Monday, April 14, 2008

With Only a Week Left...

Ashley and Brad were married on April 5, in a beautiful ceremony surrounded by friends and family. While rain threatened via weatherman not a cloud was seen in the sky that day.
I talked with Ashley a week before the big day and asked her a few pre-wedding questions.
Vicky: With less than a week left to go what is still on your to do list?

Ashley: What is left to do, let’s see. I have to finish the seating chart (almost done) and then the table cards. They have to be delivered to the reception site on Thursday. I have to finish putting the final touches on the out of town bags (just need to pick 2 things up at mom’s house to stuff in the bags and write my note cards). Deliver the stuff to the reception site. That all needs to be packed into boxes. They are currently in 3 tubs in the basement. Instructions will come with everything that has to be delivered. If your curious that includes: Cake Topper, Cake Cutting Set, Table Numbers & Holders, Favors, Signature Platter and Pens, Table Cards, Seating Arrangement, Wedding Wishes Vase + Paper + Pens, Cameras, Basket for Cards, Basket for Cameras (once used), Vases for head table, Glasses to be used by Bridal Party, Engagement Photo (ooh need frame), Music list and instructions (just to have a second copy just in case)
4) Pack items to take to church (Dress, Underthings, Shoes - both pairs, Makeup, Jewelry, Wrap, Emergency Kit, Programs (have to print), Directions (have to go to Kinkos), Reading book) Whew!
I still need to make signs for reception area. The balloons to be picked up by dad on Saturday and I need to give him the receipt and his instructions. Pack, which requires doing laundry, for the honeymoon. Also requires batteries for camera & camcorder (ooh need bigger memory card)Brad is handling the rehearsal dinner errands on Friday. He is also picking up my ring, which will go in the strong box next to his tonight, well after I ogled it some more. Then, clean for house guests, practice dancing again, we practiced last night and got most of it down but the ending throws Brad off. Create instructions for parents regarding the dog, cat, fish and plants for while we are gone. Lastly, survive two more days at work, where they haven’t let me off the hook work wise.
I feel like I’m missing something on this list....

Vicky: Missing something? I hope not, that is a lot to do! Are you having anymore nightmares?

Ashley: Nope, no more nightmares, but I have been crashing hard lately so not even sure if I’m dreaming – although last night I dreamt about playing in a giant moon bounce – but that relates to station stuff not wedding stuff.

Vicky: You already answered this but, have you packed for your honeymoon?

Ashley: Nope haven’t packed yet. I’ve got a mental list going on. I will probably bring the suitcases upstairs tonight and begin my staging of clothes. I learn this habit from my mom. I put all the things I want to take in the suitcase (no particular order and certainly not packed) that way I know what I need to grab and what I need to wash. Leaves a messy room but a straight mind for me.

Vicky: That is a great idea. We should do a piece on packing. How are you feeling? Crazed? Excited? nervous?

Ashley: I’m excited. I’m not nervous yet. I’m anxious because I’m at work when I have so many other things I could be doing. I wanted to try and get out early tomorrow but that is looking like a wash. I’m such the planner as you know so with the “event” actually coming up things are speeding up and I get a bit anxious at this point. I’m trying not to get overwhelmed and I think once the stuff goes to the reception site I will be relaxed (since so much has to be delivered).

Vicky: How are you and Brad getting along? Sometimes the pre-wedding jitters and stress gets to couples.

Ashley: Brad and I are great. We are still going on about our daily lives, even took his car to the shop last night and had exciting Subway for dinner before practicing dancing and watching TV, well he watched I did wedding stuff. We are both of the mindset that this is going to happen no matter what and things will go crazy for moments before but not to get too worried. He very rarely worries so I’m trying to feed off him. And truthfully I will never tell anyone if I’m really maxed out or not, it is not my style.
Tune in later for wedding low-down and honeymoon details from Ashley as we wrap up this segment with our featured bride....

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Bridesmaid Luncheon

Whenever I hear the term 'bridesmaid luncheon' I think of cakes stuffed full of trinkets, tea parties, flowing summer dresses and all manner of stuffy and entirely elegant moments. The Bridesmaid luncheon has been around for quite some time and I'm sure that back in the day fluffy frosted cakes, antiquated traditions and the desire to show off wedding presents was one of the reasons that these lunches were given. These days it is simply a way for the bride to say thank you to her friends for being part of her wedding. And sometimes for putting up with her.

Ashley, one of our featured brides, recently held her bridesmaid luncheon and it was a fun mid-day event that wasn't at all stuffy. She treated us all to a nice waterside lunch, gave us goody bags full of treats including a divine shawl to wear to her wedding and necklaces she made herself to match our bridesmaid dresses. It was touching, sweet and really quite lovely. No fuss, no muss.

Typically, these lunches are held one to two weeks before the wedding. It is a good time for out of town guests to meet each other too. The bride thanks her attendants, doles out any gifts she may have and basically spends a fun afternoon with 'her girls'. You know what else is great about this event? It is entirely optional. You don't have to throw it. Sure, if you have the time and spare cash - go for it! However, there should be no stressing out if this isn't your thing or you simply cannot find the time or coin to do so. A simple thank you note can also do the trick.

For some great ideas regarding a bridesmaid thank you fete as I've decided to call it visit the following sites-

Photo from

Monday, March 24, 2008

Reception Venue: Fort Belvoir Officers' Club

Friends of our had their wedding reception at the Fort Belvoir Officer's Club. We missed the wedding unfortunately but they go back often for Sunday Brunch, so we joined them one Sunday and I have to say I was impressed. My husband's a former marine officer but he never really got in to the officers' club thing and I was expecting cheap food and lots of tackiness. Some elements did seem a bit tacky to someone like me who's not military-minded and the food was a little heavy and overseasoned for both my and Mike's tastes (what I could eat of the food--my allergy limited my choices of mass-produced brunch offerings). But the great appeal of this venue is the sweeping views of the Potomac River from the wall of huge windows.

The food was plentiful and the service was excellent. All of the staff was friendly and helpful. Our glasses of water and champagne and cups of coffee were never empty.

In looking over the PDF of their wedding packages, it looks like they are a soup-to-nuts reception venue. If you're not picky and want someone else to plan the reception it looks like this is a good deal. They'll take care of tablecloths, napkins, wedding cake, open bar, centerpieces... and the prices seem reasonable, especially for this area.

There's a catch of course... Someone has to be a member of the military or work for the Defense Department. You'd have to call them for specifics, say if neither you or your fiance are military officers but one of your parents is.

If you're looking for a venue that will impress your guests, especially civilians like me, I would check out the Officers' Club.

(Images from the Fort Belvoir Officers' Club website.)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Cherry Blossoms Wedding

Okay, so there's at least one thing I like about living in the D.C. area: Cherry blossoms in springtime! Walking around the tidal basin under the cherry trees in bloom is so peaceful, even when it's crowded. The trees have such a calming effect on everyone.

And did you know you can get married under the cherry blossoms? According to the National Cherry Blossom Festival website:
Please call (202) 619-7225 and ask the Office of Park Programs/Permits Office to fax you a Public Gathering Permit application. The rule is that groups of people over 25 persons are required to have a permit. You will need to fill it out and fax it back to them at (202) 401-2430. This office will help you find a location for your event so that it does not interfere with other groups who already would have a permit.

If I weren't already married I may seriously consider this. Wouldn't it be beautiful and memorable?

(Photo from the Washington Post.)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Need an Excuse to Buy Something Cheeky?

Check out these magnets for the bride and the bridal party from Baby Brewing. Yes, the name of the company will throw you a bit but she's branching out has created these very cute and fun magnets-

Photo by Kristen Hammond.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Meet Tricia- Our New Featured Bride!

We here at Flaming Tulle have been busy scouring the area for a new featured bride and we finally found one. Meet Tricia, our new featured bride. In the next few months we'll follow her and her fiance, Mike as they pick a date, settle on an idea and do all the wedding things we all love to hear about. So join us in welcoming our newest featured bride!

Vicky: Hi Tricia! Welcome! Let's get started shall we? When and how did you meet Mike?

Tricia: We first met in 2001 when I worked at the Iron Workers union hall, and he was an apprentice, but at the time he had a girlfriend. Four years later when he and the girlfriend split, he called me. It took me about two months to finally go out with him. I did not want to be a rebound girl. I finally did agree to go out with him and the rest is history!!

Vicky: I love that story! How long did you date before you got engaged?

Tricia: It was one year and seven months.

Vicky: That is a good amount of time to get to know each other. How did he propose?

Tricia: He surprised me at work on a Friday by picking me up. He had everything I owned packed for a weekend trip that I knew nothing about. He took me to Rocky Gap Resort, had roses in our room, a couples massage and a romantic dinner. The next day, we took a paddle boat to the middle of the lake, surrounded by the most beautiful mountains and fall foliage and proposed there. It was wonderful!!!

Vicky: Wow! That is really beautiful and thoughtful. Any wedding plans set yet? Date? Ideas?

Tricia: No! Wow, I never realized how hard it would be. But we think we want to do a destination wedding in the fall.

Vicky: That's a very popular idea right now. Speaking as someone who did a destination wedding herself I can tell you it's a lot of work but completely worth it. If you could do anything with your wedding what would you do?

Tricia: If I could do anything, I would definitely do it big. I would love to have everyone we know there. But I have a HUGE family and with the cost of weddings these days, I don't know if that is going to happen. I really wanted to get married outside and have the reception in a barn, I know it sounds redneck, but I like rustic weddings.

Vicky: I think that sounds beautiful and not at all redneck! We can't wait to hear more in the coming months and learn more about the two of you! Welcome to Flaming Tulle!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Featured Bride Ashley- Post-Shower

This past weekend was our featured bride, Ashley's Bridal Shower. To date her wedding is less than one month away. Planning is in full swing and the festivities have begun!

Vicky: OK, Ashley, let's talk Bridal Shower! What was your favorite part of the shower?

Ashley: My favorite part of the shower was having everyone there. The people invited were not all from the same "group" so it was nice to have everyone there and watch as they mingled.

Vicky: That's great! I can't think of any better way to do that. A mixed guest list is always a good idea. It helps people get to know one another before the big event. Did you help out with it at all or where you totally hands off?

Ashley: I offered as much help as possible but for the most part was hands off. I did help cut some of the croissants only becasue mom hadn't gotten to them and people would be arriving soon. I'm such a planner when it comes to a party that it was really odd that I didn't do much prep or cooking.

Vicky: I noticed you tackling those as I walked in. I'm glad you didn't do too much work. Did having the shower make the wedding date seem that much closer or real?

Ashley: Actually the shower did make the wedding seem real. With just about a month to go I'm finally getting excited about the whole wedding and not just individual parts.

Vicky: What did Brad (fiance) do while you were 'showering'?

Ashley: Brad and his dad went and had pizza and hung out at our house. Oz is such an animal person he loves to play with Tope (Ashley's dog) and Jasper (her cat) so they just hung out.

Vicky: Well I thought it was a success! Not too many games and the ones played helped to break the ice, familiarize people with you and everyone else and got people laughing. I think everyone had a good time!

*Photo by Victoria Mason, Ashley gets a domestic goddess gift from yours truly.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Planning a Bridal Shower, part 2

Vicky asked me to chime in on her post about bridal shower planning. Honestly, I know little about them. I didn't want one and didn't have one. So... take Vicky's advice.

One thing I'd say is it seems like a best friend or MoH throwing a bridal shower has to partly remove the emotional part of it and become a party planner, keeping "the client" in mind. If your friend is going to be horrified by bridal bingo and ribbon bouquets, then don't do those. Make sure the theme of the party is clear on the invitations. And maybe warn some of the younger guests if there will be great grandmothers present. Racy lingerie will probably make Great Aunt Edna blush and giggle, but anything naughtier might be inappropriate.

If nothing else, get a customized figurine of the bride. According to this site, it makes a great bridal shower gift.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

DIY -- Rose Accessories

As you all probably know by now, I'm a sucker for DIY projects. While browsing hats and purses to make for myself for regular every day wear, I can't help but let my eye wander to bridal accessories. Especially since it was about this time last year when I started thinking, "Wow, I have a lot of DIY projects for this wedding... Do I need to start them now to be finished by June?" (The answer is that I did not, but by Memorial Day Weekend I was wishing I had.)

Check out this Vogue pattern. (Click on the image to enlarge it.) It shows you how to make the silk roses and then attach them to hair pieces, ring pillows, dresses and lapels. The first thing I thought of when I saw this was Scotland. In Edinburgh last summer I saw tartan roses attached to wedding garb and I thought it was very cute. You could make roses from the same fabric as your dress or in an accent color. You can get together with bridesmaids, mothers, or other gals involved in the wedding and make matching roses for hairpieces or purses. The possibilities are endless. These are perfect for a romantic, flowery wedding.

Planning a Bridal Shower?

Dear Flaming Tulle,
My sister is getting married in Baltimore in July. As her MofH, I'm having the shower here in June. I'm feeling lost with the shower as far as ideas. If you have any ideas or tips, I'd be so thankful!

Dear MofH,

My first rule for the whole planning of a shower though is unless it is a surprise, talk to the bride. Ask her how she envisions this day. Does she want it big or small? Seasonal or themed? If she truly doesn't care then do what you think would best honor and celebrate her and her personality and go from there.

You have a few options when planning a bridal shower too. You can go traditional or you can mix it up and go more modern.

When I say traditional I mean games, games, food, embarrassing games, and lots of flowers on tables along with some sweet invitations. If you feel that this is something the bride might want, then by all means go for it. You can find some cute invitations at your local Target or here, pick a color scheme and plan a menu that corresponds to the season and there you go. Add in balloons, a gift table, the games, a few floral centerpieces, a tasty cake and poof! You have a bridal shower.

Mixing it up is to me the most fun. Sure, traditional showers are fun, but myself? I am a mix it up girl. Will the bride actually want a couples shower? If so, then maybe it should be a cocktail party, dinner or barbecue.

Is the bride more of a cocktail girl herself? Then plan a shower around that idea. Maybe have the shower at a local winery. Does she like to be busy? Why not an activity shower? Scrap booking, flower arranging, or even a cake decorating or cooking class. You can hire someone to come in and teach for the day.

One of the best showers I ever went to had no games but was a 'Honeymoon' shower complete with a simple but divine lunch. Guests could bring traditional off-the- registry gifts or supply items with a honeymoon theme. This did not mean sex toys. Grandmas and great aunts were present. Though I did see some lube and condoms thrown into a beach bag during one present unwrapping.

At this shower, the host did many of the traditional things. There were fresh cut flowers all over her house and on the table where we dined. There was a cake, but it wasn't the typical bakery sheet cake it was the brides favorite cake with tiny silver charms baked inside that had fortunes tied to them. The bride unwrapped her gifts and most of them consisted of travel items- underwater camera, flip flops, a bathing suit and towels for two. There was sunscreen, a guidebook and basically everything she would need but might forget to pick up or pack in the busy days that lead up to the wedding. It was fun, laid back but also quite beautiful due to the food and flowers.

There is really no one way to plan a shower. Just pick a budget, an idea that best reflects the bride or couples tastes and let your imagination go to town!

Here are some basic tips from theknot regardless of what type of shower you are planning.

Other great sites for bridal shower planning include:

The Martha Stewart Way

The Wedding Channel Version

Trendy to Avant Garde

Photo from

Friday, February 22, 2008

"Just Engaged" Nail Polish Collection

While the thought of marketing special wedding nail polish sort of makes me gag, when we were offered samples of Sally Hansen's new "Just Engaged" nail polishes, we said yes. We love nail polish. And free stuff.

I was skeptical at first. I don't always find Sally Hansen to be the best quality, but it's easy on my wallet. And I laughed out loud when I saw the bottles. Part of the Diamond Strength line, the bottles have faux gemstones glued to them, like the ones you see stuck in Troll dolls' belly-buttons. Still, I never turn down nail polish. My finger- and toe-tips have been the site of many a polish experiment.

The quality. It's pretty good. Vicky and I were both surprised that days later there were no chips. And we type and sew and cook and clean and do all sorts of things with our hands on a regular basis. Also, the gloss lasted for almost a week. We applied the polish on a Friday. On Wednesday I noticed the color starting to look less-than-glossy. I know you're not supposed to do this for optimum nail polish health, but I applied a second coat over the first one in order to pump up the gloss factor for a meeting later that day. This is a polish that you can put on a few days before the wedding and bring along on the honeymoon for a quick touch-up.

The marketing. It's insipid. The three colors we have are fairly neutral. They're nice for every day if you want some sheen but nothing that screams "Look at my nails!" They could have descriptive nail polish names like Cloud or Milky Way or Strawberry Mousse. But they have names like "I Do," "Sheer Magic," and "Sealed with a Kiss." The press release describes this collection as "The perfect complement to a ring." For Pete's sake, you should buy nail polish because you like the color, not because you are a bride.

If you can get over the marketing, you'll find good quality nail polish. The Sally Hansen "Just Engaged" collection retails for $4.75 a bottle and is available at drugstores nationwide.

(I admit that when we started this blog I wasn't thinking about reviews and free stuff. But if you want to send us something for review, we'd be happy to have a crack at it. Oh, and if there are any free passes to bridal shows in the D.C.-Metro Area, we'd be happy to take them off your hands. Email us at flamingtulle at gmail dot com.)

Weddings from Hell

I never watch Dr. Phil, or even pay attention to what's on his show or what he's up to. So that's why it's escaped me that he's been doing wedding-themed shows all week long. The series culminates in today's "Hell Wedding." Now, that's something that I probably have to watch. What sort of wedding blogger would I be otherwise?

“My wedding was hell because my husband showed up to our wedding drunk. It was completely disastrous,” says Janae. “I tried to call him because he was late, and he was stumbling over his words. I was panicked. I was a nervous wreck.”

This is not what you want on your wedding day, no matter how traditional or anti-bride you might be.

Check your local listings! It's going to be awesomely gruesome, I'm sure.

(Image from

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Featured Bride Ashley- In a Whirlwind of Wedding Planning

With a little over a month, left until the big day Ashley’s world has become one filled with wedding activities. Each day seems to bring something new to do, let alone her weekends, which are full of upcoming events such as her bridal shower, bachelorette party and more. We checked in with her to see how she is faring, what is new, been accomplished and how she is feeling about the event as a whole.

Vicky: Hi Ashley, what is new?

Ashley: A lot! Wedding stuff is really going now. The invitations went out last week. We have begun getting RSVP’s back – so far, all yeses.

Sunday after church Brad, Heather (Ashley’s sister), John (her BIL) and I headed up to North Arlington for a dance lesson. It was fun and we learned the basic steps for the Fox Trot, which will work with our song. Now we just have to practice a bit and see if we can get one more lesson in before the wedding. My shoes were killing me though so I need to purchase some gelly inserts, despite wearing them around the house to break them in. Ugh! Brad and I did a good job dancing. Heather and John did also but Heather kept trying to turn it into a Texas 2-step which they just laughed at. I was proud that Brad and I got it and got it good. They even gave us a little entrance and ending bit to do which should be funny. Brad almost dropped me because I was not centered on him at first.

I ordered the Mother’s presents on Friday so they should be in within the next 2 weeks. The wedding favors are on order and will arrive in March. My signature plate will ship at the end of this month. I have to finish the other two bridesmaid’s gifts and give to dad to put on the findings that will take an hour max. I have my appointment to get my hair trail run on March 11 also going to get our wedding license that day! I am going to pick up the information for the honeymoon; the DJ has the music list and will be calling soon to meet with us to go over the last bit. The church is now all set.

V: Whew! That leaves me breathless. It is a lot of work, tasks to complete and small things to remember at this point but it must be exciting and fun too. It sounds like it is really coming together.

A: There’s more! Brad and I are going to Famous Dave's tonight to talk with them about catering the rehearsal dinner. Gift bags are slowly coming together. I need to steam my crinoline and hang that up with my dress. Flowers should be calling in about 3 weeks to give final numbers and such.

V: You are really getting into the detailed parts of wedding planning now. How are you feeling about it all? Excited? Nervous?

A: Mom said to me last night, “So are you excited that your shower is next weekend?” and I was like “Oh yea that is next weekend”. I am wondering if I am a bad bride – I am not all nervous or stressed out about things. I keep getting asked if I’m excited and/or nervous. Yes, I am happy but not excited and certainly not nervous. I am sure I will be the closer we get to the wedding day, a bit of both too. I am just happy that it is coming together well.

V: Sounds great! I think you are doing great too. Not too stressed and not going over the edge as some brides begin to at this point. How is the 10-week fitness challenge going?

A: Not as well as it should. I have eliminated all but one soda a day, which is great! I was drinking three previously, but I am not hitting the gym or even working out at home as I should and could. I need to make it more of a priority and routine. I am bogged down with tasks on the weekend and feeling like it is too late at night after I get home from work. It is still dark out and cold. Not very motivating to say the least. I have also stopped eating all fast/fried foods for Lent so at least I am on track there.

V: I hear you. I have been good about the gym portion but the eating has me. This week I am determined to stop eating so much sugar and just keep up the gym portion. I think we can do it! We still have a month. Not all is lost! I will keep on you, if you keep on me.

We will check back with Ashley soon and if you have any tips for de-stressing during wedding planning or motivating tips for staying on track with the gym and getting healthy please feel free to share them with the rest of the readers!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

DIY -- Dresses

Are you, your mom, a friend, or anyone else making a dress for the big day? Remember, not just the bride wears a dress. You have bridesmaids, mothers, flower girls. If a gifted sewing friend asks if he or she can help in some way, consider saying yes. (But if you're new to sewing, best not to make a dress yourself. And if you have any hesitation about the skills of the person offering, be kind but firm when you say "No, thank you."

You're not stuck with the cheap plastic buttons and polyester fabrics at the Jo-Ann or Hancock's at the strip mall. I've been shopping from some online retailers for years. (I sew, but my mom made my dress.)

M & J Trimming. They have unique buttons and trims and it's where I bought all 30-odd pearl buttons for the back of my dress. They can lean toward tacky, suggesting Swarvoski crystal for just about every project, but they also have a great selection of just about anything else you could want.

Thai Silks. High quality silks at reasonable prices. It's worth buying one of their swatch sets to see all the colors and feel all the textures before deciding on final fabric choices. I found the gorgeous silk/linen blend for my dress for a price cheaper than the polyester satin at many other fabric stores. Inexpensive, huge selection of mass-market basics. When my mom offered to make five flower girl dresses for a family wedding, she went here to buy the exact shade of pink the bride wanted--in silk dupioni. (Do three-year-olds need silk dresses? Well, for that price and for such a gorgeous dress, why not?)

Your dress is being handmade with love, so don't skimp on the details. You're still saving money over a purchased or professionally made dress. Just because you're not shelling out the big bucks doesn't mean you don't deserve a gorgeous dress.

(Flaming Tulle is not affiliated with any of these businesses. I'm just a loyal customer.)

(Photo: My dress, photographed by

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

What's Big in 2008

I spent an afternoon browsing bridal magazines one day at my local book emporium. To say that there is an abundance of magazines for brides-to-be is an understatement. I nearly lost my head trying to figure out which one to pick up first. I decided to forgo the common Modern Bride, Brides and even the local glossy pieces. I went straight for the high-end magazines because much like to couture these ideas will trickle down into the main stream bridal industry in the next year or so and the photo quality of these magazines cannot be beat.

Here are some of the very hot trends and ideas for weddings this season and quite possibly the next few-

1. Clear chairs (typically made from some form of plastic) at the reception. This is a great concept as it is very modern and makes it easy to utilize and bring out other colors at your tables and around the room. Using colored plastic chairs is another big idea. It gives the table a nice jeweled look.

2. Spring Green. It's everywhere! From the use of leaves and stems in centerpieces and bouquets to actual swags of fabric hanging from walls, ceilings and draped around a room this color is hot! It often is accompanied by a nice stark black and white contrast. It pairs well with cream too for a softer less dramatic look.

3. Move over aqua and make way for periwinkle. This color is showing up far and wide. It looks gorgeous paired with brown too. It feels cozy yet elegant all at the same time and looks amazing in a rustic candlelight church setting or at a sunny beach reception. I love it in bridesmaids dresses too.

4. Jet. This type of beading is everywhere in fashion this spring so why not in the bridal world? It can be seen adorning dresses for the bridal party, hanging from chandeliers at the reception and even adorning cakes. This pretty black bead is especially nice when it is paired with a baroque patterned linen on a table.

5. Baby's breath. Quite shocking I know since this 1970-80's filler flower of choice has seen some sad times of late. No one would touch the stuff until now. However, it is only used alone. In short and bunched pieces it looks great in a spring green theme. Use it in tiny bud vases in a tight bunch and it looks fabulous as a tiny gathering around a larger centerpiece.

6. Black Cala Lilies. Need I say more? These flowers were at my own wedding and I still love them. They look stunning in a bouquet, carried alone, in a centerpiece or adorning a cake. They are elegant, smart and timeless.

7. Asian inspired themes- from the use of Chinese symbols on cakes to dragons on an invite, this theme is popping up all over. Bamboo on the table for good luck? Why not! I have even seen it used as edging on a cake as well.

8. The use of silver wire as an accent for flowers. This is very modern. It looks phenomenal wrapped around a bouquet and has an edge to it that satin ribbon just can't compete with.

As always with the spring and summer weddings there is the use of nature, colors that pop and the outdoors being brought inside. Using anyone of these ideas your wedding will have a very fresh feeling about it that will look visually stunning in photographs.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Marriage and Politics

As you may have heard, there's a presidential election this year, and on Tuesday millions of people will head to the polls to take their first step toward picking the next president. I took care of my mail-in ballot already. I know Vicky loves to vote. We are voters.

For some reason, marriage has become a political issue. I don't think it should be. Any two adults who love each other should be able to get married. But some people don't agree with that.

To celebrate Super Tuesday at Flaming Tulle, here are the candidates' views on gay marriage and civil unions. I found all of this information neatly compiled at LesbianLife.
Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment (S.J. Res. 1) which would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman and included language which could have prevented recognition of civil unions and domestic partnership benefits. The amendment failed by a vote of 49-48....

Some gay and lesbian voters don't feel like Hillary Clinton has done enough to support gay and lesbian rights, while others believe she is the best candidate for gay and lesbian issues. Clinton opposes gay marriage but supports civil unions between members of the same sex. During her husband's administration, she supported the Defense of Marriage Act, a law preventing the federal recognition of same-sex marriage.

"Marriage has got historic, religious and moral content that goes back to the beginning of time, and I think a marriage is as a marriage always has been, between a man and a woman." - Hillary Clinton, opposing same-sex marriages, quoted in The New York Daily News.

However, in October 2006 Hillary Clinton was quoted by as saying,"I believe in full equality of benefits, nothing left out. From my perspective there is a greater likelihood of us getting to that point in civil unions or domestic partnerships and that is my very considered assessment."

Mike Huckabee
Mike Huckabee opposes same-sex marriage and would push for federal legislation to make marriage between one man and one woman only. On his website he says, "I support and have always supported passage of a federal constitutional amendment that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. As President, I will fight for passage of this amendment. My personal belief is that marriage is between one man and one woman, for life."

Mike Huckabee opposes civil unions. In an interview with GQ magazine he said, "Once the government says this relationship is in essence similar to or equal to a marriage—we’re not going to call it that, but that’s what it is—and you grant it the same basic rights as marriage, then you’ve effectively done it."[redefined marriage
"I have never supported civil unions, and I don't. I don't think it is something that is a good thing," Huckabee said in a November 2007 interview with

John McCain
John McCain does not support same-sex marriage. From his website, " The family represents the foundation of Western Civilization and civil society and John McCain believes the institution of marriage is a union between one man and one woman. It is only this definition that sufficiently recognizes the vital and unique role played by mothers and fathers in the raising of children, and the role of the family in shaping, stabilizing, and strengthening communities and our nation."
However, he opposes a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage....

Regarding the Federal Marriage Amendment, John McCain said, "The constitutional amendment we're debating today strikes me as antithetical in every way to the core philosophy of Republicans."

John McCain said he supported an Amendment to Arizona's Constitution that would ban gay marriages and deny government benefits to unmarried couples.

Barack Obama
Although Barack Obama has said that he supports civil unions, he is against gay marriage. In an interview with the Chicago Daily Tribune, Obama said, "I'm a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman."

Barack Obama did vote against a Federal Marriage Amendment and opposed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996.

He said he would support civil unions between gay and lesbian couples, as well as letting individual states determine if marriage between gay and lesbian couples should be legalized.

"Giving them a set of basic rights would allow them to experience their relationship and live their lives in a way that doesn't cause discrimination," Obama said. "I think it is the right balance to strike in this society."

Ron Paul
Ron Paul opposes same-sex marriage, but does not support a federal amendment to define marriage as only between a man and a woman....

At a Values Voter Debate in September 2007, Ron Paul said, "True Christians, I believe, believe that marriage is a church function, not a state function. It's not a state function. I don't think you need a license to get married. We should define it."

Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney was the governor of Massachusetts when that state became the first in the United States to legalize gay marriage....

Mitt Romney has opposed gay marriage since his state became the first in the U.S. to legalize gay marriage. He said, "I believe that the family is the foundation of America - and that it needs to be protected and strengthened."

He told a group of republican women, "Every child in America deserves a mom and a dad. We've got to have marriage before we have babies if we're going to have parental involvement in our schools."

Romney supports the Federal Marriage Amendment which would change the US Constitution to prevent gays and lesbians from marrying.

When asked by Chris Matthews of MSNBC about what he thinks the difference between marriage and civil unions is, Romney said, "Well, I would rather have neither, to tell you the truth. I'd rather that domestic partner benefits, such as hospital - hospital visitation rights for same-sex couples. I don't want civil unions or gay marriage." He continued, "I'm going to want to see a marriage limited to a man and a woman. I don't want to see civil union either. Of course, if we find ourselves in a setting where the only choice is between civil union and marriage, I will prefer civil union. But I would prefer neither.

Well, there you have it. Maybe it's not the most important issue on your mind, but it does involve restricting the rights of certain Americans, which is a slippery slope.

If there's a candidate you feel passionate about, go out and vote in your primary or take part in your caucus. Even if polls are overwhelming in either direction, go out and show that candidate support.