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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.

How Average Are Your Bridesmaids?


Americans tend to have a fascination with the average. We keep seeking out the information that will tell us whether or not we fall in the ‘normal’ range of nearly everything. Weddings, of course, are no exception.

So when I ran across a fun and informative infographic on averages concerning bridesmaids over on Visual.ly, I had to take a closer look and share the contents with all of you.

Seems I got a couple of things in the average range when I got married. Five bridesmaids is apparently the average, and that’s exactly what I had. Oh, that includes the junior bridesmaid who, at twelve, slotted nicely into the national average of being aged nine to fourteen. I had a matron rather than maid of honor, though, unlike some 97% of brides.

I’m not sure where to put myself in the question of the 64% of brides who have their maids wear identical outfits. See, they all wore the same skirt and blouse made from the same patterns and the same fabric… but then I asked them to trim and accessorize according to personal whim rather than a specific blueprint. So there were trims ranging from pink pearl piping to a grand fall of lace over the bosom to an added Batterburg lace collar with little blue ribbon roses, an equally broad range of jewelry styles, and flat shoes that ran the gamut from ballet flats to low, slouchy boots. So they all started in the same place with the same stuff, but they weren’t identical when they got done.
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We’re Havin’ a Heat Wave


With record-breaking temperatures throughout the country and massive droughts going on, this strikes me as a good time to talk about how to beat the heat on your wedding day.

After all, a scorcher of a day is not only uncomfortable for the people saying ‘I do’ but their friends and families as well. High mercury can lead to high tempers and short fuses. You don’t want fights breaking out because of heat-related misery and you certainly don’t want anyone – including you! – to suffer from heat prostration.

What to do to keep everyone as cool as you can? Read on and find out.
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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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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.
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Announcing Theme Week!

It’s been a while since we’ve done a theme week here at Manolo for the Brides, and I think it’s high time we did one.

So, next week there will be a theme to all posts on this blog. And that theme is….


(image via Kelly Pratt Photography)

Kiddie Week!

Yes, we’ll be talking about children and weddings. Everything from how to include them in your wedding party to how to exclude them from your guest list, plus tips on care, feeding, dressing, and general wrangling of wee folk at your shindig.

So if you’ve got a question you’d like to see covered, leave it in the comments and I’ll get to as many as I can starting sunday.

How Miserable Is It to Be a Bridesmaid?


(Illustration via MamaMia)

The sad lament of the bridesmaid is well known in song and story, and urban legend, and bridal reality shows, and popular movies… and the list goes on ad nauseum. Nearly every woman I’ve ever known has had a horror story in her back pocket about being a bridesmaid – whether her own experience or one a friend of a friend read about in a magazine once upon a time – to tell anyone who announces her engagement or that she’s about to attend a bride. There are websites devoted to ridiculing horrible bridesmaid’s dresses past. There’s currently an article up on MSNBC about how rotten – and incredibly expensive – it is to be a bridesmaid.

But how bad is it really?
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