Reality Check

One of the problems with the main stream media has long been that they live in their own little reality bubble; one that most of us will never occupy. The unfortunate consequence of this is that it heavily colors what they publish.

Let’s take Modern Bride for example. If you look at their editorial coverage of wedding gowns you get the distinct feeling that the only wedding gowns worth wearing start at $3,000. When the average budget for weddings in America is between $10,000 and $14,000 how many real brides are spending upwards of 1/3 of their budget on their gown? Not too many, I suspect. Yet when you look through the major magazines those are the gowns that are showcased.

Apparently I am not the only one that noticed. I was copied last week on a letter from Steve Lang, CEO of Mon Cheri Bridal to William Wackermann, Alison Matz, and Jennifer Hicks at Conde Nast; the publisher behind Modern Bride and Brides. Here is a quote from Mr. Lang

the editorial coverage still so heavily weighted towards high end lines continues to tell 97% of the consumers who read your publications that the high end dresses they cannot afford deserve more coverage then the dresses their budgets will allow them to buy. Yes, you added two pages of less expensive dresses but the premier editorial pages are still dedicated to 3% of your reading/buying audience.

Your publications do not serve the marketplace I have dedicated my life to.

Nor do they serve the majority of their readers. I have long held that there are beautiful, amazing bridal gowns out there for real American women, but you will never see them in the major bridal magazines. The same is true for most every other aspect of weddings today.

Beautiful weddings, like beautiful gowns can happen on a realistic budget. They happen everyday, but you will never see them in the media. Just look at the weddings they cover as “Real Weddings”. Real for maybe 3% of the weddings taking place.

On page 74 of the same issue of Modern Bride that inspired Mr. Lang was a bit about coasters for your wedding: double sided letterpress coasters, $700 for 100. Yes my friends, Modern Bride thinks you should aspire to spend $7 apiece for disposable paper coasters for your wedding reception.

As the economy continues its correction, magazines that insist on maintaining this editorial trajectory will become more and more irrelevant.

What are your feelings on this? How do you view wedding porn? Would you rather see more reality or do you see them as some sort of fantasy/science fiction publication?

Wedding Bloopers

While working on the new site for the Wedding Connection in Fort Wayne, IN I ran across this compilation of wedding bloopers.


Oh my, have a laugh on me.

(h/t to Temo7 and the Wedding Connection)

Jenna Bush’s Wedding

I don’t know if it’s all the politics I have been watching lately or the fact that the wedding is less than two weeks away, but I decided to pull together as many of the details of the up coming event in Crawford.

Yes, that’s right Crawford, TX is the site chosen by the couple. The First couple will be hosting an outdoor tented wedding at their home in Crawford. “I was raised in Texas and it just felt right,” Bush, 26, said of holding the festivities in the Lone Star State rather than the White House, according to The Washington Post, citing the upcoming issue of Vogue.

The 200 guests will attend an outdoor ceremony at 7:30 to avoid the Texas heat, then will retire to a seated dinner and dancing under the tent.

“It means a lot to Henry and me to be outdoors,” she’s quoted as saying. “We wanted something organic and low key.”

In keeping with the outdoor, Texas, organic theme, hotter than hot designer Lela Rose is creating knee length crinkle silk chiffon dresses. The 14 “house party” dresses are dotted with a hand done rosette and an antique silver sash. Each of the dresses will be a different color inspired by Texas wild flowers ranging from bluebonnet blue to a shade of Indian Paint Brush red. For Jenna’s twin, maid of honor Barbara, Rose has designed a moonstone blue silk shimmer soft long gown with a fluted open back. It will have the same sash as the “house party” to tie it all together.

The bride will wear a custom gown by Oscar de la Renta, long a favorite of not just Jenna but a slew of White House residents before her. Miss Bush describes the gown as a very structured organza gown with embroidery and a bit of matte beading and a bit of a train.

No news of what Mrs. Bush will wear. It is said that she and Jenna have done all the planning on the wedding themselves rather than hire a wedding planner.

The engagement ring features a round diamond, an heirloom of her fiancé Henry Hager’s family, and two sapphires.

source source


A Candlelit Event

Yet another fabulous installation from the very creative ladies at Branching Out. This time they transformed a formal vintage ballroom in an historic hotel into a hip lounge. Because of the size of the guest list (480) a sit down dinner was out of the question. Instead the ballroom, lobby and veranda were turned into one massive cocktail space with tables and banquets. The guests were served seven courses as passed hors deouvers and danced the night away to two different bands.

In all, over 500 candle were used to create an amazing ambiance. Beginning with luminaries outside the church and ending with candle lit stairways for the getaway, the entire evening was a-flicker.

Can’t we all agree that everyone looks better in candlelight?

Edited to add:

One of the reasons I started this blog is to show the real world behind the beautiful events in life. Well I got to thinking that this is one of those times. The photo and the description above is indeed what the bride and her guests experienced. This is what they didn’t see:

This was the day of the possessed candles. From the beginning they refused to behave. It started at the church. We had 4 candelabrums, 2 3’ tall and 2 4’ tall with mechanical candles all from the rental company. The taller ones were fitted with bowls in the center to hold flower arrangements of freesia, stocks, hydrangea, Casablanca lilies and vendala roses. Unfortunately the candles were 13” and they should have been 15” or more, so the tip of the candles nestled perfectly in the middle of the floral arrangement. Great; flowers were trimmed or remove to prevent forest fires. That however was the least of our worries. The damn things fit funny and kept leaping out of the candle holders. Not falling mind you, LEAPING! Each time with a resounding CRASH as these metal monsters hit out glass table tops. Again, great. That doesn’t account for the one that seemed more possessed than the others; something was wrong with the locking mechanism that keeps the sleeve on the holder. At random times and for no apparent reason the lock would fail sending the spring loaded cover flying like a demented missile. This was the scene as we tried to finish the rest of the décor: place a flower, catch a candle, leave message for the rental company, duck to avoid missile. This was repeated quite a few times. Eventually 3 rolls of florist tape, a lick and a prayer later and the décor was finished. Yet another save the day moment. We still haven’t heard from the rental company.

On to the reception venue and the votive candles from hell. First off any time you are planning on using over 500 candles on an event you know what you are up against. At this particular venue there is a ledge surrounding the entry stair. The ledge is marble and there is an ever so slight downward angle to it. Because of its location it can only be reached by hanging over the edge of the railing above to place the candles. We have done this many times and knew it was a big job but didn’t foresee any problems. Silly us, we should have known better.

We placed all 150 candles on the ledge and the minute we turned our back they turned on us. As I said we have done this many times before, but never in January. Something about the winds outside and the air pressure was causing them to move each time the doors would open sending random glass votice holders crashing anywhere from 4’ to 10’ to the marble floor below. Well holy leaping flames Batman!!! You can’t have guests arriving at a 5 Diamond hotel being pelted with flaming hot wax and shattering glass. Off come the candles. Ya think? We distributed then around the venue and began the tedious task of lighting all these things.

That is until we told the event planner. She was not about to loose the lovely detail of a candlelit entrance. Say what? Hon you can’t really expect us to bomb the guests like invaders storming the walls of a citadel. Apparently she did.

By now we had started the task of lighting all 500 plus candles at the hotel when the call comes in saying that the hotel had been contacted and they would indeed have to allow us to put the damn things back on the ledge. Quick blow out the candles you have lit so the wax will harden and they can be moved—back to the ledge. Still possessing some semblance of sanity we insisted that we would only place them on the very nearest 1/3 of the ledge, the section farthest from the draft.

That’s when the event planner called from the church…

“The church lady won’t let us light the candles”

“Why Not”

“She says they will drip on the altar”

“No they won’t, they are mechanical candles.”

“She doesn’t care. She won’t let us light them until you get back here and wrap the altar in saran wrap”

“Do what?”

“You heard me. She is demanding that you wrap the altar in saran wrap or we can’t light the candles”

“Oh sure why not I have absolutely NOTHING better to do.”

Off half the team went to custom wrap an altar across town.

Of course it turned out to be the beautiful event you see above, but never believe that it didn’t have its trails.

It’s all just on a days work.

Hide the Bride

There just are not words…

Oh wait, didn’t someone say something about tulleolopes?

See the complete story here.

Tulleolopes and Other Horrors

An entire herd of Tulleolopes died to make this dress!


Badly in need of a bit of a laugh due to having spent the last two days in bed with a Godzilla sized case of the sniffles I decides to check out my favorite forum, Kvetch on Indie Bride.

I knew the IBs wouldn’t let me down. I found a link posted by Calypso to the Wedding Gown Hall of Shame. Oh my! Before I knew it I had tears rolling down my face from laughing so hard.

The captions like the one above are what make this site a most worthy waste of time. It may not be work friendly due only to the uncontrollable urge to laugh out loud.

Finding Inspiration III

I thought that I would leave you with some inspiration for the long holiday weekend. The images above are all from my favorite floral designer, Vicki Sanders. She and her team at Branching Out are quickly becoming the most innovative and sought after event designers/florist in the South. Yes that is her on the bottom row.

A while back I clued you in on a wonderful rental company that I always seek out when I am in need of inspiration, Fabu. I also gave Sarah a whack of the pencil for not having a great website so I didn’t have to fight the traffic to get to her shop. Well great news, Sarah’s website now has an extensive catalog of fabulous thing that you can peruse to your hearts content. Not only that, but she has opened a new show room for the event rental side of her business to make viewing easier. Incidentally, if you like Sarah’s taste as much as I do you should check out her gift shop. With the holidays just around the corner I know I’ll be there at least a few times to find the perfect little gifts for everyone on my list.

Monogamy as a Marketing Campaign

I’m just not sure where I stand on this. Hearts on Fire which according to their press is the pre-eminent consumer brand in the luxury jewelry diamond business is using monogamy to help brand their product. I kind of had it in my head that was already associated with wedding rings, didn’t you?

Their new campaign “Monogamy100” is being released for print, radio and TV. You can view the ads on their new website. Here is just one little blurb I pulled out of it.

“As The World’s Most Perfectly Cut Diamond®, a Hearts On Fire diamond is an enduring declaration of your commitment to a relationship that is deep, rich and meaningful. One that goes beyond conventional definitions. One that exceeds conventional expectations of love and monogamy. And one that deserves a diamond beyond conventional beauty.”

This quote makes me wonder if they are trying to convince me that if I get a better diamond I will get a better grade of monogamy. HUH?

I’m thinking emerald or sapphire at this point.

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