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04/09/2014

Wedding costs: Creativity + Flexibility = Gorgeous Wedding Minus Debt

When Stephanie Childs and Chris Atwell were reunited after 35 years thanks to the modern-day matchmaker Facebook, their friendship evolved into romance, love and finally a commitment to join their lives in marriage.

In addition to a history tracing back to the late '70s, their budget did as well.

"Our budget was around $5,000 for everything, and we pared down the guest list to 75 people," says Childs, an international flight attendant.

So in July of last year, with a lot of creative out-of-the-box thinking, the couple joined their lives at a waterfront venue infused with fresh flowers followed by a sit-down dinner with wine.

StephanieChildsweddingshot
picture: wedding dress online

"We wanted to have a Hawaiian-themed wedding," Childs says. "Logistics dictated that a beach venue would be too difficult as two of our wedding party are disabled. Both of our mothers are advanced in years, and we sort of saw this as an opportunity to have a family reunion, probably the last time my mother would be able to make a trip."

As the couple discussed their venue options while dining at Nick's Boathouse overlooking Pensacola Bay, the thought struck them that they were already sitting in the perfect locale for their special day.

Childs couldn't be happier with the outcome, which included a tiered buttercream cake baked by Chris' friend and topped with fresh flowers ordered from the grocery store; photographs by a friend; tropical flowers from Hawaii and arranged by a local florist; table decorations from local and online sites, which teamed with orchids from Hawaii; music for both wedding and reception by Pensacola's KreyZ-8 DJ/Karaoke Services; and a sit-down dinner with wine by Nick's.

Stephanie and Chris aren't the first to realize that keeping the price of the wedding down can mean more peace in the days, months and years that follow.

"Weddings are a very emotional thing, and for many people, the numbers don't add up," Mike Sullivan, director of education at the credit counseling organization Take Charge America, told creditcardguide.com.

"Most women think of this as the special day in their lives, a day where they will be the focus of attention. They want a storybook wedding — and that can be very hard to resist."

But Sullivan warns that just like all dreams, when the dreamer wakes up, reality sets in. And sometimes decisions made for the wedding day can actually damage the marriage.

"If the money isn't quite there to realize that dream, couples may make decisions that cast a shadow over their future," he says.

"I've seen couples who couldn't buy a house for a period of time because they had to pay off the wedding," Sullivan says. "People have to be rational and realize that if they spend $20,000 or $30,000, unless they're very wealthy, it's just not a responsible thing to do. It is just one day."

Childs couldn't agree more.

"I think sometimes people get caught up in planning their 'ideal fairytale' wedding that they don't consider how difficult dealing with debt is in the first year of marriage — and possibly longer, if its very expensive,'' Childs says.

"Chris and I feel so blessed to have found each other that we wanted to be able to share our happiness with our friends and family. It was more a celebration of all of our loved ones being all together, so it wasn't so important that we have designer elements at designer prices."

And that decision has made their first day of marriage plus 364 after it much more lighthearted, notes Childs.

"It was a fun experience because we didn't have the added stress of facing a large cost after the wedding. It sure made our first year of marriage so much easier.''

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04:19 Publié dans wedding | Tags : wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

02/09/2014

That's one way to upstage the bride! Woman goes into labour at best friend's wedding

Amanda Hutchinson was rushed into a car outside her best friend's wedding after her waters broke just as she was arriving at the ceremony.

Amanda, 28 - who was supposed to be bridesmaid, but pulled out when she discovered she was pregnant - gave birth to a daughter outside the wedding on Saturday.

As well as the bride losing her best friend from the ceremony, the groom also lost his best man Gareth – father of the newborn.

The bride, also called Amanda, now says that one of her favourite pictures from the big day is of her, her husband, his best man and his wife in hospital with their new daughter.

Amanda Vasey, 37, who married her new husband Steven Vasey, 35, a ground worker, on Saturday at the King's Hotel in Darlington, said: "I had just finished getting dressed when Gareth, my husband's best man, ran into the room and told me that Amanda had gone into labour.

Woman gives birth at best friend's wedding
picture: black bridesmaids dresses
 

"At first I didn't believe him because he had been so nervous about his speech that he had joked about spilling water on the floor and saying his wife's waters had broken to get out of doing it.

"But then I saw that he was serious and my mum and bridesmaids ran down to help.

"They had to get huge sheets from the hotel to cover up the car because there was such a commotion and everyone was staring at her.

"But luckily there were no complications and the baby was brought into the world safely."

New mother Amanda, who is a care assistant from Darlington and her daughter, who weighed 7lb 9oz, missed the ceremony as they were rushed to hospital.

Amanda's husband Gareth, 28, a bricklayer, and the couple's son Alfie, one, went with them.

Bride Amanda, who is a support worker, said: "Amanda is one of my best friends and I desperately wanted her to be part of my wedding, but when she found out she was pregnant she refused to be a bridesmaid.

"She had already tried on the bridesmaid's dress and everything but thought she would ruin the photos if she was too far on.

"I told her not to be silly but she insisted.

"It's funny actually because she totally shied away from the wedding because she was pregnant, she didn't want to be in the pictures and she didn't come to the hen do, but in the end it all ended up being about her."

The new mum apologised profusely to her friend and cried when the bride made a special trip to visit her in hospital after the ceremony,.

Amanda said: "She kept saying sorry she had ruined the day and all that but she hadn't ruined it, it's a special blessing that the baby was born on the day Steven and I got married, now we'll always remember her birthday too.

"When we went to see her in the hospital we both cried, it was a really emotional day for me because I was marrying the love of my life, but also our best friends were welcoming a little baby into the world."

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

30/08/2014

Obama to Attend Chef's Wedding Amid Scrutiny of 'Let's Move' Program

Sandwiched between high-end fundraisers, President Barack Obama plans to travel to upstate New York to attend the wedding of MSNBC host Alex Wagner and Sam Kass, the Obamas' personal chef and a driving force behind the first lady's efforts to overhaul the nation's nutrition policy, Politicoreports.

Obama's attendance at Kass' wedding comes amid increased scrutiny of the administration's efforts, particularly the Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign.

The relationship between the Obamas and Kass, who serves as senior policy adviser on nutrition, began in Chicago and continued in the White House, where he has joined the first lady on several of her major initiatives, including the White House vegetable garden.

A graduate of the University of Chicago with a degree in U.S. history, Kass joined the White House staff in 2009 as assistant chef to Executive Chef Cris Comerford and would be tapped to be the food initiative coordinator a year later, according to his biography on the White House website.

Image: Obama to Attend Chef's Wedding Amid Scrutiny of 'Let's Move' Program
picture: SheinDressAU bridesmaid dresses sydney

Kass' father, a teacher at one of the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, once taught Malia Obama, the eldest Obama daughter.

But it is his service as executive director of Michelle Obama's controversial "Let's Move" campaign where he has had the most impact.

The controversial campaign was launched in February 2010 with the goal of engaging "every sector impacting the health of children" to reduce childhood obesity and improve school nutrition programs.

Four years later, the program has achieved its goal of expanding healthier choices in school cafeterias, but it also has posed additional challenges to school districts and has resulted in a decrease in student lunch participation.

"Despite efforts to promote healthier choices to students, schools are struggling with decreased student lunch participation," Diane Pratt-Heavner, a spokeswoman for the School Nutrition Association, told The New York Times.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says about 150 districts have dropped out of the program since the rules went into effect, Businessweek reports.

This week, the School Nutrition Association released findings from a survey of more than 1,100 school meal program operators across the nation, which found that schools are expanding their healthy choices, but are meeting a range of challenges related to the administration's food nutrition standards.

The survey found that 63 percent of districts have salad or produce bars, and just over half of schools (52 percent) serve locally sourced fruits and vegetables, which represents a 48 percent increase from 2011.

Among other key findings in the report, full-paid meal prices have increased since 2011 in all grade levels, with the average price for a full-paid lunch reaching $2.18 for elementary schools, $2.37 for middle schools, and $2.42 in high school.

The report found that the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act’s Paid Meal Equity mandate "is a primary driving force behind meal price increases, with 83 percent of those who increased full paid lunch prices in 2013-14 attributing the increase to Paid Meal Equity requirements."

The program requires whole grain alternatives and smaller meat and grain portions.

A January Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found school lunch participation has experienced a decline since 2007, but the greatest decline — 10 percent — came in 2012-13, while the number of students receiving free meals has been increasing. The GAO survey found 48 states said the new meal requirements set by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act directly affected student participation in the program.

"Despite school menu enhancements and creative marketing efforts, school meal programs nationwide are struggling with a decline in student lunch participation. US Department of Agriculture (USDA) data shows that under the new standards, lunch participation is down in 49 states, with more than 1 million fewer students choosing school lunch each day," the association reports.

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05:40 Publié dans wedding | Tags : wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)