with Lynne and Leslie
Category Archives: celebrity weddings

Solange, my sister and me: Rocking our natural hair down the aisle

by SweetMidlife

Leslie here!

So the talk of the Internet in the past few days – well, some of the talk, anyway – has been about Solange Knowles and her fierce, fierce wedding style. Lynne and I were so impressed, we were both wondering if we could get remarried so we could rock fly wedding capes. And that all-white attire rule for the guests made everyone look like they were posing for some lost ’90s TV movie called “A Very EnVogue Wedding,” a videotape which I would totally have owned.

So caught up was I in the capes and the monochromatic wedding guests that I plum near missed another aspect that some people found notable in both good and hideous ways: Solange’s gorgeous, gorgeous wedding Afro. Although she’s straightened her hair occasionally, Miss Knowles’ tall proud crown of queenly poof is her signature, so I didn’t even notice it in the wedding photos, other than that it added to her fierceness.

And why shouldn’t she wear her hair natural? She’s a beautiful woman. Why shouldn’t she look like her on her most special day?

Apparently, some people disagree. Those people are cordially invited to…well….obviously their opinions are of no tangible use to Miss Knowles, who is a diva and don’t care. But as the young lady above can attest , the Web was wild with ignorant folks who had rather strong objections to Solange having not straightened her hair before saying “I do,” either because it’s not fancy or polished enough for such an auspicious occasion, or because they just don’t see it as polished enough for work, or the club, or yoga class or taking out the trash. You know, at all.

The Huffington Post story the beautiful Charnel Grey references in the video makes the same point – that it’s annoying to have to defend the way the hair comes out of your head, to black people, to white people, to anybody. A) It’s not your business B) We’re done changing for others. If we want a ‘fro, we’ll wear a ‘fro. If we want a weave, we’ll get a weave. Mind your own business and your own daggone hair.

Obviously, this is a topic Lynne and I both feel strongly about, because we both have natural hair – I with an Afro, and Lynne with her dreads. And having both been natural for a decade before getting married, neither of us even considered straightening for the day. I had thought about doing some sort of crazy updo, but at the end of the day, I let it ‘fro out even more than usual, and just went with it. I looked like the best version of me – better dress, better makeup, better jewelry. And a better ‘fro.

This pic wasn't their first date, but this was also a memorable one :).

A ‘fro for a fancy Palm Beach wedding

Lynne, meanwhile, let her dreads grow out and had them twisted into the most exquisite updo-drop-crown whatever that was. (She also rocked a veil, a rhinestone headband AND a big ol’ orange flower, to the objection of some people who thought it was too much. Knowing Lynne they should have known it was just enough.)

Loc'ing in on love.

Loc’ing in on love.

One of Lynne’s friends was talking about the whole Solange situation and, told that we’d both worn our hair natural for our weddings, suggested we write something about it, which got Lynne to tell her a story about another bride who wore the most smashing mod daisy-covered wedding dress for her 1970 wedding. And under the Minnie Mouse-esque veil, she wore a sleek Mia Farrow pixie…

Except that the day before she’d been wearing a ‘fro. But she bent to pressure from some older family members that it wasn’t appropriate, not special enough, for a wedding. Our Daddy told us that when he saw her at the rehearsal dinner his first thought was “Who’s that?” Because his bride was supposed to be wearing a ‘fro. Not for political reasons. Not for fashion reasons. But because that’s how she wore her hair, in her life as her, and that’s how she’d wanted to wear it when she married the love of her life. (Her sister and maid of honor, the late Aunt Ann, made up for it with her own Afro. Fly, fly fly).

Again, our mother looked amazing on her wedding day. But she didn’t look like she wanted to because she accepted the pressure that she had to change herself to be proper. I suspect she wouldn’t do that now. But as for you and your own wedding – if you want to get tracks, flatiron, shave your head, whatever, do it. This is not a political speech. It’s a hug, a cry of love, that says “IT’S YOUR WEDDING. DO YOU. BE THE MOST EXCELLENT SPLENDID VERSION OF YOU. NOT OF WHAT YOUR MAMA OR YOUR SISTERS OR THE INTERNET SAY. BE YOU.”

And then you’ll never be more beautiful. Trust us.


“The Bachelor” or “Why 40-year-olds don’t do this show”

by SweetMidlife

This is what forever looks like. Ha ha ha! No, it doesn't!

(A version of this is also on PBPost.com)

Leslie here! Let’s be honest. They don’t cast 40-year-olds on this show primarily because young people don’t think 40-year-olds are sexy (although I have met Daniel Craig and I beg to differ.) But there’s another reason that older contestants, particularly women, wouldn’t run to apply to this thing unless they were desperate for love, attention, fame or some other prize that their lack of meds required…

…because no self-respecting adult woman that I know is going to be cool with a man that they’ve gotten serious with enough to consider a proposal literally tomorrow dating someone else so seriously that they could propose to either of them at any time.

In other words…we should be past the “Seeing other people” stage long before I consider even meeting your mama, let alone consider accepting official jewelry. But these pretty, young starry-eyed ladies on this show don’t seem to have a problem with going the distance with a man – in this case, Bachelor Ben – going “I could spend my life with either of you. Seriously. It’s a toss-up.”

In real life, that situation might get a fist tossed toward your nose. But on TV, it gets you a finale. A finale whose ratings were, as my friend Johnette says, kinda booty. And not the good kind of booty.

For what it’s worth, I thought that Ben and Courtney, the pretty but villainous-ish model of his choice, had the most sobering and real response to what happens when reality – the off-camera kind – sinks in. You’re home. You can see the show, and the parts of the other person that you couldn’t see during filming. You are hearing from the rest of America what they think of what they’ve seen. And they aren’t kind. You aren’t allowed to be in the presence of that person you’re supposed to be marrying and spending eternity with, making Switzerland and fantasy suites and mountaintop proposals pale in comparison to the everyday.

They both seemed disappointed – and perhaps, too surprised for grown folks – that you can’t count on the casting and magic of a game show to guarantee true love. Shocking shockeroo!

No. Not really. Not to anyone over three. And none of the three year olds I know are that stupid.

Anyway, they both seemed sobered, shockingly so, by the hurts and slings and arrows and flaming bricks of truth thrown at them – She felt that he didn’t have her back when the world came in to put a wall between them, and let them win (I will ALWAYS quote Neil Finn when given the opportunity). He felt like she was so different on TV than with him that it gave him pause, and thought that the pettiness made that version of her contradictory with who she presented herself to be, to him.

But those crazy kids – perhaps with the encouragement of ABC? – decided to give it a go and resumed the engagement. Honestly, I’m not hopeful that they’ll get married, because almost no one on this show ever does, and the cracks are showing so much here that there’s water filling the spaces and it’s forming islands.

But good luck to them.


Good News About Hollywood Marriages, For a Change

by SweetMidlife

Lynne here! Well, not below, because that’s Osmond people!!

ABC News’ 20/20 just did a special called “Hollywed”, which took an inside look at celebrity marriages.  And it kinda started out the way you might expect, with tales of the recent spate of famous divorces, and even a thing about the shortest celebrity marriages.  But just when you were feeling good and jaded, or superior, or just plain sad at either the seeming frivolousness or the heartbreak of it all, the show took a happy turn! They talked about famous people who have actually stayed together!! First they featured Gene Simmons of KISS and Shannon Tweed, who have been together for 28 years but got married just last year, after Shannon threatned to finally walk out after years of Gene’s infidelity if he didn’t change his ways. And he did. And they are happy.  Then they talked to Donny Osmond and his wife Debra, who have been married for over 30 years and raised 5 smiling sons.  And they were refreshing and honest and loyal and happy.  Next was Allison “Sami Brady” (Days of Our Lives shout-out, y’all!!) who has been married to her police officer husband for almost 12 years, giving hope that celebrities can actually have relationships with us normal folk and be happy.  And the last spot was about Isaac, Taylor and Zac Hanson AKA dreamy rock band Hanson, most famous for the insanely catchy “Mmbop”, which I know you are all singing now that I mentioned it.  All three brothers got married, relatively young, to Hanson fans, and all look completely, well, HAPPY.

And that’s the point, I guess.  It was really, really refreshing to see a show put as much energy into happy people as it does into drama and distress. Good on you, ABC News. And good for the rest of us. Who like happy.


Britney Spears, Today’s Bride at 30

by SweetMidlife

Our featured bride today is a few years under our designated age group, but I thought it was appropriate to include her because hers is definitely a story of maturity and trying to get it right this time.  I’m talking about Britney Spears, pop darling, tabloid staple, hopefully former hot mess, and future bride!! Britney recently got engaged to her former manager, Jason Trawick, and looks really, really happy.   This will be her third wedding; her first was in Vegas to a childhood friend and that union lasted 55 hours. The second was to her former back-up dancer Kevin Federline, father of her 2 kids. During and after that marriage is when Britney seemed to have a mental breakdown, and did all sorts of unstable things.  A judge even gave her father control of her personal affairs when it seemed as if she couldn’t handle it herself. But then she seemed to turn a corner. She revitalized her career, fell in love and recently, her dad asked the judge to end the conservatorship so that she can regain control of her fortunes.  He says it’s a wedding gift! And I say good for her. I have to admit that I watched her breakdown from afar and shook my head, and I really should have been praying for her.  I think that it takes a big person to look at their life and see that there is no way it can continue on the road that it’s going, then make the necessary changes.  Here’s hoping that this new marriage will be a new start for Miss Brittney, and that her life will continue to go up and up and up.


An old married woman reviews “The Bachelor”

by SweetMidlife

Leslie here! The following is a re-post of my PBPulse.com blog about why you can’t find love on a reality show. Probably. Here goes!

I believe it was late singer/owner of the world’s most fabulous blow-out Jermaine Stewart who said in his seminal “We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off” – “So come on baby, won’t you show some class? Why you wanna move so fast?”

It is in the memory of Jermaine and his hair that I dedicate this to the toned, tanned datetestants of the new season of “The Bachelor”: “Oh, come on ladies, won’t you show some class? On TV drunk off of your…”

Well, you get it.

Just wish these grown women who come looking for a modeling career, umm.. a future reality show …wait,a story to relate back to the Mothership love got it too. Which is that you have less chance finding true love on a game show stocked with booze, jealousy and crazy wenches as you do finding a parking space at the gym on January 2.

I did some stupid things to find love in my 20s and 30s – it was literally in the papers. Once or twice it certainly involved tipsy declarations of love or attraction while trying to stand up. But the one thing I never did was let somebody tape me being drunk and declarative and put it on TV. That I know of. Certainly no releases were signed saying “Please, record me being a crazy drunken obsessive cow.” Any tapes of me being a drunken obsessive cow were recorded without my permission. And if there are some out there – I swear, there couldn’t be many but it only takes one.

Besides the obvious issues of voluntarily appearing as the most ridiculous, pathetic version of yourself, when you have to go back to your life with your same friends, and your same face and name, with everyone knowing what a jerk you made of yourself, let me give you beautiful, tiny, coiffed young things some advice. (In my day I would say I want to drop some knowledge on you, but then saying that without irony would make me seem even older.)

You cannot, as one of the sad sisters on the show said, plan to come on a TV game show and fall in love with some stranger who only know from watching him on TV being dumped by some other sad sister. I mean, you can plan it all you want. But there is absolutely no guarantee that this will happen, apparently when you’re basically one out of a live mail order bride collection, a zoo where a guy can pick whichever drunken exotic creature happens to fall out of her cage in front of him. As D.L. Hughley once said about bill collectors, you can expect payment any time you want. But that doesn’t mean you’re gonna get it.

I looked for love in all the wrong places, in the right places at the wrong time, and in some places in some circuses with clowns whose existence I disavow all knowledge of, just like in “Mission Impossible” but with cocktails and desperation. And when I found it, all I was looking for was a  drink with a high school classmate I hadn’t seen in 20 years. It just found me, unexpectedly and crazily, at maybe the one moment I wasn’t looking for it.  (Of course, I was in my late 30s, with no interest in applying for a dating game show – and very few of these shows seemed to be looking for not-skinny middle-aged black women, so it wasn’t probably a career option.)

All that I’m saying is that if you’re really looking for love up in there, it’s probably not gonna happen for you. And if you’re looking for a career as a professional reality show contestant, then you’re still competing in a sea of crazy. And to be the next “Bachelorette,” you have to actually get close enough to develop real feelings for the guy and get your heart dented, if not broken when you gets dumped. Is this really why you or your folks paid for grad school? Is this really how your young kids want their mom to be seen? CAN YOU LOOK YOUR GRANDMA IN THE FACE? (Or, in the case of the woman who actually brought her Grandma with her, would she be proud of having been publicly associated with you?)

All in all, you don’t have to take your dignity off to have a good time. Jermaine and his hair told me to tell you.


Pregnant Jessica Simpson’s Weight Watchers deal: Too soon or good planning?

by SweetMidlife

Leslie here, otherwise known as the sister not currently with child. This also makes me the sister currently counting calories and trying to drop 25 pounds, partly because if I ever get pregnant, I wanna be skinny first.

Jessica Simpson, who, like my sister Lynne, is pregnant, has a plan, too. Her plan is not to keep the weight that she’s already gained during her current first pregnancy, and the weight she’ll probably continue to gain, any longer than she has to. So she’s going on Weight Watchers when she gives birth. Because she’s a celebrity, she’s lucky enough that Weight Watchers, who currently have Jennifer “Feeling Good” Hudson on the payroll, wants to pay her $3 million to lose weight with them.

I cannot think of one actual or potential mother who honestly didn’t want to lose their baby weight. It wasn’t their priority, and most of us aren’t Victoria’s Secret models before we get pregnant, so it’s not like we’re on a professional timeline for when we need to get back in our pre-baby clothes. But I’ve never met a mom who didn’t at some point, if she’d gained significant weight, think about when she was going to lose it, which is why WW offers a special program for moms.

And if they called any of those moms up and said “Hey Myrtle! Here’s $3 million to lose weight on our program,” Myrtle would sign that check. She would run it to her bank as the ink was drying, before somebody changed their minds. Because the only people I  can think of who don’t like free money are that baby on the Jimmy Fallon credit card commercials, and I’m not entirely sure he knew what he was saying, because he’s a baby and he can’t legally enter into contracts.

Heck, I’ve got weight I want to lose NOW, and, again, if anyone wants to cut me a check and pay for the program, and, as I am sure is the case with Jessica and Jennifer, provide me with a trainer and the wherewithal to hire cooks and minders and people to make my lazy butt stop eating, I will send you my phone number. This does not stop certain people in our society – I believe you call them haters? That’s it. Haters – from acting as if Jessica Simpson is planning to ask for a point counter the minute the umbilical cord is caught.

This is likely because:

– People like hating on Jessica Simpson on general principal;

– The Internet and the 24-7 celebrity “media” culture has given everyone a forum to express their opinions about the motivations of strangers, even beyond the information that those strangers have provided;

– People suck.

The general consensus of bloggers and writers seems to be that Jessica’s doing something cheap, anti-motherhood and hideous, while the consensus of readers seems to be…shut up, bloggers and writers! Even the ones that aren’t fans of Jessica’s talk about how great it would be to know when you were getting your body back as close as you could to the way it was – or smaller – and what a boon it would be if someone paid you for it. They say that the writers are coming up with excuses for why it’s wrong, either that she’s just a money-grubbing loser who hasn’t had a hit in a decade and wants to live off her neglect for her unborn child, or, once reminded that she’s worth a gizillion bucks from her handbag and shoe empire, think she’ s a moneygrubbing loser who doesn’t need the money.

And again…SHUT UP, IDIOTS.

This woman has been aplogizing for, answering questions about or ignoring questions about her weight ever since her career began. Yes, yes, she and her parents made that choice to be so public, and her “Newlyweds” show put everything about her life on display. So it’s hard to argue that people don’t have the right to expect a discussion about her weight, whether pregnant or not.

So who can blame this woman for wanting to make sure that she’s healthily losing weight soon after her pregnancy, because people are not gonna stop. So she might as well be skinny. And why shouldn’t she get paid? They have a product to sell, she’s gonna help them sell it. Mariah Carey did Jenny Craig to lose her baby weight. Do we really think that she didn’t have that deal in place before she gave birth? People gave Demi Moore grief for basically jumping out of the maternity room bed and working out. That’s the pressure that’s put on these people, and yeah, they put themselves in that position. But if you’re gonna judge them for trying to be in the shape we demand, don’t say anything when they don’t meet expectations.

I only hope that if I am ever pregnant, that some trainer won’t descend from the sky and train me for free. You know you do, too.


Hey! We might be talking to “SYTTD”‘s Randy Fenoli

by SweetMidlife

Leslie here! You might know that my day job is as a reporter for the Palm Beach Post, where I get all sorts of fun offers to do stories on things I may or may not think anyone cares about. But sometimes, we get a doozy, and one came today hawking a new special with everyone’s favorite dapper bridal fashion guru and former drag pageant queen Randy Fenoli of “Say Yes To The Dress: Please Buy This Pnina Tornai Dress.” We adore Randy not only because we love his suits, but because he is the match to any snotty princess who think he works for them.

Randy works for Kleinfeld’s. And for fashion. And for The Dream. And if you get saucy, it’s not gonna fly. Believe that. And all your snotty friends will see you on TV getting served by a dapper man who didn’t even break a sweat. Or break his smile. He’s never rude. It’s just not gonna fly well.

And now The Randy presents “Top Ten Weddings of 2011,” a new TLC special on Dec. 23, when you’re wrapping last minute presents and wanting to see famous people wrapped in fancy dresses. I wonder if Kimmy K and her three-hour marriage are included. Make. It. So. The union was maybe fake but the wedding was pretty. In a drag queen on E falling asleep during a “Platinum Weddings” marathon sort of way. Commentators include:

  • Sherri Shepherd, host/actress/comedienne
  • Rob Shuter, columnist (PopEater.com)
  • Kate Coyne, assistant managing editor (People)
  • Bonnie Fuller, editor-in-chief (HollywoodLife.com)
  • Joe Zee, creative director (Elle)
  • Sheryl Lee Ralph, actress/Niecy Nash’s matron of honor
  • Sharon Sacks, wedding planner
  • Joe Buissnik, celebrity photographer
  • Ben Fogel, royal contributor

We are trying to get a copy of the video to review, as well as an interview with the man! Would you love that? Of course you would! Pray hard, y’all!




The Kardashian Thing and Careful Consideration

by SweetMidlife

So, there isn’t much to add to the madness that has become the Kim Kardashian/Kris Humphries wedding/brief marriage of 72 days/divorce.  There is rampant speculation about who was at fault, if Kim just wanted a wedding but didn’t think about the actual marriage,  if Kris was duped or was a willing participant in a large publicity stunt, and if this taints or adds to the whole Kardashian brand.  And as judgemental as I am tempted to be, I am cautioned not to be because I WASN’T THERE. But here is some of what I think, thanks for asking….

  • Kim’s first press release said that she came to the conclusion to end things after “careful consideration”.  I couldn’t but help to think what would have happened if they had put careful consideration into the decision to get married in the first place.
  •  Divorce is a painful, painful thing, and even though the union was very short, and the argument could be made that they weren’t invested in the first place.  But I can’t do the “I-told-you-so” thing because even if this seems like the easy way out, it’s still sad.
  • This point kind of goes back to the first. In a second statement (actually in a blog post), Kim says that she thinks that maybe she got caught up in the hoopla and excitement of the wedding to the point where it would have been difficult to end things without dissapointing people.  Again, this is where the careful consideration could have come in.  I know people who had deposits down, dresses bought, invites out and called off things anyway because they knew something was wrong. Heartbreaking? Yes. Embarrassing? Yes.  But in the end, for them it was better to face that then go through the divorce later.  Now, did they have television contracts to film the whole thing? No. But still. 

So, all of those random thoughts add up to this for me.  The whole thing is sad. Sad that Kim got carried away with the glitz.  Sad that people are embarrassed.  Sad for Kris.  Sad at the whole mess.  Because even if they both find somebody else soon, and if it seems like the whole thing was no big deal to them, I think that saying those words, those vows, to somebody changes you.  Even if it doesn’t last long, there is something in those words that links you to this other person, and no matter how long it lasts, there is going to be some impact.  My prayer for Kim is that, if she is telling the truth, she carefully consider THIS whole situation when going into the next relationship, and be able to separate the dream, the cameras, the media, and the hoopla, all of it, from the marriage.


Bride at 35 Brides of the Week!!

by SweetMidlife

This weekend was a big one for celebrity weddings and for celebrity brides over 35!!

Here they are!

Brooke Burke, 39, is the former champ and current co-host (Long live Tom Bergeron!!) of one of our favorite shows, ‘Dancing With the Stars”. She married her longtime boyfriend, former Baywatch dude David Charvet.  They are both really pretty (who also have really pretty babies). And we wish them well.

Joy Behar, 68, “The View” co-host, married Steve Janowitz, her boyfriend of 29 years. I guess they have the commitment part together. Congrats, kids!  And it was a very busy weekend for Joy’s co-workers because…..

Sherri Shepherd, 44, also of “The View” (and also a really funny lady who was our favorite part of the show “Less Than Perfect” from a few years back. Are we the only ones who watched that?), married her boyfriend, wrtier Lamar Salley, in a much-awaited ceremony over the weekend as well.  Elizabeth Hasselbeck, ALSO of “The View”, was a bridesmaid.  I keep wanting to say, “Our friend Sherri Shepherd”, because she always seems so approachable and she also talks a lot about her ups and downs and life and stuff. Like this wedding, which we blogged about here a few months back.

We wish happiness and years of good stuff to all three couples, and thanks for being examples of the simple fact that love and commitment know no age.


“The Bachelorette”‘s final rose: Y’all know this is a game show, right?

by SweetMidlife

by Leslie Gray Streeter Zervitz

Last night on the season finale of “The Bachelorette”: Cute, tousle-headed Ben was completely, totally, 100 percent shocked that Bachelorette Ashley turned down his proposal of long, showmancey engagement marriage.

“I did not see that one coming,” he said, as Flaky McPinky failed to positively respond to his knee-dropping Big Question.

Oh, Ben. Cute little shaggy-headed modelicious kumquat. How could you have NOT seen this coming, since you knew that Ashley was dating one other dude at this exact moment, making this moment at least a 50/50 proposition?

Read the rest of this entry »


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