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Wedding In a Winter Wonderland

There’s nothing like a winter wedding. Snow (if you live in an area where it’s common) makes a pretty backdrop for a wedding. And since winter is a far less popular time of the year to marry than spring or summer, it’s quite possible to get extra good deals on halls, catering, and flowers. And with all the decorative items on sale for Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s Eve, etc. it’s easy to get all kinds of pretty sparkly things to make your day beautiful on a budget.

Of course, there are some practical issues to consider, too. Weather is more likely to be stormy. One unexpectedly heavy fall of snow could spell the difference between a full house and lots of empty pews at your ceremony. Since many people travel for the holidays at this time of year, it’s also possible that you’ll wind up with less guests than you’d hoped due to family obligations or used up vacations days that won’t allow people to come out your way.

Once you’ve looked over the pros and cons and decided to set your wedding in the winter months, here are a few ideas to make it extra pretty and seasonally suitable.
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Tasty Is Always In Good Taste


This is a pretty typical wedding meal. Hunk of meat, blop of starch, spears of veggies.

Is there anything wrong with that? Not really. It’s all edible, it’s all reasonably safe. Done well it can even be quite delicious. But is it truly what you want to serve?

I think that’s a question that just doesn’t get asked enough in bridal circles. You go to have a tasting with the caterer, and chances are you’ll be offered a red meat option, a chicken or fish option, and – if you ask for one – a vegetarian option. The meat will have sauce. The vegetables will be the currently popular ones. The veggie option will almost inevitably be pasta based.

Again, nothing wrong with that. I’ve eaten dozens of such meals and lived to tell the tale. But what if it doesn’t meet your needs or your tastes?

Before you accept the expected, sit down and think about how you want to feed your guests. Really consider whether you want to serve standard options or whether you want to do something else. After all, if you’re committed vegetarians, do you really want to serve meat at your wedding? Are you a carnivore who believes your vegetarian friends deserve more than a stuffed mushroom and some tomato-sauced penne for dinner? Is there nothing you hate more in life than steaks and chicken breasts, but nothing you love more than cheeseburgers? Do you fear losing your foodie rep if you serve the same old, same old? Do you hail from a cultural background where the old standards of USAian wedding food would cause nothing but confusion and consternation from your family and guests?

And if you decide the standard is not for you… what the heck do you do next?
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We’re Havin’ a Heat Wave


With record-breaking temperatures throughout the country and massive droughts going on, this strikes me as a good time to talk about how to beat the heat on your wedding day.

After all, a scorcher of a day is not only uncomfortable for the people saying ‘I do’ but their friends and families as well. High mercury can lead to high tempers and short fuses. You don’t want fights breaking out because of heat-related misery and you certainly don’t want anyone – including you! – to suffer from heat prostration.

What to do to keep everyone as cool as you can? Read on and find out.
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Toast of the Town? Or Just Crumby?

When it comes to celebrity couples, it’s kind of amazing what people will consider collectible.

Take, for instance, the odd collectible from the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Thirty one years ago, on the day the royal couple took their wedding vows, the prince did not finish his breakfast. One Rosemarie Smith, now eighty-three, was visiting her daughter who worked as a maid at the palace. One of the daughter’s jobs was to clear away the prince’s breakfast tray. Smith snatched up the uneaten toast and has kept it preserved in a Royal Crown Derby teacup ever since.

For a long time, it was just Smith’s little personal keepsake. Recently, however, with the marriage of Prince William and the Queen’s diamond jubilee, she thought Prince Charles’ wedding toast might be worth something.

“I just wandered into the auctioneers out of curiosity and asked them if it was worth anything. I was pleasantly surprised to hear them agree with me that it could be of quite some value to Royal collectors.”

In fact, when it goes on the auction block, the royal toast is expected to fetch somewhere in the vicinity of five hundred pounds sterling. That’s close to eight hundred smackers in American money.

Me? I think I’ll make some fresh toast.

Now What Do I Do With It All?


Your wedding is going to be lovely. After all, you’ve worked hard to come up with just the right accessories to carry out your dream theme, picked the perfect flowers, designed a menu that will delight the taste buds of your friends and families, and chosen a spectacular one-of-a-kind gown.

Beautiful.

Elegant.

Meaningful.

But what the holy heck are you going to do with it all once the day is over? After all, you don’t want to be a one-woman ecological disaster in the making, and you don’t want to be wading through masses of wedding detritus come your tenth anniversary, either.

That means you’ll need a plan to store the things you care about keeping and dispose of the things you don’t want anymore responsibly.

As per usual, I have a couple thoughts on the subject.
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Kid Week: Keeping Small Guests Happy

Welcome to day four of Kid Week at Manolo for the Brides! Enjoy your stay.


(Illustration via Yuba City Wedding Photography)

There’s an art to keeping wedding guests happy, but it’s really not that difficult once you know the trick: think like a guest. Think about what has made you feel welcomed and happy, and then do those sorts of things. Think about what made you feel bored, confused, or unwelcome and avoid those things. It isn’t 100% foolproof, of course, since where one person finds something charming and inviting… another finds it hokey or off-putting. Still, thinking of the comfort of other people puts you well ahead of the game. A much higher percentage of people will come away having enjoyed themselves if you’ve made their happiness a priority.

The thing is, that goes double with children.

They’re smaller, so their physical needs may be more demanding. They have less patience and stamina, so one needs to consider pacing and opportunities for rest. They’re less experienced, so their concerns about things that are too unfamiliar need to be addressed.

But don’t panic. A few simple choices can help you make sure even your youngest guests feel welcome and special.
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Five Ways to Reduce Your Wedding’s Carbon Footprint

Once upon a time, if you mentioned an eco-friendly wedding, people tended to think of something like this:

You know, obviously hand-hewn, crunchy granola, unfashionable, and probably reeking of patchouli.

In short, even a lot of people who admired the commitment these couples made to living lightly on Mother Earth wouldn’t be caught dead in a ditch looking – or smelling – like them.

But times have changed. You don’t have to be a card-carrying hippie to care about the environment anymore. and you don’t have to completely reject both tradition and fashion to follow your convictions.
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