Archive - May, 2006

Some serious wedding don’ts

And now, a quick lesson on what not to do:

Don’t forget to put on your dress!
Lovely knickers but where\'s your gown?

Don’t take your wedding theme too far!
What will mother think?

Don’t go overboard with funny cake toppers!
Old flames do not go hand in hand with weddings

Don’t get drunk at the reception!
Someone\'s going to be embarassed in the morning!

And finally, if you’re a guest with something to hide, don’t get drunk at all (.mov)!

Off-the-shoulder chic

A vintage look with modern sensibilities

As you no doubt have already guessed, I love all things classic. If I think a dress or a necklace or a shoe would have looked appropriate on my two favorite style icons (Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe), I’ll usually buy it.

So it is no surprise that designer Shannon McLean appeals to my sensibilities. Her wedding gowns look like the came out of the closets of my favorite starlets of bygone eras. Ruffles, lace, old fashioned (yet still daring) necklines, bows, and beautiful fabrics define Ms. McLean’s feminine bridal collections.

The unique and sexy dress above (named Coco, from the spring 2005 collection) features a one-shoulder draped fitted bodice accented with a bow. While I’m not usually partial to off-the-shoulder styles, this dress, which accentuates the back and comes in white or blush English net or silk gazar, gets it right. All I can say is yummy.

Memorial Day matrimony

As far as I know, few people get hitched on Memorial Day. I could be wrong. But just because you’re not tying the knot on a patriotic holiday celebrated in the United States doesn’t mean you can’t look like you are. How does one plan the ultimate USA-themed wedding? Here is a recipe:

American Flag Taffy [3LB Bag]

Red, white and blue: Incorporate Old Glory into the cake design, the bridal party colors, the favors, and the reception decor. Guests can exercise their chompers on festive American Flag Taffy or American Flag Tootsie Rolls!

Show your love for the states by eating their emblem!

Stars and stripes: Even if you don’t want to pepper your wedding with tiny flags, you can still use stars and/or stripes in your theme. Try tossing these yummy chocolate stars from Keepsake Favors on your receptions tables. Just don’t take it too far.

Look what they\'re doing!

Uncle Sam, the Statue of Liberty, and the bald eagle: Have your officiant dress up like Uncle Sam. Instead of a veil, don a pointed headpiece. Instead of flowers, carry a torch (literally, not figuratively). Entertain guests by having an actor dressed as a bald eagle be the first on the dance floor. Or top your cake with a traditional symbol of the US–two eagles humping, as crafted by the good people at A Picture Perfect Wedding.

Fireworks: Let guests twirl sparklers instead of tossing birdseed or rice. Just watch out for the sparks!

Marching band: Why have a wedding band play hackneyed wedding classics when you can have a marching band play hackneyed American classics?

Please note that I do not personally endorse any of these suggestions. Like fireworks and Uncle Sam impersonators, they should be used only at your own risk. To those in the US, enjoy your Memorial Day! To everyone else, no one really has weddings like this, I swear.

Buy the World’s Greatest Bride!

This isn\'t weird at all. Really.

Look out Angelina! The World’s Greatest Bride is in town and on the market. Or, at least she was until bidding ended without any of the potential buyers meeting the reserve price. Someone on EBAY recently tried to auction off “a full-size mannequin with a lifelong commitment” wearing a $2,000 wedding gown. More than just a dress auction – the bride was included!

Now I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume the owner of the World’s Greatest Bride is a man. Perhaps a good and honest man, but certainly a weird man. Who needs a full-size mannequin in a $2,000 wedding gown? Why would someone spend that much on a gown for a mannequin? According to the ad:

The dress was purchased for the mannequin and has never been left at the alter. She has performed her duties in our bridal section and is now ready for a new companion.

Is that some sort of euphemism? And, more importantly, what did they need it (her?) for? Let me share a few ideas:

  • The mannequin appears to be interred in a florist’s shop. Perhaps her dead-eyed, open-mouthed stare was intended to frighten future brides into buying larger, more elaborate bouquets.
  • Someone needed a mannequin in a wedding gown for a photo shoot – perhaps the florist. A truly bizarre photo shoot. Mannequins are no doubt easier to manage than models.
  • Someone wanted to use the HOV lane with impunity. And what cop is going to pull over a pair of newlyweds going a couple of miles over the speed limit? No doubt the officer would assume they are just eager to get to their hotel!

You decide: Possible perversion or harmless fun. I’m partial to option three, having watched the cars in the HOV lane whizzing by while stuck in traffic too many times to count. Maybe I’ll put in a bid next go around. Really. I’m just itching to know what the reserve price was.

No laughing matter

She has no choice.

Let’s get serious here for a moment, folks. Though it may seem like a plot line from a 1940s era musical, the kidnapping of potential brides is no joke. Bridenapping is alive and well in the Kyrgyz Republic, a former Soviet territory adjacent to China. According to a study by Philadelphia University sociology professor Russ L, Kleinbach, Ph.D, more than a third of ethnic Kyrgyz weddings are the result of bridenapping (known as ala kachuu) .

Typically a bride kidnapping involves a young man and his friends taking a young woman by force or deception to the home of his parents or a near relative. She is held in a room and his female relatives convince her to put on the marriage scarf. If necessary she is kept over night and is thus threatened by the shame of no longer being a pure woman. When she agrees, all relatives are notified and a marriage celebration takes place in the following few days.

These women, according to a recent Frontline documentary (which you can watch here), are held against their will until they agree to go through with the proposed (and I use that term loosely) marriage. Kept in what amounts to forced captivity, they are coerced and manipulated by the kidnappers family. Many of the marriages work out to some extent, but I believe that is a testament to the inner strength of the many Kyrgyz women whose freedom of choice was taken away in an instant.

So when your wedding has got you down or you’re feeling blue about being single, remember how lucky you are that you have a choice.

The image above is a still from Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan, a documentary by Petr Lom released by First Run Icarus Films.

Say “I do” to running your virus sniffer

Apparently a force of evil hacked the illustrious Manolo’s blogging empire yesterday (perhaps it was that fiend Lagerfeld), causing a trojan download to appear on the frontpage of all of The Manolo’s blogs. Including this one. You can find more information on the nature of this particular trojan at the Shoe Blog itself. The problem has been dealt with. Sorry about that.

Which do should you do?

How about cascading curls?

Hair seems to be one of those things we only think about when we have to. I know the only reason I’m thinking about it right now is because my fun and flirty hairstyle is quickly turning into a Monkees-esque horror. I really need to do something about that. But until I do, hair is going to be on my mind in a major way.

So how do those of us with busy lifestyles choose a do to compliment our overall wedding look? By not waiting until the last minute, of course! If you’ve never thought about your ultimate wedding hairstyle, you’re going to want to start mulling that over six months before the wedding. This can be a good time to meet with your stylist to discuss headpieces and hairdo options. If you’re absolutely stymied, make a list of your beauty icons and then ask your stylist for advice.

Guides like the The Perfect Wedding Series for Hair DVDs can help you learn the secrets of gorgeous wedding hair.

Browse the multitude of online wedding hair galleries and then consider: The mood of your wedding, the style of your dress, the length and type of your hair, the shape of your face, and your relative up-do comfort level. Some people don’t mind being stabbed with bobby pins. You may not want to have to worry about your elaborate twist coming undone. Personally, I get migraines when my hair is pulled back too tightly. These things matter. No matter how beautiful you look, discomfort will interfere with your nuptial joy.

Condition, condition, condition. But not right before your hair trial run, photo session, or ceremony. Deep condition all you like until a week before these events. Shampoo the day before, but don’t wash your hair on the day your locks are being styled. A little natural oil will help your hair stay in place. I would suggest that you also refrain from changing your base style or your haircolor before the wedding. You may not like the results and your hair will be immortalized in your wedding photos.

Above all, be realistic. If your everyday hair is a mass of tightly packed curls, work with that. If your hair is straight as a pin, find a style that will make the most of it. Use what you’ve got, ladies! You’ll feel more confident when the you walking down the aisle is the real you.

Above style by Ooh-La-La-Beaute

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