Just In Case You Didn’t Get Enough Turkey Today


Check out these pictures from a real wedding in 1948. The bride and her attendants wore turkey feather gowns. Oh, and as you can see, the happy couple were pelted not with rice, but with turkey feathers as they headed off to their future.

Gobble gobble!

Happy Thanksgiving from Manolo for the Brides!

May you find love in your hearts and plenty of delicious pie to eat today.

A Story Book Story That Really Happened

The couple on the left is John Betar and Ann Shawah on their wedding day in 1932. The couple on the right is John Betar and Ann Shawah Betar eighty years later. On sunday, November 25, 2012, they will celebrate their eightieth anniversary. In fact, it’s such an unusual milestone that the baker called to double check that it was an anniversary cake and not, say, a birthday cake.

John immigrated to America from Syria with his family in 1921. Ann was the daughter of Syrian immigrants. They grew up together in a Syrian community in Bridgeport, Conn. Ann’s parents had arranged for her to marry a much older man who they felt could support her well when, at the age of seventeen, she eloped with twenty-one year old John.

Of course she was nervous. Getting married is not a light step at any age. Eloping at seventeen with a neighborhood boy rather than the man she was technically engaged to… well, that’s got to be pretty momentous.

Still, it’s worked out pretty well, I’d say. John worked himself up from peddling fruit in the streets to owning his own grocery store. They had five children, who gave them fourteen grandchildren, who have given them sixteen great-grandchildren.

Now that John is one hundred and one years old and Ann is ninety-seven, they still live independently. John still goes to the store to buy fresh produce for the soups they make from scratch. He still advises other customers on their fruit and vegetable choices. Ann has taken up painting. They are interested in current events.

Most of all, they are still delighted with one another.

So what advice do they have for us about marriage, as opposed to fruit?

Well, John advises to get along, compromise, live within your means, and ‘let your wife be the boss.’

Ann dismisses the idea of having a boss at all. Her advice is not to hold grudges.

Their granddaughter Heather Mitchell has yet another take on their success:

“I’m always blown away by their incredible optimism, deep sense of compassion and modesty. They are true beacons — inspirational people who emit such joy without even knowing it.”

Optimism, compassion, and modesty strike me as a very good recipe for married happiness.

Then again, so do compromise and lack of grudge holding.

Happy anniversary, Mr. and Mrs. Betar! Even though it seems a bit superfluous, I wish you every joy.

After all, this is true love. The best thing about it is that it actually does happen every day.

Brooch Bouquets Made Easy


One of the more popular alternative ideas in the wonderful world of weddings in the last few years has been the brooch bouquet. If you’ve got access to a bunch of fun sparkly pins, you can make a unique – and potentially quite meaningful – bouquet to carry when you marry.

But you may be wondering how exactly it’s done.

Best Destination Wedding has a great article on creating your own brooch bouquet. With just a few simple tools and materials, you can make a bouquet like the one shown above. Or leave out the faux flowers for an all-brooch one.

The author mostly bought brooches from inexpensive sources, such as thrift stores, eBay, and Etsy, but if you’ve already got a selection of sparkly brooches or have ones you can borrow from family members or friends, it gets even less expensive to make.

I don’t know about you, but I love these things!

Two Opposite and Equally Awesome Thoughts on DIY


(Illustration via A Practical Wedding)

You guys know me. I’m a DIY diva and proud of it. Give me some threads, some scraps of paper, a little ribbon, and a hot glue gun, and I’ll make you something remarkable with it. I love making things and I’m good at it, too.

So it’s no surprise that I loved Sam and Stew’s handmade South African wedding when I read about it at A Practical Wedding. Together, they made most of the accessories for their big day, and both families got into the fun of it.

Most of all, I loved the reason Sam gave for loving all the projects she, Stew, their families, and their friends did for the wedding:

There was a moment, when I stood back, and looked around at the happy smiles and goofy grins of all our favourite people, and literally felt surrounded by love.

Because there it was—hammered into the menus, baked into the cookies, sewn into the seams of the table runners and sprinkled into that darn confetti. So if the crafty crazy is getting to you, don’t worry too much. Because it’s neverabout the details you get out. It’s about the love you put in.

You know what? That’s how I felt when I looked at my wedding, too. Everywhere I looked, I saw concrete evidence of the love our friends and families have for us. Everywhere I turned, there was something I poured my heart into that was making someone I love smile.

But you know what else? I’m not every bride. There are other equally valid ways of choosing to do things. One of these ways is described by guest blogger Danielle in a july article, also at A Practical Wedding.

In it she discusses how she almost panicked her way into doing a series of last-minute DIY projects because they’re everywhere on the internet.

Having carefully chosen to marry in an art gallery so she wouldn’t have to worry about decorations, Danielle almost decided she needed to make piles of random things to fill out the space, once she looked at a few wedding blogs and Pinterest boards… but she remembered something at the last minute: DIY isn’t her.

An intervention from a good friend brought her back to sanity just as she was pricing out the cost of making her own pinwheels.

I remembered that we can have whatever kind of wedding we want, and that just because I’m not panicking in these final pre-wedding weeks doesn’t mean I’m doing something wrong. It probably means I’m doing something right.

And knowing that I won’t glance around the room at the end of our wedding night and see sloppy homemade pinwheels abandoned on tables and tossed into trash cans? That feels pretty right too.

Always remember, there is no wrong way to plan a wedding as long as you’re enjoying the process and feel your personality as a couple is being represented. Craft it all by hand, don’t craft a thing, find a middle path by all means. Don’t worry too much about what other people are or aren’t doing. Seek inspiration, but never forget who you are.

It’s your wedding. It should look and feel the way you want it to.

‘Reality’ Becomes a Reality


Brides.com has an overview of wedding gown designer Austin Scarlett’s latest collection for 2013… and I was struck by how familiar this gown looked.

In fact, I knew precisely where I had seen it before.
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The Bride Wore a White Sheet


Meet Cynthia Reese and Michael Bof. This was their wedding day. It wasn’t quite what they’d originally planned, but they’re more than happy with it.

You see, a few weeks after Cynthia and Michael got engaged, they discovered Cynthia was pregnant. Figuring they would need the money they might have spent on a wedding more for raising their first child, the pair decided that sometime before the baby was born, they would just head down to City Hall for a bare bones wedding.

Then again, there didn’t seem to be a particular hurry… that is there wasn’t until monday when, at seven months pregnant, Cynthia’s water broke and she was rushed to the hospital in premature labor.
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