Renee Zellweger Officially Engaged

renee-zellweger-bradley-cooperRenee Zellweger, 40 and Bradley Cooper 34 have been spotted in several occasions (outside of the United States) spending quality time together in various locales including Barcelona, Spain recently.  The couple who are appearing together in a horror movie called Case 39 have been doing everything to cover up their romance and keep it private, but reports from Glamorati indicate that Bradley took Renee up to his hometown in Pennsylvania to introduce her to his parents and that the engagement is very real.

Zellweger was also seen wearing an engagement ring, but managed to take it off when she appeared on Late Night with David Letterman on August 20th.  As for picking out any wedding dresses, the couple still isn’t talking even though a source close to the couple indicates that it’s indeed true.

This will be Renee’s second marriage.  She was married to country music star Kenny Chesney from May to December of 2005.  He also had the “under one year” marriage to actress Jennifer Esposito from December of 2006 to April 2007 and was officially divorced as of November of 2007.

Weddings and Ipods Don’t Mix

ipod-weddingsOk, I’m about over it.  I’ve heard multiple suggestions on multiple budget wedding tip articles (even including ones posted here) about various ways to cut corners during the wedding ceremony.  And ALL of them, not just some of them, but ALL of them put the wedding music on the list as things you should cut corners on.  And ALL of them threw out the suggestion of using an Ipod instead of a band or DJ.  Let me tell you how bad of an idea that is on all accounts.

While I’m sure there are some stories of success using this method, they are few and far between and their expectations were very low to start with.   As a professional vocalist and also the owner of a Georgia DJ company, you probably would guess that I’m very biased and shouldn’t even be allowed to talk about it, but let’s get real.  Nothing can match the personal touch of a wedding band or wedding DJ when it comes to managing the flow and feel of the wedding reception.

There’s a great video posted on Youtube that is the perfect reason as to why this is a bad idea.  You can watch it here.  Now granted, this wedding is primarily a disaster from the beginning because there was apparently no rehearsal or planning with a dash of total disorganization. But the use of the Ipod run by friends and family as your MC’s/sound/videographers, etc is just a bad idea.  Bands and DJ’s handle most of the announcing, music, and everything is thought out in advance.

Do you really want to take the chance of your cousin starting up “Shook Me All Night Long” during the Daddy/Daughter dance?  If you want memories that last a lifetime, that’s definitely the way to do it.   You can find affordable DJ’s (and even bands) for under a grand without even looking hard.   Now granted, you take a chance if you get too low on your pricing, but doing your homework and using directories of wedding vendors will give you multiple options. I’m sure there are dozens of horror stories from Ipod weddings and I can insure you that you do not want to be one of them.

Please share your disaster (or even success stories) here for all to see.

The Knot’s Big Problems

bride-noose

Photo by Graham Minchkin and obtained via Flickr

I’m pretty sure that we’re all familiar with TheKnot.com and its many branches of government. However, it appears that The Knot has been on a downward spiral with brides and now wedding vendors.  Their release of “The Knot’s Best of Wedding Guide 2009” had some major issues and it became glaringly obvious that it wasn’t based on feedback, but greenbacks.  The Knot’s Editors Pick of DJ companies was a company that had 50 complaints on Ripoff.com, multiple complaints filed against them from the Better Business Bureau who also graded them with an F, and additionally had a few negative news stories on them on television including Inside Edition.  Great advice, Knottie.  Just wow.

Then to make matters worse, posts ordained by The Knot informed people to not choose local bakers over the venue’s in-house bakers to avoid cake cutting costs.  Really?  This along with other suggestions that kick the local vendors to the curb entirely. Not to mention their wealth of bad advice that people seem to be getting downright agitated about.

Truth be told, it appears as The Knot has become a victim of themselves and appear to have lost focus.  Either that or they don’t have time to properly manage their resources which has been consistently sending out bad advice pretty much all of 2009.  And with the presence of competitors on the horizon like Get Married at GetMarried.com that just announced a wedding magazine to further compliment their online presence and their already popular daily television show on Lifetime, The Knot may be a little too comfortable with their lead.

stockxpertcom_id26013461_jpg_1422eacbdf7fb8203dc02c53b1e553b8Brides are a fickle bunch and once you give them bad information, you’re hard pressed to get a second chance with the amount of resources available to them online.  I’ll be very curious to see how GetMarried’s offerings align with The Knot’s efforts once the Get Married magazine launches in September and especially since there are major changes that are sure to come with it.  Maybe The Knot should start looking for a good moat digger.

Calling All Wedding Fairies!

Jo Gartin, the Los Angeles-based celebrity wedding designer who’s known for her anything-but-over-the-top, simply charming weddings, has this advice for brides coping with not-so-cooperative flower girls–“fairy dust”. Actually a small bottle of glitter, Jo’s found that the power of suggestion, and a liberal dusting of the sparkly stuff, is all it takes to turn cranky little girls into small angels.

“The fairy dust is a crowd pleaser and, if you sprinkle a little bit of ‘dust’ on them, they tend to be a little bit more compliant so I always carry that in my bride emergency kit.” It’s those small but fabulous touches that have made Jo a much sought after wedding designer in a city known more for weddings with big budgets rather than beautiful moments. So what’s her favorite way to make a little flower girl look her best as well as behave her best? “I love butterflies. Things like that make me smile. I’ve put them in flower girls’ hair and glued them to their ballet slippers.” We think that’s an idea that would bring smiles to everyone.

For more of Jo’s great wedding tips and inspirations, check out her book Jo Gartins’ Weddings, published by Rodale Inc., available at amazon.com.