As a line in a very popular old movie went, “The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.” And our ability to accessorize is the real way any bride can make a personal fashion statement, all the while revealing her own unique sensibilities and creativity. Accessorizing, in and of itself, is a true art form. The accessories that accompany you as you walk down the aisle will sometimes speak even louder than your wedding gown, especially when they speak louder than they really ought to. The accessories you select to augment your gown should continue the statement which your gown makes without overshadowing its appeal. In terms of accessories, it is far better to select one significant accessory, and let the others follow suit, so to speak. Say “no” to competing bridal accessories. There should be a bumper sticker.
How to Plan
The best thing to do is to first find “the” dress. Once you have made this “commitment,” you proceed from there. You should select one accessory to serve as a prominent statement piece, and then coordinate your other accessories to complement and echo the sentiment. The places to think about are the hair, the neckline, the veil, the earrings and–everything beneath the gown. Here are some “tried and true” considerations for helping you to look like a million dollars on your big day, tastefully and in a most impressive and trendsetting way:
- Bring Your Ancestry to the Altar: On your wedding day, this is the time to flaunt your family pride: whether it is your great great Grandmother’s Scottish plaid scarf, or your great grandmother’s pearl broach. If there is any sentiment or family history connected to an accessory, now is the time to show it off. An old ring or maybe your paternal grandmother’s special lace scarf–take it with you.
- Veiled Thoughts: Wedding veils have never, ever been so varied–in length, style, where they sit on the head and more. You can even choose an old family heirloom piece of jewelry to secure your veil to your head. Select a veil that feels natural to you. Lightweight and breezy, you will float down the aisle.
- Earrings Emphasize Your Lovely Neck, With an Updo: Many brides opt for pulling their long tresses up and off their necks, securing them in an updo that leaves the neck devoid of all cover. Teardrop earrings of either diamonds or rhinestones are the most flattering accessory you could include when you choose to upsweep your usually long locks.
- Shoes, Shoes Shoes: While most wedding dresses typically obscure any bride’s feet, the shoes she wears will matter in a myriad of ways. First, they should be comfortable–come on, now–it is your day to shine, right? While those six inch heels give your legs an incredible advantage, do you really want to wear them to walk down the aisle? And do you really want to tower over everyone participating in your wedding? Especially if you and your fiance are close in height–why not slip your feet into some lovely flats, for this special day? While he may never comment, he will thank you for it.
- Dissing the Veil, Altogether: There is a growing number of brides who are opting to forego the veil in place of a really striking and stunning piece of headwear. They are choosing embellished headbands, hairstyles woven with gilded and rhinestone embellishments throughout, crowns of fresh flowers, hair designs with scattered jewels, and for a vintage look, a simple birdcage lace half-face covering from days of yore.
Over the past several years, engaged couples who are “engaged” in “topping” their predecessors has become almost an art form, possibly just one step shy of cage wrestling. The competition is fierce, and it seems that no holes are barred here. Just how far these doting duos will go probably remains untopped, but until there are new entries in the Guinness Book, the following weddings tend to produce a bit of an “are you kidding?” response. The general thinking is that there is no day more belonging to the couple, so they should have their chance to go all out, in the unabashed direction of their sometimes private fantasies, dragging their friends and family with them, every step of the way–down the aisle. Often, these “unique” weddings wind up saving couples a veritable fortune. Still, there are and probably will always be the larger portion of “traditionals” who still want to please Mom and Dad with conventional wedding ambiance. And this is probably why we enjoy reading about the more unusual methods that loving couples seal the deal in style.
- Taking the Plunge at T.J. Maxx: Everyone loves getting a bargain, but should this extend to marriage? Bride Lisa Satayut felt compelled to integrate her love of bargain shopping at the sign of the red dot surrounded by concentric red circles with her love of Drew Ellis, her intended. Satayut shared that T.J. Max is her “happy place,” and, in keeping with her feminine calling, she appointed the exact spot where vows were exchanged. If you had to think twice, you don’t know women as well as you should: Not only were the nuptials exchanged in the shoe department, but the location had to be on the aisle where her size (8) was available.
- Love the Ocean, Love the Water, Love the Teeth? Apparently April Pignataro and Michael Curry wanted to “see” Jaws, before locking jaws to seal the deal, at Atlantis Marine World in Riverhead, N.Y.. The lovely bride wore a white wetsuit, and the groom was clad in a black one. Both being experienced divers exchanged vows into radio headgear connected to a dryland minister outside of the tank, with 75 land lovers watched on the sidelines.
- The Salt of the Earth: While it is not uncommon to find several key people crying at weddings, brides and females of the Tujia people in China carry it a bit further. Beginning one month before the wedding, the bride must cry everyday for one hour. Then, ten days prior to the big event, her mom joins the bride in tearing up, and then ten more days later, the maternal grandmother adds her tears. By the day the wedding is to be held, every single female in the family is crying. This tradition dates back to a time when it was widely believed that women weep in different tones that come together in a vocal symphony of sorts…expressing joy with a very salty wet composition.
- Indian Brides Who are Mangliks: In India, it is believed that women who are born during a unique astrological configuration when Mars and Saturn are both under the 7th house pose an actual curse on their husband that could cause him to die an early death. Known as Mangliks, these women must first become the wives – AKA married to – a tree. Unfortunately for the poor tree, it is subsequently destroyed, which is the only way the curse can be broken. Ain’t love grand?
Hold on a Minute, Here: Newly married lovebirds who belong to a tribe of the Tidong community – hailing from Northern Borneo must remain confined in their house while not being able to empty their bowels or urinate for three days and nights. There goes enjoying the reception–and is there gas?
A bride’s wedding is the one true occasion when everything–down to every little detail – should be exactly what the bride wants. It’s her day to shine, and it’s her day to express herself in a manner that will really reflect her true heart, her unique flair and her choices for every aspect. Most of the time, the bride feels like she is in a whirlwind of to-dos that are always under scrutiny of her family, her bridesmaids, her husband and his family and more. There can be so very much advice coming at her that she can easily become overwhelmed, and even lose track of what things she actually prefers. While Brides want everyone to be happy, they really deserve to be given a free rein in practically every area of their own wedding planning. This being said, there will always be some incidentals that every bride should know, when heading for the altar. Here are the top five things every bride need to know, not in any particular order of priority.
- A marriage is a Living Commitment. Anything that is alive is always in a process of growing and changing. While the vows you make on your wedding day should never change, it’s just natural to expect your spouse to change through the years. With good communication, you will grow and change together, as long as neither of you is afraid of change. Make sure to support each other while allowing each other space to learn new things and live the best life the other person can live.
- Make Sure Your Expectations are Realistic About Marriage. Many a marriage has failed because one or both spouses have gone into married life expecting the other person to be the one they have been imagining their whole life. When the other person does not fit into that little slot, it can be a bit of a letdown, however it also has a lot to do with having the wrong goal for marriage. Rather than looking at your intended as someone who will be able to do things for you, support your dreams and goals and support you through life, reverse the purpose. Try regarding your fiance as someone you can support, nurture and give to, to enrich his life and make it better. It is not about “what I can get,” but should be more about “what I can give.” Your spouse is not and will never be your parent, and the relationship you have with him will require a bit more work on your part to sustain, however if both parties are willing to do the work, marriage can be the most rewarding adult to adult relationship anyone could ever have.
- You’re Not Just Marrying a Husband, You’re Marrying a Family. It really has very little to do with how close your fiance is to his family, when you are his wife, you immediately inherit the familial relationship–well, sort of. The thing is, you are not blood family (or, at least, let’s hope not!) and if you did not grow up knowing his family, you are going to have to prove yourself as a worthy wife. If your husband has sisters, they will usually outrank you in certain circumstances and in the context of his family, let them and be happy about it. If he has brothers who are already married, their wives will also outrank you in certain situations. Once again, acceptance is your best friend here. And if you have always spent major holidays with your parents/family, you may have to negotiate some give and take, which for some newlyweds is one of the most difficult aspects of being married. Especially when one spouse is an only child and the other is from a large family. Learn to accept the relationships your husband has within his family and try to be happy about it. If you can’t be happy, try to keep from voicing your opinion in a controlling way. Instead, do what you can to get along.
- Kids or Not, and When? Believe it or not, this issue can be extremely stressful when not addressed before hand, and in enough detail. It’s really good to make sure you two are in agreement on kids and when to have them. Discuss your desires for your children’s education and religious upbringing. Discuss your take on “strict vs. lenient.” This could save you from a lot of disappointment somewhere on down the road.
At Least One Thing is Going to go Wrong. This is not a curse, but more of a realistic way of being prepared. And actually, if only one element of your wedding is a bit of a detour or disappointment, you will be better off than most. On your wedding day, you will have done everything possible to see that the event is pulled off without a hitch, and according to every detail you so painstakingly worked out. If and when something disappoints, take a deep breath and remember that it is really going to be OK – and in fact, whatever failed will most likely become a great story to tell your grandchildren one day.