wedding vows

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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Lee Hayward and Katie Ellis

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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Wedding Shoot

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!

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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.

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Wedding Inspirations

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.

<i>Wedding Inspirations</i> partners with <i>The Wedding Expo</i>

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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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Wedding Photography

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.

VICTORIA AND Benjamin on their wedding day. (

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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.



Indian weddings

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.

Mr Reddy (left) with his daughter and other family members

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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.

Costly nuptials

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...

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Wedding Showcase

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.”

Alexandria Wedding Showcase attendees will be eligible to win prizes, including the opportunity to display the Virginia Is For Lovers “LOVE” letters at their own wedding.

#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.”

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#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.

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wedding dress

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.

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