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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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Announcing Theme Week!

It’s been a while since we’ve done a theme week here at Manolo for the Brides, and I think it’s high time we did one.

So, next week there will be a theme to all posts on this blog. And that theme is….


(image via Kelly Pratt Photography)

Kiddie Week!

Yes, we’ll be talking about children and weddings. Everything from how to include them in your wedding party to how to exclude them from your guest list, plus tips on care, feeding, dressing, and general wrangling of wee folk at your shindig.

So if you’ve got a question you’d like to see covered, leave it in the comments and I’ll get to as many as I can starting sunday.

Is a Surprise Wedding for You?


By now, most of you have probably heard that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg married longtime lady love Priscilla Chan yesterday. As always, I hope you will join with me in wishing them a long, happy marriage.

But there’s one aspect of this wedding you might not have heard about yet: it was a surprise to the entire guest list.

Chan had graduated from medical school during the week, and she and Zuckerberg sent out invitations to a graduation party. But when guests arrived, well, Chan was wearing a white gown and veil and the next thing guests knew, they were witnessing the start of a new marriage.

While this approach certainly isn’t for everybody, I have to say I like the concept. It’s low key, so it’s easier to avoid jitters. Nobody is expecting a wedding, so they don’t worry about shelling out money they can’t afford on new clothes and gifts. You don’t have to corral your nearest girlfriends into the bridal salon to argue over which available dress they hate least as a group. Nobody can accuse you of boring them to death with wedding details. Nobody has a chance to object to the aspect of the wedding that means the most to you.

In short, all you need to do is organize a party in a place you like, invite the people you’re closest to, nab yourself an officiant, get a license, and give everyone there the surprise of their lives! It’s up to you whether to plan for months or do it on a couple days’ notice, whether to include traditional trappings or drop every wedding convention except the vows.

I took a long time to plan my wedding to Mr. Twistie. I enjoyed the entire process. I loved sharing my plans with others. But there’s definitely something to be said for keeping an exciting secret, too.

So how about you? Would you ever consider a surprise wedding?

Quickie Question: Famous Guest?


I’m guessing it’s not every bridal blog where you would expect to see a picture of Edgar Allan Poe looking all creepy at you.

The funny thing is, if I could have invited any famous person – dead or alive – to my wedding, Mr. Poe would definitely have made the short list, along with Oscar Wilde and Vincent Price. Mr. Twistie probably would have voted for Eddie Cantor.

Why these men? Because, in a word, they all knew how to have a good time. Oh, and Vincent Price was also known for his fabulous cooking. Had his arm been properly twisted, he might have brought along something tempting to eat.

Hmmm… maybe Vincent should win, after all.

What about you? If you could invite any famous person from any point in history to your wedding, who would it be? Why?

You Never Know Who Will Accept


Nearly every couple getting married sends out at least one or two invitations to people they’re pretty sure won’t attend, for one reason or another. Every once in a while, they show up anyway. One good friend of mine was absolutely gobsmacked when her uncle came all the way from New Zealand for her wedding. But I think John and Frances Canning may have been even more amazed at who turned out for their big day.

The happy couple had booked the Manchester Town Hall for their event, and about four weeks before the wedding, they were contacted and told that a VIP would be in the building that day: no less a personage than Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The queen and Prince Philip were going to be attending a banquet in honor of the queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Being fans of the royals, John and Frances decided to send an invitation, more as a bit of light-hearted fun to share with friends than out of any belief that anything would come of it.

But when the ceremony was over, the staff asked the wedding party to wait a minute in the corridor, and who should come by but the Queen and Prince Consort offering congratulations!

I offer up mine, as well, but that probably isn’t as exciting as actually meeting the Queen of England.

PS: Don’t forget to enter the contest! You have a couple days left.

Invitation Wording for Smart Cookies Pt. 1


If you’ve never had to decide on the wording of a wedding invitation before, it can be a confusing task. Pleasure of your company or honor of your presence? Whose parents’ names come first? How about divorce or dead parents? Two grooms or two brides? Who gets listed first then? Can’t I just send out a viral evite?

Don’t panic. It’s really not as complicated as all that. You just need to know what the rules are and how they affect your choices. Also? Nobody ever died of an ill-worded wedding invitation, so it’s okay to lighten up a bit.
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Invitees: What to Do When the Right Response Isn’t Clear

If they didn't want you there, one hopes they wouldn't have invited you.

Though we mainly address our wisdoms to brides-to-be, we don’t like to neglect the needs of wedding guests and prospective wedding guests. How to respond to a wedding invitation can be just as tricky as writing one, and that goes double when someone who’s been invited to a wedding is unsure whether she or he should happily accept or decline with regrets. Here’s a question we received a few years back – I felt like this post needed to see the light of day again in case other invited wedding guests out there were on the fence as to whether yes or no is the right response. That said, here’s the question posed by a prospective guest:


I was recently sent a “save the date” card by a friend who is, well, no longer really a friend. Not that we had a falling out, but we don’t really travel in the same social circles anymore. However, I was in the couple’s life when they became a couple, and I’m so happy for the two of them. I’m not sure what to do. I wonder if she invited me because she felt she should because I knew about the wedding? I wonder if I’ll just feel terribly socially awkward the whole time? I wonder if people will think I accepted just to get a free meal, rather than to celebrate the union of these two people? Would the bride be happier if I accepted or if I declined?

To anyone,anywhere contemplating an invitation to an event they’d rather not attend, I say this: Not replying at all is a dis of the highest order. While it might seem that dragging one’s feet until it’s far to late to reply is the easiest option, there are some things polite people simply do not do. That’s not to say I was suggesting that either party who wrote to me would do such a thing. Far from it! It’s simply a gem of truth that bears repeating now and again.

If you feel uncomfortable accepting an invitation to a bridal tea, bridal shower, or wedding, then by all means decline. There is nothing discourteous or ungracious about saying, “No.” When it comes to the invites to the main event, it’s usually as easy as pie…at least I’ve never seen a response card that reads “______ declines with regrets, now tell us why in 500 words or less _________.” If you’re asked to RSVP via phone or the individual doing the inviting just has to know why you can’t attend, things get stickier.

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