Elizabeth Smart’s Super-Fast Wedding Plan Revealed
News from People Magazine:

Elizabeth Smart

Jim Urquhart/AP

While the average bride spends about 250 hours planning a wedding, Elizabeth Smart proved she is definitely not average, finalizing her wedding plans in record time.

Smart, 24, and Matthew Gilmour, 22, who have dated for a year, were engaged just last month. Smart initially expected to have a summer wedding but moved the date up two weeks ago.

“It’s everything you can imagine with planning a wedding,” Smart tells PEOPLE exclusively. “Only, it’s compressed into a few days.”

Smart spoke about child advocacy at a South Carolina function just days before she flew with her parents, Ed and Lois Smart, from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Hawaii to marry Gilmour. The private ceremony, attended by family, was held Saturday afternoon.  

PHOTOS: Elizabeth Smart’s Road to Happiness

With all the details of a destination wedding to arrange and manage, Smart laughed over trying to secu…………… continues on People Magazine

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show offers wedding planning needs
News from The Newark Advocate:

NEWARK — Mariah Thompson, 18, of Heath, didn’t know she was getting married until Zackery McElroy, a 2008 graduate of Licking Valley High School asked her the day before Valentine’s Day, which also was his birthday.

McElroy currently is in U.S. Army basic training at Fort Benning, Ga. The couple plans to be married May 15, before he gets assigned to a base.

That means Thompson has only three months to plan a wedding.

So, along with her mother, Kim Thompson, and her future mother-in-law, Lori Flanagan, they attended the Bridal Show 2012 at the Reese Center on the Newark campus of Ohio State University and Central Ohio Technical College.

In less than a week, Thompson already has locked down Cherry Valley Lodge for her reception location and has the photographers and the cake arranged. She still is not exactly sure of her colors, but she is leaning toward black and red.

“I came looking for ideas for flowers,” Thompson said. “I haven’t even looked at dresses yet.”

“We’re all over this,” Kim Thompson said of the planning. “We just haven’t said yes to the dress yet.”

Bride -to-be Sara Miller, 26, of Newark, has been working on her wedding plans for the past six months. She and her financé, Justin Metelko, 25, also of Newark, will be married in the field house at Bryn Du Mansion on Sept. 15.

“I am almost done,” Miller said…………… continues on The Newark Advocate

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Carolyn Hax: Crashing their son’s elopement; drawing the line on co-worker gifts
News from Washington Post:

Dear Carolyn: Our wonderful son, 27, became engaged in June. An October 2012 wedding was planned, venue booked, and Dad and Mom gave a very generous gift as an offset to their expenses and honeymoon.

Our son has since announced that the couple will “elope” three months from now because there are unknown problems on her side of the family.

Carolyn Hax

Carolyn Hax started her advice column in 1997 as a weekly feature for The Washington Post, accompanied by the work of “relationship cartoonist” Nick Galifianakis. She is the author of “Tell Me About It” (Miramax, 2001), and the host a live online discussion on Fridays at noon.

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64 wedlocks and 64 wedding gifts
News from Deccan Herald:

Chennai: Feb 19, 2012, DHNS

It was a dream wedding here on Sunday for 64 couples. Besides 4 grams of free gold for the mangalsutra, silk dhotis and saris, a wet grinder, a mixie, an LPG stove, a wall clock, a wrist watch, et al were among the 64 “essentials to start a family” that came with Chief Minister Jayalalitha’s basket of gifts.

The mass wedding, organised by the AIADMK on YMCA grounds to mark her 64th birthday falling on February 24, Jayalalitha personally handed over the “thali” to each of the 64 grooms entering wedlock on a grand stage before she solemnised their weddings simultaneously and told them to exchange their respective garlands.

Everything was built around the number “64,” as Tamil Nadu was witness to yet another politically blessed mass wedding.

As Jayalalitha has already directed her partymen not to have any grand celebrations on her birthday falling on Friday but to help poor people in their small way that day, Sunday’s function came as god-send for senior party leaders to formally greet her ahead of her birthday.

There was a slim chance of several of these married couples being a little luckier also. If their households, under the AIADMK’s 2011 poll promises scheme to give away free mixies, grinders and electric fans, had already received these consumer goods, then Jaya’s largesse…………… continues on Deccan Herald

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Choosing a wedding dress a major commitment, too
News from Bend Bulletin:

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By Suzanne S. Brown / The Denver Post

Published: February 19. 2012 4:00AM PST

Those who have never been married might wonder why brides-to-be make such a big deal out of selecting a wedding dress. But analyze the components and you’ll begin to see why.

A wedding dress is the most expensive garment a woman will ever buy and typically the only gown she will have custom-made for her. The current average price is about $ 1,289, according to Brides magazine, but gowns from $ 2,000 to $ 10,000 are more likely the tags you’ll find in designer bridal salons. All eyes will be on her, so she wants it to be perfect.

The bride who dreams of a fairy-tale wedding after all the time and expense she’s putting into the process has a kindred spirit in designer Claire Pettibone. Her gowns range from the ethereal to sensual, full and floaty to body-hugging sheaths.

Pettibone says that there have been a lot of changes in the industry since she began designing 18 years ago. “There are fewer rules and more of an acceptance of the individual,…………… continues on Bend Bulletin

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Lumberton designer outfits Mardi Gras krewes
News from Hattiesburg American:

LUMBERTON — Ask Margie McGraw whether she’s ever been tempted to swap the “g” for a “d” in her first name, and it draws a quick chuckle.

“Oh, my friends already call me Mardi Graw, or Margie Graw,” she says, before displaying a business card with www.MargieGraw.com printed on it.

In other words, even the Mardi Gras jokes have become old hat to McGraw.

That’s what happens when you work year-round designing, sewing and gluing together costumes for the last pre-Lent hurrah.

So while Lumberton may not exactly be anyone’s definition of a Mardi Gras hot spot, it boasts a resident who brings the bling, the brocades and the satin and velvet to many of Gulf Coast krewes.

Or, in some cases, they come to her and her workshop – a renovated barn that sits behind her house on a sleepy street across from the city post office.

“They’ll pull up in a U-Haul, and I love it,” laughs McGraw. “Because they’ll pull up in the front, and all the ladies in the post office come see what’s being carried off (and ask) ‘What is she doing?!’ “

What she does is often ostentatious, or, as she describes it, “trash with flash.” She has turned one female ballgoer into the octopus from the “Little Mermaid.” She’s constructed tigers out of Styrofoam and wire.

She tran…………… continues on Hattiesburg American

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