Archive - January, 2011

GIVEAWAY: A Box of Donsuemor Madeleines!

After I posted my Donsuemor madeleine review last week, the company graciously offered to do a giveaway of their limited edition heart shaped madeleines. These are the same gourmet madeleines that so tickled my fancy transformed for Valentine’s day. Cute!

You *could*give these sweet madeleines to your sweetie if you win the giveaway, but as someone who ended up having to share with a cookie-loving toddler, I recommend keeping them. And eating them all at once while watching a series of wedding-themed movies. You know, to de-stress!

Win It!
The nice people at Donsuemor are offering one lucky commenter a sample box of their delish heart-shaped madeleines – chocolate, chocolate dipped original, and white chocolate dipped chocolate. To enter, just leave a comment telling us whether you plan to share your madeleines or eat them all yourself! I think you know my preference.

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

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 like both Donsuemor and Manolo for the Brides on Facebook

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 Thursday, February 3, and the winner – chosen via your friend and mine, the trusty random number generator – will be announced on Friday. Good luck!

Planning a Wedding a Full-Time Job?

I recently read this assertion in a People.com piece about Kate Middleton quitting her job at her parents’ party supply company:

“As every bride knows, with just a few months to go before the big day, planning a wedding practically becomes a full-time job.”

Does that strike anyone else as a little insulting? Or at least patronizing? Absolutely, planning a wedding takes a lot of time. And unfortunately, for a lot of brides-to-be, that time is tallied in weekend hours and lunch hours and evening hours. But if it’s taking you eight hours a day, five days a week, I really hope you are getting paid to plan someone else’s lavish, multi-day reception, not your own ceremony and reception.

I know that planning a wedding can feel like a full-time job, especially on those days when you need to call up or email multiple vendors and make final decisions regarding fabric colors and so on, but planning a wedding is also a waiting game. There is A LOT of downtime involved in planning a wedding, and I sincerely hope that People hasn’t given otherwise calm brides-to-be a reason to stress by implying that they’re not doing enough if they’re not devoting hours and hours to the wedding.

Some Unusual Proposals Work… Some Don’t


Here at Manolo for the Brides, we are delighted with imagination and creativity. Because of that, I have to give it up for Greg, a Cincinnati gentleman who chose to offer his lady love, Dana, his heart through a Groupon coupon.

The bride-elect was offered a 100% discount on the deal, but of course there’s some fine print:

Nontransferable. Groupon entitled to no less than 15% of your marital bliss. Either party may develop a snoring problem. One or both participants will not always look like a 20-year-old. Good luck, you kids.

The lady said yes. I wish them both all happiness.

On the less successful end of the imaginative proposal scale, we find Anna Perez of Chicago who chose the truly unique tack of calling 911 as her boyfriend was trying to break up with her in hopes that the police would convince him to marry her instead.

The gentleman was not amused. Neither were the police. Perez remains single.

Cookies On Your Cake? And Other Neat Ideas

The beautiful people at Donsuemor sent me a sweet challenge: In exchange for a sample box of their madeleines, they wanted me to think of all the ways you could use them in a wedding. Now am I really going to think of ALL the ways? Er, I think that would get a little more offbeat than I want to get. But I can think of plenty of fun wedding-y things to do with Donsuemor madeleines! (Which, I should add, are excellent. Madeleines are actually my favorite cookies, so I have pretty high standards. And La Paloma? She is still sad that we ate through the samples.)

Omigosh. Madeleines on a wedding cake. It’s like two of my favorite things are rubbing up against each other in some sort of delicious dance. I can’t decide if I’d tried to get cake and cookie in a single bite, or if I’d eat the madeleines first. Donsuemor has five kinds of madeleine, so brides and grooms shouldn’t run into flavor fatigue.

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Another Nerdy Proposal

This came to my attention in an email from the beautiful Jeanette and I wanted to post it here so my friend Kristina would see it. She’s a big fan of the game Munchkin and this is the first ever Munchkin proposal I’ve ever seen:

If you’re familiar with Munchkin, this is one way to use the ‘Make your own card’ card that comes with the game. I’d put this right up there with other nerdy proposals we’ve featured here at Manolo for the Brides, like the Chrono Trigger hack and the Twitter proposal. The nerdy proposal may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if it works for you, then it works for you!

Was your proposal a nerdy one?

You Can’t Please Everyone, So Don’t Worry About Pleasing the People Who Aren’t Invited to the Wedding

Maybe you happened to hear about Cliff Ranson and Elizabeth Fischer, the New Jersey couple who were married at a Dunkin Donuts last month? They love coffee, they love doughnuts, and they happen to roll through the drive-thru of that particular Dunkin Donuts at least once a day. It’s actually one of two weddings they’ll have – they’re planning a larger affair for September of this year, but they didn’t want to wait to say their vows and thus, the Dunkin Donuts wedding.

“It’s the first wedding ever in a Dunkin’ Donuts, I believe,” said franchisee Paresh Patel. “We’re very happy for them.” He and his cousin Sam Patel, who is co-owner, presented the newlyweds with a gift basket of coffee and his-and-her mugs, boxes of doughnuts, and a lottery ticket. Patel also promised to make the doughnut cake for the September celebration.

It’s the wedding Ranson and Fischer wanted for the moment, and they got it. Even if for some reason it turns out to be the only wedding they have, they won’t be any less married because they said their wedding vows in a shop selling coffee and doughtnuts. Heck, I’ve posted about wedding in bowling alleys, ceremonies in the sky, a marriage between a woman and a dolphin, and weddings in everything from a dollar store to Taco Bell. It’s not like choosing to get married in a fast food joint is all that unusual these days!

Sure, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea – or coffee – but if the bride and groom or bride and bride or groom and groom are happy, then I’m happy. But I guess I’m in some kind of less-than-vocal minority, because some of the comments on the articles about this particular caffeinated couple are downright mean. “These two are quite possible the biggest morons I have ever heard of.” and “Gee, I wonder why their fist marriages didn’t work out?” and “i think they are following the lead of our fat boy governor and eating and eating and eating.” and “Gotta be Republicans!!” (Whatever that means…)

What can brides-to-be and their partners take away from a story like this? Simply that there’s always going to be some jerk somewhere who could find some way to make fun of your wedding. I don’t care how classy you are, how much you spend, that you have incredible taste, or are hiring Colin Cowie to design your wedding. Jerks can always find something negative to say. So don’t plan your wedding for the jerks! Plan a wedding that YOU will love and that your guests will enjoy, but don’t worry about pleasing people who won’t even be there. Like random Internet commenters, for example. After all, who cares what someone who’s not even invited to your wedding thinks about it? Those are not ever the people you should be thinking about when planning a wedding.

Shower Ideas for the Non-Girly Bride

The lovely E. wrote to me with the following question:

Might you have any suggestions for bridal shower ideas/activities for a pair of non-girly brides? I’m co-throwing a shower and having a planning session soon! Thanks! :)

Questions like this are always a little tough for me, because I don’t actually know these particular non-girly brides. Maybe my idea of a great non-girly bridal shower might not be how bride-to-be 1 and bride-to-be 2 would like to celebrate their upcoming nuptials. So my first piece of advice for you, E., is to go with your gut. You know these brides and how they like to party, you understand how they think and you care about them, and most importantly, you probably know what they don’t like. In other words, just because every ‘how to host a bridal shower‘ guide out there is telling you to do X, Y, and Z doesn’t mean you actually should.

Personally, I am a fan of the non-shower shower – the kind of bridal shower that doesn’t try too hard to be pink and frilly and nightmarishly silly with hats and games that make the whole thing feel more like a kid’s party than an event for grownup people. And planning a bridal shower like this means veering away from the generic bridal shower and instead, choosing a location, activities, food, and themes that will actually appeal to the guest of honor. That, of course, is where these non-girly brides’ personalities come in. I am definitely going to offer you some suggestions, but if none of them sound like they would appeal to your friends, then use them as a jumping off point. Think of my suggestions as templates and do with them what you will.

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