Abstract Bridal June 2015

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room – check. Date – check. Venue-undecided. Planning your wedding can be stressful, sometimes even downright frustrating. However this article is aimed at helping you find the ideal venue for your happily ever after moment. Though many persons still opt for the traditional chapel wedding, there are so many different venue options if you decide to venture away from traditions on your big day. After all, it’s YOUR day, why not chose a venue that will help to make your story even more magical? When looking at our beautiful isle of Trinidad and Tobago, it is clear to see that it is a true combination of exquisite landscapes, perfect climate conditions and delicious food. Listed below are some of the venues you may want to consider for your wedding day. Each one

Ridge Forest Reserve and San Fernando Hill. For something especially extraordinary and spectacular, consider planning a wedding with a waterfall as your backdrop.

guarantees scenic views paired with true Caribbean flair. Down De Islands – With so many islands to choose from, each unique in its own way, the islands provide exotic appeal for your big day. Both you and your guests can revel in the panoramic view of the lush green mountains and the waters off the North Western Peninsula while saying “I do.”

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Zip lining – If you’re feeling a bit adventurous and looking to switch up the traditional “walking down the aisle” why not try zip lining down? Not only does it provide a unique approach but also guarantees a surge of adrenaline at no cost.


Beach – Sandy shores and scenic surrounding are just some of the things you can experience while

5 at the beach. Not only will it provide the perfect backdrop for your weeding but beach weddings are also very simple to plan and small weddings may not even need permits. Some beaches to consider are: Bacolet Beach, Pigeon Point and Stonehaven Beach.

Historical Sites – Sites such as Plantation House or Stollmeyer’s Castle can also be considered for your big day based on your style and preference. There are also many churches with historical backgrounds you may want to consider. Some are: Cathedral of the Holy Trinity and Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. It also gives way to having a more traditional ceremony.

N.B. Remember, in order to Natural Place of Inter- reserve any of the spaces menest – Some of the popu- tioned above, speak with your lar choices are the Bo- wedding planner to ensure all tanical Gardens, Caroni Bird the relevant permits are obSanctuary, Fort George, Main tained before! JUNE 2015 ABSTRACT BRIDAL 1





n arranged marriage is a type of marital union where the bride and groom are selected by a third party rather than by each other, and this practice has been around for thousands of years. The two people often have comparable backgrounds both socially and culturally. Arranged marriage has become common in South Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, Southeast Asia and parts of East Asia, in some royal families and in parts of Japan. Some might be surprised to know that the global rate of divorce among arranged marriages is only 4%, while others may argue that this is due to familial and societal pressure to stay together. Nevertheless, arranged marriages have been gaining popularity here in T&T and making a comeback. But why? Because it seems that the Milennial generation has too many issues that prevent us from creating lasting relationships. So many that face pressure to marry opt for a somewhat “arranged” marriage to someone that their family or religious leader has chosen. What’s wrong with our generation? It seems that texts and Facebook messages have replaced phone calls and face-toface conversations. Sometimes, major relationship discussions, apologies and break ups take 2


place via texts which depersonalizes them, and makes it easier for people to escape and be less committed. So Millenials end up running around with pockets of unresolved feelings. Also, in the rapid technology age, Millenials want instant gratification. We want it and we want it now. With social media, there is pressure to join the crowd of people who are engaged, married, having babies, or sitting in a pool of divine, eternal happiness. We don’t have the patience to wait for a good relationship to develop, and we think that romantic notions are scary. People are so afraid of appearing clingy, too forward, or too sappy, that it seems notions of romance are circling the drain- flowers, hand holding, asking to kiss. There are too many “situationships” where people want sexual gratification and the benefits of a relationship without labels. Also, those who take the online dating route quickly become jaded and lazy. So to those of you who think that arranged marriages are prehistoric and nonsensical, consider the proven advantages. People who are placed in an arranged marriage do not have to worry about the dating world, or waiting for the “one”. This takes a lot of stress and anxiety out of life. Your family are the ones who choose who you are to marry, so you do not have to worry about

them liking your spouse. The same goes for having to worry about your in-laws approving of you. By extension, your family will choose your spouse extremely carefully. They will make sure it is someone who matches your own beliefs and values to ensure compatibility. Participating in an arranged marriage can make you feel much closer to your family, and your culture. With respect to children, because both parents possess the same background, religion, and culture your children will grow up immersed in theirs. You do not have to worry about conflicting views on things like that because they were discussed ahead of time. Finally, while you may not say your I Do’s completely love struck, that doesn’t mean you are doomed to a loveless marriage. Love takes time, but will (hopefully) bloom. But of course there are some disadvantages to being in an arranged marriage. For instance, there may be wedding blues as you may feel like your wedding is not your own as it might be completely organized by the families and the bride and groom would have very little say in their wedding ceremony. Also, you may not fully know the person you are marrying nor their family. If you never dated them before, you would not have had the opportunity to figure out what you

do and do not like in a partner. If any marital problems arise then the parents are often the first to be blamed. Especially if the marriage results in a divorce, the family is humiliated because it is perceived as their fault. Close family ties can cause problems for the married couple, because it is inevitable that your family will be very highly involved in your life. There may be a lack of diversity, as arranged marriages focus on keeping tradition and culture alive. People may find themselves changing what they like or who they are in order to fit into their spouses or family’s ideals. This can be very damaging to personal identity. Finally, love takes a long time to develop. When two people are thrown into a marriage that isn’t based on the foundation of love, it may take quite some time for these feelings to develop. This can lead to depression, misery, and divorce. To me, a lot of these disadvantages are associated with the traditional concept of arranged marriages, but these can be overcome with the modern way of doing things. In T&T, most go the route of meeting persons suggested by their family or religious representatives with no pressure to marry immediately. So you can get to know the person and determine attraction and compatibility in the search for true love.

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owl sets, drinking glasses, crock pots. These are the usual gifts that we all buy for the newlywed couple, assuming that these are the things that they need for their journey together. But instead of being boring and predictable, why not give them something fun and unusual, that they will always remember. Here are some fun out-of-the- box ideas!

Couple’s Carry-Ons For the seriously globetrotting couple in your life, give them sturdy his and hers carry on suitcases that will be handy for the honeymoon and beyond. Help the happy couple travel in style—for richer, for poorer, in sea sickness or in health. Starter Baskets If you’d rather not be remembered as the person who gave the newlyweds a humble hand mixer, consider giving them a starter basket filled with items that they may need for their first month together. You can go with cleaning products or pantry items. Or if you really know them and what munchies they like, go with that. Just add Netflix. 4


never use the books. Or make your own local compilation and finish with cute kitchen inspired book ends. Go with the local cooking bible, The Naparima Girls’ Cook book and Wendy Rahamut cook books.

Wine with a difference Who doesn’t want a bottle of wine for each of their special anniversaries? Give them this unusual wine holder, stocked with three bottles of wine for their first, fifth and tenth special anniversaries. Couples Mug set A cute personalised gift that they can use every day. You can put their names, date of marriage or quotes. You can go the funny or sentimental route depending on the couple. Cook's Books Set Five classic cookbooks (Joy of Cooking, James Beard’s American Cookery, The Essential New York Times Cookbook, How to Cook Everything, and Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook) meet high style in this shelf arrangement that’s so striking, the new couple won’t even feel guilty if they

His and Hers’ Key holders The image of this says it all! Definitely unique and will always be a point of interest in their home, in additional to the functional value.

Gallery Wall Frames Young couples love to have pictures of selfies, crazy nights and sentimental moments with friends and family. Make finishing a gallery wall easier for them by putting together a group of frames that complement each other. Go a step further and fill some of the frames with favourites that you know they love. It's the perfect spot to hang one of their wedding pics!

Say Cheese! Upgrade the newlyweds’ iPhone cameras to a quality camera to snap and share all the best moments (starting with their honeymoon!) as they begin their life together. You can also purchase a Wifi accessible memory card so they can upload pictures to social media channels as soon as they take them.




hances are you have heard the saying “rules are meant to be broken” and there’s no better day to apply this logic than on your…WEDDING DAY. After all it’s your day, you should be the one to make the rules!

inspired halo headpiece that wraps around your forehead, or a hair vine that winds around a pretty up-do. If you want to give a nod to tradition without all the formality of a long veil, wear a headband that has a cage veil attached to the front. The options are really endless.

Rule #1 – Only the bride can wear white! Now we completely understand the logic behind this rule, the bride is supposed to stand out on her wedding day. However if your dream is to have an all white wedding then there are numerous ways around it. For instance have your bridesmaids in a simple silhouette while your dress is embellished. However if you’re looking for a more creative approach try wearing a colored wedding dress while your bridesmaids wears white. We guarantee that none of your guests will be confused as to

Rule #3 – You must wear something old, new borrowed and blue Says who? However if you’re feeling a bit superstitious there are other colors that have beautiful symbolic meanings—red for passion, yellow for happiness and green for renewal, to name a few. So pick your favorite color or one that you symbolically identify with and wear it down the aisle.



who the bride is. Of course your smile and glow will give it all away. Rule #2 – You must have a veil There are so many alternatives to wearing veils that truly allow the bride to stand out. Instead of a piece of tulle, you can adorn your hair with a floral wreath, a crystal diadem, an art-deco-

Rule #4 – You have to wear high heels Let’s face it not every woman loves high heels, so why should

you pretend on your wedding day? Not to mention you will have to be on your feet for close to (if not more than) 10 hours that day. Other totally weddingworthy options are stylish kitten heels, chic ballet slippers or trendy strappy flats. Rule #5 – Your accessories must be understated Instead add some colour to your wedding ensemble with boldly colored shoes, a statement necklace or pearl ear crawlers. Worried they'll distract from your gown? Then opt to save it for the reception. Rule #6 – Bridesmaids should carry matching bouquets Your bridesmaids don't have to hold the same kind of flowers to look the part. Have each one carry a bouquet in a signature color or let your florist create several mono-botanic bouquets in the same hue.



Your perfect Cinderella wedding experience is only as far away as decorating your hall pretty in pink.




Purple is a colour of passion. Let the entire reception know that your internatal flames are forever lit.

JUNE 2015







Adorn your banquet hall in whispering white with shimmering stemware and beautiful hues of blue.

JUNE 2015




The grandeur of green and gold may have been overlooked in recent times, but expect this colour scheme to come back soon.





Getting a Gown on a Budget

eddings are expensive. Even the basic, most traditional nuptials can leave your pockets looking like they’ve been on a diet. We suggest that you cut costs where necessary without diminishing the appeal of your wedding or dropping anything that you feel important. One place to cut costs is in the purchase of your wedding dress. Of course, you may be saying that is the one area you definitely don’t want to ‘chinx’ on. However, if you can save money, why not? Here are some tips to getting the perfect, inexpensive wedding dress. Look online - Nothing replaces the romanticized experience of heading to a bridal salon and trying on dresses with your mom and a few glasses of champagne… but after a few tiring sessions, any bride can tell you it gets old fast. While the 14


you don't, you're at risk of getting scammed. If you see a Vera Wang dress for $1000 when the usual price is $30,000, don’t buy it because you’ll be kidding yourself. In other words, anything seeming too good to be true probably is. Most designers don't allow their dresses to be discounted below a certain margin so if the price is significantly lower from other websites that you've come across, it’s better if you keep looking. majority of brides still buy their dresses in-store, more and more are heading online. There is no shortage of wholesalers and consignment sellers. Take Overstock for instance… buying your dress, need not be hard. Just get yourself properly measured. In any event, the money you save can be used for last minute alterations. Keep an Open Mind - Even if you are not crazy about a dress

on the rack, try it on. Try on every dress you can because dresses look completely different on a person than on a hanger. Start with the most inexpensive ones and work your way up. You might just be surprised. The right accessories, makeup and hair can bring a basic dress to life. Be Realistic - Make sure you are well aware of what kinds of styles and designers fall within your budget, because if

Rent or Borrow - I know that this may seem ridiculous to many of you, but remember what we said about having an open mind. You can rent your wedding dress and maybe even the bridesmaid's dresses. Bridal rental shops are in many areas. If you are having a themed wedding like Medieval...costume shops are great places to look. Otherwise, borrow a dress. Heck! You are only wearing it once.



Enjoy an old school cake experience with this ornately iced delight

JUNE 2015




Enjoy the sweet, summery decadence of a cake topped with tropical flowers. 16



The plainness of this pink cake is nonexistent thanks to the well-placed lace skirting.

This ombre ruffle cake is both pretty and delicious.

This simple one layer cake is perfect for a small wedding with an immediate family only guest list.

JUNE 2015




Simplicity in style is always a winner. A basic, white three layered cake with flower and stud embellishments looks lovely.




Beautiful Bridal Makeup Looks With makeup this stunning, we’re wondering why she’s even wearing a veil. 20



In this carnival country it’s okay to go a little extra with your look. Add some glitter and flowers and voila! JUNE 2015




This Ethnic beauty’s makeup and look is inspired by matrimony in Marrakesh.




The stereotypically shy Indian bride can be just as inviting as other more outgoing folk.

JUNE 2015




Behold the Caribbean bride. Seminude makeup perfectly suits this bronze goddess.




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Exciting Ways to Let Love Build

eople somehow think that love builds for a time and that once they get married it’s just a matter of maintaining that love. However, there are ways to keep love fresh and continually growing. These tips will help your love bloom till death do you part. Establish Goals Together Create some goals that you can work on together as a couple. It may include a financial goal, such as saving a certain amount of money to go on a vacation. Or, it could include a fitness goal, such as running a half marathon together. Working toward your goals can help you feel like a team and gives you new things to talk about and do together. Argue with Resolutions Some couples may be afraid to argue, believing that it's a sign that they aren't compatible or fearing that the argument will be the end of the relationship. Others use it as a prelude to passionate make-up sex. However, couples who know how to argue well find that it strengthens their connection with each other, and a strong relationship is a safe space for airing differences. According to the experts, it's not the differences between partners that cause conflict, it's how



they handle their differences Here are some tips for arguing well: • Learn to listen as well as express yourself. • Censor your anger. Unrestrained anger may be unproductive. If the intensity of your anger surprises even you, it might be best to take a few moments before you say anything. • Make it about finding a resolution for both of you, not just one of you. If only one of you wins, you both lose. Employ the element of surprise Couples spend weeks – sometimes months – planning for the next birthday/anniversary gift for their spouse/significant other. Have you ever thought how you can magically sweep your partner off their feet with a fraction of that effort on an ordinary day?Nothing works like giving tiny, simple – and most importantly, unexpected – surprises to each other in keeping the air of freshness and novelty in your relationship. Tune into your fantasies Your sex life is an important part of your energy system. In fact, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, treating tan t’ien is likely to enhance and release new sexual energies to promote overall health. A universally ac-

cepted notion of healing is that life energy is vital only when it moves. If your sexual life energy is not moving, it might not be vital. Get your energy moving. Have fun with your partner by engaging in fantasy. If you can do that, you will see your entire relationship improve. Discover how the sexual energies can lead you into new dimensions of intimacy and spontaneity. Continue to dress to impress Have you watched movies and even read comics that portrayed couples after many years of marriage and the wife dresses sloppily at home in a loose house-dress with curlers in her hair while the husband doesn't shave daily and always wears his favorite torn t-shirt? This definitely takes away the romance between them and erases the excitement of seeing each other. We have heard a lot of couples complain about this and also complain that their partners too don't care to keep their figures in shape anymore. They make the excuse that the other should accept him or her, as they promised in their marriage, for better or worse. If you want to save your marriage don't do this to one another. Always look your best to make your partner happy and have eyes for only you.




oneymoons can be hectic. It sounds bad, but it is the truth. A honeymoon can be just as busy as the lead up to your wedding date. This does not have to be so. One can actually enjoy one's postwedding day vacay in a relaxed state and actually accomplish those well-publicized bedroom duties. Though expectations of sex on the honeymoon can be overblown, it is very possible to be incredibly intimate during this period. Here’s how… Pack with love in mind You need to pack for the occasion. Packing for going on tours and the like will only promote going on tours. Yes, you will need clothes for whenever you do venture out of your rooms. However, it is important to pack things that will help promote intimacy. Your luggage should be filled with lingerie, lubricant, condoms, and whatever else you and your spouse need to get in the mood for love. If you like certain music to play while you're making love, bring the CD. Prefer a certain bubble bath when you're bathing together? Pack it. You get the idea. 28


airport or even on the plane? Nobody needs to know what goes on under that blanket - just make sure you're discreet.

Prioritize intimacy Vacation is one of those rare times where you have the opportunity to decide exactly how you want to schedule your days. You may be tempted to do a lot of sightseeing and exploring on your honeymoon, but try to make time for relaxation. You’re going to be exhausted after your wedding, so schedule at least a couple of days to de-stress. You also want to make sure to leave plenty of space open for the two of you to have quality intimate time. Bonding after this huge milestone in your life is way more important than visiting

another museum! Be a tease The best part of being able to do nothing (for once) is the chance to do something to your partner all the time. Foreplay doesn't have to be a five minute fumble - you've got 24 hours a day, right next to each other to turn it on! So why not start with a bit of inappropriate (not too inappropriate) touching on the beach when you're lying next to each other or when you take a dip in the sea? You don't need to wait until you're actually away, why not start the teasing in the taxi to the

Experiment A honeymoon is a great time to try out some new things in the bedroom. Most people are so excited to be on this vacation that some of their inhibitions naturally fade away. As part of your prehoneymoon discussions, choose one or two new things to try out, like enacting a fantasy or wearing more revealing lingerie. But don’t go overboard and change every aspect of your usual routine! You’re not trying to qualify for the sexual Olympics here. Get wet Hotels usually have massive bathrooms. That’s great for couples. Our advice is to get in it and enjoy it. Sex in the shower or bath can be incredibly hard to maneuver if you’re living in a tiny flat or are still flat sharing. So instead of just swanning around in a granite wet room make sure you grab hold of those fixtures and start getting freaky. Just remember your after care - if you have sex in the bath, your chance for infections can be increased!

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