A multi-million wedding

- Jared Otieno, remembered by many Kenyans as the man who took over Meru when going to pay dowry, pleaded not guilty to KSh 22.7 million fraud charges in on Wednesday - Otieno was being accused of obtaining money by false pretense contrary to section 313 of the penal code - The man had become widely known after bought a Porsche for KSh 18 million, paid a bride price of KSh 15 million and later held a lavish wedding in Nairobi Controversial business man Jared Otieno on Wednesday June 22 pleaded not guilty to KSh 22.7 million fraud charges when he was arraigned before Senior Principal Magistrate Martha Mutuku. Many Kenyans were introduced to Otieno after he invaded Meru with cars and wads of cash while paying dowry for his wife- Kendi Mwiti. The two later did a wedding that ruled the headlines for weeks. Otieno was arraigned on the charge of obtaining money by false pretense contrary to section 313 of the penal code.

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Court documents seen by TUKO.co.ke have revealed the specifics frauds that Otieno is being charged with.

According to the documents, the flamboyant man was using fake names when swindling his victims. The first court document read: “Jared Kiasa Otieno alias Jared Otieno alias Jared Smith Otieno alias Richard Otieno alias Jared Smith Mackenzie Otieno on diverse dates between 2nd day of June, 2017 and 13th day of June, 2017 in Nairobi City County, with intent of fraud from Muhammad Imad Mokdad, a sum of 45, 000 Euros (Ksh5.2 million) by falsely pretending that you were in a position to ship 50kgs of gold from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi to Beirut City in the Republic of Lebanon, a fact you knew to be false.”

The second one read: “Jared Kiasa Otieno alias Jared Otieno alias Jared Smith Otieno alias Richard Otieno alias Jared Smith Mackenzie Otieno on diverse dates between 4th day of October, 2015 and 31st day of October, 2016 in Nairobi City County, with intent to defraud, jointly with others not before the court, you obtained from Mustaq Hafeji, a sum of 169, 000 US Dollars (Ksh17.5million) by falsely pretending that you were in a position to ship 50kgs of gold from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi to Kuwait International Airport and in the Republic of Kuwait, a fact you knew to be false.”

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Anchor Chooses Dress Carefully

These are the days of Trolling and Bullying on social media. Politicians get trolled for their remarks and comments, actors get trolled for their choice of script and actresses are being trolled for they type of dress they wear at events.

Ind-Pak Match: Anchor Chooses Dress Carefully

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Recently after the way some people trolled Priyanka Chopra quite derogatorily for her short skirt while meeting PM Narendra Modi, Deepika Padukone too face the embarrassment for her Maxim magazine photo shoot. And then, we have anchor Mayanti Langer abused by trollers for wearing a thigh-revealing folded designer dress while anchoring the India-Pakistan league match in the Champions Trophy.

Though this hottest anchor in the cricketing circuits has chosen not to respond to such worst social media attacks, she made sure that her appearance will not create any such unwanted attention and criticism. For Sunday's Ind-Pak final match in the Champions Trophy, she has come out with a soft looking white outfit, which looked very well on her and this time without any glamorous show.

Mayanti might have taken a safe route to present herself but her terrific talkativeness with huge insight on cricket and emotions doesn't need glamour support. Still, people must first learn to respect her choice even if she turns up in a hotter outfit.

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Wedding day dream

A perfect wedding day dream has come true for a terminally ill mum of three – thanks to friends and neighbours.

They raised nearly £2,000 to make sure Vickie Bone, from Castle Donington, could marry her partner of four years, Ian Plimmer.

The 35-year-old was diagnosed with breast cancer in November last year. Four days later she was told it had spread to her liver and was not curable.

Vickie, who is mother to Liam, who is nearly one, Kaiden, six, and Jakob, eight, was devastated and feared her dream of marrying Ian would not happen due to her worsening diagnosis.

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Neighbour Jess Limb, 32, was so touched my her plight she stepped in and set up a justgiving page to fund the wedding at The Venue in Ashbourne

Vickie, a community nurse, said: "Thanks to everyone it was an amazing day – it was just perfect.

"I haven't even begun my thank-yous to so many people who did so much.

"I just haven't got the words, the day was just perfect."

She was given away by her mum, Trudi, and her three sons were page boys.

Vickie said: "We had about 40 guests, it was a very intimate wedding. Ian is a very quiet person but he was more emotional than me and my son Jakob cried more than me.

"We were very spoilt. There was a gorgeous wedding cake and 100 cup cakes as well as a chocolate fountain – it was just amazing."

Vickie is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment. She said: "I get very tired but I have three kids and you just have to get on with it. I am just trying to live with it.

"I have been told the cancer is incurable and that is very hard."

As well as making her wedding possible, Vickie has been overwhelmed by the generosity of her friends and family.

She has had tickets for Conkers activity centre posted through the door, with a note saying "have a wonderful day", but no contact details.

After reading about Vickie in the Mercury, Merlin's Magic Wand, offered her and the family a trip to the Legoland Windsor Resort. She said: "The two older boys are mad on Lego. They have gone on about Legoland and I promised I would take them at some point."

Vickie hopes she will be well enough to make the trip in August but is keeping it a surprise from the children until the day before they go.

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wedding dresses Style

These dresses made from redesigned antique kimonos should definitely make the bride feel special on her big day!

Kyoto-based wedding planner Watabe Wedding recently announced that they have started making their unique line of “Shoen” dresses available on a rental basis. And what makes this line of dresses so unique? The dresses are all made from authentic antique furisode kimonos.

Watabe Wedding first released the Shoen line of dresses in February of 2016, mainly for sale to hotels and wedding venues around Japan, but they have now started renting out the dresses to hopefully make them available for use in overseas weddings, post-wedding parties, and more

They’re now renting these five stunning gowns from the Shoen line:

1. The Tsurumomiji (crane maple): This an a-line dress in vivid red, illustrated with cranes flying in the autumn sky. Images of chrysanthemums, maples, and a blue river running through the lower half of the dress complete the look.

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2. The Fujiageha (wisteria and swallowtail butterfly): This high-waisted dress features beautifully embroidered swallowtail butterflies against a backdrop of wisteria flowers and a beautiful gradation of yellow, black, gold and red colors.

3. The Ranbu (orchid dance): This mermaid-line dress is designed with flower petal-like frills on the back and adorned with luxurious patterns of pink phalaenopsis orchids. The specific type of orchid in pink apparently conveys the message “I love you”, so this is a particularly appropriate and lucky design for a wedding dress.

4. The Kanazuru (gold crane): The gold cranes depicted on a cloth of vibrant red gives this sleek dress both a luxurious and bold feel. The black chiffon material further adds to the elegance.

5. The Botangiku (peony and chrysanthemum): This a-line dress stuns with its rich, pink base color containing spun gold and a dazzling pattern of various flowers including peonies and chrysanthemums, making it a virtual floral bouquet on silk.

The five dresses are available for rental for prices ranging from 50,000 yen to 150,000 yen (US$453 to 1,359).

If you have plans to be a bride in Japan, and if you don’t conveniently own a formal furisode kimono that may be folded and arranged into a western-style dress, this could be the perfect way to add a uniquely Japanese element to your wedding wardrobe. And even if you’re not in need of a wedding gown, we’re sure you’ll agree with us that the dresses are still a delight to look at!

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Wedding Vows

Whether you're a bride, a groom, or a guest, wedding vows are important. In just a few minutes, while surrounded by family and friends, a couple is expected to unveil something deeply personal—the groundwork for their future together—including sentiment, sometimes humor, and memories. That's why more couples are leaning toward writing their own vows, or altering the traditional ones, to kick off a lifetime together as equal partners.

In 1981, Princess Diana made headlines when she chose not to include the word "obey" in her vows to Prince Charles. Instead, she promised to ''love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health," giving way to an ongoing, international discussion about the language used during a wedding ceremony. And in 2011, Kate Middleton took the same approach when she married the late royal's son, Prince William.

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Twenty-six years later, modern-day brides are still poring over how to pen wedding vows that are rooted in both reflection and equality. So was the case for Chloe Pinkerton as she prepared to marry Ross Kennedy-Shaffer on a sweltering July day last summer. As their wedding date approached, Pinkerton realized how important the language used in their vows would be.

"We wanted there to be balance in the opening lines; we didn't want [our vows] to be identical because we're different people working on different things, but we wanted to make sure each person's promise was met with a similar one," Pinkerton explains. "The word 'partner' (rather than 'husband,' 'wife,' or 'spouse') was important to us because it involves the idea of equality and doesn't have any of the possession connotations that some of the other partnership words involve. We also wanted to steer clear of the idea that men and women have defined, gendered roles in a relationship."

The couple also chose not to use some of the more common phrases, like "to have and to hold" and to "take [your partner]" because, as Pinkerton explained, "the language felt very ownership-centric, and as a result, dehumanizing."

Ultimately, they decided on five simple statements that embodied the life they hoped to create together:

I promise to love and support you as you continue to grow and learn.

I promise to make time to play your favorite games and mine.

I promise to try to make the world a better place with you.

I promise to laugh with you and cry with you through good times and bad.

Most of all, I promise to be your equal partner forever.

While some couples opt to write their own vows to ensure a balanced exchange, others choose to revise the familiar, giving new meaning to the familiar phrase "to love, honor, and obey."

When Peter Rocco and Marie-Ellen Ehounou tied the knot last May, the couple modified traditional vows so that "honor and obey" would be excluded.

"Our attitude was kind of: 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it,'" Rocco explains. "I think the traditional vows end up capturing most of what people try to say when they write their own anyway—with some minor tweaks in our case."

Despite using traditional vows as guidelines, the couple did make it clear they were entering an "equal loving partnership."

"I felt pretty strongly that it was important to have something about partnership even if we didn't call each other partners," Ehounou says.

But for Abigail Myers, a forward-thinking approach to marriage was built into her ceremony via her officiant and church. When writing her vows, Myers says she "didn't have to think too hard about shedding the patriarchal elements of a traditional Christian wedding because our church is famously, wildly progressive, and our (female) pastor is a fierce feminist, so we trusted her implicitly and absolutely to use egalitarian wording."

If you're looking to pen your own—or modify the traditional—writer Fiona Tapp suggests some key concepts to use as inspiration:

I promise to support your ambitions and dreams.

I will comfort you when you can't be strong, and I will lean on you when you can.

And, most simply of all…I will love you.

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Lose Weight

When it came to starting a wedding diet, I procastinated. Hard. In fact, a month before the big day I went on a work trip to Morocco and Paris where I ate all of the bread, butter, and chocolate my appetite desired (as one does). Which is all part of the how I found myself muffin-topping over the sides of my strapless Reem Acra gown (pictured, top left) at my last fitting, just two weeks before I was supposed to walk down the aisle.

I'll admit, I was bloated at the time from my period, so when it ended a few days before my wedding, my body tightened. But, I was also up a few pounds. Instead of accepting it, I took about four private workout sessions per week with celebrity trainer David Kirsch. The pro is responsible for sculpting the bodies of celebrities (like Jennifer Lopez and Heidi Klum) and has a wealth of fitness and health knowledge (to recap, he's written five books, has his own line of shakes and supplements, and owns a top-notch NYC gym). He put me on a routine that was a mix of cardio, strength training, HIIT, and TRX. Every time we met up, the moves and sequences were different, which kept my body guessing and metabolism revved.

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But anyone who has successfully lost weight knows diet is more than half of the battle. And pre-getting "Kirsched," I had been working out almost every day anyways. So I do credit his eating plan for partly pushing those five extra pounds off of my body.

Here, I am going to share exactly what I ate — and most importantly, did not eat! — to shed the lbs, so my dress fit perfectly (top right). Note, the dress was not taken in or out between the two images, but my body actually transformed in two weeks!

"In my experience working with a bride-to-be, the last couple of weeks leading up to the wedding is uber stressful," Kirsch told me. "As you can attest to personally (Lauren), slight tweaking of your diet will go a long way to keeping you optimally energized, fueled, and looking your very best on the big day!"

Let's start with the hard part, things to avoid according to Kirsch:

Say goodbye to pizza, because you will not be eating processed carbs (bread, pasta, crackers, etc.) or dairy. "I have found that dairy can cause bloating, and who wants to be bloated on their day?" Kirsch said. And no whole grains or potatoes either.

I have personally eliminated both gluten and dairy for weeks and added them back to reveal that I am not intolerant to either. I can have a slice of pizza and feel like a peach, but kicking them out of my diet definitely made my belly flatter. After three days of no carbs, I was craving them! So I texted Kirsch asking if I could have a sweet potato. He told me to crunch on celery instead. It took willpower to follow his advice, but it was worth it. I surely enjoyed sliding into my bathing suit when I arrived at my tropical honeymoon a few days after my wedding.

You'll also need to revamp your drinking game. That means, no alcohol (NONE!). While this meant sitting through events, family dinners, and bar nights totally sober, I enjoyed the mental clarity and increased energy in the mornings. "Save the glass of champagne for after you walk down the aisle!" he said. And yes, I got to enjoy a few flutes of well-earned bubbly at my affair . . . and a margarita!

I also had to limit the amount of coffee I drank. Kirsch recommends having one espresso in the morning. While I stuck to brewed coffee beans, I drank it black. I didn't even add almond milk, and I swear it makes a difference in better digestion.

Kirsch believes that "too much coffee can lead to belly bloat!" Think about it, coffee dehydrates you, so you retain water to hold on to it. Instead, switch over to green tea, which has both caffeine and antioxidants. Every morning, I also had one of his A.M. Detox Drinks (it's yummy and fantastic for your skin!). You can see it in the mason jar above.

Finally, the hardest (for me, since I have a sweet tooth): no sugar. Even dark chocolate. OK, I may have had a handful of dark chocolate-covered almonds one rough night, but for the most part (like 95 percent) I kissed my beloved cookies, ice cream, and cupcakes goodbye. In fact, my husband hid the chocolate on a very high shelf so I could not reach or find it in our apartment. Do what you need to do to survive, brides!

Now onto what you can eat. Disclaimer, this was not Kirsch's exact plan but one loosely based off his advice and what I know works best for my body.

For breakfast I stuck to two options. The first, two eggs and sauteed spinach, all cooked in EVOO. Earlier in my wedding prep, I enjoyed that dish with a side of avocado, but the last two weeks I cut it based on Kirsch's recommendation to limit my fat intake (even healthy ones!). Otherwise, I had an antioxidant-rich bowl of unsweetened coconut yogurt with a handful of raw almonds, chia seeds, flax seeds, cacao nibs, and blueberries. While Kirsch recommended no fruit (remember, no sugar!), I know blueberries are good for eliminating belly fat and making skin glow, so I had some anyways. If you're going to have sugar, eat it in the morning so you can burn it off throughout the day.

When it came to snacks, I sipped on dark green pressed juice (the kind without fruit) and crunchy veggies (Kirsch likes celery, red peppers, and jicama sticks). I also ate GoMacro bars, which were referred to me by another trainer I'd been working out with, Steve Pasterino. I bent the rules a little since these are made with brown rice syrup, but it ensured that I had an option when I was on-the-go.

Dinner and lunch were pretty similar. I'd either have what I dubbed a "Sad Salad" of spinach, crunchy water veggies (cucumber and snow peas), and lean protein (homemade chicken or salmon with no sauces) — all drizzled with EVOO and a lemon squeeze. Snooze. Otherwise, I would cook veggies (such as steamed green beans or asparagus) and have it with the aforementioned lean meat or fish. Sometimes, I would even have the eggs (see: breakfast!) for dinner, which I found very easy to digest. Occasionally, I'd enjoy a green smoothie (kale, spinach, blueberries, almond milk) with pea protein powder.

And for our grand finale, what to eat during your actual wedding weekend:

By then being a bride had taken over my identity (it happens to the best and most chill of us ladies in white). So I brought my own food to the weekend destination, including unsweetened coconut yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, green juice, nuts, seeds, bars, etc. I made sure my hotel room had a fridge to store it in.

"The day before is a day that you want to make sure to put the finishing touches," said Kirsch. "You have planned hard, sweated hard, and stayed away from the obvious no-nos. What else can you do? I suggest a relaxing massage, sauna, and steam. Eating foods like asparagus and celery will help keep you full and debloat you."

So I couldn't resist a taste of homemade pasta during our rehearsal dinner at a delicious Italian restaurant, but by 7 a.m. the next day, I was back on it.

"The day of, I would have a couple of eggs in the morning and oatmeal as you will need the energy and fuel for the rest of the day," Kirsch recommended. "A protein shake for lunch and water for the rest of the day. Save the drinking and eating for after the ceremony, or better yet, for the honeymoon!"

Here's what I consumed for breakfast on my wedding day: I had the antioxidant yogurt and seed bowl as well as black coffee; for lunch I ate a simple salad with grilled chicken provided by my venue; and for snack, I went with a GoMacro bar. After the ceremony, my husband and I sat in a separate room and ate every single appetizer (including pork buns, pulled BBQ chicken, mini grilled cheese sandwiches, and more!) and drank champagne. Diet. Over. As the evening went on, I enjoyed the goat cheese salad (CHEESE!), the short rib and sweet potato entree, wedding cake, homemade cookies, and apple cider donuts. There was pizza at our afterparty. I ate that, too.

Was dieting fun? No. Was it satisfying? Absolutely not. Was it worth it? Hell yes! For two weeks, you can do this! And you likely will lose inches, but you have to stick to it almost perfectly. We all have our handful of dark chocolate almonds here and there, but make sure you get right back on track. The best part in addition to your tight bod? You can pig out on your honeymoon! (On mine, I sure did my job consuming all of the noodles and dumplings Southeast Asia had to offer . . . and that is another story. Next up: How to get back your hot wedding bod of yesteryear.)

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pop-up wedding

If you haven't heard of pop-up weddings, you will.

Across the country, couples are ditching the idea of the traditional elaborate, expensive affairs and choosing to tie-the-knot with a less stressful, less expensive, less time-consuming ceremony.

Pop-up weddings are different than eloping or skipping off to get hitched in Las Vegas. They are small, intimate events taking place in unique locations supervised by a wedding coordinator for a fraction of the traditional cost of a wedding.

According to a study of 13,000 brides nationwide, The Knot.com found the average cost of a wedding ceremony and reception in 2016 was $13,329. Yikes!

"We hear from a lot of millennials who don't want to spend thousand of dollars and a year or more planning a wedding like their parents did," said Krista Embry, owner of Crown The Day, a pop-up wedding business right here in Louisville.

The couples interested in pop-up weddings aren't the type who care about photo booths, flash mob dances or matching bridesmaid dresses.

What they do want are a few special friends and family at their side, wearing whatever they want, and for the ceremony to take place in a special location.

Embry's scaled down, boutique style weddings are held at various locations throughout Louisville and Southern Indiana.

From the serene banks of the Ohio River to an edgier venue like The Baxter Avenue Morgue (Zombie makeup can be included) to outdoor music festivals, there's something to appeal to everyone.

Crown The Day offers wedding packages for $795. The price includes a unique venue, officiant, flowers, cake (or cupcakes), a livestream of the ceremony to Facebook, unity sand ceremony (couple combines two colors of sand into one vessel), a wedding coordinator, a celebration toast and photographs.

For $350, Embry offers a similar service (minus the celebration toast, flowers and cake) for couples who wish to renew their wedding vows.

By visiting the website, interested couples will find a list of the venues where ceremonies are offered and the day when the weddings or vow renews will take place there.

"Each wedding takes about 45 minutes and is conducted back to back to the next one, but this is not a mass wedding situation," Embry said. "The ceremony is individual and special - we take care of everything - so all a couple needs to do is show up with their marriage license."

Embry is currently booking ceremonies and plans to include more venues options, dates and services in the future.

In the meantime, to help spread the word and educate people on what a pop-up wedding is all about, Embry is offering free weddings and vow renewals this week at Abbey Road on The River, Thursday, May 25 to Monday May 29.

If you are ready to tie-the-knot or renew, simply show up at the Crown The Day booth in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

"It won't be hard to find us. We'll be the booth covered with flowers," Embry said.

Three couples have already signed up to renew their wedding vows but Embry said you can also walk up and get hitched this week.

Free ceremonies will also be available to members of the military on the Fourth of July and Veterans Day.

Another affordable option for those wishing to get hitched this spring is the Portland Wedding Weekend, June 10 and 11. The Portland community is hosting a weekend of affordable weddings at the newly-reopened church at 2718 Lytle St.

Celebrations will be conducted throughout the day and into the evening on Saturday and Sunday. Turn-key wedding packages start at $20 per guest and include the chapel, decorations, catered meal, soft drinks, wedding favors and cake.

If you are ready for a unique and personal way to say "I do" or "I do again" at a fraction of the cost of a traditional ceremony, a pop-up wedding or vow renewal may be the perfect solution to celebrate your union to the person you love.

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Pippa Middleton

It was the party of the year when the world's most famous bridesmaid, Pippa Middleton, finally became the bride. Middleton, who became famous for the figure-hugging dress she wore at the 2011 wedding of her sister, Princess Kate, to Prince William, tied the knot Saturday.

The wedding reception Saturday celebrating the marriage of Middleton, 33, and her husband, hedge fund millionaire James Matthews, was planned with military-like precision and executed under heavy security and secrecy.

PHOTO: Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, left, stands with her daughter Princess Charlotte, bottom left, as they arrive for the wedding of Pippa Middleton and James Matthews at St Marks Church in Englefield, May 20, 2017.

The reception venue, a glass-enclosed structure estimated to have cost more than $100,000 erected in the backyard of Carole and Michael Middleton's Bucklebury home, was draped with curtains to shield the prying eyes of the paparazzi and public.

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Inside the structure, which resembled a crystal palace, the estimated 350 guests partook in one of the most glamorous and high-profile events of the London social season.

Prior to the evening reception, an intimate circle of the couple's friends and family enjoyed a champagne brunch featuring langoustines, steak and chips, and foie gras. The brunch took place on the same Englefield Estate as St. Mark's Church, where Middleton, in a Giles Deacon gown, wed Matthews earlier Saturday in front of around 100 guests. The lavish wedding had an estimated price tag between $500,000 and $1 million.

Guests who received invitations for all three parts of Middleton's wedding day -- the church service, champagne brunch and reception -- were asked to bring a change of clothes. Middleton, who wrote a book titled "Celebrate" about party planning, wore a second gown for the black-tie evening reception at her parents' $8 million home.

The Middletons' mansion, dubbed "Bucklebury Manor," boasts seven bedrooms and sits on 18 acres of property with stunning gardens, fish ponds and a tennis court and pool. Before guests could enter the Bucklebury grounds, they reportedly had to pass through an extensive security check that included a special password matched with their passport.

The guest list for the reception was a who's who of society, including pro tennis stars Tim Herman and Roger Federer. Princess Eugenie, the daughter of Prince Andrew, also joined her cousins, Prince William and Prince Harry, for the day's activities.

Middleton's niece, Princess Charlotte, 2, and nephew, Prince George, 3, served in her bridal party, while Kate, 35, reportedly drew the illustration of St. Mark's Church that graced the wedding ceremony programs.

British tabloids reported one of the highlights of the night was a ping pong match that pitted Prince Harry and William against seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer.

Harry, 32, brought his girlfriend, Meghan Markle, 35, to the evening reception. Markle was missing from both the ceremony and the reception at Englefield House.

Markle and Harry, who began dating last year, were reportedly seated apart from each other at the sit-down dinner, following standard etiquette for high-profile events. At night, a spitfire display took place in the sky while a spectacular light show flashing slides of Middleton's and Matthews' love story was projected against the Middletons' home.

Middleton and Matthews were spotted early Monday morning at Los Angeles International Airport on the way to their honeymoon destination in the South Pacific.

The couple will reportedly visit the exclusive Brando resort on Tetiaroa island, just north of Tahiti. The eco-tourism hot spot, which caters to the world's most elite and has a price tag of $3,500 a night, recently hosted Barack and Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks and Bruce Springsteen.

The eco-resort boasts just 35 deluxe cottages on pristine white beaches and private plunge pools. The resort features cuisine designed by a Michelin star chef, and most important of all, privacy.

Marlon Brando was said to have fallen in love with the island while filming the 1962 action film "Mutiny on the Bounty" and purchased the entire Pacific atoll for the less than the price it now costs its exclusive clientele for a week's stay.

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What to Wear

LINDSAY MOUSOUDAKIS OF MUSE is no stranger to fielding wedding-related questions. In a decade of owning the River Oaks boutique, she’s helped brides, wedding parties, their moms and many, many guests pick out the right outfit for the occasion. Now that wedding season is upon us—not to mention bachelorette season, shower season, etc.—here’s her best advice.

It’s shoulder season

“Off the shoulder is so major right now,” says Mousoudakis. “It’s not too sexy and it’s showing such a pretty part of body.” One caveat: as a wedding guest, you probably want to dance and have fun—and that includes raising your arms (hello, bouquet toss) without being restricted by your outfit, so make sure any cold-shoulder dress gives your arms freedom of movement.

Another slightly more covered option? Mousoudakis is a fan of adding interest with a big, bold sleeve. “The bell sleeve for summer and even for fall has this drama, it’s so fun and festive,” she says.

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Pants, Please

“The trend right now is to mix it up with rompers,” says Mousoudakis. “Brides are trying to steer away from a dress because its all about dress on the wedding day. I’ve seen a lot of rompers for bachelorettes or even for the [bridal] shower or [rehearsal] dinner. We’ve got a jumpsuit by Trina Turk at Muse that’s really dressy. You think of rompers as casual and cotton, but they can be cocktail, too—Alexis also makes a great version. It’s something different you’re not going to see anyone else in.”

A Baywatch Bachelorette

“Now it’s all about getting that perfect squad photo because everything is on social media. If your bachelorette is in a beachy area, Baywatch is back and brides and bridesmaids are all wearing matching swimsuits. Of course tanks and T-shirts are fun, too, but the bathing suit is such a fun idea,” says Mousoudakis. While Baywatch may currently be trending, but we’ll credit Taylor Swift for launching this trend by wearing matching suits alongside Cara DeLevingne and Gigi Hadid at her Fourth of July bash in 2016.

Try a surprising shape

The Muse owner is a big fan of making her shoppers try on several things before they make any final judgements—because sometimes something that seems wrong is actually a great option. Case in point: the wedding miniskirt. “What I think is fun is the miniskirt—when you have a blousy top with it or flat sandals its really cute on so many people whether their legs are muscular or skinny. I like people to experiment. It’s the same with the off-the-shoulder look. I think people are so scared to show skin, especially older women, but my mom just bought an off-the-shoulder dress and it’s so flattering.”

Keep it colorful

“For a summer wedding I think prints are fun and festive,” says Mousoudakis. For upcoming fall weddings, she’s a big fan of merlot and forest green, which will be on-trend and very appropriate for the season. And for those not into brights, she has good news: black, once considered a questionable choice for weddings, is a popular option these days. “I see people in black in weddings all the time, even in summer, just because an LBD is always a go-to and black is the most flattering. Everybody’s got a great black dress.”

What not to wear: White (unless you’re the bride)

Yes, we all saw Pippa Middleton rock a white bridesmaid dress, but that doesn’t mean the color is now on the table for most wedding guests. “It’s really important that the guest doesn’t wear any shade of white so there’s no competition with the bride,” says Mousoudakis. So while the little white dress may be trending this summer, save it for non-wedding-related occasions.

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Beautiful Bridesmaid

Looks like Rachel Bilson is going for 27 Dresses -level status. The actress has just rocked ANOTHER bridesmaid dress at a friend’s nuptials this weekend, making Bilson the M.V.P. of bridesmaids this side of Hollywood.

It was barely two months ago since the Hart of Dixie star last took on bridesmaid duty, standing by her bride’s side in an impossibly chic gown featuring a pretty pink hue, a formal floor-length hemline, a romantic off-the-shoulder sweetheart neckline, and a slim, fitted silhouette. Without an unflattering seam or frilly ruffle in sight, it was the dress bridesmaid dreams are made of. But this was far from Bilson’s first foray into bridal party territory.

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In June of last year, Bilson was a bridesmaid at her brother’s wedding, donning a blue lace sheath from Self-Portrait at the rehearsal dinner and then later stunning in a pale pink chiffon bridesmaid dress at the ceremony. “Always a bridesmaid,” the actress captioned a photo of herself getting ready for the big day with her fellow ‘maids. Girl, you’ve got a few more bridal parties ahead of you!

This weekend was the O.C. alum's latest wedding where she stylishly served as bridesmaid. Bilson first took a car selfie of her and pal en route to the venue. “Let’s get this wedding started!” she captioned the snap. But it was her added hashtags that had us LOL’ing. “#alwaysabridesmaid #28dresses #gonnamakethesequel,” Bilson wrote. Too funny! Also, who would love to see a 27 Dresses sequel starring Rachel Bilson? Let’s see those raised hands! After all the nuptials she’s been a part of, it could even be a reality show, TBH…

Bilson also later shared a snap from the wedding, featuring the (huge!) bridal party in its entirety. This chill AF bride apparently let her ‘maids mix and match their frocks, as each girl is rocking a flowy, floral dress in various colors and prints for a pretty, boho effect. Cool, right?

Care to be our MOH, Bilson? Clearly, you’ve had a TON of practice.

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Margot Robbie

Welcome Margot Robbie to the "celebrity bridesmaids" squad, which includes both Taylor Swift and Jennifer Lawrence.

Robbie, presumably still riding high from her own low-key nuptials at the end of last year, recently served as a bridesmaid. The Wolf of Wall Street star posted a picture on Instagram late Thursday night that shows her standing among a wedding party on the steps of a chapel. Although Robbie didn't identify who the bride and groom are, she captioned the pretty photo, "Going to the chapel... J❤️N."

In the picture, Robbie, 26, stands next to the bride in front of a green chapel flanked by palm trees, which the Daily Mail identified as Wai'oli Hui'ia Church in Hanalei, Hawaii. Robbie and the one other bridesmaid wear midi-length ivory slipdresses and carry simple greenery.

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This bridesmaid gig comes just five months after Robbie's own supersecret wedding last December. Although Robbie and her husband, film director Tom Ackerley, have stayed mum on the details of the big day, the Daily Mail reported at the time that Robbie's sister served as her maid of honor and her mother gave her away at the Byron Bay, Australia, ceremony. A source also told Woman's Day that all guests were sworn to secrecy and that the pair "decided to marry around Christmas so they could spend time with both their families afterwards, which they've never done before."

Robbie confirmed her marriage shortly after with an Instagram post in which she and Ackerley share a smooch while Robbie flips off the camera with her newly blinged-out ring finger. The couple first met in 2013 while on set of war drama Suite Française; Ackerley happened to be the film's assistant director when he caught eye of the blonde beauty. They began dating shortly after wrapping up on-set, and even launched their own film company, Lucky Chap Entertainment.

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Summer wedding

It used to be that dress codes for a summer’s worth of weddings were pretty much interchangeable. Perhaps that one was a bit smarter and called for a new hat, another more intimate or bohemian. Generally, though, a nice frock would do.

But just as weddings have become 3D Pinterest boards of one-of-a-kind one-upmanship, so dressing for wedding guests has become a quagmire of misread signals and misguided purchases (I’m looking at you, pashminas). With the affianced planning their I-dos everywhere from remote Greek mountain villages to enter-through-the-wardrobe speakeasies, it’s hard to know what the part is, let alone look it.

Jessica Raine wears a floral dress to the Harpers Bazaar anniversary party last week. 

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If you’re hoping for a set of rules to follow here, I’m afraid you’re out of luck. “The ‘never wear white to a wedding’ mantra no longer applies,” says Ellie Pithers, fashion features editor at Vogue. “Obviously, one should steer clear of long white lacy dresses that could cause confusion as you file into church, but a white or cream shift dress is perfectly acceptable. “Hats are now specified on the invitation, and are usually encouraged rather than enforced. Fascinators look cheap – always.”

If the ground feels as though it’s been pulled from beneath your feet, fear not: fashion giveth and it taketh away. The wedding dress code as you knew it might be out of date, but these days, there are many more options than a nice frock to be had: it’s just a case of knowing what to wear, and when.

The City Ceremony

As a general rule of thumb, city wedding dress codes are a bit more tailored, and a bit less flamboyant – imagine yourself on the bus home and suddenly that silk prom skirt is a lot less appealing. Given that jumpsuits will now be allowed in Ascot’s royal enclosure, I’d say that makes them wedding appropriate, too, provided they bear no resemblance to a Ghostbusting boiler suit. Look for a wide-leg, cropped style – the A-line shape is more elegant than a fitted silhouette. Martha Ward’s is £395 from Shrimps, and comes in navy, or try Paper London’s Pepto-Bismol pink if you’re feeling brave.

The temptation with a hot destination wedding is to wear one of those heavily embroidered folk dresses that were so popular last summer. The danger is that most likely everyone else will do the same, and you’ll look like a matrioshka dolls cosplay group.

Wearing ruffles is still entering very much into the spirit of things, but in less of a bringing- my-goods-to-market kind of way, which you’ll thank yourself for when you see the wedding photos. JCrew Collection’s ruffled blue skirt will work with a simple white blouse, but Marks & Spencer’s khaki wrap dress is so good that, really, no other ruffles need apply. Stick to shades of tan, brown and gold for accessories.

And shoes? Suede mules will work in a Tuscan vineyard but not on a Caribbean beach, where it’s safer to opt for ancient-Greek sandals.

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Losing Weight For Wedding

As a young girl, I had a dream I would meet my soulmate, fall madly in love, and strut down the aisle in a pretty dress, surrounded by all my favourite people.

Do you know what I didn’t dream about, all those years ago?

I didn’t dream I’d be standing in the middle of a bridal shop, about to order The Dress, when I heard the words:

“So, how much weight are you planning to lose before the wedding?”

How much what, now?

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In that split second, I began to second guess myself. The years I’d spent healing my relationship with food started to unravel.

How much weight am I going to lose?

Do I need to lose weight?

Is she saying I look fat?

Maybe this isn’t the right dress.

I really wish I didn’t eat that sandwich for lunch.

I should have had the salad.

I composed myself, and turned to face the shop assistant, “I don’t intend to lose any weight before the wedding, but I’m not sure what size I’ll need. Do you have a tape measure?”

Despite her poor choice of words, I don’t hold this exchange against the shop assistant. If online forums, wedding magazines and my friends are to be believed, the pre-wedding weightloss regime is at the top of the to do list for many brides.

But it’s not for me. Here’s why:

For years, I battled to shrink my body. I counted calories, calculated points, and saved my syns for a weekend binge. I ditched bread, cut out sugar, and avoided nights out with my friends. I threw up when I’d eaten too much. I lost weight, but I was miserable. It didn’t matter how much the number on the scales dropped, I was never happy.

Controlling my food had become more than a bid to get healthy and feel happier in my own skin. It was now a coping mechanism for everything else that was going wrong in my life - and it was far from healthy. But I was good at it.

Then one day, something changed.

I fell in love with someone who asked difficult questions, and listened as I muddled through the answers. From day one, he got me to open up about things I’d never spoken about before - and I started to open up to the possibility life could be different.

I wondered, if he could love me as I was, despite my flaws, why couldn’t I?

Something in my mind shifted. I decided, not only was I worthy of his love, but I was worthy of my own love, too.

It took me a long time to change the destructive food habits I’d created over the years, but self-love won in the end. I’m in a much better place now. I eat food that nourishes my body, but I’m not afraid to indulge in a little soul food when I fancy. I try to take care of my body, because it’s the only one I’ve got, but I enjoy life too. That’s what it’s all about, right?

It’s easy to get sucked into the glossy pages of wedding magazines, or the endless Pinterest boards. But the truth is, my wedding doesn’t have to be Insta-Perfect or Pinterest-Worthy - and neither do I.

Ditching the idea of perfection has been a big part of my step towards more self-love - and it’s something I’m still working on today.

So no, I haven’t tried to lose weight for my wedding.

When I walk down that aisle next weekend, I get to marry my best friend, and that’s pretty awesome. My husband-to-be isn’t going to be worrying if I’m carrying a few extra pounds, or thinking about the cupcake I ate three weeks ago.

Our guests won’t be, either. Have you ever been to a wedding, and scrutinised the bride’s weight? I’m guessing not. But, if you have, I think it says more about your own insecurities than it does about the bride.

For me, a wedding isn’t about perfectly coordinated colour schemes, elaborate menus, or shrinking yourself into a dress.

It’s a celebration of love. And that’s what I’ll be focusing on - not the number on the scales.

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The Venice Beach Freakshow brought small-tent thrills to the boardwalk one last time on Sunday, tying up its 11-year run with a protest, a party and even a wedding ceremony for Jessa the Bearded Lady.

As first detailed in last week’s issue of The Argonaut, Freakshow owner Todd Ray claims his iconic boardwalk attraction is being pushed out by the building’s new owners refusing to renew his lease — all the while more recent tenants, workers for tech giant Snapchat, remain in offices overhead.

In the ensuing media frenzy, community reaction has taken up this skirmish over a retail storefront as the latest front in a philosophical battle for the soul of Venice.

On the ground, a dazzling young sword swallower (Ray’s daughter, Asia), the mirthful Bearded Lady and various oversized fish hooks and electric drills laced through the skull of a performer named Morgue kept onlookers rapt and breathless.

Sign holders and activists, Sunday beachgoers, freaks and fans of all stripes mingled in a crowd of about 100 or more at any given time. Even the police, parked several yards down toward the water, appeared to be having fun.

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Ray roared into the microphone, over a surprisingly good deejay.

“We got the dirty kids here, the traveling kids, the locals, ladies and the fellas,” he said. “We are all freaks on planet Earth.”

Referring to Snapchat’s much-documented and increasingly polarizing expansion, Ray broke it down: “Do you wanna walk on their corporate campus, or do you want Venice Beach? Do you want Snapchat, or do you want the Freakshow?!”

Snap Inc. has told the press, minimally, that it merely leases space at 909 Ocean Front Walk. The company has no relation to building owner Snapshot LLC, according to a company statement, and does not have any existing rights to lease the ground-floor space that until now housed the Freakshow.

That information has done little to quell rising anger in the community, however.

“If you don’t speak up the billionaire bullies will come in and take over. The Venice Beach Freakshow is still alive today. … We’re gonna keep it alive, with your support,” Ray said, adding that it was Sunday morning, after all, and passed around an offering basket.

Ryan Faber, a graphic artist and web developer, said he’s seeing the kind of gentrification that changed San Francisco happen in his native Los Angeles.

“I moved back to L.A. [from San Francisco] to afford to live here, and the price has gone up so astronomically. … The place we live is totally getting subjugated — like, what, this is going to be a cafeteria for Snapchat?” said Faber, 40. “Obviously Snapshot LLC is not Snapchat, but to deny there’s a connection between them allowing Snapchat properties to stay but the long-term residents have to go?”

Pointing to his young son, he added, “We want to teach him to stand up for the little guy. It’s such a metaphor — the little guy, the misunderstood — those are the people who can’t live in Venice anymore.”

Venice resident Mark Rago, 44, manned a booth for community activist groups Venice Dogs and the Alliance for the Preservation of Venice, which helped organize protests during Snapchat’s initial public offering in March.

Showing passersby a map of Snapchat-leased properties all around Venice, Rago hopes to catch the attention of the California Coastal Commission and

L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin to “have them put a stop to it,” he said. “Otherwise, all the money that comes into Venice Beach will be gone because there won’t be tourists anymore; it will all be private offices.”

Sheryl Lorenzo, 62, strolled the boardwalk in a Venice Beach Freakshow T-shirt.

“I think the bigger picture is bad,” she said. “Venice Beach will lose its uniqueness. People will stop coming. It will be more like Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive.”

Alicia Weaver, 28, said she would often bring guests from out of town to the Freakshow.

“It’s part of the experience. The presenter is a part of what I hear every time I’m here,” she said.

Comic book writer Joshua Dysart, 45, watched the show with a mix of excitement and defiance.

“I’ve lived in Venice Beach for 16 years, and watching what Snapchat is doing — buying and leasing so much property, pushing local businesses out — has been upsetting,” he said. “But the elimination of the Venice Beach Freakshow is the removal of our spiritual center. The idea that we are inclusive, that everybody is beautiful — that’s a Venice idea. It has been for decades. So this is a metaphorical death of Venice; it’s a funeral.”

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Global Wedding Congress

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is an official Host Partner along with the other partners and sponsors including Laguna Phuket, Banyan Tree Phuket, Angsana Laguna Phuket and The Wedding Bliss.

Thailand is the first country in Asia to host the event, which brings together high-end destination wedding planners to do business with the most unique destinations, extravagant hotels, resorts and venues along with leading wedding suppliers and creative partners such as, couture designers, photography partners, furniture rentals, jewellery partners, cake designers and more.

The event also includes groundbreaking conference sessions, networking functions, ritzy cocktail receptions, lavish luncheons and themed gala dinners, all designed to help participants capitalise on the multi-billion-dollar industry.

The line-up of confirmed speakers includes Preston Bailey, Katherine Apostolidis, Koby Bar Yehuda, Marcy Blum, Mohomed Morani, Joe Blackman, Wendy El-Khoury, Bryan Rafanelli, Evelyn Mills, Alison Hotchkiss, Matthew Oliver, Michelle Rago, Innayat Khubchandani, Christina Holt, Bhavnesh Sawhney, Funke Burknor-Obruthe, Joanne Brown, Kevin Lee, Janine Closs, Sumant Jayakrishnan, Joann Gregoli, and Aleit Swanepoel.

' If we want to be the World’s Best Wedding Destination, we really need to enhance our expertise and better understand all our source markets,” said Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul. Photo: TAT

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Kevin Lee’s celebrity clients include Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt, Drew Barrymore, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Oprah Winfrey. Also, he is said to have been the inspiration behind the character Franck, played by Martin Short in the early ’90s movie classic, Father of the Bride.

Preston Bailey has been designing and planning weddings for celebrities, royal families, CEOs and athletes for more than 33 years. He has worked with renowned names; such as, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Douglas, Jennifer Hudson and Donna Karan, to name a few.

Bryan Rafanelli runs Rafanelli Events, one of the biggest event planning and design companies in the United States since 1996. He has worked with clients such as, President Obama, Chelsea Clinton and Hollywood star Matt Damon.

Meanwhile, Evelyn Mills heads Marriage Maestros, which specialises in creating signature weddings in Hong Kong, Bali, China and across Asia.

Organised by Dubai-based QNA International, the DWP Congress has been held previously in Greece, Mauritius and Italy.

In revealing that Phuket was to host the event, Thailand Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul last September noted, “Thailand will leave no stone unturned in ensuring the best of preparations for this Congress in order to become a global wedding hub for couples of every nationality. We definitely have to work as a team. If we want to be the World’s Best Wedding Destination, we really need to enhance our expertise and better understand all our source markets.”

The global weddings industry is estimated to have a total value of US$298 billion (B10.31 trillion), of which the value of foreign country weddings is US$80bn (B2.76trn).

TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn noted, “This will be the first of Destination Wedding Planners Congress to be held in Asia. We expect the Congress will go a long way towards raising the image of Thailand as a wedding destination globally, and showcasing our superb range of destinations, venues, as well as the unique products and services that make each event memorable and extraordinary.

“Such events have an enormous ripple-effect benefit as they generate income for numerous suppliers of products and services; such as, decorations, gifts and souvenirs, party arrangements, F&B, audio-visual equipment, musicians, singers, and many more.”

“This (event) is exactly in line with the policy to focus on high-spending, long-staying, niche-market visitors, distributing income and creating jobs in the provincial areas. Wedding ceremonies typically involve at least 20 people, with an expenditure of B5-20 million per event, depending on its size,” he added.

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Wedding Tips

There's nothing Oregonians love more than mixing farm animals with non-farm activities. So no one should be surprised that now, Mtn Peaks Therapy Llamas & Alpacas is bring llamas and alpacas to weddings in the Portland and Vancouver area.

You may have already heard of Mtn Peaks Therapy Llamas & Alpacas. Lori Gregory, the owner of the company, and her daughter, Shannon Joy, events coordinator, have been using Rojo, their star llama, officially as a therapy animal since 2007.

Over the phone on Wednesday, Joy said they now have five llamas and five alpacas though currently they only use three for therapy visits.

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And weddings.

Mtn Peaks has their first llama wedding in 2011. Last year, they scheduled 11.

"We have a dozen on the calendar this year and it's not even wedding season," Joy said.

The appetite for llamas in wedding gear at a wedding is clearly growing, in part because of the Instagram account Joy started called, appropriately, Wedding Llamas.

"Most brides want two animals," Joy told us. Usually that means Rojo in a groom outfit and a small white (male) alpaca named Napoleon as the bride. Sometimes, a llama named Smokey steps in.

Joy said that the weddings aren't just fun. They also fund the Mtn Peaks mission.

"It's our biggest way to support our therapy animals," she told us.

Llama and alpaca wedding packages start at $200 and $300 for two. Prices go up depending on distance from the farm and time spent with animals at the wedding.

"Every wedding varies in time," Joy said. "Most only prefer an hour as they are looking for an alternative to photo booths. Others have our animals greet guests, walk as ring bearer, take formal photos with the bridal party, and entertain during cocktail hour."

Joy said that now that Mtn Peaks has more volunteers, and with weddings gaining popularity, they are planning on taking more of the herd off the farm.

So if you want llamas and/or alpacas as your wedding this year, you still have a chance. Just send them an email to check on availability. With one caveat. "We are confident in driving up to an hour and a half away" from their farm in Ridgefield, Wash., Joy said. "After that it's kind of hit or miss."

Portland is only 30 minutes away. Time to start looking for llama friendly venues?

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Wedding venues

Seasoned Outlander fans will know that the hit show makes use of breathtaking locations across Scotland.

From medieval castles to luxury country houses, the show has (time) travelled the length and breadth of the country to showcase some of Scotland's most stunning sites.

With this in mind, we've picked a handful of locations showcased by the show which also double as wedding venues - turns out, you can tie the knot in exactly the same spot as Jamie and Claire!

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1. Glencorse Old Kirk

The charming Glencorse Old Kirk, nestled in the grounds of the Glencorse House in the foothills of the Pentland Hills, is where Claire and Jamie say 'I do' .

With its lush parkland, lake and splendid garden, it's a wonderfully atmospheric venue, if not one of the most romantic locations for Outlander fans to tie the knot.

2. Hopetoun House

This splendid country house on Edinburgh's outskirts doubles as the Duke of Sandringham's stately home in season one of the show - and a gorgeous wedding venue the rest of the time.

Couples can take over the splendid estate for their special day, saying 'I do' in the stunning Adam Stables before dancing the night away in the house's ballroom.

Hopetoun House is even bigger in person than it looks on the show, producers digitally erased some of the wings.

3. Doune Castle

Stirling's stunning Doune Castle plays a starring role in the show, substituting for the fictional Castle Leoch – home to Colum MacKenzie and his clan in the 18th century.

It also features in the 20th century episode when Claire and Frank visit the castle in ruins on a day trip.

In the 21st century, the castle can host everything from large wedding ceremonies in its stone-walled Great Hall to more intimate affairs in the 30-person capacity Kitchen.

4. Pollok Country Park

The beautiful grounds of Pollok Country Park double as the grounds surrounding the fictional Castle Leoch.

The south Glasgow park also stands in for the French countryside characters travel through between Le Havre and Paris.

The Edwardian country house is also a popular spot for couples to tie the knit - with the maze-like gardens providing the perfect wedding photo opps!

5. Linlithgow Palace

Ok, so Linlithgow Palace's role in Outlander is far from romantic. The ruined palace - also the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots - is used as Wentworth Prison where Jamie is captured.

The 15th century site is still a charming wedding venue today . Couples can have an open air ceremony in the Great Hall or say 'I do' beneath the Undercroft's cosy, vaulted ceiling in the castle's charming courtyard.

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Celestial wedding

With just four days remaining for the commencement of Chithirai festival, devotees want the temple authorities to provide adequate facilities to ensure that there is no discrimination in witnessing the celestial wedding of Lord Sundareswarar and goddess Sri Meenakshi.

The hoisting of the holy flag for the festival will take place on April 28, while the much-awaited celestial wedding is on May 7. Though more than a lakh devotees are expected to throng the temple, only about 10,000 will be let inside under two heads - free and fee queues - to see the wedding. The devotees have been terming this as nothing but discrimination.

"Though the temple authority allows devotees in free queues, such people are unable to see the wedding clearly because they are made to sit very far away from the wedding stage. This is not the case of VIPs and people who have paid, who are accommodated in front of the stage," said A Gopalakrishnan, a devotee.

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Another devotees, S Anandan, said "Of course, it may be necessary to give preference to VIPs and donors of the temple. But that does not mean that other devotees, including poor, need to be discriminated. If they want, equal opportunity can be given in front of the sanctum sanctorum. That is, one side for VIPs and paid devotees and the rest of the side for the unpaid devotees." There has also been a demand to give priority to elderly people. "They are the ones who mainly wish to see the ceremony. But, they face much hardship in accessing the temple on the day of wedding ceremony," said V P Manikandan.

Hindu temple protection committee state general secretary P Sundaravadivel said emphasis should be given on improving amenities as well. "The authorities need to provide potable water and other facilities in main places, including Aadiveedhi, Chiththiraiveedhi and Masiveedhi," he said. He also insisted that the Madurai police make preventive arrest of anti-social elements as chain snatching incidents have been on the rise recently.

Responding to the demands, joint commissioner of the temple N Natarajan said measures have been taken at a cost of Rs 50 lakh to ensure smooth conduct of the festival. In order to enable devotees to see the marriage ceremony, 20 LED screens will be set up around the temple. Air-conditioners, toilets-on-wheels, including two from Palani and one from Meenakshiamman temple, will be used, he said.

On the wedding ceremony, he said, "The problem is with the execution. A large number of people turn up for the wedding due to which there is no way to separate the VIPs and the people with tickets." Natarajan said that they are looking into the demand for a separate queue for the elderly.

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Wedding trend

Would you try it?

As we edge closer to the summer, you likely have wedding invites coming out of your ears. You’re probably cursing all your loved-up friends for stealing approximately 50% of your annual leave.

And it only gets more intense if you’re selected as a bridesmaid. Of course, it can be a lot of fun to be a part of the bridal party – but it has its moments. Especially considering this is how much it really costs to be a bridesmaid. And it gets even worse if the bride in question is like this one, and asks you to chip in for her actual plus size wedding dresses

But luckily for those of you who are ready to hang up their bridesmaid-duty shoes, the biggest wedding trend of 2017 appears to be working in your favour. According to Pinterest’s 2017 Wedding Report, many woman are choosing to have no bridesmaids. At all.

Considering it’s very traditional to be flanked by your closest female companions – whether there are two or twelve – it’s a very bold move. But many modern brides are ditching the idea of a huge wedding party in order to focus all the attention on themselves and their partner.

"Less is more — brides are choosing to go with fewer bridesmaids, or sometimes none at all! This decision ensures the focus is all about you and your partner," the Pinterest report says.

It also reveals that the interest in weddings without bridesmaids has had a 100% increase year-over-year. That’s a lot of women waving goodbye to matching dresses and pre-planned hen parties…

Whether you’re going all-out with a huge venue and hundreds of guests, or you’re more inclined to have a small and intimate day, it seems the numbers speak for themselves. So there’s no need to freeze in panic the next time one of your best friends tells you their good news…

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wedding costs

Weddings are expensive affairs for the bride and groom, and their respective families — the average cost of a wedding in Canada is roughly $30,000 — but that doesn’t mean that guests don’t also feel the pinch of the wedding industrial complex.

According to a survey conducted by Priceline.com, millennials are spending upwards of US$600 on each wedding-related event. That means between the engagement party, shower, bachelor or bachelorette party (and/or stag and doe), and the wedding itself, guests could be shelling out in the thousands.

Unfortunately, what that means for this demographic (aged 21 to 34) is that 39 per cent of them will skip out on one or more of the events. And considering that 24 per cent say they’ll spend between US$800 and US$1,000 on a bachelor or bachelorette party, that might be a good one to sit out.

Millennials are spending a lot of money to go to weddings

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“A lot of people are making a shift towards going away for the bachelor or bachelorette party,” says Amanda Douglas, owner of Amanda Douglas Events in Winnipeg. “It’s hard to have any control over that as a guest.”

More men (60 per cent) than women (43) travel for the big send-off to the single years, and deciding on accommodations for these trips is the most stressful part of the journey.

Douglas says one way to curb the costs (and possibly circumvent the disagreements about accommodations) is to suggest something local, like going bar hopping in your own city, or going to someone’s cabin or cottage for a weekend.

There’s no shame, or offence taken, if you decide not to attend one of the events in question, either. Even if it’s the main one.

“You don’t have to attend every shower or every event related to the wedding,” Douglas says. “You can pick and choose what you want to be involved in based on how close you are to the couple.”

As for gift-giving etiquette, there’s no obligation to get the couple something if you don’t attend the wedding. You don’t have to give a wedding gift, either, if you went to the shower and brought a gift, Douglas says.

If you are attending the wedding and want to give a gift, take into consideration what your presence will cost the couple, between food, liquor and venue costs. Then tack on a little extra something.

“It’s up to you how much more you want to give,” Douglas says.

On the upside, almost 50 per cent of respondents said they’ll travel for the big day itself.

“Most people are fine with taking a trip, even a long one, for a wedding,” according to Brides. “The survey found that 47 per cent of those who travelled for a wedding did so because they wanted an excuse to travel, 67 per cent said they travelled specifically for the celebration, and 47 per cent said it was because they wanted to spend time with the couple.”

And a person’s presence at a wedding is often present enough for this generation.

“Millennials are more money conscious these days,” Douglas says. “There’s a shift in attitude around weddings that favours having guests there to celebrate and have a good time, rather than getting a big, extravagant gift.”

See more at sheindressau.com


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