Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Of Tents, Marquees, and Pavilions

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Medieval Pavilions

Perhaps it’s the romantic in me, but I’ve been thinking a lot lately about tents, and I’m not talking about the sort you’d find on a camping trip, unless you’re going on a Holy Crusade with Richard the Lionhearted. What I’m thinking about are those giant tents, sometimes called marquees, that are erected at weddings and parties.

Until I moved east, I rarely encountered a tent at a wedding. California brides, who know enough to not schedule their weddings in the rainy season, can be nearly 100% certain that they won’t get rained out. Head east, past the Rocky Mountains, however, and the April showers that bring May flowers last all summer long, meaning that the wise bride who wants an outdoor wedding reception must be prepared for a cloudburst or three. The same would be triply true for our friends in the United Kingdom, who enjoy glorious summer days, punctuated by scudding clouds shedding rain.

Hence the wedding marquee for hire, or as we would say here, a tent for rent. The key to renting a pavilion or marquee is that you have to make your arrangements in advance, way, way in advance, if you’re hoping to get married on the most popular dates in mid-to-late spring. I would suggest that if you’re doing a June wedding you should plan on contacting the rental company at least a nine months, if not a year, in advance to secure the marquee you need.

The variety of options and configurations a good rental company can provide are amazing. Here’s one with a checkerboard dancefloor:

Marquee with a dance floor.

Most of them can also supply accessories such as chairs, tables, sounds systems, lighting, virtually everything except the food, the band, and the guests. The keys, however, are careful planning and knowing exactly what you’ll need before you start booking tents.

A Prom Dress is not a Bridesmaid Dress

Thursday, August 29th, 2013
Not A Bridesmaid Dress

Not A Bridesmaid’s Dress

I don’t know how many times I’ve had to explain this to young women who’ve been eager to buy bridesmaid dresses from the evening rack, that bridesmaid dresses are not prom dresses. It should be simple but it’s not. Look at the dresses at a site like DressFirst, and compare the two categories, and you’ll see what I mean right away.

Bridesmaid dresses are designed to make the bride the star of the show, which is completely understandable, since the bride IS the star of the show. Thus, so many bridesmaid’s dresses are unflattering, either in color or cut, or both, because the attendants cannot, under any circumstances, be allowed to show up the bride. This is not to say that the bridesmaids need to look dumpy, glum, and colorless, just that they can’t be looking overly radiant. Radiant is reserved fro the bride alone.

Prom dresses and homecoming dresses ARE designed to make the wearer the star of the show. That’s why there’s all of those sequins, and why they are cut the way they are. The best ones are designed to showcase the wearer, as if she were trophy.

So there you go, there is a reason why so many bridesmaid’s dresses are unflattering, and why so many prom dresses are not.

The Post I’d Hoped I’d Never Have To Write

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

I well remember when I found the glories of Manolo for the Brides. Back then, the editor was the fabulous Never Teh Bride. I lapped up the pretties and the advice and the humor… and I always had something to say back.

That tendency got me the gig of filling in when Christa went on her honeymoon… which led to a regular weekend gig on the blog, and eventually it became my baby.

For the past five years and change, I have written about nearly every aspect of getting married and how marriage is changing. I’ve written about etiquette, trends, media representations, and the nuts and bolts of how to feed and entertain a large guest list while jumping through legal and cultural hoops. It’s been a blast, and I probably could have gone on for years.

But effective immediately, this here blog is shutting down, along with the rest of the Manolosphere. I know it’s a decision that’s been a long time coming for a variety of reasons. I’m just sad it had to happen.

I’ll miss you all terribly. I’ll miss sitting down at my computer to seek out the wild, the wooly, the ridiculous, and the endearing in the world of weddings.

On the upside, I can finally take Bridezillas off my DVR for good.

I wish all of you the very best of luck, the happiest of marriages, and every possible good thing.

Oh, and that illustration at the top? Well, things are not always what they seem on the surface. That’s good to remember when something happens that seems like the worst possible thing.

I’ve decided this was the kick in the pants I needed to move onward and upward with my writing career. I’m going to put together a book proposal or two and see what happens.

After all, when the wedding is over, it’s time for the next big adventure of your life.

I see no reason why this should be any different.

Quickie Question: Tips From Wedding Reality Shows?

Friday, June 29th, 2012

As you know if you’ve been reading this blog for more than a minute and a half, I wade through a lot of bridal reality programming every week. I spend a lot of time breaking down the mythos they sell and thinking it’s a good thing I don’t drink or my liver would never recover from another season of Bridezillas.

There is wheat, of course, but it needs to be winnowed from a metric buttload of chaff.

Back when I was planning my own wedding, I didn’t have cable, and these shows weren’t on the major networks. Any wedding planning advice I found on TV was from morning shows, soap operas, and the occasional Very Special Wedding Episode of whatever series’ I was watching. But even if I’d had cable back then, wedding reality wasn’t a major genre.

Today, though, there’s an entire channel devoted to nothing but bridal planning and bridal reality shows. There are several channels that would be seriously hurting for programming if bridal reality went away. The Say Yes Empire is the new one on which the sun never sets.

That means a lot of people other than charming and talented wedding bloggers must watch these shows, and watch them a lot.

So I’m curious. What bridal programming do you watch on TV? And what’s the best piece of advice you ever got from one of these shows? Was it one the producers intended to pass on to you?

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.

Just Relax

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

In a world where everybody thinks they get their say-so in other peoples’ weddings, the culture builds up this single day as the most important in a woman’s life and then shames women for caring about it, puts pretty much all the onus on a single woman’s shoulders and then merrily tells her she’s too incompetent to handle the pressure, it’s a wonder more brides don’t wind up feeling like this on their wedding days:

Certainly shows like Bridezillas make their money off of the idea that all brides are insane, and so they show you a lot of examples of that. And who among us hasn’t known a woman who spent much of her wedding day in a fog of tears and stress?

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Take a couple tips from me, and you can walk that aisle with all the aplomb and zen of a Jedi Master… only prettier than Yoda.

Happy Halloween from Manolo for the Brides!

Monday, October 31st, 2011

May your love be so strong not even death can part you!