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10 Tips for a Vintage-y Wedding From Ruffled Blog

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Courtesy of Ash Imagery

Trends come and go, but vintage is always in style. Blogger Amanda Nistor (ruffledblog.com) shares her secrets on how to turn back the clock for your big day.

1. THINK OUTSIDE THE MASON JAR. Instead, arrange your flowers in Depression-era glass containers (goblets, cups, ice cream bowls). For best effect, select glass in a range of pastels or in different shades of the same color. Turn the sturdier containers into candles by pouring in melted beeswax and adding a wick!

2. STROLL FLEA MARKETS. Look for silver-plated flatware to add eclectic charm to table settings. (Bonus: You'll be prepared for big dinner parties after the wedding!)

3. ADD SOME SPARKLE TO THE CEILING. Antique chandeliers with dangling crystals are the way to go for an ultraglam feel. Can't afford to buy? Rent some from a prop house.

4. USE PEN AND INK (or hire a calligrapher) to handwrite invitations or place cards. Tip: Soaking paper in a tub of diluted tea gives it an antique look.

5. PLANT A GARDENIA IN YOUR HAIR. Fun fact: During World War II, money was so tight that some brides skipped big bouquets in lieu of a single gardenia pinned to their wedding garb.

6. SWIPE ON SOME FIERY RED LIPSTICK, and add finger curls in your hair. You'll look just like an old-Hollywood starlet!

7. OPT FOR PLUMES RATHER THAN BLOOMS. Ostrich or peacock feathers are a great alternative to flowers.

8. GO ALL-WHITE WITH YOUR BOUQUET. Calla lilies, stephanotises, lilies of the valley—whether you pick a cascading bouquet, à la the 1920s, or a small '50s-style posy, nothing says "retro romance" quite like white-on-white.

9. LET YOUR FAMILY HISTORY GUIDE YOU. Try incorporating heirlooms by setting out old family wedding albums, framing love letters your grandparents wrote each other during wartime, or even displaying your mom's wedding dress on a vintage dress form.

10. PLAY WITH DIFFERENT TEXTURES. Wear a lacy wedding gown for your walk down the aisle, or incorporate antique linens and silk ribbons in your decor. For rustic, outdoorsy weddings, use burlap or oilcloth for table coverings. (They're budget-friendly, to boot!)

—Amanda Nistor, Ruffled for BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazineBrides Daily

Civil Wedding 101: How to Have a Nonreligious Ceremony

Not going to the chapel? Here's the scoop on nonreligious weddings.

WHY GO SECULAR?

Maybe you're not particularly religious and want a ceremony that avoids any mention of God. Perhaps the pomp and circumstance of a wedding in a house of worship don't suit you. Or it could be that you want to create an original ceremony with minimal restrictions.

WHO CAN OFFICIATE?

It varies from state to state. Log onto usmarriagelaws.com for specifics, then verify the info with your local city hall or county clerk's office. Ask recently married friends and wedding vendors for referrals, then meet face-to-face with candidates.

County Clerk
The upside: The ceremony is short and inexpensive, and requires no appointment. The downside: the no-frills vibe, office setting, and (often) long wait.

Judge
In most states, any judge—whether from district or supreme court—can solemnize a marriage.

Justice of the Peace
This officer can perform short ceremonies in her chambers during office hours but may be willing to travel to your venue.

Public Official
Some jurisdictions allow a current or former public official, such as a mayor or governor, to perform the duty.

Your Best Friend
A few states, like Vermont, California, and Massachusetts, will grant a one-day license allowing anyone to perform a wedding. This differs from having a pal go online and sign up to be, say, a Universal Life Church minister (ulc.net)—a union officiated by that person would be considered religious.

VALID VENUES

Many civil ceremonies take place in a city-hall office or judge's chambers, but if your officiant is willing to travel, you can exchange vows at your reception site, in your backyard, on a beach, or on top of a mountain—anything goes.

HAVE IT YOUR WAY

Part of the beauty of a civil ceremony is its flexibility. While it can be totally traditional, it can also include a circus theme, vows borrowed from Wedding Crashers, or waiters passing flavored vodka shots during the proceedings. To make it legal, all you must include is a line that says you are taking each other as spouses.

HOW TO JUDGE IF AN OFFICIANT IS RIGHT FOR YOU

1) Make appointments to meet a few officiants, to see whom you feel most comfortable with.

2) Ask each how long she's been officiating and whether she can provide a location (if relevant) or will travel.

3) Does she have a sample ceremony she likes to use? Talk to her about your ideas for customizing.

4) During the conversation, suss out if she's a good fit, personality- and viewpoint-wise.

5) Some officiants love to do weddings; others not so much. Take the time to find someone who cares.

—Barrie Gillies, BRIDES magazine

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White by Vera Wang Debuts at David's Bridal


  • Courtesy of Vera Wang

    As of February 11, the long wait is over. Engaged girls and bridal-industry folks have been champing at the bit for a glimpse of White by Vera Wang, the haute designer's brand-new collaboration with mass retailer David's Bridal. The line of wedding dresses features Vera's signature mix of ethereal princess with a little edge, but all at down-to-earth prices ranging from $600 to $1,400. If you're done dress-shopping, the line also features veils, horsehair bows, crystal headbands, and embellished sashes, ranging from $38 to $248.

    Merchandise will be available at David's Bridal stores nationwide. And keep your eyes peeled—we hear a bridesmaid collection is in store for spring.

    Here are some of our favorites from the collection:

    This V-neck ball gown with a fully draped skirt and tulle swirls is quintessentially Vera—minus the extravagant price tag.


  • Courtesy of Vera Wang

    The draped bodice on this soft net gown gives it an instant slimming effect—no gym required. The illusion of straps and the sweetheart neckline are especially flattering for busty gals.


  • Courtesy of Vera Wang

    This goddess-inspired Empire-waist halter dress is a little sweet and a little sexy, thanks to a delicate halter neckline and a floral corsage at the bust.


  • Courtesy of Vera Wang

    The contrast of this gown's sleek one-shoulder bodice and dramatic ruffled drop-waist skirt creates a completely irresistible combination.


  • Courtesy of Vera Wang

    This simple gown is all about the details—we love the textured, tucked bodice and the slightly gathered skirt, which just skims the hips. The unfussy slim silhouette makes it a perfect option for destination weddings.


  • Courtesy of Vera Wang

    If it's a hit of color you're after, this blush fit-and-flare gown with a bias-cut ruffle skirt is a standout without being shocking.


  • Courtesy of Vera Wang

    We love the mix of textures (lace appliqué and asymmetrical knife pleats) on this strapless fit-and-flare gown, which gives it a modern and unique look.


  • Courtesy of Vera Wang

    The chic V-neck bodice and the soft flutter sleeves make this fitted gown a sophisticated choice for brides looking for a fresh neckline.


  • Courtesy of Vera Wang

    This organza stunner is a classic ball-gown silhouette with a little something extra—the cutaway top layer of the tulle skirt reveals a cluster of floral corsages just peeking out from underneath.

    —Beth Swanson, BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazineBeautyBrides DailyBudget

Wedding on a Budget: How to Save Money on Hair and Makeup

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Photo by Bruce Soyez-Bernard/BRIDES

BRIDES magazine is here to help you get more bang for your hard-earned buck. Take a look at our list of five essential do's and don'ts for scheduling your hair and makeup for your wedding day.


DON'T shell out big bucks for a hair accessory you'll wear just once. If you've admired a headpiece or hair accent worn by a friend, ask if she'll lend it to you.

DO stop by a few different department-store makeup counters before the wedding. Schedule a time with a makeup artist whose style you like, and buy only what you love.

DON'T hire a stylist to make a house call—it costs a lot less to go to the salon yourself.

DO ask a talented friend to do your hair and/or makeup, especially if you're low-maintenance. Make sure she understands your wedding-day vision, and have a trial run a few weeks ahead.

DON'T feel obligated to pay to have your stylist take care of your attendants' hair and makeup. The exception: Mom.


BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazineBrides Daily

4 Questions With Christian Louboutin

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Courtesy of Fairchild Archive

The Parisian footwear designer talks haute heels and pop songs.

Q: What should a bride consider when shopping for shoes?
A: Comfort and dancing—the style she buys has to connect both. The ideal shoe will have ankle support and a heel she can manage, and look fashionable.

Q: Can women really dance in your shoes?
A: I've designed shoes for many professional dancers, so I always have comfort in mind. I want a bride to be able to dance all night at her wedding!

Q: Will the trend of nonwhite wedding shoes continue?
A: Perhaps. It comes from a Cinderella syndrome and the idea that the shoe should pop. Personally, I love a light palette—ivory, pale pink—for bridal shoes.

Q: Is Jennifer Lopez's "Louboutins" on your iPod?
A: Of course. I like that the song is about a woman taking back her liberty and my shoes are attached to her freedom. It's very flattering.

BRIDES magazine

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All You Need to Know About Wedding Tipping

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Andrew McCaul/BRIDES


What vendors are you supposed to tip? How much? And how, exactly, do you hand off the cash without feeling like a mobster? BRIDES magazine brings you a guide on whom to tip, how much, and when.

OFFICIANT: $75 to $100 for a clergy member. (It's a donation to the house of worship.) A civil employee, such as a judge or clerk, often can't accept a tip. The best man offers the tip after the ceremony.

CEREMONY MUSICIANS: $20 to $25 each, unless tips are included in a house of worship's rental fee. The best man offers the tips after the ceremony.

ALTAR BOYS AND GIRLS: $5 to $10 each. The best man offers the tips to the kids after the ceremony.

DELIVERY PEOPLE (flowers, rentals, cake): $5 to $25 each, depending on the time and toil. Whoever (Mom, planner) is supervising wedding-day deliveries offers the tips on the spot.

COAT-CHECK AND RESTROOM ATTENDANTS: $0.50 to $1 per guest. Post a sign that gratuities have been taken care of. The host (i.e., you or your parents) pays in advance, based on the number of guests.

VALETS OR PARKING ATTENDANT: $1 per car. Post a sign telling guests that gratuities have been taken care of. The host pays in advance, based on the number of guests.

HOTEL WEDDING COORDINATOR: $200 to $400. The host offers the tip at the reception's end.

WAITSTAFF: 15 to 20 percent of the total catering bill, to be split among the waiters, if a gratuity is not included in the contract. The host offers the tip at the reception's end.

BARTENDERS: 10 percent of the total liquor bill, to be split among the bar staff, if a gratuity is not included in the contract. The host offers the tip at the reception's end.

DJ OR BAND: $50 to $100 for a DJ, or $20 to $25 for each band member, if they work for an agency; no tip if they're self-employed. The host offers the tip at the reception's end.

PHOTOGRAPHER AND VIDEOGRAPHER: $50 to $100, if they're working for a studio; no tip if they're self-employed. The host offers the tip at the reception's end.

INDEPENDENT WEDDING PLANNER: None expected. But if your planner went out of her way, you can thank her with cash ($100 to $1,000, depending on your budget) or a gift, sent after the wedding.

LIMO OR BUS DRIVER:15 to 20 percent of the total bill, if a gratuity is not included in the contract. The host offers the tip after the final drop-off.

HAIRSTYLISTS AND MAKEUP ARTISTS: 15 to 20 percent of the total bill, if you go to a salon; at your discretion if they come to you.

—Barrie Gillies, BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazineBrides DailyFitness

Get In Shape for Your Wedding

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    Photograph by: Alex Beauchesne/BRIDES

    You've found the perfect gown—now get the body to rock it. Our wedding-dress workout, designed by New York trainer Shaun Zetlin, will help you target the parts your frock will be flaunting. Bring it on.

    FOR AMAZING ABS: SIDE PLANK Lie on your left side, with your legs and feet stacked; your knees, hips, and shoulders should be in alignment. Prop yourself up with your left arm while keeping your shoulders, neck, and spine relaxed. (Your abs should be tight.) Push upward with your hips and glutes. Hold for 30 seconds, then return to the start position. Do two repetitions on each side.

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    Photograph by: Alex Beauchesne/BRIDES

    FOR AMAZING ABS: TABLE CRUNCH WITH BALL Lie with your back neutral (not arched). Your feet should be in the air, your legs bent, your hands holding a four-pound medicine ball above your head, your elbows slightly bent. Use your abs to come up into a crunch position; avoid relying on momentum from your arms. Return to the start position. Do two sets of 15 reps.

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    Photograph by: Alex Beauchesne/BRIDES

    FOR A BEAUTIFUL BACK: ZOTTMAN ROW Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees, and angle your torso forward from your waist. Holding five-pound weights (palms down), extend your arms forward. Rotate your palms up as you bring your hands to your hips. Tuck your elbows, and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Return to the start position. Do two sets of 15 reps.

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    Photograph by: Alex Beauchesne/BRIDES

    FOR A BEAUTIFUL BACK: SCAPTION Holding five-pound weights with your palms facing in and your hips aligned, bend one knee so the foot is three inches above the ground. Extend your arms forward into a V shape. (Don't raise them above the shoulder.) Return to the start position; repeat with the other knee. Do two sets of 12 reps.

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    Photograph by: Alex Beauchesne/BRIDES

    FOR AWESOME ARMS: OVERHEAD TRICEP EXTENSION Stand with your knees slightly bent and your right foot on one end of a resistance band. Holding the other end with your right hand, bend your elbow, creating an angle. Keeping your shoulders down, straighten your right arm until it's almost fully locked. Return to the start position. Do four sets of 12 reps on each side.

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    Photograph by: Alex Beauchesne/BRIDES

    FOR AWESOME ARMS: ARCHER PRESS With your feet shoulder-width apart, hold five-pound weights with your elbows bent and your palms in. Take a step forward with your right foot while slowly extending diagonally upward with your left hand. Alternate hands and feet. Do two sets of 12 reps.

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    Photograph by: Alex Beauchesne/BRIDES

    FOR SMOKIN'-HOT HIPS: PRONE BACK KICKBACK Resting on your elbows in a plank position, round your back slightly and bring your right knee close to your chest. With your left leg completely straight, your butt down, and your shoulders relaxed, extend the tucked leg up, keeping your glutes tight and your back flat. Return to the start position. Do two sets of 15 reps on each side.

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    Photograph by: Alex Beauchesne/BRIDES

    FOR SMOKIN'-HOT HIPS: ONE-LEGGED BRIDGE WITH OVERHEAD PRESS Lie with your back slightly arched, holding a four-pound medicine ball an inch above your chest. Bend your right leg, and lift your left leg three inches. Raise your lower body three inches, using your glutes, as you extend your arms up. Return to the start position. Do two sets of 12 reps.


    —Marina Khidekel, BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazineBrides DailyBridesmaid

The Guilty Girl's Guide to Choosing Bridesmaids

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Illustration by Edwin Fotheringham/BRIDES



Picking your bridal party can stir up more emotion than picking a groom. But don't worry—BRIDES magazine has got your back. Here are six common guilt-inducing scenarios and what to do about them:


DO YOU HAVE TO ASK... a friend whose wedding you were in two years ago, even though you don't hang out anymore? You can't shake feeling like you "owe her."

WHAT'S A GIRL TO DO? No need to sweat it—there's no quid-pro-quo contract you have to fulfill. Relationships change, and chances are she'd feel uncomfortable anyway.


DO YOU HAVE TO ASK... your superclose bud who's due to give birth two weeks before your wedding?

WHAT'S A GIRL TO DO? You should ask her, but also reassure her that you'll understand if she can't come to all or part of the wedding. You don't want to make her feel guilty if she's got to leave early or bow out of walking down the aisle.


DO YOU HAVE TO ASK... your fiance's sister, whom you've only met a couple of times?

WHAT'S A GIRL TO DO? If your man had three sisters, you could probably skip asking them, but since there's only one, you really should include her. After all, this is one relationship that isn't going anywhere—call the move an investment in holiday harmony for decades to come.


DO YOU HAVE TO ASK... all four of your Thursday-girls'-night buddies, when you're tight with only two of them?

WHAT'S A GIRL TO DO? You don't need to ask all of them, but use tact and make a point of limiting any bridesmaid-related chitchat when you're all out together.


DO YOU HAVE TO ASK... your best guy friend? You're afraid he's going to look like an idiot holding your bouquet.

WHAT'S A GIRL TO DO? Go for it! Nowadays it's perfectly okay to have girls on the groom's side and guys on the bride's. Call him an "honor attendant," have him dress like the groomsmen, and let him participate in as much of the pre-wedding stuff as he's comfortable with. Unless he's the GOH (guy of honor), he doesn't have to go anywhere near your bouquet. And if the girls decide on a group gift from Thongs R Us, all he has to contribute is his share of cash.


DO YOU HAVE TO ASK... your best bud from high school, who's turned into a crazy party girl? You're worried she'll jump the bartender and turn into a walking bridesmaid cliche.

WHAT'S A GIRL TO DO? As long as she doesn't spend most Friday nights in county lockup, go ahead and include her. Just give the bar staff a heads-up.


—Lexi Dwyer, BRIDES magazine

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5 Royal Honeymoons

One thing's for certain: We know where Prince William and Kate Middleton will be on April 29, 2011. (London's Westminster Abbey, saying "I do," for anyone living under a rug.) But what about their whereabouts on April 30? Ah, honeymoon time: The pair's past vacations have been a mix of glamour and adventure (the Seychelles, Kenya), beach and mountain (Mustique, the French Alps)—so where will they jet for their first married getaway? We've picked five romantic retreats where they're bound to get the royal treatment.


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Photo by Klaus Lorke/Courtesy of Laucala

Laucala Island, Fiji
The newlyweds will have their pick of 25 palatial villas on this uber-exclusive South Pacific isle that was once owned by the Forbes family. Sure, the price tag's hefty at $3,800 per night, but guess what? Everything—and that means spa treatments, unlimited golf if you're feeling game, and a bottle of champagne every hour on the hour by a blue lagoon--is included. And the privacy? Priceless. Doubles from $3,800 (year-round), all-inclusive; laucala.com.


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Courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition

Necker Island, the British Virgin Islands
Will and Kate heart celeb-studded Mustique, but Necker should be their next choice for a Caribbean getaway. This 74-acre slice of paradise belongs to fellow Brit Sir Richard Branson, who rents it out for exclusive use to the rich and famous at $53,000 a day. So what comes with it? A main house, six Balinese-inspired villas, a spa, a staff at the ready, boats aplenty, and golf carts to get around in. And if that's not enough, you can rent out Necker's submarine; neckerisland.virgin.com.

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Courtesy of andBeyond

&Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, Tanzania
William's proposal spot, Mount Kenya, is pretty tough to top, but we think Kate would also fall for another stunning African setting: Ngorongoro Crater, home to one of the world's highest concentrations of game (think lions, elephants, black rhinos). By day they'd safari; by night they'd retreat to their posh suite at the &Beyond Lodge, with its mix of Victorian and African furnishings (claw-foot tubs, beaded chandeliers). Better yet for the charity-minded couple, proceeds from their stay would help support a local school and wildlife research. Doubles from $1,370 (low season) and $3,000 (high seasons), all-inclusive; andbeyondafrica.com.


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Photo by Genivs Loci/Courtesy of Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge

Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, Peru
William and Kate love a good romp in the great outdoors (skiing in France, pheasant hunting in the English countryside), so why not get adventurous by hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu? The couple can then bunk up at the luxe Sanctuary Lodge; it's adjacent to the ancient citadel—which means more time in bed before that early-a.m. tour. Doubles from $1,022 (year-round), all-inclusive; sanctuarylodgehotel.com.


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Courtesy of Amanresorts

Amanjena, Marrakech, Morocco
Fashion plate Kate would just say yes to Marrakech, a veritable treasure trove of boutiques offering richly colored sandals, scarves, jewelry—you name it. And naturally, the two would stay at Amanjena, where the SATC2 ladies filmed their flick. Top shops could even cart their wares to Kate at the resort--souvenir-shopping by the pool sounds absolutely fabulous to us. Doubles from $1,050 (year-round); amanresorts.com.


—Jacqui Gifford/BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazineBeautyBrides DailyFashionFoodPhotography

10 Wedding-Day Secrets From Industry Experts

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Bruce Soyez-Bernard/BRIDES


BRIDES magazine has rounded up some of our favorite wedding pros and asked them to give our readers their best pointers for the party of a lifetime.

1. To diffuse any makeup stains, blot your dress with white talcum.
Francesca Pitera, Jim Hjelm

2. Bring two pairs of shoes: one for the ceremony, the other to put in the reception site's freezer. When your feet start hurting, slip on the second pair to feel instantly refreshed--trust me!
Nancy Williams, Carolina Herrera

3. On the day of the wedding, apply a skin primer to make sure your makeup stays on all day long.
Trish McEvoy

4. To look instantly refreshed, use an eye cream with caffeine to minimize dark circles.
Dr. Fredric Brandt, Dr. Brandt Skincare

5. To make the most of your cake budget, order a small, custom tiered cake and supplement it with decorated sheet cakes that can be plated behind closed doors.
Ellen Baumwoll, Bijoux Doux Specialty Cakes

6. Make a list of guests' names, assign each a number, then write the corresponding number on the back of each reply card. Guests often forget to put their names on their cards.
Melinda Morris, Lion in the Sun

7. Try to have at least a few photographs shot at sunset, when the light is perfect. That is often the time when I take the most beautiful and intimate images of the day.
Lisa Lefkowitz, Lisa Lefkowitz Fine Arts Photography

8. Wear diamond bracelets or statement cuffs to bring attention to your left hand, which is where everyone is looking.
Paul Tacorian, Tacori

9. Ask one of your bridesmaids to carry travel-size hairspray for you. It will come in handy for touch-ups (even for the groom), especially if you're taking outdoor photographs on a windy day.
Frederic Fekkai

10. If things don't go exactly as planned, go with the flow—if you relax, your guests will, too.
Alison Hotchkiss, Alison Events

BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazineBrides DailyMan on the Street

Man on the Street: Plastic Surgery

Q: What would you think if your fiancée wanted to have plastic surgery for your wedding?

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Photo by Luigi Menduni/BRIDES

"I wouldn't like it. God made your body the way it is, and it shouldn't be changed!"
—AARON M., 20

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Photo by Luigi Menduni/BRIDES

"If she was that uncomfortable and we had the money, I wouldn't mind."
—MATTHEW B., 30

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Photo by Luigi Menduni/BRIDES

"I'd tell her no. I asked her to marry me as she is. I don't want to marry another person."
—GILL F., 20

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Photo by Luigi Menduni/BRIDES

"I would not be okay with it. Thirty years down the road, it's going to look gross."
—TYLER C., 23

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Photo by Luigi Menduni/BRIDES

"I'd hope she wouldn't, but ultimately it's her decision."
—MEL B., 21

BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazineBrides DailyGuest Blogger

10 Secrets He'll Never Tell You


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Illustration by Greg Clarke/BRIDES


One groom tells BRIDES the top 10 secrets he'll never tell—at least not until after the wedding.

1) He wants to register for one item on his own, even if he never uses it.
2) He cares about the music so much, he'll pay the DJ a bonus to not play "Celebration."
3) He has inexplicably developed a sixth sense: When the phone rings, he knows it's your mom. He'll start answering the phone again after the wedding.
4) He worries he won't look half as good in his tux as the little man on the cake does.
5) He liked taking dance lessons but wishes they'd included the funky chicken.
6) He will be nervous about his hair and may reach for the mousse. Don't let him.
7) He wants you to take his name, no matter what he says. Unless your name is Springsteen, in which case he'll take yours.
8) He never wants to know which friend gave which gift at your lingerie shower.
9) He doesn't want to write his own vows. He really likes the ones in the book.
10) He's as excited about the wedding as you are. Seriously.

—Mark Bazer, BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazineBrides DailyBudgetFlowers

Wedding on a Budget: How to Save Money on the Flowers & Decoration

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Photo by Tara Donne/BRIDES

BRIDES magazine is here to help you get more bang for your hard-earned buck. Take a look at our list of seven essential do's and don'ts for considering flowers and decorations for your wedding day.

DO reuse the bridesmaid's bouquets at the reception—they can be slipped into vases to decorate the escort-card table and the entrance.

DON'T limit yourself to classic floral arrangements for the centerpieces. A glass bowl filled with water, rose petals, and floating candles is a luminous, low-cost alternative.

DO take advantage of seasonal sales to buy items like candles.

DON'T order out-of-season flowers that need to be flown in, since that will most likely incur big shipping costs.

DO weave herbs and branches into arrangements—you'll need fewer flowers that way.

DON'T spend money decorating reception areas that won't be heavily trafficked, such as staircases and hallways. Put your money where guests will see it: the entrance, the dining tables, and the bar.

DO use masses of candles bought in bulk.

—BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazineBrides Daily

What Your Wedding Dreams Really Mean

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Illustration by Edwin Fotheringham/BRIDES

Bizarre wedding dreams are almost universal among engaged women. BRIDES magazine got experts to decipher the most common scenarios and symbols.

Scenario #1: You're naked at the altar.

A dream that you're in the buff or wearing something embarrassing may indicate that you're nervous about being the center of attention. It can also mean that you're still coming to terms with the changes marriage will bring. "This dream is typical of someone who's embarking on an enormous change," says Gillian Holloway, Ph.D., a psychologist and author of The Complete Dream Book of Love and Relationships. "It can reflect that you're feeling vulnerable." If your dream-self isn't embarrassed about being naked, though, relax. This can mean you're at peace with both the attention and the upcoming life changes.

Scenario #2: You're missing something.

When a bride dreams that something critical is absent at the wedding, it often means that something's missing in her life, says Robert Waggoner, president of the International Association for the Study of Dreams. Ask yourself, "What does that thing that's missing in the dream symbolize?" If the musicians don't show up, for example, and music is a major source of happiness for you, the dream may be trying to tell you that your hectic schedule has cost you some joy. If your fiance is MIA in the dream, it may be a sign that you need to spend more time together.

Scenario #3: You're marrying the wrong guy.

This can be a particularly upsetting dream, but—breathe a sigh of relief—it almost never means you think you're marrying the wrong person. "Whether you're marrying your fiance's best friend or Simon Cowell, I wouldn't read too much into this one," says Holloway. "It's likely your brain's way of coming to terms with the whole gamble of marriage."

Scenario #4: You're late!

Nightmares in which the wedding date has changed and no one shows up, or you're rushing to make it to the church on time, are "pretty straightforward anxiety dreams," says Waggoner. Since they symbolize that you're feeling overwhelmed by details, take them as a reminder to delegate some chores to others and to set aside time to relax.

Decoding the Symbols

Not every wedding dream involves a walk down the aisle. Here are some symbols that you may see while you sleep, along with common interpretations, from I Had the Strangest Dream, by Kelly Sullivan Walden. To determine what a particular image in your dream probably represents, think about the emotions and associations it brings up for you personally.

Hills, mountains = struggles and challenges
Ring = permanence, partnership, and unity
Teeth falling out = insecurity and powerlessness
Cake = reward for your hard work and accomplishments
Long hair = an increase in personal power
Short hair = fear of losing your power
Falling = loss of control and confidence
Father = support, protection, and heroism (or lack thereof)
Mother = unconditional love (or lack thereof)
Water = healing, cleansing, and sexuality
Aisle = order and a need for symmetry
Flying = freedom and joy

—Miranda Crowell, BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazineBeautyBrides Daily

Easy Skin Type Self-Analysis

BRIDES_skin_type_250.jpg

Photo by: Gail Hadani/BRIDES

New York dermatologist Macrene Alexiades explains how to determine your skin type—once and for all—so you know how to get the right products for your face.

DRY Your face feels dry to the touch, and when you blot, no oil comes off on the paper. Other indicators: Your skin becomes parched after washing, and you observe tiny flakes if you skip moisturizing.

OILY If your skin is moist after washing, feels supple even without moisturizer, and gets shinier as the day progresses, chances are it's oily. When you blot with paper, you may even see the oil.

COMBINATION The outer parts of your face are dry, but throughout the day the T-zone—your forehead, nose, and chin—gets oily.

SENSITIVE Your face may flush easily or get irritated from triggers like heat, hot water, sun, wind, alcohol, spicy food, and skin-care products containing acids or retinols.

—Lexi Dwyer, BRIDES magazine

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