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Manolo for the Brides » Books http://manolobrides.com Manolo Loves the Brides! Wed, 30 Apr 2014 11:36:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.3.1 Cut Up About Cardboard http://manolobrides.com/2012/11/23/cut-up-about-cardboard/ http://manolobrides.com/2012/11/23/cut-up-about-cardboard/#comments Fri, 23 Nov 2012 16:21:16 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=12253
Lauren Adkins requests the pleasure of your company at her wedding to a cardboard cutout of Edward Cullen on January 26, 2013 in a wedding chapel somewhere in Las Vegas, NV.

She doesn’t really. You’re not invited. Neither am I. But that’s how she intends to spend the day.

No, the laws haven’t changed to make this a legal ceremony, and she isn’t coming out as a huge Twihard. This is actually a piece of performance art intended to be part of her graduate thesis on how media shapes people’s ideals of the perfect relationship.

Adkins, 24 and a student at the University of Las Vegas finds herself intrigued with how books, films, and television tell us the story of what to look for in a mate. Funnily enough, when the story was picked up by the UK Metro, they entirely missed the point that this was a tongue in cheek piece of her thesis.

Lauren, best of luck with your thesis! Oh, and if you don’t mind, I’m going to wish you sparkles on that special day when you marry your cardboard vampire.

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I Wonder If They’ll Sparkle http://manolobrides.com/2012/04/02/i-wonder-if-theyll-sparkle/ http://manolobrides.com/2012/04/02/i-wonder-if-theyll-sparkle/#comments Mon, 02 Apr 2012 17:24:06 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=11195
(Illustration via Bridal Guide Magazine)

When Abigail Kirk and Andy Weeks were kicking around ideas about their February 5 wedding, it was important to him that they share a last name, and she said she really didn’t want to use his. They were already planning a Twilight Breaking Dawn wedding because Abigail is a Twihard, so Andy suggested they just change both their last names to Cullen.

And so it was that Abigail wore Alfred Angelo’s commercial version of the gown Bella wore in the film, they used the Breaking Dawn soundtrack throughout their wedding… and then the took the surname of the vampire clan in the books and movies.

What do I think of it? Well, if you’re going to use a theme, I think it’s best to use one that both of you are really into. Andy hasn’t read the Twilight books. Still, if one partner wishes to indulge the other in something that’s meaningful to him or her, I’ve got no beef. And I do think it’s entirely up to the couple in question to decide the whose name to use issue for themselves using their own criteria. I’m down with couples changing their name to one that doesn’t come from either side, if that’s what works for them. So long as they aren’t trying to defraud anyone or evade the long arm of the law with their choice, I think it’s between them and the deity of their choice.

It’s a big old world and a free country, and I wish them well. And that’s about all the opinion I’m going to admit to having… but no power on earth can make me read those books or watch those movies.

Also? There are worse names to change to. I’m a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, and that one leaves open the option of changing your surname to ‘the Bloody.’

At least Cullen is a name.

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How Much Is Peace of Mind Worth to You? http://manolobrides.com/2012/03/21/how-much-is-peace-of-mind-worth-to-you/ http://manolobrides.com/2012/03/21/how-much-is-peace-of-mind-worth-to-you/#comments Wed, 21 Mar 2012 18:08:01 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=11146
Do you know what can happen if you go about proposing the wrong way to your lady?

According to R.J. Licata, the dangers include:

– Marrying the wrong girl
– Waiting too long/Proposing too soon
– Buying the wrong ring
– Overspending on the ring
– Being uninformed
– Overlooking an important detail
– Ruining the surprise
– Destroying your nerves
– Letting her down

I think about the only thing he left out was the heartbreak of psoriasis.

Oh, wait! That was a dandruff shampoo commercial in the seventies. My bad.

But Licata has the answer! He has written the book he wishes had existed before he proposed marriage. You know, the one that would have stopped him marrying the wrong girl. Or maybe it was that he was uninformed… or maybe he let her down. It’s hard to tell.

Anyway, whatever the heartbreak involved, Licata turned it into a media empire with The Ultimate Marriage Proposal Guide!

With it, a man can be prepared, informed, and recognize his own girlfriend in a crowd. Er… maybe that wasn’t quite what he meant with the crack about marrying the wrong girl, but my brain does work in mysterious ways its wonders to perform.

Licata will explain why it’s necessary to ask a father’s permission before asking the lady’s… which frankly would have bewildered my father and made me turn down the proposal, because not everyone thinks that way anymore and it’s more important to know what your lady thinks than the opinion of the author of a book designed mostly to disengage you from the contents of your wallet. He’s got the tools to keep you from blabbing the secret to the world before you ask your girl. Seems to me most of us understand the key to keeping a secret is not to tell it to people. Oh, and not to buy a great big book that will give the secret away by the very title of it.

Of course he has testimonials from a whole two guys (Jason in Indianapolis and Jamie in Syracuse) saying why they love this product. In the deathless words of Jamie in Syracuse:

Call me what you will, but I thought my girlfriend deserved a bit more than a piece of jewelry and a commitment.

Look, I have nothing against elaborate proposals when they fit the personalities of both parties involved. I think it’s great that there are guys out there who think the object of their affections deserves something unique. I even thought it was kind of cute when Jamie mentioned doing a scavenger hunt proposal… until I found out the instructions for a scavenger hunt proposal were part of Licato’s full package of goodies, along with the book, a set of checklists, and full access to his wedding proposal forum (a $300 value!).

All this could be yours for just $17. No, really. It’s worth over three hundred, but he’ll sell it to you for less than the price of dinner and a movie with your sweetheart for a limited time… most likely limited to as long as it takes him to unload all the copies of this stuff. After all, there’s that miracle wrinkle cream that’s been claiming to be looking for just one hundred first time users to accept a free jar in my area for the past two years. They keep telling me that’s a limited time offer, too.

This thing just strikes me as more wedding related stuff nobody actually needs.

A nice proposal is a lovely thing. I’m all for hearts, flowers, romantic music, and I’ve got no problem with a guy who goes down on one knee or arranges something he feels sure will make the moment magical for the very specific person he wants to marry.

But in the end, the most important thing a guy needs to know about the person he wants to marry is what actually matters to her. It doesn’t matter whether that’s a huge diamond and champagne or the simple assurance that the question is sincere. You’re proposing to a person, not a lab specimen. There is no one formula that will result in the reaction you want.

Make it about the two of you.

And you can have that advice for free.

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What a Bride Wants from Santa This Year http://manolobrides.com/2011/11/25/what-a-bride-wants-from-santa-this-year/ http://manolobrides.com/2011/11/25/what-a-bride-wants-from-santa-this-year/#comments Fri, 25 Nov 2011 12:30:50 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=10624 Mmm..mmph… huh? Oh. Sorry. Not awake yet. Surfeit of pumpkin pie.


It’s the day after Thanksgiving, and we all know what that means: Black Friday! The official start of Christmas shopping season!

So what should you ask Santa (or his designated minions) to bring you this year? I’m so glad you asked. I have some ideas you may just find irresistible.

To help you with savvy wedding planning online, you’ll definitely want a copy of erstwhile Manolo for the Brides editor and all-around fabulous person Christa Terry’s book iDo: Planning Your Wedding with Nothing But ‘Net. It’s a breezy read, and a really useful guide to help you find inspiration, resources, and general bridal sanity via your computer. Seriously, even if I didn’t love Crista like a… person I love a lot, I would still be recommending this book because it’s useful, down-to-earth, and a big dose of bridal sanity. Besides, at just $12.48 at Amazon (list price $16.00 and worth a heck of a lot more pennies than that!), it’s a great deal for a thrifty Santa’s Helper.

Of course, there are a lot of great things a bride-to-be (or even a bride-to-was) might enjoy finding under a Christmas tree or Hanukkah bush.

While we’re hanging around Amazon, you could probably use some romantic entertainment. For my money, it’s hard to outdo the one and only time that Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart worked together: The African Queen. A nice, new Blu-ray of it will set you back less than twenty bucks, and you can enjoy the exotic scenery of the African locations, as well as the crackling energy between the stars. This is one of my all-time favorite films.

Of course, there’s more to life than books and movies. There’s also the opportunity here to either set up or upgrade your home! For my money, it’s hard to beat a great deal on something solid that will last you a long, long time… like this chance to get an amazing deal on a KitchenAid Professional Series 6 qt stand mixer at Cooking.com.

KitchenAid has been the gold standard for generations of bakers and serious cooks. It’s a great investment and quite elegant standing on your counter, as well. It’s also pretty expensive. The list price is $499.99. But right now at Cooking.com, it’s only $399.95. Oh, and to sweeten the pot, KitchenAid is offering a $50.00 rebate plus a two-year subscription to your choice of Food & Wine or Travel + Leisure magazine. So, that would be a five hundred smacker stand mixer for three-fifty, plus a two-year subscription to a great magazine. I don’t know about you, but that sounds mighty good to me!

Then again, maybe what you really want is a great piece of statement jewelry to wear on your wedding day.

This gorgeous Kate Spade necklace might just fit the bill. It’s silver tone with a combination of glass, crystal, and antique rhodium in a spectacular pattern that would grace nearly any neck beautifully. Yes, it’s $298.00 at href=”http://www.zappos.com/”>Zappos, but you’re worth the splurge, aren’t you? Yes, you are.

Or you might be looking for a great ‘something blue’ along the lines of these lovely Judith Ripka earrings.

They’re charming, and come in your choice of blue (shown), pink, or yellow, too. The size is 1″x1/2″ drops, which is enough to make a statement without overwhelming most bridal looks. And of course you can wear them for years to come. They’re $195.00 at Nordstrom.

Or perhaps you’re looking for something to share with your beloved on your special day. Say, something like a pair of toasting flutes.

Perhaps much like these gorgeous Waterford flutes in the Lismore pattern. How spectacular are those? They’ll be beautiful on your wedding day, and special enough to toast every anniversary with, too. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that they’re a bargain! You could easily spend $140.00 on them elsewhere, but overstock.com has them for just $91.49. Now that’s the way to spread Christmas cheer!

Happy shopping! And don’t forget to take time out for a turkey sandwich and a slice of pumpkin pie… or whatever fabulous things are left over from your Thanksgiving feast!

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So What to Actually Do About Those Wedding Photography Jitters http://manolobrides.com/2011/06/08/so-what-to-actually-do-about-those-wedding-photography-jitters/ http://manolobrides.com/2011/06/08/so-what-to-actually-do-about-those-wedding-photography-jitters/#comments Wed, 08 Jun 2011 09:07:11 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=9735 Pssst… it’s still Wedding Photography Week!

So let’s say, apropos of yesterday’s post about wedding photos making you nervous, you’re feeling a bit or maybe a lot squeamish about having a wedding photographer all up in your business during your ceremony and reception. Now besides the fact that you can specifically ask your wedding photographer not to be so in your face – which many aren’t to begin with – you can also take some of the pressure to look good off your mind by making wedding photography FUN.

Would you rather write a thousand vows than take one wedding photo?

How? By thinking up some fun action shots and other poses that you can suggest to your photographer or ask her or him to do.

If you read that and thought to yourself “I’m not that creative,” say hello to my best friend, the Internet. And if searching through thousands of wedding photos for some creative inspiration doesn’t sound like fun – !!! – then I let me recommend David Pearce’s Wedding Photography: A Guide to Posing. It’s a wee book meant primarily for wedding photographers, but it can be a great inspirational guide for couples, too. It has 525 full color images of brides and grooms being photographed in various ways to give you all kinds of cool and doable ideas about body positioning, location, lighting, and more.

Should you try to be in complete control of your wedding photos from the processional to the last dance? No way – you’re hiring a professional wedding photographer for a reason, so let them do what they do best. But by learning a bit about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to wedding photos, you’ll be more confident about being the star of your wedding album, and you’ll be much better able to communicate the kinds of wedding photos that you want to your photographer so you can relax and have fun with it.

Confidence? Knowing what you want? Fun? Sounds like you just conquered those wedding photo nerves!

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Brides In the Navy http://manolobrides.com/2009/02/18/brides-in-the-navy/ http://manolobrides.com/2009/02/18/brides-in-the-navy/#comments Wed, 18 Feb 2009 12:57:48 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=2143 Want to join the navy, by which I mean the bevy of brides choosing this elegant wedding color over robin’s egg and Tiffany and baby blues.

Navy blue wedding inspiration board

How about navy blue engagement announcements from My Good Greetings… a chunky cocktail ring from Rumour makes a great bridesmaid gift… and for the groomsmen, navy monogram cufflinks from Eternally Linked… navy blue monogrammed postage from Zazzle is one way to personalize mass market wedding stationery… you can save money on your bridal shoes with feminine flats from Old Navy (of all places)… navy blue bridesmaids’ dresses complement an Oscar de la Renta grosgrain gown in navy and white, while deep blue florals and an almost nautical reception table tie it all together.

Where do I sign up?

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Making a Change, Saying Buh-Bye http://manolobrides.com/2009/02/04/making-a-change-saying-buh-bye/ http://manolobrides.com/2009/02/04/making-a-change-saying-buh-bye/#comments Wed, 04 Feb 2009 12:14:50 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=2115 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!

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Weddings Exposed http://manolobrides.com/2008/11/29/weddings-exposed/ http://manolobrides.com/2008/11/29/weddings-exposed/#comments Sat, 29 Nov 2008 17:58:21 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=1962 We sometimes speak (okay, write) here at Manolo for the Brides about wedding professionals. We discuss what to look for, how to know this is or isn’t the professional for you, and how to negotiate getting what you really want. We almost never cover the question from the other side. What is it like to work weddings professionally? How do vendors help steer the clueless and those with unrealistic expectations toward a plan that makes better sense? What do they do when their best efforts in that regard don’t work? And what makes doing what they do worth all the hassle?

It is the tension between expectation and reality that keeps the work interesting. It is also what occasionally – when I come home very late from a particularly horrible event – makes me want to bury my head under my pillow and wake up in a world where weddings no longer exist. But by the next weekend I’m out there again. The truth is I like what I do. And maybe twenty years from now my clients will look at the photographs I took and remember how they felt, not just what things looked like. They might even know by then that the feelings were what mattered. Or maybe they will see where it all went wrong later was foreshadowed in those moments caught on film, when no one was trying to keep up appearances. I’m not a glamor photographer. I’m not a fashion photographer. I’m a storyteller, and the story I tell is the one I see.

Thus ends the introduction of Claire Lewis’ book Exposed: Confessions of a Wedding photographer.

Lewis is – in case you couldn’t tell from that snippet or the title of her book – a professional wedding photographer. She also happens to live and work in my neck of the woods, the San Francisco Bay Area. We’ve never met. I doubt that I’ve been to a wedding she shot. On the other hand, by the end of the book I wanted to invite her over for scones and wedding gossip.

The stories told range from the absurd to the surreal to the heartbreaking to the quietly satisfying. There are tales of brides who hear nothing they don’t want to hear; bridesmaids on Xanax and grooms sneaking off to liquor up for the big event; parents run amok and every possible disaster. There are also heartwarming tales of couples who understand how to pick and choose among traditions, expectations, and their own tastes to create fabulous, memorable events that reflect their personalities and don’t plunge them into debt. Read about the geek wedding and try not to smile. I dare you.

And while the book is not meant as a wedding planning guide by any means, there are many lessons to be taken from it. One that I took away from my reading was Know Thy Officient…and make damn sure (s)he knows enough about you to do things right. After all, you don’t want to discover as you’re standing at the alter that the groom proposed to you atop Mount Kilimanjaro and your fondest dream as a couple is to start your own line of vegan athletic shoes. That really is the sort of thing you ought to know before you marry. And if you’re getting married on a cliffside with only one set of parents witnessing the event because the law says somebody has to watch…you don’t want a preacher turning it into a revival meeting for the seagulls.

There are other lessons, too. Lessons about making wise choices, be they about what length of veil to wear for your outdoor wedding or how to include a beloved pet in the ceremony. Lessons about why living out someone else’s fantasy is probably not a good idea. Lessons about why it’s a bad idea to infuriate your caterer at the last minute. Lessons about what happens when you wake up one day and discover you’re not going to be a globe-trotting photojournalist, but a wedding photographer.

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll have steam pouring out your ears, you’ll sigh happily…and in the end maybe you’ll understand a little more about how you look at weddings.

For my part, the instant I finished reading I pulled out my wedding album and took a happy trip down memory lane. I saw the images, refelt the emotions, and realized once again just how lucky I am to have married a great guy like Mr. Twistie.

As Claire Lewis says, it really is how we felt that mattered most. The best thing is that we still feel much the same way.

It’s still nice, though, to see how our photographer captured the love, the trust, and the committment in our hearts that day. Truly, the right professional is worth his or her weight in gold.

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NtB Loves: Gorgeous Pictures of Weddings http://manolobrides.com/2008/09/26/ntb-loves-gorgeous-pictures-of-weddings/ http://manolobrides.com/2008/09/26/ntb-loves-gorgeous-pictures-of-weddings/#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2008 11:00:50 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=1803 It may not surprise you to learn that I collect wedding books. Hopefully, I’ll never have occasion to marry again, so I can’t exactly say that my bookshelf-busting collection of nuptial tomes is particularly useful. The ones I love best are the ones with lots and lots of gorgeous photographs. Surprising, right?

Here are four wedding books that absolutely take the cake and are a great addition to your collection…even if your collection is made up of a stack of library books.

Southern Weddings

Southern Weddings is full of pictures of glamorous affairs styled in the southern tradition. It also includes secrets, tips, practical how-tos, and advice, but who cares about any of that when there are soirées to salivate over?


With over 150 beautiful photographs of lavish weddings, Fête: The Wedding Experience is full of inspiration. Even if you don’t have the money or time to replicate everything, you can still cop a few ideas.


The publisher describes Inspirations as “a lush sourcebook of ideas for creating the perfect ambiance,” which isn’t shocking when you consider it’s a Preston Bailey book. Page after page of eye candy will show you how you can use art, nature, and culture to plan a wonderful wedding.

The Best of Martha Stewart Living: Weddings

And then there’s Martha. I sprung for a used copy of The Best of Martha Stewart Living: Weddings just to see what was inside. What did I find? Perfect pictures of everything from cakes to guestbooks to bouquets and boutonnieres.


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What’s Up In the Weddingsphere http://manolobrides.com/2008/08/08/whats-up-in-the-weddingsphere/ http://manolobrides.com/2008/08/08/whats-up-in-the-weddingsphere/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2008 14:46:43 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=1709 Joyful, carefree, and a little bit wild at the edges

8/8/08 is great! For more reasons than one

Hacking the TwoBirds dress

Marriage is more than just the wedding

There’s just five days left to enter to win The DIY Bride

What does a £500 wedding look like?

The five second rule in action

Waddle Me Down the Aisle

I find it fascinating at how little things have changed since the 14th century

A wedding that’s truly out of this world

Nanny’s etiquette guide

Time warp wives?

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