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Honeymoon encore: The big move in
(BPT) - It may come as a surprise to young engaged couples, but the excitement of the wedding and honeymoon doesn’t end when it’s all over. In fact, after the honeymoon, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and plan the big move – the joining of two households.
It’s a herculean task finding the perfect location with great schools, affordable taxes and good neighbors. But once you’ve signed on the dotted line for the home where you will begin your life as a couple – and maybe also raise your family when the time arrives – you’re ready to plan your big move.
Many newlyweds face the chore of merging furniture, kitchen equipment and closet space from two households. To start your moving process off on the right foot, consider eliminating duplicate items and having a garage sale, or donating items, before beginning the packing process. It’s a great chance to upgrade household furnishings – especially if you received something new as a wedding gift.
Then determine what size moving truck you’ll need. A good rule is to plan for 150 cubic feet of space for every fully furnished room. Many young couples moving from a small apartment or condo into a larger first home will find a
12- or 16-foot Penske rental truck more than adequate. Plan to reserve your truck at least two weeks in advance. Penske Truck Rental offers rental discounts for AAA members to help young couples with savings.
For help in making moving day go smoothly, use these tips from Penske. They’ve been in the do-it-yourself moving business for more than 40 years:
* Still unpacking your wedding gifts? – If space isn’t a concern, keep those wedding gifts in their original boxes, because the store packaging will help protect the items. But if space is tight in the rental truck, throw away the store packaging and carefully repack in your moving boxes – with plenty of padding to protect your new gifts.
* Start early and group items together – Get good, sturdy boxes of various sizes, and then fill them with items of similar use, size or design. Some traditional ways to group items are by item type (i.e. photo frames) or by contents of a room. Label each box with the room name, and the contents. Make sure you have plenty of packing bubbles or towels and cloths on hand to keep breakable items from being damaged in the move.
* Save your muscles – Ask friends to help you with carrying boxes. If something is heavy, enlist some help to prevent injury or strain on your muscles.
* Loading the truck – Load the largest items (i.e. bed, couch, dresser) into the truck first to ensure they will fit, and then start loading the heaviest boxes on the bottom and lighter boxes on top. Having each box labeled with contents will help prevent you and your friends from packing heavy books on top of your new fine china wedding gifts. Penske features an online
Truck Wizard application to assist.
When you cross the threshold of your new home the first time as a married couple, you’ll be surrounded by the excitement and energy of so many adventures to come in your future. Carefully unpack your moving truck, cherishing the memories of your personal belongings as you meld them to fit into your new home and life with your new spouse.
Bridal trends transform grandma's china...
(BPT) - New brides are transforming something old into something new. That’s according to the latest bridal tabletop trends.
While in recent years brides have been registering for casual dinnerware, lately industry experts are seeing brides returning to fine china. Sales indicate they’re opting for porcelain and bone china, which are more durable than stoneware because these mediums are less likely to chip.
White patterns continue to be strong bridal sellers, ranging in shades from pure white to ecru, with gold trim making a resurgence among millennial brides.
But in an emerging trend, observers are finding vintage is vogue.
“Brides are embracing heirloom patterns for a number of reasons,” says Keith Winkler, product marketing manager at
Replacements, Ltd. “First of all, there’s a strong, emotional connection to those inherited pieces because it ties them to family and tradition. At the same time, vintage is huge throughout the fashion industry, and that’s impacting dinnerware trends. Brides are hanging onto Grandma’s china, but they’re also looking to give family treasures a more contemporary spin.”
John Griffith oversees the visual merchandising team at Replacements, known as the world’s largest retailer of old and new china, crystal, silver and collectibles. He often hears from brides needing help transforming family treasures.
“It doesn’t matter whether inherited dinnerware is decades old, patterns are timeless through the magic of mixing and matching,” says Griffith. “I suggest using your heirloom pattern as a starting point, then mixing in various colors, shapes and even other mediums such as glass or acrylics. By creating a sort of ‘retro remix,’ you can dress up your sentimental favorite for formal entertaining, or just as easily dress down your tableware for a casual evening with friends.”
For example, Griffith says mixing in square salad plates with round shaped dinnerware creates art deco flair. Mixing different colored plates or glass can open up an entire new color palette.
He’s adamant; don’t be afraid to be bold and try something new.
“I recently had a customer come in with an heirloom goblet she wanted to match,” he says. “We didn’t have any pieces in her pattern, so I instead zeroed in on a design element with the goblet, in this case the stem style on the glass. I added in four additional crystal patterns, all with a similar stem design. By matching that particular design element, we created a really elegant, contemporary look.”
Griffith leads design seminars on creating trendy tables at the company’s retail store. Many of his insights appear on
Replacements’ YouTube channel and Facebookpage at www.facebook.com/Replacements.
One challenge brides often encounter with heirloom pieces lies in the fact family members sometimes forget the name of the pattern. Griffith suggests taking advantage of Replacements’
free pattern identification service. Additional information is available on the company’s website, www.replacements.com.
Tips and trends to create the wedding of your...
(BPT) - When it comes to the big day, you want a wedding that suits you and your fiance perfectly, whether it’s a casual outdoor affair or a formal black-tie event. One thing every couple can agree on is that planning a wedding shouldn’t be stressful.
A few insider tips and trends of 2013 will help you plan the wedding of your dreams without undue stress. Start by utilizing online resources. Planning months in advance can help ensure you get every detail perfect for your dream wedding. A variety of helpful online resources will provide everything you need.
For the latest trends without the extra cost, renting has never been more in vogue. Helpful sites like
RentalHQ.com from the American Rental Association (ARA) have everything you need to create your dream wedding. From choosing your china and linens to finding the latest decor and color options, it’s a great planning resource. Brides remain stress-free because many ARA rental stores offer complementary professional assistance for wedding equipment rentals, helping you plan all the intricate details for your big day.
Next visit Brides.com, the online website for Brides magazine, which has a plethora of informational articles as well as info on the latest bridal trends. From tips on choosing the right dress to a beauty calendar checklist for up to 12 months before the big day, it’s a fantastic resource for staying organized. For the do-it-herself bride, Pinterest.com is a great resource for finding unique decor and ideas to make your wedding completely “you.”
When you’re feeling stumped about some aspect of planning, Theknot.com is sure to inspire. Start by learning your personal wedding style – are you modern, vintage or offbeat? Then jump into learning about color schemes, fashion, honeymoons and more. MyWedding.com is a helpful resource also, with a variety of planning tools, insightful guides and the opportunity for couples to create a free website about their wedding.
Want to know some of the top bridal trends of 2013? From color to cake, brides today are thinking outside the box. Here are some top trends to consider:
Color: When it comes to colors there’s no need to be coy – top trends of 2013 are bright and bold. From ruby reds, rich blues, vivid violets and sunshine yellows, splashes of color liven up your decor and create a memorable atmosphere. It’s easy to seamlessly incorporate a fun color without going over the top when you
rent – consider renting runners, centerpieces and even stemware in the color of your choice.
Dessert: While traditional brides may prefer a multilayered wedding cake, many others are taking a fun approach to desserts. Do you and your honey love apple pie? Place homemade apple pies on each table. Have your first date at an ice cream parlor? Set up an ice cream bar with a variety of toppings for guests to create their own sundae. You can rent all the extras to create an authentic ice cream shop atmosphere.
Go virtual: It’s unlikely that every guest you invite will be able to attend, so now technology is bringing people closer together no matter where they reside. Couples with guests who live far away or family who aren’t able to attend are now sharing their special day by live-streaming the ceremony and reception. Guests can then attend the wedding virtually.
Bouquets: Flowers are beautiful, but creative brides are taking a fresh look at traditional bouquets. Adorn your blooms with gems or feathers for a stunning accent as you walk down the aisle. Or, skip flowers altogether and create a family heirloom – gather vintage brooches from friends and family and make a sparkling jewelry bouquet with supplies from your local craft store.
Whatever trends you decide to incorporate into your big day, renting your dream wedding supplies rather than buying is a wise decision. You’ll get the latest trends at an affordable price.
Expert skin care tips for glowing skin on your...
(BPT) - The ideal dress, the perfect menu, the heartfelt vows – to these add another necessity of your dream wedding: gorgeous, glowing skin. Throughout your entire wedding – from the moment you start walking down the aisle to when you exchange vows to your first dance as man and wife – the focus is on your face. Beautiful skin is essential, and with some expert tips, achieving it doesn’t have to be difficult.
“On your wedding day, smooth, glowing skin is an absolute must. Good skin care is an internal and external process,” says Veronica Barton-Schwartz, a leading expert in skin care with more than 30 years of experience.
Barton-Schwartz founded the Skin and Body Care Center in Malibu, Calif., where she uses her extensive knowledge to help clients look and feel their best. Whether she’s prepping a celebrity for the red carpet or a bride before her big day, she helps clients get smooth, healthy skin that truly glows. Here are her top skin care tips for brides-to-be:
1. Start three months ahead of the big day
“Start prepping skin at least three months in advance. That will give you enough time to ensure that your skin is clear, smooth and glowing for your special day,” says Barton-Schwartz. She recommends finding a qualified esthetician to help you choose the right treatments, but here are some general guidelines based on age:
20s: “When brides are in their 20s, they most likely are facing acne and some discoloration from sun damage. Deep-cleaning facials are a must to prep the skin at this age,” say Barton-Schwartz.
30s up: “In your 30s and 40s, the skin needs exfoliating regularly because it only exfoliates naturally every 35 days as opposed to every 14 days in your 20s. This is the time to start using retinoids to help improve the overall texture and tone of your skin,” she says.
40s and 50s: “In your 40s, your estrogen levels are tapering so your skin will be drier. You'll have to add collagen-building peptides morning and night to your skin care regimen. In your 50s, you'll notice loss of elasticity and you will need stronger antioxidant treatments and moisturizers. The older you get the more important it is to use a good serum under your moisturizer to help combat dry skin and loss of elasticity,” she explains.
2. Eat foods and beverages that nourish skin
When it comes to healthy skin, it’s not only how you treat it externally, but internally as well. Barton-Schwartz says it’s wise to eliminate all sugar and white flour while increasing some skin care superstar foods. “Increase consumption of fresh fruits, vegetables and lean protein,” suggests Barton-Schwartz. “Add more essential oils and healthy fats, like salmon and sardines, to lubricate dermis layers. Drink more water. Water is absolutely vital for every process in the body and especially for your skin.”
3. Consider supplements that benefit the skin
Supplements can greatly benefit skin health from the inside, out. In addition to a good multi-vitamin, Barton-Schwartz suggests considering alpha lipoic acid that assists metabolism, DMAE to improve muscle tone under skin, Co-Q10 that increases metabolic efficiency and improves heart health, and omega-3s (found in fish oil) for heart, eyes, brain, skin and overall body health. “The research of the benefits of fish oil is growing every day and I believe my good health and skin is partly due to the fact that I've been taking Nordic Naturals since I was in my 40s,” she says. “Now I'm 65 and I still have youthful skin.” For more information about Nordic Naturals omega-3 fish oil supplements, visit
4. Don’t forget last minute to-do’s for the big day
When the big day comes, you’re likely to feel a mix of emotions: excitement, anxiety, etc. Some important day-of skin care tips can help you stay calm and look your best: “Eat some protein in the morning and take a walk to boost circulation and lymphatic drainage. Use your Veronica Peptides to help with any puffiness and dark circles under your eyes,” suggests Barton-Schwartz. “For your complexion, use a sheer, satin-matte foundation, medium coverage concealer for trouble spots, a light dusting of pressed powder and a powder blush. Keep your makeup natural. Wear waterproof mascara, just in case.”
The wedding shoe trend for everyone: pain-free...
(BPT) - Sparkles, spangles and color, new or vintage, whatever your preference in wedding shoe styles there’s one trend that every bride should get behind: comfort.
“Pretty flats and even tennis shoes have been gaining popularity among brides for several years, and while those styles may not be to everyone’s taste, the concept of comfortable wedding shoes is good for everyone,” says Dr. Crystal Holmes, a doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM) and spokesperson for the
American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).
While an APMA survey indicates that most women do emphasize comfort over looks when choosing dress shoes, brides may consider comfort less important than style on their big day. “Brides may think that since they’re only wearing their wedding shoes for a day, it doesn’t matter if the shoes make their feet hurt,” Holmes says. “But shoes that hurt your feet can cause long-term problems, and make existing ones even worse. Sore feet can put a damper on your wedding, reception and even honeymoon.”
The APMA offers some advice for choosing the most comfortable options in some popular wedding styles:
Pumps – A classic wedding shoe, bridal pumps come in a wide variety of styles, colors and heights. When choosing a pump, be aware that pointy shoes place pressure on the toes and can aggravate problems like hammertoes and bunions. Choose pumps with deep, wide toe boxes that give you plenty of room to wiggle your toes. Keep in mind lower heels are better, especially if you’ll be in your wedding shoes for several hours.
Ballet flats – Flirty, feminine and fun, ballet flats can feel more comfortable than heels. But very flat shoes can actually be harmful to your arch and heel. Opt for a flat that has a bit of a heel, a thicker sole, and plenty of cushioning and support. Avoid flats that bend in half or easily twist.
Kitten heels – When it comes to good looks and foot-friendly design, kitten heels are the cat’s meow. Typically lower than one inch, kitten heels add a touch of height without placing undue pressure on the ball of the foot that higher heels can cause. They also tend to be a bit wider than the average heel, making them more stable and comfortable.
Platforms and wedges – Towering platforms and wedges provide height, style and endless options. But wearing these higher styles requires brides to take extra caution. Platforms and wedges may compromise your balance and stability, and very high shoes can lead to ankle rolls and falls. Look for lower platforms and wedges that feature secure ankle straps. Cork bottoms provide some shock absorption and traction.
Peep toes – Popular among brides who want to show off their pretty pedicures, peep toes range from towering heels to functional flats. Regardless of heel height, peep toes may cause your toes to slip forward or overlap, or may even push nail edges into the skin to form an ingrown toenail. Avoid peep toes that are too tight, and be sure they are free of seams near the toe area, as seams place further pressure on toes.
Sling backs – Showing a flirty flash of heel, sling backs are dynamic and sexy – perfect for walking down the aisle and kicking up your heels during the reception. Look for a sling back with a lower heel that will be more comfortable for extended wearing. Straps should be snug but not too tight to avoid chafing on the back of the heel. Too loose straps may cause the shoe to slip off your foot, so a proper strap fit is important.
Whatever style you choose, some advice is universal:
* Very high heels place pressure on your feet, shifting your entire body weight. If you plan to wear your heels throughout the entire ceremony and reception – likely more than two hours – consider choosing a heel of no more than two inches. Or, save the very high heels for the ceremony and switch to a lower, more comfortable heel for afterward.
* Brightly colored or patterned wedding shoes are in vogue now, and while color doesn’t affect comfort the material might. Materials that provide stability and stretch may be better for your feet. Avoid plastic, vinyl and other materials that don’t allow feet to breathe.
* Shoes should have a flexible sole that allows toes to bend naturally when you walk and a rigid, cushioned heel counter to keep the foot in place inside the shoe.
* Inserts are a great way to help cushion heels, arches and the balls of your feet. It’s easy to find inserts that work with virtually any style of wedding shoe.
* When shopping for your wedding shoes, keep in mind that – like any shoe – they should be comfortable immediately. Never buy uncomfortable shoes thinking that you’ll “break them in.” And shop for your bridal shoes at the end of the day. Not only do most weddings take place later in the day, your feet swell to their largest in the evening. Buying your wedding shoes at that time of day will ensure you get the best fit.
Five questions to ask before you tie the knot
(BPT) - “I’m so lucky I’m marrying my best friend,” is a phrase you often hear in wedding toasts. Now that you’ve found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, make sure you protect each other by considering the bigger financial picture.
Wedding Paper Divas, 47 percent of engaged couples spend between one and nine hours per week planning their weddings, but it’s unlikely that much of that time is spent planning for life after the big day.
“Getting married is the perfect time to take a fresh look at your entire financial picture, including your insurance needs,” says Doug Smith, senior vice president of the Personal Lines division at
Erie Insurance. “It’s much better to plan before the wedding so there are no surprises later.”
Here are five key insurance questions to discuss with your spouse-to-be before taking a walk down the aisle:
Where’s my bling?
Chances are you spent a lot of time and money picking out rings you’ll love and wear every day. But according to
asecurelife.com, one in 36 homes in the United States will be broken into this year, so it’s important to make sure you have the right insurance to cover your rings if they’re lost or stolen.
Your strategy: Have your rings appraised to establish their value. Keep your store receipts and take a picture of the rings. Having pictures and documentation helps speed up the claims process if you have to file a claim. Also, keep your rings in a safe deposit box when you’re not wearing them.
Baby, can you drive my car?
Once you’re married, your spouse generally will be covered on your auto insurance policy and vice versa. This could mean opportunities for savings.
Your strategy: Once you become a two-car home, you may be eligible for a multi-car discount. You should also consider bundling your car insurance with your homeowners and/or life insurance which can result in even more savings. Additionally, some insurance companies offer a lower rate for married couples, so talk to your insurance agent to find out if this applies to your policy.
Have you protected the things that make your house a home?
Are you planning to move into a new home after the honeymoon? Whether or not your living situation changes, make sure your home and belongings are protected.
Your strategy: Consider what new pieces will be added to your abode. If you purchase new furniture, art pieces or any other new belongings, it’s a good idea to make sure those items are covered in case of theft, fire, or natural disaster.
You’ll also want to make sure your home insurance covers 100 percent of the cost to rebuild your home if needed. “Do your research,” says Smith. “Some insurance companies cap their coverage at a certain amount. That means you could find yourself substantially underinsured, even if you thought you were paying for so-called ‘replacement cost’ insurance.”
What do you need to do before plunging into a remodeling project?
Even if you’re not purchasing a new home, two people in a house means you need more space, so you may be adding on to your existing home. This can mean workers doing potentially dangerous jobs in the home.
Your strategy: When you hire a contractor, request a certificate of insurance to confirm their liability and workers’ compensation coverages. Review the certificate and your homeowners policy.
Have you thought about life after you say “I do?”
When you get married, you may become part of a dual-income household. When this happens, you plan your future based on a new budget created by two incomes, which brings increased financial responsibility. Should something happen, surviving family members could struggle without the right level of protection.
Your strategy: Make sure your spouse is protected if one income is lost. Universal life insurance provides insurance for your entire life and builds a cash value. Term life insurance provides affordable coverage for a set number of years. Some websites, including erieinsurance.com, offer online
calculators to help you determine how much insurance you need. As you begin to build a nest egg, you have more assets to protect. A personal umbrella policy provides extra protection for you and your family against lawsuits arising from personal injury or property damage claims.
While it’s important to plan for rain on your wedding day and to make sure everyone has a place card, it’s even more important to plan for what comes after the moment you say “I do.” Making the proper insurance and financial arrangements will be a load off your mind if something should arise.
Relax while planning your wedding with these...
(BPT) - Planning and organizing a large and complex special event can quickly overwhelm a bride and groom-to-be, especially if the couple has no previous experience or training in large event organization. In addition to all the details of the invite list, the location for all activities for the big day and the special intimate details of wedding party gifts, getting to the big day without breaking the bank might seem impossible.
With a few smart steps before, during and after the ceremony, you’ll ensure your bank account will remain as strong as your love for each other.
Tip 1: Strive to come in under-budget
Set a budget and stick to it – or better yet, come in below it. Start out the wedding-planning process with a set budget for all major expenses such as food, music, wedding attire, flowers and the cake. But don’t forget about all the little expenses that can add up too. For example, tips for services that the DJ, drivers, hairstylist and bartenders provide can add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Remembering all the details and giving yourself a little financial wiggle room should something be overlooked is a wise decision.
Wedding insurance equals peace of mind
Insurance for a wedding? It’s something many have not heard of until planning a wedding, but it should be a priority because it protects your investment should something unexpected occur. According to WedSafe Wedding Insurance, a leading insurance program dedicated exclusively to weddings, there are two types of wedding insurance to consider:
First, cancellation/postponement insurance can offer financial reimbursement for unexpected events that force cancellation or postponement, such as an illness, military deportation or sudden unemployment. It also brings peace of mind during economic uncertainty when many vendors suddenly go out of business. For example, it’s unfortunate but far from rare for a wedding venue or photographer to go out of business and not return the deposit to the now unhappy couple. This can amount to thousands of dollars. With cancellation/postponement insurance, the wedding host has financial protection against lost deposits from no-show or bankrupt vendors. Real
wedding mishaps can occur, and wedding insurance offers protection.
Second, liability insurance can provide protection if an injury occurs or property is damaged and responsibility for the incident is placed on the host as legally liable. For example, someone slips on a spill and breaks their hip, or perhaps someone has a few too many cocktails and gets into a car accident. Many venues today require that the host purchase coverage. For more information about wedding insurance and to get an instant quote, visit
Tip 3: Get all fees in writing
Staying organized when planning a wedding can be complicated, but keeping track of all those long contracts can come in handy should there be discrepancies regarding extra fees come payment time. Didn’t know the reception site was charging you a cake-cutting fee? Reference your contracts and if there are any issues, you can address it with the vendor. Forgotten fees can accumulate fast, and by getting everything in writing and staying organized, you’ll be sure you don’t get burned.
Tip 4: Plan ahead and pay bills on time
Once your big day arrives, all your bills should be paid in full. Check contracts and be sure to understand payment agreements so that you don’t get hit with any late fees. For many couples, credit cards will be used to streamline the payment process, but don’t forget when your monthly payment is due and strive to pay it in full. This is especially important for couples leaving for extended periods of time for a honeymoon – you’d hate to come back to a pile of late fees because you didn’t plan ahead on payments that may be due when you’re gone.
Money and marriage: Tips to achieve financial...
(BPT) - Fights over finances are a commonly known cause of stress and divorce, and a new
survey indicates that while the average couple fights over money five times a year, they discuss finances reasonably fewer than two times a month. Every couple knows there are some topics you just don’t bring up – his mother’s dreadful cooking, your uncle’s bad manners. Money, however, should never be among those subjects you don’t discuss – especially if you’re planning your wedding.
“In today’s economy, it’s rare that a couple enters matrimony debt-free,” notes Carrie Braxdale, managing director of investor services for TD Ameritrade, Inc. (“TD Ameritrade”), a broker-dealer subsidiary of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation. “Yet many newly engaged couples may be as hesitant – or even more so – to discuss finances as couples who have been together for years. They can get a jump-start on a lifetime of wedded bliss, however, if they take time to talk frankly about finances before they walk down the aisle.”
The survey conducted by TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation and LearnVest, found that couples today face three top concerns when it comes to their finances: Not having enough money to retire (27 percent), not having enough money to live as they wish (25 percent), and not having enough money to even live comfortably (24 percent).
Trust over money also emerged as a big issue. Forty percent of respondents do not completely trust their partner to manage their combined finances. Just over one in five (21 percent) admit they sometimes hide their spending from their partner. Thirty-eight percent say they are either unaware or only partially aware of their mate’s debts. Perhaps they feel that ignorance is bliss.
Braxdale offers some advice to couples looking to take control of their finances and learn to talk effectively about money:
* Be open about debt before you say “I do.” Keeping secrets about how much you each owe on student loans, credit cards or auto loans is no way to start off a marriage. While talking about money might not be the most romantic conversation you ever have with your intended, it’s one of the most important.
* Check your credit scores. You’ll both keep your own score after you’re married, but purchases you make as a couple afterward – like a house or car – can be affected by both your scores. Check your scores at least once a year; doing so can help you catch and correct errors or fraud, and help you better manage your credit and overall finances.
* More people are marrying later in life, so one or both partners may enter the union with a 401(k), IRA or other investment accounts. It’s important to discuss long-term retirement savings goals, and understand how you both plan to manage these accounts. Websites like TD Ameritrade’s
Life 2.0 and Retirement Planning can help by offering access to free resources like retirement calculators and portfolio planners. You’ll also find information on making financial decisions that can help you meet your financial goals, whether you’re just starting out in your life together, growing your family or approaching your retirement years.
* Get to know each other’s saving and spending habits. One partner may be frugal and the other more of a spender, but arguments don’t have to be inevitable. You’ll need to discuss your habits and work together to find spending and saving solutions that work best for both of you, and for your shared financial goals.
* Build a budget that incorporates savings goals, income and expenses. Discuss whether combined or separate bank accounts make the most sense for you, and be sure your financial goals are in sync.
“Open discussions about money, credit, retirement savings and financial health are an important step toward a healthy relationship,” Braxdale says.
One-of-a-kind ideas for an unforgettable wedding
(BPT) - Mark knew he wanted to marry his girlfriend, Stacy, but he didn’t know how to pop the question. The proposal had to be memorable, unique, and meaningful for just the two of them. A cozy picnic on their favorite beach, surrounded by soft sand and cresting waves sounded perfect. Mark just needed that one final detail to make saying “I do” irresistible.
Mark decided to ask his friend Travis, a store manager at Things Remembered in Clovis, California for ideas. Mark told Travis about his beach proposal. As soon as he mentioned his girlfriend’s love of wine, Travis suggested, “Bring in a bottle of her favorite vintage and we’ll engrave: ‘Stacy, Will You Marry Me?’ on it. When she says ‘yes,’ fill it with sand from the beach as a keepsake.”
As details for the upcoming nuptials were set, Mark and Stacy added an engraved wine charm displaying their wedding date. And when the day finally arrived, the couple was able to use the very special bottle to adorn their head table.
Want to make your wedding moments as one-of-a-kind as Mark and Stacy’s? Here are some
unique wedding ideas to inspire you.
Capture the look of your love with a custom logo
Are you classic and sophisticated, modern and chic, or casual and whimsical? Whatever your style, you can design a logo that captures that unique spirit. Use it to seamlessly tie together all of the many elements of your event, from the invitations to the programs to your aisle runner and toasting flutes. Imagine your logo as your cake topper or delicately weaved into the design with fondant. The possibilities are endless.
You may be thinking that a wedding logo sounds amazing, but it’s probably time-consuming and expensive. No worries – the personalization experts at Things Remembered will do all the work for you. You’ll get a customized logo (available in several digital formats) that can be used in dozens of ways. And it’s free with any qualifying bridal purchase - perfect for any wedding budget.
Spice up your guest book
It’s tradition to have your guests “sign in” at your wedding. But how can you turn it into an experience? Get a big, blank-paged guest book with plenty of room inside. Engrave your names and wedding date on the cover. Then grab some props that fit your wedding’s theme and rent a photo booth. It’s time for everyone to strike a pose! Who doesn’t love playing around with different looks while a camera captures the moment?
Your guests can keep a few photos for themselves, plus paste favorites into your guest book along with their personal messages. It's much more fun than a simple signature!
Take your wedding gifts up a notch – personalize them
When she was younger, Kristen, a bride-to-be in Minnesota, loved taking walks with her father after dinner. It was their time to catch up and share stories. For her special day, she wanted to give her dad a gift to remind him of those moments. She bought a frame ready for a photo of the two of them walking down the aisle. On it she engraved, “Of all the walks we’ve taken together, this one is my favorite.” It’s a gift her dad will never forget.
The best way to share your love and gratitude is to give personal, one-of-a-kind gifts that are made just for the ones you love. Add a meaningful quote to a pocket watch for your best man or personalize a bracelet with your maid of honor’s favorite song lyrics. Flower girls will love seeing their monogram on a customized keepsake locket, and ring bearers can’t help but show off their first engraved ID bracelet.
And what is more personal than a message written by you? A new service at Things Remembered called iEngrave lets you personalize your gifts with your own handwriting. Write out your message as only you can and iEngrave will take care of the rest. Your friends and family will never receive another gift so unique.
For more information on custom wedding logos, iEngrave and other personalized wedding day gift options, visit
Articles last updated at May 18, 2013 14:45:24pm. What to do with all this stuff? Moving tips for...
(BPT) - Wedding day traditions vary ever so slightly from decade to decade based on music, fashion and cultural change. However, today’s newlyweds have a distinct issue that their parents probably didn’t face a quarter century ago – which sectional couch stays, and which one goes?
Today’s wedding registries are still chock-full of china, saucers, spatulas and the like, but chances are your newlywed friends have already accumulated many of life’s necessities as a result of living on their own for years before marriage.
A recent survey of first-time newlyweds by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the median age of people marrying for the first time in the U.S. is at an all-time high. And while the percentage of young men and women living with their parents has risen in the past decade, more than 80 percent of Americans ages 25 to 34 live independently before marriage, according to Census Bureau reports.
So, what does a couple do when faced with duplicates of nearly everything before moving in together?
“Detach,” is the advice from Sean E. Burns, a psychologist with Counseling Associates of West Michigan.
"Try to respect the fact that some people will build emotional attachments to items,” says Burns. “However, you must jointly establish reasonable limits. Otherwise, you risk associating sentimental value to everything in an effort to avoid difficult decisions.”
Melanie Bergeron, former CEO and current chair of the board for the nation’s largest franchised moving company, Two Men And A Truck, suggests a successful move begins with an open mind.
“I was 30 years old and my husband was 40 when we got married, so we had a lot of duplicates on that first move,” Bergeron says. “All my decor was light and contemporary and his was dark antiques, so I was certain we had a decorating nightmare on our hands. In reality, we ended up finding a happy medium and gave away those items we didn’t absolutely need. So, rule No. 1 is to keep an open mind as you combine homes.”
Bergeron suggests these additional tips to make your first nesting experience as painless as possible:
Duplicates to dollars: Take a pen to paper and lay out your combined inventory a month before your move day. This way, you can begin to visualize what goes where and what duplicates can end up on Craigslist to build funds for items you haven’t yet acquired.
Box yourself in: Once inventory is complete, decide what will go where and organize everything in boxes that are clearly marked for each room. The more direction you can provide your movers, the faster your move will go and the less it will cost. Contact your local
Two Men And A Truck moving company to have all your moving supplies delivered in advance for free.
Purge before you merge: De-junking before moving day is critical to streamlining belongings. Most movers estimate jobs by the hour, so the more you can clean out beforehand the less time it will take to move.
Sweat the big stuff: If you can’t afford to hire a moving company for all your belongings, consider hiring professionals for just heavy, bulky items. In an effort to save money, you have to consider the favors you’ll be forced to ask, the pizza and beverages you’ll need to buy and the anxiety that comes with every hardwood ding and drywall puncture. Before you rent that truck yourself, call for an estimate; the time and money saved will be better spent celebrating your nuptials.
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