The Wedding Dress | Part 1

The feeling of amusement that accompanies flipping through old photo albums and glimpsing old styles of fashion and hair is familiar to most of us, whether the photos are of younger versions of ourselves or of our parents and grandparents. But some photos are more important than others, and every bride wants to ensure that her wedding photos will be timeless — something others can look at years down the line and sigh with admiration. An important part of achieving the kind of look that will be admired both at the wedding itself and decades later is selecting the right gown.

image by M.Kruter

All eyes are on the bride during the wedding, but a bridal gown is more than just an outfit that the bride wears for a day; it becomes a part of the memories of one of the most special days in a couple’s life.

The first decision a bride and her family will have to make is their budget. While brides often end up going over their budget when they find a dress that suits them perfectly, it is still helpful to begin the search with at least some sort of budget in mind.

The price tag of a wedding dress may vary greatly. At Bridal Secrets of Cedarhurst – a popular destination for wedding gown shopping, dresses range from $599 – $2,500 and up. Many brides spend upwards of these amounts.

Ruth Jankowitz of Beauty and Beyond in Baltimore on the other hand, suggests spending as little as possible on the wedding dress since it will most likely be only worn once.

Another option that brides have is renting a wedding dress. Although it is tempting to buy a dress and keep it for the memories, it is not necessarily the most prudent decision. Rebecca, a recent bride we spoke to, encourages brides to rent a dress instead of purchasing one. “You don’t need it as a keepsake,” she said. “You have a million other wedding memories.”

Once a bride establishes her budget and decides whether to rent or to buy, the next step is to actually select a dress. One of the decisions the bride will have to make then is how much to follow the current trends. While it may be tempting to wear a gown that fits the current trends, it is important to also consider how a certain style will look a few years from now in wedding photos. Fortunately, selecting a gown that is both trendy and classic does not have to be a contradiction with the continued popularity of styles such as eye-catching ball gowns, regal A-line princess gowns, and vintage-looking slim gowns made of or embellished by lace.

image by SimchaVision

Brides are also finding ways of combining the classic and the trendy. Miriam, one of the brides we spoke to about the experience of selecting a wedding gown, bought one that she described as classic but with a “modern twist” which was added by its high collar.

“The bride’s choice of gown always projects her image on the day of her wedding,” – says Joy Lieber of Bridal Secrets – “That may be influenced by her age, her body type and her self confidence. She may want to look Sophisticated, Demure, Whimsical or Fashion Forward.”

Ultimately, choosing the wedding gown is up to the bride and should therefore reflect her own tastes and preferences instead of simply being an expression of the current trends.

{Stay tuned for Part 2 where we will discuss some of the current trends in more detail.}

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Wedding Woes or How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

Guest Post by Esther K

Abstract illustration Flowers die, and food spoils, invitations are thrown away and sometimes used as a great substitute dustpan, but pictures can last forever. I didn’t care much about the minute details of my wedding. All I wanted was gorgeous pictures, because pictures would be all I would have to remember my wedding day by.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get that. The photographer my in-laws hired, had done a beautiful job on a previous family wedding, but for my wedding they sent a crew member, not the head photographer – and he had no idea what he was doing. He was unenthusiastic (he didn’t even bother to ask my name, or anyone in the wedding party’s name), a little creepy, and had no imagination for posing. I actually told him to stop posing me (or whatever he was attempting to do) and I did my own thing. He got all excited and was like “Wow, this is great, like out of a bridal magazine” and I was thinking, what the heck, you’re a wedding photographer, you should know such posing cold!!

I also wanted a lot of candid shots to capture the essence of the wedding, I’m not so into stoic family portraits… didn’t get that either… It’s a good thing I looked that good by my wedding so a total fiasco was slightly averted.

I had several other issues with my pictures, and after a year of marriage I still have not selected photos for my official album, simply because I hate looking at my wedding pictures. When I got my proofs a month after blissful marital utopia (ye, it took that long to get them)  I had full-blown meltdown on my husband, his first time experiencing me sobbing uncontrollably… fun stuff to put it mildly. It’s a sad cautionary tale. The one thing I wanted for my wedding I didn’t get, but at least I can pass on a few tips for looking into photographers.

  1. Know what type of pictures you want – artistic, classic, candid shots, and the like.
  2. Ask for recommendation, look at other people’s proofs, note what you like and don’t like.
  3. If there are certain pictures or poses you want taken , make a list so you don’t forget. (make that list even if you remember EVERYTHING)
  4. Make sure you know which photographer you will be getting if there is a crew of photographers.
  5. Know what’s included in your “package”: how many  hours of photography, what format you’ll receive the proofs in, how many photos allotted in the master album (photographers rake it in this area, so know what you’re getting for how much.
  6. If you’re not comfortable with the photographer by the actual affair, pause a moment, evaluate what’s not going right and try to rectify the situation, talk to the photographer, don’t just let it pass by (like I did).

Here’s to you only reading this tale and never experiencing it. MAZAL TOV.

Photo credit: DeusXFlorida

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On a Serious Note…

Image from posted yesterday an anonymous personal account of one kallah’s disappointing wedding night, and she is by far not alone in this malady (and there are other conditions similar to it) known as PVV. We thought it would be appropriate to share her story with you. If you’re experiencing severe pain during bedikas or intercourse, it’s important that you realize that it may not be due to inexperience or some psychological problem. It may be caused by a neurological condition for which you may be able to find treatment. Read the kallah’s account of her untimely discovery of her condition and recovery from it, here.

In case you’re experiencing the symptoms related by this courageous woman, consult your Ob Gyn-NY, Ob Gyn-NJ. In Long Island, The Women’s Therapy Center deals specifically with these issues.

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7 Must-read Books for Chosson and Kallah: The Survival Kit

You got engaged – Mazal Tov!
The excitement is still fresh and growing, and your phone probably hasn’t stopped ringing. You haven’t looked down to check for certain, but it sure feels like there are clouds under your feet. A new period of your life has just started and you may also need prepare for it. During these pre-chassana months you may encounter questions like how to avoid yichud while searching for an apartment, what presents are customarily exchanged between the Chosson and Kallah and their parents or how to deal properly with varying opinions and colliding family customs. It’s also a good time to read up on the reasons behind some of the wedding minhagim (customs) and halachos.

Below you will find some books which will guide you through your engagement, answer a variety of halachic questions and help you be prepared for your wedding and thereafter. (more…)

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Notes On Splitting The Wedding Costs

Planning another bride’s wedding is simply never unpleasant: you get to dream up fabulous ideas, creative themes, exciting details that come together into a perfect wedding. In other words, one can let the event planning  imagination run free – you’re not the one paying for it.  The sober reality of a budget is only a theoretical idea when it’s someone else money.  You’re not the one asking yourself: so, where and how am I going to get the money for all of this. The bride, the groom, their families are, however, keeping a keen and constant eye on the bills like a diabetic on his blood sugar levels, and the ever so delicate matter of who’s paying for what and how much is an ever present elephant in the room.

Thankfully, there’s precedent to lean on; there is in each community an accepted (more or less) custom about splitting the costs. In the ‘frum’ circles the FLOP method with its ill-fitted name divides the expenses between the sides, like countries on a map, along the borders of the various wedding services. (more…)

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