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Bride Blogging | Manolo for the Brides - Part 2
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Do Your Bridal Dreams Still Fit You?

We all have childhood dreams. Many of us had dreams as children about being brides. Not every girl dreams of that, certainly, but I would guess that a strong majority do.

Some of those dreams are still strong and vital when we do grow up and find the person we plan to spend our lives with. Others… not so much. It never crossed my mind as a child that one could marry without a veil, and I think my seven-year-old wedding gown dreams included a lot more skirt and a lot more sparkle that I would ever have tolerated at thirty, when I did tie the knot.

When I dreamed of my wedding back in the late seventies, I saw the men in flowing poet’s blouses. In the early nineties when I did the deed, they all wore various versions of tuxes except for one of my brothers and my father who were decked out in their kilts. Nary a poet’s blouse in sight. Okay, one, under my brother’s corduroy jerkin worn with the kilt. Otherwise… not so much.

As a child I dreamed that everything would simply magically appear at the right moment. As an adult, I built that wedding by hand from scratch over the course of a year and a half, carefully counting every penny along the way. The closest thing to magic was how delightful the day wound up being with my closest friends on hand, talented and low-key professionals taking care of the couple things I couldn’t do by myself, good food, and a very reality-grounded dream coming true.

So when I read The Bride I (Never) Wanted to Be at the Etsy Wedding Blog, I felt a kinship with Meg Keene, the author and blogger of A Practical Wedding.

Good Advice for All Of Us, Not Just Introverts

I’m going to come right out and say something I don’t very often: I’m an introvert.

I’m not shy, really. I have no problem getting up in front of a crowd to sing, act, dance, or get married. In point of fact, I’m also a bit of a show off, so many people don’t twig to the fact that I’m also profoundly introverted.

I need time alone or I rapidly become irritable. I have been known to shoo even my nearest and dearest and Mr. Twistie from the room when I need that alone time.

But the fact is that weddings – you knew I’d get around them them eventually, right? – are rough on introverts in a lot of ways. Why? Because there are so darn many people involved, and they all want your attention right now.

If you’re an introverted person getting married, or you know and love someone who is, please do yourself a favor: head over to A Practical Wedding and read this lovely guest post on how to survive your wedding week as an introvert. It’s good advice that’s valuable even to a non-extrovert who might get overwhelmed.

What’s It Worth? That’s Up To You

The HuffPo wedding page recently began a campaign entitled Take Back Your Wedding. It’s about how you don’t have to bow to the pressure to have a traditional wedding blowout your family and friends want.

Today they are running an infographic on what else you could spend that much money on.

Taking the average cost of a wedding in eleven major cities across the country, they tell you what else that money could buy. For instance, the $65,824 for a traditional wedding in New York City could get you two year’s rent on a one-bedroom apartment in the East Village. In Dallas the $28,717 could get you 164 pairs of cowboy boots, just in case it’s your ambition in life to be the Texan Imelda Marcos.

Now you all know that I’m foursquare in favor of bridal budget sanity. I believe strongly in not spending more money on a wedding than you have to spend. I’m big on making the day personal to you rather than a set of traditions followed for the purpose of not upsetting people who aren’t the ones getting married, and in favor of dumping the trappings that don’t matter much to you personally. So if you would truly rather buy 32,715 beignets from Cafe du Monde than hold a traditional wedding, I will be the first person to have your back… and help you dispose of your beignet surplus.

But really? If you’ve got the money and want to spend it on a wedding, I will also be the first person in your corner. Your money, your priorities. Your choice.

It is my firm belief that a wedding will cost precisely what you are willing to spend on it. Whether you have a potluck backyard gathering for ten or a million dollar extravaganza in an exotic location where you fly in four hundred of your nearest and dearest, if you can pay for it and it makes you happy, then that’s what you should do.

The value of your wedding isn’t something that can be measured entirely in cold dollars and cents or comparison of how many hands of blackjack the same money would buy.

Base your budget decisions on your value system. And don’t let anyone else tell you what that is.

Safety First!

(via Ballroom Dance San Diego)
Actually, it doesn’t say anything specific about dance disasters, but come on, who could pass up that illustration?

What am I talking about? I’m talking about the CDC’s tongue-in-cheek advice for emergency preparedness for wedding season.

As CDC blogger Caitlin Shockey points out, wedding season does hit right smack dab in the middle of hurricane season. Therefore it behooves one to have an emergency plan in place:

“If a tornado warning rips through the area, would you know what to do? 200 guests are not going to be able to crowd into the one windowless bathroom.”

Other recommendations include sedatives and chocolates in case of an overwrought bride, and bandages in case of accident involving the flower girl.

Sadly lacking, though, any word of what to do if your wedding is interrupted by Zombie attack. Should that be a problem you’re concerned about, fear not. The CDC does have advice for you on that front, too.

Remember, safety first and be prepared!

Kristen-Alexander Dishes on Getting Married

Meet Kristen-Alexander Griffith. He’s an actor. He’s living in New York. He’s engaged. And he’s gay.

Since they got engaged in November, he and his partner, Aaron VanderYacht, have been finding they have a lot of questions about getting married as gay men. Naturally, they turned to the internet.

One frustrating Google search later, they had found a certain number of wedding-related services run by heterosexuals featuring rainbow flags that assured them they were welcome as customers, which was fine… as far as it went. What they couldn’t find was practical advice on how to throw a wedding with two grooms and zero brides.

So what do two guys looking for answers and not finding them do? They create the resource they’re looking for themselves. And so they started The Best Gay Wedding Blog Ever to document their wedding planning over the next year. As Kristen-Alexander says in his inaugural entry, dated January 10:

I thought it was time to hear stories and advice straight from the horse’s mouth, that horse being your’s truly!! So over the next, I dunno, year or so you and I will go on a journey. A journey to the big day: our wedding. I will share with you all the juicy experiences as my lovely groom and I try to figure out how the hell we are going to pull of a fabulous wedding on a budget. I am sure this experience will be full of hilarious stories, tears of joy, tragic tuxedos and terrible wedding cake! But best believe, by the time we are done you and your future Mr. or Mrs. will certainly know one thing: What not to do when planning your wedding!

All I can say is, I look forward to seeing what decisions messers Griffith and VanderYacht make.

What if You Don’t Feel That Way?

It’s part of the unquestioned mythology of weddings. When you find that right gown and slip it on for the first time, you feel like this:

You’re joyful, almost giddy with excitement. You know with absolute certainty for the first time that the wedding is really happening. You feel like a princess.

There’s even plenty of literature to back that up. Not just novels, though the theme is rife in books that feature weddings, but in films, TV shows, and even blogs about weddings.

For instance, a recent article at the Huffington Post by wedding gown designer Justina McCaffrey chronicles the way she sees career woman after career woman morph from a no-nonsense, phone-glued-to-the-ear customer in search of a simple white pantsuit to get married in to a dewy-eyed Disney princess in the making.

There’s Nothing Harder Than Saying Goodbye

It’s time for me to make a difficult announcement. To indulge in a spot of cliché, I’m not sure how to say it, so I’ll just come right out with it.

I’m resigning from Manolo for the Brides and Manolo for the Home.

During my time writing for Manolo for the Brides and Manolo for the Home, I’ve grown personally and professionally. When The Manolo took a chance and hired me to be a member of his team, I was a small-time journalist and freelance writer who’d started a blog mainly to complain about a boyfriend who was unwilling to get married. Now I’m a published author who’s married and a mom, and my accomplishments at Manolo for the Brides and Manolo for the Home have been the door openers to numerous interesting and lucrative opportunities.

I have loved every minute of writing for The Manolo. These blogs have been my introduction to entire worlds of design, fashion, etiquette, and more, not to mention my introduction to hundreds of awesome and amazing people. Reading your comments, receiving your emails, and answering your questions has been the very best part of bring a wedding planning blogger and then a home and lifestyle blogger.

But taking August off was eye opening for me. Between blogging, caring for a toddler, piles of contract work, the maintenance of a home, and trying to build a brand from the ground up, I was pulled in too many directions to be able to give my full attention to any one thing for any length of time, and I suddenly realized every part of my life had been suffering as a result.

When that’s happening, something has to give.

After weeks and weeks of thought, I finally made the decision to resign as Editor-in-Chief of Manolo for the Brides and Manolo for the Home. As you might imagine, it wasn’t an easy decision. I’ve been writing here since October 5, 2005, so these blogs have been a huge part of not just my life, but also who I am. The choice I’ve made is a bittersweet one – I’m going to miss writing here terribly, but it’s undeniable that it’s time to lighten my load before I drown in responsibilities.

Where will I go from here? Currently, I’m working on building my editorial services business, Christa Terry’s Editorialicious. But feel free to ‘like’ me! I’m still in the process of adding and editing all the copy on the web site and it’s not finalized (read: proofread) yet – plus everything on the Facebook and Twitter pages – but if you know anyone who’s looking for newsletter copy, SEO copy, editing, PR, or other content development services, send them my way. Other than that, I’m focusing on my family and giving myself some time to evaluate what I want to do next.

I’ll be thinking about all of you and wishing you the best for your weddings and your lives, and don’t hesitate to drop me a line at christa d terry at gmail if you ever just want to chat. Seriously, I’d love to hear from you because I’m going to miss you all terribly.

All the best,
Christa aka Never the Bride

P.S. – You can always see what yours truly is up to or just stalk my private life on my blog.

christa terry

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