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Monday, 13 May 2013

Camila Alves: Mother's Day with Vida!

Camila Alves holds onto her cutie pie daughter Vida‘s hand while arriving back to their hotel on Sunday (May 12) in New York City.

The 31-year-old model and her three-year-old daughter were spotted going jewelry shopping together that same day for their special outing.

Late last month, Camila‘s hubby Matthew McConaughey looked dapper in a suit up for a Dolce&Gabbana photo shoot with actress Scarlett Johnasson!

10+ pictures inside of Camila Alves out with her toddler daughter Vida…

Just one month in, T-Mobile raises its $99 iPhone 5 down payment

The initial iPhone 5 pricing was part of what made T-Mobile’s big new “no-contract” phones push so attractive. Now the carrier is changing the rules: it requires a $149 down payment.

Remember that $99-down-for-an-iPhone-5 plan T-Mobile advertised as part of its game-changing new approach to the U.S. mobile market? Well, that’s over. As of Monday, if you walk into a T-Mobile store to buy a new iPhone 5, you’ll be paying $149 up front instead.

TMoNews first reported the price increase, and notes that nowhere did T-Mobile make it clear at the time that the $99 down payment was only a temporary or introductory pricing.

The iPhone 5 pricing was part of what made T-Mobile’s big new “no-contract” phones push so attractive. From our coverage in March:

T-Mobile will finance the iPhone 5 for a down payment of $99.99 and payments of $20 each month for 24 months. That works out to $580, which is actually cheaper than the unsubsidized, unlocked device price of $650 Apple charges today.
Part of that plan included “eliminating subsidies” that end up chaining U.S. wireless customers to carriers via expensive two-year plans. We don’t know how much T-Mobile has to pay Apple for each device. It’s possible the pricing change could have been planned all along, or it could be that T-Mobile realized after a month that it can’t afford to keep subsidizing smartphones that much.
T-Mobile clearly isn’t ready to clarify what its motivation was. When asked if this pricing hike was always planned, I received this statement from the carrier: “As America’s Un-carrier, T-Mobile is committed to introducing the hottest new smartphones at unbeatable promotional prices – but we all know promotions are temporary.”
As a result, the cheapest T-Mobile iPhone 5 won’t have a total cost of $579 anymore, but will jump up to $629, including the $20 monthly payments for 24 months. There’s nothing illegal about that. But if T-Mobile did intend that this was temporary pricing when it first advertised these prices, the fine print must have been really small. And that’s disappointing.
The carrier’s posture since it first announced changes to its business model has been concentrated on being different and to standing out from its fellow U.S. carriers. But this pricing change comes off like nothing more than an advertising bait and switch. And there’s nothing different about a U.S. wireless carrier that gives its customers reasons to complain.
This post was updated with a comment from T-Mobile at 2:05 p.m. PT.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, abortion, and the future of gay marriage

nyone holding out hope that the Supreme Court is going to issue a sweeping decision to legalize gay marriage inroughout all 50 states has a new reason to temper their expectations. Not even the court's most liberal member appears to be all that eager to thrust the institution into another cultural fight. It's not so much because she does not believe in advancing rights, but rather because she appears to have concluded that judicial modesty is, in some circumstances, the best way to advance those rights. 

The justice I am talking about is Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In a talk at the University of Chicago on the 40th anniversary of the holding in Roe v. Wade, Justice Ginsberg reflected upon the scope of the Roe holding, and not in a way that suggests that she would do it the same way if she had it to do over again. "Roe became a symbol for the right to life movement. They have an annual parade now every year on the day in January when it was decided."

As her statement this weekend suggests (and as Supreme Court watchers know, you can never read too much into what is said at oral argument or in public remarks), Justice Ginsburg appears to believe that Roe caused a cultural backlash against a woman's right to choose that would never have occurred had the court not intervened so aggressively. Instead, Justice Ginsburg appears to have concluded, like many others of all sorts of ideological makeups who have studied the case, that had the court been more modest, a societal consensus would have emerged and the same rights would have come to be enshrined in the laws of each state through more democratic means.

That Justice Ginsburg feels this way will not shock court-watchers. She has long argued that Roe was decided on the wrong grounds. (Harry Blackman's opinion in Roe primarily based the right to abortion in the right of the doctor to care for his patient without interference from the government, not in the right of the woman to make the decision). And this is merely the latest occasion in which the court's (arguably, at least) most liberal member/lifetime crusader for women's rights has suggested that the cause of women's rights would have been better served had the court merely struck down the Texas statute as too restrictive and not gone on to declare categorically that the Constitution protects the right to abortion. 

There are reasons to question whether this is in fact the case. That the nation was slowly evolving on the abortion issue does not mean that women in individual states would have gained access to legal abortions in an acceptable amount of time had the Supreme Court not intervened. But at the same time, it is difficult to argue with the fact that the when the Supreme Court handed down Roe, it abruptly cut off an ongoing debate in a way that made those who remained uncomfortable or hostile to the idea of legal abortion feel that they had been disenfranchised. Indeed, you can question whether abortion rights would have ever gained wide acceptance in this country without Roe, but you cannot quibble with the obvious reality that the anti-abortion movement was a heck of a lot stronger post-Roe than it was before the Court intervened. 

Which brings us to the gay marriage cases. When Justice Ginsburg spoke this Saturday, she did so having already cast her preliminary vote in the gay marriage cases. She knows who is writing which opinions for each side, and she may already have seen drafts. Of course, justices can change their votes. But many of the same concerns that Justice Ginsburg says she wishes she had thought more about when dealing with Roe seem to bear upon the issue of gay marriage with equal force.

Over the past two years, we have seen gay marriage advocates make huge strides throughout the country. We have also seen enormous shifts in the way people think about gay marriage. Those shifts are occurring organically. Broad-based acceptance of gay rights seems more a question of when, not if. For that reason, the Supreme Court is likely to be loathe to intervene in any hugely significant way. Instead, the debate, and the evolution of American attitudes on marriage equality and gay rights generally, will continue to play out at the grassroots level. That will disappoint some, but given the gains being made toward equality, perhaps punting is the best thing that could happen for the gay rights movement at this point in history.

Today's column is dedicated to the memory of Peter Worthington, who died early this Monday morning in Toronto. To the end, Pete lived his life with a vigor that we should all aspire to match. He will be missed.

Tweak your snapshots with PicShop HD, free for a limited time on iPhone and iPad

Everyone has their favorite photo editing app on their iOS device, but thanks to esDot Development Studio you can now try another. PicShop HD for iPhone and iPad is now free to download from the App Store for a limited time. PicShop HD supports images up to 8MP in resolution, perfect for your iPhone 5.

PicShop HD combines more traditional photo editing techniques such as cropping, straightening, and adjusting brightness and contrast, with filters, frames, and even drawing effects and memes should you so wish. There's enough tools on board to have a serious play around with your snapshots, which you can load directly from the Camera Roll, take a new shot and use that, or even import your photos from Facebook to tinker with.
Once you're done editing, you get a choice of size to save the image at, or direct sharing to Twitter, Email or Facebook. The UI is well designed and straight forward to use, if a little un-interesting to look at. But it has it where it counts, and is well worth a look while it's on special. Let us know how you find it, and how it compares to your own favorite photo editing apps.

Stephen Curry Admits Ankle Won’t Be 100 Percent

Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors isn’t deluded when it comes to the state of his ankles.

The sharp-shooting guard rolled over his left ankle in Golden State’s Game 3 loss to the San Antonio Spurs, and was a game-time decision for Game 4. He inevitably played, logging 39 minutes and helping lead the Warriors to an overtime victory that tied the series up at two games.
Though Curry wasn’t his usual mobile self, he still managed to produce at a high level. He was 7-of-15 from the floor (including 5-of-10 from deep) for 22 points. He also pitched in six rebounds and four assists.
Again, the Warriors didn’t have the Curry they had become accustomed to–the one that plays 40-plus minutes every night—but they may have to get used to that.

The First 13 Apps You Need To Download On Your New Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung's new hero Android phone, the Galaxy S4, is now available on all major carriers except for Verizon. (The Verizon model will ship at the end of May.)
If you're going to get a new GS4, here's a starter pack of Android apps to get you started.
Note: These apps will work on most other Android phones too, including the excellent HTC One.

LeSean McCoy Spent The Day Calling Matt Barkley "Mark"

Rookie quarterback Matt Barkley was probably really excited to meet all of his new Eagles teammates at practice today. They have so much wisdom to impart on him, so much encouragement to give, so much complete disregard for whoever the hell all these new guys are.
To be fair, Mark Barkley sounds much cooler than Matt Barkley.

Amazon Is a Long-term Buy

Ishfaque is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

Even though Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has been growing its top-line rapidly, the company's stock price suffered a recent pull-back. Investors seemed to be worried about Amazon's profitability issues, in spite of the company's current investment phase and rock solid footing in its business segments. The e-Commerce giant's current capital expenditures will position the company supremely well in the long-run, as it is increasingly becoming a major player in most of its business segments.

Strong Financials

In Q1 2013, Amazon’s revenues grew 22% on a Y/Y basis and stood at ~$16.1 billion. The company has been facing substantial F/X headwinds which left a negative impact of $302 million. On an ex-F/X basis, Amazon’s top-line would have grown 24%. Amazon’s operating income for 1Q2013 stood at $181 million which represents a 6% Y/Y decline, and the net income decreased 37% Y/Y to end at $82 million.
The company's heavy investments are weighing down its free cash flow which declined 85% from the year ago quarter to end at ~$177 million. However, Amazon's liquidity position is solid as it holds cash and securities position stands at $7.9 billion.

Stellar Growth

The number of users on Amazon's massive platform surpassed 209 million customer accounts which is up from the earlier quarter when the company had 200 million customers. Amazon’s net shipping costs for the quarter stood at $763 million, which represents 4.7% of total worldwide sales.
Amazon’s revenue growth was 26% year-over-year in North America, which showed very strong revenue growth in particular the electronics and other general merchandise items for retail. And for the higher margin non-retail activities including Amazon Web Services, Advertising and credit cards etc., Amazon’s growth was at a solid rate of 64% Y/Y and stood at $750 million.
Amazon’s business in international markets primarily in Europe and Asia grew steadily and stood at $6.6 billion, which represents a growth of ~16% from the year ago quarter. The F/X headwinds in the quarter as well as macro-economic weakness in Europe swung the company to an operating loss for the international business in Q1 2013. On an F/X neutral basis, growth from the international segment would have come in at 21%.

Third Party (3P) Revenue Gaining Momentum

Major positives for Amazon are the consistent growth in paid units which was 30% for the last quarter. Sales from third party vendors made up 40% of total paid unit sales which reflects a 100 bps increase from 1Q2012 when 3P units made up 39%. Amazon's total seller accounts globally exceeded the 2 million mark. Since Amazon's margins from the 3P business is higher, because it acts as a middleman just like its e-Commerce rival eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY).
eBay's business model of being the marketplace where buyers and sellers meet, and not handling inventory, customer orders and fulfillments has worked wonders for the company. eBay has been delivering consistently strong bottom line numbers and Free cash flow numbers, along with strong revenue growth. eBay's Free cash flow as a % of revenue has been in double digits in each of the last 4 quarters, with the most recent number being 17%.

Increased competition
In Q1 FY2013, Amazon changed its fulfillment fees for the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service, which might have an impact on 3P sales as some merchants might be unhappy and take their business to eBay, and even Google (NASDAQ: GOOG). And merchants are likely to be wary of using Amazon's service because Amazon's own massive retail operations compete directly with the sellers themselves, something the sellers don't have to be worry about on eBay and Google's shopping business.
Google has been listing products on its shopping platform for the last few quarters, and now the company's online shopping catalog consists of more than 1 billion products that are listed. And Google recently started rolling out these product listing ads (PLAs) to monetize the billions of search queries to find out information about new products.
Google Shopping shows the catalog of products along with pictures, pricing and shipping information to the end-user, as a result, the consumer might not end up browsing on Amazon. Google introduced product listing ads in European markets, as well as on mobile both of which might increase competition for Amazon.
However, customers love Amazon because of its broad selection and low prices. Amazon ranked number 1 in customer satisfaction for 8 years in a row, according to customer analytics firm, ForeSee, and this serves as a massive competitive advantage for the company.

Amazon's big investments

Amazon continues to invest heavily in its numerous business segments to gain market share. It is adding three new fulfillment centers in the U.S. and a few abroad as well. In addition, Amazon is still heavily investing in China and some European countries to gain more scale for its massive platform.
The company's sales of digital items are growing at a much faster pace, relative to physical unit sales. As a result, the company continues to sign up newer video content licenses with numerous studios, and also building out original content shows with the recent release of a number of pilot TV shows.
Also, Amazon’s cloud computing business, AWS is continuously launching newer offerings while simultaneously cutting prices for its cloud-computing business. AWS has slashed prices 31 times since its launch in 2006 to gain newer customers and smaller businesses to use its computing powers on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Going forward
The company’s razor-blade business model seems to be working as incremental service sales are paving the way for gross margin expansion. The company's third party business as well as Amazon Prime will benefit from the locations of fulfillment centers, which in turn will lead to substantial efficiency gains for the company in terms of net shipping costs. The increased transaction volume along with additional market shares paves the way for substantial free cash flow in the long run. The company's recent sell-off represents a decent buying opportunity for the long haul.
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Obama: IRS Scrutiny of Conservative Groups 'Outrageous' if True

Watch Monday's full news conference with President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Updated 12:45 p.m. ET:
President Barack Obama said Monday that if an inspector general review of the Internal Revenue Service shows the tax agency gave conservative groups more intense scrutiny, "then that's outrageous and there's no place for it."
The Treasury Department's inspector general is expected to release a report this week.
Mr. Obama said the IRS personnel responsible for the targeted scrutiny of the groups have to be held fully accountable for the sake of the public's trust. "As an independent agency, they have to show integrity so people have confidence in them," he said. "I've got no patience for it and will not tolerate it."
He also criticized the focus by some lawmakers on how the White House and State Department helped shape the administration's talking points on the Benghazi, Libya, consulate attacks, calling it a "sideshow" and drain on efforts to make sure similar attacks never happen again.
The president's comments came at a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron, who just came from meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the civil war in Syria.
On Syria, Cameron said he welcomed Putin's agreement to join a diplomatic effort to find a solution, but he said there could be no political solution until the opposition shows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that there is no military solution. Anti-government forces have been fighting the regime there for more than two years.
"Syria's history is being written by the blood of its people," said Cameron.
An EU arms embargo on Syria was amended to allow technical support and advice to the opposition, but Cameron said more should be done to help the opposition, such as delivering body armor and chemical weapons detectors.
"If we don't help the Syrian opposition, who we recognize as legitimate, then we shouldn't be surprised if the extremist elements grow," he said. Cameron said he and Putin might have different perspectives on how to handle Syria but they both agree that extremism shouldn't be allowed to take root there.
Original Story:
President Obama meets with British Prime Minister David Cameron at the White House Monday, where the two are expected to talk about the more than two-year-old civil war in Syria. Britain is pushing for a stronger response to Syria's Bashar al-Assad regime but like the United States doesn't want to send ground troops.
They will address reporters' questions at a press briefing at 11:15 a.m. EDT.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said last week that the two probably also would discuss Iran and the Middle East peace process, along with other matters.
In addition, President Obama likely will be asked about reports the IRS was giving extra scrutiny to tea party and other groups targeting government spending. An inspector general report is expected to come out on the issue later this week. Congress intends to hold hearings.
Cameron is experiencing his own problems at home after members of his Conservative Party said the U.K. should leave the European Union, instead of waiting to see what could be done to improve Britain's relations with the EU. "The idea of throwing in the towel before the negotiation's started I think is a very, very strange opinion," Cameron told reporters on his way to the United States.
The two world leaders will meet again in June when Cameron hosts the G8 summit of industrialized nations in Northern Ireland.
The last time Cameron visited the United States was in March 2012, when he and President Obama discussed security issues in Afghanistan after U.S. troops leave in 2014:

Bill Gates Gets Emotional Talking About His Last Visit With Steve Jobs

Microsoft founder and chairman Bill Gates has fond memories of his biggest rival, Apple founder Steve Jobs

In an interview with Charlie Rose on 60 Minutes, Gates became emotional when he spoke about his last conversation with Jobs before he passed away in October 2011. 
The two tech executives discussed the boat Jobs was working on, and how the Apple founder was looking forward to getting on board. Gates described the conversation as very "forward-looking."
"He and I, in a sense, grew up together," Gates said. "We were within a year of the same age, and we were kind of naively optimistic and built big companies. And every fantasy we had about creating products and learning new things — we achieved all of it. And most of it as rivals. But we always retained a certain respect and communication, including even when he was sick."
Watch the full interview with Gates below. 

Nokia's New Lumia Phone Is Still Thick, Heavy, And Covered In Plastic

Nokia's newest flagship Windows Phone in the US, the Lumia 928, launches this week as a Verizon exclusive. We just got our hands on one this morning, so here a few initial impressions.
The Lumia 928 is nearly identical from a hardware standpoint to its cousin, the Lumia 920, a phone that launched on AT&T last year. Design-wise, the Lumia 928 is a bit thinner and lighter than Lumia 920, a nice change since that was our number one complaint with Nokia's phone. 
But the Lumia 928 is still noticeably thicker and heavier than other top-tier phones like the iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S4, and HTC One. The plastic also feels a bit cheaper than the materials used to build the Lumia 920, and its squared-off design isn't nearly as attractive. This model is an improvement in many ways, but it's hardly ideal for those who like thin and light phones.
Nokia is also making a big deal out of the Lumia 928's camera, which is slightly better than the one on the Lumia 920. It also has a Xenon flash, which "freezes" moving objects and reduces the chances of getting a blurry photo. We've only had the phone for a few hours and haven't had a chance to test the flash yet, but a few quick test photos in bright lighting did look pretty good.
Finally, this isn't the only new device Nokia has for us this week. It will announce another phone with a metal body and 41 megapixel camera called the Lumia 925 at a press event in London Tuesday morning.
We'll have a full review of the Lumia 928 next week. In the meantime, check out a few photos:
nokia lumia 928 home screen
The Lumia 928 is a Windows Phone.
nokia lumia 928 with iphone 5
The Lumia 928 is much thicker than the iPhone 5.
nokia lumia 928 back cover
The casing feels cheap and plasticky.
Nokia Lumia 928 camera
Here's a look at the camera and Xenon flash.

Tiger Woods wins 2013 Players Championship, Sergio Garcia implodes

Sergio Garcia plays the victim card after Tiger Woods takes The Players Championship.

Tiger Woods was in the scorer’s trailer when Sergio Garcia put the last of three balls in the water down the stretch to fall out of contention for the 2013 Players Championship. Somehow, however, Garcia still managed to blame his nemesis for distracting him during Saturday’s third round.

"It sounds like I was the bad guy here," Garcia told reporters after posting a final-round 4-over 76 that included a quadruple-bogey 7 on the par-3 17th and a double on the last. "I was the victim. I don’t have any regrets about anything."

None? Hard to imagine, after Garcia, with the title on the line and in a tie with Woods for the lead with two to go, coughed it up in spectacular fashion.

The 2008 Players champion began Sunday’s final round sharing first place with Woods and rookie David Lingmerth of Sweden. After a birdie at the par-5 16th, Garcia seemed poised to overtake the bane of his existence, or at least reprise their Saturday outing in a playoff, after Tiger, leading by two with five holes to play, drenched his own tee shot on 14 and fell into a four-way tie at the top.

The two were neck and neck as Garcia stood on the 17th tee and then it all fell apart for the eight-time tour winner. Sergio heard hoots and hollers from the crowd after he pumped his second shot into the lake, but Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee said the brash Spaniard reaped what he had sown.

"Sergio brings this on himself," Chamblee said. "They erupted, they clapped, they cheered....All that is coming on the heels of his comments yesterday on the second hole."

It was a less-than-dramatic finish to a tense weekend that began when the two adversaries went head-to-head on Saturday and their mutual dislike went very public.

Garcia got the ball rolling by accusing Woods, in a TV interview during a weather delay, of causing his errant shot on the second hole. As Garcia was making his swing, the gallery surrounding Woods, some 50 yards away and in the trees, cheered loudly when their man plucked a club from his bag, signaling his intent to go for the green.

Woods, whose antipathy for Garcia dates back to a 2000 made-for-TV exhibition between the two, shot back at his would-be rival later on Saturday.

"Not real surprising that he's complaining about something," Woods said, eliciting another riposte from Garcia. Woods, he said, was "not the nicest guy on tour."

Still sore about the incident Sunday night, Sergio was like a dog with a bone. Woods, however, was the winner with a trophy.

"No, we just go out there and play," Woods said in his post-victory presser about whether he was especially satisfied to beat Garcia after what had transpired over the weekend. "I had an opportunity to win a golf tournament. I was tied for the lead today and I thought I handled the situation well and really played well today when I really needed to."

Sony unveils waterproof Xperia ZR phone

Introduced on Monday, the new waterproof Android phone offers a 4.6-inch screen, a 13-megapixel camera, and a quad-core 1.5 GHz processor.

Sony is launching a new Xperia smartphone designed to be dunkable.
Announced on Monday, the Xperia ZR phone can stay under as much as five feet of water for up to 30 minutes. Using the phone's 13-megapixel camera, you can shoot underwater photos and videos in full HD. The dedicated camera key also allows you to quickly take a shot even if the phone is locked.
The camera takes advantage of Sony's Exmor RS for mobile image sensor with HDR (High Dynamic Range) for both photographs and videos. The company promises that photos and videos are automatically captured with the best settings. You can also turn on a burst mode to snap an unlimited series of photos at 15 frames per second.

"The Xperia ZR pushes the boundaries on where and how consumers can use the full potential of their smartphone," Calum MacDougall, director of Xperia Marketing at Sony Mobile Communications, said in a statement. "By combining Sony's leading camera technology with the highest level of water-resistance, you will never miss another moment."
Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core 1.5 GHz processor, the Xperia ZR offers a 4.6-inch HD Reality screen with Sony's Mobile Bravia Engine 2 technology. Equipped with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the phone also provides 4G LTE connectivity.
The Xperia ZR is slated to reach consumers in various markets around the world starting this quarter.

Happy Happy Mother's Day All

#momster #urwa #mawra at #GMP #mothersdayspecial - #happymothersday #iloveumama

Happy Happy muma's day All :))

New York Wedding at the Desmond Tutu Center from Kayla Adams

I think it goes without saying that I am kind of obsessed with love. It consumes my days and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Reading a description from a Bride like this beauty below that is simply overflowing with joy gets me all giddy inside, and the beautiful images from Kayla Adams that illustrates her gorgeous day just make me want to stand up and cheer. It’s perfectly beautiful and perfectly them, and it’s all sitting pretty right here.



From Kayla Adams… Rob and Dolly were married at the Desmond Tutu Conference Center in Manhattan last fall. Earlier that week though, they officially tied the knot at New York City Hall in front of the two friends that originally set them up years ago. Rob was part of the team that helped renovate City Hall a couple years ago, so the day was incredibly special for them being there. After the ceremony, we walked over to the Wedding Garden across the street, snapped a few photos, then met up in Brooklyn to take some portraits. Dolly grew up spending time with her family in Rockaway Beach (which is still recovering from the damage from Sandy), and we hit up all her favorite spots. In light of the hurricane, I know a lot of these spots are really special for her and her family.
From the Bride… After Rob and I got engaged, we started looking for venues practically right away. We were living in North Carolina at the time, and briefly thought about getting married there, but since most of our family and friends live in New York, it only made sense to celebrate close to the people we love.
One constraint we had was that we wanted to have an outdoor wedding (hard to do in New York City) and we came to realize that, surprisingly, we wanted a bigger wedding then we anticipated.  As we set out to plan a wedding in New York, we had a feeling in the back of our minds that the wedding planning could get away from us quickly, and we wanted to maintain a sense of connectedness and privacy for ourselves. We decided to have the best of both worlds and have both a traditional wedding, where we could hang out with everyone we care about and a private ceremony for us, at the City Clerk’s Marriage Bureau, two days before the traditional wedding. Our “City Hall” wedding was magical. We took the subway in the morning to the City Clerk’s office, blending in with commuters, feeling like we were keeping a huge secret.
At the City Clerk, we met our witnesses (the two friends who introduced us) and our photographer, the lovely and talented Kayla Adams.  While we were waiting for our number to be called we took some photos in the gorgeously renovated space, which was a lot of fun. While we were dating, Rob supervised the Bureau’s renovation, which gave the venue added meaning. The ambiance of the space was surreal. Couples in all shapes, colors, ages, sizes, and dress codes were there to make a commitment to one another. It felt like the Love DMV! When our number was called, we were lucky enough to get a sincere, New Yawk-accented clerk who had a huge stage presence. After we were married, we took a cab to have a celebratory lunch in Chinatown. The day was ours alone and it was fantastic.
Our traditional wedding took place at the Desmond Tutu Center in Chelsea. After seeing numerous venues in New York that fell short in some way, we found one we both loved for its gothic architecture, history, convenience, and gorgeous courtyard. Having our family and friends surrounding us outside under a canopy of trees during our ceremony was a powerful experience. I’m so glad we got to have part of our wedding outdoors. We had a great time at our traditional wedding and wouldn’t want to have done it any other way.
My unsolicited advice to couples is to sit down and think about what you want from your wedding.  Whatever that may look like, there may be a way to incorporate everyone and everything you want — either traditionally or not or both!