British Royals

British Royals

The British public is buzzing about Prince Harry’s deepening romance with American actress Meghan Markle, with the pair already fielding questions about marriage from the press. If they do decide to wed, the pair will likely face far lower scrutiny about Markle’s commoner status than they would have before 2011.

That’s the year when Prince William—who’s next in line after his father to become king of England—married Kate Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge. Middleton’s great-grandfather came from a family of coal miners and her parents were airline workers who wound up making a fortune as founders of a party-supply business. But the tradition of British royals marrying persons lacking noble lineage goes back much further than that.

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In 1464, Elizabeth Woodville, a commoner and widow, secretly wed King Edward IV. She was queen consort until her husband’s death in 1483. In 1660, another commoner, Anne Hyde, married the future King James II (then known as James, Duke of York) after becoming pregnant. Anne died in 1671, before James was crowned king in 1685.

Under the Royal Marriages Act of 1772, all descendants of King George II were required to get the monarch’s permission before tying the knot. The act came about because George III (the grandson of George II) was infuriated his younger brother, Prince Henry, had wed a commoner the king considered unsuitable, Anne Horton, the widow of another commoner.

In 1955, Princess Margaret ended her relationship with a man she hoped to marry, Captain Peter Townsend, because her older sister, Queen Elizabeth, wouldn’t sanction the union. The Church of England, of which Elizabeth is the head, frowned on divorce. However, half a century later attitudes had changed and the queen gave her son, Prince Charles, her official blessing to wed divorcee Camilla Parker Bowles.

In 2013, the Succession to the Crown Act repealed the Royal Marriages Act and made it a requirement for only the first six people in line to the throne to get the sovereign’s consent before marrying. After Prince Charles and Prince William, that list currently includes William’s two children (Prince George and Princess Charlotte), followed by his younger brother, Prince Harry, then his uncle, Prince Andrew.

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The Wedding Plan

The Wedding Plan

Last night, I saw The Wedding Plan, an Israeli film about a religious woman, Michal, whose fiancé breaks up with her shortly before their wedding. Michal decides to maintain the reservation of the wedding hall and attends her gown fittings, trusting that G-d will present her with a groom by her wedding day, just a couple of weeks away. The film follows her anguished and humorous journey to the chuppah (the matrimonial canopy).

I left the theatre feeling full; like my heart had eaten one of the tastiest meals it’s had in a while. Romantic love appeared to be Michal’s co-star in the first few scenes, but it really was more of a supporting role. It was about a bigger love; it was a love letter to the self, and what happens when we open our eyes, get out of our heads and our constructs of how we think things should be, and allow ourselves to become vulnerable enough to receive.

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Love surrounds us at all times, asking to love us. There are even strangers, who we may ignore and dismiss, who see us clearly and want to give us what we are praying for.

To pray, we have to feel it first; it starts in here, sensing that the object of our prayer already exists and we’re merely inviting it in to our consciousness, to our reality. However, most of the time we can’t see it, because, our eyes are pinched shut and we’re blinded by desperation.

The answer to every prayer is in us; it is our devotion to our faith and belief in our own worthiness. Then, if we’re courageous enough, we open our eyes, look directly into the moment and greet the answer to our prayers.

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A lit wedding in 2017

A lit wedding in 2017

Your big day is almost here! The cake is ready to go, dress and tux are waiting to be worn, the venue is finally prepped, but wait 一 you’re missing something. Instagram.

Planning a wedding is difficult, but thanks to Instagram, it’s even more difficult. Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, here’s exactly what you need to get ready.

Wedding hashtag

Forget about the bride and groom ー is it even a wedding without the wedding hashtag? The answer: no it’s not.

You’ll need to put on your thinking cap and start brainstorming. This hashtag will also be with you forever so make it good.

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Here are a few common approaches to take:

Both first names

Letters of both first names + “wedding”

Last name + word/s relating to “forever”

Initials + a shared inside joke that literally no one understands

The possibilities are endless! If you’re a bit on the older side, just don’t use #wedding.

Quirky socks

Your groomsmen need to wear quirky socks. This is of the utmost importance. If you don’t incorporate fun socks in your photo shoot, you’re flirting with Instagram suicide.

The wedding dance

But not just any boring wedding dance. Your dance should start out emotional and make everyone cry. Once all of your guests start bawling, transition into The Sugarhill Gang’s “Apache.” Your audience will be putty in your hands, and before you know it, your attempt at dancing will have thousands of views.


Your cake needs to pull out all of the stops. The more trendy it is, the better. Especially if you want your cake to get featured on one of the top wedding cake accounts.

Polaroid photo booth

With a photo booth station, you’ll be able to sucker your guests into thinking they’re taking cool, vintage, physical pictures. What they don’t know is that you’re tricking them to take pictures of their pictures to upload to Instagram. A genius yet tasteful way to gain more exposure.

Once you have those essentials in place, you can rest assured knowing your wedding will be insta-perfect.

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Traditionally, the wedding announcement was sent to all friends, family and acquaintances, all of whom were not necessarily invited to the actual wedding ceremony. In the past, the parents of the bride would send out announcements the day after their daughter was married in order to let all of their friends know that she had changed her name, etc.

Formerly, the wedding announcement was sent out after the wedding, where the wedding invitation was sent out prior to the wedding only to individuals who were invited to the ceremony.

However, a more cost-effective and inclusive use of the wedding announcement has developed in recent years. Now, a bride and groom can prepare a list of several hundred (and even into the thousands) friends, family and casual acquaintances. The wedding announcement goes out to the entire list, usually inviting them to an open-house style of reception.

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Here’s the cost saving part…the printer then makes “insert cards” that are intended only for certain guests on the mailing list. An insert card may be used to invite specific guests to the ceremony or the wedding breakfast. When all of the announcements are stuffed in the envelopes, you can go through and only place insert cards into the ones that you want to have at the ceremony or other exclusive event.

You can also use insert cards to notify your guests of where they can find your bridal registry to make it easier for them to shop for your wedding gift (or send a wedding gift if they are unable to attend). Using the insert card for the gift registry also keeps that information off of the announcement/invitation itself so that it doesn’t distract from the other information.

A wedding invitation was what you send to invite potential guests to your wedding. A printed wedding announcement was intended to only announce the event has happened. It used to be that there was no obligation to send a wedding gift after having received a wedding announcement. However, with this new combination announcement and invitation, there is a higher expectation to send a gift when only the announcement is received.

Most modern printing companies use the terms announcement and invitation interchangeably as a direct result of more and more brides combining the two in order to save money. Another item that is commonly confused with the wedding announcement, is the “save-the-date”. Save-The-Date cards are more common with long engagements (6 months or more). Traditionally, people would send out a save-the-date card well in advance of the wedding to those guests that they wanted to have at the wedding. Then as the wedding draws closer, they would send out a formal invitation to only those guests invited to the ceremony and dinner. Then the day after the wedding, they would send out a wedding announcement to notify all friends, family and acquaintances.

If you do not have a long engagement, you now only have to do one mailing that encompasses all three of these mailings. Sent out early enough, it serves as a save-the-date, it serves as the announcement, and with the insert cards, it also serves as the invitation.

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Beauty Gonzalez

Beauty Gonzalez

Even if you're not quick to tears, best prepare a handkerchief before you watch this video of Beauty Gonzalez swapping heartfelt vows with Norman Crisologo during their wedding earlier this month.

The clip by Jason Magbanua is a tearjerker (even John Lloyd Cruz, who was in the video, was left with something in his eye) as it shows the actress and her husband promising to make each other feel loved for the rest of their lives together.

"In a time of fast-paced love affairs and cynical romances, you have made me believe that true love still exists in this world," the "Pusong Ligaw" star told Crisologo, before adding: "You will never be alone."

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Crisologo, who is 15 years older than Gonzalez, similarly assured his wife: "I've heard you ask me a million times, 'Who will take care you when you get old?'"

"I really don't know the answer to that question and I've been thinking about it for so long. But if we spread enough love to our friends and family, then they will be there for you."

He continues: "I also have a lot of kids and they are going to have a lot of kids and there's young to be a lot of grandkids going to you. ...You will never be alone."

Gonzalez and Crisologo, who met through Ellen Adarna, have been a couple since 2014.

They already have a daughter, Olivia Ines.

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