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Tag Archives: weddings

Would you be “Married By Mom and Dad?” Probably not. But maybe….

by SweetMidlife


This is Leslie, and as you might have read, I was married until about five months ago, and then, completely involuntarily, I was suddenly not. (He was awesome but he passed away. It’s a whole thing. Read HERE for the sad story I don’t feel like telling over right now, because we were having so much fun, weren’t we?)

I’m only 44 years old, so I imagine that at some point I’ll hopefully meet some other suitable man – Unlike before I met my husband, I’ve got standards now! – but am still feeling so married to my other guy, and so weary of the whole prospect of falling back into the rancid sinkhole that was my pre-marriage Internet dating situation, that I’ve told my friends that when the time is right they’re gonna have to shake the trees and introduce me to someone. (Someone good. Again, I’ve got standards now!) I know now what a good marriage is supposed to be, and in what ways I’d gotten in my own way when looking the last time. I trust my amazing and brutally, brutally honest village of friends to steer me in the right direction.

But the question that TLC’s “Married By Mom and Dad” asks is whether a modern woman or man would let someone else – their parents, specifically – not only steer you in the right direction, but pick the destination, park the car, carry you up the stairs, select the room and then lock you inside with a key you don’t have a copy of. Four singles – Mitch, Marivic, John and Christina – allow  their folks to narrow down a list of potential matches, meet them, winnow them down some more and then suggest they marry. The situations vary – all of them are between their mid-20s and early 30s, never married and with different expectations. Marivic is a nurse who lives at home and seems, honestly, brattier and less cool than her parents. Mitch is a super-pretty Ken doll wine rep, whose dad and stepmom have reluctantly teamed with his mom, who they all went to high school with (!) to find him a woman. John, like Marivic, is sort of a blur when compared to his outsized, outdoorsy parents, and Christina comes off kind of lame and immature, honestly.

The show reminds one instantly of “Married At First Sight,” another reality show about people leaving their romantic decisions up to someone else, except here that someone else is not the parents who raised and know you, but some complete strangers who do science math calculation situations to find you a match. And the stakes are way higher – at least with mom and dad, you get to meet the person before saying “I do” – but here you don’t meet your spouse until you’re at the altar, and then you’re in a legally binding marriage that’s not annul-able (the scientists seem practically giddy when they say that, like “What you gonna do now, girl? WHATUGONNADO?”). This of course leads to panic and drama and ridiculousness that makes great TV and horrible real life.

The producers of “Married At First Sight” maintain that they are a more scientific and therefore better version of traditional arranged marriage, but I think they’re full of this. This is like letting that EHarmony algorithm and the dude in the commercials with the glasses do your profile, have all the conversations online and then drive you to the wedding, and after you sign the release, because you’re an idiot, there’s nothing to do but settle in for the discovery and the humiliation. I actually prefer “Maried By Mom and Dad,” even though I cannot fathom a moment where I’d let, say, my mom and my Uncles Lester and Andre arrange my marriage. I can’t imagine what that person would look like, talk like, do for a living or explore in his spare time, but I know one thing – the pickers in question love me. They saw my heart break this year and would never throw me at some person they did not truly believe would be a great fit not only with me, but with my family, my culture and my life.

Understand: YOU GIRL IS NEVER GOING ON “MARRIED BY MOM AND DAD.” But I can see why one would. One who is not me.

Solange, my sister and me: Rocking our natural hair down the aisle

by SweetMidlife

Leslie here!

So the talk of the Internet in the past few days – well, some of the talk, anyway – has been about Solange Knowles and her fierce, fierce wedding style. Lynne and I were so impressed, we were both wondering if we could get remarried so we could rock fly wedding capes. And that all-white attire rule for the guests made everyone look like they were posing for some lost ’90s TV movie called “A Very EnVogue Wedding,” a videotape which I would totally have owned.

So caught up was I in the capes and the monochromatic wedding guests that I plum near missed another aspect that some people found notable in both good and hideous ways: Solange’s gorgeous, gorgeous wedding Afro. Although she’s straightened her hair occasionally, Miss Knowles’ tall proud crown of queenly poof is her signature, so I didn’t even notice it in the wedding photos, other than that it added to her fierceness.

And why shouldn’t she wear her hair natural? She’s a beautiful woman. Why shouldn’t she look like her on her most special day?

Apparently, some people disagree. Those people are cordially invited to…well….obviously their opinions are of no tangible use to Miss Knowles, who is a diva and don’t care. But as the young lady above can attest , the Web was wild with ignorant folks who had rather strong objections to Solange having not straightened her hair before saying “I do,” either because it’s not fancy or polished enough for such an auspicious occasion, or because they just don’t see it as polished enough for work, or the club, or yoga class or taking out the trash. You know, at all.

The Huffington Post story the beautiful Charnel Grey references in the video makes the same point – that it’s annoying to have to defend the way the hair comes out of your head, to black people, to white people, to anybody. A) It’s not your business B) We’re done changing for others. If we want a ‘fro, we’ll wear a ‘fro. If we want a weave, we’ll get a weave. Mind your own business and your own daggone hair.

Obviously, this is a topic Lynne and I both feel strongly about, because we both have natural hair – I with an Afro, and Lynne with her dreads. And having both been natural for a decade before getting married, neither of us even considered straightening for the day. I had thought about doing some sort of crazy updo, but at the end of the day, I let it ‘fro out even more than usual, and just went with it. I looked like the best version of me – better dress, better makeup, better jewelry. And a better ‘fro.

This pic wasn't their first date, but this was also a memorable one :).

A ‘fro for a fancy Palm Beach wedding

Lynne, meanwhile, let her dreads grow out and had them twisted into the most exquisite updo-drop-crown whatever that was. (She also rocked a veil, a rhinestone headband AND a big ol’ orange flower, to the objection of some people who thought it was too much. Knowing Lynne they should have known it was just enough.)

Loc'ing in on love.

Loc’ing in on love.

One of Lynne’s friends was talking about the whole Solange situation and, told that we’d both worn our hair natural for our weddings, suggested we write something about it, which got Lynne to tell her a story about another bride who wore the most smashing mod daisy-covered wedding dress for her 1970 wedding. And under the Minnie Mouse-esque veil, she wore a sleek Mia Farrow pixie…

Except that the day before she’d been wearing a ‘fro. But she bent to pressure from some older family members that it wasn’t appropriate, not special enough, for a wedding. Our Daddy told us that when he saw her at the rehearsal dinner his first thought was “Who’s that?” Because his bride was supposed to be wearing a ‘fro. Not for political reasons. Not for fashion reasons. But because that’s how she wore her hair, in her life as her, and that’s how she’d wanted to wear it when she married the love of her life. (Her sister and maid of honor, the late Aunt Ann, made up for it with her own Afro. Fly, fly fly).

Again, our mother looked amazing on her wedding day. But she didn’t look like she wanted to because she accepted the pressure that she had to change herself to be proper. I suspect she wouldn’t do that now. But as for you and your own wedding – if you want to get tracks, flatiron, shave your head, whatever, do it. This is not a political speech. It’s a hug, a cry of love, that says “IT’S YOUR WEDDING. DO YOU. BE THE MOST EXCELLENT SPLENDID VERSION OF YOU. NOT OF WHAT YOUR MAMA OR YOUR SISTERS OR THE INTERNET SAY. BE YOU.”

And then you’ll never be more beautiful. Trust us.

Wedding week: Be a cheerful giver…and getter

by SweetMidlife
There is no ticket price on a wedding invitation. 

Leslie here!

I remember being blown away as a young adult when I found out how a bridal gift registry worked.

“So you’re saying that I go into a store, look up things I want, write them down and then people buy me what I asked for?”


“What sweet madness is this?”

By the time I got to fill out my own gift registry, it was almost two decades later, and I’d been on the other side of that sweet madness many, many times. I thought that having experience buying gifts for people made me pretty judicious in what I asked from other people, as in: I felt that my job as a wedding guest was to buy you a gift, preferably one you had asked for, that did not make me look cheap without putting my rent in jeopardy. I learned, especially when I was younger, that you had to jump on the registry and buy the less-expensive nice gifts first or someone was going to beat you to it. And if a bride ONLY had high dollar items on the registry, I either bought a $50 gift certificate or went in with friends.

So as a bride, I was very careful to have a range of things I registered for, in price and in fanciness. I was almost 39 when I got married, so while I already had towels and plates, I registered for some that could establish us as a new household. However, I didn’t go crazy and say “Y’all better buy me $50 a piece towels,” because it is not anyone else’s responsibility to buy my fancy towels. Of course, the registry is just a suggestion, as far as I was concerned. While there were a couple of things we got where we were like “Uh, OK!” we accepted everything cheerfully and gratefully.

Because they were gifts.

And not legal obligations.

Or compensation or reimbursement for the money we spent on the wedding.

I’ve read some horror stories online on sites like HellsBells, where people submit hideous stories of bad wedding etiquette, about wedded ingrates who start email battles with guests whose gifts they consider unworthy of the money they spent on their meal, or of one idiot who tried to return a beautifully presented “wedding cake” made of the towels HE AND HIS FIANCEE HAD REGISTERED FOR to the co-worker who had painstakingly assembled it, because they didn’t want “artsy crafty” gifts.

And expected her to buy them something else.


Nobody had to buy me crap. But they did. And when they did, we thanked them and moved on, particularly because we got enough cash to buy our own towels if we decided to. A wedding invitation should not have a dollar sign on it. All you need to do is RSVP in time to ensure that I don’t pay for your dinner if you’re not gonna show, and then just show up and not start a fist fight in the buffet line or cuss out my grandmother. That’s it. Gifts are usually expected, but if you don’t give me one, the wedding’s already been paid for so while it’s not the custom, it’s not like I need your check. And unless your gift is a rotting bag of oranges, illegal substances or something I gave you with the price tag scratched off, it’s cool.

Feeling this way does not make me perfect or a martyr. It just makes me a grown-up, I hope, because my wedding didn’t roll out the way I’d planned, requiring me to adjust my definition of gift. After my husband and I had paid the deposit on the hotel where we’d be married and started telling people the date, we found that he had a tumor in his ear for which his insurance would not cover the surgery to remove, as it was a pre-exisiting condition. After about a week of worry, we decided to get married in the same place we’d planned, with the dress I’d purchased and as many people as we could get from the original guest list…just several months earlier.

Immediately, we called our loved ones, most of whom lived several states and a couple of hundred dollars of plane tickets away, and said “We love you and want you here, but we understand that you now have four weeks rather than five months to buy plane tickets or bridesmaids dresses or gifts. You now have to decide what to do with your kids who were invited for what was supposed to be a summer wedding, when they were out of school, but who will now still be in school. You have to rearrange possible vacation days, or check your calendar. We know we are asking a lot of you, so understand that we mean it when we say…if you cannot make it we will never be mad about that. And if you come, particularly if it’s going to cost you more to come now than it would during the summer…consider that your gift.”

And we meant it. But you would not believe the gifts that we got – the gift of the friend who called Costco and personally ordered my flowers, and then yelled at them for a refund when they screwed it up. The gift of a song that a friend learned to play for our recessional. The gift of free photography from friends who usually charge thousands, or of wedding planning from a friend who had charged that much professionally to do the same. The gift of various wedding party members running out to buy last-minute candles, to pick up out of town guests I’d forgotten to update on changed plans. The gift of my grandma, who didn’t think she could travel after surgery but who, on a fixed income, got clearance and bought a last minute ticket anyway which wasn’t cheap, even at senior prices.

These are gifts that are given out of love, that cost money and time and effort and organization. They are not sold at Pottery Barn. There is no gift certificate for “fill out place cards the morning of the wedding at the bride gets stuffed into her dress.” That’s a gift, nonetheless.

And I wouldn’t exchange them. They are priceless.

Wedding Week Begins! Today, A Picture Paints a Thousand Joys…

by SweetMidlife

Hi! Lynne here! So, this week on The Sweet Midlife, we wanted to talk about weddings. I actually wanted to do it in June, and this is July 1st.  But shoot, the theme of this blog is that wonderful things can happen in your life, no matter how late you night think it is, so I guess it’s okay that we are a little behind. So, here is a thought on weddings.

I got married almost 3 years ago, and it will be forever be one of my favorite days ever. Yes, the planning had nutty times, and there was that one day I asked if we could elope, and there were people that I couldn’t invite because of a limited guest list, and there are things that I would have done differently if I could have.

But what I see when I look at the pictures is happiness. The excitement on my face. How lovely my friends were as they curled their hair and got dressed. How proud my aunt was that she was wearing a corsage and being honored, not just as my aunt, but also, hopefully because she felt beautiful, which she doesn’t feel about herself enough. My goddaughter and another little friend dancing. My husband and I about to leave the wedding, relieved that we did it, blessed to have each other, completely aware of what we’ve got in each other, united for what is to come. I see my Daddy, so handsome and happy to be giving me away, even though I didn’t know until later that he was having a really bad cancer-fighting day. I see my Granddaddy, handsome and strong, so excited to read the Scriptures during the ceremony, because he loved me AND because he loved the Bible so. Daddy and Granddaddy are both gone now, so those memories brought back by those images are even more precious now.

My favorite moments from my wedding, and my favorite ones captured on film, aren’t the ones that were posed. I love those too. But I love the moments that just happened. The moments that reflect happy because they came out of a happy event. Joy reflects joy, organized or not. So I guess my thought on weddings as I write this is this: If you are planning a wedding, remember why you are hopefully going through all of this. Not just to make a splash, or to have that big day that you planned when you were 7 and didn’t even know your future spouse. Hopefully you are having a wedding to celebrate the union of two souls that can’t go one more day without being together. And that you want your loved ones to see it. And that this will make everyone happy. And if that is the case, this will show up in your pictures, and you will cherish those moments and remember that feeling a day later, a year later, 5 years later, and forever.

People over 35!! Did ya have a wedding? Having one soon??

by SweetMidlife

Lynne here!

Cool minister from a random wedding.

We love love, and one of the reasons we started this blog was to inform/remind people that love doesn’t just happen to people in their 20’s.  It doesn’t matter how old you are; it is never too late to get married or to find the right person.  Leslie and I both got married in our late-30’s, and we know that some people considered that a fluke, like we got in right under the wire before there was no hope.

“Poppycock”, we say, because we have heard from a bunch of you who found your wuv, your TWUE wuv (look up “The Princess Bride” if this makes no sense to you) when you were “older” , and we want to hear from MORE of you!! If you got married (even if it wasn’t recent!!) in your mid-30’s or beyond, we want to hear your love story and share it on the blog.  And if you are getting married, we want to hear about that, too!! We want to celebrate with you, but we also want to give other people hope that love IS out there, and it doesn’t care about age.

So, share away!!

Umm, thank you, but I’m fine, OR, wedding advice you are glad you didn’t take

by SweetMidlife

So, we’ve posted the best wedding advice we got for our wedding AND actually took, even if it was completely different than what we actually planned. Today, we wanted to share the best wedding advice we got but did NOT take, because it was better for another wedding, namely, not ours. Yes, many times concerned friends and family members and people who see that you are wearing an engagement ring at the grocery store will give you advice, much of it derived from either their own experience as a bride or wedding attender, or  based on the wedding that they want to have some day.  This is fantastic stuff, as many brides have stories of their successes or not-s0-muches and want to help you towards or away from their results.   However, you often have to thank people for their advice and thoughts, take a deep breath, and do what you planned. Because after all, to quote a wedding show we used to be obsessed with, who’s wedding is it, anyway? That would be yours, in case you wondered.

So, we wanted to share the best advice that we didn’t take.

Lynne will go first……

So, my husband and I planned our wedding in 2 months, and people told us that we were crazy, and that we could never have the wedding that we wanted to in that short of period of time.  Planning a wedding in 8 weeks (along with moving, changing jobs and churches all at the same time) did have it’s moments of, let’s say, excitement, but besides one stressed-out phone call 2 weeks in that only my mama and I know the details of, it was really a good time. Our friends and families really hunkered down with their support, love and encouragement (and some with donations of $ and cake), and we were able to focus less on the details and more on us (and we were able to stick to our budget and not charge ANYTHING). Because after dating for 2 and a half years, 2 months was long enough to have the loving, fun, slightly-wacky celebration that ended in what we were going for: us being married.

The second thing was advice I ALMOST took. As she had done for my sister, my Grandma offered to buy my veil as an engagement gift. Excited by the offer, I started scouring the internet for cool ideas that I thought would go with my romantic dress but still give it a boho/hippy kind of look. I found what I thought was perfect; a picture of a bride with a headband on the front, a separate veil coming from the back of her head, and a flower on the front. Really pretty. I excitedly e-mailed it to my mom, so my visiting Grandma could see it.  When they called back though, they were less than thrilled. They didn’t like the look (or at least the picture I sent). I was deflated and decided to just wear a sparkly headband, a gift from wedding planning friend Shellie.  Then, about 3 weeks before the wedding, Twin Leslie came with me to a dress fitting and loved the headband, but thought that I needed a veil to go with it.  I agreed that something was missing, and Grandma happily put the veil gifting back on the table. So yay. So, fast forward to the Wednesday before the wedding. My bridesmaids got to pick their own brown dresses and orange accessory, and Leslie was showing me some of hers. Yes, the girl likes her some accessories.  She showed me one of her maybes,  an orange flower hair clip, and her eyes got really big, and she said, hey, you should wear this. So I tried it on with the veil, and the headband, and I got this….

…which is exactly what I wanted to wear in the first place.  So, although I took a brief detour, God brought me back around to where I started, and even though I changed my plan, I happily wound up with what my heart really wanted. So cool.

So here’s what Leslie has to say…

Because I have a lot of friends, both personally and the ones that know me from my newspaper column in Florida, there are a lot of very well-meaning people who think it’s cool to tell me what to do. And I love them for it. Most of them. But just like Lynne said, there are weddings that their advice works well in, and ones that they don’t. Like mine. Some of the advice I didn’t take was just random, and some was just diametrically opposed to who my husband and I are as people.

Yeah, I’m sorta melodramatic. Here’s just a sampling of the wedding advice road not traveled:

— “Don’t have more than three attendants. At your age, it’s tacky”: That’s advice I think I’d have agreed with in my 20s – until I got engaged at 38 and realized how many close ladies (and one dude) I have in my life. It didn’t hurt anybody, slow down the wedding or look bad. In fact, all of my girls (and one guy) looked amazing. And I got to honor them for the way they honored me as my friend.

— “Make your attendants all wear the same dress. If you don’t, their choices will be Hodge Podge Lodge Rainbow Bright”: Do you know ten women who all look good in the same dress? The same color? Who aren’t models? No. You. Do. Not And neither do I.  Also, at 38, I knew first hand what happens when a bride doesn’t consider her friends in her decision. So I told the ladies (and guy) to pick any color between pink and purple that wasn’t too booby or short, and wear it. They appreciated me not living in their pocket books, and being able to wear something that they might wear again. And again, all looked a-mah-zing.


What are you glad you decided to stick your guns to? If you’re getting married, what are you determined to do that people are saying you can’t? We wanna know!!

Happy 4th of July from the Brides at 35!!

by SweetMidlife

by Lynne Streeter Childress

So I’m eating a plate of nachos, working on a blog post, and watching “In Her Shoes”, with Toni Colette and Cameron Diaz, and I just passed the part where Toni’s suffering from wedding planning stress, and her fiance’ says, “Engagement is supposed to be a happy time”, and that made me stop what I was working on and write this.  That sentiment is part of what inspired my sister Leslie and me to start “Bride at 35” in the first place. It was about being at a place in our lives where we felt blessed to have both finally found the husbands we were meant to have, and that we didn’t settle  just because we were getting towards the end of our baby-making years.  And we knew that there were MANY more of us out there, in their mid-30s’s and beyond, who were on all ends of the spectrum. And we wanted to have a voice. Maybe you are still looking for THE one, or maybe you’ve found them and you are planning your big day, or maybe you’ve had the big day and you are working on what comes next. Or maybe you’re not even looking, and you are deliciously relishing your singlehood.  Wherever you are, it doesn’t matter; this should be a happy time. So, on this 4th of July, look around, take in all of the blessings in your life, and enjoy yourself. That’s freedom. That’s happy.

Hey Brides! Got Broken Relationships? Repair them (and be on TV)!

by SweetMidlife

So, you’re a bride planning your wedding, and your plans are going great.  Dress? Check. Reception Venue? Check. Mom coming?  Not so much.  It might be a parent, or a sister, or a best friend, but there’s someone you cared for who has fallen out of your life, and you think your wedding wouldn’t be complete without them being there.

What to do. what to do? We have an idea!!

We heard about a new reality show called “Mending Fences” that seeks to reunite brides with the estranged people in their lives, just in time for the big day.  Below is the official press release from the casting people!  We send our blessings if you throw your hat in the ring (and by all means, let us know if you do).

Happy Reunion!

Compelling New TV Series Is Reaching Out To Brides-To-Be Who Want To Reconcile With An Estranged Loved One Before The Big Day!

Have you and a family member been torn apart by a long-standing rift?

Have you gone years without speaking?

Are you a bride-to-be who wants to take the first step toward reconciling with an estranged family member before your big day?

Has your upcoming wedding and future marriage changed your outlook on your broken relationship?

Would you like to ask this person to be there to support you on your wedding day?

Breakthrough Entertainment is currently casting a brand new series for a Major International Women’s Network. “Mending Fences” is a compelling one-hour documentary-style series that will be dedicated to working one-on-one with family members who desperately want to repair their broken relationships. We’re reaching out to brides-to-be because often times, a life-changing event (like a wedding) can make even the largest rifts seem less significant and may even inspire the courage to reach out to an estranged family member after years or silence. On this series, family members will work with Janet Morrison, a well-respected and dedicated Family Mediator, who will be there to lend support, encourage honest conversation and ultimately, give family members the chance to reconcile and start again.

If you live anywhere within a two-hour flight of Toronto and want to learn more about this exciting opportunity, we want to hear from you! Please include a description of yourself, the family member with whom you’re feuding and the issues plaguing your relationship, along with a recent photo (Don’t forget to include your contact information!). This is a five-day (non-consecutive) filming commitment and participants must be willing to travel and share their stories on television. Each participant will receive a $3500 financial honorarium as a “thank you” for their time and commitment.

We look forward to hearing from YOU!

Danielle Gervais
Casting Director, Breakthrough Entertainment
Ph. 646.678.4999

Yet another Bride at 35 Inspirational Bad Date!

by SweetMidlife

Her date did not turn into a werewolf. That was the best thing about him.

Last week, we brought you the ridiculous but somewhat inspirational story of Leslie and her ex boyfriend, Oil Rig Man/Guy (his name changed throughout the story but his status as a lying cheating loser did not). We told this story as a reminder that even in the midst of bad dating choice, The One could be around the corner.

Unfortunately, in this next story, Leslie couldn’t see the corner past her revulsion with a chap we’ll call Ebay. Even though she was 33 during her brief, brief association with this clown, this is a good one because it:

Read the rest of this entry »

Bride at 35 Fashion: Beautiful Bridesmaids Dresses, Happy Everybody

by SweetMidlife



We know that our blog is read by people on all ranges of the wedding spectrum, but one thing that many of us have in common is that we’ve been IN a wedding at some time in our lives.  And no term sets fear into the hearts of a bride’s close friends like “bridesmaids dress”.  The bride has a vision, but you don’t know if you want to be a part of it if that includes a strapless full-length peach taffeta dress designed for a 100-lb 18 year-old (if that’s not who you are) .  And who wants to spend $250 on something that you and she BOTH know you will never wear again because looking like an overgrown clown on a Snickers bender does not fit into your everyday life?

Our expert today could be the answer to your problems, Dear Over-35 bride or bridesmaid.  Athelia Wooley is the designer and co-owner (along with her business partner Emily McCormick) of Shabby Apple, a wonderful company that designs beautiful, classic, affordable dresses for work and other occassions that flatter different ages and body types. And while “flatter” often means “doesn’t make you look awful”, in Shabby Apple’s case it means “makes you look awesome”.  Their main audience is women in their mid-20’s through their early 40’s; these are women who are past college-age, but still want to be pretty and trendy. “”They don’t want to look too young, but they aren’t  ready for Talbots yet”, says Athelia.

As Athelia was planning her own wedding, she looked around for dresses for her attendants but she mostly found short strapless ones that her friends were not going to feel comfortable in.  This inspired her to design a wedding line, so a year ago, Shabby Apple introduced The Bridesmaids Collection.  Enjoy the following pictures, along with Athelia’s thoughts on pretty, affordable, respectable dresses that your bridesmaids WILL want to wear again. We would.

Picking bridesmaids dresses that both you and your friends like can be tough, and Athelia says that a good place to start is with materials. The thicker the material, the more stretch it has; the more stretch, the more flattering.  This means a dress  “that looks good on everybody”. 

As for bridesmaids who get to pick their own dresses, Athelia thinks that you should wear something that you like but that doesn’t distract from who you are. “Pick something that you are going to wear”, she says,” and not that is going to wear you.” But before you get TOO cute, Athelia says that you should remember whose day this is. “The bride is the center of attention; look good, but don’t try to outshine her.”

Like you and your bridesmaids, Athelia kept budget in mind and was “super price-conscious” as she designed the line; all of the dresses in the line are $130, and are made of the best fabrics possible. This is good for your wedding, and good for business. “If the customer has a good experience and doesn’t have to spend a lot of money, they will come back and tell their friends.”

Ultimately, beauty is a state of mind, according to Athelia, and this is especially true of women in their 30’s and above. “You have to believe (in your own beauty) ; if you believe it yourself, you will portray it.  If your age makes you insecure it makes you unattractive.”  And you can find that beauty while still maintaining your dignity.  “If you are classy you will look beautiful. The biggest mistake is that we try to be vampy, but it looks silly, and it doesn’t respect you”. 

Shabby Apple’s designs are perfect for the Bride at 35, and we hope you check them out.  And since Athelia was 31 when she got married, she is today’s Real Life Bride at (almost) 35.  Here are some pictures of her wedding, which she calls “a wonderful celebration with people who I love”.  Enjoy.

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