Alec Baldwin Reaching Out on Twitter for Wedding Planning

Alec Baldwin Reaching Out on Twitter for Wedding Planning

Alec Baldwin and Hilaria Thomas

Andrew Toth/

Nothing says romance like a moat and a little “Foggy Mountain Breakdown.”

Alec Baldwin appears to be reaching out to his Twitter followers to help plan an elaborate – and potentially eclectic – fall wedding with fiancée Hilaria Thomas.

“Anyone got a castle they’re not using in September?” the 30 Rock star asked.

No offers as of yet, though when a Twitter follower mocked Baldwin’s Tweet as “s––– rich people say,” he responded, “OK…how about a big tent?”

Another follower suggested that Baldwin hire banjo-playing pal Steve Martin’s band. The actor responded, “Can’t afford him!”

Baldwin, 54, proposed to Thomas, 28, earlier this month. Known for sharing their love on Twitter, the couple recently traveled to Italy together and Tweeted along the way.

“She makes him so happy,” a source recently told PEOPLE of the yoga instructor.

Should Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Marry for Their Kids? Should Anyone?

Brad Pitt, 48, and Angelina Jolie, 36, are officially engaged after seven years together (in case you missed it).

And apparently pressure from their six kids played a role. Last fall Pitt said, “The kids are putting on the heat.” Early this year he said, “It seems to mean more and more to our kids.” And days later he said, “[The kids] go, ‘That’s a great idea! Get mommy a ring!’”

Should unwed parents get married at least in part to make their children happy? “You shouldn’t just be, ‘Since we have kids, we’ll get married,’” says my 12-year-old. But she thinks the kids could be a legitimate factor for a couple on the fence.

Married mothers and fathers tend to make kids feel more “secure,” says my 15-year-old. “Their parents have promised to stay together.” She thinks it’s also easier for kids when their mom and dad are officially Mr. and Mrs., partially because they don’t need to explain to their peers why their parents are not married.

In general, kids don’t want to be “different,” says Nashua, N.H., psychologist Carl Hindy, co-author of If This Is Love, Why Do I Feel So Insecure.

How children feel about unwed parents depends on cultural mores, which continue to change. As long as being married remains the norm, some kids whose moms and dads never tie the knot may worry, “Why are my parents not married?” says Hindy. “What’s wrong with my parents? What’s wrong with me?”

Of course, age plays a role. “In general, little children are simplistic and concrete in their thinking,” says child psychiatrist Elizabeth Berger, author of Raising Kids with Character. “Small children are simplistic and concrete in their moral thinking, and therefore quite conservative and traditional in their views about marriage. Only with the broader experience of all the wide variations that grown-up life can involve do children gain more insight into exceptions to the rules, and more tolerance of human situations that don’t follow simple rules.”  

 How kids grow up makes a difference in how they view unwed moms and dads, too. “Children whose early life experiences familiarize them with diversity in families are usually comfortable with it —their own experience seems natural and only slowly do they come to see that many people have far more narrow ideas about what is natural, traditional, and conventional in the institution of marriage,” says Berger. “Unmarried parents are quite commonplace today, of course, but the idea that parents are married is still the conventional ideal with considerable emotional force behind it — even among individuals who are free-thinking in their lifestyles and choices.”

“The virginal bride in the white dress, the couple vowing devotion ’until death do us part’ — these are powerful images in our culture,” says Berger. “So we can understand how the offspring of parents who are not married may sometimes yearn for these powerful symbols of selfless love. The symbol, even as we have outgrown it as a society, still carries a promise of purity and commitment that we deeply crave.”

A new report from Bowling Green State University’s National Center for Family and Marriage Research shows that one in three single baby boomers has never been married. And of the single baby boomers, one in five is living in poverty compared to one in 20 married midlifers.

Of course, Pitt and Jolie are obviously not living in poverty and are tie-the-knot vets. (Pitt divorced Jennifer Aniston, and Jolie divorced Jonny Lee Miller and Billy Bob Thornton.)

Will the two actually make it to the altar? After all, they haven’t set a wedding date. (As People magazine noted in its cover story, Pitt’s manager simply said, “It is a promise for their future.”

If Pitt and Jolie stay engaged but don’t marry, they’ll have company – including actor Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves, his girlfriend for the past six years and the mother of his kids. They, too, got engaged recently and also have not set a date.

But recently some couples with long engagements have tied the knot. One prominent example: “Sex and the City” and “The Good Wife” actor Christopher Noth, 57, and Tara Wilson, parents of a son, Orion, 4, got engaged in 2009 and finally wed on April 6, 2012.

If Pitt and Jolie do head to the altar, will they join the list of longest celebrity marriages – or shortest ones? And if they don’t, will they enter the pantheon of famous breakups –Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, Lance Armstrong and Sheryl Crow, Johnny Depp and Kate Moss, and Alanis Morissette and Ryan Reynolds? Stay tuned.

For more stories about Brad Pitt, read:

The Ex-Files: The Girlfriends of Brad Pitt

For more stories about unmarried celebrities, read:

Unmarried with Children

For more stories about Hollywood marriages, read:

Longest Celebrity Marriages

On Love: Katie Norton weds Matt Waite

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‘Beyond the Surface’ apparel design show April 20-21 showcases CSU fashion …

The wedding dress is ethereal. Its bodice beautifully tucked and pleated, its skirt gently layered with ruffles that cascade to the floor. Soft as a cloud, exquisitely detailed, the garment might have fallen from the heavens.

In its original form, it did just that. The fabric, from parachutes used by the United States Air Force, has been reincarnated as a wedding gown to be showcased at the Department of Design and Merchandising’s annual apparel design show.

Each year, Colorado State University design students plan and produce a show to spotlight their original collections of formal and casual clothing. A challenge to some students this year was to repurpose the unusable parachutes.


‘Beyond the Surface’ Apparel Design Show

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 20-21.

Where: University Center for the Arts Griffin Concert Hall, 1400 Remington St., Fort Collins.

Tickets: $15 adults, $10 students, $7 children 12 and younger, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis, available at A VIP dinner and reception is 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the University Center for the Arts.

“Everyone in our draping class was required to use the parachute fabric,” says Sydni Heldmann, who with Anabella Montgomery created the wedding gown. “It was a little stretchy and very slippery to work with and we had to add some other types of fabric to keep it structured. We chose to pleat the bodice as a way to give it the appearance of a different texture and the ruffles to make it fuller.”

Heldmann, 20, a sophomore from Colorado Springs, says partnering with Montgomery was a good fit. “We both have the same aesthetics and our ideas came together into a wedding dress that turned out really well.”

Montgomery, at 27, is a junior working on her second bachelor’s degree. The jump from an engineering degree to fashion design is heartfelt. “I’m passionate about fashion and I’m now fulfilling my dream,” she says. “The collaboration with Sydni was great; we matched in what we wanted to do and both of us brought good ideas to the table.”

The parachute fabric came in bright orange, military green, navy, light blue, tan and white.

“The minute we saw the tan and white, we were totally driven to create a wedding dress,” says Montgomery.

The gown features alternating tan and white layers of ruffles, with burned edges to resemble dried roses.

The endeavor matched the passion of both students, who say designing evening and bridal wear drives their creativity. “Designing apparel is not only fun, but inspiring,” says Heldmann. “To think of an image and then be able to bring it to life is so exciting.”

The women also incorporated a sense of history into the design. “The wedding gown is a 1940s style that is reminiscent of some soldiers during World War II who saved their parachutes and brought them home to be made into wedding dresses,” Montgomery says. “This is a tribute to those veterans. We’ve taken something very utilitarian and repurposed it into this gorgeous wedding gown that someone could get married in today.”

The show provides a peek at the vision of students who may go on to be leaders in the industry. Graduates from the department have become successful designers at such highly regarded fashion houses as Billabong, Vovom, Spyder, The Row, Diane von Furstenberg, Marchesa and Nanette Lepore, among others.

Both evenings will include three performances by hip-hop artist Black Prez — a stage name used by CSU master’s student Josh Madry — and deejay T-Bone.

Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel Planning Italian Wedding?

With their big day just months away, Jessica Biel, 30, and Justin Timberlake, 31, just spent five days in Italy — and toured at least one wedding venue.

On April 10, the couple hit Rome, where they shared dinner at Dal Bolognese and “held hands across the table,” a witness tells the new issue of Us Weekly (out now). After the meal, Biel and Timberlake strolled back to their hotel “and stopped along the way for a cuddle,” says a local.

PHOTOS: How Justin Timberlake and Jessia Biel fell in love

Following a stop in Naples and a private boat tour along the island of Capri, the future spouses arrived in Bernalda, where they checked out wedding venue Palazzo Margherita (Sofia Coppola got married there last year).

Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake attend the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on February 27, 2011 in West Hollywood.


For more details on their hunt for the perfect wedding location, watch the Hot Stuff video (above), as told by Us Weekly Senior Editor Ian Drew and VH1 Morning Buzz host Carrie Keagan.

PHOTOS: Jessica Biel’s hottest, most revealing body moments

Also in the roundup: Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds scope out houses in Connecticut, Tom Cruise wins over the Oblivion cast and crew in Louisiana, and much more!

PHS Thespians to Perform The Wedding Singer

PHSCrestThe Portage High School Theatre Department presents “The Wedding Singer”, opening Friday, April 20, 2012 at 7:30 pm. The show follows the story, based on the Adam Sandler film, of the relationship forming between Robbie, a wedding singer, and Julia, a waitress at the reception hall where Robbie and his band regularly perform.

The cast list is as follows:

  • Jacob Cherry… Robbie Hart
  • Rachel Stewart… Julia Sullivan
  • Claire Tokash… Holly
  • Tyler Franklin… Glen Gulia
  • Lauryn Alyea… Linda
  • Cor Braner… Sammy
  • Matt Bliss… George
  • Haley Sansone… Angie

Women Chorus

  • Eric Gaffney (Dance Captain)
  • Erin Lichnerowicz (Co-Captain)
  • Meaira Bannett
  • Danielle Black
  • Angela Buchanan
  • Emily Dominguez
  • Emily Evans
  • Valerie Gregorash
  • Marine Hakobyan
  • Taylor Leslie
  • Tiana McQueen
  • Trinitie Oetman
  • Desi Perez
  • Fallon Pugh
  • Belinda Rodriquez
  • Nikki Ruiz
  • Ashley Sass
  • Summer Sobczak
  • Yanitza Soto
  • Emily Stanley
  • Leah Streetman
  • Shannon Summers
  • Crystal Woloszyn
  • Tiffany Woloszyn
  • Alicia Wood

Men Chorus

  • Enrique Caraballo
  • Aidan Fletcher
  • Luke Hayden
  • Enrique Huizer
  • Matt Kiley
  • AJ Laramie
  • Ian Lloyd
  • Aaron Martinez
  • Todd Mocabee
  • Chris Ticen
  • Noah Volk
  • DaVonte Williams

Student Director: Bree Rutz
Student Producer: Erin Connely

The show runs Fridays and Saturdays through April 28, at 7:30 pm, as well as a Sunday show on April 22, 2:30 pm. Tickets are $10.


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The love story that has readers talking, hoping and shedding tears

The bittersweet tale of the late Ryan Smith and his wife Bethany has touched people around the world, and readers have shared their reactions online. Among the comments are words of encouragement, love and hope.

On Wednesday we published the story, by contributor

Laura T. Coffey

, of the young couple who planned a wedding in 3 days after learning that his cancer prognosis was grim. They set the date on a Thursday and were married just three days later, on Sunday. “Looking back on it, there was more love in that room than I have ever experienced in my life,” Bethany said of her wedding day. “Although it was way too short, we were able to be married and celebrate our one-month anniversary, and that’s a gift no one can ever take away.” Six weeks after the wedding, Ryan was gone.

Their story has touched the hearts of many, including’s Facebook community. Over 18,000 people have recommended the story to their friends. Hundreds have left comments praising the couple for their bravery and courage.

Read the original story: At 24, he hadn’t long to live … so they got married

Reader Laura Sweat said, “This story left me speechless! Literally broke my heart but lifted me back up. They were some strong individuals! They have the kind of love that people look for everyday.”

Image: Ryan Smith, Stephen Schmidt, Bethany Smith and Isaac Schmidt on Ryan and Bethany's wedding day

Kevin Kubota
Kubota Photo-Design

“What a beautiful and courageous couple,” said Karen-2529772. “My heart goes out to you Bethany! You had six weeks of loving marriage and many years of a wonderful relationship…he is your guardian angel. You will meet up with him again.”

Many echoed Karen’s words, reassuring Bethany that just because Ryan has passed that doesn’t mean he’s gone. Rkaraliussaid, “I think when someone is destined to suffer from such an illness, it’s especially important that they find their soul mate to help them through it. Bethany and Ryan are such soul mates; their story began long ago and is far from over. Stay strong, Bethany, and know that Ryan is still with you.”

Ryan and Bethany’s story isn’t just for those in relationships. It is about hope for everyone, and idea that resonated for many readers. Kathy Davidson said, “I really think that I was meant to read this at this particular moment. If I ever were to have another relationship in my lifetime I would want to go here!” The Bigpictureagreed and said, “I am single and not in love and I am still balling my eyes out. It’s nice to know the precious few who are so very lucky to fall in love like this. May he rest in peace and prayers to Bethany for a happy and successful life.” Bigpicture wasn’t the only one with tears in her eyes. John-3403713said, “Reading this story made me tear up for the first time in 15 years. So happy yet sad.”

Join in the Facebook conversation around the story

Ryan and Bethany’s love story has reminded some to put their lives into perspective. MaryJane Garcia said that after reading the story, “All my trivial problems have vanished.” Diana Marion Winslett said, “This story filters out what truly matters…love.”

The images from the wedding were especially poignant for people and many have said how much they love the romantic, intimate photos from the special day. “The pictures of them together are so precious and you could feel the love they shared,” said Just Ice 4 Al. “Bethany will have these memories forever to cherish. God bless them both.”

Though the wedding was planned in only a matter of days, a large group of family and friends came from all over to celebrate the couple. facebook commenter Kim McCrady Osmonson called the story inspiring. “What lovely people,” she said of the couple. “Wake up every day and love your family and friends and community.”

Slideshow: One month of marriage: ‘A gift no one can take away’ (on this page)

Bride to be Michelle-1841649wrote directly to Bethany in her comment, saying, “What a beautiful story and thank you for sharing it. I am currently in the throes of planning my wedding and your story has helped bring me back to what matters — the love of my fiancé and having our families and friends there with us. Thank you again and bless you.”

Image: Bethany and Ryan Smith kiss through face masks in hospital

Courtesy of Bethany Smith

Ryan and Bethany knew they wanted love to be the focus of their day. Bethany wrote of the wedding, “That’s what we wanted our wedding to be about: our love for each other and for our friends and family. We may have only had a few days to put it together but we both agreed we would have done it exactly the same even if we’d had years to plan.”

To read the original story

click here

. Join the conversation on Facebook. To see more photos from Bethany and Ryan’s wedding, view this
slideshow on, visit this post on the wedding website Snippet Ink, or visit Bethany and Ryan’s wedding website.

To watch a moving video montage of Ryan Smith’s life that was shown at his memorial service, click here.

Friend writer Laura T. Coffey on Facebook, follow her on Twitter  or read more of her stories at

© 2012 MSNBC Interactive. 


Wedding Shows – For Better or For Worse?

LONDON, April 20, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ –
Over 50% of people attend wedding shows for inspiration only,* preferring to find their own vendors and suppliers once they have a clear idea of their special day.

General feedback about wedding fairs is mixed as you can snap up bargains and get discounts on your dream wedding, but you do find out how pushy salespeople and other brides can be.

However, visiting a wedding show can put you in contact with dressmakers, venues and musicians, and give you ideas for details you’d never have considered.

This April sees the biggest wedding show in North London return to Alexandra Palace for the third year, with over 65 professionals, including wedding photographers and stylists, available to give you personalised advice on your wedding day.

Decorative wedding cakes, unique wedding invitations and unusual wedding rings will all be at your disposal on Sunday April 22nd.

The In Wedding Show’s main event is the Real Fashion Show, with wedding gowns and bridesmaid dresses modelled by women of all shapes and sizes, so you can see how they will look on you.

The popular Pamper Zone run by the Benefit Cosmetics Team offers brides, friends and family a makeover, plus manicures and bridal makeup advice, including false eyelashes.

Before the Big Day, the official blog of The In Wedding Show, will be at the show running bridal advice sessions to help you organise your wedding. These advice sessions are designed to inspire you and this year’s topics are DIY Weddings Made Easy and How to Make Your Wedding Fabulous (Themes Colours). Book your free place when you order your wedding fair tickets.

Advance tickets to The In Wedding Show start from just £3.50 and brides who book tickets in advance will receive a free goodie bag on the day.

Easily accessible by rail, bus and tube, Alexandra Palace also has a large free car park for visitors, with a restaurant and pub within the grounds so you can refuel after your hard day of wedding planning.

[*] –

How can John Lewis help?

If you’re getting married, making sure your wedding day is perfect is probably the main thing on your mind. To help you to relax and worry less about things going wrong, Wedding Insurance can protect your wedding from disaster.

John Lewis Wedding Insurance starts at just £65.62 and offers flexible cover for weddings up to £50,000 both in the UK and abroad. All essential wedding items, such as the rings, the dress and the venue are covered if the unthinkable happens and we’ll also pay cancellation costs if your wedding is postponed because of family illness.

For further information and to get an insurance quote customers can visit .

John Lewis Insurance is a trading name of John Lewis plc. Registered in England No. 00233462. Registered office 171 Victoria Street London SW1E 5NN.

John Lewis plc is an appointed representative of AXA Insurance UK plc who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. AXA Insurance UK plc. Registered in England No. 78950. Registered office: 5 Old Broad Street, London, EC2N 1AD

Lauren Baldwin, Email:, Tel: +44(0)207-592-6677

SOURCE John Lewis Insurance

Copyright (C) 2012 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

Zuma wedding begins

Zwi Dumisa, of Zwi Florist and Decor, sets the stage inside the marquee where President Jacob Zuma and his bride-to-be Bongi Ngema will have their wedding reception in Nkandla today. Behind her is the stage where the president and his bride will sit. Picture: Sibusiso Ndlovu

The president’s wedding started on Friday in Nkandla at 5.55am, a nd, for some, a wedding invitation will be unnecessary.

That was the view of President Jacob Zuma’s neighbours, who said they had not been formally invited but when Zuma was in Nkandla for his 70th birthday celebration recently the wedding day was announced. This, they said, meant it was an open invitation.

Just more than 100 locals are expected to unofficially attend the event and brush shoulders with celebrities and ANC leaders.

Presidential spokesman, Mac Maharaj, said last week Zuma’s wedding was by invitation only.

“The wedding will be a private family ceremony to take place in Nkandla. The private ceremony is to be paid for by the president. There is no government involvement or cost,” he said.

Umlazi businesswoman Bongi Ngema was expected to become the president’s sixth wife today at a ceremony followed by a reception in a massive marquee opposite the Mnyakanya High School.

Relatives of the bride, staying at an Eshowe guest house, said Ngema was due to arrive at the Nkandla homestead at 2am. As part of tradition, she was to stand under a tree and wait for Zuma’s relatives to open the gates and welcome her.

Neighbours today confirmed that the wedding festivities got under way at 5.55am with singing and dancing to welcome Ngema to the homestead.

It was reported that the court-yard of the homestead was packed with family and friends of the bride and groom. All hotels and guest houses close to the area of the wedding festivities are fully booked.

The reception may well be his fanciest, yet according to his Nkandla neighbours, who have watched the wedding preparations in amazement.

One woman said she was asked by one of Zuma’s relatives to be part of the traditional dance group that will perform.

“I’m not really good at traditional dancing but I’m going for the experience,” she said.

When the Daily News went for a visit on Thursday, a 21-man décor team was seen busy decorating an enormous white marquee.

And a 30-man technical team was also hard at work installing a stage and the three generators that will power 24 sound speakers, lights, plasma television screens and – if the president, his new bride and invited guests get too hot – a bank of air conditioners.

The traditional wedding is taking place near Zuma’s homestead and the reception will be held in the 1 500-seat marquee.

The ummabo ceremony, where traditionally the bride’s family presents gifts to the groom’s family, thereby sealing the couple’s union, will take place tomorrow.

The preparations for the big day, neighbours said yesterday, beat any of Zuma’s other weddings.

“There was no reception tent put up for the other weddings; there was just the one inside the homestead,” said one, who requested anonymity for fear of raising the ire of Nkandla’s most famous resident.

In charge of the décor was Zwi Dumisa, for whom the Zuma-Ngema wedding will be the latest that she has done for high profile clients.

She declined to name the others, though, saying she had to respect their privacy.

But among them, Dumisa said, were well-known business figures who had got married surrounded by her creative touch over the past decade.

While there was no specific theme for the reception, the décor centred on the colours white, grey and lilac, Dumisa said.

“The tent seats 1 500 guests and the flooring at the centre of the tent will accommodate 50 VIP guests,” she said.

All eyes inside the marquee will be on Zuma and Ngema who will be seated on white and silver leather chairs on a stage at the front of the marquee.