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Brides | Manolo for the Brides - Part 10
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Not Your Everyday Wedding Wear

Looking for an alternative to the traditional wedding veil? You could do like the ladies of Bourg en Bresse in France once did and, er, wear a lampshade on your head.

…I also think I see some wedding wear ideas for the groom who would describe himself as a “creative type.” (via)

LOVE/HATE: The ‘Just Come On, Already’ Edition

In case the novelty cake toppers featuring the bride dragging the groom to the altar or the much less common groom dragging the bride to the altar, we now have those wacky toppers in stunning reality in the form of staged wedding photos.

You know, just in case the stereotype of women having to trick men into getting married was prevalent enough. Oddly enough, I couldn’t find any images of a real groom dragging a real bride to the altar, which might have something to do with the fact that forced marriages are alive and well in many parts of the world, and more often than not, it is the bride who is the unwilling participant.

My take: Hate. Hate, hate, hate. This is one so-called funny stereotype I wish would just die already because the fact that it’s still around and has made its way into wedding photo albums doesn’t make anyone look good. What say you? Am I just being a fuddy-duddy, or what?

Inspiration: Joy On Wheels

Some people walk down the aisle and some people roll – if you’re one of the latter people, you might just want to see pictures of brides and grooms who look a little more like you. That was my reasoning when I went looking for photos of disabled (differently-abled?) brides and grooms – specifically those in wheelchairs. As I usually do, I figured it would be a walk in the park, but you’ll remember my usual rule: I want to find great, or at least good wedding photographs featuring brides and grooms in wheelchairs. Not, you know, some grainy, scanned in snapshot taken 30 years ago.

Turns out it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be – when is it ever? – to find beautiful photographs of brides, grooms, bridesmaids, and groomsmen in wheelchairs. But I did find some:

It’s not always easy for a bride-to-be who’s in a wheelchair to find an accommodating reception venue or the perfect wedding dress, but it can be done! Katie Kirkpatrick Godwin did it while battling the cancer that ultimately took her life. (Note: Not safe for people who cry easily.)


The Way You Wear Your Hat

Veils continue to occupy the number one spot when it comes to bridal accessories, and it’s not hard to see why. It isn’t as if a veil is a veil is a veil – you have your cathedral length veils and your fascinators and birdcage veils and everything in between. While some brides go bareheaded, there are certainly many more who choose to wear *something*, whether it’s a veil or a headband or a… hat?

I’ll admit that when I first started looking for bridal hats, I didn’t like a lot of what I saw, but then I stopped seeing so much of the stuff I didn’t like and started seeing all sorts of things I did like! Bridal hats, you see, come in as many different variates as bridal veils, from tiny little top hats with cherries attached to huge white straw hats just waiting for the right breeze to whisk them into the stratosphere. In conclusion, bridal hats? Yummy.


Taller Bride + Shorter Groom = No Conundrum At All

A while back, the magnificent Megan had this to say:

You know what I would love to see? A post about and with lots of photos/poses where the bride is taller than the groom. That’s sort of a “common but unusual” thing and I think many people aren’t sure how to handle it. Do brides still wear heels? Are photo poses different? Do they embrace it? And so on.

Easy-peasy, I thought, there are probably hundreds of photos of taller brides posed with shorter groom out there since tall ladies do marry compact gents. But, no. I thought wrongly. The problem is not that there aren’t brides who are taller than their grooms, but rather that so many couples and/or wedding photographers go to great pains to hide what everyone can clearly see.

So instead of hundreds of photos, I found one great photo, some really crap photos, and then hundreds of blog posts and forum discussions all about how to hide the fact that the groom is shorter than the bride. Here are some highlights:


LOVE/HATE: The “Mine, All Mine!” Edition

calling off a wedding

Here’s a little something from Slate’s DoubleX that talks about engagement rings – specifically what is to be done with them in the event that the wedding is called off.

Christopher Reinhold of Staten Island says the diamond ring he gave to Collette DiPierro, who broke off their engagement in September 2009 after four months and growing doubts, is rightfully his. He has sued her to get it back. In his New York state-court suit, Reinhold says that he gave DiPierro the ring upon her promise to marry him. Since she broke off the engagement and the marriage did not take place, the deal, he says, is off. But DiPierro says that because Reinhold proposed on her birthday, the $17,500 ring was a gift, not a token symbolizing a promise to marry. So she can keep it. Or, actually, spend it: Neither Reinhold nor DiPierro claims sentimental attachment; both would be happy with the ring’s cash value.

I know that an engagement ring ought to be a gift, not a contract or a payment in advance of future “services,” but in court contract law usually wins out and apparently agreeing to marry someone means entering into a verbal contract of which the ring is a part. Tres unromantic! Etiquette, of course, agrees that giving it back is the thing to do, but bad blood sometimes wins out over good manners.

What I’ve always wondered about the never-bride who keeps the ring is what she is going to do with it. Wear it? That could be awkward. Keep it at the bottom of her jewelry box? Again, awkward – I don’t like having old jewelry given to me by exes around. Sell it? Maybe I’m alone in thinking this, but that seems rather mean spirited – though if the giver of the ring was very abusive I might just say hock the thing for plane tix to somewhere awesome.

Calling off a wedding is such an emotionally charged thing to do, so do you really want a piece of bling (or the cash equivalent) reminding you that you or your once spouse-to-be said “I don’t” before anyone had a chance to say “I do”?

I HATE the idea that it’s even an issue. What does it matter if the ring was a gift or a way to seal the deal or something else? My idea of good manners does not include trying to profit off of a failed relationship (unless, as I mentioned above, there are some serious issues involved). Now you tell me: Is there any situation you can think of in which keeping the ring would be a love, not a hate?

Four Weddings, Dozens of Ideas

Working the bridal reality show beat, you’ll notice that there are very few that I recommend as helpful, or even particularly entertaining. That’s because I find that most bridal reality shows are a) unrealistic, b) determined to reinforce negative stereotypes of the process, c) shaming to couples with tight budgets, and d) big on the generic over the imaginative.

Sure, there are exceptions. Sometimes there’s an episode of Rich Bride, Poor Bride that has someone with their head on straight, and I do find Don’t Tell the Bride both endearing and fairly rational. Up to now, that’s been the list.

Well, I’ve finally found another one I think has some real value to real-life brides planning their own weddings. Oddly enough, it’s a reality contest show. Seriously? It is. It’s called Four Weddings, it’s on TLC, and it still takes a tidge of digging to get to the good stuff, but it’s in there.

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