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Quickie Question: Favorite Wedding Colors?


For many brides, wedding planning starts with a vision of colors. Red, blue, pink, green, yellow, grey… whatever color combination makes her happy or seems to say something about love and romance to her.

And of course whatever colors you choose, someone loves them and someone else hates them. Some couples compromise if someone close to them has a difficulty with the colors they really wanted in the first place. After all, it might be politic to remove black from the color scheme if it’s going to upset grandma too much, or pink if the best man is uncomfortable with so much as a pink tie. Whether you do that depends on how much the relationship means to you as opposed to how important the color is to you. Only you can decide where your priorities lie.

Me? I wound up more or less avoiding the whole question. I didn’t specifically choose a color scheme, weirdly enough. In the end, the wedding wound up being mostly cream and silver grey with touches of red, which I liked. I didn’t go in saying ‘these are my colors.’ I just picked things I liked… and once I’d picked a couple things, others fell into place. But there were touches of every color of the rainbow at that wedding. Pink, blue, yellow, lavender, even orange made an appearance. I was tremendously pleased with my no color scheme color scheme. It left me open to options that kept the whole look from being too carefully matched for such an informal style of picnic wedding.

But I think if I’d specifically picked wedding colors, they most likely would have involved blue and/or purple. Funny how neither wound up being a major part of the wedding.

So what about you? Do you have an ideal wedding color scheme? A color you would never dream of putting in your wedding? One you love but worry is too cliche to use?

Tell us all about it!

Quickie Question: Best Trend/Worst Trend?

Trends come and go in the wonderful world of weddings. One year everyone simply must dress their attendants in green and have a signature cocktail based on rum. The next, it’s all about the silver wedding gown trim and cupcakes. But what is the soon-to-be classic of the season and what the embarrassing white boy afro of the day?

We won’t actually know that for certain until history crowns the winner and starts laughing hysterically at the loser… but we can nominate our choices.

For my money, the best new trend of the past five years or so is the dessert table. Once upon a time, if you went to a wedding dessert was cake. That was it. More often than not, it was white cake with white frosting and all the flavor of licking a piece of cardboard. But as people started demanding better tasting desserts, they also wanted to expand the flavor profile so everyone can find something they specifically would like to eat. Enter the dessert table. It gives guests a choice, looks festive, allows the bridal party to have that peanut based cake despite allergy fears, since there will be another alternative for those who can’t have peanuts, and if you’re self-catering, you can ask your best baking buddies to break out their best recipes rather than choosing your cake according to who can make the prettiest one at a price you can afford. So whether your guest list includes people with potentially deadly allergies, vegans, folks going gluten free, or just plain picky eaters, it’s easy to satisfy everyone with a sweet tooth whilst adding to the decor affordably.

My runners up would include: photo booths, mix and match bridesmaid’s dresses, and the return of the sleeve to wedding gowns.

My pick for the bottom of the pile?

The bridal belt.

Seriously. All it does is add one more expense to dressing the bride, often ruining the line of the gown she so carefully chose in the process. It’s another fiddly thing to lose or have go wrong on an already stressful day, too. While I’ve seen a lot of these belts on a lot of different gowns (often carefully chosen and styled for photo shoots), I’ve only seen one or two that actually enhanced the gowns they were worn with. Even if it does look good, does it really look good enough to justify plunking down another couple hundred dollars on your wedding look when your budget barely covers catering? I have to ask.

Not only is it another unnecessary expense, it’s one that adds nothing to the overall experience of the occasion.

Other trends I’m so over: moustaches, jumping photos, photos of feet, bridal flip flops and sneakers.

So what about you? What are your picks for best and worst trends of the past few years? Anything you’re hoping picks up steam?

Tell me all about it!

Quickie Question: Photo Opt Out?

When you’re getting married, there’s a long list of shots your photographer expects to take. Bride alone, groom alone, bride with her family, groom with his family, the cake, the happy couple with each family, the happy couple alone, the getaway car, the first dance, the bridesmaids, the groomsmen… yeah, it’s a very long list these days.

And then there’s the stuff like this. Okay, I get the sentimental delight of a picture of the mother of the bride putting the final fluff on the veil or the maid of honor giving a final adjustment to the train right before the bride leaves the proverbial if not actual arms of her family to become one with her new spouse. But does anyone really need to immortalize the awkward shimmy that got her into her pouffy petticoats? Is it really necessary to have photographic evidence of what the bride looks like in curlers and the vestiges of the masque she wore to bed to tighten her skin for her big day on camera? How many brides find themselves in need of tranquilizers because they invited a photographer to snap lots of pictures just when they’re at their least put together and most nervous?

Or how about the now ubiquitous shots of the wedding party’s feet? I know how this one got started. Some couple out there wore really spectacular footwear and the picture of their shoes got passed around, and a trend was born. I get that. And if you’re wearing really neat shoes or have a truly fabulous mendhi (henna tattoo), I can certainly see wanting photographic evidence. But those shoes up there? Was there any need to immortalize those? They’re pretty darn off the rack.

Those are my personal least favorite ‘must have’ shots. What about you? What would you least want someone taking pictures of on your wedding day? Would the traditional family shots devolve into potential violence? Do you detest the rings on the Bible throwing the heart-shaped shadow? What do you not want photographed on your wedding day?

Quickie Question: DIY Vows or Standard Form?

Let’s face it. The ceremony is the whole reason for all the trappings of a wedding. There’s no particular point to the flowers and fancy clothes and music and all the rest if nobody says some form of I do.

And yet we spend little time here at Manolo for the Brides discussing those actual vows.

There are a lot of people who feel strongly about how those vows should be ordered and spoken. Some believe that the standard, traditional form for their particular religion is by far the best and most meaningful. I can’t argue with that, and I wouldn’t if I could. Others feel that writing one’s own vows shows a level of thought and commitment that can’t be shared by those who repeat vows others have said down the years. Again, I have no argument and wouldn’t raise one if I did.

My feeling is, very simply, that each couple needs to figure this one out for themselves. Traditional or custom, you’re the ones taking the vows and they need to mean something to you.

In my own case, I probably would have preferred to write my own vows. I come from a long line of lapsed Catholics and cultural Presbyterians, and never developed a religious system or faith of my own. I didn’t particularly want to speak words written for people who believe in something I just plain don’t. Still, I wound up researching and finding a set of standard vows I could live with and using those. Why? Because Mr. Twistie wanted nothing to do with writing the ceremony and I wasn’t going to put my words into his mouth. The only thing he wanted to say was ‘I do’ and he probably would have said that to pretty much any vow I had chosen or written. He just wanted to be married to me with a minimum of fuss and feathers.

Sometimes it’s all about finding a compromise you can live with as a couple. And since I wrote the rest of the ceremony, well, I was still getting my philosophy in there. It’s not like I just grabbed someone else’s religion and had my secular officiant deliver it in the woods for a pair of non-believers.

What about all of you? Writing your own? Following tradition? Finding a compromise path between the two options?

Tell me all about it!

Quickie Question: Best Advice? Worst Advice?


When you’re getting married, there’s one thing there’s no shortage of: advice.

From magazines and TV shows to old friends to business associates to random strangers in the street, everyone’s got an opinion on the right and wrong way to do things. And the sight of an engagement ring or that Google search you did on local venues is enough to make most of them think you want to hear their opinion.

You’ll find a lot of chaff among the wheat. I have known people who were advised to avoid things that mattered to them or have things they can’t stand. I was personally advised that my marriage would be doomed if it wasn’t performed by a clergyperson… never mind that I was an atheist and Mr. Twistie was more of a teetering agnostic. Nineteen years later, we still don’t believe in or follow any organized religion and spend little time worrying about an afterlife. Also? We’re still very much happily married. My feeling is that shared beliefs, or at minimum a strong understanding of and respect for differing beliefs is a lot more important than what the specific beliefs are.

I was also advised variously to have a cash bar (I don’t charge my friends for drinks at my party), ignore the needs of known vegetarians coming to my wedding (which, as it happens, included the Matron of Honor and her husband), make Mr. Twistie have a wedding ring and force him to wear it to prove he’s married, and to hire a DJ to play out in the woods with no electricity source because it’s less hassle than a live band.

Yeah, those things were not happening.

But among all that chaff, there really was some wheat to be found, too.

The three best pieces of advice I got were:

1) Keep your sense of humor handy.
2) Something will go wrong, but it’s only a disaster if you let it be one.
3) Remember that there will be other, better days in the future.

What about all of you? Have you gotten a particularly ghastly piece of advice? One that might be good if you were having a very different wedding? One that was truly helpful?

Tell me all about it!

Quickie Question: Call Me Old-Fashioned?


According to HuffPo, Twitter was all a-twitter on Wednesday over wedding and marriage traditions. Using the hashtag #CallMeOldFashioned, lots of people told everyone on Twitter what retro thing they want from their wedding and/or marriage.

The old-fashioned traditions in question ranged from being sure everyone knows that white dress means an intact hymen (please, please, please stop sharing that with me, everyone!), to wanting to be carried over the threshhold (awe!), to wanting to stay home and keep house, to believing their marriages will last forever without any straying on either part.

One woman said she wasn’t going to introduce her boyfriend to her parents until she had an engagement ring from him, which is decidedly not old-fashioned. It’s only very recently that a woman was likely to get engaged to someone who hadn’t already gotten a thumbs up from her father. That, in itself, is a fairly recent development from the times when the woman found herself engaged when her father darn well introduced the groom to her.

Did I do some old-fashioned things when I was getting married? Yes, I did. I did the old-fashioned thing of making the wedding happen by hand. I slept apart from Mr. Twistie the night before our wedding, even though we were both in the same house. I just felt like I needed to be alone then. It wasn’t like I thought that would make me somehow ‘purer’ or avoid the chance of seeing him in the morning. I just needed to spend some time in my own head that night. Nonetheless, it was a fairly old-fashioned thing to do. We had a receiving line, which was already well out of fashion at the time. I’m still glad we did that. I meant we didn’t miss saying hello to anyone. And Mr. Twistie and I waited to move in together until after we were married. That was my choice. I preferred things that way.

What about you? Did you do something very old-fashioned? Will you? Do you have some old fashioned wedding accessories? Have you made a choice that makes some of your friends wonder how you got so backwards or your parents heave a sigh of relief? Is it something you are happy with, or do you regret any of it? Was it your idea, or did you bow to someone else’s preferences?

Tell me all about it!

Quickie Question: Where to Go?


This is what leaving a wedding looked like fifty years and change ago. In fact, it’s a shot of a lady named Billie Mercer leaving her wedding reception with her new husband, Ned, in 1956. You can read about her wedding and how weddings have changed here, if you like.

One thing that was a given back then that isn’t as much of one now is that the happy couple would change their clothes and set straight off on their honeymoon.

These days it’s rare to have a getaway outfit. I believe the last one I personally witnessed was in 1978.

And while it’s still most common to head out on the honeymoon right away, it’s no longer an absolute given. Some couples hold destination weddings where the wedding and honeymoon are one and the same. Some plan to wait anywhere from a day to a year for the big trip. I still think one of the best decisions Mr. Twistie and I made was to spend our wedding night in a charming little B&B in the town where we were married. We ate at one of our favorite restaurants, relaxed with each other, had a bang up delicious breakfast, and dropped by my father’s house to spend a little time with family and open up gifts people had brought to the reception before we started our long drive up the coast to Canada.

Had we started driving right after we left the reception, I think we would have been more tired and less relaxed before we started our serious travels. We wouldn’t have gotten very far, and we probably would have been doing it in our wedding finery since there wasn’t a place on site to change.

In short, we found a way of doing things that made us feel comfortable and did it just that way.

So what about you? Are you heading straight from the reception to the airport/boat dock/open road? Do you plan to spend the week after your wedding lazing on the beach where you tied the knot? Are you planning to finish paying for the wedding and then worry about a honeymoon? Will you spend the night in a hotel or your own home and then head off?

And for those of you who have already done the deed, what did you do in this regard? Is it something you would do again, or a regret?

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