Archive - March, 2008

Forget the heavy fabrics, and especially forget the itchy polyester

I wore a rather heavy gown during my stint as a bride and I was comfortable outdoors on a May day in Florida. I do admit that it was an extremely blustery Saturday, which kept things just cool enough for comfort. I could have gone with something lighter and airier, but I just love heavy, full, princessy gowns and there were plenty out there to be had.

When I was shopping for the perfect dress, I found myself faced with a great many extremes. There were the heavy, multi-layered formal frocks guaranteed to keep your legs warm even if your upper body is freezing. And there were the sexy, slinky sheaths that would have highlighted my “lady lumps” in the worst possible way. What was lacking was that “something in between” that would be princessy enough to tickle my particular fancy yet light enough to be wearable in a variety of weather conditions.

It’s not going to weigh you downBut you might just heat things upThe fabric of our wives?

That’s why I’m in love with Chris Kole’s collection, The Cotton Bride. No, the gowns are not all cotton — in fact, most are linen, and some are silk — but they are all natural, hand-sewn, made to order, and designed to be comfortable. The best part is that prices start at $1,800, which is high-ish but not unusually expensive for a piece of clothing with the word “wedding” in its descriptor.

I do feel like these dresses take some getting used to…they’re not particularly shiny and we tend to associate shine with formality. My personal favorite, in case you were wondering, is the dress in the middle. How about you: would you eschew bridal satin in favor of cotton or linen?

Twistie’s Sunday Caption Madness

Yes, it’s time once again to play Twistie’s Sunday Caption Madness! You know the drill. I post a picture, you reply with your best captions, and next saturday I declare a winner. So take your best shots at this:

Funky Bridal Expression

Ready…set…snark!

To Hire or Not To Hire: Do You Need a Wedding Planner

I was in my twenties when I first heard of wedding planners. My first thought was ‘what a ridiculous idea!’ because it never occurred to me that anyone would need someone to tell them how to get married. In my thirties, I actually briefly flirted with the idea of becoming one because I love weddings, and I’d had such a good time not only planning my own, but two other weddings that had gone off very successfully, as well. In the end, I decided not to take that particular plunge. While I love writing advice for brides, I still think that most people are more than capable of planning a perfectly nice wedding so long as they have a little advice from friends, family, and resources…well…like this one and NtB’s soon-to-be-published book.

But over the years, it’s become clear to me that some brides do seriously benefit from hiring a wedding planner. Others (and this was me all over) would only cause ulcers for all parties involved by trying to use one. How to know which bride you are? Well, here are a few questions that should help you figure out whether or not to hire a professional to help you make your dreams come true.

How much time do I have for wedding planning? This is a biggie. If you’ve decided to get married on a very short schedule while working full time, a wedding planner could be very helpful in saving you valuable time on legwork and research. After all, there are a lot of reception locations and florists and photographers in the phone book and chances are you don’t already know which ones are just not worth the trouble of talking to whether because of budget, comptetance, or conflict with the style you’re looking for. A good wedding planner will know local resources and be able to steer you toward the ones that will fit your budget and style. If you’ve got the time and inclination to do the homework youself, though, a planner might not be terribly helpful.

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Twobirds with one stone? Three? Four?

I’ve seen wrap dresses and convertible dresses that purported to be for the bridesmaid, but they were always made out of t-shirt material and not at all formal looking. I’ve also seen many a dress that was described as “something you could wear again” when the fact is that if it’s floor length and made out of Duchess satin, it’s probably not going to get a lot of future play.

Twobirds in red

All four of the models in this unpleasantly dark pic are wearing the same dress from Twobirds Bridesmaid. Designer Ariane Goldman (Finkel) created this multi-purpose frock because she was sick of paying too much for bridesmaid garb she would never, ever, ever wear again.

The straps can apparently be manipulated into more than ten different configurations, though the how-to on the web site only features eight different tutorials. I’d wager that ten is a lowball assessment, however. If you’re crafty and clever, and you spend some time playing with this dress, you’ll probably figure out entirely new ways to use it.

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Let’s clear this up once and for all

Seeing as that people have STRONG feelings about favors, I thought it would be fun to create a little poll so all the MftB fans out there can weigh in anonymously so we can finally find out what favors are indeed favored. If nothing else, your answers to the question below may help confused brides- and grooms-to-be who want to be sure of delighting (and avoid offending) their guests!

Feel free to mull it over for a while before answering. I’ve set it up so that this poll will be active for an entire year — if I remember, I’ll report the final results right here in a year’s time.

What they take away…or sometimes leave on the table

As you know, I typically like to post earlier in the day. While I woke up bright and early (and bushy-tailed, I might add) this morning, a raccoon apparently decided to chew through Verizon’s relay station wiring, leaving me high and dry where DSL is concerned. The end result is that I spent a great deal of my morning hoofing it around town in search of an establishment with Internet access, coffee, and sweets…because if I can’t work at home, I may as well enjoy it, right?

But enough of my sob story. I was lucky enough to get a large box of fun from Beau Coup Wedding Favors, purveyor of scads of favors. Some of their offerings are run of the mill, while others are oddly surprising. A few are just plain odd! Being that they sent so many samples — lucky me! — I thought I’d talk first about those I feel work better as bridal shower favors being that they’re delicate, costly, or super girly.

This is just a little review of some of the favors I received, but favors are a contentious issue so feel free to continue the debate in the comments. Personally, if a couple wants to give me a favor, I’m more happy to take it if it’s useful or nice. If they’d rather save that money or spend it on a cake upgrade, that’s fine by me, too. As for charitable favors, I think they’re a cool idea because so many favors are utter crap, but I understand that not everyone agrees.

$24 for four$5 each
$12 each, if you can believe it$2.95 each with a minimum order of 12

Going clockwise from the upper right hand corner, there are blown glass pens, fancy cakes that are really towels, Go Girl luggage tags, and mini cherry blossom dishes.

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Online Wedding Tool-O-Rama

For whatever reason, my inbox has been filled with pitches from newish companies advertising their spiffy online tools designed to make the lives of brides and grooms even easier. But are they really as spiffy as they seem? In an attempt to find out, I started signing up for some of them. I do these things so you don’t have to!

The lens that sees RIGHT INTO YOUR WEDDING

The Wedding Lens: At first I couldn’t figure out why the uploads were so dang slooooooooooow at this photo sharing service, but then I realized that the pics I’d chosen were absolutely HUGE. I’m talking file sizes that my free Flickr account would have rejected, so that’s a mark in their favor. It’s easy to create albums and name photos. At some point, however, it stopped accepting my titles and letting me add photos to sets. Hopefully, that’s just a bug that’ll be fixed soon. What’s spiffy is that your guests can upload the photos they take to your account. What’s less spiffy is the $49 price tag for six months of medium grade service and the fact that they want you to give them your loved ones’ e-mail addresses. Want to try it for free? Enter HOLYMATRIMONEY in the referral code box when signing up for “Gold” service. I’m still not sure what it can do that a Flickr group can’t do.

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