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The Tiara

Not surprisingly, people have strong opinions about anything having to do with marriages and wedding ceremonies, and one area of perpetual conflict is over what the bride should wear on her head. One school of thought, call them retrograde traditionalists, argues for the full veiling. A second, modernists and minimalists, say the bride should wear nothing but her carefully coiffed hair. A third, from the princess-for-a-day camp, advocate for diamond tiaras.

Me? Depending on the mood, I can see merits of all of three, although lately I’ve been feeling partial to the tiara, although just not the full-on, Homecoming-Queen tiara, proudly rising ten inches from the top of Mary Sue Gentry’s bouffant, but rather a more modest affair, understated and elegant, that accentuates rather than dominates the brides beauty.

Of course, you know me, I’m not willing to spend a lot of money, defined as much more than $100, on something that will likely be worn just once. (The exception to this rule being, of course, the wedding dress itself. In that case, the sky’s the limit.)

For my tiara of choice, I’m thinking about something more like this:

Alan Hannah Swirl and Crystal Tiara

The Alan Hannah Devoted Statement Pearl and Crystal Swirl Tiara, which is dramatic enough to be noticed, but not so dramatic that you feel you should be standing on a stage holding a bouquet of roses and waving to the judges. (Image via Jon Richard)

Obviously, at under $200 this piece is not made of diamonds and south sea pearls, but crystals and fresh-water pearls, which will be fine, since most of the guests at the wedding won’t be close enough to notice the difference, and since your last name isn’t Rockefeller, most of the guests won’t expect it to be “real” anyway.

Wedding In a Winter Wonderland

There’s nothing like a winter wedding. Snow (if you live in an area where it’s common) makes a pretty backdrop for a wedding. And since winter is a far less popular time of the year to marry than spring or summer, it’s quite possible to get extra good deals on halls, catering, and flowers. And with all the decorative items on sale for Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s Eve, etc. it’s easy to get all kinds of pretty sparkly things to make your day beautiful on a budget.

Of course, there are some practical issues to consider, too. Weather is more likely to be stormy. One unexpectedly heavy fall of snow could spell the difference between a full house and lots of empty pews at your ceremony. Since many people travel for the holidays at this time of year, it’s also possible that you’ll wind up with less guests than you’d hoped due to family obligations or used up vacations days that won’t allow people to come out your way.

Once you’ve looked over the pros and cons and decided to set your wedding in the winter months, here are a few ideas to make it extra pretty and seasonally suitable.
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Would You Wear Glasses on Your Wedding Day?

Your wedding day is likely to be the most photographed day of your life, and it’s understandable that you want to look your best. Wedding plans take everything appearance-wise into consideration – both of you are likely to want your outfits and your hair to be perfect, and for glasses-wearers, eyesight is just another thing on the list of things to think about. Would you rather go for familiarity, or try something different?

Ultimately it comes down to what’s more comfortable for you – there’s no right or wrong answer, and truthfully the person who will notice the difference the most is yourself. These are some of the different options to think about in advance of the big day:

Laser eye surgery

It might sound drastic, but if you have a budget put aside for the wedding already, now could be the perfect opportunity to have your eyesight permanently re-corrected. LASIK surgery works by simply removing a small part of your cornea and reshaping the inside of your eye. It’s relatively painless, and can even be done at fairly short notice – the UK clinic Ultralase uses a blade-free Intralase laser, which reduces the recovery time and risk of complication.

Contact lenses

Contact lenses are a less expensive temporary option, and are ideal if you want to avoid wearing glasses but don’t have the immediate budget for LASIK treatment. They’ll ensure that you don’t have flashbulbs reflecting off your glasses lens, and allow you to enjoy the whole day clearly without being hindered or worrying about breaking your frames! You can even pick up lenses designed to specifically define features of your eyes, perfect for your special day.

Glasses

The third option is just to stick to wearing glasses! If it’s what you’re most comfortable wearing, there’s nothing wrong with sticking to them – you could pick up an ornate frame for the day that matches your outfit or the theme of the wedding. Ultimately, it’s your call – not everybody wants to be sticking fingers in their eyes or worrying about lost lenses, and if wearing glasses means you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your wedding without dealing with unfamiliar problems, then go for it!

If you wear glasses most of the time, chances are you see them as a feature of your face in the same way you see your nose or your eyes – whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing! Now could be the perfect time to try something different, especially if you’re prepared to push the boat out – weddings don’t come around every day!

Short Locks, But Long on Drama


All too often brides to be assume they have to grow out their tresses to look dramatic and beautiful on their wedding days. This, however, is not the case.

In point of fact, it’s all about the right cut combined with the right accessories.

For instance, that look up top? A combination of relatively short curls with a multi-layer bandeau is a look that has roots in the Napoelonic era, but it’s just as fabulous today.

And there are other great options, too.
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Quickie Question: Moustache, Moustache!


(Image via Cosmetic Candy, where you can see awesome images of this beautiful wedding put together in just twelve weeks)

So. Moustaches. Mr. Twistie has one, actually. Grew it himself and everything. In fact, in all these years I’ve never seen his upper lip naked. Shocking admission for a married woman, I know, but there it is.

Over the past few years, though, there’s been a trend of people carrying and wearing fake moustaches at weddings. Props for the photo booth or a photo op, favor tins and bags, cookies, napkins,there have even been moustache wedding rings made.

They’ve been sort of everywhere, and I’m not sure where that came from or what it ever had to do with weddings.

So I’m curious. How do you feel about the fake moustache wedding trend? So cute? So over it? So mystifying?

Did you have them at your wedding? Are you going to have them at your wedding? Do you care whether anyone else is still doing it or not?

LOVE/HATE: Bridal Belts


Every year there seems to be another ‘can’t do without’ bridal accessory or a new necessity for all receptions. When I was getting married, there were no such things as save the date cards or speciality cocktails custom created for the bride and groom. Wedding dessert meant cake and cake only… unless you were a wild maverick like I was. I served individual fruit tarts.

One thing that’s been gaining ground the last couple years is the bridal belt. I first saw it on Say Yes to the Dress and have disliked it in general ever since.

Unlike the dessert table or the save the date, both of which make life easier and nicer for guests, or a speciality cocktail which makes the celebration a bit more unique, the bridal belt serves only to further decorate the bride and use up more of her clothing budget.

This belt/sash from With This Bling is one of the budget models at just $94.95. There are far more expensive ones out there easily found in a quick Google search.

On Say Yes to the Dress, these belts get added to designer gowns without a single question as to how much it will add to the bill. Often I think they clutter the look. Sometimes I think they just plain Don’t Go With That Gown.

Most of the time, I HATE bridal belts. There are, however, exceptions. A nice belt can really make a very simple bridal look, if chosen carefully with both style and budget in mind.

So what about you? LOVE? HATE? Something in between? Tell me all about it!

Kid Week: Dressing Tiny Attendants

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.
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