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08/10/2014

St Andrew's to defy ban on conducting gay weddings

A Wellington church says a national directive from its highest body banning ministers from conducting same-sex marriages is appalling and disturbing and it will defy the order.

St Andrew's on The Terrace opposes the decision by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand.

The General Assembly - which sets the policy and the direction of the church and approves the various regulations - spent the past four days deliberating in Auckland and announced its decision yesterday.

In the eyes of the assembly, it was acceptable for gay and lesbian people to be in the congregation but not to be married by the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Marriage was the loving and faithful union of a man and a woman, the assembly said.

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St Andrew's Parish convener Sonia Groes-Petrie said the ban was disturbing and deeply disappointing.

"We strongly dissent from it," she said. "The Presbyterian tradition is for ministers to have freedom to make decisions about whom they will marry.

"There is a range of opinions on same-sex marriage within the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand and today's decision does not reflect that diversity."

Interim minister Jim Cunningham said he was appalled by the decision. "We see sexual orientation and gender identity as irrelevant in the celebration of a couple's union. It is the quality of the relationship, the love and commitment that matters," he said.

"St Andrew's has been blessing the relationships of same- sex couples for over 20 years, celebrating civil unions since 2005 and marriages since August last year."

St Andrew's Parish councillor and General Assembly representative Paul Barber, who was in Auckland, said it was embarrassing that religious organisations were the only stumbling block to full equality for same-sex couples.

Despite the order, St Andrew's had committed to be an inclusive church, faithful to the gospel message of love and justice, Barber said.

"We have ministers within our community who are registered as civil celebrants and we will continue to be able to provide a welcoming place for any couple who wishes to marry," he said.

Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand General Assembly Moderator the Right Rev Andrew Norton said the decision was an affirmation of the church's long-held understanding of marriage as the loving, faithful union of a man and a woman. No other type of contractual, covenantal or legal sexual relationship - no matter how loving, stable or sincere - could ever be regarded by the Christian church as marriage in the true biblical sense.

No immediate action would be taken against St Andrew's but if there was a complaint it would step in.

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05:13 Publié dans wedding | Tags : weddings | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

06/10/2014

TapSnap photo can 'bring' dinosaurs to a wedding

This is not your grandfather's photo booth.

Stand against a green background and smile, and with a click, your picture appears on a 42-inch computer screen. A touch of the screen, and you're in front of the Eiffel Tower, Jennifer Lawrence at your side, a man-eating shark heading your way.

Another touch, and your digitally-customized image is winging its way to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the world.

"It's 'phototainment,'" said Ed Rojcewicz, of Rutland, an account manager for TapSnap of Worcester. "Once people start photographing, it's the life of the party."

Mr. Rojcewicz was at The Manor restaurant and banquet facility Oct. 1 for a demonstration of the TapSnap system that is described as a "photo booth without walls," reinvented for the social-media age.

Vancouver-based TapSnap, providing what it describes as "open-air photo entertainment" for weddings, parties, and corporate events, has more than 100 locations across the United States and Canada.

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Since Bob Petipas of West Boylston acquired the TapSnap franchise for Worcester County earlier this year, he has done weddings in the area, as well as the annual Chowder and Chili Challenge hosted by the Rutland Fire Brigade.

Mr. Petipas went into the photo entertainment line on his return to Massachusetts after running an antique store in Manhattan for 30 years. "I wanted to get into something fun, with social media attached to it," he said.

His experience pitching a business began early. Fifty-four years ago, as an eight-year-old in Norton, Mass., Mr. Petipas said, he was the youngest licensed auctioneer in Massachusetts, helping his father run auctions of department-store overstock out of the family barn.

To promote his latest venture, Mr. Petipas and two account managers set up their green screen, camera and touchscreen computer kiosk in a function room at The Manor this past Wednesday night and invited people to try out the system.

Amy Sequeira of Worcester and Katlyn Everitt of West Boylston, servers at the Draught House Bar & Grill, posed in front of the green screen as if they were screaming.

Then, on the 42-inch Dell touchscreen, a tyrannosaurus was dragged and dropped into their picture. "Oh, I like that one a lot," Ms. Sequeira said of the finished image, which she said she planned to post to Facebook.

Another visitor, choosing from a range of settings and digital props, edited his picture to incorporate giant eyeglasses and a pterodactyl, against a backdrop of the Egyptian pyramids.

The aim is to give guests an event an enjoyable way to create — and share — lasting memories. "Everybody likes to get their picture taken," said Mr. Petipas: "Everybody has fun with it."

Mr. Petipas said it takes about a half-hour for two people to set up the photo kiosk at an event, and the same amount of time to take it down.

He said the cost to rent the TapSnap system for an event is "pretty much the same as what a conventional photo booth would cost," ranging from $250 to $400 an hour.

He employs two salesmen and two part-time event attendants at TapSnap of Worcester, which is one of three TapSnap franchises in the state and goes by its franchise number, TapSnap 1059, on Facebook.

"There's nothing like it on the market," Mr. Petipas said. "If you've never seen it, it's a good time waiting to happen."

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04:45 Publié dans wedding | Tags : wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

30/09/2014

Assessing George Clooney’s weekend of wedding attire

If Kanye West's Givenchy-swaddled wedding in Mayand Johannes Huebl's in June hadn't already made this a vintage year for groom-related style, George Clooneyhas just cemented it.

This weekend in Venice, at a ceremony that was so ballsy even using the word "lavish" doesn't seem lavish enough, the role model for bachelors everywhere tied the knot to his impossibly beautiful fiancée, human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin. And, in doing so, raised the bar on how every betrothed man should dress for not only the biggest day of his life, but also the fairly important other days either side.

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We're not going to lie, Clooney's casual game is usually a pretty hit and miss affair, but his first get-up was pretty darn stylish. Usually a student of the baggy chinos and zip-up hoodies school of downtime dressing, the actor got things spot-on in Venice for his last night of freedom by doing double denim the right way.

If you're going to wear a chambray shirt with your jeans, take this as proof that the way to pull it off is to mix up your washes. Of course the more straghtforward your get-up, the more your accessories will shine - as proven by the actor's choice of a blue-faced, steel-braceleted Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra (£3,490.omegawatches.com) and a pair of Persol shades - essential for not only protecting from the blazing sun during the day, but also to conceal any bloodshot eyes that might occur later at the Stag if those Limoncello shots get out of hand.

Getty ImagesWhen it came to the wedding itself Clooney did the sensible thing - kept things smooth and simple. His evening suit, made by his good friend Giorgio Armani, was excellently executed in both fit and in the accessories department: we're especially enjoying those see-through shirt studs.

However we also clocked his slick wristwear: the beautiful, black tie-appropriate and as-yet-unreleased Omega De Ville Tresor in white gold (£9,490.omegawatches.com) which we previewed at Baselworldearlier this year - and will be landing at the watchmaker's outposts from this week.

Long story short, it's an outfit that ensured he looked great, but also still guarantees that the guests notice the bride first - let's face it, it's still her day first and foremost, as any husband will tell you.

Rex FeaturesClooney's parting shot the day after was anotherArmani number - a well-tailored grey two-piece with a slight sun-reflecting sheen, worn with brown Oxfords, a white shirt, dark grey tie and his Persols. In other words, classic leading man attire that he'll look back on in years to come and just think, "Damn, didn't I look good?" Some might say it's a little formal for heading off on your honeymoon, but come on, he's George f***ing Clooney.

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05:25 Publié dans wedding | Tags : wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)