Archive for July, 2011

LOVE/HATE: The Flashdance Edition

Friday, July 22nd, 2011


First impressions, from my end: NOOOOOOO. Do not want. Maybe I’ll write a letter to Dessy letting them know that a huge bias ruffle trim at the neck – paired with what looks like a giant elastic belt, no less – isn’t going to flatter any bridesmaid ever. Look, maybe I’m just against this because I was a little kid in the 80s and the fashion of the day scared me. But I don’t think so. Hating the nouveau 80s bridesmaid dresses with a passion over here.

Would YOU wear it willingly? Or subject your bridesmaids to it?

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something… Sentimental?

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Grandma's gown turned into fabric roses for a bridal bouquet? Sentimentalicious!

Everyone is always saying blah blah it’s all about the bride blah blah. Almost everyone, anyway. And it’s not like the media is much help there when it comes to combating the idea that weddings turn women into self-absorbed harpies. But I know and you know that they don’t. In the six years I’ve been writing here, I have read many touching and beautiful comments from people planning weddings and thinking about just about everyone else before themselves. Which isn’t to say you can’t go too far in one direction or the other. Have the wedding you want, right, but keep in mind that weddings are typically family affairs. That way, everybody wins.

Some brides and grooms in thinking of others while planning weddings go above and beyond he’s vegan and she’ll need a wheelchair ramp and so on, and think of ways to incorporate the past into the weddings of the present. For some, that means a couple choosing a wedding theme based on the adventures they’ve had and the destinations they’ve visited. For other people, it might mean wearing mom’s wedding dress or carrying one’s late grandfather’s handkerchief during the ceremony. There are lots of sentimental touches that can make a wedding feel extra special, from memorial photo charms woven into a bouquet stem ribbon to having the groom’s initials embroidered into the lining of the bride’s dress to making a group vow renewal part of your wedding ceremony.

But that’s not all. There are probably an infinite number of sentimental touches that can be incorporated into a wedding. Me? I was the aforementioned handkerchief carrier. Now you tell us: What are YOU doing to make your wedding that much more special?

What to Do About a Reluctant Ring Bearer

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Captured by Edward Olive Fotógrafo de boda Madrid Barcelona

Aren’t kids in weddings just too cute? Admit it. They are, but they’re especially cute when they aren’t pitching a fit at the foot of the aisle because they’ve suddenly found themselves staring out into a sea of strangers. How often does that actually happen? Enough to make it a worthwhile topic to touch on, I think. And with that in mind, here are my very own five tips for dealing with a reluctant ring bearer of your own:

1. Avoid reluctant ring bearers altogether by choosing one that is outgoing yet polite, and old enough to understand what he’s being asked to do. Books like 10 Cool Things About Being a Ring Bearer and The Best Ever Ring Bearer can help you give your prospective ring bearer a taste of the roll. Does he seem interested? Enthusiastic? Unsure? Make sure he knows he can opt out.

2. Don’t expect the moon from any ring bearer – especially if you’ve chosen a really young ring bearer or a shy one or one who’s normally outgoing but hasn’t yet been tested for confidence in a room full of strangers. Walking down an aisle with lots of strangers on either side? Easy for most adults. Utterly terrifying for some children. If your reluctant ring bearer makes it from point A to point B without bawling, flopping down on the aisle runner, or making a break for the door, consider it a job well done.


Super Awwww

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Just because I was okay with a plain, no frills proposal of marriage doesn’t mean I don’t go all gooey inside when I see creative marriage proposals like this one by 28-year-old Jeff Gurwin, who got his graffiti on when he popped the question to 27-year-old Caitlin Fitzsimons. It wasn’t only an incredibly sweet proposal all on its own; it was also a lot of fun to watch the making-of video.

Especially fun, I think, because Caitlin answered Jeff’s graffiti marriage proposal in the affirmative. Always nice to have a happy ending! Now, who hasn’t chimed in before and wants to share their proposal stories?

The Only “Wedding Must-Have” Is Love (and Sometimes Refreshments, Too)

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Obviously, I am down with wedding planning books – I even wrote one myself, hint hint – but sometimes when I am flipping through one* I just want to toss the darn thing across the room. The same goes for bridal magazines, and I am sometimes even tempted to chuck my laptop when reading wedding blogs. Why? Because of all the wedding must-haves. The must-have wedding accessories. Must-have bridal beauty products. The must-have entertainment and food and stationery. What do all these things have in common? Apparently, you MUST have them. I’m not sure what happens if you don’t have them, but I can just imagine all the poor brides-to-be who were too scared to find out!

Poo poo to that, I say. Perhaps you’ve noticed a distinct lack of ‘must haves’ here at Manolo for the Brides, and there’s a good reason for that. We’re just not big believers in must-haves, and not simply because our must-haves will no doubt be different from your must-haves and her must-haves and his must-haves. Even among couples, there are clashes when must-haves come up.

Found elsewhere but I think these came froim

That’s why today, instead of showing you a dress or a wedding cake or some other nuptially-themed doo dad that someone, somewhere is probably telling you that you must have, I just want to remind you that the only real wedding must-haves are LOVE and, if you’re having guests, REFRESHMENTS. I say if, because it’s entirely possible to have a wedding sans wedding guests, and then as long as you’re paying your officiant and not asking him or her to stick around and watch you dance, you’re off the hook when it comes to feeding anyone other than yourselves. And you might not be all that hungry. So mostly love. Heck, even the officiant is not technically a must-have, since not everyone craves a legal wedding – maybe in your tradition, the one you just made up maybe, you just look at your honey and both say “We’re married!” three times and then you are. It’s not for me to say you’re not!

What “wedding must-haves” have you scratching your soon-to-be-veiled/coiffed/otherwise adorned head?

*Yes, I do this, and I consider it a perk of my profession. So there. Oh, P.S., the original source for the pic above said the invites were a combo of personalized designs and stuff from Wedding Paper Divas, who I love.

Now’s Your Chance: Ask NtB Anything

Friday, July 15th, 2011

It has been an extra super rough month at my house, with everyone getting sick over and over, lots of late nights for The Beard and thus for me, and plenty of toddler tantrums, plus prepping for travel and then actual travel. In fact, I’m writing this from the distant past, and when you read it, I’ll be not in my normal home base of the northeastern U.S., but rather in my maternal family’s home base of northern Germany. How’s that for a change? If you’ve been thinking my posts have been light on text and light on photos, now you know why. Today’s post? No exception. Things are actually going to get lighter here in the hope that things will get heavier in the comments. Perhaps I should explain myself.

Ever wonder about me? Here’s me:

This is Christa aka Never teh Bride. Now you know.

Since I am always curious about my favorite bloggers, I thought that some of you might be curious about me. That is, if I may be so presumptuous. Bride blogging and blogging about weddings tends to focus on the outward, not the inward, so I’m usually not writing about myself and my own. But that’s going to change, at least in one upcoming post, because I’m opening myself up to YOUR QUESTIONS. Anything you’re curious about. How I got into blogging, for example. How I started making money doing it. Why I call The Beard “The Beard”. Writing a book. My dress size, favorite ice cream flavor, or how many cups of coffee I drink in a day. Or go the other way, and hit me with some wedding planning doozies.

What’s off limits? Pretty much nothing that falls outside of the underpants and bedroom zone. No kidding – I’m sure you can figure out a way to drag me into TMI territory. (It’s really not that hard.)

Go ahead, ask me your questions and I’ll tell you no lies! I figure I’ll keep comments open until the 25th or so, by which time I’ll be back in the US and surely in a open and earnest kind of mood. Look for the follow up sometime around then!

Quick Tip: Don’t Forget Your Wedding DAY Timeline

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

What comes next? People are starting to complain! How did I even get here?

Brides lucky enough to have a full-time planner handling the big day deets and those who’ve hired wedding day coordinators can stop reading because they don’t have to worry about who needs to be where when. The rest of us? Need a plan. And that plan is the wedding day timeline – not to be confused with the wedding planning timeline – a list of happenings, times, and possibly people that gives you a general outline of how the wedding day will play out.

While some couples play it fast and loose with the wedding day timeline, some wedding day timelines are broken down in five minute increments. Especially during the reception when you may be moving from first dance to father-daughter dance to mother-son dance to dinnertime pretty quickly. This will help you and your wedding party keep it together, of course, but it will also be helpful for your mc so she or he doesn’t miss any cues.

Why do so many people forget about the wedding day timeline? Probably because we do – and by we, I mean wedding experts. We get so immersed in the planning side of things that we forget that the planning is leading up to an actual event that also needs attention. So that’s my tip: Make sure that you either make yourself a wedding day timeline spreadsheet in advance of the big day or choose a wedding planning workbook (like the Ultimate Wedding Workbook) that includes one!