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Introducing the Newlyweds: Kathryn Trout & Douglas Ackerman

Kathryn (Katie) O’Brien Trout met Douglas (Doug) Martin Ackerman at the wedding of some mutual friends, not knowing, one day, the celebration would be for them. “We met again a couple of years later at a charity event and went on our first date,” Katie says. “I soon [went] to Rome to witness the papal conclave, where Pope Francis was elected. Doug and I racked up a huge phone bill across the ocean.”

She knew from that initial separation Doug might be the one to change everything. “The first time I met Katie, I had to get to know her better,” Doug says. “She gave me that special feeling I have been looking for all my life.”


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The next step seemed natural. With a ready excuse to take them to the Windy City, he set out to plan a proposal. “There is a charming Italian restaurant she loves; I knew that would be the place. All I had to do was book a nice place to stay, fuel the plane – and let Chicago do the rest,” Doug tells. Caught by surprise, Katie said yes through blinding tears.

The wedding represented the three pillars of their lives. “We wanted to incorporate faith, family and friends,” she says. “We knew the wedding needed to be in Rome, where our love story began. Thanks to my family’s dear friend, His Eminence Justin Cardinal Rigali, we got married inside St. Peter’s Basilica, which has always been a dream of mine.”

The bride honored Doug’s deceased mother, alongside her own, by bearing their school pins on her bouquet. She also carried a rosary, gifted by her matron of honor and grandmother. “I took a long walk, with the Swiss Guard escorting and holding tourists back, to the chapel. The ‘Wedding March,’ which is no longer allowed to be played in the states, swelled from the organ,” Katie recalls. “I saw Doug face-to-face for the first time that day, and my heart skipped. It all got very real at that moment.”

Doug experienced a similar sensation upon seeing his bride across the aisle. “I cherished the sight of the most beautiful woman in the world, standing in the middle of St. Peter’s Basilica – ready to marry me – and the overwhelming presence of God,” he says. “It was like we were in a fairy tale.”

The celebrations continued with a luncheon at their Italian hotel and, again, in St. Louis at the Racquet Club Ladue. The couple honeymooned in Tuscany and Portofino.

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09:04 Publié dans wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


Okinawa resort weddings bring 10.4 billion yen to local economy in half a year

On September 21, the Okinawa Prefecture Culture, Tourism and Sports Division summarized the state of achievement of resort weddings in the first half of 2016.

It announced that 6,553 couples had had resort weddings, a rise of 6.4 percent for the same period last year. During the first half of this year, approximately 109,000 tourists visited Okinawa for resort weddings – the figure includes wedding attendants. The economic flow-on to Okinawa is estimated to exceed 10.4 billion yen.

Okinawa resort weddings bring 10.4 billion yen to local economy in half a year

Images:One Shoulder Bridesmaid Dresses Australia

The Okinawa Prefecture aims to have resort weddings for 15,000 couples this year. In 2015, 14,174 couples had weddings. If the rate of the first half of the year continues, it is expected that the goal will be achieved. A breakdown of resort weddings shows that 5,633 couples were from Japan, which is a two percent increase and 920 couples were from overseas, which is an increase of 44.9 percent.

Chapel weddings were the most popular, accounting for 73 percent of the total number of couples that had resort weddings. Photo weddings, in which a couple takes photographs, only made up 22 percent. Three percent of the total had either an Okinawan style of wedding using Ryukyuan dresses, a wedding at a beach, or an uninhabited island.

Meanwhile, “Guerilla photo shooting” in which foreign couples take wedding photos at ceremonial halls, public facilities and tourist facilities without authorization, has become a new issue. A spokesperson for the Prefectural Tourism Promotion Division said, “Collaborating with the Okinawa Resort Wedding Association, which urged people to stop guerilla photo shooting, we are trying hard to keep everyone informed about public rules.”

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12:50 Publié dans wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


Police searching for missing teen and baby

Millennials are leaving their mark on the wedding industry—often choosing customization over a cookie-cutter wedding.

Maria Steinhagen, 30, and Simon Sperl, 28, of St. Paul are planning for an October wedding at Voyageur Environmental Center in Mound.


Images: pale pink bridesmaid dresses

Maria Steinhagen and Simon Sperl of St. Paul are planning for an October wedding at Voyageur Environmental Center in Mound. (Photo: Sweet Moonlight Photography)

"We wanted our wedding to kind of feel like a big get together really of all of our friends," Steinhagen said.

During the ceremony, guests will surround the couple in a circle versus sitting in rows.

"It's just to kind of signify the support that our friends and family will offer for the rest of our lives as opposed to them being kind of in the audience and watching from a distance. We wanted it to feel personal and like they're a part of it," Sperl said.

Personal touches include wedding invitations by artist Anne Moriarty (Sperl's mother) and cello duets for the ceremony, composed by Sperl.

"We've heard a lot about the rising costs of being in a wedding and we didn't really want that for any of our friends," Steinhagen said.

Instead of matching dresses or suits, the bridal party will wear whatever they want. The bride and groom are also saving money on their attire. Sperl chose to buy a suit he can re-wear and found shoes on eBay at a quarter of the original price. Steinhagen saved $500 on her wedding dress by buying the sample.

Sperl and Steinhagen are also bartending at their friends' wedding. In exchange, those friends will play cello at their wedding—saving them $300-$500.

Instead of flowers for centerpieces, tables will be adorned with fruit and wine.

"We're seeing an overall trend of customization, I would say," said Nikki Houser, director of integrated marketing and success at Twin Cities Wedding Association.

According to Houser, couples in the metro are spending about the same amount on their weddings as they did ten years ago. The Wedding Report shows couples in the Twin Cities metro spent, on average, $31,081 in 2015. That same year, total sales from weddings in the metro area came in at nearly $638 million—putting the market in the top 20 cities nationwide.

"I just think that couples are now being more selective on what they're choosing," Houser said. "So they're not just having a buffet just because they need food, they're picking specific food that means something to him, her or the family."

Jareesa Tucker McClure, 34, of St. Louis Park married her husband, William, in 2015.

"I got married on March 14, 2015 aka Pi Day. I'm a chemist by training and my husband is a mathematician so we thought, 'Why not get married on the nerdiest day of the year?'" she said.

For the reception, decorations included laboratory glassware for centerpieces. McClure said this allowed them to save money by using only a few silk flowers with the centerpieces. They used elements on the periodic table for table numbers and mini pies for wedding favors.

"We did things... that were kind of untraditional. For example, our guest book, instead of buying one I got an offer from Shutterfly for a free photo guest book which I totally took advantage of," McClure said.

The couple also saved money by getting married off-season in March, having a family friend as their officiant, and taking advantage of special offers at bridal shows.

With an original budget of $20,000, they ended up spending about $18,000.

"I see our generation really wanting to do things in places that speak to us and do things in a different way," McClure said.

No matter what choices couples make for their wedding day, Houser recommends they pick their top three non-negotiables when planning a budget.

Also see: SheinDressAU

08:42 Publié dans wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)