1. Meet the legal requirements
If you’re not a Swiss citizen, you must be resident in Switzerland to get married here. You must also be over 18, of the opposite sex (same-sex marriage is still illegal here, though same-sex couples can enter into a registered partnership) and be able to prove that you are not already married or in a registered partnership.
2. Apply for your civil ceremony
Marriage in Switzerland must take place in a civil ceremony held at an official civil register office venue. That doesn’t mean you can’t arrange your own religious or private celebration in addition, but it can’t replace the civil ceremony.
Various administrative steps must be taken in order to apply for your civil wedding and have it approved by the registrar. Foreigners must supply their birth certificate, declarations of marital status and passports and complete a ‘marriage preparation’ form.
But the process isn’t not too onerous, according to Shawna McEvoy, an American who got married to her Northern Irish partner Christi in Lausanne in July.
“Administratively it was fine. We both have our [residence] permits. We needed to supply them with a bunch of documents – I had to go up the consulate in Bern and get them to sign a document to swear I’d never been married.
“About a month before you get married they will invoke you for a pre-wedding consultation, which sounds nervewracking but is basically to make sure you speak French and have all your documents.”
Once your marriage application is approved by the registrar you have three months in which to hold your civil ceremony.
If you don’t speak the local language a translator should be present during the ceremony. Your chosen two witnesses must also be able to understand what’s going on.
The civil ceremony will set you back between 300 and 400 francs, says Swiss government portal ch.ch, which has further details on the administrative process
Your marriage certificate from your civil wedding must be presented at your church or place of worship if you wish to have a second ceremony there.
3. Decide on your family name
Prior to 2013 women in Switzerland had to either change their surname to their husband’s or double their surname with his. However since the law changed couples can choose what they want to do: both may keep their names or either may change it to the other’s. Creating a double name by combining your surnames (eg Meier Muller) is no longer allowed. Adding a hyphen (Meier-Muller) is technically allowed, but can’t be used as your official name on the civil register. Couples getting married must also decide which of their surnames to give any future children.
4. Celebrate your own way
Apart from the legal requirement that you have a civil ceremony, you’re free to celebrate your wedding however you wish. Perhaps you want a religious blessing – in which case the place of worship you attend in Switzerland will be able to advise you – or maybe you want to do things a little differently. After all, one benefit of having a wedding away from your home country is the freedom to do things exactly as you wish, McEvoy feels. “You’re relieved of that pressure of what people think you have to do for a wedding,” she says.
She and Christi chose to have an additional ceremony in the Lavaux vineyards above Lake Geneva, with the groom’s father leading the service. Then, deciding against a package from an expensive Swiss hotel, they rented a low key space in Sauvabelin park in Lausanne for their reception and arranged everything else – the caterer, the band, the wine, the decorations – themselves.
5. Plan early
If you’ve invited guests from your home country, make sure you tell them the date early enough so they can organize flights to Switzerland and accommodation.
“It’s considerate for the guests but it also takes off your responsibility – if people wait to book their flights then it’s their problem!” McEvoy says.
6. Save costs by shopping abroad
We all know Switzerland is expensive. But unlike in some countries, telling your venue or caterer that your event is a wedding does not lead to an automatic hike in prices, according to McEvoy, who estimates they paid $20-25,000 for theirs, well under the 2016 US average of $35,000.
Nevertheless, it pays to shop around, she advises, both in Switzerland and abroad. “We did bring a lot of stuff in from the UK and the States. Little things like renting tablecloths – it was cheaper to buy them in another country.”
They even flew over a videographer from Scotland. “We paid for his flights and accommodation, and it was actually cheaper than getting a videographer here. The price they were offering [here] was astronomical.”
7. Be clear with your instructions
It may be the first time some of your guests have visited Switzerland – and many won’t speak the language – so cut down on problems by making it as easy as possible for them to get about and understand what’s happening when.
“You have to give clear directions to your guests. You have to be here at this time, this train, this platform. We had ushers who were lined up to take people from place to place. There are a lot of companies to rent a special vehicle if you want one,” McEvoy says.
They also used a wedding website for instructions and did all guest admin online. “We didn’t send paper invitations, particularly because then people would have to send everything back to Switzerland which is a pain for them.”
8. Give your guests a good holiday
With guests coming from afar and probably paying a fair whack to be at your wedding, it’s only right to make sure they have a blast.
“We tried to make it really guest-orientated. Christi and I have our lives to be married. Our wedding was about sharing it and this place with friends and family, and it will be the only occasion that we will have everyone together,” McEvoy says.
One highlight of their wedding day was an hour’s tour through the vineyards on the Lavaux Express tourist train they rented for the occasion. “After speaking with guests they said that was their favourite thing.”
The following day they organized another informal event for guests who had no plans, McEvoy adds. “We really tried to maximise the time we spend with friends and family.”
Once you’re engaged, the debate is normally whether you want to have a short or a long engagement. Do you want to give yourself some breathing room to plan and enjoy being engaged or jump right into married bliss? But, while those are definitely the more common approaches, there is an Option C: Some people just don’t get married. The engagements don’t end in marriage, not because the couple splits, but because they just choose to stay engaged. Happily ever after, with no plans of a wedding in sight.
For every woman who’s wanted to get married, that must seem like a total nightmare—living in marital purgatory. The wedding is the day that they imagined with their partner and the significance of that is too much to ignore. But for women who like the idea of commitment, but aren’t that keen on the wedding or the having “a day,” staying engaged can be a really great option. An engagement party means you can still have a celebration (and, crucially, the gifts) but for those who just find the idea of a wedding too much pressure, you don’t have to take the next step. You can just...be.
So why would a couple choose to stay in an engagement? Well, there are a few different reasons that real women shared. When it comes to why marriage isn’t always the end goal, the rationale can be very practical to downright romantic.
Saving Money And Biding Time
Sometimes, real life gets in the way. The plan may be to get married but, as events unfold, it starts to seem like less of a reality—and less of a priority. “Originally, we wanted to save money for a big wedding, so we thought we would wait a couple of years,” Lauren, 31, who’s been engaged for two and a half years, says. “But then there was always something better to put the money towards. We’d like to get married someday, but now we both feel like we want to get a home first—which could be five years away.” Money is a really common theme in having a long engagement that turns in a longer engagement and maybe even an indefinite one. With cost of living and student loan debt being so high, it’s easy to see how it happens. And once you put the wedding off for a bit, there’s always something else you can find to spend the money on.
Money and practical considerations aren’t always about the wedding itself. For some couples getting married can look like a great idea until they look at the impact it will have on their lives, then they see that issues like taxes and grants can make a difference. “We have decided to wait because my son will be going to college and if he can get grants they will just go by my income,” Sossity, 45 who’s been engaged for almost two years explains. “My fiance is all about saving money! And I don’t mind waiting.” They were together for 10 years before they got married, so she said that waiting a few more after an engagement didn’t seem like a huge change. Even if they never get married, she said it doesn’t really matter.
This Was All They Needed
It wasn’t always money driving the decision to not get married. For some people, being engaged just felt like enough. “I was so happy go get engaged and I love my partner,” Zoe, 38, says. “We’ve been engaged for five years and, if I’m honest, I can’t see it changing. I wanted to have a public (and private) display of commitment between us, but I feel like I have that. We’re engaged, we have a house and two kids together, it was never about a wedding.” Although for some women this might sound counter-intuitive, I completely see the benefits of staying engaged. You can feel secure that you have both acknowledged your plans to be together, to yourselves and to everyone else, but you don’t have to spend the money and energy to plan a wedding. Plus, some people just don’t like the attention being on them. This way, it doesn’t have to be.
It might seem like the logical thing to do after you get engaged is to start planning a wedding. And for the most people, that’s exactly how it plays out. But for some, life gets a bit more complicated. That doesn’t mean that their commitment is any less strong, it just means that priorities shift. One of the great things about modern relationships and modern marriages is that it can look different and be different for everyone. And if being engaged works for you, then there’s no reason not to just stay that way.
When 21-year-old management consultant Michaela Turancova decided to launch into the start-up world as an online fashion entrepreneur, she resolved that it must be about more than trying to make her fortune.
Having read Richard Branson's book Screw Business as Usual, Turancova decided online fashion subscription service Wingal, would fund the creation of a side venture aimed at helping women in the developing world escape poverty and become fashion designers.
With Wingal, customers subscribe to monthly personally-shopped clothing packages containing a complete outfit under a selected style of casual, corporate, beachy or cocktail.
"The premise was that the traditional way of doing business, making profits at any cost, was so unsustainable," Turancova says.
"The book was full of examples of social enterprises killing every aspect of business. The idea just came to me."
Each box of clothes costs $65 and includes three clothing pieces and an accessory. The clothes are predominantly vintage and brands range from Kookai and Review to designers such as Roberto Cavalli and Tommy Hilfiger.
All of the profits from Wingal will go towards starting Wingal Seeds, a for-profit business which will help women in developing nations design and manufacture underwear.
Turancova, who is originally from Slovakia and comes from five generations of tailors and seamstresses, says Wingal will pay the women a commission, sell the products and then pass back 50 per cent of the profits from every sale to the designer.
"Something like this has so much potential ... it could quadruple the income of these women and when someone is empowered to be an entrepreneur, it has flow-on effects in their communities," she says.
"It will be a lot harder to start and could need some investment, but the next trip I take will be to India or Nepal to find some people and get some samples made for a proof-of-concept."
The concept of Wingal is similar to successful US start-ups Birchbox, which provides beauty products, FabFitFun, which provides monthly subscription lifestyle boxes, and local start-up Bellabox, which delivers boxes of cosmetic samples.
Despite the good intentions the business is launching in a sector which is tough to crack. Earlier this year men's online subscription retailer Kent and Lime shut its doors after four years in business, attributing its closure to a lack of in-house marketing smarts.
Turancova says she is spending 16 hours a day and most of her weekends balancing full-time work as a management consultant for a boutique global consultancy, while starting up Wingal.
As a social entrepreneur she follows in the footsteps of renowned founders such as Thankyou Group's Daniel Flynn, Who Gives a Crap founder Simon Griffiths and KeepCup creator Abigail Forsyth.
Turancova says she was inspired to take the leap into the fashion sector after a conversation with a colleague one night who said she liked her style.
"I was complaining about work and she suggested I could volunteer somewhere as a stylist to get some experience. She also suggested reading Sophia Amoruso's Girlboss. After reading this I decided that rather than volunteering, I'd start my own thing," Turancova says.
"It's been something my dad has always drilled into me from when I was young. He would say: 'You want to be the owner, not someone working for the owner'."
In her first year Turancova, who taught herself how to build a website to get Wingal off the ground, has set herself the goal of $100,000 in sales.
"In Australia there's no other women's subscription clothing box I'm aware of. What that means though is people don't fully trust it yet, so you have to break through that mindset," she says.
While the future of Sydney’s Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences’ Powerhouse site in Ultimo may be in limbo, the institution is ready to mambo.
In February it will host the inaugural MAAS Centre for Fashion Ball, which it hopes will become a staple on the Australian fashion calendar akin to New York’s Met Gala.
At the same time, it will also launch its Australian Fashion Fund to raise money for the acquisition of Australian fashion.
“It’s been a step-by-step process for us,” MAAS director Dolla Merrillees told The Australian.
“We launched the first public Centre for Fashion (in Australia) in 2015. We’ve been working with the Australian fashion industry and we’ve recognised that for the Australian industry to be successful and competitive it needs support.
“And so while other institutions focus on the international, we’ve been much more interested in championing Australian designers and positioning them in that international context.”
The acquisition of fashion by Australian galleries and museums has been stepped up significantly in the past couple of years, in direct correlation to the increasing popularity of fashion exhibitions.
The Art Gallery of South Australia recently launched its fashion fund to acquire pieces, while the National Gallery of Victoria has also invested heavily in fashion and its exhibitions.
Vogue Australia editor Edwina McCann says this increase in acquisitions nationally is a positive for the industry, and that sharing between galleries and museums — both in Australia and abroad — is part of a broader remit to promote fashion.
“It also shows that fashion is being taken seriously as an art form, as it should be, and maybe Australia is a little late to the party there,” said McCann. “It’s important to have these collections everywhere for our own exhibitions, but I’m just glad to see people collecting fashion and collecting our designers. It gives them more credibility, more recognition and positions them where they should be.”
McCann and Harpers Bazaar editor Kellie Hush, chairwomen of the Australian Fashion Chamber, will co-host the ball alongside Merrillees.
“If we as competitors can come together because that’s what’s right for the industry, then hopefully the industry will support this event,” McCann said.
British-based online retailers Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter are sponsoring the event, both financially and with gowns that will be donated to the wider fashion collection. This reflects Australia’s position as one of their top markets.
The president of both companies, Alison Loehnis, said: “We admire the genuine creativity, energy and dedication of Australia in the global fashion community and we are proud to be partnering with MAAS on the Centre for Fashion Ball, supporting the education, preservation and promotion of contemporary fashion while looking towards the future of our industry.”
As well as acquisitions, the fund will also support a mentoring program in conjunction with the Australian Fashion Chamber.
It isn’t easy trying to plan a wedding when you’ve got Champagne tastes and a domestic beer budget, but there are plenty of ways you could be unknowingly adding to your bottom line. To keep things in check, ask yourself how many of the following top wedding budget mistakes (as voted by industry experts) you’re guilty of and prepare for bridal redemption.
1. Trying on wedding gowns outside of your budget
It’s all-too-easy to get caught up in the fantasy of the dream designer gown with the heart-stopping price tag, but wedding dress designer Karen Willis Holmes is going to stop you right there. “Brides are far more likely to spend more than they would have liked if they don’t set a clear dress budget, or if they’re not realistic about their budget when they’re trying on dresses,” she says. Trying on gowns that fall well outside of your budget encourage you to push the boat out financially and then of course there’s also the accessories to think about. “When working out their wedding gown budget, the total amount you can afford should also include all the extras such as a veil, shoes and jewellery,” Willis Holmes says.
2. Over-planning the day
Thinking of arriving at your wedding in a carriage pulled by six white horses dressed as unicorns but only have a budget of $200? Sarah Johnston from Girl Friday Weddings has seen it all before and says while it’s great that you’re excited about the big day, paring things back might be the most important tool you can learn. “Over-planning every detail is probably the biggest wedding budget blunder we see but a professional wedding planner can interpret the client’s brief and help steer them towards something they’ll love, but one that will fall within their budget,” she says. Even though referring to a professional wedding planner may seem like an unnecessary expense, it could save you plenty of money where it counts. “We minimise the number of suppliers by vendor consolidation as now only does it take more time and energy to work with a larger network of people, but you are automatically reducing the setup fees, installation fees and bump in and out fees.”
3. Adding everyone you’ve ever met to your guest list
It’s natural to want to celebrate with all the friends, family and colleagues who’ve added joy to your life, but where do you draw the line? It goes against popular opinion, but a good way to keep numbers down is to first book a smallish reception venue and only then draw up your list of ‘must-haves’. If you know you can only have 60 people, you’ll be surprised at how ruthless you can be with that trusty red pen.
4. Being unrealistic about their choice of venue
It can be tempting to go with an empty hall, distant barn or a cheap venue that requires serious interior overhaul, but these ‘cheap’ options can be anything but, reveals wedding stylist Georgina Van Hee, co-owner of George & Smee. “Some couples have unrealistic ideas when it comes to what things actually cost when it comes to styling and the labour involved before the big day,” she says, explaining costs can blow out when a couple hasn’t done their research on what it will take to overhaul a venue. “For example, if a chosen venue is completely empty, everything from lighting to furniture will need to be brought in, and if the venue is far in the countryside, the couple will need to keep in mind the distance and time it will take for suppliers to travel on the day and back.” If your venue is outside of a main metropolitan city, you may also need to factor in accommodation costs for the stylists in order for them to be able to bump out that night or the following morning.
5. Rushing through last-minute orders
Getting a dress made to fit? It’s a good idea to lock everything in well before the Big Day, says Willis Holmes. “If you don’t have a long time-frame, many designers will charge you a rush fee to produce a gown in time which will add to the cost of the gown,” she says, explaining many brides underestimate the workmanship, time and cost involved with alterations and getting the gown to fit you perfectly. Be organised and strike early or consider taking advantage of a designer’s ready-to-wear options. “Many designers now have standard designs, made in standard sizes, which are cheaper options than custom gowns.”
6. Getting blindsided by social media
Gone are the mood boards and wedding scrapbooks, replaced by millions of Instagram images of Saudi princesses in their $300,000 gowns made entirely of live doves, and teenage brides of elderly Russian oligarchs showcasing their multi-million dollar receptions with the 20-tier cakes. Johnston’s advice? Look away and look away now. “With so much information now available to us through blogs and social media channels, it’s easy to get sidetracked and suckered into purchasing all those little extras you’re seeing brides with much bigger budgets having at their own weddings,” she says. “But if you’re suddenly finding yourself shelling out for those little extras like baskets of personalised havianas by the dance floor, it’s all going to add up.” Focus on what’s important to you and your partner and step away from social media until the urge (or the wedding) passes.
7. Asking for bells and whistles photography packages
A good wedding photographer is worth his or her weight in gold, but many brides make the mistake of paying for a middle-of-the-road snapper charging above-industry prices, warns John Warren of Warren Photography. “Once you’re in a showroom looking at their work, you might find yourself being persuaded to buy the pretty, leather-bound albums, personalised thank you cards and large canvas prints, but of course, these costs will quickly add up,” he says. Instead Warren recommends searching for the best photographer you can afford and instead saving money on the bells and whistles. “It could be asking whether you can just the digital files rather than the album, or asking what else they can do to cut costs – speaking honestly and openly from the start is key.”
8. Not knowing quite what it is you’re after
You might be keen to get started, but don’t book in a single supplier until you’ve worked out exactly what the two of you want (and don’t want), how much you want to spend, and you’ve done the appropriate research about what’s out there, recommends Johnston. “Booking on the spot can be very tempting and you may be offered an incentive by a supplier to do so, but be patient and wait until you have interviewed competitors in every part of the industry before committing to anything.” Sarah also recommends only booking in the essentials (venue, photographer etc) first and only purchasing your ‘nice to have’ items with any leftover funds you have once the basics are covered.
As we anxiously wait for the return of Game of Thrones, Katherine Elena Photography and a team of vendors blessed us with an epic styled shoot to hold us over. Katie Lee, the owner of Katherine Elena, told us that she wanted to highlight two women of the show, Daenerys Targaryen and Sansa Stark, for their strength and beauty. "Both are very strong, powerful women in their own right while also having an ethereal air about them," she said.
Erin of RCB Fashion designed a white flowing dress for Daenerys based on one of her classic dresses in the show, while giving Sansa a long, blue velvet gown to evoke a "strong yet feminine warrior." Though the male lead of the shoot didn't take after a specific character, it didn't hurt that he slightly resembled Jon Snow.
The wedding shoot took place at the Smithmore Castle in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which couldn't have been any more fitting for the medieval theme. It made for an amazing set for both the dining room scene and the outdoor balcony look with a real dire wolf. Dire wolves represent the House of Stark, after all. Full Moon Fam Wolfdog Sanctuary, a non-profit that cares for abused wolfdogs, provided their majestic model for the day. "The House of Stark on the show has a dire wolf on the family crest and a large part of the show is the dire wolves that help to protect each of the Stark children, so I really wanted that to be the WOW element of the shoot," Katie said.
And to top everything off, Ella from Celestial Cakery created the perfect cake that would have made the Mother of Dragons herself proud. The first layer featured dragon scales, while the top two tiers emulated Daenerys's style, all complete with moss and pine details.
"Sometimes styled shoots can be really hectic and certain things don't work out the way you expected, but this was one of those rare times where everyone involved was just as excited as I was and we had such a good time putting it together!" Katie said. "We only had about a week and a half to literally put the entire thing together and it was all thanks to the people that were there."
See their amazing photos and the video that shows the process from start to finish!
Ah, the father-daughter and mother-son dances, a.k.a. time for the guests to Instagram their cocktail hour photos BenandHeatherForever. At best, these dances can provide a sweet moment of family connection; at worst they feel a little Oedipus complicated, if you catch my drift.
If you’ve read any other article in this column on the history of wedding traditions, you’re probably just as over dad’s role in transferring his little virgin to the next guy as I am. So you won’t be surprised to learn that originally the first dance was reserved for “the moment when the father led his daughter, the bride, onto the floor,” as wedding historian Susan Waggoner puts it in oddly romantic terms. Originally, the father/daughter dance came before the first dance as an extension of the “giving away” as well as the dowry—the father would demand a final dance before giving their daughters to their new man (often a stranger). Then the bride and groom would have their first dance. Today, however, the newly married couple typically shares the first dance, followed by father-daughter and mother-son dances.
I’ve seen couples begin with the father-daughter and mother-son pairings, but then break off halfway through the song to pick a new partner, making the dancing more inclusive. Jessica of Texas says that after the traditional dances, “We had a song where I danced with my father-in-law, he danced with my mom, and then we switched and danced with our own parents.” Kinzie of Missouri chose to approach these family dances in a unique fashion, as well. “We did one song that was both mother-son and father-daughter, and then the next song was mother-daughter.” This second song turned into a “snowball” dance: “My mom and I danced together for a while, and then our DJ shouted ‘snowball’ every so often. The couples dancing split apart and each picked a new person to dance with from the crowd. By the end of the song, we had the entire group of wedding guests dancing!”
Personally, I’d love to see more mother-daughter dances like Kinzie’s. Julie of Ohio says, “I’m not a big fan of the bouquet and garter toss hoopla, so when it came time for me to throw my flowers, I instead gave them to my mom and invited her to dance. It just felt like a better way to honor both of us.” Amanda Summerlin, a photographer in Georgia says, “One of my clients, who was named Stacy, did an epic dance with her mom to the song 'Stacy's Mom' a couple years ago, and it is one of my all time favorite wedding moments.” Amanda says mother-daughter dances are not unusual: “Over the years, I've had quite a few female clients dance with their moms, often because their fathers had passed. It's always a beautiful moment.”
Beth of Colorado lost her father two months prior to her wedding, so she elected to skip family dances altogether. She shares the story of how she and her dad created their own father-daughter dance moment prior to the wedding in the dressing room where she tried on her wedding gown for the first time: “He had limited mobility and my dress was still two feet too long, but my mom played Pachelbel’s Canon on her phone, and that was our 'dance.' ”
Wedding traditions are not one-size-fits all and should not be treated as such. Sometimes, it’s necessary to educate your wedding professionals if you are adjusting the usual wedding traditions to better fit your actual life and family relationships. Christina shares, “My friend grew up with her mom, not her dad, so she did the father-daughter dance, but then also a mother-daughter dance. Unfortunately, because of the stereotype of the father-daughter tradition, the photographer only captured pictures from the father-daughter dance (which my friend didn't really care about), so she doesn't have any photos that capture the dance with her mom, which was one of the most special moments of the day for her.”
Casey of Virginia shares, “When my wife and I married, I danced with my father, but hers refused to dance with her.” Now Casey is a wedding planner for queer couples, and she says, “I see this happen really frequently, and it causes others just as much pain as it caused my family.” I asked her if it is time to retire the father-daughter dance tradition, to which she responded, “No, because I see how meaningful the sense of continuity and family is for so many couples.” But she does think that “wedding traditions need to catch up to our society, and fast.” She acknowledges that families come in all shapes and sizes, and our closest family relationships may not be with an opposite-sex parent. “Like so many wedding traditions, I think we need greater flexibility in our collective imagination,” she says. “The ‘right’ wedding is totally subjective, and so are all the pieces that contribute to the day.”
Jourdanton Police Investigator Mari Magana and Atascosa County Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel Kaufman were blessed to be the winners in the fifth annual Badges & Bouquets Dream Wedding Give-Away Contest.
Mari has served with the Jourdanton Police Department for a year and a half and served with the Pleasanton Police Department for 2 1/2 years prior to that. January will mark five years that she has been in law enforcement.
The couple have been together for six years. Mari met Daniel when she lived in El Paso. He worked as a deputy in McMullen County before being hired with Atascosa County.
They wed Friday, Sept. 1 at Strawberry Pines in Poteet.
The contest is the brainchild of Tina Humphrey, wedding planner and owner of Diamonds & Dreams Event Consultants. The contest is open to San Antonio area first responders (police officers, fire fighters and emergency medical technicians) and their fiances. The winners receive a complete wedding package valued at approximately $50,000. The contest is Humphrey’s way of giving back to those who sacrifice so much.
Mari’s contest entry stood out because she and her husband are both in law enforcement. Daniel also served in the military.
“All the finalists were incredible. They always are,” said Humphrey. “Our vendors are giving so much. We have new ones this year and lots of repeaters.”
There are almost 40 vendors this year. Along with Woode and Darlene Henry of Strawberry Pines, other area sponsors this year are Susie Martinez of Creations Cake Shop in Pleasanton, Tammy Blalock of Ata-Girl Photography and Melissa Rodriguez of Party Rentals of Devine.
Strawberry Pines, said Humphrey, has been the most flexible venue she has ever worked with.
“Whatever we ask of them, they are in it,” said Humphrey. “They are the sweetest people. Whatever they can do, they go above and beyond. I apprecicate that.”
Darlene Henry had some very personal reasons that drove her desire to give back to the first responder community in this way. Right out of high school and newly married, she worked with the New Mexico State Police, part of a close-knit law enforcement family.
“Unfortunately, I knew the pain of losing one of ‘my guys’ in the line of duty,” said Henry.
She experienced that deep sense of loss 16 years later when her cousin, Atascosa County Sheriff’s Deputy Thomas Monse was killed in the line of duty.
“The sacrifices first responders make to ensure the safety and surety of the community are beyond what words can describe. For me to give back in this way, as part of such a joy-filled and gratitude-filled event was an honor. It was an honor to celebrate the lives of this beautiful couple and all they do. It was a way to give back in memory of my cousin and the other officers I knew first hand that had given their all,” said Darlene.
Mari found out about the contest from Jourdanton Police Chief Eric Kaiser, who knew Mari and Daniel were getting married. He gave her a card from Strawberry Pines with a link of Badges & Bouquets. Kaiser let her know about the contest and suggested she look into it. She researched it a little more, discussed it with Daniel and decided to give it a try.
Those entering the contest had to write a 500 word essay explaining who they were and why they deserved to win the contest. A phone interview with Tina followed. The three finalists had the opportunity to tour the venue separately, which is when they met the Strawberry Pines owners. Another interview followed with Tina and Darlene and then the winner was chosen. The winning couple was announced on Feb. 14, via Facebook.
“We were literally counting down the minutes, until she finally posted it,” said Mari. “I didn’t think we were going to win. It was pretty cool. I was excited. It took me a minute because I never win anything. So, it was really neat to know that we won. I know Daniel couldn’t sleep because he got out that morning and he stayed up until 10 a.m. waiting to see what the results were.”
The wedding package was more than they ever imagined. They are both extremely grateful for being chosen.
“I love Strawberry Pines. I had worked security a couple of times and so had Daniel, so we always thought it was such a pretty place for a wedding or any event.” Even though Hurricane Harvey struck Texas the week before, Mari was not thinking about the wedding. “We were just hoping to get through everything. We were going to go to the coast to help out, but the plans got rearranged, so we weren’t able to go. Even then, if Daniel wanted to go, we weren’t sure if he was going to be able to come back, because the Guadalupe River flooded. He could have been stuck out there, so we kind of decided to stay for a little bit. It is going to take a long time to rebuild, so I am sure we can help in some other ways.”
Growing up, she initially wanted to be a teacher for special education children. She began working in special ed since she was in fifth grade, because that was the youngest that you could start helping out. She would volunteer at summer school. During her senior year at Fillmore High School in California, she worked with severely disabled students. She began seeing life in a whole different light. However, while attending Fresno State University, something switched for her. She wanted to work for children, rather than with children. She chose law enforcement.
“My main focus is the crimes against children. That was my biggest thing. I wanted to help the kids because I saw a lot with my friends. I was very fortunate that I had a good family, a good upbringing and a great set of parents, but I know some of my friends didn’t get that. Now as I am older and doing this job and working these cases, I realize, oh, my gosh. Some of my friends were in these bad situations, and I didn’t realize it then. So being able to recognize that with other kids and being able to help with that is rewarding. Mari appreciates having Daniel to lean on and vice versa.
“It is hard to deal with what we see and what we do, especially because we see the evil stuff that people can do to each other. So sometimes you don’t want to come home and tell that to someone who is not exposed to that, because you don’t want to expose them to that. You know how they say, ‘ignorance is bliss,’ so you want to keep your families away from that horrible stuff as much as you can. Of course, you tell them enough for them to be safe, but you spare them the really bad details. With him, he sees it already so I am able to vent a little more and tell him a little more than I would probably do if he wasn’t in this field. So it’s always nice, but it’s hard though.”
She described it as a double-edged sword sometimes, because being in the same line of work can make it difficult to unplug. However, they appreciate having a spouse who understands.
“Everyone has been really great. We can’t put into words how thankful we are with everybody. Everybody’s generosity has been overwhelming. When we thought about getting married, we thought we’d have something really small. So to be able to do this, it’s really great. They really do go above and beyond- all of them. And Tina is amazing. She has pretty much done everything for me,” said Mari.
Vendors this year are: A Touch of Elegance- linens for all tables and napkins, Aly Am Paperie- invitations/response cards, Anne Marie’s Catering- full service wedding day meal, Ata-Girl Photography- rehearsal dinner coverage, Bartenders4you- beer/margaritas/champagne, Bella Bride- discount on bride’s gown, Blooms (H-E-B)- ceremony and personal flowers, Blume Haus Florals- reception flowers, Cakes By Cathy- groom’s cake, Cottonwood Prints- calligraphy and fallen solder letters, Creations Cakes- bride’s cake, Diamonds & Dreams Event Consultants-event coordination, Dos Kiwis Photography- boudoir and bridal portraits, Event Ignition- lighting for exterior and interior, Joshua Michael Photography- engagement session and wedding day coverage, Live Event Painting- painting for client, Luxe Decor- chargers, Mark Thomas Video- video, Marquee Rents- dining room chairs, Moon Struck Weddings- ceremony officiant, Party Rentals Etc.- all dining tables and chairs for ceremony, Photo Buzz Studios- photo booth, Rustic Romance Rentals- two lounge set-ups and peripheral decor, San Antonio’s Best DJs- DJ for cocktail hour and reception, Smoke in the Hills BBQ- rehearsal dinner and dessert, Stella Haus Films- engagement film, Strawberry Pines- venue and lodging, Stringmusic.Net- ceremony violinist, Superior Celebrations- lanterns for decor, Vanity Eiland- hair and make-up, Vision Lounge- chandeliers, Sharee Irwin- vocalist, Sybilla Irwin- unity wine box creation, Meda Nix- Lipsense lipstick, Lost Mission Wedding Venue- engagement session location and The Westin Riverwalk Hotel- bridal portrait session location.
Don’t Worry, Justin Bieber’s Purpose Tour Merch Will Still Be Available
At the end of Justin Bieber’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad summer, finally some good Biebs news. Despite the tour’s cancellation, new Purpose tour merchandise will be available at H&M online and in stores, beginning September 7.
The 20-piece collection includes sweatshirts, bomber jackets, and lots of shirts with Bieber’s face on it. H&M also collaborated with Bieber for a previous Purpose tour collection. Bieber, master of merch, has also rolled out lines for the Purpose album with VFiles, Barneys, and Forever 21.
Bieber cancelled remaining dates of his Purpose tour to focus on his Christianity. He had previously apologized to fans in many words, but is following it up with extra clothes. Nothing says “I’m sorry” like a pair of bright yellow joggers.
Every season, the fashion press decide en masse, and with a touch of irony, that one unlikely profession is the archetype to which we should all aspire. In spring/summer 2016, the Gucci geek-chic look of Alessandro Michele was so often described as “librarian chic” by fashion journalists that librarians themselves started rolling their eyes. This season, all points of the fashion compass lead to geography teachers as the height of style. And specifically to their penchant for corduroy: the fusty, stiff fabric, often the colour of damp leaves.
For autumn/winter 2017, Prada sent a model down the catwalk wearing a corduroy blazer and trousers, their spaghetti-thin ridges the colour of butterscotch Angel Delight. The too-long trousers were rumpled at the bottom, asking to be caked in field-trip mud; a sign of someone who spends too long thinking about plate tectonics to have time to turn up their trews. The trend has spread like lava and can be spotted everywhere from Mulberry to Mango. It is a textile with a whiff of academia, crystallised by popular culture – from Robin Williams as John Keating in Dead Poets Society to the thinking man’s Britpop star Jarvis Cocker. It also feels very now, much-loved by Jeremy Corbyn – surely the most geography-teacher-esque of all politicians?
But do real, ordnance survey-loving geography teachers actually wear it? Martyn Reah, of Eggar’s school in Hampshire, last wore corduroy in the late 80s. Why not since? Because “C&A closed,” he says. Ginny Light, who taught geography at St Paul’s school until she recently went on maternity leave, last wore cord in the 90s – a pair of much-loved white flares. Now, says Light, she is more likely to wear a silk blouse and a big necklace, while Reah is into woollen and tweed tailoring. This, presumably, when they are not wearing fieldtrip-ready waterproof trousers.
Reah is happy that the profession is “at last, bang on trend”. Light also loves being on the fashion agenda. Even more so, she says, because it gives geography one over on history teachers: “We have always had this light animosity; at some schools, children have to make a choice between the subjects.”
Will they go meta and try the geography teacher look? Reah says yes: “I will buy some today.” Its sturdiness: “will help combat the day-to-day challenges faced in the modern classroom”. He would also “happily try some Prada samples out”. Light wouldn’t go “the whole hog – I guess no one ever wears the whole catwalk look. I’m more of a fashion follower than an innovator but I can imagine wearing it, “in moderation”. And will any of their colleagues take offence when they learn that their profession has become an ironic source of fashion inspiration? Light doesn’t think so. “On the whole, geography teachers have a good sense of humour,” she says. “Given all the jokes they face about colouring in maps for a living, they have to.”