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Unusual Weddings | Manolo for the Brides - Part 5
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My Wedding Was Ruined. My Wedding Was Perfect.

In light of the continuing cold weather and the hugeslightly smaller drifts of ice and snow that are still packed in everywhere in my neighborhood, I wanted to share this photo from a 2009 winter wedding in Philadelphia. The bride and groom, Stephanie Sudzina and Anthony Campanale, woke up to a wedding day blizzard, but they didn’t let that stop them from saying their vows.

What could be worse, I wonder, than finding out that your nuptials will probably be snowed in? For this couple, it turns out, a lot of things! From a New York Daily News article written by Ronnie Polaneczky:

“We got desperate calls from a number of our vendors, asking if we were still going forward with the wedding,” says Stephanie, 35, a conference planner who grew up in Royersford. “We said, ‘Yes! Yes! People have come from all over the world for us!'”

“He told me, ‘I am going to marry you at 1 p.m. today,'” recalls Stephanie. “He said, ‘Even if there’s no one there but us. I can’t wait to see you walk down the aisle. That’s what this is all about. We’re getting married.'”

Isn’t that just fantastic? And that’s just what happened – thanks in part to the kindness of Ritz-Carlton concierge James Portner and other Ritz-Carlton staffers who went above and beyond the call of duty to put their wedding back together.

Now, granted, in the event that your wedding gets snowed in or rained out or a rock slide demolishes your reception venue and half your wedding vendors come down with food poisoning, it’s unlikely that you’re going to have the lovely people at the Ritz-Carlton at your disposal.

But no matter what unexpected tragedy befalls your wedding, there will almost always be some way to make things right. No canceling the wedding. No sending everyone home. You may not end up with exactly the wedding you were picturing in your head, but you’ll have one hell of a memory to compensate!

A lot of brides-to-be – and probably some grooms-to-be, too – get overwhelmed by wedding planning stress because they can’t stop thinking about all the ‘what ifs’. I’m guessing Stephanie Sudzina and Anthony Campanale were not that kind of bride and groom. My take is this: In the end, the more unpredictable ‘what ifs’ are going to happen no matter what you do, so quit your worrying.

If you’re currently planning a wedding, what is the ‘what if’ that scares you the most? And if you’re already married, did any of your ‘what ifs’ actually come to pass?

Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Weird Wedding Tie-Ins

There’s a long tradition of Britain’s royal weddings and births being immortalized in everything from tea towels to ashtrays but when it comes to the upcoming nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton, Buckingham Palace has apparently issued strict guidelines on what can and cannot be used on official souvenirs and commemorative merchandise. Not that anyone really abides by said guidelines. Wacky royal wedding tie-ins? Bring ’em on!

The first slightly wacky royal wedding tie-in that hit my radar was the announcement regarding the commemorative Fairy Liquid bottle to mark the big event. Procter & Gamble obtained royal approval to produce a limited edition bottle redesign to mark the big event.

But, hey, at least Fairy Liquid has royal approval to create wedding-inspired packaging. I’m pretty sure that Crown Jewels Condomscombining the strength of a Prince with the yielding sensitivity of a Princess-to-be! – does not, especially considering that these are novelty rubbers, not intended to prevent contraception or the sharing of STDs. That’s a bit more wacky, no?

And on the less weird side you have scads and scads of commemorative china like this Loving Mug from Aynsley China. Which is not a part of the official Royal wedding memorabilia china set – embellished with several layers of burnished gold and platinum before a final layer of gilding in 22-carat gold is applied by hand ooh la la – which consists of a plate, a mug… and a pill box.

Because that’s what it takes to boost a country’s economy by £620 million! Soap, tea towels, novelty condoms, pies named in honor of Prince William and Kate Middleton, and pill boxes. Will you be springing for a little something commemorative this spring?

P.S. – I have to add a Royal Wedding sick bag and Kiss Me Kate beer!

A Rainbow Wedding Palette Cleanser

Seems there’s a trick or two to pulling off a beautiful rainbow wedding!

Last month, I asked y’all to tell me what you thought of a photo of a rainbow wedding I found on the Tacky Weddings blog, and you mostly agreed with me that there was just too much going on. What, with the rainbowed-out groomsmen and the rainbow dress on the bride. Looking at that, you might think all rainbow weddings look like a bag of Skittles mated with a wedding planner.

But just look at these highlights from a pretty rainbow wedding from Hungary featured on Love & Lavender:

Much nicer, no? And absolutely nothing like the one from last month. (I am especially loving the rainbow wedding cake since I am planning to make La Paloma her very own special rainbow cake like that one for her upcoming birthday!)

Redneck and Proud of It

Every twice in a while, a bridal reality show comes along behind my back. This was definitely the case with CMTs My Big Redneck Wedding. At least it makes a change from bridal weight-loss shows. Here’s what CMT has to say about the show:

CMT gives a whole new meaning to for better or for worse. After scouring the country to find the most down-home country couples, CMT documents their journey down the aisle, as outrageous and over the top as it might be. Each episode, hosted by Tom Arnold, will feature a different redneck wedding, each with its own rustic eccentricities, whether it is a four-legged best man, a romantic beer can canopy, a celebratory shotgun salute or a reception filled with mattress surfing and mud wrestling.

The couple shown above, Chris and Jennifer Rodriguez, chose the Redneck Yacht Club for their venue, sent out beer bottle invitations, and were married (well, they’d actually already had a civil wedding beforehand) under an arch of mufflers. The bride and groom both wore camouflage, and their ring bearer was a remote-controlled Chevy truck.

Hey, whatever floats their boats, right? That’s what we say here at Manolo for the Brides. We believe in freedom of expression and defining fun for yourselves, after all.

There is, however, one thing that gives me pause about the experience the Rodriguez’s had. Here’s the thing as reported in the Herald Tribune:

Once they were chosen for “Redneck Wedding,” they began making arrangements with a reality show producer. Things did not go smoothly.

“We kept butting heads,” Jennifer says.

Negotiations continued right up to New Year’s Day with a new producer.

“They started to get you drunk before I even got there,” Chris says. “And when I got there, they gave me a bottle of Hennessy.”

Seriously, folks, if you have to get your reality show participants drunk to get them to agree to your plans, chances are you’re exploiting them rather than making their dreams come true.

That said, as much as I’m not a redneck kind of gal at all… I have to admit the idea of playing horseshoes with toilet seats is oddly appealing to me.

I just hope that other couples don’t need to be sloshed to find the producers’ ideas happy-making.

A Most Unusual Wedding Venue

Forget ballrooms or catering halls and museums and art galleries – at least if you happen to be planning a wedding in Miami. The new hot space in which to say your vows in that corner of Florida is a really surprising one. Because it is a parking garage. Sure, it’s a seriously nice parking garage designed by the Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron (designers of both the Tate Modern and Beijing’s Olympic Stadium)… and it did cost $65 million.

Actually, even though it usually plays host to more high end automobiles than people, it’s not a bad choice if you’re looking for an unusual wedding venue. On top of 360-degree views and sky-high ceilings, it features embedded artwork and a grand staircase just right for making dramatic entrances and picturesque exits. Plus, wedding guests are guaranteed a place to park – since they’ll be stashing their cars one floor below the ceremony and reception space.

I have to say, I like it. It’s unusual, most certainly, but definitely a striking choice for the less-than-ordinary couple. What do you think? Could you get over the fact that this wedding venue is a garage by day?

Because Sometimes You Just Can’t Stop at One

via Mail Online
This is Helene Manca, now Mrs. Joe Glass. This is one of the nine wedding gowns she wore at her wedding and reception. That’s right, nine wedding gowns in one day.

In point of fact, this is the gown she wore for the ceremony. As the day wore on into the early hours of the next day, she changed her clothes for: her arrival at the reception, cocktail hour, banquet, the speeches, cutting the cake, the first dance, dancing, and the 2:00am disco. Each gown was worn anywhere from a measly thirty minutes to as long as two hours.

How did the lady wind up with so very many wedding gowns? Read on, my friends, read on.

You Can’t Please Everyone, So Don’t Worry About Pleasing the People Who Aren’t Invited to the Wedding

Maybe you happened to hear about Cliff Ranson and Elizabeth Fischer, the New Jersey couple who were married at a Dunkin Donuts last month? They love coffee, they love doughnuts, and they happen to roll through the drive-thru of that particular Dunkin Donuts at least once a day. It’s actually one of two weddings they’ll have – they’re planning a larger affair for September of this year, but they didn’t want to wait to say their vows and thus, the Dunkin Donuts wedding.

“It’s the first wedding ever in a Dunkin’ Donuts, I believe,” said franchisee Paresh Patel. “We’re very happy for them.” He and his cousin Sam Patel, who is co-owner, presented the newlyweds with a gift basket of coffee and his-and-her mugs, boxes of doughnuts, and a lottery ticket. Patel also promised to make the doughnut cake for the September celebration.

It’s the wedding Ranson and Fischer wanted for the moment, and they got it. Even if for some reason it turns out to be the only wedding they have, they won’t be any less married because they said their wedding vows in a shop selling coffee and doughtnuts. Heck, I’ve posted about wedding in bowling alleys, ceremonies in the sky, a marriage between a woman and a dolphin, and weddings in everything from a dollar store to Taco Bell. It’s not like choosing to get married in a fast food joint is all that unusual these days!

Sure, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea – or coffee – but if the bride and groom or bride and bride or groom and groom are happy, then I’m happy. But I guess I’m in some kind of less-than-vocal minority, because some of the comments on the articles about this particular caffeinated couple are downright mean. “These two are quite possible the biggest morons I have ever heard of.” and “Gee, I wonder why their fist marriages didn’t work out?” and “i think they are following the lead of our fat boy governor and eating and eating and eating.” and “Gotta be Republicans!!” (Whatever that means…)

What can brides-to-be and their partners take away from a story like this? Simply that there’s always going to be some jerk somewhere who could find some way to make fun of your wedding. I don’t care how classy you are, how much you spend, that you have incredible taste, or are hiring Colin Cowie to design your wedding. Jerks can always find something negative to say. So don’t plan your wedding for the jerks! Plan a wedding that YOU will love and that your guests will enjoy, but don’t worry about pleasing people who won’t even be there. Like random Internet commenters, for example. After all, who cares what someone who’s not even invited to your wedding thinks about it? Those are not ever the people you should be thinking about when planning a wedding.

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