Archive for December, 2009

LOVE/HATE: The ‘Hats Off to You’ Edition

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

When I saw this Maison Michel Uffie miniature top hat with its gauzy veil on The UnBride, I just had to throw it in the LOVE/HATE queue.

bridal tophat with veil

Because, oh goodness, I cannot stand it! While it may indeed be offbeat and thus perfect for the unbride, it looks to me too much like something worn by those old timey cartoon characters. You know, the dumpy fellow with the big head and the tiny hat? Plus, as miniature top hats go, this one is booooring. Plus, the attached veil is just a little awkward. The bride who wants to wear the tiny top hat should look instead at Bubbles & Frown, purveyor of totally sweet mini hats that go for about $100… compared to $645 for the Uffie, which I hate.

What say you?


Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

I had a different post planned for this morning, but a shout-out to the fact that Mexico City legislature’s voted to legalize gay marriage (as opposed to civil unions, which were legalized three years ago) seemed appropriate in the wake of yesterday’s post. Mexico City’s mayor, Marcelo Ebrard, is expected to sign the bill into law, changing the city’s civil code definition of marriage from the union of a man and a woman to the ‘free uniting of two people.’

The free uniting of two people — doesn’t that sound nice? The one dark spot is that Mexican President Felipe Calderon has said he will challenge the bill in the courts, but from what I can tell at least the country’s capital city seems like a pretty hip town when it comes to equal rights when it comes to marriage.

The True Threat to the Sanctity of Marriage?

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

An article I read recently riffs on the notion that allowing homosexuals and bisexuals to marry would somehow negatively impact the sanctity of marriage by positing that us heterosexuals (or as commenter David would say, str8s) are doing a fine job of making marriage a joke.

[New York Senate Democrat Diane] Savino’s argument was shocking and fresh. After an affecting nod to gay constituents, she began her genuine work. She dared us to consider the condition of contemporary marriage.

The sanctity of marriage, she said, could not possibly be endangered by permitting its access to same-sex couples. If there is any threat to the sanctity of marriage, she said, ”it comes from those of us who have the privilege and the right, and we have abused it for decades”.

”What are we really protecting?” she asked before reminding us that, these days, husbands could be snared on television game shows.

The article goes on to describe how trashing the dress makes a mockery of marriage and that brides and grooms are focusing on everything from the wedding favors to the flavor of the cake instead of putting their energy into the marriage itself. While I, to some extent, can get behind the second point — namely that there are some brides and grooms who go ga-ga over the wedding without really thinking about what marriage means, I really doubt those people are in the majority. Some people take marriage lightly, but thus far, all those people have been heterosexual. It might turn out that homosexuals and bisexuals do a better job of preserving the sanctity of marriage, if only because they had to work so much harder for it.


And I simply cannot get behind the first point. The wedding isn’t the marriage; one can have the most frivolous of weddings and the most serious of marriages. Wearing one’s wedding dress into a pond to capture what have now become fairly ordinary photographs doesn’t mean one is any less committed to one’s spouse. At most, it could mean one is less committed to one’s wedding dress. Weddings are made of ceremonies and celebrations that commemorate a commitment. They aren’t the commitment itself!

But yeah, divorce. If trashing the dress doesn’t negatively impact the sanctity of marriage and letting gay folks marry won’t negatively impact the sanctity of marriage, maybe it’s divorce? Maybe divorce itself is the problem?

After all, one of the most simplistic arguments against gay marriage suggests that allowing it would lead to more divorce, though it’s never specified whether that’s because there’d be a larger body of married people seeking out divorces or because all us heterosexuals would be running out to get divorced because we’re super psyched that we can marry within our own gender pool now. “Gay marriage is legal now? Oh, snap! I’mma get me one of those! Bye, honey. I loved you once, but the pull of the gay is too strong to resist!”

In any case, a more important question might be: Does it matter? Frankly, I don’t care if allowing homosexual couples to marry would lead to a higher divorce rate. I don’t actually care much if my fellow heterosexuals do all the divorcing, either. The right to marry, after all, is bundled with the right to divorce. At will. For pretty much any reason. And as terrible a thing as divorce can be, it’s also the institution — if I might call it that — that allows abused women and men to escape their abusers… allows children to grow up in homes that aren’t clouded by anger… allows two individuals who might be perfectly good people but aren’t *good together* to have a second chance at happiness.

Should all people have the right to marry the consenting adults they choose to marry? Abso-freaking-lutely. Should all people have the right to divorce the whomever they choose to divorce? Again, yeppers. Do either of those rights make a mockery of marriage? I don’t think so. And for goodness sake, can we all agree that trashing the dress is not leading to divorce? Because that’s just plain silly.

Shoes That Tell a Story

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Wedding accessory photos… brides and grooms usually either love them or hate them. There’s the shot of the bridal bouquet in a vase on a side table waiting for the moment when the buffed and puffed bride will grab it on her way to the foot of the aisle. And there are the many, many incarnations of wedding band photos, for example the loving heart photo or the rings in the hands of the bride and groom. There are photos of the bride’s earrings not yet in the lobes of the bride and photos of neckties hanging off of the backs of chairs in the groom’s dressing chamber. And, naturally, there are photos of shoes!

Shoes, more than any other wedding accessory, can tell a tale in wedding photographs because shoes (unlike earrings or the bridal bouquet) are to some extent utilitarian and they tend to be a very expressive piece of attire. Here are four examples of wedding photographs that show nothing but the shoes, yet convey a lot of information about the wedding itself and the bride and groom.

bride in rainboots

Rain on her wedding day? Or a bride by the bay? We can’t be sure of the circumstances that led to this photo taken by photographer Steve Holcroft without some digging, but it certainly invites a great deal of speculation. I can’t help but think of this bride as being playful, however. She didn’t have to wear wellies, after all. She could have gotten someone to carry her.


It’s a Piece of Cake…Maybe

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

Here at Manolo for the Brides, we are not shy of DIY. Our attitude is more or less ‘if you really think you can do it, why not do it?’ If you know how to sew, we see no reason you couldn’t consider making your own gown. If you can cook, we can absolutely see you doing self-catering. If you’re good at design, we think it’s a great idea to design and print your own invitations. We don’t often give instructions, but we encourage considering your own talents in creating your own wedding.

Me? I love to bake, and I’m really good at it. All the same, I never considered making a tiered wedding cake and decorating it myself. Why? Because while my cakes taste amazingly good, they are not ever pretty. I put the effort into the flavor. Decoration doesn’t come easy to me. I’m not good at prettying up my plates. If I competed on Top Chef, they’d throw me out for my sloppy plates about challenge two. I would never dream of giving you instructions on constructing and decorating a wedding cake…but there are plenty of sites out there with everything you need if you want to try making your own wedding cake.

Twistie’s Sunday Caption Madness: The Almost Lifelike Edition: The Result

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

Hail unto thee, caption lovers!

Last week I presented you with this…um…image:
Robobride You, once you got over your shock, provided me with five pithy and hilarious responses. Truly, the quantity wasn’t very high, but the quality was astronomical. You did not in any way make this an easy choice for me.

Still, there can be but one winner…except when I honestly cannot choose between two. That’s right, it’s a tie. I shall present them in the order they were submitted.

The first is Kristin, for making it even scarier to turn on an episode of Bridezillas with this entry:

The truly unfortunate aspect of the Robot Uprising of ‘15 was that the self-replicating artificial intelligence had evolved on the network server.

The second is Annie for reminding me that horrific as the ‘bride’ is, the gown is every bit as bad with this caption:

“The designer knew he’d have a hard time finding a model for the dress he designed based on his grandmother’s toilet paper cozies, but where there’s an advanced applied robotics degree, there’s a way.”

Congratulations to both winners, and my sincere thanks to everyone who played.

LOVE/HATE: The ‘Blow, Gabriel, Blow’ Edition

Friday, December 18th, 2009

Wedding gown silhouettes can be confusing. Dresses are often labeled trumpet/mermaid because the terms are used interchangeably, but technically mermaid gowns flare out at the knee or lower (think of a mermaid’s fish body and her tail) while trumpet gowns flare somewhere between mid-hip and the knee (a la the bell of a trumpet). Any higher than that, and now you’re in dropped waist territory.

Personally, I’m calling the Justin Alexander Couture wedding dress below a trumpet silhouette, and an extreme trumpet at that. Maybe it’s more of a French horn silhouette?

trumpet wedding dress

I’m just going to come right out and say I hate it. To me, it looks too much like this wedding dress is having an identity crisis. Does it want to be a mermaid gown? Or is it a ballgown with a sagging waistline? Does the bride love every bit of her body other than some major cankles or giant feet? Unlike the mermaid gowns that at least swish prettily when the bride is walking, I can’t see this dress having much swish. NtB is just not feeling it.

What say you?