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Waterfalls: Upper Bridal Veil Fall


Get ready for an adventure you’ll never forget! A mere mile up unassuming Palmer Mill Road lies one of the most spectacular falls in the whole Columbia River Gorge. Here, Bridal Veil Creek truly “veils” out over a massive wall of basalt, plunging nearly one hundred feet into a moss draped amphitheater.

Waterfalls: Upper Bridal Veil Fall

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Despite its close proximity to famous, easy-two-access falls like Latourell and Bridal Veil, Upper Bridal Veil Falls receives a fraction of the visitors. This is most likely due to the intense, unmarked, Indiana Jones-esque scramble to reach it. Those who complete this hike will get dirty, muddy and wet for sure, but the challenge is by all means worth it.

It is not easy to find the trailhead because there is none. Park a mile up Palmer Mill Road and pick up a spur trail heading down into the canyon. This “trail” branches off shortly after the road crosses a small stream. Do not attempt any of the possible routes further up the canyon. The cliffs are far too steep. After meandering in the woods for a short distance, the trail immediately dips into the canyon. Conveniently placed ropes help at the beginning but the route gets steeper and steeper as you approach the creek. Take it slow on this section, as the terrain is crumbly. There are, however, things to hold on to. Once down at the creek, it is a fairly easy walk upstream to the falls; which should be plainly visible from where the trail ends up.

Upper Bridal Veil falls is a stunner, gracefully plunging over a sheer cliff wall. Awe inspiring close up views can be seen on both sides of the creek although one will have to cross the stream to get right up to the falls. This is not advisable in the winter and spring months as the water will be too forceful. Standing directly in front of this falls is a truly humbling experience. The wall of water pours like a deafening hurricane. You’ll be soaked in seconds, as I was. For a drier view, there are several nice flat areas farther from the falls to sit an enjoy the shag.

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04:10 Publié dans bridal | Tags : waterfalls, bridal | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


My quest to find the perfect mother-of-the-bride dress

It’s nerve-wracking, this mother-of-the-bride evening dresses business.

I don’t want to be too dowdy. Or too sleazy. Or too matchy-matchy with the other moms, or the bride, or the bridal party or even the wall color of the reception hall (“Where’s Ellen?").

Also, as the third-string mom behind my stepdaughter’s mom and the groom’s mom I have to let them go first. I’m not that vital.

So no navy. That’s the bridesmaids' color.

No purple. Her mom’s dress.

No white or ivory. The bride’s colors.

Also, the wedding is in December. So no sleeveless, or I’ll need a wrap.

Also, the dress has to be comfortable. Nothing that will cut off the circulation.

So it is a big challenge.

But I am determined.

And I am not alone in my quest.

Marriages on rise

After years of trending downward, marriage is coming back in style. Millennials finally (finally!) have started getting married.

In 2015, Michigan recorded the highest marriage rate and the most marriages in nine years. There were 58,848 marriages with 11.86 persons married per 1,000, unpublished state figures obtained by the Free Press show.

This trend echoes an upturn in the national marriage rate that began in 2014, after more than a decade in the doldrums.

More weddings, however, mean there also are more mothers of the brides and grooms out there, running around wringing their hands worrying about what they’re going to wear.

Experts say that a lot of their attire problems come because, well, moms are moms.

“Mom waits until the very last minute. She puts herself last. She’s not thinking about herself. It’s sweet, but I want to tell them, 'You deserve something beautiful, too; you need to feel fabulous, too,' ” says Amanda Cover, co-owner of Bombshell Bridal Boutique in St. Clair Shores.

Moms also wait because they want the dress to fit.

“I see moms who wait because they’re going to lose 20 pounds,” says Laura Van Vliet, owner of Eva’s Bridal in Garden City. “We carry a large number of dresses they can buy off the rack.”

On the other hand, some moms, like me, delay because of fear. What if they pick the wrong color or style? What if they embarrass themselves? What if they look like a dud?

Buy PhotoMother of the bride dresses at Alessandra Bridal in Warren. (Photo: Ellen Creager/Detroit Free Press)

Trendy colors, styles

Before I head to the store, I need to know. What dress would make me trendy?

This year, the hot colors for moms’ dresses are navy, plum and wine, with black, gold, gray and taupe also doing well, says Cree Kelly, a bridal consultant for 30 years who works at Alessandra Bridal in Warren.

“Navy is the new black,” she says. As for length, almost all dresses are long.

In terms of decoration, lace is popular, she says, showing off a black lace dress with a nude lining. Heavily beaded dresses, metallic fabrics, gold lamé that harkens back to the 1960s, “and believe it or not, sequins” are also trending, which all add to the price.

Shoes are “silver, gold or neutral, no dyed shoes,” says Janise Ventimiglia, owner of Arena Bridal in Shelby Township.

As for sleeve length, most dresses, sadly, are sleeveless even though most moms hate sleeveless. What is that about?

“That is something I ask my designers every season we meet,” says Cover, whose store caters to plus-size moms.

The answer is that dresses with sleeves are harder to fit women properly, because bridal fabrics don't stretch. Dresses with sleeves also cost more. In the tailoring process, sleeves can be added to most dresses, or some moms wear wraps or shawls that match the dress.

Some younger moms want to show off well-toned upper arms. But truthfully, I am sure, most moms would rather cover that part up.

As for the style of the dress itself, almost anything goes — within reason. Nobody wants to be that mom, the one who commits a terrible faux pas. One time, Cover recalls, a mother of the bride insisted on wearing white to match her daughter’s wedding dress.

“The bride was not having it. She was very upset,” Cover says. “It put us in a really difficult situation.”

So does the mom who picks a show-off, glamorous dress to outshine the bride.

“We definitely have had a few times where the dress that mom picks is really, really sexy,” Cover says. “Not that mom can’t be sexy, but in my mind it is not appropriate.”

There is only one way a mom can be absolutely sure of doing the right thing for the wedding — ask the bride her preferences, says Ventimiglia: “There’s no right or wrong," she says. "It’s about what the bride wants.”

Buy PhotoMother of the bride dresses at Alessandra Bridal in Warren. (Photo: Ellen Creager/Detroit Free Press)

Shopping issues

I may have only 10 weeks before the wedding, but ideally, moms should start shopping for a dress six months ahead.

Some moms buy a dress off the rack at department stores like Nordstrom or Lord & Taylor. They are known for their mother-of-the-bride dress selection. Off the rack is fine, except for the remote possibility that a wedding guest may show up in the same dress you’re wearing.

Some women go online to order from suspiciously inexpensive, foreign mother-of-the-bride dress websites, not realizing there are no returns if the dress doesn’t fit or they hate it. (Always stick to known sites that allow full returns for any reason.)

Other women order at bridal salons. This is where you get the best selection of styles and colors. Dresses usually need to be ordered weeks or months ahead. It also can be intimidating, standing there in front of the consultants, trying on dress after dress with samples usually too small or too large. But you get personal service and a trained eye.

Buy PhotoTrying on mother-of-the-bride dresses can be a nervewracking experience. (Photo: Ellen Creager/Detroit Free Press)

Black? Really?

After discussing all these trends with the experts, I’ve got a few more questions.

The first is about black, and whether it is considered bad luck to wear it.

No. Times have changed. If the bride and groom are fine with black, experts say go for it.

Second: Should a mom’s dress match the bridesmaid dresses?

Not usually, experts say. Most moms wear complementary colors to the bridesmaids' dresses so everyone looks good in pictures. If the bridal party is in navy, for example, try purple, silver or cranberry, not bright fuchsia.

Third: Which mom chooses a dress first? The order is still mother of the bride, then mother of the groom, then any other moms. (Speaking as a longtime stepmom, I checked with both the bride's mom and groom’s mom before shopping. I’ve been a stepmom since the bride was four years old, and I am so flattered and thrilled to be included by her as another “mom” in her wedding plans.)

Fourth: What if I change my mind at the last minute? Changing dresses is an expensive decision but not that uncommon, consultants say. In fact, Van Vliet just helped a woman on a Monday buy a dress that was being tailored to be ready on Friday for a Saturday wedding.

“She hated her dress and said it was so uncomfortable she just couldn’t wear it,” she says. The kicker? This will be the mom’s third dress. She couldn’t wear the first one she bought because it was navy, same color as the other mother’s dress.

Buy PhotoMother of the bride dresses at Alessandra Bridal in Warren. (Photo: Ellen Creager/Detroit Free Press)

Finally, a dress I like

With all these rules and trends in my head, I admit I am a little nervous. But armed with the information, I step in to Brides by Demetrios in Troy. Seven years ago I had good luck there purchasing another mother of the bride dress.

This time, I am lectured sternly about coming in too late, or nearly too late.

A consultant helps me try on about 25 dresses.

I find a dress I like — then learn it will not arrive until Dec. 2 for the Dec. 3 wedding. That won’t do. So then I finally find one with a bit of bling on the shoulders, a flattering waist, an order time that will get it here in time for it to be tailored. And yes, it comes in cranberry, the color my stepdaughter is enthusiastic about.

It’s sleeveless, but I can wear a black velvet wrap if it’s cold.

So it looks good. I feel good. It’s not too flashy or too dowdy or too tight, which, ladies, if you think about it, is all you really need in a mother-of-the-bride dress.

So I'm ready. Let the wedding begin.

​Contact Detroit Free Press travel writer Ellen Creager: 313-222-6498 or ecreager@freepress.com,

Buy PhotoArena Bridal in Shelby Township has mother of the bride dresses galore. (Photo: Ellen Creager/Detroit Free Press)

Five rules for mothers of the bride and groom

1. Be a no-drama mama.

2. The bride is the boss, so chat with her before dress shopping.

3. You deserve to look nice. Don’t sell yourself short. Shop early.

4. Mom of the bride gets first dibs on dresses. Mom of groom goes second.

5. Have fun.

Be glad it’s not 1950

On my bookshelf I keep a copy of the 1950 edition of “Etiquette” by Emily Post. Her elaborate guidelines for weddings in those days included advice for mothers of the bride and groom. Mothers were expected to wear hats and gloves. For evening weddings, mothers wore “evening hats” or hair ornaments or veils. Weddings between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. required “daytime dresses”. Evening weddings required “dinner dresses.” Dress colors had to be “light in color or bright — and never black unless relieved with color.”

New Emily Post Institute guidelines are a lot more relaxed. “The old concept that both moms are supposed to look matronly was retired long ago, along with the colorless advice that the mother of the groom should wear beige,” it reassures moms. “Long evening dresses uk and skirts are fine for any wedding from noon on.”

04:22 Publié dans bridal | Tags : bride, dress, marieprom | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


Bride trashes wedding dress in first anniversary charity fundraiser

A Long Eaton woman and her husband celebrated their first wedding anniversary by trashing her wedding mermaid prom dresses in a charity fundraising stunt.

Imogen and Liam Hopkins were joined by their bridesmaids and groomsmen and many of their original wedding guests as they headed to Newstead Abbey Park on Tuesday, August 30.

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They decided to trash their wedding outfits one year on to raise money for local charity Treetops Hospice Care.

Imogen, 25, said: “I’ve worked at Treetops for just over a year and love the work I do here. Liam sees the positive impact the charity has, not only for people in the community but also how much pleasure I get from working for such an incredible organisation.

“We talked about simply donating our outfits to our Treetops Bridal Boutique in Wollaton but realised we could raise a lot more money by asking people to sponsor us and have a bit of fun together at the same time.”

With family and friends looking on, the bridal party jumped in streams, sat under a waterfall and even had paint thrown at them.

The unusual activity has already helped to raise over £300, once all pledges have been collected the couple hopes the total will exceed £500.

The ‘Trash The mermaid style prom dresses’ phenomenon has grown increasingly popular worldwide as women arrange for photographers to capture their wedding gowns being self-destroyed in order to create original and unusual photos.

Imogen added: “Our wedding photographers Martelle Photography offered to capture the trashing taking place so we saw it as a great way to remember our first anniversary.

“I also get to see the impact of my sponsorship money first-hand and understand what a difference it makes to so many lives.”

08:40 Publié dans bridal | Tags : bride, wedding, dress, marieprom | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)