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1 year ago

Planning a Sustainable Columbus Wedding

A truly green matrimony could be achieved by simply eliminating, but where’s the fun in that? Incorporated seamlessly into any wedding theme, sustainability is not only a trendy concept but a necessary one. According to Green Bride Guide, each of the 2.5 million U.S. weddings that take place annually produces, on average, 500 pounds of waste and 62 tons of carbon dioxide, all while supporting a billion-dollar industry. It is time to get our priorities straight—and look beyond the big day to the big picture. Ditch single-use and single-serve; there are plenty simple, cost-effective, earth-friendly choices you can make without sacrificing style or sentiment.

Local Legends

While an exotic destination wedding holds obvious appeal, investing in your community by staying local and employing area artisans for goods and services triggers a ripple effect while also retaining the city’s one-of-a-kind character and reducing environmental impact.

For Betsy Pandora, who was married in November 2014, looking local for an urban-rustic wedding was a no-brainer. As the executive director of the Short North Alliance, an organization that works to cultivate an easily accessible, culturally rich arts community in Columbus, Pandora had the answer to almost every wedding inquiry right under her nose.

“We take our values very seriously,” explains Pandora, citing as inspiration her and husband Ryan Pilewski’s occupations (he works for Franklin Soil and Water Conservation). “We wanted to work with vendors that felt very personal and would support the community.”

The 16 city blocks of the Short North Arts District allowed such variety that Pandora was able to source 90 percent of her wedding—from the wood invitations made by Synergy Media to the reception held at the historic Garden Theater—from within the neighborhood.

As for catering, Pandora choose Freedom a la Cart, a Columbus-based business working to empower survivors of human trafficking by providing dignified work, safety and support through developmental services. The program’s inclusive, community-based treatment assists women every step of the way; after rescue and rehabilitation, economic self-sufficiency is the goal. Beyond the philanthropic business strategy, Freedom a la Cart’s kitchen prepares what they have dubbed “cause cuisine,” plating up creative hors d’oeuvres like roasted beet, pistachio and goat cheese crostinis and fried corn fritters topped with crème fraiche, all made with local ingredients. It’s lighter fare that is anything but a “compassion buy.”

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Waste Not

Couples concerned with the environmental impact of their big day have options for reducing waste without encroaching on the special-occasion vibe. Setting recycling bins alongside trash cans at the cocktail hour or dinner is an easy way to combat waste. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates Americans generate more than 250 million tons of waste each year and, while much of this can and is recycled or composted, waste still poses environmental problems. Items we use for mere moments—disposable grocery bags, single-use straws, product packaging—last for thousands of years.

Serving kegs of local brews instead of bottles or cans of beer that have traveled hundreds of miles eliminates waste, stimulates the local economy and shows that sophisticated palates can still party. Columbus’ Wolf’s Ridge Brewing sells their craft brews—like the hoppy, fruity, Howling Moon Imperial IPA or the “all-day drinker” Gold Standard Munich Helles Lager—kegged for this exact reason. Seventh Son Brewing Company also offers retail kegs of their staples like Stone Fort Oat Brown Ale, Humulus Nimbus Super Pale Ale and American Strong Ale, as well as the occasional seasonal brew in two sizes.

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1 year ago

Wedding band festival to be held in Galway

Galway brides looking for their ‘something new’ are being encouraged to visit Bridal Rock, Ireland’s only wedding band festival which returns to the city later this month.

Boasting to be the first of its type in the world, the festival travels across the country showcasing a variety of wedding bands back-to-back in one venue.

The ea came to co-founders Eugene McGrath and his partner Hilary while at a wedding, when they heard the lengths the bride and groom had gone to in order to get the best music for their big day.

“We were told they had been driving across the country and sneaking into weddings to see bands”, Eugene says.

Eugene McGrath and partner Hilary Long of Bridal Rock.
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“We thought this was totally mad and that we could do it better, so we decided to set up Bridal Rock to save couples all that hassle.”

The couple, along with one administrative member of staff, liaise with bands, wedding coordinators and venues for the festivals which are attended by up to 200 people.

So far they have taken Bridal Rock to Dublin, Kilkenny and Cork and are visiting Galway for a second time, after taking to the stage at Monroe’s in January.

“We had a nice turnout and a cracker of a line-up. Couples had a ball and plenty of dancing was done too. Gary and the staff at Monroe’s really did a great job, it’s a top class live venue.”

The couple have hand-picked the acts which will play at the next event, and promise plenty of variety for attendees.

“Showtime, White Diamond and The Madisons are top class male bands in their own right, while Loveshack are well-known local favourites with brilliant female vocals.

“We also have a two-piece act, Take 2, for those that want church music or just a cheaper option.”

There will also be DJs, photobooths and other entertainment provided at the event.

“We look after everyone with a few free glasses of bubbly too and couples can chat to the bands afterwards in a nice relaxed environment, unlike those awful wedding fairs where everyone is trying to chew your arm off!”

Bridal Rock will take place at Monroe’s Live, Dominick Street on Sunday, May 24 from 5pm-9pm.

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1 year ago

Richard Malone: Wexford fashion designer selected as prestigious talent

The young Irish fashion designer 24 year old Richard Malone from Wexford, a graduate of Central St Martins and winner of the LVMH Grand Prix Scholarship has been selected by the BBC as one of the most creative up and coming talents to watch as part of their Young Artists Day initiative. The selection puts the spotlight on young people at the beginning of their careers in the creative sectors who may be the big names of the future in music, poetry, dance, composing, writing, video, art, fashion design and photography. Malone is the only fashion designer in the group and the only one from Ireland.

On Monday 4 May BBC3 the day of programming dedicated to young artists will include live interviews, commissions and features and from 9-10, Malone will be interviewed by Sarah Walker with Artist of the Week the young classical pianist Benjamin Grosvenor.

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From Ardcavan in Wexford, Malone’s graduate collection based on Irish youths after the recession rebelling through their clothes won accolades from Vogue, Love and Dazed & Confused, but also the Deutsche Bank award of 10,000, the first Irish student – and the first BA – to be awarded the prize.

Now dividing his time between Ireland and the UK, he has just launched his autumn winter collection all handmade in his studio, a little shed in Wexford. “I stay original by recording conversations with interesting people and extracting things from it”, he told Dazed & Confused adding that he felt intimidated initially at Central St Martins “because I was always the poor one who could not afford the expensive fabrics or a seamstress, but it just makes you work harder.”

An advocate of class diversity in fashion education, he bemoans the fact that working class kids have little opportunity to get to third level and now that the fees have gone up in places like Central St Martins, the mix of backgrounds so much a feature of the school, will no longer continue. To get himself through college he had to work in several jobs to pay for everything.

Opting to remain independent since he graduated, he has found encouragement and support for his work and his first collection sold in the UK and in Australia. His autumn/winter collection, a continuation of his first with recycled materials like leatherette, printed cotton and gingham in exaggerated shapes, padded and quilted will be part of Create in Brown Thomas in July. “It will be finished on the inside like a blanket and have lots of unexpected details”, he says.

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1 year ago

Boy dresses up as woman, gate-crashes girlfriend’s wedding

After a failed attempt at elopement, a youth thought to try his luck one last time at the wedding of his girlfriend. He dressed up as a woman, complete with ghagra-choli, fake hair and bangles, and entered the marriage venue in Badaun, hoping to reach his girlfriend and take off with her.

However, he had hardly made it to her, when a group of woman cornered him and found out that he wasn't a woman. They roughed him up and handed him over to the cops. In a tragic end to the love story, the guy spent the night in jail, while the girl went ahead with her marriage.

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According to reports, 19-year-old Santosh Kumar Maurya, a resident of Baliya village under Bhamora police station in Bareilly district, was in love with an 18-year-old girl residing in Allahpur Chamari village under Ujhani police station in Badaun district.

Villagers said Santosh had reached the girl's village nearly 15 days back and fled with her. However, the couple had taken a halt at a dhaba where police had caught the duo. "Santosh had claimed to police that they are siblings but his mother after arriving at police station said that the girl is her daughter while Santosh is her son-in-law. Suspecting something is amiss, the girl's family members were called in, who took away their daughter back to the village as her marriage was fixed with somebody else," said a villager.

However, though Santosh failed in his first attempt of fleeing with his girlfriend, he did not lose hope. On the girl's wedding day on Monday night, he gate-crashed into the marriage ceremony by dressing up as a woman.

However, before he could reach his ladylove, he was corned by a group of women who were relatives of the girl. It did not take long for the women to realize from the body-language of the youth that he is not a woman. They informed the other male members of the family about it, who then roughed him up and took him to the police station.

In-charge of Ujhani police station, Surendar Singh, said, "Though the family members of the girl brought Santosh to police station, they did not lodge an FIR. We have informed his mother, Kanti Devi, who came to police station on Wednesday and took him with her."

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2 years ago

Leighton Buzzard bridegroom spent wedding day in police cells after poor-judgement stag celebrations

CHOOSING to have his stag night the day before his wedding was a huge mistake for Douglas Woodbridge.

The bridegroom didn't make it to the wedding because he was in police cells accused of driving his car at a police officer and driving while drunk.

A court heard how the wedding had to be put back a week, and now 36-year-old Woodbridge is at risk of being sent to jail, having been found guilty of dangerous driving.

Woodbridge, of Hockliffe Road, Leighton Buzzard pleaded not guilty to the charge at Luton Crown Court but admitted driving with excess alcohol and failing to stop for a police officer.

Judge Philip Bartle QC remanded him on bail for reports to be prepared, but told him: "Your driving that evening was appalling and you should be under no illusion that you may be given an immediate sentence of imprisonment."

He will be sentenced later in May.

luton court
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During the five day trial the jury heard how he went out for drinks with some friends and relatives on October 10 last year. He was due to marry Kelly the following afternoon.

She had driven him to the Clay Pipe in Leighton Buzzard and after three pints and a couple of shots, they decided to move on.

His fiancee drove them into town about 9pm, but he only drank one more pint in the following three hours, he said.

But prosecutor Robin Miric said, when the defendant called his girlfriend to pick him up after midnight there was confusion about where he was.

When they did meet up the jury heard differing accounts of what happened next. The prosecution alleged he was angry with her, and one of two men who saw what was happening was afraid for her safety and intervened.

Then Woodbridge did a badly executed three point turn almost knocking one of the men over and drove off.

Police were called and saw him speeding and weaving across the road. When an officer attempted to stop him he accelerated towards him and the officer had to jump out of the way.

He was eventually stopped and a breath test showed he was one and a half times over the legal alcohol limit. He was taken to Luton police station in a police van and had to be restrained when officers tried to search him.

He was kept in custody overnight and interviewed on the day he should have been getting married.

Woodbridge told the jury he had never intended to drive that night, but when his girlfriend arrived he thought she was more drunk than him.

He moved the car because it had been left in a precarious position and claimed he was then assaulted by one of the men.

He then drove off again trying to find Kelly who had wandered off, but denied his driving was dangerous or that he had aimed the car at a police officer.

He later told them he had been concerned for his girlfriend adding "It was not my best driving but I was in perfect control."

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2 years ago

Plaza Beach Resorts Announces Availability to Host Beach Weddings

Beach weddings are a favorite choice of couples because they offer a romantic atmosphere and spectacular photo opportunities without the stress of decorating for a beautiful ambiance. For couples planning a beach wedding in St. Pete Beach, Florida, Plaza Beach Resorts have announced their availability to host beach weddings, effective immediately.

Plaza Beach Resorts, the best-rated hotels in St. Pete Beach, is a suite of boutique hotels located on one of the world's most splendid coastal islands. St. Pete Beach was rated the #1 Best Beach in the United States and #5 in the World by TripAdvisor in 2012. Many couples planning a wedding in Florida come to St. Pete Beach for its sugar-white sands, tropical weather and fiery Gulf sunsets. They choose Plaza Beach Resorts out of all St. Pete Beach, Florida hotels for the Resorts' unparalleled guest service and exclusive amenities.

Yuriko Larson

At Plaza Beach Resorts, couples can enjoy a beautiful ceremony arranged by one of the hotels' recommended wedding coordinators. These island hotels are delighted to host couples and wedding guests in any of their three properties, which include the Plaza Beachfront Hotel Beachfront Resort, Bay Palms Waterfront Resort and Bayview Plaza Waterfront Resort. Couples and guests will have access to every amenity on all three properties during their stay. No matter the theme of the wedding or size of the wedding party, Plaza Beach Hotels will host a beautiful and memorable occasion for couples and their guests.

In addition to hosting weddings, Plaza Beach Resorts accommodates other private parties such as charity events, retreats and corporate events. For more information about planning private events with Plaza Beach Resorts, visit their website or call 1-800-257-8998.

About Plaza Beach Resorts

Plaza Beach Resorts consists of three boutique resorts in St. Pete Beach, Florida, which was named the #1 beach destination in America by TripAdvisor. Guests can stay at the Plaza Beach Hotel Beachfront Resort, Bayview Plaza Waterfront Resort and Bay Palms Waterfront Resort Hotel and Marina. The resorts have been landmarks on the island since the 1940s. The award-winning boutique resorts feature 13 room types offered in 21 different configurations. With all locations just a short walk from each other, guests are offered full access to amenities at all their resorts.

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2 years ago

Wedding: Tyler Andrus & William Wied

Tyler Elizabeth Andrus and William Robert Wied exchanged wedding vows on Friday, April 17, 2015 during an evening Nuptial Mass at the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist in Lafayette. Father Howard J. Blessing served as celebrant.

The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Whitcomb Andrus of Lafayette. Her mother is the former Michelle Jane Broadhurst of Lafayette, Louisiana. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. William Edward Wied of Pearland, Texas. His mother is the former Noel Teresita Blakely of New Orleans, Louisiana. Mr. William Charles Broadhurst and the late Mary Jane Gates Romero and Mr. Dwight Wilbur Andrus, junior and the late Nedra Ferne Reed Andrus are the grandparents of the bride. Mr. and Mrs. Noel Quentin Blakely and Mr. and Mrs. Robert Fred Wied are the grandparents of the groom.

In the vestibule of the Cathedral, Laura Laine Ahrens and Mary Drew Ahrens, cousins of the bride, greeted guests with programs. Matthew John Laborde and Andreau Philip Trepagnier, close friends of the groom, served as ushers.

Accompanied by Bach's "Brandenburg Concerto No. 1" as a prelude, the bride's mother was escorted by her uncle, Stanley Osterland Gates, while the groom escorted his mother to their respective family pews.

The procession of the wedding party began with "Passacaile" by Handel and "Romanza" by Mozart as bridesmaids Whitney Kathryn Andrus Ashy, Layne Whitcomb Andrus, Heidi Ingrid Wied Bunyan, Heather Kristin Wied, sisters of the bride and groom, and Kaci Nicole Misita and Kelly Lynn Carbo, close friends of the bride, entered the Cathedral. They joined groomsmen Steven Mitchell Ashy, junior, brother-in-law of the bride, and Christopher Blake Hagen, Blake Allen Hampton, Michael Roy Ashy, Edward Donovan Gutierrez and Sean Nicholas Vannoy, friends of the groom. Taylor Beaullieu Sadler, friend of the groom, served as Best Man. Avery Elise Andrus, sister of the bride, served as Maid of Honor and followed in procession. Flower girls were Grace Kathryn Ashy, Olivia Louise Babin, Elizabeth Kay Braniff and Meryl Elizabeth Jones. Ring bearer was Steven Mitchell Ashy III.

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The bridal attendants wore floor length dresses in mist gray, made of the finest, lightest tulle, customized in wear by each attendant. They carried satin ribbon tied bouquets of pink ranunculus, garden roses and anemones. The flower girls wore ivory organza tea length dresses with blush pink sashes. They held wedding pomanders made of pink flowers tied with satin ribbon and suspended by a strand of pearls. The ring bearer wore a cream linen short set and carried a petit point pillow handworked by his maternal grandmother.

The gentlemen of the wedding party wore black peak-lapelled tailcoats with matching formal trousers and boutonnieres of stephanotis.

"Fireworks Overture" by Handel heralded the bride's entrance on the arm of her father. The bride wore a custom gown of her own design. The sleeveless, high-necked bodice featured an illusion yoke of fine tulle above a sweetheart silhouette detailed with Alencon lace and was fastened in back by a row of small silk-covered buttons. From the natural waist, accented with a crystal embellished satin belt, fell a full skirt composed of multiple tissue-thin layers of tulle and silk organza of various lengths. She wore her Andrus great-grandmother's aquamarine and diamond ring as her something blue. A cathedral length veil completed her look. In her shoe was an antique sixpence, a gift from her maternal grandmother. She carried a bouquet of tightly arranged peonies in various shades of pink and white secured with satin ribbon. Entwined in the flowers was a strand of pearls, a gift from her paternal grandmother.

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2 years ago

Father with cancer walks daughter down aisle, minus groom

John Penn had waited 28 years to walk his daughter down the aisle.

He did it on Sunday morning, even though there wasn't a groom.

Penn's body isn't what it used to be. In May of 2012, he was hit by a car in Panama City and suffered 23 broken bones. Around Christmas of 2013, he found out he had Acute Myaloid Leukemia, a rare but aggressive type of blood and bone marrow cancer that affects immature blood cell growth.

After three rounds of chemotherapy, doctors told him the cancer had become resistant to the chemicals. Doctors were measuring his life in months. He decided to measure his life in moments.

On Feb. 28 of this year, he visited his daughter, Shayna, in Lithia Springs, Ga., where she has been living. They talked about the prognosis. They shared memories, and regrets.

"We had some alone time and he told me how important it was to him to be able to walk me down the aisle at my wedding, and that he hated he was going to miss it," Shayna recalled.

Shayna, 28, decided to have a wedding with everything but the groom. The other part will come someday. Sunday, friends and family gathered at Woodham Farms near Wicksburg to share the experience.

The entire ceremony lasted less than six minutes. Shayna, in full wedding regalia, walked down a set of stairs inside the building and met her father. He has walked recently with the aid of a cane, but not this time. He guided her to the foot of the aisle and they walked together to the minister.

"Who gives this woman to be married today?" said Eddie Henderson, chaplain for the Dothan Police Department and friend of the family.

"Her mother and I," Mr. Penn said.


With that, John Penn faced his daughter. She put her hands around him and the two began to dance. Tim McGraw's "My Little Girl" played in the background.

John Penn doesn't say much. When he does, the purpose is typically to get everyone around him to laugh. While waiting for the ceremony to start Sunday, he played his cane like an air guitar and quipped about how long it was taking Shayna to put on her wedding gown. He hummed and even sang a little.

He served as a game warden in Houston County for 30 years and as a Pinckard police officer for 10. His 2012 accident forced him into retirement. His 2013 diagnosis came way too soon.

For John Penn, there is no need to belabor the point.

"It is what it is. You just have to make the best of it and go on," he said. "You just have to play the cards you're dealt."

Shayna Penn was never the girl that planned her dream wedding at an early age. Even four days before Sunday's ceremony, there were still plenty of things to be decided.

It all came together Sunday, and will be an integral part of her "bride and groom" wedding. The ceremony was filmed by a professional videographer and the clip will be played during her wedding when it is time for Shayna to come down the aisle and unite with her groom.

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2 years ago

Every dress I tried on made me look awful

This is what Riki said:

"I was planning the wedding of my dreams but I needed a wedding dress. That sounds easy enough but it wasn’t. I am a 'plus size' woman and every dress I tried on made me look AWFUL. I cried my way home after each fitting.

"I was convinced that I would never find the perfect dress, let alone one I thought I looked beautiful in. I decided I would just settle for one that made me look the least awful.

Sherri R. Camp/Shutterstock
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"My mother-in-law to be took me to a charity event called Brides Against Breast Cancer. Of course, any dress that was in my size had been altered to a much smaller size. Again I felt close to tears and defeated.

"My wedding was in four weeks and I still did not have a dress. A sweet girl named Sarah that was helping at the event was also a plus-size woman who had recently married. She said, 'My dress would be perfect for you' and showed me a picture. The dress was absolutely BEAUTIFUL and exactly what I had been looking for.

"When I asked if she would be interested in renting or selling it she said, 'I will give you my number, call me tomorrow and you can have the dress.'

"I picked up the dress the next day, and it was everything I could have imagined and more. She said she recognized the look in my eyes as the same look she had when she was looking for the perfect dress. She didn’t want anything for it, just a picture of me in the dress on my wedding day.

"I sent the picture with another huge thank you. I don't know if she knows how much that dress means to me. I felt truly beautiful in that dress and did not feel even a bit self-conscious about my weight. I plan to hold onto the dress until I hear of a plus-size woman in need of the perfect gown to get married in, then I will pass it along. Thank you, Sarah, you made my day better than I ever could have imagined."

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