16 Jul, 2009 | by Kathleen Barbosa
When it comes to the food at weddings, my sister and I always snicker over the fact that my mother’s standard response to the question “So, how was the wedding?” is invariably a long and overly detailed soliloquy on the quality and quantity of the victuals served at the event. Though we should know better by now, we’ll nevertheless venture to ask, “What was the bride’s dress like?”, to which she’ll usually respond dismissively, “It was white.” In other words, no matter how much I obsess over the little details like candles and escort cards, the most important aspect of the wedding to a large number of our guests will be the food. Food is an incredibly important part of socializing to traditional Portuguese people, whether it’s the feast served in celebration of a couple’s nuptials or the pastries after a funeral. It’s not the least bit surprising to us to hear a family member speak disparagingly of the meal served at so-and-so’s wedding in 1974; seriously, they won’t remember what I wore an hour after hitting the open bar, but they’ll remember the food fifteen years later. No matter how beautiful the flowers, how touching the ceremony, how adorable the flower girl, a wedding isn’t worth a hill of beans if my mother has to say, with her face contorted into a grimace of disdain, “I had to stop for food on the way home!” I’m sure it’s the same with Rich’s family: His father beams with pride when he rapturously recalls the huge quantity and impressive quality of the traditional Portuguese cuisine served at his sister Sandy’s wedding in 2007. Really, it was impressive — huge prawns, fresh lobster, even a whole, roasted pig (my vegetarian sister is still trying to scrub that image out of her mind, I’m sure). So, given the central importance of food in our celebration, it’s a bit ironic that it was the last major detail to be decided.
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13 Jul, 2009 | by Kathleen Barbosa
Well, actually, my gown arrived some time ago. Though my consultant at Bridal Trousseau told me it might take up to six months to arrive when I ordered it in early February, it was more like six weeks! I couldn’t believe it when she called me to say it had already arrived in the salon. That was way back in April; I’ve just been incredibly lazy about keeping up with this blog. I also felt a bit strange about the fact that I had a gown more than a year and a half before the wedding. As of my writing today, it will be at least a full year before I even have my first fitting. Well, no matter. I love my dress!
As you might recall from an earlier post, I purchased a gown several months ago. I learned about a nearby bridal salon in Branford called Bridal Trousseau on Main from theknot.com. Though I thought it would take many months of looking and that I would have to try on dozens of dresses, I found one that I loved relatively quickly and, after a brief hesitation, ordered it more than twenty months in advance of the wedding! My gown is an Alvina Valenta, which is one of the JLM Coutrue labels (Alvina Valenta, Lazaro, Jim Hjelm and Tara Keely). I found the following description of Alvina Valenta on kleinfeldbridal.com, the web presence of the world-famous Kleinfeld, a high-end bridal salon in Manhattan:
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7 Jul, 2009 | by Kathleen Barbosa
So, if you remember the last time I checked in, Rich had left me in charge of dealing with the caterering while he went off to Detroit for work. It took approximately a week and a half for me to have an emotional breakdown and decide that we needed to start from scratch and look for another caterer. The moral of that story is that Rich should deal with all of the practical, stressful details, whereas I, impatient and prone to panic attacks, should focus on the small, fun, superficial and largely cosmetic details, like candles and ostrich feathers. In that spirit, I shall gleefully submit a progress report on the last several months of thought I’ve lavished on the crucial subject of accessories! Here is how I intend to adorn myself on The Day …
I’m most excited about my jewelry. I ran across Regina B.’s website, www.reginab.com, a few months ago rather accidentally and fell instantly in love with her beautiful combs and baubles. Regina B. is a talented jewelry designer with a showroom in New York City who specializes in bridal accessories. All of her hand-crafted pieces are made to order and can be customized to give you a one-of-a-kind piece (because who doesn’t feel a minor pang of rage when she sees another bride wearing her dress or another element of her trousseau?). She uses Swarovski crystals, fresh water pearls and various metals for her designs. Here are some sparkly examples of her work:
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