Monday, November 28, 2011

The most expensive weddings

When the Business Insider is doing an article on weddings, you know there's a crap-ton of money involved. They list the 12 most expensive weddings ever (some adjusted for inflation), and here they are from "cheapest" to most expensive. 

12. Catharine Zeta-Jones & Michael Douglas - They spent $1.5 million dollars in 2005; $1.6 million when adjusted for inflation.

11. Katie Holmes & Tom Cruise - $2 million in 2006; $2.2 million when adjusted for inflation.

10. Christina Aguilera & Jordan Bratman - Money does not buy eternal togetherness - the two are now divorced. In 2005 their wedding cost $2 million, or $2.2 million when adjusted for inflation.

9. Elizabeth Hurley & Arun Nayar - It seems like Hurley changes men frequently, so it seems short-sighted to me that her multi-cultural wedding that ended in divorce cost $2.5 million in 2007, or $2.6 million when adjusted for inflation. (click the link for their wedding photos)

8. Heather Mills & Paul McCartney - proof that money can buy misery. In 2002 their wedding costs were $3 million dollars, or $3.6 when adjusted for inflation. That's $1 million more than #9! Of course you know they were divorced and McCartney recently remarried.

7. Elizabeth Taylor & Larry Fortensky - in 1991 they she paid $2.5 million; adjusted for inflation, that's $4 million. (click the link for their wedding details) The two divorced soon after.

6. Liza Minelli & David Gest - Their wedding cost $3.5 million in 2002, or $4.2 million when adjusted for inflation. Marriage ended in divorce. 

Now, with pictures!

5. Chelsea Clinton & Marc Mezvinsky - she's the former President's daughter, and he's an investment banker. It's no wonder that that their wedding cost a shocking $5 million dollars. 

4. Coleen McLoughlin & Wayne Rooney - WHO? Wayne Rooney is the highest-paid footballer (soccer player) ever, and Coleen McLoughlin is the working-class woman who married him. Their wedding cost - ready? - $8 million dollars! Guests were treated to time on a yacht, and five-star hotels during their stay in Italy. 

3. Kate Middleton & Prince William - I don't have to explain who they are, or how big their wedding was, right? Expensive wedding #4 cost $8 million, while this one cost $34 million dollars. $34 million.

2. Vanisha Mittal & Amit Bhatia - Step aside, British peasants, this wedding cost $60 million in 2005, or $66 million when adjusted for inflation. She's the daughter of a steel magnate, he's a big time banker. They had five days of wedding merriment, and invitations presented in silver boxes. 

1. Lady Diana & Prince Charles - in 1981 their wedding cost $48 million. Adjusted for inflation, that's $110 million. These numbers are becoming meaningless. I don't even understand how I could get an event to cost $110 million. Even with their back-up wedding cakes and 25 ft. taffeta train, it still seems like an absurd amount to pay for a wedding. Of course, it was an absurd amount because the two divorced in the fashion of a true royal scandal.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Wedding at Henson Studios!

I am crazy excited about the upcoming Muppets movie, and totally in love with everything about this cute wedding. It took place at Jim Henson Studios in Hollywood, and was shot by Megan Finley Photography (check her site for more photos and better descriptions).

Here's the cute couple.

Each table had a pop-culture themed centerpiece.

Then they had California's favorite - In-N-Out.

And a Star Wars-themed cake with a light sabre cake cutter. !!!

Here's the couple again with their own personalized Muppets.

Are puppets the new zombies/vampires? Because that would be fun!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Twilight wedding product tie-ins

I am one of three people in the US who has not read or seen anything Twilight, so you'll have to correct me if I get my facts wrong here.

First, Hallmark is selling the Swan/Cullen wedding invitations. You can personalize them to make them your own, but here's an example of THE invitation that the fictional characters sent out for their wedding.

It's...boring. Sorry. I don't get why you would send this as your invitation unless you just don't care.

In addition to the dull (opposite of sparkly, y/y?) wedding invitation, you can buy a lot of other Twilight stationery. 

Mothers, if you get your teenage daughter this card, she'll feel like you finally understand her.

If you're looking for a wedding-day hair accessory that counts as something blue AND something pop-culture, you'll like this hair comb from Hot Topic. 

I think it's pretty! I don't know if it looks cheap in real life, but it would look nice with a messy up-do.

If you really really want to emulate the Twilight wedding, you'll love this gown from Alfred Angelo

I'd like it more if it had lace sleeves like Kate Middleton's gown. I think satin sleeves look like they don't fit right unless you get the impeccable tailoring.

You might remember my previous Twilight post (nearly two years ago!) where I posted early sketches of the gown. The book describes the dress as a 1900s-era wedding gown. I don't think it looks like a 1900s-era gown at all. 

Here's the trailer for the movie so you can see the really beautiful ceremony scene. I love all the white hanging flowers..

Serious question: does she EVER close her mouth? She's super pretty, but CLOSE THAT MOUTH.

If you spy any other Twilight-inspired wedding stuff, please let me know!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Shark fin soup seen at fewer Hong Kong weddings

Shark fin soup is a customary wedding dish in China - serving it honors the wedding guests, and it is seen as a symbol of wealth and prestige.

The problem with shark fin soup is that the shark catches are not tracked, so there's the possibility that the fins come from an endangered species. In addition, shark finning is a brutal practice; sharks are caught, their fins are cut from their bodies, and then they are thrown, live, back into the ocean. Obviously, sharks cannot survive without their fins.

Currently, there's a lot of pressure to remove shark fin soup from restaurant and wedding menus, and it might be effective. Several social campaigns are running against the soup tradition:

-Several hotels offer discounts, cheaper room rates, and other incentives for couples that choose not to serve shark fin at their wedding celebrations.

-One online campaign calls on wedding guests to reduce cash gifts by about a third for couples who select the dish.

-Last year campaigners persuaded Citibank Hong Kong to withdraw a promotion offering new credit card holders discount on a shark fin dinner.

- On the mainland Yao Ming, the Chinese NBA star, has appeared in a well-received campaign to end finning, the practice of removing a shark's highly valued fins and dumping what is left into the sea.

Yao Ming and his bride. Keep reading for Mingossip.

Finally, the soup is dropping in popularity.

The manager of one Sheung Wan wholesaler, who asked not to be named, said traders were beginning to feel the impact of the environmental campaign. "Sales are dropping and I think that is down to the campaign," he said. The manager's firm sells between three and four tonnes of shark fin a month.

But there are pockets of resistance, particularly among older people, who still regard eating shark fin as a means of expressing their Chinese identity.

"At weddings you have different people sitting around the same table," says Shea. "Young people understand the problem and want to do something about it, but at some point their parents stop them."

"The Chinese tradition of eating shark fin will be maintained, but will increasingly come from sustainable fisheries," says Lim, a prominent member of Hong Kong's marine products association. Chinese people and traditions do make an easy and readily identifiable target for largely western campaigners. But many western campaigners who are seriously interested in promoting the sustainable use of sharks should look more closely at their home fisheries and the 'boneless' fish products that their children may be eating from the supermarket."

Shark finning seems brutal, and lawless, so I understand the cries to regulate it. I also agree with the sentiment that Westerners/Americans should get their own practices right before criticizing another culture. Everyone's a hypocrite - maybe even Yao Ming. Reports from his wedding state that shark fin was served at his own wedding in 2007 - after he spoke out against shark finning.

It's impossible to expect an immediate change in cultural practices. Hopefully they'll figure out a sustainable way to show status before they wipe out any tasty, tasty shark species, because I doubt this deeply-rooted culture will disappear in time to save any species from extinction.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Interesting date creates dearth of good wedding stories

Between K.Kardashian, the 11/11/11 wedding date FREAK OUT, and Twilight, all the wedding stories are well-covered. What do you want from me?

Oh, right, weird stuff. Okay, here's some stuff from the past:

Everyone loves/d Steve Jobs, but who likes Bill Gates? ME. The man's a philanthropist. He's the Princess Diana of the tech world, y/y? (HAHA. Don't write me hate mail)

Unfortunately, wedding photos of Bill and Melinda Gates seem to be under lock and key, so here's a fun fact about their engagement:

Bill proposed marriage to Melinda in 1993 when he "secretly diverted a chartered plane they were taking home from Palm Springs one Sunday night to land in Omaha. Warren Buffett met them there, arranged to have a jewelry store open, and helped them pick a ring."

It sounds surreal to me, but they probably just called it Tuesday.

Here they are, healing babbies with their hands.

Henry Rollins officiated a wedding ceremony (off an iPad; sorry Bill!) at the Austin, TX Fun Fun Fun Fest:

He was probably saying important things, but I just like to look at him. Oh, Hank.

No post is complete without a funny picture. In July, a man was arrested after running onto the field during a baseball game. He was wearing a wedding dress.

Here's the happy-ish couple.

Good luck to all you 11-11-11 brides! Next year, good luck getting a dinner reservation at the nice restaurant in town.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Groom sues photographer for the cost of his wedding

Todd J. Remis is so disgruntled over the loss of a few key wedding photographs, that he's suing the photographer for the cost of his services, and the cost of the entire wedding. Need more proof that this guy's an asshole? The marriage ended in divorce, and the bride returned to her native Latvia. If you needed another reason to feel protective of the photography studio: one of the photography studio's founders is an immigrant Army veteran, and the studio has been in business for nearly 65 years.

From the article:
But what is striking, said the studio that took the pictures, is that Mr. Remis’s wedding took place in 2003 and he waited six years to sue. And not only has Mr. Remis demanded to be repaid the $4,100 cost of the photography, he also wants $48,000 to recreate the entire wedding and fly the principals to New York so the celebration can be re-shot by another photographer.

The happy, totally-legit couple.

Re-enacting the wedding may pose a particular challenge, the studio pointed out, because the couple divorced and the bride is believed to have moved back to her native Latvia.

Although Justice Doris Ling-Cohan of State Supreme Court in Manhattan dismissed most of the grounds for the lawsuit, like the “infliction of emotional distress,” she has allowed the case to proceed to determine whether there was indeed a breach of contract. But she displayed a good deal of amusement about the lawsuit’s purpose in an opinion in January that quoted lyrics from the Barbra Streisand classic “The Way We Were.”

This is a case in which it appears that the ‘misty watercolor memories’ and the ‘scattered pictures of the smiles ... left behind’ at the wedding were more important than the real thing,” the judge wrote. “Although the marriage did not last, plaintiff’s fury over the quality of the photographs and video continued on.”

I hope that this bullshit lawsuit peters out, and that the photography studio counter-sues for legal costs. It's a shame that they even have to humor this guy.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor's jewelry auction

Elizabeth Taylor's jewelry is going to auction. Since we've looked at all of her wedding gowns, it's interesting to see that jewelry up close. It's BIG. I mean, really big. As enormous and glamorous as her jewelry looked on, it looks even bigger and sparklier (it's a word) off.

This is the Elizabeth Taylor Diamond. Can you imagine wearing this on your hand? You'd need a push cart just to keep your arm from getting tired. It's a 33.19 carat diamond, given to Taylor from Richard Burton.

This is the Mike Todd Tiara. I think I'll start naming all of my jewelry. Mike Todd was Taylor's third husband.

This necklace features the Taj Mahal Diamond (okay, seriously, naming jewelry is weird), and it was also a gift from Richard Burton. I like this one - it's very romantic.

This one was also a gift from Richard Burton. It has a name, but I'm tired of the names so look it up.

This one is my favorite. The color is so deep and velvety. This was - surprise! - a gift from Richard Burton.

Last one - another piece from Mike Todd.

What do you think? Yes, it's all very beautiful and extravagant, but would you wear any of this jewelry? I certainly wouldn't. I favor small, simple jewelry, but I still appreciate intricate, delicate jewelry with sparkly stones.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Wedding vs. Marriage

Here's a wedding story that will help us to all feel more smug about judging those IT'S MY WEDDING!!! people.

Narcissists want weddings, not marriage.

...It is our own entitlement that causes us to obsess over a one-day event. While couples are waiting to get married until their late 20s and early 30s, they may rush into the engagement and wedding planning, McWade said."We all have a degree of narcissism," McWade said. "It can be triggered by an event like this; then people get very warped."

Not every wedding turns into a narcissistic circus, and they aren't all about the expense.

"The wedding is, on the one hand, a healthy way of making a public commitment to each other and acknowledging that you're part of a web of family and friends that helps to nourish the relationship," said Stephen Fabick, a consulting psychologist who specializes in conflict resolution. "But on the other hand, it preps like a cancer, where the focus is on the show and not the long-term or reality of the relationship."

crazy bitch hat

"The emphasis today is largely on the wedding and not on the marriage," she said. "Because you're getting married, people think you're entitled to opulence." And when the wedding becomes about "me" instead of "we" or "her big day" and not "our big day," it can be a warning sign that perhaps this is a union best avoided.

Surviving the task of planning a wedding together and ultimately living together for years and years means being able to support each other during basic decisions or rough patches. Couples who have dated for less than a year often can't even ride out small conflicts or navigate differences, McWade said.

After sitting with couples through countless meetings with lawyers as they face down the disappointment of divorce, McWade has a few tips for entering into a marriage that works. Namely, she doesn't believe that people should become engaged before a year of dating.

"You should know that person for a year and not just get caught up in the hormones, because a lot of the attraction is very physical, but that does not mean that people are able to live together for the rest of their lives,"

Second only to addiction, McWade claims, narcissism is the ultimate relationship killer and a significant factor in many of the divorce cases she has witnessed.

Narcissists lack self-esteem and live in an internal world, one that they can attract another person to and form a relationship around because they can read other people and manipulate them. It becomes a parasitic relationship, with all of the affection going to the narcissist, McWade said.

"The best type of relationship is one where people are really independent on their own, and then they get together to share their experiences and love for each other," she said. "That they have full lives on both sides and that both people are pretty balanced on each side, and to be able to maintain that for a year -- that's the best."

This article was written in response to the Kardashian divorce news that shocked the world as much as blue skies and green grass.