Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Queen Victoria: Recycling Bride

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

What do you think of when you think of Queen Victoria? I’m betting you don’t think of recycling, or of frugality. The truth is, though, that she hated waste, wasn’t huge on pomp and circumstance where it could be helped, and was tremendously sentimental. These three facts combined to make sure she reused her wedding lace for the rest of her life.
Queen Victoria This is what the scene looked like on February 10, 1840, when young Queen Victoria married her cousin Prince Albert at the Chapel Royal, St. James.

Compared to other royal brides of the period, Victoria dressed simply. She kept the jewels to a minimum and had her wedding clothes made of English products, including her lace. In fact, it’s widely believed that she ordered the Honiton lace ensemble of wide skirt flounce, narrow sleeve flounces, veil, and a fichu before she even proposed to Albert. Whether or not that’s true, she certainly did have the lace made in the village of Beer under the direction of one Miss Jane Bidney. It took some two hundred lacemakers to create the set. When the lace was completed, she ordered the patterns destroyed so that it could not be replicated.

But that’s not the end of the story.

Making a Change, Saying Buh-Bye

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

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!

Once Upon a Menu

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

When you head to either your friendly neighborhood caterer, your own cookbook shelf, or your favorite group of church ladies to work out your wedding reception menu, a great many concerns will affect your final choices: price, personal taste, known food issues among your nearest and dearest (allergies, moral or religious dietary restrictions, cousin Wendy’s legendary phobia of Brussels sprouts), cultural expectations, etc.

But there’s one thing that most likely won’t even enter your thoughts: availability.

We’re spoiled for choice today. If strawberries aren’t in season, we can get them from another hemisphere or an agricultural concern that creates the correct circumstances for strawberries to grow all year round. If we want lemongrass, it doesn’t have to grow nearby. Freezing techniques allow us to have duck, venison, or lamb whatever the time of year. Corn on the cob in December? Not a problem.

Back through the mists of time, though, what you ate depended far more heavily on where you were and what time of year it happened to be. If you wanted oysters but lived inland, you might well be out of luck. If the only fruit trees in the local orchards were apple and peach, then good luck coming up with oranges. Oh, and if you wanted a cake, it took much stronger arms to whisk the ingredients since you wouldn’t have a nice stand mixer to whip the butter and eggs for you. Excuse me for a moment while I go pet my KitchenAid.