Archive for June, 2012

Kid Week Quickie Question: Best/Worst Kid Moment?

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

Welcome to the final installment of Kid Week at Manolo for the Brides. Sorry about yesterday, but WordPress kept spitting me out. Ah well, better late than never.

Love ’em or hate ’em, there’s one thing for certain: kids get colorful at weddings. Whether as guests, or as participants, I’m betting most of us have at least one story about kids at a wedding. Me? I’ve got dozens!

Of course I do have my favorites.

Probably my single favorite comes from a wedding where most of the guests were seriously leery about the chances of the couple in question making a go of things for any significant period of time. They had barely known one another when they got engaged, it would be generous to describe the bride as a tidge on the flighty side, and the groom… well, let’s just say most of us didn’t think he was going to roll well with the punches of life with the lady in question. We loved her, so we did our best to be supportive, but in the backs of our minds (and, I regret to say, with the actual tongues in our heads albeit very very quietly in corners where the bride couldn’t hear us) we were all calculating the odds for a speedy divorce.

So the ceremony got underway and the officiant asked if anyone could raise a legitimate objection to the union. At that precise moment, a babe in arms who had been peacefully snoozing, woke up and started howling at the tops of its tiny lungs.

As it turns out, the baby was right. The couple filed for divorce less than two years later.

Out of the mouths of babes.

So what about you? Do you have a memorable moment – good or bad – involving children at a wedding? Tell us all about it!

Kid Week: Keeping Small Guests Happy

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Welcome to day four of Kid Week at Manolo for the Brides! Enjoy your stay.

(Illustration via Yuba City Wedding Photography)

There’s an art to keeping wedding guests happy, but it’s really not that difficult once you know the trick: think like a guest. Think about what has made you feel welcomed and happy, and then do those sorts of things. Think about what made you feel bored, confused, or unwelcome and avoid those things. It isn’t 100% foolproof, of course, since where one person finds something charming and inviting… another finds it hokey or off-putting. Still, thinking of the comfort of other people puts you well ahead of the game. A much higher percentage of people will come away having enjoyed themselves if you’ve made their happiness a priority.

The thing is, that goes double with children.

They’re smaller, so their physical needs may be more demanding. They have less patience and stamina, so one needs to consider pacing and opportunities for rest. They’re less experienced, so their concerns about things that are too unfamiliar need to be addressed.

But don’t panic. A few simple choices can help you make sure even your youngest guests feel welcome and special.

Kid Week: Dressing Tiny Attendants

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Welcome to day three of Kid Week here at Manolo for the Brides. Enjoy your stay!

When you’re the one getting married, you do have a certain amount of power. For instance, if you want to dress up small boys like this:

(via Pegeen)

… or small girls like this:

(via Landy Wedding Dress)

… well, that is your right and you can make them do it. But it behooves us to keep in mind that Frances Hodgeson Burnett’s son never, ever forgave his mother for making him dress like her fictional hero, Little Lord Fauntleroy, and that was nearly a hundred and thirty years ago. Imagine the horror of being an eight year old boy today and having the school bully find a picture of you in satin knickers!

Do you really want to do that to a child?

And I imagine that while many a little girl would be pretty swept away when that gown first arrived, they would quickly and painfully learn why it is that strapless is for girls who are old enough to have developed secondary sexual characteristics. I’ll just leave it at that.

The key to using the power you have is to exercise it in such a way that you are considered a benevolent despot rather than the jack-booted offspring of a raging bull and a weasel.

Dressing small children in ways that keep them comfortable and don’t entirely empty their parents’ pocketbooks is one of those smart ways of exercising power. I’ll show you some ideas for that.

Kid Week: Wrangling Ring Bearers and Flower Girls

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Welcome to the second installment of Kids Week at Manolo for the Brides! Enjoy!

(Photo via Amado Photo)

Nothing produces an ‘awww factor’ at a wedding faster than a flower girl and/or ring bearer.

Lets face it, a small child walking up the aisle in dress up clothes is a super cute concept to most people. Add in quirky little personalities, and the happy couple may find themselves temporarily upstaged.

But those quirky little personalities and the dress up clothes can and sometimes do add up to some potentially problematic moments.

Kid Week: To Invite, or Not to Invite

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Welcome to Kid Week at Manolo for the Brides. All week long we’ll be discussing the who, the how, the why, and the whether of having kids at your wedding.

The eye of the beholder is a powerful thing. For instance, that photo above? Depending on who’s looking at it, it might represent adorable kids being themselves in a super cute way… or it might represent imminent disaster costing significant cleaning bills and a possible trip to the ER.

And you know what? Both parties are absolutely right.

Some people feel that a wedding without children present is a hideous affront to the institution of marriage. And there are also people who feel that allowing a single child to attend makes a mockery of an adult celebration.

And you know what? Both parties are absolutely wrong.

Your marriage is taken neither more nor less seriously depending on whether you have children in attendance. The legality and spiritual significance do not change one iota depending on whether you have a flower girl or not.

In short, it’s an issue of preference, nothing more.

So if it’s just a matter of preference, how do you decide if you’re on the proverbial fence?

Love Through Rose Colored Goggles

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

Once upon a time, there were two boys.

Well, maybe not those boys and not quite that long ago.

Still, two boys who met and became good friends. For years they were quite close.

Alas! Over the years they eventually drifted apart. It wasn’t any one thing or on purpose, but it happened nonetheless. Still, they never forgot one another.

Well, a few weeks ago, Mr. Twistie and his childhood friend found one another again on Facebook… and it turned out John was about to get married.

And so it was that yesterday Mr. Twistie and I repaired to the Benicia Clock Tower to attend our first ever steampunk wedding.


Body Blow to DOMA

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Yesterday the First Circuit Court in Boston dealt a major blow to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). In a unanimous decision, the court ruled that the denial of federal benefits to legally married same sex couples is unconstitutional.

The benefits section was the only part the court ruled on, and the case is expected to go on to the Supreme Court. What’s more, the decision of the court will not go into effect until the decision is either ratified by the Supreme Court, or that body chooses to refuse to hear the case. If the Supreme Court passes, the ruling will go into effect for only the states covered by the First Circuit Court: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, and New Hampshire. Puerto Rico is also covered by the First.

The road to equal protection under the law has often been bumpy. It still is. But this is the second federal court to rule aspects of DOMA unconstitutional. It’s my considered opinion – as well as my fervent hope – that DOMA will one day soon (in legal terms, at any rate) go the way of the dodo bird.

Frankly, I’d rather have those birds.