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Books | Manolo for the Brides - Part 3
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Items of interest

One: Remember how I made soap using a soap kit from Bramble Berry? If you read the whole post, you may recall that I used regular old food coloring (the sort in the teardrop shaped bottles) so I could enjoy a little more sudsy variety. Because I didn’t want anyone who tried the kit getting mad at me, I wrote: “I don’t recommend you do the same because I’m not yet sure the resultant soaps won’t turn you blue or green.”

However, I am now happy to state that I’ve been using one of my dyed-with-food-coloring soaps for a while not and have not yet turned green.

Two: Check me out over at iVillage! In honor of iDo‘s official release, they asked me to create a list of five web sites I think every bride-to-be should visit while planning her wedding. The result is up on the iVillage wedding blog From “I Will” to “I Do”.

LOVE/HATE: the short stuff edition

I got all excited as I was preparing for this post because, hey, it’s finally Thursday and that means it’s time for LOVE/HATE and I have a picture of an uber gorgeous short dress that I’ve been sitting on for weeks now! At least I thought it was so gorgeous as to be beyond reproach.

Maybe I just wanted to love it so badly that my mind played seamstress?

You see, this dress has so much going for it: It hails from the gray matter of Ramona Keveza, who I utterly adore. It’s short, and I like when bride’s switch it up with something abbreviated. Plus, it’s sort of ruffly but not too ruffly, if you know what I mean.

And yet I just can’t shake this weird feeling that if the camera angle was just a tad different, we’d all come face to face with the model’s right nipple. I mean, where exactly do bosoms go in a dress like that? Once they get to wherever they’re supposed to go, are they in danger of falling out during bouts of serious boogying?

In conclusion, there’s a part of me that does love this dress, along with its more colorful cousin. There is, however, an even bigger part of me — a part that measures in at 36DD — that hates this dress and all dresses like it for being a forever unattainable ideal.

FYI: My book, iDo: Planning Your Wedding with Nothing But ‘Net (Paperback) is arriving on people’s doorsteps! This is neat both because it is happening slightly ahead of the June 10 schedule and because, duh, it’s my first book! I’m just a tad excited, and I do hope you’ll check it out…whether that means buying it or asking for it at your local library.

When I can’t decide what to post about, you can bet it’s Wedded Wednesday

  • iDo, iDo, iDo, iDo? With just about a month until iDo: Planning Your Wedding with Nothing But ‘Net hits your local bookshop (ask for it by name!) I decided to do a search for the title and see what came up. Among other things, I found a WSJ article sporting the same title…apparently, indecisive brides- and grooms-to-be are now letting guests make decisions via web poll?

    Los Angeles lawyers Melissa and Eric Bakewell were the first among their friends to conduct online wedding polls. For their August 2006 wedding, they registered at Crate and Barrel, did a foxtrot during the first dance and served mojitotini cocktails and white-chocolate cake, all choices directed by majority vote.

    I’m going to take a wild guess here and say that couples are putting polls on their wedding web sites as a “value add,” like picture slideshows and quizzes, rather than a revolutionary new way to make decisions.

  • Grays, gunmetals, pewters, and silver are hot right now. So here are two dresses for two bridesmaids who are taking part in what are obviously two very different weddings:

    A.B.S. silver satin bow gownNicole Miller metallic antique white shirred strapless gown
  • (more…)

    What good are rules if you can’t break them?

    Forget everything old...here's Something New

    Writer and filmmaker Elise Mac Adam certainly knows her stuff, if her essays on Indiebride are any indication. Those quirky columns were my introduction to her sharp, spot-on way of schooling brides-to-be — and everyone else — in the fine art of etiquette. I remember looking through the site’s archives (Dear Indiebride, Update your site more often, Kthnxbye) and being tickled by these words:

    “Bridezilla” is a special kind of insult — too cute to mean anything serious, yet devastatingly demeaning. To call a woman “Bridezilla,” even if her prima donna antics put Diana Ross to shame, categorizes her bad behavior as a comic “syndrome.”

    So when I was offered an opportunity to check out Mac Adam’s new book, Something New: Wedding Etiquette for Rule Breakers, Traditionalists, and Everyone in Between, I naturally said, “Heck yeah! Send it over!” Then, of course, life intervened and I had no time at all to read, which is why the book has been sitting on my coffee table for the last month.


    Just thought I’d share

    All right, so I’m just a little bit proud of myself, which means I do things like tell the mailman that, hey, I wrote a book! Now that the cover image for iDo is basically finalized, I’m pretty sure that my mom has already e-mailed it around to everyone she’s ever known. Moms are like that! But for some reason the cover image hasn’t hit Amazon yet, so I figured I’d give y’all a sneak peak.

    In a few short months it’ll hit the shelves!

    Changing elegance

    Not everyone has the cash on hand to buy themselves the ultimate matrimonial outfit. I was reminded of this truism while reading Genevieve Antoine Dariaux’s A Guide to Elegance, a book originally published in 1964. I have the 2003 edition, but it doesn’t seem to have changed much, being that Dariaux advocates the constant wearing of suits and warns against soiled kid gloves.

    I wasn’t sure how to take the advice she gives brides-to-be whose dreams outstrip their budgets.

    A bride-to-be never dreams of getting married in her everyday clothes, even for the most informal ceremony. If circumstances or her financial means do not permit her to wear the traditional white wedding gown, she wishes at least to appear in something new on that happy occasion. Her best solution in this case is to buy a smart suit and a very pretty hat, which can be of any style at all except for a flowered or white feather headdress with a veil.

    Nothing strikes me as more pathetic than to see on Saturday morning at the doors of a church some young bride who could only afford half of a wedding ensemble, when it would have been much more charming and easier on her budget too if she had simply selected a normal city outfit. The same is true of the wedding party, who also have every interest in avoiding cho-chis and pastel shades which will be of no use to them later on.

    It’s nice to know that the bridesmaids of yesteryear were as concerned about blah pastels as we are today–the most memorable part of 27 Dresses was how each and every bride told her maids that they’d be able to wear their hideous novelty dresses again–but Dariaux’s advice sounds rather condescending to me. While there’s nothing wrong with going with a nice “city outfit,” there’s a whole world of options in between the giant marshmallow gowns and the plain white suit. Especially now!

    Simple IS elegant

    For example, this midweight silk dress from the J. Crew Wedding Shop costs a mere $225, which is a steal where wedding wear is concerned. Pair it with a silk and cashmere wrap, some gold (or gold-like) filigree jewelry, and a pair of pretty white heels for a wonderfully elegant and put-together look.

    Achtung: Newlyweds in the kitchen

    I’m of the opinion that everyone ought to know how to cook, even if all they can do is whip up a bit of pasta or fry an omelet. What it comes down to is this: Everyone who is old enough to be capable of operating a stove without burning down the house should be able to feed themselves in a pinch. This is essentially why I’m always a little suspicious of cookbooks that are geared specifically toward the bride and groom set.

    That said, I am currently holed up with a friend of mine who had a bit of surgery. As it happens, she and her hubby are foodies and have eight hundred bazillion cookbooks stacked willy-nilly throughout their house. While lying in bed yesterday morning contemplating what I’d opine about today, my eye auspiciously settled upon The Bride & Groom Cookbook: Recipes for Cooking Together from Williams-Sonoma.

    Just for brides and grooms, thbbbbpt

    From what I read, the book seems to be a good primer for those who can feed themselves in a most basic sense but want to learn to navigate their kitchens more competently. It covers kitchen organization, the art of cooking side-by-side, entertaining for beginners, cooking for two, ingredient assumptions, and a whole lot more. Plus, unlike certain cookbooks, it does not assume that the groom will be off watching Monday Night Football while the bride is slaving away over a hot stove. Plus, some of the recipes are just to die for. Pear and vanilla muffins, anyone?

    Williams-Sonoma isn’t the only one to try to capitalize on this genre of apparently egalitarian cookbook. There are a great many more, both in print and out of print. Observe…

    So there you have it — there is no shortage of cookbooks that claim to have the best interest of brides and grooms in mind. I cannot vouch for those on the list, but I do rather like The Bride & Groom Cookbook: Recipes for Cooking Together from Williams-Sonoma because it’s nice to look at and has down to earth tips everyone can understand. That said, if I was buying a cookbook for a soon to be married couple, I’d probably gift them with The Joy of Cooking…preferably the oldest copy I could find. It has been my kitchen bible for as long as I can remember!

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