Archive - May, 2012

Announcing Theme Week!

It’s been a while since we’ve done a theme week here at Manolo for the Brides, and I think it’s high time we did one.

So, next week there will be a theme to all posts on this blog. And that theme is….


(image via Kelly Pratt Photography)

Kiddie Week!

Yes, we’ll be talking about children and weddings. Everything from how to include them in your wedding party to how to exclude them from your guest list, plus tips on care, feeding, dressing, and general wrangling of wee folk at your shindig.

So if you’ve got a question you’d like to see covered, leave it in the comments and I’ll get to as many as I can starting sunday.

Practical Inspiration for Couples on a Budget


Imagine you have a seven thousand dollar wedding budget. Now imagine that you are holding your wedding in just seven months all the way across the country and that budget has to cover transportation and housing costs, too. Think you can’t have a pretty, meaningful wedding on that budget with those restrictions? Think again!

Chris C. Anderson shares his wedding plans and the finished results in a lovely slide show on HuffPo’s wedding page today, and it’s a delight. Of course not everyone has a family walnut ranch to use as a setting, and not everyone is willing to accept basic folding chairs to sit in. But then everyone knows someone who can do something free as a gift or at low cost, and everyone is willing to cut some generally acknowledged ‘necessity’ in order to have things they care more about.

There’s a nice break down of the expenses incurred, and some charmingly phrased prose, but most of all there are gorgeous photos of a wedding that looks like it was a lot of fun.

With most experts telling us every day that a wedding can’t be done for less than twenty grand – and that only if you’re willing to look shabby and pathetic to the world – it’s refreshing to see a couple demonstrate just how much wedding it’s possible to have for less than half that number.

Go take a look. You’ll be happy you did.

Cynthia Takes a Bride


Congratulations to Cynthia Nixon and long-time lady love Christine Marinoni who were married on sunday. The couple has been together for eight years and have a one-year-old son together.

Nixon wore a custom Caroline Herrera gown and Marinoni a black tux.

Best of luck to the happy couple!

Happy Memorial Day from Manolo for the Brides


If you or anyone you know has a loved one serving in harm’s way, may they have a swift and safe return.

Love Me, Love My Cat… Times 550


When Mr. Twistie and I first started dating, he quickly came to the realization that as long as I was in his life, there would also be cats in his life. Love me, love my cat. Period.

Our good friend the magazine editor knew the instant he got together with his now wife that large poodles would be part of the equation, so he’d better like it if he didn’t want to lose her. Now every time he says or does something that makes her go squiggle-eyed at him, we warn him he’s going to have to stop off at PoodleWorld and get another batch of standard poodles for her. She grins and nods her head eagerly every time we tease him about owing her ‘oodles of poodles.’

Both of these men resigned themselves quickly and even happily to their fates. Mr. Twistie adores Jake the kitty and the magazine editor can’t get enough of the pups.

But the fact is that the magazine editor’s wife and I also keep the pets to a reasonable level. Mr. Twistie and I have never had more than two cats at a time, and usually have only one. The magazine editor and his wife generally have two dogs, one of which is invariably a poodle.

That’s the right way to do animal loving in marriage: keep only what you have both agreed upon and can easily care for responsibly.

Unfortunately, one woman in Israel didn’t get that memo. She adopted five hundred fifty cats to live with her and her husband in their home. Oh, and he doesn’t like cats to begin with.

According to the divorce papers he has now filed, the cats blocked his access to the bathroom, swarmed him when he tried to cook dinner, and refused him access to his bed because they were sleeping on it. When he sat down to eat meals, the cats would steal his food.

The gentleman attempt reconciliation, but the wife chose the cats over him.

What else can you say but, let’s forget it.

Two Wedding-Related Articles That Make Twistie Go Ugh!


See Priscilla Chan, now married to Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook? See that ring on her finger? Yeah, apparently it’s too small and not diamond enough for The Daily Mail. Oh, and Zuckerberg clearly didn’t spend enough on the ring. You see, from one blurry photograph a jeweler estimated it might have run roughly $25,000, and that simply isn’t enough, you know.

In fact, the Mail seems highly offended by nearly every aspect of the couple’s low-key wedding, from the bride’s off the rack dress, to the sentimental choice of the brand of chocolates they shared on their first date as a wedding dessert.

Me? I firmly consider such decisions on the part of people who didn’t consult me in the matter very much Not My Business. If pressed, though, I think it’s nice that they valued sentiment over pomp and circumstance. I think it says a lot about them as a couple that Zuckerberg designed Chan’s ring, and chose something culturally significant in her background as a Chinese American to symbolize their love. I think it’s their money and they are entitled to spend it (or not spend it) in the way they choose… and I would still say that if they had thrown a massive bash to put Kim Kardashian’s lavish wedding to shame. I think how disappointed I would have been had I been forced to accept a ring at the outer limit of Mr. Twistie’s available budget rather than the ring that means so much to me simply to make people who aren’t us not snark.

To attempt to guess the price tag of the bride’s ring is crass beyond expression. To then attempt to shame the couple for holding the celebration they prefer is hideously offensive. Nobody was harmed in the creation of this wedding. In fact, the few details that have come out have frankly impressed me. Not because of the price tags or lack thereof, I hasten to add, but because it’s clear that they made their decisions based on a combination of sentiment and their personal preferences. They wrote their own vows, he designed her ring, they served food from two of their favorite restaurants, and their beloved dog walked the bride to the altar.

Just because a couple has money doesn’t obligate them to spend it on a wedding that will then make the Daily Mail chastise them for not sending the money to feed starving children or blast them for being so hypocritical as to want a party for a significant life change. Because you know what? Whatever they did, some media outlet or other was going to poke fun at them or shake an angry fist at them. When you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t… do what feels right and most authentic to you.

But while the Mail was pointing fingers and laughing at a couple for not wasting money on a celebration they didn’t want, the Telegraph ran a story on a terrifying and hideous new wedding accessory that would have The Manolo crying AAAIIIYYYYY! and begging for a cold compress for his feverish brow as he retires to his tastefully decorated chamber: bridal UGGs.

Yes, UGG has released a line of bridal footwear which is simply their usual comfort over style footwear only embellished with sequins and honking rhinestones. Oh, and a rather frightening pair of furry flip flops that I was concerned might eat my feet through the computer monitor. Don’t believe me? Check this out:

UGG. The most appropriately-named shoe company in the world.

LOVE/HATE: Huge Centerpieces?


When it comes to reception centerpieces, there are brides who feel elegance and appropriate decorum require a massive display like this in the center of each table.

Me? I gotta say I HATE those centerpieces. They’re impossible to converse around. I might have a fighting chance, but then I’m pretty short. I can duck under the branches on a lot of them. But Mr. Twistie is tall. And these things often branch out in width, as well as in height. My poor beloved finds himself spitting out ivy and rose petals every time he opens his mouth, or in grave danger of his moustache catching fire if there are candles involved.

I know where the concept came from. It came from Victorian dinner party extravaganzas. Those tables often featured huge, florid arrangements of flowers in massive silver, glass, or ceramic display pieces. Guests would enter the hall, ooh and aah over the centerpieces as they found their seats, and tell the people sitting on either side how impressive they were.

Then – and this is the bit most people don’t know anymore – the servants (usually the footmen) would come and remove the centerpieces from the table so that conversation was possible.

Any rebuttals? Additions to my chorus?

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