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What's a Moroccan wedding blanket — and why is everyone decorating with it

The year may only be halfway over, but we're already calling out one of the biggest home decor trends of 2015: Moroccan wedding blankets.


The cream-colored, sequin-decked textiles are popping up throughout homes across the country — and the blankets aren't only finding their way onto beds or sofas. They're being used as rugs, wall hangings and headboards, fitting a variety of design aesthetics.





"In general, Moroccan decor is big right now," says Kirstin Hoffmann, the merchandise curation manager at online retailer Dot & Bo. Hoffmann points to recent sales success of her company's Moroccan collections as examples.


"We're seeing a growing trend of people seeking to bring home the storied history of Morocco through beautiful textiles. Moroccan wedding blankets, or handira, were traditionally woven by hand in anticipation of a wedding — and thought to bring blessings and good luck to the marriage."


Beyond that, Hoffmann says that the blankets are continuing to rise in prominence in the design world, as they're neutral in color and can seamlessly fit into a variety of decor motifs, from bohemian — which you might expect — on one end of the spectrum to industrial on the other.


Of course, with their sumptuous, heirloom-like look, the blankets are great conversation pieces, too, and "the sequins add a hint of glamour and texture," Hoffman says.


But the price point can prove a bit of a barrier to entry. In general, Moroccan wedding blankets can be quite expensive. Anthropologie's versions range to nearly $1,700, and many offered on Etsy range high into the hundreds of dollars. The soaring price isn't just because the trend is hot right now, but because the pieces are painstakingly handmade.


"Moroccan wedding blankets are handmade and one-of-a-kind, which makes them very treasured possessions," Hoffmann explains. "The rarity of the blankets accounts for why they tend to be on the pricey side."


Importers like Beyond Marrakech offer the blankets at a lower price point. But if buying a large Moroccan wedding blanket is still too pricey, interior designer Whitney Perez shows how you can make your own version with a tutorial on her blog, "The Cuban in my Coffee."

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3 Unbelievable Stories of Mothers of the Groom Behaving Badly

Owner of Weddings in Vieques, a destination-wedding planning company off the coast of Puerto Rico, Sandy Malone has helped countless couples plan their big day since 2007. Here, she dishes on the craziest mother-in-law stories.


It's hard to be the mother of the groom. Rarely do you get the credit for planning anything other than the rehearsal dinner and you definitely have to be prepared to play a backseat role to the mother of the bride. And if you're not terribly close to your future daughter in law, you might not have had much input on the wedding plans in general.


Here's the thing, it's great if the groom's mother can play an active role in the wedding planning if the bride wants her help. But if the bride has politely declined assistance, or you're just not that close to each other, sometimes it's better to look pretty, keep your opinions to yourself, and just be a well-behaved VIP at the wedding and reception. Even if you feel left out, don't take it out on the bride.


Crazy Mother In Law


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I've met some horrible, awful, really bad mothers of the groom at weddings over the years. Here are three of my favorite examples:


The MOG Who Taunted the Bride


At one wedding, we had a rain delay. So we had to execute a "Plan B" and move things under cover. While we were moving everything, the groom's mother was running in and out of the bridal suite playing "Chicken Little" and telling the bride the sky was falling and everything was a mess. She just wanted to upset the bride. Everything was fine. The bridesmaids eventually tossed her out.


The MOG Who Wouldn't Take No for an Answer


Sometimes the bride and groom do not want to follow the cultural traditions of their families, and so they opt to leave them out of their wedding plans. I recently had a mother of the groom who was determined to include the traditional capias (little lacy doilies the bride and groom pin on each guest in Puerto Rico) even though the wedding couple didn't want to do them. The bride acquiesced and agreed to have them displayed in a basket with a note at the reception, but the minute the couple was away taking formal pictures, themother of the groom and her sisters ran around and pinned doilies on every guests. Not exactly what the bride and groom wanted to see in their wedding photos.


The MOG Who Was Completely Insensitive


The bride's family wasn't in attendance at the wedding — I mean not one single family member. It was lovely to see how her fiancé's family truly embraced her. Except for the hurtful, sneaky little stunts the mother of the groom kept trying to pull. The worst was when she requested the song "We Are Family" from the DJ. He played it, not knowing any better. Til we told him what was going on and took all family-related music off the table for future requests.

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Michelle Keegan's stunning bespoke bridal gown FINALLY revealed as she poses with beaming husband Mark Wright

MICHELLE Keegan’s stunning wedding dress has finally been revealed - and she looks nothing short of amazing.


The brunette beauty, who married Mark Wright in a star-studded ceremony in in Bury St Edmunds last Sunday, has managed to keep her bridal gown under wraps so far.


Custom made by Israeli fashion house Galia Lahav in conjunction with specialist boutique store Browns Brides, the ivory dress with plunging back is adorned with intricate French lace and heavily embellished with glittering Swarovski crystals.


The former TOWIE actress designed the gown herself, and it shows off her perfectly toned figure and glowing tan as she poses in the first official pictures.


In the first snaps from their big day, Mark and Michelle couldn't look happier as they pose on the front cover of Hello! magazine, describing the ceremony as "the day our dreams came true.”


Mark teased the cover himself hours before, as he shared a snap to his 740,000 followers - and it doesn't disappoint.


Mark posted the snap of the cover with the caption: "This time last week, this day was so close !! Miss it so much but get to relive it tomo !! @hellomaguk out in the morning !!"


Hello! magazine front cover showing the wedding of Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright


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EMBARGOED TO 0001 SUNDAY MAY 31 Hello! magazine front cover showing the wedding of Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright


With lace around her arms and stopping in a V above her bum, the design is elegant and eye-catching, ending in a fishtail design by her feet.


The cover snap sees the pair smiling happily together as husband and wife, with Michelle showing her back to the camera as she leans into her man's arms.


Wearing her long hair wavy, she's half clipped it back and wore an Italian veil from Peter Langner for the ceremony itself.


Another smaller photo shows them at the alter, staring lovingly into each other's eyes as Michelle reveals the front of that gown for the first time.


"She looked so amazing. Her wedding dress was just perfect,” Mark told the magazine.


While Michelle added: “Seeing Mark looking back at me as I walked down the aisle was the best feeling ever."


Mark, looking handsome in a black tuxedo and bowtie, added: “Not only are you beautiful, but you are one of the most incredible people I have ever met. You truly are sensational in every single way.”


Michelle previously revealed she took inspiration from other wedding gowns including the custom made Oscar de la Renta gown which Amal Alamuddin wore when she married George Clooney last year.


Mark Wright and Michelle Keegan attend A Night Of Heroes: The Sun Military Awards at National Maritime Museum on December 10, 2014 in London, England


Mark Wright and Michelle Keegan attend A Night Of Heroes: The Sun Military Awards at National Maritime Museum on December 10, 2014 in London, England


She said: "She (Amal) looked amazing, gorgeous. That was the one that stood out for me. I couldn't find one that I really liked so instead I took inspiration from various aspects of dresses I loved and it's been made for me. But I haven't tried it on yet. My fitting is this month."


It comes after Mark revealed the pair are honeymooning on stunning island resort Maafushivaru in the Maldives.


Tweeting a picture of himself looking at the ocean (how poetic), he tweeted: “Being a husband !! Such an amazing feeling !! Buzzing for the journey ahead !! @Maafushivaru_MV #maldives”.


* Read the full article in HELLO! out now

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