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  • Fairytale leading to George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin Wedding

    A flotilla of water taxis on the Grand Canal, a ceremony in a 16th-century palazzo: George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin pulled off a picture-perfect wedding in Venice, Italy.

    But their road to Venice has been marked with many romantic milestones around the world, with stops everywhere from the White House to Tanzania to Clooney’s beloved Lake Como.

    Clooney, 53, has said he and Alamuddin, 36, first met in Italy, as he recently revealed at a charity dinner. But they weren’t spotted in public together until last October in London, where they were photographed after sharing a bite at Berners Tavern. The two were discussing a satellite program over Syria, Clooney’s rep said at the time. (Clooney’s Satellite Sentinel Project monitors human rights abuses.)

    By the holidays, according to a source, Alamuddin was a guest of Clooney’s on a vacation to Los Cabos, Mexico, along with longtime friend and Casamigos Tequila business partner Rande Gerber and his wife, Cindy Crawford.

    George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin
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    The two kept a low profile until after Valentine’s Day, when Alamuddin joined Clooney for a special White House screening on Feb. 18 of his film The Monuments Men. The couple held hands at the event, which President Obama attended. Later, the duo joined Clooney’s costars Matt Damon and Bill Murray at Willard Hotel’s Round Robin & Scotch Bar, where, an onlooker told PEOPLE, they were stuck like glue.

    Revealing their Romance

    Then it was vacation time again: In March, they first spent some beach time in the Seychelles, then jetted to Tanzania for a short, but sweet, four-day safari. Clooney was photographed with his arm around Alamuddin – finally confirming the two were a romantic item.

    Days later, the couple landed in N.Y.C., where they stayed at Manhattan’s Carlyle Hotel and dined at French restaurant Rotisserie Georgette with Gerber and another of Clooney’s Casamigos business partners, real estate developer Mike Meldman.

    In March, they turned up on the West Coast at another dinner table with friends. This time, they feasted on Japanese cuisine with Clooney’s friends John Krasinski and wife Emily Blunt at Kazu Sushi in Studio City, California.

    George Pops the Question

    Almost a month later, they were ready to show off their big news. On April 23, they were spotted at L.A. restaurant Craig’s with friends, and Alamuddin wearing a huge ring, and the following night they met up with Gerber and Crawford to celebrate the engagement at Nobu in Malibu, California. “They want the people they love to know that this is real, that they plan on being together forever,” a source told PEOPLE at the time.

    With their own wedding planning underway, the couple jetted to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, to celebrate the nuptials of Clooney’s longtime pal, actor Thom Mathews.

    Next stop? Venice – foreshadowing alert! – where the pair joined friends in the Floating City at Da Ivo restaurant, departing by motorboat in classic Venetian style.

    The pair then spent much of the summer in Italy at Clooney’s Lake Como estate, often making it a family affair with visits from Alamuddin’s mother, Baria, and Clooney’s parents, Nick and Nina.

    (Later, the future mothers-in-law even took a turn at some arm-in-arm bonding!)

    Glamorous Wedding Guests

    Then in July the soon-to-be bride and groom got some more wedding practice at the nuptials of Alamuddin’s cousin, Bahrain-based businessman Tarke Miknas. Alamuddin pulled double duty, officiating the ceremony at a 15th-century villa in Florence, Italy.

    By the time the couple obtained their marriage license – listing the wedding’s location as Italy – in London in early August, it was clear their own wedding was fast approaching.

    Following another PDA-packed dinner near Lake Como, the couple enjoyed a high-profile date night at the Sept. 7 Celebrity Fight Night charity benefit in Tuscany, Italy, where Clooney shared the news that the wedding would unfold in Venice.

    “I would just like to say to my bride-to-be, Amal, that I love you very much,” he told his fiancée from the stage, “and I can’t wait to be your husband.”

    Of course, the big question now is: Where in the world will they honeymoon?

    Fan Reaction Around the Globe

    Fans around the globe have reacted quite positively to Clooney and Alamuddin’s wedding. Social networking sites such as twitter and facebook are abuzz with this news and prayers and congratulations are pouring in.

    India where George Clooney enjoys a widespread fan following has taken up this wedding like a fairy tale. Indian fans are all praise and love for the couple for their wonderful love story and the beautiful wedding at Venice.

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  • Cancer survivor creates business making wedding shoes after designing heels in her hospital bed

    When Rebecca Saxon was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at the young age of 27, she thought her life was over.

    But in her darkest hour, inspiration struck and she found a way of turning her adversity into advantage.

    Following her cancer treatment, Rebecca launched a successful business 'Something Blue Bridal Shoes' - a unique range of wedding footwear, which emerged out of the fashion sketches she drew while recovering in her hospital bed.

    When Rebecca Saxon was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at the young age of 27, she thought her life was over.

    But in her darkest hour, inspiration struck and she found a way of turning her adversity into advantage.

    Rebecca Saxon was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2010. Over two years of treatment she sketched shoes in her notepad to keep from being bored. After being given the all-clear, she turned the designs into real shoes and now sells them through a new online business 
    picture: casual wedding dresses

    Following her cancer treatment, Rebecca launched a successful business 'Something Blue Bridal Shoes' - a unique range of wedding footwear, which emerged out of the fashion sketches she drew while recovering in her hospital bed.

    'It was incredible when I realized I could turn my footwear designs into a commercial business.

    'After being given the all-clear, I set up and I'm just so thrilled by how well the range has been received by customers.'

    Rebecca, 31, was working as a marketing manager when she discovered a lump in her throat in 2010.

    She explains: 'I immediately went to see my GP who referred me to a specialist who did a number of tests.

    'A few months along the line, the lump on my throat had got bigger, so I had to undergo surgery to get it and a small part of my thyroid removed.

    'However when the results came back, they discovered that the lump was cancerous and I was diagnosed with Stage Two thyroid cancer.

    'When I received that diagnosis, I was just in a state of shock. I didn't know if the cancer had spread or what the future would hold for me.'

    Following her diagnosis, Rebecca underwent a year-long intensive treatment which included two operations to have her thyroid gland removed, a course of hormone suppressants, further hospitalization and radiation treatment.

    She says: 'I had to take leave from work and I was in and out of hospital. Mentally I was in a very dark place, sitting in my apartment day-after-day.

    'I had no idea what was going to happen to me. But I knew I had to be positive if I was going to overcome this treatment. I told myself this was not going to be the end for me. I decided to channel my negative feelings and start drawing.

    'I had always loved fashion and when I was younger, I would sketch with my Nana.

    'Several of my friends were getting married at the time so weddings were very much in the air. So initially, I would be drawing designs for bridal gowns and other garments.

    'But then I started sketching wedding footwear - designing shoes with distinctive, blue soles which were super comfy too. I thought it would be a lovely way of integrating the 'something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue' tradition.

    'Drawing really helped me deal with my treatment.

    'But I also began looking at turning my sketches into commercial ideas and realised that I could make a living out of my bridal shoes.

    'From then on, every time I went to hospital, I took my sketch pad and laptop. I would immerse myself in my sketches and thrash out different business ideas.'

    Rebecca was given the all-clear in August 2011.

    With the encouragement of her entrepreneur boyfriend, Mike Bandar, she then turned her dreams into her reality and set up 'Something Blue Bridal Shoes'.

    Each gorgeous shoe from the collection has a blue sole, incorporating the age-old tradition of what a bride should wear at her wedding for good luck.

    'My doctors were great. Even though I will have to be on medication for the rest of my life, I feel so lucky to be alive today and running a business which I love.

    'I don't know if I would be doing this today if I hadn't gone through what I did. You never know where great ideas can come from and I hope I can inspire others.'

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  • Cancer-stricken mom's wish for fairytale wedding photoshoot comes true - even though there's no groom waiting and it

    Netis Negron, 36, was diagnosed with severe breast cancer, and longed to be a bride - though she lacked a groom. So her loved ones in Avondale, Arizona, gave her a dream bridal photoshoot instead.

    A mom suffering from severe cancer had her wish come true this week when, clad in a flowing, white dress, she starred in a bridal wedding shoot - despite there not being a groom on the scene.

    Netis Negron, 36, was diagnosed with severe breast-cancer seven years ago, and recently found that it has become much more serious, spreading to her bones . But her friends and family brought a ray of hope back into her life after they raised the funds to bring her long-held dream of a fairytale bridal photoshoot to life.

    So the mom, from Avondale, Arizona, flanked by her sons, aged nine, 11 and 16, was dressed to perfection at a local bridal store - and was even told she can keep the entire outfit, which she hopes to leave behind to be used when her sons marry. The day was kept secret until she arrived.

    Cancer-stricken mom's wish for fairytale wedding photoshoot comes true - even though there's no groom waiting and it&#
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    Dream wedding shoot: Netis Negron, 36, was diagnosed with breast cancer seven years ago, and recently found out it had worsened significantly. She confided to friends that she dreamed of a bridal wedding shoot - despite having nobody to get married to - and they then raised the funds for her and made it happen

    Men in her life: Negron was flanked at the ceremony by her three songs, aged nine, 11 and 16, who say they stay strong for her and help her out when they can

    The photographs, showing Negron choosing her dress, the fitting, her tall, white wedding cake, and the final poses, were taken by her friend, photographer Laura Gordillo.

    Negron told ABC News: 'I don’t want people to see this as a fake wedding - it was a celebration of life. It was an amazing experience, a symbol for hope and faith. I was with family, friends and complete strangers that I now call friends, and I wouldn’t change that for the world.'

    She was undeterred by the lack of a groom in the ceremony as her sons played such a prominent part. One added: 'We feel like we're the man in her lives, because we always try to help her out.'

    Surprise! Negron, right, did not realize when she arrived at the bridal shop near Avondale, Arizona, that her dream was about to come true

    Choices: At the store, she was given the selection of a huge number of wedding dressed - and at the end was told her favorite gown was hers to keep

    Crowned: An attendant at the store places a tiara on Negron's head as she prepares for the shoot, which she says was a 'celebration of life'

    Elegant: Negron was decked out with jewelry and accessories for her shoot, including this silver and jewel-encrusted necklace

    Cheers! Negron, above with her hair curled and makeup completed, holds a glass marked with pink ribbons, a symbol of breast cancer awareness

    Poses: Negron had her photographs taken by close friend Laura Gordillo, who was involved in raising funds for the event

    Suiting up: Negron's three sons also joined in the elaborate shoot, for which they were undeniably dressed to impress

    Sharp: The three boys posed at the venue, with the two youngest donning bow ties and the eldest opting for a black necktie

    Family: The four members of the Negron family smiled for the camera as they posed together during the shoot

    Heirlooms: Negron hopes her dress (right) could be used by one of her sons as a dress for their brides when they grow up and marry

    Glamorous: Negron was given her choice of elegant accessories to complement her outfit for her special day

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