Archive for May, 2008

Deconstruction of a DIY Project Gone Horribly Wrong

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

Unless the point of the show is to instruct prospective brides in the finer points of carrying out DIY doings, such projects are usually presented on television as a silly idea doomed to failure from the outset because you should leave that sort of thing to the professionals, you silly, incompetent bride-person, you. If they work out, someone carefully points out that if it had gone wrong, clearly the wedding would have been ruined. If the bride, her mother, or her friend is unsuccessful, droll or doleful music is played and the scenes are cut to make it clear that there was never any chance of anything short of disaster.

But is disaster so inevitable? Not necessarily. In fact, if approached thoughtfully and planned intelligently, DIY projects can add tremendously to the intimacy and charm of a wedding without causing undo fuss behind the scenes. Let’s deconstruct a DIY disaster on a recent episode of Bridezillas and see how it might have been done more successfully.


Branding your wedding

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

Monograms are easy to come by — you can get your and your honey’s initials plastered on everything from napkins to invitations to favor bags. At its core, however, a monogram is just a set of letters written in fancy script…and put that way, monograms start to sound rather unexciting.

How do you spice up a set of initials? If you’re one of the many people designing custom wedding monograms for brides- and grooms-to-be, you capitalize on the fact that branding is hot right now and call it a logo. Why does semantics work in this particular instance? My guess is that the same people who think monograms are classy (albeit boring) also want to make their wedding accouterments as individualized as possible.

I googled ‘wedding logo’ and found Love Letters logos, Marry Monograms, and Love Logos, among others. The prices are, respectively, $75, $49.95, and $35, which buys you a logo such as this one from Love Logos:

But if you’re at all artistically inclined or have a friend who was born with the design gene, do you really need to shell out thirty-five smackers to brand your nuptials?


LOVE/HATE: NtB’s newest addiction edition

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

There’s nothing like looking right into someone else’s wedding. It’s what inspires us to search Flickr for photos tagged with ‘wedding,’ ‘bride and groom,’ and ‘wedding cake.’ It’s what keeps us going back to The Knot, even though said site can be irritatingly cloying. Heck, it’s what prompts me to open my e-mail every morning — whenever one of you sends me a wedding snapshot or a link to your wedding pics, I DEVOUR them.

If you’re a bride-to-be who likes to walk the road less traveled, checking out other chicks’ weddings can also help you come to terms with your own choices. There’s something comforting in knowing you’re not alone in wanting to wear green cowboy boots with your gown or proudly rock your ink.

So my newest addiction? It’s the Weddings We Loved board over at Kvetch@IndieBride. I’ve posted a selection of pics below and ask the hotlinking gods’ forgiveness. All the snaps are from different nuptials, but you can click on them to see more images from all of them.

They are just too cute!


Images from the earthquake

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

A handful of weddings unfold perfectly, but most are marred by the little things that inevitably go wrong. And then there are the weddings that are interrupted by true tragedies…

Beauty in tragedy

When an earthquake hit Sichuan, China on May 12th, there were, in addition to all of the people going about their daily business, men and women poised to enter into a lifelong commitment.


Alternative outfitting options for dudes

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

Unless this is your first time reading MftB — in which case, welcome! — you know that I’m a HUGE advocate of exploring alternative wardrobing options. As tempting as it is to head straight to David’s (if you’re on a budget) or a fancypants upscale bridal salon (if you’re not), why limit yourself? There are great wedding-y dresses at tons of shops, online and off!

Ideally, the guys in your life should also take my advice to heart. While I am a big fan of Men’s Wearhouse because their service tends to be uniformly excellent, their tuxes tend to leave me cold. When it came time to help The Beard pick out duds for the dudes, I decided to start my search anywhere but on the mainstream menswear sites. The end result? We found these great striped suits for about a hundred bucks each. Just shy of zoot suits, they added a touch of…something to the wedding lineup.

Photo by the amazingly talented Corinna Hoffman

The lovely Toni recently e-mailed to share some snapshots of a wedding she attended and dish about the menswear. The guys sourced their tuxes from Volcom, of all places. If you don’t already know, Volcom is a clothing company/entertainment site/surf, skate, and board collective whose tagline is “youth against establishment.”

It’s also definitely not the first place I’d look when choosing wedding-y menswear, but after seeing the photos Toni linked to I wouldn’t knock it. You also can’t beat the price — I found the tux pants for $60 and the tux jacket for $77 $110. The fit is modern (i.e., slim and kind of slouchy) so it won’t appeal to everyone, but if your guy is hoping to find NOTHISDADSTUXPLZ it may be just what he’s looking for.

The point is that the alternatives aren’t always what you’d expect or where you’d expect them to be, but they’re out there, nonetheless! Searching for them is particularly worth it when you’re on a budget, you know you definitely want something that’s a little out there, or you’re just not feeling the stuff you saw in the shops. Like I say in iDo: If you can imagine it, chances are good that someone, somewhere is selling it.

FYI: If you, like me, live close to Salem, MA, you may be interested to know that the city is currently hosting 250 cast and crew for the filming of “Bride Wars,” a movie starring Kate Hudson, Anne Hathaway, and Candice Bergen. The cast and crew will apparently venture downtown today to enjoy all of the weirdness this tourist trap town has to offer, so feel free to go and gawk and report back to us! Via the always informative mkb.

NtB is in the trenches, and the trenches are filled with soap

Monday, May 19th, 2008

(Preamble: I’m happy to announce that as of today, The Beard and I have been married for one whole year! He reads this at work, so here’s me saying, “I love ya, loverboy!”)

In case you’ve ever wondered whether I actually read and play with and make all of the books, stuff, and recipes I’ve reviewed here, let me just say I don’t mess around. Yesterday, in my never-ending quest to acquaint myself with all things bridal, I made soap.

Let me rephrase that…I didn’t start with lye and fat and whatever other nasty things are in soap, but I did melt down blocks of colorless unscented soap, mix up different colored batches, add a fragrance, and pour it into molds. So to address any lingering doubts, when companies are nice enough to send me free swag, I test run it, whatever IT is.

In this case, it was a soap-making kit from Bramble Berry, makers of a ton of DIY soap and candle supplies. The soap kit was presented to me as a potential bridal shower or wedding favor–the catch being that you have to have the patience to work with a medium that needs to sit around and dry for hours before you can unmold it.

Uh, forget something?

The directions call for a microwave…something we don’t have. So I just stuck the whole works into a pan and popped it into the oven at about 275. This worked like a charm after I remembered to cut the soap base into chunks. When I did that, it actually melted!


Extreme Recycling: The Bridal Edition

Sunday, May 18th, 2008

I think it’s safe to say that most brides would like to have something unique about their wedding gowns. Whether it’s a matter of the cut, the trim, a touch of color, or the choice of accessories, most of us want to look bridal but not cookie cutter. Some women have gone to great lengths to avoid having the same-old, same-old dress that everyone else is wearing that season.

And then there’s Major Claude Hensinger and his wife Ruth.

Claude was flying his B-29 on a bombing raid over Yowata, Japan in August 1944 when the engine of the plane caught fire. He and his crew bailed out with their nylon parachutes. During the night while they waited rescue, Claude used his trusty parachute as a blanket and a pillow. After he and his men were rescued, he kept the parachute. When he proposed to Ruth in 1947, he handed her the parachute and suggested she make her wedding gown out of it. She did. Here are the results.