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Manolo for the Brides | Manolo Loves the Brides! - Part 8

Good Advice and Bad Advice About Money


It ought to go without saying that all wedding budget advice is not created equal. That certainly is the case when the question is who is going to pay for what!

Just this morning I felt myself compelled to read an article at Gal Time about the ‘new rules’ for who pays for what.

The author of the piece, Analorena Zeldon, consulted two experts, Andria Lewis (wedding planner with fifteen years’ experience) and Jodi RR Smith (author and etiquette expert) about how couples should broach the divvying up of expenses between themselves and their parents.

On the upside, the article not only assumes the couple will take some responsibility for some expenses themselves (and has a convenient breakdown of who pays for what when the two of you are paying for it all), but also that the bride’s parents might choose for a variety of reasons to opt out entirely.
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Quickie Question: DIY Vows or Standard Form?

Let’s face it. The ceremony is the whole reason for all the trappings of a wedding. There’s no particular point to the flowers and fancy clothes and music and all the rest if nobody says some form of I do.

And yet we spend little time here at Manolo for the Brides discussing those actual vows.

There are a lot of people who feel strongly about how those vows should be ordered and spoken. Some believe that the standard, traditional form for their particular religion is by far the best and most meaningful. I can’t argue with that, and I wouldn’t if I could. Others feel that writing one’s own vows shows a level of thought and commitment that can’t be shared by those who repeat vows others have said down the years. Again, I have no argument and wouldn’t raise one if I did.

My feeling is, very simply, that each couple needs to figure this one out for themselves. Traditional or custom, you’re the ones taking the vows and they need to mean something to you.

In my own case, I probably would have preferred to write my own vows. I come from a long line of lapsed Catholics and cultural Presbyterians, and never developed a religious system or faith of my own. I didn’t particularly want to speak words written for people who believe in something I just plain don’t. Still, I wound up researching and finding a set of standard vows I could live with and using those. Why? Because Mr. Twistie wanted nothing to do with writing the ceremony and I wasn’t going to put my words into his mouth. The only thing he wanted to say was ‘I do’ and he probably would have said that to pretty much any vow I had chosen or written. He just wanted to be married to me with a minimum of fuss and feathers.

Sometimes it’s all about finding a compromise you can live with as a couple. And since I wrote the rest of the ceremony, well, I was still getting my philosophy in there. It’s not like I just grabbed someone else’s religion and had my secular officiant deliver it in the woods for a pair of non-believers.

What about all of you? Writing your own? Following tradition? Finding a compromise path between the two options?

Tell me all about it!

So You’ve Called It Off. Now What?


You’ve just interrupted your ‘I do’s’ by running off with the man your mother thought wasn’t good enough for you (but was plenty good enough for her to seduce!) and are getting on a bus with no idea where it’s going. But what about all those deposits?

Okay, if you wait until that point, chances are there’s nothing you can do but pay all those wedding bills or declare bankruptcy.

If, on the other hand, you decide a bit earlier in the proceedings that things just aren’t going to work out, there is a way to recoup some of the expense you’ve been to and help another couple have the nice wedding of your dreams.

Bridal Brokerage is there to help you pick up the financial pieces and get you on your feet again.

You enter your details in a handy online form, and Bridal Brokerage does the rest. They contact the vendors and find another couple who are in need of a wedding much like yours. You receive a percentage of your wedding expenditures already made, cope with your own broken heart, and contact your own guests, but after that you don’t have to deal with the details of canceling your wedding beyond that.

On the buyer’s side, well, you fill out a similar form telling Bridal Brokerage when you’re hoping to tie the knot, how many guests you plan to have, etc. and they’ll contact you with weddings that might suit your needs. You choose the one that best fits your preferences, and buy it at a deep discount.

Again, Bridal Brokerage steps in to the rescue with the details. They’ll send out save-the-dates and invitations to your entire guest list and prepare programs, too.

I’m wondering, is there anyone out there who has used this service or one like it? What were your experiences like? Is this a service any of you out there would consider using on either end?

Twistie’s Sunday Caption Madness: The Bridal Camouflage Edition: The Result

Hey you gorgeous people out there in Weddinglandia!

Last week I smacked you all in the face with this deathless image:

… and two of you returned fire with hilarious captions.

Both captions are great, but in the end there can be only one winner. This week it’s the irrepressible Jo who not only had a great caption:

Sally’s dress conveniently doubled as a toilet roll holder after her big day.

… but also provided her own illustration of the point which can be found here.

Congratulations, Jo, and thanks too to Jenn for playing!

Take That, DOMA!


(Image via Jet Fete Blog where you can see more pictures of this beautiful wedding held in Mexico)

Yesterday the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled (as have so many courts before it) that the Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA is unconstitutional in that it violates the fourteenth amendment right to equal protection under the law.

The suit was brought by Edith Windsor, 83. She and Theda Clara Spyer had been engaged for forty years when they were finally able to tie the knot in Toronto, Cananda in 2007. Two years later, Spyer sadly died of multiple sclerosis. In Spyer’s will, she left all her property to her surviving spouse, Windsor. And since the federal government will not recognize same sex marriages, Windsor was forced to pay $363,000 (that’s three hundred sixty-three thousand smackers) in estate taxes. Windsor felt that was unfair since a surviving spouse in a DOMA approved marriage would not have had to shell out that kind of money to inherit.

A federal court sided with Windsor, but the decision was appealed. Now the appeals court also sides with the plaintiff… as has every other court that has heard similar cases.

Even the current presidential administration considers DOMA unconstitutional. President Obama announced that his administration would no longer defend it because – wait for it – it violates equal protection. The act is currently being defended by the Republican majority in the US House of Representatives.

Me? I say it’s time for DOMA to land on the ash heap of bad law. It hurts families, inflicts hardships, and does absolutely nothing to protect, defend, or support any marriage whatsoever.

My opposite sex marriage is in no way threatened by the fact that two men or two women may marry in certain places. In fact, my marriage is so cool and nifty that I want every adult who wants one to be able to get their own, regardless of gender identity, race, or preferred flavor of consenting adult to have one with!

In Arlo’s Darkest Hour

I’m not in the obituary business here at Manolo for the Brides. Death rarely gets a mention around here, and rightly so. We’re here to talk about weddings, and all the hopeful stuff around that grand institution of marriage.

But sometimes death brings perspective. Yesterday, I was saddened to read of the death of Jackie Guthrie, wife of folksinger and all around fabulous entertainer Arlo Guthrie. This is what they looked like at their 1969 wedding:

… held on their front lawn with Judy Collins serenading them.

Forty-three years later, she’s gone from liver cancer, but the love remains.

Here’s what Arlo had to say about their marriage:

“We didn’t always like each other. From time to time there were moments when we’d have our bags packed by the door. But, there was this great love that we shared from the moment we met – a recognition – It’s YOU! And we would always return to it year after year, decade after decade and I believe life after lifetime.”

I can tell you from experience that you won’t always like your spouse. If one of you is a performer, spending weeks, even months at a time on the road, the hardships are even harder. There are moments when I look at Mr. Twistie and wonder what the hell I was thinking all those years ago.

But when it’s right, when there’s true love, you get past those moments. You find ways to appreciate one another and you reconnect.

For Arlo and Jackie, it worked for forty-three years and four children (as well as her child from a previous liason with David Crosby) and ten grandchildren. That’s not a bad legacy to leave behind.

So the next time you don’t like one another very much, take a moment and see if you still love one another. Sometimes that’s all it takes to get past the moment.

Rings That Never Lock

Are you a fellow Stargate fan?

Whether your Jack and Daniel look like this:

… or like this:

(and for the record, I swing both ways)

… this could be the wedding ring for you:

Best of all? The chevrons spin!

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