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A Washingtonian Wedding

A Washingtonian Wedding: Let the Countdown Begin

As the big day draws closer, Emily takes aim at the wedding programs and playlist.

By Emily Bratcher

Happy summer! It’s the hottest season’s official start, though it’s been sweltering in DC for several weeks now.

June 20 also places the countdown at 71 days (until we’re hitched). To ensure that our big day goes off without a hitch, we have a bunch to tick off the to-do list, but it’s fun stuff: finalizing the reception’s playlist, choosing the ceremony’s Scripture verses, bachelor and bachelorette parties, dress fittings! Thankfully, God has totally blessed this time with anticipation and joy—and very few freak-outs—so we’re just excited, hence all the exclamation marks popping up everywhere!

In these next ten blog posts leading up to our big day, I’ll give you the rundown of what’s left on the list.

Our do-it-yourself invitations are out, and RSVPs have started rolling in, which got me thinking about the other print project we plan on doing ourselves: the program. In order to make the program, we have to know the ceremony’s order of events. And without a wedding coordinator, we have to also plan that from scratch: processional, vows, exchange of rings, songs, etc.

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The Slice

The Slice: Serving You Today's Wedding News

Start your morning with The Slice, a daily feature bringing you up-to-the-minute gossip, news, and buzz on all things wedding around the world.

By Lynne Shallcross

Being left at the altar didn't stop these women. One used her new-found infamy as a jilted bride to launch a career as an entertainment show host.

If you agree with our Reluctant Groomzilla that the best invitation is one delivered via e-mail, here are a few new reasons to love Evite even more. [via perfect memories wedding blog]

Honeymoon how-to's: book your plane tickets in your maiden name, take a second look at Switzerland, and stick to your budget.

If you throw a theme party, you really can wear that dress again.

"Kind of" engaged. That must be like "kind of" pregnant?


Have bridal news to share? E-mail lshallcross@washingtonian.com.


Where & When

Where & When Bridal: What to Do This Weekend

Let them eat cake! And shop a trunk show, get their hair done, and take photos, too.

By Lynne Shallcross

Thursday, June 19: Trunk Show at Riziks
Is your mom on the hunt for the perfect dress for your wedding? Plan a girls’ outing to Rizik’s (1100 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-223-4050) to check out the Lourdes Chavez fall collection. Shop the entire collection of special-occasion wear, which is at the store today and tomorrow. Appointments are recommended but not required.

Friday, June 20: Take a Look—and Get Made Up
If wedding-dress shopping is on your to-do list, you might want to consider Best Bridal and Tailoring (4300 Chantilly Shopping Center, Unit 1Q, Chantilly; 703-378-3222). If you do some browsing tomorrow, you’ll be rewarded with a complimentary hair-style and make-up consultation. When you’re worn out from shopping, someone will play with your hair and do your make-up for free! Sounds good to us. Appointments are recommended but not required. Free; 12 to 5.

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Live Chat

Bridal Party Chat: Ask a Planner

Wedding planner Jen Stiebel takes your questions about everything from engagement etiquette to cutting the cake.

By Lynne Shallcross

Jen Stiebel's event-planning career took off at the tender age of 5, when she hosted a tea party, complete with invitations, centerpieces, and menus. Stiebel grew up, got a degree from the University of Maryland, and started Rockville-based SoCo Events in 2006. SoCo aims to create "trenditional" weddings, fusing current trends with traditional elements. Jen confesses she wishes she could plan her wedding all over again every year (marrying the same husband, of course). Who better to answer your questions than a real-life wedding addict?

Submit your questions now, and Jen will tackle them on Thursday from 11 to noon.

Trend Alert

Trend Alert: What's Your Type?

Looking for a unique way to thank your groomsmen? Check out typewriter-key cuff links.

By Lynne Shallcross
Personalized with a groomsman's initials, these cuff links make the perfect thank-you gift.
When I was searching for Christmas present ideas for my boyfriend this past winter, a coworker suggested a gift that he’d gotten from his own girlfriend for a past holiday: cuff links made from typewriter keys—one for each of his initials—from What’s Your Type? An unusual take on a staple in many men’s wardrobes, I thought, and it was a hit with my boyfriend. While I realize no one’s holiday shopping right now, here’s an idea for any grooms out there searching for a way to thank their groomsmen—or for any bride looking for a little way to say “I love you” to the groom-to-be.

Rachel Hannah started What’s Your Type? in 1995, armed with an artistic background and a passion for words. When she met her now-husband, Kerry Loeb, five years ago, he added a marketing background to the company they now run together. They buy old typewriters, then clean and refurbish the keys and turn them into jewelry—from cuff links to bracelets to necklaces. A groom from New York told Rachel and Kerry the cuff links he bought for his groomsmen were a hit: “They are great! Thank you so much for all of your help, and for making this process so painless for me. I wish every aspect of our wedding was this easy!”
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Trend Alert

Trend Alert: Sketch It Out

Have a caricature artist draw you a unique bridesmaid’s or groomsman’s gift.

By Marissa Conrad A coworker's brother will give this to all nine of his groomsmen. When I was about eight years old, I posed for a caricature on the streets of a northern-Wisconsin theme park. The artist emphasized the way one of my eyes squints a little more than the other when I smile, and, wounded, I swore off caricatures forever. Or until yesterday, when a coworker walked into my office waving around a sketch of a bride, a groom, and nine guys with cartoon bodies and oversize heads. Her brother, Brad, had gotten it drawn to reprint and give as groomsmen’s gifts. Keep Reading ...


The Gift of . . . Doing Something

From a flight in a glider plane to a food tour of Washington, the best shower gift may be one you can't wrap.

By Marissa Conrad This balloon will give your pal a wild ride. Image courtesy of Excitations. Last night, while chatting with a woman at the Sweet Charity sugar-and-chocolate fashion show, we hit the topic of bridal-shower gifts. “It’s impossible!” she exclaimed, telling the story of her most creative gift giving: having everyone buy a bottle of wine so the bride and groom could start their own cellar.

If you’re stumped about what to bring to your next shower, check out three other won’t-get-pushed-to-the-back-of-the-closet gifts. Keep Reading ...


Made of Honor: The Best Bridesman

Can you learn from Patrick Dempsey?

By Marissa Conrad Because I know I love movies the critics see as vapid fluff, I took my friend Troy (who was way more excited to see Iron Man the next night) with me to catch the latest feel-good wedding flick: Made of Honor with Patrick Dempsey. Troy wasn’t impressed—but I loved watching Tom (Dempsey) break all norms and play the part of best bridesman for his best friend Hannah (Michelle Monaghan).

Tom nailed his role by watching an instructional videotape narrated by a leggy blonde. Corny—but after that he was (besides the whole trying-to-break-up-the-wedding thing) a pretty stellar maid of honor. His top three acts of MOH-ness:
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A Washingtonian Wedding: Our VIPs

Being a bridesmaid is fun—but it's also a big commitment.

By Emily Bratcher It feels like you’re asking a lot when you ask a friend to be in your bridal party.

She has to buy a dress that she might not wear again, like Katherine Heigl in 27 Dresses; she has to block off a weekend and probably take one or more days off of work; and she has to make travel plans, which, with gas prices rising, can be pretty expensive.
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Fashion Friday: Tuxedo Help

Friday afternoon—there’s no better time to read about fashion.

By Marissa Conrad
Pink? Really? Find out with MW Tux's color coordinator.

Attention, grooms: While your fiancées are busy experimenting with Steve Madden’s design-a-shoe tool, you can do a little e-planning of your own. MW Tux, the formalwear division of Men’s Wearhouse, has an online tuxedo color coordinator that takes your wedding’s color scheme and spits out a selection of complementary vest and tie shades.

Select the color block on the screen that’s the closest fit to your bridesmaid dresses, and the what-your-groomsmen-should-wear suggestion will appear on the bottom in swatch form and on the right as the actual vest. Even if you’re not using Men’s Wearhouse for the big day, it’s a good way to brainstorm color options. Teal with light blue? Who knew?





Bridal Party wants to know: Do you think groomsmen and bridesmaids should match exactly, or wear complementary shades? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

To read the latest Bridal Party blog posts, click here.


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