Touched by their hardships

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POCOMOKE CITY — Grandiose, elaborate wedding plans were pushed aside last week when Dustin and Lori Imes tied the knot.

A couple for nearly a decade, the Imes enjoyed an unconventional style of wedding Tuesday night. The theme: Generosity.

Homeless and scrambling to care for two children with special needs, the Imes were unable to afford a traditional-style wedding.

They weren’t looking for sympathy, but the local community provided it anyway — in the form of donated attire, food and a ceremony.

“It meant a lot,” Lori Imes, 27, said. “People did not have to do this for us. It was amazing to see how many people that we don’t really know help us out. I wasn’t expecting that.”

Lori and her husband, Dustin, 25, were married in the Samaritan Ministries shelter in Pocomoke City.

During the past 22 years, the shelter has handed out food and provided a home for many homeless individuals in the community. Generosity is printed on its mission statement.

But for shelter director Shelly Daniels, who has only known the newlyweds for little more than a month, a shelter wedding presented the opportunity to truly lend a hand.

“They’re in love and they’ve been wanting to get married. We wanted to make sure it happened for them,” Daniels said. “It makes us feel good that you can help someone out.”

Daniels was touched by the Imes’ hardships. Of their three children, Mariah, 6, has been diagnosed with Rett syndrome. A neurodevelopmental disease that occurs largely in females, Rett syndrome affects about one in 10,000 children, causing breathing problems, excessive drooling, seizures and severe language developmental problems, among others.

Their youngest child, Anthony, 17 months old, has been back and forth from the shelter to The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Doctors are still unsure what is wrong with Anthony, but Daniels said he looks tiny and he cannot eat regular food.

Though the wedding offered temporary relief for the couple, the next morning Dustin was back in Baltimore awaiting Anthony’s tests results.

The hitch-free guide to surviving your wedding

GETTING married is meant to be one of the happiest days of your life, but planning for such an important event can send stress levels soaring.

Organising a wedding can lead to relationship problems, financial difficulties and distractions at work.

The Scottish Wedding Show comes to Glasgow’s SECC this weekend, and as brides-to-be gather to find the best ideas, four experts tell us how to make the most of your big day.

Love Doc

Relationship expert Lorna Green says brides should keep a close eye on the budget for their big day as financial problems can often lead to couple stress.

Lorna, who’s a counsellor in Glasgow, says couples should remember that it’s a day of celebration – but the marriage is more important than the wedding.

Relationship expert Lorna Green
Relationship expert Lorna Green


She recommends sharing the decision-making and getting friends and family to help with organising.

“Keep to your budget and keep things simple. Financial problems could lead to relationship stress.

“But don’t spend all the time planning a wedding. It’s going to be over and done with in a day and you’ve got the rest of your lives. Make time for date nights for the two of you, not just in the build-up to the wedding, but afterwards as well.

It’s important to keep that bond strong. Have time together where you don’t discuss the wedding.”

She also recommends not putting so much emphasis on the big day – as many brides feel down when they return to real life.

“It’s about the marriage – don’t get hung up on the actual wedding.”

Wedding Show Expert

Most brides-to-be will hit the wedding shows in the run-up to their big day, but it can be difficult to know where to start when you’re faced with a huge hall packed full of bridal firms.

Scottish Wedding Show manager Angela Smith says it pays to be organised. She says shows are a great place to get a deal or a discount – so brides-to-be should work out what they want to achieve on the day.

Scottish Wedding Show manager Angela Smith
Scottish Wedding Show manager Angela Smith


Angela explained: “Check out the website of the show beforehand so you know who’s going to be there and who you want to see. We’ve got a really broad representation of what’s available. There’s everything from venues, to dresses and flowers from all over the country.

“Wear flat shoes and think about who you’re bringing with you and if they’ll help you make a decision.

“If you have a theme for your wedding, keep that in mind when you’re looking around. When you’re dealing with suppliers, especially a service like a photographer, you’ve got to click with the person and make sure they get you and you get them.

“Most brides want their weddings to be different to others and at a show you can see lots of products that will set your big day apart.”

Wedding Planners

Specialist wedding events planners Laura Madden and Lisa Miller recommend getting professionals to take over some of the organisation.

Laura, 25, and Lisa, 28, from East Kilbride, help create centre pieces and advise on styling weddings.

Laura said: “Brides come to us when they’re looking to add that wee bit of sparkle to their day, and also to take stress away from them. We can recommend companies like caterers and good-quality products as well.”

But even brides who aren’t getting in the experts to help can make their wedding stand out, says Laura. “Brides can create an impact on their wedding day by personalising the look.”

Laura said looking at the season can help with choosing a style or theme for a wedding. “If it’s a winter wedding we can make centre pieces in wintery colours and add pretend snow. Or for a cocktail theme, you can include Martini glasses and we can put lights in crystal goblets. “Adding a personalised centre piece makes a wedding look more lavish.”


Reality TV show bride Jackie Burns had a completely stress-free build-up to her wedding day – as she left all the organising to husband John Clark.

Jackie, 32, and John, 30, from Kirkintilloch, featured on the BBC3 show Don’t Tell The Bride and tied the knot in May last year.

Although Jackie, a project worker for Barnardo’s, loved the day organised by John, she recommends couples share the organising. She says her experience taught her that brides should delegate more.

“The advice I would give is to relax and remember it’s a day for both of you,” she added.

? The Scottish Wedding Show is on this Saturday and Sunday, call 0141 587 6088 or go to www.the scottishwedding

Popeye, Olive Oyl get hitched!

Themed weddings are nothing new, some focus on the seasons, others on the couple’s interest, but one themed wedding Saturday in Chester became the first of its kind.

George Wallace of Ottumwa, Iowa and Nicole Martin of St. Louis tied the knot as Popeye and Olive Oyl Saturday during the 33rd Annual Popeye Picnic. But the theme didn’t stop with the bride and groom. Other participants got into the spirit of the event, the minister for the ceremony, Cecil Dunning, dressed as Geezil while Wallace’s son dressed as Castor Oyl, Olive’s brother.

Wallace has attended the Popeye Picnic for the 18 years. Martin’s wedding day was her third picnic.

As word of the first Popeye wedding spread throughout Chester, the ceremony became a large attraction at this year’s picnic.

“Oh my goodness, it sounds like the whole town is going to turn out,” Wallace said. “But it’s the first Popeye wedding ever.”

Martin said the marriage seems like it was meant to be. She first met Wallace through the work she does to support soldiers. Wallace, a retired Navy SEAL, contacted her through a MySpace page she administered.

After a couple of months of corresponding, Wallace met Martin on his way south for the Popeye Picnic. The couple had a few dates, but didn’t hit it off immediately. A year-and-a-half later on Valentine’s Day weekend, the couple gave it another shot and began clicking. The two got engaged on Good Friday.

The couple was married in the Gazebo adjacent to Spinach Can Collectibles; the wedding cake fittingly was in the shape of a large spinach can.

The idea of the wedding came about last year as the couple was traveling to the picnic. They were wrestling with different dates and were brainstorming ideas. Both came to the conclusion “why not get married in Chester.”

Wallace, although from Iowa, said Southern Illinois feels like home to him. His parents were originally from Harrisburg, and he spent a lot of time in the region throughout his life.

But for those who know Wallace, a Popeye-themed wedding might not come as a big surprise.

“My whole house is Popeye,” he said. “It looks like a museum.”

Wallace said the town has opened their arms to the couple.

“You’d think I was a native son; they’ve treated us very well.”

One resident, whom Wallace has never met, offered to let the bride and groom use his corvette and ride in the parade.

Although excited for her big day, Martin was getting anxious about the big event her wedding was becoming.

“I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh, now we’re in the parade.’” Martin said. “That’s what’s making me nervous.”


Theme for a dream!

The exterior of Templetree Leisure on Outer Ring Road

In today’s day and age, when everything around us comes tailor-made, why should weddings be left behind? While the Kalayana Mantapas and star hotels serve as perfect banquet halls for weddings, the hoi polloi were flying off to far flung destinations outside the city for their D-day. But not anymore.

With the new ones that have sprung up, dream weddings are now just a drive away — Templetree Leisure on Outer Ring Road and Ganjam Mantapa in Basavanagudi. The others that have been around for a while are Villa Pottipati in Malleswaram and Tamarind Tree in JP Nagar. These are venues where tradition weds modernity. They are custom designed by architects who have retained the old world charm but added a touch of modernity with all the amenities.

Templetree leisure
Think of a rich, rustic ambience, with all the modern facilities of a star hotel and Templetree Leisure offers just that. A venue that hosts 150 to 1,000 guests, it is set in a lush nature garden of 100,000 sq ft. Sunaina Joseph who runs the place says, “My brother Nichael Joseph and I conceptualised the place and RC Architects helped us give it shape. It is an eco-friendly venue, built with a minimal carbon footprint, using recyclable and bio-degradable materials harnessing natural energy. The thatched roofs and open structures with sprawling lush lawns and murmuring water bodies allow natural air and light to creep in creating a tropical feel.”

It is inspired by Polynesian/Balinese design that fuses indoor and outdoor spaces to effectively marry architecture with nature. 75 per cent of the property is thrown to open planned spaces. Sunaina shares, “One thing that really stands apart is that the property ensures complete privacy. Facilities are available to create a formal sit-down dining seating. The 4,000 sq ft kitchen is designed at par with international standards. The washrooms are also large. Ample parking space for 200 cars is provided with an option for valet services.”

The stage has been positioned strategically, for viewing and access from anywhere on the property and is an apt one to seat the bride and the bridegroom. The open-air bar and lounge, though tucked away in a separate part can be accessed easily from the dining halls and gardens. Each of the spaces, though have their own demarcations, flow easily into one other.

“The entire recyclable structure is made of steel teamed with high-quality teak and rosewood seasoned for over a hundred years. The thatched roofs add a touch of mysticism and are built with bio-degradable natural fibers. It’s a venue that is done up aesthetically and functionally,” adds Sunaina.

Ganjam Mantapa, Basvanagudi
Ganjam Mantapa, once the ancestral home of the family of the city’s luxury jewellery brand, Ganjam, now stands transformed into an architectural delight. Redesigned by Renu Mistry, it has all the traditional, architectural beauty intact with modern amenities. The ethnic treat begins right from its compound wall painted in pleasing sandalwood hue, with elaborately carved arches and doorways; and soothing greenery and water rivulets on either side of the entrance. Light and ventilation are aplenty as antique wooden columns enhance the spacious look of the two halls where shining brass lamps and urlis are placed unobtrusively. The sloping roof with latticework of terracotta coloured tiles and earthy colours glazed red-oxide flooring adorned with murals of kolam and mavilai thoranam represent the ancient Kerala temple architecture with sandal and vermilion motifs. Air-conditioned rooms with built-in cupboards, well equipped kitchen and washrooms and eco-friendly waste disposal add to the features of this resplendent venue.

Villa Pottipati, Malleswaram
The bustling Malleswaram boasts of a charming 140-year-old colonial bungalow converted into a swanky hotel. This garden home called Pottipati taken over by the Neemrana group of hotels, derives its name from a village in Andhra Pradesh from where its owners, originally migrated to Bengaluru. Its rich pastoral charm is further beautified by a giant Shivalinga tree, gulmohars, jacarandas, jackfruit, mangoes and avacado trees and seasonal flowers. The old rooms spanking of heritage charm are named after traditional sarees, a granite pillared lounge with a skylight.

Ladies and gentlemen set to dress to impress at wedding themed ball

It’s the dress that many women spend years dreaming of and months saving for in preparation for their big day.

Now three Hamilton ladies are giving former brides, grooms and bridesmaids the opportunity to showcase their special outfits one more time at a charity ball.

The wedding themed ball at the Byre in East Kilbride on September 8 is set to raise money for Cancer Research and the Alzheimer’s Society.

Both charities are close to the hearts of sisters Carolann Dunbar and Mariette Giblin and their cousin Megan Martin.

Mariette, 32, said: “My sister saw a wedding themed charity ball advertised last year and it just looked so fun and unusual that in February we decided to organise our own event.

“We’ve had loads of feedback on Facebook, from mostly ladies excited about the possibility of wearing their dresses again.

“We didn’t need to put any thought into the charities we really wanted to raise money for cancer and Alzheimer’s.

“One of our close family members had Alzheimer’s and Megan’s mum and dad have both passed away from cancer, so we want to raise as much money as possible in their memory.”

As well as being encouraged to dress to impress in wedding attire there will be a champagne reception, iCandy Butlers, live entertainment from Michael O’Shay and a finger buffet throughout the night.

For further information or to book tickets costing £25 contact 07730 153 143 or find out more information on the Wedding Charity Ball Facebook page.

Literary Wedding: Stefanie Kiper And Marc Schmidt Get Married With Book …

Not long ago, we reported on Dr Seuss-themed weddings. Book mad Stefanie Kiper and Marc Schmidt have created their own literary theme for their forthcoming nuptials in Newfields, NH on September 22nd.

There will be place mats made from pages of books (discarded ones, we hope) containing love stories, including “Emma,” “Jane Eyre” and “Bridget Jones’s Diary.” Kiper, Events Coordinator at Water Street Bookstore in Exeter, NH adds, “The cake will be displayed on a pedestal made of books. Our centerpieces are these fabulous open book succulent planters. Our guest book is an old accounting ledger book – not terribly literary but very vintage and sweet.”

As if that wasn’t enough, check out their amazing book spine poetry wedding invite, below, photographed by Water Street bookseller Eva Skewes.

Kiber says, “I was most excited about getting in Don Robertson’s book “The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread,” because reading it with my dad as a kid is one of my favorite childhood memories. Now that I’m thinking of it, I missed a great opportunity with Wilkie Collins’s “The Woman in White!”"

The poem reads:

The marriage plot/the history of us/call it what you want/lucky break/paradise/wonderland/the greatest thing since sliced bread./Everything happens today/the rehearsal/the wedding/take this man/take me home/crossing to safety/a long and happy life/at last.

Check it out:

wedding invitation

(via Shelf Awareness)

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Is Bachelorette the next Bridesmaids?

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Wedding theme? Ensemble cast? Gross-out humor? Check, check, check. The new bridal film has some moviegoers hoping for a repeat of the 2011 box-office smash

Though they appear to be cut from the same cloth, Bachelorette is a darker, more cynical version of the popular 2011 comedy Bridesmaids.

Though they appear to be cut from the same cloth, Bachelorette is a darker, more cynical version of the popular 2011 comedy Bridesmaids. Photo:

Best Opinion:, NY Daily News, The Atlantic

Moviegoers could be forgiven for experiencing deja vu after seeing the trailer for Bachelorette, which hits theaters today. The film, based on a play of the same name by Leslye Headland, superficially resembles 2011′s Kristen Wiig-starring smash hit Bridesmaids: It’s a comedy about the events leading up a wedding, it stars an ensemble cast of young women, and both movies feature actress Rebel Wilson in a supporting role. But does Bachelorette have the X factor that earned Bridesmaids rave reviews and massive box-office? Or is it just another failed example of Hollywood’s cookie-cutter approach?

It’s a darker, leaner BridesmaidsBachelorette will probably perform at least decently at the box office because of that other “female-driven, wedding-comedy,” but it’s a “brisker, cattier creation” than Bridesmaids, says William Goss at Bachelorette is even “more of an ensemble effort,” with stars Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, and Lizzy Caplan playing a trio locked into “a mutual superiority complex that has kept them friends after all these years.” Though the film’s more sentimental ending isn’t totally convincing after its first two “manic” acts, there are plenty of “funny failures” along the way.
“Review: The free-wheeling women of Bachelorette throw a pretty good party”

It’s an empty, ugly wannabe Bridesmaids: Though Bachelorette goes out of its way to shock audiences with gross-out humor, the most off-putting aspect of the movie “is how desperate the filmmakers are to exploit other people’s ideas,” says Elizabeth Weitzman at the New York Daily News. Bachelorette cribs liberally from Bridesmaids, but “where Bridesmaids had real heart,” Bachelorette “is absolutely empty at its core.” And even the film’s few strengths are wasted: Though Bachelorette‘s “cast is uniformly strong,” there isn’t “a single character whom we can actually like. “Do yourself a favor, and watch Bridesmaids again instead.”
“Movie review: Bachelorette

It isn’t the next Bridesmaids — and it’s not trying to be: “It would be a mistake to call Bachelorette the next Bridesmaids,” says Chloe Angyal at The Atlantic. In fact, it’s not even really a comedy; Bachelorette is “a good deal darker,” with a cynical tone that “comes at the expense of laughs and broad appeal.” Over the course of the movie, Bachelorette‘s three main characters “confront serious issues like eating disorders, abortion, and suicide. And unlike Bridesmaids, there is no “best-friends-forever-no-matter-what” message to undercut the satire. Consequently, Bachelorette clearly isn’t “destined to be the kind of global phenomenon that Bridesmaids was.”
“Bachelorette: Too evil to be a Bridesmaids clone”

Wedding Blogger Wins £500 Next Vouchers in Blogger Competition

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Wedding blogger Niki Clarke of Wedding Notebook has won £500 worth of Next vouchers in the Next’s Wedding Planner competition, in association with Next and hosted by Cosmopolitan Best Wedding Blogger 2011 Kat Williams of With the blog exploring everything wedding – from gift list ideas to DIY wedding advice – the winning entry from Wedding Notebook went with a 60′s Mods and Rockers theme which can be found at

“My inspiration comes from a 60′s themed elopement… In true Romeo Juliet style, here is the marriage of the Mods the Rockers,” explained Niki. She picked a 60s inspired ivory lace dress and teamed with an array of quirky accessories and glitter peep toe shoes to complete the look.

“Miss Mod keeps her hemline high with a luxury edge wearing the Lace Geri Dress (£55) and shows off those legs in her gold glitter peep-toes (£32). To keep to the red, white blue theme, she wraps the blue-green Jubilee neck-scarf (£10) around her neck (a must for any Mod). She adds a touch of sparkle with a crystal statement ring (£35) and the Devoted Vintage Statement Comb will look amazing tucked into her beehive (£50). Arriving on a Vespa means no opportunity for a bouquet, so maybe pick a bunch of flowers on the Gretna Green border.”

On the other hand is Mr Rocker, mixing up his usual casual look especially for the occasion. Whilst best friend in tow would wear a sassy shift dress along with Mod style Union Jack ballet pumps.

Niki signed off, “So with a total of £457 for three full outfits and all the trimmings, it just shows you can have a cool stylish wedding on a high-street budget.”

Packed with catwalk inspired fashion, this season Next has the best in the latest women’s trends. As well as stylish clothing for your wedding party, there are also other great ranges being showcased in stores and online. Love what you see? To enjoy the AW12 collections, click onto at for new arrivals for the coming season.

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View The Kodak Wedding Collections On Facebook And Choose Your Theme

Kodak, the leader in photography for over 100 years, has launched a Facebook application to promote its latest product of wedding print services – the Kodak Collections.

Even though matches are made in heaven, we need the family, the friends, the wedding planners and the photographers to make it a memorable day on earth. So that when we revisit the most important day of our lives, we have it all captured in photographs. And if you could choose a theme for all your wedding stationary to match with your wedding theme, it would be just magical!

Now Kodak, a company who is the leader in photography for over 100 years has launched a range of personalised and theme-based print packages for weddings and related occasions. The packages contain albums, invitation cards, Thank You cards and many other related products.

The brand has created an app on its Facebook page that helps fans to view the various themes in the Kodak Collections, prior to making their choice.

About the Kodak Collections product catalogue app

The catalogue is available to fans alone. So you have to like the page before you can begin browsing it.

Kodak_Collections app

Select a theme from the drop-down list and view it below starting with the Pre-Wedding Photo book to the Wedding Album, Guest Comment book, Invitation Card, Gift Bag, Calendar, Programme Card, Save the Date card, Table card, and Thank You card.

From traditional Indian themes like Bahar, Banarasi, Madhubani to more contemporary designs like Pastel Cubes, Polka and Swirls, there is a wide range of themes you can select from.

At the top right, you can connect with the brands Twitter and Pinterest page through the respective icons displayed. Besides, there is a link that shows you more package details too. Once you are done with browsing the various themes, you can get in touch with the Kodak team to find a photographer who offers the Kodak Collections packages.

How good is the campaign?

For starters, it is a fantastic product promotion on Facebook. How wonderful and convenient is it when you can actually browse for themes for your wedding stationary needs while you are on Facebook! Besides, users today find it convenient to do stuff on Facebook itself, rather than visit the company website.

It reminds me of services where you can select from a range of various hairstyles given in the catalogue and match it with your face, to find the best one that suits you.

Being a Like campaign, this will help grow its community on Facebook. ‘Like’ campaigns are good to have, provided they bring in the relevant target group and in this case, the campaign manages to bring in the right fan base – people who are looking for wedding print services.

However, the Facebook app does not make use of any of its sharing features like Facebook Share or Invite friends. In a social network primarily meant for friends and family first, a brand can be socially appealing only if it can convince a fan and her social circle.

I like this concept of promoting your wedding themes collection in a Facebook app, saving consumers the trouble to visit your website or your store. Simple and smart move indeed! What do you think?

This article originally appeared on Lighthouse Insights and has been republished with permission.

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