A summer, timeless bride

On my latest trip home to the in-laws in Lancaster, PA, I had the opportunity to travel back in time as a 1920’s bride.

My journey began just beside the horse and carriages of the Amish country.

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helping me in, like a true gentlemen.

JB’s maternal grandmother surprised us with a romantic ride alongside rolling hills. I was swept off my feet and shuttled with my groom as if we had just exchanged vows. Despite my tee shirt, sneakers and messy hair, I felt the breeze and royalty of a 1920’s bride. We made a mock getaway in a “just married” all original Model T. Our speed was slow, our kisses sweet and our engine just bearable. I cherished the characteristics of the car such as the wooden floorboards and its antique, fragile structure- a crank to start.

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just like this Model T– marriage takes work!

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always, always kiss the bride!

A few hours later, I was surprised yet again by another family treasure. JB’s sweet Aunt Jane handed me a copy of The Bride’s Magazine from 1945 that belonged to her mother and was read in the summer months leading up to her big day. As a writer and a bride this gift is incredibly precious and educational. On a more sentimental note, the bride behind this magazine reminds me that I am following 68-years of marriage and sacred love. Like JB’s Mommom, I am a true summer bride.

At first glance, the magazine reads as a distant, pretty feature of the past. Weddings have certainly changed. For example, a beautiful, ruffled dress at Saks Fifth Avenue sold for approximately $250.00. Although a similar, conservative style most likely exists in the bridal department at Saks, I know the price tag comes with additional zeros.

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pages 80-81.

Price aside, the value of this magazine remains intact. As I carefully flipped through the sturdy pages of this treasure, I noticed that many of the articles address me, a June bride. Every year, before and well after 1945, summer brides take a leap of love down the aisle.

I was particularly excited about one article in the issue titled, “To you Bride of summer 1945.” Three paragraphs in, George Platt Lynes writes,

“To you —the girl who’s lost her heart but still has a head for romance… and uses it charmingly with one of the engagingly new bridal headdresses, like the ones sketched below, that outstanding American milliners are creating especially for you. None of them are bridal headdresses in the conventional sense of the word…but tempting, delicious little hats that after the wedding you’ll wear happily again minus the veil.”

Despite my quick judgments of brides from this era, I found the author’s writing edgy, flavorful and fashion forward. Apparently, women in 1945 considered headdresses that transitioned from a summer wedding to a summer soiree- “just pleasantly peasant enough to look delicious at a summer wedding, and after the wedding… pouff! it becomes a baby straw bonnet to work wonders atop a dark town sheer.”

Who would have thought that Mommom, a 1945 summer bride might recycle her wedding headdress for a night out in town?

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pages 78-79.

As much as this issue pushed barriers and pressed buttons, the conversation regarding headdresses and lingerie advertisements did not mask the domestic perception of brides. I’m glad summer brides of 2015 are encouraged to venture well beyond the kitchen.

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I suppose our current Bridal magazines still include recipes. Page 109.

I wish I could take that Model T, hop on a time traveling highway and head back to 1945. With that said, based my cooking skills, or lack thereof, I would have been a single gal. Nonetheless, I imagine a blonde, sans apron, Sarah blogging from a completely different perspective. I would incorporate poetry, fashion and wisdom from each and every decade in between Mommom’s and mine. I would mimic the charisma and charm of this 1945 bridal magazine, which promises a rosy future for all summer brides.

~Dedications~

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Thank you Grandma Yost for an unforgettable ride.

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Thank you Aunt Jane for taking me back in time to meet bridal writers, editors and elegant summer brides.

Thank you Mommom for sharing a beautiful bridal treasure. I will be thinking of you this weekend, on the warm summer night of June 20th.

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Married in a Month!

When reading my monthly bridal magazines, I immediately flip to the timelines. It is on these particular pages where editors advise brides based on the number of months and weeks before the wedding arrives. Six weeks before the big day, Brides Magazine suggests:

  • Confirming delivery of bridesmaids’ dresses
  • Applying for a marriage license
  • Printing the programs, menus, et cetera.

June/July 2015 issue

Instead of discussing outstanding tasks on my one-month countdown, I have decided to take a different approach. Hopefully my advice will help future brides as they inch closer to the daunting four-week mark.

Here are some thoughts that I have gathered along the way. I discussed these with my mom, a few days ago, after leaving my very last dress fitting. Although I’m not one to dwell on the past, it was interesting to note what we would have done differently had we only known.

If I could start all over (please, no) I would…

Tell a tiny bridal lie about my wedding date.

(A white lie seems most fitting for the bride.)

An extra month can go a very long way. For example, if you’re wedding is set for June 20th, tell vendors it is sometime in May. When alterations are involved, it’s better to have too much time than just enough to sew the very last seam. Some brides are golden with just two fittings, while others require four. In certain cases, like mine, veils need to be special ordered.

Ultimately, the potential for multiple alterations is too great to risk the rush. If a bride happens to finish her fittings one month early, she has an extra four weeks to admire her dress. Lucky me!

Proofread everything one too many times. 

As I writer, I never imagined that I would catch multiple errors on our simple wedding program. For example, since my groom’s name is John, I had not considered the alternate spelling of the very same name, for a very different Jon, both in personality and punctuation. Also, since our program represents an interfaith marriage, many traditions are written phonetically. I recommend that two sets of eyes aside from those of the bride and groom proofread all wedding materials such as programs, welcome notes and names of guests.

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Catching last minute errors with excitement- perfection is possible!

Send Save the Dates.

Way back when, as a naïve newly engaged gal, I decided to skip save the dates all together. I figured filling in close family and friends on the exact date would suffice. Unfortunately, even the most important people don’t always remember things one year in advance. People appreciate the comforts of a tangible date. I recommend sending guests a playful magnetic reminder to decorate their fridge. I would choose something simple that sticks!

Last but not least, always listen to your wedding planner!

Whether you have the fabulous Posh Petal and Pearls team planning your wedding, or possibly your very own mother, listen up! Although the bride and groom are the stars of the show, the wedding planner sits on the highest pedestal. They provide the brains behind the wedding, while the bride provides her very best smile.

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My personal, beautiful wedding planner.

Whether brides have ten months or one month left, wedding planners get the job done!

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“I Do” at Downton, anyone?

Brides Magazine frequently shares a few special details from completely over the top weddings.

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Brides will be one of my favorite magazines long after my wedding. #1weddingmagazine

At the conclusion of the April/May issue, Brides explores the extravagant union of two New Yorkers who chose a destination wedding at the Hampshire estate. The venue is more commonly known as the grounds of Downtown Abbey. Certain elements of this feature wedding seem far-fetched to most readers like myself. Truthfully, this article lost me at castle, not to mention the stunning cover page, which introduced the happy couple.

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I can only imagine what their wedding album looks like!

Below are the few tips I was able to extrapolate from a real fairytale wedding. Let’s see how these might apply to fellow posh brides-to-be:

Fall in love with one designer.

Lacey Booth, the beautiful bride, committed to one designer from head to toe. The chosen legend was, of course, Alexander McQueen (fitting for a princess bride, not unlike Kate Middleton, who also wore McQueen for her royal affair).

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These runway heels match Lacey’s dress and the character of the venue.

Here’s my favorite detail: Lacey had initially fallen in love with her dress in black. The gown was later custom ordered in white with the same-jeweled turtleneck. I love that Lacey’s dress was not traditionally bridal, but rather converted to fit the affair. I wonder what the media might have commented if the bride was inspired to wear the gown in black, as originally designed?

Regardless of the color, not many brides can wear full-length sleeves with such elegance. Quick flashback to my episode of Say Yes to the Dress: when I slipped on gowns with three-quarter sleeves I felt overwhelmed by the amount of material. There was simply too much dress. Lacey, on the other hand, was truly styled to be married in a castle.

Compliment the venue.

After finishing the short, yet detailed recap, I had a hard time remaining convinced that the couple was actually from New York. Every aspect of the wedding (as much as I could see) appeared true to the charm of English royalty. My favorite detail was the way in which the newly married Mr. and Mrs. Chaus played with the elaborate decor of the castle. The white flowers were placed at the perfect angles, allowing the soft petals to compliment, rather than conflict with the elegant art. Nothing brought in by the florist and wedding planner dared to compete with the antique beauty of the castle.

At the end of the evening, as guests headed to the after-party, sparklers illuminated the castle grounds. “We wanted to honor English tradition with a grand party worthy of the venue” said the bride, Lacey.

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An epic ending.

I don’t know about other Posh brides-to-be, but I would surely say “I Do” at Downton.

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Ease Her Nerves On The Wedding Day

Since my engagement, I have vowed to travel with Bridal Magazines. I always look for new titles in different airports, and have purchased some helpful wedding resources over the past few months. Despite all the variations, I tend to favor the classic covers. On my latest trip home from holiday festivities I read Brides Magazine while in flight.

I found one section (pictured below) particularly inspiring and wondered what a different perspective might offer. On the top of the page there is a circular display of vibrant boutonnieres in an effort to “spruce up his lapel.” On the bottom, Jeff Brown, an L.A. planner attempts to help brides “ease his nerves on the wedding day,” with short, insightful tips for avoiding a disaster.

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December 2014/January 2015 issue with cover (left) and clever section (right, page 244)

Jeff presents straightforward advice in the face of four potential scenarios. Considering I am on the other side of the altar, I have provided suggestions for Posh Petal and Pearl grooms who may need to calm down their beautiful brides on the bustling day.

Inspired by Jeff’s dilemmas…here’s to calming the bride!

She’s stumped on writing her own vows:

Jeff suggested jotting down a love letter as a point of reference. As a frequent recipient of love notes, I happen to adore anything romantic written with pen and paper. I recommend opening up old letters that you two may have written over the course of dating, or possibly retelling the story of an enchanting evening that friends and family might enjoy. Is there a song you two share? Perhaps the bride can tap into lyrics for a musical start or conclusion to her vows.

She’s afraid to do the first dance in front of everyone:

Jeff recommended having the hubby dance with the bride for a few minutes before bringing the rest of the party on the floor. As a bride-to-be, I know quite well that there is plenty of stress just playing the role of the bride for one evening. If the bride has stage fright, I believe the groom should hit the dance floor with his handsome groomsmen.

Here’s a visual of exactly what I have in mind…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BT0hj6VTFzU

(JB, don’t worry, I love to dance and would voluntarily do this for you) 

Her Maid of Honor/Bridesmaid is too drunk to deliver her toast:

Jeff advises the bride to have the groomsmen rapidly escorted out of the ballroom. If the maid of honor of bridesmaid cannot contain her liquor, I suggest passing the microphone to another eligible lady. Chances are, there are plenty of gals willing to steal the spotlight. With that said, if the intoxicated guest of honor is persistent on speaking, you can always wait an hour to see if she is sober enough to sing your praises.

She has stage fright over delivering her own speech:

Jeff presents the idea of a couple’s speech. Although I am an avid believer in the independent woman, wedding days are truly about the union of two people. In this instance, I am in agreement with Jeff; the bride and groom should stand in front of friends and family as one team. However, if the bride is uncomfortable with speaking in front of large crowds, she should be encouraged to keep it brief. If you happen to have read one of my previous posts titled, “Tone Down the Toasts,” you know how I feel about dragging down the festivities with one too many speeches.

As the newly married Mrs. Peterman, I plan on reserving most words for singing on the dance floor!

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