TIME Media

This Article Nails the Most Frustrating Thing About the Alamuddin-Clooney Wedding

ITALY-US-BRITAIN-PEOPLE-WEDDING-CLOONEY
US actor George Clooney and British lawyer Amal Alamuddin arrive on September 29, 2014 at the palazzo Ca Farsetti in Venice, for a civil ceremony to officialise their wedding. PIERRE TEYSSOT—AFP/Getty Images

George who?

While the Internet fawned over the nuptials of George Clooney to Amal Alamuddin this past weekend, one website had a fresh take on the story that, well, wins.

“Internationally acclaimed barrister Amal Alamuddin marries an actor,” declared The Business Woman Media.

The rest of the story, which is fantastic, tells of Alamuddin’s many extraordinary accomplishments as a leading international human rights jurist, plus her personal elegance and excellent taste in shoes.

“Little is known of Amal’s earlier relationships (we assume she was climbing that corporate ladder and smashing glass ceilings),” writes Internet-winning blogger Amanda Rose, “but she’s tying the knot with an actor, whose name is George Clooney, we’re told.”

Standing ovation.

TIME Pictures of the Week

Pictures of the Week: Sept. 12 – Sept. 19

From the result of the Scottish referendum and children returning to bombed out classrooms in Gaza to the Pope marrying 20 couples and NASA's next exploration spacecraft, TIME presents the best pictures of the week.

TIME People

10 Years Later: Britney Spears and Kevin Federline’s Wedding Planner Reflects

Britney Spears wedding
People

Britney and Kevin were married September 18, 2004, in their wedding planner's Studio City home. For Alyson Fox, that day lives on in memory.

In case you wanted proof of your waning youth, Thursday marks the 10th anniversary of Britney Spears and Kevin Federline’s wedding — a day when a promising young pop star and a dude nicknamed “Meat Pole” decided to throw caution to the wind and say “I do.”

“Ten years — it totally freaks me out,” says wedding planner Alyson Fox, reflecting on the September 18, 2004, nuptials. The day marked Fox’s first (and only) celebrity wedding. While it was originally planned as a big October wedding at the Bacara in Santa Barbara, things rapidly changed after the paparazzi figured out the date and location. Fox was left with about 10 days to organize a completely new, surprise wedding — and, not trusting any other venue to keep the secret, she held it at her own house.

Most Britney fans probably don’t celebrate her short-lived marriage’s anniversary; some even see it as a key moment in a downward spiral from which she has only recently recovered. Still, though Britney filed for divorce in 2006, Fox holds that marriage dear.

TIME spoke to Fox about the whirlwind wedding, young love and the groomsmens’ infamous white Juicy velour “pimp” tracksuits.

TIME: Britney and Kevin Federline’s engagement was huge. Did you think that this would be one of the biggest weddings-
Alyson Fox: —of my career? Yes, I mean, she is Britney Spears. I first interviewed with Felicia, her assistant for years, and I didn’t know who I was meeting with, just that it was a VIP… I met Britney and her mom the next day and they all couldn’t be nicer. The sweetest. I mean they’re from the South. Britney’s so polite, she kept calling me Miss Alyson, and I was like, ‘Oh my God don’t do that; that makes me feel old.’

And then you met Kevin.
They were like any young couple. Very much in love, very touchy feely.

What was the original wedding going to be like?
They came up with a list of 200 to 250 people, and we thought the Bacara would be great. We were designing the most beautiful but not over the top, elegant but shabby chic, gorgeous but fun event… It was a really fun experience. I have not one negative thing to say until we had to move the whole wedding.

So what happened?
A publication printed the location and date of the wedding. I got a call from a very unhappy Kevin. [Unhappy at the situation not her.] Even though I told them that we had the best security team and it could still go on without a hitch, they didn’t want 100 million people standing outside trying to take pictures, ruining the intimacy and privacy of that event. So we had to go to Plan B, and we had to do it fast.

You had a “Plan B”?
Well, we planned it in 10 days or less… Everything was already in the works, Monique Lhuillier was making all the gowns that were basically ready, all the vendors were in place for the big wedding — we just didn’t have a location. In that week we decided we can’t do it at a hotel, we can’t do a venue because people were going to know. We limited the guest list to the two families and the wedding party, and then we talked to Britney and Kevin about doing a surprise wedding. Nobody would know.

Not even Britney’s mom?
No. Nobody knew… We told everyone and our vendors we were having an engagement party. We tried to use every vendor we could who was going to help at the wedding.

And you would throw it at your house in Studio City?
Well, their place wasn’t ready yet… The vendors made the house look stunning. It was so beautiful. I only wish they could have had more people… Every person who walked in that night, we handed then an invitation, they opened it up and it said “surprise!” you are here for the wedding and not the engagement party. And we would direct them to the room where they would change into their gowns and tuxedos…

Tuxedos? I thought the men were wearing those white Juicy velour jumpsuits…
No! That’s what they left the house in. They were in tuxedos and gowns. Everybody made such a big deal about that, but that’s what Juicy did for every celebrity who got married. They’d send them the cute little tracksuits. I asked Britney and Kevin what they wanted printed on the back, and Britney said, “Maids! Maids will be cute!” And it was. It was cute! And he said “Pimps” which was adorable… People are closed-minded. It was a joke, it was for fun. It was Juicy tracksuits! 10 years ago people would have given anything for a Juicy tracksuit.

You must not have gotten a lot of sleep that week.
Oh I didn’t sleep that week. And I didn’t sleep the week after, because there were all these stories going on [at the time] that they weren’t really married, and all this B.S. People are going to think what they’re going to think, but I know the truth. They were wonderful people and I’ll say that until the day I die. To this day I don’t talk to a lot of people about it because I still feel protective over them. Unfortunately it didn’t work out — but what is it, 60% of marriages that don’t?

Read TIME’s 1999 profile of Britney Spears here, in the archives: A Sweet Sensation

TIME Style

Jackie Kennedy’s Wedding Dress Almost Didn’t Make It to the Ceremony

JFK Wedding Announcement
The Kennedy wedding announcement in the Sept. 21, 1953, issue of TIME TIME

Sept. 12, 1953: John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier wed in Newport

Before feeling the glare of the spotlight as First Lady, Jacqueline Bouvier shone in the society pages as the beautiful debutante daughter of an elite New England family. She was already a tastemaker with a reputation for “devil-may-care chic,” although it would be a few years before her every fashion statement was scrutinized on a national level, and before she would feel stung by a housewife’s comment in the New York Times Magazine that she looked “too damn snappy.”

But when the 24-year-old left behind a job as a photographer for the Washington Post and Times-Herald to marry the 36-year-old freshman Democratic Senator from Massachusetts, she wore a wedding dress she found neither chic nor snappy, according to the book What Jackie Taught Us. The ball gown, with a portrait neckline and a wide bouffant skirt adorned with wax flowers, bundled Jackie’s thin frame in 50 yards of ivory silk taffeta. She had wanted a simple dress with sleek, straight lines, but bowed to family pressure to wear something more traditional, despite thinking it looked like a lampshade.

When she wed John F. Kennedy on this day in 1953, she almost didn’t get to wear the dress after all. A week before the ceremony — at a Newport, R.I., Catholic church where the Archbishop of Boston led Mass and delivered a personal blessing from the Pope — Jackie’s dress and her bridesmaids’ pink taffeta gowns were drenched when a pipe burst in the designer’s New York studio. Designer Ann Lowe and her team worked around the clock to reproduce the wedding dress, which had originally taken eight weeks to cut and sew. They finished just in time, and the gown had its intended effect, stunning crowds at the ceremony and the reception, as well as readers of LIFE Magazine, which ran three pages of photos from the event.

According to the magazine’s 1953 story, “The Senator Weds: Young John F. Kennedy takes pretty photographer for bride,” the couple radiated an air of royalty:

Outside (the church), 2,000 society fans, some come to Newport by chartered bus, cheered the guests and the newlyweds as they left the church. There were 900 guests at the reception and it took Senator and Mrs. Kennedy two hours to shake their hands. The whole affair, said one enthusiastic guest, was “just like a coronation.”

Read a 1961 profile of the First Lady here, in TIME’s archives: Jackie

 

TIME viral

Little Kid Dancing at a Wedding Totally Steals the Spotlight From the Bride

He's basically the Billy Elliot of wedding dancing

As the old saying goes: dance like nobody’s watching. This little kid, whose spirited dance routine was captured at a wedding by YouTube user Blake Weir, really took that advice to heart. The experience seems so spiritual and transcendent for him that he doesn’t even appear to hear the music (which happens to be “Sweet Caroline.”) Instead, he’s simply listening to the music playing in his own heart.

MORE: You’ll Fall ‘Crazy in Love’ With These Groomsmen After Watching Their Incredible Wedding Dance

 

TIME fashion

Here’s How Much It Costs to Get Your Veil Embroidered Like Angelina’s

People

Lowball is $800, but complex designs like Angelina's could cost $3600

After Angelina Jolie debuted a bridal veil decorated with her children’s drawings during her wedding to Brad Pitt last week, will personalized doodles on bridal wear become the next big thing?

Sara Gabriel, who has been designing bridal veils and headpieces for 14 years from her Colorado studio, thinks a child’s drawing could be a modern twist on other inter-generational design choices. “We see people adding lace from a mother’s wedding dress or a grandmother’s wedding dress, or adding old buttons to a headpiece,” she says, adding that the children’s drawings remind her of the tradition of a bride having her bridesmaids sign the soles of her shoes.

“For people who do have children who are getting married, I expect we’ll see that idea happening more,” she says.

Gabriel says a simple design drawn by a child could cost around $800 to embroider, but a more complex design like Angelina’s could cost as much as $3,600. She also anticipates the idea could go in a more traditional direction if brides don’t like the idea of adding color to the veil.

“If you picture Angelina’s veil all in white or ivory, the designs could even look like lace… it’s really an amazing concept,” she says. “This opens the door for so many different ideas for what you can do with your veil. You can do it in a bold way, or you can take the same concept and do it in a way that’s classic and traditional.”

TIME celebrities

Revisit the Romantic Ghosts of Brangelina’s Past

What's past is prologue

It’s hard to think back to the days before “Brangelina” was a thing. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who tied the knot over the weekend amid friends and family in France, have been together for about a decade and are raising six children together. And though the beginning of their relationship was fraught with scandal — they met and fell in love on the set of 2005’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith, when Pitt was still married to Jennifer Aniston — the waters have appeared, to admiring fans at any rate, to be smooth ever since.

Still, before they came together, Pitt and Jolie had some rocky romances over the years — some strange (Billy Bob Thornton and Angelina’s wearing each other’s blood in vials), some irritating (Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad’s matching hairstyles), and some forgotten (Brad Pitt dated Robin Givens?).

Here’s a gallery that raises a glass to the phrase, what’s past is prologue.

TIME celebrities

Here’s the French Château Where Brad and Angelina Wed

The Chateau Miraval, a vineyard estate owned by US actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in Le Val, southeastern France on May 31, 2008.
The Château Miraval, a vineyard estate owned by U.S. actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in Le Val, southeastern France, on May 31, 2008 Michel Gangne—AFP/Getty Images

Ooh la la

Brangelina have made it official. The couple married in a small, private ceremony last weekend, it emerged on Thursday, surrounded by family and friends.

But after years in the limelight as one of the world’s most-watched couples, it was obvious that not just any wedding venue would work. So the couple chose to get married close to home. Or, at least, close to one of their homes.

The Associated Press reports that Pitt and Jolie tied the knot in the south of France, at the Château Miraval, a wine château not far from Aix-en-Provence. Back in 2008, the couple moved their family into the château and apparently haven’t looked back, spending their summers nestled in the 1000-acre estate.

Back in the 1970s, the sprawling estate was home to the jazz pianist and composer Jacques Loussier, who built a recording studio on its grounds. Since then, Pink Floyd, Sting, Sade and the Cranberries have all recorded music there. And it seems that the Pitt-Jolies have carried on the tradition. According to the Château Miraval’s website, the couple “have given impetus to the heart of the estate as a place dedicated to the arts — music, cinema, theater, local food and fine wine.”

Even those who don’t frequently read gossip pages might recognize the Château Miraval name: it’s also home to Brangelina’s wine, the Côtes de Provence Rosé Miraval, which won plaudits last year from Wine Spectator magazine.

TIME Opinion

Idiot Fakes Own Death to Get Out of Wedding Because Idiot

Tucker Blandford hatched a terrible plan

It was to be a transatlantic love story worthy of the big screen, but instead of Hollywood romance it ended more like a slapstick comedy.

Alex Lanchester, 23 and British, was set to marry her American fiancé Tucker Blandford, 23 and terrible, on August 15. The couple met in Connecticut in 2012 while Lanchester was studying abroad in the U.S. and Blandford proposed before she returned to the UK. They planned their wedding but as the big day approached she got the call that changed—and let’s be honest, possibly saved, because this dude seems like a creep—her life.

“Alex, this is Tucker’s dad. There’s no easy way to say this,” said the voice on the phone. “I am sorry to say that Tucker is dead.” It was Tucker spoofing his dad’s voice in order to fake his own death, reports the UK’s Mirror.

Lanchester says she then called Blandford’s mother, who of course didn’t know what she was talking about.

“All I ever did was love him,” she said. “After this I’m not sure I can trust a man ever again”—a course of action that might be a good idea considering her record of judging character.

Blandford confessed to a reporter over the phone that he is “a terrible, awful person,” so he’s making some progress in the truth-telling department. “I know I shouldn’t have told her I was dead, but I didn’t know what else to do,” he said, according to the UK’s Daily Mail.”

“At the time I just felt like I couldn’t tell the truth and thought if I could just postpone everything it would be better,” Blandford said. Because if there’s one thing we know about death it’s that it isn’t forever. Nice plan, bud.

MONEY Careers

How to Change Your Name Without Hurting Your Career

"Just Married" car
What to do if you're driving away with a new last name. Charlotte Jenks Lewis

Kim K. is now Mrs. West, she says. For the not-so-famous, though, adopting your spouse's name can create confusion in your professional life. Follow these eight strategies to keep your career running smoothly under your new handle.

When you accept the proposal, do you also take the name? Kim Kardashian, or should we say Mrs. West, has. The celebrity revealed her legal name change on Tuesday when she shared a new passport photo on Instagram.

That kind of change can be a bold career move when your name is your livelihood. The same is true for any bride switching names after exchanging vows, though on a much, much smaller scale.

Altering your professional identity can pose a problem if you’re established in your career and have built a reputation around your name—something that’s more likely as couples marry at a later age. Last year the median age at first marriage was 29 for men, and 26.6 for women, the Census Bureau reports. Plus, those with bachelor’s degrees—and therefore better career prospects—are more likely to wed than less educated Americans are, according to the Pew Research Center.

If you plan on adopting a new moniker in both your personal and professional lives, follow these simple steps to make the transition less disruptive at the office.

1. Hedge Your Bets

Think about how costly it would be to cut off your connection to the body of work or marketing that’s tied to your maiden name. If that worries you, opt for a more moderate approach. “The easy out is to keep your maiden name at work and in professional contexts, but use your spouse’s last name socially,” says Danielle Tate, founder of MissNowMrs.com, a site that helps women change their legal name.

Another compromise is to use both surnames, either by making your maiden name your middle name, using both last names, or creating a hyphenated last name. Kim took this approach initially. Shortly after exchanging vows with Kayne, she changed the name on her social media accounts to Kim Kardashian West. And just as Kim has done, you can use both surnames for a brief transition period to help people get used to your new identity before dropping your maiden name.

2. Get Help From Your Company

If you plan on making a complete switch, reach out for advice. “You don’t have to figure it out all on your own. You’re not the only who has gotten married or changed your name,” says Michelle Friedman, a career coach who specializes in women’s career advancement.

A good first move is to check in with your HR department, which may have policies in place outlining exactly what changes you need to make to your beneficiary designations, insurance benefits, company email and directory listing, and tax and Social Security forms. Aside from offering help with name-change paperwork, HR may be able to offer advice about managing contacts, as well as insights into how others in your industry have handled the change successfully (ask co-workers too).

3. Don’t Make It a Surprise

Give co-workers and clients ample notice about your name change to avoid confusion, especially if contact info such as your email address will be updated. Sandra Green, a U.K.-based executive coach, recommends reaching out a week to ten days before the wedding.

One easy way: Put a small note in your email signature in advance, says Julie Cohen, a Philadelphia career and personal coach. It’s an unobtrusive reminder and a good way to get people familiar with the change.

Not everyone in your email contact list needs to know. Run through your list of clients and sort them into groups based on the closeness of your working relationship. Some you’ll just need to include in a quick email blast, while others you should talk to directly.

“Obviously you don’t want to get on the phone with everyone, but in certain important client relationships this may be good to do,” says Friedman.

4. Stay on Top of the Technology

After you’ve made the switch, set up forwarding on your previous email account, or write an automatic reply that includes your new contact info. This way you don’t miss any important messages, and people have a longer grace period to update their contact info and adjust to your new name.

5. Go Back in History

Give former employers and references a heads-up about this change as well. This way if you’re applying for a new job, your background check will go smoothly, and you won’t run the risk of having people mistakenly deny that you worked for their company.

6. Use This as an Excuse to Network

Send an email to everyone in your work circle. “Whenever someone changes jobs or retires, they send these emails about good news,” says Cohen. “Do the same with this.”

This also gives you a perfect excuse to remind your network what you’re up to. “You always want to remain in contact,” says Friedman. “But sometimes it’s hard to think of a natural reason for reaching out. This gives you a celebratory excuse.”

You could even send this blast twice, says Green. First a few days before the wedding and again after you return from your honeymoon, when the change is in place.

7. Make Yourself Easy to Find

Think about how people locate you and your business. Is it through search, a review website, social media, or all of them? Update all your bios.

When you add your new name on sites like LinkedIn, keep a vestige of your old name. That can help people find you during the transition period. “Include your maiden name on social,” says Cohen. “If people are finding you by search it will serve you best to keep connected to both names.”

If you had a more common name or are making the switch to a more popular surname, adds Tate, having both names online could even help you come up higher in search results.

8. Update Your Memberships

To further help your new name show up high in search results and build up credibility for your new moniker, Friedman recommends having any professional organizations, alumni associations, company or community boards, or other groups you belong to change your name on their membership roles.

If you hold a leadership position or are listed elsewhere on an association website, perhaps for winning an award, request that the name change appear throughout. Ask to have any older content that can easily be altered, such as a post listing you as a guest speaker at a conference, updated too.

Of course, should things not end up “happily ever after,” you can follow the same steps to smoothly insert your maiden name back into your career.

 

 

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