Tuesday, October 28, 2008

bouquet alternatives

Recently invisiblyrose posted in her wedding blog Another One Bites the Dust (which is great, by the way) that she is looking for flower-free bouquet alternatives so she doesn't spend her wedding sneezing. I started to write a comment on her blog and then realised, wait a minute! I HAVE A WEDDING BLOG. So here you go!

I too have been thinking about my bouquet. At first I thought, that's just an extra thing to spend money on! We'll do without it. And then I read an excellent comment by another bride: IT GIVES YOU SOMETHING TO DO WITH YOUR HANDS. And I realised that not only would it be a great relief to have something to stop me fidgeting at the (non-existent) altar, I would in fact benefit in my daily life by having a bouquet to hold. When I'm waiting for the bus, for instance, or standing in line for sushi. I have never really worked out what I am supposed to do with my hands.

Anyway! I have looked around Etsy for some bouquet alternatives, and I've found some lovely ones. Check em out!

If you're going for a somewhat traditional look, you might like a silk bouquet, like this one from Hannah Roses.

The Russian's shop is a little bare right now, but she always has lovely things. I especially love the bouquets she makes from vintage and cotton fabrics, they're so bright and pretty.

Suili crochets the most gorgeous semi-realistic flowers. Since she sells them by the stem, you could buy a few different kinds and make your own bouquet, or just get a mass of one kind.

But for sheer cuteness, you can't beat button and felt bouquets like this one from Violonjello. This is probably the kind of bouquet I would lean towards; it's so fun and colourful!

Hand-crafted bouquets like this are not cheap, but they are lasting decorations for your home, so if you love them they're not a bad way to spend your wedding budget. To tell you the truth, though, I think I'm going to drop into a florist on the morning of my wedding. I've never been in a florist's without liking at least some of the flowers, and I figure I'll find a pretty bunch and make them into a bouquet myself. If I can't find anything I like, I'll just grab a bunch of daisies from my mum and dad's garden!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

summer bride

Pink, turquoise and yellow wedding by tinymonster

It's starting to really feel like summer here! This would be a fun outfit for a summer wedding.

Can you tell that I really, really like colour?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Weddingbee and the right to marry

Photo by l3m4ns

If you read the wedding site Weddingbee, you might be interested to know that the owners have sold the site to eHarmony, a company which positions itself as "Christian" and disallows gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people from using their site.

Going through the process of planning my wedding and thinking about marriage has made me very aware of the injustice that other people are denied this right. One of the things that attracted me to our celebrant was that one of the first things she mentioned on her webpage was that she did commitment ceremonies for same-sex couples (in fact when I told her about that she said they're her favourite ones to do, because they're so special). I don't support companies that build discrimination and prejudice into their corporate mission.

I guess what I am trying to say is: BITE MY BUM, EHARMONY

Sunday, October 12, 2008

wedding photography

Photo by Jon Fravel

I just finished reading One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding by Rebecca Mead, and I highly recommend it. The cover of my copy has a quote which compares the book to Jessica Mitford's The American Way of Death (one of my favourite non-fiction books, and one which I re-read regularly) and the comparison is just. Like Mitford, who investigated not death itself but the way that the funeral industry shaped practices and attitudes to death in order to maximise profits, Mead investigates not so much weddings and brides but the wedding industry and how it has shaped the way we celebrate marriage. Her prose style also reminds me of Mitford's: sharp, dry and often hilarious. My only complaint about the book is that it wasn't longer; I wish I could have read it for twice as long.

Photo by Modomatic

One of Mead's targets is wedding photography. I have been thinking about this recently. Our budget has no room for a photographer; instead, we will ask a couple of artistic friends to bring their cameras and get a few nice shots. Sara, the author of one my my favourite wedding blogs $2000 Wedding, recently wrote about their decision not to hire a photographer and made an exceedingly sensible point:

We have never hired a professional photographer for other important events in our lives and never plan to. College graduation, birthday parties, the birth of our first child--we are fine with all of these things being captured by an amateur's click. Our wedding didn't seem any different. In fact, we were afraid that hiring a professional photographer might make our wedding feel like a show.

Robert and I feel the same way; neither of us particularly enjoy being photographed, and we're not the sort of people who will take out a wedding album and coo over it. (Are there any such people?) In One Perfect Day, Mead argues that the purpose of the professional photographer, like so many other elements of the modern wedding, is in fact to create the experience of faux celebrity and record an image of perfection, rather than to record reality.

Formal portraits are still a standard part of a wedding photo album, but the purpose of wedding photography today is not to preserve for posterity a documentary image of the individuals who are getting married... Rather, wedding photos today capture a couple's specific incarnation as bride and groom, and their arrival at the apogee of romance.

Photo by Brian and Mimi Tsai of Life Mosaics

I have never been interested in being professionally photographed. However, when I started looking at wedding sites on the internet, I noticed something new. Wedding photographers now take pictures of what is known in wedding-speak as "details". The bride's shoes; the centrepieces on the table; the groom's hand-made cufflinks; the bridesmaids' vintage parasols. Here is an excellent example; the wedding photos include the invitations, the 'gift pails' for the guests, the matching white umbrellas available in case of rain, the colour-matched drinks, the votive candle holders in a fabric that matched the bride's dress. These are things that I doubt many guests will remember; in fact, most of them wouldn't even notice. But luckily, the photographer was there to record them. Mead writes that the wedding album functions

as a means of capturing images of the material production upon which so much thought, time, and money have been expended. The wedding album serves as a riposte to the disquieted murmurings a wedding can generate amongst family, friends, and the couple themselves-- all this, just for one day?-- by ensuring that the sugar-spun flowers on the wedding cake and the silk grosgrain ribbons wrapped around the bouquets' stems are preserved not just in memory, but upon archival-grade photographic paper.

A good set of wedding photographs can be called upon to justify all the expense that preceded them; and the anticipation of acquiring a good set of photographs can also encourage that expense in the first place.

This sums up my discomfort with wedding photography. Weddings are ephemeral; they will leave behind some good memories, but in all honesty those memories will not be enhanced by buying matching pale pink candles instead of cheap white ones. The insistence on "details" in both wedding photography and in wedding blogs and sites (even those that claim to be "alternative" or "indie") insists that the ephemeral can and should be made concrete, and that the more beautiful and perfect your decorations, shoes and cake, the more wonderful your memories will be.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Damn this thing is fun. It's like playing dress-up with Barbies!

I would love a 30s-style wedding outfit like this. So much fun!

Friday, October 3, 2008

links for reubenesque brides

Hee hee, I am having fun thinking of charming euphemisms for fat. Being an artist who specialises in adorableness helps you not mind so much about being fat, actually. Fat things are the cutest things!

Exhibit A.

Anyway, I have been looking at sites which have plus-size dresses. Because I'm from Australia, I've only been checking out sites that ship internationally, so if you live in the US you can probably find lots more. I also wasn't specifically looking for bridal dresses, although some of these site do carry those (or even better, pretty white dresses which haven't been categorised as 'bridal' and so cost half as much). I also ignored any sites which had what I considered to be overly expensive dresses. (One site had a cheery "Coming soon!" in their $200-$300 page, and a single lonely dress in their $300-$400 page.)

B & Lu
Cherished Woman
Daddy-O's (retro forties and fifties style dresses, absolutely gorgeous!)
Size Appeal
Torrid (including some very pretty and affordable wedding dresses)
eShakti: beautiful Indian-inspired dresses that you can apparently customise as you order-- add longer sleeves, etc. Looks like a fantastic source for pretty wraps and shawls as well!

And a couple of Australian sites:

City Chic

I hope this is useful!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

being a plus-size bride

When I first started looking around for ideas for a wedding dress online, I typed "fat bride" into Google. Apart from one livejournal community (and a site for pregnant brides-- ahem, that's not fat, that's a PERSON INSIDE YOUR BODY) the other links all seemed to be jokes and cartoons about the hilarious idea of a bride being fat, or laments and cries for help. I realised I should have used the current euphemism for fat, plus-size. I've had better luck with that, although if you don't want a big, white, expensive dress, it's quite a lot more difficult to find something you like (unless you like extremely matronly styles and colours like burgundy and navy blue).

I've also started getting advertisements for wedding-related weight loss on my Facebook. I'm assuming every woman whose status is 'engaged' gets these, since it's commonly assumed that all women have problems with their body image and want to spend a lot of time and money on their 'problem areas'. But as an actual fat bride, these ads make me a little uncomfortable.

Listen, I know I'm fat. And no, I'm not particularly happy about it, and I am doing something about it. I lead a healthy life, I eat lots of vegetables and wholemeal bread and low-fat milk and all that stuff. We've bought a Wii Fit and I try to use it several times a week. I didn't start this process because I am going to be a bride; I started it before that, because I want to be healthy and comfortable and fit.

But even if I continue to lose weight at a healthy and sustainable pace, I am not going to be thin by April. And I don't think it's healthy to think of my wedding day as an end point, or as something to strive to be different for. I've seen suggestions that brides-to-be start having regular facials (hee hee) so that their skin is glowing on The Big Day. Listen, if you can afford that stuff and you really think it makes you look or feel better, why not do it regularly anyway? Those are good enough reasons. The Big Day is not really a good reason.

So I'm going to be a fat bride and I'm okay with it. Hey, I ate cheesecake this morning. (Someone brought it into the tearoom. What am I, Ghandi?) The only downside, really, is that it cuts down on my dress options. Still, if I can't find something I like, I can always have it made. I've actually found a pattern for a dress I love, and it would be good to be able to pick the exact fabric I want. (Really, the main reason I want to buy something off-the-rack is because I'm too lazy/busy to go to a bunch of dress fittings.) Anyway, I'm currently going through some sites with pretty plus-size dresses, so I'll be posting soon with some links for anyone else who's interested. And maybe the next woman to search for 'fat brides' will find this instead of Weight Watchers.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

dressing up

I've seen so many inspiration boards on the net I think it's getting to me. I signed up for Polyvore. I comfort myself with the knowledge that I am doing this during work hours. I am not so far gone that I would spend my own time on this.

My mum has asked if she can pay for my wedding dress. I would never have asked her to, but I'm happy to let her have her way! Luckily, we have similar tastes and generally think the same things are pretty. I've told her that I don't want a white dress and she is fine with that. (I have nothing against brides who wear white dresses, aesthetically or politically. I don't think that white carries the connotation of purity or virginity in our culture anymore, and it's a perfectly nice tradition. But I am all about colour.)

Dressing up is a wedding tradition that is important to me. I don't need a thousand dollar dress, and the thought of a $6,000 dress makes me feel a bit sick. But you can dress nicely without spending an enormous amount of money. I want to wear a dress, because I spend most of my time in jeans and skirts and t-shirts, and I want to make the importance of this day and this ritual by taking pains with my appearance.

I'm hoping I can find a pretty, comfortable dress in a shop, but if I can't, I'll probably get something made up by a local seamstress. I'd like to pay (well, I'd like my mum to pay) less than $200. I'll probably make my own accessories or buy them from artisans on Etsy. And I'll wear comfortable flat shoes which I can wear again to other occasions. (I don't own a pair of heels and never will.)

I'm not getting my hair and make-up done. This is mostly because I want to feel like myself on the day, not like a doll. I hate the feeling of Stuff in my hair, it just makes me want to wash it clean. And the only time I've worn foundation in the last ten years was for a dance recital (you don't want to look washed out under the lights, dahling). I'm not really interested in being fussed over, either. I'd rather spend the morning drinking champagne and hanging out with my friends. (Note to self: do not get drunk before your own wedding.)

I'll still feel dressed up, though. I'll wash and dry and brush my hair carefully, and I'll put on a little eyeliner and (waterproof) mascara. I'll be wearing my new dress and I'll polish my shoes ( note to self: do not wear the shoes for the first time on the day) and I'll put something pretty in my hair. That's enough for me, I think.