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Would You Rent to This Couple?


They seem nice enough to me.

Apparently, though, Pauline Bailey, 27, and Paul Carty, 51, were not good enough for one employee of Stoke Park Hotel in Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire. Michele Connelly did not specify why she felt the couple were unworthy to wed at Stoke Park Hotel, but it seems she found them not ‘the type of people’ who should be allowed to marry there.

And how did the happy couple learn this factoid?

Well, it all started when they tried to book the hotel for their june wedding. They met with Connelly and were given a tour of the facility. They spoke of specific plans. They did not balk at the ten thousand pound price tag, and in point of fact added another thousand pounds to said price tag by asking for a fireworks display. They planned to invite only thirty guests, so it can’t have been that there wasn’t room for all those people, either.

The happy couple went home and waited to hear confirmation of their date… and waited… and waited. After ten days, they contacted Connelly to ask what was happening and why they hadn’t heard back. Connelly emailed back saying she’d been on vacation during that period and they would hear from her shortly.

They did.

The next day, Connelly sent an email to her sales manager, Carlo Zoccali, begging him to give her a way to deny the couple a spot on the calendar.

Too bad for her she cc’d it to Bailey and Carty, too.

The only reason Connelly gave for wanting to put the couple off was that they are ‘not the type of people’ she wanted to rent to. For the record, both are gainfully employed. In fact, Carty works for the Ministry of Defence as an engineer. Bailey is a counsellor. So unless she has an unreasoning prejudice against engineers or counsellors, what is the problem? There has been no accusation or evidence of untoward behavior on the part of the couple in question.

Bailey believes she knows the answer. Her theory? That it’s about the age gap between her and her intended, and possibly his pierced eyebrow.

And that’s why Bailey and Carty are currently seeking legal counsel with an eye to bringing a lawsuit in the matter.

Let that be a lesson to us all to a) do our best to treat all comers as fairly as possible, and b) always be very, very careful to whom we forward our emails.

Going To the Courthouse and We’re Gonna Get Married

Reader Elaine asks:

Can you put together a post with some suggestions of how to make a Justice of the Peace or courthouse marriage a little more special? That would be great (and timely)!

First off, congratulations and best wishes, Elaine, to you and your intended! May your wedding kick off a long and happy marriage.

Now, about that kickoff.

There are plenty of good reasons to choose a courthouse ceremony or one where you go to the JP instead of bringing one to you. It’s fast, it’s inexpensive, it’s fuss-free (or nearly so), and the list goes on. Once you’ve got the marriage license and the appointment, you’re pretty much set as far as the practicalities go.

But you’re looking for more than bare bones, which is what these venues tend to offer. So let’s take a look at what you can do to cover them bones.
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Destination Camp Winnemucca?


Image via Evantine Design Blog, where you can see more pictures of this gorgeous wedding)

Okay, I’ll admit it. I haven’t paid a lot of attention to trends in destination weddings over the past few years. They slipped through the cracks for me.

And so it was with great surprise that I read this article in the friday New York Times about the current popularity of rending summer camps for destination weddings.

That’s right, couples getting ready to tie the knot are renting out summer camps at times when camp is not in session. Weddings held this way usually involve an entire weekend of activities making use of the camp facilities for things like canoeing, hiking, and holding campfire sing along/s’mores making marathons.

A wedding like this is more often handmade with loving hands from home than designed by teams of professionals, though the photo session from the couple illustrated up top does prove the latter happens, too.

While I have to admit that destination weddings have never really been my thing, I have to say I kind of like this idea. Asking friends and family to come up with the cash to fly to Tahiti or Maui and stay in a hotel there has always seemed something of an imposition to me. Asking them to drive to summer camp, well, that’s a much more reasonable distance to go. And while you can ask people to stay on the grounds, if it’s a problem for someone to sleep in a cabin there are still going to be hotels and quaint little inns and RV parking nearby enough that they can go there and just show up for the big events.

Keep your plans reasonable, warn your guests not to wear stiletto heels, make sure there’s plenty of sunscreen and mosquito repellent to go around, consider wearing a tea length or shorter gown, stay flexible because Mother Nature doesn’t always consult you when making her plans, and fit the style of your wedding to the site.

Oh, but before you consider having an archery contest at the reception, do make certain everyone understands basic safety when dealing with missile weapons.

And don’t invite my brothers. They built a catapult and laid siege to the mess hall one summer at Boy Scout camp.

Grand Slam Weddings?


Denny’s has announced it will be putting a new restaurant into Neonopolis in Las Vegas, home of the quickie wedding. And yes, this Denny’s will have a wedding chapel in it.

Why? Because Denny’s would like to remind us that before Facebook and Twitter, there was the coffee shop to act as a hub for social interaction.

Well, coffee shops do predate the internet, true, but not always as centers of social interaction. Sometimes they’re just places to keep warm when you’re down on your luck.

All that aside, if you’re in Vegas, there are a lot of places to get married. Unless there’s some reason that Denny’s looms large in your particular romantic tale… I really can’t imagine why one would choose it.

Still, to each their own. Some people like the idea of having Elvis marry them, some think drive-thru weddings are great, and someone out there – I feel very sure – couldn’t imagine not following their I do’s with a platter of Moon Over My Hammy.

Just don’t try to convince me the coffee’s good.

Worst. Reason. Ever.

There are a lot of reasons why a couple might have to change wedding venues at the last minute.

You may wake up on the day you planned to marry out of doors to weather like this.
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Kid Week: Keeping Small Guests Happy

Welcome to day four of Kid Week at Manolo for the Brides! Enjoy your stay.


(Illustration via Yuba City Wedding Photography)

There’s an art to keeping wedding guests happy, but it’s really not that difficult once you know the trick: think like a guest. Think about what has made you feel welcomed and happy, and then do those sorts of things. Think about what made you feel bored, confused, or unwelcome and avoid those things. It isn’t 100% foolproof, of course, since where one person finds something charming and inviting… another finds it hokey or off-putting. Still, thinking of the comfort of other people puts you well ahead of the game. A much higher percentage of people will come away having enjoyed themselves if you’ve made their happiness a priority.

The thing is, that goes double with children.

They’re smaller, so their physical needs may be more demanding. They have less patience and stamina, so one needs to consider pacing and opportunities for rest. They’re less experienced, so their concerns about things that are too unfamiliar need to be addressed.

But don’t panic. A few simple choices can help you make sure even your youngest guests feel welcome and special.
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Wedding Crashed Even at North Pole


There are few truly unique places to get married left in the world. People have used McDonald’s, KFC, dollar stores, fish tanks, hot air balloons, IKEA, and goodness alone knows what else in the search for new and unique wedding sites.

Well, Norwegian explorer Borge Ousland and his bride, Helga, found one place that hadn’t yet been used: the North Pole.

The couple gathered the wedding party together on the Russian Barneo ice base, and then took a helicopter to the pole, where the actual wedding took place. The bride wore a white silk wedding gown and the groom traditional Norwegian wedding attire. There was a cross of skis, candles, champagne, and fireworks, all of which were scheduled. What was not scheduled was the appearance of British explorer Mark Wood.

Wood was skiing to the North Pole to bring awareness to climate change, but wound up adding another layer of normalcy to the Ousland wedding: a wedding crasher.

The happy couple seems to have taken things in good stride. They invited Wood to join in the champagne and stay to watch the fireworks.

My very best wishes to the happy couple! May they take all future surprises equally well.

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