Archive - August, 2010

Free the Ankles, Free the Knees

Knees and ankles really get the shaft when it comes to wedding dresses, most of which cover everything from the decolletage down to the toes. (Sheer panels excepted, of course.) Brides who do go in search of short wedding dresses often find themselves facing hanger after hanger of frocks that look like the bastard children of a standard length dress and a pair of scissors. Or, slightly better, nothing but retro wedding dresses that are fine for those looking for that vintage-look but not so great if you’re not.

It is rare indeed to find that wonderful animal, the short wedding dress that looks as if it was meant to be short and isn’t meant to look just like the dress your mother wore in 1964. It doesn’t matter why you’re looking for a short wedding dress — easier to move in? having a low-key city hall wedding? you’re a mega klutz who can’t wear a long skirt to save your life? — I’m of the opinion that you should be able to find one that suits your tastes and looks beautiful on you.

My current faves in the short wedding dresses category come from Charlotte Balbier. Noelle and Ruby are absolutely adorable, and would be perfect for an outdoor wedding in the afternoon or even a reception dress for the bride who dreads dancing in her huge ballgown. And I’d suggest they’re perfect for the bride who is eloping. They could also look cute on bridesmaids, though they might be a little much. Are these Charlotte Balbier dresses for everyone? Absolutely not, but then, what wedding dress is? For some bride, though, Noelle or Ruby might just be the answer to her prayers.

Three Out of the Ordinary Ways to Include the Father of the Bride

… or the father of the groom! Weddings, as I’m sure we all know, tend to be about the ladies, at least insofar as we’re constantly being told that weddings are supposed to be about the ladies. There’s the bride, of course, and her mother and grandmothers. And the typical attendants chosen by brides are the maid of honor, bridesmaids, and one or more flower girls (as opposed to the less common man of honor and bridesmen). There’s a groom floating around in that estrogen bath somewhere, but his role is perceived as obvious. Less clear these days is the role of the father of the bride. Once upon a time he might have been the one writing the checks to wedding vendors, but nowadays brides and grooms are paying for some or all of their weddings.

So what are those dads doing while their kiddies are knee-deep in wedding planning mags, anyway? Sometimes the father of the bride and the father of the groom take that old, annoying advice given to guys and simply stand back and shut up. But it turns out that there are dads who don’t want to be relegated to playing the part of another piece of background scenery! And these dads are often left wondering what exactly they should be contributing to the wedding planning process. With that in mind, here are three out of the ordinary ways the father of the bride and father of the groom can help out:

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Some Pairings Are Just Perfect

Oh my little chickadees! Did I attend a great wedding yesterday or what?

This was a perfect pairing. I’ve come to the conclusion that there is an unbeatable combination when it comes to planning a fabulous wedding to be remembered for years to come: a chef and a musician.

Mr. Twistie and I met Bryan about five years ago when Mr. Twistie joined a band Bryan plays in. We both immediately liked him. He’s quiet and mellow with a wickedly sly sense of humor. In fact, he’s so quiet we didn’t start hearing about Julie for a long, long time even though they were already getting together back then.
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Twistie’s Sunday Caption Madness: The Can I Take Door Number Two? Edition: The Result

Hail unto thee, caption lovers!

Last week I slapped you all with this deathless image:
and asked for great captions.

Two of you bravely answered the call. You both did well, Grasshoppers. Alas! There can be but one winner. This week it’s Susan for this deeply, deeply disturbing – yet wickedly funny – entry:

I expected your Grandma’s ring, but not still on Grandma’s finger.

Congratulations, Susan! And thanks to both of you who played.

Now You Can Have Sheer *and* Strappy

Is it just me, or is anyone else bored by all the plain mass market white wedding dresses out there? Maybe it’s just that I’ve been at this for years and years now, but I feel like all those gowns are bleeding into each other. Does a colored sash and some diagonal folds really make one strapless A-line wedding dress that different from another? I’d argue that, no, it doesn’t. It’s like there’s this basic wedding dress template out there and whoever is making the majority of the gowns you see is just moving a bead or adding some lace and a few gathers here and there.

I’m trying to figure out if it’s simply wedding dress fatigue on my part, because I know the gowns that are not part of the cookie cutter brigade are out there! I love, for example, these from the Fall 2010 Claire Pettibone collection:

I’d say it’s the little details that make these Claire Pettibone wedding dresses stand out, but I think it’s actually the big details – the English lace and silk ribbon ties, the pewter embroidery, the pairing of a 40s style bodice and a sheer back. Gowns like these are the antidote, as I see it, to all the yawn-inducing wedding dresses out there. I think boredom is the reason I am so quick to push having a custom wedding dress made, either by some high end house of couture if you can afford it or an Etsy seller or local seamstress if you’re on a budget. Why settle for something that’s basically indistinguishable from every other wedding dress out there when you can have something much, much more interesting?

LOVE/HATE: The ‘Brides Gone Wild’ Edition

Forget boudoir photography for brides because there’s apparently a whole new way to show off your Future Mrs. So-and-So panties on film! I’m talking about in the bridal chamber, post-makeup but pre-dress, perhaps while you wait for your mom to finish straightening your train. Picture this: You’re sipping a mimosa in your bra and underpants, while your wedding photographer hovers around snapping shots of you and your bridesmaids. The question is, do you keep those photos? Did you even want them? Are you going to care when they end up in your photog’s online portfolio?

According to the Wall Street Journal, of all places, in these salacious days of baring it all, more and more brides are letting their wedding photographers take pre-wedding pictures that look an awful lot like they came from a boudoir photography shoot instead of a wedding.

For the many brides who have been living with their fiancés for years before taking the leap, mugging for risqué shots can be a way of playing up the irony of donning a traditional dress. “The white gown and veil is a kind of performance or drag — like Madonna in her video for ‘Like a Virgin.’”

What now? I’m all about brides (and grooms, too, rawr) having pictures of themselves in their undies taken on the morning of the wedding, but I think that framing it as some empowering blow aimed at traditional wedding culture and gender roles instead of just harmless fun strikes me as a little weird. I can’t say I hate the idea of the pre-wedding bra and panties shots, but I would suggest leaving them out of your coffee table wedding album. And maybe also your online gallery. Sexy and lucious as you no doubt are, your family and friends might just not care to see you in your bridal underwear.

Thoughts? Should the bride’s choice of panties be left to the imagination or is there a place for that sort of thing in today’s wedding album?

Photograph by Ron Capobianco

Who Says You Need a Getaway Car?

Ah, the traditional wedding getaway car decorated with shaving cream, old shoes, tin cans, wrapping paper, and anything else those rakish groomsmen could find. You have to love it – at least when it’s not your car being taped up all the heck and filled to bursting with helium balloons. But what about those brides and grooms who make their way through life sans automobile and would prefer to exit their weddings the same way? No problem, you can affix a piece of oak tag reading ‘JUST MARRIED’ and a few ribbons to almost anything!

Rusl and Jane on their side-by-side recumbent tandem love bike. For real, their recumbent tandem love bike. The rest of us should be so lucky. Photo by Christopher Cotrell (who is a guy I know, but I didn’t realize the pic was his until I looked more closely. Hi, quosquos!) Want more power? There are always getaway motorcycles!

Might a pedicab, complete with ‘JUST MARRIED’ sign, make your new spouse feel like royalty as you romantically traverse the streets with your sharply dressed driver? Photo by Hitched Photography, pedicab by Boston Pedicab Need to make a water crossing? Try a getaway boat.

If you’re already at the course, why not get a couple of holes in? A golf cart makes a great getaway vehicle, provided you’re not going too far or don’t mind going very slow. Photo by the amazing Paul Retherford For faster transportation on snowier terrain, try a snowmobile. Want to mosey? Try a sledge.

Get married at Camp Jabulani in Hoedspruit, South Africa, and your getaway vehicle might have a name, a personality, and a digestive system! I also encountered pictures of getaway camels and getaway horses, and I suppose if you can ride an animal, you could probably figure out a way to give its harness or whatever a bit of jazzing up! (Just watch out for teeth, hooves, tails, and claws.)

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