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Manolo for the Brides » Media http://manolobrides.com Manolo Loves the Brides! Wed, 30 Apr 2014 11:36:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.3.11 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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‘Reality’ Becomes a Reality http://manolobrides.com/2012/11/15/reality-becomes-a-reality/ http://manolobrides.com/2012/11/15/reality-becomes-a-reality/#comments Thu, 15 Nov 2012 17:09:55 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=12221
Brides.com has an overview of wedding gown designer Austin Scarlett’s latest collection for 2013… and I was struck by how familiar this gown looked.

In fact, I knew precisely where I had seen it before.

That’s right, it’s a very slightly reworked version of the wedding gown Austin used as the big finale of his collection for Project Runway All Stars season 1!

Clever lad! I always said he was one of the most resourceful and imaginative designers ever to grace the Project Runway stage. He may have ended up the bridesmaid twice now, but his career was the first one of all the designers ever to appear on that show not to be captioned with the fact he was a reality show contestant.

And yes, when I saw this gown I said straight off the bat that he could sell the look like pancakes. Here’s hoping he does!

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How (and Why) to Chill Out for Your Wedding http://manolobrides.com/2012/10/30/how-and-why-to-chill-out-for-your-wedding/ http://manolobrides.com/2012/10/30/how-and-why-to-chill-out-for-your-wedding/#comments Tue, 30 Oct 2012 15:02:25 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=12143
See Natalie Nunn. See Natalie Nunn throw things – hissey fits in particular – at her wedding. See what a bad idea that is.

I had – blessedly – never heard of Natalie Nunn before she showed up on Bridezillas. For two weeks now she’s been screaming on my television about how she shouldn’t have to pay for her wedding because she’s rich and famous and has people pay her to show up at parties… and there’s another week with the actual wedding to go.

She also, apparently, doesn’t have a clue what a wedding reception is.

She’s actually not the worst person on the show this season. It’s true. There was the woman on the Bridezillas staff who threw her dog (and real soulmate!) into the wedding cake because she was honked off that her groom had bought a birthday cake from a grocery store bakery section, scraped off the Happy Birthday, and written an apology on it.

Yeah, tell me that wasn’t scripted… which only makes it worse.

But this article really isn’t about Bridezillas or trying to figure out who was the worst of the worst of the season. It’s about the thing that makes so many of these women entirely lose their minds (well, in the actual spontaneous moments of the show) and make other brides and grooms all over the world lose their collective marbles whilst planning their weddings: stress.

Yes, planning your wedding can definitely be a stressful thing. You’re dealing with the intersection of available funds, cultural expectations, personal preferences, complicated relationships, and a major life-changing event all rolled into one big ball of people crooning that this is the single most important and happiest day of your entire life.

In other words, everyone is giving you heartburn as they gleefully inform you it’s all downhill from here, baby.

It’s no wonder that some people wind up gibbering in a corner. But I’m guessing you’d rather not be one of them.

The whys of reducing bridal stress are easy enough. You want to enjoy your wedding because it is a once in a lifetime event. Even if you do have another wedding at some point, trust me it will be a different unique experience. You’d probably rather not cause major rifts with friends and family members on both sides that will be difficult to repair. And of course you’d probably rather not look back at this special time and remember it as six months of constant tears and screaming.

The hows are harder, but still very much doable for most of us.

1: Know how you plan, and plan that way. Whether you’re the sort who does best with ages to plan and a finger in every pie, or the sort who prefers to spontaneously say ‘let’s do it next week, you take care of all the details’ or even the sort to want a little of each approach, plan in the way that makes you feel the most comfortable. Only you can tell for sure whether going all DIY or hiring a planner or delegating half the tasks to people you trust is the best approach for you. Listen to your gut if you’ve never planned a major event before.

If you choose an approach that stresses you out, then you’re just asking for unnecessary stress, which is what you’re trying to avoid.

2: Start with the basics and add what you want. It’s easy to start off with unrealistic dreams for a wedding you can never afford, and might not actually want if you got it. Or you may find your idea of a pretty wedding and your intended’s concept are very, very different things. But if you start out with what’s absolutely necessary (happy couple, marriage license, officiant, base number of witnesses, space to hold wedding in) and build from there, you’ll find some of the unrealistic ideas you may have had before dissipate. It will be easier to keep to your budget, and easier to keep your head.

Sometimes it’s better to let go of an old dream. It frees you to find a new one that might just make you happier.

3: Keep an open mind and open ears when others have suggestions. It’s easy for wedding planning sessions to turn ugly when everyone wants to talk and nobody wants to listen. So listen. Listen carefully. That way, even if you decide something someone thinks would make the wedding perfect would be a disaster in reality, they know you’ve listened. You can’t agree to everything. You wouldn’t want to even if you could. But in a lot of cases, people just want to know you actually heard what they were trying to say.

And who knows? Someone might come up with a really great idea you wouldn’t have thought of on your own.

4: Take good care of yourself. Self care is often the first thing to go on the back burner in potentially stressful situations. We eat erratically, sleep too little, bury our heads in the thing that’s stressing us until our eyes are crossed and our brains dribble out our ears and whine that we need to keep going… and then wonder at the lousy decisions we make in that state that just frustrate us more than ever. So when things start overwhelming you, take a break. Do your best to get three decent meals a day and enough sleep every night.

Not only do you make better decisions on a full stomach and a rested brain, you’ll also look and feel healthier on your wedding day. That means you’ll be able to party longer and enjoy it more.

5: Put things in perspective. You know that old saw about the happiest day of your life? Have a good laugh at it and throw it on the garbage heap. There are few ‘helpful’ phrases that have caused more woe and anguish over the years. You will have happier days, and more important days, if you live long enough. And that’s a damn good thing, too. Imagine getting married at twenty-five and never having a better day even if you live to be a hundred! What a wretched thought!

Yes, your wedding day is very important. Done thoughtfully, it will probably rank among your top ten best days ever. If you’re supremely lucky, it will be one of the top five. It’s even possible that you’ll look back from your fiftieth anniversary and say it was one of the top three days in your life. Just don’t put all that baggage on it before it even happens. That’s a one-way ticket to Angstville.

6: Make time for other things in your life. If you don’t have time for your job and your wedding and a personal life, then you need to change something. Here’s a hint: don’t quit your job or dump all your friends. Take a quick inventory and either change your wedding planning strategy, extend the timeframe, or scale back your plans until you can breathe without thinking about tulle for at least a few hours here and there. It may be time to call in a professional, or it may be time to come up with a more efficient way of making decisions. Whatever it is, leave yourself time to go to the movies, work out at the gym, read a book that has nothing to do with weddings, play with your pet, take that evening class you find so compelling, whatever makes you feel connected with your life.

A lot of brides talk about feeling like they fell off the face of the earth when the wedding was over. That’s a sure sign of a bride who let the wedding take over her entire life. If you’ve got a life the whole time, it won’t be so hard to get back into the workaday world, and you’ll be better able to relax about your wedding.

7: Do your best in the last few days before the wedding to find your quiet spot. I’m not talking about a physical place to go. No, I’m talking about a place of inner tranquility that you find when you forget about words like ‘perfect’ and ‘happily ever after’ and just let what will be… be. Choose someone you trust absolutely to take care of any last minute snafus. Remind yourself that the universe has a perverse sense of humor, and resolve to laugh at whatever jokes it may throw at you.

Then go and have the best time you can at your own party.

After all that hard work, you deserve it!

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Lessons Learned http://manolobrides.com/2012/10/15/lessons-learned/ http://manolobrides.com/2012/10/15/lessons-learned/#comments Mon, 15 Oct 2012 15:15:13 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=12049
I learned a few interesting lessons watching last night’s Bridezillas that I thought I would pass on to all of you.

1: If a bridesmaid calls two days before the wedding to drop out of the wedding party because she has just broken her foot and will be unable to walk… it’s because she hates the bride and is determined to sabotage the wedding.

2: If a guest chokes on inedible cake bling… it’s their own damn fault for failing to imagine that you would put inedible real rhinestones on your otherwise edible cake. And that includes the small children attending the affair.

3: People will insist on blowing things out of proportion… like that time you nearly ran them down with your car.

4: If you audition for a show, are tapped to appear on said show, and sign a contract to have your entire life filmed in order to ridicule you on national television, it’s mean of them to hold you to your contract when you decide it isn’t all that fun anymore… like when they won’t stop asking you about the time you nearly ran down the cameraman with your car.

Oh, and bonus lesson #5 which I think I could have guessed going in:

Never ever honk off your tattoo artist in the middle of getting a new tattoo.

Compared to all those other things, that’s just stupid.

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Coming Soon to a Salon Near You: More Disney Tie Ins http://manolobrides.com/2012/09/26/coming-soon-to-a-salon-near-you-more-disney-tie-ins/ http://manolobrides.com/2012/09/26/coming-soon-to-a-salon-near-you-more-disney-tie-ins/#comments Wed, 26 Sep 2012 16:57:19 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=11967
We all know that many brides are inspired by fairy tale ideas when planning their weddings. And when it comes to fairy tales, is there one that has inspired more weddings than Cinderella? I would suggest not. I’m guessing a lot more brides are basing their Cinderella weddings on the iconic Disney version than any other.

Yeah, not many couples do the Grimm’s version. Can’t imagine why. It only involves the bride’s stepsisters losing hunks of their feet, after all. It’s not like that one ended in dozens of dead bodies. For Grimm, it’s positively Disneyesque.

But I digress.

What’s the point of all of this? Well, next month Disney is hauling Cinderella back out of the vault for release on Blu-ray. At the same time, there will be bridal tie-ins from both Alfred Angelo and DSW. Alfred Angelo will release a limited line of blue wedding gowns inspired by the blue ballgown Cinderella wears in the film. Here’s a sketch of one of them that I found at Bride’s.com:

As for DSW, they’ll come out with a line of shoes based on the theme, too.

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Will You Marry Me? Divorce Me? http://manolobrides.com/2012/08/05/will-you-marry-me-divorce-me/ http://manolobrides.com/2012/08/05/will-you-marry-me-divorce-me/#comments Sun, 05 Aug 2012 14:16:03 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=11754
There’s been a lot of talk over the years of the ‘disposable marriage’ and what high divorce rates say about us as a society, as human beings.

Well, if you happen to be in Washington, DC and anywhere in the vicinity of the Corcoran Gallery of Art on August 11 between the hours of 10am and 3pm, you can join in the discussion in a piece of performance art entitled Save the Date by Kathryn Cornelius.

For the piece, Cornelius will don a wedding gown and veil. Once every hour she will ‘marry’ someone and then immediately ‘divorce’ them. She intends to marry both women and men through the day. Her hope is that this will spur attendees to consider their own feelings and beliefs about weddings and marriage.

The performance is part of the Corcoran’s Take it to the Bridge performance art series, which, in turn, is part of Free Summer Saturdays at the Corcoran.

I don’t know about all of you, but this is a performance piece I would be curious to see.

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A Public Service Announcement From Manolo for the Brides http://manolobrides.com/2012/08/03/a-public-service-announcement-from-manolo-for-the-brides/ http://manolobrides.com/2012/08/03/a-public-service-announcement-from-manolo-for-the-brides/#comments Fri, 03 Aug 2012 20:44:49 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=11749
If you are asking two time Top Chef Master Art Smith to bake your wedding cake, please give him more than 24-hours notice.

I don’t ever want to see him look like this:


You may now resume your regularly scheduled wedding planning.

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Quickie Question: Do You Consider It Cheating? http://manolobrides.com/2012/07/27/quickie-question-do-you-consider-it-cheating/ http://manolobrides.com/2012/07/27/quickie-question-do-you-consider-it-cheating/#comments Fri, 27 Jul 2012 17:31:02 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=11718
As many of you know, I’m a fan of the bridal reality show Four Weddings. And now TLC has added Four Weddings Canada to the mix, too.

Again, I like it. It’s real couples having real weddings, without a lot of the staged nightmares of Bridezillas and similar shows, let alone their histrionics.

But I did have a bit of a thought about the episode aired last night. See the lady second from the right? That’s Jessica. She won the episode. I’m down with that, because I did feel she had the nicest wedding of the lot.

Still, I have this one niggling concern. You see, Jessica is a professional wedding planner. Not only was she allowed to participate in the show, her fellow contestants were not informed of this fact. She only revealed the truth as the winner’s limo was pulling up with her husband in it.

The thing is, I can’t think of another episode of either version of the show that has featured anyone who used a wedding planner, let alone was one. And I know that simply being in a profession isn’t proof positive that someone is good at it. After all, there was at least one professional wedding planner featured on Bridezillas who not only needed subtitles because she mumbled so horribly nobody could understand her, but seemed to have no clue at all how a wedding is organized.

All the same, it could be perceived as an unfair advantage. I kind of perceived it that way, and I know how little it takes to set up shop as a wedding planner.

What do you think? Should Jessica have been allowed to play the game? Should she have had to reveal her professional status before her wedding was rated? Am I being over sensitive about something that’s all in good fun?

Tell me what you think!

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Gypsies Getting Married http://manolobrides.com/2012/04/27/gypsies-getting-married/ http://manolobrides.com/2012/04/27/gypsies-getting-married/#comments Fri, 27 Apr 2012 17:06:30 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=11305

On sunday night, TLC will bring us the latest in their string of bridal reality programming, My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding.

Based on the UK hit version of the story, MBFAGW will feature real brides and real families among the American Gypsy and Traveller communities. It’s a window into a world most of us would never see, otherwise.

In some ways, it’s a throwback to a world that a lot more people lived in not too long ago where a woman’s wedding really was the One Special Day she had to shine for the world. It’s a world where girls are left ignorant about the facts of life, kept from dating, taught mostly to cook, clean, and take care of children, and then married very, very young. And then she will mostly cook, clean, have and tend children, and plan huge weddings for her daughters. The gender roles are strict and unforgiving for both men and women.

But the weddings are certainly colorful, if nothing else. Oh, and if you go over to Huffpo right now, you can read an interview with Sondra Celli, bridal designer to American Gypsies, whose work is featured on the show.

Will I watch the show? At least an episode or two. But I don’t think I’ll take to the road. I’m a Gorger, and happy that way.

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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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