Archive for November, 2011

Wedding Gift Myths to Shun

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

A lot of crazy talk happens around weddings. One of the places where the talk gets craziest is about gifts. I’ll be the first to admit that gifts are tricky, sometimes. We’ve all given gifts that bombed, received gifts that made us cringe inside, and watched people open gifts that made us hold our collective breaths while we wait to see how the insult inside that pretty box is handled. But all in all, gift giving and gift receiving oughtn’t to be such a mine field. After all, most people genuinely hope the gifts they give will be enjoyable and useful to the recipient, and most gift receivers honestly want to be able to enjoy what’s under the wrapping. When it comes right down to it, we remember the horrible gift mistakes so much precisely because they’re fairly rare.

But because we’re human, we seem to have an innate need to complicate simple things. So let’s take a look at a couple myths about gifts that tend to complicate our lives and see what baggage we can unload right here and now to reduce bridal (and guestal!) stress.

Miller Grasps His Nettles….

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

… Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland, that is. Nettles and former model Justin Miller tied the knot on saturday after a two-year courtship.

The bride wore Alexander McQueen, though I have yet to find a picture of the gown. The ceremony was intimate, with family and close friends in attendance, including Nettles’ Sugarland partner Kristian Bush.

This is the second marriage for Nettles, 37. Her first marriage ended in 2007 after nine years.

The couple will not honeymoon immediately, because the bride is a bit busy tomorrow night playing the Grammy Nominations Concert Live!! along with such luminaries as Lady Gaga and Lupe Fiasco. Alas!, Mr. Twistie is not expecting a nomination. Sigh.


I hope you’ll join with me in wishing the happy couple many years of delight in one another.

Quickie Question: What Do/Did You Expect of Your Attendants?

Monday, November 28th, 2011

When this photograph was taken somewhere around WWI, the duties of everyone in the picture were pretty clearly known and generally not too onerous. They had to show up on time looking clean, wear what they were told, do a little hand-holding if necessary, and deport themselves with reasonable dignity. The MOH would – funds, time, and first-time bridal status permitting – be responsible for any bridal shower that might be held. The best man would hold some sort of stag party for the groom, which usually consisted in those days of giving him a nice dinner, providing some cigars and decent whiskey, and kidding him about his soon-to-begin sex life. Oh, and those flower girls? had to look cute and strew rose petals.

These days the rules aren’t quite so cut and dried. The duties of bridesmaids and groomsmen now range anywhere from ‘show up on this day and wear something in this general color range’ to spending a year being the bride’s personal slave and whipping girl. You may be told to wear whatever you like within a color/style range, or you may be informed that you’re getting matching shoes, jewelry, mani pedis, updos, make up, and Botox injections… at your own expense, natch.

What did I expect of my attendants? Well, I expected they would all show up on the big day wearing the skirts and blouses I gave them patterns and fabric for. I told them to trim the outfits any way they liked and to wear whatever flat shoes they preferred. I expected them to keep their naughty bits covered and have as good a time as they could at a party. One of the bridesmaids did sew my gown, and I expected she would get it done in time for me to wear it down the aisle… but when it nearly didn’t happen, I considered the friendship a lot more important than my wedding gown. My MOH held a lovely shower for me, helped address envelopes, and drove me on a couple errands, but these were voluntary things I appreciated, not orders from me.

As for the men, they were entirely Mr. Twistie’s bailiwick. I think all he expected was that they would show up on the day wearing what he wanted having read his mind. One of my brothers called me three weeks before the wedding asking what he was supposed to wear as a groomsman. He threatened that if he didn’t hear from Mr. Twistie soon, he was going to show up in a kimono and top hat. I told him that was more than fine by me, but I would have Mr. Twistie call him with any instructions he might have. It seems he just assumed that all his guys had some form of formalwear in their closets and would simply wear that. I told him to let them know that for certain. Drat. I kind of wanted to see the kimono and top hat combo.

So while the women all wore the same basic pattern in the same basic fabric with wildly divergent accessories, trims, and hairstyles, the men wore everything from kilts to tail coats.

Other than that… we really didn’t expect much.

But I’m curious. What did/do you expect? How much do you care about matching outfits, parties in your honor, and help with DIY projects?

Twistie’s Sunday Caption Madness: The Too Cool for School Edition

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

Hey ho, camperinos! It’s time once again to play Twistie’s Sunday Caption Madness.

You all know how this works. I post a picture just weeping into its Corn Flakes for a witty caption. You provide said captions via the comments function. Next saturday, I’ll announce a winner, and we’ll all hail the conquering hero.

This week’s image comes to you direct from the ‘cool shades, dudes’ file and it looks a little like this:

Ready… set… snark!

What a Bride Wants from Santa This Year

Friday, November 25th, 2011

Mmm..mmph… huh? Oh. Sorry. Not awake yet. Surfeit of pumpkin pie.


It’s the day after Thanksgiving, and we all know what that means: Black Friday! The official start of Christmas shopping season!

So what should you ask Santa (or his designated minions) to bring you this year? I’m so glad you asked. I have some ideas you may just find irresistible.

To help you with savvy wedding planning online, you’ll definitely want a copy of erstwhile Manolo for the Brides editor and all-around fabulous person Christa Terry’s book iDo: Planning Your Wedding with Nothing But ‘Net. It’s a breezy read, and a really useful guide to help you find inspiration, resources, and general bridal sanity via your computer. Seriously, even if I didn’t love Crista like a… person I love a lot, I would still be recommending this book because it’s useful, down-to-earth, and a big dose of bridal sanity. Besides, at just $12.48 at Amazon (list price $16.00 and worth a heck of a lot more pennies than that!), it’s a great deal for a thrifty Santa’s Helper.

Of course, there are a lot of great things a bride-to-be (or even a bride-to-was) might enjoy finding under a Christmas tree or Hanukkah bush.

Happy Thanksgiving from Manolo for the Brides!

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

(Image via Time Machine to the Twenties where you really should go look at the rest of the pictures in this series)
Happy Thanksgiving, my pretties! And always remember that some themes are better left to parody than reality. I’m just saying.

LOVE/HATE: The Twilight Wedding Gown Lite

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Ha! Fooled you! This is just a random shot from one of the Twilight films. Thing is, I know there are at least three Twihards out there who haven’t seen Breaking Dawn Part One yet, and I’m not going to spoil them. You’ll have to look under the cut.