Archive for July, 2010

Four Weddings, Dozens of Ideas

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Working the bridal reality show beat, you’ll notice that there are very few that I recommend as helpful, or even particularly entertaining. That’s because I find that most bridal reality shows are a) unrealistic, b) determined to reinforce negative stereotypes of the process, c) shaming to couples with tight budgets, and d) big on the generic over the imaginative.

Sure, there are exceptions. Sometimes there’s an episode of Rich Bride, Poor Bride that has someone with their head on straight, and I do find Don’t Tell the Bride both endearing and fairly rational. Up to now, that’s been the list.

Well, I’ve finally found another one I think has some real value to real-life brides planning their own weddings. Oddly enough, it’s a reality contest show. Seriously? It is. It’s called Four Weddings, it’s on TLC, and it still takes a tidge of digging to get to the good stuff, but it’s in there.

To Tux or Not to Tux

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

It used to be easy to know what – more or less – a bride and groom would wear at a formal wedding. The bride would wear a white or ivory gown and a veil. The groom would wear the rented formalwear appropriate to the time of day and level of formality.

For a daytime ceremony, one wore a morning suit:

After five pm, a tuxedo was the way to go:

And for ultra-formal, there was always white tie and tails:


Bride: Use Your Head

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

How sweet are these bridal hair accessories from Oh My Deer? I’m not suggesting that a huge chiffon peony is for everyone, or that most brides’ first choice of ensemble topper ought to be a headband. But maybe we can all appreciate tiny veils? Big blooms? Lace flowers, feathers, and adorable bows? You know, from an aesthetic point of view. And maybe even if these bridal hair accessories aren’t for you, they’re helping you get out of the veil-or-nothing rut.

Pretty and fun! What more could you want? And I’m really tickled that at least one of Oh My Deer’s images feature a smiling model!

LOVE/HATE: The ‘All the News That’s Fit to Print’ Edition

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Today I’d like to ask you a question, and that question is: How much do your wedding guests really need to know about your upcoming wedding? I’d suggest that at the very least they need to know when it’s taking place and where it’s taking place, and roughly how formal it will be so they know whether to wear bluejean overalls or a ball gown. There are others, however, for whom “need to know basis” is a phrase for other people. They are the brides- and grooms-to-be who send out weddung newsletters. I’m not talking about a one-time special edition mini magazine for the bridesmaids and moms, but rather a full-blown publishing production that appears in the mailboxes of all wedding guests.

Inside the pages of this still less-than-common publication, wedding guests can read about how the happy couple met, how they chose their wedding venue, why they felt it was important to choose locally-grown flowers, their engagement story, short bios (with headshots) of all the VIPs, a description of the wedding reception menu, and so on, all laid out professionally with pictures and captions and cutesy little swirlies.

I tell you truly, the very idea of the wedding newsletter brings out the curmudgeon in me and I am not even that cranky most of the time. Weddings are fun and I love being invited to them, but I don’t want to have to read a study guide to prepare. And before you say anything, of course I know that I don’t have to read the couple’s wedding newsletter, but as grumpy as receiving it makes me feel, I just can’t toss something into which two people put so much effort. Maybe it’s the writer in me – who knows. I think I’m in the hate camp for this one.

What say you? Wedding newsletters… sentimental keepsake or something akin to the dreaded “Christmas letter”?

Inspiration: Favor Boxes!

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Wedding favors are one of those things that can become oddly controversial even though there’s really no reason at all that brides, grooms, and guests should care whether there are heart-shaped coffee scoops or tiny sodas or a charitable contribution notice or a tin can or nothing at all at each plate.

Whatever they are, wedding favors are usually not the sort of thing one keeps forever (especially in the case of anything edible, I hope, or bits of paper saying “Thanks from the SSPCA!”) and they are usually one of the least expensive items on the wedding budget, relative to everything else. Sometimes the best wedding favor might just be a chill pill.

Me? I like candy wedding favors. Give me jelly beans or a single truffle or some weird vintage candy or Japanese candy. Just give it to me on the reception table where I can access it easily while I’m waiting for my meal since I always seem to end up at the last table to be served or called up to the buffet. Yes, even when I’m in the wedding! I especially like candy wedding favors that come in little boxes that I can re-use for things like stray earrings or small screws, and right now I am loving these:

Birch bark wedding favor boxes from New Hampshire Woods Creations
a bit pricey, but certainly unique


The Unity Tree Ceremony

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Is anyone else kind of bored with the whole unity candle/sand/water/flowers/etc. ceremony? In theory, it’s sweet – here’s a visual representation of the vows we’re making. We’re becoming one! Or our lives are becoming blended but we’re maintaining our autonomy! Either way, it’s a nice thought. But really, how many brides and grooms keep their unity candles (or use them… are you allowed to do that)? What becomes of the colored sand that probably got all shaken together post-ceremony?

(via the lovely Micah Dahlberg Photography)

When considered what we one could replace the unity *whatever* with, I came across the wedding tree planting ceremony. Now this, I like. I am the kind of gal who isn’t a huge fan of cut flowers because they wilt and wither and die, and it bums me out. When a situation warrants the purchase of flora – a birth, a death, or so on – I will almost always buy a low low lowwwww maintenance plant instead of a bouquet.


Looking For an Officiant? Check Your Cell.

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Finding a wedding officiant can be a chore for those who don’t belong to a particular religion, don’t believe in a god or gods so would rather not be married by clergy, find the idea of choosing a spiritual minister out of the phone book kind of weird, or don’t have the faintest notion of where one finds a justice of the peace. Heck, even the unaffiliated but still religious couple may be in for a rude awakening when they look for someone to perform their wedding ceremony.

Keeping that in mind, I’m not surprised that the number of couples looking to traditional clergy when choosing a wedding officiant is dropping. According to the Wedding Report, clergy performed 70 percent of all weddings in 2008. In 2009, it was down to 62 percent, and apparently even more brides and grooms are now thinking outside the box when it comes to finding a wedding officiant.

What’s outside that box? For many brides and grooms, it’s friends and family! Instead of looking through the phone book when it comes time to decide who will coach them through their wedding vows, they’re looking no further than the contacts lists in their cell phones.