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China city bans second-time wedding banquets


A city in south-western China is banning wedding banquets for people marrying for a second time, in an attempt to curb public extravagance.

The authorities in Kaili, Guizhou province, have issued rules saying that only funerals and first-time weddings can be celebrated with banquets. They have also banned multiple feasts, and the use of different locations for one marriage ceremony, the Guizhou Evening Post reports.

A couple dance at their wedding banquet

The bride and groom must now register their intention to hold a banquet with their local government office, to ensure neither have been married before. Council officials cannot sanction a wedding bash without first filing the details with the relevant department, and must also give an account of spending on funeral banquets within ten days, including itemised bills for wine.


The ruling Communist Party launched a nationwide campaign against corruption, bureaucracy and ostentatious displays of wealth back in 2012, and the authorities in some regions have recently begun to rein in lavish marriage practices. As is usual in China, the rules are being rolled out on a trial basis to give the impression of public consultation, but are likely to be confirmed.

The latest ban has sparked a lively debate on China's popular Weibo micro-blogging site. Many people approve of the restrictions because of the wealth gap between prosperous cities like Kaili and rural areas of Guizhou, although some feel it should only apply to officials, who are most often seen as the beneficiaries of corruption. But some users find it "baffling" that people getting married a second time round can't mark it in style, and one complains that the council will "next rule on how many times a week a couple can make love".

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Katie Holmes Wore a Dress Blake Lively Already Slayed In


Both bred by the CW, it’s not that hard to believe Blake Lively and Katie Holmes, who are both chic sophisticated women with similar figures and TV upbringings, have similar taste in clothing — although Serena van der Woodsen and Joey Potter definitely did not.

This weekend their similar style was proven when Holmes stepped out in a dress Lively already slayed in nine months ago. Awkward.

Katie Holmes and Blake Lively

Credit: pale pink bridesmaid dresses

Attending Moet & Chandon Celebrates The 2016 Young Women’s Honors, Holmes sparkled in the Michael Kors Collection Crystal-Embroidered Floral Lace Slip Dress, which clocks in at almost $8,000. With concealed bustier construction and a scalloped hem, the tan dress shows off the wearer’s slim figure—this time Holmes’s.

She paired the dress with matching nude pumps, wore no accessories, had her hair down and behind her shoulders, and went with dark eye shadow and lipstick.

Whether or not it was intentional (probably not), Holmes channeled Lively circa Fall 2016 New York Fashion Week. Lively shimmered in the same exact dress to the Michael Kors Collection Fall 2016 show. Lively went for a less intense look, with her famous long locks up, nude lips and light eyes. She also went with pointy nude pumps.

Somehow, two opposing interpretations of the same dress both work.

We simply cannot pick, so it’s up to you to decide: who wore it best?

Also see: mint green bridesmaid dresses


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College dorm buddies become roommates for life

Even before they became freshmen next-door neighbors at a dormitory at the University of Pennsylvania, it seemed that Naomi Kaplan and Eric Morris were destined to be friends.

In a couple of lighthearted email communications before they even arrived on campus, the two discovered similar senses of humor. And both were certain that they would be, yes, friends.

That first face-to-face meeting had its own quirkiness.

"Eric walked into our first hall dorm meeting having just spent three days camping in the woods as part of an orientation program," recalled Naomi of that long-ago day back in 2007. "He was dirty, but I couldn't take my eyes off of him."

"I saw Naomi, and immediately thought she was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen," Eric said.

But remember, this was to be a great friendship. And it was — at least for a while.

Chick-fil-A mascot

Source: A-line wedding dresses

A surprise guest at the wedding was the Chick-fil-A mascot, a nod to the couple's ongoing love of that chicken, and arranged by the bride's older sister.


They were the kind of friends who spent time together, had lunch together, and shared an unexpected love of Chick-fil-A.

But things got a bit murky when Eric, who definitely felt the same ease and comfort, also began feeling that the friendship had reached a certain decision point.

"I wanted it to be something more, and it was a challenge to both of us to address this issue with a best friend."

It definitely was for Naomi, too.

"At first, I was surprised when after a winter break our sophomore year, Eric told me we either had to date or we couldn't be friends. I couldn't imagine losing my best friend, but I realized that if he was the perfect friend, he might also be the ideal boyfriend."

Yes, the plot really thickened. And the outcome was the kind of happy ending and beginning that makes some movies so enchanting.


Mr. and Mrs. Eric Morris

Naomi Kaplan and Eric Morris after their wedding ceremony.

Contributed"We decided to give dating a chance, and haven't looked back since. We've been together for six incredible years, and we can't wait to spend the rest of our lives together," Naomi said.

But before that commitment turned into marriage last November, there was the small matter of a formal proposal. In student life, formality is rare. But Eric began planning a very special proposal and managed to pull it off brilliantly.

Fast-forward to a very special evening at a restaurant in Tarrytown, New York, the kind of celebratory evening that did make Naomi wonder.

A taxi took the couple to Blue Hill at Stone Barns, a farm-to-table restaurant that sits on a former Rockefeller property. Sensing something was up, Naomi looked for signs of nervousness in Eric, but saw none.

The couple had to climb a fairly steep hill overlooking the farm, and suddenly Eric panicked. When he had scoped out the place, he was sure there was an iron bench that would become his proposal spot. It wasn't there.

At that point, he led Naomi into a vegetable garden, and only when he was down on his knee did she comprehend that, indeed, this was "the moment."

The bride and groom are lifted on chairs above the guests at their reception as "Hava Nagila" plays.


"She immediately started crying, big surprise," Eric said. "But I wouldn't give her the ring until she finally said yes."

A prearranged photographer popped up to immortalize the moment, and there was yet another surprise for Naomi.

Off in the distance, the two sets of parents came up that same hill to join in the celebration — with more tears flowing.

Both agree that the dinner that night will forever live in memory as the glorious culmination of a love that bloomed in a freshman dorm.

Planning a wedding while establishing new lives in New York City was both challenging, and fun, with Naomi occupied with law school and Eric launching his career as an analyst at Caspian Capital Advisors.

But the couple knew with certainty that they would celebrate their Judaism with a synagogue wedding, specifically at her family synagogue, Congregation Beth El in Cherry Hill. So attached is the bride to Beth El that back when she and Eric first began dating, she took him to see the place where, as she told him, "This is where I will get married."

A traditional Jewish wedding ceremony, officiated by Rabbi Aaron Krupnick, was highlighted by the reading of a very special Ketubah, the Jewish marriage contract, created for the couple by an artist in Israel.

A traditional Jewish wedding ceremony, officiated by Rabbi Aaron Krupnick, was highlighted by the reading of a very special Ketubah, the Jewish marriage contract, created for the couple by an artist in Israel.


Its words and message, including the commitment to listen to each other openly and wholeheartedly, will stand as a reminder of what marriage means.

Guests then stepped into an environment that looked and felt like a lush garden, with lots of blush, ivory and champagne tones bathed in candlelight.

A surprise guest at the wedding was the Chick-fil-A mascot, a nod to the couple's ongoing love of that chicken, and arranged by the bride's older sister.

Real life has begun as Eric and Naomi, both 27, pursue their careers, she as an attorney now for a major New York law firm and he as an analyst at Caspian.

Like most couples, they do have adjustments to make. Eric cites some classic examples:

The two have different definitions of what "neat" means, he said. Seems Eric's is a bit looser than Naomi's.

Naomi is a night person and her husband is a top-of-the-morning kind of guy.

Hopefully, they will resolve their differences in the glow of the afternoon.

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