January 12, 2015

{A Place of Honor}

Dear Bride-to-Be
“Even the most understated ceremony involves a certain respect for ritual and pageantry, and no one plays more of a significant role than the bride’s attendants,” wrote designer Vera Wang. “From the youngest flower girl to the maid of honor, they provide a prelude to the much anticipated coming of the bride. They also occupy a place of honor and trust throughout the celebration.”

Then there is simply a practical need for bridal attendants since many wedding gowns require assistance to get buttoned- or laced- or bustled-up. Here is a ritual that goes back to antiquity. “Egyptian nobles,” for instance, wrote author Maria McBride-Mellinger, “rarely groomed and dressed themselves: instead, they yielded themselves to the ministrations of serving maidens in an early version of our modern ritual of bridesmaids dressing the bride.”

There is an intriguing history and romance to all wedding rituals...but none so personal as your attendants. Your bridal attendants honor you as well as assist you; they enhance the pageantry of your ceremony and they support you with their love. Celebrate their “place of honor” just as you appreciate their myriad number of tasks accomplished in the coming together of your beautiful wedding day! 

Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia

ps: for more about wedding attendants, click her for a favorite past blog post which is also an excerpt from my upcoming book, The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride, due for a mid-February release!

[Photograph courtesy of Vera Wang]

December 26, 2014

{A Nurturing First Bite}

Dear Bride-to-Be
In my upcoming book, The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride, I write about the familiar yet rather mysterious ingredients of “the great white wedding.” (Queen Victoria launched its first era and her great-great-great-grandson’s shimmering bride, Princess Diana, revived it in the most memorable of ways nearly a hundred and fifty years later.)

If the centerpiece of this white wedding tradition filled with special costumes and music and flowers became the bride’s gown, then the centerpiece of its wedding reception became the “great white cake.” The first morsels eaten by the just-wed bride and groom were, if not considered sacred, at least symbolic of being nurtured for a full, rich life together. Historically this first bite was during the wedding ceremony itself, like in ancient Roman customs when the “cake” was a simple wheat biscuit. Then over centuries the tasting ritual moved to the reception, as author Barbara Tober described, during Elizabethan weddings when the “cake” was a stack of sweet buns.

However you plan your wedding—and whatever “ingredients” you use for a romantic yet meaningful celebration—be sure your “first bite” is ‘nurturingly’ filled with love and tolerance and good humor and lots of sweet somethings!

Love. Listen. Let go.
….love from Cornelia

ps: Photograph courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings. (Also, I thought youd enjoy MSW collection of best wedding cakes of 2014.)

pps: The End of the Fair-Tale Bride {Volume One} For Better or Worse, How Princess Diana Rescued the Great White Wedding due out in January 2015!

December 13, 2014

{A Treat For You!}

Dear Bride-to-Be
Here's a treat for you! My article, "Attending the Bride," has just been published in Season magazine. It's also an excerpt from my upcoming book, The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride. I thought you'd like to see it...click here...and enjoy

Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia

November 30, 2014

{Honoring Elegant & Kind Gentlemen}

Oscar de la Renta & Amal Alamuddin 
Vogue October 2014

Dear Bride-to-Be
Whether you are an old-fashioned girl who loves tradition or part of the jammin and Instagrammin set looking for something a bit subversive to wear for your wedding; or whether this is your first trip to the altar or a woman whos been there before; or whether you are just beginning a career or an accomplished business woman of some renown. Wherever you are in your life, selecting your bridal gown is a moment of some consideration.   

I wanted to honor a mana designer of elegant, feminine and stylishly romantic wedding dresseswho never wavered in considering the wishes of the woman who would wear his gown. (No matter what type of bride she was!) Oscar de la Renta, who died this fall, was a true gentleman of elegance and grace, humor and intelligence, and a lover of beautiful things with a commitment to bring out the joy in lifehis and that of everyone around him.

André Leon Talley called Oscar a master of the grand wedding gown and his last such gown was for the beautiful Amal Alamuddin, now wife of George Clooney. The custom gown was a luscious womanly confection of ivory tulle appliquéd with Chantilly lace. Her final fitting was covered by Vogue where the designer shared about a woman's relationship with her wedding gown: “It’s the most important dress in the life of a woman. Any girl from any walk of life dreams of that special dress, and I try to make that dream a reality for her.”

Oscar wasnt saying that women didnt have other important occasions in their life for special clotheslike what to wear for her swearing-in as President of the United States or etcetera! Just that this particular gown is imbued with some mystical, mythological and deeply ingrained mojo! And Oscar understood that and knew how to tap into that magic so a woman felt it on her wedding day.
Oscar de la Renta with Elizabeth Cordry Shaffer, 2013
Heres intending that no matter what you wear for your wedding—a delicious designer gown or some delightful find from a vintage shopthat you feel dreamy and loved and beautiful inside and out...and are treated with the kind and tender touch of such a gentleman throughout your life.

Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia

ps: My upcoming book, The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride {Volume One} For Better or Worse, How Princess Diana Rescued the Great White Wedding, is full of stories about designer dresses and a womans deep heart desires!