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Manolo for the Brides | Manolo Loves the Brides! - Part 320

The Cakediva

A cake fit for a princess!

Because I’m sure that many of you are absolutely stuffed with Easter sweets like I am, I thought, “What’s the harm in just a little more sugar?” I love cake. But I love love love imaginative and crazy cakes. The fabulous and whimsical cake above was created by Charmaine “The Cakediva” Jones. The Cakediva specializes in cakes with one-of-a-kind flair and can create confections that will feed up to 1,000 people. The cakes come in flavors as diverse as pink champagne, banana, and tangerine. And available fillings include guava, coconut, and Bavarian crŔme. Some of her more extreme creations include a bust of Michael Jackson, a ski boot, a whole piano, and a well-lit haunted house with edible windows.

Her client list reads like a Who’s Who – The Cakediva has made cakes for the likes of Erykah Badu, Michael Jordan, Jay Leno, and Susan Sarandon. But she’ll make you just about any wacky cake you desire. Including a box of Total Cereal!

Advice for your ears

The Wedding Podcast Network

Despite the fact that I usually avoid anything that includes the words “pod” or “iWhatnot,” as well as weird Internet slang, I am totally digging the Wedding Podcast Network. Contrary to what some folks believe, podcasts do not require listeners to have an iPod.

The WPN, as it’s calling itself, features a variety of programs led by wedding industry experts like John Mahdessian of Madame Paulette, wedding cake designer Sylvia Weinstock, and Tatiana Byron from 4PM Events. The podcasts address everything from event planning to gift registries to relationship advice. While most of the programs likely appeal to future brides, they even have a program called ‘Grooms With a View‘ that features real husbands talking about how they took part in the wedding planning process.

To check it out, just visit the site and download the podcast mp3 of your choice. The WPN is shaping up to be a great source of advice that brides and grooms to be can listen to on the go.

There’s Something About Siri Bridesmaids Dresses

They call her Mellow Yellow

I love perusing the pages of Siri’s online catalog of bridesmaids dresses on days like today when the weather is crummy, I’m tired, and my to-do list is pages and pages long. Looking at their gorgeous dresses for the maid-of-honor and the bridesmaid (and even the alternative bride and fun MOB!) cheers me up in no time flat because going through their selection is like feasting my eyes on a rainbow. They have wonderful patterns and fabrics, of course, but, oh, the colors! All those vivid greens, oranges, blues, yellows, and pinks – it’s springtime in bridesmaids dress form!

As an added bonus, their styles tend toward the kind of classical patterns that work on a variety of figures. The halter, A-line, tea length dress above (known as the Siena Sundress) is summery and definitely re-wearable. While I like it in the creamy yellow Venus & Mars, this particular bridesmaids dress comes in a variety of other absolutely fabulous fabrics and colors.

A healthy bride is a happy bride

There is nothing wrong with pleasingly plump.

I’m all for brides doing a bit of extra exercise before the wedding. A good workout makes you feel good, gives your skin a rosy glow, and helps you walk down the aisle with a spring in your step. There are some fabulous wedding exercise plans, such as The Complete Bride’s Workout Guide and Wedding Workout, that are healthful and realistic and strive to make brides of all sizes feel good about themselves.

What I can’t get behind are ads like the one above (and the two others featured on the lovely blog Wedding Thoughts) created by Grey World for Slim Fast. They imply that there is something wrong with not being a Skinny Minnie on your wedding day. First off, Slim Fast is nasty and not as healthy as simply eating right. Secondly, to make this ad campaign even more ridiculous, the cake topper brides in those ads are not particularly plump!

I say, grrrrrr!

A little dab will do ya – a make-up primer

Subtly pretty

Though we live in a world obsessed with beauty, many women (including me) don’t regularly wear make-up. There are as many reasons for not wearing make-up as there are for wearing it: A lack of time. A career that doesn’t lend itself to the wearing of cosmetics. Sensitive skin. Or (and this describes me very well) sheer laziness combined with a work-at-home job. My mom also never taught me how to apply the dang stuff.

This cosmetic innocence, however, can be a problem on one’s wedding day. Many a woman who might otherwise eschew make-up will readily slather it on when she is to be the center of attention. Unfortunately, this can lead to brides that are less blushing and more Tammy Faye. These brides can do one of two things: They can hire an expensive professional. Or they can read everything they can about make-up and do a few test runs before the wedding.

Guess which solution I prefer?

Now, when I think bridal beauty, I think simplicity. I think most brides look their best when they have used natural colors of cosmetics to highlight their innate prettiness. It’s a stereotype, but one I can appreciate: the dewy, rose-cheeked, pink-lipped blushing bride.

So, when considering wedding day make-up, whether in the morning or the evening, think deep colors (for a touch of drama) and natural shades. If you’ve never worn foundation, concealer, or powder, consider giving it a try – ask a department store make-up counter consultant to help you find the right hue and to teach you what to do with it.

Eyeliner: A light brown eyeliner, gently smoothed upward toward the temple looks striking but doesn’t scream, “Made up!” Practice makes perfect.

Eye shadow: Pastels will look pretty but stick to sheer mattes, because overly shimmery shadows can look shiny in photos. Two or more shades artfully blended can look just as subtly beautiful as a single color. Experiment. A lot. Before the wedding.

Blush: Glittery blushes can make you look shiny (i.e. oily) in photos. Cream blush set with translucent powder typically looks the most natural and tends to last throughout the day. Blush, however, can be tricky. And if you have naturally ruddy cheeks like I do, you might want to forgo it altogether.

Lipstick: I used to doubt the truth of those adverts for 8-hour lipsticks. Then I bought a tube of Revlon Colorstay Overtime. They are not kidding when they say it won’t kiss off. Try colors that are close to your normal lip color.

Mascara: Whether you go for black or brown, use a waterproof formula. You should be able to cry without worrying about raccoon eyes. If you have long, dark lashes, try clear.

There is no rule saying you must buy a make-up case worth of new products for your wedding day. I guess there is also no rule saying you have to wear make-up at all on your wedding day. But if you’re going to, play around with it in the weeks before the big day to find a look you like. See how your make-up looks when paired with your gown. If you need more help, books like Makeup Makeovers: Stunning Looks for the Entire Bridal Party offer cosmetic hints and tips. And DVDs like The Perfect Wedding Series: The Beautiful Bride will demonstrate wedding make-up application in easy-to-follow steps.

The Perfect Wedding Series Volume 1, The Beautiful Bride - MAKEUP

Monday fun

One! Two! Three! Etc.!

The most excellent Manolo pointed out a caption contest being held over at Dlisted. Unfortunately, the contest is now closed, but I would definitely recommend that you go check out the more than 260 captions that Dlisted readers thought up to describe the keg-standin’ bride above. My particular favorite:

Something old
Something new
Something borrowed
Something brewed.

That makes me giggle every time I read it.

A year and a day for Camilla and Charles

A good public appearance can do wonders

I’d like to offer a hearty hip-hip-hooray to Prince Charles and Camilla, who celebrated their first anniversary yesterday at the Scottish estate where they spent their honeymoon.

In a low-key celebration of their first 12 months together, the couple have taken a romantic break to the place where they spent their honeymoon, the royal family’s remote Scottish retreat of Balmoral.

Charles, 57, wearing a Balmoral tweed kilt, and Camilla, 58, in a matching tweed jacket and skirt and red beret, were greeted by around 20 well-wishers, down on the hundreds who welcomed the newly-weds after their wedding last year.

That sounds lovely…but what does the future hold for Charles and Camilla?

Although Britons seem to have accepted Charles’ long-term mistress as his wife, there appears to be a long way to go to persuade them she could one day be “Queen Camilla”.

A recent survey in The Times suggested 56 percent of people would prefer her to take the title “Princess Consort” instead.

Only time will tell…but, for Phyllis, here is another look at Camilla and her beau on their wedding day. Though the cream silk chiffon short dress hemmed with vertical rows of appliqued woven disks and coat with herringbone embroidery she wore for the ceremony were nice, I rather prefer the blue coat and chiffon gown by Antonia Robinson and Anna Valentine she wore for the blessing ceremony that followed the civil vows.

A reprise of the big day