Saying "I do" under unusual circumstances – Most wedding ceremonies are predictable and filled with special traditions and customs. However, we've found a few unconventional weddings off the beaten path, and they are worth a look!
See how a tornado, mermaids and one man's surprise plot played a role in these weddings.
Caleb and Candra Pence exchanged vows as a tornado touched down near their outdoor wedding ceremony in Harper, Kansas.
Two couples in China held their wedding ceremonies underwater in an aquarium.
One woman was shocked when her boyfriend surprised her with a proposal, immediately followed by their wedding.
The Butlers kept their secret for more than two weeks, but like most lottery winners they eventually had to let the world know of their millions.
It was revealed Wednesday that Merle and Pat Butler, a 60-something couple from the tiny St. Louis suburb of Red Bud, Illinois, had the third and final winning ticket in the $656 million Mega Millions jackpot from March 30.
Their take was $217 million, which comes to $158 million after taxes, and the couple had good reason for waiting so long to come forward.
“I figured the quieter I keep it, the better we are to get it set up and get it going before we did the claim,” Merle Butler said.
Michael Boone, a Bellevue, Washington-based wealth manager, said he often encourages clients with “found money” – that is, inheritance, lottery winnings or high-dollar sports contracts – to keep a low profile.
It seems at least a few lucky souls got similar advice. Of 10 past lottery winners CNN tried to reach, seven had changed their numbers. Of the three who answered their phones, two politely declined to discuss their experiences.
“I still prefer to remain anonymous,” said a past District of Columbia Lotto winner.
Five members of the University of Southern Mississippi pep band have had their scholarships revoked and have been removed from the band after they yelled a derogatory chant at a Puerto Rican player during an NCAA basketball tournament game last week.
The school announced the disciplinary action in a statement Tuesday, saying the five "have been forthcoming, cooperative, contrite and sincerely remorseful."
"They acted rashly and inappropriately, and now see the gravity of their words and actions," Vice President for Student Affairs Joe Paul said. "This is a teachable moment, not only for these students but for our entire student body and those who work with them."
The students will also be required to complete a two-hour training course on cultural sensitivity, the school said.
TV cameras captured the incident during the University of Southern Mississippi-Kansas State University game at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh on Thursday.
As Kansas State point guard Angel Rodriguez shot free throws, several people could clearly be heard chanting, "where's your green card."FULL STORY
Last night, a system of devastating storms swept through the Plains states, leaving trails of destruction in Missouri, Illinois and Kansas. Take a look at some storm-related video that's come in from the region, including one of a tornado touching down in one Kansas county.
Storm chasers capture footage of a tornado touching down in Reno County, Kansas. Watch the funnel cloud form and lightning flash in this nighttime video.
— The small town of Harveyville, Kansas, was especially hard hit. This video shows the devastating damage that the town faces the morning after a suspected tornado struck.
Residents of Edgar Springs, Missouri react to damage in their town. See a flattened burger shop and listen to one man describe what he did when he heard a tornado coming.
Dallas has seen a solid month of triple-digit temperatures, and 15 states are under National Weather Service heat advisories. To put those figures into some historical and scientific context, here's a round of hot-weather factoids. If you're in one of those 15 sweltering states, please drink a glass of water while you read them.
Sure, it's a marketing ploy, but the timing is apropos.
As sweltering heat in 15 states is pushing the mercury to record levels, 7-Eleven is celebrating its 84th birthday by handing out 5 million Slurpees between noon and midnight Monday.
CNN reported earlier Monday that almost a third of U.S. states are likely to see temperatures top 105 degrees this week. Wichita, Kansas, saw 111-degree temps Sunday. Oklahoma City set a new record at 108.
All in all, it's nasty out there, and it's a good thing the free 7-Eleven icy beverages are only 7.11 ounces. Otherwise, they wouldn't stand ... well, a Slurpee's chance in Wichita. Sorry, couldn't resist.
Firefighters across the southwestern United States on Sunday could face some of the worst weather conditions of the season for battling blazes currently raging across the region.
The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for most of Arizona, all of New Mexico, much of north Texas and portions of Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas and Utah for Sunday. A red flag warning means weather conditions - mainly high heat, low humidity and strong winds - pose an extreme fire risk.
"The winds certainly will be very gusty and strong," said Ken Daniel, NWS meteorologist in Flagstaff, Arizona. "Any new fire starts would have the potential to have explosive growth."
Dozens of wildfires already are burning in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, according to InciWeb, an online interagency database that tracks fires, floods and other disasters.
Sunday's forecast calls for winds of 30 mph or more in some areas, with gusts of up to 50 mph, Daniel said.FULL STORY
Kansas has become the first state to have all its state funding for arts programs eliminated.
Over Memorial Day weekend, Republican Gov. Sam Brownback used a line-item veto to cut public funding for the Kansas Arts Commission. The commission has been operating since 1966, a year after Congress set up the National Endowment for the Arts.
The commission's Web site announced the news starkly with the sentence: "All Kansas Arts Commission programs and grant operations for Fiscal Year 2012 have been terminated effective immediately."
Brownback has been outspoken about his desire to make arts funding entirely private.
The conservative leader has pointed to Vermont as a state with a nonprofit arts agency that's privately funded. But Vermont Arts Council Executive Director Alexander L. Aldrich responded by writing an open letter to Brownback, noting that without state appropriations it would be unable to provide "underserved communities" with arts education or "accessibility services to hundreds of historic cultural venues that were built long before the passage of the (Americans With Disabilities Act), and a host of other grants that support our creative sector."
"... (E)very State SHOULD invest in the arts sector simply because it makes good economic sense," the letter also says.
Snow began falling over Colorado and Kansas Tuesday as yet another round of winter weather began marching across the United States barely a week after a record-setting winter storm roared across the Midwest.
A powerful weather system poised over the Rockies is forecast to dump several feet of snow in the Mountain West and up to 10 inches in some parts of Oklahoma, forecasters said.
Much of Oklahoma is under a winter storm warning, but snow and sleet are predicted as far south as central Texas, with 2 to 4 inches expected to coat the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the National Weather Service said.
Later in the week, the system is expected to bring rain and snow to many areas of the Deep South before delivering a wintry mix along portions of the East Coast by Thursday.FULL STORY
Texas Republican incumbent Gov. Rick Perry has won his bid for re-election, CNN projects, beating Democrat Bill White.
New York Democratic Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has defeated Republican Carl Paladino in the race for governor, CNN projects. Democratic Gov. David Paterson is retiring.
A Kansas man missing for more than three months has turned up alive and unharmed, CNN affiliate KMBC reports.
Luke Stevens, 23, of Tonganoxie, Kansas, disappeared May 26 from the home of his father, Dan Stevens, according to the Kansas City Star newspaper's website.
The father's 1983 pickup was found 50 miles from home not long after Stevens vanished, but there was no sign of Stevens, KMBC reported. Sheriff's deputies, volunteers, dogs and divers scoured fields, woods, lakes and streams multiple times to no avail, according to the Star.