Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

Like a horse and carriage

Image via Erin hearts Court Say what you like about the Americans – they’re relentlessly positive,  they don’t understand sarcasm (those two points may be related), and they often wear very badly fitting jeans – but when it comes to weddings, …

Thu, Feb 11, 2010, 12:48



Image via Erin hearts Court

Say what you like about the Americans – they’re relentlessly positive,  they don’t understand sarcasm (those two points may be related), and they often wear very badly fitting jeans – but when it comes to weddings, they have it down pat. Not for them, reams of bridesmaids decked out in Coast and notes saying “please, no Karen Millen dresses”. Instead, anyone who reads the really inspiring and amazing blog, Once Wed - which manages to be inspiring and amazing even for those of us who don’t have “get married” at the top of their 2010s wishlist – will know that gli americani have the most kooky, kitsch, deadly-looking vintage-inspired weddings.

Having a unique wedding is something that, I feel, eludes most people. Weddings have become so standardised that we all know the “types” of dresses we’d wear, the “types” of shoes we’d wear and the “types” of photos to expect. And the black tie wedding is my own personal pet peeve (well, along with invitations to weddings in Bali; if I want to go to Bali, I’ll take a fortnight off and go sightseeing, thanks), from a fashion point of view. You look back on the photographs and you think, “wow, a wedding”. You don’t think (as you might when looking at my own parents’ wedding slideshow), “wow, a wedding in the 1970s” – thanks, Dad, those bellbottoms made your day. Nor do you think, “ah, the Chanel-inspired drop waist and dark lip – 1950s!”. Instead, the black tie wedding belongs in the chasm of time that no one recognises. All guests in identikit formalwear, with nothing to mark out the sartorial goings-on of the time, not so much as a tie pin.


Look at this (also via Erin hearts Court; were I to get married in the US of A, I would fo’ sho’ be employing her services)! Different colours, different dresses, different women! And it’s such a unique photograph, more like a fashion spread than a shot for a wedding book. I think that’s the crux of the matter: weddings, and the photographs resulting from them, often look so cookie-cutter that it’s barely believable. We spend our lives attempting to be ourselves, to dress like ourselves, to express ourselves through our outer presentation (regardless of whether or not this is a good thing, it is a fact), why is it that when it comes to what most term “the most important day of your life”, we’re willing to throw all of that individuality away in return for some Vera Wang and a pair of Christian Louboutins?


Via Labor of Love

And another thing! (While I’m on a roll. . .) There’s something I’ve noticed about American style bloggers vs the few Irish ones who have been slowly gaining momentum this past year – the Americans (and this is not a “let’s slag the Irish” moment) seem so much more comfortable in front of the camera. I suspect it might be a cultural thing – us Irish are always encouraged to be as modest as possible, and we all look a bit awkward when we’re told to laugh in photographs (which, incidentally, is a surefire way of looking like you’re having the best time ever) or to look natural. On the other hand, I’ve never met an American who didn’t love the look of a shiny lens.My point being, their wedding photographs then come out looking so natural and like they’re having the time of their lives, running through fields and dancing around, instead of standing staidly at a certain angle so that their arms look thin and the photographer misses their double chins. . . but I digress. Back to the photography:


Also via Labor of Love

Another thing you’ll notice while trawling through Once Wed (it’ll take a while, but it is so brilliant) is that a lot of the weddings featured have really kooky and thrifty features – handmade place settings, handmade decorations, handmade handmade handmade! It’s something that I think Irish brides and grooms to be are looking at this year, but across the water they’ve been blazing a trail for years. Why buy when you can make? What I think is lovely about making decorations is that you can keep a selection of them as mementos (this might be the same reason I’m so anti giving money as a wedding gift; my parents still take out plates and bowls and go “auntie such-and-such gave us that for our wedding”, which I just think is so lovely – memories before moolah, is my motto!).


Via Jonas Peterson

Last but not least, the photographs themselves. This one just so happens to be from Brisbane-based photographer Jonas Peterson, and I love how the photographs are like art. They don’t look like wedding photographs you’d stick on your dresser; instead, I’d blow this baby up and stick it on a white wall above my rustic fireplace (issues with current lack of abode aside). So gorgeous.(It’s kind of a weddingy week, so expect a little bit more of the same – but I’ll try to mix it up with some Valentine’s Day duds and a look at a few new fashion spreads that you might be missing out on if, unlike me, you don’t purchase your weight in glossies every fortnight.)