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LOVE/HATE: On and Off


This is the top of Rosa Clara’s new wedding gown, BASILEA.


So are both of these.

Rosa Clara’s latest line features a slew of gowns that are mostly strapless with sheer boleros on top. BASILEA is unique in that it features spaghetti straps and a more imaginative jacket with French cuffs.

Me? I LOVE this one. I like the clever nods to a man’s formal shirt combined with lacy, feminine details. I also rather love the elegant wedding dress yet stripped down ballgown underneath. And the pockets? Make me smile. I love pockets.

What say all of you? LOVE it? HATE it? Something in between?

LOVE/HATE: Halloween Weddings


(Illustration via Cake Picture Gallery)

Halloween is a popular holiday to marry around. You’ve got a built in theme, and it appeals to those who take a walk on the goth side or who enjoy freaking the mundanes… for those of you who are, like me, recovering (or not so recovering) Scadians. You’ve got a set few color schemes to work with and plenty of party store goodies readily available, there are usually some great deals on candy in case you want to set up a candy bar or give out miniature candy bars as favors.

In short, it’s got a lot to recommend it if you’re inclined that way.

But I’m curious: do you LOVE Halloween theme weddings? Do you HATE them? Consider them fun and daring? Disrespectful and tacky? Done to undeath?

I have to admit I’ve never been to an actual Halloween theme wedding, but like most themes, I think whether it’s good or bad usually depends on the gusto and imagination with which it is tackled by the individual couple in question.

After all, if the couple depends on black bridesmaids’ dresses and the DJ playing the Monster Mash to get their theme across… yeah, that just wouldn’t cut it. In fact, it’s gotten to the point where black and red is such a common wedding color palette throughout the year that that isn’t enough, either.

But a couple who truly commits to the theme and weds in Victorian mourning clothes or asks the bridal party to dress in costumes and carry pumpkin-shaped baskets filled with flowers rather than traditional bouquets? I gotta hand it to them. They’ve committed and made the wedding a true theme one.

In fact, I think I could actually LOVE a Halloween wedding where the couple pulled a Zuckerberg by asking people to show up for a costume party, showed up as, I don’t know, Cinderella and Prince Charming, or Spiderman and Mary Jane, or even Frankenstein and his bride, and in the middle of the party, a wedding breaks out.

So what about all of you? LOVE? HATE? Something in between?

Tell me what you think!

LOVE/HATE: Pre-Wedding Fake Tan

I don’t get it. I never got it. Years ago, I did try tanning before fear of UV rays and their potentially cancerous effect became widely discussed. It didn’t work on me. I come of the Transparent Peoples. We come in two shades: lily white and lobster red. There ain’t nothing in between the two, no way, no how. Our burns do not fade to tans. They just peel a lot. In the words of the late, great Warren Zevon, it ain’t that pretty at all.

I knew that I couldn’t tan, so I stopped trying. I live in sunscreen and dress in colors that bring out the best in my pale skin and dark eyes and hair.

It never once occurred to me to get a fake tan for my wedding, but I know there are a lot of women would no more consider walking the aisle to their beloved pale and interesting, as the Victorians put it, than they would consider doing so in a fright wig and galoshes three sizes too big. Those women, if they don’t tan easily and naturally or if they live in areas not conducive to tanning at the time of year they intend to marry, often get some sort of applied tan.

Maybe it’s the number of horror stories I’d heard of spray tan gone wrong. Maybe it was the shock of my first sight of George Hamilton.
Maybe it’s all those years I did theater and had to make up in bizarre and sometimes torturous ways, but I couldn’t imagine spraying on a tan on my wedding day. I did basic, subtle street make up with a slightly more lavish hand to avoid looking washed out in the photos… and then I expected my photographer to know how not to overexpose the shots or take a lot of photos that made me look like Casper the Friendly Ghost. I chose to wear a shade of white that made the most of my natural skin tone. I looked fabulous, if I do say so myself.

So yeah, I do kind of HATE the idea of fake tans on brides.

What about you?

LOVE/HATE: Diamond in the Rough

I’ve never been a fan of diamonds. When I read Anne of Green Gables for the first time at the tender age of ten, I knew I had met a kindred spirit when she talked about how disappointed she was the first time she saw a diamond and it wasn’t the brilliant purple of amethyst as she’d imagined. By the time I’d read my way far enough in the series for Anne to get engaged to Gilbert (Spoiler!), I was very much in favor of her choice of a pearl for an engagement ring.

When Mr. Twistie and I set the date, I did Anne one better and got a ring with no stone whatsoever. I love my sterling silver frog prince and wouldn’t exchange him for all the tea in China, let alone all the diamonds in South Africa. At least I do drink tea.

But there’s a trend in engagement rings that has very nearly turned my feelings about diamonds upside down: uncut diamonds.

This ring by Bario-Neal features a rough diamond flanked by a combination of yellow sapphires and citrine. Depending on the size of the diamond (.5 – 1.0ct) and choice of metal (yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, or platinum) it runs between $2,050 and $3,524.

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE this ring. I like the fact that there’s an understated elegance to the main stone, and, yes, I do have a bit of a thing for citrine. I like yellow. One of the things I’ve always liked least about diamonds is one of the things that everyone else seems to prize most about them: the aggressive sparkle. I’m not a sparkly person. In this case, the sparkle is mitigated and I’m delighted.

My silver frog is still very much my favorite engagement ring of all time, and in no danger even if Mr. Twistie could afford to spend two or three grand on something that doesn’t need replacing. All the same, if I were getting engaged today instead of back when I did… I might be tempted to look at this or something very like it. I’m not afraid of my jewelry looking dated someday, nor of standing out from a crowd. I’m not much exercised about traditions that were created mostly by companies that profit from the creation of the tradition. I just know what I like, and I like this a lot.

So what say you? LOVE it? HATE it? Something else? Tell me what you think!

LOVE/HATE: Feathers as Flowers?


When we think about what a bride will carry down the aisle with her, we usually think of flowers. Of course, it’s also perfectly proper to carry a prayer book, a fan, or to follow the example of Frances Folsom when she married President Grover Cleveland in the White House and carry nothing at all.

But most commonly, we carry flowers. We expect other brides to carry flowers. We think of them tied in a bouquet… but the fact is a bouquet needn’t be made of flowers. And some brides – whether from concerns about allergies, dislike of the waste of cut flowers, or simply a desire to be a little different – would much rather their bouquets be made of something else… such as feathers.

Me? I LOVE the idea, so long as they’re done well. The picture up top is my idea of a great feather bouquet. The feathers are simply allowed to be themselves. I happen to be a fan of having things look like what they are.

But what about you? LOVE ‘em? HATE ‘m? Think they soar to heights of fabulousness? Or consider them for the birds?

LOVE/HATE: Morning After Photo Sessions


It’s the morning after your wedding. You’ve spent the last few weeks (possibly months) having your entire world turned upside down with parties and racing from appointment to appointment and ever-present cameras documenting your transition from singleton to married bliss. You’ve finally had a few precious hours alone to enjoy one another’s company and nurse your first married hangover… when there comes a knock on the door of the honeymoon suite and you let the photographer in to do the professional shots of your post-nuptial (post coital?) bliss.

Yes, this is apparently something people are now doing. In fact, Refinery 29 has an entire gallery of images couples have had taken the morning after the wedding. The illustration above comes from that gallery. Okay, it’s only four images, but that still counts as a slideshow, and they all appear to come from different shoots.

You know, there was a time when a couple got one photograph of their wedding process. It was a single formal portrait of the happy couple looking stern in their wedding finery. By the time I was old enough to even notice the whole getting married thing, everyone expected to have an album of wedding day photos taken at the Big Event proper. Photos of the bride getting dressed and made up were fairly common well before I tied the knot, and that was where I drew the line. I needed ten minutes to myself that morning and that was the only chance I had to get them.

Frankly I cannot imagine inviting a photographer to come by the next morning, run me through hair, makeup and wardrobe, and then give me directions on how to look rumpled and sated for the cameras.

So yeah, I’m going with HATE on this one. In fact, I’m going with hate with the power of twelve massive supernovas here. That’s how much I HATE this.

Besides, are you really ever going to want anyone who isn’t you to see this? And if so, why? And even if you must do this, why not give yourself a little breather between the wedding and the next TMI photo shoot?

Or am I just a backwards old fart with no clue how special this can be?

LOVE/HATE: Natalie’s Understated Gown


The first blurry pics are available from Natalie Portman’s August 4 wedding to dancer/choreographer/baby daddy Benjamin Millepied in a moonlight ceremony in Big Sur. As you can see, the bride looks as happy as every bride should feel inside. As you can also see, Natalie went for a simple look for her outdoor wedding.

Opinion is divided on the dress, And I am nothing if not opinionated.

My take? I LOVE this dress. It’s the right sort of length and level of formality for an out of doors wedding. No train to get full of twigs, no flashy rhinestones to look just a bit out of place amidst Mother Nature’s bounty. Just a wreath of flowers and a short veil on her head, flat shoes on her feet, and nothing to distract from her brilliant smile. And yet there are some nice design details that probably looked even better close up (or at least with a better focused camera), such as the layering of the skirt and the contrast fabric used for the sheer sleeves.

But that’s my opinion. What’s yours?

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