Archive for January, 2008

MftB readers ROCK

Friday, January 25th, 2008

Reader comments have been unbelievably fabulous lately, so I thought I’d share a handful here in case there are actually people out there who haven’t given in to the impulse to explore popular opinion.

Alex said:
If you want to donate to charity, that’s wonderful and generous of you. Please don’t make the decision for me. It is in no way shape or form a favor or gift for me. Don’t get me wrong, I think donating to a charity you believe in is great and I think people have their hearts in the right place…I’m just not sure why exactly it has to be announced to me, you know?

Innkeeper Jason said:
Sometimes these doubts are seeds that have been planted by other people and sometimes it is just nerves and sometimes perhaps you are marrying the wrong person. For those of you who have called it off, I applaud you for the courage it must have taken.

Toby Wollin said:
Actually, my favorite periods are up through about the mid-60s: you could still get a dress with a decent neckline, sleeves, and interesting skirts and waists. Once you get into the 70s it was Gunnysack Hell, and then straight down the road to the Strapless Follies. If I had to make myself a bridal gown today, I’d go straight to the vintage pattern folks and look there.

C* said:
If any of you have purchased (or been given) any diamond jewlery between Jan. 1, 1994 and March 31, 2006 check out Diamondsclassaction.com and file a claim to get a refund from the lawsuit against DeBeers. Apparently they had an illegal monopoly on diamond sales during those years (is that really surprising at all?).

Space is the place…to look for wedding bands?

Friday, January 25th, 2008

From the comments on my recent post, it’s pretty clear that there are still those old fashioned gals who crave an out of this world rock with a price tag that makes their men feel a little uncomfortable. Ask ye shall receive, ladies…but be ready to expect the unexpected. I do indeed have some rings for you.

Out of this world? Check. A tad pricey? Check.

Born in space!Prettied up right here on earth

See that gray stuff? It’s straight up meteorite, i.e. those big old hunks of minerals that originate in outer space and survive a fall to earth. I think these are utterly gorgeous.

Straight to your finger from MARSAsk him for the moon, eh?

The ring on the left is a genuine piece of Mars inlaid in 18k gold. The chunk of the red planet was cut from a Mars rock, found in the desert and officially cataloged under the name Dhofar 019. The ring on the right contains a certified piece of the moon inlaid in 18k gold. The moon bit was cut from a larger moon rock cataloged as Dhofar461, which was classified by researchers A. Rubin and Paul Warren from UCLA. They do look kind of cheap (in terms of aesthetics, not the price tag), but might be just the thing for the astronomy buff in your life.

Okay, so it’s not the big bling…but I think there is something cool about the idea of exchanging rings made of stuff that has been outside Earth’s atmosphere in the not so distant past.

Dressing groomsmaids and bridesmen

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

I just can’t tell you how many times the topic of gender bending attendants has come up on the bridal forums I frequent. I’m not talking about odd Cousin Eddie who decided to become Edwina, however. That at least would be kind of interesting…there’s so much talk about curvy, voluptuous bridesmaids and perhaps not enough about flat, angular bridesmaids with unexpected bulges. I think I’ll save that discussion for a late date, however.

Whenever I encounter questions about groomsmaids and bridesmen, there are always a few individuals who think that putting a man where maids traditionally stand or inserting a maid among the men is the height of overt and icky unconformity. I’ll say right now that I don’t agree at all. I’m going to venture a guess and say that most of the people reading this do not live in gender segregated societies. In fact, many of those folks who are of a marriageable age grew up with friends of both the Tab A and Slot B varieties, and they may have also hung out with individuals who identified as neither or as something in between.

Looks great to me!

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The bling’s the thing…or is it?

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

Back in the day — by which I mean a period beginning shortly after WWII and ending sometime around the year 2000 when the United Nations General Assembly finally recognized the whole “blood diamond” thing — the recipe for getting engaged read, “Take one diamond valued at roughly two month’s salary plus one knee, and combine. Issue proposal thusly for maximum effect.” Screw you very much, De Beers.

You know, some gal out there would love this

I tend to forget about the whole business of diamonds for a couple of reasons. One, I don’t subscribe to cable or have an antenna, so my exposure to those nerve-gratingly annoying De Beers commercials is kept at a bare minimum. Two, most of my engaged and married peeps received something other than diamonds from their sweeties. And three, as much as I adore all that sparkles, I subscribe to the rather old fashioned notion that big bling looks best on ladies over the age of 50. Perhaps that should even be 60 or 70, considering that 40 is apparently the new 20, which would naturally make 50 the new 30 and so on.

So why am I suddenly concerned with mineralogical numerology? I read something yesterday in the online journal of a friend of a friend.

What is a diamond? It’s a pretty stone, but a really expensive one, and one that only means “I love you” because people think its absence means “I don’t”. With diamonds as the social norm in many countries, marriage is like a game of chicken – neither partner can broach the subject of not getting a diamond ring, because to do so would sound like less than total commitment.

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Pre-owned, pre-worn, pre-loved, used, vintage gown roundup

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

Whenever sleeves are the topic de jour, there’s always at least one person who suggests that vintage wedding gowns are the way to go. Buying vintage isn’t always easy, however. I’ve yet to find a gorgeous dress from yesteryear that fits my modern contours. Shopping outside of the world of vanity sizing, one discovers that size 12 was once more like a size 4 in terms of relative measurements.

The luckiest vintage obsessed brides-to-be are those with 24″-26″ waists and small everything else, being as those are the sorts of numbers you’ll run across often when exploring the selection of wedding gowns from the first half of the twentieth century. That’s not to say that the rest of us can’t take a nice long look at the vintage gowns that are up for sale on various web sites, which is precisely what I spent my entire morning doing.

Here are some of the gems I found:

Dripping with handmade cotton lace

From the description: “The designer of this exquisite [1910-ish] wedding gown combines straight-edged tape lace with the rounded shapes of princess lace in a highly textured statement. The torso and sleeves of the gown are completely fashioned from hand-assembled écru cotton lace. The matching cotton tulle skirt is hand appliquéd with scattered lace motifs. The gown is lined with an écru satin slip and closes in back with small hooks.”

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When nerves are nerves and when nerves are not

Monday, January 21st, 2008

Picture this: Your wedding, as they say, is in the bag. You’ve got your dress… maybe the elegant Casablanca number that C* linked to in the comments of Saturday’s post. Your gals adore the bridesmaid dresses they helped you pick out and have long since placed their orders. Favors? They’re all taken care of. The ceremony site? Reserved. The reception venue? Ditto.

From an outsider’s perspective, nothing should be interfering with your pre-matrimonial bliss, and yet there’s a definite snag in the fabric of your happiness. Second thoughts have reared their ugly heads. More than a moment’s doubt, these thoughts have been messing with your mind, making you question your commitment to your impending, um, commitment. And I don’t mean second thoughts about the dress, the cake, the photog, or the rings.

I’m talking about cold feet to the nth degree — full on “Oh my god am I making the right decision about this man and this marriage” jitters.

I love him. I love him not. I love him. I love him not.

It’s more common than you might think. Many if not most brides (and grooms) experience at least one OHCRAPOHCRAPOHCRAP moment wherein they wonder if the secret of permanent happiness truly does lie in the land of the single gal (or guy). Ramen-fueled nights spent posting on Match.com aside, there’s plenty to love about going solo. You can come and go as you please without having to answer to anyone. Your post-tax, post-bill, post-necessities income is yours and yours alone. And you can change your mind a million times without your indecision impacting anyone but you.

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Do Me a Favor

Sunday, January 20th, 2008

When it comes to wedding favors, there’s one important thing to keep in mind: unless it’s a consumable, most of your guests will either leave them behind or junk them quickly. Over the years I’ve taken home more than my share of plastic doves, personalized wine glasses, tiny implements like flashlights that don’t actually work, and other assorted useless bits of flotsom and jetsam. Most of them got kept for a few puzzled months and then finally tossed in the trash…though I do still have a couple wineglasses with the names of couples I barely know sitting in my cupboard. They don’t get used, but I can’t quite bring myself to simply toss them and nobody wanted them at our last garage sale. No, I wasn’t surprised, but I gave it a shot.

Over and over again, it’s been made clear that if you want your favors to be a hit, then it’s best to give a popular kind of candy like chocolate. I’m all for chocolate, of course. I love it. It’s tasty, it’s sweet, and it’s nearly universally popular. But there are some other options you may wish to consider.

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