Friday, November 23, 2007

Wedding Traditions, Do you know what they mean?

Do you know the history of wedding traditions that we incorporate into our
wedding celebrations? What about wedding superstitions?

Here's one historical note that I didn't know about the wedding cake. Guests would bring cakes to the wedding celebration and they would be stacked. The bride and groom would attempt to kiss each other over the top of the cakes. If they kissed, it was considered good luck.
The Romans broke cakes over the head of the bride in order to make her fertile.

For an interesting read, Wedding Chaos has a three part series on wedding traditions and superstitions. They cover everything from the stag (bachelor party), hen (bachelorette party) to the tradition of dropping flower petals. Lots of interesting stuff!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Keep the Focus on the Marriage, Less on Wedding Planning

Too many brides put more emphasis on wedding planning and less time marriage planning. The focus of the wedding is the MARRIAGE. Its two people joining their lives together. The theory is that it is to be 'till death of one of the spouses. What a novel concept. Lets stay together through sickness and health, richer and poorer IF we survive the wedding planning.

I've met brides who never mention their fiance. Ever. This gal seems to be more into the IDEA of planning a wedding, having a wedding, being the center of attention and being the BRIDE than the reality of being married.

Marriage isn't glamorous. Its not always fun. Its not always romance and roses. Some days its kids puking in their beds and a sick whining spouse. Some days its routine and boring. Other days its fun and laughs. Its a foundation for your life and your family. Its making memories together. And it really is fun knowing your best friend is waiting for you at the end of the day.

You need to make plans for your marriage with the same zeal you use for planning your wedding. You have to have the same value system. You have to agree on finances and if and when you want to start a family. You should agree on religious beliefs before marriage. And if you have problems or disagreements in this area, then you need to have premarital counseling BEFORE you start planning a wedding. Divorce is NOT fun.

You don't have to agree on politics, sports teams, favorite tv shows or music. Its how you deal with your differences that makes all the difference in a happy marriage and a failed wedding.

And if ALL your emphasis is on the wedding and not the marriage, your priorities are

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Recycling an Old Bridesmaid Dress Into A Holiday Dress

We all (including moi) have a closet full of old bridesmaid dresses. With a little ingenuity and some alterations, you can take that monstrosity out of your closet and rework it into a dress perfect for a holiday party. Isn't it all about recycling and saving money? And you've already got the dress and it fits!

If you have any two piece bridesmaids dresses, you've hit the mother lode. Pair the bridesmaid top with a cute black skirt, leather pants, evening pants or even jeans.

You can add a tailored jacket or cardigan and wear the bridesmaid top as a camisole.

You can hem the skirt to tea length or knee length and wear it with a holiday twin set, tuxedo jacket or sparkly beaded sweater.

If you have a full length dress, have it shortened to tea length or knee length. Add or subtract the spaghetti straps. You can even buy cute beaded bra straps to snap onto a strapless bra.

If the dress has a ribbon sash belt, take it off and replace it with a holiday belt in silver or a tailored belt.
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Remove this ribbon STAT!! The ribbon makes it "bridesmaidy". A tailored belt or a sparkly belt will take it out of the realm of weddings. And forget these ugly shoes!

It the dress is poofy, cut out the crinoline and have it shortened and the excess fabric on the sides tapered in to a more manageable width.

If the dress is black, have it hemmed into a classic little black dress.

If your dress is black AND tea length, accessorize, accessorize, accessorize! Think classic silver shoes, jewelry and a silver broach. You probably already have the basics in your closet. Or pair the black with red shoes and purse. Cute and stylish!

If your dress has long streamers in the back, have them removed.

Remove every bow on the dress, don't ask questions, just DO it! ;)

If it has a sweep train, have it cut off.

If the dress has a fuller skirt, you can have the dress cut into a short bubble skirt.

If the dress is ruffled and poofed, just trash it or sell it to a drag queen on Ebay.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I Screwed Up, I'm The Boss, Its My Neck

OK, I screwed up. I'm self employed. Everything that goes wrong is my fault. I take the blame, I face the consequences. Even when I don't deserve it. And this crap is getting old fast.

The Cliff notes version:
Mother of the bride (MOB) brings in dress to be cleaned and preserved. I send it off. Dress comes back to me uncleaned. Some mumbo jumbo about the plant being unable to process it at this time. (Turns out they just sold the company).

I take the dress to a local cleaner who says all 5 locations are closing at the end of the month. I tell MOB the truth, promise it will ship tomorrow to a different plant. I pick up the dress. I can't move. Can't drive home, end up in the ER with a ruptured disc. Talk of surgery, lots of pain, can't sleep, can't walk. End up doing 6 weeks of rehab. I can't work, but I have an amazing staff who will carry on.

Amazing staff puts the dress in the closet in a solid colored bag and forgets about it. I find out the dress has been in the closet for 6 weeks, I'm not happy. MOB screams at me for 15 minutes. I apologize profusely. I refund her money. She's livid. Her last words to me were "You are going to pay." I feel lower than a snake's belly.

She'll berate me to everyone . Do I deserve it? Yes and No. Yes, because I am self employed and I'm responsible. Self employed people can't afford to get sick, take a day off, or a vacation. Everyone's mistake becomes MY mistake. No, because some things happened over which I had no control. But I'll take the rap because I should have remembered.

Moral of the story: There are two sides to every story. The one you'll hear blabbed all over town and the internet and the real story.

For all you shoe Fashionistas!

Fashion is a strange thing. It can be functional or it can be frivolous. Sometimes fashion makes me laugh. Sometimes its just ridiculous.

I've been a slave to shoe fashions. I admit it. I've worn shoes that could break the spirit any human being. I've suffered with shin splints, blisters and foot pain. Shoes and handbags are my addiction. I have shoes I've never worn, nor will I ever wear because I just had to have them. They don't fit my lifestyle unless I get another life as a fashion model. And at 5 foot tall, it ain't gonna happen, baby. I confess, I'm addicted to buying shoes. None are practical, some are what my husband would call "slut" shoes. What would you expect from a man who actually has a pair of wing tips in his closet? I mean, who even knows what a wing tip shoe actually is?

I call them fash-on, my fashion. And I'm happy they are just taking up space in my closet.

These shoes WON'T be in my closet, I do have SOME standards:

How novel, take the box and fashion a shoe. Its a two-fer for the creative! They are a little too "boxy" for me. ;)

Another use for your shoe box! And if you live in an area with snow, you can use the toe to dig a path for yourself.

These are just too scary for words. Yikes! Where is the rest of the bear?

Here's an example of what a guy can do with too much time on his hands, some superglue and a whole lot of wine corks. Bet he's still proud of this one!

I came across more at Divine Caroline and its too good not to pass on. Some are real head smackers. These are some WILD shoes. Check it out!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Target Wedding Dresses, Isaac Mizrahi, What are you thinking?

A Cleveland news station did a news story on how to get a cheap wedding dress and featured Target wedding dresses. It was all I could do not to gag. Did Isaac Mizrahi sell his soul to design these dresses at this price point? want a cheap wedding dress. Order it from Tar-jay and you will get a cheap wedding dress. You won't get style. You won't get quality. You'll get a dress.

Don't get me wrong, I shop Target. But I can't imagine ANYONE bragging to their friends that they bought their wedding dress at Target.

Back to the Cleveland news cast. They showed a silk cowl neck dress up close and I freaked..the dress had SNAGS in it. Since there are all qualities of silk, I'm guessing this wasn't the best quality because bridal silk doesn't snag all that easily. The dress was only lined to above the knee on the model, and you could see the lining through the dress! That, my friend, is major cost cutting!

The dresses were styles that are totally in outdated. The styles just don't sell anymore. And the cuts are unflattering. I know, I dress brides every day. One style has a scoop neck and a gathered tulle skirt at the waistline. That adds at least 20 pounds to the silhouette. Lord, who wants to look fatter on their wedding day?

Isaac, I know you can do better. This collection sucks.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Your Wedding Coach: Every Bride Should Have A Wedding Emergency Kit

Every bride needs a wedding emergency kit for her wedding day. It would also be an amazing gift from the bridesmaids to the bride.

You should include the following:

Needle and thread in the color of your wedding dress.
Safety pins
Dress Tape
Nail file and nail clippers
Flesh colored bandaids
Nail polish the same color as you are wearing.
A compact with powder to keep the shine off your face in the pictures.
A lipstick and lip balm or gloss
Waterproof mascara
Pain reliever
Eye drops
Facial blotters (they blot up excess oils on the skin without disturbing your makeup.)
Hairpins if your hair is in an updo
Small bottle of club soda for stain removal and a white washcloth to use to blot the stain

Pack it all up in a tote bag and keep it nearby the day of the wedding. If you are prepared, you'll avoid any major disasters. Have a happy wedding day!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Casablanca Bridal's $100,000 Sweepstakes, the best EVAH!

Casablanca Bridal is celebrating their 10th anniversary with a HUGE sweepstakes. Casablanca is my all time favorite bridal manufacturer. In my professional opinion, there is no finer gown in their price range. They do all sorts of custom work, I've never had ONE defective dress from them and the quality is worth triple the price. End of praise!

So back to the excitement. They are giving away a 2008 Mercedes Benz ML 350 as the grand prize. I could picture myself driving around in that baby, but I'm not eligible. Ding dang, y'all.

The first prize is a $20,000 dream honeymoon package. I don't know the destination, but for 20 grand, I guarantee you will be living large. Fiji maybe? Now THIS is what I really want for a second honeymoon.

There are 3 second prizes. Its a 52" Sony Bravia LCD flat screen TV. That is sure to send your groom into nirvana. You might have to hide the remote. ;)
There are 5 third prizes: a $1,000 Visa gift card. Is this not what you REALLY NEED? Buy what you want or spend it having fun. Its found money!

This is the best best best sweepstakes that I've ever seen in the bridal industry EVAH!

To enter, go to your nearest Casablanca retailer or check out the info on their web site for alternate ways to enter. Casablanca Sweepstakes click here.

For a great deal on a Casablanca wedding dress, Click here!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Choosing a Beach Location For Your Wedding

Beach brides say "I just want to get married on a beach." But what beach and how to choose?

Do you as a couple have a favorite beach? Maybe a beach where you went as a child in the summer? Or maybe you got engaged on the beach in the moonlight. Or you both discovered an amazing beach while on a cruise to the Caribbean or Mexico. Or maybe you saw a beach on the Travel Channel that looked like paradise.

Discuss it as a couple when picking your beach wedding site. Research it on the internet. Discuss it with a travel agent. Ask friends who are beach addicts. Before you know it, you'll have your location.

Check with the local beach chamber of commerce before you pick the date to make sure its not bike week or some other large people gathering at the beach. Not only will the extra commotion distract from your wedding, but the prices will be higher because of the increased demand for hotel rooms and condos.

Make sure your location is within easy travel for everyone. A beach should be accessible to a nearby airport for guests and family members who are traveling to your wedding.

Wedding Trend: Destination Weddings

Wedding trends are always changing. For 08 weddings, we are seeing a lot of tiffany blue accents and themes, sparkle and shine, green weddings and as no surprise to me, DESTINATION WEDDINGS!

I've seen the trend from the big 400 guest ballroom wedding blowout turn into personal, smaller more intimate weddings. At least 1 out of 4 weddings that come through the bridal salon are destination weddings. Some are Las Vegas weddings, some are beach weddings, a few are on a cruise ship.

Why is this you ask?

A lot of the couples are in their 30's and have lived together for awhile. They don't want the big fairytale wedding. They want something more personal, yet meaningful.

For many of the couples , this is a second wedding. They've had the blowout, they want a wedding that is light years away from the first wedding. They want a wedding and none of the fuss.

Other couples feel that it is more cost effective (cheaper) to have a destination wedding. They can have the wedding and the honeymoon in one location. They get the honeymoon of their dreams AND a romantic wedding.

For other couples, the beach or destination wedding has always been the dream. A wedding at sunrise in Hawaii, a sunset wedding in the Caribbean, a Las Vegas wedding near the Bellagio fountains, or an Elvis wedding at Graceland Chapel.

Other couples have family problems. Blended families, too many stepmothers, too much conflict. Its a lot easier for them to avoid the issue and have a wedding away from home. The focus is on THEM, not the family squabbles.

If you need help planning a destination wedding, check out this
free destination planning guide.

Dream Honeymoons; Destination Weddings!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Your Wedding Coach, The Best Time To Buy & Save on Your Wedding Dress

Bet you didn't know that there is a BEST time to buy your wedding dress and save a lot of cash. During the doldrum months of November and December, any full service bridal shop will welcome your business with open arms. The reason? All brides are in holiday mode and there is little happening in the bridal salon. Sales are down and new stock merchandise is arriving by the truckload and they have to pay for it. They need to clear out the racks to make room for the new merchandise. Bottom line, they will be willing to deal and you win.

Shop during the day during the week in November or December. Not only will you get their full attention, you won't have to wait for dressing room time.

Nicely ask if there is a discount if you buy the sample dress. All they can say is no.
Nicely ask if there are any specials available to you. All they can say is no.
Nicely ask if there is anything they can do for you if you are willing to buy today. BUY TODAY is the key. Don't expect them to keep the offer on the table while you comb the world looking for a better deal. You need to be in the buying mode if you ask.

You may be pleasantly surprised at the discounts or the specials they will offer you. The bridal salons need to pay the rent, utilities, insurance and payroll during the slow times PLUS pay for all the new merchandise that is arriving. Bridal salons are willing to negotiate. (This won't work at corporate big box stores. )

Ask nicely, be nice and smile. The nicer you are, the farther you'll get. If you are demanding, you will get nowhere. If you are a genuinely nice person, who knows what you can save?

Friday, November 2, 2007

Weird Wedding Dresses, Total Head Smackers

WHY?????? Why????? Don't these people know these photos will come back to haunt them?

I'd give anything to talk to the mother of the groom. Bet she is tormented by this dress to this day. Its sort of a modified belly dancer costume. I can truthfully say, I've never seen anything like this, nor do I know anyone who would ever wear this on their wedding day. Who ever made this costume did an amazing job. Gutsy!

WTF is this all about? Is she a mermaid? Does she think she's Ariel? Why wear the jacket when your mid section is bare? Bet her church has a shoulders must be covered rule, but everything else is OK.

Cowboy dominatrix? She forgot the sides of her dress. They probably used them to make those gawd awful gloves. Please God, tell me this is not real.

They love Hello Kitty in Japan. Can you imagine walking down the aisle in this pink kitty confection? Wonder what the groom wore? A lion tamer outfit? A Scooby Doo costume?

Talk about being a fanatical fan. I've never seen a line of a wedding dresses from a sports team. Nor have I ever known anyone who actually WANTED one, but she sure looks happy. Think the top is a modified game jersey? Note to Britney, NO, do NOT copy this for your next wedding.

No, this isn't Debbie Gibson from the '80's pop genre. Looks like her dress is leather. I can't imagine lacing this up. It looks like she sort of gave up and tied the lacing in a knot. What a getup for a blushing bride.
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