Archive - February, 2009

I Haven’t Met These People, Have You?

As you all know by now, mine is the beat watching and commenting on funky trends, odd assumptions, and just plain…well…goofiness that one finds in wedding-related reality shows. Again and again I throw myself into the dark underbelly of the Wedding Industrial Complex to find the things that make me sit up and go ‘did I really just hear them say what I thought they said?’ and then deconstruct said whatthehellness for your reading pleasure and dose of bridal sanity.

One I’m coming across with increasing frequency is the idea that People Do Not Eat Cake At Weddings. The first time I heard that, the bride wanted cupcakes so that her guests wouldn’t think anyone would ‘catch’ them eating cake. No, really, just because its cute and in a wrapper doesn’t mean it isn’t cake, or that it’s a single-bite wonder…unless they’re really freaking tiny. Still, the bride was a professional model. I thought to myself that perhaps it was a model thing. It still didn’t make sense to me, but then many things common in the world of professional modeling run a bit counter-intuitive to my thought processes, and it did occur to me that this could be one of those things.

Besides, she was still getting cupcakes. She intended them to be eaten. She and her planner and baker all consulted and made sure there were enough that everyone could have one and they’d have a few extra just in case of need.

Since then, though, I’ve seen multiple wedding reality shows where planners counselled brides to get cakes that would serve between half and two-thirds of guests for fear of unending leftovers. These were all in cases where there was no other dessert offered, too. If two-thirds plus one guests wanted a slice of cake, tough luck.

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Exceptional Indulgences in Washcloth Form

Wedding favors are a strange animal — more often than not, they’re kind of chintzy, which is easy to understand when you consider that brides and grooms are usually buying 100+ wedding favors. Most couples are not, therefore, buying $30 bottles of wine or kitchen implements for each guest. Instead, they’re buying wedding bubbles or rubber duckies. What amuses me is when you have a fairly common wedding favor advertised as something extraordinary.

washcloth wedding favors

Le Viette carries washcloth wedding favors and towels rolled up to look like desserts, and their tagline is “When indulgences are occasional, they should be exceptional.” At $7 to $9, they better well be exceptional, though as pretty as they are, I do have to wonder how good good the towels themselves are. I did, once upon a time, receive samples of less expensive washcloth wedding favors, and the resultant washcloths were suitable for use as kitchen rags only.

That said, it is a clever, kind of kitschy idea, but I wonder if the whole ‘food that really isn’t food’ bit isn’t just a tad confusing to some wedding guests.

LOVE/HATE: The Let’s Play a Game Edition

Imagine Wedding Designer

The adorable Audrey recently e-mailed me to ask if I’d seen Nintendo’s Imagine Wedding Designer. I hadn’t, not having a DS or all that much free time to devote to playing wedding games these days. Wedding games have always struck me as a bit odd… planning a wedding is a lot of work!

Here are just some of the things players of Imagine Wedding Designer can do:

  • Design the weddings of six different brides, each with their own personality and specific tastes.
  • Create the wedding invitations, choose the dress, veil, and bouquet and outfit the entire wedding party.
  • Decide on the location, music, venue, decorations, and more!
  • Live the big day and use your camera to capture all the perfect moments for the wedding.

I say meh. I don’t love the idea behind this game, but I certainly don’t care enough about it to hate it. What say you? Wedding games, are they fun or overdone?

Certified Green?

Apparently, a traditional North American wedding will generate an average of 50 to 200 tons of CO2 and up to one-third metric tons of solid waste in the form of food and stuff. And gold and diamonds that aren’t humane can be responsible for the permanent loss of health and death of up to six individuals from a third world country. Yikes, right? The the Live Green, Live Smart Institute sure thinks so — they’ve introduced a green wedding self-certification program brides and grooms can use to be sure their weddings have less of a negative impact on Momma Earth.

green-wedding

You can’t argue with the fact that weddings can be very, very wasteful, and many couples don’t know where to start when they decide to plan a green (or greener) wedding.

According to the Live Green, Live Smart Institute® Executive Director and founder, Peter Lytle: “This is the first green or eco-wedding certification program introduced globally. For several years we have been looking at what motivates a couple to live a sustainable lifestyle and stay committed to it. Our initial research indicates that couples that start their relationship with low-impact, green weddings are making a social and moral commitment to stay green for the long-term. What was important to us is they appear to go on and remodel homes and apartments or build new green homes, further reducing their footprint. We also believe these couples are becoming mentors and peer leaders, fostering their friends to go green with their weddings.”

“The thing that was missing with green weddings was an agreed upon set of guidelines and a way to certify the wedding as green or eco-friendly. As an environmental research and certification organization we spent hundreds of hours focused on what makes a wedding green and what couples had done to green their weddings. The result is a comprehensive set of guidelines and a free certification program which we are letting any person or organization use or reproduce.”

Honestly? There are so many ways to be green — and a lot of disagreement about what exactly ‘green’ means — that brides and grooms should just go ahead and do whatever they can to make their weddings as environmentally friendly as possible. When it comes right down to it, the things you do at home to minimize your environmental impact are the same things you can do when planning your wedding, e.g., serve locally-sourced foods, keep trash and waste to a minimum, and so on. I think that taking the time to certify a wedding just adds more work to the bride-to-be’s otherwise full plate. Going green is great, after all… going overboard is a recipe for wedding stress!

Hits and Misses from J. Crew

Sometimes clothes can surprise you. These wedding dresses from J. Crew certainly surprised me!

jcrew_wedding_gown

Ruffled tiers a hit? I didn’t think I’d like this wedding dress at all when I first laid eyes upon it, but it’s grown on me in a big way. While it’s definitely not for every bride — I would look like a lingerie sachet in it — I can see it looking absolutely smashing and sophisticated on the right bride. The soft color is lovely, and the dress itself is a bit hippie-ish without being overwhelmingly crunchy.

jcrew_wedding_gown_1

But this… let’s just say I had high hopes for this silk wedding gown when I recently saw it in the pages of a magazine. From far away, the neckline of feathery pleated chiffon looks so pretty. As you get closer to it, however, it gets a little too Pocahontas-ish for my tastes. Fringe has it’s place in the world, but I’m pretty sure that place should be nowhere near a wedding gown.

Glove Love

For those brides-to-be who love gloves, a wedding presents a perfect opportunity to glove it up. Bridal gloves can be elegant, tacky, fun, a nod to the past, or just another accessory that completes your overall wedding day look. There are as many different kinds of bridal gloves as there are brides. From sophisticated silk opera gloves to sassy lace fingerless gloves a la Madonna, there are plenty of bridal gloves to choose from if you’re considering dressing your hands on your wedding day.

bridal gloves

If you’re glovin’ it, think carefully before settling on length. As beautiful as long white gloves can be, they are most appropriate for a very formal wedding. A good rule of thumb (heh) is this: The more formal the wedding, the longer one’s gloves should or can be. That’s not to say, of course, that you can’t glove it up for your casual outdoor wedding if that’s your style. This is one of those wedding rules that’s made to be broken!

Once you’ve found the perfect pair of bridal gloves, you need to learn your glove etiquette. Basically, gloves must come off while eating. It stands to reason, really — who wants to get lovely white gloves smudged with dinner residue? You can, however, keep your gloves on while dancing, greeting guests, taking photographs, or doing all of the other things brides typically do at a wedding reception.

But what about the ceremony? Gloves can become a bit unwieldy when it comes time to exchange wedding rings unless yours are the sort with built in holes at the wrists. You can add a slit at your ring finger if you’re handy with a sewing machine, though I think the ‘one finger poking out’ look is kind of silly. You can also ask your wedding officiant to give you just a bit of time to peel off your left glove and hand it to your maid-of-honor.

If full gloves seem just a bit too fussy, there are always arm warmers, like these from ShawkStitches. Cream knit lace with pink ribbons and silver buttons won’t coordinate with most wedding gowns, but could work with a less formal gown made from a matte material.

Will You? As Sweet As Can Be

I have to confess that I don’t really get the big, production number proposal. It’s not that I have anything at all against it if it floats your boat. It’s more a case that it not only doesn’t float my boat, it befuddles my poor little dingy.

And while making a bigger deal out of it certainly wouldn’t have made me say no to Mr. Twistie, the fact is that I’m glad he went for the incredibly low-key approach. Here’s how the conversation went in November of 1991:

Mr. Twistie: June thirteenth is a sunday in 1993.

(very long pause)

Me: Ah. (slightly shorter pause) And…?

Mr. Twistie: I know you like thirteen.

(another very long pause)

Me: Yes, I do. And…?

Mr. Twistie: Oh, well, I thought maybe we could get married that day.

Yeah, yeah, I know, many a lady would have beaned Mr. Twistie with a brick at that point, but my heart fluttered and I knew this was right. Why? Because as odd and seemingly unromantic as it sounds, he’d taken so much about who I am into consideration. He’d thought about how long I would need to get ready (and he knew I was going to make my own lace, so that needed some considering!), a meaningful date (thirteen is my lucky number), and my desire to be married out of doors.

In short, while I can certainly see why it isn’t for everyone, it was the perfect proposal for me, and I wouldn’t change it with one where I was whisked off to Paris or suddenly saw my name and the Big Question on the Jumbotron or where he went down on bended knee at some Important Family Event.

But while there’s no way in heaven, hell or anywhere in between that I would want to change what I got, I still get wibbly when I hear a good story where somebody went the extra mile to make that proposal just right for the person being asked.

And that’s why I got a bit misty-eyed at an entry at CakeSpy a couple days ago. In addition to her blog discussing various and sundry delicious sweet treats, Jessie the head spy is a professional illustrator. Her speciality is watercolors of anthropomorphized cupcakes in various whimsical situations.

Not long ago, she got a commission to do a series of four pictures. The fellow commissioning them was about to propose to a fan of Jessie’s work…and he wanted pictures of their romantic trip to San Francisco and his proposal to give the lady.

The Big Proposal as a concept may continue to befuddle me, but damn! there’s a guy who definitely got it right. I hope you’ll all join me in wishing the happy couple all joy and a marriage just as sweet as the illustrations of the proposal.

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