Category Archives: Accessories

Wedding Work Whirlwind Wrapup

I’m happy to report that Viki and I successfully tackled more than half of our extremely ambitious to-do list for this trip!

  • After a shape/style breakthrough, I finally made serious headway on the bridesmaids’ brooch bouquets.  Look for the tutorial this Sunday on The Broke-Ass Bride!
  • We got the rest of the supplies needed for the DIY invitations.  Wait, except for the custom stamp I keep forgetting to order. Well, most of the rest, then!
  • I successfully convinced Viki that I do not care about escort cards or table number signs and she can do whatever she wants for those as long as it gets people to sit in the right places and does not involve glitter.  Yay delegation!
  • We found a non-custom ring that will probably satisfy Collin’s tremendously picky tastes and unusual preferences for his wedding band.  It is too expensive (the jeweler wouldn’t even tell me how much, just that the designer’s “at cost” quote was higher than my price range), so the jeweler is hunting down similar styles for me. Progress.
  • We acquired the pieces for fabulous mixed metal necklaces for the women in the bridal party and the bridal hootenanny, and laid out the designs for all twelve necklaces. I don’t really care for jewelry and don’t ever wear any other than my engagement ring, but nevertheless this was a really fun project for me. I love the different styles we came up with and can’t wait to see the finished necklaces!
  • We kinda sorta came up with a plan for the chuppah. There was a lot of disagreement about how to properly attach the fabric to the poles. At least we’re working on it?
  • I… um… opened the invitation mail merge in front of Viki? We almost made it to the step where we went through and made sure I know who is a doctor and who is a Mrs., but we scuttled the plan after realizing we were so wiped out from the day’s work that we didn’t even have the energy to eat dinner (not make, EAT).

On the homefront, Collin wasn’t exactly slacking either:

  • He ordered a “super sexy” tux! With details strange enough to prompt the tailor to question, “Are you suuuure you want that?” I don’t get to know what it looks like. Which is only fair I guess, because I’m trying to keep my dress a secret.
  • He asked his cousin Scott to preside over our wedding. We’re self-officiating, but Scott will be our master of ceremonies, so to speak. He talks at large groups of people for a living, so the role suits him.

When I write it out like this with a pesky word counter pointing out my brevity, I feel a little less accomplished. But I’m better off than I was on Tuesday for damn sure, and that will have to do for now.


I Hate Shapewear

Spring is almost here, so Victoria’s Secret is pimping out its new bridal lingerie. I LOVE lingerie, so you’d think I’d use my wedding as an excuse to drop big bucks for something lacy and flimsy for sexytime.

But I don’t really have that impulse, maybe because I don’t usually need excuses to waste money on lingerie, so the itch is already scratched, so to speak.  Plus, the common anti-lingerie argument of “you have to interrupt things to put on a costume that you end up tearing off within five minutes” resonates when I think about my wedding night. I’ve said that I think we’ll be too tired after our wedding for sex, but if I’m being honest with you, I want “wedding night” sex so much I bet we’re going to TRY. But I also bet it is going to be terrible, terrible, LAZY sex. There is no way I’ll have the energy to put a costume change into the mix.

[I just realized that I can totally wear some lacy piece of “bridal” lingerie for the night BEFORE our wedding, which we are totally spending together, “tradition” be damned. Man, I’m so good at convincing myself to spend money.]

Anyway, which leads me to the original point of this post: “foundation garments.”

Victoria’s Secret’s “wedding day” collection is mostly lycra and boning and shaping/slimming/smoothing.  Just looking at this stuff makes me feel hot and bothered, and not in the good way.

I’ve worn shapewear before, because my gigantic dress collection involves some sheer or silky numbers that require it.  I think it is hot and uncomfortable. Wearing shapewear is probably the only thing I do in compliance with the beauty myth that I TRULY hate. Well that and plucking my eyebrows. So I only do it very rarely. And under protest.

Yes, I do have swamp ass.

The idea of spending a long, busy, day, with all that drinking and dancing and getting hitched and stuff squished into a spandex tube is really, really unappealing.

My preferred wedding-day lingerie is this:

And maybe those stick-on boob pads. MAYBE. (My dress already has those “bra cups” sewn in from when a model wore it at a bridal show.)

But some tiny part of me thinks “It’s my wedding day! Everyone will be staring at me! If my waist isn’t cinched and my butt isn’t boosted, they’ll JUDGE ME.” This is part is related to the part of me that worries over not fitting into my dress.  That part of me needs to be stopped.

Did you/are you wearing foundation garments under your wedding dress?  Do you want to preach it’s life-changing virtues to me? Or should I resist the siren song of shapewear, follow my instincts and go with lingerie minimalism on my wedding day?

[“Lingerie minimalism” just surged to the top of my search engine hits.]

Big Pimpin’

1. You know I’m writing weekly posts on The Broke-Ass Bride, right? Well, you should be reading my posts (there’s a new one up today, and every Sunday), and everything else on that site, because it is SOLID INTERNET GOLD.

2. I hardly ever enter blog giveaways, because I don’t want to reduce the chances of someone who wants the prize more than me from winning.  But every now and then I really want the prize, so I throw my hat in the ring. So when I saw that Souris Mariage was running a giveaway for one of Deeds and Petunia‘s amazing birdcage veils, I knew I had to try for it.

And I WON!  I am so excited that I get an absolutely gorgeous veil, FOR FREE!  Thanks again to Mouse and Deeds and Petunia for the giveaway.

3. If you don’t know me in Real Life, but are curious what my voice sounds like, you can find out by listening to The Power Hour Podcast.  Brought to you by Sean G. Donaldson, future musician at the HitchDied wedding, current renaissance man of the Pittsburgh music scene.  You’ll hear the story of how I met Collin!

4. Here we go Steelers! As the Steelers take on the Jets in the AFC title game, please enjoy “Steel Defense,” vocals by Addi Twigg and In Acchord, production by Sean G. Donaldson (see what I mean?), raison d’tre by the undeniable Pittsburgh Steelers.

Movie Review: Four Weddings and a Funeral

I haven’t reviewed a wedding movie in a while, so I decided to pop in an old favorite.  And I’ve had British weddings on the brain for some reason lately.

And then a terrible thing happened: I didn’t like Four Weddings and a Funeral this time around.  I remembered it so fondly, but despite charming dialogue and performances, it has all the same problems every other wedding movie I watch has: selfish jerks for romantic leads, a wedding that is so clearly doomed there never should have been an engagementf, all the supporting characters marrying off before the credits (here, in a photo montage).

But I don’t want to write five hundred words about what made me dislike Four Weddings and a Funeral. I want to like Four Weddings and a Funeral! I cannot allow myself to be THIS cynical, or I may have to swear off RomComs entirely, and I am more prepared to eliminate gluten from my diet than I am to remove all the 90-minute forays into imaginary couples’ lives from my Netflix queue.

So, in the interest of pretending I never got so grumpy and joyless as to dislike one of the most beloved wedding movies ever, I will be devoting this post to The Five Greatest Hats in Four Weddings and a Funeral.


Some enchanted afternoon, you may see a stranger across a crowded room. It will be easier to do this if she is wearing a hat the size of a golf umbrella.


Fiona’s floppy pink hat must settle for second place, just like Fiona herself.


Not the white hat in the foreground, which is cute and everything but nothing special, but the blue and white straw hat on the woman in the left of the frame, which distracted me all through Wedding #2, even before I decided to use this review structure.


The random dudes in top hats. You know why Americans think Brits are fuddy duddies? Because in their movies, the extras sometimes have top hats on for no apparent reason.


There are many hats in this film that have one large flower on them. This woman is saying with her hat, “Ladies, sometimes more is more.”

Dishonorable Mention

Scarlett, I realize you are grieving, and I know it can be hard to pull a look together in between hugs and bouts of crying. But this knit patchwork monstrosity would make your friend glad he didn’t live to see someone wear THAT to his funeral.

Honorable Mention

You do, however, deserve some propers for your own wedding headgear.

(OMG) Shoes

I had a wonderful weekend.  I could write the standard “going to a wedding while you are engaged can be overstimulating” post, but I am going to try to avoid it.  You’ve all read those posts! You know the drill: you think, “this must have cost so much!” “Will I be as happy/relaxed/beautiful as this bride?” “Will people dance this much at my wedding?  Even if I don’t play ‘Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy?'”

Instead I am going to write about a completely superficial, unimportant wedding detail: shoes.

I am not a shoe person.  I’ve observed from both my friends and the general culture that many women have a special love for shoes that transcends their love for other parts of their wardrobe.  Don’t get me wrong: I recently counted and I have over thirty pairs of shoes.  But I don’t feel any particular reverence for a good shoe the way I know other women do.

I’m also becoming less and less tolerant of high heels.  At the wedding this weekend, I chucked my shoes after the cocktail hour.  And then Collin stepped on my feet a bunch of times on the dance floor, but after trying to put my shoes back on I decided that would be more uncomfortable than getting stepped on a few more times.

But this should be a non-issue.  I’ll be wearing a long dress, so I can find some very sturdy, comfy shoes and just not take any of those pictures of shoes without feet in them.  No one will know! It will be fine!

Except I can’t quite shake the feeling of inadequacy on this one.  When I see pictures of other brides with badass shoes.  Shoes I can’t budget for. Shoes I probably would hate wearing.  Shoes that would make me taller than Collin.  Shoes that would make me trip. Shoes I do not want.  But I see other brides wearing them, and I think, “Shouldn’t I have a piece of art on my feet too?”

Well, there won’t be any other brides at my wedding.  But there will be a ton of chicks.  Chicks in short dresses with their awesome shoes on full display.  Chicks in my bridal party/bridal hootenanny, standing next to me in shoes so awesome that people will forget all about my Paramount Importance as The Bride because they’ll be unable to avert their eyes from the shoe pretties.  I won’t get any pictures of me with my grandmother because our photographer will have to devote most of his time to pictures of these incredible shoes, without feet in them, natch.1

Clearly, the only solution here is to start practicing wearing very high heels without tripping. And to stretch Collin’s legs when he is sleeping so I can avoid towering over him. Or maybe I should shorten my bones? I wouldn’t be the first bride to get plastic surgery in the name of looking the way I am told I should at my wedding. I’ll need to find room in my budget—my life budget, not my wedding budget, don’t be ridiculous—for appropriately wowsome heels, maybe by turning the thermostat down to 55 degrees in the winter? In the end, it will all be worth it. We’ll find some grass, we’ll import some fall leaves, I’ll take my shoes off my feet, they won’t have sweat stains on them, one will rest on its side and the other will stand tall and proud like a beautiful piece of foot architecture, the camera will go CLICK and I’ll be a real bride.

1Actually, I kind of love the idea of a picture of all my friends’ nice shoes, artfully arranged without feet in them, surrounding my no-nonsense shoes, hopefully with my feet still in them if I can hike up my dress appropriately.

Someday I Will Learn How to Spell Boutonniere

We’re still planning on having a flower-free wedding.  While I figured there are plenty of flower-free bouquet alternatives for me and the bridesmaids, when I thought about the number of people in the Bridal Hootenanny I got more nervous.

Then I found out that my mother-in-law Viki has boxes upon boxes of jewelry for use in her art, and was willing to let me poach from this bounty for the bouquets etc.

Partial representation of Viki's stash

I took three gallon-sized ziplock bags of brooches, earrings, wires, beads, and bits of scrap metal.  I am so ridiculously Stage One about this stuff.

So here’s a little tease: two proto-boutonnieres we made last weekend.  Carrie, my future-sister-in-law who is also an artist, added the leaves, which I think really pull the pieces together.

Please note that these are held together by gravity and that I never gave a second of thought as to how these would go through the boutonniere hole (is there a technical term for that? Also, suits don’t have those, do they? Do people in suits not wear boutonnieres? ), so the finished product that has to take practical considerations into account may look quite different.


I’m going to come clean on a major wedding privilege I have…

Have you ever heard people talk about “Anthropologie weddings?”  I think it is when you aspire to the “estate sale minus the dust and musky odors” aesthetic of an Anthropologie store in creating the look of your wedding. It is probably a very expensive undertaking and likely results in a lot of worrying about trends:  Bird motif is too played out!  What about turtles?  Snails?  Yes: mustard Yellow Snails on lilac and smoke gingham. (I’m not so far off).

I would never have thought of Anthropologie stores as a source of wedding inspiration, at least not for my wedding, even after the blogs got to me.  I’m just not that crafty! Or that chic.

But… here’s my big secret:  Collin’s twin sister Carrie worked at Anthropologie as an art designer.  She set up those coffee filter clouds and those antique bathtubs full of rice and mismatched china and so on and so forth for at least a year before moving on to her current apprenticeship with a woodworker.  If I really wanted an Anthro wedding, I would have an insider on my team.

And Collin’s mom is an artist too.  So last night after the three of us enjoyed a little wine we started talking about my kooky no-flowers scheme, and bouquet alternatives.  Viki and Carrie got BIG IDEAS about making bouquets out of wire and scrap metal and wire mesh.  I’ve seen wire bouquets on Etsy and they’re always a few hundred bucks, just like  regular bouquets.  But my ARTIST in-laws are all, “Oh, we’ve got a scrap guy.  We can do something really fun and unique and oh my gosh I’m so excited!”

And the thing is, I am excited too!  Metal bouquets!  LOVE!  But I also have this sinking feeling that this is way above my pay grade, and how much can I convert DIY into DIFMIL (“Do it for me, in-laws”) without asking too much of them?

Plus, once I go down the path of caring about details, is there no turning back?  Will I be goccoing invites?  (I don’t even know what goccoing is, except for that you have to find the machine to do it on eBay.)   Will I embroider the chargers for our place settings?  Will I cobble my own wedding shoes?  Where does it end?

(Deep breath.) Hopefully it ends exactly where I stop actually caring, which will coincide neatly with what I have the time and money to care about, as well as with the skill sets possessed by me and my family and friends.  That’s the dream.


What’s the over/under for number of brides whose “something blue” has been azure vajazzling?

Ella, Ella, Eh Eh Eh

It is POURING right now.  I had planned a little self-congratulatory dress shopping (regular dress shopping, not wedding dress shopping) to celebrate filing my taxes and submitting my bar application in the same week, but the rain was so intense my fastest wiper speed wasn’t even cutting it, so I turned around and went home a few blocks into my journey.

And then I opened the wedding budget spreadsheet and added a new line item under apparel:  Extremely Fabulous Umbrella.  And started internet shopping, like you do.

I really like these umbrellas inspired by Tiffany lamps:

But I think it would feel more “me” if I dropped all pretenses of elegance:

That umbrella + some bright golashes = the best wedding gown accessories possible.

I’m glad last year’s Golden Globes illustrated how umbrellas can complement formalwear:

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