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Brides | Manolo for the Brides - Part 4
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Tearful Brides: A Quickie Poll

(FYI: If you have any interest in winning a $155 gift certificate to any CSN stores, head over to my personal blog and enter my latest giveaway!)

'I'm... so... happy!'

Here’s something you might not know about me: I cry at the drop of a hat. I am like the queen of waterworks. I could probably maintain a salt water fish tank without ever having to buy those jugs of salt water. I cry when I’m sad. I cry when I’m angry. I cry when someone on TV is sad. I cry when I’m happy. I cry when I think about future happy events. All I have to do is imagine a situation where strong emotions would be appropriate, and I tear up. I think the connection between my tear ducts and my brain was sloppily installed, because I am a crying machine.

And yet, I did not cry at my wedding (until my SIL accused my family of intentionally keeping her in the dark about a post-wedding brunch, but that’s another matter). Everyone who knows me was UTTERLY CONVINCED that my crying instinct would kick on about five minutes after I woke up and continue operating until bedtime. But they were wrong. I smiled and laughed my way through the ceremony with perfectly dry eyes. I was too busy coordinating things that morning to shed any tears. And then later, too tired? The main thing those who predicted I would bawl forgot to take into account is that I love being the center of attention. I was too busy being “on” to cry that day.

Attending scads of weddings has shown me, however, that it’s not at all uncommon for brides to cry before, during, and after their wedding vows. Hence all the wedding hankies and admonishments to include Kleenex in the wedding day emergency kit.

So I created a little poll for the brides-to-be:

And for the former brides:

Because I’d love to know whether YOU think you’ll cry (or did cry) at your wedding!


Bridal Ponytails Are an Easy Option For the Unfussy Bride

Let’s talk about bridal ponytails. I don’t mean some really uppity up-do masquerading as a bridal ponytail, but rather sleek and simple bridal ponytails that are totally accessible to the DIY bride with a little pre-wedding practice. And before you reject this easy-peasy wedding day hairstyle, remember that there’s nothing that says a bride has to have hair teased into the stratosphere.

Isn’t that a sweet look? Admittedly, it’s unfussy and less-than-formal, but some brides are like that. And a simpler hairstyle can really showcase an elaborate wedding gown and/or bridal jewelry. Then again, there’s nothing wrong with pairing a sweet and simple wedding dress with a pony! Want to see more? There are six awesome examples of bridal ponytails under the cut!


LOVE/HATE: The Misplaced Sash Edition

Oh, the bows and the sashes and all those little extras that can either make or break an otherwise perfectly good wedding dress! How I love to love them and love to hate them, all at the same time. Butt bows? flower barf and boob bows? Whatever this is supposed to be

But how about something simple, like a scarf? Or a sash tied loosely around the neck? Brides in scarves! Brides in neck sashes! It’s not for everyone, but personally, I like it. Maybe I don’t love the execution in this one case, but I can picture a bride with a scarf in my head and she looks spectacular! What do you think? Could scarves and the like become an accepted accessory for brides if done right?

Image by photographers Bela Adler & Salvador Fresneda

5 Reasons to Choose a Colored Wedding Dress

1. Sometimes a bride-to-be will look at white wedding dresses until her eyes are threatening to go on strike without finding anything she loves because her complexion simply does not look right paired with white. And I mean *any* white. Her next stop could be the lonely corner rack with all the sad rum pink gowns and champagne castoffs, but why? There are plenty of gorgeous colored wedding dresses to choose from nowadays – and if none of them suit, there are always custom gowns.

2. Wearing a colored wedding dress can be a nod to your cultural heritage. Various shades of white may be the go to wedding gown colors in much of the Western World, but in other parts of the world, different hues are considered ‘right’ for wedding garments. For example, in China, India, and Vietnam, red is the traditional choice for brides. In the Klamath, Modoc, and Yurok tribes of Northern California, brides wore gowns woven in white, blue, yellow, and black. And once upon a time, black was the top choice for Scandinavian brides!

3. Those who don’t feel like spending big bucks on wedding garb can instead save big bucks by choosing a colored wedding dress. Gowns specifically created for weddings are priced at a premium, whereas frocks meant for parties and proms (or even everyday outfits for gown-lovers) frequently have price tags featuring numbers that won’t make your wallet cry. Worried that you won’t find a style you like because you love that traditional wedding gown look? There are plenty of colored gowns featuring the same silhouettes and styles as traditional wedding dresses.

4. While I don’t have any reason to wear a gown these days, maybe you do. I’m sure you’re thinking: Re-wearing a wedding dress sounds even sillier than re-wearing a bridesmaids’ dress. But why not? If you don’t have the same dress dying skills as the lovely Toni, you can up your chances of having the opportunity to wear your big day frock again if you choose a colored wedding dress over a white one. You can get even more mileage out of your colored wedding dress by choosing one that can be altered into a cocktail-length dress after you say your vows. Or starts as a cocktail length wedding dress!

5. Including colored wedding dresses in your list of possibilities widens your range of gown choices – particularly if you’re also open to a variety of silhouettes. Sure, you can find colored wedding dresses that are identical to white wedding dresses, but you also have your choice of elegant ballgowns and sleek, simple evening dresses. And the more choices you have, the more likely it is that you’re going to find a wedding gown that is close to or even exactly like the dress you’ve been picturing in your head.

Lucky in Awards, Unlucky in Love?

Yes, this is a shameless Oscar Tie In article.

Bette Davis and Joan Crawford both won that coveted statuette… and then had their marriages end. They aren’t alone, either. The same can be said of: Sanrda Bullock, Liza Minelli, Halle Berry, and Faye Dunaway.

In fact, the Best Actress Oscar curse has been much discussed over the years, with observers noting that winners of that particular award are more likely to divorce within the next few years than any other Oscar winner. But now the rumor has been investigated and found to be true by Sue Moon and Tiziana Casciaro of the University of Toronto and Colleen Stuart of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh for their paper The Oscar Curse: Status Dynamics and Gender Differences in Marital Survival.

Moon, Casciaro, and Stuart have found that Best Actress winners are about 1.68 times more likely to divorce than non-winners. Winning the Best Actor Oscar doesn’t seem to have a similar effect on men, incidentally.

So what does that mean for this year’s nominees? Well, the only one who is actually married (though Natalie Portman is engaged) would appear to be Nichole Kidman. If she wins, we’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed for her and hubby Keith Urban.

LOVE/HATE: The Missy Messy Wedding Dressy Edition

I know, I know, there’s already been a Missy Messy edition of LOVE/HATE, and none too long ago, either. But I have a thing for messy wedding dresses – or what you might say are wedding dresses that aren’t perfectly polished. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! I rather like torn hems and uneven bows and that sort of thing. Particularly when it’s surprising because every other element of the wedding and the bride’s wedding day look is just so.

This Kate Towers dress isn’t advertised as a wedding dress, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be one! Just for the record, I heart Kate Towers dresses, which are mainly ruffly and girly, but not in a prim and proper way. There’s definitely that homemade look about them – a really amazing professional homemade look that I certainly can’t replicate at home with my own sewing machine. Personally, I love this dress, which is made of soft gray hand-dyed raw silk chiffon. It’s romantic. But what do you think? Is it *too* raw for a wedding?

Engagement Photos, Five Ways

Not too long ago, the awesome Boston wedding photography firm KLC Photography sent me a selection of engagement photos taken in different locations around the city and MA – and I think they constitute a perfect illustration of the fact that there’s no one right or wrong way to do an engagement portrait session. Locations? Be as serious or as silly as you want to! Indoors or outdoors, your choice. Close ups… action shots… it’s all up to you and the photographer you’ve chosen to work with. (Hint: Share your ideas, but don’t be afraid to take your photog’s recommendations!)

Not everyone has engagement photos taken, of course. But if it’s something you’re planning on checking off your pre-wedding to-do list, have some fun with it like these couples did!

Here’s a future bride and groom at deCordova Sculpture Park, posing on some of the art. It would be tons of fun to run around 35 acres with a photographer. Maybe even a great way to relieve some wedding planning stress!

Here’s a couple kissing on the Charles River esplanade – this is my absolutely favorite of the bunch! I’m sure you and your sweetie could think of *plenty* of places to get your smooch on, no?


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