Thursday, January 27, 2011

Weddings on the Big Screen

This month has been so cold and snowy, and between year-end closing and movie season (Oscar nominations came out Tuesday), I have neglected the wedding blog.  Sorry.  I was trying to think of a way to incorporate my love of all things wedding and my love of movies.

The first movie wedding I remember is The Godfather, now out in Blu-Ray.  Nothing was too good for Vito Corleone’s daughter.  The cake was a favor called in, and it was fabulous.  There was a very erotic scene (for 1972) between Sonny and one of the bridesmaids.  Then when Michael had to move to Italy to avoid jail, he married a local girl.  The parade of the wedding party through the village sticks with me, still.  See, my love of weddings isn’t recent.

The wedding in Braveheart was beautiful, but sad for the fact that it had to be secret.  Lots of people want to incorporate something Celtic in their weddings.  There are many ways to do that, even if you don’t want a bagpipe player.

My favorite wedding movie is Father of the Bride.  I absolutely love Franck , played by Martin Short.  All the furniture must go, bring in the geese.  Poor Steve Martin, wanted so much for his daughter to have a nice wedding without causing his bankruptcy.

I also loved My Best Friend’s Wedding.  My favorite scene in that movie is the bridesmaid’s luncheon when they sing, “I Say a Little Prayer for You.”

I loved Steel Magnolias.  It was so pink.  One of my cousins, Sarah, had an all pink wedding, which was one of the most beautiful I remember.  She even had middle-school aged pink-clad girls handing out rice bags.  The scene I loved most in the movie was when Julia Roberts was talking about going skinny dipping with her fiancĂ© just before the wedding, and doing things that “would scare fish.”

My Big Fat Greek Wedding was also fun.  Everyone has certain traditions relative to family or religion, and the more they are incorporated in the wedding, the more special it will be for everyone.

On these cold days, buy or rent one of these movies and enjoy the pageantry.  It will be spring in two months, and we can truly be in wedding season again!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Purple and Yellow Wedding

These colors are complimentary and there are so many flowers in these colors, that you could have a very formal, or a very casual wedding and use these colors.

Bridesmaid's dress by Ann Taylor.  Real wedding of Matt and Rachel Osborne, photography by Amy Callahan.
I'm feeling like something to brighten up the cold, winter months.  A friend of mine reminded me today of our working at Girls, Inc. shovelling mulch in the heat of summer.  Oh, how I'd like to have that day back.  We don't appreciate summer enough, and let it slip away.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Preserving Your Wedding Gown

Overbay Photography
What does dry cleaning mean to you?  To me it means cleaning the garment, pressing it, putting it on a hangar so that the next time I want to wear it, it looks great.
I would like to warn you that not all dry cleaners are experienced at cleaning wedding gowns.  When I took my daughter’s gown in to be cleaned, it had a lot of black on the bottom edge, from a fun-filled night of dancing. This was actually two feet from the end of the train, since the dress had been bustled. There were no other stains, since she was careful not to get food or wine on it.  It’s one of the most important nights of your life, so you want to have a good time.  Since the dress touches the floor, any dirt on everyone’s shoes can get onto your dress.
The cleaners assured me that it came clean and that there were no problems.  It was bagged and boxed to be preserved for future use.  A couple of weeks later, I opened the box and took out the dress.  It had a huge amount of red stains all over the bottom of the dress, that weren’t there when I took the dress in.  I was horrified (especially knowing what the dress had cost).  The dress no longer had beautiful tucks making a slenderizing waistline.  The fabric, which had been cut on the bias, had stretched out of shape and hung limply with no body at all.
I found, through a friend, a person who had been a chemist and now owned his own dry cleaning business.  He looked pityingly at the dress and said it looked like a dishrag that was worth about $200.  He said that he thought he could clean it, but that the fabric might not have the body and luster it had originally.  He said that the cleaner had laundered the dress with detergent and had not dried it thoroughly.  Because the dress was silk, the moisture had caused the blood red stains.
I left the dress.  After two months, the dress had been cleaned, but had not been pressed.  He told me the bodice would have to be taken apart and the tucks would have to be reworked, requiring an experienced seamstress.  I told him I could do that.  He looked at me skeptically.  He said that if he had the dress pressed, he would have to dedicate one person to that job for at least two days and would have to charge me by the hour.  I said OK, but he didn’t follow through, and I finally had to pick up the dress in a plastic bag, all wrinkled.
It took me 15 hours to take the dress apart, rework all the tucks in the bodice, and iron the dress, the outer slip, the crinoline, and the inner slip, which had to be done with high heat, being careful not to burn it.  Medium heat would not bring back the luster.  When I had this complete, and hung it on the hangar, it didn’t hang properly.  Because the outer layer of the dress was silk and the inner layer was a man-made fiber, the silk shrunk when it was washed, but the slip did not.  Then the entire hem had to be taken apart, along with the stiff hem tape because the dress was a full 2.5 inches shorter than the slip.
I finally got the dress back together, and it really looked like new.  Because I have 40 years of experience sewing, I was able to do this, but even I was feeling pretty sick with the notion that a Paloma Blanca dress could be ruined by someone who was supposed to be a professional.
Be very careful.  I asked if they were experienced with wedding gowns, and of course they told me yes.  Try to find a professional to clean the dress, and you might not have to go through this much grief. If you find yourself in a similar situation and it’s worth it to you to preserve your gown, call me.  Maybe I can revive your gown, too.   I love the idea of a daughter wearing her mother’s gown, if it’s truly beautiful now, it will still be truly beautiful in 25 years.


With all the peanut M&M’s, toffee, caramel, pumpkin pie, chocolate cake, just to mention the desserts, we had for Christmas, it’s time to be serious about becoming more healthy.  The new Weight Watchers Points Plus program is absolutely great.  You can eat lots of wholesome foods, with no points value.  That not only allows you to lose weight, but keeps you healthier during the flu season, when you have more potential of getting really sick.  Robin Dotson is my leader.  She is so inspirational and fun.  There is also an app for your i-phone.

When you have that mid-afternoon lull, and need a snack, you can’t go to the snack machine.  You will have to bring your snacks from home.  I usually bring two types of fruit every day, just for snacks.  I bring my lunch as often as I can, so that I can work out during lunch and control what I am eating.  To help you remember to bring your healthy snacks to work, you might want to get one of these adorable Thirty-One thermal totes for only $10 and for an additional 1.50 you can get it monogrammed.  Contact Kristie Salyer.  Who doesn’t need a snack tote? 

This might not seem like a blog for a wedding website, but this would really make a great gift for a bridesmaid.  They come in 16 colors.  Also, if you are the bride and you don’t need to watch your weight, the healthy snacks will make your skin look better, give you more energy, and keep you well during the stressful times.

If you are interested in learning more about keeping yourself healthy, I highly recommend Superfoods Rx: Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life by Steven G. Pratt and Kathy Matthews.

Beans – reduce obesity
Blueberries – lower risk for cardiovascular disease
Broccoli – lowers the incidence of cataracts and fights birth defects
Oats – reduce the risk of type II diabetes
Oranges – prevent strokes
Pumpkin – lowers the risk of various cancers
Wild Salmon – lowers the risk of heart disease
Soy – lowers cholesterol
Spinach – decreases the chance of cardiovascular disease and age-related macular degeneration
Tea – helps prevent osteoporosis
Tomatoes – raise the skin’s sun protection factor
Turkey – helps build a strong immune system
Walnuts – reduce the risk of developing coronary heart disease, diabetes, and cancer
Yogurt – promotes strong bones and a healthy heart

Make this the year you do something for yourself.  Live well.  Feel well.  Be happy!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Hurry - Bridesmaids' Dresses on Sale!

So, you've gotten engaged and you haven't really gotten started with the planning.  So many merchants have huge discounts right now.  Look at this beautiful dress at J. Crew.  Most bridesmaids would look good in this, and it comes in several colors.  They would love owning the dress later, and it costs only (drumroll) 49.99.  Imagine yourself as a bridesmaid, having to pay only 49.99 and getting a silk dress that you can wear again.

If you don't think your bridesmaids can all wear strapless, here is another beautiful dress, and some colors are only 39.99, also silk.

I know from past experience, if you want these, you need to move quickly.  They will be gone, gone, gone in no time.

And, did you think you'd have to make a road trip to find a wedding gown?  Take a look at the Maggie Sottero gowns at Annie's Room.  They have moved from downtown Kingsport to Eastman Road in the center with Panera Bread.  I have purchased two gowns from them in the past, and they are absolutely wonderful to work with.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Let the Wedding Planning Begin!

It's time to take the tree down and get serious about planning your spring/summer wedding.  With the cold weather, what better time is there?  Here are some of the things which could be done while you are in by a cozy fire:

Launch a wedding website. 
Settle on a head count.
Reserve block of hotel rooms for guests.
Design and make prototype of invitations.
Begin calligraphy for invitations.
Plan your honeymoon.
Start composing a day-of timeline.
Choose songs.
DIY favors.
DIY shower invitations.
Select readings.

I am available, if you need help with any of these items. 

Now that Christmas is over, I am excited to get back into wedding planning mode.