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Cash-Strapped Couple Seek Corporate Sponsors to Fund Their Wedding

A young couple from Orlando, Florida, have found the perfect way to organise their dream wedding without spending a penny. Courtney McKenzie and her fiancé Jamil Newell are opting for a corporate-sponsored ‘social’ wedding and honeymoon, which means their special moments will feature all sorts of product endorsements and ads.

Courtney, who works in social media and runs a marketing company, is the brains behind the idea. “I thought, why not couple my two loves: my soon to be husband Jamil and my love for marketing?” she said. Jamil isn’t complaining either – after all, who wouldn’t want an all-expense paid wedding and honeymoon?

The couple, who love traveling, will be getting married this winter at their dream wedding destination – Thailand. The wedding ceremony itself will take place on December 14, and they plan to spend the next 11 days traveling in South East Asia, doing exciting things like elephant trekking, scuba diving, and bamboo river rafting.

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Professional Bridesmaid Will Happily Help You On Your Big Day, for a Fee

When 26-year-old New Yorker Jen Glantz got to be the bridesmaid at four of her closest friends’ weddings this year, she realized that she had a real flair for the job. Her story is incredibly similar to Katherine Heigl’s character in the movie 27 Dresses, where she’s always the bridesmaid but never the bride. But Jen has decided to make the most of her situation by turning pro – she posted an ad on Craigslist offering her services to brides all over the world. She’s even written a book about her experiences as a professional bridesmaid called All My Friends are Engaged.

“This year alone, I’ve been a bridesmaid four times,” she wrote in the ad. “That’s four different chiffon dresses, four different hen parties filled with tequila shots and guys in thongs twerking way too close to my face; four different pre-wedding pep talks to the bride about how this is the happiest day of her life and marriage, probably, is just like riding a bike: a little shaky at first but then she’ll get the hang of it. So let me be there for you if you don’t have any other girlfriends.”

The ad also mentions the bridesmaid stuff that Jen is exceptionally good at: “Holding up the 18 layers of your dress so that you can pee with ease on your wedding day,” “Catching the bouquet and then following that moment up with my best Miss America-like ‘Omg, I can’t believe this,’ speech,” “Doing the electric and the cha cha slide,” and “Responding in a timely manner to pre-wedding email chains created by other bridesmaids and the Maid of Honor.”

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9-Year-Old Boy Marries Woman 53 Years His Senior, for the Second Time

Nine-year-old Saneie Masilela has managed to accomplish something that probably no other kid his age has ever done – he’s been married twice! And as if that wasn’t shocking enough, his bride is old enough to be his grandmother.

Saneie has married 62-year-old Helen Shabangu twice in the span of one year. The second wedding ceremony was recently held at the bride’s home in Ximhungwe, in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa. As the highly unusual couple exchanged vows for the second time, 100 wide-eyed guests watched on in utter bewilderment.

Saneie, the youngest of four children, belongs to the nearby town of Tshwane. His first wedding to Helen took place last year at his parents’ home, after he claimed that his dead ancestors had ordered him to marry her. While most parents would brush away such claims from a little boy, Saneie’s parents actually took him seriously. They hurriedly contacted the bride, paid her $800 as dowry and spent over $1,500 on the arrangements.

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Brazilian Man to Marry Pet Goat in Devil’s Curch

Aparecido Castaldo, a retired stone cutter from Jundiai, Brazil has decided to marry his beloved Carmella, a goat. Because no Christian minister would agree to perform the marriage ceremony, the two will be wed by a known satanic leader, in the Church of the Devil.

People have married their pets in the past, although in most cases the marriage ceremony was just a symbolic one performed by family or friends. However, 74-year old Aparecido Castaldo, a widower and father-of-seven, apparently wanted to be united with his goat Carmela in a church, by an evangelical minister. Unfortunately, none of the churches he contacted with his unusual request wanted to perform the ceremony, so Aparecido eventually contacted Toninho do Diabo (Tom the Devil), an old friend who just happens to be one of the most famous satanists in Brazil. The wedding is scheduled to take place at midnight, on October 13, at the Devil’s Church, in Sao Paolo. “Only our church accepted this love between man and animal because we have no prejudice,” Toninho said.

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A Strong and Silent Husband – Australian Woman Marries a Bridge in Southern France

For the last 10 years Australian artist Jodi Rose has traveled the world recording the vibrations in bridge cables with contact microphones and using them to create experimental music. You could say she has an almost intimate relationship with bridges, and recently she decided to make it official by marrying a mysterious bridge in the south of France.

Le Pont du Diable (Devil’s Bridge) is a 600-year-old stone bridge built over a steep-sided gorge in Céret‎, but for Jodi Rose it’s simply “The One”. After visiting dozens of bridges all over the world, for her Singing Bridges musical project, she decided this was the one she wanted to celebrate her love for bridges with. Although he is made of stone, the resonance of his being is very present, and I feel at peace in his strong embrace,”Jodi said.  “He makes me feel connected to the earth and draws me to rest from my endless nomadic wanderings. He is fixed, stable, rooted to the ground, while I am nomadic, transient, ever on the road. He gives me a safe haven, brings me back to ground myself, and then lets me go again to follow my own path, without trying to keep me tied down or in thrall to his needs or desires. I am devoted to him. The perfect husband… strong and silent!”

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The Fake Christian Priests of Japan – A Booming Business

Christians make up only 1.4% of Japan’s 127 million population, but Western “white weddings” now account for around three quarters of all bridal ceremonies, which means Christian priests are in high demand. To meet their clients’ expectations bridal companies have given up on trying to find ordained ministers and have kept requirements to a minimal – men looking foreign-enough to pass as Christians who can speak a little Japanese and perform the ceremony in 20 minutes.

Japan’s love affair with Christian wedding is believed to have started in the 1980s with the televised weddings of Prince Charles and Lady Diana and was fueled by the nuptials of Japanese pop star Momoe Yamaguchi. People, women especially, were attracted by the idea of celebrating their marriage through a ritual that revolved around love and that elevates the bride to the status of princess even for a short while. Traditional Shinto weddings, on the other hand, encase women in a wig and kimono, and are focused more on the merger of two families. The Japanese simply  fell in love with the sharp dress code, the kiss and the overall image of Western weddings over their centuries-old traditions. But in order to have a genuine-looking ceremony, they wanted Christian priests, which were pretty hard to find. That started the now famous “foreign fake pastors” trend that saw companies and hotels hiring average foreign gentlemen with minimal knowledge of the Japanese language to perform Christian weddings.

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Man Brings Virtual Girlfriend to His Real-Life Wedding, Bride Retaliates

Talk about pushing your luck, right? As if having his future wife put up with a virtual girlfriend wasn’t enough, a Japanese geek actually had the nerve to invite his video-game lady and two of her friends to their wedding and even reserved seats for them. But the bride had some plans of her own…

For obvious reasons, the real names of the protagonists in this story were not revealed, but photos from their wedding were posted online by guests surprised to see three Nintendo DS handheld video-game consoles seated as guests. Their screens showed three different anime-like girls, one of which was revealed to be the groom’s girlfriend. Nene Anegasaki, Manaka Takane and Rinko Kobayakawa are characters from the hugely popular Konami video game, Love Plus. The addictive open-ended dating simulator has reportedly sold in over 250,000 copies in Japan, and stories of men caught by their girlfriends and wives while tending to their virtual partner’s needs began surfacing online a while ago. In 2010, we posted photos of gamers celebrating Nene’s birthday with cakes and candles and presents, just to show how popular the Love Plus character was. But this is probably the first time Nene attended a real-life wedding, as a guest.

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Strange Wedding Customs – The Crying Ritual of the Tujia People

Throughout history, various cultures have had strange requirements of their women. But none perhaps as strange as the custom of crying before marriage, as followed in Southwest China’s Sichuan Province. According to the custom, it is mandatory for a bride to cry at her own wedding, whether she likes it or not.

The crying marriage ritual was at its peak during the early 17th century and remained so until the end of the Qing dynasty in 1911. It is said to have originated during the Warring States Period (475 to 221 BC), when historical records reveal that the princess of the Zhao State was to be married into the Yan State. At the moment of the princess’ departure, her mother is said to have cried at her feet, asking her to return home as soon as possible. This is said to be the first crying marriage ever. Although the custom is not as popular now as it used to be, there are still a large number of families that practice it with gusto. In fact, it is a necessary procedure for marriage among the Tujia people, in China’s Sichuan Province. The ritual itself is pretty simple – the bride has got to shed tears. If she doesn’t or is unable to, her neighbors will look down upon her as one of poor breeding. Worse still, she could even become the laughing stock of her village. In one extreme case, the bride was beaten by her mother for not crying at the wedding. Perhaps the girl was too happy to be free from her mother?

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Woman Eats 30,000 Calories a Day to Become the World’s Biggest Bride

Susanne Eman weighs a staggering 540lbs (245kg) and unlike other brides-to-be, she actually wants to put on a lot more weight. To fulfill her bizarre goal of getting fatter for her wedding, Susanne is currently eating about 30,000 calories per day.

The 33-year-old, from Arizona, first made news headlines last year, when stories of her goal of reaching 1,600lbs appeared on the Internet and in various tabloids. Everyone was shocked that someone would actually want to become the world’s fattest person, and spend a small fortune in the process. Back then, Susanne revealed that she and her two boys, Gabriel, 16, and Brendin, 12, visit the supermarket and spend about eight hours filling six shopping carts with all kinds of foods. In order to reach the 800lbs-mark she had set for the end of 2011, the overweight single mom guzzled down about 20,000 calories a day. She didn’t reach her goal, but now the dedicated weight-gainer is getting married, and upped her daily intake to 30,000 calories, in order to become the world’s biggest bride.

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Unofficial Animal Registrar Performs Expensive Pet Weddings

Ann Clark calls herself an “animal registrar“, which is just a fancy way of saying she performs weddings for pampered pets. You might think that’s a silly job, but she’s making up to £20,000 ($31,600) per event.

Why should pets miss out on the unforgettable moments of getting married? That’s probably what Ann told herself, when she decided to become a pet wedding registrar, four years ago. She had heard of a man performing animal weddings in Liverpool, and thought it was a great idea. Like most children, she used to pretend her pets were getting married, only unlike most, she never grew out of it. She started advertising her wedding services on a website, and suddenly people were contacting her about pet weddings. It was a dream come true for the 55-year-old from Desborough, England.

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Strange Wedding Tradition Forbids Newlyweds to Use the Bathroom for Three Days and Nights

Weddings in the Indonesian Tidong community have traditions that are truly unique. Perhaps the most adorable of their customs is the one where the groom isn’t allowed to see the bride’s face until he sings her several love songs. The curtain separating the couple is raised only after the musical requirement is met, and then they can see each other on a dais. But then again, not all the Tidong wedding rituals are this sweet. The bride isn’t allowed to leave the confines of her home during the engagement period, and a groom who arrives late to the wedding needs to pay a fine (usually jewelry). But the weirdest of them all is this – the bride and the groom aren’t allowed to use the bathroom for three days after the wedding.

It sounds a lot like the newlywed couple are being punished for an unknown reason. How else would you explain being prohibited from leaving the house, clearing bowels or urinating for three whole days? For those of us who couldn’t go even a couple of hours without using the restroom, this sure does seem like a torturous way to be welcomed into married life. But the custom is very normal and natural for the people of the Tidong tribe, who now inhabit the city of Sandakan, in Sabah, Malaysia. They believe that not practicing the three-day and night ritual would bring terrible luck to the couple – a broken marriage, infidelity, or death of their children at a young age. So the couple is watched over by several people, and allowed only minimal amounts of food and drink. After the three days are up, they are bathed and then permitted to return to normal life.

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Woman Marries Herself to Prove She Doesn’t Need a Husband to Be Happy

36-year-old Nadine Schweigert from Fargo, North Dakota, got married last month. She had a beautiful wedding. Nadine was dressed in a peacock blue satin dress and carried a bouquet of white roses. There was also a lovely white wedding cake covered in peacock blue fondant. So far, there seems to be nothing unusual about this affair; it’s not different from any other run-of-the-mill wedding in the US. But if you paid attention, you probably noticed there was no mention of a groom. It’s not that he didn’t show up, it’s just that there wasn’t a groom to begin with. Nadine just happened to marry herself.

Self-marriage can be a confusing concept to those who don’t know what it’s all about. Nadine isn’t alone, however, many others have done it before. It was even portrayed on the popular TV show Glee, where ‘Sue Sylvester’ ties the knot with herself. These ceremonies are considered secular and purely symbolic. New Age websites such as Encouraging Priestess even share ideas on how to perform self-marriage ceremonies. The idea behind these marriages is to help a person realize that they do not need anybody else to feel complete.

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Las Vegas Gun Store Offers Real Shotgun Weddings

Las Vegas is known for its bizarre wedding ceremonies, but Shotgun Weddings really do take the cake (pun intended). Generally, a shotgun wedding would refer to a ceremony that has been put together on a spur-of-the moment whim. But now the term has taken on a literal meaning, with the ‘Gun Store on Tropicana’ in Las Vegas actually offering wedding services with a shotgun based theme.

The Shotgun wedding ceremony is certainly unique – instead of the Wedding March, it’s just gunfire in the background as the couple walks down the aisle and exchanges vows. The maid of honor is conveniently substituted by a zombie poster hanging over the bride. There are very few guests, and the reception that follows  is celebrated on the shooting range with more gunfire (the couple goes crazy firing a few rounds at targets). Reactions to the shotgun wedding idea are quite varied. Some people call it different, some are actually jealous that they didn’t get to do it themselves. The concept is the brainchild of the store’s marketing director Emily Miller, who just walked into her boss’s office one day and said, “Let’s do weddings!”

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Man Proposes to Girlfriend with Dress Made from 9,999 Red Roses

This is just the stuff that fairytales are made of. The beautiful princess walks off into the sunset with her prince charming, dressed in a gown made from thousands of roses. You’d never think it could happen in real life, but it has. In an incredibly romantic gesture, this guy in China had a dress out of 9,999 deep red roses made for his girlfriend. After she put on the dress, he proposed.

Initially Xiao Fan considered proposing with only the roses, but realizing his girlfriend’s love for fashion, he decided to go a step further and get them sewn onto a dress. So the flowers were stitched together carefully to make a sweeping floral gown, fit for a bride. Several dressmakers worked round the clock on the project to get it completed on time. I think it’s pretty amazing how they managed it, keeping the flowers so fresh and lovely.

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Woman Marries 107-Year-Old Warehouse to Save It from Demolition

Babylonia Aivaz, from Seattle, fell in love with an old warehouse where she and other activists protested inside the building, during an Occupy Seattle event. Now, the 107-year-old facility has been scheduled for demolition, so Aivaz decided to marry it to show her love, and hopefully save it.

It sounds like a pretty bizarre situation, especially after you read all the jokes and comments by various media outlets, regarding Babylonia Aivaz’s decision to marry a warehouse. Some joke about the awkward wedding night, others about the solid foundation of their relationship, but the fact is she’s doing it as a form of protest against gentrification. ‘I’m doing this to show the building how much I love it, how much I love community space and how much I love this neighborhood. And I want to stop it from gentrification,’ Aivaz said in an interview. ‘If corporations can have the rights as people, so can buildings,’ she added, referencing a Supreme Court decision on political advertising.

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