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Quickie Question: Do You Consider It Cheating?


As many of you know, I’m a fan of the bridal reality show Four Weddings. And now TLC has added Four Weddings Canada to the mix, too.

Again, I like it. It’s real couples having real weddings, without a lot of the staged nightmares of Bridezillas and similar shows, let alone their histrionics.

But I did have a bit of a thought about the episode aired last night. See the lady second from the right? That’s Jessica. She won the episode. I’m down with that, because I did feel she had the nicest wedding of the lot.

Still, I have this one niggling concern. You see, Jessica is a professional wedding planner. Not only was she allowed to participate in the show, her fellow contestants were not informed of this fact. She only revealed the truth as the winner’s limo was pulling up with her husband in it.

The thing is, I can’t think of another episode of either version of the show that has featured anyone who used a wedding planner, let alone was one. And I know that simply being in a profession isn’t proof positive that someone is good at it. After all, there was at least one professional wedding planner featured on Bridezillas who not only needed subtitles because she mumbled so horribly nobody could understand her, but seemed to have no clue at all how a wedding is organized.

All the same, it could be perceived as an unfair advantage. I kind of perceived it that way, and I know how little it takes to set up shop as a wedding planner.

What do you think? Should Jessica have been allowed to play the game? Should she have had to reveal her professional status before her wedding was rated? Am I being over sensitive about something that’s all in good fun?

Tell me what you think!

Gypsies Getting Married

On sunday night, TLC will bring us the latest in their string of bridal reality programming, My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding.

Based on the UK hit version of the story, MBFAGW will feature real brides and real families among the American Gypsy and Traveller communities. It’s a window into a world most of us would never see, otherwise.

In some ways, it’s a throwback to a world that a lot more people lived in not too long ago where a woman’s wedding really was the One Special Day she had to shine for the world. It’s a world where girls are left ignorant about the facts of life, kept from dating, taught mostly to cook, clean, and take care of children, and then married very, very young. And then she will mostly cook, clean, have and tend children, and plan huge weddings for her daughters. The gender roles are strict and unforgiving for both men and women.

But the weddings are certainly colorful, if nothing else. Oh, and if you go over to Huffpo right now, you can read an interview with Sondra Celli, bridal designer to American Gypsies, whose work is featured on the show.

Will I watch the show? At least an episode or two. But I don’t think I’ll take to the road. I’m a Gorger, and happy that way.

I Wonder If They’ll Sparkle


(Illustration via Bridal Guide Magazine)

When Abigail Kirk and Andy Weeks were kicking around ideas about their February 5 wedding, it was important to him that they share a last name, and she said she really didn’t want to use his. They were already planning a Twilight Breaking Dawn wedding because Abigail is a Twihard, so Andy suggested they just change both their last names to Cullen.

And so it was that Abigail wore Alfred Angelo’s commercial version of the gown Bella wore in the film, they used the Breaking Dawn soundtrack throughout their wedding… and then the took the surname of the vampire clan in the books and movies.

What do I think of it? Well, if you’re going to use a theme, I think it’s best to use one that both of you are really into. Andy hasn’t read the Twilight books. Still, if one partner wishes to indulge the other in something that’s meaningful to him or her, I’ve got no beef. And I do think it’s entirely up to the couple in question to decide the whose name to use issue for themselves using their own criteria. I’m down with couples changing their name to one that doesn’t come from either side, if that’s what works for them. So long as they aren’t trying to defraud anyone or evade the long arm of the law with their choice, I think it’s between them and the deity of their choice.

It’s a big old world and a free country, and I wish them well. And that’s about all the opinion I’m going to admit to having… but no power on earth can make me read those books or watch those movies.

Also? There are worse names to change to. I’m a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, and that one leaves open the option of changing your surname to ‘the Bloody.’

At least Cullen is a name.

How Much Is Peace of Mind Worth to You?


Do you know what can happen if you go about proposing the wrong way to your lady?

According to R.J. Licata, the dangers include:

- Marrying the wrong girl
- Waiting too long/Proposing too soon
- Buying the wrong ring
- Overspending on the ring
- Being uninformed
- Overlooking an important detail
- Ruining the surprise
- Destroying your nerves
- Letting her down

I think about the only thing he left out was the heartbreak of psoriasis.

Oh, wait! That was a dandruff shampoo commercial in the seventies. My bad.

But Licata has the answer! He has written the book he wishes had existed before he proposed marriage. You know, the one that would have stopped him marrying the wrong girl. Or maybe it was that he was uninformed… or maybe he let her down. It’s hard to tell.
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Things I Would Love to See… But Don’t Expect


Sometimes when I’m watching bridal reality TV, my brain isn’t sitting with me on the sofa listening to yet another woman whine about her controlling/uncaring parents/fiance/bridesmaids or concentrating too hard on what precise gown details will make or break her wedding. It’s off on its own dreaming dreamy dreams in fields of flowers about the things it would be so very refreshing to see on those same shows.

You see, after a while it’s easy to get terribly jaded about bridal reality, and then it becomes easy to get terribly jaded about weddings in general. The same tired tropes get trotted out in episode after episode as if they were brand new and shiny and oh so true… even when they bear no resemblance to any reality I’ve ever seen.

Here are a few things I’ve witnessed (or even done myself!) in real weddings that I would love to see on bridal reality… but I’m not holding my breath.
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Archie Comes Out for Marriage Equality


On January 4, Life With Archie #16 will feature the interracial same-sex marriage of war hero Kevin Keller to his physical therapist, Clay Walker.

While I admit I’ve never been that big on comic books so my knowledge may be somewhat lacking, this is the first time I’ve heard of a same-sex marriage in one. And the fact that it’s Archie, that inoffensive bastion of childhood innocence and suburban Leave it to Beaver golly gee whizness only makes this a more powerful statement, in my view.

So congratulations, Kevin and Clay! You may be imaginary, but your love is a big step along the way to marriage equality.

Now if only Archie would make up his mind between Betty and Veronica. You’d think seventy years would be plenty of time.

What if You Don’t Feel That Way?

It’s part of the unquestioned mythology of weddings. When you find that right gown and slip it on for the first time, you feel like this:

You’re joyful, almost giddy with excitement. You know with absolute certainty for the first time that the wedding is really happening. You feel like a princess.

There’s even plenty of literature to back that up. Not just novels, though the theme is rife in books that feature weddings, but in films, TV shows, and even blogs about weddings.

For instance, a recent article at the Huffington Post by wedding gown designer Justina McCaffrey chronicles the way she sees career woman after career woman morph from a no-nonsense, phone-glued-to-the-ear customer in search of a simple white pantsuit to get married in to a dewy-eyed Disney princess in the making.
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