kind of classical patterns that work on a variety of figures. The halter, A-line, tea length dress above (known as the Siena Sundress) is summery and definitely re-wearable. While I like it in the creamy yellow Venus & Mars, this particular bridesmaids dress comes in a variety of other absolutely fabulous fabrics and colors.

A healthy bride is a happy bride

Wednesday, April 12th, 2006

There is nothing wrong with pleasingly plump.

I’m all for brides doing a bit of extra exercise before the wedding. A good workout makes you feel good, gives your skin a rosy glow, and helps you walk down the aisle with a spring in your step. There are some fabulous wedding exercise plans, such as The Complete Bride’s Workout Guide and Wedding Workout, that are healthful and realistic and strive to make brides of all sizes feel good about themselves.

What I can’t get behind are ads like the one above (and the two others featured on the lovely blog Wedding Thoughts) created by Grey World for Slim Fast. They imply that there is something wrong with not being a Skinny Minnie on your wedding day. First off, Slim Fast is nasty and not as healthy as simply eating right. Secondly, to make this ad campaign even more ridiculous, the cake topper brides in those ads are not particularly plump!

I say, grrrrrr!