Archive for December, 2008

LOVE/HATE: The Very Friendly Skies Edition

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

Unusual wedding venues… some say no, I say yes.

wedding in an airplane

Getting married on an airplane like Brazilian bride Eliete Ferreiraand her Portuguese groom Jose Santos… well, if you can ignore the lack of leg room, those horrid little packets of dry roasted peanuts, and the ever-present stale coffee smell that pervades the cabins of all classes of airliner, that’s your choice.

Would I do it? Nope. But what say you?

Opting Out — It’s A-OK

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Motorcycle wedding

Every now and then, I (or Twistie or a commenter) will suggest some alternative bridal accessory or wedding venue, and one or two people will chime in to express the opinion that tradition ought to be kept in the traditional wedding for tradition’s sake. Or to ensure that no one is offended or confused. Or because that is simply how things are done ’round here… wherever here may be.

When it comes to tradition for tradition’s sake, I can no more argue that there’s anything wrong with wanting a traditional wedding than I can argue that there’s anything wrong with untraditional weddings. And when it comes to “how things are done,” I can’t argue that, either.

What I can dispute is that straying from the traditional wedding format or wearing alternative bridal garb or serving a macrobiotic reception dinner is less than etiquette friendly because it will potentially offend or confuse someone, somewhere.


Wedding Color Scheme Help From Idée Labs

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Ugh, Monday. And it’s a busy pre-Christmas Monday. I very much remember what it was like having to deal with all of the wedding planning duties while also working and finagling holiday gifts and traveling. What I remember in particular was that it was not a whole lot of fun. I found the occasional five minutes of solace in wedding themed virtual toys like bridal paper dolls or sites like Etiquette Hell. Oh, who am I kidding? I still find the occasional five minutes of solace in that sort of thing, and I recently added Multicolr Search Labs from Idée Labs to my roster of time-killing bookmarks.

Multicolr Search Labs is perfect for brides-to-be who haven’t chosen their wedding colors yet. Idée Labs extracted the colors from 10 million of the most “interesting” Creative Commons images on Flickr and lets you search for photographic inspiration using anywhere from one to ten colors. What you end up with is a snapshot of what colors work together and what colors definitely don’t.

Here are two I whipped up based on some color combinations I like:

Choosing your wedding colors

As unexpected as it was, the photo of the iris in the bottom row was pleasantly surprising in that I would never before thought to combine yellow, black, white, and purple.

Choosing a wedding theme

I’m loving the cartoon chicks (or whatever they are) in the bottom row on the right.

You don’t get a say when it comes to what photos come up — and I’ve gotten at least one that looked marginally NSFW — but every so often a photograph of an actual wedding with your favorite color scheme will come up or you’ll get a graphic that gives you a color template to work with when deciding on your own wedding colors. And, hey, if family and friends wonder why you’re sitting at the computer instead of wrapping last-minute presents or shopping for the best price for wedding favors, you can tell them that you’re doing important wedding-related research.

Party Hearty Without Regrets

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

There are many legends of wedding receptions brides and grooms would prefer to forget. Too many happy couples have been immortalized in photographs taken when they were obviously not in full control of their own faculties. These stories and photos, in turn, become the most popular ones at family gatherings as everyone tsk tsks the bride and groom for their unseemly behavior.

I’m not talking about simple high spirits, here. I’m talking about getting completely wasted and doing something legendarily stupid. You may scoff. ‘Scoff, scoff,’ you say. ‘I would never do that,’ you say. And under normal circumstances, I would absolutely believe you.

The thing is, a wedding is not a normal circumstance. It’s a heightened emotional experience whereat the liquor tends to flow freely in the aftermath of months of planning that has been known to make the most level-headed couples engage in life or death struggles over whether to have roses or hydrangeas in the bouquets.

The planning stress is over. Even if your new mother-in-law still hates your periwinkle bridesmaids’ gowns, there’s not a damn thing she can do about it. You are victorious! You are euphoric! You are really not firing on all cylinders.

And everyone wants you to drink more champagne.

So how do you have the great time at your own party you want to have while avoiding potential blackmail opportunities? Read on and find out.


Let Them Eat Cake Jewels

Saturday, December 20th, 2008

Can we talk about something? Yeah, this cake jewelry thing…I have to say that I’m not so sure about it. I mean, I’m down with brides wearing as many jewels as they can fit on themselves, so long as they like it and can afford it. That’s cool by me. I didn’t do it and probably wouldn’t, but that’s a very personal choice and I absolutely support those who choose a different path than I did.

But cake jewelry. Jewelry for cakes. Actual pieces of metal and crystal on cakes.

Okay, as a cake topper, that’s fine. Again, not my choice, but not a problem. Everyone expects a cake topper to come off the cake, and most couples just take the top tier (where the topper resides) away and save it for later, anyway. I’m fine with making that topper whatever the hell you like. Put a crown on top. It’s cool.

Even the ones done as picks, while I’m still not exactly wild about them, I can accept. It’s clear that they’re to be removed before eating and they’re really easy to see, and pulling them out doesn’t make a mess or really harm the look of the cake before it’s sliced. I’m thinking about something like this:


LOVE/HATE: The Serious(ly Faux) Sparkle Edition

Friday, December 19th, 2008

According to Wikipedia, rhinestones were originally rock crystals gathered from the river Rhine. In 1775, however, the Alsatian jeweller Georg Friedrich Strass decided to try coating the lower side of cut glass with metal powder, and thus the modern rhinestone was born.

On one hand, there’s a part of my brain that says “rhinestones are crazy tacky gaudy.” On the other hand, as The Beard just said to me while looking at crazy vintage jewelry on Etsy, “the right ones are gaudy in a good way.” I’ll admit to having a few tiaras and largish rhinestone necklaces that I only ever wear around the house (usually on my birthday). I didn’t, however, wear rhinestones on my wedding day because they just seemed like a little too much.

rhinestone wedding jewelry

Here are six examples of rhinestone jewelry currently being sold by the following Etsy sellers: kimdep, Lulusplendor, BelleNouvelleDesigns, and PenelliBelle. I think they’re all lovely, though I don’t know that I’d have the chutzpah to wear them to drop off my overdue library books or visit with the OB/GYN. The supermarket, maybe. My friend’s post-NYE brunch? Definitely.

What say you? Faux diamonds and rubies and emeralds and sapphires… totally tacky? All in good fun? Inappropriate for brides? Perfect for weddings? Let’s hear it!

How Do You Measure Up?

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

eco-friendly wedding invitations

In lieu of the usual Thursday LOVE/HATE (which I will post tomorrow), I wanted to share the results of American Bridal‘s 2008 wedding planning survey. What I’m most curious about is how you, our loyal readers, measure up to the “average bride,” at least insofar as the average bride planning a wedding saw fit to participate in a survey posted by an online wedding favor shop. Here are the results:

90% are doing the planning themselves, not hiring a professional wedding planner
25% are planning a wedding on a budget of less than $10,000
25% have wedding budgets over $25,001
50% fall somewhere in between, with 38% reporting in the range of $10,001 to $20,000
25% are having the wedding reception at a hotel
10% have opted to host their nuptials at a country club
6% of couples selected a destination wedding
55% reported they are finding another type of venue to rent for the wedding ceremony/reception
48% will have between 5 to 8 bridesmaids and groomsmen
37% of respondents have 9 or more
40% report they will have a wedding guest count of more than 200
14% say their total guest count is under 100
34% are inviting 100 to 150 guests
68% said they’ve lowered their wedding budgets by $1,000 or less
46% of respondents said they would not make changes to their budgets in the areas of music, location, reception style, or the wedding dress

As far as my own 2007 wedding planning experience measured up, I did indeed plan my own ceremony and reception from start to finish. My wedding budget fell somewhere in between $10,001 and $20,000… much closer to the $10k end of the spectrum. The Beard and I found a venue that was not a hotel or country club, though I had only four attendants total (bridesmaids and groomsmen). We invited about 100 wedding guests to the wedding, and I think somewhere around 80 actually showed. Finally, we made plenty of wedding budget-related changes to almost every aspect of the ceremony and reception, and this was before news outlets started poo-poo’ing the economy.

How about you? Where do your planning experiences fall?

(The wedding stationery above comes from Cherry Gorgeous, which sells a small range of ‘eco-chic’ invitations, RSVP cards, thank you cards, and more.)