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NOW FEATURING Christine Carlson

Chris Cross

Happily Ever After Love is expensive. There’s the dates, the engagement, and the most expensive thing - the wedding. While on average weddings cost $25,656 for the couple’s special day, others spend an exorbitant amount more. Take Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries for example. They spent $10 million on their day. That is an insane amount of money. And you know the expression, “It’s not the wedding that matters, it’s the marriage?” Well, obviously their marriage didn’t go that well since they only stayed married for 72 days. Not that I’m any love expert (because *cough*, I’m not), but should the whole shebang really cost that much? I mean, what happened to those cheap dates and low-key, no fuss weddings? My sister is planning her wedding, and it is crazy how stressful it is. The perfect time of year, perfect location, perfect dress, perfect flowers, perfect dinner options, perfect photographer and DJ, the list goes on and on. But you get the point. Everything needs to be perfect. And I’m not saying that she’s a bridezilla because she definitely isn’t. She deserves her dream day, and I think she’s making this whole experience the least stressful it can possibly be. But that perfect wedding of her dreams is becoming more of a nightmare. The wedding that she imagined when she was a little girl is becoming more expensive than she probably would have liked, while the guest list is growing and growing due to her fiancé’s huge family. And then there’s the issue of financing the wedding. First of all, I think it is unbelievable that the bride’s family is supposed to be the one to pay for most of the wedding. The family isn’t getting married, obviously. So why should they be the ones to finance the wedding? It’s the bride and groom’s day. They planned it, so they should pay for the majority of it. While, yes, that is a lot of money for the couple to spend on their day, there has to be ways to cut back on costs. A great start to a marriage is not being $25,000 in debt due to your wedding. Weddings are comprised of so many little details that there are ways to just forgo that certain detail (no one will probably miss it anyways) or to totally DIY it and make it five times cheaper. Like the engagement photos and save-thedates. Most of the time, they end up in the trash can as soon as the date is recorded. And what happened to word of mouth? I’m sure that the future bride will be so excited about her engagement and upcoming wedding date that soon everyone out there in her Facebook cyberspace will know. There’s also the matter of music. Instead of paying a lot of money for a DJ, making a wedding playlist on someone’s smartphone. Then, it just needs to be plugged into the speakers. All the music is right on the phone at zero cost. Also, a photographer isn’t that necessary either. Most people have phones and take pictures, so why not have guests take pictures of the wedding and then upload it onto a website or hashtag the wedding on Instagram? The bride and groom would get really cool, un-staged shots and they would save the expense of a photographer. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just old-fashioned, but I believe that a marriage extends beyond just the wedding. And while, sure, I want my dream wedding, it isn’t worth all of the stress. Though I would definitely want my wedding to cost way less than the $25,565 budget, I still wouldn’t want my family to help out with the expenses. But I still believe that the wedding could be perfect. After all, no matter how expensive, crazy, and stressful, love is love. I guess the way to measure how the wedding went is how it feels to be married to the one you love at the end of the day. Because that is perfect.

Barry Seng: Man of Many Hats Maura Benner Features Contributor Junior Barry Seng is a man of many hats. Whether he is selling tickets to professional basketball games to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in Key Club, planning homecoming in Student Government Association, or showing his determination in track, Seng always seems to have his hands full, an active member of the community both in and outside the classroom. Seng belongs to five different activities and clubs, including Key Club and Student Government Association and participates in three sports throughout the school year. Kelly Musselman, a science teacher at Emmaus and an SGA advisor, said Seng is “organized, dependable, keeps accurate records,” and communicates really well with his co-advisors. “Barry doesn’t settle for anything less than perfect; he works hard to make sure everything is up to par,” Musselman said. “He’s mature and cares about others, and knows what’s important in life.” Math teacher and Key Club advisor Denise Teles-Carl agrees, saying Seng is an “extremely hard working individual.” “He goes above and beyond and pays close attention to every detail,” Teles-Carl said. “He takes pride in his work which ensures that every project is planned meticulously.” From a young age, Seng had always been involved in activities and sports through his school and church. But upon coming to Emmaus, he found a whole new world of opportunities. “At a young age, I have always been fairly involved in athletics, school, and the community,” Seng said. “However, it all exploded when I first came to Emmaus. When I was a freshman, I was enthralled by the

less clubs and sports teams. I tried as many as I could handle. After experiencing a variety of different activities, I narrowed it down based on what I love to do.” Having “narrowed it down,” Seng now participates in Key Club, SGA, Outdoor Adventure Club, Model United Nations, and Hornet Ambassadors. Alongside these clubs, he is active in three sports: cross country, winter track, and track and field. With all these activities on his plate, Seng says that at times, his full schedule can be trying. “Being involved in a variety of activities can become stressful,” Seng said. “Whenever I get stressed, I remind myself that I am involved in these clubs and sports because they make me happy. If that doesn’t calm me down, I’ll go for a long run while listening to Bob Marley to clear my head.” To manage his time, Seng said he’s “practically scheduled every minute of [his] day.” “It may seem like a lot to handle,” Seng said, “but scheduling everything keeps me sane.” Despite whatever stress his schedule may bring, Seng feels his busy agenda to be gratifying and productive, and that’s the way he likes it. “It is truly rewarding to be involved in a variety of activities,” he said. “I get the opportunity to work with different people every day and experience new things. Each day is unique and challenging. I would much rather have a busy life than a monotonous life.” When he does have free time, Seng says he enjoys running, reading, enjoying time with friends, or watching Netflix. Seng said that naming a favorite among his activities would be difficult, but if he had to choose, he would pick Key Club, where he serves others and the community, and Student Government, where he is involved in school events. These activities are also the ones he most actively participates in. In Key

Club, Seng serves on the Pennsylvania District Board in the position of Lieutenant Governor for his district, a role that requires him to assist the Key Club governor with statewide decisions. “As Lieutenant Governor, I work with other Key Clubs in the Lehigh Valley and various service organizations,” Seng said. “I also attend district board meetings throughout the year where my fellow lieutenant governors and governor help organize information, events, and service projects for Key Clubs across the state.” Recently for Key Club, Seng has been working with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, a voluntary health agency that centers on the funding of global research and support services for patients with blood cancer, and professional basketball team the 76ers. They are organizing a PA Key Club event to sell tickets for a 76ers game benefiting the blood cancer society. The event will also help the PA Key Club achieve their goal of fundraising $100,000. “At the International Convention in Anaheim, CA in July, he will be running for International Trustee,” Teles-Carl said. “This is an extremely prestigious position. He will then be the liaison between the district and Key Club International. We couldn’t think of anyone that is more deserving of this position than Barry, and we wish him lots of luck in the election.” In Student Government, Seng serves as junior vice president. His main tasks this year were the planning of homecoming week and the homecoming dance. To students thinking about joining clubs or activities in or out of school, Seng suggests trying a wide range of options and seeing what fits. “My advice to other students who want to get involved is to try as many activities, clubs, and sports as you want,” Seng said. “Once you’ve narrowed it down, do what you love. You should never do something for the sake of others or because it looks good on a college application.”

countPhoto By Maura Benner

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