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There’s Nothing Harder Than Saying Goodbye

It’s time for me to make a difficult announcement. To indulge in a spot of cliché, I’m not sure how to say it, so I’ll just come right out with it.

I’m resigning from Manolo for the Brides and Manolo for the Home.

During my time writing for Manolo for the Brides and Manolo for the Home, I’ve grown personally and professionally. When The Manolo took a chance and hired me to be a member of his team, I was a small-time journalist and freelance writer who’d started a blog mainly to complain about a boyfriend who was unwilling to get married. Now I’m a published author who’s married and a mom, and my accomplishments at Manolo for the Brides and Manolo for the Home have been the door openers to numerous interesting and lucrative opportunities.

I have loved every minute of writing for The Manolo. These blogs have been my introduction to entire worlds of design, fashion, etiquette, and more, not to mention my introduction to hundreds of awesome and amazing people. Reading your comments, receiving your emails, and answering your questions has been the very best part of bring a wedding planning blogger and then a home and lifestyle blogger.

But taking August off was eye opening for me. Between blogging, caring for a toddler, piles of contract work, the maintenance of a home, and trying to build a brand from the ground up, I was pulled in too many directions to be able to give my full attention to any one thing for any length of time, and I suddenly realized every part of my life had been suffering as a result.

When that’s happening, something has to give.

After weeks and weeks of thought, I finally made the decision to resign as Editor-in-Chief of Manolo for the Brides and Manolo for the Home. As you might imagine, it wasn’t an easy decision. I’ve been writing here since October 5, 2005, so these blogs have been a huge part of not just my life, but also who I am. The choice I’ve made is a bittersweet one – I’m going to miss writing here terribly, but it’s undeniable that it’s time to lighten my load before I drown in responsibilities.

Where will I go from here? Currently, I’m working on building my editorial services business, Christa Terry’s Editorialicious. But feel free to ‘like’ me! I’m still in the process of adding and editing all the copy on the web site and it’s not finalized (read: proofread) yet – plus everything on the Facebook and Twitter pages – but if you know anyone who’s looking for newsletter copy, SEO copy, editing, PR, or other content development services, send them my way. Other than that, I’m focusing on my family and giving myself some time to evaluate what I want to do next.

I’ll be thinking about all of you and wishing you the best for your weddings and your lives, and don’t hesitate to drop me a line at christa d terry at gmail if you ever just want to chat. Seriously, I’d love to hear from you because I’m going to miss you all terribly.

All the best,
Christa aka Never the Bride

P.S. – You can always see what yours truly is up to or just stalk my private life on my blog.

christa terry

Guest Post: Courtney Price of Courtney Price Photography!

Hi all! I recently asked Courtney Price, an amazing Northwest WA wedding photographer, to share her five favorite wedding photos. And she did, yay! Here’s what she sent:

When I was asked to write about my five favorite wedding photos, my brain went nuts. It did not narrow the field to five. My brain was not helpful.

Upon further contemplation, I decided that this could be a great learning experience! Really thinking about what I like and why I like it. And maybe it will help some future brides decide what they like… guiding them to make a great choice of a photographer? I hope so!

Without further ado, in no particular order

Number one comes from a recent wedding:

These images were taken in Tacoma, WA near the museum of glass (blown by the amazing Chihuly). We got gobs of colorful, glassy gorgeous shots… but this one sticks out to me. Why? It’s all about the look in the bride’s eye. That’s love! It’s something that you can’t fake and can’t pose. It just happens.

Sometimes, a photographer will want you to forget they are there. Seriously. Forget them! You’ll love the natural results.


This is my sister. How could this not be a favorite? I know their story and that this is a very happy ending.

Maybe that’s why I’m in the business? I LOVE HAPPY ENDINGS.


Dreamy and magical. Boom! Love it.


You can’t always control the lighting on your wedding day, but your photographer should (okay, MUST… don’t let ______ with the “good” camera take your pictures!) be able to find some pockets, no matter the day or weather, that make it work. Great light makes everyone look fabulous!

And fifth, drum-roll…
I’m going to choose another of the couple above from their engagement session. Mostly because lots of people have pointed out to me that they love this one. One person said, “I can just tell that he loves her so much!” Again, it was just a quick moment as I was backing away to frame another shot, I whipped my camera up and boom! There it was.

Thanks for letting me share Christa! That was fun!

~Courtney Price, Northwest WA wedding photographer

Ask NtB Anything: The Answers!

Last month, I invited y’all to ask me anything and you did. Sorry it’s taken me so long to answer! It’s been a busy summer, but I finally found a free moment today and did not want to disappoint. Enjoy!

You asked, I answered!

Auntie M
So the last time I saw you was in NYC with a bunch of drunken nuts. I’m so glad to have reconnected, and I’m glad you asked us to ask. I’ve been wondering: How *did* Genus become NtB and a wedding expert?

Oh, it’s a silly little story, and a none too exciting one, if I’m honest about it. I’d like to say that my enormous talent and wit attracted scads of attention, and so the wedding industry practically begged me to join up. But the reality is that I set up a little personal blog just to complain that The Beard was dragging his feet on the whole marriage issue. A few comments on the Manolo’s Shoe Blog later, and he asked me to come on board to head up his bridal blog. As for expertise, that came later, along with writing a book and lots of other nice things like freebies and invitations to events and friendships (online and offline) with tons of amazing people.

Do you think there’s any way to plan a $5,000 wedding any more? Even small numbers doing things on the fly, it’s only seeming doable if we do it at the court house and go directly home for bologna sammies afterward. Am I being unrealistic? ALSO: What’s your favorite color? Just ’cause I wanted to throw an easy one in there after that doozy. Ooh! And: what’s your dream honeymoon locale?

Let’s get the easy ones out of the way first: my favorite color is black and my dream honeymoon would probably be an African photo safari. Mainly because it’s the one destination I can think of that’s absolutely out of my price range at the present time and is simply a no-go scheduling wise at the moment.

As for the $5,000 wedding, I do think they’re still possible, but that is provided you have the time, the DIY skills, and the steely determination to pull it all off. Knowing what you want – and I mean exactly what you want – and not having caviar dreams on a Carvel budget can also make a $5,000 wedding a reality. The downside of the $5,000 that is more than just a backyard party is that it takes a lot of work.

Think wedding planning is stressful when your main to-dos involve choosing between option X and option Y? Imagine staying up long into the night to decoupage labels onto the mason jars you spent three weekends thrifting and trying to get your printer to stop eating your homemade labels. Then imagine doing that over and over again, just with different projects and sets of problems. I know, I know… there are people out there for whom the thought of designing and making every tiny part of a wedding sounds like heaven. I just happen to not be one of those people (though sometimes I secretly wish I was).

Okay, I’ll bite: how many cups of coffee do you drink in an average day? Regular Joe, Rocket Fuel, or the Dreaded Unleaded? Cream? Sugar? Unleaded sweetener? Black like the remnants of my tattered soul? What? I’m a Virgo! I’m all about the details.

Oh, coffee… father, mother, secret lover. If I take you to mean standard mugs, probably between 7 and 10 before lunch. Lately I’ve been trying to cut out coffee in the p.m. hours, simply because I feel that water leaves me feeling more hydrated and energetic. As for flavor and strength preferences, when it comes to typical American coffee I go for the Regular Joe and I like it black like the remnants of your tattered soul, yes. 😉

I have always wondered why you call him The Beard. I certainly have my suspicions, but I’d like to know the real reason. Also, is Paloma a family name because it is beautiful. I really like it.

I call The Beard “The Beard” simply because way back in the day when I started blogging about how my boyfriend didn’t want to get married and how that made him a big jerkface, keeping things anonymous felt like the way to go. Also, he has a beard.

As for Paloma, it’s not a family name – we’re not even Spanish! The reality is so boring. It was just the only name we came across that we both liked. Up until Paloma, we’d get close but were never on the same page. For example, I liked Chloe, he liked Zoe. He liked the name Meredith, and I said “No naming our baby after your exes, thanks.” That sort of thing. However, what’s funny is that Paloma was almost born in Spain. We were back for about a week and a half when I went into premature labor!

What’s your parenting style? What do you want most for your daughter as she grows up? How will you help her achieve it?

That’s a toughie! I like to call myself a hands-off dictator with a penchant for free-range kids. Mostly, I let La Paloma lead the way – particularly when it comes to developmental tasks like learning to use the potty or eating new foods. Basically, I don’t like to structure her world too much because I don’t like to imbue my own with too much structure, and soon enough she’ll be operating within the confines of the school day and then the work day. In our household we don’t make a lot of rules for rules’ sake. BUT when it comes to safety and health and basic courtesy and so on, I rule the roost. When it’s important,
I don’t hesitate to gently enforce that I get the final say, but I also will explain – over and over – why I make the rules I do.

I guess what I want most for La Paloma in the future is that she DOES what makes her happy and brings her satisfaction. Too many people have dreams that they never pursue, and I think that is the cause of a lot of unhappiness in adults. Pursuing dreams and passions is hard in that it usually takes a lot of DOING. Currently, La Paloma’s big dreams involve figuring out how to get people to give her chocolate, so at the moment, I am just trying to lead by example even though she doesn’t really understand what I’m doing most of the time. Still, she seems me engaging in a wide variety of activities, some of which I let her help with. As she gets older and her dreams get a bit more complex, I will do whatever is in my power to expose her to the wider world of those dreams through education, exposure to the professional side of her dreams, encouragement, and so on.

How many pairs of shoes and boots are in your closet?


Uncle Fester
If you are driving your car at the speed of light and you turn on the headlights, what happens? How old should a highway be before you tell it that it’s adopted?

Awesome questions, Uncle Fester! For the first, nothing since achieving light speed travel is impossible. But traveling at speeds at fraction away from the speed of light? Since the speed of light is constant for any inertial observer, I assume the headlights would simply operate normally.

And for the second, I think that’s okay to start offering up age-appropriate materials to your adopted highway – picture books, for example – whenever you feel your highway is developmentally ready for that kind of information.

A Little Taste of the Inmaculada García 2012 Bridal Collection

Hi, all! Just thought I’d pop by because I was so inspired by the Inmaculada García 2012 bridal collection that I just had to share. What really struck me about it is how different all of the wedding dresses in the collection are – sure, there’s the usual ration of strapless wedding dresses to wedding dresses with sleeves (and detailing that resembles sleeves), but there are also all kinds of neat things like amazing brooches, botanical embellishments, wide almost stringy netting, and more. Yet I wouldn’t call this collection quirky so much as I would call it pretty. Inmaculada García’s 2012 bridal collection isn’t for everyone, I think, but if you’re a bride who’s looking for something a little different but still beautiful and feminine, it might just be for you!

Francoise features a really stunning and definitely different brooch just under the bust

Rousse has an absolutely fascinating double hem and botanical overlay on the bodice


Invitees: What to Do When the Right Response Isn’t Clear

If they didn't want you there, one hopes they wouldn't have invited you.

Though we mainly address our wisdoms to brides-to-be, we don’t like to neglect the needs of wedding guests and prospective wedding guests. How to respond to a wedding invitation can be just as tricky as writing one, and that goes double when someone who’s been invited to a wedding is unsure whether she or he should happily accept or decline with regrets. Here’s a question we received a few years back – I felt like this post needed to see the light of day again in case other invited wedding guests out there were on the fence as to whether yes or no is the right response. That said, here’s the question posed by a prospective guest:

I was recently sent a “save the date” card by a friend who is, well, no longer really a friend. Not that we had a falling out, but we don’t really travel in the same social circles anymore. However, I was in the couple’s life when they became a couple, and I’m so happy for the two of them. I’m not sure what to do. I wonder if she invited me because she felt she should because I knew about the wedding? I wonder if I’ll just feel terribly socially awkward the whole time? I wonder if people will think I accepted just to get a free meal, rather than to celebrate the union of these two people? Would the bride be happier if I accepted or if I declined?

To anyone,anywhere contemplating an invitation to an event they’d rather not attend, I say this: Not replying at all is a dis of the highest order. While it might seem that dragging one’s feet until it’s far to late to reply is the easiest option, there are some things polite people simply do not do. That’s not to say I was suggesting that either party who wrote to me would do such a thing. Far from it! It’s simply a gem of truth that bears repeating now and again.

If you feel uncomfortable accepting an invitation to a bridal tea, bridal shower, or wedding, then by all means decline. There is nothing discourteous or ungracious about saying, “No.” When it comes to the invites to the main event, it’s usually as easy as pie…at least I’ve never seen a response card that reads “______ declines with regrets, now tell us why in 500 words or less _________.” If you’re asked to RSVP via phone or the individual doing the inviting just has to know why you can’t attend, things get stickier.


In NYC Tomorrow? Check Out the Pop Up Chapel!

Pop-up weddings, a celebration of FINALLY getting there!

For those who happen to be in New York City tomorrow and want a first-hand look at the happiness marriage equality can bring should head over to Merchant’s Gate in Central Park between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.. There you’ll find the Pop Up Chapel, which will host 24 elegant and customized weddings with help from the wedding experts at The Knot. What’s the Pop Up Chapel all about? According to the website:

“Our goal was to provide beautiful weddings that reflect the importance of the commitment our couples are making while providing a symbol of marriage equality for the entire city to celebrate.”

The Pop Up Chapel – two chapels, in fact – is providing a legal officiant, wedding photographer, ceremony decorations, and refreshments for the 24 lucky couples who reserved spots early (and their allotted 12 wedding guests), while the event itself will benefit charities that support LGBTQI youth. How did it all come together so fast? Volunteers, donations, planning experts, and a contest that asked architects to submit design entries for the 8 feet by 8 feet mini-altars that the winner will get funds to build. That’s how.

“This is basically wedding planning on steroids,” Carley Roney, Pop Up Chapel organizer, told the Times.

As for how you can get a look at this fun, spontaneous, and joyful nuptial event, the answer is respectfully. Spectators are welcome, the organizers of the Pop Up Chapel ask that they stick to designated areas. These are people’s weddings, after all!

On the Big Day, Be Sure You Know the Words

All right, my lovelies, I cannot even begin to describe how fantastic this is. When a friend first passed it on to me, I assumed it was just a video made to look like a wedding. But no, as it turns out, there is – or was, since the video isn’t new – a company called LOCKDOWN that billed itself as specializing in wedding lip sync videos featuring brides and grooms and wedding parties and guests all participating. Have a look:

The best part is that this particular video made the rounds a few years back and inspired other couples to either having the same thing done by video experts or, if they were a bit technical and musical themselves, to DIY it. I am wholly impressed by what some couples are able to do and the services they are able to find.

Would you do something like this or hire a service to create a wedding lip sync video for you? I think if you limited participation to the couple and the bridesmaids and groomsmen, it wouldn’t necessarily be that difficult to do on your own. It would only get really complicated when you started asking your wedding guests and in-laws to participate in what is essentially a wedding day side project. Not everyone, I’d imagine, would fancy the notion of playing a part in your wedding music video! (Though I certainly would, so do feel free to invite me to your reception.)

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