HAPPY FEET: THE BEAUTY OF FLIP-FLOPS
There was a time when flip-flops would be viewed with derision, because they were considered as casual, items of footwear that could just be worn to suitably informal locations such as the beach or garden parties, at best. Many of you may still recall the commotion that was kicked up when a few members of the North-western Women’s Lacrosse team appeared at an official White House reception in thong sandals when critics derisively called them ‘flip-flops’. Now, that was only as 2005, but the humble flip-flop has come a long way since then. This writing and associated ones that follow will show how flip-flops are not just acceptable, but favored attire for all kinds of formal occasions, including weddings. Read more
Planning your own wedding can be stressful, especially if you want your wedding ceremony and reception to be an experience your guests will never forget.
Because even the most unique weddings can seem redundant after awhile, one of the best ways to add a little spice to your ceremony and/or reception is to incorporate your cultural heritage into the design of the wedding.
Whether your heritage is Chinese, Indian, Greek, Irish, African-American or even American, there are numerous ways you could incorporate your own culture into the style of your wedding. Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re hoping to plan a cultural wedding:
The wedding music
Finding a specific band and/or songs to play at your wedding is one of the easiest ways to incorporate your cultural heritage into your wedding. If you are of Irish descent, for instance, you could find a Celtic group to perform at your reception, or if you are African-American you could look into some R&B performers or even traditional African drummers to perform on your special day.
If you’re lucky enough to find the right performer, you could hire them o perform a song in the language of your culture, or even dress up in a traditional outfit and dance out a routine as well.
Sometimes it’s as easy as a Google search in finding the right band to perform at your wedding, but if are struggling to find the right band and/or musician online you could always do some research into the various musicians and bands that are known for performing a certain genre or style of music, and then download their music off iTunes.
Incorporating your cultural heritage into the design of your bridesmaids dresses can be a little tricky, especially if you are on a strict budget. Not only that, some cultures (like the American Indian culture for example) believe that white is a color of mourning, so be sure to do the proper research beforehand before picking the colors for your bridesmaid dresses.
Sometimes it can be as easy and choosing a specific color for your dresses that will match the flag of your country, (for instance blue and red if you are English, or red if you are Chinese). You could also try shopping around for different designs, like a plaid design if you are of Scottish descent, or even traditional Geisha dresses if you are of Japanese descent.
Food and alcohol
When it comes to incorporating your cultural heritage into the food that will be eaten at your wedding, the world is your oyster…literally.
All you have to do is do some background research into the most common and favourable dishes that are typically eaten in a specific country, and you could also look into alcohol and/or beverages as well.
If you are of Asian descent you could serve some Saki or even rice wine at your reception, or if you are of French descent you could have some classy red and white wine to leave out for your guests.
When choosing the flower arrangements for your wedding or even the bouquet for the bride, try to research the various traditional flowers and plants that are prominent in your country of heritage.
If you are planning a traditional Indian wedding, try to pick flowers like the water or gloriosa lily, orchids, and musk rose. For traditional French weddings look for lilies or yellow and purple irises.
Superstitions and customs
If you truly want to pull off a cultural wedding, it is extremely important to look into the various superstitions and customs for each heritage and culture.
For instance, if you are planning a Russian wedding it is custom for the male guests to bring flowers, but not to give yellow flowers as they are considered to be bad luck. For a traditional Swedish wedding, the bride must wear three bands on her wedding finger, and for Spanish weddings the bride must carry twelve coins given to her by the groom in a small bag as a symbol of the groom’s passion and support.
For a traditional Korean wedding, apparently it is superstition to incorporate ducks and geese into the ceremony as they represent faithfulness, and in a traditional Greek wedding the bride must carry sugar on her wedding day to “ensure she has a sweet life.” Also, in Eastern European ceremonies, it is custom for the bride and groom to circle the altar three times to represent their “first steps together as husband and wife.”
Bio: Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education where she’s written on online graphic arts programs along with a piece on English degree programs. In her spare time, she enjoys yoga, playing piano, and working with origami.
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How often is it that the bride’s dress sets the tone of the wedding? Is it not the one thing you’ll remember from the event more than anything else? More often than not, the rest of the wedding decorations revolve around the style and theme of the dress. In a way, the bride’s wedding dress represents her ideals. Some women have dreamed about their wedding dress since they were toddlers. Other women apparently don’t care at all, which would explain most of the atrocities you are about to witness. Just how do you choose a bridesmaid dress?
Some you most likely have seen before, but others I dug a little bit to find. It was challenging to only pick 25 dresses though because of the plethora of horrible designs out there, but I pulled through after wiping the blood from my eyes. I actually had to stop myself at some point because I realized there was a never ending supply of bad dresses. And no, I didn’t put in the pregnant African American girl because she’s wearing a prom dress. Thanks to www.uglydress.com for many of the dresses.
I’m not sure what this looks like more: a electronic device for…um…massage or… Well, it looks like that and nothing else. Sorry.
Is Napoleon in the building?
It’s worth mentioning that this one is made out of thousands of condoms stitched together. So they are ready for the wedding night and how!
In case you couldn’t tell, this one is made out of newspaper.
A slutty wedding for all! I bet the bra can be removed for the topless wedding you always dreamed of.
At least the bridal shower streamers were put to good use after the party.
I would run if I saw this coming down the isle toward me.
I would run screaming if I saw this coming down the isle toward me.
This will hopefully stay in the window…forever, as a warning to all brides-to-be. Yellow is not a good color on a wedding dress.
Let’s hope this is for an indoor wedding or else the bride will also be wearing a beard made of bees.
This “dress” is more for the stripper the night before. Good luck, buddy, she seems the stay-at-home type.
Words do not do this picture justice. Just try to look away. Now imagine if she she jumped.
Nurse, oh nurse. Can you please pull the plug on this wedding dress.
Two outfits in one: a wedding dress and a straight jacket. Lovely.
As ugly as the wedding dress is, the head ornament is a nice distraction. Don’t poke an eye out with that.
Here are some from www.uglydress.com
And now the one you’ve all been waiting for…
You’ve been dreaming of the day since the first time you draped a piece of lace over your head and pretended to be a bride. Now, you actually are a bride and it’s time to choose all the little details of your own bridal look. Of course, you want to look classic and timeless at your engagement—these are pictures you will treasure for the rest of your life. But every year’s runways bring with them modern trends and twists that can apply beautifully to a bridal ensemble. The key is subtlety—you never want to look dated or super-trendy, only modern and fresh. By choosing design elements you love and incorporating them into a classic bridal look, you will look up-to-date and elegant without worrying that you will one day regret your big hair or voluminous lace collar. It’s very similar to engagement ring shopping—you want to incorporate new and fresh designs into a framework that is very classic and traditional.
The 2011 runways provided many brides with exciting new bridal fashion ideas. Badgley Mischka showed a 1920’s-inspired look, with dropped waist dresses, art deco jewelry elements and geometric draped fabric. Brides can incorporate that art deco look into their wedding day ensemble with geometric beading and simple silhouettes. Carolina Herrera offered a cheerful but sophisticated runway show, with elegant but bold details and interesting asymmetrical silhouettes. Brides can incorporate the look with delicate details and subtle prints in their bridal gowns. Designer Monique Lhullier, known for her ultra-feminine looks, is perfect for bridal inspiration. Her runway show offered pastel looks with lush tulle draping, flowing chiffon, and dramatic use of ruffles. All these fun details—tulle, chiffon, ruching and ruffles—work perfectly for the girly bride. Meanwhile, Nicole Miller prefigured the Kate Middleton inspired look that is sure to become the biggest bridal trend of the year—the daring but modest v-neckline on an otherwise classic dress.
For a quick cheat sheet on the must-have bridal fashion trends for 2011, check out these top ten trends. Choose one or two for a bridal ensemble that is current and up-to-date without going overboard with every option!
Experts predicted that Kate Middleton would wear sleeves to her traditional Westminster Abbey wedding ceremony, but when audiences around the world saw her beautiful sheer lace long sleeves, calls went out to bridal ateliers around the world. Sleeves are unexpected, fashionable, classy, and flatter every figure.
With long sleeves, a crew neckline can seem a little frumpy, while a scoop neck can seem over-exposed. A narrow but deep v-neck shows a little sexy skin, without revealing too much, and also helps elongate the figure, making you look tall and thin. And who doesn’t want that?
Expect to see more and more brides opt out of the de rigeur white bridal dress in 2011, and walk down the aisle in gowns that are pink, gray, or even purple. For less adventurous brides, adding a shot of color through colored gemstone jewelry, a ribbon sash, or a great pair of shoes can be a great way to personalize a classic dress.
Not only are vintage dresses unique and fashionable, but they are eco-friendly too, which more and more brides care about. Finding the perfect vintage dress that is retro without looking dated, and then getting it altered to fit you perfectly, can be more of a challenge than brides expect. Leave yourself plenty of time to search for that perfect dress, and be prepared to replace parts that are faded or out of date.
5. Colored shoes or comfortable ballet flats.
Brides are no longer stuck wearing boring white satin pumps. You can add a sassy pair of red patent leather heels, a vintage-inspired pair of suede booties, or beaded flat sandals, to tailor your dress to your wedding. Some brides are even choosing to skip the heels altogether and wearing comfortable, neutral-tone ballet flats so they can dance all night without blisters!
If one trend is likely to cross the pond after the royal wedding, it is the elegant and quirky British mini-hat known as the fascinator. These small hair ornaments are attached to the head with clips or combs, and can be decorated with anything from feather to flowers to genuine gems. Trendy brides are topping bridal fascinators with retro birdcage veils for a bridal look that is totally 2011.
7. Short gowns.
One continuing trend in wedding planning is simple, casual events where guests can wear comfortable clothes and eat fun, unfussy food while dancing to Top 40 hits. Weddings like these call for short bridal dresses like linen sundresses and little white cocktail dresses, so the bride can party til dawn with her guests.
8. Groom fashion.
Grooms have a lot more options than the basic black tuxedo. Dress your fiancé in a cute and trendy gray suit, or dress up a classic tuxedo with a colored vest or tie in your wedding colors. If your guy is leaning towards a simple, dressed-down look, suggest that he pair a casual pair of slacks with a linen blazer for a classic summer look.
9. Hair accessories.
Bridal hairstyles remain simple for 2011, with most brides choosing to wear their hair down in loose waves or pulled back softly in loose chignons. But the trend is in the ornamentation, with modern, trendy brides choosing creative hair ornaments like clips, combs and even tiaras embellished with rhinestones, crystals and even gemstones.
10. Wedding colors.
Moving away from boring pastels, brides are choosing summer wedding colors that reflect their personalities. Fun colors like turquoise and coral add a tropical feeling to a summer wedding, while subtle hues like latte, slate gray, and muted yellow make a sophisticated, elegant impression. Black and white wedding colors remain popular, but the number one bridal color of the year is the official Pantone color of the year—honeysuckle. This fun, upbeat shade of pink is confident, courageous, and looks great on everyone.
Select ideal engagement rings of your dream from online shop whiteflash.com. Best purveyor of bracelets, engagement rings, diamond studs, GIA certified diamonds and other jewelry – Whiteflash.com.
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Modern technology might have made it more difficult to throw surprises because almost everyone is aware of what is going on around the world. However, that does not mean you cannot throw a good surprise if you wanted to. There are at least a few things you can do when you are planning to surprise someone during a bridal shower surprise party. The following are some ideas.
Making the Lists Ready
You cannot do anything without having a proper guest list first. Send proper invitations to them, with an RSVP so that you know who will actually attend and who won’t. If there are adjustments to be made, such as some of the guests find some other day suitable than what you have chosen, try to make the changes. You also have to take their traveling into consideration.
Make up a guest list of the bride-to-be’s best friends and closest family members, the number of people that you invite is really up to you and how many people you think they would like to have come.
Zeroing in on the Date
The next step in planning the Bridal shower surprise is to actually set the date. This can be somewhat tricky, because more than anything you are going to have to make sure that the bride herself is going to be able to make it on that date, but without letting her know that you are up to anything.
You can speak to her fiancé to see what his opinion is on this, and if you can get a hold of her datebook or calendar, without being overly nosy, you can check to see what dates she has free.
Keep the Bride Occupied
One thing is sure – if the bride has nothing to do, she is going to suspect something about your little surprise. But if she is kept busy, she just won’t have the time to care. Hence, if she ! is not occupied in any other way, you have to ensure that you keep her occupied. That gives room for you to plan things out without worrying that she will come to know. Of course, she must not understand that she is being kept away.
Ensure that No One talks!
This is very important, because even if one person tattletales to the bride, the whole surprise bridal shower is spoiled. Make everyone you speak with, including the ones ! you send invitations to, agree that they will keep this a surprise. It is best that you keep the weaker people out of this secret until the nth hour and that you don’t tell anyone who doesn’t need to know about these plans.
photo by ciboulette
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Wedding showers are all about the bride. Sometimes you know her really well and the shower is a happy, fun-filled occasion. Other times, you barely know the girl and you have no idea how to act, what to get her, or what to say. In each situation and every one in between, here is a cardinal list of rules of what not to do at ANY wedding shower.
Unless it’s ONE OF THOSE Showers, Stay Away from Inappropriate Gifts
Unless the shower is designated for gifts of the *ahem* more intimate nature, stay away from sex toys and risque lingerie. One famous story is floating around the internet that regards a ninety-year-old grandmother who was so offended at a shower gift that she spit her dentures out and stormed away. We want to avoid offended grandmothers.
Keep Your History To Yourself
There are countless stories out there about girls who attend the bridal showers of women who are marrying their ex boyfriends. Maybe that’s not clear, so let’s put it into second person narrative. You’re at a shower. The girl who is getting married is getting married to a guy you used to date. Whatever you do, do not talk about your relationship with this girl’s groom-to-be. It’s in poor taste and makes everyone feel awkward.
tell dirty jokes
encourage anybody else to get naked
get wasted and naked
be mean to the bride
be mean to the bride’s mother, grandmother, sister, best friend, etc.
If you follow these simple rules, you should be fine. If you think of something other than one of these things to do to offend people, PULEASE write to tell me about it.
Shopping for the right wedding dress can be a painful experience and after you have seen six or seven it may feel like you have seen them all. Your wedding day is probably one of the biggest days in your life and you want to look and feel amazing. If you wish for something special and tailored to your personal taste then why not have your own work of art created?
When choosing the fabric for your wedding dress think about, style, design structure and comfort. There is a big difference between buying a dress from a retailer and choosing the material that is tailored towards your personality and exclusive taste.
It maybe that you are one for sticking to the tradition and opt for a white silk/ ivory dress that screams white wedding. However there are various materials around that would make your dress extra special and unique. This is your big day and if you want to make a statement then think about fabrics and colour.
Smooth Lurex Dupion
A luxurious fabric which contains 39% Lurex to make it easier to work with. It would be perfect for the most structured and slim fitting dress. The finish of this silk has a slight glimmer that really catches the light with the main colours being ivory and dark ivory.
This is a very fine, sheer and light fabric that provides a fairytale glimmer. It is made from 64% Lurex 36% silk and is perfect for overlays, veils, trains and the trimming of full skirts.
This is a rough cut, traditional fabric that would be suitable for a big dress and structured styles as it is quite heavy. If you are looking for the ball room gown style wedding dress then this choice of fabric would be right for you. It has a slight shimmer that provides an edge of difference without being too over the top. It is is 64% Lurex and 36% silk.
Spot Embroidered Organza
If you are looking to add a little variety to your wedding dress this embroidered, 100% silk, definitely gives you originality. The silk has been finished will embroidered spots to simply give a cute and elegant touch.
This fabric would be perfect for the Basque of a wedding dress as it provides eye catching detail but it doesn’t want to be over used as it could overkill the final look of your dress. A little detail is more effective than masses.
A stunning and ever so elegant silk that really captures attention
If you are planning a Christmas wedding or simply love the thought of glimmering as you walk down the aisle then this fabric would be suitable for you. It is finished off with small eye catching sequins which make this fabric unique. With being 100% silk, the fabric would be perfect for the overlay on the tail of your dress.
Your wedding day is special and you should take certain factors into consideration before jumping straight in with the first idea. If you are never too sure then take a couple of friends with you and look through the sample books.
This short guide was brought to you by James Hare, specialists in silk fashion and designer fabrics.
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This is going to be a snark-free post – just so you know. If you want the customary snark, toddle on over to the weird laws site because we’ve been plenty snarky on that one lately.
Last year I was honored to attend an unconventional kind of wedding. In fact, my hubs was part of the wedding party. The wedding took place on Halloween, and I decided that since the happy couple’s one year anniversary approacheth, that that I would not only tell you about the happy day, I’d let the bride do it. Megan was nice enough to answer some questions for me and send me some photos, so enjoy!
1. What made you choose Halloween as your wedding date?
I absolutely adore Halloween! It has always been my favorite holiday. The dressing up, the scary decorations, the fall weather and of course, fall foods, like sweet potatoes! My daughters are the same way and dressing up is just plain fun! You can be all the things that aren’t “real” the other 364 days of the year. And everyone knows Jamie loves anything dark and gory! Add to that our family’s love of anything macabre and you get the perfect day for our wedding. Not to mention it is an easy date for the groom to remember! The movie “The Corpse Bride” sealed the deal, it was the inspiration for the whole thing.
2. Who did you choose to officiate your ceremony, and how did you know him/her?
Leighton Paquette preformed the ceremony. My aunt introduced him to us. The amazing thing was, I really only got to talk to him a couple of times. Maybe the longest conversation was an hour. And yet he nailed it. Jamie and I aren’t your typical couple. We’re square pegs trying to fit into a world of round holes. And Leighton got that. It wasn’t your typical stuffy or religious ceremony, it was ours and it was perfect. He said let him know if you have any questions for him. However,he wasn’t licensed to make it legal so another friend of the family who is filled out our marriage license.
LOL we got to dress up and be yet ourselves and for once no one gave us strange looks for it. I’ve always felt like Halloween is an opportunity for those of us who are a little…..out there, to be truly free of society’s expectations for one night.
4. What did you choose as your attire for the wedding and why?
I wanted to go with something fairy like but without dealing with wings. My mother, Debbie deTreville, is a wonderful seamstress, and she and my step-father, Jason Allen, designed a beautiful dress just by listening to me babble about a few I had seen that I liked. I wanted fairy-tale without the poofy Cinderella dress. It was a beautiful royal purple with iridescent wing like pieces attached at the upper arms and wrists. They both worked incredibly hard until the wee hours of the morning to get everything completed on time. They also did almost all of the decorations and all of the flowers. Jason (Jae) also carved several exquisite pumpkins to grace the tables.
5. What did the groom choose as his attire for the wedding and why?
Jamie wore a black suit and red shirt and black top hat with a skull topped cane. He chose that mainly because I wouldn’t let him wear jeans and the “tuxedo t-shit”. However, he looked wonderful in it. He picked it all out himself and I have to say, his taste was fabulous.
6. What were your instructions to your wedding party as to how they should dress?
We told them to wear whatever costume they wanted only to keep in mind there would be children in attendance. As lond as no one dressed like a bride or groom we were fine with it. We ended up with 2 Greek goddesses, a Renaissance princess, and a disco diva as bridesmaids, and a bodyguard, a convict, a pirate and Einstein as groomsman. Our oldest Samantha was a perfect little fairy flower-girl and the younger one, Jessica, was a spooky skeleton fairy ring bearer, which was all their idea and matched their personalities. My grandfather gave me away as Grandpa Munster aka Dracula. It was all so perfect!
7. What were your requests/suggestions to your wedding guests as to how they should dress?
We asked everyone to either choose a costume or to wear something afternoon wedding appropriate. We did however, ask that everyone be respectful of the children who would be in attendance and not wear anything too scary or risky. As it turned out, everyone who turned up was in costume except a couple grandparents who wore church clothes, and with the rest of the costumes floating around, they looked like it was a purposeful Halloween choice.
8. What type of music did you choose for the reception?
A very eclectic mix spun out by my dad, Kevin Carter who also helped my Aunt Kerstan with photos. we tried to stick with classic rock and roll and a few Halloween themed songs. Since it was a pretty neutral ground for me and Jamie.
9. What was your first dance song and why?
“Always with me Always with you” by Joe Satriani.
Jamie introduced that song to me early in our relationship and it just became our song. He even used to play parts from it for me on the guitar.
10. After one year of wedded bliss, how do you plan to celebrate your anniversary?
Maybe with a night out just the two of us….that’s a rare enough occurrence. Trick-or-Treating with the kids will top off our weekend.
Thank you, Megan, for telling us about your special day, and for letting our readers know that it’s fine to be yourself and do what YOU want to do on your wedding day.
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There are many old traditions still visible in today’s modern wedding. One of the most obvious is the best man and groomsmen standing next to the groom during the ceremony. We now see this custom as an opportunity to involve our friends and close family members in our big day, but at one time the groomsmen were seen to guard the bride until she was married to her husband and new protector.
These days the groomsmen often help out with the arrangements and tasks leading up to the wedding, and most importantly keep the groom smiling no matter how stressful the wedding plans get. A modern tradition is that the groom gives each member of his wedding party a gift on the day of the wedding to say thank you for helping out. Whether your groomsmen gifts are traditional or modern is completely up to you.
Traditional groomsmen gifts offer a touch of class and remind us of an era our grandparents might recognize more easily than we would. A watch was a traditional gift for any big occasion, from graduation to retirement. The symbolism of a watch varies depending on your culture, but in North American it’s often seen as a wish for long life.
Other traditional groomsmen gifts are flasks, cufflinks and money clips. While most of use don’t wear shirts with cufflink holes, keep a flask in our hip pocket and prefer a debit card to a wad of cash, the timeless significance of these gifts is what makes them special.
A modern groomsman gift generally reflects the taste of the man receiving it. It could be sports related, like a golf set or a baseball bat engraved with the date of the wedding and the groomsman’s name. For a groomsman who travels frequently a leather carry-on featuring his initials, or a travel case for his grooming kit also makes a thoughtful gift.
No matter which route you choose, traditional or modern, adding personalization to the gift will remind your groomsmen of your big day and the important role they played in it. You can add their monogrammed initials, the wedding date and even the bride and groom’s names to many different types of gifts.
It’s important to think about each of your groomsmen and choose a gift that suits his personality and taste. Choosing the right gift is the best way to show just how well you know the men standing by your side and how much you appreciate them being there for you on your wedding day.
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It is a relief to see that there are some people out there who just don’t give a darn how they look. Not even on their wedding day.
I guess that’s not fair. They DO care how they look, they just choose to look like a cartoon character or superhero. Sure. Why not? I mean, if you’re going to do it, do it right. Make sure people remember it. Make sure, for instance, that they remember that you came to your wedding dressed as Wonder Woman, and that your groom dressed like Batman.
Lucky for these folks, both Batman and Wonder Woman were part of Justice League of America in The Brave and the Bold #28, otherwise we’d take issue. We already have to overlook the fact that these wackadoos were attended by Robin (that’s OK), the Joker (WTF?), Yoda (Come on, now), The Incredibles (Really?), Iron Man, Poison Ivy, and The Incredible Hulk (MARVEL COMICS, HELLO?!?!?!) The bridesmaids came dressed in PowerPuff Girls costumes. Oh, the humanity. Step all over those of who who LIKE comic books, why don’t you?
Or, take these folks, who decided to kick it old, old, old, old school.
They actually said, “I yabba dabba do” in their vows. Oh the sweet injustice of it all. At least these people were purist. The bride was attended by Betty Rubble, Barney Rubble stood up as best man, the children attendants were dressed as Bamm-Bamm, and the guests all dressed as cavemen. Er, cave people. My, my.
This one is the real kicker, though. What would the cleaning bills cost to get all that GREEN PAINT off the wedding dress?
I get it that you saw Shrek on your first date. I get that you liked it. I liked it too. A lot. I watch it pretty often still. But what on earth did your mother say when you told her you wanted to paint yourself completely green and wear fake ears on your wedding day? Did she cry? I kind of did, when I heard about this. And the groom. He’s 53! Did he just not give a crap? And what’s with the clown character in the back? Are you TRYING to give me a heart attack?
Oh well, right? As long as they are happy, that is what matters….