Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Baptist Pastor Officiates One Of Alabama's First Same-Sex Weddings

Ellin Jimmerson, a Baptist pastor in Huntsville, Alabama, said she was surprised when she was asked to perform one of Alabama's first same-sex wedding ceremonies after the state overturned its ban on gay marriage. Although she has been supportive of the LGBTQ community, she's best known for her immigration activism.

"I cannot get my head around what happened yesterday," Jimmerson, 63, told The Huffington Post over the phone on Tuesday. "It wasn't just a local story."

Monday marked the first day same-sex weddings dresses were legal in Alabama. Despite a direct mandate from U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade, many probate judges throughout the state refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

“Now you’ve got a situation where you’ve got hundreds of people having no pastor to turn to to perform their wedding ceremony, nor can they go to the courthouse to get a license,” Jimmerson said.

A group of volunteers organized "Wedding Week," a movement to officiate and celebrate both same-sex and straight weddings, in response to these hurdles. For many couples -- about 42 on Monday alone, Jimmerson said -- this was a ticket to tying the knot.

The first couple scheduled to get married in Huntsville -- Adrian Thomas and Yashinari Effinger from Birmingham -- had requested a Baptist pastor to officiate their wedding. Heather Reed, a gay marriage advocate and one of the four Wedding Week organizers, looked for a Baptist pastor who would be willing to participate but found that many were uncomfortable agreeing to be in the public eye.

Jimmerson, who serves as minister to the community at Huntsville's Weatherly Heights Baptist Church but is not a paid staff member, agreed to participate in Wedding Week and quickly found herself the object of media attention.

“It’s been huge, and there’s been a lot of focus on me," Jimmerson said. "I’ve decided the formula for celebrity must be Alabama plus same-sex marriage plus Baptist minister with a photogenic rainbow scarf.”

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‘Vanderpump Rules’ Recap: Scheana & Ariana Hook Up Before The Wedding

Most of the drama occurred during Scheana’s wedding on the Feb. 9 episode of ‘Vanderpump Rules,’ but the night before her big day was pretty scandalous too! In fact, Scheana decided to have one final fling before tying the knot.

Scheana Marie knew she would be spending the rest of her life with Shay, so the night before her wedding — on the Feb. 9 episode of Vanderpump Rules — she jumped into bed with Ariana and had a “scandalous” “final fling!” We’re not joking. Plus, Scheana had a total meltdown when plans for her ceremony went awry.

‘Vanderpump Rules': Scheana & Ariana Hook Up Before Wedding — February 9 Recap

After weeks of anticipation, Vanderpump Rules fans finally got to see Scheana’s wedding unfold. Of course, it took a lot of preparation — and even then, things didn’t go so smoothly.

Tom Sandoval, Tom Schwartz, Jax Taylor celebrated Shay’s last day of freedom by getting haircuts. As they got groomed, they shared their feelings on weddings, babies and the future. Unsurprisingly, most of the guys said they’re in no hurry to get married. (Obviously, Shay is.)

For Scheana, her pre-wedding rituals included bashing Stassi, jumping into bed with Ariana (they passionately kissed!), and asking Kristen to fetch Shay’s gift for her after forgetting it at home.

Once Kristen arrived at the wedding venue, where Scheana and her bridesmaids dresses Online were getting ready, Ariana started throwing a fit. She said she felt “physically” uncomfortable standing in the same room as Kristen. Kristen, of course, devilishly enjoyed every second of it.

Scheana Marie Has A Meltdown At Her Wedding

When the wedding actually started — or tried to — Scheana, who wore a crop top two-piece wedding dress, nearly had a meltdown. As the bride previously told EXCLUSIVELY, a lot of things went wrong on her big day, including the timing of events.

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Fairy Godmothers provide wedding for military couple

Planning a wedding is no easy task. Now, imagine trying to plan a wedding while your significant other is deployed to the Middle East! It happens to military couples all the time. Someone in the wedding industry in Minnesota not only noticed, but decided to do something about it.

"You think okay, well, he's going to deploy and I'm going to stay at home and plan our wedding," says Kristin Hendrickson, "That's not the case." "It's very difficult from half-way around the world," chimes in her husband Ben.

Ben is in the Air Force Reserves and was deployed last year. The two decided to say a quick "I do" at Rice Park, in the middle of winter, before he took off.

"While it was a sweet moment, it wasn't everything that we wanted because we didn't have anybody there that we loved," said Kristin.

The idea was that Kristin would plan the "real" wedding while Ben was gone. It just became too much. Luckily, the two love-birds have a fairy Godmother, or Godmothers.

"It's the least we can do for the service they provide our country," says photographer Amy Coppersmith.

Coppersmith, who owns Coppersmith Photography, teamed up with Terri Uy-Lennon of Uy-Lennon Floral & Events to make military wedding dreams come true. The two were working with a bride that just couldn't seem to make the date happen with her fiancé coming and going to war zones.

"Let's just adopt her and make this wedding happen. We called all our friends in the industry and we took her out to coffee and said let us be your fairy Godmothers, let us plan your wedding," says the duo.

Once that was under their belts, it just kind of, well, became a thing. The Fairy Godmother Project Minnesota.

Wedding planners Jenn Rosen and Janea Mitcheltree of RoseTree Events were working with Ben and Kristin when things started to fall apart. The two decided to nominate the couple for the special wedding and they were chosen.

"At that point in my deployment, I was kind of at a down cycle where I was really missing home and my new wife and to get that news was incredible," says Ben Hendrickson.

The group says the typical, low-key, Minnesota wedding dresses online runs about $30,000 these days. That's enough to price a couple right out of their dream day.

"We had already given up on that hope and now they're giving us our dream," says Ben.

The Fairy Godmother Project Minnesota isn't some high-profile non-profit, it's just the brain-child of a couple women who wanted to make a difference. They don't want your money, they want your reception hall, your flowers, and your photographer.

"We reach out to our vendor friends and whoever is able or willing to donate their services, that's how it works," says Terri Uy-Lennon.

Proof that it's no tale...Fairy Godmothers do exist!

Charles Manson calls off wedding after learning his fiance is too evil even for him

Most 80-year-old guys wouldn’t mind having a 27-year-old woman marry them for their body, but this is something else all together. The New York Post brings us word that notorious murder cult leader Charles Manson has apparently called off his wedding with fiance Afton Elaine Burton after learning of her plan to put his corpse on display after his death and charge people money for the right to look at it.

FROM EARLIER: Yet another hugely popular torrent site bites the dust

This new revelation has come to light thanks to an upcoming book about Manson written by journalist Daniel Simone, who tells the Post that Manson eventually realized that he’d been “played for a fool.” Furthermore, Simone informs us that Manson thinks Burton’s idea is “stupid to begin with” because he doesn’t believe he’ll ever die.

According to Simone, Burton and her friend Craig Hammond initially straight-up asked Manson if he would sign over the rights to his body after his death, but he refused. They then realized that if Burton married Manson, she would have the rights to his remains after his death under California law.

However, Simone thinks Manson would never have actually gone through with the wedding anyway, so Burton and Hammond’s scheme may have been doomed from the start.

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Maroon 5 Can’t Stop Crashing Weddings In This New Video

Wedding traditions may have relaxed in recent decades, but one thing stays the same: the bride wears white. Sure, there are plenty of options out there for the iconoclasts among us. But as of last year, colored gowns accounted for only 4 to 5% of sales at popular retailer David’s Bridal.

Like any number of traditions, the white wedding dress comes to us straight from the Victorian era—in fact, from Queen Victoria herself, who was married to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha on this day, Feb. 10, 175 years ago. Yet when she chose white silk-satin for her wedding, the choice was almost as iconoclastic as it would have been for Catherine Middleton to walk down the aisle in scarlet.

Red was in fact a very popular color for brides in Victoria’s day, but the young queen broke with the status quo and insisted on a lacy white gown. Members of the court thought it much too restrained in color, and were mystified that she eschewed ermine and even a crown, opting instead for a simple orange blossom wreath.

Victoria was not the first royal to choose white for her nuptials—several others, including Mary Queen of Scots in 1558, preceded her—but she is the one widely credited with changing the norm. Just a few years after her wedding, a popular lady’s monthly called white “the most fitting hue” for a bride, “an emblem of the purity and innocence of girlhood, and the unsullied heart she now yields to the chosen one.”

Alongside purity and simplicity, Victoria’s gown telegraphed two other important values. She supported domestic commerce by using only British-made materials (a tradition repeated, partially, by Catherine Middleton), and she showed economy by keeping pieces of her dress in her wardrobe for years to come (as most of her contemporaries would have done as well, often simply wearing their best dress on their wedding day, no matter the color or style). Victoria repurposed the lace from her dress again and again, even resurrecting it for her Diamond Jubilee 56 years later.

Today’s brides may not share this thriftiness, but they do take after Victoria in style. With its fitted bodice and full, floor-length skirt, the typical contemporary wedding gown looks a lot more like Victoria’s dress than it does like anything else in the bride’s wardrobe.

Could a modern-day celebrity set such a lasting precedent for bridal fashion? It’s possible, but hard to imagine where such influence would come from. Even Madonna wore white to both of her weddings.

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