TIME wedding

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Responds Perfectly to Fan’s Wedding Invite

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg makes remarks during a forum at the Newseum to mark the 30th anniversary of the first female Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's first term on the Supreme Court in Washington, DC, April 11, 2012.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg makes remarks during a forum at the Newseum to mark the 30th anniversary of the first female Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's first term on the Supreme Court in Washington, DC, April 11, 2012. Mike Theiler—REUTERS

The Notorious R.B.G. knows how to RSVP

Inviting celebrities to your wedding is nothing new—Peyton Manning and the Obamas seem to be popular choices. But Staci Zaretsky, editor at Above the Law, took it to the next level by asking if Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg would attend her nuptials.

Justice Ginsburg—or as Zaretsky and her fiancé affectionately call her, “The Notorious R.B.G.”— has long been an idol of Zaretsky.

“My fiancé and I decided to invite everyone who had ever made an impact on our lives, big or small,” Zaretsky wrote in an article for Above the Law. “To stay true to the way we invited all of our guests, I wanted to invite the justice who made the biggest impact on my life.”

But when she sent a handwritten letter and wedding invitation to Ginsburg, she didn’t anticipate a response, let alone a personal note.

This is the letter Staci Zaretsky received from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg responding to Zaretsky's wedding invitation.
This is the letter Staci Zaretsky received from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg responding to Zaretsky’s wedding invitation. Staci Zaretsky—Above the Law

Ginsburg has surely made an impact on the lives of many as an advocate for women across the country. In the June 30 5-4 ruling of the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby case, she made her feelings clear:

“Approving some religious claims while deeming others unworthy of accommodation could be ‘perceived as favoring one religion over another,’ the very ‘risk the [Constitution's] Establishment Clause was designed to preclude” wrote the the Justice.

Regardless of your stance on the Hobby Lobby decision, there’s no arguing that Ginsburg is a powerful woman, and now, a most gracious wedding guest.

 

TIME Law

FAA Investigates Congressman’s Drone Wedding Video

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney in Capitol hill in 2013.
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney in the Capitol in 2013. Tom Williams—CQ-Roll Call/Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) — The Federal Aviation Administration indicated Wednesday that it is investigating whether a video of a congressman’s wedding last month violated the agency’s ban on drone flights for commercial purposes.

The agency’s carefully worded statement doesn’t mention Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., by name, but said it was looking into “a report of an unmanned aircraft operation in Cold Spring, New York, on June 21 to determine if there was any violation of federal regulations or airspace restrictions.”

Maloney has acknowledged hiring a photographer to produce a video of his wedding using a camera mounted on a small drone. The wedding took place in Cold Spring on June 21. Maloney is a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s aviation subcommittee, which oversees the FAA.

Top agency officials have testified extensively before Congress about their concern that commercial drones could collide with manned aircraft or injure people on the ground. Congress has been pressing the FAA to move faster on creating regulations that will allow commercial drones access to U.S. skies. The agency has been working on regulations for about a decade.

“On their wedding day, Sean and Randy were focused on a ceremony 22 years in the making, not their wedding photographer’s camera mounted on his remote control helicopter,” Stephanie Formas, spokeswoman for Maloney, said in a statement.

The FAA has approved a few limited commercial drone operations. But the agency has also been sending letters to commercial operators across the country — including other videographers and companies that hire videographers — to cease their drone flights or face fines.

One videographer, Raphael Pirker, challenged the $10,000 fine the FAA tried to level against him for flying a small drone in an allegedly reckless manner near the University of Virginia. An administrative law judge sided with Pirker, whose attorney argued the agency can’t ban commercial drone flights when it hasn’t formally adopted safety rules governing drone flights. The FAA has appealed the case to the five-member National Transportation Safety Board. A decision is expected this fall.

Formas, citing the judge’s ruling, said there was “no enforceable FAA rule” or regulation that applied to “a model aircraft like the helicopter used in the ceremony.”

The wedding photographer subcontracted Parker Gyokeres of Propellerheads Aerial Photography in Trenton, New Jersey, to shoot the video. Gyokeress posted outtakes of the wedding on his company’s website and created a YouTube video.

TIME viral

Wedding Photo Goes Terribly, Horribly Wrong

Ripped pants *and* an injured bridesmaid

Okay, so this is probably not as disastrous as an entire wedding party sinking into a lake, but still pretty unfortunate. At a recent wedding photo shoot, a groomsman did that cool jump-in-the-picture move and ending up a) kicking a bridesmaid square in the face then b) ripping his pants.

The photo, which the groomsman posted on Reddit, could have been pretty cool if not for all the mishaps. Points for effort, I guess?

(h/t Bouquet Catcher)

TIME viral

These Stunning Wedding Photos Feature a Tornado as the Backdrop

A cool twist on an otherwise traditional photo shoot

If they saw a funnel cloud looming on the horizon, most people would probably, you know, head somewhere safe to take cover. But Colleen Niska saw it as an opportunity. The Canadian wedding photographer was shooting a young bride and groom in Saskatchewan when they all noticed a tornado forming behind them. Niska decided to use it as a backdrop.

“I’ve dreamed about a day like this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” the photographer wrote on Facebook. “Could NOT wait to post these! Pretty sure this will only happen once in my lifetime!”

“We were a long ways from it and so we weren’t frightened or anything and it wasn’t heading in our direction,” Niska told BuzzFeed. “We were pretty excited as none of us had witnessed a tornado before and thought it was a pretty cool opportunity. I wasn’t going to pass on it!”

TIME Television

The Full House Crew Reunited for Dave Coulier’s Wedding

Cast members reunited at the Montana ceremony

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Actor Dave Coulier’s Wednesday wedding doubled as a reunion for the classic ABC sitcom Full House.

Show creator Jeff Franklin and cast members John Stamos, Candace Cameron Bure, Andrea Barber and Bob Saget all traveled to Paradise Valley, Montana to see “Uncle Joey” tie the knot with photographer and producer Melissa Bring on Wednesday. Bure, who played DJ Tanner in the 80’s and 90’s sitcom, and Barber, who played Kimmy Gibbler, previously told Us Weekly they would be each other’s dates at the wedding—both their husbands stayed at home to watch the kids.

Full House, which aired on ABC from 1987 until 1995, followed the life of Danny Tanner (Saget), a widowed father who asks his best friend Joey Gladstone (Coulier) and brother-in-law Jesse Katsopolis (Stamos) to help him raise his three daughters after his wife’s death. Only the oldest Tanner daughter, Bure, attended the “reunion,” as Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen—who played the younger daughters—were not at the wedding.

The cast members who did attend, though, made sure to chronicle their adventures on social media. Franklin tweeted his feelings after he gathered the show’s leading men for a photo:

Barber and Bure—”partners in crime” as Bure calls them in this Instagram snap, which she posted today in honor of Barber’s birthday—clearly had fun in Montana.

So did Stamos, captured here by Saget while walking with a bench.

MONEY Budgeting

Say Yes to a Cheaper Wedding Dress

Bride and Groom
Look great, spend less. Charlotte Jenks Lewis Photography

You want this once-in-a-lifetime outfit to look great. But that doesn't mean you have to spend a fortune on your dress (or the groom's suit). Try out one of these ideas for paying less.

Couples spend nearly $30,000 on average to get married in the U.S., according to TheKnot.com. In this three-part series, we asked in-the-know wedding bloggers to share their best ideas for throwing a great party on a budget. Part one offered tips on picking the place, which is your single biggest expense (typically about half of the budget). Part two served up eight ideas for saving money on food and drink. Today’s final installment will help you score a deal on the all-important dress—and tux for the groom.

1. Make the Dress Your “Something Old”

“Shop your mom’s closet and have her wedding dress customized to fit your style, or hit up some consignment shops and see what they have. I’ve stumbled across some gorgeous raw silk wedding gowns at Goodwill that were selling for a steal (think $20 to $50). The fabric alone is worth way more than that, and you could easily take the dress to a seamstress and have her re-work the style for a fraction of the cost of a new dress. While it wasn’t my actual wedding, for a wedding shoot in Paris with my husband I wore my mom’s wedding dress from the ’60s. It has a mod vibe, so it still felt current.”— Sarah Darcy, Classic Bride

2. Score the Store Sample

“If you can find a discontinued dress, you will get an even bigger savings. The shop has to get rid of the sample since they can’t order the dress after discontinuation. So you are doing the shop a favor by taking it out the door. These dresses have often been tried on before, but so has most of the clothing you buy in any store, so that shouldn’t be a deterrent.” — Lisa Sokolowski, A Bride on a Budget

3. Hunt for Designer Discounts

“Shop sites like NearlyNewlywed.com and PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com to find designer dresses at a discount, or check out local bridal shops when they are hosting sample sales to score a major deal on your wedding dress.” — Jessica Lehry Bishop, The Budget Savvy Bride

4. Look Past the Wedding Label

“One of the best ways to save is get a white dress that is not marketed as a wedding dress. If you still want that more traditional wedding look or a more classic dress, I like to look at bridesmaid dress options that come in white.” —Meg Keene, A Practical Wedding

5. Adopt a More Casual Look

If planning a beach or destination wedding, there’s no need to go all out with a wedding dress. Check the clearance racks and even consider a cocktail dress (maybe one with a bit of color). Any dress can be fancied up with a colorful sash or even a pretty crocheted vest or shrug. I mention this because I recently featured a shoot that showcased an $8 dress from Target on clearance. It could easily work for a bride that wanted to wear a dress in a pastel color. It looked beautiful with a crocheted vest over it.” — Brenda Bennett Maille, Brenda’s Wedding Blog

6. Ditch the Tuxedo

“For the guys, consider suits instead of full-blown tuxes. You can get a ton of mileage out of a good suit, and stores like J. Crew and Banana Republic sell them for not-so-staggering prices.” — Dana LaRue, The Broke-Ass Bride

7. Go In as a Group

“Many of the major tuxedo stores will offer a group discount, and often the groom will get his tux for free with a certain number of groomsmen rentals. Be sure to ask about these discounts before ordering. Also, associates will add all accessories at the time of rental (cufflinks, pocket squares, shoes), but not all of them may be required for rental. Ask if anything can be removed. Your groomsmen might all have their own black shoes and can save money by not renting them.” — Lisa Sokolowski, A Bride on a Budget

TIME celebrity

Beyoncé and Jay Z Showed a Video From Their Secret Wedding Last Night

"On The Run Tour: Beyonce And Jay-Z" - Opening Night In Miami Gardens
Kevin Mazur—2014 Kevin Mazur

Bow down to the king and queen

Beyoncé and Jay Z gave the crowd at the first stop on their highly anticipated “On the Run” tour more to talk about than just the music Wednesday night.

The duo showed off a few very brief seconds of previously unseen footage from their 2008 wedding. You might have to watch the video a few times, but eagle-eyed fans will spot details from what looks like a relatively normal ceremony: the couple exchanges rings; Beyoncé sports a very traditional-looking white wedding dress and veil; and attendees cheer joyously when they walk down the aisle after the ceremony. Except everything was probably really, really expensive. And a lot of other celebrities were probably there. So maybe not like your wedding at all.

The couple has always been secretive about their union, but the video even offers a glimpse of the couple’s famous wedding ring “IV” tattoos. (The couple is obsessed with number four: Beyonce is born on Sept. 4, Jay Z’s birthday is Dec. 4, the couple married on April 4 and daughter Blue Ivy’s middle name sounds suspiciously like the number.)

As predicted, they also shared the stage for several songs, including “’03 Bonnie and Clyde,” their first hit together. What else happened? Each superstar wowed the crowd by delivering an epic solo set, chock-full of hits. Jay Z wore his usual uniform of highly tailored separates and some chains. And of course, Beyoncé donned some amazing costumes (including a spangly fishnet mask!) while bringing down the house. Just another day in the life for the family Carter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MONEY

8 Ways To Throw a Memorable Wedding for Less

Outdoor wedding venue under a tree
On average, couples spend $13,385 on the wedding venue. Charlotte Jenks Lewis Photography

With the busy June wedding season drawing to a close, it's time for couples looking to marry next year to get going. To jump start your planning, check out these novel ideas from savvy insiders.

Updated on June 26, 2014.

Couples spend nearly $30,000 on average to get married in the U.S., according to TheKnot.com. In this three-part series, we asked in-the-know wedding bloggers to share their best ideas for throwing a great party on a budget. Up first today: the place, which is your single biggest expense (typically about half of the budget). Coming tomorrow and Friday: Food and drink, and the all-important dress.

1. Book a Table (or 10)

“Renting a restaurant can sometimes be an incredible cost saver, and chances are you’ll be able to find one that fits your style (and taste buds). For my wedding, we found this great old French home that is a restaurant on the Mississippi Coast. It even had our color-scheme, white with touches of green. Because it was a restaurant, we didn’t have to pay extra for tables, chairs, tablecloths, silverware, and wait staff. We only paid for food. We didn’t even have to pay the normal fee for renting a restaurant, because we had it in a small side courtyard and the restaurant stayed open the whole time. I think we saved around $4,000 doing it this way than if we’d had it at a more traditional venue. This works best for more intimate weddings. We only had 40 people at ours.” — Sarah Darcy, Classic Bride

2. Stay Away From the Peak

“A day in June will command a higher price than a day in January. If you are able to keep your date flexible, you should be able to save between $1,000 and$1,500, or even more if you opt for a weekday instead of weekend. Because it’s an off-peak time, you may also be able to get a lower rate for some vendors, like a wedding band. Your guests may also thank you for the winter wedding, as airfare and hotel rates for on off-season destination will be lower as well.” — Lisa Sokolowski, A Bride On a Budget

3. Be a Savvy Decorator

“Look for in-season blooms. Re-use bridesmaids bouquets for reception decor. Or skip flowers altogether! Use candles and Chinese lanterns to set the mood, and ribbon for a little extra oomph. Know a bride who is getting married around the same time you are or one who is using the same event space? Go in with her to share decorations! Everyone saves!” — Dana LaRue, The Broke-Ass Bride

4. Stick to One Place

“The wedding industry can pressure you into thinking you need a great creative place for the ceremony and another great creative space for the reception. But there is no reason to pressure yourself to have two separate places. Your guests are not going to care if it’s in the same location, and while they will travel to both spaces for you, they will probably be relieved you saved them another car trip. If you do marry in a church, you obviously can’t have the reception in the same space as the ceremony, but check if the church has a reception hall. They’re often underused and really nice.” — Meg Keene, A Practical Wedding

5. Don’t Be Shy About Borrowing

“Most venues host events other than weddings and may have items in storage for those occasions that you can borrow for free. My wedding was beach-themed and for the centerpieces I wanted hurricane lamps with floating candles. When I described what I was picturing to staff, they brought almost the exact same centerpieces out of storage and let me use them. Another friend wanted string lights, and when she asked the venue for recommendations on where to rent some, they already had them in a closet.” — Lisa Sokolowski, A Bride On a Budget

6. Lean on Your Friends

“If you know you’ll have lots of extra hands willing to help on your wedding day, consider going the DIY route on flowers. My biggest advice would be to keep it simple. Choose only one or two varieties of flowers. It’s hard to make a bouquet of creamy white peonies and hydrangeas look bad.”— Sarah Darcy, Classic Bride

7. Buck Tradition

“Consider having your wedding in a local park (check permit limitations), library, movie theater, or museum. The less they hold standard events, the better chance you may be able to negotiate a really stellar price. Consider what you and your fiance love doing and explore from there.” — Dana LaRue, The Broke-Ass Bride

8. Think of Everything

“When you book a venue, be sure to find out what ‘extras’ are included. The ‘cheapest’ venue might come without tables, linens, silverware, and many other items that you will need to rent. A full service venue can save you money—and save you from having to coordinate multiple vendors. A friend rented a beautiful courtyard and loft. But the outdoor courtyard had no lighting, a problem for nighttime dancing, and the venue only had seating for 80, despite fitting 120. So my friend needed to rent lights and seating for 40. What had initially seemed like the best deal quickly became as costly as other venues.” — Lisa Sokolowski, A Bride on a Budget

Update: Tip No. 4 from Meg Keene was changed from the original published version.

 

MONEY Budgeting

Yes, It’s Okay to Skip a Faraway Wedding

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West wedding
Jay Z and Beyonce turned down an invitation to Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's wedding in Florence. So what's stopping you from saying no to your cousin's big day in Boise? via Twitter

For families, the costs of attending weddings add up fast. Financial planner Kevin McKinley offers a few ways to keep expenses in check, including just saying "no."

The average American will spend $109 per wedding gift given this year, according to a recent survey by American Express.

But that sum is a mere fraction of what is spent to attend a wedding. The same survey says that guests will fork over, on average, an additional $592 per wedding per person on transportation, lodging, and the like. That’s significant enough if you’re a single person, but for families with young kids, the costs can really put pressure on the household budget. For a family of four, you’re looking at around $2,400 based on the AmEx survey, and that’s just average. When your cousin decides to get married in Martinique or your best friend from college picks the Ritz as the hotel of choice, your bill could easily be double that.

And for that pricey amount, you’ll likely end up spending more time shushing and soothing your kids than you will be partying it up with the wedding couple and their other guests.

Here are some better ways families can honor a bride and groom getting married at a distance, without breaking the bank or damaging your relationships.

•Decline but pump up your gift. Of course, the cheapest option is to say no to the invitation. To avoid any hurt feelings or questions, include a personal note that expresses your best wishes and your regret over not being able to make it–you might allude to the difficulty of choosing between bringing the whole family along and finding a suitable sitter for several days of round-the-clock care. Now to really take the sting out of the decline, consider sending a gift of cash that significantly exceeds the average gift amount (assuming you can afford it).

Don’t worry about offending the couple—55% of couples in the American Express survey said that they prefer cash to other more tangible gifts.

Even though you’re spending more than you usually would on a gift, you can think of it as savings over what you would have spent on the trip. That gift will go farther for the recipients too, since you’ll also be saving the couple (or their parents) the $220 per guest a survey from TheKnot.com found to be the average amount spent on food and entertainment at weddings in 2013.

What it’ll cost you: $300, assuming you give a gift triple the average amount.

•Decline, but make a date to celebrate separately. The other downside of spending thousands of dollars to attend a wedding—besides spending thousands of dollars—is that the bride or groom won’t be able to give you more than a few minutes of their attention. And if you don’t know anyone who will be attending besides the bride and groom, you’ve spent about $1,000 per minute with your friends.

You can get more quality time for less cash by getting together separately with the newlyweds after the wedding. So, if they live near you but are having a destination wedding, schedule a date to take them out for dinner when they’re back. If they live elsewhere, make a plan to visit them in their town, with your kids, at a different time. You’ll be able to pick your dates according to the most affordable time to travel, and perhaps save on hotel and dining costs by staying with the couple.

What it’ll cost you: $550, assuming you give a generous $200 gift, take them out for a $300 meal, and pay a babysitter around $50 to watch your kids; what it will cost to visit at another time depends upon where they live, whether you fly or drive, whether you stay with them and how much you spend on the gift

•Leave the kids at home. If you must attend the wedding, whether due to a sense of obligation or anticipation, you might consider leaving the children at home with a sitter or trusted relative. The net cost of the trip will still be much less than if you brought the kids, and you’ll be able to relax a little and enjoy yourself more.

What it’ll cost you: $1,184 based on the per person numbers from American Express and assuming you can convince a family member to babysit for free; more if you can’t.

•Fly solo. Can’t find someone to watch the kids but still want to go to the wedding? Another more affordable route would be to have the parent who’s less familiar with the couple stay at home while the other attends.

What it’ll cost you: $592 based on the per person numbers from American Express, plus the cost of a very nice souvenir for the parent who didn’t get to stay in a hotel room and wake up late!

•Make a vacation out of it. You’re probably planning some kind of family getaway anyway. And hopefully you’ve already set some money aside for this purpose. So look for ways to build your trip around the event so that your money does double duty (most importantly because you avoid paying for pricey airfares twice).

Could you tack on a week before or after the celebration? Is there someplace you’d all like to go that’s within driving distance? Turning the event into a vacation can make it more fun for all involved.

What it’ll cost you: More than $2,400 probably, but you’ll still save money by combining two trips.

______

Kevin McKinley is a financial planner and owner of McKinley Money LLC, a registered investment advisor in Eau Claire, Wisc. He’s also the author of Make Your Kid a Millionaire. His column appears weekly.

TIME movies

A Filmmaker Taped 112 Weddings. Here’s What He Learned About Marriage

Doug Block turned his wedding-videographer gig into a documentary

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For decades, documentary filmmaker Doug Block has supplemented his income with wedding-video gigs — and he’s now combined the two to make a documentary, 112 Weddings, which is out in the UK today and premieres in the U.S. on HBO on June 30. In the film, Block revisits several of the couples whose weddings he filmed to see how their marriages have worked out. The couples are divorced and still together, childless and with children, happy and not so much, but they all open up about what’s caused their marriages to work out the way they have.

“People conflate the wedding with the marriage and the getting married with the being married,” Block explains. “That’s really what the film is: so many movies end at the wedding day with the happy ending being the wedding, and I thought what an interesting place to start.”

And, it turned out, Block wasn’t the only one who wanted to know what would happen. He says that interest in 112 Weddings was probably the highest of any project he’s worked on — though he’s not sure whether people were more interested in finding the secret to happiness or just getting in a little schadenfreude. If it was the former, viewers are in luck: Block, who’s been married 28 years himself, says he learned something from all of the couples with whom he reconnected. He jokes that now he knows enough to become a love consultant to the stars and charge exorbitant fees for his advice, but he was willing to share a little knowledge with TIME pro bono.

So, after more than 100 weddings filmed and about a dozen revisited, what’s Block’s top advice about marriage?

“Pick wisely is the best advice,” he says. “You’d better find somebody who feels like your jokes are funny.”

Beyond that, it’s important to stay flexible and accept imperfections. After all, he says, you can’t prepare for marriage because it’s a lifelong commitment and there’s no way to know what will happen in your life. It’s more important to be ready to face what you don’t expect than to think hard about your expectations.

Block also says that one of his favorite parts of the film is a discussion of the concept of “soulmates,” something he and at least one interviewee agree is pretty weird, the idea that there’s one person out there who you’ll be happy with forever. In reality, he’s noticed, love and affection come in waves, and a couple can want nothing to do with each other and then feel great about their marriage all within a short period of time.

“A lot of marriage is coming to terms with who is this imperfect person you’re living with, and acknowledging that you’re not exactly a perfect person either,” he says. “The ideal to me of marriage is you’re both growing as individuals but you’re not growing apart. You’re supporting each other in your growth. That’s what keeps the bond tight, because you’re not stagnating, you’re not getting dull.”

It’s clear from the film that the storybook idea of marriage is unrealistic — but that a wedding can be worthwhile anyway. “As I say in the film,” Block says, “happy ever after is complicated.”

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