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Advice | Manolo for the Brides - Part 5
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Let’s Talk Emotion, Shall We?

Grace Kelly was the epitome of serenity and dignity when she married the Prince of Monaco.

But not every bride is so serene.

Treat Your Bridesmaids Well

(Image via WedLoft where you can see some great photos of and thoughtful advice for dressing pregnant bridesmaids)

I’ve spent a lot of time over the past couple weeks catching up with a bridal reality show I’d managed to miss for a long, long time. Say Yes to the Dress Bridesmaids is yet another spinoff of the original Say Yes about shopping for wedding gowns at Kleinfeld in New York City. This one, though, is a spinoff of a spinoff and takes place at Bridals By Lori, featured in Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta.

The series is on par both in production values and general sorts of message offered with the other shows in the franchise. The search for a dress is presented as a power struggle with a villain, a damsel in distress, and the heroic members of Lori’s team arriving to save the day… or at least the appointment. And most often, in the episodes I’ve seen, at least, one or more bridesmaids take on the role of villain.

This can happen. I have actually been in a wedding where one bridesmaid ran amok and tried to change the entire wedding to suit her rather than the bride.

But my experience has been that the vast majority of bridesmaids, like the vast majority of brides, mean well and honestly want everyone to be happy. It’s just that not everyone may have precisely the same priorities and needs. Taking a moment to really think about your bridesmaids’ needs and priorities might just avoid some awkward situations along the way.

This Is Why You Ask For Examples and Recommendations

This is an image from the wedding album of Thomas and Anneka Geary. No, it was not taken by a drunken wedding guest. It was taken by professionals.

The Gearys engaged the photographic team of Ian McCloskey and Nikki Carter to photograph their wedding at a price of seven hundred fifty pounds sterling.

Lest you think that first photo is a complete fluke, here’s another example of McCloskey and Carter’s Work:

How to Cope With and Reduce Wedding Stress

Planning and throwing a wedding is a stressful thing to do.

You’re making a major life change and throwing what will mostly likely be the biggest, most elaborate party of your life, and doing both while navigating huge, conflicting expectations from the most important people in your life.

No wonder a lot of brides have meltdowns and so many grooms shy away from doing more than saying ‘yes, dear’ in the planning stages!

Nevertheless, it is actually possible to reduce the stress involved and even have a really good time planning and attending your own wedding. And as it would happen, I have a few suggestions.

Don’t Go To Extremes For a Dress… Even a Wedding Gown

Trigger Warning: If you suffer from an eating disorder, you might want to skip this one. It could be detrimental to your recovery.

So. Dieting to fit into your wedding gown. Can we talk about this for a minute?

Since I write a wedding planning blog, I do see a lot of articles about how best to lose those unwanted pounds, because really, who wants to be fat on her wedding day? At least, the common assumption is that you want to lose weight for your wedding. In fact, I remember having several people tell me when I got engaged that there are two things every bride in the world does: grows her hair out and goes on a diet.

The Name Game

Back when this happy couple got married, there wasn’t a lot of question about how they would be addressed socially or professionally in the aftermath. The bride would take the groom’s name, period.

Sure a few famous women – mostly movie stars and novelists – might continue to use their birth names professionally, but for most women marriage spelled the end of any professional life that might require continuity of address. She might get a job, particularly once the children were in school, but she wouldn’t have a profession. And even if she did have a profession, her professional identity would change to suit her social one.

Today, though, there are a lot more options. You can follow the traditional form. You can hyphenate. You can simply go by the names you used before you got married. You can both change to something completely new. You can go socially by your husband’s name and professionally by your birth name. I even knew one woman who kept her own name socially but used her husband’s professionally. She was a kindergarten teacher and the kids found his last name easier to pronounce than hers.

The decision, as I have said many times before, is entirely up to the two people getting married. Whether you’re a traditionalist or a same-sex couple that can’t abide the idea of one of you being the ‘bride’ and one the ‘groom’ no matter your gender and feelings about your names, though, one thing is for sure: today you cannot assume that everyone will know what choice you have made.

So how do you get the information across to your entire social circle?

Saving Is Sometimes Counter-Intuitive

We all know that planning a wedding often runs to money. In fact, for many of us our wedding will be the largest, most complex party we ever throw.

We also all know there are ways of cutting the budget that make a lot of sense… but what about the ones that don’t seem that sensible on the surface? Every once in a while, it turns out the way that looked the most cost-effective isn’t.

Here are a couple ideas you may not think would save you money, but really can if applied thoughtfully as well as a couple cost-saving measures that may not really save you very much at all.

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