Tune Me Up

Regular and thoughtful reader srah wanted some ideas for picking the processional and recessional for her upcoming wedding. Well, srah, I’ve got a few thoughts not on what specifically you should choose, but on how to choose something that will make you and your intended all kinds of happy.

When the classic original version of Father of the Bride was made in 1950 (see, I worked in the illustration in the end), there was no question what music would play as Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor processed up the aisle for her wedding. Wagner’s wedding march for going up the aisle, Mendelssohn on the way back down again.

Both of those tunes still get heavy play at weddings, and why not? They’re traditional, they fulfill people’s expectations, and a lot of people love them.

But not everyone wants to do the expected. Not everyone loves those tunes. Some of us remember how that marriage that started with Wagner’s march ended. For those who aren’t rabid opera fans, here’s a hint: it sure ain’t a happy story.

Besides, there’s a whole world of music that can be used for these important walks. Why limit yourself to two tunes that may or may not mean anything to you at all? And how do you choose between all the possibilities?

That’s what I’m here to talk to you about today.
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An Important PSA From Manolo for the Brides


(Image via Daily Squee)
When planning your outdoor wedding, watch out for squirrels.

That is all.

Going To the Courthouse and We’re Gonna Get Married

Reader Elaine asks:

Can you put together a post with some suggestions of how to make a Justice of the Peace or courthouse marriage a little more special? That would be great (and timely)!

First off, congratulations and best wishes, Elaine, to you and your intended! May your wedding kick off a long and happy marriage.

Now, about that kickoff.

There are plenty of good reasons to choose a courthouse ceremony or one where you go to the JP instead of bringing one to you. It’s fast, it’s inexpensive, it’s fuss-free (or nearly so), and the list goes on. Once you’ve got the marriage license and the appointment, you’re pretty much set as far as the practicalities go.

But you’re looking for more than bare bones, which is what these venues tend to offer. So let’s take a look at what you can do to cover them bones.
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Do All the Housework, Stay Married, Die Young


Two studies were recently published concerning housework. One focused on how division of responsibility affects – or is related to – divorce. The other focused on how the division of responsibility affects – or is related to – overall health of both men and women.

The Norwegian study ironically entitled Equality in the Home, suggests that households in which women come home from full-time jobs and then do all the housework while hubby sits back and chills are less likely to wind up in divorce court than couples who share the work more equitably. Apparently Norwegian couples who share the housework 50/50 have a 50% higher likelihood of divorcing.

Co-author Thomas Hansen is, however, quick to point out that there is little indication of causality in the matter. He stated that the real answer is that couples who share the work are more likely to have a ‘modern’ attitude toward marriage in general as a ‘less sacred’ institution.

He does also note that women who have jobs of their own enjoy more economic autonomy and thus are more likely to be able to leave marriages that aren’t working for them.

But in a truly baffling – to me – moment, he also claims that there may be causality in the idea of blurred gender roles:

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The Answer Lady is In


Darlings, it’s been a long week and it’s only just wednesday. My brain is fuzzy, it’s too hot even to think about coffee (Oh, caffeine, sweet nectar of life!) and my imagination is completely shot. That shot up there? Is a terrifyingly lifelike rendition of my current mental state.

And so it is that I’m opening the floor to question time!

Ask me anything about weddings, marriage, and any vaguely related topic you please.

No, I won’t answer the questions today… but I will do my best to cover them all in the course of the next week. Delving into vast stores of knowledge, plenty of research materials, and an endless supply of firm opinions, I’ll type til my fingers fall off to get you the information you want.

So if you have a burning question – or even just mildly niggling one – in any way related to weddings and married life, this is your chance to get it covered.

Hit me with your best shot!

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!

Anne Hathaway Ties the Knot


sunset at Big Sur was the backdrop for Anne Hathaway’s wedding to longtime love and Ryan Gosling lookalike Adam Shulman on saturday.

Guests to the extremely private ceremony were shuttled in by bus… and needed special bracelets to board. No bracelet, no wedding. No exceptions. Apparently some 180 people did wear their bracelets.

Rumors say that the wedding was designed and planned by Yifat Oren who recently worked the magic behind Natalie Portman’s wedding.

What is definite is that the bride’s gown was specially designed for her by Valentino, who considers her ‘like a daughter.’

I hope you’ll all join with me in wishing the happy couple every joy and many delightful years together.

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