Friday, January 14, 2011

We've Moved!!

Hey Followers (all 9 of ya)!!!

This is Lynne, half of the Bride at 35 team. We have moved our little blog from Blogger over to our own domain, Brideat35.com! We wanted to have more control over our stuff, so we are doing our own thing. Thanks for your support, now come on over and follow us there!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Because That's What Everybody Does or the question of the day....

As recent brides, we (Leslie and Lynne) had lots of ideas about what we wanted our respective special days to look like. And both of us wanted to leave out some things that were traditional at weddings. For example, neither of us wanted to do the bouquet toss or garter throw (because we didn't want our single friends to have to dive for flowers alongside my 14 year old cousin), and neither of us wanted a cake. "But you HAVE to!", people told us. "That's what EVERYBODY does!" Well, at the end of the day, both of us stuck to our non-flower/garter throwing plans, and Leslie and her husband stuck to their plans of having no cake but had an AMAZING dessert spread (Lynne is still having dreams about those pecan things). Lynne did wind up with a cake, because one of her wonderful bridesmaids gifted her with one. And it was beautiful and yummy. 

And everyone went home happy because at the end of the day, after the input that we did and didn't take we would up with the weddings we wanted.

So, the question is.......

What is the traditional wedding-y thing that you want to leave out of your big day that everyone else tells you is a necessity? How are you dealing with that?

Post your comments here!!!

Leslie's yummy, yummy wedding dessert spread

Lynne and her husband cutting the cake she thought she didn't want. BUT SHE LOVED IT.

The flowers that neither Lynne....

...nor Leslie threw at their weddings.

Real wedding of the day: Hawaiian Elvis church nups in Louisiana!

Here at Bride at 35, we're a big fan of doing you. If you want Rockettes as bridesmaids, kick it out. If you want all of your attendants dressed as members of the combined casts of "The Love Boat" and "B.J. and the Bear," you hire that monkey and have your brother start working on his Isaac the bartender "Right back atcha!" fingers.

And if you are rabid Elvis fans like this couple from Louisiana and your budget and your church will allow you to stage a "Blue Hawaii"-themed wedding with island-dressed attendants, a King impersonator crooning and peanut butter and banana cupcakes (SCORE!), we're all about it.

We usually preface statements like that with "...as long as it's tasteful," but who's to say what tasteful means? (Well, we are, but don't quote us on that). We are sure that we did stuff at our weddings that some people would think were tacky (Say it isn't so!) And according to those stuffy sites that annoyed us into starting this one in the first place, having an army of attendants and making a huge formal thing of our weddings at our age wasn't expected.

So we say that if you can't help falling in love, no use crying in the chapel! Put on your blue suede heels and head to the Heartbreak Hotel (which, incidentally, is the Memphis resort at Graceland where this couple is spending their honeymoon). We're so happy for them! And although we know that nobody does newspaper stories on stuff like this unless someone thinks its at best different and at worst weird, we celebrate the funny-cool opportunity to present your love in the way that makes you happiest. If the church is cool with it, then everyone else should be.

Save us a cupcake!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Bride35 Quiz: Favors or Flowers?

During the "Platinum Wedding" era, which I think we're beginning to edge out of because a lot of us brides are now more hundredaires than millionaires, the prevailing wisdom in some circles was that you should spend a major part of your budget on flowers. Also, you had to have crazy inventive personalized favors for your guests, even if they were gonna go "Oh look! A personalized plate!" and then chuck it in the backseat.

Since we're all about the truth here at Bride35, we want to know - If you have only a certain amount of cash, would you rather skimp on flowers or favors? (Of course, you don't have to splurge on either - Leslie spent a total of $200 on flowers, including her bouquet from a local farmer's market and Costco centerpieces). Which would you choose?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Letters, oh we got letters! Well, not YET......

Besides looking for reasons to repost pictures of our own weddings, we, when we started this blog, wanted to become a resource for brides, not only for beauty and dress ideas, but also to discuss the challenges that one might encounter when planning a wedding. We know you have questions, and we wanna help! It could be how to handle pushy family, or how to wear your hair, or if having a Bon Jovi look-alike sing "Living On a Prayer" as you walk down the aisle is tacky.

Doesn't matter!! Ask away!!

We would LOVE for you peeps to...

1) Pass along your questions, issues and rants to us
2) We will answer them our own goofy selves, or we will give them to one of our wedding experts to answer and weigh in on
3) We will post the question and the answer!!

You can be as anonymous as ya want, or you can send us pictures and stuff! Put it out there! We just wanna help, and we know that there have to be other folks going through the same stuff as you.
Send your questions to us at bride35@gmail.com

Monday, January 3, 2011

Bridal expert Nancy Aucone: Think "sophisticated," not "older"

Nancy Aucone is happy to talk about the gorgeous over-35 brides that have come through The Wedding Salon of Manhasset in New York. She'd just prefer not to call them that.

"We never use that word - 'older.' The brides we see are very sophisticated brides," says Aucone, the upscale salon's co-founder and co-owner. "We carry all the top designers, so we have a little jump on having something for the older bride right there. All the high fashion designers at this point are a little more couture, so (their work) fits an older bride...We don't segregate what we show."

Well, then! We like that! We're sophisticated!

Nancy says that because of the quality of the dresses that the Wedding Salon - Monique Lhullier, Vera Wang, Marchessa - and their cost, many of her brides tend to be a little older. But the important thing here, again, is her taste level, as "Project Runway"'s Nina Garcia might say, and not her birthday. We asked Nancy about trends, confidence and what the bridal aisle and the red carpet have in common.

— The fashion show: "Our bride is not looking for the traditional type of dress. They're more looking for what a celebrity would wear on the red carpet, done in white or ivory. (Sometimes) the older brides might wear a latte or an ivory. She's really shopping for a fashion dress. Our designers design for celebrities, and I think that's a natural for the older bride. And the younger bride picks up on it. These are really ready-to-wear looks."

— Frumpy, schmumpy: Unlike the wedding sites we've seen and hated that seem to think that brides over a certain age should basically wear raincoats and a veil, Nancy says that her sophisticated ladies "are not covering up. We don't attract that type of bride, because of who we carry. A bride with a figure problem would probably not come to us. Our samples are mostly 8s. If (the brides are) it's not a problem, But covering up is not an issue. (Editor's note: Some salons do carry larger samples. Leslie's dress was a sample size 16 that she got for less than half price at a sample sale at an upscale salon in Washington, D.C. But most samples are, yes, much smaller). Strapless is still number one, but if people are covering up, it's more for religious reasons than age. Most of our older brides are not, and that's good. We don't think she should have to."

— Knowing your own mind: "The confidence level is there for sure (with older brides). They know what they want, and what they don't want. They're a bride, so it's up for us to take over, We don't create the dresses, but we give them a good mix of possibilities. We start with the silhouette, maybe a more sophisticated lace. The variety is really out there, Of the last few brides, we had one who bought an Ulla-Maija that was one shoulder. This woman had a beautiful body. She wore a brooch with a feather with her hair in a chignon. She might wear a cover-up because of the weather, but it's going to be amazing."

— Unveiled: "(Older brides) chose more creative headpieces (rather than veils), but, again, they tend to be a more sophisticated bride who won't really be interested in a veil. Well, they might do a cocktail veil, or fishnet. But a lot of them wear something almost like hair jewelry. Certainly not a tiara. They're very out of style, and on an older bride, they look even more out of style (NOTE: Leslie briefly considered a tiara, until the notion pretty much got beaten out of her by people with more sense than her.)

— Second time around? Only the bride knows for sure: "In today's world, a lot of very young brides are second or even third-time brides. We never ask. Unless it comes up, we'd never know. We actually had, a couple of years ago, an older bride come with her first husband to help her pick her dress for her second wedding."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           — Short cuts: "We've sold a lot of short important dresses that could be used as second dresses (for later in the evening) or as a short dress for a second wedding, like Marchessa. (They are) short versions of a very exciting celebrity dress, that can go to less (formal) of a venue. Or they could be changing for the party that happens after the big wedding. The short dresses fills a lot of categories."

— The right connection: "Working with brides on the floor, until you kind of see that connection, that's the smile, (you know) she hasn't found the right one yet. I've done this for 30 years. It's a connection that gets through between herself and the dress that no one can really pinpoint...And it's very important that the consultant and the bride connect. Sometimes I make a switch (between consultants). Nine times out of ten that works. The people coming in with (the bride) are not going into the room with her. They're all staged on couches, while the bride is dressed with the consultant, as if it is the wedding and this is how people are going to see her. I say to them 'You're seeing her for the first time, just like the guests are.' That reaction is very important. And it should be 'Wow!'"

— Shopping without limits (your own or anyone else's): "They might come in thinking (about one specific type of dress), but what we see when they get here is that they start to have fun with it. We have even had the venues (of the weddings) change because (the bride) decides to buy a more exciting dress. They get more of a wedding dress, and have more of a wedding. We've seen that happen. The dress sets the tone."

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year, from the Brides at 35!

We're taking a brief break from all the celebrating to tell you our resolutions for this blog. Trust us, you'll like 'em:

— We resolve to keep telling the stories of brides over the age of 35, and showing all their pretty pictures, and getting their advice on how they did what they did, and how you can, too.

— We resolve to keep finding the best professionals, from the world of fashion, planning, floral, music and more, who can help you have that awesome day you deserve.

— We resolve to keep finding snarky things to say about the way brides over 35 are depicted in movies, TV and pop culture at large.

— We resolve to remain open to suggestion, sweet criticism and gifts of love and cash.

Here's to a happy 2011 full of pretty flowers, happy dances and the promise that neither love or weddings have an age limit.


Lynne and Leslie