The Oshkosh Northwestern | Fall 2010
inside: It’s your wedding,
Wedding Dress for Success
2 | Bride’s Guide | Fall 2010 | The Oshkosh Northwestern
After a 2008 wedding at the Leach Amphitheater in Oshkosh, The Oshkosh Northwestern | Fall 2010
BRIDE’S GUIDE “We couldn’t have asked for a better setting for our wedding. The lighting at night was beautiful, and the overall park itself made for a great place to take pictures, especially during the sunset along the river.” ~Matthew Gehrke, the Groom
3.......... It’s your Wedding, Get Creative! 6.......... A Great Gown Deserves a Great Hairstyle 8.......... Wedding Feast for Prosperity 10........ Wedding Dress for Success
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The Oshkosh Northwestern | Fall 2010 | Bride’s Guide | 3
It’s your wedding,
get creati creative!
This photo provided by Heidi Ryder shows Dorie Turner, right, and her husband John Nolt during their wedding Sept. 26, 2009, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Heidi Ryder)
The Associated Press
fter the I dos and ‘til death do us parts, they’re the two little words every bride waits to hear on her wedding day: “How creative!” At least, that’s what I wanted to hear after I got married last September before 90 guests in an outdoor ceremony at an antebellum mansion in downtown Memphis.
Artsy to the core, I longed to create the perfect handmade wedding, with clever details that my guests wouldn’t see anywhere else. I wanted to highlight my personal style and undying love for being crafty and gluing stuff together. And with a budget of $10,000, I wanted to save a little cash. Already an avid shopper at the online artists marketplace Etsy.com, I knew
when my beau, John, proposed that it was the first place to start looking for unique items, and to get ideas for what I could make myself. Etsy sales have risen quickly since it began in 2005, reaching $180 million last year thanks in part to a burgeoning wedding section with thousands of handmade wares, said spokesman Adam Brown. Brides can peruse everything from typewriter-key
cufflinks to a personalized ring-bearer pillow. Wedding blogs such as 100 Layer Cake, Style Me Pretty and Etsy Wedding also promote handmade wedding fare and artsy style. Online bridal message boards light up with suggestions when brides-to-be ask about how to make their own table numbers, or craft lanterns out of baby food jars and tea light candles. continued on page 4
4 | Bride’s Guide | Fall 2010 | The Oshkosh Northwestern continued from page 3 Do-it-yourself wedding decorations and favors have become so popular that TheKnot.com and Martha Stewart Weddings - the arbiters in all things bridal - now have sections dedicated to brides looking to break out the hot-glue gun. “In generations past, weddings were very similar, but now people want to put their own unique spin on their wedding,” said Rebecca Dolgin, executive editor of TheKnot.com. “They want it to be different from someone else’s, and these DIY details really make that happen.” Here’s how I crafted my own handmade wedding: I hired Etsy artists to create boutonnieres and corsages for the wedding party and our families - something more permanent (and cheaper) than flowers that they could take home with them. The boutonnieres were roses made from folded roadmaps, and the corsages were flowers created from brown and green organza and brown pearls. (Corsages, $15 apiece. Boutonnieres, $8 apiece.) I asked a friend who is a graphic artist to design our program based on a wedding invitation I had found online. It read like a story rather than the traditional order of ceremony, and it drew more comments than any other item at our wedding. (“Here’s how it’s going to go …” the program read near the top.) We printed the programs at home on recycled card stock and used a paper cutter from a craft store to round off the edges (photo page 4, bottom left).
After searching for nearly three months for the perfect cake topper, I realized I’d have to spend more than $100 and probably still wouldn’t get exactly what I wanted. So, I turned a pair of bird-shaped salt and pepper shakers into a little bride and groom and mounted them on an antique letterpress stamp with the word “September.” I used polymer clay to create the groom’s top hat and shoes, and I recycled tulle and pearls from my mom’s wedding dress to decorate the bride bird. (About $25 total. Photo page 5, middle) Favors for our guests were CDs of songs written by my fiance and his fellow songwriter friends as part of his proposal (he’s the creative type too). We designed the CD cover and label and assembled them ourselves at home, spending about $60 on the whole project. Instead of a photo slideshow during the reception, we hung photos on long pieces of twine with clothes pins to create a more homey feel. I also made a sign that said “LOVE” to hang in the middle, using a fancy font I found for free online and flower-shaped cardboard cutouts (photo page 4, top left). We decided to print our invitations and save-the-date cards at home, so we had a designer from PrintablePress.com create them and send us the PDF. We gussied up the envelopes with tree and bird stamps from Etsy and Target. ($175 for the design, $50 for paper supplies and $45 for stamps.)
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The Oshkosh Northwestern | Fall 2010 | Bride’s Guide | 5
“In generations past, weddings were very similar, but now people want to put their own unique spin on their wedding. They want it to be different from someone else’s, and these DIY details really make that happen.” - Rebecca Dolgin, executive editor of TheKnot.com
I wanted our guests to fill out notes of advice to us, so I used a set of typewriter-style stamps to make little note cards from our leftover card stock saying things like “wishes” and “thoughts” and “blessings” at the top (photo page 5, left). Instead of a traditional guest book, we had a photo booth where guests could don pirate hats, sunglasses and feather boas. Guests got to keep one copy, and the other they glued into our guest book, where they could write notes. (About $1,400 for six hours of
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Not everything that can be DIY at a wedding should be, though. There are some things best left to the experts.
Dolgin recommends that brides - even the most frugal ones - hire people to take care of the food, cakes and photos. No matter how good a baker she is or how talented with a camera, the bride has too much to worry about on her wedding day (and the week leading up to it) to handle those items herself. In the end, many guests at my wedding gave me the best compliment possible with these simple words: “This wedding is just so you!” And it absolutely was. ❍
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6 | Bride’s Guide | Fall 2010 | The Oshkosh Northwestern
A great gown deserves a Maybe that first call a bride-to-be makes after finding her fairy-tale wedding gown shouldn’t be to her mother. Maybe it should be to her hairdresser.
show, it’s a wedding,” he says.
Giovanni Giuntoli of Redken says he also likes to get in on the selection of the veil or other head piece.
The process for perfect tresses can take six months, says stylist Ted Gibson. “Six months means you can do whatever you want. You can grow it, cut it, grow it out again if you don’t like it,” he says.
“A busy dress, you want simple hair. A simple dress, you want more dramatic hair,” says Prive founder Laurent Dufourg. “You want to complement the mood, but be opposite too. An elegant dress should have elegant hair, and a sexy dress, sexy hair.”
The Associated Press asked Gibson, hair guru of TLC’s “What Not to Wear,” Giuntoli, known as Redken’s bridal expert, and celebrity stylist Dufourg, who splits his time between his Manhattan and Los Angeles salons, to suggest specific hairstyles based on three specific gowns from the new spring 2011 collections that recently debuted on the runways.
The neckline matters most, but so does the overall silhouette, as well as the formality of the gown, explains Gibson, who has namesake salons in Manhattan and
Dufourg says brides certainly should step up their look, but never stray from what they feel comfortable with. They’re the ones, after all, who have to live with the photos for many years. “Remember, it’s not a photo shoot or fashion
“This is an amazing dress,” he says. “You can wear your
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1. Dufourg on St. Pucchi’s elaborate, frothy strapless gown with tiers of tulle and a bouquet of fabric roses and ribbons on the back at the waist:
But, he adds, there’s no point in having the hair conversation with your stylist until the dress is selected.
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The Oshkosh Northwestern | Fall 2010 | Bride’s Guide | 7 Photos from Left :
“You want to complement the mood, but be opposite too. An elegant dress should have elegant hair, and a sexy dress, sexy hair.”
Haley Rothman’s hair is styled by Ted Gibson to match a strapless wedding dress Thursday, May 13, 2010, in New York. The process for perfect wedding tresses can take six months, says Gibson. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) This undated photo provided by St. Pucchi shows a St. Pucchi bridal gown from their spring 2011 collection. (AP Photo/St. Pucchi, Dan and Corina Lecca) This undated photo provided by Oscar de la Renta shows a bridal gown from the Oscar de la Renta Spring 2011 collection. (AP Photo/Oscar de la Renta) This undated photo provided by Reem Acra shows a bridal gown from their spring 2011 collection. (AP Photo/Reem Acra)
- Laurent Dufourg, Prive founder
The Associated Press
hair up or all back. The perfect look for this dress is to slick the hair back and do a beautiful braid on the side, maybe you could even put flowers in the braid.”
This dress begs for the bride to show off her decollete, shoulders and the back of her neck. That bareness, Gibson says, is feminine and sexy but still elegant and respectful.
gown with the bodice swathed in tulle and decorated at the bustline with fabric petals and a small black bow:
That braid is a very youthful look, he adds. An alternative would be to wear a neat, high chignon - like a ballerina bun.
A relaxed ponytail with side-swept bangs would work for long or even medium-length hair; it’s OK if there are a few pieces hanging down _ that just adds to the romantic look, he says.
This dress can take a statement hairstyle, says Giuntoli. “This dress is interesting enough to allow the bride and the hairstylist to be a little more boastful with their styling choices.”
What you don’t want are tight “sausage” curls, he adds: “Sausage curls over your head - which women somehow think is fine for formal occasions - are never appropriate for a bride.”
He’d also go for an updo, but it would be voluminous, not sleek.
He suggests that only brides with very thin, oily hair wash their hair on the day of the wedding. For everyone else, the hair will be smoother and stay in place better if it’s shampooed the day before.
3. Giuntoli on Reem Acra’s high-neck, slim, draped
2. Gibson on Oscar de la Renta’s sweetheart-neck, corset-bodice gown with a flared, embroidered skirt:
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The bow on the dress also could be a starting point, incorporating a similar ribbon, or at least ribbon of a similar color, into the hair. ❍
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8 | Bride’s Guide | Fall 2010 | The Oshkosh Northwestern
Wedding feast for prosperity The Associated Press
rides and grooms hoping to add some good fortune to their marriages have some interesting options when planning a wedding feast.
TOP PHOTO: This photo provided by Grace Bay Resorts shows a Caribbean Conch Salad. Brides and grooms hoping to add some good fortune to their marriages have some interesting options to consider when planning a wedding feast. (AP Photo/Grace Bay Resorts) MIDDLE PHOTOS: The One&Only Palmilla in Los Cabos, Mexico. (AP Photo/One&Only Resorts)
Many cultures around the globe have identified foods for newlyweds that supposedly will bring good luck, fertility or other blessings. The foods range from fried crickets to candied almonds to fish. Attaching symbolism to food is a common practice throughout the world, said Amy Bentley, associate professor of food studies at New York University. “All rituals and holidays and celebrations involve food,” she said. “This is somewhat universal.”
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“Couples today are seeking a more personalized and authentic experience when they host a destination wedding that is reflected in both the food and venue,” she said.
Brides and grooms discussing their celebrations on the wedding website TheKnot.com also seem more interested than before in incorporating traditional elements into their plans, said Rebecca Dolgin, an executive editor for the site. “Couples reaching into their own culture is more popular now,” she said.
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The resort has seen growing interest from couples outside of Mexico in the foods and traditions of the region, she said.
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In Mexico, brides and grooms sometimes dine on fried crickets, lentil soup, and a bean, rice and agave dish, said Beatriz Mejia, director of celebrations at One and Only Palmilla resort in Los Cabos, Mexico. The crickets and the rice dish are said to bring fertility and good luck, and the soup is associated with good luck and good fortune, she said.
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The Oshkosh Northwestern | Fall 2010 | Bride’s Guide | 9
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Italians serve almonds at weddings because their bittersweet taste represents life, she said. The almonds are sugarcoated to wish the couple more sweetness than bitterness. Common at a Chinese wedding is whole fish, because the Chinese word for fish sounds similar to the word for abundance, Dolgin said. “The Chinese also believe that eating spring rolls will bring wealth and prosperity,” she said. “Due to its color and size, it is also thought to resemble gold bars.” Moroccan couples also eat fish because it’s an ancient symbol of fertility, she said. Fish appears on the menu at many weddings, added Pam Frese, a professor of anthropology at the College of Wooster in Ohio. Fish and other white meats, such as turkey and chicken, are common wedding foods because of old beliefs that women had whiter blood than men, she said. White meats were thought to strengthen women’s blood, so they were served at weddings to energize the bride. “It was extra strength to her on her wedding night so she can become a mother,” Frese said.
Conch meat also is commonly served to wedding guests because islanders believe it’s an aphrodisiac, she said.
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Wedding cake, one of the oldest elements of a wedding banquet, also has connections to luck and fertility. “The traditionally accepted practice is for the bride to have the first bite; otherwise, she’d be childless and barren,” Dolgin said. Early English cakes were fruit cakes, and brides used to count the number of raisins in their piece of cake to see how many children they would bear, Frese said. “The cake has power,” she said. “It promises reproductivity.” Wedding cakes changed in texture and appearance in the 1920s, when lighter cakes with fluffy, creamy frosting became more popular. But the symbolism remained, Dolgin said. The white cake represented the bride’s purity. The decorations of flowers and other signs of spring are meant to represent birth and new life, she said.
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Often, foods are considered lucky because of shape, color or taste, Dolgin explained.
In Caribbean countries, special attention is paid to the groom’s sexual performance on the wedding night, said Caitlin Austin, a spokeswoman for Grace Bay Club in the Turks and Caicos. Grooms are encouraged to eat the pistil of a conch “to increase their drive,” she said. “The conch’s pistil is viewed by locals as nature’s Viagra.”
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10 | Bride’s Guide | Fall 2010 | The Oshkosh Northwestern
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The Oshkosh Northwestern | Fall 2010 | Bride’s Guide | 11
For most brides-to-be, the choice of a dress is among the first and most important decisions in planning a wedding. With thousands of choices in every price range, finding the perfect wedding dress can be a difficult and time-consuming process. But by making some decisions before setting foot in a store, the search will be both easier and a whole lot more enjoyable.
First things first
Start by knowing your limits. To avoid disappointment down the line, determine the maximum amount that you can spend on a dress – and don’t forget to include all the little extras, such as undergarments, shoes, jewelry, veil, and/or hair ornaments. Next, take an inventory of your personal style. If you know that you’re not comfortable in strapless or sleeveless dresses, for example, you can immediately eliminate these options. The trick is to rule out a few style options before hitting the magazines or stores and then be open to all other options.
Firm yet flexible
There will be no shortage of opinions – from mothers, sisters, friends, and store personnel – about your choice of a wedding dress, but the decision, ultimately, is the bride’s alone. A great strategy is to be open to suggestions about dresses to try on, but reserve the right to choose the look that feels right to you. With so many potential options, you might want to consider bringing along a camera and taking photos of yourself in the dresses that could be “contenders.”
Go for a flattering fit
Remember: Your goal is to find a dress that flatters your body and expresses your personal style - not to fit into a particular size. If you look ghostly in white, feel free to choose a creamier shade or a dress that has decorative accents of a different color near your neck, shoulders and face. Similarly, there’s no rule that a wedding dress has to be floor-length. If you’re planning a daytime or more casual wedding, you might want to consider a tea-length dress (one that falls a few inches above the ankle) or go even shorter.
Comfort is key
Style and fit may be the two most important factors in choosing a wedding dress, but comfort should be a close third. Ask yourself if you will be comfortable in a particular dress given the setting in which your wedding will take place. For instance, if you’ve always dreamed of an outdoor wedding, you may want forego a dress with a long, trailing train that could trip you up on your walk to or down the aisle. Even if you’re planning an indoor event, having a dress and shoes that are as comfortable as they are beautiful will greatly increase your odds of enjoying your special day to the fullest. ❍
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12 | Bride’s Guide | Fall 2010 | The Oshkosh Northwestern
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