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Cornelia Powell
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Working with thousands of brides, grooms and their families for over 30 years, Cornelia Powell first made headlines in the world of weddings with her nationally celebrated art-to-wear store in Atlanta in the 1980s and 90s. She was called “the bride’s sage” for her calming storytelling way of guiding women through their bridal rite-of-passage; her Amazon bestseller, The Bride’s Ritual Guide: Look Inside to Find Yourself, grew from those charming stories. As a “wedding folklorist,” Cornelia became an early voice for conscious weddings for couples and her just published Kindle Edition book, The Handkerchief Has Been Thrown! Something Old & Something New for Gay Couples and Wedding Rituals, indeed brings all couples into the spirit of connecting with their beloved in eloquent—and lighthearted—ceremony and ritual.

She was the keynote speaker in the spring of 2014 at the prestigious Winterthur Museum during their exhibition of “Costumes of Downton Abbey.” Over 550 people enjoyed Cornelia’s talk, “Vintage Inspiration: The Brides of Downton Abbey,” and with the appeal of the popular British period drama she’s been invited to a number of fundraisers at venues around the country. She has been featured in magazines and books through the years including Hearst Publication’s The Business of Bliss: How to Profit from Doing What You Love, highlighting women entrepreneurs. She is a former Vogue magazine associate editor and also served on the Board of Directors of the Costume Society of America.

Her book-in-progress, The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride: {Volume One} How Princess Diana Rescued the Great White Wedding, explores the life of an archetypal princess and her influences on the world of wedding and the lingering effect of the "princess myth" in modern culture.

Entries by Cornelia Powell

Revisiting Princess Diana and Her Wedding Legacy (Part Two: A Costume Ritual)

(0) Comments | Posted March 10, 2014 | 3:02 PM

Once Diana lit up the screen -- during her princess-power wedding in 1981 -- brides-to-be were less and less embarrassed by their parents calling for a "traditional" wedding. The "studied informality of society in the 1970s," wrote Carol McD. Wallace, "often made brides and grooms uncomfortable with the old-fashioned ritual...

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Weddings: Why Ceremony? Why Ritual? (Part Two)

(0) Comments | Posted February 19, 2014 | 12:32 PM

"Weddings are increasingly notable for their amazing lack of intimacy, their evolution into industry," National Public Radio's Jacki Lyden declared in her commentary, "Spectacle of Matrimony," leading up to a noteworthy "celebrity wedding." Of course, wedding ceremonies reflect the culture that surrounds them so our image-obsessed, selfie-prone, product-placement...

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Revisiting Princess Diana and Her Wedding Legacy (Part I: The World of Celebrity)

(0) Comments | Posted September 5, 2013 | 6:34 PM

As this month's Vanity Fair cover girl and feature story ("Diana's True Love") and a movie coming out this fall about the last two years of her life (showcasing that "impossible" love affair), the world's most popular celebrity -- and princess bride -- is once again in the news. Revisiting...

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Weddings: Why Ceremony? Why Ritual? (Part I)

(1) Comments | Posted August 21, 2013 | 5:46 PM

For many years, I've written about rites-of-passage -- especially those to do with weddings -- and how putting attention on the journey within deepens and sweetens the transition as one moves through the ritual process. Usually focusing on bridal rituals and the intimacy of a woman's rite-of-passage into marriage, I...

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I Choose You

(7) Comments | Posted July 16, 2013 | 1:52 PM

"Few of us marry as our hearts guide," spoke Queen Anne Boleyn in the 1969 film Anne of the Thousand Days. I don't know if the real 16th-century queen said those words, but they reflect the sentiments of many men and women through centuries when fashionable societies considered it more...

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While Everyone Is Looking

(0) Comments | Posted May 22, 2013 | 1:00 PM

I remember as a young associate editor at Vogue magazine in the early 1970s when fashion director Polly Mellen -- famous for starting international style trends -- told me she wore black to a friend's wedding the previous weekend. Once I caught my breath I responded: "I don't think it's...

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