TIME Crime

Sister of South Carolina Shooter Crowdfunds For Cancelled Wedding

Funds will be for "dream honeymoon," but she'll donate 10% to A.M.E. Church

When Dylann Roof allegedly killed nine people at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S.C., last month, he didn’t just destroy families and prompt a national reckoning with the racial legacy of the Confederate flag. He also ruined his sister’s wedding, which was scheduled for four days later.

Dylann Roof’s sister Amber was scheduled to marry her fiancee Michael Tyo on June 21, according to a registry on TheKnot.com. Amber Roof was the one who called authorities after she saw her brother’s face on the surveillance footage from the church, the Washington Post reports, and Roof’s fiance Tyo lives in Shelby, N.C,, near where Roof was captured.

The wedding was cancelled because of the massacre, but Amber and her fiancee had started a GoFundMe page to help them recoup lost wedding expenses and go on a “dream honeymoon.” The website was live as of Thursday morning, but had been deleted by early Thursday afternoon.

The GoFundMe page called “A Fresh Start for Michael and Amber” appeared to have been created by Amber Roof. On it, she wrote:

As many of you know Michael and I had to abruptly cancel our wedding day, due to the tragedy that occurred in Charleston. June 21st was suppose to be the happiest day of our lives. It is the day every girl dreams of, it was the day we dreamed of. We had each other, we have the perfect venue, and we had our vows ready to be read. We were ready! We had planned out every detail for months and months. It was going to be the PERFECT day!

Our wedding day was suppose to be the most important and special day of our lives. It was suppose to start our lives together with our new family. Our day was the exact opposite. Our wedding day was full of sorrow, pain, and shame, tainted by the actions of one man…

We cancelled our wedding to protect our family and mourn the lives of those lost…

She noted that “money cannot replace the wedding we lost and our perfect day, however it will help us to create new memories and a new start with our new family.” Roof wrote that she wants to start her new family on a “positive note.”

Money raised will be used to cover lost wedding costs, to pay bills, and to send us on our dream honeymoon. 10% of all funds raised will be donated to Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

The page had raised just over $1,500 of the $5,00o requested before it was taken down Thursday afternoon.

TIME Family

Why I Think It’s Selfish to Have an Adult-Only Wedding

The truth is, I just can't afford so many kids-free weddings

Wedding season + kids + babysitter = a tulle-filled circle of hell.

This summer, my husband and I have approximately 10,000 weddings to attend. O.K., that’s an exaggeration, but it definitely feels that way. In and of itself, our plenitude of weddings are a good thing. Drinks! Dinner! Butter cream frosting!

The only problem with all these weddings this summer is that the vast majority of them don’t include an invitation extended to our offspring.

For all the best parenting stories from the web, sign up here for TIME’s weekly parenting newsletter.

And while I totally get that most couples don’t want to fork over the cash to pay for some snotty-nosed children to eat a few rolls and bust a move in the chicken dance, adult-only weddings have become my nemesis.

On one hand, I love the idea of an adult-only wedding. The chance to eat a kids-free meal and drink it up with my husband — which actually means like two drinks because I’m the world’s biggest lightweight (thanks kids for those perpetual pregnancies) — is pretty much my idea of heaven right now.

But the truth is, I just can’t afford so many kids-free weddings.

And frankly, after the third one, they kind of lose their appeal a little. Green beans and rubbery chicken, a few painfully drunken toasts, did they cut the cake yet, and are you ready to go yet?

I know every couple thinks their wedding will be different and the event of the century, and I appreciate that — I really do. I’m happy for you all, and I’m sure you put a lot of thought into that cupcake table and the vintage-inspired centerpieces, and the photo booth props, really. But a wedding is a wedding is a wedding.

For couples that have kids, an adult-only wedding is a painful decision-making process that includes weighing the cost of a babysitter with the most special night of your lives, which is just another weekend in ours.

For us, to attend the ceremony and a reception, I’ll easily shell out over 100 bucks on a babysitter, plus the wedding gift. It’s a horrendously expensive date night and I’m sorry (and no offense to you and the love of your life), but that’s really asking a lot of your guests with young children.

I know you think that you might be doing us a favor by giving us a “night out,” but that’s not really the case when $100+ could buy me a whole lot of date night elsewhere.

Part of me doesn’t buy all the justifications couples use for not inviting kids to their wedding. The uber-fancy wedding, granted, I can accept. I wouldn’t want my kids breaking any crystal, either.

But if you’re like the rest of us, hosting a pretty standard wedding and reception and aren’t inviting kids because of the cost, it’s a tough pill for me to swallow. I’d rather bring my kids after dinner, or pop them on my lap to share my buttered roll, so we could all attend your special day without it costing me an arm and a leg to be there.

And is it just me or do kids sometimes make the party?

Who else has such a carefree lack of inhibitions (sober) on the dance floor? Who else can you do the robot with and not feel like an idiot? Everybody dances more when there are kids around and parents don’t have to hurry home to pay the sitter.

Don’t get me wrong, I will be a good little wedding guest this summer and shell out the cash to a sitter when I can, and send a polite card when I can’t, but part of me wishes that if you care enough to want me (or my money) at your wedding, you could make it a little easier on me to be there with my family.

Because I want to be there, I really do, but preferably not while going bankrupt in the process.

This article originally appeared on YourTango

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The Supreme Court on Friday struck down the ban on same-sex marriages in all 50 states. These images show some of the first gay marriages Friday in states like Texas, Nebraska and Georgia, where same-sex marriages previously weren't recognized

MONEY Weddings

The Ultimate Wedding Gift-Giving Guide

stacked wedding gifts
Paul Taylor—Getty Images

When, whether, and how much to give.

If you’re attending a wedding this summer, there’s probably one question weighing on your mind: What should you give the happy couple?

Figuring out how much to spend, what type of gift to give, and even when to deliver a gift is tricky, particularly if your generosity exceeds your budget.

To help you sort through all those thorny gift-giving conundrums, we asked wedding etiquette experts to weigh in with their best advice.

How much should I give as a wedding gift?

“There is no rule. Give whatever you feel is appropriate for your budget and your relationship with the couple,” says Nancy R. Mitchell, a protocol and etiquette consultant. “There is this misconception that people are supposed to give a gift that equals the cost of their meal at the wedding, but it is tacky to look at a gift that way.”

On average, according to a 2013 survey by American Express, people spend $179 on a close family member’s gift, $119 on a close friend’s, $114 on a relative’s, $79 on a friend’s, and $66 on a coworker’s.

Wedding etiquette expert Lizzie Post adds that if your budget is on the lower end, say under $25, it may be better to give a physical gift rather than cash.

Is it ok to go off the registry?

Yes. “If items listed on the registry aren’t within your price range, or if you want to give the couple something else you know they would enjoy, that’s fine,” says etiquette expert Diane Gottsman.

Just be sure to keep the couple and your relationship in mind. “Think creatively if you can’t spend a lot of money,” Mitchell says. “I know people who have given the gift of their services or skills to the couple. People get so bogged down with a dollar amount, but it’s the thought that counts most.”

If you’re uncomfortable thinking outside the box (or don’t know the couple well enough), but everything left on the registry is too pricey, consider giving a gift card to the store where the registry is listed, Gottsman suggests. Or you could go with Post’s standby: an engraved picture frame. “Really small and simple things can be really valuable when specified to that day and couple,” she says.

Is it rude to give cash when the couple is registered?

I don’t think anyone is going to turn down cash,” says Post. “And at the end of day, if they have cash left over, then they can go get the wedding registry items they didn’t receive.” About half of couples agree with Post, saying that the gift they’d most like to receive is cash, according to another Amex survey released in April.

If you have to travel to get to the wedding, should that impact how much you spend on the present?

“You should never feel bad if travel costs impact your gift budget,” says Mitchell. “If you’re spending money to be there on their day, that is a huge contribution already. It is more important that you give within your means.”

Should you mail the couple the gift or give it to them at the event?

Best practice is to send the gift ahead of time or directly after the wedding, Mitchell says. “Never take the gift to wedding. It becomes too much of a burden on family members to protect the gifts and too easy for gifts to disappear, especially in a public place. Then the family must transport them and cards fall off. It creates a lot more work.”

If you’re part of the wedding party, how much should you give for the gift?

Given that if you’re part of the wedding, you’re already spending quite a deal of money on the event, from clothing to showers, as well as tons of time and effort,” says Gottsman. “Go in with the other bridesmaids and give one nice big gift as a group.” The couple typically does not expect to receive individual gifts, she points out.

If the couple is asking for monetary donations to a honeymoon fund or home downpayment, but you’d rather give a gift, is that ok?

“It is up to you to make that decision,” Gottsman says. “The couple is just making a suggestion. If you would prefer to give a gift or feel uncomfortable contributing to these types of expenses, you don’t have to.” If you find such a request offensive, don’t mention it or feel like you have to explain why you’ve opted for a different gift.

If the couple says ‘no gifts please,’ but you want to give something, should you?

“It is most appropriate to respect the couple’s wishes,” says Post. “If you bring a gift to the wedding, you could make the couple and guests who didn’t bring gifts feel uncomfortable.”

She suggests that if you really want to treat the couple to something, give them your gift after the honeymoon, when you can privately celebrate together, say at a dinner out.

If you’re a plus-one, are you supposed to bring a gift?

“You allow the person who was invited to take care of that,” says Gottsman. “You can ask the invited person if they would like you to go in on the gift, if you feel very close to her or him.”

If the couple gave you a gift or check at your wedding that you know you can’t reciprocate, what do you do?

“Gifts are not reciprocal. You do what you can. You just have to hope that the couple understands this and won’t take offense if the gift isn’t what they were expecting,” says Post.

Focus instead on giving a thoughtful gift that will pack a big emotional value, says Gottsman.

Do I have to send gift if I don’t attend the wedding?

“If you receive a wedding invite, you’re usually expected to send a gift, but a gift is never a requirement,” says Mitchell.

Gottsman advises you to use your judgment. “If you value your relationship and will see the couple again, you do want to send them something. What you give, of course, depends on your situation and relationship with the couple. Just be sure to send the gift before the wedding or very soon after, within a month of it passing.”

Read next: How to Be in Your Friend’s Wedding and Not Go Broke

TIME celebrity

Amy Schumer Photobombs a Couple’s Engagement Shoot in Central Park

Alisha Siegel

"Who else would photobomb an engagement shoot like that?"

Now that’s one for the wedding album.

Engaged couple Joseph Turnage and Brandon Moore were posing for engagement pictures recently in New York’s Central Park with photographer Alisha Siegel when notorious funnywoman (and prankster) Amy Schumer popped up while jogging and joined in on the photo-shoot fun.

Siegel was in the middle of snapping photos of the soon-to-be-married duo near the reservoir on 86th Street on the east side of the park when she heard someone yell, “Oh my god! Are you taking engagement photos? Let me get in one!” Siegel recalls of the run-in.

“I thought it was a little weird, but I said yes anyways,” Siegel tells PEOPLE. “She took off her sunglasses, we snapped a quick pic, and right after, she says, ‘You guys know I’m like reeeeeeal famous.’ I take another look it hit me that it was Amy Schumer!”

The Brooklyn-based photographer admits that the encounter was a complete shock, leaving her just a bit starstruck.

“My face went totally blank and I said, ‘Oh my god! Amy! I love you!’ Needless to say I was pretty excited,” says Siegel, 25.

And the couple, who are set to wed in Manhattan in October, were just as stunned.

“I think we were all in shock that it had actually happened. We were just doing our thing and taking pictures. Never in a million years would we think Amy Schumer would want to jump in a photo,” Siegel says, also noting that the Comedy Central star was “beyond friendly” and “hilarious.”

Adds Siegel, “Who else would photobomb an engagement shoot like that? Only Amy.”

This article originally appeared on People.com.


The Single Best Piece of Marriage Advice Ever Given

Simon & Schuster

Lisa Grunwald is the co-author, with her husband Stephen Adler, of The Marriage Book: Centuries of Advice, Inspiration and Cautionary Tales, from Adam & Eve to Zoloft.

Know someone saying 'I do' this month? Here's what to tell them

First, some numbers: I’ve been married (to the same person) for twenty-seven years. Those twenty-seven years have included six in which we were researching an anthology about marriage. That anthology (The Marriage Book: Centuries of Advice, Inspiration, and Cautionary Tales, from Adam & Eve to Zoloft) is 560 pages long. Those 560 pages include 529 entries that we arrived at after scanning—honestly—tens of thousands of books, poems, newspaper articles, letters, postcards, photographs, and songs.

So after all that searching, I’ve been asked to name the one—just the one—best piece of advice that my husband and I would offer a newly married couple.

Are you ready? With the caveat that there are 3.7 pounds of other wisdom in our book, this is it. It was written in a notebook in 1909 by the poet William Butler Yeats when he was 44:

In wise love, each divines the high secret self of the other and, refusing to believe in the mere daily self, creates a mirror where the lover or the beloved sees an image to copy in daily life.

Simply put: If you’re smart about it, you’ll rise above the inevitable setbacks and stresses of a shared life, and you will make it your lasting mission to bring out the absolute best in your spouse.

How do you do this?

You have to banish contempt. Contempt is an acid, and it etches ugliness into love. To banish contempt means that when your husband has given in to his least attractive tendencies, his most fearful, or fearsome; when your wife has lost her focus, her patience, or her heart, this is the moment when you must exercise the x-ray vision I’m sure Yeats would have mentioned if he’d known about Superman. This is the moment when you must see through the annoying, demanding, complaining, failing, faltering wreck in front of you—and find the strong, kind, fascinating, functional person you know your spouse wants to be.

You have to learn to be a critic without criticizing. Thanks to the internet, I now know that the origin of the word critic is the Greek word kritikos, which—strangely enough—does not mean “able to pick at flaws incessantly” but does mean “able to make judgments.” This is a crucial difference. The kind of criticism that helps marriage is the kind you learned in English class: studying something so well that you can find its hidden patterns and its deeper truths. If you apply this kind of criticism in marriage, it is actually possible to stop a spouse in mid-spiral (sometimes even in mid-sentence!) and say, “Excuse me, no offense, but you are not being the person you want to be.” The pronoun is vital. The difference between “who you want to be” and “who I want you to be” is the difference between encouragement and nagging: spark and ash.

You can’t do this without understanding what it is that your spouse truly wants. That may sound easy, but isn’t. In the short term, you might know she wants a promotion, or he wants to live in the country. But that is not the “high secret self” you need to know. The “high secret self” exists apart from daily desires and even apart from the twists of fate and fortune that get in the way. Example: A long, long time ago, I asked my husband what he wanted. I mean Wanted, with a capital W. I asked: Is it fame? Money? Power? Adventure? He gave me his answer (PS, it was none of those things), and, when he asked me, I gave him mine. The specifics only mattered to the extent that we each had an answer, and that neither of us was planning to knock off a bank. Since then, we have, to the best of our abilities, been the guardians of each other’s answers, the guardians of each other’s best selves. (Naturally we haven’t always succeeded, and naturally some of our goals have evolved over time, but, hey, a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little marriages.).

In 1928, Henry Neuman, who was a leader of the Society for Ethical Culture, wrote a book called Modern Youth and Marriage, and in it, he gave advice remarkably similar to Yeats’ journal jotting:

Disillusion, of course, enters in time. There are no full-grown perfect beings. Sooner or later the frailties are recognized. But there is in most people a better self which the fallible self hides; and the greatest privilege of the married life is to be the one who assists the other more and more to do justice to that better possibility.

William Butler Yeats spent his life desperately in love with a woman he never got to marry, so, sadly, he never had the chance to exercise this privilege. To newly married couples, I would say: Seize it. Assist your spouse in doing justice to that better possibility.And while you’re at it, remember: say I love you, put the cap back on the toothpaste, and never —no matter how great the provocation—insult one of your in-laws.

Read next: 14 Pieces of Practical Dating Advice From My 85-Year-Old Grandmother

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME relationships

This Is the Geekiest Marriage Proposal Ever

And it's also pretty adorable

All research papers reveal a new discovery with evidence, defense and scientific theory — not all papers, however, include a marriage proposal.

Alberta paleontologist Caleb Brown proposed to his girlfriend Lorna O’Brien in the acknowledgments section of a research paper he co-authored detailing the discovery of a new dinosaur called Regaliceratops peterhewsi (nicknamed Hellboy).

The passage reads, “C.M.B. would specifically like to highlight the ongoing and unwavering support of Lorna O’Brien. Lorna, will you marry me?” According to CBC News, Brown’s girlfriend, also a paleontologist, said “yes.”

“She was a bit astonished, speechless at first. I don’t think she fully comprehended the significance, but regardless of that she said yes, so that’s always a good answer,” Brown said.

He also said his editors at Current Biology were supportive of his proposal and “were really interested and they wanted to know what her answer was.”

Dino fans on Twitter, with impeccable attention to detail, brought the life-changing sentence to light and the story made the rounds on social media.

Brown said that he hopes the marriage proposal does not diminish the new dinosaur’s discovery — but the ship might have sailed on that one.

MONEY Budgeting

8 Cost-Cutting Wedding Hacks

jar of wildflowers at wedding location

Newlyweds share how they saved on the big day.

With the average cost of a wedding soaring to $31,213 in 2015, couples need to get creative to save … without compromising too much on their vision.

But just how do you cut corners and still throw a fun and fabulous affair?

Well, the couples in this story pulled it off, and then some, from finding gorgeous invites that cost less than the postage it took to mail them to creating a dessert table that was flat-out free—and the talk of the party.

See how they did it—and which tips you might want to steal when it’s your turn to walk down the aisle.

My Ultimate Wedding Venue Hack

“We chose a city-owned historical site—the Newland Barn in Huntington Beach, Calif.—as our wedding venue.

Since these types of locations are considered nonprofits, they’re not able to hike up rental prices due to popularity and demand. We saved at least $10,000 by getting married there.”
—Danielle Estrada, 27, La Verne, Calif.

My Ultimate Wedding Flowers Hack

“We bought our flowers wholesale from a site called FiftyFlowers, spending around $150 to $200. That bought us 2,000 stems, including carnations, daisies and baby’s breath. We had over 250 guests—and still had flowers left over.

I recruited eight of my bridesmaids, and using floral tape, pins and ribbon, we made all of the bouquets and centerpieces ourselves. It was so much fun, and I had multiple people tell me how much they loved the flowers.”
—Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, 26, St. Louis

My Ultimate Wedding Invitations Hack

“My husband and I had a traditional wedding for under $20,000, which is unheard of in New York City. One big way we saved was by Groupon-ing our invitations and save-the-dates.

Groupon often has ads for Vistaprint—even if the deals aren’t public, you can search for a coupon code. Our invites and save-the-dates were completely personalized and great quality—and we ended up spending a whopping $35 on both. The postage to send them cost more!”
—Kimberly Miller, 31, Long Island, New York

My Ultimate Wedding Planner Hack

“I priced out having a day-of coordinator, which would have cost me between $1,000 and $3,000. To save money, I asked my friend Jackie, who works in event planning, to do it instead—and she gave it to us as our wedding gift.

Not only did she save me money, but she was a total pro! She even set up a mimosa bar for all of my bridesmaids while we were getting ready.”
—Katie Schafer, 35, Birmingham, Mich.

My Ultimate Wedding Linens Hack

“We got married on the beach in Florida, and I ordered all of my linens right off Amazon. It was so much cheaper than renting them!”
—Kristen Liddicoat Vanselow, 40, Fort Myers Beach, Fla.

My Ultimate Wedding Budget Hack

“Instead of creating a traditional registry, we asked to receive money as a gift through a site called Honeyfund. With the money we received, we were able to pay off the wedding expenses and our honeymoon!”
—Kai Yaniz, 31, Tampa Bay, Fla.

My Ultimate Wedding Dessert Hack

“We got married at a campground outside of San Francisco, and did a lot of things ourselves. We asked friends and family to bake their favorite cookies, and set that up as a dessert table, instead of spending a ton of money on a traditional cake.

It really brought our guests together, and people were asking for the recipes. I had one friend ask, ‘Who is James because I just ate all of his peanut butter cookies?!’”
—Jenna Megalizzi, 37, San Francisco

More From LearnVest:

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