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26/08/2014

112 WEDDINGS

‘I’m going to devote the rest of my life to you.’ That’s kind of insane.’ A wedding, as Dennis suggests, is not a marriage. Director Doug Block made a living filming the nuptials of total strangers, and after amassing an incredible 112 of these gigs, he was finally sufficiently overcome with wondering about what happened to these couples in the years since their weddings that he decided to make a film about it. A wedding video is, of course, private, so only 11 couples agreed to appear, dissolving the preserved romantic nostalgia of the archive footage we see of their unions. While their situations are all vastly different, the singularity of the wedding ‘event’ and its estrangement from the reality of the life that follows is something clear for them all.

112 Weddings 2
Picture: vintage bridesmaid dresses

Wedding vows are designed to be an aspiration, an ideal to live up to; our culture romanticises this union as the apex of love, with a wedding often the triumphant climax to a romantic comedy, with all of the tangles of a relationship dealt with before this grand culmination of the power of love. Even if a romantic comedy has successfully presented realistic, engaging characters, the wedding reduces them to the plastic figures on top of the cake; they become emblems of everlasting love. What we see as Block revisits these couples is how the basic individuality of the human existence affects these marriages in completely unpredictable ways.

He finds Danielle crippled by depression, her husband Adam helplessly devoted to a woman who so often cannot connect with her husband. David shows Block his anti-depressant collection; as the camera sits with him, his outlandish, self-mocking personality gives way to the acres of pain and hurt inside, as he reflects on the dissolution of his marriage to Janet (who chose not to appear). Block essentially pieces together a collection of short stories about the difficulty of adult life; the lie of a wedding being that a marriage will balm all these pains because of the person you’ve chosen to be with. 112 Weddings explores both this lie and the possibility of its truth; most of the couples featured are still together, and despite the issues they’ve been through, it is often their love that has, cornily enough, kept them together.

Block’s approach to the couples is remarkably relaxed, and they seem largely at ease with discussing what are often deeply personal memories. He winds in footage of their wedding videos with gentle irony, giving an audience access to private moments in both time periods. Hearing people so openly and emotionally analyse their lives and relationship is an almost perturbing experience; like the finest documentaries, 112 Weddings reveals the brutal truth of the world we live in. But this is by no means a damning indictment of the concept of marriage; the joy and warmth of those days is still evident in the archive footage, and even in an unexpected boon Block happened upon in the present.

Janice and Alexander didn’t legally marry when Doug filmed them 13 years ago, instead undergoing a ‘partnership ceremony’ – all the trappings of an expensive and elaborate wedding, but without the legal documentation of a wedding certificate. When Block contacted them, the practicalities of their lives with their children had led them to plan a small, homebound wedding ceremony, which they allow Block to film. Even in this small, intimate, familial atmosphere, a hug instead of a kiss to seal the vows, the scene crystallises what makes a wedding something that so many people value. It is the ideal of love captured in one moment, and if there’s one thing that keeps the human race going, it’s that idea that we might find that love ourselves one day.

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05:09 Publié dans wedding | Tags : wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

22/08/2014

Wedding venue proposed for Churchville farm

A wedding venue planned on the site of a 51-acre farm on Glenville Road in Churchville has neighbors upset, but the owners' lawyer, acknowledging complaints he has heard, says the project will be upscale and not obtrusive.

The neighbors will be able to speak their minds at a community input meeting Wednesday at Harford Community College's Chesapeake Center, beginning at 6 p.m.

Plans for The Regent at Stone House submitted to Harford County call for an 8,853-square-foot barn to be built on property at 517 Glenville Road, owned by Timothy and Lisa Limberger.

The barn would be set back more than 600 feet from the road, facing a parking lot, and would overlook an existing pond.

Poppy and Cara Delevingne at Poppy's wedding on May 16
picture: Beach Bridesmaid Dresses

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"Before [the owners] built the property, they had a vision that they wanted to have a special wedding destination," John Gessner, the Limbergers' lawyer, said Thursday. "They think it's a beautiful site. There is a market and a need for a place like that, and they really thought it would be a wonderful thing."

A rendering of the building shows a traditional barn-style building with an entrance canopy, decorative doors and a patio with a stone facade.

"This is the first time someone has gone through this legally," he said, noting the law does not require the site, which is zoned for agricultural use, to be an active farm.

"We are putting up a bed-and-breakfast, and the neighbors think we are going to put up a Motel 6. They completely misunderstand," Gessner said in defense of the building's style.

The property will not actually be a bed-and-breakfast. It will be primarily used for weddings but could potentially also hold small receptions or similar events, he said.

"People have sent out fliers saying this will be like Richlin Ballroom [in Edgewood]," he said. "That is just silly."

Gessner said it would be "just a nice, little facility" that is set far back from the road. The parking lot has not been determined yet but will have about 100 or 120 spaces, he said.

"The barn is smaller than a lot of houses on Glenville," Gessner noted. "It's a beautiful building. It's not going to be an eyesore, by any means."

The venue has a Facebook page with 283 "likes" on it, as of Thursday.

One recent post says: "Fall is just around the corner. We can't wait to see couples say 'I do' against the backdrop of the changing leaves at Regent next year!"

Joppa Dunkin' Donuts planned

Another community input meeting scheduled for Wednesday evening will seek comments on a proposal to demolish a Pizza Hut restaurant in Joppa and replace it with a building housing Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin Robbins.

That meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Joppa branch of Harford County Public Library, in the 600 block of Towne Center Drive.

The Pizza Hut is at Route 40 and Joppa Farm Road.

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06:01 Publié dans wedding | Tags : wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

20/08/2014

Extremists' hatred poisons Mahmoud and Morel's wedding

Before Uganda's Constitutional Court overturned the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Act on a parliamentary technicality earlier this month, a brave same-sex couple managed to host an intimate, secret wedding service — and digital publication Vocativ was there with video cameras.

picture: black bridesmaids dresses

Holding or attending the covert ceremony was highly dangerous, as participants worried a guest may have tipped off local police about the planned wedding — which, under the now-defunct Anti-Homosexuality Act, would have prescribed at least year-long prison sentences for anyone involved or attending the celebration. Other stipulations of the law imposed lifelong prison sentences on anyone convicted of "aggravated homosexuality," which included repeated same-sex sexual contact between consenting adults, or any same-sex encounter where one person was a minor, mentally disabled, HIV-positive, or under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The law also required friends, family, neighbors, and landlords of LGBT people to report them to police or face a seven-year stint in jail themselves.

And although an invitation-only Ugandan LGBT Pride celebration went off without protests or violence less than three weeks after the Anti-Homosexuality Act was overturned, homosexuality remains criminalized in the east African nation, and the hundreds of LGBT people fleeing antigay attitudes in Uganda have found conditions to be no safer in refugee camps in neighboring Kenya. As such, Uganda remains an unfriendly place to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or intersex.

Meanwhile, local politicians and press outlets have been sending mixed signals about if and when a revised version of the law might be implemented. Since the Constitutional Court overturned the law based on a lack of quorum when Parliament passed it, the court did not address the constitutional issues raised by the legislation, leaving the possibility open that a new iteration of the bill once labeled "Kill the Gays" could be introduced.

For the moment, though, Uganda's embattled LGBT population is enjoying a moment of relative respite — making it a perfect time to share Vocativ's video, which captures the indomitable spirit of these proud Ugandans. Watch it below.

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