Archive - June, 2006

The classy yet sassy bridesmaid

Classy *and* sassy

For a classic look that is both beautiful and refined, Bari Jay can’t be beat. This starlet taffeta dress features a V-neckline and empire waist, with a tie back sash and full skirt with crinoline. I so dig the full skirt look. In fact, I dig it so much that I will be wearing a dress extremely similar to this one to a friend’s wedding in August. And if I look more fabulous than her bridesmaids? Oh well!

If, however, you’re sick to death of the sassy, sexy bridesmaid dresses of today and you’d rather peruse the bridesmaid horrors of the past, check out Etiquette Hell’s Bridesmaid Dress Incinerator. While it hasn’t been updated in a while, timelessly ugly is still timelessly ugly.

Marriage news from around the world

“Till death do us part” still means something in Canada, according to a recent Canadian Social Trends survey. About 90 percent of married Canadians have only been married only once and are still married.

“Ten per cent of respondents in the study had married twice, and less than one per cent had gotten hitched more than twice.”

The average time respondents had been married was 23.5 years. GO CANUCKS!

Since Spain legalized gay marriage almost one year ago to the day, it seems only a handful of folks (about 1,300) have taken the plunge. This month, one of the previously happy Spanish couples made unhappy history when the first same-sex divorce was initiated. Happier history will happen later in the summer when the first militaryman-on-militaryman marriage will take place in Spain. Two men, both named Alberto and both privates in Spain’s Air Force, will tie the knot but have no plans to don their dress uniforms for the ceremony.

If you are a Cambodian citizen and your lovergirl/boy is from Taiwan, you better get hitched quick. According to the Taipei Times, “the [Chinese] Ministry of Foreign Affairs will stop authenticating marriage certificates between Taiwanese and Cambodian citizens next month because the Cambodian government considers Taiwanese to be citizens of the People’s Republic of China.” After July 7, the government will no longer provide marriage authentication services for Taiwanese-Cambodian couples. Bummer.

Think gay and interracial marriages are a hot issues? Well, last week, an Indian woman married a snake! Thirty year old Bimbala Das claims she married her cobra husband not only for love, but also because she saw her snake husband in a dream she had twelve years ago. Two thousand people came to watch Das, dressed in a white silk sari, marry a replica of the serpent. The snake itself skipped the ceremony and stayed curled up in his ant hill home.

Bimbala said: “Though snakes cannot speak nor understand, we communicate in a peculiar way. Whenever I put milk near the ant hill where the Cobra lives, it (the snake) always comes out to drink.”

Huh. A saucer of lactose-free milk will draw my cats out of hiding but you don’t see me marrying them.

Green wedding tips

Going green has never been so beautiful

Going green isn’t easy–especially when you’re planning a wedding. Organic meals? You still have to worry about trucking. Locally grown blooms? Limited, depending on your locale. Eco-friendly and human conscious jewelry? Pricey! There a lot of roadblocks eco-aware couples can come up against when trying to plan an environmentally friendly wedding.

My advice to brides and grooms who want to go green is to focus on the positives. Weddings, by their very nature, are somewhat wasteful. Concentrate on what you can do rather than what you can’t do. Pat yourselves on the back for your choice to use recycled paper invites (like those offered at Conservatree) and soy based inks. Don’t beat yourself up because the dress you really, really loved is made out of something other than organically-grown hemp.

Want to do more? Check out the tips below and then read Eco-Chic Weddings : Simple Tips to Plan a Wedding with Style and Integrity.

Donate your leftovers. No, really. Food rescue organizations like America’s Second Harvest will come and pick up all those uneaten chicken breasts and crab puffs, and then drop them off at the nearest soup kitchen.

Reuse, reuse, reuse. The live flowers that decorate your ceremony site can be used to decorate your reception site, if you have a friend willing to transport them. Better yet, buy real silk flowers (silk is a renewable resource) and incorporate them into your home decor after the wedding. Or donate them to a local nursing home or assisted living center!

Instead of giving out favors–because, hey, you can’t please all of the people all of the time–give a charitable donation in each of your guests names. Or support eco artisans in your community by choosing favors that are locally manufactured using ecologically sound methods. Organic honey, anyone?

Register for practical green gifts like compact fluorescent light bulbs and soy candles. Register with a company like Green Living, which features eco-friendly products of all shapes and sizes!

Create a web site featuring all your guests will need to know about your ceremony, reception, and all that jazz. Try using tree-free paper when sending your info to old Aunt Ida who refuses to make the switch from typewriter to computer. Just don’t mention the elephant dung!

Finally, when the honeymoon is over, donate your dress. There is, of course, the oft mentioned I Do Foundation. But also look into The Bridal Garden and the Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation.

Fantasy? Romance? Romantasy!

It will hug you in all the right places

I love a good corset. Good corsets, in my opinion, deserve to be shown off. Sure, you can hide them under a gown–or anything else, really. But why would you want to? A corset sewn right and constructed of a gorgeous fabric can be absolutely fabulous! There are, of course, corset-top gowns and then there are gowns that incorporate actual corsets made by individuals experienced in the art of corsetmaking.

If your dream gown includes an integrated corset–or is a two piece affair–you’ll want to have it made. Trust me. Off-the-rack corsets can be uncomfortable. A corset made to fit your unique dimensions will support you in all the right spots. The gown above (Look! A Real bride!) was custom made for the wearer by Romantasy, a company specializing in corsetry.

Many corsetmakers offer corsets from different eras. I, myself, love 18th century corsets, which Rossetti Gowns in the UK do particularly well. You can also try Isabella Costumiere, which makes gorgeous custom bridal corsets and gowns. Yum!

If, like me, you love corsets, you have to check out Corsets: A Visual History. It’s divine!

A rare treasure

Slinky and chic, she makes our knees weak

The dress above is neither a wedding dress, nor a dress for the bridesmaid. Its official designation, according to LaBelle Fashions, is “special occasion dress.” However, if you can for just one moment ignore the totally cheap backdrop in front of which the model is standing, you’ll see that this dress, whatever you want to call it, is pretty damn sexy and would look smashing on a bride. Which, if you take a look at the rest of the dresses on the LaBelle web site (peacock, anyone? how about a pantsuit?), just goes to show you that sometimes you can find a true treasure when rooting through trash.

For those with a love of details, the dress is composed of a lace overlay, a strapless bodice, a sash detail at the waist, and a sassy hourglass skirt. It comes in champagne and what I imagine would be an…interesting combination of black and pink.

Hey, they’re just folks!

They\'re normal, just like you and me. No, really.

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban were apparently able to enjoy the “normal wedding” they wanted. Except that according to The Independent, that ‘normal wedding’ was “a spectacle worthy of her box-office hit Moulin Rouge.” (Pics are here)

Earlier in the week, Urban’s manager Rob Potts told the media that the couple simply wanted to celebrate with friends and family. To that end, details surrounding the nuptials were kept secret.

As the actress, 39, arrived at the imposing gothic-style St Patrick’s College building in Sydney pursued by helicopters yesterday, she was greeted by a crowd of onlookers, many of whom had sought vantage points in trees and on walls.

The cheering fans and throng of paparazzi surged forward towards the cream Rolls-Royce as the police tried to clear a path and security guards kept unwanted gatecrashers from scaling a high wire fence.

After the bells rang to indicate the end of the ceremony, the couple released just one photograph showing the statuesque Kidman looking elegant in a white Balenciaga gown and flowing veil, designed by Nicolas GhesquiŔre, beside Urban, 38, in a black suit with a white rose boutonniere to match her bouquet. “We just want to thank everyone in Australia and around the world who have sent us their warm wishes,” they said in a brief statement.

While I tend to be cynical about celebrity marriages, I of course wish the couple a happy, long life.

Lace I can love

Wonderfully feminine

No, Angelina Jolie isn’t getting married. If she was, I’m sure every man, woman, and child would know about it. No doubt folks in developing nations would be the first to know. Anyway, the above image was taken on the set of the upcoming De Niro-directed flick, The Good Shepherd. If you can ignore her horrendously bony arms for a minute here folks, I want you to look at her dress.

I LOVE that dress. I LOVE IT! It’s lacey and demure yet visually interesting. Understated yet very classy. And it has cap sleeves that don’t look absolutely ridiculous. However, my attempts to discover who created the dress resulted only in my fruitlessly slogging through fake Angelina Jolie MySpace pages, gossip sites, and so forth. Which is okay, I suppose, considering that I’d probably look like Moby Dick wrapped up in the world’s largest tablecloth if I wore such a dress. But I can dream, can’t I?

*Sigh*

UPDATE: The lovely Liz informed me that this isn’t the dress the producers of The Good Shepherd ended up using during filming. The dress that actually appears in the movie came from Cherished, a vintage bridal salon. The lace nunber above may also have come from Cherished, but I’ll have to see what other info I can dig up.

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