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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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Love is Blind… and So Are Some Brides

I love this photograph of a bride and groom from the sixties and the bride’s seeing eye dog.

I also loved my grandmother’s second husband who, as it happened, was legally blind. In fact, Granny met him while volunteering with a group dedicated to helping the blind.

And so I was frankly appalled when I read this article by a legally blind bride-to-be at Offbeat Bride. Not, I hasten to mention, because of anything about the lady or her plans. Her steampunk cane is a delight and her groom’s sense of humor is beyond awesome.

No, what appalled me was the ignorance and small-mindedness displayed so casually by potential vendors, not to mention others who simply couldn’t conceive of her choices based on her comfort and ability to navigate the event easily. Choices such as wearing a colored dress so she can see it, not to wear a veil so as not to impede her limited peripheral vision, or to use her cane to help her navigate the aisle successfully.

Apparently these things are ‘not bridal.’

To that, all I can say is a hearty cry of “horse hockey!”

A bride is a bride, is a bride. A groom is a groom, is a groom. And if the ring bearer needs a cane or a wheelchair, then that’s what he needs.

I remember some years ago reading on the web about a blind bridesmaid who had a disastrous time in the wedding party because of the attitude that any acknowledgement of her disability was somehow less than ‘bridal.’ She wasn’t allowed to use her cane down the aisle, and after she had practiced many times with a certain configuration at the altar, a major item was moved directly into her path at the last minute and nobody warned her. Of course she crashed into it and people got mad at her for ‘ruining’ the wedding. After all, a sighted bridesmaid would have known to move out of the way!

If you or someone in your wedding party has a disability, the key to making things work is not to ignore that disability or try to make it go away for a few hours. The key is to looking squarely at the practical issues it raises and then dealing with them frankly and without making a huge fuss.

Blind people marry. Wheelchair users marry. Deaf people marry. Amputees marry.

And you know what? They’re beautifully bridal, too.

For more ideas on planning a wedding when someone in the wedding party has a disability, check out some of the terrific tips and planning ideas on disaboom.

The Fiddly Bits Around the Edges


I always had a sneaking understanding of Slartibartfast, the planet designer from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. He loved the ‘fiddly bits’ like fjords. I, too, love fiddly bits.

And so I’m going to cover a couple fiddly bits most bridal blogs don’t usually talk about: those tiny details that make getting ready on the day of so much easier and less stressful.

For one thing, here’s the deal with how to deal with your rings. On the big day, slide your engagement ring off your left hand and transfer it to the right until after the ceremony. The wedding band is properly placed on a naked finger, and worn closer to your heart afterward.
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How (and Why) to Chill Out for Your Wedding


See Natalie Nunn. See Natalie Nunn throw things – hissey fits in particular – at her wedding. See what a bad idea that is.

I had – blessedly – never heard of Natalie Nunn before she showed up on Bridezillas. For two weeks now she’s been screaming on my television about how she shouldn’t have to pay for her wedding because she’s rich and famous and has people pay her to show up at parties… and there’s another week with the actual wedding to go.

She also, apparently, doesn’t have a clue what a wedding reception is.

She’s actually not the worst person on the show this season. It’s true. There was the woman on the Bridezillas staff who threw her dog (and real soulmate!) into the wedding cake because she was honked off that her groom had bought a birthday cake from a grocery store bakery section, scraped off the Happy Birthday, and written an apology on it.

Yeah, tell me that wasn’t scripted… which only makes it worse.

But this article really isn’t about Bridezillas or trying to figure out who was the worst of the worst of the season. It’s about the thing that makes so many of these women entirely lose their minds (well, in the actual spontaneous moments of the show) and make other brides and grooms all over the world lose their collective marbles whilst planning their weddings: stress.
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Good Advice and Bad Advice About Money


It ought to go without saying that all wedding budget advice is not created equal. That certainly is the case when the question is who is going to pay for what!

Just this morning I felt myself compelled to read an article at Gal Time about the ‘new rules’ for who pays for what.

The author of the piece, Analorena Zeldon, consulted two experts, Andria Lewis (wedding planner with fifteen years’ experience) and Jodi RR Smith (author and etiquette expert) about how couples should broach the divvying up of expenses between themselves and their parents.

On the upside, the article not only assumes the couple will take some responsibility for some expenses themselves (and has a convenient breakdown of who pays for what when the two of you are paying for it all), but also that the bride’s parents might choose for a variety of reasons to opt out entirely.
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Tune Me Up

Regular and thoughtful reader srah wanted some ideas for picking the processional and recessional for her upcoming wedding. Well, srah, I’ve got a few thoughts not on what specifically you should choose, but on how to choose something that will make you and your intended all kinds of happy.

When the classic original version of Father of the Bride was made in 1950 (see, I worked in the illustration in the end), there was no question what music would play as Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor processed up the aisle for her wedding. Wagner’s wedding march for going up the aisle, Mendelssohn on the way back down again.

Both of those tunes still get heavy play at weddings, and why not? They’re traditional, they fulfill people’s expectations, and a lot of people love them.

But not everyone wants to do the expected. Not everyone loves those tunes. Some of us remember how that marriage that started with Wagner’s march ended. For those who aren’t rabid opera fans, here’s a hint: it sure ain’t a happy story.

Besides, there’s a whole world of music that can be used for these important walks. Why limit yourself to two tunes that may or may not mean anything to you at all? And how do you choose between all the possibilities?

That’s what I’m here to talk to you about today.
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Going To the Courthouse and We’re Gonna Get Married

Reader Elaine asks:

Can you put together a post with some suggestions of how to make a Justice of the Peace or courthouse marriage a little more special? That would be great (and timely)!

First off, congratulations and best wishes, Elaine, to you and your intended! May your wedding kick off a long and happy marriage.

Now, about that kickoff.

There are plenty of good reasons to choose a courthouse ceremony or one where you go to the JP instead of bringing one to you. It’s fast, it’s inexpensive, it’s fuss-free (or nearly so), and the list goes on. Once you’ve got the marriage license and the appointment, you’re pretty much set as far as the practicalities go.

But you’re looking for more than bare bones, which is what these venues tend to offer. So let’s take a look at what you can do to cover them bones.
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