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Quickie Question | Manolo for the Brides - Part 4
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Quickie Question: What Will You DIY?

(Illustration from Epicurious where you can find instructions on baking, building, and decorating this charming lemon raspberry wedding cake)

With prices of most wedding aspects climbing and disposable income of the average couple plummeting, and with the increased expectation that couples will do something to really imprint their weddings with their own personalities, DIY is on the rise as a wedding trend.

Some do it to save money, others to make their day clearly their own… some for a combination of the two. I know that both reasons heavily influenced my choice to be a complete bridal DIY diva! With a lack of money but all kinds of resources and creativity, well, it was an obvious choice.

It’s also a choice more and more couples are making right now.

I made the lace, designed the gown which was made for me by one of my amazing bridesmaids, did my own flowers, handed the bridesmaids fabric and patterns to make their own bridesmaid outfits and trim them as they pleased, made my own favors, and helped my father make the food. Oh, and wrote the ceremony. The officiant asked our permission to included it with his other sample ceremonies for other couples. We said sure.

So what about you? Are you choosing to DIY? Did you? If so what is/was your project? More than one?

Quickie Question: Stuff That Went Wrong?

Sorry about the lack of posts this week. The illustration above is not an actual one of my computer, but my trusty, rusty eMac did have to spend a couple days in the sick computer hospital being seen to and overhauled and… maybe I should have just gotten a new computer but, well… anyway. Suffice it to say that when things go wrong at Casa Twistie, they have a way of going really wrong.

And that makes me think about other things going wrong, specifically at weddings. See? How clever was that? We’re back on topic with weddings with a smooth move that would be the envy of many a smooth mover.

But I honestly have seen a couple things go really wrong at weddings over the years. No, there haven’t been any fist fights, and all the couples did wind up actually tying the knot, but there have been snags along the way.

Probably the worst one was the one where there was to be a butterfly release at the end of the ceremony. We were all handed little boxes with butterflies in them and told to open them when the happy couple were pronounced legally joined.

It’s a pretty idea, the butterfly release. Everyone imagines it as a moment when hundreds of beautiful butterflies rise up and fly in a breathtaking exhibit of nature’s majesty.

But that wasn’t what happened. No, a plethora of stunned, confused butterflies tumbled out of their boxes. A few flew off in random directions, buzzing the higher hairdos in the process, a few just flopped out of the boxes and clearly were never going to fly again, and most of the rest staggered in a daze around the aisle with no clue what to do or where to go.

Not exactly breathtaking watching the bride and groom pick their way back up the aisle like the family escaping the house at the end of The Birds.

What about you? Have you ever seen something go seriously wrong at a wedding?

Quickie Question: Bridal Frustration

There are times when planning a wedding can make you feel like this:

… or like this:

… or even like this:

Even some relatively placid brides who experienced a low level of interference and unwelcome meddling – like yours truly – still wind up having a moment or two in the process when we could easily commit violence.

After all, things happen. Orders get lost, deliveries go awry, invitations get misprinted, people develop bizarre objections to perfectly reasonable plans, paperwork gets hung up… and if it all happens at once, it’s easy to blow your stack.

So when those moments come, what do you do?

Me? I only had a couple of those moments. I dealt with it by slamming the door and going for a walk while muttering to myself. The urge to do physical harm was there, but even at my worst moments I knew better than to give in. After a good walk, the urge for violence had passed, and I could handle the frustration, whatever it happened to be, in a less socially unacceptable way.

What about all of you? Have you gotten to the point where pasting someone seemed like a great idea? If so, how did you manage it?

Quickie Question: To Favor or Not To Favor?

(Illustration via Exclusively Weddings, where you can buy the organza favor bags for $3.95 per 10)

Some people can’t imagine a wedding without them. Others consider them a pointless expense. Me? I gave favors. They were Jordan almonds tied up in squares of tulle. I did buy the tulle pre-cut, but I just bought a reel of ribbon and bulk candy. I only bought the tulle pre-cut because I’m not the world’s best at cutting a straight line and I found them pretty cheap.

And I’m going to come clean: I gave favors mostly because I love Jordan almonds, and this was a great excuse to buy a whole bunch. I knew that a fair number would be left behind, because Jordan almonds are one of those things that most people either love or loathe. So I figured those who loved them would enjoy getting a few, and those who loathed them would leave them behind, whereupon I could eat them.

But if I hadn’t found a good deal on both the almonds and those tulle squares… yeah, I wouldn’t have bothered.

My experience as an avid wedding-attender for more than forty years is that if the favor isn’t edible… an awful lot get left behind by guests who can’t imagine a use for them. Chocolates, cookies, spice blends, or little pots of homemade jam are often actually popular. Even if the guest doesn’t want them, they know someone who will be thrilled to get them. But what exactly does one do in years to come with a wineglass painted with someone else’s name and wedding date on it?

As a guest, if the favor isn’t edible (or otherwise easily consumable, like pretty soaps), I usually manage to artfully ‘forget’ to take it. I don’t need a toy prize for coming to your wedding, and I don’t need extra clutter. Casa Twistie is already more than cluttered enough, thank you very much.

As a wedding blogger, if a bride is looking for a place to cut the budget, favors are in my top five places to trim without causing any problem. Favors are optional. Favors cost money. I’ll merrily tell people not to bother at all with them.

All the same, I gave favors and have enjoyed quite a few over the years. Mostly, I admit, of the chocolate or Jordan almond variety, but I have liked them.

What about all of you? Did you give favors? Do you plan to give favors?

Oh, and if I were getting married now and had the budget to do this, I would absolutely give candy bars from this company. Just reading over the flavors is making me hungry!

Quickie Question: Big Blow Out or Intimate Celebration?

Some couples have no real choice when it comes to the size of their wedding celebration. For instance, when Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer way back when, it was a State Event. Even if their dream had been the two of them and the minimum required witnesses on a beach somewhere, it didn’t matter. The heir to the British throne was getting married and it was going to be a huge blowout.

But you don’t have to be famous for that to be the case. I’ve known a couple brides who had larger weddings than they really wanted because of family pressures or cultural traditions. And I’ve also known a few couples who wound up having smaller weddings than they really would have preferred due to budgetary constraints or other more complicated issues.

After all, not everyone wants bare bones any more than everyone wants massive hooplah.

Me? I loved the wedding Mr. Twistie and I had. In the end, it was roughly a hundred people on a picnic in the woods. I never wanted anything more pomp and circumstancial. I never wanted anything quieter or less populous. I wanted to share the day with the people who meant the most to us, but I wanted things pretty low key, because that’s the kind of people Mr. Twistie and I are at heart.

But I’ve had a great time at gigantic weddings with lots of tradition, and I’ve had an equally great time at tiny weddings with only a handful of people and no great consideration of the expected. In the end, I think the thing that made each of these weddings so good was that the couples holding them were having the weddings they wanted.

So, if the decision were left completely in your hands, how big would your wedding be?

Quickie Question: Veil or No?

When you’re getting married, there are so many questions to ask yourself, so many options… and yet people tend to assume two things about how you’ll dress: that you’ll wear some version of a long, white dress, and you’ll wear a veil.

I did wear the dress, but I ditched the veil. I’m just not a veil kind of woman. Besides, the woods are not the kindest venue to tulle. No, I wore a snood and topped it with a big silver straw bow. It took me all of five minutes to work out on my wedding day (when I woke up and realized I still hadn’t figured out what I was doing with my dome!), and when I look at the pictures today, I still like the effect.

It still amuses me that on my wedding day of all days I – Hat Woman – didn’t wear a hat, either. Still, I knew from day one that a veil was not for me. I’m betting you knew pretty quickly whether or not it was for you.

So, to veil or not to veil, that is the question. What did you decide, and why?

Quickie Question: Dream Honeymoon?

The honeymoon is one of my favorite bridal traditions. It’s a chance to get away, get used to your new relationship, bask in the glow of each other… it’s both fun and practical.

But of course there are honeymoons and there are honeymoons. Not all of us get the honeymoon of our dreams.

Mr. Twistie and I dreamed of London. We couldn’t afford it at the time we got married. Instead, we drove up the California coast to Vancouver and spent a couple lovely days there before turning around and driving home again. It may not have been our ultimate dream, but it was a heck of a great trip. We had lovely adventures along the road both ways. And five years later, we did get our dream trip to London. It was every bit as great as we’d hoped.

So what about all of you? Did you/will you get your dream honeymoon? What is it? If you’re doing something else, what is it? If you did something other than your dream, how did you enjoy it?

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