Archive - July, 2006

Nuptial randomness

If you’re a groom or know a groom, check out The Engaged Groom: You’re Getting Married. Read this Book. I’m reading it right now–it’s awesome so far–and will post a review when I’m done!

And if you’re in New York City or near it (and ready to buy your wedding dress), consider stopping by the the Brides Against Breast Cancer Wedding Gown Sale. On August 17 through 19, brides can ind the gown of their dreams while making wishes come true for terminal breast cancer patients and their families. The sale will feature new and used designer gowns, normally priced up to $15,000, starting at just $250. Proceeds will benefit Making Memories, a foundation dedicated to helping terminally ill breast cancer patients.

But if you’re not in the market for a gown but have a gown to donate or want to help out, the folks at Making Memories are still looking for donations and volunteers! And if you’re not in NYC, note that the sale will be moving through Chicago, Washington, DC, Philly, and more later in the year.

Finally, if you love weird nuptials as much as I do, check out Andrea E. Hoag’s wacky wedding piece on Canadian Bride. This collection of cringe-worthy wedding tales is sure to captivate.

Gowns, gowns, gowns!

There is a crazy undertone to the world of bridal fashion. For example, I really like this lace and silk dupioni gown from Justin Alexander Couture even though it looks like a blancmange:

Bride or blancmange?

And what is up with the weird hats and veils? I can’t say I like this Platinum for Priscilla of Boston number–the silk and organza diamond leaf skirt looks like the bottom half of a parade float–but check out that hat. Yow!

She\'s ready for the Rose Bowl parade.

This model, resplendent in a beaded, embroidered princess silk satin trumpet gown from Lazaro, is doing her part to ease the pre-wedding jitters of brides all over the world by showing them the her foolproof pit check technique:

Raise your hand if you\'re sure!

Raise your hand if you’re sure, honey!

Pretty in pearls

Six strands are better than one

It’s no secret that I love pearls. Real or fake, it makes no difference. If they look good, I’ll wear them. I am partial to multi-strand necklaces like the one above from JewelryStylist.com. When it comes to wedding pearls, however, brides-to-be can’t just don any old pearls. Jewelry designer Saori C. says,

It’s important to remember that even though all natural pearls are described as “white,” they aren’t the stark, bright white of the faux pearls that are widely available in bridal boutiques. True natural pearls are a beautiful, warm, off-white color, and they will provide a wonderful accent to almost any wedding dress, even those in ivory tones. Faux or glass pearls can be a less expensive option, but be careful – colors vary greatly and one designer’s “white” or “ivory” may be completely different from another’s.

Not sold on pearls and still looking for the right jewelry to compliment your wedding look? Consider the following: Will your ceremony and reception be formal, semi-formal, or casual? What sort of neckline will you be sporting on your wedding day? Do you want your jewelry to blend with your dress or are you looking to highlight your bridal ensemble with a splash of color? Do non-precious metals irritate your skin? (< ---this is particularly important for chemical sensitive brides)

If you simply can't decide or have an atrophied jewelry fashion sense (like me), you can consult a jewelry stylist like Erica Jill, who can be reached at advice@jewelrystylist.com. And, if like me, you are also fascinated by pearls, check out Pearls: A Natural History by Neil H. Landman and Paula Mikkelsen. It’s awesome!

Offbeat invitations

An invitation that will stick in their minds With envelopes to match!

Some of the most fabulous weddings invitations I’ve seen feature a plain sheet of paper with the relevant information paired with a second, patterned sheet for pizazze. For those looking for really gorgeous or really crazy patterns, origami paper is the way to go. Paper Source carries beautiful sheets of Japanese paper with matching envelopes in a wide range of playful and colorful prints.

Origami paper is delicate, pretty, and, can help you differentiate your wedding invitations from those of your friends. Origami itself is furthermore creative and offbeat. If you want to really individualize your invites, include a small sheet of origami instructions. Your potential guests will be hard-pressed to forget about your wedding date after they’ve spent a few mintues creating a crane or box out of a portion of your colorful and vivid invitation.

If you can’t finesse him, buy him?

Think all the old duffers who chase 21-year-old skirts are bad? Well, a 70-year old Bangladeshi widow recently bought herself a 22-year-old husband. Sundari Begum gave the family of Bakkar Fakir cash and gifts in return for his hand in marriage.

The groom’s family accepted Begum as the bride after she had given them 30,000 Bangladeshi taka (about 16,300 baht or US$430) and some other valuable gifts, the newspaper said.

Begum, the mother of seven adult children, told reporters that she fell in love with Fakir four years ago and was prepared to pay any price to win his hand.

Maybe I’ve been pursuing this whole marriage thing all wrong. Think The Beard’s mom would prefer cash or a check?

Can one go too far?

Stay back, there be bridesmaids about!

After reading about a groom who took revenge on his groomsmen for heckling him into dancing around a pub in a leopard-print thong on the night of his stag party (i.e. bachelor party), I started wondering where brides- and grooms-to-be should draw the line.

The question of how one is forced into dancing in one’s underpants aside, what is up with the all of the crazy crud marketed to women planning bachelorette parties (i.e. hen parties)? Paper-plate ribbon hats are one thing — who remembers those? — today’s bachelorette party accouterments are just insane. Jenna of Girlspoke discussed the prevalence of penis-related products pushed on unsuspecting brides-to-be by their well-meaning bridesmaids and sisters.

So let me get this straight…you’re out celebrating your last moments of single girl behavior, and you’re wearing a penis?

In my opinion, if you have to ask yourself when the right time to don your blinking penis tiara is, you should ask a trusted friend to monitor your behavior for the rest of the night because you are obviously drunk. Bachelor parties are simple. The recipe: Get plastered and ogle women. Gals get craaaaaaazy. Riona of God-awful Wedding Crap has profiled piñatas, cookie cutters, snack trays, and more, all shaped like or in some way associated with the male member.

Bachelor and bachelorette parties can be seen in two different lights. Many people see them as a last hurrah before men and women are shackled to a ball and chain. Well, I’d like to posit that stag and hen parties should be a celebration of lasting friendship that does not seek to actively humiliate the bride- or groom-to-be.

If you’re planning a bachelorette party, consider that the bride’s boundaries may not mirror yours. The penis cake you think is hilarious may make some (many? Most?) people profoundly uncomfortable. If you want to plan a truly memorable event, check out The Everything Bachelorette Party: Throw a Party That the Bride and Her Friends Will Never Forget for tips. I <3 the Everything series.

Oh, and if you were wondering how the aforementioned groom got his revenge on the aforementioned groomsmen, newly married Matt Edgley,

sprang a surprise after the ceremony at the Dean Row Chapel, Wilmslow, by handing his pals toy scooters decked in ribbons to get to the reception at the nearby Deanwater Hotel.

Stunned motorists saw the eight men hot-footing it down main roads still dressed in their fancy wedding outfits in the sweltering heat. Each scooter had its own personalized “number plate”.

Topping yourself off

It will be your crowning glory

Ever wonder how wedding spending is broken down? As in, how that alleged average $22,000 spent? According to the Association of Bridal Consultants, the breakdown looks something like this:

Reception 28.3%
Consultant 15.0% (if hired)
Wedding Rings 11.5%
Photography/Video 6.6%
Bridal Gown 6.1%
Music 5.2%
Flowers 4.6%
Bridal attendants’ apparel 4.5%
Rehearsal dinner 4.2%
Men’s formal wear 3.2%
Invitations 2.8%
Attendants’ gifts 2.1%
Mother of the bride apparel 1.7%
Bride’s veil 1.6%
Clergy and ceremony fees 1.2%
Limousine 0.9%
Groom’s attire 0.8%

I’m a little surprised that the average veil costs more than the average tux–unless you’re renting, I suppose. But then I’m also surprised the veil isn’t higher up on the list considering the amount that many brides-to-be spend on their wedding day attire.

If you’re looking for a really beautiful veil and are willing to spend more than 1.6%, check out Crowning Glory Silk Veils by Ann Guise (as seen above). They carry a wide variety of handmade veils of all lengths and styles in environmentally sustainable and luxurious silks, as well as other delicious fabrics.

Guise may be the only veil designer out there specialising solely in bespoke silk wedding veils. Her philosophy? That veils deserve to be special in their own right–not just a hastily chosen accessory.

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