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Manolo for the Brides | Manolo Loves the Brides! - Part 19

The Thing About Bridal Sizing


There’s one aspect of shopping for a wedding gown and bridesmaid’s dresses that horrifies an awful lot of women: the size tags in the dresses.

So let’s talk about that.

I’m guessing every woman reading this blog has at some time or another taken a piece of clothing in her usual size into a dressing room only to discover that it doesn’t fit correctly. Depending on the general cut and the vagaries of non-standardized size charts, you may find yourself unable to pull those pants over your thighs, let alone any higher! Or you may slip on that dress only to discover you could slip two of you into it.

Well, for some reason unexplained to the world, the sizing in bridal runs smaller than average… a lot smaller. As in two to three sizes smaller than the same size in an average line of clothing.
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Thirty Years and a Kayak Later….


Once upon a time, a young couple named Debbie Pray and Larry Crooker dated for a while. They were head over heels in love, but not quite ready to settle down. After all, Debbie was only nineteen! After a passionate time together, they decided to split up and went their separate ways.

Both married other people, had kids, and eventually got divorced from those other people. Along the way, though, they remembered each other and wondered what might have been.

When Larry heard that Debbie was divorced, too, he decided to look her up and see if sparks would still fly. They did. Last October, they moved in together. On the third of July, they made it official tying the knot in a ceremony in kayaks on the Mystic River.

Why kayaks? Well, aside from the obvious question of why not kayaks?, there’s the fact that the couple kayak together nearly every night when the weather cooperates. And then they decided it would just be fun.

Some twenty guests joined in a flotilla of kayaks that evening, with the bridal kayaks decked out with red white and blue lights and bunting, to witness the heartfelt ceremony.

All I can say is that looks like it was one fun wedding.

Best of luck to the happy couple! May they spend the next thirty years (at least!) making up for time lost.

Twistie’s Sunday Caption Madness: The Feather Light Edition: The Result

Well.

Last week I caused you all to cluck at my choice of this deathless image:

… and two of you came out swinging with imaginative and apt captions.

You did not make it easy on me. But in the end, there can be but one winner… except in those painfully rare cases where I declare a tie.

That’s right. I can’t choose. You both hit me in my weak spots.

The inimitable Sarah C blindsided me with a reference to my favorite cookware:

Jill decided to try and make the best of it when a typographical error in the wedding registry resulted in the delivery of Le Poulet instead of Le Creuset to cook them in.

And Cara got me on the Anglophile side with reference to a bit of phrasing more common across the pond:

The American bridesmaids took the British bride’s request for a “Hen Night” a little too literally.

Both were entirely too good to choose between, so you both win… as do all of us who got to enjoy your captions. Congratulations, ladies! And thanks for playing.

We’re Havin’ a Heat Wave


With record-breaking temperatures throughout the country and massive droughts going on, this strikes me as a good time to talk about how to beat the heat on your wedding day.

After all, a scorcher of a day is not only uncomfortable for the people saying ‘I do’ but their friends and families as well. High mercury can lead to high tempers and short fuses. You don’t want fights breaking out because of heat-related misery and you certainly don’t want anyone – including you! – to suffer from heat prostration.

What to do to keep everyone as cool as you can? Read on and find out.
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Wool You Marry Me?


If you’ve been reading this blog for more than two minutes, you know I’m a huge fan of DIY for weddings. Choose your projects carefully, give yourself plenty of time, and it’s possible to save big as well as add uniquely personal dash to your big event.

The lady shown above is an excellent example of How It’s Done Properly.

When Ash Pears asked lady love Lydia Taylor to marry him, she did try on some commercially made wedding gowns… but only for inspiration. She designed and made her own gown. In point of fact, she knitted it.

Watching as much bridal reality as I do, I know well that moment when the bride walks into a bridal salon and announces she has only two grand to plonk down on her wedding gown and accessories. They do their best not to react, but you can always see a flash of worry and an involuntary breath taken in on the part of the consultant. Bridal runs to big bucks.

But Taylor’s elegant knitted frock set her back less than two hundred pounds and needed no alterations, since it was made to measure.

Between knitting her gown, finding reception plates at garage sales and thrift shops, making her bouquet out of fabric flowers and a vintage brooch or two, creating her own favors by hand (pear shaped pin cushions) and doing her own decorations, Taylor and Pears kept their overall wedding budget down to around five thousand pounds… allowing them enough left over to have an eighteen night honeymoon in Bali and Singapore as well as a down payment on a house to raise a family in.

Would they change anything if they had had more money? Says Taylor:

‘If we had won the National Lottery the only change we would have made is a free bar for our friends.’

Fair enough. I have to say, I love that gown.

LOVE/HATE: Amazing Feets


(Illustration via Intimate Weddings, where you can see some fabulous pictures of a gorgeous wedding)

Every couple of years there’s a new ‘must have’ picture that those in the know have to have or risk being outed as unfashionable. There was the jumping photo a few years back, which has only just really begun to peter out, now replaced with the obligatory photo of the bride and groom’s (or entire bridal party’s) feet.

My guess is that this trend started with a couple who had on some really incredible footwear on. Their photographer wanted a shot – or perhaps the happy couple wanted to have the pic – and it looked kind of awesome. BOOM! Next thing you know everyone has to have the same shot, whether they’re wearing anything interesting on their feet or not.

See the couple above? They do have nice shoes on… but nothing so extraordinary that I see a reason to go that far out of the way to enshrine them. In a wedding that includes tricorn hats, full Victorian men’s formalwear, and an officiant wearing a huge, feathered headpiece, these shoes just aren’t that big a deal to me.

Is it a well-composed shot? Yes, it is. Are the bride’s shoes pretty? Yes, they are. Are they hidden by her gown? Not really. They’re nicely visible in a shot of the bride walking up the aisle.

My take on the obligatory shoe shot? Unless you’ve got something pretty darn extraordinary on your tootsies, I kind of HATE them.

But that’s me. What do you think?

Quickie Question: How Long is Too Long? How Short is Too Short?


When it comes to planning wedding ceremonies, many couples struggle with a Goldilocks kind of question: is it too long, too short, or just right?

Obviously culture and religion play a strong role in finding the right answer. A full Catholic Mass or Orthodox Christian ceremony can take hours. A Hindu wedding where all the traditions are observed lasts for days. A civil ceremony can last less than a minute, if the participants are properly motivated.

I well remember leaving the church with Mr. Twistie after a Catholic wedding ceremony that lasted more than two hours. As we headed to the reception, he leaned over and whispered to me “You’re the only person I would ever do this for.” Long religious ceremonies? Not his thing. Not really mine, either, but the bride was a dear friend, so I was more than willing to sit through it all for her.

On the other hand, there was another wedding I attended where the bride and groom had barely processed to the altar when they were done and turned back around. I swear I blinked and missed everything but the kiss.

When planning my own wedding, I kept both of these weddings in mind. Mr. Twistie and I both have a background in performance, but we’re more interested in a party than giving a show. Neither of us is religious, so we didn’t have any requirements to fulfill beyond the bare bones legal ones. Still, we did want to do something long enough to make it worth everyone’s time to get dressed up and drive all that way. Guests do tend to expect some level of pomp and ceremony if they’re coughing up a place setting and the time and effort to show up. And I know how cheated I felt at the couple that got to the altar, said ‘sure thing’, kissed and headed off to the reception with no further ado.

So we aimed to keep things in the ten to twenty minute range for the ceremony proper. I think once there was a reading and a song and the statement of intent and vows and rings and all… yeah, it came out somewhere around twelve minutes or so. We probably could have added another reading or something, but I have to admit we were eager to get off the stage and on to the party.

What about you? Was there a time frame you tried to keep within? Are you worried about restless guests or underwhelmed ones? Keeping it short so your nerves won’t give out halfway through? Stretching it out to make it last? What’s your ideal length for a wedding ceremony?