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WEDDING PLANNER

Shopping Tips to End Wedding Dress Woes

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very bride to be envisions the perfect wedding day and having the perfect wedding dress is a major part of what makes that dream day flawless. The problem is, getting the ideal wedding dress can be somewhat of a hassle and can heighten your stress leading up to that date. Here, we share some information that will help brides as they shop for the right dress. The first thing to take into account is the style of the dress and finding an appropriate style to suit the ceremony. For a formal evening wedding, a floorlength dress in ivory, white, cream or champagne, often worn with gloves and a train, is an elegant choice. Semiformal ballerina-length dresses can be also be in pastels, with a short veil and no train. For less-formal nuptials, the bride has a choice of a long or short dress, or even a two-piece suit. A short veil may be very stylish paired with a classic pillbox hat.

This is common in many second weddings. Apart from the general look of the dress, your silhouette should also influence what type of dress you purchase. There are five major types of dress and each should be chosen according to body type. The Princess Dress is fitted in the body, then flows out toward the ground. Ball Gowns are fitted in the body with a full skirt. Mermaid Dresses contour the body from the chest to knee, then flow to the hem. A Sheath Dress is straight and form-fitted from the shoulders to the hem. The Empire style has a raised waist line that sits below the bust. Find out which suits you best. A sheath dress, which hugs every curve, would not flatter a full-figured woman. A ball gown, which bells at the bottom, might overwhelm a petite woman's figure. The next thing to consider is your budget. Just because it’s a once in a life-

time spend doesn’t mean you should spend a lifetime’s worth of money. Off the rack dresses can be relatively cheap while custom made dresses can be very expensive according to the designer. Buy according to what looks good on you and what you can afford. Don’t let brand names dictate your buying. Also, budget for alterations, which can add significant bucks to the price. Be sure to ask if pressing is included and if they'll store your dress until the big day. Finally, don’t rush into buying anything. Bring the entourage when you go dress shopping. Your friends, sister or mom can help with your choice and help you avert the pressures of overzealous store clerks. It is important to have a clear head. The vast majority of dresses are non-returnable, so when you've bought it, you've bought it. Carry a digital camera and have a friend take notes while you shop, to help you remember each gown.

Five Steps to Perfect Wedding decor

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wedding day is one of the single most prepared for occasions that a bride or groom would undertake in their lifetime, well actually funerals are too but an individual has very little say in that anyway. The thing is preparation for a wedding is time consuming, costly and at times very stressful. This in no way negates its importance. There is this burning passion especially by the bride to have everything perfect; from the food, to the music, to the attendees being satisfied, to the length of time the officiating minister delivers his service and most importantly to the decor. The church/hall/reception area must be beautifully decked. Whether the theme is sensually romantic, politically sophisticated or simply casual, choosing the right decor is imperative to creating that dream wedding. You sat with your spouse-to- be and discussed the first step, the location and theme. You know what is required and the means to get it. The second step I would suggest is to decide in whose hands the decorations will be thrust. Look for your most reliable friends and family members and delegate responsibilities accordingly. Tap into each resource to ensure that your big day is a

success. The operative phrase is “tap into each” not “depend solely on” any particular group; the latter is a recipe for disaster. Ever heard the term “kids say the darnedest things”? Well “some family and friends do the craziest things”. Responsibility should be well delegated to avoid getting a phone call from Aunt Patricia who forgot to inflate the balloons or Kevin who cannot remember

where the reception area is to drop the ice or cousin Sade who deleted the make-up artist’s phone number by mistake. Two words- “pay somebody”. Wedding budgets vary among individuals, but to ensure a peaceful, stress-free day hire someone to plan/coordinate for you. The third step is to discuss with your coordinator your budget for decorations and seek ideas that would en-

capsulate the mood you wish to create. The internet is an excellent place to start. There is a wealth of free knowledge online and utilizing it won’t hurt. With the hassle of a budget out of the way, the fourth step is to create a temporary database of ideas obtained from the internet/books/magazines. This database should include photographs of selected designs and any other necessary details. It is important to remember that even though a coordinator is chosen the choice still lies with you the bride or groom. Next is the fifth step, which is extremely important as taste and practicality may clash. The chosen design must in no way contradict the theme. Warmer colours are better suited for weddings that fall between March and June. In recent months bright attractive colours like burnt orange, green, aquamarine and pink have dominated wedding decors. It is imperative that the colours of choice create the warmth needed for your special day and give your guests something to remember. The last step is to double check with the wedding coordinator a week or two before the big day to make certain that all decorations are purchased and properly stored. Congratulations! juLY 2012

ABSTRACT bridal

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WEDDING PLANNER

Hosting The Perfect Bridal Shower

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our best friend is about to take the plunge and you were put in charge of organizing and hosting a bridal shower. It seems like a big task and it is, with all the preparation and pressure that comes along as you focus on ensuring that everyone is happy: the bride’s friends, family and more importantly, the bride-tobe. But once proper planning and great execution takes place, this could be one of the most memorable days of your friend’s life. If you’re still unsure, follow these tips that could help the planning and hosting of a bridal shower seem simple and effort-less. Perfect planning- I stress ‘perfect’ because everything from the theme to the location, even the games need to be perfect. Time and date is a major factor as a bride-to-be never seems to have enough time, so you need to organize an afternoon when she is free. If it’s a surprise (and it should be) pick a day where she may not have much to do or may be doing something trivial that can be easily postponed. Select the persons to invite and go shopping. Select a theme- When choosing a 2

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theme; keep in mind the personality of the bride. It’s easy to get caught up with what you like but keeping asking yourself: “what will she like” and let that answer make the decisions for you. Try any one of these below:

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Traditional theme. Similar to a mini reception, these are decorated with traditional bridal-shower items, such as balloons and streamers or risqué decorations that would make the reserved guests blush. These feature games, the exchanging of gifts, music and food and the really kinky ones invite strippers, with the ultimate goal being to send the bride-to-be home totally intoxicated.

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Tropical theme. The area would be adorned with tropical items such as pineapples, coconut husks or palm trees and a lot of tropical drinks and fruits would be served as cocktails or appetizers.

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Dinner show. You host a dinner in the bride-to-be’s honour and tell jokes, even reminisce about the past or

get actors and actresses to act out funny skits of what to expect from a typical married couple.

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Cooking theme. Not many people try this option but it’s different from traditional showers. Have guests buy new utensils and bring the ingredients to their favourite dish and have each person make that dish. After the meal has been cooked, all the guests can eat, share stories and swap ideas, leaving the utensils and the recipes of each dish for the bride-to-be. Decorations- These are purchased according to the theme of the shower, but basically include balloons, flowers, lighting and music. A photo collage of the bride and groom, from birth to present can also be showcased. Games- These are what really make a bridal shower interesting apart from the free food and the quality time spent with the bride. For extra pizzazz, choose games that the bride can actually learn from and games in which she can participate. The internet is flooded with

games and new options, about ways to have fun during a bridal shower. Refreshment- These are even more important than the games as you need something to keep the guests refreshed and full of energy. Be sure to inquire of the guests’ preferences when inviting them. Things like allergies and vegetarians choices need to be considered in order to ensure that everyone has a great time. Keep it light though. Appetizers are a favourite as well as cocktails, juice and carbonated beverages. The cake should be the centerpiece of the table with mints, candies and nuts kept close, to keep everyone lively if the mood drops. Gifts- These can range from lingerie to money, but remember the couple when choosing a gift. The main gift ideas are usually toys and sultry items that the couple could use on their wedding night. But, if you want to give to make it fun, suggest to the guests that they give items ‘out of the box’. Think about a VISA gift card, or an account that gives the couple a kick-start towards the purchase of their new home.


WEDDING PLANNER

Creating a seating plan for

your wedding reception

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hould I seat Aunt Caroline next to Grandpa Bob? This is the type of question you may be faced with when creating a seating plan for the reception. Your goal is to ensure that everyone is comfortable and that there are no arguments or bickering especially on your big day. For a small wedding reception you may not need organized seating but for a group of 250 or more, it is highly advised. Here are some things to consider.

ii) Assign seating. Similar to assigned tables, these can be mailed to guests before hand or a chart can be presented at the door. Also, individual name cards should be placed on dessert forks in case anyone missed the sign. There will be persons who will deviate from this plan according to who they prefer to be seated next to, but an usher can assist with this problem. 2) Who sits where

1) Organized seating i) Assign tables. If you are having a formal, buffet-styled theme, then assigned tables should be the preferred seating choice. Inform every one of their seating before-hand by sending the table number along with the wedding invitation or post a chart, listing persons alphabetically, at the door. Place a large numbered card on each table and have the master of ceremonies announce the table to be

served so that each guest can follow according to the number their table was assigned. It is better to have two serving stations, so that everyone can be served quickly in order to proceed with the rest of the evening.

i) Where possible, seat guests in a male-female-male pattern around the table ii) Seat parents with children closest to the bathroom so that there is little to no disruption, if someone needs to use it. iii) If the dance floor divides the room, put guests of both bride and groom on either side to encourage socializing between the families. iv) If plenty kids are invited, have a kids’

table but seat the parents close-by. v) If a large group of work colleagues are invited split the seating into two tables to keep the familiarity among the colleagues, but mix the bunch with married couples or singles so that they don’t feel like outcasts. 3) VIP’s

i) Bridal table-If this is a circular table have the best man, sit next to the groom and the maid-of-honor sit next to the bride. Then, position the others in bridesmaid-groomsman fashion. ii) Head table. This can include only the bride, groom, best-man usually seated next to the groom and the maid of honor seated next to the bride. iii) Separate head table. This is reserved for the parents of the bride and groom, bosses from both companies and specially invited guests who the couple holds in high esteem.

Who should I invite to my wedding? such as friends and family may get in the way, but this decision should be made by the bride and groom-to-be. Remember, you need to decide if you prefer an intimate setting or a big wedding with everyone invited. Also, what’s the cost of a big wedding versus a smaller one? If or when you find yourself in a situation like this, ask yourself these questions.

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Our parents want to choose who we should invite, what should we do? Parents see the wedding as their party, and often invite their friends to your big day. If this is happening, you could tell them that only close family members and you and your spouse’s friends will be invited. Another option is to allocate a certain number of invitations to parents, equally so that both parties receive a fair deal.

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his is one of the hardest decisions to make as a couple: who will be the lucky persons that I select to experience my big day? Outside influences 4

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Can I invite work colleagues or distant relatives? This is always a problem as you have to decide if second cousins should be neglected for first. The rule is simple: all or none at all. For colleagues, you could invite just your boss if you wish or a colleague that you highly consider.

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How do you tell people that they’re not invited? Most persons would expect to be invited but being honest is the best solution to such a situation; true friends will understand your decision.

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Do we let single guests bring a date? There’s no ‘yes or no’ answer to this question. It depends on the size of your wedding and the familiarity of the guests with other invited guests. If you are inviting a big group of co-workers then you can produce single invites but if it’s a friend who may not

be familiar with anyone at the wedding, then you can allow him/her to bring a guest.

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They invited us to their wedding; do we have to invite them to ours? The answer is no but you may want to consider a couple of things: the size of their wedding in comparison to yours, whether they invited more friends than relatives or the status of your relationship. Are you still close friends with the person? If your wedding is soon after the person’s, then to show courtesy you can but don’t obsess over the decision.


WEDDING PLANNER

Writing Personalized Wedding Vows

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ven though most attendees can’t wait for the kiss, wedding vows should indeed be the focal point of the wedding. These vows are the promises used to religiously and (to some extent) legally bind couples into marriage. Though they may vary from culture to culture, these vows generally speak of each partner’s love and commitment for the other. Therefore, these words are special. Some may choose to add even more meaning to them by making personalized vows. If you are considering this option, here are some helpful tips. First, decide what you want to promise to each other. Take time to think about what is important for you and your partner. Zone in on each promise whether it be love, honour, fidelity, loyalty, obedience or any other quality needed for your marriage to work. You will probably want to include some of the traditional concepts, but also take the time to think of values that are important to you that aren't included in the typical vows. Try not to sound too cliché. This is your time and you should express how you truly feel. Say what you

must even it seems a tad out of the box. To assist in putting it together take some hints from the best. Take some time to read a variety of passages of poetry, love stories, and famous writing about love by the pros. Research other couples’ wedding vows as well and see how you can match or improve on how theirs were done. Print out your favorites, and highlight passages that especially speak to you. How much of a part does religion and spirituality play in your life? Your vows should also express a spiritual connection that you hope to share with your partner and God. After all, marriage is a sacred sacrament. Marital

vows are a promise to God as much as they are a promise to each other. In fact, it is spirituality which often helps us to keep those vows in check. Couples might also promise to help each other in their relationship with God. Before all of this is done, meet with all parties involved. Before constructing vows, talk with your officiant and make sure that personalized vows are acceptable. Certain celebrants may require traditional vows only, especially for religious ceremonies. However, many will allow personalized vows or offer compromises. However, you may need to include sections of traditional vows in your personalized ones.

Choosing Your Wedding Cake

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enue…Check! Flowers… Check! Dress… Check! You go through most of your checklist only to find that one thing still has to be accounted for… the cake! Everyone wants the perfect wedding cake, but few get it because they just don’t know how to go about getting it. This article should help. It is important to choose a reputable baker. This does not mean that any well-known bakery can provide you with a great wedding cake. There are places which specialize in wedding cakes and they should be researched. Get real customer feedback from other couples. If possible, visit the bakery's website or facebook page to view images of their work. If the photos aren't up-to-date, their work isn't either. You need to choose a place that has gotten positive feedback that offers a wide range of cakes. Once, you have narrowed down your options, organize for a tasting. Lots of people overlook this important part of the cake buying process. Sample the cakes, ask questions, and review portfolios. You’ll better understand the full range of the baker’s capabilities and

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you’ll have a clearer idea of what type of cake you would like to have at the ceremony. Also, you’ll have a chance to

meet bakery staff which helps them to fully interpret your needs. If you don't feel comfortable with the bakery staff,

you won't be happy with your cake Once you have decided what kind of cake you want; be sure to obtain an image of the cake — either drawn or rendered via computer — from the bakery. This reduces any chance of surprises. If they can’t construct a proper design, it’s unlikely they can construct the actual cake. If any questions should arise or you feel the need to modify anything, they should be able to work with the design they gave you to rectify it. If there are problems at this stage, it’s not too late to choose someone else. In order to preserve budgets, order a small cake that's decorated to perfection, but can only feed a handful plus several sheet cakes of the same flavor to actually feed the guests. Refrain from tiers, handmade sugar flowers, and specially molded shapes. Garnish with seasonal flowers and fruit for an elegant (but less expensive) effect. If you'll have a dessert table in addition to the cake, consider a cake sized for half your guests. Servings will be smaller, but the fee will shrink too. The purpose of a wedding is not to feed guests to their heart’s content. It is for special people to share a special moment with you.


ENGAGEMENTS

What every guy should know before purchasing an engagement ring

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iamonds are a girl’s best friend! This is not just the line of a song or a phrase that gets tossed around, it’s the truth. Although some men choose the non-traditional route and purchase rings that focus on their partner’s preferences, for the most part men choose the item that no girl can resist: diamonds. But there are a few things that every guy should know before making that final purchase.

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The four C’s. Clarity, cut, color and carat are the four things you would hear mentioned when shopping around for a diamond ring. Whether engagement, wedding or friendship, you must be aware of what these mean and how they affect your decision making. Although jewelers will help you understand, this is detailed information that you should research on your own, in order to make

an informed purchase.

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Metal. Engagement rings are made from white gold, yellow gold or platinum with platinum being the most expensive in cost and to repair. Yellow rings are the most popular and even though they can show scratches, they can be repaired easily and are readily available as 14 or 18-karat gold. White gold has a silver-like appearance and easily matches different pieces of jewelry.

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Setting. Standard and custom settings are endless and are available in prong, bar, tension, bezel, channel, flush, cluster, and invisible. Again, research is key and you need to know which one best suits your partner. Here’s a tip: prong is the most popular as it holds the diamond in place almost as if it’s hanging and allows light to enter causing it to sparkle.

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Certificate of Authenticity. Once the ring and setting are chosen, you will receive a certificate of authenticity proving that your diamond is valuable, in the event that you choose to insure your ring.

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Guarantee or Warranty. Once you make your purchase, the jeweler would give you a warranty on the ring. These vary by jeweler and would be helpful if any repairs need to be done to the ring. Be wary of jewelers who offer limited warranty or who offer none at all. Understand what you are buying before you make your purchase. Now that you have been exposed to the basics of ring-buying go out and purchase your partner the perfect engagement ting. Remember to do your own research and pick the one that will last a lifetime.

Whether engagement, wedding or friendship, you must be aware of what these mean and how they affect your decision making. 8

ABSTRACT BRIDAL JULY 2012


ENGAGEMENTS

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How Not To Propose

ou and your partner are having dinner and as you drink your glass of wine, you choke on an object. While someone is administering the Heimlich maneuver, you realize that you’ve choked on an engagement ring. You won’t be so eager to say yes now will you? Well, maybe, depending on your feelings towards your partner, but this shows that television romance is very different from reality. There are various ways to propose to your partner but there are also some proposals that may end a relationship. If you’re looking to propose to that special someone, try to stay away from these. Proposing over the phone: Women have several ideas of how they want to be proposed to and over-the-phone is not one of them. You don’t have to go down on one knee or announce it during a big event (which is also a ‘no no’) but you have no idea what your partner will be doing when you make that call; they may be out shopping or washing the dishes, not a very romantic setting. Plus, it takes away from the intimacy and emotion that a proposal brings. In an e-mail, text message or instant

message: Messaging, although useful, is very impersonal and, similar to calling, removes all intimacy from the request. Additionally, there is the possibility that he/she may not even receive the message or receive it and dismiss it as a joke. Having a friend do it: This is an obvious ‘no no’ but there have been persons who have been proposed to by their partner’s friend. How childish! If he/she isn’t willing to confront you on such a decision, how bright is the future looking for both of you, as a potential married couple? At a Sports stadium or big event: A marriage is a union between two people, so why ask that person to spend the rest of their life with you in the presence of screaming fans or at a party? Not only is it unoriginal, but it may upset patrons who are interrupted because of your news and who do not wish to share your happy moment. It can also make your partner very uncomfortable if they do not like being around crowds of people. With a ring that was meant for someone else: This is cheap and says a lot about your character and not in a positive way. When your partner finds out about it, and in most cases they do,

he/she will feel unappreciated; like second-hand tools. After a fight: Some people do this in an attempt to save a dying relationship or to prove how much they love their partner. But it is better to work things out first, than to get married and realize you made a big mistake While drunk: We’ve all made some pretty bad choices while drunk but let’s

not make a marriage proposal another one on the list. Ensure that you are sober and thinking clearly; a marriage is not something to be taken lightly and an engagement eventually leads to a wedding. Do not be too humorous. Yes it is a joyful occasion for all parties involved but it is also a serious decision. How will your partner pay attention if while proposing, you keep telling jokes or get easily distracted? Keep the focus on your partner and what you are about to say. Spur of the moment: You’ve just spent a wonderful day with the one you love and you immediately see yourself spending your life with this person. Then just as the thought occurs, you blurt out those four words: “will you marry me”? Don’t get lost in the moment; you may not have been serious but your partner may be and you may end up hurting his/her feelings. Similar to the wedding day, a proposal is a very memorable experience. Although there are no clear-cut rules or list of ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ as each relationship is different, remember to keep it fun, straight-forward and more importantly romantic. juLY 2012 ABSTRACT bridal 9


BRIDAL BEAUTY

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For every bride-makeup tips and skincare techniques

our wedding day is one of the happiest day of your life. You have spent weeks and months preparing for this day. As a matter of fact many women have been planning for this day since they could remember themselves. On this special day brides like to look spectacular and glowing. The dress has a big part to play in how the bride looks, but nothing beats the look on the bride’s face. The smile, the glow, the makeup; did I mention the glow? It is absolutely breathtaking to watch her as she walks down the aisle. She looks totally different but still looks like herself. This look is achieved by makeup and skin care techniques and after all she is totally happy isn’t she? Makeup looks its best on healthy skin so it is important to start looking after your skin as soon as possible. Try and schedule at least two trips to the spa for facials. Regular facial treatment minimizes the damage caused by whitehead and black head extraction. It helps rejuvenate the skin and makes it look younger. It also improves blood circulation so you can have that special glow on your day. If you have problems with excessive oiliness or dryness of the skin regular facials can help treat

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this as well. Water plays an important part in how skin looks so be sure to drink at least eight glasses daily. Water adds natural moisture to the skin and gives it a healthy glow. It also helps with the aging process in the future. Being well hydrated during exercise allows you to have a better more productive workout. Now I know that there are some of us who have problems with drinking water. Their most common arguments are that they don’t get the time to drink enough water or that they don’t like it because it has no taste. To help alleviate this problem bring a bottle of water from home, the bigger the bottle the more water there is for you to drink. If you have a problem with taste there are different flavor options now available. Every bride wants to look her best in her wedding dress and the best way to get in shape is to head to the gym. Try visiting the gym at least three times for the week. If you are just starting out take it slow and gradually increase the amount of work that you do. Results take time, so don’t get frustrated. Just think about how beautiful you will look on your special day. Your make up on your wedding day should be simple and comfortable. The

wedding day is not the day to experiment with your face. Have a trial test of the makeup that you want to wear done one week in advance. This allows you to see how you will feel with the make up and exactly how it will look. Stay away from glitter as it makes you look greasy in your photos. The use of bronze and copper colors is recommended as they give the face a nice warm glow. Don’t use too much make up. People want to see you on your wedding day not a dramatically changed woman.

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Here are some steps that can be used when applying makeup:

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Remember to cleanse, tone and moisturize your face before you start to put your make up on.

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Use foundation that blends into your skin tone. Don’t forget to blend it into your neck as well to avoid embarrassing streak lines.

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Use neutral tones if the wedding is taking place in the day. You can add more color if the wedding takes place in the night.

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Use an eyelash curler to make your eyelashes appear longer.

To prevent clumping of eyelashes, do not use old mascara.

Waterproof eyeliner and mascara is a must. You don’t want them to start running when your tears begin to flow.

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Avoid having a shiny face by powdering your face with loose translucent powder after you apply your foundation. Take along pressed powder with you for touch ups. Stay away from crème eye shadows. You need them to stay on so use powder eye shadows.

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Apply lip liner under matte lipstick and then add some lip gloss.

Keep your foundation light to avoid streaking and when you are finished check it outdoors or in bright light. Following these bridal makeup tips and skin care techniques will allow you to have a picture perfect face on the day of your wedding. Take plenty of photographs so that you will always have memories to cherish. It’s your day so put your best face forward.


MONEY MATTERS

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Cutting Wedding Costs

person’s wedding will be one of the most important days in their life. Most will also want to ensure that it is also one of the most beautiful. However, weddings have costs attached to them and cutting costs at your wedding may be crucial to the sustainability of your marriage in the long run. Here are some tips to getting wed on a budget.

cheaper fabrics. Remember that you will wear that gown only once. If not, consider renting a gown and a tux for your wedding in order to reduce this wedding cost.

Season Though people get married all through the year, there is a peak season for weddings. Wedding companies and services are more expensive and less willing to negotiate during these busier periods. You could save across the board on limos, photographers and caterers, etc., by getting married during one of the quieter months, such as January or March.

Guest List It's very easy to over invite people, so scrutinize your guest list. Costs will balloon especially if you are having a sit down meal. Stick to close friends and family, and do not feel obliged to invite plus-ones or distant relatives. Consider whether you would happily buy them a meal and drinks on any other day of the year. If the answer is no, perhaps they don't need an invitation! Furthermore, many of the people who come to weddings are there for the reception. Are you willing to wine and dine someone who really doesn’t care?

Attire Attire is ten percent of an average wedding cost. Check out sample sales, department stores and outlet stores for the best bargains. Smaller boutiques may also be willing to negotiate better prices than designer shops. If you are having stuff specially tailor made, consider

Venue Forget glitzy hotel halls or big time banquet spaces if you want to save cream for your wedding. Local meeting halls can be acquired for less and can be decorated to look fancy on a budget. Church halls are often good options as well. You can even try for beach side or at a national

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park. For a minimal fee you can set up and get hitched with the added bonus of beautiful natural scenery. Food/Drink A brunch or hors d' oeuvres reception is typically less expensive than a main meal/sit-down dinner. A buffet may be less expensive than a served meal, although not necessarily. A new trend is having a salad bar reception which costs less. Alcohol usually takes up most of the catering costs at receptions. Try having an open bar only during the cocktail hour or if the bride and groom are not drinkers have a ‘dry’ wedding. Wedding Planning Wedding planners can be awful helpful during this stressful period. However, since spending needs to be monitored the need for a wedding planner should also be optional. For most folks, doing it yourself is the more economical, albeit harder, option. Wedding planners aren't all bad though, they have a network of folks they are familiar with and can potentially negotiate discounts in your favor. Instead of paying for a planner, try getting a wedding planning

book and utilize the checklists provided. Plus, professional wedding planners aside, there are normally several resources that you can utilize to assist with the planning and execution of your wedding. Amateur Photographers/ Videographers This particular tip is risky but you can save a few thousand dollars by forgoing the professional photographer or videographer and leveraging any burgeoning amateurs you know may. With how far technology has come, amateur photographers can do just as well as the professionals when it comes to taking stills. If they understand composition and other basic photography concepts, you probably will be happy with their work. Plus, you could probably get two up and coming photographers for less than the price of one professional. This would increase your chances of getting great photos. Don’t forget, every dollar you save is one that you can blow on the honeymoon or put toward your future children’s tuition.


MONEY MATTERS

Should couples have joint or separate accounts?

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here is no right or wrong answer to this question and even if the couple receives financial advice on the issue, the final decision is left up to them. A number of factors should be considered before going into such an agreement such as the length of the relationship, the status of the relationship and the money that is to be contributed. Some say yes, while others say no and as with everything there will be certain benefits and drawbacks. If you and your partner are thinking about having a joint account, consider these points first. Advantages of having a joint account

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Encourages regular communication about finances. If you’re not yet married or just planning a wedding, a joint account will help to foster discussions about money management and plans for your money.

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Accountability for one’s actions. Not so much as in ‘keeping tabs’ but you will be able to track your spending and keep a closer eye on financial decisions, now that you are sharing the account with someone else. 14

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Promotes unity in money matters. Having a joint account can help you to make decisions as a team and can help you to achieve goals faster.

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There is no ‘your’ or ‘mine’ bank account. It is clear that the account is to be used for all the needs of the couple and the household. Such as bills, groceries, miscellaneous items, forming a bond and togetherness within the union.

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No conflict. Similar to number four, there will be no misunderstandings as to whose turn it was to pay, for example, the electricity bill, as the joint account takes care of all the couple’s and household needs.

your spending if need be and prioritize your spending in terms of importance.

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You can create your own saving goals and identify ways on how to achieve these, often seeking advice from your spouse, but not awaiting his/her approval.

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Gift-buying is easier especially if purchasing a gift for your spouse. Because there is no one else to track the activity on the account, your spouse won’t be aware of any deductions.

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Advantages of having a separate account

No need to discuss finance regularly. Each person is in charge of their own account and its spending patterns. Therefore they won’t need to constantly consult each other on money matters.

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Financial book-keeping depends on one person. It is your account and you will be able to manage your spending, making records of your deposits and expenditure.

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You can spend the money as you please without consulting someone else. You can also place limits on

Each spouse can have an allocated amount for themselves. If each person has the responsibility to pay a certain number of bills or contribute a certain amount to grocery buying, the rest can be used at their disposal.

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Having your own account generates independence and you would

be able to have a certain level of privacy on what you purchase. As mentioned above, the decision is based solely on you and your mate and the type of relationship that you enjoy. There is a difference between having a separate account and separate finances. Separate finances mean that you spend your income on what you want as an individual, while setting aside a certain amount to handle the needs of the house. A separate account can be had in connection with an individual account, but the finances in the joint account are spent on the home. The latter works well with most marriages as it gives each individual independence while still working as a team. The key is to maintain financial unity at all times, through constant communication and honesty. Some married couples have revealed that they have separate accounts that their spouses are unaware of; this is not recommended. Ultimately, although you have a separate account your partner should have access to that account as well to prevent too much independence. Remember a marriage is a union and as such all matters should be treated as a partnership.


BRIDAL COUTURE

This feathered A-line bustier dress is a definite head-turner.

Beautiful Bridal Couture This glamorous red gown will add glitz to any bridal affair.


BRIDAL COUTURE

A basic white corset top is accentuated with a tiered balloon finish.

Forget the traditional pastel colours and opt for this hand painted silk organza number.

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BRIDAL COUTURE

This attentiongrabbing piece mixes colour with the traditional wedding white.

A layered white ensemble with sheer flare skirt and beads make this bride beautiful. 18

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BRIDAL COUTURE

An extraordinary and non-traditional gown with and 18th century Victorian influence.

A fashionable fairytale ensemble for the Princess who finally found her Prince.

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BRIDAL COUTURE

This suave look exudes gentleman’s swagger.

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A traditional black and white tuxedo still achieves the desired effect.


BRIDAL COUTURE

There’s no telling who the best man is when you look this good.

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LOVE & MARRIAGE

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The Five Commandments Of Love

or too many people, marriage ends on the wedding day. Not literally of course, but there are those who switch completely or automatically get love-lazy post honeymoon. This does not have to be you. In fact, your relationship should grow even stronger as you grow older together. All you have to do is cherish the same ideals you did before saying “I do.” If you were just winging it and you can’t pinpoint those ideals, we’ll break them down for you in this article. You’ll be surprised how ‘unfantastical’ these love commandments are and it can really put your relationship in perspective. There is hope for real people with real lives and real problems who want to make real love work, but the answer isn’t in Hollywood, so forget Think Like A Man for a second and focus on your own relationship and the five commandments that govern it. Compatibility The fact that he has nice eyes, and

straight teeth is not enough to run down the altar. Couples should have something in common; something that they can enjoy together, something that would keep them together, something that would keep them from beating each other over the head with a brick. A shared taste in movies or music, hiking or hanging out, or just being totally boring lifeless prudes. This you should have known before the wedding. However, people change and develop new interests, as they get older. Try to keep note of your mate’s likes and dislikes and see which of them you can be involved in. Compatibility is the glue that could help keep you together. Give your fears the boot Most experts agree that we sabotage our relationships because we fear the outcome. “What if he doesn’t love me anymore?” “What if I get horned?” “What if he asks for a divorce?” These things that you are afraid of are the things that keep standing in the way of having a fulfilling relationship. What

if he does love you unconditionally as he promised in the wedding? What if you never get horned?” “What if he asks you to renew vows over and over again?” The future is always unsure. The only thing that you can do is live in the present.

before dumping him, we’ll understand. If he forgets the anniversary of the first night you kissed, get off his back about it and let it slide. Life is too short to harbour wounds that would have healed a long time ago if you didn’t have a penchant for picking at them.

Refuse to sweat the small stuff He never puts down the toilet seat. She squeezes the toothpaste from the middle. These are everyday molehills that we make mountains of. Since we are all different people we should expect to have disagreements and sometimes disappointments as we cruise through life together. There are certain things that we should just let pass so that we don’t frustrate ourselves into single-hood.

Don’t compare your relationship with others You get green with envy when you see couples kissing in the mall. (Can’t they get a room?) Because your man may not favor public displays of affection- or make that lust- doesn’t mean that he’s not the one for you. If he never did it before the wedding, he won’t change now. Enjoy the fact that you can just cuddle on the couch while watching a movie. He’s there, you’re there, and that’s all that matters.

Forgive and forget Since we are not perfect we will all at some time or the other make mistakes. However, the choice yours just how much you forgive before you forget. If he sleeps with your sister, and you decide to give him a kick in the groin

Granted. You may be able to think of a whole lot more things that you would do to make your relationships work. Use them. Maybe you’ll come up with the stuff that movies are made of. juLY 2012

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LOVE & MARRIAGE

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Questions every new couple should answer before having kids

or most couples, the next stage of any marriage is to start a family; to pro-create. Although some make the transition to this stage pretty easily, others may struggle to cope with the challenges of maintaining a marriage and a family. Proper planning is the key to making this work and both partners must come together to decide on the best possible solution. As a newly-married couple you may want to consider a couple things before you make such a decision. Remember, having children is a lifelong commitment and one that can be enjoyed as long as there is co-operation and an understanding of what is expected and what needs to be done.

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Have you experienced life enough to sacrifice the next 18 years? Most persons think about sacrificing parties or having to reach home early, but there are other things to consider. What about shopping trips with your friends or dinner dates? These would all be affected.

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Have you experienced taking care of children before? If you grew up in a household with younger brothers and sisters with you being the oldest, then chances are you are very experienced in 24 ABSTRACT BRIDAL JULY 2012

Am I living in a ‘good’ area? ‘Good’ is relative but it basically means if you’re living in a community that has day care centres or is close to a daycare, a school, a hospital or even a park for recreation.

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How will they fit into my career plans? For men, this may not be of grave concern, as no time-off from work is needed if your wife is pregnant. But for mothers, how will this affect your job, your education, your plans to return to school? Will you be able to study and maintain a family, better yet to provide a stable home? Really think about this before making such a decision.

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Can you afford them advantages in life such as college or a car? Many people often admit that they do not want their children to live the type of life that they lived. But, easier said than done. Before having kids, ensure that you have enough money saved or can have enough saved by the time your children get older, to help them live a full, happy life.

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child rearing. If not, you may want to do some research on raising a child and what it entails. For women, their maternal instincts kick in but knowledge is power.

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Have you considered the possibility of twins or having a child with disabilities? Most couples are excited for twins, but what about the cost of having 2 or more children at the same time. Also, what would happen if the child is born with a disability? Have plans in place for unknown situations like these.

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Do you have the support of family of friends? As a new couple, you

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Have you had enough time to develop a strong foundation? Most couples give themselves at least 3 years before making the big-step into parenthood. Some even more as they seek to develop a strong bond. Remember children demand a lot of attention and sometimes either spouse can feel neglected. By creating a bond it ensures that both spouses are able to ‘stand on their own’, having the assurance that the love and companionship is still there.

may think that you can do it on your own, but it’s always wise to get the advice from parents who have been married with children for years. They give the best advice, helping when necessary and providing support.

Do you both agree on the right ways to raise a child? Communication is one of the most important factors to maintain a strong marriage and a family. Don’t be afraid to talk to your partner about this issue and if any disagreements arise, find fair solutions that suit both parents and the child.

How many kids do you want and at what age? Most people leave it up to chance but family planning should be discussed especially as a new couple. This can make decisionmaking easier as you can plan your life around having kids and not the other way around.


FITNESS

How to Get Fit for Your Wedding Day

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man offers to throw his previous life away for you by popping the question and you are elated. You call all your friends to tell them why you have just become the happiest woman on the planet and invite them to go out and celebrate the occasion. It’s a festive atmosphere and why shouldn’t it be? You are surrounded by friends and good food, not to mention someone promised to marry you before your ‘getting married expiry date’. You stick a fork into some delightfully rich Black Forest Cake and right before you indulge you suddenly become upset by the barrage of questions you cannot help but ask yourself. “I feel like an Orca. How is my wedding gown going to fit?” Furthermore all of these people you haven’t seen in years will be there. “What will I do to look thinner?” you ponder as the fork is slowly lowered from your lips. Questions these difficult haven’t even been dealt with in the political arena. How the heck is little old Mary from the block going to answer them among all the other wedding day stresses? Instead of waiting for Super Grover to come flying through your wall 26

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read on and we’ll help you discover ways to get that body you crave by your wedding day. All it takes is your determination afterward. The first thing to consider is the old adage procrastination is the cancer of progress. Don’t sit idly by doing nothing and hope to magically lose half of Nicole Ritchie’s body weight (roughly 20 pounds) in a month or two. It is important to start early. The idea is to plan ahead so that you can get toned and eventually shed the pounds in a gradual manner. Fitness should become a part of your wedding planning so you should add it to your wedding day checklist. This plan should not be hard to do as you are planning for yourself as opposed to a hundred or so others expected at the function. You know yourself best so create a plan that is as realistic as possible. Choose work out days which suit you at locations you know suit you. It you prefer jogging in your neighbourhood park, do not sign up for a gym that is two hours away. The basis of your plan should be to help you meet specific goals. Do not set unrealistic goals. It is not likely the rock

on your ring is so heavy that you will lose the pounds just carrying it around. It is also unlikely that if you were never a size small in your life you would shrink to that size by the sounding of the first wedding bell. When making goals, apart from being realistic they should make sense. Don’t aim to transform yourself to the point where your fiancée can’t even recognize you anymore. Instead set specific goals for losing weight. Don’t say you want to lose weight. Say you want to lose a certain amount in a certain timeframe. A doctor or certified physical trainer can assist you in making these decisions. Because arranging your wedding is taking up so much of your time it will be hard to work out. That is why goals and plans work. However, you may feel tempted to go on a radical diet or fitness program which can only cause you more harm than good. Never substitute skipping meals for working out or working out doubly hard for eating poorly. Try to stick to your routine at all costs. Keeping a journal of what you eat throughout the day is the best way to keep yourself accountable. Most individuals who

keep food diaries are more likely to eat healthier and stay the course, than those that don’t. As we stated before, getting or keeping fit means sticking to your exercise plan. Apart from sticking to the routine you formulated it is important that you do not waste your own time by skiffling through workouts. Exercise with intensity. This really should not be a problem for you as the drive to fit into that dress in tantamount. Just in case your drive is stuck in first gear, you should note that if you can walk or run and hold a conversation with your friend, you’re not working out hard enough. Also, if you are waiting longer than is recommended between sets, you’re not working out hard enough. The last 5 repetitions of each set are supposed to burn, and you should need to ask your partner for some help. The more intense the workout; the better the results. Hence, the workouts will remain shorter. Efficacy is key here…remember you still have to see about those wedding invitations. Follow these tips when formulating your exercise regimen and you’ll be on your way to a fit, fierce wedding.


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HAPPY HONEYMOON

What you should know about an overseas wedding

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aving a wedding overseas is fun! Not only is it adventurous, but it gives the bride and groom a chance to do something truly unique for their wedding. A destination wedding certainly provides that ‘once in a lifetime’ stamp that most married couples strive to say. But, have you fully weighed your options? Have you considered what may go wrong and have a backup plan just in case? See below the advantages and disadvantages of having a wedding abroad. Advantages 1. Different environment. Couples choose a destination wedding as a way to escape the norm and the mundane environment. By doing this, their wedding can be more laidback and both would be able to enjoy it fully. 2. One package. All activities can be hosted in one place rather than visiting different places for different activities. Instead of having the wedding ceremony at one location and visiting another for the reception, wedding, reception, honey-moon even other activities such as shopping and sight-seeing, can be done in one country. 3. Wedding and vacation in one. Apart from the bride and groom benefitting from visiting another country, guests can plan their vacation

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around the trip and take advantage of the opportunity with a planned family vacation. 4. Very intimate. Not everyone who is invited would attend; after-all a destination wedding it costly with booking hotel accommodation and tickets. Plus, the couple could invite only their closest friends and family and could save them the pressure of having to invite someone they don’t particular want to. 5. Creates a home base. This is especially useful for couples who’ve lived in separate countries but have family members still residing there. Choosing a destination that is close to both and is budget-friendly, would ensure that families from both sides would be able to visit for the wedding, making it easier for both parties. Cons 1. Planning from abroad. If you are a hands-on person that needs to be physically involved in planning a wedding, then this might be a problem for you. Plus you need to ensure that you cover all the details because everything needs to be done weeks in advance to ensure its availability for your big day. 2. It is very costly. Some resorts may offer packages that included the wedding ceremony, reception and accommodation for you and guests.

But in addition to those costs, you and your fiancé will still need to book transportation costs, travel fees, and separate costs for caterers and photographers if you are requesting their services from your home country. Additionally, depending on where you intend to travel, these fees may need to be paid in the visiting country’s currency, which means you may need to spend more when converting the money. 3. Challenging. If you are not familiar with the destination, planning and organizing you and your guests can be challenging. Especially for a bride and groom who may be planning everything, the pressure of organizing transportation for everyone and ensuring that they reach to the wedding on time and that they know

where the wedding is can be stressful. 4. Communication barriers. You may want to get married in Costa Rica but can you speak Spanish? If using a wedding planner in the visiting country, how would you communicate your needs to her? What about the country’s culture and customs? Remember their business hours may differ; carefully research any upcoming holidays and how they celebrate them. 5. Guests need to travel. The idea of a destination wedding sounds fun but the reality is that many of your guests may not have the money to spend on a trip or even the free-time to travel. Unless you can sponsor their trip, hotel accommodation and plead with their boss to give them the time to attend the wedding, then chances are some of the most important people may be absent on your big day. 6. Legal challenges. Some countries do not recognize marriages done abroad due to legalities. Check with your local Legal Affairs Department to ensure that your marriage will be approved and recognized if done in a foreign country. It would be unfortunate to get married abroad only to be told that your marriage is not legal and has to be re-done before a Justice of the Peace.


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Abstract BRIDAL Is Published By Abstract Media Group, Premium Commercial Complex, San Juan, Trinidad, W.I. • Tel: (868) 638 1156/9 • Fax: (868) 638 1160. PRINTED BY THE OFFICE AUTHORITY - PRINTING DIVISION and Distributed by AMG

Abstract Bridal July 2012  

This publication is produced biannually and is focused on all things bridal. From bridal fashion spreads, to wedding planning and post-nupti...

Abstract Bridal July 2012  

This publication is produced biannually and is focused on all things bridal. From bridal fashion spreads, to wedding planning and post-nupti...

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