POSTS WITH TAG: weddings

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    Phil Laboon was supposed to get married this weekend in Pittsburgh. But well, stuff happens and sometimes totally altruistic, big-hearted, and -- dare I be shallow and say it -- handsome men get their weddings called off. So the 32-year-old was faced with a conundrum: drown his sorrows in tequila all weekend -- okay, that's probably what I would do and not what Laboon suggested -- or think of those who have even bigger problems than lost love and turn his pre-paid reception into a huge charity fundraiser.

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    Thorughout their entire relationship, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have played by their own rules, so it's no surprise the two broke with tradition when they said "I do" this past weekend! The newly-minted Mr. and Mrs. reportedly gave their daughter Shiloh the honor of ringbearer, alongside brother Pax, while daughters Vivienne and Zahara served as flower girls.

    But as novel as the famous pair's move may seem, switching up gender roles in your bridal party has been a widespread trend for a while now.

    "Weddings today are more gender-neutral than they have ever been in the past," explains wedding planner Aviva Samuels of Kiss the Planner in Delray Beach, Florida. "Certainly girls can carry in the ring, and boys can sprinkle petals if that’s what suits the bride and groom. And if a bride's best friend is a guy or the groom's best friend is a girl, so be it."

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    This is not one of the classic moments you think of when you picture your wedding. And yet, it is so very, very perfect. A newlywed groom photographed his "drunk wife trying to order Taco Bell after the reception." At the drive-through. On foot. It's a photo so winning it went viral instantly and nabbed a million views in just one day.

    No one, I mean no one, has ever looked more like a glowing Disney princess while ordering Taco Bell. I think that groom just fell even more deeply in love than he was before. And you know what? This makes for a beautiful start to their lives together -- seriously!

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    After enduring months of planning, family drama, negotiations with vendors, dress fittings, and all other manner of high points and headaches, it's no surprise if a bride's head is spinning by the time her wedding day actually arrives. Hence why it is imperative that loved ones do everything they can to help her relax and enjoy the special occasion. Unfortunately, that's rarely how it plays out!

    Whether it's due to nerves or simply a lack of filter, people have a way of aiming inappropriate remarks and questions at the bride on her Big Day.

    Maybe you're a guest in need of a tip or two, or you were that besieged bride and could use a laugh! Either way, here are 10 things never to say to a bride:

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    Weddings are not only expensive and labor-intensive, but they also have a way of bringing out the most raw and intense emotion in almost everyone involved. For that reason, most brides-to-be go into damage control mode from the minute they're engaged, trying to keep the peace with everyone leading up to the Big Day -- most of all, their fiance!

    But stressful situations are bound to arise and can occasionally bring out the ugly in both partners. No sane bride would ever fan the flames when that happens, right? Well, believe it or not, some couples are doing exactly that -- on purpose -- by having a shadow wedding.

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    So, your mom and in-laws have taken over your wedding planning and are threatening to turn it into a three-ring circus? Instead of cursing them beneath your breath and fighting them every step of the (chocolate waterfall) way, a new study suggests you should probably be grateful to them for turning your intimate affair into one filled with 300-plus guests whom you wouldn't know if you passed them on the street.

    According to a report from the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, couples who have a large, formal wedding are more likely to be happy together later on in life. The authors of the study tracked 418 couples for five years from the date they tied the knot. After half a decade, it was discovered those who threw big weddings perceived themselves to be "happy" and thought less about splitting up when times got tough. Are you ordering 100 more invitations and going for the lobster?

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    Imagine going through 66 weddings ... and still not being, well, wed. Sure, it may sound crazy, but it's also been a journey for 34-year-old Alex Pelling and 32-year-old Lisa Gant. They are an engaged couple from Manchester, England, who haven't legally tied the knot but have had 66 traditional wedding ceremonies all over the globe within the last three years -- in an effort to find the perfect, "dream" location for their official "I do"s.

    In 2011, after spending four years living together, Alex and Lisa moved to Australia from the U.K., had their first traditional ceremony in Didsbury, and then started looking for the perfect location in the whole country. From there, the experiment grew and grew until the pair was globe-trotting and experiencing one wedding after the next. Wild!

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    So you're finally engaged, the wedding planning has started, and the details of the big day are slowly becoming real. But now it's time for you to pop the question. That's right, find your special lady and utter those seven beautiful words: "Will you be my maid of honor?"

    The commitment to your maid or matron of honor is serious and binding. You'll be spending countless hours together leading up to the wedding, and they'll be your right-hand lady on the day of, so the decision shouldn't be light.

    But once you figure out who to ask, the asking is the fun part. Maybe you can do exactly what one bride-to-be did, and give them a sweet card that really tells it how it is: "I might pee on you."

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    When I was younger, I babysat for a couple who had their wedding photos hanging in the living room. The mother and I used to look at them -- her husband's powder blue tuxedo, her big hair and billowing shoulders, their multi-tiered plastic-filled wedding cake -- and laugh. "It was a long time ago," she said with a sigh. Indeed, I thought. It was.

    Yesterday, I had the shocking realization that I am now her. My own wedding 11 years ago is just about that dated. Someone hold me.

    The fact is, 11 years after a wedding, trends are bound to change. Intellectually, it's obvious. But honestly, had you told me then just HOW much would change, I might not have believed you.

    It turns out, I got married in the Dark Ages.

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    It's a ring you'll wear for the rest of your life: your engagement ring. It's funny how a piece of jewelry women obsess over -- I mean seriously, girls start Pinterest boards for them before they're even out of high school -- is so often left to a man's judgment. And yet, most of the time the prospective groom manages to surprise his girlfriend with just the right ring. And it even fits!

    This does not happen by accident.

    Women have been devising subtle and not-so-subtle ways to get the engagement ring they want for ages. Do you just tell your guy exactly what you like? Or are hints enough? Here are 5 tactics for leading your man to the perfect engagement ring.

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