Archive for April, 2009

For the Pre-Engaged?

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009


Have any of you heard of Engagement 101? I just happened upon the Engagement 101 blog the other day, and from there I learned of the actual magazine. That’s right — there’s an entire print mag for the pre-engaged. What’s the content like?

Engagement101Mag.Com provides soon-to-be wed couples with everything they need to know before the question is popped. From romance and proposal advice, to ring and diamond buying tips, to reception and fashion guides. The site features thousands of rings for every taste and budget, forums, Q & A’s, news, trends, useful articles on all related topics, and unique interactive content.

Now it seems to me based on the color of the sample covers and the content I’ve seen thus far that Engagement 101 is a magazine for women, not men. Yet the fact remains that more men pop the question than women. In fact, a Knot survey revealed that a whopping 90% of women say they do not want to be in any way involved in their partners’ proposals and a mere 4% dismissed the surprise factor as being unimportant. In other words, most women don’t even want to know the wheres and whens of a future proposal! (That said, a survey conducted by Korbel Champagne found that more than half of respondents think women should step up to the plate when it comes to proposing marriage.)

So tell me, would a dude really subscribe to Engagement 101, or is this just another way to drum it into chicks’ heads that its the four Cs down on one knee or nothing?

Wedding Makeup: Color and Concealment

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Have you considered doing your wedding makeup? I didn’t, but my cosmetics skills begin and end with a little mascara and a touch of lipstick. Not that a bride-to-be can’t learn the tricks of the makeup trade, of course, but finding a good makeup mentor isn’t always easy. Lucky for those who want to DIY their wedding cosmetics, Emily of the blog Beauty Broadcast has a YouTube channel featuring primers, how-tos, and product reviews for brides (and anyone else interested in learning a bit more about the artful painting of faces).

I will say that Emily slathers on the cosmetics a bit more thickly and darkly than I would — particularly for a bride — but the video is a good introduction to bridal makeup application. And admittedly, watching her transform herself is pretty fascinating. But if your bridal beauty style runs roughly parallel to Emily’s, here’s a rundown of the products mentioned in the video:


Moo Makes Mini Save-the-Dates

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

(This is just a note to say that I’ll probably be keeping posts short this week because of the site outages. We apologize for those, and we want you to know that it’s just a server issue that should be resolved soon. Manolo for the Brides isn’t going anywhere!)

save-the-date cards

How cute are these teeny save-the-date cards from MOO? The ready-made MiniCard packs contain a mix of twenty colorful designs, from mod wallpaper-esque patterns to deep red hearts to pretty flowers and vines. All you have to do is add your wedding details to the reverse, and voila! You’re all set. Of course, if you’d rather get more personal than personalized, you can always use your Flickr photos to create custom save-the-date MiniCards emblazoned with your own snapshots.


Friday, April 17th, 2009

Today I went looking for wedding-specific comics, and I found two from Married to the Sea that tickled my fancy.

Married To The Sea

Mine, mine, mine, and don’t you forget it, right? Oh, bridezilla, how I love thee!

Married To The Sea

True story: I once accidentally caught the bride’s bouquet at a wedding I attended, then quickly tossed it to a fellow guest who I knew actually wanted the thing. I was just way too attached to my insane, screeching manner, I suppose.

LOVE/HATE: The Distant Affiliation Edition

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

When I got married, I’m only just a little ashamed to say that I bought myself an embroidered sweatshirt that read “N.t.B” on the front pocket and “Mrs. The Beard says ‘Screw Etiquette'” on the back. Seriously, I kid you not — I still wear it today. Now I say I’m only a little ashamed because at the time I felt that my particular sweatshirt was a step above those reading “The Future Mrs. Smith.” No offense to those brides-to-be who absolutely adore those sorts of blinged out tops, but they just aren’t my thing. I did, however, make sure to buy my mom a mother of the bride t-shirt because I knew she’d dig it.

Look at online bridal accessory shops long enough and you’ll see bedazzled tank tops for brides and bridesmaids, hats for the father of the bride, sweatpants whose rear ends proclaim one’s to-be married name, and even accessories for future flower girls and ring bearers. But I can honestly say I have never before seen anything like this:


That’s right — Tip Top Wedding Shop has Groom’s Uncle shirts. The best part? The lettering is done in rhinestones. As The Beard just noted, “Maybe it’s for the fabulous uncle?” Tip Top Wedding Shop also carried sparkly shirts for the groom’s niece, the groom’s grandpa, the mummy of the groom, and the nana of the groom. I can’t say that I love or hate all of the “X of the Y” clothing out there, but I can’t help but wonder how many uncles or grandpas would really enjoy wearing a rhinestone top proclaiming their relationship to the couple to be married.

What say you?

It’s Not All White Satin and Handcrafted Lace…

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Nope! Sometimes it’s camo:


Or even denim:


That’s it. No commentary. No judgments. Actually, I was hoping to leave that to you! Go on, have your say — we’d love to hear what you think about these sets.

Outsourced Wedding Vows?

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Almost every wedding I’ve been to in the past five years has included some form of original wedding vow… or did they? Apparently, one of the newer ways for wordsmiths to make a little dough is by writing original wedding vows for tongue-tied couples. To me, the idea sounds preposterous, but I also make my living writing. Perhaps services that compose custom vows are a godsend for those brides and grooms for whom words don’t come easily?


For some time now, there have been web sites that provide pre-written wedding vows for a small fee. Elegant Wedding Vows is one. Wedding Vows Den is another. The content at those sites can be used as inspiration or as one’s actual wedding vows, but do require a degree of personalization. Outsourced wedding vows, on the other hand, are written for you and only you, using details about your life and relationship that you and your intended provide.

The Wall Street Journal recruited a couple to test drive some of the sites that provide this, um, interesting service.

Enchantment Online, a service run by a Florida-based wedding coordinator, provided forms with extensive check boxes, pull-down menus and open-ended questions about their story. But in some cases, the form didn’t allow the couple to specify which information pertained to which partner, making it difficult to complete. Special Occasion Poetry, a service that provides poems for events ranging from weddings to funerals, uses a form that asks about each partner’s traits, hobbies and talents. Ghostwriters Central, run by a speechwriter, asked the couple to answer questions about their history, describe their partner’s traits, and indicate whether specific memories, thoughts, quotes or sentiments should appear in vows; our couple found this service’s questions the most thought-provoking.

The wedding vows from the various vow writers were finished in 6 to 11 days and cost anywhere from $58 (which seems fairly reasonable) to $165 (which seems a tad steep). Would I use a vow writing service? Nope, but like I said, I’m a writer. The Beard isn’t a professional writer — in fact, he pretty much winged his vows on the spot — and still wouldn’t have paid money to have someone else write his vows. As he just said, “If you have to think about all the answers to the vow writer questionnaires anyway, why not just take your answers and write your vows yourself?”

The whole thing feels a little impersonal. After all, there are already standardized vows you can use or even riff off of if you really want semi-personalized wedding vows. How meaningful are your own personal vows going to be if the words you are saying were basically written by a script writer?