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Advice | Manolo for the Brides - Part 4
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Now What Do I Do With It All?

Your wedding is going to be lovely. After all, you’ve worked hard to come up with just the right accessories to carry out your dream theme, picked the perfect flowers, designed a menu that will delight the taste buds of your friends and families, and chosen a spectacular one-of-a-kind gown.




But what the holy heck are you going to do with it all once the day is over? After all, you don’t want to be a one-woman ecological disaster in the making, and you don’t want to be wading through masses of wedding detritus come your tenth anniversary, either.

That means you’ll need a plan to store the things you care about keeping and dispose of the things you don’t want anymore responsibly.

As per usual, I have a couple thoughts on the subject.

Kid Week: Keeping Small Guests Happy

Welcome to day four of Kid Week at Manolo for the Brides! Enjoy your stay.

(Illustration via Yuba City Wedding Photography)

There’s an art to keeping wedding guests happy, but it’s really not that difficult once you know the trick: think like a guest. Think about what has made you feel welcomed and happy, and then do those sorts of things. Think about what made you feel bored, confused, or unwelcome and avoid those things. It isn’t 100% foolproof, of course, since where one person finds something charming and inviting… another finds it hokey or off-putting. Still, thinking of the comfort of other people puts you well ahead of the game. A much higher percentage of people will come away having enjoyed themselves if you’ve made their happiness a priority.

The thing is, that goes double with children.

They’re smaller, so their physical needs may be more demanding. They have less patience and stamina, so one needs to consider pacing and opportunities for rest. They’re less experienced, so their concerns about things that are too unfamiliar need to be addressed.

But don’t panic. A few simple choices can help you make sure even your youngest guests feel welcome and special.

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.

Kid Week: Wrangling Ring Bearers and Flower Girls

Welcome to the second installment of Kids Week at Manolo for the Brides! Enjoy!

(Photo via Amado Photo)

Nothing produces an ‘awww factor’ at a wedding faster than a flower girl and/or ring bearer.

Lets face it, a small child walking up the aisle in dress up clothes is a super cute concept to most people. Add in quirky little personalities, and the happy couple may find themselves temporarily upstaged.

But those quirky little personalities and the dress up clothes can and sometimes do add up to some potentially problematic moments.

What Not To Wear?

This morning’s HuffPo wedding page features an article by Charlotte Peters giving advice on choosing a wedding gown. Her main thrust: don’t pick anything fashionable, because it will one day look dated and you will wince every time you look at your wedding photos.

After all, minis are on trend right now, but – according to Peters – you will regret wearing one on your wedding day for the rest of your life the instant minis aren’t fashionable any more.

Me, well, I wouldn’t choose a wedding look purely because it’s fashionable, but to assume you’ll hate your own taste in five years because Vogue is now showing something very different is frankly insulting. I’m gearing up to celebrate my ninteenth anniversary with Mr. Twistie, and my wedding album makes me smile. Why? Because it’s an accurate and beautiful representation of an important day in our lives. Because it’s filled with pictures of people we love, some of whom are sadly gone from this world. Because no matter whether the clothes are dated or not, we all looked good.

When You Want a Small Wedding… But They Don’t

(Illustration via Intimate Weddings)

Not every bride wants a big wedding. Not every groom wants a big wedding. Some couples really, honestly do want a smaller, more intimate celebration with only a select handful of people in attendance. There are parents who absolutely support this, too.

And then there are those who don’t.

If you and your intended want a smaller celebration, but one or both sets of parents are fighting your decision, it can make wedding planning a lot more difficult than it needs to be. But if you can keep things in perspective and find small ways to be flexible, you may just manage to get both families completely on board with your smaller wedding.

The Truth About Working With Wedding Vendors

While planning your wedding, chances are you’ll hire several vendors to help your dreams come true. If you look around, you’ll find a lot of opinions about this. Some people think that wedding vendors are evil stooges of an international conspiracy. Others that wedding vendors are angels sent from Heaven above to aid brides in making their dreams come true.

But here’s the thing: wedding vendors are just people in business for themselves.

That means that some of them are wonderful, warm, highly competent people and others are greedy, unscrupulous people. Some mean well but aren’t really all that good at what they do. Others are excellent at their jobs but unpleasant to work with. Most, I believe, choose their profession because they truly enjoy helping make wedding dreams come true… but they aren’t doing it purely out of the kindness of their hearts. They’re doing it to make money.

What does that mean for you? It means that you need to be diligent about finding competent vendors who can do what you want done, and who can give helpful input. It means that you need to keep in mind that most vendors think their piece of the wedding is the most important one, so you need to really consider how important it is to you as an individual couple getting married. It means you need to dot your i’s and cross your t’s in business and legal terms. It means that you get to make the final decisions about what services you do and do not want from this vendor.

But there’s another side of the coin to remembering that your vendors are just people: you need to treat them with the same consideration as you treat any other person. If the vendor is going to be onsite during the wedding (musicians, DJs, photographers, cater waiters, etc.) you’ll need to discuss things like breaks, whether and how they will be fed, where they will park, and what time they will be done with the job.

Whether or not they will be on site, remember the feelings of your vendors. Treat them with respect and courtesy in a professional manner.

After all, behaving in an entitled, bossy way only makes people want to cross you more. Listen carefully and with an open mind to suggestions. Ask questions about anything you don’t understand. Don’t assume that the florist, caterer, or DJ you’ve hired is out to get you… unless you get firm proof of the fact. Communicate as clearly and as promptly as you can. Remember that this person is just doing his or her job – the one you hired him or her to do for you – and probably wants it to go well so that you’ll spread the word about their business.

Ultimately, vendors are people, and people come in all kinds of ways. Just try to be the best person you can be while dealing with them, and it will go a long way toward making things work out well.

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