Archive - Moms and dads RSS Feed

Dad Surprises Cornwall Bride with Red Carpet Moment


Samantha Poser isn’t famous. Neither is her new husband, Adam Kerby. All the same, Samantha’s father, Phil, wanted to give her something special for her wedding. Phil, who owns a carpet store, decided that his daughter deserved a red carpet… so he and his staff created it for her.

This, though, isn’t the interesting bit. That would be the fact that he managed to keep the carpet a secret from Samantha until they walked out their front door to head for the church, some 200 meters away.

Phil, who owns a carpet shop, had gone to elaborate lengths to fool his beautician daughter into thinking that she was going to make the bridal entrance on the back of his elaborately decorated quad bike.
The bizarre ruse worked as Sam braced herself to mount the unusual steed before it was revealed she had her very own magical red carpet for the fairy tale stroll to the church.

Clearly this isn’t an idea for everyone. Access to that much red carpet, and the ability to get streets cordoned off for the walk to the wedding venue make it impractical for most of us. And, of course, there are brides who would rather be swallowed whole by the Earth than walk a red carpet to church. In this case, however, it seems that the ability to get the practicalities dealt with, the personality of the bride in question, and the weather all cooperated to make Phil’s vision a happy reality.

Samantha and Adam are currently honeymooning in Egypt, and I hope that all of you will join with me in wishing them a long, happy marriage full of charming surprises.

Happy Mother’s Day From Manolo for the Brides!

In honor of the day, I bring you a mother of the bride PSA.

For your wedding, do not force your mother to wear a shapeless, moldy tablecloth.
Moldy Lace MOB Dress
(more…)

A Different Kind of Proposal

Once upon a time, my dad told me that he’d give me and whoever I decided to marry $5,000 that we could spend as we liked, provided I eloped. When The Beard and I did decide to marry, that offer changed to $2,000 to put toward a “real” wedding, since my dad’s wife at the time wasn’t going to see me married without all the proper proceedings. Honestly, we probably would have put that original sum toward my wedding budget because I like weddings and The Beard is his mother’s only son, but the thought of having a few thousand more dollars in the bank to put toward a house might have been tempting!

asking parents for money for a wedding

According to a New York Times blog, the newest trend where parents and budgets are concerned is asking for money for big ticket items in lieu of a contribution to a wedding. A down payment on a home is one popular way to spend the spoils, though others might include a much-needed new car or a blowout six-month vacation.

if you’re thinking of asking your parents for cash instead of a wedding contribution, bringing up the subject if your parents haven’t offered first can be difficult. Ms. Martini Bratten [editor-in-chief of Brides] recommends that couples first find out if their parents plan to contribute to the wedding before broaching the subject and not to be shocked if parents are perplexed by the proposition. And if parents make the proposal themselves, choosing whether to take the money or not can be hard as well, though Ms. Martini Bratten said she expected many brides would probably still opt for their dream event.

Asking for money to put toward a wedding budget is difficult enough for many brides and grooms without having to find a way to tactfully say something like “On the assumption that you’re going to help us pay for our wedding, might we just have the cash instead?” I suppose it would get a little easier if your parents have already said they’ll give you such-and-such an amount, and slightly more easy if you want to spend that money on something responsible, like a graduate degree or a flat in the nice part of town.

It might be harder, on the other hand, to ask moms and dads for money when you are planning a biggish wedding and your spouse-to-be’s parents have already indicated that they’ll help pay for it. In that case, it might be awkward for both sets of parents, particularly if there is bad blood between the families and one thinks the other isn’t contributing enough to the happiness or survival of the kids. And I think that asking for cash would be especially difficult if you and your spouse-to-be are well-off enough to pay for a rather nice wedding on your own and plan to do just that, but would like some additional funds for big expenses.

In my case, The Beard and I approached all of our parents to ask (with no strings attached) if they were planning to help us pay for a wedding. At the time, it never occurred to us to use the money so graciously given to us for our wedding for something else, and the thought of asking whether it would be all right if money given for one purpose might be used for another makes me feel a little itchy. That’s why I’m wondering if any of our readers chose to use parent-gifted wedding budget funds for other purposes… if so, did you ask your moms and dads if they’d be willing to hand over cash instead of writing checks to vendors? Did proposing the idea feel weird?

LOVE/HATE: The Distant Affiliation Edition

When I got married, I’m only just a little ashamed to say that I bought myself an embroidered sweatshirt that read “N.t.B” on the front pocket and “Mrs. The Beard says ‘Screw Etiquette'” on the back. Seriously, I kid you not — I still wear it today. Now I say I’m only a little ashamed because at the time I felt that my particular sweatshirt was a step above those reading “The Future Mrs. Smith.” No offense to those brides-to-be who absolutely adore those sorts of blinged out tops, but they just aren’t my thing. I did, however, make sure to buy my mom a mother of the bride t-shirt because I knew she’d dig it.

Look at online bridal accessory shops long enough and you’ll see bedazzled tank tops for brides and bridesmaids, hats for the father of the bride, sweatpants whose rear ends proclaim one’s to-be married name, and even accessories for future flower girls and ring bearers. But I can honestly say I have never before seen anything like this:

father-of-the-groom

That’s right — Tip Top Wedding Shop has Groom’s Uncle shirts. The best part? The lettering is done in rhinestones. As The Beard just noted, “Maybe it’s for the fabulous uncle?” Tip Top Wedding Shop also carried sparkly shirts for the groom’s niece, the groom’s grandpa, the mummy of the groom, and the nana of the groom. I can’t say that I love or hate all of the “X of the Y” clothing out there, but I can’t help but wonder how many uncles or grandpas would really enjoy wearing a rhinestone top proclaiming their relationship to the couple to be married.

What say you?

Now’s the Time to Make Nice With the Folks

I’ve been mostly blessed in the in-law department, though it may be due in part to the fact that The Beard’s family is teeny-tiny. Not everyone I know is so lucky. I have enough friends with scary sisters-in-law and maniacal step-mothers-in-law and boorish brothers-in-law to know that having a few states and a few thousands miles between myself and my extended family is a good thing.

mother-in-law

You see, mother-in-law jokes aside, the stories submitted to sites like I Hate My Inlaws are not just pieces of fiction created by some deranged mind. Sure, one’s biological parents can be a nightmare, too, but one usually has a few decades in which to learn to deal with the idiosyncrasies of one’s own family. Prior to and upon getting married, one is immediately expected to become fast friends with nonblood kin of every description. As if.

So what’s the problem? A reasonably sane adult should be able to cope with a few strained familial gatherings per year, right? Would that it were that easy. You see, it turns out that new research has found that avoiding your in-laws (even the icky ones) can actually harm your marriage.

A husband or wife’s satisfaction with their in-laws is a dominant factor in how happy they are in their marriage, University of Denver associate professor Mary Claire Morr Serewicz found after spending six years researching family issues.

In fact, Morr Serewicz found in-law relations can represent 43 percent of a couple’s satisfaction in their marriage.

Forty-three percent? Yowza! Maybe it’s time to send your future sister-in-law a holiday card or give in and let your future father-in-law fix your brakes. If good relations must be established, why not start establishing them ASAP with a little holiday cheer? Then again, I’m a big fan of setting strict boundaries. If you’re slated to be married or recently tied the knot, this might just be the time to say “I love visiting with you, but it throws off my schedule when you drop by unannounced” and “No, I’m sorry we cannot drive four hours each way to visit you for two hours on Christmas Eve.”

A six-year study might tell us that positive in-law relationships are integral to a good marriage, but I’d venture to guess that sometimes the best thing you can do to maintain good relations between people who mix about as well as oil and water is to avoid one another as much as possible.

Connecting families…with cuttlefish

Fish as gift? Yes, when it’s culturally relevent. No, when it involves dumping a slimy, stinky flounder wrapped in newspaper on my previously clean kitchen table. Personally, I’d be delighted to receive Yuinou if I was the mother of a newly engaged lady.

You’re looking at Yuinou, gifts that traditionally mark an agreed upon engagement in Japan. I first saw them at Wedded Bliss, The Marriage of Art and Ceremony, a traveling exhibit currently at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Yuinou is exchanged for the various purposes. First of all, people can confirm that the engagement is concluded. At the same time, they pray for the conclusion of marriage by doing the ceremony. The engagement will be official through Yuinou. Secondly, a bridegroom side does it to express their gratitude to a bride side, because a bride is considered to be a member of bridegroom side after a marriage. The gratitude is against marrying a girl whom their parents have brought up with tender care.

The contents of Yuinou are important in their ceremonial significance — cuttlefish signifies happiness, seaweed signifies fertility, a fan signifies good fortune, and animal art signifying all sorts of nice things — but the appeal in my eyes is the beautiful packaging.

The examples I saw at the PEM were gorgeous, made as they were of vividly hued bamboo, balsa wood, foil, glass, and braided paper cord. The packaging is so artistically rendered that some newlyweds display the Yuinou in their homes after the wedding.

However, the once widespread and varied Yuino ceremony is being toned down by couples who would rather their parents spent the money they might spend on Yuinou on monetary gifts or contributions to the price of the wedding. That makes a lot of sense to me, but I do hope that the practice sticks around. It seems like such a nice way to bring families together and commemorate the blending of two families.


CONGRATS, JSTAR! Jstar, who suggested that I call my next book iDon’t: the 12,000,000 most common wedding planning mistakes has won a free autographed copy of iDo. Keep your eyes open for future minicontents because I plan to give away at least one copy of the book each month for a year!

A Real Simple Way to Court Disaster

A few days ago I found myself at the local mall over lunchtime entirely sans reading material or a companion. I have no problem eating alone, but if that’s what I’m going to do, I prefer to have a book or a magazine in my hand. Going home where all my books live wasn’t an option since I had more shopping to do (it takes fortitude and visits to several stores to find lightweight summer pants, sometimes), so I headed for the lovely brand-spanking-new Borders that had just replaced the anemic little Waldenbooks we used to have. Same corporate masters, much bigger store.

I marched in and what to my wondering eyes did appear? Dozens of bridal magazines smack dab in my face almost as soon as I was through the door. The one that really caught my eye, however, was a Real Simple special wedding publication. I rather liked the clean, fuss-free imagery on the cover of a bride (well, most of her, since we see her pretty much only from about mid-torso to toes) sitting holding a simple bouquet composed of several large, plump, purple hydrangeas and a few glossy green leaves tied with pale blue ribbon. Her shoes are ballet flats. The gown is unadorned. In short, it looked all about the simple, the stripped down, and yet the elegantly lovely.

Even the tag line at the bottom of the magazine cover looked like the sort of philosophy I have always liked best: ‘Your personalized plan for a stress-free, beautiful celebration.’ Who wouldn’t want that? I snapped up the magazine and proceeded to read it with growing gawk over lunch.

(more…)

Page 1 of 212»