Archive for September, 2007

Two templates, innumerable options

Friday, September 21st, 2007

Generally, I’m not a huge fan of spending bondo bucks on invitations, as most of the people who receive them have no plans to mount them in a keepsake scrapbook. Every so often, however, I find myself tempted by invites that are just too, too pretty. Blue Magpie invitations, with their lush fabric enclosures just recently caught my eye, even through their $30 price tag makes my face pucker.

Looks greathomepagephoto2.jpgReads great

The invites only come in two sizes, but the nice people over at Blue Magpie will work with a bride and groom to pick out the perfect fabric. In fact, they will do their best to find the colors and patterns their clients desire, or work with fabric sent to them by a client.

Can I have them all?

Beyond fabrics, Blue Magpie is always willing to explore different printing options, custom artwork, and embellishments like invitation backings, hang tags, additional ribbons, and crystal accents. As impractical as they usually are, I love all the little hangy bits that one often finds on more complicated invitations. Do I love them at $30 a pop? Only when I’m receiving them in my mailbox!

The well dressed pate

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

The recent discourse on appropriate dress over at the Shoe Blog put me in a mind to contemplate hats. At my own wedding, I asked my mother and her ladywife to pick out some stylish headwear for the ceremony. I suppose they are lucky that I had not yet discovered the French wedding hat tradition, for I no doubt would have requested that they spend obscene amounts of money outfitting their heads.

According to photographer Bertrand Celce, who snapped the photo below, the wedding hat must be “original, classy, and elegant.”

Whoever invented this tradition was inspired, and a wedding without hats would not be a real wedding…or at least wouldn’t deserve that we try our best for the best of all days. Don’t forget that the groom and the bride often met at a previous wedding a few months before. And this particular hat on that particular face wasn’t neutral on that special day. Is there a better reason to care for the hats?

Is there a better reason to care for the hats?

To see more of these uber fantastic hats, many of which are architectural wonders that stimulate the mind as well as the eye, have a peek at this blog entry by Tom Sanford. I think that I shall have to find myself a gorgeous and eye-catching hat to wear at the next wedding I attend so I can begin spreading the wedding hat tradition among my friends and peers.

Back to black

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

For some reason it really irks me when shops assume that bridesmaid dresses and prom gowns are interchangeable. In my mind, there is the potential for overflow, but it only works in one direction. Many dresses created for bridesmaids would make lovely prom wear, but relatively few of the gowns created for today’s senior proms would look right in a matrimonial setting. In the 80s, perhaps, one could go back and forth with impunity, but modern brides seem to be a lot hipper to the notion that there is no reason to outfit ‘maids in itchy, shiny, sequined pouf designed in accordance with the tastes of Sir Mix-A-Lot.

Okay, /rant. I just wanted an excuse to compose a biggish block of text to sit on top of some pretty pictures. The bridesmaid dresses would never be mistaken for something that came from Estelle’s Dressy Dresses…which, incidentally, is where I bought multiple prom dresses back in the day. As much as I love color, I inevitably look back to black whenever I want to feel swingy, sexy, saucy, or sophisticated.


Now, let’s flesh things out a bit with some other nuptial essentials. Who says you can’t build an entire wedding around a really fantastic bridesmaid dress? I could keep going for hours! If you happen to go the black route and find that people close to you question your choice, just remind them that your own joy and the happiness of your guests will provide all of the color your day could possibly need.


Inside of every wedding band is a loving heart

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

inside of every wedding band is a loving heart

This is a classic photographic trick, but one that nonetheless elicits a “wow” from most people when done well. I first came across the Flickr group devoted to heart shadow photography after following a link on Our One Heart, and I just couldn’t resist reposting the link.

If the usual photo of his and hers hands holding sparkling wedding bands isn’t for you, why not ask your photog to snap a double heart pic using both of your rings? And if you’re long since hitched, there’s no reason you can’t rig up a light source, grab a book, and take your own photographs. Just be sure you read the text beneath the ring — if the first words that jump out at you are swaggering, cold, and cocksure, you may want to choose a different book.

“Hair style is the final tip-off whether or not a woman really knows herself.”

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007


Hubert de Givenchy said that in a 1985 issue of Vogue. The site linked through the picture above came to me through a recommendation from a lady of my acquaintance who used it to choose a snazzy new haircut. Since I don’t often talk about wedding locks — mainly because my relationship with my own “do” is so strained — I thought it might be time to put hair back on the program.

Makeover Solutions touts itself as “your best friend for all things beauty.” A free trial lets you try out hair and makeup options on a creepy, digitally rendered model that vaguely resembles you. If you sign up, you can upload an actual photo and give yourself 100 virtual makeovers in the course of ten minutes.

Is it useful? That depends on whether or not you are mega concerned about your wedding hairstyle. I did not follow the commonly outlined rules because I had neither the time nor the money to test run updoes in the weeks before my wedding. Besides, my stylist was in a different state, and he’s known for his major magazine spreads, so I figured it would all turn out all right. And it did, happily enough! I know, however, that not everyone is so lucky.

Do I know myself? I guess so. All I had to say was that I preferred a looser look to something more structured. No uber tight curls for me, thanks.

loose.jpg VERSUS I feel a headache coming on

Can’t we just call them used?

Monday, September 17th, 2007

So what if it’s commonly considered bad luck to wear a second hand wedding gown. Since when is it bad luck to save some bucks? Preowned Wedding Dress (don’t click just yet) wants to change the way brides-to-be whose budgets don’t allow for much wriggle room shop for their dresses. The site also aims to change how newly married ladies dispose of those dresses.


I would love to be able to rave about a site like this…a site that simply brings buyers and sellers together in a fluid way. Really, I would. Gowns are apparently are listed by size, price, and designer, and each is posted with up to five images so shoppers can get an idea of what they’re looking at. Seller’s listings cost a mere $25 to post and last a full 12 months or until the gown is sold. All in all, it sounds like a fantastic idea.

But sadly, I can’t tell you much about the range of dresses for sale, as I couldn’t look at any of the listings because the site repeatedly froze Firefox. Error messages informed me that the site’s “applet counter” was “notinited,” whatever that means. Click at your own risk, people. If you do get through, let me know what you think of the selection on offer.

UPDATE: Others have been able to view the site just fine, indicating that it may be a problem with my particular version of Firefox, so browse away!

I Know It’s True, ‘Cause I Saw It On TV

Sunday, September 16th, 2007

As I said yesterday, I’ve spent an entire week watching every wedding-related reality show I could pick up on my cable package. It’s been grueling. I never realized how many shows there are on TV about wedding planning, or how little useful information can be gleaned from most of them.

I did, however, pick up on some interesting social messages these shows are trying to sell us on, many of which I found outright bizarre as well as unhelpful. Here’s what I kept seeing on show after show:

1: Budgets are made to be broken, and anyone who tries to keep one intact is the villian of the piece. Again and again I saw fathers, grooms, and even the occasional bride called cheap or gazed upon more in pity than in anger because they felt it was unreasonable to blow the budget by the equivilant of the Gross National Product of Brazil. I saw wedding planners work with brides and their mothers to ‘hide’ expenses from daddy so he wouldn’t blow his top – expenses like a second multi-thousand dollar reception dress because the multi-thousand wedding gown was too much to boogie in all night long. I heard a bride chastised for thinking since the flowers didn’t mean that much to her she’d rather get them from a grocery store than a professional florist, even if she could get more flowers for a hundred dollars less and was at least as happy with the result.

2: Wedding planners are wonderful even when they don’t do their jobs well. Some of the planners I watched did a really fabulous job. A couple even attempted to keep the budget from completely skyrocketing completely out of control. One amazing one even got a couple pretty much everything they wanted for two thousand dollars less than their stated budget, and said budget was well under $20,000 to begin with. On the other hand, there was no negative commentary on the wedding planner who allowed an $8,000 backyard wedding to bloat into a $30,000 backyard wedding even with the bride managing to borrow a lot of plants and decorations. This is also the planner who envisioned a dramatic, billowy fabric curtain to define the wedding/reception areas of the yard and allow the bride a dramatic entrance…only to discover the night before the wedding that she needed another fifty yards of fabric to make it happen.