Archive for October, 2008

It’s a Beautiful Day for a Dark Wedding

Saturday, October 25th, 2008

What with Halloween being less than a week away, I thought it was about time we got into the spirit around here and darkened things up just a touch.

While many of us think about it more at Halloween than at other times of the year, the Goth subculture is with us always. And of course where you have a subculture, you have people marrying in it. There are many shades of Goth, so there are nearly as many ways of giving a Goth wedding as there are of giving one that isn’t quite so intentionally dark. Romantics will not be the same as Cyberpunks or Steampunks or Gothic Lolita types. Still, there are similarities as well. And there are some great inspirational photos out there if you dig around, as well as great sources that cater to the dark side.


A Bountiful Harvest

Friday, October 24th, 2008

Although the length of the average engagement period hovers around 15 months, most couples spend between seven months to a year planning their weddings. That means that there’s a chance that those brides-to-be who are reading Manolo for the Brides are planning autumn weddings. Now I’d never suggest that someone tailor their wedding colors or wedding theme to the season, the notion does appeal to some people. In my next book, for example, my co-author and I describe a harvest-themed wedding that took place in, you guessed it, the fall.

Obviously, you can have a harvest-themed (or harvest colored) wedding without incorporating a lot of dead leaves and pumpkins — the Martha Stewart tablescape on the bottom left includes neither — but those are both viable options. I love the slightly quirky leaf and crystal bouquet from Creations, and it would make an easy DIY project if you locale supports deciduous trees.


Other ideas: Incorporate Autumn Splendor accessories into your wedding day look, string red and green apples into natural garlands, serve spice cake and apple cider in place of wedding cake and champagne, wear a gold wedding gown instead of the usual white dress, clothe your bridesmaids in a deep chocolate brown, give guests miniature caramel apples in lieu of more traditional favors, or carry a bouquet of flowers traditionally associated with autumn, like mums and helianthus.

If that sounds way too theme-y for you but you wouldn’t mind adding just a touch of fall flair to your wedding decor, pick one idea and treat it like a centerpiece, designing your color scheme around it.

LOVE/HATE: The Thin For a Day Edition

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

Jeez, I’m all about the hate lately, and today’s edition of LOVE/HATE just adds fuel to the fire. Have you ever heard of “Brideorexia?” I just came across it for the first time. It’s just a made up word for the bad habits some brides-to-be adopt because they think they aren’t good enough, skinny enough, or attractive enough to get married. Ugh!

real brides

A study in Appetite found that 70% of engaged women were actively attempting to lose 20 or more pounds before their weddings. More than 20% of those women admitted to using extreme methods, like starvation diets, fasting, liquid diets, smoking, binging and purging, or laxatives (ewwww).

We conducted a descriptive cross-sectional survey to examine wedding-specific body weight ideals and weight management behaviors among women preparing for their wedding. The average bride-to-be was overweight according to clinical body mass index standards and idealized a significantly lower wedding weight.

I’m not anti-fitness or even anti-weightloss, but I’m talking about a movement and an industry built on insecurities. Just look at these titles…there’s The Wedding Workout, Bridal Bootcamp, Buff Brides, Diet and Fitness for Brides, and Body Sculpting for Brides. No, health is good, but what burns me is this idea that you have to be a size two to look hot (or glamorous or elegant or pretty) in your wedding gown. That your new spouse won’t think you’re a beautiful bride if you don’t drop a few before the wedding. That you don’t deserve to wear that dress unless you wear yourself down by dieting and over-exercising before the big day.

If that sounds like you, I just have one question for you. Are you nuts? Look at the solidly average-sized bride in the Stephanie James Couture dress above. You simply cannot tell me she, with all her curves and lady lumps and normal human bodily characteristics, is not hot stuff. I’d wager that if she was two or five or ten sizes bigger, she’d still be hot stuff!

What it comes down to in my mind is this: If you want to lose some weight in a safe and sane way, wonderful, but in the name of all that’s nuptial, don’t feel you have to lose weight to be a beautiful bride. And if you don’t want to lose any weight because you’re smokin’ hot as you are, that’s wonderful, too.

As always, I’m going to ask “What say you?” though I suspect most of you will agree with me.

When Your Feet Are Cold

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

cold feet

Ever wonder why the Second Thoughts board at Indiebride is always jumping? It’s because a huge percentage of brides- and grooms-to-be deal with cold feet at least once before they tie the knot. Few people talk about it — and some won’t even admit to it — but all in all, “what the crap am I doing?!” moments are pretty common. I know that I and many of my friends asked ourselves if we were doing the right thing…and we all ended up married.

It’s important to remember that second thoughts and cold feet don’t necessarily mean that your marriage is doomed. Rather, it’s just a natural reaction to making what is ultimately a big life change. The thing about getting engaged is that it can be a whirlwind of lovey-dovey daydreams, excitement, shopping, and other nice stuff, which doesn’t leave you with much time to sit down and really mull over what getting married means. Cold feet can be the psyche’s way of forcing us to stop thinking about linen colors and start thinking about sharing a life with someone.

Overcoming Cold Feet

  • Your spouse-to-be is getting on your nerves. You suddenly hate how he chews…the way he leaves his shoes by the door…how he sneezes. In fact, you’d really like to kill him right about now, but you need someone to help you carry two huge boxes of faux flowers up three flights of stairs. Planning a wedding is stressful, and it’s normal to direct all that irritation toward the nearest human being. This is a good time to sit down and meditate on all the things you love about your intended. Your feet will probably warm up again when you’re in a better mood.
  • (more…)

Another DIY Cupcake Resource

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Back in June, Laura told us that she was contemplating making her own wedding cupcakes, and y’all stepped up to the plate with some great technical advice. The help that’s harder to offer, however, is the creative kind. Text is simply not the best delivery system for artistic advice.

Photo by Ed Rudolf and Krystina Castella

Pictures and diagrams, on the other hand, are worth thousands of words. I recently received my copy of Crazy About Cupcakes and started baking with it. All I can say is YUM. The recipes and directions are easy to follow, and you’re not going to encounter any ingredients that are impossible to find — my only criticism is that the recipes don’t tell you how many cupcakes or how much frosting you’re going to get. Other than that, these are definitely beginner’s cupcakes. Yes, my cupcakes sometimes look a little gimpy, but I’m okay with that.

You can test run wedding cupcake ideas and recipes by Krystina Castella, the author of Crazy About Cupcakes, at her similarly named web site. There you’ll find a whole bunch of recipes, some discussion of technique, and a handful of decorating how-twos that are a few steps above “smear frosting on the tops” but not nearly as complicated as “make a fondant basketweave.”

Why wedding cupcakes, not wedding cake? First, you don’t have to worry about sizing a wedding cake based on the number of guests. One cupcake per person — and maybe a few extra just in case — should suffice. Second, weight is no longer an issue. Tiered wedding cakes can collapse under their own weight unless you’re using the right recipe, while cupcakes stand tall even when you’re stacking a smaller one on top of a bigger one.


Of course, if you’re lazy or no good with a piping bag, all is not lost. You can always make cupcakes in jars using the directions posted by DIY Bride or forget about decorating altogether and use pre-molded Cupcake Caps (as seen above) instead.

Tart Up Your Party

Monday, October 20th, 2008

It was a brisk 30F this morning in Massachusetts’s north shore, so it was delightful to take another look at Twistie’s post on stuff for springtime weddings. I’m not ready to surrender to the cold just yet, so I thought I’d piggyback on her great post with a warm weather post of my own.

Of all the low-cost decorative items one can incorporate into reception accessories — and I’m talking about free things like autumn leaves or things one can buy at the grocery like in-season pineapples — lemons and limes are my favorite.

Lemon place cards

Surprisingly, lemons and limes won’t roll all over the place if you give them time to “settle,” making them a fun, summery place care delivery method. The couple who envisioned these citrus place cards had their wedding planner create the final product, but you could easily make this a pre-wedding weekend DIY project.


Tattooed You?

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

When I was a girl, tattoos weren’t things “nice” people of either sex got. Tattoos were for sailors, disreputable bikers, and sideshow attractions, in about that order. Getting one was tantamount to announcing you had no interest in participating in polite society or any of its rituals.

Times have definitely changed. Now movie stars and CEOs have tattoos. Getting your first tattoo seems nearly as common a rite of passage as getting your ears pierced was back when I was in high school.

That means that if you’re getting married now, there’s a very high chance that someone in the wedding party will have at least one tattoo. And that means you’re going to have to decide how to handle it.