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Manolo for the Brides | Manolo Loves the Brides! - Part 30

How to Cope With and Reduce Wedding Stress

Planning and throwing a wedding is a stressful thing to do.

You’re making a major life change and throwing what will mostly likely be the biggest, most elaborate party of your life, and doing both while navigating huge, conflicting expectations from the most important people in your life.

No wonder a lot of brides have meltdowns and so many grooms shy away from doing more than saying ‘yes, dear’ in the planning stages!

Nevertheless, it is actually possible to reduce the stress involved and even have a really good time planning and attending your own wedding. And as it would happen, I have a few suggestions.
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LOVE/HATE: Twelve Hour Twitter Proposal

When Mike Deurkson decided to propose marriage to his lady, identified on the Twitter feed only as ‘J’, he wanted to let the whole social media crowd in on the moment… for twelve hours.

He set up eight romantic dates over the course of those twelve hours, and tweeted to his followers on #MikeProposes about the significance of the locations and activities chosen. Apparently there was no fear that J would figure out what was going on simply because she doesn’t have a Twitter account.

Well okay, then.

J did however notice that Mike was busy with his phone an awful lot. One Tweet read:

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Don’t Go To Extremes For a Dress… Even a Wedding Gown

Trigger Warning: If you suffer from an eating disorder, you might want to skip this one. It could be detrimental to your recovery.

So. Dieting to fit into your wedding gown. Can we talk about this for a minute?

Since I write a wedding planning blog, I do see a lot of articles about how best to lose those unwanted pounds, because really, who wants to be fat on her wedding day? At least, the common assumption is that you want to lose weight for your wedding. In fact, I remember having several people tell me when I got engaged that there are two things every bride in the world does: grows her hair out and goes on a diet.
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Meet the Poster Boy for First Corinthians 13

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Meet Gregory Todd and the engagement ring he hopes to give his new fiancee… in somewhere from one to three and a half years.

Why so long? Because he proposed to her in Hull Crown Court during his plea with the judge for leniency in Tiffany Baillie’s sentencing after she was convicted of GBH with intent for stabbing Todd as he slept last december.

Baillie was depressed at the time because she had suffered a miscarriage. She also, apparently, had had quite a bit to drink that night. For my money, this might contribute to an explanation, but hardly excuses her actions… particularly since her actions lead to Mr. Todd spending three months in the hospital recovering from damage done to his pancreas and spleen.

Todd, however, has forgiven all. Outside the court he said:

“I hoped to give her the ring today, if she had got a suspended sentence. I asked the judge if I could give it to her in court, but he said no. The barrister took the ring to the cells and she tried it on. It fits. Now I have got the ring back but no Tiffany.”

The judge weighed the facts, Baillie’s guilty plea, and Mr. Todd’s amazingly forgiving nature against the seriousness of the crime. Out of a potential twelve years, Baillie has been sentenced to four with credit for time served. With good behavior, it’s quite possible she’ll be back with Todd and with her twelve-year-old son in a year.

Mr. Todd, I wish you the very best of British luck.

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Find Me a Photographer

This is the gypsy matchmaker from The Sims 2. Give her enough money, and she’ll find your Sim a life partner to make him or her happy. If you don’t have the simoleans for that, though, you can purchase a vial of Love Potion 8.5 to give your Sim a leg up in any potentially romantic situation.

But if you’re reading this blog, chances are that you’ve already found that certain, special someone. What you need is a little help finding the right vendors to make your day everything you’ve dreamed of.

OneWed.com has been helping couples find those vendors for some time now, but they’ve just launched an intriguing new free Matchmaker function called MatchMake.

You simply answer a set of questions about your wedding as regards the aspect you’re looking for help in (venue, catering, photography, transportation, etc.), and it pops out a list of vendors that best match your needs.

For instance, last night I sat down and played with the venue selection to see what I came up with. I gave them some real challenges (venues that feature purple, outdoor museum space, room for 150 for $500 or less) and they managed to come through with some options that – while not exact – did feature a fair number of the aspects I asked for. And I did some runs on the catering options, too, with similar results.

I really appreciated the fact that the questions included some fairly non-traditional options in the answer pool. For one thing, the religious affiliation question included the options of ‘atheist’ ‘Pastafarian’ and ‘Scientologist’ as well as more traditional possibilities such as ‘Catholic’ ‘Jewish’ or ‘Hindu’. Also, you could choose up to three. Options for the mood of your venue included things like ‘quirky’ as well as ‘romantic.’

All in all, I found this an encouraging place to look for the right vendors when you don’t know where to start.

The downside? Well, thus far it only shows vendors for the New York and Chicago areas. Bummer for those of you getting married in Maine or Texas. Still, as I said, this is a new program. I fully expect it to expand.

In the meantime, the site as a whole is brimming over with inspiration and options for the rest of us, including lists of local vendors in all walks of wedding planning, complete with user reviews. It just doesn’t weed out the ones that won’t work for you at all. Yet.

The Name Game

Back when this happy couple got married, there wasn’t a lot of question about how they would be addressed socially or professionally in the aftermath. The bride would take the groom’s name, period.

Sure a few famous women – mostly movie stars and novelists – might continue to use their birth names professionally, but for most women marriage spelled the end of any professional life that might require continuity of address. She might get a job, particularly once the children were in school, but she wouldn’t have a profession. And even if she did have a profession, her professional identity would change to suit her social one.

Today, though, there are a lot more options. You can follow the traditional form. You can hyphenate. You can simply go by the names you used before you got married. You can both change to something completely new. You can go socially by your husband’s name and professionally by your birth name. I even knew one woman who kept her own name socially but used her husband’s professionally. She was a kindergarten teacher and the kids found his last name easier to pronounce than hers.

The decision, as I have said many times before, is entirely up to the two people getting married. Whether you’re a traditionalist or a same-sex couple that can’t abide the idea of one of you being the ‘bride’ and one the ‘groom’ no matter your gender and feelings about your names, though, one thing is for sure: today you cannot assume that everyone will know what choice you have made.

So how do you get the information across to your entire social circle?
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Newsflash: Faking Cancer Not a Good Fundraising Strategy

This is Jessica Vega on her wedding day.

Her story was a sad one. A young mother with terminal leukemia dreamed of a fairy tale wedding to the father of her child. It was the one thing she wished for.

Everybody wanted to help, and help they did with a twelve hundred dollar wedding gown, a honeymoon in Aruba, rings, flowers, and all the trimmings.

That was in 2010.

This is Vega now, upon being arraigned in New York on charges of grand larceny and scheming to defraud. She has been extradited to California to face those charges.

You see, the one problem with Vega’s funding of her dream wedding is that it was based on a lie. She is not now and has never been dying of cancer.

The scheme was exposed when husband Michael O’Connell contacted Vega’s doctor to ask some questions about her treatment, only to learn that the doctor was not treating her at all. O’Connell left Vega and broke the story to the Times-Herald Record. He filed for divorce.

Strangely enough, though, the couple has since reunited and had a second child. Why? Because O’Connell wants his kids to grow up with their mother.

We’ll see how that works out for them.

Oh, and Mr. O’Connell? You might want to start any wedding funds now so history doesn’t repeat itself.