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:
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.]]>
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.
If you’ve found love in a cold climate, chances are you’ll want a pretty jacket, coat, cloak, sweater, or shawl. Even with the slow but steady return of sleeves to bridal couture, the fact is most wedding gowns are not designed to keep you warm in the great outdoors. This is festivewear, not survivalwear. Even if you only need it for getting from the limo to your wedding site and perhaps a few pre-ceremony photographs, it’s a good idea to have something that will keep you from turning into your something blue.
Looking for bridesmaids’ gifts? Matching shawls or sweaters would make a pretty and practical idea.
For your feet? Maybe pretty Victorian boots would be a good idea to keep feet both attractive and dry.
Go with the season!
Remember that there are less flowers in season during the winter months. That means that using a lot of bright flowers will cost more than it might in another time of year. So choose what’s in season to make your bouquets, centerpieces, boutonnieres, and corsages. Use a variety of pretty evergreen sprigs like in the bouquet shown, decorate tables with poinsettias or tiny living evergreen trees, or go blatantly and fabulously fake with sparkly brooches or festive pinwheels.
And don’t forget the season when picking your menu! Looking for a good signature cocktail? Try a mulled wine or eggnog. Consider gingerbread for your wedding cake. Want a delicious, popular, and satisfying main dish? Think about lasagna, roast beef and mashed potatoes, or a mac and cheese bar.
Don’t ignore the obvious decorations!
If you’re planning a wedding for next winter, I would heartily recommend hitting the stores for the post-Christmas ornament sales. Bowls of Christmas balls filling a glass bowl would make great centerpieces for your wedding. Strings of lights will make your hall all the prettier. Wired ribbon can be lovely tied in bows on pews. Linens in rich colors will also be on sale in preparation for the lighter spring colors coming soon.
As I said before, winter weddings can be lovely in a very special way. They warm our hearts in the cold months, and give us one more reason to celebrate. So use your imagination to bring the best of the season to your wedding day. Everyone – including you! – will be glad you did.]]>
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 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.
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!]]>
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.
Short hair can look great with a more traditional tiara, too, as evidenced by this shot of a lovely lady with rather elegant bangs illustrates.
What’s more, it’s perfect with headband tiaras.
A couple flowers and a little styling could be all it takes to make your look suitably momentous for your big day.
But don’t let anyone tell you a veil is off limits if your hair doesn’t even hit your chin. It can still look fabulous.
Traditional or birdcage, you can definitely do a veil.
And never, ever discount the effect of a really great hat.
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?]]>
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!]]>
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:
… 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.
This dress from Pretty Flower Girl comes in sizes 2 – 14, and really fits the bill. The cut is built for a young child, the color is attractive and popular, and the sequins on the bodice add a touch of sparkle for a formal event. And at $41.99, it’s easy on the budget, which will make parents happy, too.
On the brighter side of Pegeen, there’s this lovely silk dress. It comes in sizes from 2T – 16 and starts at $145.00. Starts? That’s because there are a variety of alterations that can be to both the cut and decoration of the dress. A matching bolero or American Girl doll dress can also be added for a fee. Oh, and there are even extended sizes available. I can see my seven-year-old self twirling happily in this dress now.
But what about the boys?
Sometimes the best thing for a little boy is a good accessory rather than a whole suit. If that’s the case for your wedding and your ring bearer, why not head over to Etsy and get a custom version of this grey vest from Angelica Atelier? At $75.00 it’s a good deal for something a boy can get multiple uses from. Just pair it up with a nice shirt and a clean pair of pants or shorts, and he’ll look great on the day.
Another thing to consider for children of any gender is a quick look through the clothes they already own. It just might be that your ring bearer or flower girl could wear something that’s already in the closet. No fuss, no muss, no extra expense… your benevolent despotism will become legendary!]]>
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.
So what do you do if you love DIY but don’t have the time or the space or the talent? Why you go to people who have those things and pay them to do it for you. And that’s where Etsy comes into play.
Your invitations will say a lot more than just the time and place you’re getting married. Whether you’re looking for something whimsical or elegant, modern or old fashioned, chances are someone is doing invites on Etsy that will appeal to you. Me? I’ve fallen madly in love with these hand calligraphed ones by PaperandCalligraphy. See? They’re even sealed with wax! At $4.00 apiece and frankly not very practical to send through normal mailing channels, they aren’t for everyone. Still, if you’re having a very small wedding and only inviting people close to home, it’s a charming option.
I’ve fallen madly in love with these pom-poms of dried flowers put together by EcoLectic Events. Styrofoam free and made of organically grown flowers, they’re completely eco-friendly. And at $19.50 each, they’re even pretty budget-friendly as bouquets or as general decoration in the room.
If you’re looking for a special veil on a budget, you might do a lot worse than this English netting bandeau veil with handmade flower decoration by Fascinating Creations. It’s a charming look, and at just $68.95 it won’t harm your wallet at all!
You can even get a custom wedding gown on Etsy!
How about this charming informal wedding dress by atelierTAMI? At just $530.00 (made to your measurements, corseted bodice and petticoat included!), it’s hard to beat for price or perkiness.
Even if you can’t DIY for love nor money, there’s no reason you can’t have a few custom, handmade touches to your wedding, if you want them. It’s all a matter of knowing where to look.]]>
With just one entry, hers was the one I pulled at random out of Mr. Twistie’s hat (mine were all too shallow for the sheer volume involved; he has a top hat). After the wedding, Rebecca plans to donate both her gown and the tiara to the Brides Against Breast Cancer program.
Rebecca, contact me at gileswenchatyahoodotcom, let me know which tiara you’re choosing, and where you’d like your prize delivered. I’ll get the wonderful folks at USABride your information, and you’ll soon have your prize in hand.
I only wish I could have provided a tiara to each and every person who entered, if only to have the fun of imagining all the different wonderful ways you wanted to enjoy your windfall.
Thanks to everyone who played. I’ll be linking blogs over the weekend.]]>