Archive - November, 2010

A Bouquet Tossing Alternative Idea That I LOVE

Most brides-to-be are familiar with the more common alternatives to the bridal bouquet toss. For example, the practice of calling all of the married women (or couples) out onto the dance floor at the reception and giving the bouquet to the one who has been married the longest.

Another pseudo alternative to the traditional bouquet toss is the breakaway bouquet or fortune bouquet toss, where the bouquet breaks into pieces (with fortunes or charms attached) mid-flight and there’s enough for everyone. Then there’s the wish bouquet – the bride still sets up a bouquet toss, but she invites all the women at the wedding to come to the dance floor and make a wish. Whoever catches the bouquet will see their wish come true.

And some brides simply present the bouquet to an honored relative or, don’t do anything with the bouquet beyond carrying it. It’s all good, whatever route the bride takes.

But I really really really love this alternative to the bouquet toss photographed by Jagger Photography because it’s just so simple. You’re a single lady and you want the bridal bouquet? Hoping for luck in matrimonial love? Well, there it is – go ahead and grab it. Just be willing to endure some ribbing if your friends and family are anything like mine. And if you’re the bride, be prepared to take your bouquet home with you if it turns out that there are no willing bachelorettes at your wedding.

What are your bridal bouquet tossing plans?

Can a Wedding Registry Go Green? Or Blue?

Here’s a question the lovely Leah sent to me a while back:

I have been enjoying MftB for years but only now have a pressing question for you: a friend of mine is getting married soon and, at the request of family members, will be doing a registry. But it’s important to her to register with a company that has green/sustainable options for a lot of her household goods and is also “blue” (the human rights/labor rights version of being green) in its business practices–nixing most of the big-box retailers. Ideally, she’d like to register with a store that is good to the earth and to its employees, especially on women and LGBT issues. Problem is, she’s not really sure what companies those are, especially not that offer a fairly wide range of products so that she doesn’t have to register 14 places. She is not interested in doing a ludicrous super-registry list, just some household basics to start their new home–linens, towels, some basic kitchen stuff, etc. Do you have any leads on some sustainable, high-integrity businesses that do wedding registries, or perhaps another way to put together a registry altogether?

In a way, Leah, this is a toughie – finding supposedly green wedding registries isn’t the problem, since there are environmentally friendly shops that let brides and grooms (and anyone, really) create gift registries. But going blue hasn’t quite caught on yet, even if it should.

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William and Kate Set a Date


It’s probably old news to you by now, but Prince William, son of Charles, Prince of Wales, has set a day to marry longtime lady Kate Middleton.

They’ve also set a place, Westminster Abbey, and had about a bazillion photos shot of her wearing his mother’s famous sapphire and diamond engagement ring. A bank holiday has been declared, as well, for the royal wedding on April 29, 2011.

What is less popularly noted at this point is the conflict for so much of American political and punditical glitterati: it seems that April 29 is also the day before the annual White House Press Conference dinner.

The organizers of the Press Conference dinner have decided to go ahead with the date they have already been planning around.

And the Daily Mail has weighed in with plenty of questions about whether having a full-on royal wedding right now is in any way appropriate… though even they do admit William and Kate are stuck in a kind of damned if they do, damned if they don’t situation as far as publicity goes. After all, if they throw a lavish do, they’ll get flak for being wasteful and grossly out of touch with the masses of unemployed. On the other hand, if they have a quiet wedding in private, at least as many people will raise a ruckus for having been given no royal spectacle, and start to speculate on why they hid away on such an important occasion for the state.

The sad part is that in the end, this particular happy couple have less say in their own wedding plans than the average couple. Many of the decisions are based on tradition, protocol, and upholding the dignity of the monarchy.

Me? I’m not going to rag on them for decisions largely made by a phalanx of major domos and political advisors. I’m just going to hope that William and Kate have a long, happy life together.

It’s no more and no less than I would wish for any couple as they embark on the journey of marriage.

8 Holiday Gifts for the Bride (and Groom and Wedding Party)

1. Somewhere to stash all that stuff:

It’s such a cliche, but the fact is that brides and bridesmaids need somewhere to stash their gear – and what better excuse for a new bag than that? This classy initial handbag is great because it doesn’t look like the usual bridalbridalbridal tote bag. Too serious for you? I’m also a huge fan of super cute (and huge) totes with fun and crazy patterns and graphics.

2. A break from planning:

What’s better than wedding planning? Taking a well-deserved break from it! I always advise couples to go on a few dates (at least) where wedding planning is an off-limits topic, but sometimes that’s just not enough to relieve the stress. I recommend buying every bride-to-be you know at least one fun or engrossing book, a la Stupid History: Tales of Stupidity, Strangeness, and Mythconceptions Throughout the Ages, Sh*t My Dad Says, or Northanger Abbey.

3. Easy packing:

I like luggage, but I’m not surprised when I meet people who don’t have real luggage. It’s expensive and a lot of brides- and grooms-to-be haven’t traveled much. But for the honeymoon? Come on, it pays to have nice suitcases. With locks. And wheels. If you really love the bride in your life, why not give her a set of Samsonite luggage in beautiful shiny black (at a whopping 55% off!) for her post-wedding getaway.

4. Some peace of mind on the big day:

brides survival kitgrooms survival kitbridesmaid survival kit

The wedding may be months away, but wedding day survival kits make great, easy stocking stuffers for the bride-to-be, the groom-to-be, and the bridesmaids. You can always DIY it with a cute makeup bag and supplies from the drug store, but Ms. a& Mrs. makes all-inclusive bride’s survival kits, survival kits for the groom and groomsmen, and bridesmaids’ survival kits.

5. Something blue:

blue digital camerablue stock pot

If you’re close to the bride, why not offer to get her that special ‘something blue’? Or, better yet, get her something blue that she doesn’t have to figure out how to integrate into the wedding day look she’s already coordinated. I sure wouldn’t have minded a holiday gift of a cute Keep Calm pendant, a blue digital camera from Samsung, or a Le Creuset stockpot!

6. A little bit of relaxation:

Yes, soap is soap, but isn’t it just a little fun, pre-wedding, to pamper yourself with shower and bath goodies with scents like wedding cake and bridal bouquet? For the bride-to-be in your life, there’s the Philosophy’s Bride gift set and for everyone else in the wedding, there’s the Bridal Party gift set.

7. Something to giggle at:

Forget the Williams-Sonoma Bride & Groom Cookbook and give the happy couple The New InterCourses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook at $10 off the cover price. Why? First, it’s a lot more fun! And second, The Beard and I were recipe testers so we appear in the book! Really, the recipes are delish, and the book itself is pretty spicy.

8. Easy memories:

Finally, give the bride the gift of beautiful memories with a white wedding scrapbook, an easy wedding scrapbook page kit, and extra wedding scrapbook pages. Better yet, buy the books and the kits, wait for the wedding, and give the bride a belated holiday gift in the form of a scrapbook that’s already filled in!

Happy Thanksgiving From Manolo for the Brides!

From all of us here at Manolo for the Brides, may you and yours have a happy Thanksgiving with lots of lovely food and family and fun times.

Image via

Glamour Brides and All That Jazz

One of the best and worst things about shopping for a wedding dress is that you encounter so many gowns that are amazing on the hanger or would look beautiful on someone else. I know, I know. Twistie and I have both said many times that the bride-to-be should try on a variety of wedding dresses, including frocks that aren’t usually her style. Just to see because you never know. I’ve heard stories from more than one bride about finding that perfect wedding dress that was nothing like anything she would have ever imagined herself wearing.

Now of course, I get to experience this all the time. This or that wedding dress is amazing – wouldn’t wear it, couldn’t wear it, but still amazing. Which is how I’m feeling right now looking at all the brilliant 1920s inspired wedding dresses from Lindsay Fleming! Gowns like those? Not meant for busty, hippy ol’ me, but on the right bride? Magnificent! I’m not kidding when I say all her designs are delicious and made out of gorgeous stuff like sandwashed silk crepe, pure silk tulle, silk backed velvet, and other yummy stuff. Plus with all Lindsay Fleming designs, the bride can alter this or that detail to suit her own tastes. (There are more pics under the cut!)

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Is the Best Man Required to Pay for the Champagne?

A reader who wished to remain anonymous – but is nonetheless gorgeous – wrote to ask:

My friend is best man in a wedding and the groom informed him that it’s “tradition” for the best man to pay for the champagne for the wedding reception toasts. I have never heard of this, but apparently it’s the second wedding he’s been best man in, and the second time he’s been told this. Have you heard of this, or are they just trying to offload wedding costs onto the wedding party?

That is truly the oddest “wedding tradition” I have ever heard of!

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