Activists campaigning to get Lebanon to abolish an old law that allows rapists to escape punishment for their crimes as long as they marry the survivor have staged a powerful protest on Beirut’s Corniche.
Thirty-one wedding dresses representing each day of the month in which women could be subject to further abuse by attackers who marry them were strung up on the Lebanese capital’s famous seafront to draw attention to Article 522 of the law addressing rape, assault and forced marriage.
Swaying in the breeze between the palms, they looked like corpses. Abaad – a Lebanese charity focused on women’s rights and helping domestic abuse survivors – staged a similar protest last December, in which women wearing wedding dresses and bandages splattered with red paint demonstrated outside parliament.
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Article 522 is a statute from the 1940s. Under current laws rape is punishable by up to seven years in prison. The penalty for raping a minor or someone with mental or physical disabilities is higher – but the article under scrutiny creates a loophole that allows criminal prosecution to be suspended if the two people involved get married.
Lebanon’s diverse Christian and Muslim political representatives were somewhat energised by the election of a president in November 2016 after a more than two-year-long paralysis, which meant legislation could not be passed.
In February, a parliamentary committee voted to scrap Article 522, and activists remain hopeful representatives will abolish it in an upcoming vote on 15 May.
Lebanon’s newly-appointed Minister for Women’s Affairs, Jean Oghassabian, was present at the protest. He described the current law as “stone age”.
Similar marriage clauses are present in the law regarding sexual consent in many modern Muslim states. They are usually hangovers from interpretations of sharia, or religious law.
In recent years, such loopholes have come under under intensified scrutiny, with protests aimed at getting the law changed in several countries across the Middle East – although Turkey abandoned attempts last year to pass a law that would have allowed men who had sex with underage children to be pardoned if they married the victim after the proposed legislation caused outrage both within the country and internationally.
Morocco, Egypt and Ethiopia have closed similar legislative loopholes in the last few years, and changes to the law are pending in Jordan and Bahrain.
Rape and sexual abuse affect nearly one billion women and girls over their lifetimes, UN data says.
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When Dan Gerecht bought a wedding insurance policy for his daughter Yvonne’s big day last year, he did it because the event was scheduled during hurricane season and he was worried that weather might force them to cancel.
But it turned out the Gerechts needed the policy for a different reason: The venue, the Winery at Elk Manor in North East, Maryland, shut down just two months before Yvonne’s 2016 Labor Day wedding, Gerecht says. They found themselves scrambling for a new location — and out the $30,000 Gerecht had already paid to Elk Manor.
Vendors who can’t fulfill contracts are the most common cause of wedding insurance claims. Here’s how insurance can help.
Wedding disaster No. 1: Vendor fails
Vendor issues, like the venue going out of business, make up 30% of wedding insurance claim dollars — the largest share — paid by Travelers Insurance. Wedding insurance policies will often reimburse you if you have to book a last-minute vendor or reschedule the wedding if a vendor backs out.
Gerecht says he was tipped off that something was awry when the caterer emailed and told him the venue hadn’t paid as promised. Fortunately, the $355 policy he’d bought from Travelers covered the venue closing.
Wedding insurance “is such a small cost compared to what you could lose if something goes wrong,” says Anne Chertoff, wedding trends expert at WeddingWire.
The Gerechts were lucky; they found another venue for the same day. “Some families sued [the venue], but thankfully we didn’t have to” because we had wedding insurance, Gerecht says.
Wedding disaster No. 2: Someone gets injured
Weddings are fun. Often they’re so much fun that someone gets hurt. If there’s an injury at your wedding, you could be held liable — and that’s what wedding liability insurance is for. Wedding liability insurance is typically a separate policy from cancellation insurance, though they can be purchased in a bundle.
“As you might expect, we do see many injuries that occur on the dance floor,” says Steve Lauro, vice president at Aon Affinity, parent company of WedSafe, a seller of wedding insurance. Among claims to WedSafe, 28% are for injuries or accidents that occur at weddings.
In some cases, you could also be held liable if someone drinks too much and causes an accident. Liquor liability coverage may be sold as add-on coverage for wedding liability policies or included at no charge.
Wedding disaster No. 3: Extreme weather
When you’re booking the venue months beforehand, you cross your fingers and hope for good weather. Of wedding claims to Travelers, 16% of dollars paid out are due to extreme weather.
Coverage typically doesn’t include a rain shower or a blustery day that might ruin your party’s updos, because the wedding can still go on. But if there’s a tornado, hurricane or other destructive weather that prevents guests or vendors from arriving, a cancellation policy pays for costs to reschedule.
Wedding disaster No. 4: Medical emergency in the family
If someone close to you gets sick or injured right before your wedding, the last thing you want to worry about is the money lost canceling or rescheduling the event.
If the bride, groom, their parents or someone in the wedding party is sick or injured shortly before the wedding and can’t make it, cancellation policies typically cover the costs to reschedule. These represented about 6% of wedding cancellation claims to WedSafe in 2016, Lauro says.
Wedding disaster No. 5: Lost or ruined attire
Attire represents just 2% of wedding claim dollars paid by Travelers. However, tuxes and gowns are such an important part of weddings that they are commonly included in wedding cancellation policies.
Avoiding vendor issues
Chertoff recommends getting references from recent weddings that vendor has done and asking the references what their experiences were like.
Lauro recommends that you get all agreements in writing, read contracts thoroughly and check vendors on the Better Business Bureau.
Gerecht says the wedding insurance policy “was a great investment.” And he’s already purchased another one: He has another daughter getting married this year.
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Today, April 19, 2017, would have been Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III of Monaco’s 61st anniversary of their religious wedding ceremony. Their nuptials were, of course, the wedding of the 20th century, and photographs of Kelly still inspire brides today. But despite their iconic union, the royal family of Monacohas had more than a few stunning weddings. Princess Grace’s older daughter, Caroline, showcased quintessential 1970s style at her first wedding to Philippe Junot. When Prince Albert II, then-heir apparent to the Monaco throne, marriednow-Princess Charlene after a whirlwind romance, the world watched captivated. Charlene, who wore a structured Armani Privé custom gown for the occasion, memorably exited the ceremony on Prince Albert’s arm, the couple swathed in a swirl of petals.
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Even more recently, a third generation of Monaco royals have begun to say “I do.” In 2013, Princess Caroline’s son Andrea Casiraghi married Tatiana Santo Domingo in a civil ceremony. She wore a bohemian Missoni frock for the occasion. Caroline’s younger son, Pierre Casiraghi, married Beatrice Borromeo in 2015. The bride donned a series of ensembles—from an Armani Privé Grecian number for the religious ceremony to a blush Valentino gown for the civil ceremony—for her multiple wedding celebrations. Recently, the couple welcomed their first baby. Yet another generation, already in the works.
Above, a look back at royal Monaco weddings over the years.
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The late Malti Divecha or 'Malu' as she was affectionately called, was one of Cumballa Hill's celebrated grande dames, a lady known for her good taste and style, and sense of independence, and her passing not too long ago had depleted the city further. This week, word comes in, that her granddaughter Mia, the daughter of her only son Arjun Divecha, a renowned emerging market public investor on the West Coast, was married in a beautiful ceremony in San Francisco to her long-time beau and fellow Stanford alumnus, Nima Ahmadi. "The wedding was three days long. Very beautiful and elegant," says Ash Lilani, the swashbuckling Frisco-based investor, whose portfolio includes such winners in urban India as PayTM, Snapdeal and Sula. He says he was honoured when the couple asked him to officiate at their ceremony.
"Nima is brilliant. Persian background. By age of 26, he had a Bachelors and Masters from Stanford, and an MBA, and has already started two companies. He moved to Minnesota to be with Mia while she wraps up her PhD in Minneapolis. She has a year or so to go and they plan to move back to the Bay Area when she is done," says Lilani, even as the festivities were ongoing. And then he added, "We are still dancing." And we could almost hear the music on the other side of the globe!
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The nation wants to know
A friend who visited the headquarters of Arnab Goswami's new TV channel at Lower Parel this week, swears that its newsroom is a thing of beauty and a joy forever.
"I don't think there's anything like it today across the world," he raved. "Designed by his wife Samyabrata Ray Goswami and Charu Thakur, the channel's chief executive producer, it's completely integrated and state of the art."
And how about Goswami, we enquired about the country's most famous media personality, has he changed in any way? Has the weight of running a business dimmed his spirit or dampened his fire? "Not in the least bit," said the man. "The only difference if there is any is that he seems to have grown his hair longer," he said. "But I guess by the time he launches in a month or so, the scissors will be out."
The knives too, we wanted to add, but by then the friend had bounced away.
Love is in the air
Congratulations are in order for the dashing Gaurav Assomull, who got engaged to his girlfriend Garima Chawla last week. Gaurav's brother Vikram posted a picture of the lovely couple on social media congratulating them. "Welcome to the family Garima! Wishing you guys lots of love and happiness for the new chapter in your lives."
Incidentally, Gaurav was previously married to Kajal Fabiani in what had been one of the biggest destination weddings in recent times in Monte Carlo in 2011, and where rapper Akon had performed. We wish the young couple well.
The Padma chef
We almost didn't recognise the person receiving the Padma Shri honour from Pranab Mukherjee, the President of India, in this picture, but were informed that it was none other than popular chef and TV personality, Sanjeev Kapoor, who showed up to receive the honour in an altogether more fetching trimmer avatar sporting a designer stubble.
Chef Kapoor, who has hosted various TV shows, runs numerous successful restaurants, and also launched a food channel, was awarded the country's fourth highest civilian award for his contribution to the food industry over the years. Many of his colleagues came out in support on social media. "Proud moment for all of us!" posted popular TV chef Ranveer Brar. "Love that he wore the chef's coat while receiving it," commented restaurateur and head of the National Restaurant Association of India, Riyaaz Amlani. "Today is a victory of every Indian kitchen. A celebration of India's greatest soft-power," said Chef Vikas Khanna. And other foodies too joined in.
"Padma Shri for the "maestro" chef. Never before ever given to his tribe. First ever. Congratulations!" wrote Rishi Kapoor. Nice to see the genuine support and affection shared by the food sector!
Thanks to our job we have been blessed with the opportunity of meeting a slew of modern day savants and saints, motorcycling maniacs, God men, bankers turned Buddhas, and advocates of the now. We have benefitted immensely from this cosmic nibble at the great spiritual buffet on offer, but amongst them, none has struck us as being as well-heeled as the beatific spiritual leader from the South, who appears to be the cruise liner amidst the tug boats.
A few years ago, we chanced upon the gilt lined plans for an upcoming workshop in Europe designed for the sage's more loaded followers, which read like the itinerary of a top business tycoon's, involving Spa retreats, ski slopes, luxe inns and such like. The price tag had left us flabbergasted we recall. Now, sources say that the same master's flock are in talks with an international cruise liner to charter one of their larger vessels for a workshop on board over a week or so, most likely sailing through Europe! And of course, through all of this, the Great Master will expound on life's great mysteries. Except of course the most obvious one: why does Nirvana mostly come with a price?
She’s ready to walk down the aisle! Well, kind of. Amber Portwood tries on wedding dresses in a new preview for the season 7 premiere of Teen Mom OG, but also suggests that she has doubts about her relationship with fiancé Matt Baier. Check it out in the clip above.
In the sneak peek, Portwood, 26 — who postponed her October 2016 wedding to Baier after she found out he had flirted with her costar Farrah Abraham — checks out a potential venue (a Las Vegas chapel!) for her rescheduled nuptials. “I wanna get married here,” Baier tells Portwood, to which the Never Too Late author hesitantly replies, “I’m so scared!”
Cut to Portwood shopping for bridal gowns. When she slips into a long-sleeved, lacy number with a flowing train, the 16 and Pregnant alum can’t wait to take it off. “All right, I’m ready to get out of this,” Portwood — who shares daughter Leah, 8, with ex-fiancé Gary Shirley — tells a sales associate. “Get me out of this.”
In another scene, the Forever Haute founder seems unsure about her future with Baier. “You can love each other and wanna be with each other for the rest of your life,” she tells a producer, “and still not trust each other.”
The clip, which MTV released on Thursday, April 13, comes nearly two months after Portwood took to social media to shut down rumors that she and Baier secretly got hitched in Sin City. The speculation began when Baier shared an Instagram post on February 16 of a sign that read, “Going to the chapel and we’re gonna get married!” He captioned it, “Off to Vegas in the morning. Everyone have a nice weekend!”
The couple fueled the fire when they both shared snaps from their vacation. Portwood posted a selfie of the duo hitting the town, writing, “In Vegas with my babe.” And Baier put up a pic of himself shopping for a tuxedo at Creative Bridal Wear Las Vegas and appeared to be wearing a wedding band on his left hand.
Despite all the hints, the MTV starlet offered clarification via Twitter on February 19. “Hi loves from Vegas again!! No we didn’t get married however we went to a wedding always sending love,” she wrote alongside a photo of herself and Baier decked out in formal gear.
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A dress to die for? Marlene Dietrich would have literally gone to great lengths just for the show.
In a recently resurfaced 1958 correspondence to costume designer Jean Louis, Dietrich reveals herself as quite a fashion tech pioneer: “…My main reason is the effect. We have to find a way to have the dress glow,” she demanded.
A meticulous show orchestrator, Dietrich caused stirs when she first stepped out in her Fifties Las Vegas cabarets in a seemingly “naked dress” — the very one that would inspire Marilyn Monroe’s for John F. Kennedy’s birthday in 1962.
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But Dietrich wanted more than just the illusion of nakedness: “Marlene wanted a fashion tech dress. But she was ahead of her time and the technical means couldn’t meet her vision. In the letters, she describes the exact design and displays very precise knowledge of electricity circuits and batteries. She wanted a dress that glows, she wanted to be able to control it herself from the stage and she knew she could have died of an electric stroke had it ever been realized,” said Lisa Lang, founder and chief executive director of ElektroCouture, a fashion tech start-up with a growing roster of international fashion clients.
On the 25th anniversary of her death, the company produced her vision of the glowing naked dress for French-German broadcaster Arte’s documentary “Das letzte Kleid der Marlene Dietrich” (“The Last Dress of Marlene Dietrich”), airing on May 7. Based on sketches of Jean Louis and Dietrich’s descriptions, the design by ElektroCouture’s designer-in-residence Anja Dragan features 3-D-printed flower embroidery and glowing crystals with LEDs made in collaboration with Swarovski. An additional capsule collection of glowing accessories and looks inspired by Marlene Dietrich will be launched by ElektroCouture in late spring.
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"Teen Mom" Jenelle Evans surprised her fans when she revealed in a recent interview that she will not be inviting any of her co-stars from the show in her wedding to fiancé, David Eason. Not only that, the reality star is also indecisive about inviting her own mother.
"I just want it to be the people I'm closest with," Jenelle Evans told E! Online on her plans to invite her "Teen Mom" 2 co-stars. "And I'm not too close of friends with any of them."
Jenelle Evans further emphasized that one of the main reasons behind the decision is because she wants her wedding to be an intimate affair. The wedding that is all set to take place early this fall and the "Teen Mom" star wants the event to have a "backyard rustic theme" with an "elegant," "sweet and Southern" twist.
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In fact, the wedding will be so private that even her mother might not get an invited. However, the decision to not invite her mother might not be so much to do with the intimateness of her wedding and everything to do with the really public feud that the "Teen Mom" star had with her, US Weekly reported.
"Teen Mom" Jenelle Evans added that it is unfortunate that she shares a less than cordial relationship with her mother, Barbara Evans. The relationship in question has not improved over the years and hence there is a very good chance that her mother will not be invited to her wedding.
Among the people who will be present during the wedding are Jenelle Evans and David Eason's baby girl, Ensley, born to the couple in January 2017. Ensley and David's daughter from his previous marriage, Maryssa, will be flower girls at the wedding. The "Teen Mom" has also expressed the desire for her two sons to be groomsmen in the wedding.
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Sandra Bullock is looking to expand her family, but she wants to do it on her own terms. There’s a new report that says the Hollywood actress wants to adopt another child in the near future while also putting her wedding to her long-time boyfriend Bryan Randall on hold. Sandra already has two children, 7-year-old Louis Bullock and 5-year-old Laila Bullock.
Sandra is more focused on giving her children another sibling than making her relationship with Bryan official. She’s been even telling friends that she already feels like she’s married to Bryan, since they are always together. One source close to the situation told E! Online, “Sandra is not opposed to having more kids in the future. She has her hands full with her career, but having children is what she is most proud of in her life.”
So does this mean that Sandra wants to be adopting her children as a single mother and without Bryan’s help? Is she trying to protect her kids by keeping Bryan out of her adoption plans?
Then again, if Sandra really did want to tie the knot with her boyfriend, many of her fans believe that she would have done it by now. In fact, there’s a good chance that Sandra simply doesn’t want to make the same mistake she made with her ex-husband, Jesse James.
Everyone remembers how Sandra’s good-girl reputation was almost jeopardized by Jesse and his scandalous lifestyle. If that weren’t enough, he recently went on the record to say that he had no regrets about divorcing Sandra or cheating on her for that matter.
So after all these years is Sandra still trying to mend her broken heart? Could that be the reason why she’s stalled her wedding for so long now? .
So far the actress herself has not made any comments about her future plans. Tell us, do you think Sandra Bullock is delaying her wedding to Bryan Randall simply because she wants to adopt another child?
Let us know what you think by dropping us a line with your thoughts in our comments section below. Also, don’t forget to check back with CDL for all the latest news and updates on Sandra Bullock right here.
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Sydney Elizabeth Dehmer and David McCauley Fields will be married April 22 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Raymond. The bride-elect is the daughter of Joseph Theodore Dehmer III and the late Ashleigh Arnold Dehmer. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Theodore Dehmer Jr. of Jackson, and Mr. and Mrs. Frank Steele Arnold Jr. of Madison. The prospective bridegroom is the son of Lee Fields of Meridian, and Dr. and Mrs. John Fields of Tiptonville, Tenn.
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He is the grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. Jack Fields of Tiptonville, Tenn., and the late Mr. and Mrs. Hays McCauley of Philadelphia. Miss Dehmer was graduated from Jackson Academy. She obtained her bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi with a major in hospitality management. She was a member of Chi Omega sorority. After college, she worked in the management training program at the Greenbrier Hotel in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. Miss Dehmer is the assistant property manager at Henley Property Management in Oxford. She is a member of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church.
Fields obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi with a major in business administration. He was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity. After college, he worked for Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Crested Butte, Colo. He is an endoscopy sales representative for Smith and Nephew Advanced Surgical Devices in Oxford. A reception will follow the ceremony at The County Seat in Livingston.
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Romance blossomed over the treadmill for personal trainer Lee Hayward and A&E nurse Katie Ellis.
The couple’s eyes met across a busy gym and it was love at first workout.
It’s true what they say – exercise is good for you,” laughed Katie after the couple’s winter wedding.
“I went to the gym to get fit and look what I came out with.”
The couple, who married at the sumptuous Eaves Hall near Clitheroe, are both in the health business.
Lee is senior wellbeing personal trainer at the Nuffield Health fitness centre in Walton-le-Dale.
There he carries out health MOTs for clients as well as delivering one-to-one fitness programmes.
Katie works on the trauma team at the Royal Preston Hospital, delivering critical care to seriously ill and injured patients from across the North West.
Colleagues from both the fitness centre and the hospital were at Eaves Hall to see the couple marry.
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“It was an absolutely wonderful day,” said Katie.
“It was everything we had hoped for, in fact even more.
“We couldn’t have wished for it to go any better.
“As it was a winter wedding you always worry about the weather.
“There were storms the day before and the day after, but it was perfect on the day itself. We really were so lucky.”
Katie, eldest daughter of Alison and Brian Ellis from Longton, revealed Lee proposed in the romantic Italian town of Sorento, overlooking the Bay of Naples. Their honeymoon was spent at the Long Beach Golf and Spa Resort in the Indian Ocean paradise of Mauritius.
“I think it’s obvious Lee is a bit of a romantic,” said Katie.
“But I’m not complaining, it’s wonderful when you’re made to feel special.”
Lee, one of three brothers whose parents Brian and Joan Hayward live in Chorley, said: “It was just another day in the gym until Katie walked in. Then it was all bells and whistles.
“I didn’t believe in love at first sight until that day. Sounds soppy that doesn’t it? But it’s true.”
Maid of honour: Amy Ellis.
Bridesmaids: Amy Williams and Lucy Bridges.
Flower girls: Abbie and Sophie Hayward.
Best man: Ste Thompson.
Ushers: Tom Ellis, and Terry Ormesher.
Wedding dress: Amelia’s Bridal Boutique, Clitheroe.
Flowers: Flowers with Passion , Longridge.
Make up: Lucie MUA.
Hair: Naomi Byron @ Hall of Hair in Lostock Hall.
Venue dressing: Creative Cover Hire of Whitestake, Preston.
Stationary: Brides Little Helper of Clitheroe.
Bridesmaid dresses: ASOS.
Suits: Nigel Clare of Chorley.
DJ: Dance Floor Couture of Preston.
Wedding singer: Wayne Farrow from Burnley.
Cake: Shelagh Rawlinson.
Photography: Kerry Woods of Mellor.
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Often the phrase, “less is more” is attributed to wedding styling, but for this shoot, they went the opposite way with a “more is more” attitude! And we are definitely loving it!
The choice for this shoot is very evident in the luxurious haute couture feel to the dresses the models are wearing, shying away from the traditional white or ivory dresses and adorning them in rich colors and sumptuous fabrics. Lush!
The inspiration behind this shoot was founded on an Edgar Allan Poe poem –the Annabel Lee, in particular, where the lines “we loved with a love that was more than a love” was cited. The dark and romantic nature of this poem was woven through the shoot with deep reds, elegant blacks, and opulent golden touches.
The Hedsor House was a natural choice for the venue with its iconic looming stature and its luxurious interiors.
This wedding style would suit a stately home or grand hotel and it exudes high-end luxury and extravagant details and with such a rich color palette this would be ideal for a winter wedding.
In a first for the magazine, South African Wedding Inspirations is sponsoring the fashion show at The Wedding Expo, which takes place at the Ticketpro Dome on Saturday, 11 and Sunday, 12 March.
During the show, visitors can expect to see gowns from recent magazine fashion shoots on the ramp, bringing the pages of Wedding Inspirations to life. The twice-daily fashion show is one of the major drawcards of The Wedding Expo.
The fashion show will showcase a range of gowns that have been featured in the magazine, highlighting the work of talented local designers as well as a diverse selection of tailored ready-to-wear international ranges available through local retailers. Trends such as lace embellishment, illusion necklines, long sleeves, coloured gowns and ballgown skirts will all make their mark on the fashion ramp during the fashion show.
“We are delighted to be partnering with The Wedding Expo to give our readers and followers an immersive live-action magazine experience. It’s thrilling for us to be able to showcase the very talented local designers and international retailers who form the backbone of our fashion pages,” says Wedding Inspirations editor Julia Boltt.
Readers will also be able to snap up the new issue of South African Wedding Inspirations for an Expo-exclusive price, available only at The Wedding Expo.
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I’m a wedding photographer, and I love it. I don’t shoot anything else and I really don’t want to either.
In all my career as a freelancer I have shot everything from boxing matches to restaurant interiors. Nothing has ever been as challenging as photographing a wedding.
There does seem to be a general consensus among the public that weddings are where photographers start on their journey to becoming the next Annie Leibowitz. However, I’m proud to be a part of a generation that is very slowly starting to change that misconception.
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When I studied Photography at University I was (and still am) fascinated by the notion that photographs can trigger and even replace memories.
This fascination led me to a two year investigation into the importance of the photograph. I found case studies where individuals had forgotten lived experience and replaced it with the memory of a photograph. This startled me, but became obvious when I attempted to piece together my own childhood. Certain events I have no recollection of, yet I can recall the photograph.
The importance of the photograph was taken to new heights when I proposed to my now wife. In that moment nerves completely overtook me. I can remember the intense emotional experience, yet oddly I have no visual recollection of the event. Because of these instances (and my fascination with the connection between the photograph and memory) I hold photography in general and especially wedding photography in the highest esteem and take my work incredibly seriously.
The highest level of trust is placed in a photographer. I approach it is as if someone has entrusted me to capture their memories for them. For this reason, I consider it an honor.
The Technical Challenge
To be an exceptional wedding photographer you need to have mastered very nearly all photographic disciplines and be able to execute each skill consistently. It tests everything you know about your camera, lighting, and people’s behavior and will always throw something unexpected into the mix.
A wedding is often so tiring that shooting two in a row will exhaust you for the rest of the week, such is the level of concentration required.
Light is constantly changing throughout the day. In any one moment an event can occur in your peripheral vision, one must stay sharp and know the camera inside out to compensate for changes in exposure. I relish the challenge that comes with being quick on your feet being able to work at pace. Dark churches, people standing in doorways, even walking from shade to sunlight can produce huge jumps in exposure.
The pressure of capturing each moment keeps me mentally sharp and I produce some of my best shots when I work instinctively.
The above image is an accurate representation of the lighting on this day: overcast, some rain, fairly dark.
When the rain is intermittent, the pressure is on to work quickly and maintain quality. I’m constantly taking pictures of my hand throughout the day. Guests often look at me like I’m mad but it’s a great trick for achieving accurate exposure in changing conditions.
The solution? Place the couple under the boughs of a tree. This places them in shadow, but more importantly, creates a difference in exposure between them and the background. Would you believe it’s raining?
A wedding photographer must know how to manipulate daylight as well as flash. Be competent shooting inside as well as out (thanks to the British weather) and equally as important, know how to work with people. The biggest test for the modern photographer, however, is the ability to capture the in-between moments. Modern SLRs and lenses can cope with nearly all lighting conditions, and this has opened the door to photographing weddings in a reportage style.
To this extent all photographers must have an element of documentary in their work, even if their speciality leans towards fine art. Even if one is shooting 35mm film, film speed and fast aperture lenses means no longer capturing these moments is inexcusable.
This is one of the primary reasons why I love shooting weddings: the unexpected.
People go through a variety of emotions on the day: laughter, tears, and pure joy, all within the space of ten hours. It is truly magical. Because of this you have to be mindful of everything going on around you, not just the key moments of ring exchanges or first kiss. Guests may be crying, flower girls may be yawning, anything could happen and that’s why they’re so exciting.
Wedding photographers need to be prepared for anything.
Each wedding is a brand new challenge and guarantees to keep you creatively engaged. Even if you shoot the same venue three weddings in a row, the light will change, the weather will change, and the people will change. Each of these factors will dramatically alter the final story. No two weddings are the same, so they should never be approached in the same way either.
The evolution of the day also keeps you sharp, and I love to be tested.
Often photographers will cite the pressure as being a reason why they dislike weddings. The burden being too much to deal with. For me, each phase of the wedding offers a chance to take the best photograph you have ever taken. The moments are there, and if you wait for them they will come to you.
There is a certain fluidity of shooting that comes when you fully embrace this idea and think less and shoot more. There is no sorcery involved, be in the mix and the moments come to you.
Inspiration Can Come From Anywhere
I love that I can shoot almost every sub set of photography. Weddings give you portraits, close ups, macro, still life, photojournalism, action, and more. Fleeting glances, posed portraits, or close ups of the tables and cake—everything is covered. For this reason, plenty of arrows can be added to your photographic quivery and constantly improved upon.
Articles on food and cook books offer amazing insight into the world of food and lifestyle photography. Fashion magazines, paintings, and art blogs are always giving me inspiration on how to pose people. YouTube documentaries on Joel Meyerowitz and Garry Winogrand offer insight into the wonders of street photography.
Each of these avenues can inspire a method or approach which can ultimately be applied to improving your wedding photography.
Weddings bring out something in people that you never encounter in everyday life: a level of openness and vulnerability. Our relationships with our partners are kept to ourselves, only on this one day will you declare how you feel publicly. To allow yourself to be vulnerable is one of the bravest things I can imagine. Being so emotionally charged that you can’t help the way you behave and the way you feel.
There is a purity of emotion that is inaccessible at any other point in one’s life. This purity is what I love to capture.
Shooting products and still life will always be overseen by a shoot director. Their job is to maintain brand identity and communicate brand values through imagery. With weddings you’re able to sculpt your own identity and shoot exactly how you believe the day should be captured. Ultimately, you deliver a product to a commercial client. To a wedding client, you deliver so much more.
You make an emotional connection with wedding clients, to the extent where you feel like you’ve known them your whole life.
I’m a big old softy at heart and adore my wife; I find it easy to emotionally invest in other couples when I see the love they have for each other, because I recognize it. The love felt on the day isn’t just between the couple, but family and friends too.
The single most rewarding thing about photographing a wedding is when a client tells you they can relive the day through the images. If my photographs re-enforce what they felt and mirror everything they experienced on the day, then I know I have done my job.
In no other field of photography will you receive such personal feedback. A commercial client will never tell you they shed tears of joy when they watched the slideshow. Weddings offer any photographer the ability to make a tangible connection with other human beings and this is why I don’t want to photograph anything else.
The Group Shots
Ask any wedding photographer what their most disliked part of the day is, and ninety nine times out of one hundred they will reply, “group photographs.”
Why is it difficult? It requires moving large numbers of people (who would often rather be drinking) into position. Guests don’t want to stand still and the couple don’t want to waste time. The way I see it, the couple has asked you for them, it’s your job to deliver. I’ve only ever photographed one wedding where no group pictures were required. With this in mind you should definitely switch your mind set and learn to enjoy them.
It is yet another challenge, something new to master. You need a big voice; if you struggle to summon your inner Pavarotti then employ an usher to shout for you. (Side note: I’d love to know if anyone has ever used a megaphone!) Organization is key. An extensive list which starts with big groups and whittles down to smaller groups of immediate family.
Why do I love group pictures? First of all, they have great potential for candid shots—groups of friends in a row will often make each other laugh. Secondly, and most importantly, where others fail I can flourish. We all know guests hate group photographs. At every wedding I have shot everyone compliments me on how quick and efficient I was at organizing. Not only that but they will then often recount a tale; “the last wedding I went to the photographer took two hours!”
This means the next time a friend of their gets married, I am more likely to be at the top of the referral list.
Both of the above images were taken right after the ‘formal’ group shots. Keep shooting through a moment and you’ll capture much more genuine emotions and images the client will cherish.
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Believe It Or Not, You Can Shoot It How You Want
If a client books you based upon what is in your portfolio, then they buy into your vision of a wedding. One of the best stories I ever heard about a photographer at a wedding involved the legendary William Egglestone. He delivered an album full of pictures of the sky. Truly unique.
You don’t hire William Egglestone to take pictures of your dress hanging up in a tree, back lit and shot at f/2 on a Contax 645. You hire him because you believe in his vision. Would I hire him to shoot my wedding? No way, he could just as easily deliver photos of ash trays. The point remains: if you show what you want to shoot in your portfolio and people hire you based on that, then you don’t need to compromise.
Mariage counseling might be seen as an option when a couple gets into difficulties, but legislation being introduced to the Knesset seeks to turn the concept on its head and propose it as prophylactic measure against the increase in the divorce rate.
The bill, proposed by Likud MK Yehudah Glick and the brainchild of the Tzohar rabbinical association, would offer not inconsiderable financial inducements to couples who register to marry if they participate in a marriage preparation course before they tie the knot.
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Couples who register for such courses would be entitled to a reduction of half a point in their income tax obligations for both spouses for the year in which they participated in the course. In addition, they would be entitled to a full rebate of the NIS 700 marriage registration fee, which is paid to the local religious council, and receive a subsidy, the extent of which is yet to be determined, toward the cost of the counseling course.
Institutions authorized to provide such courses would be determined by the Labor and Social Services Ministry, which would be given responsibility for the law.
The legislation is ultimately designed, its authors state, to preserve the social benefits of maintaining family unity and to reduce the costs to the state of the increasing divorce rate, such as welfare benefits to single-parent families and the social and financial costs of increased family violence.
Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, head of Tzohar’s ethics department, said he understands concerns over the state involving itself in the private lives of its citizens, but argued that the program would be voluntary and could have a large, beneficial impact on society.
“The issue of divorce is a great tragedy, and has a large impact on the lives of the divorcing couple and their children, and on the state’s coffers,” Cherlow said.
The rabbi noted that Tzohar has been exposed to the issue of divorce through its extensive marriage program, which assists young couples through the marriage process, and that the group was becoming increasingly concerned with the problems arising in marriages after the wedding day.
He was also critical of the heavy attention paid to preparations for the wedding ceremony and party by young couples, who should instead invest their time and money in efforts to ensure their marriage can last.
“We are seeing this in a very noticeable manner, that people don’t have the tools to deal with the challenges of relationships and they lack the basic tools to deal with these issues,” Cherlow said. “The best approach is not to wait for a crisis in a marriage, but to give couples the tools to prepare for challenges and problems in advance, so the state really should incentivize such preparations ahead of time.”
He argued that an important factor in the increasing divorce rate was a lack of experience in dealing with relationship and marital challenges, and in particular a failure to communicate.
Cherlow laid particular blame at the door of social media, which he said reduces the ability of people to listen to and take into account the opinions of others and to express themselves in a calm and reasonable manner.
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“People don’t know to listen and be attentive to what others are saying, and communication is becoming more violent and is frequently expressed with exclamation marks and decreasingly with question marks,” he observed.
The bill had been expected to gain government backing in the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday, but the vote on the bill, along with several others, was delayed due to a dispute within the coalition over an unrelated piece of legislation.
The worst excesses of the Indian wedding industry may soon be curbed if a new bill is approved.
The proposed bill will not only limit the number of guests and dishes served to avoid waste, but also put a "tax" on the most extravagant newlyweds.
Those who spend over 500,000 rupees ($7,500; £6,000) will have to give 10% of the overall cost to poorer brides to help them pay for their weddings.
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It comes amid rising anger over the huge sums being shelled out by some.
In November, the five-day wedding of businessman and ex-state minister G Janardhana Reddy's daughter, Brahmani, with an estimated cost of about 5bn rupees ($74m; £59m), prompted outrage as millions of Indians struggled with a cash flow crisis.
Among the extravagances were gold-plated invitation cards fitted with LCD screens, costing 10m rupees.
MP Ranjeet Ranjan, who is proposing the Marriages (Compulsory Registration and Prevention of Wasteful Expenditure) Bill, 2016, told Indian news agency PTI weddings had become "more about showing off your wealth" and not about the institution.
"As a result, poor families are under tremendous social pressure to spend more," she said. "This is needed to be checked as it is not good for society at large."
The proposal could be taken up as a private members bill in the next session of the country's Lok Sabha, or lower house.
This wedding may have been pricey, but it is far from being alone. Here are just a few of the world's most expensive:
Vanisha Mittal, the daughter of India's second richest man Lakshmi Mittal, married Amit Bhatia in a ceremony rumoured to have cost $74m in 2004. According to Forbes, the family flew 1,000 guests to France for the celebration which began with a party in Versailles
The wedding of Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales in 1981 is thought to have cost about £30m - in today's money closer to £116m. In comparison, their son William's wedding to Kate Middleton cost just £20m, according to the Daily Mail.
In March, Russian billionaire's son Said Gutseriev wed Khadija Uzhakhovs in Moscow. She is thought to have spent as much as $1.2m on her wedding dress, and, according to MailOnline, guests were kept entertained with performances provided by not one superstar, but three: Jennifer Lopez, Sting and Enrique Iglesias. The cost? Possibly a billion dollars...
Monte Durham, co-host and fashion director of TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta,” will be the featured guest at the first annual Alexandria Wedding Showcase Feb. 19 at The Westin Alexandria.
#A career bridal image consultant, Durham is well known in Alexandria, where he resides and celebrated his own wedding in 2013. He will host a VIP reception and participate in the showcase.
#“We are really excited about the inaugural Wedding Showcase,” said Lorraine Lloyd of Visit Alexandria. “The quality of our vendors along with our program sets this apart from typical wedding showcases.”
#More than 50 local vendors will participate in the showcase, which will also serve as a benefit for Brides Across America, a nonprofit that provides weddings and wedding gowns to military and first responder couples nationwide.
#“With Monte’s help, 10 brides chosen by Brides Across America will select their gowns at the showcase,” said Visit Alexandria’s Megan Hosford, a member of the Wedding Showcase committee. “The gowns have been donated by Brides Across America and Global Bridal Gallery, an Alexandria wedding dress boutique. And $2 from each ticket sold to the Wedding Showcase will be donated to Brides Across America.”
#Hosford, who has a background in wedding planning, said the idea for a showcase began a year ago.
#“Alexandria is a premier destination for weddings,” Hosford said. “We wanted to engage the many wedding vendors with the goal of creating a great wedding community.”
#Showcase committee members include Blackwall Hitch, Eat Good Food Group, Global Bridal Gallery, Modern Bridal Studio, Potomac River Boat Company, The Westin Alexandria and Visit Alexandria.
#“This really is a community effort,” Lloyd added. “Sponsors of the showcase include Engaged! Magazine, The Westin Alexandria, Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa, and Visit Alexandria. And we couldn’t have done it without the support of the Alexandria Marketing Fund.”
#Featured vendors will include bakeries, boutiques and caterers; dress and tuxedo boutiques; entertainment and music providers; florists; photographers; salons and spas; transportation and other service providers; and hotels and other venues.
#Local celebrity chef Cathal Armstrong will discuss selecting the perfect wedding menu and mixologists from Blackwall Hitch and PX will present a demonstration on seasonal cocktails.
#Showcase attendees who purchase tickets before Feb. 12 will be entered in a drawing to attend a VIP champagne reception with Durham. All attendees will be entered to win multiple other wedding-related prizes, including the opportunity to display the Virginia Is For Lovers “LOVE” letters at their own wedding.
#The Alexandria Wedding Showcase will be held Feb. 19 at the Westin Alexandria Hotel, 400 Courthouse Square, from 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. Advance tickets can be purchased online for $15 each or $20 per couple or $25 per person the day of the event.Also see: cheap wedding dresses online
A stroll down Grand Junction, Colorado's Main Street turned into an emotional reunion for Jane Fine Foster when she saw a photo she'd been missing for more than a decade.
"To say I was shocked, stunned, near paralyzed is an understatement. I actually screamed out loud," she said.
Nestled in the window of A Robin's Nest Antique shop was a photo of Jane's mother in her lace wedding dresses.
"I just kept blinking and looking again, thinking 'Can that be? Of course it can be, it is my mom,'" Jane recalled.
The photo had been missing ever since it was auctioned off, when the family forgot to make a payment on a storage locker 12 years ago.
"I walked into the Robin's Nest and grabbed her picture and held it tight to me," said Jane.
What Jane didn't know is that this store had one more surprise.
"We had the lady's wedding dress. The same bridesmaid dresses online that was in the picture," said co-owner Shane Allerheiligen.
Allerheiligen brought the dress up from the shop's basement. It was wrapped in the original box and newspaper dated June 22,1948, just two day after Jane's mother was married.