Monday, August 31, 2009

Japanese Wedding Customs

I'm going to do something a bit different for the next few weeks. This week, I'm going to explore some wedding customs from around the world. I hope you enjoy!

First, what is Shinto?
Shinto is a general term for the activities of the Japanese people to worship all the deities of heaven and earth, and its origin is as old as the history of the Japanese.

Shinto is characterized by the worship of nature, ancestors, polytheism, and animism, with a strong focus on ritual purity, involving honoring and celebrating the existence of Kami (spirits). Shinto is a religion in where practice (actions) and ritual are of the utmost importance rather than words.

A couple enters the shrine

When a Japanese couple gets engaged, the man may give his fiancee an engagement ring, but the couple also exchanges nine lucky objects to symbolize their happiness:

Awabi (abalone): for good wishes
Kinpo-zutsumi: a ceremonial amount of money
Katsuabushi (dried bonito) and surume (dried cuttlefish): preserved foods that symbolize lasting quality
Yanagidaru: cash specifically for purchasing sake (rice wine)
Suehiro: a fan as a symbol of happiness
Konbu: kelp to ensure fertility and a healthy family
Tomoshiraga: linen thread to signify strong ties in married life
Mokuroku: a list of the lucky objects

The bride and groom are dressed in white and black silk

Traditional Shinto Style Ceremony:

The Shinto ceremony takes place at a shrine, performed before a Shinto sanctuary and conducted by a Shinto priest. Many hotels and restaurants are equipped with a special room with miniature Shinto shrines located inside where the couple can perform their marriage vows to the 'Kamisama' (god). The ceremony first begins by purifying the couple. After the purification and vows are performed the bride and groom exchange cups of sake (rice wine) in the 'san-san-kudo' (three-times-three) ceremony as part of their wedding vows that symbolizes not only the union of two people, but also the uniting of two families. To close the ceremony, symbolic offerings of small tree twigs called sakaki are given to the 'Kamisama'

Most guests wear Western attire

I would never survive the sake drinking part of the ceremony because I am a lightweight. Halfway through, I would wander off, and start poking people (I like touching things!), asking silly questions, and starting a Shinto shrine brawl (I also have a big mouth).

The wedding costumes are beautiful, and they have such a lovely setting for their nuptuals!

All photo credits go to Patrick Leong from China. Xie xie!


Friday, August 28, 2009

The most expensive weddings bands

If you want to hire a celebrity band for your wedding, then you're probably really loaded. Can I come?

Here's a list of the cost to hire a famous band for your wedding. It was compiled by a British TV station and translated into US Dollars by yours truly:

1. The Rolling Stones up to $8,250,000
2. Sir Elton John up to $3,300,000
3. Kylie Minogue up to $3,300,000 (obviously, this is a UK list)
4. Christina Aguilera up to $2,475,000
5. George Michael $2,145,000
6. Amy Winehouse $1,650,000 (not to be a jerk, but...really?)
7. Sir Paul McCartney $1,650,000
8. Leona Lewis $1,650,000 (who?)
9. Jennifer Lopez $1,650,000
8. Barry Manilow $1,237,500

According to the article, you could hire Rick Astley to rickroll your wedding for a mere $41,250.

Did you click? You didn't really click that, did you?



John Krasinski is engaged to Emily Blunt. I know I'm married, but you might remember that Jim Halpert/John Krasinski is my #1 husband choice after my actual husband. No, I don't know that there's a difference between the two.

Oh, hai! My hand is giant and a little Vulcan.

The Office star, 29, and actress, 26, who have been dating since November 2008, are engaged, his rep confirms to PEOPLE. "We can confirm that John and Emily are engaged," says the rep.

The couple have kept their relationship under wraps, arriving separately at the 2009 SAG Awards in January and enjoying low-key dates in Los Angeles – including a double date with Blunt's The Devil Wears Prada costar Anne Hathaway and her beau Adam Shulman.

He's a little secretive, so if he were to suddenly change his mind and decide to wait for me, we could have a simple wedding. We'd invite all of our friends to our palatial estate for a bbq, and SURPRISE! we're havin' a wedding.

Enough about me, congratulations to them both! I hope they have an easier time planning a wedding than Jim and Pam do.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Otaku/Geek Wedding!!!

Someone sent me this link with the commentary Getting married under a 60 ft. robot = win.

I totally agree! Japanese culture + wedding + giant freaking robot = today's otaku wedding

The article doesn't specify their names, but this bride and groom beat over 500 other contestants to have the geek wedding of their dreams. Thousands of people turned up to watch these two Gundam fanatics get married.

Here's the happy family. The couple has two children and a baby named Seira (the article says this is a name from Gundam, but a Google search brings up Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch Pure)

Here is is! The giant robot! You can just make out the fluffy white gown between his giant robot feet. His left shoulder announces that Japan is a potential city for the 2016 Olympics, but he was built to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise.


This has exploded all over the internet, so I'm sure more details will be out soon. I'd love to see the invitations, reception, and more details about the couple. Congrats to them!


I usually do a vintage celebrity wedding or a celebrity wedding on Thursday, but I've got something cooking that will quench your black and white wedding photo needs. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pet Shop Boys incite violence at wedding

A DJ hired to spin at a Bedouin wedding in [Israel] was beaten up for playing Western music. Some guests apparently felt the tunes encouraged lewdness in the women, according to a report in Monday’s edition of the Maariv daily. The DJ initially put on Arabic numbers for the hundreds of guests attending the event in Aroer village in Israel’s Negev Desert region.

He then decided to stir things up and put on a song by the British electronic music duo the, causing some women to “dance exuberantly to the foreign music,” the paper said, and angering some of the men.

“The fact that women were dancing at the wedding goes against tradition and is a dishonor to their husbands,” the paper quoted one guest as saying. Several angry young men gave the DJ a “severe beating” after he refused to go back to playing Arabic music. Police later arrested two men in connection with the incident.

The DJ was later heard asking "What have I done to deserve this?" It really seems like he could have predicted the outcome to playing Western music in a strictly religious wedding. If he was intentionally trying to incite them, the Pet Shop Boys were the perfect choice, if you know what I mean...


Just to clarify, in NO WAY am I implying that the DJ deserved a beating. Last I checked physical violence is forbidden in most religions, so these people should practice what they preach.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bicycle wedding from Russia (with love)

This is the last of the Russian weddings (for now). This one takes place on bicycles.

The way they're dressed is very cute. If the dress code is semi-casual formal, a tuxedo shirt is the best way to go. He's even got tails!

Her legs are muddy from the ride, but she still looks great.


Monday, August 24, 2009

I've been following for as long as I can remember wasting time on the internet. I love the hilarious translations and unfortunate misspellings. Check this one out:

Time goes. Tha't it
marriage is for when you
life is not so



My post last week about the 99 Cents Only Store promotion mentioned In-N-Out. If you don't know what In-N-Out is, you probably won't care, but it's a SoCal obsession. Animal Style fries are my vice. Anyway, it got me thinking about In-N-Out for a wedding. I'm sure there's some obsessed fan out there who had them cater a wedding right? RIGHT!

Awesome Sauce!!!

Photos from Ashley Rose Photography

I know nothing about this wedding, but all I need to know is that these people were cool enough to have In-N-Out cater their wedding!

And here is where I have an excuse to talk about my favorite local fast food chain. Their fries are an acquired taste. If you don't like them at first, keep eating. Eventually you will realize that they are actually superior to most fries. If you don't eat meat, you can get a grilled cheese, and if you don't eat carbs either you can get a grilled cheese protein style - it's basically a mini, portable salad. Get everything except your milkshake animal style. Animal style is Californian for "Made In Heaven"


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Update on the Star Trek Wedding

Remember the Star Trek wedding contest that I wrote about a while back? Apparently they weren't the only winners. Multiple couples were chosen to have Star Trek weddings in different towns (I'm assuming). Alissa Mellis and Justin Gruba won the Detroit wedding, and they're getting married today! Congratulations, you two!

Apparently they're getting some grief because their wedding isn't geeky enough. They're not dressing up like Star Trek characters, and the guests aren't dressing up either. They are having satellite-themed centerpieces and "spacey" invitations. I think it looks great. And good for them for not giving in to others.

I hope the final pictures come out soon - I seriously can't wait to see those centerpieces!


Friday, August 21, 2009

Goth Russian wedding

I previously posted some pictures from a very simple Russian wedding, and today I bring you the opposite - a goth wedding from Moscow. This couple is mesmerizing. Her extreme hairstyle was all I could see when I first looked at these photos - I didn't even notice the dress. The two looks play off each other nicely and they look really....cute? together. Maybe they don't want to be called cute, but they both have very youthful baby faces, so I'm sticking with cute.


He looks like he's from space and she looks like she's from Hell. I mean that in the most complimentary way because I'm in love with both of them. I love the normalcy that surrounds them - family, a baby, and a pleasantly decorated room.

That hair! It's so extreme for a woman to shave her head like that. He looks smitten.

When I finally stopped staring at her hair, I finally noticed her amazing dress. I think this is my all-time favorite goth wedding dress. SHE HAS A BUSTLE. I love bustles (though I don't need one), and the layers of satin and lace and ruffles are beautiful. The bustle with the corset with the little train and fitted all creates an interesting silhouette. Oh, there's a groom there too. He looks striking in all white and his ruffly shirt.

This is my favorite picture - monster face.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward

How can you not love these two? They lived outside of the Hollywood stereotype of serial monogamy and stayed married for over 50 years!

This photo is so painfully beautiful, I don't even have words to describe it. It makes me feel safe for some reason. What? It DOES.

The two met in 1953 when they were working on a Broadway play together - he was married, she was not. His first wife was named Jackie Witte; she and Newman had three children together. Shortly after the divorce was final, Newman and Woodward were married.

The ceremony took place on January 29, 1958 in Las Vegas at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas (one of the first strip resorts; now a Hilton property)

They look so...normal. Everything seems really unpretentious. I think these photos fit their persona - normal, loving couple. She looks really beautiful in a simple kind of way. She might be your cousin or aunt. I love giant collars on women - I need to find out what that style is called. Simple jewelry, no veil or elaborate lace concoction. He has a single white chrysanthemum in his lapel. Seriously, it doesn't get any more down to earth than this. I admire them both for their charity work, and for finding the strength to stay together for so long.

Photos from Getty

They had three children together (a total of six for him) and stayed married until his death last year.


Reverend ditches wedding

An Elyria, Ohio couple almost couldn't get married on their wedding day due to a runaway reverend. The couple was preparing to get married on the beach at Lakeview beach in Lorain. "We were extremely excited," says Erin Kuhns.

But just before Erin went to meet her soon-to-be husband Bret at the alter, the Reverend approached the limo. "She asked if I drank alcohol," Erin explains. "I said yes, we toasted wine at the house." The Reverend Mrs. Gillian Kresila refused to marry the couple. She kept the $50 deposit and left the beach.

It was 4 p.m. and Erin was hysterical and Brett says, "I had no idea what was going on. No one would tell me. I just knew -- wedding -- not happening." Once he learned what had happened, he was relieved that his bride didn't runaway, but furious the reverend did. "I think it's ridiculous. We paid them and to deny service for no good reason, I can't believe a business would operate like that," Bret says.

Reverend Kresila says, "It's illegal to marry people who are under the influence in Ohio," and she could lose her license. She said, "She is not a doctor and can not tell how one drink affects one person or anther person." She said that is why they have a zero alcohol tolerance policy.

But Erin says they would not have had the toast if they had known the full policy. She says, "We were told not to, to drink. She said don't drink before the wedding, but she didn't say don't drink or I wont perform the ceremony."

According to the Ohio Revised Code: No marriage license shall be granted when either of the applicants is under the influence of an intoxicating liquor or controlled substance.

But Erin and Bret signed their license weeks before the ceremony at the courthouse. And Erin says she was not drunk. "A four ounce champagne glass was all I consumed that entire day," says Erin. "We are not partiers we're not that type of people."

The family scrambled and found a backup reverend to marry the couple and the new Mrs. and Mr. Kuhns had a beautiful day. They say, "Boy oh boy -- was it memorable!"

"We'll always have a story to tell about our wedding day to the kids and grandkids," sums up Erin.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Russian wedding photos

I'm fascinated by weddings from other countries, so I was thrilled to find these pictures. They're a gorgeous portrayal of a simple Russian wedding. It looks like a fun-filled, no-frills day.

I love the little girl's face in this last one - so cute.

More to come from this great site.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sonic Youth + Gossip Girl

I know some of you are Gossip Girl fans and some are Sonic Youth fans, so this is for you:

Gossip Girl exec producer Stephanie Savage is apparently a huge fan of the band [Sonic Youth] and told that ep 5 includes a very special event and "Sonic Youth" seemed to be the ideal musical guest for it. "It's a big event that involves Rufus and Lily. Just draw your own conclusions," she laughed.

To clarify, it's possible that SY will be performing on GG during a wedding scene (now known as a WS). IDK if you KWIM?


Scammer bride faces jail time

From CBS News: Everyone knows the price of weddings has gone through the roof, but one California bride, who needed $35,000 to cover the costs, hit on a novel idea … steal the money.

And that’s how the ultimate bridezilla wound up spending her wedding night in jail, according to the San Mateo County Times. She was arrested two nights before her nuptials, according to the paper.

A judge told Briana Nicole Balancier, 26, of San Mateo, Calif., she faces up to nine months in the county jail, but said the blushing bride-to-be could get out sooner if she returned the cash, the paper reported.

Perhaps Balancier can pay them back with a giant party, since according to the paper, the money was used to pay for the caterer, reception hall, DJ and photographer, and we know they rarely give refunds.

How did the scam work? The San Mateo Times reported that Balancier wrote a bum check from her day care business, Little Hearts, to herself. When the bank told her she had to wait for the check to clear, she wrote a phony fax saying the money was there. That gave her a few days breathing room to take roughly $20,000 from the bank. But when the check finally bounced, so did Balancier’s special night.

Balancier pleaded no contest to charges of forgery, grand theft and commercial burglary on Tuesday as part of a deal that would allow her to avoid a state prison sentence, Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe told reporters.

$35k in theft and fraud, all for a wedding? Clearly this bride has lost sight of the actual purpose of a wedding.


Monday, August 17, 2009

99 Cents Only Store wedding!

I love the $0.99 store, even though I spend WAY too much money there. My thought is always "Well, it's only a dollar!" so I end up with fifty somethings that I really don't need and before I know it I've spent a small fortune. But the concept of getting good stuff for cheap is enough to keep me coming back. If you love the bargain store like I do, you might like this:

Is planning your upcoming wedding too costly?

In this day where everyone is thinking about budget conscious wedding planning and do-it-yourself weddings, there is a rather unusual promotion going on in Los Angeles. If you want to get married and don't have the budget, consider a 99 cent wedding. Yes, you read that right. It seems the discount chain 99 Cents Only Stores has launched a rather unique new promotion. It will host weddings at one of its stores for a total cost of 99 cents. The weddings will take place at it's Wilshire/Fairfax location in Los Angeles, California on 9-9-09 also known as September 9th (or, as they call it the ‘Luckiest Day in the Year’).

According to the company’s website, an ordained minister will officiate at the ceremony, and all the decor will be created from items offered in the store.
Prospective couples have until 24 August to sign up for the deal.

Better hurry! But I think 99 Cents Only is exclusive to the West? Plus, in California we have In-N-Out. Sorry, other states.


Friday, August 14, 2009

The problem with having your wedding in a public park...

Is that sometimes the public is there. Demonstrated by this lovely PhotoBomb:

First, you'll probably notice the bride looking upset. Then, the girl on the left, laughing and pointing at the bride. Look closer...and notice the two nekkid butts behind the bride. Streakers!


Thursday, August 13, 2009

David Bowie and Iman get married

How many people are as gorgeous together as Iman and David Bowie?

The two had a ceremony and reception in Florence, Italy on June 6, 1992 in front of their friends and family, and a handful of other celebrities. They were wed earlier in Switzerland, but this was their big day.

There was a 50 minute ceremony at a church (I love them, but honestly, 50 minutes of ceremony!?) and then they left for a hotel reception with dinner, dancing, and watching fireworks from the hotel terrace.

Iman was born in Somalia, so her family wore traditional African dress to the event. It makes for wonderfully colorful wedding pictures:

Do I even need to comment that they look fabulous? There is some nineties style going on that dates the photos, but they are beautiful people. The huge white lilies are so elegant looking, and I love that her halter dress echoes in reverse the plunging V of his coat. They don't look so cozy in this picture because she's modeling in up instead of snuggling with her new husband, but they still look great.

David Bowie and Iman are still married and presumed devistatingly attractive.


Thanks to these sources.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Doves trapped in a park after a wedding

I HATE when people use animals for their wedding. HATE. I am using the word HATE. It's selfish. I don't like dove releases at weddings, and I don't like people using fish in their centerpieces. Again, SELFISH.

More than two dozen doves apparently released during a wedding were left clinging to life in a New York City park. A couple discovered the albino ringneck doves in Flushing Meadow Park in Queens over the weekend.

Rita McMahon of the Wild Bird Fund says such birds shouldn't be released. She says they usually haven't flown, are vulnerable to predators, don't know how to find food and can starve. Volunteers rescued some birds. City animal welfare workers also plan to check on them.

James Theurer, a Staten Island bird handler, says there are unscrupulous businessmen who buy doves at pet stores and release them at weddings. Theurer says wedding birds should be homing pigeons that are trained to return to their coops. That's what his business uses.
Those poor birds! I hope someone is punished for this.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Nerd alert - Star Trek wedding!

I'm glad that it has suddenly become somewhat cool to like Star Trek. I'm just going to come out and say it - I like Star Trek better than Star Wars. Hey, where are you going?

Brad and Kate met almost three years ago at a Star Trek convention in Chicago and last March got engaged on stage at a Star Trek convention in New Jersey. The couple was ecstatic when they learned of the opportunity to marry on the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise at The Franklin Institute. “Nothing would make us happier than to be able to pledge our lives to each other in the Star Trek universe, among our family, friends, and fellow Star Trek fans,” the couple stated in their contest entry.

Brad Siegel and Kate Erwin

[Sorry for the Press Release wording...] The Franklin Institute is partnering with WMMR-FM to give away the Star Trek wedding. The wedding package includes: exclusive use of STAR TREK: THE EXHIBITION for the ceremony, a private space inside The Franklin Institute for a four-hour reception, a wedding cake and champagne provided by Frog Commissary Catering, and two nights’ accommodations provided by The Independent Hotel in Center City Philadelphia.

[About the exhibition] Produced by Premier Exhibitions, Inc. and licensed from CBS Consumer Products, STAR TREK: THE EXHIBITION is a 12,500 square foot interactive exhibition containing the world’s most comprehensive collection of authentic Star Trek ships, costumes and props from over 40 years of Star Trek. Making its East Coast debut at The Franklin Institute, the Exhibition runs through September 20, 2009.

How exciting for them! I've read about weddings at Star Trek conventions and Klingon weddings, but this sounds like more fun (to me). I would love to put on my favorite dress and hang around a Star Trek exhibition (and the open bar) all night.


Monday, August 10, 2009

JoBros wait until after the wedding (to send gifts)

You're a fan of the Jonas Brothers, right? Me too! The, um, cute one is my favorite! Yay for him...Okay, I'll admit that I know very little about the Jonas Brothers, but this is sweet:

The Jonas Brothers have spent a small fortune on wedding gifts for strangers - because their fans often ruin newlyweds' big day. The trio inadvertently find themselves staying in hotels staging nuptials from time to time, and they always upset brides, grooms and angry mums.

Kevin Jonas explains, "We've had a couple of instances where there's been weddings going on during the time we're at the hotel... You get brides like, 'You've ruined my wedding.'"

Brother Nick adds, "A hundred to 12 hundred fans will show up outside the hotel... and the bride... her wedding's ruined, because there's just screaming fans the whole time and it just turns into a big mess.

"We've actually sent apology gifts to the bride and groom."


Monday Morning Snark

Time for some real-life awkward wedding photos courtesey of Awkward Family Photos. If the couples genuinely like these photos, then I'm happy for them, but...really?

I can see the photographer's direction now "Okay, now Groom - get under her dress so it looks like she's just given birth to a full-grown man!"

Groom! Look as uncomfortable as possible, and try not to laugh. I SAID DON'T LAUGH. Dad, touch your son's back in an awkward, yet encouraging manner. Mother of the Groom, try to look surprised. Mother of the Bride, look at the Groom as he STEALS YOUR BABY AWAY FROM YOU.

Hey, girl in the white dress! Do you think this day is about you?! Move off to the side while this important couple makes out. Gesundheit.

Happy Monday!


Friday, August 7, 2009

Robot bride

I've discussed my love for Halloween and geeks, but I haven't yet mentioned my love for robots! I love robots! This is probably why I love Japan so much - they love robots too. The latest robot is named HRP-4C, and she recently had a very special day:

Not too many brides walk down the aisle alone and to Billy Jean, but that HRP-4C, she's an original.

The HRP-4C robot, created by Kazuhito Yokoi of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, modeled wedding gowns created by fashion designer Yumi Katsura at a hotel Wednesday in Osaka, Kyodo News reported Thursday.

"I wanted to use it for fashion and entertainment," Yokoi said of his 5-foot-2 creation. The researcher stood by in a tuxedo as the 95-pound robot took small steps down the catwalk.

"I feel happy, and at the same time lonely, just like a bride's father," Yokoi said.

That statement makes me SO SAD. Don't worry Yokoi, your robot daughter will visit you on robot father's day and every other robot New Year. That is, if her robot mother-in-law doesn't mind.

Oh, robots. They make my heart happy.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Vintage wedding - elopement in Reno

Do you recognize this painfully gorgeous woman?

Her name is Yvonne DeCarlo - sometimes known as Lily Munster.

Yvonne DeCarlo was married only once in her life to Bob Morgan. They were married on November 21, 1955 when they decided to elope in Reno. Yvonne was given away by Rory Calhoun. (Just look at him! Walking like a little Rory Calhoun! 10 points to anyone who gets that)

Photo from Getty Images

She looks so tiny next to him! I don't know the precise details, but I can definitely tell this was a spur-of-the-moment type thing. While they both look glowy and hysterically happy, they're both quite casual - especially for 1955. Not that she needs anything to make her look beautiful. Again, PAINFULLY gorgeous. He's really handsome too - he looks so all-American.

The two met while working on a movie called Shotgun - she was one of the leads, and he was a stuntman. In 1962 Bob was seriously injured on the set of a movie -his legs were run over by a train. She stopped working to help him regain health until they realized that they could no longer live without an income. Their marriage had been rocky before the accident, but they grew closer as she nursed him back to health. The effect was only temporary though, and they divorced in 1968. They had two children together.

If you're interested, the Munsters ran from 1964-1966, but her biggest film role was in The Ten Commandments. She starred opposite Charlton Heston as Sephora, the wife of Moses.

Throughout her career Yvonne was linked to many famous men, but none more interesting (to me) than Howard Hughes.

If you're interested in learning more about Yvonne DeCarlo and her many amours, you can buy her autobiography. She specifically mentions 22 of her lovers including the Shah of Iran and a German baron. Get 'em girl!


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Not THAT viral wedding video

By now, I'm sure you've seen that viral wedding video that's been going around the tubes. Even my dad sent that one to me. It was cute, but this is more my speed:

I love these people! They do the sprinkler! And the groom faux butt slaps his bride in front of Grandma and everyone else.

From your favorite LA face with an Oakland booty,


A wedding trend from Japan - mini brides

The Japanese are well known for miniaturizing everything, and brides are no exception. These photos make the bride look like a tiny, palm-sized wife.

^ This one is super creepy.

Not sure I'd want this for my wedding, but Japan is so homogenized they seem to love anything different. And since the bride looks 'cute', I'm sure this fits right in with the obsession for all things kawaii.