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Stuff's wedding of the week: Kirsty and Matt

Kirsty and Matt Lonsdale grew up together near Wellington, but didn't start dating until they reconnected in London over 10 years later.

Their wedding day was bittersweet, as Kirsty's mum had passed away six weeks before, but it was a beautiful celebration of love and family.

We'll let Kirsty fill you in on the details...

Kirsty and Matt grew up together, but got back in touch in London in 2013.

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Kirsty and Matt grew up together, but got back in touch in London in 2013.

How did you meet?

Matt and I grew up Paraparaumu and attended church together. He moved to London in 2001 and we lost touch. I moved to London in 2013 to teach and ended up meeting up with Matt and we started dating not long after. In December 2013, I decided to move back home to New Zealand and Matt returned to also. We were engaged not long after, and married in December.

Tell us about the proposal: Matt proposed in July under a snowy waterfall under Mount Ruapehu. It was the most romantic proposal. He had taken me away on a surprise trip to the mountain and we spent the first day skiing. The next day we went for a beautiful bush walk under the mountain and ended up at a snowy waterfall. Matt pulled out a gorgeous vintage diamond ring and amongst all the tears I managed a yes!

Location of wedding: We were married in the beautiful gardens of Bridgewater Estate in Auckland. The venue was amazing! We were married in front of a little white chapel in the sunshine, and there was a beautiful pond and surrounding bush for people to relax and enjoy the day in.

Describe your wedding day: The day was perfect. In the morning my bridesmaids and I went out for a relaxed breakfast with champagne to celebrate. We got ready at home, and then got whisked away to the venue. The weather was perfect for a garden wedding. So hot and sunny. There were lots of tears and laughter as my beautiful mother had passed away only six weeks before, so it was a very emotional time. She chose my dress, designed my wedding cake and helped me choose the venue. It was the most amazing feeling having everyone you love in the same room. I had lots of my close friends fly from overseas to be there which meant so much to me, and my maid of honour came all the way from South America for the wedding. I knew that mum was with me shining down from heaven on our special day.

The dress: Mum and I chose my dress from the first store we looked at in Henderson, Auckland. It was designed by Alfred Angelo and I fell in love with it immediately. My mum especially loved it, with the unique ribbon lace, low back and details. We chose a veil laced with diamantes and a silk sash to compliment the dress.

The flowers: My sister, Bianca, made my flowers and all the bouquets for my bridesmaids. She did an amazing job! She also put together a headpiece for my beautiful niece, my flower girl Amalie.

Highlight of the wedding: The highlight for me was walking down the aisle towards the love of my life knowing how much we meant to each other, and everything we had been through, during the time we had spent together . Also, my dad wrote and performed a song for me during the reception which was very moving. We danced to Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran as our first dance, which was also a highlight.

Was there any drama? On the day of the wedding there were serious road accidents, meaning some of our guests were over an hour late. Apart from that, everything ran smoothly.

The honeymoon: We spent a relaxing week in the beautiful Bay of Islands. My mum had organised an amazing beach house for us to enjoy, with amazing views of the ocean and a spa pool. We spent the time going to beach walks and relaxing in the sunshine.

Your photographer and favourite photo? Susan Siu-Grobler from Glow studio was my photographer. She flew up from Christchurch to spend the day with us. She was amazing! I knew her from studying in Palmerston North at university and wouldn't want anyone else taking our photos. My favourite photo was taken in front of the pond where Matt is holding me. It really sums up how he swept me off my feet!

Also see: beach wedding dresses

04:26 Publié dans wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


Meet the Bridal Designer Who Knows What Millennials Want

In a year when crop tops, floor-length capes, and jumpsuits were considered on-trend for a modern bride, Houghton — the New York–based brand created in 2012 by designer Katharine Polk — has forged its own path in offering alternatives to traditional bridalwear. Or, as the designer herself calls it, “ready-to-wear you can get married in.”

Named as a tribute to Katharine Hepburn — whose middle name was Houghton — the brand draws inspiration from the Hollywood icon's nonchalant aesthetic. At Houghton’s gypsy-inspired April bridal show, highlights included a floral wide-leg jumpsuit (worn with a shearling gilet), a sleeveless metallic sequined sheath, and a dreamy fluted pink halter-neck gown. There were even a few oversize, minimal men's looks in the mix, for the groom who loves Public School. The collection was bold, radical, even, in the context of New York Bridal Week, usually the province of floaty, hyperfeminine white gowns.

A Badgley Mischka alum, Polk launched bridalwear after Houghton's debut ready-to-wear collection for Fall 2012 — filled with understated ivory gowns — caught on with bridal clients. The brand has produced twin lines since then, with styles from its ready-to-wear collection often appearing in white or ivory for bridal season. Polk's past bridal offerings have ranged from minimalist separates, Rihanna-esque sheer-mesh gowns, trapeze jumpsuits, floor-length Chantilly lace capes, and filmy T-shirt styles paired with fuchsia heels. Though Houghton is not the first brand to integrate ready-to-wear elements into its bridal collections, it's tastefully defied the basic poufy wedding dress in a way that speaks directly to a younger generation of women. As the New York Times noted, brides are increasingly veering from tradition in favor of bridalwear that's more in line with their personal style, like crop tops and drop-crotch trousers.

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Houghton's growing influence in the bridal sphere has been duly noted by fashion editors, and its clothes have developed a loyal following among celebrities such as Lily Collins,Kate Mara, and Zosia Mamet. While some stars wear Houghton’s bridal gowns on the red carpet, other clients marry in its ready-to-wear. This blurry divide between ready-to-wear and bridal — "Why should people have to label it?” said Polk — is why the designer will drop the title “Bride” completely as of this season, lumping both collections under one name. For September's Fashion Week, the designer has promised "Summer of '69"–inspired beachy whites and is teaming up with M.A.C for the nail and beauty selections. For October's bridal market, she has more up her sleeve: Think lingerie and menswear.

A self-described '90s girl, Polk draws inspiration from the strong women she admired growing up, like No Doubt–era Gwen Stefani. On her Instagram, you’ll find photos of '90s Kate Moss, T.L.C., and Sarah Jessica Parker. Polk's uncontested favorite "Houghton girl," though, is the founder of Milk's Made program, Jenne Lombardo. "She gets how I would style it, taking the lace and putting it with a cargo jacket and crazy suede platforms. Or dirty old Converses, or dirty Doc Martens.”

Though Polk loves to see how people interpret her clothes, Lombardo's pared-down style speaks to the Houghton aesthetic Polk envisions when she designs. “Sometimes the clothes get misinterpreted as super-feminine and a little too ladylike,” Polk says. “I see it styled as more grungy, which is the fun part about it. You can wear it to work or some dirty dive bar.”

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04:48 Publié dans wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


Why an anime character can be openly gay in Japan

"I just kind of said it quickly, 'Hey, I’m gay,'" he recalls.

“Stop it. That’s disgusting,” she said, according to Hayshi. That really hurt.

Japan — unlike the US — doesn't have a Puritan history that says homosexuality is some kind of cardinal sin. And for years it wasn't uncommon to see a cross-dresser on TV giving fashion advice or a Japanese cartoon with gay characters.

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But while being openly gay has been OK for famous people or anime characters, on an individual level, it’s been really hard to be out in Japan. Schoolyard bullying and discrimination are known problems. And LGBT individuals often feel isolated.

In college, Hayashi was doing research on the untapped LGBT market in Japan. One day a friend — the only other friend he had who was openly gay — said he wanted to start a company to do same-sex weddings. Hayashi jumped at the idea.

Together they planned a wedding and life services company for the queer community. And they won a huge student business competition. At first they were doing it mostly for fun, but then they started learning about the high suicide rate of sexual minorities in Japan. And then a friend committed suicide. And their sense of purpose changed.

"Say someone like me comes out to their parents in five years, and they’re also told that’s disgusting," Hayashi says. "That’s unacceptable. If we don't do something, the next generation will suffer just as much."

Today Hayashi is the CEO of Letibee — meant to sound like Let it be.

The company runs Letibee Life. It’s a media site featuring everything from news to stories on trans- and gay-friendly hair salons to people writing about their own coming out experiences. It’s the first of its kind in Japan.

They do corporate consulting, teaching companies about sexuality, sexual minorities — and how to respond to LGBT as customers and employees. And they’re about to launch an app they hope will provide a safe space for LGBT to connect and build community.

It hasn’t been easy. On top of the ups and downs of running a startup, Hayashi has been a running a startup aimed at a community no one thought was important.

And then in April, everything changed. Shibuya, one of the most well-known districts in Tokyo — think — Times Square mashed up with the West Village, but with more governing power — recognized same-sex marriage. Hayashi says until that moment, seeing LGBT rights splashed across the front page of the newspaper was unimaginable.

"We went from, 'Can you really be a company providing services to the LGBT community?' To: Letibee, your time has come," Hayashi says.

In July, Setagaya, another influential district in Tokyo, recognized same-sex marriage.

James Welker, a professor who studies gender and sexuality in Japan, says although neither district’s decision is legally binding it’s created a certain momentum about same-sex partnership and LGBT rights in a really short period of time.

The Japanese Parliament now also has a committee looking into how to end discrimination. And Yokohama, Japan’s second biggest city, adjacent to Tokyo, recently announced a city-supported LGBT festival for this fall.

"Because of the more positive normalizing — and normal is a problematic word in media discourse — ... more people are open to the idea that, hey, some people are gay or lesbian or bisexual. It’s not as big of a deal any more," Welker says.

One big way to tell perceptions are shifting is by looking at what’s happening to Tokyo’s gay pride festival. In 2014, 15,000 people participated in the festival. In 2015, the number was 55,000.

Since coming, Hayashi and his mom have made amends.

On a societal scale, Hayashi says Japan really is getting better. But on an individual level, there’s still a long way to go. But Letibee, Hayashi says, will play a part in changing that.

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05:01 Publié dans wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)