Archive for May, 2010

Inspiration: A Striking Trio

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Love green, black, and white weddings? Check out this one, found on!

green black and white wedding

The deets: High-school sweethearts Jena and Justin had themselves a gorgeous, chic, unfussy green, black, and white wedding in Whitney, FL. Green gerbera daisies, green hydrangeas and spider mums, and Jade roses looked even brighter when paired with black bridesmaids’ dresses, black-and-white gingham shoes by Jessica Simpson, matching gingham ribbon, and even a coordinating umbrella that the bride found because she heard it might rain.

GIVEAWAY: A $50 Gift Certificate to Dejarnette New Orleans!

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Giveaways are always fun, but I’m especially excited about this one! Why’s that? I got my very own bridal jewelry from Dejarnette New Orleans, and so when jewelry designer Katherine (the brains behind that very shop) agreed to do a giveaway… well, how could I not be super psyched? Dejarnette has amazing necklaces and earrings, some bracelets, too, and the stock is always changing because Katherine makes her one-of-a-kind pieces using found objects, vintage accessories, and other neat stuff that you can’t buy in bulk.

Right now, I’m loving this:

bridal jewelry

And this:

bridal jewelry necklace wedding

Note that if you see something you absolutely love in the Gallery of Pieces Past section of the site, Katherine can work with you to create a custom necklace or earrings or whatever that is as similar as possible. For me, she took what was a longer necklace with vintage glass pearls and turned it into a choker and a pair of matching earrings. I don’t think I could have found anything I loved more ‘off the rack’ and the set was all the more special because it was exactly what I wanted. Plus, Katherine packaged everything so prettily, which might not matter to some people, but I love that kind of attention to detail.

Win it!

Dejarnette New Orleans is offering Manolo for the Bride readers a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to that uber fab store. To enter, leave a comment on this post telling us which of Dejarnette New Orleans’ pieces you’ll snap up if you win.

For additional entries, do any of the following (and leave a comment for each):

1. As always, you can score one additional entry when you add Manolo for the Brides to your blogroll or let us know we’re already on your blogroll so we can link back to you

2. Score two additional entries when you sign up for the Dejarnette New Orleans newsletter

3. And you can pick up a whopping three additional entries when you tweet this giveaway or post about it on your own blog!

This giveaway will end at 11:59 p.m. EST on Sunday, May 30, and the winner – chosen via your friend and mine, the trusty random number generator – will be announced the next day. Good luck!

Getting the Perfect Wedding Gown 101

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

Choosing a wedding gown is an exciting process. Years of dreams coalesce into one shopping experience. At long last you see yourself in bridal finery. It’s a heady time. Unfortunately, it’s also a time when it’s easy to lose your head a bit.

Let’s face it, your wedding gown may well be the single most expensive piece of clothing you ever own, especially if you purchase it from a traditional salon.

Ultimately, no matter how well-meaning or sweet the people working there, the salon is there to make money. Of course there’s nothing wrong with this. It’s a Business. businesses need to make money in order to stay in business. The thing is that you still have to pay attention, listen to your gut, and know when to step back. After all, it’s in everyone’s best interests for you to have a good experience.

But you still need to do your end of the work.

So what do you need to do? Read on and see.


Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

This isn’t something we often talk about here at Manolo for the Brides. After all, the point of this blog is to help blushing (and not so blushing) brides plan their weddings through budget tips, inspiring pics of pretty things, and general ‘woo hoo, weddings!’ cheerleading.

The fact is, however, that divorce is how a heck of a lot of marriages end. The common wisdom is that half of all marriages end in divorce. The good news, according to this article at The Daily Beast, is that the statistic is now closer to a 40% chance of divorce.

The article goes on to note fifteen things that can make a divorce more likely in your relationship. Some are not terribly surprising, such as how often you argue about money or if one of you smokes and the other doesn’t. Some are more surprising, such as whether you have a son or a daughter (parents of boys are less likely to break up, it seems).

Are Experts Empowering Brides? Or Pushing Unrealistic Expectations?

Friday, May 21st, 2010


I was alerted to this story by multiple readers – thanks, y’all! – recently, and I thought it could definitely inspire some discussion here. We wedding bloggers often push a that-look-for-less mentality because, hey, why shouldn’t a bride without a huge wedding budget get to look and feel gorgeous on her wedding day? Truthfully, there are plenty of wedding dresses, accessories, floral arrangements, etc. that can indeed be had for less. There are also those that can’t – but I could see how wedding vendors could feel pressured to undercharge because so many more brides, empowered by us wedding bloggers, are insisting upon getting the biggest possible bang for their bucks.

Paul Pannone touched on this topic in a post at E Wed News:

The effects of information being provided to consumers by so-called experts is felt to be impacting business owner’s ability– or inability– to keep up with rising cost of operation. Struggling consumers are being empowered by information that placates them from voiced opinions of perceived authorities, confirming that somehow merchants should not be allowed to make a profit for their hard work and efforts.

Some are said to be up in arms over statements and comparisons made by a representative from The Knot. Anja Winikka, Editor of, appeared on the popular TODAY show and compared several wedding items including wedding dresses ranging from $5,000 dollars to $600. But it was her statement that a less expensive center piece with the same color pallet could be had for “less than a hundred bucks”.

Is The Knot or are the wedding bloggers empowering brides to a deleterious degree? While wedding vendors don’t have to do what they do at a discount, the consumer can impact the perceived value of goods and services. At the same time, if a bride comes to a wedding vendor with unrealistic expectations, isn’t it up to that vendor to educate that bride? I don’t think it’s that surprising that brides don’t know how much certain flowers or fabrics cost or how much time is worth to a wedding professional.

Jenny Scala of the Society of American Florists did just that, writing to Anja Winikka in the wake of the gaff.

We thought you would want to know we have heard from member florists who are concerned the segment gives brides an unrealistic expectation of the price of flowers. In fact, several florists from various parts of the country priced what they saw in the arrangements and came up with a retail price that was twice what was quoted on the show. Some even speculated whether the costs were possibly at wholesale prices vs. retail, which includes all supplies used in the bouquet, plus labor, delivery and installation.

Seems pretty straightforward to me. I’ve always advised brides to ask for whatever kinds of discounts they think they can get, but I’m also quick to caution that wedding vendors are free to say no. Thoughts?

LOVE/HATE: The ‘Outline of an Areola’ Edition

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

If the models weren’t gazing soulfully off into the distance, I’m pretty sure we’d all be getting an eyeful. Sheer wedding dresses – well, sheer wedding dress bodices – have been appearing here and there for years, but I’ve never felt fully convinced that brides are actually buying them. I still don’t.

sheer wedding dresses

sheer wedding dress

What I want to know is exactly what you’d wear under one of these that the designer couldn’t have put in there for you? Did she or he leave it sheer to give the bride options? Wear a camisole or a halter or even perhaps a bra so nice it just has to be shared! Or even, dare I say it, a pair of flesh-colored Nippies.

Um, not loving this look. You? What I’d really like to know is who’s buying these.


Inspiration: Parasols

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Not a fan of bouquets? Or maybe you’re just uber allergic to flowers and can’t stomach faux blooms. In addition to alternative options like the traditional prayer books or candles, there are sweet and pretty choices like the parasol. Whether silk or paper, lace or something a bit more waterproof – since parasols and umbrellas have met in the middle in modern times, parasols are the perfect prop for the bride and the bridesmaid who want to unleash their inner divas (or get coy or radiate old fashioned charm).