Archive for May, 2007

Bridal White?

Monday, May 21st, 2007

As you can see from this photograph of a bridal couple sometime in the 1880’s, wedding gowns have not always been white. In fact, in the American West between the 1830’s and the 1870’s the single most common color for a wedding gown was…plaid.

Plaids were fashionable throughout the period, and in a time when clothes were often handed down and remade by other family members, a white dress just wasn’t practical for the majority of brides.

Age and life experience also played a role in brides wearing colors other than white. A widow, for instance, would never consider wearing white even if she was quite young. In fact, etiquette manuals from the late Victorian period generally suggested grey or mauve as suitable colors for the woman who chose to remarry. An older bride would also be steered gently away from wearing white no matter how virginal she might be.

Then, too, there are cultures that think of some color other than white as the bridal color. German and Scandinavian women were usually married in black unless they were fairly wealthy.

Even now, some bold souls dare to choose color for their wedding days. If there’s a color you like and look good in, why not consider wearing that instead of white? You’ve certainly got a wealth of history behind you!

Bridezilla is nothing new, it seems

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

From the vault entitled: The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same.

Presents are expected from the connections and friends, and the quantity and value of these have become of late so excessive, that the obligation to give them is felt by all but the richest and most prodigal to be very burdensome. They are often of a marvelous inappropriateness. We have known a silver tureen sent to a young couple whose prospects in life hardly indicated the probability of even a regular supply of the simple pot of soup which good Henry the Fourth of France wished to be the least daily portion of every one of his subjects. The presents, with the cards of the givers attached, are sent some days before the reception, that they may be displayed on the occasion. This public show of the donatives of the prodigal seems to have been ingeniously designed for the purpose of-stimulating the lagging generosity of others, and thus keeping up a practice very grateful, no doubt, to each recipient, but exceedingly painful to most givers.

<>from: “The Bazar Book of Decorum.
The care of the Person, Manners, Etiquette, and Ceremonials.” 1873

Loaves and Quiches

Friday, May 18th, 2007

The wedding, or formal official breakfast, is a stereotyped affair, cast in the moulds of the confectioner and restaurateur. It is little else than the fashionable ball supper, lighted up by day instead of gas light, and is composed, like it, of stewed oysters, galantines, mayonnaise of fowl, cold game, ices, pyramids, and all the knickknackeries of confectionery.

from: “The Bazar Book of Decorum.
The care of the Person, Manners, Etiquette, and Ceremonials.” 1873

These days I expect that few of us will be serving stewed oysters, mayonnaise of fowl or large amounts of cold game, but it’s still necessary to feed your wedding guests something. It may be as simple as cake and punch or it may be an entire roast pig. More likely, you’ll want to choose something in between these extremes.

You may have guests with particular dietary needs. Maybe your Uncle Frank is diabetic, and little cousin Sally is violently allergic to peanuts and citrus. Your college roommate may be vegan while the Best Man considers no meal complete without steak. Then there’s your brother’s hatred of all things seafood and your bridesmaid’s boyfriend who has taken a strong stance against any food that is orange in color. Don’t laugh. While the names and relations have been changed to protect my sanity, I’ve known people with every one of these problems or attitudes, and most of them were at my wedding.<>How to pick a meal that will please your guests without breaking the budget? Here are a few thoughts.

Be clear with your caterer about how much you have to spend. A good caterer is used to working with brides who have very little to spend as well as those who aren’t the least strapped for cash. In fact, your caterer may have some very creative ideas for feeding people on a budget. Good communication will help you come up with a workable plan.

Accept that someone won’t be happy. If you’ve got an extended family of extremely picky eaters, you won’t please them all. You can, however, provide food that will satisfy most of your guest list. That’s good enough.


Do you feel lucky, bride? Well do you?

Thursday, May 17th, 2007

I’ve long been amused by the various traditions concerning luck and lack thereof for brides and grooms. Some make a certain amount of sense, such as a sunny day for the wedding being a sign of luck. Others make little or no sense. Why is it considered lucky, after all, for brides to kiss chimney sweeps? I have no clue.

Just for fun, here are some ways to make your own luck on your wedding day…though I disclaim any responsibility for bad luck incurred or good luck not delivered by following or failing to follow any of these helpful hints, particularly those which directly contradict one another:

It’s good luck if you drop the wedding ring, because that allows the bad luck to be shaken out.

It’s bad luck to drop the wedding ring. Whichever of you drops it will be the first to die.

It’s good luck to wear a silk wedding gown.

It’s bad luck to see yourself in your completed bridal finery before the wedding.

It’s good luck to wear white, which symbolizes joy or blue, which symbolizes fidelity.

It’s bad luck to wear anything black or to wear purple on your wedding day because these colors are associated with mourning and indicate early widowhood.

It’s good luck to wear a veil previously worn by a happy bride.

It’s bad luck to wear your veil with your gown before the wedding day.

It’s good luck for a bride to place a gold coin in her right shoe before walking down the aisle. By walking on gold, she’s assuring prosperity for the marriage.

It’s bad luck to allow the bride to cross the threshold of her new home without being carried. (One assumes this is because the gold coin in her shoe will finally trip her. )

It’s good luck for a bride to meet and kiss a chimney sweep on her way to the church.

It’s bad luck for her to meet up with a clergyman, police officer, lawyer, or doctor on the way to the church. No information was readily available on whether that changed if she kissed any of them.
It’s good luck for the bridal party to see a black cat, a grey horse, or an elephant on the way to church.

It’s bad luck for a pig to run across the path of the bridal party on their way to church.

It’s good luck to feed the cat before you go to your wedding, or if the cat sneezes.

It’s bad luck to marry on the same day – or even in the same year – as your sister, lest both marriages be unhappy.

It’s good luck if your wedding day is sunny, or if it snows.

It’s bad luck if your wedding day is windy, or if it rains.

It’s good luck if a baby cries during the wedding ceremony.

It’s bad luck if the bride cries at any point in the day other than during the ceremony itself.

And if the bride reads the entire ceremony before it happens, the wedding will not take place, so I’m told. Is this because she sees what she’s letting herself in for?

Keeping Your Guests Happy

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

Hello, everyone! Twistie here. Before we get started, I’d like to thank NtB for asking me to fill in for her while she’s changing that Never to Now! I’ll do my best to reward her trust and keep her flame going in the coming week.

And on to the topic at hand:

One thing to keep in mind while planning your wedding is that once the ceremony is over, for all the traditions and expectations what you’re throwing is a party. You have guests who expect to be fed and entertained. Somehow, though, guests at many weddings feel more like accessories than, well, guests.

How can you avoid this? Here are a few common complaints about weddings and some ideas on how to make your wedding one your guests will remember fondly.

1: Lack of entertainment.

Yes, everyone expects the Electric Slide and toasts at a wedding, but why stop there? Teach a dance from your ethnic background, hire a juggler; just do something a little unexpected.

2: Hunger and thirst.

It doesn’t matter how much you entertain your guests if they go home hungry or thirsty. I’ll never forget the wedding I attended once where the caterer set out a bowl with about a dozen artichoke hearts for some sixty guests. If you can’t afford enough of something that everyone can have some, leave it off your menu and choose something else.

3: Inadequate facilities.

People need chairs, toilets, shade from the sun and protection from the rain. Be sure to prepare for this. Uncomfortable guests will leave as quickly as they can.

4: Long stretches with no sign of the guests of honor.

Marathon photo sessions leave your guests hanging around with little to do. Try to schedule all or at least some of your photos before the wedding. If you want to keep to the tradition of not seeing one another before the ceremony, do the ones that don’t require you to both be in the picture. Or consider hiring a photographer who specializes in a photojounalistic style. You’ll get less posed pics, but there won’t be as much of a gap in the festivities.

Also, if you’re having a photo session between the ceremony and the reception, try to make sure your guests have something to do while they wait for you. Have appetizers ready for them, or set up an activity to keep them entertained.

5: No contact with the bride and groom.

Is a receiving line really the most fun? No, it isn’t. Still, it’s a great chance to see every single guest and make sure they get a moment with you. If you can’t stand that idea and are having assigned seating, make sure you circulate to every single table at some point in the reception. Whatever you do, don’t spend all your time at the head table or a sweetheart table and forget to talk to the people you invited.

With a little thought for the comfort and pleasure of your guests, you can have a wedding people will talk about for years to come…and in a way you’ll like!

The Manolo for the Brides Forum

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

Manolo says, hello to the readers of the Manolo for the Brides!

The Manolo would like to announce that he has opened the discussion forum the Manolo for the Brides readers at his new Manolo’s Super Fantastic Forums. Here you may discuss in greater details all of the things about the weddings, and the bridal fashion, and the cakes, and all of the topics mentioned in the Manolo for the Brides Blog.

Click here to be taken to the Manolo for the Brides Super Fantastic Forum.

The good, the bad, etc.

Monday, May 14th, 2007

The good: I’m getting married in LESS THAN A WEEK! And my caketopper will be handmade statuettes of my three cats rather than one like the Lenox Wedding Promises Forever Yours topper shown above.

The bad:
I am way too busy…even the things that people are helping with somehow fall squarely onto my plate.

The ugly: My seamstress sent out my wedding dress to be pressed and it hasn’t come back yet. And I’m leaving for Florida in less than 48 hours. Fun, fun, fun.

Yep, that’s right! And just so you folks know, there will be a special guestblogger taking my place while I’m off becoming a Mrs. Once I’m back, I’m going to get back to showcasing uber-fabulous gowns, jewelry, and other wedding schwag. Stay tuned!