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A Hidden Splash of Color

We don’t touch on bridal shoes very often here at Manolo for the Brides because our own namesake has the shoe blogging market cornered. I have to say, however, that I am thoroughly enjoying the established trend that has brides wearing vividly, sometimes shockingly colored bridal shoes underneath their wedding gowns. While colored bridal shoes are nothing new, I remain delighted by them.

Should you find yourself in the market for such shoes, here are eight pairs that are particularly striking.

Moschino - MA1616BC1O FX0 (Fuchsia) - Footwear

These Moschino peep toe pumps are on sale for almost half off! What’s not to love?

Stuart Weitzman - Gigi Ritz (Fucshia Satin) - Footwear

Stuart Weitzman Gigi Ritz pumps have a lower heel than the traditional Gigi and are perfect for dancing.

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The Gift of Time

Wedding stationery

Maids-of-honor and bridesmaids take note: If you’re absolutely stymied when it comes to a thoughtful shower gift for the bride-to-be, why not give your gal pal the gift of some free time? I recently read a tale about a very astute bridesmaid who, in lieu of (or perhaps in addition to) a physical bridal shower present for the guest of honor, gave the bride-to-be the gift of pretty thank you notecards with envelopes that were already addressed to all of the shower attendees. All the bride-to-be had to do was write out her thank you cards, affix some stamps to the already-addressed envelopes, and drop the whole works in the mail.

Sound like a great gift? Take it to the next level by including postage stamps on each addressed envelope so the bride-to-be doesn’t have to make a side trip to the post office.

Just In Case You Show a Little Leg

Dismayed by all of the flimsy craft-store bridal garters out there on sites selling wedding favors? Yeah, us, too. If you’re like me and choose not to toss your garter, it can feel a little odd to devote a great deal of time or money to an bridal accessory that very few people will ever get to see. Still, even if your garter is your (and your new spouse’s) little secret, why not splurge on something special, like a handmade custom garter designed by Julianne Smith?

Garters for Brides

The best part? It’s not much of a splurge when you consider that all of Smith’s garters price in at less than $50.

LOVE/HATE: The Just A Bit Busy Edition

You know how disappointing it is to watch a fashion show only to realize that there is no way in hell you would ever look good in any of the clothes that came swishing down the runway? I don’t get that feeling with Elie Saab. While I certainly wouldn’t look good in all of Saab’s beautiful gowns, there are plenty that would flatter women of many shapes and sizes.

That said, even brilliant visionaries have a hiccup now and again.

Elie Saab wedding gown

This wedding dress from Saab’s spring/summer ’08 collection is fully embroidered with guipures, sequins, and paste. A silver brocade off-the-shoulder top is balanced by a long train. Doesn’t that make it sound nice? Too bad a picture can replace a thousand words. What I want to know is what exactly those off-white bunches are… they’re scattered all over the bodice, framed by sparkly stuff. I tend to hate anything that looks like an afterthought. Was Saab thinking “The gown is done, beautiful. But how to make it better? I know! I’ll sew scrap fabric all over it!” Gah.

What say you?

Making a Change, Saying Buh-Bye

We love vintage wedding gowns and vintage-look wedding gowns here at Manolo for the Brides, but what’s the bride who loves retro styles and modern frocks to do? To her I say that it wasn’t all that long ago that brides changed out of their wedding dresses and into something easier to travel in before stepping into their getaway cars and heading off to their honeymoons.

It’s not a practice one sees much these days, of course. I’ve only ever attended one wedding reception during which the bride changed out of her dress before making her exit. In that case, she put aside her bulky gown in favor of a white leather vest and white spandex leggings… if you couldn’t guess, she was a motorcycle mama and was preparing to ride away on her man’s hog. Good times. But if this vintage tradition appeals to you, why not wear a fun and flirty vintage-look dress from Whirling Turban?

Getaway dresses for brides

Whirling Turban does have some wedding specific designs, though both of these dresses come from their regular stock. The first is made of hand-woven cotton ikat fabric subtly mixed with metallic silver fibers and a sweeping full skirt wrapped around a narrow pencil type skirt that peeps out when you walk. The second is made of the same unique fabric and features a petal bodice with pink contrast and a flattering wrap-n-tie sarong skirt. I like both… too bad I have no reason to buy either!

For Bride and Groom by Fade

Want a wedding dress that falls outside of the mainstream, by which I mean really outside of the mainstream? Olivier Bobin (aka Fade) and Yoshiko Creations have you covered… mostly. Their For Bride and Groom wedding wear collection wavers between leaving plenty to the imagination and not leaving much at all to the imagination. Fade’s one nod to tradition is that almost all of his wedding dresses are white.

For Bride and Groom by Fade

Olivier Bobin\'s wedding dresses

Bobin\'s For Bride and Groom

The last wedding dress looks very much like what sat atop my Christmas tree this past December, except my angel only had one face. I think that if you took away some of the see-through elements and nixed the accessories (headgear, wings, etc.) you’d have some pretty interesting wedding dresses. Not the kind of dresses most people actually wear, mind you, but something fascinating to peer at as it saunters down a runway.

Centenarian Bride?

Will Wang Guiying be the oldest first-time bride on record? At 107, Wang has decided that at long last it’s time to marry. The reason is that she doesn’t want to be a burden on her nieces and nephews.

Wang’s story started in the southern Guizhou province of China. As a child, she saw her aunts being bullied and beaten by their husbands and decided she wanted no part of marriage. Determined to live independantly, she took up farming and supported herself until she was 74, when she was no longer able to work in the fields.

Since then, she has lived with nephews and nieces. Now, though, the youngest of those relatives is 60 and their children have children of their own to worry about. Wang fears becoming more of a burden than her family can cope with.

Wang has decided it’s finally time to marry. She’s searching for a husband…one around her own age so they can have something to talk about. Local officials have announced they will help Wang in her search for a husband.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I hope she finds what she’s looking for…including married happiness.