Random Wedding Cake #910

unique wedding cakes
2 tier Egyptian theme wedding cake with the top tier based on a stepped pyramid and the bottom tier based on a tomb entrance.


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Why Wedding Photographers Will Be Extinct In One Year

Why Wedding Photographers Will Be Extinct In One Year
A new camera sensor technology, developed by a California-based company, promises to make cellphone cameras good enough to use for wedding photos. The company boasts that their new quantum technology will allow for better light sensitivity and photo control and would be a suitable option for capturing the special moments of a wedding celebration. The function should be widely available in most manufactured cellphones by the end of 2011.

We tried to interview a handful of renowned wedding photographers for their take on this priority matter, but we couldn't hear any of their answers over their uncontrollable laughing and giggling. Sure doesn't seem like the "human" wedding photographers are worried too much about this new emerging technology.

*Yes, the title of this post is meant as a joke

Funny Wedding RSVP

funny wedding rsvp
Sometimes honesty is not the best policy.

David's Bridal Wedding Dress Giveaway

Win a free gown

Weekend Sponsor:
Hey all you {lovely} brides! Here's your chance to win your choice of either a free wedding gown or 5 free bridesmaid dresses! To enter, simply click on the pic above and fill in the on-line registration form for your chance to win. Good luck to everyone who enters!

Do You Think This Bride Was Embarrassed?

It's always a good time when someone loses their fake teeth during the wedding ceremony.

CO Jail Bans All Newspapers, Except USA Today

From: Change.org

By Te-Ping Chen March 05, 2010

We all know that an informed citizen is a dangerous one....right? That, anyway, is the argument being advanced by administrators at the Garfield County Jail, who have decided that Colorado's daily newspapers are a commodity too hot for prisoners to handle. So they've decided to institute a blanket ban on all newspapers inside the jail.

Oh, except USA Today, that block-lettered hotel standby. Its content is apparently considered tame (ahem, "well-rounded") enough to make prison officials' cut.

"It's for the safety of our inmates," says jail commander Steve Hopple. "I know that's hard to quite fathom."

It's not, actually. The rationale they're giving to deny prisoners access to the news is pretty simple: "special-needs inmates." I.e., those sexual predators convicted of crimes against children, who as Hopple notes, are occasionally targeted by other prisoners seeking to exact their own vigilante vengeance. According to Hopple, news is being withheld from inmates to prevent them from catching wind of other prisoners' crimes -- as a way, you see, of protecting everybody. (Because, the argument goes, if it's not read in print, that sort of news won't get around?)

Look. No one's saying that prisoner-on-prisoner violence isn't a problem. You don't need to look any further than the high-profile slaying of someone like the defrocked Roman Catholic priest John Geoghan, a convicted child sex abuser who was strangled and stomped on in 2004 while locked in a Massachusetts prison. (At least 147 people alleged Geoghan had sexually assaulted them; the Boston Archdiocese eventually paid $10 million to settle a suit by dozens of his victims.)

But if a particular story is really going to challenge security, then fine -- go ahead and remove the paper that day. A full-on ban is draconian, not to mention ineffective.

A fact that prison officials seem to understand. "We try to keep the local news from spreading. It’s a safeguard in place to slow it down but we can’t absolutely keep news from spreading," says Hopple. So why keep such a policy in place at all? Hopple notes that other medium-sized and large jails nearby have similar policies, but that doesn't make their case any more meritorious. And other nearby facilities, like the Pitkun County Jail, evidently haven't had problems with prisoners reading the local news.

Maybe the problem is something else altogether: too many lock-ups in the first place. Says Hopple, "As our population grows, we run out of space for special-needs inmates and those special-needs inmates’ safety can be placed at risk." Fair enough. If that's the case, let's center our attention on the crux of the issue -- a failed criminal justice system that keeps local facilities strapped -- and not ineffective, dense-on-crime policies that arbitrarily cut prisoners off from the outside.

Random Wedding Cake #840

We love the detailed silhouettes and the simple black + white theme.

unique wedding cakes

Kara Buntin | Wedding PRO

It's no secret that everyone here at BrideTide absolutely loves wedding cakes! Maybe that's why we were so smitten when Kara Buntin from A Cake To Remember agreed to become our newest BrideTide Wedding PRO in our wedding cake corner category! With a background in art and costume design, and a certificate in pastry arts, it's easy to see why Kara is an authority voice in the wedding industry and a thought leader when it comes to all things cake delish! Keep your eyes open for some great upcoming guest blog posts from Kara!Kara BuntinMy name is Kara Buntin, and I’m excited about being a guest blogger for BrideTide! I’m a custom cake designer located in Richmond, Virginia, and I think that every bride should have a cake that will serve as an amazing centerpiece for her reception, but will also be the delicious finish to the evening. There’s no reason to have a mediocre cake at your wedding reception, and I’m on a mission to eradicate the idea that “nobody eats wedding cake anyway.” If the cake is good, people will eat it!

There are a lot of misconceptions about wedding cakes out there. It’s too easy for people who don’t really know anything about cake to write articles based on something that they read, even if their source is wrong. After things are repeated enough times people just take them to be fact, even if they make no sense to someone who actually makes cakes. I’d like to think that my blog entries will help sort some of the fact from the fiction and make it easier for brides to make an educated choice when they select a cake.

If you’d like to send me questions please do, or go to my website to take a look at some of the cakes that I’ve made. I’d love to hear from brides who have questions, and I hope that you enjoy hearing my opinions about cakes here on BrideTide.

Follow Kara on Twitter

Unemployed Women Turn to Selling Their Wedding Rings On Craigslist

Today's economy has some brides turning to Craigslist for a quick buck. Read the full article here.

Poetry and prose from prison

Finding a voice despite being locked up

Published: Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Incarcerated women in the state of Colorado face a grim future. According to the Colorado Department of Corrections, the rate of recidivism (a return to prison after violating parole or probation, or committing a new crime) is 47.4 percent.

When half of the people who are released from prison come back to prison, society pays more money to keep prisoners housed, delinquency has a greater chance of spreading through generations, and society as a whole suffers. That’s why Stephen Hartnett, associate professor of communications at UC Denver, has helped pilot a program to stop recidivism through education and creative writing.

The project, Captured Words: Free Thoughts, is a magazine of poems and short works by women who elect to take a for-credit course at the Colorado Women’s Correctional Facility. Hartnett, along with other volunteers, tutors, edits and encourages the women at the facility in the process of devoloping as a writer.

The Fall 2009 volume of Captured Words: Free Thoughts contains work from 19 women. The subject matter in the pieces varies from person to person, but each work contains similar themes: heartache, loss, loneliness, discomfort, pain, regret, acceptance, forgiveness, strength.

The goal of the project, Hartnett said, was to give silenced and locked-up women the chance to gain their voices back. He said, “The women get to come into a space where, instead of being treated like monsters, they are treated like humans.”

“The environment at [Colorado Women’s Correctional Facility] is made to shame and humiliate the women. It’s very judgmental and dehumanizing,” said Linda Guthrie, a senior at UCD and volunteer in Hartnett’s program.

“This is an outlet for them,” Guthrie said. “They talk to each other and see the common threads in all of their lives.”

Some of the women in the correctional facility were law-abiding citizens until drugs took over their lives. Guthrie explained that the women she works with share a background of abuse. “Using drugs to numb emotional pain, having babies when they are just babies, bad family lives, and parents who did not care about them—all of these women see their time with us as a breath of fresh air,” she said.

“Many of these women are still crying because of how their parents treated them,” said Guthrie. “They are just people who have made mistakes. In any other situation, that could be you or me.”

The short story “The Night I Did Meth, The Night I Kissed Death” by Rachel Velarde tells the story of Velarde’s gradual descent from a life as an honor student, taking four AP classes and excelling in high school, to one of a meth addict. “If I had said no to death,” she wrote, “then I’d be in the Ivy League instead of a correctional facility.”

Hartnett said his students at the correctional facility have been victimized in the past. “Almost every one of these women is coming from a case of extreme mental abuse,” he said. “It’s just a complete catastrophe, where these women have come from.”

Most of the stories in Captured Words: Free Thoughts depict women who might be expected to be a heroine, not a criminal. In “9/11,” Frankie McConnell recounts the loss of her husband on Sept. 11, 2001: “My head was exploding as the day’s fear took its toll. The air had the most unusual, nasty smell, and debris in the air flowed around us and made it feel as though we carried 10 pounds of dirt. That’s when I snapped and started screaming into the foul air, ‘James! Where the hell are you baby?’”

At the end of McConnell’s story, a person is left wondering: how could this woman who lost her husband in 9/11 be in jail now? The story doesn’t provide answers. It simply chronicles a moment in McConnell’s life—but the effect of the pain stays with a person after reading the words.

Both Guthrie and Hartnett say they are fighting a losing battle against an outdated system that they see as meant to punish, not rehabilitate. Yet they persevere in their mission, even if the system is hard to infiltrate.

“For me, the key is to say we want to reduce crime, while empowering our neighbors to be better citizens,” said Hartnett. “I tell these women, ‘If you just learn how to write a complete sentence, or give a public speech—those are the tools to regain dignity and become a more functional citizen.’”

In the short story “One Wish,” Jessica Yarbrough wonders what her life would have been like if she was raised without sexual abuse. Her one wish is the wish to “erase” her childhood and “start over” with “no physical, mental, or emotional abuse.”

“Now here I am in prison, begging to take any classes that might benefit me when I am released. I’m desperate to get right with God and my four kids, who deserve only the best,” Yarbrough wrote. “Still, I wonder about what my life would be like if I could have that one wish.”

Volunteers like Hartnett and Guthrie who give their time to provide hope cannot grant the wish of erasing these women’s backgrounds. However, they can help them build their futures.

By Tiffany Fitzgerald
Staff Writer

Link to Article Here

My Dad


Yup, that's my ole' man. And here he is in all is hunter-clad glory. Over the past year or so, I wondered to myself, with all the photographs I've taken of completely random things, total strangers, and not so total strangers, why haven't I captured more images of my family? Last Christmas on my visit back home, I forced my dad into letting me spend some time to truly photograph him. I was actually quite surprised that he was open to my ideas, given he would much rather spend time looking for that deer. Needless to say, it was well worth it to me to take a few minutes and capture an image of my dad - his passion and his environment. I love my dad.

Random Wedding Funny #723

It's funny how a six-year old kid can effortlessly destroy a one-in-a-lifetime picture perfect moment. Priceless.

funny wedding pictures


Ashley Rath | Wedding Pro

One of our favorite parts about being in the wedding industry is getting to meet some of the most fabulously talented people who make wedding events divine, beautiful and truly unforgettable. One of those special individuals is Ashley Rath from Dishy Events, and we're totally thrilled to have Ashley as our newest BrideTide Wedding PRO! Keep an eye out for her expert advice and opinion in our Total Wedding Planning category. Welcome aboard Ashley!
Hello BrideTide readers! I’m happy to be here and joining this wonderful and extremely talented community of bridal bloggers! It seems like a long time coming, but in reality I’ve only been doing this on my own for about two months now. Can you believe that?! 2010 has been a life changing experience for me thus far and now I’m ready to share everything I know and learn with the wedding blogosphere!

But first a little about me – I’m a Kansas City, Missouri native who migrated to St. Louis after I finished my Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri. I went on to complete my MBA in 2009 and I married my best friend (a.k.a. the love of my life), Robin, in October of last year. We live just outside St. Louis with our 100lb Weimaraner, Tycho, one of the largest wannabe lap dogs around! I have a passion for planning and organizing events AND things – one look at my closet and you’d think I have OCD, which I actually might.

I am a lover of all things wedding related and I have been since I was a little girl, not to mention I’ve probably cried at every single one I’ve been to! And now lately, there is nothing I love talking about more than weddings. Why is that? Two months ago, I decided to take shot and start my own event planning company in St. Louis, Dishy Events! Even though I had been working with a local planner for the last five years, it was always my dream to make it a reality for myself and on my own! With Dishy Events, came the excitement of a new web site and of course, my Dishy blog! In fact, my blog and Twitter are what led me to the BrideTide community and allowed me to take the step toward becoming a Pro Wedding Blogger.

I’m looking forward to helping all of you make your wedding dreams come true – one piece of advice at a time! Happy planning and happy reading! Cheers!

Follow Ashley on Twitter

POLL: Is Twitter Good For Your Wedding Business?

bridetide poll
This week's BrideTide poll asks wedding professionals:

Has using Twitter increased the number of bridal clients for your wedding business?

Click here to place your vote and see the results!

Look who just entered the wedding business: Urban Outfitters

urban outfitters wedding dresses

It's recently been reported that Urban Outfitters is about to enter the $60 billion dollar wedding industry by launching a new line of bridal wear made under the Anthropologie label. Be on the look out for bridesmaid dresses, shoes, jewelry and bridal accessories too.
Rumors are circulating that this side of their business could be up and running by Valentine's Day 2011. (details)

Prison or counseling? Lawmakers introduce bill to reform sentences for drug users

Peter Marcus, Denver Daily News Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lawmakers are again questioning whether to either treat drug users with community-based counseling, or send them to prison for long sentences.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers yesterday unveiled House Bill 1352, which would reduce the charge for simple possession for most drugs from a class 6 felony to a class 1 misdemeanor. Simple possession would be defined as four grams, instead of one gram in all cases except for with methamphetamine. In the case of meth, simple possession would be defined as two grams or less.

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Mark Waller, R-Colorado Springs, could potentially lower simple possession sentences for those who are sent to prison from as many as six years in prison to 18 months, Waller said at an afternoon news conference yesterday attended by Republican Attorney General John Suthers, as well as members of the law enforcement and drug treatment communities.

Some supporters believe the bill would save the state money on prison costs citing the statistic that it costs the state $30,000 per year per prisoner Ń and that the saved money could be used for community-based drug treatment programs. Lawmakers, however, did not have a cost-saving figure yesterday, stating that they are waiting for the fiscal note on the bill.

“It’s time to switch our focus from framing the debate as being ‘tough on crime’ to being ‘smart on crime,’ said Waller. “Sending non-violent drug offenders to prison is not the best use of our public safety dollars. That money could be used more effectively by providing treatment and stopping the revolving door we have on our prisons.”

The bill would also stiffen mandatory minimum sentences for drug dealers who sell drugs to children.

The legislation stems from recommendations made by the Colorado Commission on Criminal & Juvenile Justice. A more comprehensive sentencing reform bill sponsored by Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, was passed last year. Levy said yesterday that while last year’s bill was not as focused, it did help the CCJJ to make its recommendations for crafting HB 1352.

“We’re seeing the beginning of a whole new approach in Colorado to try to use our resources more effectively to save those $30,000-a-year prison beds for the offenders who we need to lock up and keep away from society, and use the less expensive community-based alternatives for those who can be handled in the community,” said Levy.

Unlike sentencing reform bills of years past, HB 1352 has a broad spectrum of support, including the attorney general, prosecutors, defense attorneys, Republicans and Democrats. Lawmakers are optimistic that the wide support will lead to the bill’s passage.

Suthers expressed doubt that the bill would actually save the state much money, but said he supports the intention of the legislation.

“I’m not so sure how much money this bill is going to save there aren’t a whole lot of first-time drug users or possessors in the Colorado Department of Corrections,” he said. “I’m here in support because the message is correct that our emphasis with drug users and possessors should be treatment.”


Some Wedding Planners Lie

I want to first preface this post by clearly stating that I am not a professional wedding planner, by any stretch of the definition. I've never planned a wedding (besides my own) and I have no desire to learn all the ins and outs of becoming a professional coordinator. In my opinion, I honestly don't think I have what it takes to become one. I often stand in awe of the magnificent feats of design and inspiration that wedding planners engineer on a regular basis, and while I would love to be able to create such nuptial masterpieces for a client, I respect the fact that I just don't have the creative insight in me to do so. Most people don't. Great wedding planners are a special breed. They don't just "see" the "big picture", they systematically break it down to the purest level: form and function. It's this one element that that truly helps distinguish the difference between a professional wedding planner and a wedding planner.

Professional wedding planners don't create events, they create atmosphere.

With that being said, this brings me back to the main reason I was inspired to write this blog post. The other day, I was chatting with a fellow wedding industry insider about the saturation of wedding coordinators and planners in the current bridal marketplace. We both agreed that everywhere a bride turns, someone with a pretty website or business card is marketing themselves as a "professional" wedding planner. One interesting question that arose was: What qualifications does a person have to have to establish themselves as a "professional" planner? Does a certification from a wedding course or organization instantaneously transform someone into a pro? Is is the total number of events that they have helped coordinate over the years? Is it the total amount of years they have been part of the bridal scene? Is it the volume of awards and accolades they've received from their peers in the industry? We were both perplexed. Both of us just sat silently sipping our drinks wondering how a person decides take it upon themselves to begin distinguishing themselves a "professional" event planner. We finished our drinks, parted ways and both felt an uneasy feeling inside for not coming to an agreed conclusion. I was truly bothered by not knowing the answer.

The next day, I took it upon myself to proactively contact a few fresh faces in the wedding planning world and ask them if they considered themselves a professional planner or not. I was surprised how quickly EVERY single one of them answered a resounding "Yes" or "Of course" when approached. I then proceeded to ask them why they thought so, and they answers provided were quite alarming:

"... because my last three events went smooth and there were no big disasters".
"... because my pricing is probably higher than most competitors".
"... because my wedding planning blog gets of 100K of visits per month".
"... because I have a ton of positive ratings on WeddingWire".
"... because every single bride has sent me a thank you note after her big day".
"... because my mother was an event planner and therefore I'm a pro".

My heart quickly sank. Is this what the newcomers in the wedding industry actually feel makes a competent event planner? Are we basing the integrity of the entire coordinator service off of pricing and thank you notes?

So instead of letting that topic of conversation end, I decided to take the most common sense approach: I'd consult others directly in the industry.

So my question to all you wedding planners, eventistas, coordinators and consultants is: How long have YOU been a "professional" wedding planner and what minimum qualifications do you think a person should have before attaching that elusive "professional" label to their title? Not only is it a viable question, but I feel it's start to creating a soft standard that others in the event business should qualify themselves against before calling themselves a professional wedding planner. Being a wedding professional is an earned privilege, not a right. It's time to stop lying to your brides... and to yourself.

Together, we can advance the wedding industry.

Ben The Groom | Wedding PRO

Hey everyone! We are excited to introduce one of our new BrideTide PROS to all of our readers so you can begin putting a name with a face. Today's wedding PRO is Ben from BenTheGroom.com and he'll be a regular guest blogger from the Groom Room. Everyone give a warm welcome to Ben!
Ben The GroomHi, I'm Ben from www.benthegroom.com. I'm excited to welcome you all into my life on the guys side of wedding planning!

I asked my beautiful fiancé to marry me this past January and immediately my life changed. Soon, I was reading 'Real Simple Weddings 09' from cover to cover, and after getting the big picture I started searching for helpful groom information. As you may know, there are few online resources dedicated to grooms, which is why I created Ben The Groom.

I was born and raised a preacher's kid, graduated with a communication degree, found myself in marketing, and surprisingly, this wedding has become the focal point my life! Just 2 months ago I was busy playing hockey but now it seems each weekend if filled with vendor visits and guest list analysis.

I was in Norway during grade school, studied abroad in China, and competed in the Baja 1000 off-road race. I'm no wedding expert, but that’s exactly what gives my groom's perspective a whole new look at weddings! I care enough to learn how to best play the role of a groom, but am oblivious enough to give real guy advice.

My site offers style, advice, real stories, and some entertainment all dedicated to the groom. Each day I diary my experience, looking for ways guys can get more involved, while studying bride’s blogs to find out what they really want from us. I look forward to continuing to be a voice for the grooms…we want to be involved, we're just not that great at it yet!
Follow Ben on Twitter

Wedding Tip #7

wedding tips and adviceHey brides, make sure your photographer takes plenty of pictures of your reception site before your guest arrive, while everything is still in place and photo perfect!