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10 Professional Wedding Planning Tips for Clients




Are you aware that more than 2 million weddings are performed in the United States each year? Thanks to these and other wedding figures, we know that being a wedding planner can be satisfying both financially and emotionally. Whether you schedule one or a dozen weddings this year, both professional event managers and wedding planners should make use of wedding scheduling tips to make the most of their unique customer days!

1. Expand the wedding know-how.

Learn how to plan wedding, photograph and make cake so you know the difference between what is good and what is really nice. You can also sell these services together with your preparation in a kit. It takes a while, but this is a wedding planning guide that event planners can use for any wedding.

It is also a smart business sense, as well as a great help to the happy couple. Bringing these abilities to your team will allow you to stand out. It will also allow you to sell services and make more money than you would if your job was limited to just planning.

2. Organize an initial meeting on wedding planning.

Initial planning sessions have provided the basis for the wedding’s success in every way. Next, you must set and handle your goals in compliance with budgets, dates and other major components of the wedding event.

Next time you will also want to review your contract. Most precisely, what is included in the contract or not. If hurried late night calls are not accepted during the months before the big day, inform them that if you email you, you will always get a reply by 10 am the next day.

The next thing that you have to consider is interests. What are their thoughts already? Do these ideas match in with a cohesive theme? How can you make your wedding unique and special in an innovative and budget-friendly way? To fill the gaps, brainstorm together.

Oh, and ensure that you follow the meeting with written documentation of all that you have addressed. Things may change on the way, but you’re all on the same page now, so there are no surprises.

3. Note that consumers have the final say.

Even if the taste is poor. Most significantly, the couple are content with all the choices they have made. It’s just too bad for you, their friends, their bridal party, or anyone else who doesn’t like it. It’s their special day, and whatever they want they should have the right to veto.

That said, several newbie wedding planners end up being bowled over by more assertive couples who love the idea but hate it when it comes to execution. This is where your wedding planning background needs to be balanced with your customer service skills. When their plan is difficult or unlikely to succeed, it is your job to make sure that you propose one or more ways to help them achieve their goal and still pull it off.

4. Relationships with your preferred wedding suppliers.

Remembering this is important even when you’re just beginning. All designers of wedding events bring to the table their own skills, style and experience. But a wedding planner who also brings along with them an army of qualified, tried-and-true vendors? It is above and beyond now.

Make sure that you have on your list a wide range of vendors that suits your budget and style. You never know what a customer might ask for! You might even come to define your own personal style of wedding planning. If that’s the case, you’re going to want to pick groups of vendors who can work well together in terms of mood and communication, regardless of which brands are selected.

Soon assemble your dream teams and make friends with the best vendors you can find.

5. Have a backup plan for all major components of the union.

The most common wedding mishaps, according to the Bridal Guide, include: red wine or bridal gown staining food.
A guest at the wedding gets too intoxicated and makes a scene.
Mid-event shifts in unpredictable weather.
A fainting bride, husband, or visitor.
The team at the function is late or someone has been calling out sick.
Have you already had ideas about how to handle the situation while keeping the guests relaxed and happy as you read through that list? If not, preparation is time to begin.

But don’t think about these plans to your clients until you have to use them. Sure, when they recruit you, they will feel comfortable because they know you’re going to be there to deal with all these things and more.

But if you show them the many (and we mean many) ways that even the easiest weddings can go wrong, they can get confused easily. So let them know that you’ve covered them, but don’t worry about the specifics. And when the time comes, they’re just going to be so much more impressed by their super hero abilities as you save their wedding day from near catastrophe.

6. Streamline the paperwork of wedding.

Paperwork is a must when a professional wedding planner is present. Nevertheless, it is easier to arrange and ignore these piles of contracts, vendor agreements and proposals until they become necessary. This is why it is so important to have a paperwork intake system, signature recovery and documentation. It is important to always make sure everybody is paying and is on the same page so that the documents are transparent and easy for all investors to access when necessary!

7. Shape relationships with event venues for wedding.

Wedding venues are a competitive world, particularly if you are a wedding planner in a big city with high-demand spaces or a small town where high-season choices are fun but minimal. Teaming with wedding venues allows you and your customers to get out. Wedding event venues would love to have you back in their room in the future if you’re a joy to work with. Also couples who are looking for a professional local wedding planner may be recommended.

And if you have a couple whose entire wedding dream revolves around a specific location that is normally in high demand, you can let them know that you have a pre-existing relationship with their management team. If you can book as a priority, it’s perfect! But even if that’s not a possibility, it’s a great selling point for new customers simply to know that you’ve worked with that location in the past because they cover your business website.

8. Have a plan to fail.

We have already addressed the importance of having a wedding plan or components which go wrong the day. But what about a strategy if you manage the feelings of your customers before the big event? If someone has a meltdown, it will be your job to make sure that the problem is resolved and that the person feels secure, satisfied and excited again.

Such problems may even go beyond what you can manage, especially if interpersonal disputes are involved. As their wedding planner, you will only benefit from a systematic way to motivate them in advance. One of the best qualities as a wedding planner is thinking on your feet. And it’s much simpler to have a panic strategy!

9. Build a robust portfolio platform.

The portfolio of wedding sites is perfect for your business. It helps you find yourself online, organizes your relevant experiences easily, and points out what you can give to your customers. But it’s perfect also for the clients! You may have pictures of similar events, past lookbooks, or blogs about stories you may share behind the scenes to inspire your own case.

Make sure to include each of the following when designing your portfolio site: a detailed list of services you provide and an estimated cost of each kit.
Your theory of wedding planning and an explanation of how you deal with customers.
Pictures of past events as well as explanations of what you have done to make it so good.
New customers are welcome to check in with a range of validated references.
Any relevant professional awards, memberships or qualifications that add value to the planning skills of your wedding.
You’ll want to make sure you have the rest of the things in your wedding planning toolkit.

10. Can handle multiple projects at once, use one or more wedding planning tools.

Planning many marriages at once? Then you really need to keep it straight on top of your organization game. Fortunately, there are plenty of options to cover a wide range of wedding planning tasks, free (or inexpensive), easy to use. Some of our wedding planning resources have been mentioned here.

To complete and coordinate activities, you can use marriage planning apps and websites such as: diagrams of the wedding tools to help arrange your wedding and share information about your caterers, entertainers and other suppliers. Try free tools for 3D wedding style.
Free post applications synchronizing your digital invitation list to send email reminders, invites and RSVPs at defined intervals automatically.
A curated list of real examples of local vendors and venues to help narrow your search.

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Mahesh is leading digital marketing initiatives at RecentlyHeard, a NewsFeed platform that covers news from all sectors. He develops, manages, and executes digital strategies to increase online visibility, better reach target audiences, and create engaging experience across channels. With 7+ years of experience, He is skilled in search engine optimization, content marketing, social media marketing, and advertising, and analytics.

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Editorial: When will feds reduce wildfire risks?



California wildfires threaten famous giant sequoia trees

California’s 13 largest wildfires have occurred since the Cedar fire burned 2,820 structures and killed 15 people in San Diego County in October 2003. With the Dixie and Caldor fires front of mind now, it’s maddening to hear lip service from lawmakers and bureaucrats, and see how little has been done to take basic steps to reduce wildfire risks.

Perhaps the most maddening failure of all is the federal government’s refusal to take responsibility for properly maintaining the 57% of California forest land that it owns.

A recent story by The San Diego Union-Tribune detailed how frustrated private forest owners were with the U.S. Forest Service and how it has done little to adopt practices that would minimize the risk of blazes starting on federal land and crossing into private holdings. As the story noted, between environmental laws and pressure from the logging industry, federal forest overseers have felt constrained in what they can do.

But at a fundamental level, the U.S. Forest Service simply never gives enough credence to a basic truth of forest health. A policy of emphasizing fire suppression without active efforts to clear forests of dead trees and other flammable growth makes the chances of huge conflagrations much more likely.

To his credit, Gov. Gavin Newsom has stepped up efforts to thin state forests. But he needs to reach out to the White House and point out the obvious: Until federal policy on federal land is smarter, California’s ability to reduce wildfires during the climate emergency is limited.

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Jake Gyllenhaal is all ears as 911 dispatcher in ‘The Guilty’



Jake Gyllenhaal is all ears as 911 dispatcher in ‘The Guilty’

At 40, Jake Gyllenhaal is focusing on storytelling, serving as both star and executive producer of Netflix’s “The Guilty.”

An ingenious thriller, “The Guilty” follows a 911 emergency operator who tries to alert authorities and maintain contact with his desperate caller, a kidnapped wife being driven God knows where.

A remake of the award-winning 2018 Danish film of the same name, “The Guilty” puts Gyllenhaal front and center for 90 minutes as 911 dispatcher Joe Woods.

It immediately becomes clear Joe is not your usual 911 responder. No Mr. Nice Guy. He’s rude, he lectures, he’ll even hang up.

“Yeah,” Gyllenhaal said in a Zoom interview, “there’s a real toxicity to him. From the beginning, he’s pushing people, saying things he shouldn’t. It’s not his job, right?”

Joe, we learn, is a cop put on this desk job while an abuse case is investigated. That’s a departure from the original.

“Immediately upon transposition into America and then to Los Angeles, it just set a different tone,” Gyllenhaal said. “A tone of the world collapsing around this character, like Dante’s Inferno.”

“The Guilty” Gyllenhaal sees as speaking to, “the whole issue of Joe and his daughter, Joe coming to terms with his own truth emotionally.”

Despite its escalating tension, don’t call this a one-man show. “We shot this in 11 days at the height of COVID so it was just inherently tense.

“We shot 20 pages a day with 20- to 30-minute-long takes that are very highly choreographed with the cast assembled on Zoom from different parts of the world.”

They range from Riley Keough as the distraught mother and Peter Sarsgaard as her disturbed husband to Ethan Hawke, Da’Vine Joy Randolph and Paul Dano.

“I was most worried about who we would cast as these calls that came in. Because performance,” Gyllenhaal explained, “is really about listening.

“As any actor would tell you, Rule No. 1 with acting is: You need to listen, which becomes harder, not just for actors, over time.

“These great actors agreed to do it in this period of time and every call that came in was just so alive. All the calls are live phone calls (none pre-recorded), which made my job pretty easy. I just really had to listen.

“And, yeah, there were definitely moments that were hard. Technical things. But I never really looked at it like it was a one-man show. I looked at it like, there are all these incredible performances going on around me.”

(“The Guilty” opens in theaters Friday.)

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Confidence, negotiation skills can close gender wage gap



Confidence, negotiation skills can close gender wage gap

New research finds female undergrads rush to nail down their first job faster than men, and in doing so may miss better offers.

Academics studied job-hunting habits and initial salary offers for more than 1,300 undergrads at the Questrom School of Business at Boston University between 2013 and 2019.

There was no gender difference in the number of job offers, nor the tendency to turn down a job offer. But female students were more inclined to accept a job earlier than male classmates, by an average of one month.

Among those accepting offers during the summer (August) heading into their last year of school, women earned 17% less than men, on average. By graduation, the wage gap had narrowed to 10%. (The data takes into account different majors — marketing vs. finance — and GPAs.)

Granted, that 10% gap is still problematic — it worked out to an average gap of around $6,000 — but the research suggests that being a bit more patient can pay off.

Why the difference between genders in timing?

The well-established behavioral fact that men tend to be more confident — overly confident — than women is at play in the job search. The researchers estimate that about 25% of the wage gap can be attributed to men’s greater confidence.

Waiting, of course, raises the risk one might not land a job. Men were more OK with that, and more comfortable with risk-taking than women.

What women graduates can do

Negotiate if you get a summer job offer. If you interned at a great place, and they offer you a job before you head back to school for senior year, that’s a great achievement. But slow down. Are you absolutely sure you want this job? If the answer is yes, don’t retreat into a “I can’t believe how lucky I am” stance. C’mon, they’re lucky too, right?

Do not tell yourself all you care about is getting your foot in the door. A lower starting salary tends to stick with you for years, and it means raises and next jobs are built from a lower base.

Research what’s competitive. There are plenty of websites, such as PayScale and Glassdoor, that provide salary range info. And asking people you know in that job, or who had that job a few years ago, is going to be even more helpful. This is where your social network and alumni relations can help.

Ask for more time to make a decision. Undergrads recruited at BU’s business school typically have a maximum of two weeks to accept an offer, and 40% are given just a one-week decision window.

The researchers estimate that if employers extended the offer time by a month it would reduce the first-job gender wage gap by 40%. That’s not likely going to become standard practice any time soon. In the meantime, when you get an offer, politely and professionally express your enthusiasm, and then pivot to requesting that you have a few more weeks to sort through the decision.

Get negotiating help. If your school offers any free seminars on salary negotiating or how to approach the job hunt, you are nuts to not take advantage of that. In junior year, ideally. There are going to be some useful nuggets in there.

— News Service

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Over 70 animals die at Central Texas pet resort in late night fire



Over 70 animals die at Central Texas pet resort in late night fire

GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — A fire at a Williamson County pet resort on Saturday, September 18 ended with the deaths of around 75 animals.

The deadly fire happened at around 11:05 p.m. Sept. 19 at Ponderosa Pet Resort in Georgetown, the Georgetown Fire Department chief John Sullivan confirmed Sunday.

Sullivan says when crews arrived, they found significant fire and smoke — the animals are believed to have died from smoke inhalation. No humans were inside during the fire.

“The building was not occupied by humans, but by no indication do I want to lead anyone to believe that that is any less tragic,” Sullivan said Sunday. “It is extremely heart-wrenching for us as first responders. My heart just dropped when I got the address and knew exactly the location we were going to.”

GFD says crews will work to retrieve the remains of the animals to get them to families.

The deadly fire happened at around 11:05 p.m. Sept. 19 at Ponderosa Pet Resort in Georgetown, the Georgetown Fire Department chief confirmed Sunday (KXAN/Mariano Garza)

Ponderosa offers training, grooming and boarding and was founded over 10 years ago by owner Phillip Paris, a dog trainer and former City of Georgetown police officer. GFD said Sunday the owner is cooperating with the department and expresses condolences to families of the pets.

Fatal fires at pet stay facilities have happened across the country before. Back in 2019, 31 dogs died in a Chicago kennel fire, leading Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker to sign a law requiring kennels remain constantly staffed and are equipped with sprinklers and fire alarms. Earlier this year, a blaze at a dog kennel in Bardstown, Kentucky, claimed the lives of about 50 dogs except for one female, who’d recently birthed six puppies who also died.

A 2017 court case in Washington D.C. centered on one pet owner who sued a boarding facility after her teacup Yorkie was killed by another dog inside. The dog’s owner claimed the facility was negligent. The business denied the claims of negligence, however, calling the death a “freak accident.”

GFD says it’s too early to pinpoint the cause of the fire, but crews have established its point of origin. The department says it’s actively working to determine the cause as quickly as possible.

“We encourage people not to minimize this,” Sullivan concluded on Sunday. “It’s a big deal when you lose an extension of your family… My heart goes out — because it was unfair that I could go home last night and give my dog Rockford the biggest hug possible. He’s my comfort, he’s my confidante. And many of these family members have had that ripped out from them now.”

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Editorial: Mocking vax resisters isn’t helping



Editorial: Mocking vax resisters isn’t helping

You’ve likely seen the headlines about COVID-19 killing radio hosts and activists who opposed vaccines and masks. Several of those headlines were about Caleb Wallace, a Texan who helped organize a “freedom rally” this summer to protest mask-wearing. Some corners of the internet reacted with ridicule to news of his death last month, sparing no thought to Wallace’s grieving wife and daughters.

It’s important that we all resist the impulse to scream, “I told you so!” Yes, it’s maddening to find ourselves swept up in yet another wave of COVID-19 cases eight months into the rollout of vaccines that should have ended this pandemic by now. But every death is a tragedy and should be treated as such.

Mocking vaccine skeptics who’ve been fed misinformation won’t convince people on the fence to get vaccinated. Our inclination should be to show others that we care about them, not to win an argument.

A Census Bureau survey and polling from the Kaiser Family Foundation show that concerns about side effects or the newness of the vaccine and distrust in the government rank among the top reasons why people are hesitant to get the shots.

Yes, there are relentless vaccine skeptics whose foolish actions demonstrate they’re immune to reason. But the loud ones don’t represent all.

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Illinois family’s emotional battle with COVID: Mother hospitalized after giving birth, father fears job loss



Illinois family’s emotional battle with COVID: Mother hospitalized after giving birth, father fears job loss

MCHENRY, Ill. (WGN) – A suburban Illinois mother remains hospitalized after a grueling battle with COVID-19 that she fought while pregnant. As a result of the virus, she had to be put into an induced coma and gave birth early.

The woman’s husband is now speaking out on the emotional and physical challenges their family has faced.

Donnell Kelly of McHenry has been by his wife Samantha’s bedside at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital for the last three weeks.

On August 22, he tested positive for COVID. And a few days later, his wife and two children got sick. At the time, Samantha Kelly was pregnant with their third child, a baby boy.

“It was really scary because she was complaining of loss of breath and chest pains,” Donnell Kelly said. “She’s breathing for two, so that’s why I was scared and nervous.”

Donnell Kelly first took his wife to Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin. That same night she was transferred to Lutheran General’s ICU.

Over the next few days, her health declined.

“Her breathing saturation got really bad. She was already on oxygen with full force, the highest pressure it could go,” he said. “It still wasn’t working for her and the baby.”

On September 6, at 32 weeks pregnant, Samantha Kelly had an emergency C-Section.

Baby Holden, weighing 5 pounds, was admitted into the NICU and is doing well.

But Samantha Kelly is still struggling.

“After he was born they put her on the ventilator right away and intubated her,” Donnell Kelly said. “She’s on a ventilator now.”

The young mother is still intubated and on sedation. Doctors are hoping to slowly wean her from the ventilator over the next few days.

She has a really big heart. She’s funny, beautiful inside and out… a great mom… She’s everything you want in a wife, partner and a friend.

Donnell Kelly describing his wife, Samantha

Donnell Kelly, who has been unable to work for the last month, is worried about losing his job and insurance coverage.

A friend set up a GoFundMe page to help with medical costs.

“I always think positive thoughts about the situation. You think negative thoughts, it can eat you up,” Donnell Kelly said. “I knew COVID was real. I’ve seen the numbers. But when it hits you in the face personally, it’s a different kind of beast.”

Donnell Kelly said he was vaccinated, but his wife wasn’t. He said she was nervous about getting a COVID shot while pregnant, but had recently changed her mind after her husband tested positive. She became sick before she could get one.

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Lambert: MCAS results will spotlight academic needs after COVID year



Lambert: MCAS results will spotlight academic needs after COVID year

The annual release of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System test scores has garnered little attention in recent years — not so in 2021. When the results are made public this week, we’ll have our first look at how our students were affected by the continual interruptions in learning caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although the MCAS results usually serve as a benchmark for school and district performance, they weren’t intended to serve that function this year. Instead, a pared-down version of the tests administered this spring sought to pinpoint the extent of K-12 students’ pandemic learning loss and how those losses disproportionately affected students by race, socio-economic status and disability. Because of the attendance issues, varying levels of in-person and virtual learning and other disruptions during the school year, this year’s results will be far from perfect. Nevertheless, the results were expected to yield a good amount of diagnostic data for teachers, schools and districts to use to develop strategies to help recover student learning losses and determine which areas require the most intervention.

In other words, MCAS scores will serve as a complement to teachers’ own assessments and observations, and help them make the most congruous adjustments to their current grade learning plans to incorporate what students missed last year. This practice should not be considered remediation, but rather “tiering” or “scaffolding” — something our teachers are adept at — which will help students transition back into the classroom and bring them up to grade level. For example, based on the data, school leaders will be able to understand if fourth-graders in a certain school need extra time on fractions, while sixth-graders in another need to brush up on their reading comprehension.

Every year, MCAS results provide vital, grade-level insights into students’ academic needs, but this year the results, regardless of actual test scores, will be invaluable in helping schools respond to students’ unfinished learning. Opponents of standardized testing have often used the occasion of low MCAS scores as an opportunity to question the validity of the test in order to scuttle it all together. But low scores — especially this year — shouldn’t be used as an excuse to discredit the test. They should be expected. Also, since there are no accountability consequences from the scores, school districts will not be penalized — and should not be criticized — for any drop in performance.

However, school districts should be held accountable for how they’re using MCAS data to help students catch up. The districts received the scores in early July, so they already know the extent of learning loss. Their having and using this data over the summer to plan curricula in the new school year should be a big victory for students and their families. Likewise, parents should know how their child is doing, not with anecdotes but with the objective information MCAS scores provide. As this school year gets under way, families should inquire how their district has used this data over the past two months to prepare teachers for the upcoming school year. This will empower parents to partner with teachers on what will best meet their child’s needs.

In addition, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has an obligation to use MCAS data to inform the public understanding of the impact of the pandemic on students, and provide information and analysis that will guide how future education leaders and policymakers respond to pandemics and other significant disruptions to typical schooling. DESE should also undertake analysis to follow the cohort of students pre and post pandemic, disaggregating data by learning mode — in-person, remote and hybrid — and student demographics.

Districts across the state are receiving substantial federal COVID relief funding coupled with state aid, including through the Student Opportunity Act. Both the state and the districts have a critical role to play in guiding that funding into sustainable programs that improve student outcomes. These resources will allow districts to target their funds toward the students who need the most assistance and on the strategies proven to accelerate student learning.

Ed Lambert is executive director of the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education.

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‘She touched the world’: Families release statements after body believed to be Gabby Petito found



‘She touched the world’: Families release statements after body believed to be Gabby Petito found

(WJW) — After FBI Denver confirmed that remains consistent with 22-year-old Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito’s description were found in Wyoming near the east boundary of Grand Teton National Park Sunday, September 19 the YouTuber’s father took to social media to pay tribute to his daughter.

The FBI said in a statement that the remains were found near the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area in the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

During a Sunday press conference, FBI Supervisory Special Agent Charles Jones offered condolences to those affected and asked everyone to respect the family’s privacy at this time.

A family lawyer also released a statement to FOX News, asking for the family to be allowed to grieve at this time and also thanking authorities for their tireless efforts in finding Petito:

“I am making a personal request to members of the press and news media to refrain from contacting the Schmidt and Petito family,” Richard Benson Stafford said in a statement obtained by FOX. “Due to today’s developments, we are asking the press and news media to have some decorum and sensitivity for Gabby’s family and allow them to grieve. I will be in contact with you when Gabby’s family is ready to make a public statement.”

NewsNation reporter Brian Entin said on Twitter that Petito’s boyfriend’s family also released a statement following the announcement.

“The FBI and our partners extend our heartfelt condolences to Gabby’s family and loved ones,” FBI spokeswoman Courtney Bernal said in a statement. “This is an incredibly difficult time for them, and our thoughts are with them as they mourn the loss of their daughter.”

Authorities are still on the lookout for Brian Laundrie in Florida, who has been identified as a person of interest. Laundrie and Petito had been on a cross-country road trip together prior to Petito’s disappearance.

Laundrie, who returned to his family’s Florida home in the couple’s van alone, was last seen on Tuesday, family members told police.

At this time, the remains found in Wyoming have not been 100% confirmed as Petito’s body. A cause of death is not known.

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Dear Abby: Hungry family can’t stomach birthday barbecue



Dear Abby: Social skills are ‘rusty’ after pandemic lockdown

Dear Abby: I was deeply hurt after going to a barbecue at my oldest daughter’s home. It was to celebrate my granddaughter’s fourth birthday. My daughter’s husband is from Thailand. He barbecued beautiful dishes of shrimp and something that looked like a gigantic crawfish. While my daughter is accustomed to and enjoys this food, she and her husband are aware that I, my husband, her sister and her niece are not accustomed to it. We simply do not like the flavor and texture.

When I asked my daughter if there were any hot dogs they could grill, at least for my 9-year-old granddaughter, she got angry and said she eats what her husband cooks. I felt our part of the family was not even being considered. I was hurt for my youngest daughter and my other granddaughter, who had literally nothing to eat that they would even remotely like. Am I wrong for feeling ignored being invited to a barbecue where my daughter knew all the food being offered were things we wouldn’t like?

— Ruined My Appetite

Dear Ruined: I do think you are blowing this out of proportion. I assume you have been invited to your daughter’s and son-in-law’s before, and knew her husband does the cooking. Before coming over, you should have asked if it would be all right to bring a few traditional American dishes with you for the children. If your offer was refused, you could have skipped the barbecue. That said, look at the big picture. It was only one afternoon. I assume the kids were taken out for burgers or hot dogs afterward, and no serious harm was done.

Dear Abby: I am a news nut. Since adolescence I have loved watching the news and staying informed about current events. I also have had a problem since childhood. When I see a person get an injection, I have a physical reaction. I shiver from head to toe. Because of the pandemic, I can no longer watch news broadcasts because they constantly show folks getting vaccinated. Does anyone else have the same reaction? Any suggestions?

— Squeamish in Canada

Dear Squeamish: I am sure more people than you think have significant reactions regarding needles. A dear friend of mine must lie down before any procedure involving a needle because she faints. In your case, because news anchors usually announce before commercial breaks what will be featured “right after this important message from our sponsor,” take note of it and turn your head, change the channel or leave the TV until the next segment.

Dear Abby: What do you do with a large family picture of yourself, your husband, your son and your daughter-in-law who is no longer your daughter-in-law? She and my son divorced after nine years of marriage. He has since remarried. I don’t want to hang the picture, but I don’t know what to do with it. Any help would be appreciated.

— Out of the Picture in Alabama

Dear Out: Try this: Reach out to your former daughter-in-law and ask whether she would like to have the picture. If she is interested, offer it to her. If she’s not, feel free to toss it.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at 

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‘Ted Lasso,’ ‘Crown’ among winners at Emmy Awards



‘Ted Lasso,’ ‘Crown’ among winners at Emmy Awards

LOS ANGELES — “The Crown has won the best drama series Emmy Award, while Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso” took best comedy series honors.

“The Crown” stars Olivia Colman and Josh O’Connor won the top drama acting honors Sunday, with Jason Sudeikis, star of the warm-hearted “Ted Lasso,” and Jean Smart of the generation-gap story “Hacks,” winners on the comedy side.

Colman and O’Connor were a winning fictional mother-son duo: She plays Queen Elizabeth II, with O’Connor as Prince Charles in the British royal family saga that combines gravitas and soap opera.

“I’d have put money on that not happening,” Colman said of the award, calling it “a lovely end to the most extraordinary journey” with the show’s cast and creators. She cut her remarks short, explaining why she was growing tearful.

“I lost my daddy during COVID, and he would have loved all of this.” she said.

O’Connor gave a shoutout to Emma Corwin, who played opposite him as Princess Diana and was also a nominee Sunday, as a “force of nature.”

He also offered thanks to his grandparents, including his grandmother who died a few months ago, and his grandfather, Peter O’Connor, for the “greatest gifts” of kindness and loyalty.”

Sudeikis, who also produces the series that many viewers found a balm for tough pandemic times, gave a speech that evoked the chipper, upbeat character he plays in the series about a U.K. soccer team and its unlikely American coach.

“This show’s about families and mentors and teammates, and I wouldn’t be here without those things in my life,” said Sudeikis. He also thanked his fellow castmates, saying “I’m only as good as you guys make me look.”

Smart, who received a standing ovation, began her acceptance speech on a somber note: Her husband actor, Richard Gilliland, died six months ago.

“I would not be here without him” and his willingness to put her career first, said Smart. She also praised their two children as “courageous individuals in their own right.”

Earlier in the evening, ebullient “Ted Lasso” castmate Hannah Waddingham, winner of the best supporting actress award for a comedy, said Sudeikis “changed my life with this, and more importantly my baby girl’s.”

The show’s Brett Goldstein, who won the counterpart award for supporting actor, said he had promised not to swear and either mimed or was muted for a few seconds, then called the show the “privilege and pleasure” of his life.

Gillian Anderson and Tobias Menzies of British royal drama “The Crown” were honored for their supporting performances. The series also picked up writing and directing honors.

Anderson, who played British political leader Margaret Thatcher, used her acceptance speech to thank her manager of 20 years for her mentorship and believing in her talent before she did.

Menzies who plays Prince Philip, didn’t attend the ceremony, which included a London gathering for “The Crown” nominees.

Before announcing the winner in his category, presenter Kerry Washington saluted another nominee, Michael K. Williams of “Lovecraft County.” Williams died Sept. 6 at age 54.

“Michael was a brilliantly talented actor and a generous human being who has left us far too soon,” Washington said.

Another lost star was remembered by John Oliver of “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.”

“No one was funnier in the last 20 years than Norm Macdonald on late-night comedy,” Oliver said in accepting the Emmy for best variety talk show, suggesting people spend time checking out clips of Macdonald, as he did after Macdonald died Sept. 14 at age 61.

Kate Winslet, who played the title character in “Mare of Easttown,” and Ewan McGregor, who starred in the fashion biopic “Halston,” were honored as top actors for a limited series.

Winslet saluted her sister nominees in “this decade that has to be about women having each other’s back.”

Julianne Nicholson and Evan Peters claimed best supporting acting honors for “Mare of Easttown,” about crime and family dysfunction.

“The script was “true to the horror and beauty of ordinary people’s lives,” particularly the lives of women, said Nicholson.

Both she and Peters saluted star Winslet.

“Man, you’re good at acting. But turns out you’re good at caring for a whole production,” Nicholson said.

Debbie Allen received the Governors Award for a long and acclaimed career as an actor, dancer, choreographer and activist

“I am trembling with gratitude and grace and trying not to cry … it’s been many years in the making, taken a lot of courage to be the only woman in the room most of the time. Courage and creative and fight and faith to believe I could keep going, and I have,” she said.

The show opened with a musical number that featured host Cedric the Entertainer rapping a modified version of the Biz Markie hip-hop hit “Just a Friend” with lyrics like “TV, you got what I need.” LL Cool J bounded from the audience as stars like Rita Wilson, Mandy Moore and more dropped verses celebrating the breadth of television.

Seth Rogen presented the first award, throwing some cold water on the celebratory vibe by noting that the Emmys were being held in a giant tent. “There’s way too many of us in this little room,” he exclaimed in what seemed to be an attempt to be funny that fell flat.

“Why is there a roof? It’s more important that we have three chandeliers than make sure we don’t kill Eugene Levy tonight. That is what has been decided.”

Cedric the Entertainer worked hard and landed some laugh-getting jokes, but the night’s comedy bits were hit and miss — including Stephen Colbert’s jokes about California’s failed gubernatorial recall and Ken Jeong’s effort to get past security and into the show.

The show’s producers promised the show will be a celebration for all. But it could be much more rewarding, even historic, for some.

That includes Netflix’s drama “The Crown” and Apple TV+ comedy “Ted Lasso.” Each is considered a frontrunner Sunday for top series honors in their respective categories, and their casts received armloads of nominations.

More than the shows on streaming would benefit. Victories in both the best drama and comedy series categories would mark a first for streaming services and reinforce their growing dominance, to the dismay of competitors.

But the TV industry overall, including the broadcast networks that still field popular shows but are largely eclipsed at the Emmys, will be honored, say those in charge of the event airing on CBS.

Roughly 500 people attended the Emmys in downtown Los Angeles, with fashion standout Billy Porter sporting large wings attached to the sleeves of his black trouser look and Sudeikis walked the red carpet in a velvet suit of soft blue.

The producers’ ultimate goal is a ceremony that is upbeat and acknowledges how much TV’s importance grew during the pandemic and its lockdowns.

The top nominees include the British royal drama “The Crown” and the Star Wars-universe derived “The Mandalorian,” which received a leading 24 nominations each.

On the comedy side, the feel-good comedy “Ted Lasso” is competing with “black-ish”; “Cobra Kai”; “Emily in Paris”; “Hacks”; “The Flight Attendant”; “The Kominsky Method” and “PEN15.”

Other drama series contenders include past winner “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Lovecraft Country,” which was canceled after a single season but yielded nods for cast members Jonathan Majors, Jurnee Smollett, Aunjanue Ellis and Williams.


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