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It’s that time of year again… that’s right, the time of year when we here at Manolo for the Brides update our blogroll! We’re always looking for new friends with whom we can exchange links, whether they are brides blogging about their own weddings, bridal bloggers like us, or even vendors and retailers who blog about their services.

So if you’d like to be included in the ranks of our blogging peeps, leave a comment on this post and be sure to include a link to your site!

Marriage and Memorial Day

wartime bride

Here’s wishing those in the U.S. a pleasant and thoughtful Memorial Day — or as it’s known to many, three-day-weekend barbecue day. While we try never to get too, too somber and sober here at Manolo for the Brides, I do have to say that I find wartime weddings tremendously fascinating. Among death and destruction, life goes on. People fall in love, get married. Their weddings might be less elaborate than they might otherwise be or planned that much more quickly, but the urge to celebrate love and togetherness remains even as the potential for future pain looms large.

There will be no backyard barbecues or Memorial Day parades for me, The Beard, and Paloma this year, but I feel like I’m doing just a little bit to keep the spirit of the day alive by contemplating the many wartime brides, both past and present, and the strength they must possess.

LOVE/Hate: The Mean Girls Edition

wedding party

I was doing my daily review of the new content on Jezebel when I was struck by a post about wedding mockery… specifically the wedding mockery at the blog Tacky Weddings. Sadie had this to say about the site:

But if you’re a softie like me, after looking at a few you’ll feel bad. After all, most of these brides and grooms look happy, are delighted with their weddings and clearly put thought and work into them. What’s more, it seems cruel to feature them without permission (not like they’d give it.) Celebs or reality TV mavens putting themselves out there for public consumption is one thing; the vast majority of these people are anything but.

Naturally, I had to go check it out for myself, because I do love a good trainwreck of a wedding! But as I browsed through the content on Tacky Weddings, I couldn’t help but agree with Sadie. When we post pictures from real weddings here at Manolo for the Brides, we try to be kind, and if we do mock just a little bit, we usually do so gently and in the spirit of fun.

I mean ugly bridesmaid dresses and funny wedding cakes are one thing (especially if a reader has sent in their own wacky or outdated wedding photos), but ugly brides? While one of the images featured is of a dude wearing a wedding dress, the rest appear to be brides whose ‘ugliness’ comes from the fact that they’re not members of the white European upper class. That’s just plain nasty, if you ask me.

I’m going to go with HATE on this one — not hate for the Tacky Weddings, which is overall a fun blog good for a bit of a laugh, but hate for the notion that it’s okay to get flat out mean when discussing a real person’s nuptials. Calling a wedding gown or a bridal bouquet tacky is fine in my book. Calling a bride tacky (or ugly or stupid) for wearing that gown and carrying that bouquet isn’t my cup of tea.

What say you?

(PS — I am REALLY digging the mens’ suits in the above photo)

A Feminist Wedding? Make That an Examined Wedding.

A now-deleted post (that you can still see in Google’s archives) by blogger Kathryn Jean Lopez of the National Review has been weighing heavily on my mind. Entitled “You’ve Never Met a Bridezilla Like a Feminist Bridezilla,” the post is little more than an excerpt from a post by blogger Jessica Valenti of Feministing. Valenti, you see, is getting married. She also identifies as a feminist. While Lopez’s post doesn’t include any outright insults directed toward Valenti, the title implies that there is something unusual and perhaps even a little icky about the thoughtful way Valenti is approaching matrimony.

feminist wedding

What, I have to wonder, is wrong with carefully considering whether or not to take the name of one’s partner… with thinking about the plight of those who cannot at this time get legally married… or with delving into the origins of established wedding traditions? My take is that the answer is nothing. Nothing is wrong with planning an examined wedding, and anyone who is threatened by another woman’s choice to plan just such a wedding probably has a pretty big chip on her shoulder.

What it comes down to, in my mind, is this: Not taking a partner’s last name isn’t automatically a feminist decision any more than taking a partner’s last name indicates that you’re a slave to the patriarchy. The same goes for wearing a white wedding gown, tossing the bouquet, including gendered words in your wedding vows, and being walked down the aisle by daddy. The reasons people do or don’t do these things go waaaay beyond “I’m rebelling against socially-sanctioned gender inequality” or “I’m a woman, so this is what I have to do.”

The feminist wedding is basically the examined wedding, which is what most brides and grooms really ought to be planning whether they identify as feminists or not. Sometimes the choices they make will adhere to the tenets of feminism (making it an uppercase Feminist Wedding), and sometimes they won’t, but to imply that Jessica Valenti is a ‘feminist bridezilla’ because she’s exploring all her options is patently absurd.

A Way, Way, Way Off-Topic Post

Teeny Manolo scooped the news that I had my baby girl, but I wanted to share one of the first pictures of Paloma right here on Manolo for the Brides.

Baby Paloma

We’re doing wonderfully, though at a mere 34 weeks, Paloma is currently bunking in the NICU until she learns to do the things that many full term babies can do right away. We’re very much looking forward to the day that she can come home and I can start fostering a love of all things wedding in my daughter!

Photo credit goes to the fantastic cahla

The Perfect Dress Finally Meets the Perfect Guy

1950s wedding dress

Sadie over at Jezebel recently shared the fact that the wedding gown she’ll be wearing when she marries her current beau is the wedding gown she planned to wear when engaged to a former beau. No, Sadie isn’t some kind of uber budget bride. It’s just that the wedding gown she already had was so… perfect. The idea of the perfect wedding gown is definitely a cliché, but in Sadie’s case, it isn’t far from the truth.

It was the dress I’d had in mind long before I’d met my first boyfriend; he’d never seen it; and, most of all, it had been made for me. It was, and remains, the only custom garment I’ve ever owned, and there seemed an unspeakable luxury to stepping into a dress I’d envisioned and having it fit perfectly. I’d long peered into the windows of the dressmaker’s small shop in lower Manhattan, and it was with great excitement that I’d first breached the doorway and explained what I wanted: Swiss Dot; sweetheart neck; full, ballerina-length skirt. I was quickly persuaded to adopt a pale pink underskirt and a dainty tulle halter that sounds slightly ugly but is, I assure you, truly lovely. Without the crinoline, the dress would simply be a pretty, retro party-frock; with, it reminded me of the wedding gown from Funny Face.

I don’t think *I* could wear the same wedding dress I’d planned to wear to marry some other guy, but I’m not about to jump all over someone who would. Especially if they’ve been dreaming of a particular dress for ages upon ages. After all, why let a less-than-perfect (wo)man ruin the perfect dress? If Sadie is cool with it and her fiancé is cool with it, who am I to tsk-tsk their decision? On the other hand, I would caution against letting the future in-laws know the origins of the wedding dress, depending on their general dispositions.

What do you think? Is this tacky? Resourceful? Overly sentimental? Not sentimental enough?

Note: If you like the dress above, check out Lynns Rags, the Etsy shop of its creatrix!

Happy New Year From Never teh Bride and Twistie!

Bridesmaids in bronze

Here’s wishing you and yours the most fabulous, most decadent, most love-filled, most glorious 2009! I’ll just have to imagine that you had as much fun last night as these brazen bridesmaids are having in this photograph… and that you’re not paying for it today.

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