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Weddings • One couples journey • Maintain your energy • Perfect flowers

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 A special supplement to

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014


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Took a few meetings before couple started romance By Sarah Bloom SIDNEY HERALD

It was at her sister Hannah’s 21st birthday party that Jenn Nielson first met John Carlile about three years ago. And then again a year later when mutual relationships between the two brought both of them to Las Vegas, Nev., for a weekend getaway. But the Sidney native was off-limits for John, who grew up in Texas. And just like any southern gentleman, John kept his distance from Jenn who had been in relationships each time they met. For John and Jenn, the third time was a charm. The booming opportunity of the Bakken persuaded John to move to the area full-time in December of 2012, bringing with him his experience as a welder as well as friendships that included Daniel Dooley, better known as just Dooley, and Hannah. “The day he got here we started hanging out and haven’t quit since,” Jenn said. “He hasn’t left me alone,” she then added with a sarcastic tone. “I thought she was a beautiful girl since the first time I met her,” John said. Perhaps it was the behindthe-scene workings of Jenn’s sister, Hannah, and John’s friend, Dooley, that edged Jenn and John together a bit.

And even before John decided to move to Sidney, it was the girlfriend-boyfriend duo of Hannah and Dooley that told their mutual friend John the news about the newly single Jenn. “They’ve been trying to set us up for a long time,” Jenn said. The two “officially” started dating in January of 2013, though it wasn’t easy for John at first to persuade Jenn. “I’ve just always had a boyfriend. And finally, in September, I was single. And I thought ‘I’m just going to date around and I’m not going to get in a relationship.’ And so even for the first month of hanging out with him, I was just really in denial,” Jenn said jokingly. All it took for John was nine months to know Jenn was the one for him. After getting the approval from Jenn’s mom and stepfather, he popped the question Oct. 12, 2013. And both are still surprised to this day that all of their friends kept John’s secret under wraps. “We did it all up the right way,” John said. Knowing how much friends and family means to Jenn, John wanted everyone involved the night he popped the big question. Hannah was a big piece of it all coming together. “Well Hannah got a phone call during dinner, and Dooley wasn’t there yet,” Jenn said.


John Carlile proposes to Jenn Nielson.


The couple will get married on Aug. 16.

“And when she got off the phone, we were all like ‘what’s going on?’ And Hannah said Dooley couldn’t find his cuff links. And I just thought Dooley was having a little tantrum and Hannah had to go get his cuff links,” Jenn joked. But Hannah was just getting things all organized outside the Cattle-ac where friends and family of the two waited outside. “So then I go to the bathroom, and I come back…everyone at the table was gone, except him (John).” After Jenn

asked where everyone went, John said that they all went to the bathroom – all of them. Even then, Jenn wasn’t expecting what was about to happen. And while John was insisting on going outside for some fresh air, Jenn was concerned someone would take their table. Needless to say it wasn’t easy to convince her to step outside. “And then I saw everyone through the windows, and then I kind of knew,” Jenn said smiling. “She’s always supported me through everything I’ve done.

Whether I’m right or wrong on something, she’s never tried to hold me back from anything,” John said. “She’s so level-headed and smart about everything. She really has it all figured out. As far as my attitude toward her every day, I am pretty much blessed. Every morning I wake up with her, and I’m pretty lucky.” “I love how he just calms me down and gives me reassurance,” Jenn said. “In 20 years, I would tell him that I am thankful that he came into my life when he did.”



Wednesday, March 12, 2014

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How to maintain your energy during wedding day A couple’s wedding day is the culmination of months and months of planning. For most, it is one of the most memorable, magical days of their lives, filled with fond moments of time spent with close friends and family. As enjoyable as a wedding can be, most brides and grooms who have already tied the knot can attest that a wedding is a long, often tiring day. It is very easy for energy levels to wane. To ensure you have enough energy to last through to the final good-bye of the evening, follow these suggestions to remain energized. • Recognize your wedding day is a very long day. It’s possible to rise quite early in the morning to begin prepping with makeup, hair styles, wardrobe and more. If the party is an evening reception, it could last until the wee hours of the night. You may find yourself up for nearly 24 hours, when the cameras will be flashing and the video

rolling throughout. Naturally, you’ll want to look your best throughout. • Get a good night’s sleep the night before. Get to bed early the night before so you will get ample sleep and look rested. It is understandable that nerves and excitement may get the best of you and make it difficult to fall asleep. If you often grow anxious and struggle to fall asleep before big events, talk to your doctor prior to the wedding to ask if you can be prescribed a one-time-only sleeping pill that will ensure you get to

sleep promptly. Do not take this medication with alcohol, and be sure to take it only if you can get a full 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Otherwise you may experience medicine hangover. • Enjoy a hearty breakfast. At breakfast on the morning of your wedding, consume a combination of carbohydrates and protein. The carbs will provide the initial burst of energy you need to get going, and the protein will keep you feeling full. A combination of whole wheat toast, fresh fruit and Greek yogurt makes for a filling start to the day. • Stay hydrated. Although drinking a lot of water can result in more frequent trips to the bathroom — which can be cumbersome for brides wearing their gowns — it is essential to stay hydrated. Dehydration can result in headaches, weakness and dizziness and may make you feel cranky. Be sure to consume water throughout the day.

• Pack some snacks. The time between breakfast and the cocktail hour of a wedding may be significant. In your wedding “survival” kit, be sure to pack some easy snacks to eat. Trail mix can be nibbled for a boost of energy, and a banana can take the edge off of hunger pangs. Avoid anything messy that can drip onto clothing or get stuck in your teeth. Arrange to have snacks stowed in the limousine or another mode of transportation so that you can refuel on the way to the ceremony or in transit to the reception. • Don’t overdo it with caffeine. It may be tempting to lean on an energy drink or a super-size cup of coffee to give you the boost you need. But caffeine is only a temporary fix. After the effects of the caffeine wear off, you could find yourself more tired than before and crash at an inopportune time during the day. Instead, a brisk walk outdoors may recharge

your batteries. Afterward, time spent on the dance floor enjoying the reception will likely stimulate some adrenaline to keep you going. • Eat dinner. When family is beckoning and the photographer needs to get yet another pose, it is easy to skip dinner. Be firm with your decision to enjoy your meal. After all, you paid for it and it should not go to waste. Besides, sitting down to dinner enables you to rest and absorb the atmosphere of the wedding. • Continue to drink plenty of water throughout the night. Alcoholic beverages may be flowing, but too many spirits can compromise your energy levels. Be sure to balance the booze with hydrating fluids, such as water or juice. Weddings take up the entire day, and it can be easy to succumb to a lack of energy as the day progresses. But by heeding a few tips, it’s possible to remain in top form throughout the entire wedding.

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Selecting the perfect flowers for your wedding What would a wedding day be without flowers? The beauty and the aroma of fresh-cut flowers can create a welcoming atmosphere and complement the beauty and the style of a wedding wardrobe. Flowers are often the first things that guests see upon arriving for the ceremony, and they may even be something guests take home at the end of the night. Flowers create an air of romance, and most couples want to make flowers — whether fresh or silk — an integral part of their wedding day. As with any decision when planning a wedding, choosing the right flowers requires some research and a basic knowledge of which flowers will convey the message and the theme of your wedding. The number of colors, textures and combinations that can be created are so numerous that couples may feel the decision on the floral arrangements is best left to the florist. But it doesn’t take a lot of expertise to know what you want, and it is important for couples to convey their feelings to the florist. Consider these tips when choosing a florist and selecting flowers. • Experts advise that a couple start looking for a florist at least six months before the wedding, especially if the wedding will take place during the peak season of May through September. Get recommendations from friends as to which florist they used or find out if your wedding planner or banquet hall manager recommends a particular florist. Some catering halls have agreements with florists, and they work together. • Browse magazines to get ideas of what you like. You also may be able to find a florist through an advertisement or if he or she has been featured in publications. Keep a scrapbook of the colors, types of flowers and arrangements and any other ideas that attract you so you will be able to present this information to the florist. • Establish your flower budget prior to sitting down with the florist. You should expect

to pay at least 8 percent of the total wedding cost on flowers. Get an estimate on the floral arrangement and then tweak your needs according to your budget. Many florists can modify arrangements and find a middle ground with regard to cost. Selecting flowers that are in-season will result in more affordable rates than if you desire exotic or out-ofseason blooms. • Once you’ve hired the florist, you can come up with a wedding flower worksheet that establishes all of your needs. The florist may ask for specific information, such as photos of the bride’s gown as well as the colors and styles that the wedding party will be wearing. A good florist knows that a bouquet should not overpower or detract from the beauty of the bride. The florist may want to mimic textures from the dress, such as beading, with smaller flowers or berries within the arrangement. The groom’s boutonniere is traditionally one of the flowers from the bride’s bouquet so that the look is cohesive. • Ceremony flowers may be traditional, and some houses of worship have strict guidelines as to what can and cannot be used. However, reception flowers can be where you show off your creativity and whimsy. After all, this is a party and it should be fun. You may want to give the florist more freedom of expression with regard to reception centerpieces and flowers that adorn other areas of the room. • Because receptions tend to take place in the evening hours and are often indoor affairs, experts say that added lighting may be needed to put emphasis on the floral centerpieces and help present them in their best light. You may want to think about hiring a lighting designer to spotlight some areas of the room or at the very least incorporate candlelight into your centerpiece arrangements. • To give the impression that there are more flowers than there really are, use fragrance and filler as your tools. Fragrant flowers


As with any decision when planning a wedding, choosing the right flowers requires some research and a basic knowledge of which flowers will convey the message and the theme of your wedding.

can fill up the room with a welcoming aroma. Look for frangipani, lilies, hyacinths, jasmine and sweet peas for a big impact. Florists know how to stretch arrangements by using greenery and other filler to lend bulk without too much extra cost. • Experienced florists will know how long it takes certain buds to open and show off their maximum beauty. Therefore, expect a florist to be working on your floral arrangements as much as a

week before the wedding date — purchasing containers, cleaning flowers and waiting for certain ones to open fully. Minimize changes close to your wedding date as most things will already be started. • It is possible to make your own centerpieces or bouquets if you so desire. Simplicity will work best for the novice. Think about grouping similar-hued calla lilies together for a bridal bouquet. Hydrangea and peonies are larger flowers that can easily

fill up a vessel on a table as a centerpiece. White flowers will coordinate with any color scheme and could be the easiest to mix and match. White blooms include sweet pea, rose, camellia, stephanotis, narcissus, gardenia, orchid, lily of the valley, jasmine, and gypsophila. Flowers are one component of the wedding that will help achieve the magic and beautiful atmosphere couples desire.


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Toasting the bride and groom at a wedding reception is a responsibility that typically falls on the shoulders of the bride’s father as well as the best man and the maid of honor. Though it is an honor to give a wedding toast, it also can be nerve-wracking, as no one wants to give a toast that’s memorable for all the wrong reasons. While the best toasts are often those that veer off the beaten path, coming from the heart rather than from a how-to guide found on the Internet, there is a certain formula men and women can follow to ensure their toasts cover all of the appropriate bases without offending the bridal party or fellow guests. • Acknowledge the guests. Families are more geographically diverse than ever before, so more and more weddings host guests who come from far and wide to celebrate with happy couples on their wedding days. It’s customary for men and women making wedding toasts to acknowledge the guests, thanking them for being there. This is often a great way for best men and maids of honor to break the ice and calm their nerves, especially at larger weddings where they may only know a small percentage of the guests. When thanking the guests, be

sure to thank the parents of the bride and groom as well. • Explain your relationship to the bride and/or groom. Best men and maids of honor should devote a portion of their toasts to explaining their personal relationships with the bride and/or groom. Introduce yourself and explain how you met the bride or groom. Oftentimes, such stories have a comical twist that can further calm your nerves. • Aim for a jovial toast. Wedding toasts are typically given at the wedding reception, when guests and the bridal party are ready to celebrate. Such an atmosphere lends itself to a jovial toast wherein best men and maids of honor focus on happy times with the bride and groom. Tell a funny anecdote that illustrates the special bond you have with the bride or groom. When choosing a story to tell, remember to keep things appropriate for guests of all ages. • Give your best wishes to the bride and groom before raising your glass. Raising your glass to toast the bride and groom is often the last step before your toasting duties officially end. But before you raise your glass, remember to offer your best wishes to both the bride and groom.

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One recent tradition is the savethe-date card, a precursor to wedding invitations that simply lets guests know when the wedding is so they can clear their calendars and be there on a couple’s big day. While save-the-date cards are best kept simple, there are a few rules couples should follow before sending their cards out to loved ones. • Finalize the guest list before sending save-the-date cards. Couples must finalize their guest lists before sending their save-the-date cards. Doing so avoids the potentially messy situation that would no doubt arise if a person were to receive a save-the-date card but then not make the final guest list. Trimming the guest list often comes down to finances, so couples also want to agree on their budget before sending out their save-the-date cards. Once the guest list has been finalized, couples can send out their save-thedate cards as soon as possible. • Confirm addresses. Couples should confirm their loved ones’ addresses before mailing any savethe-date cards. This can be easily accomplished by sending mass emails to friends and family members or contacting individuals via private messages sent on social media sites. Postage to send save-the-date cards

can be costly, especially for couples with large guest lists. Confirming addresses can save couples money on potentially wasted postage should the cards be returned because they were sent to the wrong address. In addition, confirming addresses ensures everyone gets their cards and no one feels left out when relatives receive cards and they don’t because a couple did not have their correct address. • Keep things appropriate. Save-thedate cards need not be as formal as wedding invitations, but they should still be appropriate. Guests often keep save-the-date cards on their refrigerators, where people of all ages can see the cards. • Don’t overdo it with information. Save-the-date cards don’t need to include as much information as the more formal invitations, which tend to include information about the ceremony, reception, hotel, directions, and other relevant wedding details. A save-the-date card only needs to include the date of the wedding, including the month, day and year so guests are not confused if the cards are going out well in advance of the wedding day. Couples can include a link to their wedding Web site on the backs of their save-the-date cards.

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Tips for sending out your wedding invitations Wedding invitations often provide guests with a first glimpse of a wedding’s style. Invitations also may serve as the means by which distant friends and relatives find out about a couple’s pending nuptials if a formal announcement was not made.

Amid the flourishes of calligraphy and impressive paper stock is information that speaks to the importance of the day when two people will be joining their lives together. Guests will learn not only the time and the place of the wedding from the invitation, but also the formality of the event and the scope of the party that will follow. Couples should keep certain things in mind as they begin to design their wedding invitations. • Have a good idea of your potential guest list. Before shopping for wedding invitations, it is key to have a strong idea of just how big the wedding will be and how many guests will be invited. This way you will know how many invitations you will need. Invitations vary in price,

so cost may be a consideration if your guest list is extensive. • Decide on the formality of the wedding. Will you be hosting a black tie affair, or will it be a casual gathering at the shore? Guests infer many things about the wedding from the invitations, which should match the formality of the event in style and the sentiments expressed. An ornate invitation written with classic wording suggests a more formal

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affair, while a whimsical invitation with less formal wording could indicate a more laid-back event. • Dare to be different by playing with invitation sizes and shapes. Rectangular cards are standard for wedding invitations, but you can explore your creativity by choosing more modern, artsy invitations. Circular invites or scalloped edges can add some whimsy to the wedding mood. Invitations that fold out or are embellished with ribbon or other decorations can be appealing. Just keep in mind that cards that are not the standard shape and size could be more costly to send. Always have the entire wedding invitation weighed and priced at the post office so you will know what the postage will cost. • Choose a legible font and text color. Your invitation may look beautiful, but it may prove ineffective if it is difficult to read. Do not risk guests misinterpreting the date or the location because they cannot read the writing on the invitation. Steer clear of pastel or yellow text

colors, and remember to have a high contrast between the color of the invitation and the text you are using for easy reading. • Keep the invitation simple. It may be tempting to load the invitation with lots of information, but all you really need are the key pieces of information, such as the “who,” “what,” “where,” and “when.” Crowding the card will take away from its aesthetic appeal. Most stationers will suggest a separate, smaller insert in the wedding invitation for the reception information and response card. Never put information such as where you are registered or “no kids allowed.” This is material better reserved for word of mouth or on a wedding Web site. • Do some math. It is important to know your dates so you can receive the invitations on time, mail them out and give guests enough time to respond. A good rule of thumb is to mail out the invitations at least two months before the wedding. Have an RSVP date of no more than three to four weeks before the wedding, giving ample time to

the caterers and accommodating anyone who procrastinates in sending in a response. You will need the final headcount in order to confirm seating arrangements and plan for centerpieces and favors. • Handwrite the envelopes. Your invitation will look more impressive if you address them by hand, rather than printing them off of a computer. If your handwriting is not very neat, consider hiring a professional calligrapher to write out your envelopes. • Make it easy for guests to respond. Be sure to place a stamp on the response card envelope and have that envelope already addressed with your home address so that guests will have no excuses not to mail a response back promptly. • Always order extra. Mistakes happen, and you may need to send out a few extra invitations that you hadn’t originally counted. Always order extra invitations just to be on the safe side. And don’t forget you will probably want to keep one as a keepsake for yourself.


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Careful timing allows wedding to go off without problems As any holiday host can attest, timing is crucial to getting a meal out hot and ensuring each course is ready for the table. Timing is equally important when planning a wedding. Various elements must come together in the right order to create a seamless day for couples and guests alike. In addition to organizing floral deliveries, ensuring the wedding party arrives on time and getting hair and makeup done promptly, couples who will be having their ceremony in a different location from the reception will need to spend more time factoring timing into their wedding day equations. Factors like traveling to and from the site, as well as hunger pangs and potential weatherrelated complications, will need to be considered. Many couples choose to have their ceremonies and receptions at the same site, a decision that makes scheduling much easier. Once the ceremony is over, guests simply go inside or to another area of the grounds to begin

the reception. Some traditionalists, though, prefer to have their ceremony in a place of worship and then travel to a separate reception location afterward. Both scenarios are acceptable, but the latter option requires a little more planning. Couples will need to know when the church or temple is available for the ceremony and when the reception hall will be open to guests. Some weddings are held after daily masses or other religious ceremonies. An afternoon wedding may end a few hours before the cocktail hour begins at the reception site, leaving guests with time to kill before the reception. Couples can try to remove as much time between the reception and ceremony as possible by coordinating with their catering managers. If finances allow, couples can request the wedding reception begin early. This way guests can arrive at the cocktail hour and comfortably mingle among themselves. These requests are common, and many catering managers will

be happy to meet requests to keep a bride and groom’s business. If this is not possible, couples have a few alternatives. If the reception site is a good distance away, the travel there may take up the idle time. Otherwise, the bride and groom may need to come up with another plan. In some instances, a family member opens his or her home up to some of the guests, who may enjoy light refreshments. It may be possible to use a cafeteria or gathering space at the ceremony site for a little while as well. If the photographer plans to take outdoor photos between the ceremony and reception, the couple can invite some guests along to witness the shots or be a part of the photo shoot. Thoughtful couples also can provide other accommodations, such as letting guests know about local restaurants where they can spend a little time and grab a small bite to eat before the reception begins. Hotels affiliated with the wedding party may be able to host guests during these

in-between hours as well. The hotel bar or a conference room might be ideal spots for guests to kill some time. Couples also can arrange something with the reception hall. While the party room or cocktail area may not be ready until the designated time, the site may have an

attached restaurant, salon or gardens, where guests can relax as they wait for the start of the festivities. Timing all of the elements of a wedding day properly can be challenging. Guests’ comfort and needs should always be a priority.

Duties of the best man, maid of honor before, after wedding Being chosen as a best man or a maid of honor is a significant and meaningful honor. Those roles have evolved over the years, but these special participants must still perform some of the traditional duties of the past, including serving as the official witnesses to the ceremony. The following is a rundown of the various duties maids of honor and best men are now expected to handle once they’re chosen for these distinguished honors.

go with the bride for makeup and hairstyle trials. Together with the bridesmaids, she will plan a bridal shower party and a bachelorette excursion. She may select a wedding gift for the couple and present it on behalf of all the wedding attendants. The best man will coordinate the bachelor party and may be asked to assist the groom with selecting a honeymoon site or to come along to book the trip.

ding. The best man will keep the rings safe until they are needed. The maid of honor also will help adjust the bride’s train and veil as she sits and stands during the ceremony. Both will sign the marriage certificate as witnesses. At the reception, the best man is expected to give a toast and the maid of honor may share some words as well. She also may accompany the bride to the restroom and assist her with managing the gown.

Prior to the wedding Before the wedding takes place, the maid of honor will closely assist the bride-to-be with many of the important decisions related to the look and the feel of the wedding. She typically accompanies the bride to dress shops to select gowns for the bride and bridesmaids. Much in the same manner, the best man will assist the groom-to-be with choosing tuxedoes or suits and also with coordinating with the ushers to ensure they know when to go for fittings.

wedding day On the day of the wedding, the maid of honor and the best man will act as a support system for the bride and groom. The maid of honor will help the bride get dressed and help iron out any mini-emergencies that should crop up. The best man will help ensure all of the ushers are dressed and get the groom to the wedding on time. During the ceremony, the maid of honor will hold the bride’s bouquet while she participates in the wed-

after the wedding The best man will be in charge of returning the tuxedoes to the rental shop, if necessary. He also may drive the newly married couple to the airport so they can depart on their honeymoon. The maid of honor will assist the bride in changing out of her gown and into her travel clothes. Oftentimes the maid of honor takes the gown to the cleaners in the days following the ceremony so the dress can be preserved.

Although the best man will serve as a sounding board for the groom, traditionally the bride and her bridesmaids have taken on the majority of the wedding planning, so the maid of honor can expect to play a larger role than the best man. The maid of honor may be asked to delegate certain assignments, such as helping to find wedding vendors or addressing invitations. She may


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Makeup tips for bride, bridemaids for the special day Few events are more photographed than weddings. Needless to say, wedding participants, from brides and grooms to the couples’ parents, hope to look their best for the celebrations. Women often find that well applied cosmetics can enhance their beauty and help ensure they are pictureperfect. The key to wedding makeup is finding a balance between application that will come across well in person and will look good in photographs. Professional makeup artists may understand just how heavy a hand to use to apply makeup, but the novice do-ityourselfer may need some instruction to master wedding day makeup. Very often the key to wedding makeup is simplicity. Brides want their best features enhanced and have the makeup add to their beauty rather than outshine it. Brides want guests to notice their faces and gowns and not their makeup. Here are some other tips brides can employ in an effort to put their best faces forward. • Begin preparations a few days prior to the wedding. If you will be enhancing your skin color with a spraytan, do so at least two days prior to the wedding. By the third day the color will set and appear more natural. The same idea applies to your brows. Tweezing, waxing and threading can create irritation and redness. Have your brows professionally shaped a few days before the wedding and then do a minor touch-up with your tweezer the night before. This allows your skin to recover and redness to dissipate. • Start out with well hydrated and

moisturized skin. Apply a few layers of moisturizer, preferably one with an SPF if you will be spending time out in the sun. When the moisturizer is completely absorbed and dry, use a skin priming product that will help keep your foundation locked into place. • Match your foundation color to your natural skin color. When these colors don’t match, your face may look like it is a separate shade from your neck and decolletage. If you will be tanning, then find a shade that matches the tanned color. A foundation that has slightly yellow undertones will even out redness on the face and look better in photos. Apply the foundation thoroughly with a sponge or brush and be sure to blend it well at your neckline. Set the foundation with a matte powder.

• Apply concealer to red spots or undereye circles after the foundation. Aim for a creamy, emollient concealer for under the eyes. A peach color that will contrast with the purple and blue tones of your eyelids. Putting on the concealer after the foundation means you will probably need less and won’t look like you’re caked with product. • Use an eyebrow pencil or powder to fill in your brows. This is a must for your wedding day and can really help to frame your eyes. Use small, light flicks of the pencil rather than long strokes to make the color blend naturally. Use a brush to blend in further. Always go a shade or two lighter than your natural color. Finish with a gel that will set the hairs into place. • Complement your lips and eyes. Many brides like to play up their eyes on their wedding days. If you are going for a dramatic eye, opt for a more neutral lip, and vice versa. Otherwise, you may look like you’re wearing stage makeup. Neutral colors look best for weddings and will not appear dated in photos. Stick to subtle browns and taupes for universal flattery on most eye colors. Use a light hand to apply a neutral shade of light shadow all over the lid. Apply a medium brown to the crease of the eye and a darker brown to the very outer corner, and blend thoroughly. A very light shade of shadow can be used directly under the browline and toward the inside of the eye to make eyes appear wide and bright. Stick with matte shades of eye shadow, with the exception of one pearlescent shade that is lightly dusted right in the center of the lid from the lashline

to the crease. This will add just a touch of luster to catch the light and make eyes sparkle. • Apply liner before mascara, and blend it with a brush. Push the liner into the lashline to make lashes appear thicker. Use mascara to lengthen lashes. Place a makeup sponge behind your lashes when applying mascara so you don’t risk hitting your lids with the mascara wand. If you will be using false lashes, apply them now. Err on the shorter side for fake lashes, and cut them as needed to fit your eye. Lashes that are too long or full may appear cartoonish and can be uncomfortable to wear. Connect your lashes together with the false ones with another application of mascara. Waterproof mascara will hold up through tears of joy. • Be subtle with blush. Use subtle blush in a peach-pink color to achieve that blushing bride appearance. Smile and apply the blush only to the apples of your cheeks. • Choose a long-lasting lip color that will hold up through kisses and smiles. Lip stains work very well, as they provide that hint of color but wear well during the day. Another helpful tip is to perform a practice run prior to the wedding, taking some photographs to see how the makeup looks in pictures. Cameras and flashes can wash out makeup, so sometimes you need to apply just a little bit more than usual for it to show up on film. Also, certain makeup products will reflect light more. Don’t forget to stock up on oil-blotting papers to touch up your face during the day.

Advice for newlyweds about to merge their finances Newlyweds often have a lot on their plates upon returning from their honeymoons. One of the more critical issues newly married couples must address is their finances and how those finances will be combined going forward. Combining finances can be a touchy subject for many couples, especially those who had not given much thought to their finances prior to tying the knot. But there are steps couples can take to make the process of merging finances go more smoothly. • Discuss finances early and often. Allowing finances to be the elephant in the room is a mistake, as couples do not want to begin their lives

together treading lightly around an issue as significant as finances. Couples should discuss their expenditures and spending habits as early as possible, as one of the biggest hurdles newly married couples must clear is coming to grips with one another’s financial habits. If such habits have already been discussed, then developing a financial plan will be much easier once that time comes. When discussing finances, define both short-term and long-term goals and how each of you can adjust your spending habits to make those goals come true. • Pay off any debts. The cost of weddings has skyrocketed over the last several decades,

and many newlyweds find themselves in a considerable amount of debt upon returning from their honeymoons. When merging finances, couples should prioritize paying down such debt, as debt is a significant source of stress for newlyweds and long-married couples alike. Newly married couples with little or no debt should avoid spending above their means in the months after they get married. Such spending is commonplace, as newly married couples often want to fully furnish their new homes or reward themselves for pulling off their weddings. But new debt can be just as stressful on a marriage as debt from the wed-

ding, so avoid this potentially problematic pitfall by paying down existing debts with your newly merged finances. • Make note of mutual expenses and open a joint account to pay for those expenses. Mutual expenses like mortgage payments, food and utilities should be the responsibility of each partner, and a joint account should be established to handle such expenses. When opening a joint account, discuss how much and how often each partner will contribute money. One partner might earn considerably more money than another, so work out a reasonable agreement that details how much each partner will

contribute each month, and whether such contributions will be made on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis. • Make concessions for one another. When merging finances, couples often discover that they don’t see eye-to-eye on how each person spends money. Couples who successfully merge their finances often note the importance of making concessions with regard to their partners’ spending on certain hobbies or luxuries. As long as those hobbies are not putting couples in debt or jeopardizing their financial goals, couples can make concessions so their partners continue to enjoy their favorite activities.



Wednesday, March 12, 2014

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