Archive for May, 2009

Be Your Classic Style

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

People talk a lot about choosing a ‘classic’ style for a wedding so that you won’t be embarrassed by the photographs in years to come. Stay away from trends, they warn you all the while talking about the latest looks that you should wear/carry/serve because they are so perfect and shiny and new.

And then there are the articles like this one that spell out a particular era as the classic one despite the fact that it was every bit as fleeting as all the others. Seriously? The forties to the sixties were pure bastions of elegance where nobody took soon-to-be-hopelessly-dated wedding photos? Trust me, they did.

Not all brides in the 1940’s to 1960’s were Grace Kelly. Chances are you aren’t Grace Kelly, either. I know I’m not.

And let’s face it, as beautiful as Grace Kelly was on her wedding day, most of us wouldn’t look nearly as good in that gown, whether because we couldn’t afford the fabrics and trims, because we are shaped differently (no, the hourglass is not the only possible shape for a woman), or simply because we aren’t living in the 1950’s.

That’s right. I said it: that wedding gown is dated. It’s gorgeous, but it is also utterly of its time. You are not living in that time.

The fact remains, however, that wearing and carrying and serving the absolute trendiest items of the year will make your wedding photos date even more quickly than others.

So what’s the key to loving your photos years from now? It’s all about choosing what truly reflects you in the most classic sense. Pick colors you love, whether or not they’re fashionable. Choose a gown that flatters the figure you’ve got and has details you have always loved, whether or not they’re on trend for the season. Carry flowers that have meaning for you. Don’t be afraid to include a really surprising detail if it’s something that really sums you up as individuals or as a couple.

If your wedding reflects you, chances are you will continue to love the photos for years to come.

But trust me, your kids will most likely have a good giggle at them no matter what you do.

I’m Not Very Religious, But….

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

It’s inevitable, really. Weddings are almost indelibly connected in our cultural minds with churches, less people go regularly to church, and few of us remain close enough to our physical roots to continue attending the churches we grew up in (assuming we had one to begin with).

So when it comes time to pick a ceremony venue and celebrant, many find themselves wanting a church but not having one of their own. Not to panic. If you don’t have a regular church (synagogue, temple, etc.) but want to be married in your faith or that of your intended, or if you’re getting married in a place where neither of you lives, you still can probably to make it happen. Even if the only reason you’re choosing a church wedding is to make grandma accept the whole thing, it may still be able to do it. Just keep in mind a few simple rules, and chances are you can have your church wedding.

1) A Church is not a banquet hall. It really is up to the religious leader to decide whether or not you can get married there. You may find that if you have no strong family ties to that particular church and do not regularly attend services that you are not welcome to get married there, period. In fact, you may be turned down for any reason the minister, priest, pastor, rabbi, etc. considers important. If you are not a member in good standing with the church, then it is their absolute right to turn you down, and you have no legal recourse. If you have your heart set on a church wedding – no matter what the reason – and you are not active in your faith, you may have to be flexible about which church you marry in. Oh, and if a member of the congregation wants to get married the same day you do, you may find yourself bumped back. After all, you’re not a member.


What You Want, Within Your Budget

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

A friend of mine recently asked how much she should spend on her wedding photographer. The simple answer is that the average cost of mid-range wedding photography in these United States is roughly between $1,000 and $3,000. The more complicated answer is “However much you’re willing to and can feasibly spend based on how important photos are to you, personally.”


Lots of brides- and grooms-to-be devote a significant part of their wedding budget to photography because photos make great keepsakes. However, some couples care not at all for photos and would prefer to focus on the food and drinks, which means they’re wondering how much they ought to spend on catering costs (average: $30 to $70 per person). For others, it’s all about the reception venue (average: $1,244).

Whatever your priorities are, roll with them. Don’t worry about what other brides and grooms are spending their money on, since they’re probably not going to ever see your wedding photos, let alone be at your wedding. Don’t overspend to impress someone else, or underspend because someone has told you that X, Y, or Z is not important.

The best piece of wedding vendor related advice I’ve heard recently came from Stanley Shelton, co-owner of J&S Portrait America, which does not seem to have a web site but is located in Detroit for those who are curious. That advice was:

“You want to find someone who can work within your budget while giving you what you want. If you are confused about the pricing and what is included in the package, then keep looking. A good photographer will give a clear description of the services he is providing. Also, don’t be fooled by a big sales pitch. A good photographer will share good things about himself and show interest in getting to know his client. If he is too busy bragging about using only the best high-tech equipment to listen to you, then move on to the next one.”

Shelton is talking specifically about photogs here, but the advice he offers can apply to any wedding vendors you’re thinking of hiring. You want to find someone who can work within your wedding budget. Someone who will give you what you want. They should be specific when talking about pricing and packages. And let’s not forget enthusiastic! The most talented wedding vendor in the world will be hell to work with if he or she is unwilling to talk straight about costs, pushy about defining your wedding their way, or just plain unpleasant to be around.

Money aside, that last bit is perhaps most vital. You’re probably going to be communicating with your wedding vendors a great deal before the wedding and trusting them to make your wedding day special. If a wedding vendor you like treats you like crap, I don’t care how good they are at what they do. Find someone else. Spend however much you want to or however much you can on vendors, but look for vendors who you could see yourself befriending. Unless you’re a terrible judge of character, those are the vendors who will more than likely give you want you want at a price you can afford.

Photo via my aim is true

LOVE/HATE: The Feather Duster Edition

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Before I hit you with this week’s LOVE/HATE I have to clarify something. I love Stephanie James Couture wedding gowns. Many, if not most, of her designs are a nod to the 1950s and 1960s, without being at all costumey, and almost all look great on a wide range of bridal body types. That said, have a gander at this dress:


Um, no. You’re aces, Stephanie James, but no. So much not to love, from the uneven layers to the multicolor petticoat to the whatever that is just above the model’s derriere. At least the petticoat can be had in any combo of colors, so I might have found the silhouette somewhat palatable in a different color scheme. And I have to admit that it is a creative design. But in general, this dress earns a mild HATE from yours truly.

What say you?

Your Best Face Forward?

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

If you simply cannot bear to be away from the face of your spouse for more than a minute at a time, this might just be the wedding band for you.


The Contura wedding band by Thomas Giesen is lathe-carved from platinum, stainless steel, silver, white gold or yellow gold to resemble the silhouette of your spouse’s face. Like it? Acquiring one is as easy as submitting a profile photo along with your ring size (and $580+) to Fitzsu, which then sends your deets along to Germany where it is custom made to look like your sweetie… sort of. When viewed from just the right angle.

Is it just me, though, or would wearing this as a wedding band get uncomfortable after a while, especially if your husband or wife has a large nose or a pointy chin?

My Darling The Beard: To Us!

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

I’d like to invite everyone to raise a glass of champagne (or whatever) along with me and The Beard because as of today, we’ve been married for two whole years!

Never teh Bride and The Beard got married two whole years ago today!

A lot has changed since that fateful and extremely windy — just look at the angle on that palm tree — May day: We bought a house, we had ourselves a baby, and my hair color went from red to blond to more blond to neon pink. That’ll change I’m sure (the hair, not the baby) but nothing will change my love for The Beard. Kudos to us, loverboy, and here’s to many more!

The Lightness Is the Rightness (For Some)

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

As much as I like the bold, bright bridesmaids dresses I featured in Inspiration for Ashley #5 — and as popular as they are right now — there’s still a huge contingent of brides-to-be out there planning weddings with predominantly pastel color schemes. And good for them, I say. While it’s not my bag, I support a bride-to-be’s choice to outfit her wedding party in any color, from black to neon green to white!

That said, if you favor a wedding color scheme that could be described as soft, pretty, and/or feminine, don’t think you have to go running straight to the bridal salon for your bridesmaids’ dresses. For the same money you’d spend at David’s Bridal or a similar shop for your bridesmaid frocks, you can outfit your best girlfriends in pretty Amsale cocktail dresses from Bluefly. True story. And none of the potential bridesmaids dresses below cost more than $180, while all of them promise to look beautiful on your ‘maids without needing all that much alteration.

Amsale wisteria sateen strapless cocktail dressAmsale sage pleated chiffon v-neck dressAmsale turquoise satin strapless dress
Amsale celedon satin strapless dressAmsale butter ruched chiffon strapless empire dressAmsale ice pleated chiffon v-neck dress

How about pairing them with slightly brighter bridesmaids bouquets similar to this one from One Source Weddings:


Suggesting to my bridesmaids that they look outside of the world of weddings to find their dresses (I gave them some color and cut parameters but let them shop on their own) was something I really ought to have done. After all, I write about weddings for a living. Maybe, just maybe, they would have found their bridesmaid attire before the last possible second if they had realized they could have shopped online or at the mall.

(As always, click on any of the dresses for prices and availability)