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- Part 2
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Fun Tool to Narrow Choices

Going shopping for a wedding gown can be an intimidating and confusing process to start. After all, how many of us have tried on a formal gown since Prom? A tiny minority, that’s how many. And then so many women go in with a Vision – complete with a capital Vis – that may or may not have anything to do with the shapes of their bodies, or their usual style.

So how to figure out before you get to the salon with an hour long appointment that maybe mermaid isn’t your best look? Or that ballgowns drown you? Or that strapless does precisely nada for your bosom?

Well, one thing you can do is go to the Bride’s website and check out their virtual dressing room tool. It’s free to use, and can give you good idea of how different sorts of wedding gown styles are likely to look on you. You simply upload a photo of yourself (tips included on how to best do that for the tool), and use over four hundred photos of real wedding gowns to see what your best and worst bets are. Save the pics of the best and worst looks for easy reference. Oh, and one feature I really loved? It tells you whether the gown you’re looking at is available in plus sizes or not. But even if you fall in love with a gown that doesn’t come in your size, chances are someone out there makes one in a similar line that will fit you.

Don’t feel like handing over your email? That’s okay. They also have a series of generic pictures that you can use. Pick the one closest to your body shape, and you’ll still get some valuable winnowing done. You can’t save those photos for later reference, but you can always take another look.

Obviously there’s no substitute for actually seeing gowns on your specific body in real life. No matter how good the program is, it won’t be the same as a three-dimensional, moving, breathing experience. Still, it’s a handy tool to start with if you’re confused about what is going to look good on your figure.

And do try a bit of everything. You never know what surprisingly good look there might be for you.

Besides, if one of the experiments looks bad, who’s going to see it? Just you. Isn’t that better than you and the salon consultant and your entourage?

Yeah, that’s what I thought, too.

Quickie Question: Favorite Wedding Colors?

For many brides, wedding planning starts with a vision of colors. Red, blue, pink, green, yellow, grey… whatever color combination makes her happy or seems to say something about love and romance to her.

And of course whatever colors you choose, someone loves them and someone else hates them. Some couples compromise if someone close to them has a difficulty with the colors they really wanted in the first place. After all, it might be politic to remove black from the color scheme if it’s going to upset grandma too much, or pink if the best man is uncomfortable with so much as a pink tie. Whether you do that depends on how much the relationship means to you as opposed to how important the color is to you. Only you can decide where your priorities lie.

Me? I wound up more or less avoiding the whole question. I didn’t specifically choose a color scheme, weirdly enough. In the end, the wedding wound up being mostly cream and silver grey with touches of red, which I liked. I didn’t go in saying ‘these are my colors.’ I just picked things I liked… and once I’d picked a couple things, others fell into place. But there were touches of every color of the rainbow at that wedding. Pink, blue, yellow, lavender, even orange made an appearance. I was tremendously pleased with my no color scheme color scheme. It left me open to options that kept the whole look from being too carefully matched for such an informal style of picnic wedding.

But I think if I’d specifically picked wedding colors, they most likely would have involved blue and/or purple. Funny how neither wound up being a major part of the wedding.

So what about you? Do you have an ideal wedding color scheme? A color you would never dream of putting in your wedding? One you love but worry is too cliche to use?

Tell us all about it!

Twistie’s Sunday Caption Madness: The I Drop the Castle Edition

Oh my dearie darlings!

It’s time once again to play Twistie’s Sunday Caption Madness. You all know how this works. I find a picture that’s simply having night terrors searching for a funny caption or six. You provide said captions via the comments function located conveniently at the end of this post. Next week I declare a winner, and we all do a triumphant rhumba down the street.

This week’s image comes from under the floorboards of the Catering Catastrophe file, and it looks a little bit like this:

Ready… set… snark!

Cut Up About Cardboard

Lauren Adkins requests the pleasure of your company at her wedding to a cardboard cutout of Edward Cullen on January 26, 2013 in a wedding chapel somewhere in Las Vegas, NV.

She doesn’t really. You’re not invited. Neither am I. But that’s how she intends to spend the day.

No, the laws haven’t changed to make this a legal ceremony, and she isn’t coming out as a huge Twihard. This is actually a piece of performance art intended to be part of her graduate thesis on how media shapes people’s ideals of the perfect relationship.

Adkins, 24 and a student at the University of Las Vegas finds herself intrigued with how books, films, and television tell us the story of what to look for in a mate. Funnily enough, when the story was picked up by the UK Metro, they entirely missed the point that this was a tongue in cheek piece of her thesis.

Lauren, best of luck with your thesis! Oh, and if you don’t mind, I’m going to wish you sparkles on that special day when you marry your cardboard vampire.

Just In Case You Didn’t Get Enough Turkey Today

Check out these pictures from a real wedding in 1948. The bride and her attendants wore turkey feather gowns. Oh, and as you can see, the happy couple were pelted not with rice, but with turkey feathers as they headed off to their future.

Gobble gobble!

Happy Thanksgiving from Manolo for the Brides!

May you find love in your hearts and plenty of delicious pie to eat today.

A Story Book Story That Really Happened

The couple on the left is John Betar and Ann Shawah on their wedding day in 1932. The couple on the right is John Betar and Ann Shawah Betar eighty years later. On sunday, November 25, 2012, they will celebrate their eightieth anniversary. In fact, it’s such an unusual milestone that the baker called to double check that it was an anniversary cake and not, say, a birthday cake.

John immigrated to America from Syria with his family in 1921. Ann was the daughter of Syrian immigrants. They grew up together in a Syrian community in Bridgeport, Conn. Ann’s parents had arranged for her to marry a much older man who they felt could support her well when, at the age of seventeen, she eloped with twenty-one year old John.

Of course she was nervous. Getting married is not a light step at any age. Eloping at seventeen with a neighborhood boy rather than the man she was technically engaged to… well, that’s got to be pretty momentous.

Still, it’s worked out pretty well, I’d say. John worked himself up from peddling fruit in the streets to owning his own grocery store. They had five children, who gave them fourteen grandchildren, who have given them sixteen great-grandchildren.

Now that John is one hundred and one years old and Ann is ninety-seven, they still live independently. John still goes to the store to buy fresh produce for the soups they make from scratch. He still advises other customers on their fruit and vegetable choices. Ann has taken up painting. They are interested in current events.

Most of all, they are still delighted with one another.

So what advice do they have for us about marriage, as opposed to fruit?

Well, John advises to get along, compromise, live within your means, and ‘let your wife be the boss.’

Ann dismisses the idea of having a boss at all. Her advice is not to hold grudges.

Their granddaughter Heather Mitchell has yet another take on their success:

“I’m always blown away by their incredible optimism, deep sense of compassion and modesty. They are true beacons — inspirational people who emit such joy without even knowing it.”

Optimism, compassion, and modesty strike me as a very good recipe for married happiness.

Then again, so do compromise and lack of grudge holding.

Happy anniversary, Mr. and Mrs. Betar! Even though it seems a bit superfluous, I wish you every joy.

After all, this is true love. The best thing about it is that it actually does happen every day.

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