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.”

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Wedding Trend

Perhaps because Pantone has coined it Color of the Year, "greenery" is having a major moment in the wedding industry. Instead of blooming bouquets and ornate floral backdrops à la Kimye, more and more couples are opting for verdant assortments of eucalyptus, ferns, and various herbs to decorate their venues. According to a trends report released by Pinterest, the user search volume for "greenery weddings" on the platform has tripled in 2017.

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The reasoning for this shift is a pragmatic one. The national average spending on wedding flowers in 2015 was $2,300, according to a survey by The Knot. This amounts to about 7% of the average total wedding cost. That's quite a sum to spend on something so perishable.

Greenery is a way more inexpensive and durable alternative. The lush and leafy presentation is incredibly photogenic, too — after all, green has long been considered the most relaxing color for your eyes.

We've pulled together 10 greenery wedding ideas to show you how a touch of nature can factor into different parts of your nuptials. Read on for more inspiring images that will render calla lilies and rose hedges so last year.

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A Christ-centered wedding

Living out the Christian faith to the best of my ability is rarely easy, and over the past few months I have learned that planning a Catholic wedding with Christ at the center is no exception.

When my fiancé proposed to me in October, I was convinced that I was going to hold onto my feeling of joy throughout the whole process of wedding planning, and that nothing could get in the way of my excitement about starting our life together. I knew other people got stressed about all the details, but that wasn’t going to be my experience, because I knew what was really important: the love we have for each other and the beautiful sacrament we were preparing to enter into.

But a month later, I was loosing sleep over not being able to have the perfect mountainside reception I had envisioned. And five months later, I found myself negotiating the coloring and wording of a piece of paper.

Photo by Sarah Kodres-O'Brien
Kelly Seegers and Andrew Sankowski are getting married this summer.

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“Isn’t ‘Please RSVP’ redundant?” my dad asked me through the phone, as we both sat in front of our computers, reviewing the wording for the wedding invitations and RSVP card that I had designed online. “RSVP means, ‘Respond S'il Vous Plait,’” he pointed out, making the “Please” written beforehand unnecessary.

“And shouldn’t we have parallel structure?” he continued.

“Of course, Dad,” I responded, while promptly changing the wording of “Regretfully Declines” to “Declines with Regret,” in order to match the structure of the phrase “Accepts with Pleasure.”

About an hour after I had originally gotten on the phone with my parents, we finished going through each word on the invitations. Since wedding planning requires proficiency in the art of compromise, I got to use the invitation colors I wanted and my parents got to use the wording they wanted.

While we were able to laugh about that episode, my prideful assumption that I was somehow better than all other brides who get overly stressed and focus on unimportant material details has proven to be false. While I know how important the Sacrament of Marriage is, at times, that knowledge has not been enough to prevent the joy of engagement from fading into the background of worrying about having the perfect reception location, deciding which appetizers to have, or debating the redundancy of the phrase “Please RSVP.”

There have been times where the details have become so overwhelming that I have been filled with a physical sense of dread at seeing another wedding-related e-mail pop up in my inbox, and times where more significant setbacks have required my fiancé and me to reframe our vision of what our wedding day will look like. We’ve had to discern which things we care enough about to fight for and which things we are okay with letting go of in order to make the day better for our families and guests.

As much as we truly do desire to have a wedding day more focused on love than on material things, it can be challenging to navigate all of the pressure to have every detail right. Through it all, I think the process of constant self-reflection and re-centering around our priorities has been a good preparation for marriage, even if the focus on the wedding day has detracted from discussion about the marriage that will follow. But over the past few months, I have learned a few things that have helped me refocus on the sacrament itself.

I have found that being intentional about how I think and act makes a big difference. While many things will happen that are out of my control, the way I react to them is entirely up to me. If someone offers the fifth piece of unsolicited advice of the day, I can let it frustrate me and complain to my friends about it, or I can smile, say thank you, and pray for the grace I need to maintain peace of mind. While there have been plenty of times where I’ve let myself be frustrated, the more intentional I am about creating positivity, the more positive I feel.

Secondly, prayer has been my saving grace throughout this process. While I do not make as much time for it as I should, I do my best to pray for my fiancé and our upcoming marriage, pray for any graces I need to have a joyful and enriching engagement, and pray over any major decisions we are making. While God is probably okay with leaving it up to us to chose dusty blue or sky blue napkins, He does want to be a part of how we decide to plan our future family and how we treat our current family throughout the process. Consulting Him about these things has led to a much greater sense of peace.

During the month of February, I tried to only do things related to the actual Sacrament of Marriage, like choosing readings and music and going on a marriage-prep retreat. It was one of the most joyful months of our engagement so far, because I realized how exciting it is to have the opportunity to plan an entire Mass. When else do we get to choose the music, readings, and people involved in Mass? And when else do we have a reason to invite all of our friends and family to go to Mass with us? It’s an incredible opportunity not only to plan a meaningful Mass for ourselves, but also to invite everyone else to experience the faith that we love so much.

Amidst all of the planning, I hope other engaged couples will be able to find the same consolation that I have found in prayer, the beauty of the sacrament, and a healthy sense of humor every time we catch ourselves breaking out in a panic sweat over which color tablecloth to use. While we may not succeed in planning the perfect Christ-centered wedding, I am beginning to think that is okay as long as it leads to a Christ-centered marriage.

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Pippa Middleton

The world's most famous bridesmaid is about to become a bride: Kate Middleton's younger sister Pippa, 33, is getting married.

Kate's wedding was a massive state affair watched by billions worldwide. But reports indicate that Pippa's celebrations are going to be much smaller and more private. Here's everything we know about the nuptials thus far.

Her fiancé is a mysterious multi-millionaire.

Matthews grew up in a mansion near Grantham, England and had expensive schooling. In his teen years, he was a successful race car driver, but at age 24, he decided to pivot and launch a hedge fund management company. Now, at age 41, he's still the CEO.

pippa middleton

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Matthews and Pippa have been dating steadily since 2015, though they were together for a brief stint in 2012. Despite his connection to the royal family, he's managed to keep an extremely low profile.

The ring cost than more $250,000.

Pippa's four-carat ring was designed specially by Matthews, People reports, and came from jeweler Robinson Pelham, who also designed the earrings Kate wore on her wedding day. After snagging a rare in-person interview with Pippa last September, the Daily Mail described the ring as "impossible to ignore."

Matthews proposed during a romantic getaway in the scenic Lake District last July.

The wedding is set for May 2017.

Us Weekly recently reported that Middleton and Matthews will be married in May 2017 at St. Mark’s Church in Englefield, Berkshire. Other sources have reported an exact date of Saturday, May 20. The reception will be at the bride's parents' house, just a few miles away.

But this won't be any old backyard wedding reception: The Middletons live in a $7.3 million manor on 18 acres of land, and a source told the Daily Mail that the reception is going to be "bling-tastic." The party is expected to feature high-end champagne, custom cocktails, and an expensive menu.

The dress is still a mystery.

In November, designer Giles Deacon was seen carrying garment bags into Pippa's home in London, according to Us Weekly. Deacon hasn't said if he's designing the bride's dress, though.

"I can never really comment on rumours," he told HELLO! Fashion. "Until things are confirmed it's just rumours." (Though he did praise the Middleton sisters' style as "divine.")

Princess Charlotte is going to be the flower girl.

Us Weekly also said that Middleton's niece and nephew, Princess Charlotte and Prince George, will be a flower girl and page boy in the ceremony. The report also says that her sister Kate will not be a bridesmaid — though a source suspects that she may perform a reading during the ceremony. (No word yet on why Kate won't be a part of the wedding party.)

It's believed that the groom's brother, British reality TV star Spencer Matthews, will be the best man.

Pippa and Matthews are going on an "early-moon."

The almost newlyweds will be traveling to visit Matthews' parents' five-star resort in St. Bart's before the wedding, a trip that a writer for the Telegraph dubbed an "early moon." No word yet on whether the trip is a replacement or just an addition to a more traditional post-wedding honeymoon.

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Wedding news

MOST women fantasise about having the perfect wedding and any little bump in the road can be stressful.

But one bride has taken offence at her 16-year-old sister-in-law for getting pregnant, asking fellow Mumsnet users whether it would be unreasonable to kick her off bridesmaid duty.

Many were unimpressed with the question and slammed the woman for her views on her sister-in-law’s situation.

Explaining herself, the woman known as Hesdeadjim on the forum, said she’d originally asked her groom-to-be’s two sisters to be her bridesmaids on the big day.

But far from it being a smooth process, she recently found out some big news that’s now affecting her decision.

The bride said: “We found out last night that 16-year-old sister is pregnant and will have a four month old baby at the time of the wedding.”

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Going on to explain that there are “mixed emotions” about the pregnancy within the family, the bride states that: “She planned the baby without her boyfriend or anyone else knowing about it so she’s happy even if no one else is.”

But despite her mother-in-law and father-in-law coming to terms with the pregnancy, the bride-to-be queries whether it’s now unreasonable to ask her sister-in-law to relinquish her bridesmaid duties.

She said: “She’ll have a four-month-old to care for and it’s really not fair to expect father-in-law and mother-in-law to take on care duties while sister-in-law does bridesmaid stuff, it’s their son’s wedding.”

She adds: “Sister-in-law is still living in a fantasy world where she’ll be able to care for the child as a single parent and still live the life of a normal teenager so I can’t ask her if she’ll manage it, she doesn’t know the reality of children yet.”

The bride adds that she’s worried the newborn will steal the limelight from her and her husband-to-be on their wedding day.

Part of her objection is that her and her partner have wanted children for four years but held off until they were married and had bought a house, saying she “can’t help but feel anger,” about the whole thing.

She said: “What’s more, my family were horrified when my cousin got pregnant at 23 outside marriage, so I know they will see sister-in-law and the baby and instantly judge my partner’s whole family.”

She continued: “It will be a massive elephant in the room.”

The bride ends her post asking whether it’s acceptable to ask her pregnant sister-in-law not to be a bridesmaid anymore and also not to bring the baby to the wedding.

Other Mumsnet users were quick to point out that the bride was being “unreasonable”.

One user said they “lost all sympathy,” when the bride claimed her niece or nephew would steal her limelight and added that she should, “grow up”.

Another said she’d had a similar situation at her own wedding, but had easily come up with a solution to her bridesmaid having a baby.

She explained: “She used to carry her baby in slings so I bought her a Kokadi Wunderland sling in a colour which matched her dress and her daughter became our youngest bridesmaid.”

Another Mumsnet commenter slammed the bride and said: “It sounds like you’re ashamed of having a 16-year-old mum as part of your wedding party.

“She will be having a hard enough situation without you ‘punishing’ her.”

Others commented that the bride should be rallying behind her young sister-in-law and offering her help rather than making her feel excluded.

The bride later said she didn’t want the baby at the ceremony for “obvious reasons,” but her two dogs would be coming for the whole day.

Apparently her partner is “still furious at her for getting pregnant so he’s all for revoking her invite.”

Other women were then quick to point out that it seemed strange to have dogs at your wedding day but be worried about a baby.

One user commented that uninviting the sister-in-law would cause arguments and “a massive rift in the family.”

Another woman said: “It sounds like you wanted all the attention of getting married and then having the first grandchild and she has taken the attention from you.”

While another Mumsnet user simply stated: “You are being unreasonable. And pretty self obsessed, precious, judgy and mean.”

After reading the many comments left under her post, the bride seemed to see the error in her original message.

In another long post she said she understood she needed “a reality check”.

She was worried her sister-in-law got pregnant because she needed "a purpose," and wanted her boyfriend to move in with her.

She added that her sister-in-law stopped taking the pill so she would become pregnant, with her and her husband-to-be concerned about how "difficult" the teen's life might be.

She ended by saying that although she found it hard not to judge her sister-in-law, she had decided not to revoke her invite and ask the baby not to come.

Recently, a mum caused outrage on Mumsnet after asking for tips on visiting sex clubs, while another user moaned about her noisy neighbours who kept having sex in their hot tub at 5am.

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Bride brigade

Designers are doing all they can to woo the modern Indian brideThe modern Indian bride is decisive in nature and wants to be in sync with the global trends. Keeping up with her requirements, designers all over are working on distinct ideas and are creating original designs for the bride. The following boutiques in the city serve testament to this. Each one of them offers bespoke bridal services, designs and collections with a trademark aesthetic while serving the bride and her entourage with the right mix of tradition, panache and exclusivity.

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KavaniInfantry RoadKavani is a christian bridal wear label founded by Tan Kuruvilla. The designer from Kerala started designing bridal sarees when she couldn't find good wedding saris for her wedding. The label has now launched a store in Bangalore. Their latest collection 'Varna' offers a simplistic aesthetic that is devoid of heavy stonework and glittering attachments. She states, “My collection is fully handmade and the colour palette consists of traditional colours such as gold, white and off whites, but the designs are contemporary in nature.” The designs showcased seek inspiration from the traditional Christian bridal wear of Kerala and are modelled to appeal to brides who are looking for simple ensembles in ethnic colours.

FulkiKoramangalaFulki is a one stop shop for brides who are seeking a quick assemblage of their wedding wardrobe. The store consists of quintessential Indian bridal lehengas, saris, gowns, capes and dresses featuring intricate hand work in pure handlooms and fabrics such as silk, chanderi, georgette and crepes. The CEO of the label Rocky R elaborates further, "We customise at the same time we have a pret collection and a couture collection ready. If you don't have time and you want something to wear for tomorrow we got it ready today." The bridal store also offers occasion wear, menswear, jewellery and bags for the wedding.

Lustre StudioSaunders road

Lustre studio brings to fore the marriage of modern and contemporary silhouettes with traditional hand work and design patterns. The designer label founded by sisters Shaista Roshan and Subia Roshan offer bridal lehengas, jackets, corset saris, gowns and dresses. They feature rich work such as zardozi sequins, gold applique, bead and stone work on an unconventional colour palette such as pastels and blues. Shaista says, “We believe in making wedding outfits which can be worn by the bride later on as well and not just for the special occasion. Hence the designs include party wear pieces which can be reworked with the bridal outfit such as a jacket blouse over the wedding lehenga.”

Bride and beautifulColes RoadDesigner Kimi Wason of Bride and beautiful doesn't consider white as the ideal colour for a Christian wedding gown. She states, “The market is full of China gowns which are cheap and they are mostly bright white gowns that are really unflattering for the Indian complexion. Therefore, I work with off whites, ivory and champagne white."The designer uses a lot of lace, delicate embellishment work on fabrics such as polyesters, georgettes, satin and mikado fabric. The designer offers jewellery, tiaras, shoes along with dresses for the bridesmaids and the flower girl. The entire wedding can be coordinated with the bridal outfit too, as the designer has decorators, make-up artistes and hairdressers working with her.

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Solomon Pond Mall

Solomon Pond Mall, a Simon property in Marlborough, Mass., will host its second annual Wedding Expo on Saturday, March 11, 2017. In addition and new this year, Solomon Pond Mall will host a Prom Preview Fashion Show on Friday, March 10, 2017, featuring prom, after-prom and quinceañera fashions.

The Friday runway fashion show starts at 7 p.m. in Ann Taylor Court on the main level and will showcase the most stylish dresses of the moment for teen girls, as well as the opportunity to win prizes. Guests are encouraged to enjoy dinner before the show and catch a movie at Regal Cinema afterwards.

Solomon Pond Mall to Host Wedding Expo and Prom Preview

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The Saturday Wedding Expo will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Ann Taylor Court and feature exhibits from a variety of wedding businesses and vendors for all bride and groom-to-be needs, including florists, photographers, venues and more. Two runway fashion shows, at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m., will showcase the latest styles for brides, grooms and wedding parties – from dresses to suits to the accessories to complete the perfect look. Wedding dresses from The Special Event Bridal Shoppe will be featured and other participating Solomon Pond Mall retailers include: Ann Taylor, J.Jill, LOFT, Francesca’s, H&M, JCPenney and Macy’s.

The first 100 brides-to-be who pre-register for the free Wedding Expo fashion shows online here will receive a complimentary goodie bag at the registration table, while supplies last. Door prizes and giveaways will also be offered throughout the day.

Brides can also get ready for their big days by taking advantage of The Special Event Bridal Shoppe’s pop-up shop at Solomon Pond Mall, featuring gorgeous gowns at affordable prices. The Bridal Shoppe will be located next to Talbots on the Main Level in Macy’s Court through April 30.

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wedding award

Churchtown Wedding Cars won Wedding Transport Supplier of the Year at the Wedding Industry Awards 2017. The company had claimed the regional title at the end of last year and beat of tough competition to claim the top prize.

Olympic silver medallist Roger Black hosted the awards ceremony at the exclusive Cafe de Paris in London.

Based on a combination of factors including customer service and value for money, the awards are given out with a large emphasis on customer feedback as the most important factor.

Steve Mann, owner of Churchtown Wedding Cars, said: “This year, customers were also asked about specific things that they felt went above and beyond the call of duty and why they chose to book with Churchtown Wedding Cars instead of other companies. Obviously the majority of the responses were in relation to the cars but the friendliness of everyone involved also scored highly.

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“Brides particularly liked that Churchtown Wedding Cars only do one wedding a day and that there is no limit to the number of journeys or time allowed for photographs.

Steve took over the firm around 18 months ago from previous owners Pat and Roy Cropper, who had run the business for 22 years, and says he was able to build on the excellent reputation it already earned.

The company has vehicles it uses for weddings, a Beaurfort, an Imperial, a Mercedes and a Dorchester and Steve added that there are plans in place for future expansion, including new premises and different cars.

The company also works with venues and suppliers in the town promoting wedding services under the banner, ‘Radiance, The Wedding Professionals’

Radiance is a group of suppliers including Debonair Brides, Tarleton Photography, Smileomatic Photobooths and of course Churchtown Wedding Cars who organise the events on a voluntary basis spending all the exhibitors fees on targeted local advertising. A number of local venues have seen booking rise considerably since Radiance’s formation, according the group.

This collaboration, as well as the work Churchtown Wedding Cars does for Gift Of A Wedding Charity ,helped set the business apart from its competition and seal the win.

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Bride and Groom

It seems like you can't log into Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat these days without your feed being covered in wedding-related posts. Sharing photos of your engagement, bachelorette party, or wedding day can be a great way to show off your bridal bliss to your community, but does everyone you've ever met really need to know every time you try out a potential wedding-day nail-polish color or get in a fight with your wedding planner? When it comes to wedding-planning posts, at what point does sharing become oversharing, especially before the big day has even happened?

"As a bride, just like with any other milestone life event, you need to stop and think before you post," says Jodi R.R. Smith of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting, "because there are a number of things that could be potentially hazardous to you and your event as you move forward." How much of the planning process you want to share on the Internet is inevitably a personal decision, but here are five things you should keep in mind about oversharing on social media before the big day.

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Consider Who's Seeing Your Posts

Unless you want all 900 of your Facebook friends at your wedding (856 of whom you haven't spoken to since college), you may want to pause before you share certain details. "The second you get engaged, the minute you put it on your feed, everyone who follows you assumes they're close enough to be invited to the wedding," says Smith. "Because they were included in the initial excitement, they now feel they should be included in the event." Save sharing any specifics about the wedding (like the date and location) until you send save-the-dates; that way, only the people who are actually invited will know to show up at the event.

Realize You May Be Offending People

Remember how crappy it felt in high school when you didn't get invited to someone's Sweet 16? Even though you thought you two were close? And then you had to listen to everyone talk about it during lunch? For some of your Facebook and Instagram friends, that's what it will feel like when they realize they didn't make the cut for your big day. "Every time you post something, it's a reminder they're not included," says Smith. To avoid any hurt feelings, Smith suggests using technology to your advantage to create a private Facebook group or text thread so you can easily share any intimate details with your nearest and dearest, and anyone who's not going to be invited won't feel left out.

Maintain a Little Bit of Mystery

As far as things to look forward to on a wedding day go, the big dress/cake/venue reveals are some of the most exciting parts (aside from committing to spend the rest of your lives with someone you love, that is). "If a bride posts everything—every dress fitting, cake tasting, meeting with her wedding planner—there are really no surprises," says Smith. "As a bride, you don't want people to have wedding fatigue by the time they get to your event." Smith suggests posting about the wedding once every other day at most; anything beyond that can be overkill.

Don't Be Negative

It's no secret that wedding planning is stressful, and at times there will be things you'll want to complain about to anyone who will listen, but a social-media page is not the right place to air your grievances. "Getting resources and suggestions [from social media] can be good," says Smith, "but be careful about writing something that's specifically negative, like 'I went to this bakery and that was disgusting.'" There are many, many ways it can backfire on you (like if you end up having to order the "disgusting" cake you posted about for whatever reason), and it will end up sending some pretty major bridezilla vibes out into the community.

Make Sure You and Your Fiancé Are on the Same Page

This advice should go for the entire planning process (and for the relationship as a whole, really), but the two of you should have an honest conversation about how much you want to share in regard to the event so that no one feels uncomfortable. "The guideline is that you default to being more private rather than more public," says Smith. "You can always add additional information at a later date and share more later on, but once info is out there, it's impossible to take it back."

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Brandon Hamilton's wedding

When it comes to wedding entertainment, the trends are always changing.

At my wedding on April 17, 2016, my beautiful wife Chelsey turned the reception into an epic performance. As a former Arizona Cardinals cheerleader, she gathered her girls and choreographed a dance. Not only did it entertain, it also energized the crowd. One of many ways to change up the reception flow.

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When it comes to technology, DJ's now have their hands on the best of the best technology.

"Keeping the crowd entertained is key. The one thing that has changed is everything is computerized and on hard drives. With technology now and access to apple music and other resources, it’s hard not to have a song that guests want," said Manny Torres, DJ with Push Play Entertainment.

We've all seen photo booths, but this is something new.

“It’s the same concept as a photo booth, but instead of photos we make flip books. We take a seven second video and turn it into a flip book, so it’s an interactive party favor that guests get to walk away with at the reception,” said Amy Wahl with Flip Book Memories.

Plus, there are always new ideas as far as guest books go.

“We are offering rustic wood themed guest boxes. Guests can write on the wood hearts and it can be displayed in the home for years to come," said Marc Pendergraft with Engrave My Memories.

Whether you choose a new trend or create your own idea, making your wedding unique is key.

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The Bridesmaid 'Ask'

As someone who half-heartedly struggles through any crafting activity, I agonized a bit over how to officially ask my bridal party. I hoped to invite my favorite ladies to be part of my big day in a fun and creative way. But due to social media examples of insanely beautiful and original ideas (thanks but no thanks Pinterest), I was feeling the pressure.

Wedding Essentials Omaha // Bride Blogger // Miss Rose Gold // Katy Spratte // Brett Brooner Photography

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Fortunately, I realized that I'm lucky to have some quality individuals to stand by my side, who wouldn't care how they were requested. Creating some over-the-top, totally uncharacteristic bridesmaids box would be bizarre and unnecessary. Upon some reflection, I figured out I wanted to go with the classic "Will you help me tie the knot?" wording. From there, I paid a visit to "old faithful" aka the Kate Spade outlet at Nebraska Crossing. I found a simple rose gold bangle with a bow (which would match my ring and wedding accent color), so I scooped up 7 of those pretties.

My next step was to reach out to my friend Christina, who is an insanely talented custom cookie baker, and founder at Sugar Chic Design in Omaha. I had originally hoped to ask them to help me "tie the knot" on an edible confection, but it would have too much going on on one sugar cookie. Christina experimented and realized she could write my bridesmaids names on cookies in rose gold glitter and it would look less cramped. She hand painted an elegant floral design onto a sparkly gold and white polka dot background, then added the rose gold script. I could not have been more pleased with how they turned out. Everyone raved about them!

My last move was to figure out how to package the bracelet and cookie in a cute, mailable way. I have a unique situation, where my lady friends live all over the country; I knew I'd have to ship parcels to Denver, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Rochester, Atlanta, Chicago, and one locally in Omaha. Luckily, my go-to Target (Tar-jay Boutique) did an amazing collaboration with Sugar Paper LA, which included these slate blue beauties that also happened to match my wedding color palette. I used extra gold foil tissue paper to make sure the cookies wouldn't break, and packed them into padded envelopes. The end result felt fun, but not too fussy, and they all said yes, so I'd call this a success!

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Wedding Tips

When it comes to your wedding, we're sure you want to be in the best shape ever - from head to toe. And one slightly temperamental feature, that we're sure you're concerned about, is your skin. If you want it to look flawless and glowing on your wedding, we can help. Here are a few ways to get your skin in the best shape.

Drink water, LOTS of it.

Sure, you've been told to drink water since you were a kid. But when it comes to your skin and your body on the whole, water works like magic. The best thing you can do, to get the skin of your dreams for your wedding day, is to stay hydrated. Water helps in all essential bodily processes, and prevents issues like acne and dry skin. So keep a bottle handy all the time before, and after your wedding.

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Stick to a skincare routine that you are sure works for you.

While we're all for experimenting when it comes to wardrobe and make-up, stay away from experimentation when it comes to your skin. If you have a skincare routine that you know works for you, stick to it. Also, if you have problem areas, make sure you pay extra attention while taking care of them, pre-wedding.

Stay away from food that messes with your skin.

Another thing to take control of, to get flawless skin for your wedding, is to make sure you eat the right kind of food. If you're aware of certain foods that cause you to break out, or affect your skin negatively, stay away from them. Stick to food that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, like berries, dark chocolate and fish like salmon, to mention a few.

Take a break from make-up sometimes.

In the time leading up to your wedding, give yourself a few make-up free days. Give your skin some time to breathe, instead of clogging up your pores. The days of your wedding ceremonies are going to be make-up heavy anyway, so in order to prevent any sudden breakouts or skin problems, keep your skin clear of any products. Pat on a tinted moisturiser with SPF, if you need to. And if you are wearing make-up, make sure to remove it completely, at the end of the day, and gently cleanse your face as well.

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Winter Carnival

Every outfit had a story Thursday night at the Snowflake Costume Fashion Show at the Boscov’s auditorium at the Fairlane Village mall.

The 17 high school juniors competing in the 50th annual Greater Pottsville Winter Carnival carefully picked out what they wore Thursday to express their personalities and impress the judges.

But first, each contestant came on stage and pulled a random question for the 2016 Snowflake Princess Rachael Cataldo to ask them.

In response to what superpower she would choose to have, Kathryn McCarthy, Mahanoy Area, said she would like the ability to fly.

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“It would be neat to see the world from a new perspective,” McCarthy said.

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She later came out dressed in black with a gold skirt to represent the “golden anniversary” of the Winter Carnival. She also is a cheerleader for the Mahanoy Area Golden Bears and a member of the golf team, she said.

“I have a golden love for the sport because of my dad,” she said. “He’s my biggest fan.”

McCarthy said that the Winter Carnival is an experience she will never forget.

“The memories and friends I made here will stay with me through my golden years,” she said.

Corrine Ellis, Minersville, was asked what she would tell her younger self if she could travel through time.

“The advice I would give to myself would be to be more involved in extracurricular activities,” she said.

Ellis later appeared on stage with a ukulele and performed a song that she wrote.

“Recently, I decided to write a song and with my sister’s help, we came up with the melody,” Ellis said.

Ellis said that her melody in life is the many activities she is involved in, like cheerleading and cross country, while her family and friends are her harmony.

“With those two things together, every day is a song and my life is an entire symphony,” she said.

Samantha Puzzi, Blue Mountain, was asked about the one place in the county she would take a family member or friend visiting the area for the first time.

“I would take them to Hawk Mountain because it is one of my favorite places in Schuylkill County, and I believe it is where you can really appreciate the beauty of Schuylkill County,” Puzzi said.

Puzzi then came back on stage wearing cheap wedding dresses coat and black slacks. She recited a quote from Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for women’s education who was the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 at the age of 17, and said that she inspired her to pursue a career in politics.

“She has inspired me to not just go into my career field but to help others while I do it,” she said.

Kassandra Kuperavage, Pottsville, was asked to tell the audience about a quality that sets her a part from her friends.

“The one quality that sets me a part from my friends is definitely being more outgoing and always being on the move and always getting my group of friends involved in things,” Kuperavage said.

She later showed off various shoes as they pertain to her life. She brought her sneakers for volleyball, the cleats she wore when she had the game-winning hit in a 13-inning game against Pine Grove, and the shiny silver heels she will be wearing at the coronation pageant.

“No matter the outcome, this experience will truly be one I don’t forget,” she said. “Thank you Winter Carnival for 50 years of memories.”

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What wedding?

It wasn't until after another routine opening-round beatdown that Serena Williams offered a startling glimpse into the ruthlessly compartmentalized mindset that accompanies her to the Grand Slams.

She was engaged recently to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, but said she wasn't going to fully process the life-changing, milestone event -- until February.


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"I guess it feels good," Williams said in her postmatch press conference. "I really haven't thought about it too much, because I wasn't even really going to think about it until after the tournament.

"I just kept saying that February I'll start looking at the bigger picture of my life."

For now, the smaller picture is winning a seventh title at the Australian Open.

The evidence, the early returns of the nascent 2017 season, suggested Serena's first-round match would be taxing.

Swiss teenager Belinda Bencic was a top-10 player a year ago, but injuries contrived to leave her unseeded here at the Australian Open. They had split their previous two meetings and, considering Serena's advanced age (35), there was some plausibility in those questions echoing around the grounds at Melbourne Park.

With temperatures creeping into the mid-90s Tuesday, Williams burned even hotter, comfortably ruining Bencic 6-4, 6-3 at Rod Laver Arena.

Shame on all the cynics, the skeptics, the haters -- and you know who you are -- who doubted Serena's motivation. By now, after all these years, we shouldn't be terribly surprised.

There were questions about her extended offseason as well as her work ethic and preparedness after going out early in Auckland, New Zealand, and committing a zany 88 unforced errors.

We can report (this just in) that Williams is now a tidy 65-1 in first-round matches at Grand Slams. And while there are wildly differing qualities of victory, mark this one in the category of surpassingly solid.

Serena repeatedly bludgeoned Bencic's not-good-enough serve, taking some first offerings from a position a foot inside the baseline. The second serve?

Don't ask.

Williams made a handful of sublime shots, including a running, sliced backhand winner late in the first set that had no business landing in the court.

"I didn't come here to lose in the first round, or the second round, or at all," Williams said in her pretournament news conference. "If I can play the way I've been practicing, it will be fine."

Sure enough, that's just what happened. We should have known.

Serena, a six-time Aussie Open champion, has developed a remarkable reputation here. Since 1999, she has never lost before the third round.

Losing to Angelique Kerber here in last year's final set in motion her season-long struggle to maintain the No. 1 ranking. If she can get to the final here, she'll have a chance to reclaim it. Kerber, for the record, looked a little sketchy Monday, dropping a set on her way to the second round.

Serena's second-round match Thursday, naturally, seems fraught with all kinds of peril. She'll play 2015 French Open finalist Lucie Safarova, also a one-time Wimbledon semifinalist and Australian Open quarterfinalist.

Safarova, for what it's worth, should have a healthy supply of belief after saving a staggering nine match points in her first-round victory over Yanina Wickmayer.

Yes, the sky is falling all over again. How can Serena possibly rise to yet another potentially daunting occasion?

Clearly, she lives for this kind of shrill hysteria.

"Right now," she said, "I'm just so focused that this is kind of all I can think about."

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Same-Sex Wedding

Two Christian artists who create hand-painted invitations and cards could be facing jail time and heavy penalties for refusing to make invitations for same-sex weddings.

Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, owners of art design studio Brush & Nib, challenged an ordinance in Phoenix, Arizona that prohibits them from refusing clients for same-sex weddings. Under the same ordinance, they are also not allowed to discuss their convictions or the reason for not accepting clients for same-sex weddings.

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If they should violate these laws, they would be imprisoned for six months for every day they fail to comply. They would also be fined $2,500, according to Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Kristen Waggoner, who appeared on Fox’s ‘The Kelly File’ last week to talk about the case.

Duka and Koski filed a lawsuit against Phoenix for violating their rights to create art according to their religious beliefs and for preventing them from talking to others about their art and religious beliefs.

On September, a trial court judge refused to suspend the ordinance against them, saying “the purpose of a wedding invitation is simply to convey the details of the date, time, and place of the wedding and to identify the persons getting married.”

Waggoner said that the government should not force Duka and Koski and other artists to create something that is not consistent with their convictions under threat of jail time.

“This case involves artistic expression. The issue here is whether the government can force artists to create art in violation of their convictions,” Waggoner explained. “And this ordinance imposes jail time potentially on artists, as well as fines — six months for every day that Joana and Brianna are not in compliance. We don’t force artists to create artistic expression under threat of jail time.”

Waggoner also said the ordinance prohibits Duka and Koski from talking about their views about marriage, which is why she was the one who appeared on the show instead of them.

“If they in any way, directly or indirectly, suggest that they may have beliefs that are based on marriage between one man and one woman, they can face the six months in jail for every single day they’re incompliant. It’s an extreme penalty,” she said.

However, in a voice recording played on the program, Phoenix Vice Mayor Kate Gallego said the city is determined to protect the ordinance for economic reasons.

“You’ve seen companies such as PayPal leave communities that don’t stand up for all of their residents. Major events like The Final Four will not come to communities that discriminate. So this ordinance is an important economic development tool and we will protect it,” Gallego said.

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