Archive - April, 2007

Monday Miscellany

The complaint I hear more often than any other from brides- and grooms-to-be is that guests don’t RSVP. As I’m sure you folks know, a failure to let a host know whether you will or will not attend an event is quite discourteous. The relative rudeness of such a faux pas is magnified when the hosts in question need to know how big of a tent to reserve. Sure, people these days lead busy lives, but a response card takes, what, a whole fifteen seconds to mail and fill out? Be a good guest — let them know you’re coming.

Okay…I am done lecturing so let’s lighten the mood. I stumbled upon People Magazine’s Ugliest Bridesmaid Dresses blog and have been thanking my lucky stars that I’ve never been asked to wear something like this:

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Though when I was quite little, I did wear this odd navy bridesmaid dress with obscenely ruffled sleeves. At the time (around 1987 pr so) I dearly loved that dress and wore it until the seams started threatening to pull apart. And speaking of strained seams, if you feel you absolutely must lose a few inches before your wedding day, I am an advocate of exercise over dieting. Eat well, learn a few new moves from books like Buff Brides: The Complete Guide to Getting in Shape and Looking Great for Your Wedding Day or The Body Sculpting Bible for Brides: Look Your Best in Your Wedding Dress, and you’ll be fine.

Keep in mind two things when slimming down before your big day, however. First, your intended obviously loves you as you are so why mess with perfection…and second, don’t get too crazy after your fittings begin since a dress that is too big can look just as bad as a dress that is too small.

It’s not mine, it’s a rental!

If I could do it all again, I think I might elope. Ha ha, only serious. All right, maybe not. But I would consider renting a wedding gown. For those who don’t imagine they will form sentimental ties with their wedding apparel, renting a gown can be a great way to save bank without sacrificing fabulousness.

I, for one, wouldn’t mind walking down the aisle in this Italian satin ballgown (available for hire at Tuscany Rentals in Colorado):

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Um, even if it is a little busy…but anyway, renting a gown means being extra, extra, extra careful about fit. There are oftentimes no alterations in the land of the rental unless you’re willing to spend huuuuuuundreds more, so you best hope you can work with the sizes your rental boutique has on hand. Do not squeeze. Do not pin and tuck. Do not gain or lose weight after choosing your gown. That last rule might prove challenging for a lot of ladies, myself included.

The good news is that renting can mean wearing a gown you might otherwise not be able to afford, and many rental boutiques throw in accessory rentals (think veils and petticoats) gratis.

It’s not a route traveled by many brides (yet) but it’s definitely something to think about while considering weddingwear options.

DIY portraiture

I’m fighting a block today…a writing block, that is. I just can’t think of anything to write about, which is a bummer, since I approached today’s post in the mood to dive into a topic. So instead of just posting a pic of a pretty dress, I’m going to let Rain and Peter do the talking for me.

Who are Rain and Peter, you ask? Two enterprising young folks who bravely donned their wedding attire and took self-portraits in Europe without working with any professionals. As they put it: “We were our own photographers, stylists, and models! Like most of you, we are not professional photographers or stylists. Peter was a software engineer and is now in graduate school. Rain is a software product manager.”

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These lovely newlyweds created an easy-to-navigate web site that instructs readers on how to compose and shoot their own pro-look wedding portraits. Of course, they were lucky enough to stage theirs in Oxford, London, Paris, Versailles, and Loire, which I imagine goes a long way toward upping the class quotient of any photo. But the guidance they give will work anywhere in the world.

Here’s a sampling of the style, posing, packing, and shooting advice offered on their site:

We came up with the idea to have a mock trip: we put our gear and gown in a carry-on travelbag and pretended that we were taking photos on the road. We headed to the same college campus where we had our first shots. The campus, with its European style buildings and a gorgeous garden, is very similar to the places we would be visiting. It is an excellent playground for our rehearsal.

Time was very important not only during my trip but also on my wedding day. I tried to master a quick bridal makeup. This does not mean giving up quality. Instead, I practiced until I could remember and got familiar with every single step.

This is probably the simplest and most useful tip. The more you shot, the higher the chance of getting good pictures. This is especially true for people pictures. People are spontanuous. You never know when a smile is at its best, or when someone blinks.

When I was preparing for this project, I spent some time browsing plenty of wedding photos from the Internet and books. When I saw a good shot, I would ask myself the following questions to analyze the photo and reverse-engineer it: What elements make this picture good? What is in the background? How did they pose? How did the environment relate to the couple?

At home, I identified these angles by posing in front of a large mirror. I would adopt a particular expression and pose, and then rotated to see myself from right to left, and tilted my head at different angles. This helped me not only to identify my more photogenic parts, but also helped me feel more natural and comfortable in front of a camera.

Now go check out their albums and see how wonderful DIY can be. Meanwhile, I’ll be studying their advice so The Beard and I can get our photo on post wedding!

Simple + Elaborate = Fabulous

A few pieces of dazzling jewelry can do wonders for an understated wedding gown. Though my overstated lady lumps make me look ridiculous in sheath dresses, there are few thinks I love more than a plain satin sheath paired with some beautiful and original baubles. As soon as I happened upon Jen Preston’s wonderful designs, I thought how lovely they’d look on some chic, sheathed bride. Her pieces have an architectural oomph to them that would likely be too bold when paired with an elaborate gown, but they would no doubt be strikingly elegant when serving as a focal point. Observe:

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As an aside, this necklace makes me think of frequent commenter Sterlingspider.

From Russia, with cake

I must warn you…ahead you’ll see some photos of some fabulously designed and rendered cakes. But they aren’t from “around here,” as one might say. I found them on English Russia via Metafilter yesterday and was just so tickled that I had to share them. I don’t know who made them, but I think they are stunning nonetheless.

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(more…)

Happily prepared

Pre-wedding day stress makes it easy to forget about the little things. While spending time with your honey is indeed important, I’m actually talking about stuff like bobby pins, tampons, and hem tape.

With You In Mind, Inc.’s Wedding Day Emergency Kit for one to four women, five to nine women, and even bigger bridal parties includes roughly 30 name-brand products that will save your butt in a fix. Neither stains, nor pains, nor bad breath will interfere with your happiness on your big day.

But if a custom-made cosmetic bag isn’t really your idea of utilitarian, the ever-fabulous Sterlingspider reminds us that there is a edgier option out there. The Wedding Day Survival Kit comes in a plain metal attaché case and contains almost everything you need to repair yourself, your dress, and your attendants. It even includes a set of extra wedding bands (made of what, I don’t know) in case your best man flakes out.

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Of course, this is all well and good, but what happens if an emergency goes down on the other side of the altar? Not a problem when you present your husband-to-be with the Groom’s Wedding Day Kit, featuring everything from shoe wipes to deodorant to stain remover and more.

Disney Does Weddings

So those Disney princess inspired gowns I mentioned a while back? Turns our they’re neither princessy, nor particularly inspired. Thanks to all of the wonderful people who pointed me toward links with photos, I found out that the Disney gowns look pretty much like your run of the mill gown. I’m no Disneyphile, but I can’t say I’m not a little disappointed!

Yet, as bridal designer Kirstie Kelly points out, “inspired by” doesn’t mean gowns that look like they came from the animated movies Instead the designs attempt to channel the personality of each princess in terms suitable for a real-life, modern woman.

Just about anything produced with the “real-life woman” in mind is good in my book. So let’s see how they look in the context of Belle, Jasmine, the Little Mermaid, and Snow White.

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I don’t know…they’re nice. But I’m just not feeling it in the context of Disney. I think hardcore Disneyphiles are going to be bummed by these designs because they don’t go far enough, while ladies who only sort of care about Disney (which seems to be the target demo here) aren’t even going to think about the line when scoping prospective wedding wear. Overall, I give the whole idea a big fat yawn.

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