Archive for May, 2009

Love Is a Universal Language…Weddings Sometimes Require Translation

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

I don’t know how many of you are fellow fans of Lolcats, but I find them remarkably funny. What surprised me was the discovery that someone has actually translated wedding vows into Lolspeak.

Of course Lolspeak isn’t the only possible language to hold your wedding in. How about Klingon for my fellow Trekkies?

Of course, these are languages that exist only in imagination. They’re fun to play with and amusing to know, but not really vital in day-to-day life.

But what if a participant – or honored guest – has a significant hearing impairment? That’s a far more serious issue.

This really isn’t a new question. In fact, there are references to and descriptions of weddings involving some form of sign language dating back at least as far as the sixteenth century. For instance, this wedding held in 1576:

…and because the sayde Thomas was and is naturally deafe, and also dumbe, so that the order of the form of marriage used usually amongst others, which can heare and speake, could not for his parte be observed. After the approbation had from Thomas, the Bishoppe of Lincolne, John Chippendale, doctor in law, and commissarye, as also of Mr. Richd. Davye, then Mayor of the town of Leicester, with others of his brethren, with the rest of the parishe, the said Thomas, for the expressing of his mind instead of words, of his own accord used these signs :
First, he embraced her with his arms, and took her by the hand, putt a ring upon her finger, and layde his hande upon his hearte, and then upon her hearte, and held up his handes toward heaven. And to show his continuance to dwell with her to his lyves ende, he did it by closing of his eyes with his handes, and digginge out of the earth with his foote, and pullinge as though he would ring a bell, with diverse other signes.

Today, of course, sign language is formalized, though, as with verbal languages, there are regional differences. That means this gentleman was able to say his vows in a recognized language.

If you expect to have members of the Deaf community at your wedding, though, one thing is sure: they’ll appreciate being thoughtfully included in the proceedings. Consider having your vows printed on your program, or even hiring an interpreter to sign the ceremony as you speak it.

Part of being a good host is recognizing and doing your best to comfortably accommodate the needs of your guests. That includes their ability to understand the event as it happens.

Fraser Star Reacts to California Ruling

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

The California Supreme Court Ruled on Tuesday to uphold Proposition 8, the voter initiative that outlawed same sex marriage in the state, overturning a lower court ruling that the proposition is unconstitutional. Okay. I utterly disagree with this ruling, but I can follow the logic.

What I can’t follow is the decision that although same sex marriage is now illegal again, the 18,000 couples who married during the brief window opened by the first court ruling are still legally married in a state which will not allow others in the same situation to marry.

It would appear that I’m not alone in that confusion.

David Hyde-Pierce, who played Dr. Niles Crane on Fraser for the entire run of the show, winning many accolades along the way, joins me. He may not realize it, but we are brain twins in this matter.

In fact, he went on The View this week and announced that he and long-time companion Producer Brian Hargrove had quietly tied the knot on October 24th. Hyde-Pierce says his reaction to the news that he was still married despite the ruling was an angry: “It’s Like ‘Oh great, we made the cut.'”

This decision is bound to upset nearly everyone on both sides of the question. Those of us in favor of marriage equality are angry that the right to be married has been stripped from so many people, and frustrated that a few people have gotten what the rest are not allowed. Those against are bound to be frustrated that the people who married while it was legal are still married when the legal basis for their marriages has been declared invalid.

The one thing that’s absolutely clear is that the battle is going to rage on.

In the meantime, I wish Messers Hyde-Pierce and Hargrove every joy. After twenty-five years together, I’d say they’ve earned it.

Yet Another Tacky Idea to Help You Have a Wedding You Can’t Afford!

Friday, May 29th, 2009



youbuyMYWEDDING offers a unique service where you can invite your wedding guests to help by paying money for your wedding day expenses instead of buying items from a more traditional gift list – which helps you to have a wedding you can afford and also to avoid starting married life in debt.

Ahahaha, this is a joke site, right? With a name like youbuyMYWEDDING, it has to be satire… Or not. Brides and grooms are supposedly getting older and older, which means that everyone you know who’s getting married probably already has a toaster oven and a spatula set. What they might not have is $30,000 to pay for what is now considered a moderately-priced wedding.

Don’t you just love it when entrepreneurs come up with shady solutions to problems that aren’t really problems*? As you can see, brides and grooms in the UK (who are willing to let 4.75% of their gifts go to administrative costs) can ask their loved ones to contribute to their weddings by paying for things like the wedding gown, the bridesmaids’ bouquets, or the very champagne they’ll drink at the wedding reception. It’s just like a honeymoon registry in almost every respect, except that it’ll make everyone on your guest list look at you a bit funny.

On the surface it sounds very practical and modern and even a little progressive in these woeful economic times, but lordy, it’s not at all in keeping with good etiquette. Were I to receive an invitation to a wedding that I was being asked to pay for, I would give the bride and groom the gift of an RSVP card reading “Declines With Regrets.” That’s just as good as ponying up some cash for the cash bar, after all, because the couple then has one less mouth to feed!

*Don’t have a ton of money to spend on your wedding? Budget wedding tips abound here and elsewhere on the Internet!

LOVE/HATE: The I’m (Maybe) Too Sexy Edition

Thursday, May 28th, 2009


For today’s saucy, sexy, and extremely slinky edition of LOVE/HATE, I’ve found a gorgeous example of an overbust corset in a basque style that features a fab black lace overlay matched with a skirt that screams va-va-va-voom. Done entirely in silk dupioni, it is a creation of Fairy Gothmother in London.

My verdict? I would have needed about six layers of Spanx to ensure a smooth silhouette under that fishtail skirt, and the whole thing would have scandalized my very conservative paternal family, whether worn at a wedding or not at a wedding. And maybe it’s not the most wedding-y of wedding dresses, though it is available in bridal white or ivory for those who prefer that over blush pink, jewel red, jade green, or royal purple. But still, I’m entirely in love (as if you couldn’t already tell).

What say you? Too sexy for a bride? Just sexy enough?

Flowers By Mail

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

You may not know this, but it’s ridiculously easy to find fresh bulk flowers and greens online, and you can save plenty of money on your wedding flowers by buying them… if, that is, you’re ready to whip up your own bridal bouquet, bridesmaids bouquets, and centerpieces. It’s not quite as easy to find already made wedding flowers online because searching for wedding flowers or bridal bouquets nets results that are either local florists’ web sites or silk bouquet sellers.


BrideDesign is one of the few wedding flower specialists on the web — at their site, you can order all-inclusive packages containing all of the florals you need. There aren’t many opportunities for customization on the site, but they do offer free consultations so you can speak to someone about the individual packages they offer.


Take The Plunge? I Think I’ll Pass.

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

popping the question

I have to ask: Have you seen The Plunge? Yet another wedding planning site for grooms has emerged, and this one is pretty flashy compared to its peers. Unlike most wedding sites geared toward dudes, this one has actual written content that goes beyond a hundred incarnations of “Stand back, and shut up.” Then again, a lot of that content reads like this:

There’s a new piece of furniture in your bedroom: a stack of magazines, books, and articles that could double as a side-table. It’s your fiancée’s “wedding porn.” And unlike actual porn, this isn’t harmless. It’s putting ideas in her head. Poisonous ideas. Thoughts about how you, as a groom, should be “behaving.” This is where it gets dangerous.

A few things irk me about this snippet from one of The Plunge’s intro pages. First, I don’t buy into the idea that the WIC can turn regular chicks into screaming harpies. A true bridezilla was probably already kind of a bitch, and no magazine or book is going to turn a regular chick into a bitch. Second, it stands to reason that there are behavioral (and dress and etiquette) guidelines for weddings, the same way there are behavior guidelines for any party. It’s a formal function, jeez. If it’s mantime to complain about wedding planning, can we at least get some fresh and original complaints?


Marriage and Memorial Day

Monday, May 25th, 2009

wartime bride

Here’s wishing those in the U.S. a pleasant and thoughtful Memorial Day — or as it’s known to many, three-day-weekend barbecue day. While we try never to get too, too somber and sober here at Manolo for the Brides, I do have to say that I find wartime weddings tremendously fascinating. Among death and destruction, life goes on. People fall in love, get married. Their weddings might be less elaborate than they might otherwise be or planned that much more quickly, but the urge to celebrate love and togetherness remains even as the potential for future pain looms large.

There will be no backyard barbecues or Memorial Day parades for me, The Beard, and Paloma this year, but I feel like I’m doing just a little bit to keep the spirit of the day alive by contemplating the many wartime brides, both past and present, and the strength they must possess.