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Maid of Dishonor
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Maid of Dishonor

Laura Barcella reveals the ugly side of being a bridesmaid. Lost in the drama of her best friend's wedding, she cracked under the pressure of a demanding bride, was promptly dismissed, and still lived to tell the tale.

5 Secrets To Surviving Wedding Season
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5 Secrets To Surviving Wedding Season

It has finally whittled down to you and the five-year-old flower girl vying for victory in the bride's bouquet toss. The friends who were infinitely more likable before they got engaged are now relentless reminders of your singleness, but you’re going to need a mightier resolve to withstand the forces of The Panic Years. Before you become permanently blinded by not-so-pleasant pastels and a seething jealous rage feeling like the lone single at your best friend's wedding, here are my top five tips—your secret weapons to surviving wedding season.

27,000 Dresses
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27,000 Dresses

New York's annual Running of the Brides takes place at the Union Square Filene's Basement. Engaged women at every stages of the wedding planning process rush the store in search of the perfect wedding dress for less. These brides mean business.

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And the Bride Wore White (Mesh)

Brides these days have grown tired with the fairy-tale wedding—from a fashion standpoint, at least. They’d rather feel, “sexy,” “hot,” and even “dangerous,” according to a recent New York Times article. Says the article: “‘Brides today absolutely want to look sexy and glamorous,’ said Mara Urshel, an owner and the president of Kleinfeld, the venerable Manhattan bridal salon. In recent months, the store has seen a spike in demand for plunging necklines and negligee looks, one that has only intensified since the spring bridal collections began arriving in stores.

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Banishing Bridezilla

Brides-to-be who are anything but blushing get bad reps, when, in reality, the cacophony of unsolicited opinions flying about during the planning process could make anyone batty. Wedding expert Sharon Naylor fielded 150 real-life pre-wedding pickles such as lackadaisical groomsmen or interfering in-laws, then composed advice in The Bride’s Diplomacy Guide: Solutions to 150 of the Stickiest Dilemmas that Face a Bride-to-Be. The cause behind most planning conflicts, she emphasizes, is intensified emotions not evil personalities! And, while we think a bride has every right to revert to verbal threats when family and guests forget that the day should be about her and not them, the cool-headed Naylor instead promotes diplomacy: Listening, calm explanations, the works. And that’s why this book comes in handy, offering situation-diffusing tips from a neutral source during a notoriously high-charged process that calls for much compromise. Happy wedding!