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Tuesday

The Planning Timeline of your Wedding

The first thing that needs to be considered when planning the ultimate wedding is how much time you will give yourself for the planning. In essence; this means what day that you will set the date of the wedding.

This may sound like a trivial matter, but it really is important because it will let you know what the time limit is for making your preparations.

Some weddings can take up to 3-4 months to prepare for and plan. This is pretty typical; depending on how big you are planning for your wedding to be and how fancy etc.

If you are not giving yourself more than a month, then planning is naturally different. Because of the differences in the time that you are giving yourself to planning the wedding, it is best to give the best planning methods and you may use them or not use them as they apply to your case.

One of the most important factors that go with planning a wedding is determining who you will be delegating specific duties to. For example, if you are terrible at choosing flowers, who will you assign to do it for you?



It is always best to try to give different duties to others so that you will not be overwhelmed by them yourself. Let’s take a look at some of the various duties that you can hand out:
  • Catering: Who do you believe would be the best person to handle all of the arrangements for the food and drink at your wedding?
  • Invitations and seating arrangements: This person will be addressing and mailing out invitations and making sure that people are seated in a fashion that will ensure everyone’s mutual comfort and enjoyment
  • Decorations for wedding and reception includes center pieces
  • Rehearsal dinners etc.
  • Music and/or DJ
  • Brides maid and groomsmen gifts and favors
  • Gowns, and tuxedos
  • Bridal showers/bachelor parties etc.
All of these things are usual must haves when it comes to a wedding, unless of course, you opt not to have bridesmaids or groomsmen in the wedding. All of these things can be murder to try to do on your own as well.

That is why you have to get in touch with people who are capable of taking over some of the menial jobs for you. All of these things seem small at first, but they can quickly add up to quite a bit of money when they are all combined together.

After you have delegated the responsibilities, you should next set a specific time period to have all of the tasks completed. Creating a to-do list and time sheet is a great way to do this. That way, when all of the tasks are finished you can easily check them off.

You should set up specific times and days to discuss the progress of things as well, just in case things are not going so well. In doing this you will be able to help make sure that all things are running smoothly.

You might be wondering what happens when you have done all of this and are ready to get started. First of all, you have to be willing to follow the general wishes of the couple to be wed; that is unless you are the couple and are planning your own wedding.

When planning a wedding on a budget you have to lower your requirements just a bit. For example, you can’t try to have to filet mignon if you are throwing the wedding on a fish stick budget. I have broken down the various aspects of the wedding planning to the last details so that you will get a better idea of what I mean.

Ideally, you would want to have at least a year to plan the wedding, but that is not always possible or desired. For the purposes of this guide, I have set up a 12 month wedding timeline that will certainly make it a little bit easier to host your wedding.

12 months before your Wedding day:
  • Announce the engagement
  • Set your wedding date
  • Create a budget
  • Hire a Wedding Coordinator (optional)
  • Create your guest list
  • Start brainstorming ideas and themes
  • Reserve your Ceremony spot
  • Book an Officiate
  • Make reservations for your Reception area
  • Book a Photographer and Videographer
  • Book Caterer, Florist and Music (Band, DJ, etc.)
  • Look for a Wedding gown and Tux, allowing time for alterations and fittings
  • Register for gifts
  • Select and call the bridesmaids and groomsmen.
  • Agree on a date to order bridesmaids' dresses and groomsmen's tuxes
  • Choose a destination for your Honeymoon
  • Apply for passports, if required

6 months before your Wedding day:
  • Finalize your guest list
  • Decide on the timeline and details of Ceremony and Reception
  • Order/make invitations, and thank you notes
  • Make airline and hotel reservations for the Honeymoon
  • Choose a caterer, a florist and place an order for the wedding cake.
  • Book Transportation (Limo, Antique Car, Etc.) for wedding day
  • Shop for any Party rentals
3-4 months before your Wedding day:
  • Mail out/hand deliver invitations
  • Confirm wedding details and contracts with all wedding vendors
  • Choose gifts for your attendants
  • Set a date and time for the rehearsal dinner
  • Help make travel arrangements for any out-of-town guests
  • Make final alterations and fittings for the Wedding Gown and Tux
  • Set time with your Photographer for the Bridal Portrait or Engagement shoot

1 month before your Wedding day:
  • Apply for the marriage license
  • Buy your wedding bands
  • Finalize music list and no-play list with band or DJ
  • Attend showers
  • Make insurance arrangements

1-2 weeks before your Wedding day:
  • Schedule the rehearsal a day or two before your wedding day
  • Make an appointment with a Beauty Salon for day of wedding
  • Send a wedding announcement to the local newspapers (optional)
  • Make necessary arrangements for name & address change, if any.
  • Discuss final details with the reception Site and the Caterer
  • Pack for honeymoon
  • Write out all checks needed for wedding day
  • Send reminders to the rehearsal dinner attendees about the location & time
  • Discuss final details of the ceremony and reception with family and bridal party
Wedding day or day before:
  • Visit your Beauty Salon for manicure and pedicure
  • Host the rehearsal and dinner.
  • Make sure the ushers have the final guest list.

by: Mike Lindsey




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Thursday

Maharishi Ayurveda

Every person is born perfect. Inferiority is a mistake of the mind, a cloud covering the light. Dissolve the clouds by observing a balanced life with healthy habits. Nourish your mind and body. Connect with your own inner self. Celebrate your own magnificence and your beauty will always shine through.”—- Dr. Rama Kant Mishra, renowned Ayurvedic physician and dermatologist


The Three Pillars of Beauty

Maharishi Ayurveda (MAV), the modern, consciousness-based revival of the ancient Ayurvedic medicine tradition, considers true beauty to be supported by three pillars; Outer Beauty, Inner Beauty and Lasting Beauty. Only by enhancing all three can we attain the balanced state of radiant health that makes each of us the most fulfilled and beautiful person we can be.

Outer Beauty: Roopam

The outer signs of beauty - your skin, hair and nails - are more than just superficial measures of beauty. They are direct reflections of your overall health. These outer tissues are created by the inner physiological processes involved in digestion, metabolism and proper tissue development. Outer beauty depends more on the strength of your digestion and metabolism, the quality of your diet, and the purity of your blood, than on external cleansers and conditioners you may apply.

General Recommendations for Outer Beauty

As we will discuss, the key to skin care is matching your diet and skin care routine to the specific skin type you have. Meanwhile, there are some valuable recommendations for lustrous skin, hair and nails that will be helpful to everyone, regardless of skin type.

1. Diet: Without adequate nourishment, your collagen layer thins and a kind of wasting takes place. Over time, your skin can shrivel up like a plant without water from lack of nourishment. To keep your skin plump and glowing:

A. Eat fresh, whole organic foods that are freshly prepared.

Avoid packaged, canned, frozen, processed foods and leftovers. These foods have little nutritional value and also they are often poorly digested which creates impurities that localize in the skin. The resulting buildup of toxins causes irritation and blocks circulation depriving the skin of further nourishment and natural cleansing processes.

B. Favor skin nourishing foods. Leafy green vegetables contain vitamins, minerals (especially iron and calcium) and are high in antioxidant properties. They nourish the skin and protect it from premature aging. Sweet juicy fruits like grapes, melons, pears, plums and stewed apples at breakfast are excellent for the skin in almost everyone. Eat a wide variety of grains over different meals and try mixed grain servings at breakfast and lunch. Add amaranth, quinoa, cous cous, millet and barley to the wheat and rice you already eat. Favor light, easy to digest proteins like legume soups (especially yellow split mung dhal), whole milk, paneer (cheese made from boiling milk, adding lemon and straining solids) and lassi (diluted yogurt and spice drinks). Oils like ghee (clarified butter) and organic, extra virgin olive oil should be included in the diet as they lubricate, nourish and create lustre in the skin. Use spices like turmeric, cumin, coriander, and black pepper to improve digestion, nourish the skin and cleanse it of impurities. Avoid microwaving and boiling your vegetables. They lose as much as 85% of their antioxidant content when cooked in this way. Steaming and sautéing are best.

Caring for outer beauty through knowledge of skin type

Besides these general recommendations the key to Outer Beauty is to understand the difference in skin types so you can gain the maximum benefit from your individualized skin care regimen. MAV identifies three different skin types based on which of the three main metabolic principles (doshas)- present in everyone, but to different degrees- is most dominant in your body.

Vata Skin

* Description: Vata is composed of the elements of air and space. If you have a vata skin type, your skin will be dry, thin, fine pored, delicate and cool to the touch. When balanced, it glows with a delicate lightness and refinement that is elegant and attractive. When vata skin is imbalanced, it will be prone to excessive dryness and may even be rough and flaky.

* Potential problems: The greatest beauty challenge for vata skin is its predisposition to symptoms of early aging. Your skin may tend to develop wrinkles earlier than most due to its tendency to dryness and thinness. If your digestion is not in balance, your skin can begin to look dull and grayish, even in your 20’s and 30’s. In addition, your skin may have a tendency for disorders such as dry eczema and skin fungus. Mental stress, such as worry, fear and lack of sleep, has a powerful debilitating effect on vata skin leaving it looking tired and lifeless.

* Recommendations for care

With a little knowledge, you can preserve and protect the delicate beauty of your vata type skin. Since your skin does not contain much moisture, preventing it from drying is the major consideration. Eat a warm, unctuous diet (ghee and olive oil are best) and favor sour, salty and sweet tastes (naturally sweet like fruits, not refined sugar) as they balance vata. Avoid drying foods like crackers. Drink 6-8 glasses of warm (not cold for vata types!) water throughout the day and eat plenty of sweet, juicy fruits. Going to bed early (before 10 PM) is very soothing to vata and will have a tremendously positive influence on your skin. Avoid cleansing products that dry the skin (like alcohol-based cleansers) and perform Ayurvedic oil massage to your whole body (abhyanga) in the morning before you shower.

Pitta Skin.

* Description: Pitta dosha is composed of the elements of fire and water. If you have a pitta skin type your skin is fair, soft, warm and of medium thickness. When balanced, your skin has a beautiful, slightly rosy or golden glow, as if illuminated from within. Your hair typically is fine and straight, and is usually red, sandy or blonde in color. Your complexion tends toward the pink or reddish, and there is often a copious amount of freckles or moles.

* Potential problems: Among the many beauty challenges of pitta skin types is your tendency to develop rashes, rosacea, acne, liver spots or pigment disorders. Because of the large proportion of the fire element in your constitution, your skin does not tolerate heat or sun very well. Of all the three skin types, pitta skin has the least tolerance for the sun, is photosensitive, and most likely to accumulate sun damage over the years. Pitta skin is aggravated by emotional stress, especially suppressed anger, frustration, or resentment.

* Recommendations for care

Avoid excessive sunlight, tanning treatments and highly heating therapies like facial or whole body steams. Avoid hot, spicy foods and favor astringent, bitter and sweet foods which balance pitta. (Again, naturally sweet, not chocolate and refined sugar!) Sweet juicy fruits (especially melons and pears), cooked greens and rose petal preserves are especially good. Drinking plenty of water helps wash impurities from sensitive pitta skin. Reduce external or internal contact with synthetic chemicals, to which your skin is especially prone to react, even in a delayed fashion after years of seemingly uneventful use. Avoid skin products that are abrasive, heating or contain artificial colors or preservatives. Most commercial make-up brands should be avoided in favor of strictly 100% natural ingredient cosmetics. And be sure to get your emotional stress under control through plenty of outdoor exercise, yoga and meditation.

Kapha Skin.

* Description: Kapha dosha is composed of the elements of earth and water. If you have a kapha skin type your skin is thick, oily, soft and cool to the touch. Your complexion is a glowing porcelain whitish color, like the moon, and hair characteristically thick, wavy, oily and dark. Kapha skin types, with their more generous collagen and connective tissue, are fortunate to develop wrinkles much later in life than vata or pitta types.

*Potential problems If your skin becomes imbalanced, it can show up as enlarged pores, excessively oily skin, moist types of eczema, blackheads, acne or pimples, and water retention. Kapha skin is also more prone to fungal infections.

* Recommendations for care

Kapha skin is more prone to clogging and needs more cleansing than other skin types. Be careful to avoid greasy, clogging creams. Likewise, avoid heavy, hard to digest foods like fried foods, fatty meats, cheeses and rich desserts. Eat more light, easy to digest, astringent, bitter and pungent (well-spiced) foods as they balance kapha. Olive oil is the best cooking oil and a little ginger and lime juice can be taken before meals to increase your characteristically sluggish digestive fire. Take warm baths often and use gentle cleansers to open the skin pores. Avoid getting constipated and try to get some exercise every day to increase circulation and help purify the skin through the sweating process.

Inner Beauty: Gunam.

Happy, positive, loving, caring individuals have a special beauty that is far more than skin deep. Conversely we all experience the quick and deleterious effect on our skin from fatigue and stress.

Inner beauty is authentic beauty, not the kind that shows on a made-up face, but the kind that shines through from your soul, your consciousness or inner state of being. Inner beauty comes from a mind and heart that are in harmony, not at odds with each other, causing emotional confusion, loss of confidence, stress and worry. Inner peace is the foundation of outer beauty.

Maintain your self-confidence and a warm, loving personality by paying attention to your lifestyle and daily routine and effective management of stress (I highly recommend the TM technique for its scientifically-verified benefits on mental and physical health and reduced aging.) You will also be healthier and feel better through the day if you eat your main meal at midday and make a habit of going to bed early (by 10 PM is ideal.)

Remember, kindness, friendliness and sincerity naturally attract people to you. On the other hand, being uptight or tense makes people want to walk the other way, regardless of your facial structure, body weight, or other outer signs we associate with attractiveness.

Lasting Beauty: Yayastyag

In order to slow the aging process and gain lasting beauty there are two additional key considerations beyond those already discussed,

1. Eliminate toxins and free radicals in the body: The main deteriorating effects of aging come as toxins and impurities (called ama in Ayurveda) accumulate throughout the body. These toxins may begin as free radicals in the body, or over time may become oxidized into free radicals, all of which contribute to premature aging in the body. For lasting health and beauty it is essential to avoid and neutralize free radicals, to prevent impurities of all kinds from accumulating and to remove those that have already become lodged in the body.

The most powerful cleansing therapy in Maharishi Ayurveda is “panchakarma” therapy, a series of natural treatments ideally performed twice yearly, that involves 5-7 days in a row of massage, heat treatments and mild herbal enemas. Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of undergoing this cleansing program once or twice a year to prevent impurities from accumulating, localizing and hardening in the tissues. Just as we change the oil in our cars regularly for optimal performance and lifespan, Ayurveda recommends that we cleanse the “sludge” from our tissues on a regular basis through panchakarma treatments.

Best of all, panchakarma treatments are luxurious, blissful, and make you feel (and look) completely rejuvenated in just a few days time. I have had many a patient who told me that friends asked them afterwards if they had gotten a facelift, they looked so fresh and youthful!

Other free radical busters include: reducing mental stress, eating antioxidant foods like leafy green vegetables, sweet, juicy fruits and cooking on a daily basis with antioxidant, detoxifying spices like turmeric and coriander.

2. Add rejuvenative techniques to daily living:

The daily activities of life in the modern world systematically wear us down and speed up the aging process. Ayurveda maintains it is crucial to practice daily rejuvenative regimens to counteract the stressful wear and tear of everyday life. According to Ayurveda the most important rejuvenative routines for your life are: Going to bed by 10:00 PM. This simple habit is one of the most powerful techniques for health and longevity, according to MAV. Meditate daily. Any meditation that does not involve concentration (which has been shown to increase anxiety) can be very helpful. I highly recommend the twice-daily deep rest and enlivenment of the Transcendental Meditation ™ technique, whose benefits have been verified by over 700 published research studies. Eat organic, whole fresh food that is freshly prepared. There is an Ayurvedic saying: “Without proper diet. medicine is of no use. With proper diet, medicine is of no need.” Be sure to avoid those leftovers, processed and microwaved foods for better nutrition and vitality. Perform Ayurvedic oil massage in the morning (abhyanga). Morning oil massage purifies the entire body, reduces anxiety and stress, helps prevent and heal injuries and supports circulation. It is especially helpful in creating a radiant complexion and keeping your skin youthful. Research shows it may also help prevent skin cancers. Practice yoga asanas. Maintaining flexibility and circulation is key to health. Practice pranayama (yoga breathing) techniques. Pranayama enlivens the mind and body. Ideally practice the following sequence twice a day. Asanas, pranayama and meditation.

Summary

Everyone’s unique beauty shines forth when they have radiant health and personal happiness. Beauty is a side effect of a balanced, fulfilled life. Supreme personal beauty is accessible to everyone who is willing to take more control of their health in their day-to-day life through time-tested principles of natural living.

For most of us, beauty is not a gift but a choice. Every woman can be radiantly beautiful simply by beginning to lead a healthier life. You will be rewarded by the glowing effects you will see in your mirror each day and the powerful, bliss-producing effect your special beauty has on everyone in your life.


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Sugar Sweet Beauty

Create inexpensive beauty products using the main ingredient, sugar.
In the self-care and beauty industry, the latest craze is to include sugar in skin care products. If you search the internet you will find everything from sugar body scrubs to sugar hair removers. The prices can range from $8.00 to $35.00 for each product. How’s that for a product in which the main ingredient can cost you a no more that $3.00 for a 5 pound bag!

To enjoy all of the benefits of a sugar based product without shelling out the big bucks, trys these recipes:


Orange Cream Sugar Body Scrub

This recipe is great to remove dead skin and give your skin a healthy glow. The sugar contains glycolic acid and the cream is a source for lactic acid. Avoid irritated or broken skin areas.

Ingredients: ½ cup sugar, 2 TBSP cream or whole milk, 5 drops orange oil, and 1 cup olive, jojoba, or almond oil

Mix sugar, oil and cream together. Add orange oil after main ingredients are completely mixed.

Apply to your body by starting at the feet and working your way up. Massage in a circular motion and leave it on for 10-15 minutes, then shower it off. This recipe is enough to make one full body treatment.

Lemon Head Sugar Body Scrub

This recipe is both cleansing and detoxifying. Lemon is very detoxifying to the body and will also help brighten the skin.

Ingredients: ½ cup sugar, 10 drops lemon oil, or ½ a lemon freshly squeezed, and 1 cup olive, jojoba, or almond oil

Mix all ingredients together. Apply to your body by starting at the feet and working your way up. Massage in a circular motion, then shower it off. This recipe is enough to make one full body treatment.

Facial Cleanser

Ingredients:

white or brown sugar, your favorite facial cleanser, witch hazel, and water

Using your favorite daily facial soap, an easy, inexpensive facial scrub can be made by adding sugar. Simply add a teaspoon of either white sugar or brown sugar and massage it gently on your facial skin. Rinse with cool water and spritz your face with a ½ witch hazel and ½ water mixture.

Sugar is a natural and inexpensive way to include alpha-hydroxy acids in your skincare program. It produces glycolic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid, which is included in many skincare product lines. Today’s pricey beauty products that include sugar or alpha hydroxy acid, can be created inexpensively right at your kitchen table. You can experience all of the benefits without the inflated price.



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Beauty Foods That Will Keep U Young & Healthy

You’ve heard that old saying: True beauty comes from within. Well, now nutritional experts have confirmed that you really are what you eat.

Forget French fries and fatty hamburgers. If you want to look beautiful and feel young and healthy, you’ll eat a generous variety of super foods that have been proven to work wonders on the human body.


Whether you’re on a low fat diet, low carb diet, or no diet, adding these super foods to your plate should become as second nature to you as putting your lipstick on in the morning.

Healthy Skin – Eat: blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, currants, purple grapes, pumpkin, carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes

Healthy Eyes – Eat: broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy, kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, mustard greens, turnip greens

Strong Bones – Eat: yogurt, kefir, soy, tofu, Drink: skim milk

Reduce Stress – Eat: beans (navy, pinto, red, black, etc.), green beans, sugar snap peas, green peas, chick peas

Boost Immune System – Eat: turkey, skinless chicken breast, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, spinach, Drink: black or green tea

Sun Protection for Skin – tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit



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Tuesday

5 Hidden Factors That Ruin a Wedding

By now, we all know a few infamously bad things that can ruin a wedding: a scheming best friend, a groom with cold feet, a pair of wedding crashers canoodling with the bridesmaids. But there are a few more subtle factors that can ruin a wedding in a way that is more catastrophic than comedic. Luckily, it doesn't take the running length of a movie to figure out how to avoid them.

1) The Officiator. In an increasingly untraditional society, modern couples are giving less and less thought to who performs their wedding ceremony. Viewing the officiator as a sort of pastoral parrot, repeating the same dusty vows everyone has heard a thousand times, many couples rustle up any internet-ordained officiator and head to the chapel. But far from being a mere vow ventriloquist, the officiator is the M.C. of your entire wedding. Their thoughts about love, gender and religion will irrevocably flavor your entire ceremony, and therefore can serve as your wedding's keynote or its collapse. Indeed, I have seen officiators who use their time at the mic as their own comedy hour and pepper the audience with crass jokes, an officiator so misogynistic that only the bride's vows included the "obey" portion of the "Love, Honor and Obey"vow, and worst of all, officiators who DID stick to the same boring wedding script-after all, how many times can one hear "wedding is a journey" without smirking into you date's shoulder?


To avoid mistakes like these, take a little care when finding your officiator. Choose someone who knows you as a couple, like a marriage counselor or a close friend. Make sure you hear the officiator's planned speech in its entirety, and feel free to edit out any parts you don't like. Get proactive by providing them with scriptures, poetry or speech excerpts that emulate your thoughts on love and life. Most importantly, don't be afraid to say "I Don't!" to tacky humor or anything that doesn't reflect your taste.

2) The Sound System. The moment the audience hears "I Do" is nothing short of awe-inspiring. But hearing the sentiment over and over in a hideous echo incurred by a faulty sound system is just plain creepy. The vows and the sermon are some of the most special and personal parts of the wedding, but even the most beautifully written toast isn't worth it if you can only hear every other word. Yet, time and time again, people pay no heed to the sound system. I have seen weddings where a faulty sound system literally ruined the wedding: no one could hear the pastor and the vows just faded in and out. A creaky, unstable sound system just seems like a bad omen. If you don't want your wedding to feel like a cheap prom, invest plenty of money in a high-quality sound system and test it thoroughly. Make sure there are professionals on-hand to man the sound should anything go wrong, and if possible choose wedding insurance that covers sound system snafus.

3)The Best Man. The most pivotal member of the groomsmen, it is amazing how often the Best Man behaves like a loose cannon, silent partner, or bachelor gone wrong. I have seen Best Men spending the whole night groping bridesmaids on the dance floor, stoically glaring at the bride throughout the wedding ceremony, getting way too drunk, and worst of all, mumbling an ill-prepared or incoherent speech at the wedding toast. While guys may not want to bum their Best Man out by putting too much pressure on them, it is better to be open and honest about what is expected and then give the Best Man the chance to agree or bow out. On the Big Day, the Best Man should have nothing less than his A-game in place. You want a guy who is punctual, who will show up looking sharp, be beaming with joy that you've found your dream woman, drink moderately, act appropriately towards the bridesmaids and give a heartfelt wedding toast about how happy he is for you. Any other deviant behavior can ruin a ceremony faster than a rainstorm at a garden ceremony.

4) Too-Little Kids. Of course, little kids are completely adorable and we all love seeing these mini-people parade down the aisle with their little curls and missing teeth. However, when it comes to sacred vows, little kids are a definite liability. I have seen a wedding where a cherubic three-year-old started down the aisle, only her chubby legs couldn't quite carry her and she tumbled face down into the aisle, screaming and wailing and came up with blood running down her face. Not good for the child, and definitely not good for ceremony ambiance. Little boys can be similarly problematic. I have seen too-young boys included in weddings: ring bearers who got to the end of the aisle and promptly sat down, or stuck their fingers in the wedding cake, or kept tugging on the bride's dress when she was dancing her first dance with the groom. Kids are adorable and if you have your own, of course you should include them in the wedding. Just be realistic about what tasks and durations are appropriate for them. You want Precious Moments, not Rugrats.

5) Not Being A Bridezilla. Sure, bridezillas get a bad rap, but here's the bottom line: in this day and age, it takes an obsessive bride to put on an amazing wedding. Handling a huge budget, coordinating innumerable vendors, and making sure everyone delivers on time is an enormous task, and requires a certain assertiveness and unwavering attention to detail. Think of the best wedding you've ever been to: the perfect color-coordinated wedding favors, impeccably timed dinner courses, endless elegant cocktails and perfect music volume. You better believe a bridezilla was behind that affair.

On the oter hand, brides who are too scared to be assertive because they don't want to get the "bridezilla" rap end up with poorly dyed bridesmaids shoes that leave prints on the aisle, mismatched wilting bouquets, and someone's blue-haired aunt torturing guests with unrecognizable renditions of "Staying Alive." This is the biggest day of your life, so don't be afraid to indulge your inner bridezilla when it comes to getting what you want. In the end, your friends and family will thank you for it.

Source: Bridezilla




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Wedding Etiquette Today

For so many couples, the wedding invitations (and everything associated with the invitations) prove to be the most problematic part of the wedding planning process. Perhaps both sets of parents have remarried or the Bride and Groom have decided to host the wedding on their own. In this day and age, there is no standard definition of a wedding. So, to help you in your woes…here are some invitation etiquette rules made easy:

A traditional wedding invitation should be worded as follows:



Mr. and Mrs. Bride’s Father’s First Name / Last Name
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter

Bride First / Middle Name
To Mr. Groom First / Middle / Last Name

Day and Month of the wedding spelled out
year spelled out
at time spelled out

Location of the Ceremony
City, State

Or rather…

Mr. and Mrs. William McLucas
Request the pleasure of your company
At the wedding of

Abigail Dee
To
Tait Elliott Larson

Saturday, the twenty-seventh of August
Two thousand and seven
At half after five o’clock

Old South Church
Boston, Massachusetts

It’s good to use this as your template, then customize with your own unique details. For most couples, however, it simply isn’t this straight forward. Here are some ways to tackle the more unique situations:

Bride and Groom are Hosting the Wedding

Ms. Bride First Name / Last Name
and
Mr. Groom First Name / Last Name

request the honour of your presence
as they celebrate their marriage

Day and Month of the wedding spelled out
year spelled out
at time spelled out

Location of the Ceremony
City, State

Both Sets of Parents are Hosting the Wedding

Mr. and Mrs. Bride’s Father’s First Nam / Father’s Last Name
and
Mr. and Mrs. Groom’s Father’s First Name / Last Name

request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of

Bride First / Middle / Last
and
Groom First / Middle / Last

{etc}

Parents/Parent has Divorced or Remarried

Mr. and Mrs. Bride’s Mother {New Husband’s} First Name / Last Name
and
Mr. and Mrs. {New Wife} Groom’s Father First Name / Last Name
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Bride First / Middle / Last

{etc}

Small Wedding then Large Reception

…to the ceremony and reception

Mr. and Mrs. Bride’s Father’s First Name / Last Name
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Daughter first name / middle name
to
Mr. Groom First name / Last name

Day, Month spelled out
Year spelled out
at time spelled out

Location of Ceremony
and afterward at the reception
Location of Reception

…to the reception only

Mr. and Mrs. Bride’s Father’s First Name / Last Name
request the pleasure of your company
at the wedding reception for their daughter

Daughter’s First Name / Middle Name
and
Mr. Groom’s First Name / Last Name

Day, Month spelled out
year spelled out
at time spelled out
Location
City, State

When a Parent or Parents Have Passed

(It should be sent only from the living parent…)

Mr. (Mrs.) Father/Mother’s First Name / Last Name
requests the honour of your presence
at the marriage of his/her daughter

Bride First Name / Middle Name
To
Mr. Groom’s First Name / Middle / Last

{etc}

When the Groom’s family hosts the wedding

Mr. and Mrs. Groom’s Father’s First Name / Last Name
request the hour of your presence
at the marriage of

Miss Bride’s First Name / Middle / Last
To
their son
Groom’s first Name / Middle Name / Last

{etc}

Although these are many of the more common circumstances, they of course, barely crack the surface. There are so many ways to phrase a wedding invitation, depending on your own familial situation. What IS important is that you convey the tone of the wedding thru the invitation. Sometimes, proper etiquette isn’t the only element to consider.

For those of you that are more whimsical, and less inclined to follow tradition, here are some fun, quirky ways to phrase a wedding invitation…

Traditional…but Cheeky

Mr. and Mrs. Eric P. Brown
request the honour of your presence
as their daughter
Emily Cecilia
bids single life adieu
and makes an honest man out of
Mr. Tad Everett Jennings
Saturday, the fourth of May
two thousand and six
at half after five o’clock
St. Mary’s Church
Smithville, NY

Traditional…but Cute

Mr. and Mrs. Eric P. Brown
together with
Doctor and Mrs. Charles E. Jennings
would be honoured by your presence
as their children
Emily Cecilia
and
Tad Everett Jennings
promise to love, honour and
respectfully disagree with each other
{about the quickest way to get to 89th and 5th}
Saturday, the fourth of May
two thousand and six
at half after five o’clock
St. Mary’s Church
Smithville, NY

{customize to suit your personalities}

Traditional…With Personality

Mr. and Mrs. Eric P. Brown
together with
Doctor and Mrs. Charles E. Jennings
request the honour of your presence
as their children
Emily Cecilia
and
Tad Everett Jennings
tie the knot, take the plunge, and otherwise “seal the deal”
Saturday, the fourth of May
two thousand and six
at half after five o’clock
St. Mary’s Church
Smithville, NY

Casual and Sweet

Elissa and Eric Brown
and
Charles and Meredith Jennings
would be honoured
to share with you the moment at which the lives of their children
Emily Cecilia
and
Tad
will be forever—and most beautifully—changed
This celebration of love, new beginnings and {first date} that brought them together
will be held on
Saturday, the fourth of May
two thousand and six
at half after five o’clock
St. Mary’s Church
Smithville, NY

{personalize to suit your own moment}

Casual and Personal

The only thing that could make us happier than
the marriage of our {pragmatic} daughter
Emily Cecilia
to
the {adventurous} Mr. Tad Everett Jennings
is if you’d share in the occasion with us
The couple will wed on
Saturday, the fourth of May
two thousand and six
at half after five o’clock
St. Mary’s Church
12 Winding Way
Smithville, NY
After witnessing their vows
we invite you to join us for libations and merrymaking

(customize to suit your personalities)



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Saturday

Honeymoon in Paradise Island: BALI

Bali is the paradise for honeymooner that many couple wish to spend such a special occasion on the island. It’s mesmerized various views such as; beaches, mountain, rice field, and romantic place to stay like: Bali hotel, resort, villa, Bali private villa shall enable you to get a perfect honeymoon, no disturbance, no noisy sound, truly serenity, just sound of nature. Fresh atmosphere will refresh your mind & body.


Bali rich culture would contribute to make your honeymoon the unforgettable one, you’ll find something that is unique, beautiful, memorable and fun, the experience of a lifetime, which cannot be gained at other places.

Bali is a tiny island but has so much wonderful things to offer. Many travel agents / tour operator provide worldwide choice of honeymoon ideas.

Here are some tips to get comfortable honeymoon in Bali:
  • Schedule your departure day two days after the wedding to give you ample time for rest after the activities and the celebrations. If you must travel immediately, remember to leave in the middle of the day and not the early morning so you’ll get a good night’s sleep.
  • Ask your travel agent for Honeymoon Packages, these usually offer the best destinations for honeymooners, not to mention discounts and freebies.
  • Never, ever overbook day trips, you’re not just travelling, you’re with your new spouse, better save up some energy for the night’s fireworks.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions, ask about certain perks, events.
  • In addition to the above, don’t be afraid to request extra stuff, like a big bathtub, a double bed, or a romantic view.
  • Don’t forget to bring your marriage certificate along with you, especially if the name of the bride is already under her husband’s name.
  • Pack your camera and lots of film; you won’t want to miss anything. You might also want to pack a disposable underwater camera and extra batteries, these are absurdly pricey in tourist spots, and you wouldn’t want to overspend.
  • Mention to anyone, especially in the café or in the tour boat, that you’re on your honeymoon, yes this may sound a bit embarrassing, but some restaurants give extras like free drinks or gifts for honeymooners. This also works for birthday celebrants.
  • If you want an active honeymoon, research and prepare for water sports; the tropics are a great place, to learn them, always remember to consult hubby before you try one though.
  • Stock up on sun protection. The higher the SPF the better, as you’ll probably be spending whole days out in the sun; you wouldn’t want to get skin cancer after just two weeks of marriage.
  • Some travel agencies include island-hopping trips, these are great ways to explore, and enjoy. This is especially good because you’ll get a change in scenery, and won’t easily get bored, especially if you have an extended honeymoon.
  • Even if your valuables are inside your hotel room, keep them under lock, and if you decide to bring them with you, always watch out for stray pickpockets.
  • Bring with you a stock of candles and massage oils that you can place inside your hotel room for that romantic evening after touring and swimming.
Remember that the entire objective of a honeymoon vacation is to have an unforgettable romance. Follow the quick tips above and you can head your way to a memorable honeymoon in Bali.



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Great Idea of Wedding Gift

Compiling a list of unique wedding gift ideas can be quite challenging, especially when shopping for the bridal party. The bridesmaids and groomsmen provide crucial support for the bride and groom in the days leading up to that special day, and a special gift of appreciation is in order.

Traditionally, groomsmen gift ideas had each man in the bridal party receive something he could wear during the wedding, such as cufflinks or pocket watches. Now, people are expanding into more useful and functional wedding gift ideas, like Swiss Army knives or popular flasks. Personalization is easy when the gifts are engraved with a date, the men's initials, or a special, short message.


Wedding gift ideas for groomsmen can be fun ones, too. Poker sets can give the boys a night of cards and friendship, and shot glasses that show style or some imported fine wines add to the relaxed style of wedding gift ideas. A beer brewing kit can be a great gift idea too.

Wedding gift ideas for bridesmaids customarily involved jewelry, and this is still a popular option as gift ideas for women. Necklaces, earrings, or bracelets can be beautiful at the event as well as be worn at any other time when the happy day has passed. Again, though, many people are leaning towards a more contemporary approach in their wedding gift ideas for women.

Nowadays, wedding gift ideas for bridesmaids focus on the woman and her interests or something more personal. Just like with groomsmen gift ideas, bridesmaid gift ideas focus on pleasure and fun, such as monogrammed silk pajamas or some cosmetics bags full of wonderful products just for her.

Other wedding gift ideas include personalized picture frames, makeup or shaving kits, or a custom-designed stationary set. Think about getting non-wedding related gift ideas for the people in your bridal party. After all, they're not always at weddings and you don't want your gift to be set on a shelf just for special occasions. Picnic coolers, camping gear… anything goes! A ring that shows off the person's astrological sign can be a nice gift, though you will have to ask about birth dates, ring size, and make sure the men feel comfortable wearing rings.

Anything that the members of your bridal party would love is a sure bet for great wedding gift ideas. You can give identical gifts to the men and women, give gender-related gifts to groomsmen and bridesmaids, or give individual gifts to each person involved. No matter what, do make sure that you chose gifts that thoughtful and sure to be appreciated.

Presenting your wedding gifts to each member of your wedding party with gratitude and love will help make your wedding even more special. Your wedding gift ideas to your bridesmaids and groomsmen signify your love and appreciation for the men and women who support you as you take one of the biggest steps of your life.


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Idea of Wedding Color

The color you choose for your wedding will ultimately set the theme for the entire event. You can choose to play around with the color wheel and go monochrome, but working around lighter or darker variants of the color. You can also choose two complementing colors, or be daring and creative by choosing two loud colors. The key in using two loud colors is the way it is used so that they do not clash. Here you will find several ways of using and playing with colors. Remember that the colors should be reflective of the couple getting married, and have fun!



Color according to season. Taking color hints from the season should be reflective of nature's own colors. Fall or autumn weddings should make use of deep, rich colors, like the hues that fallen leaves take. Choose two rich colors that complement each other. Examples of fall or autumn color schemes are: rust and buttery gold, brown and red, rust and green, purple and olive, deep red and purple.

If you are more adventurous, you can try three-toned fall color schemes. To avoid making it look all too much, choose one or two colors as major tones while the third can be an equally complementing, more subdued color used to accentuate. Three toned fall color schemes include deep red, rust, and gold; brown, purple, and a golden yellow; dark and light olive with purple; terra cotta, rust, and ivory.

Winter color palettes are reminiscent of the sparkling snow, berries, and green trees. Silver is a popular backdrop in winter weddings, combined with white for a simple clean look, or deep colors like red, forest green, or chocolate brown for a great romantic contrast.

Three-toned winter color schemes include white and silver paired with forest green, red, and deep blue; as well as white paired with silver and lavender or blue. A traditional winter color scheme also makes use of green, red and white.

Summer is a favorite season to get married in, with the longer days and bloom of all the flowers. Summer is fresh, happy, and suggestive of the colors of the flowers, the sun, the green grass, and the blue of the oceans and sky. Complementing summer schemes include any two shades of a light, bright blue; pale or bright pink and yellow; mint green or forest green and white or blue; a light and dark purple; gold and green; and even red paired with orange or pink like the sunset.

Three-toned summer color schemes can work around mint green, pale pink and yellow; white with two contrasting shades of blue or green; sheer ivory with lavender and purple; white, pink, and rust; or fuchsia with mint green and bright yellow.

Lastly, spring is the season wherein everything grows once again, life is in the air. Pastels are the color of this season. Ivory and white provide a refreshing contrast when paired with mint green, pale blue, peach, lavender, and blush pink. Light blue and pale green is also a lovely mix. Mixing pales with certain rich colors are also great for spring, such as olive green and mint green, chocolate brown with a light blue or pink.

Spring three-tone schemes include blush pink, ivory and peach; mint green with a pale pink and lavender; white and ivory with periwinkle, blush, or a light brown; mint green, lavender and ivory; or pink, olive, and ivory.

A black and white theme adds a lot of simple elegance to a wedding. This kind of color scheme can make decorating from the church to the reception very easy. It provides a timeless contrast, easily making all décor neat and pleasing to the eye.

Green is a color that symbolizes life, health, nature, and evokes a soothing, calming mood. Green makes everything look lively and crisp. Think of natural occurrences where green is used to get a color idea; the green of the trees with deep browns, or green stems and various colors of flowers!

Yellow is a versatile color and lends a refreshing feeling. It works well with other colors and easily grabs attention. It evokes positive emotions such as happiness, cheerfulness, and energy. Use bright yellow with muted tones of pink, blue, and lavender for a happy atmosphere.

Blue is the color of tranquility, matching the colors of the sky and the water. Blue can be used conservatively with complementing tones of ivory, white, or sparkling silver. Dark or royal blue are associated with authority and superiority. Although it is associated with feelings of sadness, you can brighten up the mood by using tones of turquoise or sky blue to uplift.

Purple is the color of royalty and nobility. Delicate shades of lilac and lavender provide a calming, romantic atmosphere. Deep purple works well with tan and gold. Purple and pink might be too feminine for a wedding, so you can try mixing it with more neutral colors like blue and yellow.

No matter what color you choose, whether monochrome or several colors, remember that the colors you choose for your wedding should be reflective of your identity; your wedding will be the most colorful event of your life.


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'Strong' Sperm, Impotence, Male Menopause and Varicocele

Varicose veins may look gross on a woman's feet, but in men’s case, the problem is not only aesthetic. Especially when the veins are located in the ‘wrong place’. They can produce infertility, impotence and an array of severe issues.

Two new reports from physician-scientists
at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center reveal that a common factor of male infertility are varicoceles (varicose veins) in the scrotum, which induce a severe drop in the testosterone levels. Researchers also show that the simple surgery for removing varicoceles restores fertility and increases testosterone percentages in the bloodstream.

"People often forget or often don't realize that the testes have two purposes. One is the production of the sex cells (sperm), and the other is to produce testosterone.", said lead researcher Dr. Marc Goldstein, Professor of Urology and Reproductive Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and attending urologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell, who received the Howard and Georgeanna Jones Life Time Achievement Award by The American Fertility Association.


Goldstein checked and proved that varicoceles plummet significantly the testosterone levels. After the varicocele removal, testosterone levels increased greatly, up to 100 %, in about 70 % of the subjects.

The decreased testosterone synthesis translated into andropause, similar to menopause (low estrogen levels) in women. This means low sex drive, impotence, decreased muscular power, exhaustion, and even depression. Another nasty effect is vulnerability to osteopenia and osteoporosis (weakened bones).

Testosterone synthesis drops when varicoceles widen and curl around the testes. This can be hereditary and may develop in 15 % of all men, even from puberty. The disease also causes sterility because of the low sperm count and their bad quality. 35 % of all cases of primary infertility (first pregnancy attempt) and 80% of secondary infertility (following a successful impregnation) are caused by varicoceles.

Goldstein developed for the first time the microsurgery procedure, now standard in the treatment and removal of varicoceles.



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Monday

Theme Weddings

How many times have you been standing at a good friend's weddings, albeit having a good time, but you couldn't tell it from the other good friend's wedding that you attended last weekend? You can only go to so many before you've seen a lovely ballroom with an ocean of round tables covered in stark white linens and buffets adorned with baby's breath. It's been done, and far too often!!!

The hot, new trend is to take the traditions established by your families and find a new setting for them. Weddings, in general, take a great deal of tedious planning. Add an unusual twist and you're definitely going to need some help. Don't stress yourself out by pretending that you can take all of this on. Consultants and bridal specialists produce these sorts of functions often.

Once you've come to your senses and hired a wonderful professional, you can relax and actually have fun. The sky is the limit. Sit with your betrothed and brainstorm. It's very important for you to find your style. Come up with five adjectives to describe you and/or your relationship. Talk about how formal or informal your function should be. How many guests should you invite?

If you met one another in Cancun, then what could be more romantic than traveling back there to exchange vows on that same stretch of beach? Host a clambake for your closest friends and family with a shoe check and lots of seashells, driftwood, cheese cloth and twinkle lights.

If you both have theatrical backgrounds, then choose your favorite piece of work by Shakespeare or Rodger & Hammerstein and build your day around it.

Television buffs could host a We Love Lucy Party. Imagine recreating Ricky's nightclub, the Tropicana, with everything in black and white and shades of gray and your favorite episodes on screens around the room. Work on some Technicolor reds (Lucy's hair,) some pink tulle and hearts (from the opening sequence.) The heart could become a whole "logo" on all your pre-printed material - invitations, menu cards, thank you notes, etc. ... Send your guests home with a bottle of Vitameatavegamin!

The possibilities are endless! Build on holidays - Christmas, Valentines Day, St. Patrick's Day, Halloween, and Equinoxes. Display your pride in your heritage or ethnicity. Host an English tea party. Use plaid and hire bagpipes if you're Scottish. If your family is from Spain, serve paella and hire flamenco dancers. If one of you is from New York and the other from Mississippi, stage a Mason-Dixon Line party. Confederate vs. Union - the whole thing writes itself! Military balls are gorgeous and a bride or groom or both who have spent any time in the service will appreciate all of the structure, pomp and circumstance.

There are no rules, except that you have fun. Thousands of dollars and a lot of planning later, all you are left with are beautiful memories and a gorgeous photo album. Make sure that when you pour over these pictures with your children and grandchildren that, in them, you are smiling and having the time of your life. Or "a legendary good time!"

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The Wedding Day Humor

Do you have wedding day humor photo like this ?




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Tuxedo Tips for Groom


The wedding couple has many decisions to make concerning formal wear. Several are based on outside factors. For instance a groom's choice of dress depends on the time of day of the ceremony, his bride's dress, the season and their wedding's level of formality.


According to the International Formal-wear Association the timing of the wedding makes all the difference. In their formal wear guide weddings are described as either contemporary or traditional. Within each group there are sub-categories including very formal evening, formal daytime and second and later weddings.

The guide recommends the appropriate attire for the groom, ushers, and groomsmen, father, ring bearer and guests under each type of affair. For example, according to the IFA at a traditional formal evening wedding the groom is advised to wear a black tuxedo with a pleated white formal shirt a bow tie and a vest and cummerbund to match the tuxedo lapels. A white dinner jacket with formal trousers is acceptable for summer or tropical climates.

For a very formal daytime wedding the groom should wear an updated cutaway, usually gray with striped or matching trousers a white shirt with a striped tie or ascot; or a tuxedo or an all gray cutaway outfit with a wing or fold collar formal shirt and a striped gray ascot or a four-in-hand tie. Also, traditionally every man in the wedding party (groomsmen, ushers, fathers, and the ring bearer) dresses alike.

Formal wear rental is the responsibility of each groomsman although the groom or his parents may offer to underwrite the expense. If special accessories, ties, ascot or gloves are selected the groom pays for them.

If a man will need to wear a tuxedo three or four times in the next few years purchasing one is a good investment. It only takes two or three rentals to equal the purchase price - so with one hanging in your closet you can always step out in style; there's no longer any reason to demur over those invitations with Black Tie printed in the lower right-hand corner. The price of a new tuxedo (including only the jacket and trousers) starts around $175 and rises to the $300-500 range and higher. A formal shirt, studs, cufflinks, tie and cummerbund are purchased separately. Formalwear stores sell used tuxedos at reasonable prices and many stores hold sales once or twice a year. It's probably wisest to purchase a basic conservative tuxedo, changing accessories to complement the occasion.

How should a tuxedo fit?

  • The coat should allow free movement of the arms and shouldn't feel snug in the armholes.
  • The coat should lie smoothly across the back.
  • The hem of the coat should reach to the curl of the fingers when arms are held straight down at the sides.
  • The coat sleeve should reveal a 1/2-inch of the shirt cuff.
  • The trousers should be hemmed even with the top of the heel of the shoes in back and in front they should barely break resting on the top of the shoes.

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Multi Ethnic Ireland, Multi Cultured Weddings

400.000 foreigners live in 2006 Ireland. That means 10% of the country's population, but what do we know about their wedding habits? These are some traditions of the most represented nationalities in Ireland.


Arabic Weddings
They vary depending on the country and religion. In Moslem weddings, men and women are separated in different areas and the women symbolically mourn the loss of the bride by doing the "wedding wail". The groom may not see his bride until the wedding day and her hands and feet are painted with henna.

Chinese
Wedding invitations and also some gifts are wrapped in red, as red and gold are the traditional colours of happiness and wealth. Bride and groom must pay homage and respect to their elders for their guidance and wisdom. To chase any evil spirits away from the newlyweds, firecrackers are lit after the ceremony. The bride will be presented in at least three different wedding outfits.


French
Laurel leaves are scattered outside as the couple leaves the church. At the reception, the newlyweds toast using a two-handled cup, Coup de marriage, that has been passed through the generations. After the wedding reception, some of the friends will bang pots and pans and sing loudly outside their bedroom window. The groom is supposed to invite them in.

Indian
It could be a three day celebration. Uninvited guests go to the bride or groom's parents' house to be part of the celebrations. The bride, after a ceremonial cleansing, is painted with henna on her hands and feet. After the ceremony, the brothers of the groom toss flower petals to chase the evil away from the Newlyweds.

Lithuanian
The couple are given bread and salt, wine and honey, considered the elements of life.

Polish
The couples' way is blocked by children that the best man must pay "toll" to, on the way to the church. The parents of the bride and groom give them bread and salt, as they meet at the reception. That represents the good things and also the bitterness they might meet in their life together. Guests give the bride money, and she gives them small gifts.

Quaker
In Quaker tradition, all the guests must sign the wedding certificate, as their ceremony doesn't include clergy. The bride is presented to the groom by herself, as it is believed that she belongs to no one but herself.



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Tuesday

Last Minute Wedding Planning Secrets

How do you modernize the wedding meal?Instead of the standard menu-appetizer, entree, you can serve multiple small plates, the way a tasting menu is done at a restaurant. It’s unexpected, so it builds excite­ment for the party. And since you’re serving more dishes this way, it’s easy to incorporate your taste and his. Any other ways to make a menu fun?One of our signatures is a trendy version of the traditional beef Wellington: seared tuna in a puff pastry, with a rich red-wine sauce. For dessert, you can dress up something that was significant in your childhood like Ring Dings and Twinkies.

read more | digg story

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Irony in weddings

Some of you may know, I am a professional wedding photographer, I've been to so many weddings, I lost count. But I have made some observations I would like to share with you.So, without farther ado and further nonsense: The top ten most ironic things about weddings..

read more | digg story

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Monday

Which Wedding Vows You Use?


Traditional wedding vows are still perhaps the most popular choice for those special words that will marry you.

After all, there's a good reason they became sacrosanct classics. And if you're like me, they've also been engrained as "the wedding words" through years of attending weddings, watching movies and tv, and society at large. So if you're a traditional couple, look at these traditional wedding vows.:



Traditional Wedding Vows 1:

I, (name), take you (name), to be my (wife/husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.

Traditional Wedding Vows 2:
I, (name), take you, (name), to be my [opt: lawfully wedded] (husband/wife), my constant friend, my faithful partner and my love from this day forward.

In the presence of God, our family and friends, I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow. I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live.

Traditional Wedding Vows 3 (traditional civil ceremony vows):
(Name), I take you to be my lawfully wedded (husband/wife). Before these witnesses I vow to love you and care for you as long as we both shall live. I take you with all your faults and your strengths as I offer myself to you with my faults and strengths. I will help you when you need help, and I will turn to you when I need help. I choose you as the person with whom I will spend my life.

Traditional Wedding Vows 4:
I, (name), take you, (name), to be my beloved (wife/husband), to have and to hold you, to honor you, to treasure you, to be at your side in sorrow and in joy, in the good times, and in the bad, and to love and cherish you always. I promise you this from my heart, for all the days of my life.



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Feel Like a Movie Star on Your Wedding Day


What person doesn't want to feel like a movie star? A Hollywood glamour wedding theme will help you feel just that way, and give an elegant and fun style to your wedding as well.

Think about old-fashioned Hollywood, and the excitement of the red carpet. After all, if there's any day you should act like a star, it's your wedding day!




Bride: Look for bias-cut dresses with v-necks and fish-tail hems. Designers to look at include Jenny Packham, Badgley Mischka, Amy Michaelson, and Monique Lhuillier. Satin is a classic fabric, and chandelier earrings are a must.

Groom: Black tie or white tie – go for the classic Fred Aistaire look, complete with sharp, pressed clothes and neat haircut.

Groomsmen: Black tie or simple one-button dark suits.

Wedding Colors: Silver, white, black, and blush pink.

Flowers: You'll want to look for classic flowers, such as roses, peonies, and lilies.

Try arrangements composed of just one flower, such as all rose bridesmaids' bouquets, or an elegant bunch of calla lilies for the bride. Consider wearing a flower in your hair for that

Music: A swing band is perfect for this type of wedding. You could also hire a dance instructor to teach your guests how to do the lindy hop and the Charleston – perhaps at the rehearsal dinner.

Invitation: Look for ones that echo your theme.

Setting: An old art deco movie theater, particularly if it has a large lobby, is a perfect setting. If you don’t have one of these in your town, look for an old-fashioned formal restaurant or supper club, like the 21 Club, or a grand ballroom at a hotel.

Transportation: Drive away in a vintage Rolls Royce Phantom convertible. Or, just enjoy being chauffeured in a limousine.

Special Touches: Name your tables after classic Hollywood stars, or romantic movies. Give your bridesmaids high quality feather boas.
Consider wearing a feather and rhinestone hair accessory, a la Josephine Baker. If you're renting your dance floor, ask for black and white checkered.

Source: Nina Callaway.


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Saturday

Own Your Wedding

In an ever-evolving society where traditions and culture continuously merge, wedding etiquette continues to be a shape-changer. While there are some traditional rules that the bride and groom may want to stick to, a cookie-cutter wedding complete with a toy bride-and-groom on top of the cake may not be what the bride and groom’s memories are made of today.

The wedding is yours and yours alone.

Here are a few tips on how to make it your very own …



1. Write your own vows….Many brides and grooms from a variety of backgrounds, cultures and religions have chosen to write their very own vows or to interweave those vows with traditional vows. Have a serious discussion with your rabbi, priest or official of the wedding. Make sure the vows he or she uses are the ones you want to hear and are the ones that you are willing to say. If traditional vows or slightly altered vows don’t say enough, perhaps you and your groom should consider writing a few words of your own which either you may repeat to each other or ask the minister or official to say. Additionally, you may choose a variety of readings, scriptures, poems or songs to incorporate in your vows to make them your very own.

2. Keep your bridesmaids, grooms and other friends and relatives apprised of wedding news. Create a website which they can regularly tap into to catch up on any changes, schedule announcements, registration locations (either on-site or via internet.) Send a flurry or cluster of emails to bridesmaids to keep everyone in contact with each other concerning flowers, dresses, measurements and other tidbits of fun gossip to keep everyone on the wedding track. The same goes for groomsmen and any other member of the wedding party you’d like to keep updated. The website may also include maps, directions and even local points of interest for guests arriving from out of town.

3. On the day of the wedding, instead of asking guests to sign a traditional guest book, hand guests a small note card and pen. Ask each guest to write something noteworthy either about the bride or groom, or request that each gives their advice for a long-lasting, successful romance. Ask guests to drop them in a basket or a colorfully-designed box which may be collected. Paste the note cards into a wedding album later for some sage advice to turn to later.

4. On the wedding day, don’t forget to continue the color and theme of the event into the restrooms if possible. Colorful linens, small paper finger towels, soaps and floral arrangements will help create consistency. Add a bowl full of mints to the ladies’ room and flavored toothpicks to the men’s rooms. Inquire with hotel or location managers before placing any arrangements in restrooms, which may be used by those other than your guests.

5. If children are attending your wedding and reception, create a kid’s corner with games and balloons to keep them busy while parents relax briefly. Or tie a balloon to each child’s chair so they can recognize their own seat. Or if a child’s area isn’t easily created, choose a small gift bag of treats, small toys and games to keep them busy while seated at the reception.

6. Be sure to check out the lighting of both your wedding and your reception. While a disc jockey can provide some additional lighting such as a spinning mirrored ball, a hotel or event manager may be able to add some additional overhead lighting along with a spotlight or twinkle lights to add drama to the event. If ambient light is your only choice, look into the cost of candlabras or a varied group of candles in the same color scheme to add both additional light and ambiance. The feel will be more romantic. A hurricane lantern in the center of the table surrounded by a spray of petals will also create a low-cost but romantic ambiance.

7. If your wedding is being held outdoors in an open space, you can create the feel of shifting the actual ceremony to a more relaxed feeling by renting tents and canopies for the reception. Hang lanterns from trees with small candles inserted for a lovely evening of ambient light provided by the stars and candlelight.

8. If the bride and groom and guests must be transported from one location to another for the reception, look into various kinds of transportations. Horse-drawn carriages may be the call for an elegant wedding. Even golf carts, decorated festively, can be an easy way to move guests from a lawn wedding to an indoor reception.

9. If your guests need a little additional entertainment at the reception, create an ongoing slideshow or video that can be played back to back in a corner of the reception hall or against a sheet-covered wall in the corner of an outdoor wedding. The video or slideshow should include photos from the bride and grooms’ childhood and clips from their college life, dating life and snippets of adventures with friends and family.

10. Create a signature drink for the wedding by incorporating colors and flavors that are reminiscent of the theme. A Carribean wedding may include a rum drink with a fuschia-colored crushed ice added to it. Be sure that all drinks may be served virgin as well so that non-drinkers don’t feel left out.

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Thursday

11 Wedding Dress Shopping Tips


  1. Begin shopping early. A special order could take three to six months. Custom dresses can take up to six months. And allow time for a final fitting before the big day.
  2. Get it all in writing – the cost and everything the store and seamstress will provide, including all alterations.
  3. Ask the store to keep the wedding dress for you until you need it. That way the gown won’t get wrinkled, and your honey won’t see it ahead of time.
  4. Don’t buy a dress that’s more than one size too big. It’s too difficult to effectively alter anything bigger than that.
  5. Silk is the most popular type of wedding dress fabric. But read the clothing label carefully. Yes, soie means “silk” in French, but peau de soie is actually a synthetic, and its quality varies considerably.
  6. To save money, consider buying used. (They’ve been worn only once!) Buying a designer pattern and fabric and going to a seamstress can also save you about 50 per cent of the price of the designer-made gown.
  7. Don’t shy away from trying on many different styles. We can’t tell you how many women we know who chose styles they weren’t initially considering.
  8. If you’re full figured, try ball-gown styles.
  9. A-line dresses are great for hiding heavy thighs and legs. We also like strapless dresses on pear-shaped women. This style draws the eye upward.
  10. Sheaths are best for the slim. If you’re very petite, avoid anything that has too much material. You could get lost in all that fabric!
  11. To enhance the bust, look for an empire-waisted or A-line dress. Also, if the style permits, you can get the seamstress to sew in breast pads.

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Find Your Dream Wedding Dress


The pre-wedding task most Brides look forward to is choosing a Dress. You may have fantasized about the creation from the moment he popped the question, but the chances are you probably haven't yet considered the practicalities of actually finding your Dream Dress.

So, whether you have a clear idea, or your spoilt for choice and don't know where to start, get loads of inspiration from Wedding Magazine fashion pages and use this guide to ensure that what should be lots of fun, is lots of fun.


Spend a day shopping for ideas, set a budget and then make sure you stick to it.

Allow plenty of time to find your Dream Dress - it may take you a while and most shops expect you to order at least three to four months before your big day.

Try on as many styles as you can. Lots of dresses have zero hanger appeal, but look great once you put them on.

Its a good idea to start out with a general idea of the kind of dress you like: traditional, straight, empire line, princess line, etc.

Remember to look at your rear view! Your Guests will have an uninterrupted view during the ceremony, so it's got to look good.

Think about whether you want a theme to your wedding (color, period, style) as this will make your choice of dress easier.

Be practical - a huge skirt will be hard to maneuver in a tiny Church.

Consider the season of your wedding. Late Spring or Summer Ceremonies call for cool silk, chiffon, pure cotton or lace. Late autumn and winter weddings demand warm, heavier fabrics such as brocade, velvet and duchess satin.

Don't dismiss man-made fabrics - a good quality dress is a cost-effective option which travels well (synthetic fabrics crush less) - important if you've a long trip to the ceremony or are getting married abroad.

Generally, a pure white dress looks better on brunettes, while ivory and cream flatters the traditional English Rose.

If your budget is limited consider hiring you dress. You can pay about the same to hire a designer dress as you would to buy a mass-produced frock.

You could recoup some of the cost of a designer dress by selling it after the wedding (if you can bear to part with it). There are several agencies and exchanges that will help but your gown must be in pristine condition.

Make the most of your natural assets. Tall, slender brides look stunning in long, lean silhouettes, while shorter brides should avoid full skirts and trains, opting for smaller details and trims. A V-shaped waist makes you look taller, you can emphasize a neat waist with a sash, show off good legs with a short skirt, hide plump arms under long sleeves and bony shoulders under high necks. Finally, bustles are a definite no-no for the pear shaped!

Always take at least one other person with you (two is best) when shopping for your dress, so that you know what your wedding finery looks like from every angle.

Ask to try on a veil with the dress so you can get an idea of the complete look - a short veil may well turn a dress from ordinary to special, while a long veil might not work at all.

Choose your Bridesmaids' outfits to match detail or color on your dress. And if you have a theme, make sure you tie in with your maids.

Think about the style of your shoes: whether or not you want a heel may affect the whole look of your dress.

Consider any other accessories that you may need to set off your wedding dress - jewelry, gloves, bags, scarves etc. will all add finishing touches and complete your look, but will they bust your budget?

After the wedding, preserve your dress by having it expertly cleaned and boxed.



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Tuesday

Planning Your Wedding Catering Bill Cost

Maybe you’ve got the details of the actual wedding ceremony worked out, but what about the reception? One of the major costs of the wedding reception will definitely be the food, so you’ll want to make sure you’ll have enough food for everyone without spending too much money. Here are some top ways to cut on your catering bill that will ensure that your guests enjoy your reception—and you save money.

Don’t order more food than you need.


Most couples want to order an extra tray or two of hors d’oeuvres in case extra guests show up. This is fine (and usually a smart idea), but you should still make sure that you’re not order more appetizers than you actually need; use your discretion based on the guest list. For instance, if you know a number of your guests are vegetarian, you may not need to order as many appetizers with meat. Also, ordering two or three types of hors d’oeuvres will help to reduce your catering bill. If you buy more of the same dish, you can usually save money with most catering companies—different kinds of foods will increase the bill, so it’s important to keep it classy but simple at the wedding—even when it comes to food.

Caterers will also try to encourage you to spend more than you may need to on the actual meal as well. You may not need a five course meal if you’ve already purchased three types of appetizers and a salad, or three extra desserts if you already have a pretty large wedding cake. The time of day that you hold your wedding will give you a good indication of how much food to serve; if you’re having the ceremony in the afternoon or early evening, you may want to serve more food.

Pay attention to the types of foods you order.

There are some foods that are always going to be expensive, even if you only order small amounts. So, since you have to order a considerable amount of food, ordering dishes that aren’t so costly will help you to keep your catering bill reasonable. Certain seafood, like shrimp, lobster and salmon will definitely make your catering bill higher, so if you have to have them, try to use them as only one of the course choices for dinner, or purchase these foods as appetizers to save on costs.


Have food stations.

Food stations are a unique way to serve a variety of foods at your wedding reception, and you can be sure that everyone will find something they like to eat. This way, you won’t have to worry about people changing their minds about their meal choices once they arrive at the reception. A food station with different types of pasta is usually a hit with most guests, and can be very economical. You can also include food stations with other types of the ethnic foods, such as Mexican or Indian fare, to celebrate the cultures of the people who will be attending your wedding, or to acknowledge your backgrounds.

You may also be able to cut your catering bill by not requesting an elaborate setup for your food stations and tables. Using a single color for tablecloths, usually white, will cut down on labor costs. To add more color to your reception decorations, you may want to add elaborate centerpieces, so that you can spend as much as you need to on the meals for the reception.

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