Monday, February 28, 2011

Save the Date Etiquette: Everything You Need To Know

Save the Date Etiquette: Everything You Need To Know

Save the Date Etiquette: Everything You Need To Know
By Edna Renskers

Save the Date Cards are announcements that inform your guests of your future wedding in order to keep your special day free. They are essential in the following situations: if many of your guests are traveling to your wedding, your wedding takes place on or around a holiday, you are planning a faraway destination wedding, or your wedding will take place in a seasonally busy or tourist locale, where the flights and hotels perhaps book up early.

They are generally sent at least 4-6 months prior to your wedding but, if you are planning a destination wedding, for example Hawaii it is strongly recommended that you send them 12 months in advance if not longer. For seasonally busy and tourist locales or on or around a holiday it is best to send them 9-12 months in advance. Your guests will then have ample time to make all the necessary arrangements needed to be a part of your special celebration and may even extend it into a vacation of their own.

Use your imagination, Save the Date Cards are not meant to be formal. There are many design options available. You can have them match your wedding invitations, magnets, brochure style, post card size, multiple layers, booklet style, you can add a picture of you and your fiancé, or embellishments to add a personal touch.

Here are some guidelines on what your cards should state, your names, date of wedding, city or town and state of where wedding will take place. Also, because Save the date Cards are a recent trend and many that have not attended a wedding recently may mistaken them for the actual invitation be sure to include something along the lines of, "Invitation to follow", "Invitation and details to follow", "Invitation will follow" this is usually placed at the bottom of the card. For more wording suggestions visit If you have a wedding website don't forget to include the address for your guests to view.

If you need to keep your guest list to a minimum, make a list of close family and friends whom you want to make sure will be able to attend and mail them a Save the Date Card, you do not need to send Save the Date Cards to everyone you are inviting but, every guest that receives a Save the Date Card must also receive an invitation.

We recommend providing your guests with additional information to help facilitate their planning such as airline, car rental, hotel, information on things to see and do in the area and surrounding areas, special events, theatrical shows etc. Go the extra mile and acquire group discounts by calling specific companies and seeing if they offer group discounts.

Article courtesy of Edna from Edna’s Sweet Announcements

Edna is a professional wedding invitation designer; []

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Beyond Her Grasp

Beyond Her Grasp

Beyond Her Grasp
By Wayne Mitchelland Tamara Mitchell

I am a woman, 42, who three years ago married a wonderful man who will be 48 on his next birthday. I love him very, very much. The only problem is our sex life is horrible. Pretty much nonexistent. I can safely say we have had sex maybe 20 times in our six year relationship.

When I've tried numerous times to talk to him, he gets defensive and says, "There's nothing wrong with me." He also says, if I want to have sex, I should just say so. But when I make advances, he pushes me away thinking I am playing with him. Then he leaves the room. Of course I get frustrated, out of the mood, and give up.

I love my husband so much I don't make a big deal of it, although I know this is not normal or healthy. I can't get him to go to counseling or discuss this. I am at my sexual peak, and I am tired of dreaming of sex with other men. I want our relationship to work, but I just don't know how much longer I can go on like this.


Claire, you can work on planting a garden, you can work on your weight loss, you can work on your reading speed. But you cannot work on someone else's problem, unless they are willing, and failure is guaranteed when they tell you they do not have a problem.

Thoreau said, "It takes two to speak the truth--one to speak and another to hear." Your husband will not hear or discuss reality, the reality of the situation as you see it. You married him knowing he had this problem. Marriage does not cure a problem, it makes you a party to it for awhile.

Is this the hard lesson you had to learn? That you cannot marry a man with a serious problem and expect to fix it.

Calling Her Bluff

I've been with my boyfriend for four years, and he is going through the longest divorce known to man. His soon-to-be ex knows of me and told him she is insanely jealous. She makes my life complete hell by e-mailing him sexual innuendoes, asking him for expensive gifts, and calling him an average of 12 times a day.

I told him to cut the cord. If he wants to be with me, he has to protect me, be true to me, and make me feel secure in this relationship. We even tried counseling a few years back, and then he cheated on me with her. Many times I told him to get on with this divorce or I would be gone, but it doesn't seem to scare him anymore.

How do I get my point across to this man, and do I have any grounds to tell this woman to leave him alone and just tend to her children?


Paige, the one thing which may set you free is to look on this situation from a different point of view. He didn't cheat on you with her. She's his wife. He's cheating on her with you. You describe her as his soon-to-be ex, but "soon-to-be ex" is a term more likely to describe your future, not hers.

You threaten and threaten to leave, and you never do. Bluffing in poker may be good strategy, but bluffing in life is weak. Once your bluff is called, you've lost all power and all credibility. And counseling? Think about how funny that is. You went for relationship counseling with a man in a marriage to another woman.

Why do you keep plodding forward? Because you want to be married. There is nothing wrong with that. But you cannot marry someone who is already married. There is a simple solution. Don't give up wanting to be married, just give up married men.

Direct Answers - Column for the week of November 22, 2004

Authors and columnists Wayne and Tamara Mitchell can be reached at

Send letters to: Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield, MO 65801 or email:

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Saturday, February 26, 2011



By Wayne Mitchelland Tamara Mitchell

My husband had two affairs last year. I am pretty confident he is not cheating now, and we are seeing a marriage counselor. He has changed much since I found out what he was doing. He put our property in my name and bought me a $12,000 diamond ring.

He is affectionate to me most of the time. I believe this is proof that he loves me. The problem is I also have proof that he does not love me because he had affairs. So I have proof he loves me and proof he does not love me.

Our marriage counselor tells me his affair is in the past, and I agree. The problem of the past is that one second later everything is in the past. To me, saying it is in the past is just a way to excuse anything. You could do almost anything, and then later say it is in the past.

If you drive drunk and kill someone, can you say it's in the past? Just because you do not drive drunk anymore you can never bring that person back to life. It may be in the past, but it has certainly destroyed the future. That is the problem.

The therapist wants to focus on the present and future, and consider the affair in the past. If this is a way to move on, then my husband can do almost anything to me and later be forgiven. He can even plan to do something and say to himself later on it will be in the past.

Because something happened before and is not happening now is not a good reason to think it will not happen again. For me, because something happened in the past, it is more reasonable to believe it will happen again. After all, if he had not cheated, there would be no past cheating and no reason to say "put it in the past."


Kayla, your logic is correct, and your therapist's reasoning is incorrect. As human beings we have to forecast our future in order to understand what we should do today. Your forecast for the future has changed because your husband has sex with other women.

His cheating is not in the past, because he can do it again. But there is one thing which is in the past. That one thing is fidelity in your marriage. Fidelity, the unbroken wedding vow, is in the past. It is gone and cannot be regained.

Texas Justice

Yesterday I caught my girlfriend of two years in bed with my now ex-friend. I walked in and caught them in the act. After beating the hell out of him, I told my girlfriend to go to our house and wait for me. Upon arriving home the question I kept asking is, "Why?" She says she doesn't know why.

We went and saw a counselor that very same day. I told her we could work through this, but after sleeping on it I'm not sure I want to. I guess you could sign me "Cheated on in Texas."


Roy, most people who sleep on a problem wake up just as muddled as they were the night before. But in the course of one night, you gained the insight needed to grasp the end of your relationship.

Why do you go to work? Why do you pay your bills? Why do you lock your truck in a bad neighborhood? You know why.

When someone is caught doing what they know is wrong, the classic first answer is, "I don't know why." Why are there so many "innocent" people in jail? Because once you admit guilt, you must suffer consequences. If you claim innocence, there is a chance you might escape justice.

Ultimately, why doesn't matter. What she did ends the relationship. What she did trumps why she did it.


Direct Answers - Column for the week of November 15, 2004

Authors and columnists Wayne and Tamara Mitchell can be reached at

Send letters to: Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield, MO 65801 or email:

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Friday, February 25, 2011

Men's Wedding Rings - Should a Man Wear One or Not?

Men's Wedding Rings - Should a Man Wear One or Not?

Men's Wedding Rings - Should a Man Wear One or Not?
By Peter Crump

Strange as it may seem the use of a wedding ring by men was not common until recently. Whereas women have worn wedding rings for eons, men have not. The use of rings as a symbol of everlasting love enshrined in marriage can be traced back thousands of years. But not so much for men.

It was, in fact, during the second world war that the use of wedding rings by men became more common. (Note that mens wedding rings and men's wedding bands are interchangeable, both meaning the same thing.)

It became the custom for US soldiers going to war to publicise their marital status by the wearing of a man's wedding ring. They were happy to make public their commitment to their wife by the wearing of a public symbol that declared that commitment to all. Given that this habit of wearing men's wedding bands was reasonably new it was all the more creditable that these men were willing to forego the marital obscurity available to them from not wearing a ring and actively chose to make a public statement about their choice.

Men's wedding rings have become increasingly more common since that time. Today it is probably as common for a newly married man to wear a ring as not. This may be due to several factors. The modern man may consider it his duty to choose to make the same public marital statement as his wife will. And his wife may well consider it a condition of the marriage that he do so. After all, in these days of equality, if she is prepared to make a statement then should he not do so as well?

Despite the fact that the wearing of a ring by a woman is a matter of choice, it is in fact almost obligatory due to the fact that it is so common. Many women do not even consider the possibility of not wearing one. Often, however, a man usually considers the wearing of a man wedding ring very carefully.

There are a number of issues to consider. Firstly, is he concerned about a public display of his marital status? Some men, whether rightly or wrongly, are threatened by this. Others are not in the least concerned.

Secondly whilst the wearing of jewellery by women is so common as to go unremarked that is not necessarily the case for men. For many men the wearing of mens wedding bands is just a case of being asked to wear jewellery. Men often do not feel comfortable wearing jewellery and in many cases have never done so before. Whilst some men see their wedding band as different to wearing ordinary jewellery, others feel just the same as if they were being asked to wear ear rings. "It's just not done by men". The author, for example, wears a man wedding band, but would never consider wearing any other form of jewellery.

And as many men have never worn any form of jewellery before they have no idea what it will feel like to have something permanently on the finger. Is it heavy? Does it rub? Silly as it may seem to women this can be of concern to some men.

(If this genuinely is of concern it is quite possible to find a cheap jewellery shop, buy the cheapest ring available and wear it for a while. See exactly what it feels like. And find out your size at the same time.)

Men's wedding rings are, in the eyes of some men, effeminate. "Real men" don't wear rings or jewellery at all. This is becoming less of an issue as the wearing of a man's wedding ring becomes more common, but is still an issue with many men.

Culture is also a consideration. In many cultures the wearing of wedding rings by men would never be considered. Men must think about how their particular culture, and also their religion, would view the wearing of a wedding band.

There are also practical considerations. Many men are engaged in trades where the wearing of a man wedding band would be downright dangerous. Although unlikely it is quite possible for a ring to get caught in machinery. In some jobs a ring cannot be worn on the job, and must be removed. This can also apply to women.

Ultimately though, the wearing of a men's ring is just one of the many choices the man will have to make once he makes the commitment to marry. And it is often a choice made by the couple together, maybe one of the first they make in conjunction about their wedding.

Which finger is the ring worn on, and why?
Generally a man's wedding band is worn on the ring finger, the same as for women. The ring finger, for those unmarried men not familiar with the concept, is the fourth finger of the left hand. This is considered to be the finger closest to the heart.

This notion came originally from the ancient Greeks who believed that this finger had an artery which flowed straight to the heart. Whilst anatomically incorrect this makes for good fable.

So you have both decided that he will wear a men's wedding ring!
Once the man or couple have made the decision to purchase a men's wedding ring for him there are still choices to make. Do they want to wear a matching set? Or does he prefer that his ring looks quite different to his wife's. It is perfectly possible for a couple to buy a ring set where the style of the rings match perfectly, or even with matching engraved messages of love.

Generally though, even where the couple are to wear a matching ring set, the two rings are different. It is more common for the man's wedding ring to be wider than the woman's. This is because men's hands and women's hands are different. A woman usually has narrower finer fingers, and so a narrower band suits her hand. A man on the other hand has wider chunkier fingers and so a wider man wedding band is more suited.

This often results in the mans ring costing more than the woman's ring even with matching styles, as the mans ring uses more, often expensive, material.

There are many innovative styles available now. Many men prefer a simple unadorned band, however others enjoy highly decorated styles which make a loud statement. The wearing of, for example, very wide and highly adorned Celtic rings is becoming much more common.

When considering the styles of men's wedding rings it is well worth thinking about the personality of the individual. While different men have very different personalities different rings will suit different personalities as well. A loud outgoing man, for example, can wear a loud outgoing unique men's ring.

There are many different ring materials which also reflect the personality of the individual. Titanium or Platinum are both becoming much more popular. Whilst diamonds are not, of course, as popular with men as with women, they do make a clear statement which pleases some men who choose them. Diamond men's rings clearly say "I can afford it" or at least the big ones do. But it can be a brave man who chooses to wear a large diamond band.

Ultimately there are no rules about choosing a man wedding band. It is up to either the man or the couple together to make a decision. Will he or won't he. There are a variety of considerations. First, will he wear one? Once that decision is made in the affirmative then there is a whole world of choice about styles, widths, materials and the type of statement the ring makes, both for the man and the woman.

But once he has his ring on it is rare that he decides that he doesn't like it. And even if he doesn't, it is rare that the woman will let him take it off!

Find out more about Mens Wedding Rings [] as well as many other types of Mens Wedding Rings including Custom Men’s Wedding Rings [] and Unique Mens Wedding Rings [] Platinum, Gold, Silver, Diamond, and inexpensive Mens Wedding Rings at Peter's website, Cool Mens Wedding Rings.

© 2005 Peter Crump

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Symbolism of Wedding Rings

Symbolism of Wedding Rings

Symbolism of Wedding Rings
By Peter Breslin

"The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of
two chemical substances; if there is any reaction,
both are transformed." -C.G. Jung

Rings have been exchanged as a symbol of the bond of marriage for so long, and in so many different cultures, that the origin of the practice is obscure. Certainly, the circle of a ring represents undying love and the continually renewed vows of the married couple. Circles have long been archetypes for not only timelessness, but also wholeness and homecoming. The circle also speaks to the constant round of the heavens, as well as the eternal return of the seasons, marked by cyclical ritual and celebration.
In addition, the circle in rock art, sacred stone arrays, and astrology represents both the Sun and the Moon, themselves astrological and alchemical symbols for the masculine and feminine aspects of the cosmos. This correspondence with the Sun and Moon is emphasized by the frequent practice of choosing gold for one betrothed and silver for the other, as gold and silver are the metals long associated with the Sun and Moon respectively.

Rings in general have a deeply rooted magical significance. Enchanted rings figure in many ancient folk tales. Incantations and spells for the protection of the wearer of rings are common motifs. Today, in traditional religious ceremonies, Christian and otherwise, the wedding rings are blessed by a minister or priest, thus continuing the symbolic practice of imbuing rings with protective powers.

The widespread tradition of embellishing the plain gold or silver wedding band with various designs and patterns has been known since at least 700 AD, in both Pan-Hellenic and Celtic cultures. The quite ancient symbol of the ouroboros, the serpent which consumes its own tail, was a theme used for wedding rings made of iron in Rome. The ouroboros itself is a symbol of the oneness of creation and destruction in renewal, and the life principle which timelessly feeds on its own inspiration. It also represents the hope for a lifelong marriage union that's continually renewed.

Celtic wedding rings are often gorgeously decorated with geometric knot work patterns that have a long history and central place in Celtic art. These patterns are strongly vegetative, suggesting tendrils and vines. In fact, in much of Celtic art, including the famous illuminated Bible, The Book of Kells, these Celtic Knots emerge from or transform into vegetative foliage. The beautiful symmetry of these woven patterns is often not square, rigid, or overly formal, but organic, flowing, and a stylized reflection of the curves and spirals found in nature. Indeed, the Celtic Knots that embellish wedding rings herald the ideas of spring, fertility, and the eternal reawakening of the life force - all of which bode well for a fruitful life partnership.

Wedding rings have most commonly been worn on the third finger of the left hand. Speculation has it that this is because the Romans believed that a vein ran directly from this finger to the heart. An alternate suggestion for this tradition is that each finger on the hand is associated with a planet in the ancient systems of astrology, and the ring finger of the left hand was associated with the Sun. In this way, the wearing of a wedding ring on that finger signifies the public proclamation of the union in the daylight, in other words, the conscious and clearly visible world of human community. This correspondence is perhaps even more strongly emphasized by the general tendency to craft wedding rings out of gold, which is symbolically the metal of the Sun throughout folk history and across cultures.

Wedding rings capture the full range of the ceremonial, symbolic, and communal aspects of marriage, and preserve these many levels of significance as a durable and constant reminder. Ancient yet contemporary, steeped in lore and mystery yet almost universally exchanged, wedding rings combine the art of the jeweler, the reverence of the betrothed, and the beauty of love and partnership in a single, resonant symbol.

Peter Breslin,

Reflective Images

Email at:

Peter Breslin is a musician, astrologer, Tarot reader, teacher and freelance writer for and living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He has taught mathematics, music, writing, and literature in the course of a 20-year teaching career in Pennsylvania, New York, New Mexico, and California. Writings include a variety of pieces for publications online and otherwise. He is currently at work on a novel.

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Riding into the Sunset in Style

Riding into the Sunset in Style

Riding into the Sunset in Style
By Nicole Feliciano

Details, details, details. Paying attention to details, that's what makes a good wedding great. As the maid of honor or best man, a lovely send off for the newlyweds is a tastefully decorated car--announcing to the world "Here comes Mr. & Mrs. Happy Couple"!

Big Splurge

If you're the best man and you have deep pockets, a wonderful wedding treat is splurging for a vintage or customized car for your pal. Match the car to the personality of the couple. Are they sporty and nuts about the outdoors? Rent a custom Hummer H-2. Are they refined Anglophiles? Find a Bentley Azure convertible to take them to their honeymoon in style. In Chicago, a Hummer goes for $399 per day with 100 free miles from Exotic Rentals has locations in many major cities and offers a wide selection. Contact the luxury rental car office in your area to find out about inventory.


Think romance when deciding on car wedding decorations. Soaped up windows with "Donna and James Forever" and cans trailing off the back leaves a bit to be desired.

Contact the florist that was hired for the wedding and inquire about purchasing additional flowers to decorate the car. An antique car looks splendid with carefully placed ivy woven around the chrome details.

Ribbon & Bells

You don't have to take all the fun out of car decoration. Bells and ribbons can be attached to the car calling attention to all who drive by. Try to pick ribbon in complimentary colors to the car. Tulle is another option. Purchase tulle by the yard and adorn the hood with a pretty bow.

For the most meager budget, a hand painted sign can be affixed to the trunk of the car spelling out the joyous news.


Customize your balloons at a local party store. Have the bride and groom's name and wedding date printed on colored balloons. Hide wedding car decorations during the reception and sneak out to affix the balloons to the car, be careful no to obstruct the driver's vision!


If you must write on the car, be sure to select a glass marker for any personalize messages you transcribe as car wedding decorations. Soap or other non-specialized markers can damage paint and ruin a perfectly good honeymoon! Glass markers were uniquely designed to be applied to glass. The paint dries quickly and is removable with a damp cloth.


Step up to the plate and deliver an elegant departure for the happy couple. Scatter rose petals along the walkway to the car for the bride and groom. Have a chilled bottle of champagne waiting for them inside the backseat and perhaps a few nibbles of chocolate--the newlyweds were probably too busy dancing and greeting their guests to enjoy much of their own catering.

Take these suggestions for car wedding decorations and have fun. My most valuable tip is this, HIRE A DRIVER for your friends. They will be exhausted and perhaps under the influence of too many champagne toasts. Get them to their honeymoon safely and in style.

Nicole Feliciano is a professional writer based in New York with experience in travel and fashion writing and a regular contributor to

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Have A Simple, Small, Green Wedding

Have A Simple, Small, Green Wedding

Have A Simple, Small, Green Wedding
By Debra Lynn Dadd

A wedding is one of life's major rites of passage. It is
certainly something to celebrate! Today, wedding books and
magazines promote large weddings so that more and more
wedding products can be sold. Wedding expenditures run into
many thousands of dollars. And after this major outlay of
money, most of what is purchased is never used again.

On the Spring Equinox 2004, my ex-husband (yes, that's
right! my ex-husband!) Larry and I remarried. We had been
together for almost seventeen years, and had divorced
several years ago when our relationship problems seemed
impossible to resolve. But we still loved each other, so we
figured out what to do to make things better, and are now
happier than ever.

In planning our wedding, we wanted to keep it simple, small,
and full of meaning. We wanted a ceremony and celebration
that would be easy to prepare for and manage. We wanted an
intimate occasion, surrounded by our closest friends who
would participate with us in the intention of our union. And
as we planned our wedding, we used the same guidelines for
health and the environment that we practice in our daily
home life.

Since most books and articles are about planning big
weddings, I want to offer some tips on planning another sort
of wedding that can be beautiful and meaningful in it's own

* Make it your day. Each wedding can and should be a unique
expression of the couple getting married. So create the day
just the way you want it, to please the two of you.

* Choose the wedding traditions that are important to you.
When it comes right down to it, the essentials of a wedding
are the two people to be married, the minister or justice of
the peace who performs the ceremony, the ceremony itself,
and the guests who witness it. Everything else is decoration
and tradition. Learn about wedding traditions and choose to
do those that will make your day special.

* Write your own ceremony. The entire reason for having a
wedding, really, is the ceremony. The most important aspect
of a wedding is not the decorations, but the vows and
intentions that are stated in the ceremony and that you give
to each other. Research the time-honored patterns to
wedding ceremonies and follow this pattern in your own
personal way.

* Invite meaningful guests. When you have a small number of
guests, you can spend more time with them and really
experience their presence. Minimum is just the two of you,
the minister, and a witness. Invite family and friends with
whom you have real relationships. Eliminate those that might
be invited out of social obligation.

* Have your wedding at home, either indoors or in your
garden, or in a park. Rather than spending a lot of money on
floral arrangements, we put that money into tidying up our
back yard and planting perennial flowers that we are still
enjoying today.

Looking back on our wedding day, we are very pleased with
our simple, small wedding. We were able to relax and enjoy
the day and experience the love and support of our best
friends. Best of all, we still had energy left for the

For many more details on planning your simple, small, green
wedding (including choosing flowers, rings, clothing and
reciption, and photos of Debra's wedding), visit
[], and click on "You are
invited to... My Simple, Small, Green Wedding". Debra is also
available as a consultant to help you plan your wedding.

Hailed as "The Queen of Green" by the New York Times, Debra Lynn Dadd has been a consumer advocate for products and lifestyle choices that are better for health and the environment since 1982. Visit her website for 100s of links to 1000s of nontoxic, natural and earthwise products, and to sign up for her free email newsletters.

Article Source:,-Small,-Green-Wedding&id=23408

Monday, February 21, 2011

Expert Tips on Making Your Own Wedding Stationery

Expert Tips on Making Your Own Wedding Stationery

Expert Tips on Making Your Own Wedding Stationery
By Claire Bartholomew

Vital tips on making your own wedding invitations - by Claire, Invitation Express Wedding Stationery Software

If you want to design and print your own wedding stationery and don't know where to start, here are a few tips that hopefully will get you on your way.

You should select your design before firming up your ideas on paper and cards etc. Simply because the design will largely dictate what paper and card you can use. For example;

If you have a card with a folded insert, you will not be able to use single sided papers.

If the design you choose requires a translucent or vellum paper remember to assess your printer's capabilities, especially if you want to print onto translucents. An alternative is to have the translucent blank and overlay it onto the printed sheet.

Choose your envelopes now, or at least check out the cost. This is something so many brides overlook and the budget can take a hard knock at the last minute. Most matching envelopes are expensive - there's no getting out of it - the best you can do is to shop around for a reasonable price. Some invitations look okay in a plain white envelope but do try to get matching ones because if you create an invitation to die for it's going to look fairly ordinary stuffed into a plain white envelope. That is the whole point of creating your own stationery, to enable you to have exactly what you want and save money at the same time. There are some stunning new colours around at the moment which will literally spoil you for choice. Although the envelope almost always goes straight in the bin, it is the ultimate finishing touch to your creation - and first impressions can be lasting. If that is important to you then it might pay to spend the extra. It's also a nice touch for those who will keep the invitation as a memento of your wedding.

Square invitations and non standard size invitations are considered oversize and will cost more to post. Check with your postal office regarding any extra charges, taking into account the number of overseas invitations you may have to send out.

Accessories like ribbons, seals etc., are much more economical to purchase by the roll or sheet. Never buy by the metre as you will probably pay 5 times the cost of a roll and you'll use most of it anyway. Most seals are available by the sheet, you just have to look for them. Don't buy them individually, it will cost much more.

Be aware of the theme throughout your chosen design. If you have bows on all pieces take into consideration the number of sets you need. For example: one of my very first clients wanted gold organza bows on the invitation, reply card, place cards and the thank you cards. I produced a sample set for her which she loved. She ordered 100 sets. That meant 100 invitations, 100 reply cards, 200 place cards and 100 thank you cards. That meant 500 bows and 200 of those were tiny ones for the place cards! If you want bows that's fine, but just be aware of the amount of work it can involve. Maybe just have them on the invitation and/or place cards. You can always enlist the help of your girlfriends and make a night of it.

If you choose to have a folded card, buy it folded where possible. It costs a little extra but cuts down on the work you need to do yourself. Scoring the card, while not difficult is quite fiddly. You only get one go at scoring the card - if it's wrong then it's wasted. This can be frustrating and expensive.

Place cards can be purchased individually, in pairs or threes. Don't buy them individually cut if you are going to print directly onto the card as they may not feed well through the printer. Our software comes with placecard templates for all sizes which can be guillotined afterwards. Some placecards come with perforations for easy separation.

Making your own stationery can be fun and you will definitely save a bundle if you plan your design thoroughly BEFORE you purchase any materials. Most stationery outlets will have paper and card available by the single sheet so purchase a few of the ones you like and test them in your printer first.

The key to a smooth process is testing and planning before you decide on anything definitely. Having a set of stationery finished completely and making sure you are happy with the look and the level of difficulty involved will ensure you enjoy the experience.

Claire is the owner and co-developer of Invitation Express Wedding Stationery Software, an innovative new software package designed specifically for users to create and print their own wedding stationery. If you want to know more you may like to view details of our software and guidebook, which includes 38 pages of vital info for DIY'ers. The software comes complete with editable templates sets, guestlist builder, clipart, design gallery and much more. For more details visit our site at [].

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Beautiful Balloon Wedding Decorations

Beautiful Balloon Wedding Decorations

Beautiful Balloon Wedding Decorations
By Whitney Acke

Need a quick idea to dress up a mediocre wedding? Balloon decorations are just what you need. These do-it-yourself ideas are not only low-cost but also lovely additions to a wedding ceremony or reception. Adding balloon decorations to your wedding is a smart way to be creative and save money.

Balloon Arch

The balloon arch is a perfect way to add flair to your celebration. The easiest way to construct the piece is to get a pre-built wedding arch made of white metal. If a wedding arch is not available, you can build an arch using strong bendable metal wire. Just make sure it is sturdy enough to stand on its own.

After positioning the arch, simply attach full balloons onto the arch using wire ties or string. Wrap the tie around the base of the balloon and then onto the arch. It is best to start at the top and work your way down both sides evenly to crate a uniform look. This can be done with multicolored balloons or balloons of one shade. Balloons should not be filled with helium however.

The more balloons you can attach, the better the piece will turn out. Also, this is a piece that must be constructed at the site where it will be used. Balloon arches last approximately twelve hours, so plan its construction carefully.

The completed arch can be used in several places. Some brides choose to place the arch outside the entrance to the ceremony. This allows guest to walk through the arch as well as the bride and her attendants. Other brides choose to use the arch as a ceremony highlight. They prefer to place it in the ceremony area so they can stand under it as they are saying their vows. Lastly, many brides feel this decoration is better suited for the reception area and use it to decorate for the after-ceremony event.

Balloon Centerpiece

For brides on a tight budget, balloon décor can be an easy way to stay on track financially and design a beautiful wedding. One of the best places brides can use wedding balloon decorations is on reception tables. To make a creative balloon centerpiece, you will need white paper lunch sacks, sand, pretty string, helium, and balloons in coordinating reception colors.

Take a paper sack and fill it will two cups of sand. Fill three balloons with helium and tie them off with long strings. Then, bunch up the top of the sack and tie the balloons around it to secure them. Place the sack in the middle of the table and you have an easy centerpiece.

It is best to cut the strings of the three balloons differently to allow them to be different heights when arranged. You can also curl excess ribbon or string to make it more decorative. For extra beauty, brides can stuff the bags with decorative tissue paper after adding the sand. When the balloons are attached the tissue paper can stick out of the top for a more polished look.

This idea is also great for last minute decorating. Brides are not limited to using this piece in the reception, and can also use this idea to decorate the ceremony. It is lovely to place this piece on the floor, lining the aisle in the ceremony.

Balloon decorations for weddings are wonderful ways to add fun and creativity. Brides can make the decorations themselves with their family and friends. These ideas may be low-cost, but the end product certainly looks beautiful.

Whitney Acke is a freelance writer from Lexington, Kentucky. In addition to freelance writing she also enjoys songwriting. She and her husband have two young boys and four dogs. She is a regular contributor to

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wedding Loans: Perfect Finance Option for a Perfect Wedding

Wedding Loans: Perfect Finance Option for a Perfect Wedding

Wedding Loans: Perfect Finance Option for a Perfect Wedding
By Aditya Thakur

After seeing each other for years and being tagged as 'in love' since eternity, you desire to bring this to a logical end. You are wrong if you think I am suggesting a divorce even before you are actually married. The end to every love is wedding -the wedding of two bodies and two souls.

Have you been planning wedding since a long time but have been hindered because of the huge cost weddings entail nowadays.

Worry not. Spend as much as you can, because wedding loans are there to pay every penny of the expenses.

Average wedding costs anywhere between $19,000 - $27,000. This may go much higher if one is planning to have a gala wedding with all the pomp and show included.

And why shan't one. Wedding is a once in a lifetime event. People would take all efforts to make the wedding truly memorable.

But the society and the customs have changed much. Just as the parents or guardians lost their say over the choice of bride or groom, they have little to do in the planning and financing of the wedding. So it is the couple who does all the spending on the wedding.

So how do the couples bear the expenses of wedding, in spite of being new to their professions and low on the income graph?

Wedding loans are an effective tool in their hands which they use to pay the entire wedding expenses. Wedding loans can finance practically every wedding expense right from the elegant wedding dress to the exquisitely beautiful engagement ring, from the lavish reception to the impeccable church decoration.

There are a number of other expenses which seem insignificant if seen individually, but become difficult to repay when taken in totality. These can be very easily paid through wedding loans.

Besides, wedding loans can be a much cheaper option to use for the payment rather than credit cards or past savings. Using a credit card can be simple if one goes by the immediate outcomes. But when the credit card debts are due for payment you find them to be much more than what you really spent. No, the credit card company is not indulging in any king of overcharging or cheating. This is only because of the accumulation of interest. Payment through credit cards is just like drawing a loan, but at a much higher rate.

Utilizing past savings for a one day affair like a wedding would be a waste. It could have been a lot better had the past savings been used for some productive purposes.

A wedding loan allows the customer to enjoy two benefits. The first benefit of wedding loan is that the customer will not have to pay an exorbitantly high amount. Most of the lenders offer loans at reasonable rates of interest.

The second benefit is regarding the timing of payment. Even though a customer has to pay more than what he would have spent, he accepts this because he does not have to pay the whole amount at one go. Monthly payments require to be made towards the payment of loan.

A certain amount of planning is necessary when taking a wedding loan. If parents are ready to be a part of the finances then they must be included in discussions. How much can they spend on the wedding needs to be decided well in advance. This will determine the amount of wedding loan that needs to be applied for.

Secured wedding loans taken against ones home will be much cheaper. A valuation of the home or property will be done. One can draw loan depending upon the worth of his home. However there are options for those who do not have a home or who do not want to put their home under any kind of obligation.

Next comes the choice of lenders. It is no longer necessary to depend on lenders in one particular locality or region. Almost every big and small lender is available online. An internet connection is what is needed. One does not even have to leave his home or office, and loan can be applied for instantly. Such a relief from the previous times when a customer had to go to each and every lender to just get the quotes. Few customers were ready to go through this grind, and hence accepted whatever offer was given.

These loans are very easy to approve. With the valuation of property and credibility check over, it is very easy to get loans approved. Filling up each and every detail with caution and accuracy can save enough of time in the approval process.

Did you promise your wife an impeccable wedding ring? You can keep on the promise since wedding loans are there to meet the expense.

Aditya Thakur is a financial consultant and is currently pursuing masters in journalism from JMI University. To find a secured loan that suits your need visit

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Friday, February 18, 2011

How To Tell An Extraordinary Wedding Disc Jockey From Someone Who Could Ruin Your Reception

How To Tell An Extraordinary Wedding Disc Jockey From Someone Who Could Ruin Your Reception

How To Tell An Extraordinary Wedding Disc Jockey From Someone Who Could Ruin Your Reception
By Rob Alberti

You have your band (around your finger), now it's time to find your Wedding disc jockey. You search the internet for "Wedding disc jockey" and come up with a list of potential wedding disc jockey choices. Now, how do you wade through the rheteroric "Connecticut's Most Requested DJ", "The DJ of Choice", "CT DJ of the Year" and figure out who is going to make your reception a raving success v. a floundering mess.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you look for your Wedding disc jockey:

Check out their website. If it is poorly designed, lacks real information or just doesn't appeal to your style - then they are probably not the right choice as your Wedding disc jockey. You should discount any DJ that DOES NOT HAVE A WEBSITE. If they can't be bothered to setup a website, then they probably can't be bothered with the details of your wedding.

Look for pricing. If they do not list pricing on their website - they might be trying to hide something. Many Wedding disc jockeys will quote different pricing from one client to the next. This is a sign of a poorly run business or of hidden charges that might haunt you down the line. Your Wedding disc jockey should be upfront with their pricing and it should be printed/posted on their website and in the literature they mail you.

If you have specific music tastes - ask your Wedding disc jockey to show you a list with that style music on it. Too many Wedding disc jockeys have promised to cater to client's musical tastes and then showed up on the day of the wedding to just play the same tired wedding music that you hear at every Wedding reception.

Ask to see photo's of their equipment and setup. If they have large self-promoting signs as part of their setup - stay clear of this. What right does a Wedding disc jockey have in promoting themselves at YOUR wedding?

Ask your disc jockey how much money they have invested in the equipment that they bring and setup at a typical wedding. At a recent Connecticut bridal show, one Wedding disc jockey boasted about his new disc jockey setup. The main system was worth less than $500. A quality wireless microphone is worth more than $500 alone! If they have less than $5,000 in equipment (not including music value or backup equipment value) - they are entry level wedding entertainment at best. Quality Wedding disc jockey equipment comes at a cost. Many professional Wedding disc jockeys will have over $10,000 invested in their main system alone.

The bottom line - if your Wedding disc jockey choice gives you any concern with regards to their professionalism, they you should keep shopping for your Wedding disc jockey elsewhere. The difference between a $750 Wedding disc jockey and a quality $1500 Wedding disc jockey could mean the difference between guests gazing at their watches soon after dinner or your family & friends up and dancing the night away at your Wedding reception.

Rob Alberti
Professional Wedding Disc Jockey since 1983
After Hours DJ Service - MA/CT/RI Regions

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Focus On What Is Important - Your Wedding Disc Jockey Choice

Focus On What Is Important - Your Wedding Disc Jockey Choice

Focus On What Is Important - Your Wedding Disc Jockey Choice
By Rob Alberti

Your true love got down on his knees and asked you to marry him. Barely able to get the words out, you say "I Will". That is but the first of many choices you must make when planning a wedding. So many people get caught up in the buying frenzy of wedding planning, that they lose sight of the thing that really matters.

Choosing your Wedding disc jockey should not be one of the final details. In a recent survey of brides-to-be, they ranked choosing their wedding photographer more than twice as important as their Wedding disc jockey. Let's think about this - sure, wedding photography is important when it comes to capturing the moment. If your photographer didn't show up - the wedding and reception would go on just as planned. Without your Wedding disc jockey - things come to a screeching halt. People would leave soon after dinner without the musical entertainment of your Wedding disc jockey. So why is it that people pay $2,000-$4,000 on average for a wedding photographer and they look to pay only $750 for a bargain disc jockey?

Here is some food for thought. The average Connecticut banquet facility charges around $75/pp for the meal. With an average wedding comprised of about 150 guests, that's over $11,000 in meal cost. The 18% gratuity on that alone is over $2,000. A top-quality Wedding disc jockey would cost you between $1,000-$2,000. That's less than the gratuity on the meal!

Remember that $75/pp meal will only occupy guests for 2 hours out of the average 5 hour reception. Your Wedding disc jockey is responsible for everything after the meal. Your banquet staff will disappear into the background. Their job is done. It is time for your Wedding disc jockey to bring the event to a party atmosphere.

Let's look at your wedding budget for a minute. The difference between a low-end disc jockey and a true top-notch professional Wedding disc jockey is less than $1,000. What other items in your wedding budget can be eliminated to facilitate obtaining a better wedding reception entertainer?

Printed napkins - $150

Cake knife set - $50

Toast glasses - $50

Ice sculpture - $200

Floral centerpieces - $20/table = $200 (can be replaced with inexpensive votive candles)

Wedding favors - $250

Not one of these items would be missed if they were not present at your Wedding reception. Without the best available Wedding disc jockey, your party could be a flop from the moment people walk in. We've all been to events where the Wedding disc jockey plays "Kenny G" music throughout cocktail and dinner as if guests are not supposed to notice that they are just playing the same cd. We've gone to events where the Wedding disc jockey plays the same music in the same order as the last person without any regard to the crowd or what they are reacting to or not reacting to. Choose wisely and make sure your Wedding budget keeps emphasis on the important things that will guarantee you a successful Wedding reception and not one where guests stare at their wrist watches looking for an opportunity to sneak out early due to lack of quality Wedding disc jockey entertainment.

Rob Alberti
Professional Wedding Disc Jockey since 1983
After Hours Disc Jockey Service - MA/CT/RI Regions

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Your Disc Jockey Acts As A Wedding Event Planner

Your Disc Jockey Acts As A Wedding Event Planner

Your Disc Jockey Acts As A Wedding Event Planner
By Rob Alberti

Give disc jockey's credit. Many of them have endured so much criticism. The banquet managers sometimes won't acknowledge their existence or tries to dictate what they have to do and when. They am forced to haul their $15,000 worth of sound equipment through a greasy kitchen or up a rickety flight of stairs because they don't want them to be seen loading in the nice ramp in front. Wedding professionals need to work together because they should all have the same goal - please the customer (the bride and groom). So many times other professionals forget that fact too easily.

Let's look at the basic facts. The disc jockey relies on the banquet facility to provide the meals and drinks in a timely fashion for the guests. The banquet facility will help coordinate timing to line up with meal service. Some facilities even go as far as supporting the disc jockey during introductions by directing the wedding party and collecting their flowers. For the most part, once the meal is done - you won't see the staff until it's time to clean up. They will walk away from your event and leave everything in the hands of the entertainment.

Without entertainment, people will just leave after the meal. It's up to the disc jockey to entertain your guests for the next three hours. If you took them to a 2-hour movie, you'd pay $9.75 per person to entertain them. You probably just paid $75 per person to feed them (before the 18% gratuity). The $500 ice sculpture, $300 printed napkins and the $3 per person champagne toast pretty much go unnoticed and unappreciated. It is so easy to get caught up in the wedding planning that you just think that you "have" to have it. Sometimes you have to step back and look at the big picture. A wedding reception is an "entertainment" function. Your entertainment choice will clearly make or break your event.

If a party is a flop - the DJ is blamed. Never do you hear the guests complain that the meal was dragged out over 2 hours and that it killed the party. People don't realize that by having a photographer pull a couple out of the festivities for 45 minutes can drain the energy from a wedding reception just as quickly as having the banquet manager turn the lights on full or strip clear the tables to push guests towards leaving.

With that said - your professional disc jockey does more than play music and make a few announcements. They are your event coordinator for the day. They will guide you every step of the way - from telling you where to stand while waiting for the start of parental dances to guiding you to return to the room when you've been out too long. They will make your party come alive with excitement while still maintaining a professional demeanor and not rely on cheesy antics and props. Your disc jockey will advise you when it is time to get the party started after dinner or if the meal is slow, they might suggest that you do some dancing between courses to mask the fact that the banquet staff is behind.

Your disc jockey will play the music you want and avoid the songs that you have placed on your no-play list. They will make sure things go as planned. If your uncle comes up and says he wants to sing you a song in the middle of your reception - they'll stop him until they've cleared it with you first. There will be no surprises with a professional disc jockey.

The fact that your disc jockey mimics so many of the duties of a professional wedding planner during the wedding reception are not by accident. It is what they do. Some disc jockeys have even gone as far as to now provide pre-wedding coordination and planning duties (including menu review, vendor contract negotiations, vendor approval, invitation wording, wine pairing and so much more) through an in-house dedicated wedding planner. This way your wedding planner and your entertainment are working together in harmony with your plans.

In order to facilitate better events, our company has started to email clients a week before to give them every opportunity to have the best event possible. Here are some of the hints that we provide:

Hello, it's your DJ. Your wedding is about a week away and I just wanted to email you and let you know a few things that you can do to help make your event run smoothly and get the most out of your time at the reception. Please circulate this email to your parents and everyone in your wedding party. The more people that are in tune with what to do that day - the better your event will be.

1. If there are any last minute changes to your itinerary - LET US KNOW AHEAD OF TIME. We need to be prepared and can help you orchestrate things much smoother only if we know about them before it's too late. We can help guide you as to the best way to flow from one event to the next. Call or email us with those changes immediately. Thank you.

2. All formal photos should be completed by the end of dinner. That means - if you need to get a group photo of your college friends, grandmother or whomever - by the time they clear the main entrée away - that photo needs to happen. If you pull people (and yourselves) out of the party for a group photo - you lose about 25 minutes of dance time. Yes, the photo only takes 5 minutes, but it takes 10 minutes to gather everyone up. It takes you about 10 minutes to walk back into the room as you will keep getting stopped by friends and family. It's never just a quick shot.

3. If you need to socialize with your guests - do as much of it between courses as you can. Get up, visit a few tables and then go sit back down and eat the next course. If you wait until after dinner to start walking around - you will lose valuable dance time. Be careful not to get behind in the meal. If your guests finish before the two of you, that is not good either. When the next course is set for you, go and eat. You can always finish talking to people later - or better yet - meet them on the dance floor.

4. The end of the meal is critical - both you, your parents and the wedding party need to be in the room. Once you start seeing the wait staff clearing plates - you should STAY IN THE ROOM. We could delay the start of dancing by 10-15 minutes trying to get the key players back in the room. The longer we wait to start - the harder it is to get people focused on the party. We will give you and your parents a 10 minute warning before activities are about to get started - use the bathroom, freshen up, take your smoke break or whatever you need to do - BUT BE BACK IN THE ROOM AND READY TO GO.

5. Once we open dancing up - the more people that come out - the quicker we can get the party on the way. If you really want to help prime the party, both you, your parents and the entire bridal party (and their partners) should spend the first 15 minutes (~3 songs) on the dance floor. Everyone is looking to you to set the tone of the event - if you are out dancing - your guests will follow.

6. If you have to leave the room (and you should really leave the room separately (never together) - leaving one of you in the room to play host for your guests at all times), make sure you quickly go and do what you have to do and return. The longer you are out of the room - the more energy is drained from the party. Also, if you are standing talking with guests be aware of WHERE you stand. If you position yourself next to the exit - you will draw people to you and out of the party. Always position yourself so you pull people away from the exits and near to the dance floor.

7. We will be able to play more of the music that you've selected if you dance. If people are not dancing - our first concern is to get people involved before they decide to leave instead. Once we have a good dancing crowd - it's much easier to fit in more of your & your guests' requests.

8. Have fun. If you are not having fun - how can you expect your guests to be? Be part of the festivities. Socialize, dance and have the time of your life. Your DJ will be there to guide you every step of the way. If you are unsure as to what to do next - we can help. We will be touching base with you over the course of the event and will let you know if you have been out of the room too long or if we need you to help us refocus attention on the dance floor.

Whether it is a low-key event or a "dance-on-the-tables" feel that you want for your wedding; your professional mobile disc jockey should be able to paint the scene for you. Discuss your needs. Tell them what you've seen before - both what you liked and what you hated at other weddings. But most of all, come and have the time of your life at your wedding! Remember, if you remember the music, you'll never forget the times.

Rob Alberti is owner of After Hours DJ Service based out of Westfield, MA and serves the MA/CT/RI areas since 1983. Michelle Scagliarini has years of experience in both banquet hall, catering and in the entertainment field. Michelle has worked with hundreds of brides, celebrities in the music and entertainment industries as well as corporate clients and has a unique background with After Hours DJ, giving her a well-rounded approach to event planning.

You can contact Rob or Michelle via email at

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

10 Common Wedding Reception Mistakes

10 Common Wedding Reception Mistakes

10 Common Wedding Reception Mistakes
By Matt Campbell

Every bride wants a fairytale wedding. Therefore, this article is to try and minimize problems that may occur during a wedding reception. Listed below are the more common mistakes made by brides and grooms during your wedding reception. We will tell you what to do!

Don't leave early. Your guests came from near and far to see you on your wedding day. Not staying the whole time of the reception would be a slap in the face. This will be the only time most of your family and friends will be able to see you as you will be very busy with last minute preparations the days leading up to the wedding.

Setup all the tables. Your wedding vendors will need to know where to set-up. Be sure there is a table for the wedding cake, music entertainment, catered food, sign-in near the entrance, gift table, tables and chairs for all your guests to eat and any other tables you may have planned for specialty items.

Preplan with your vendors a day or two before the wedding. Be sure all your wedding vendors know exactly what you want. Clarify times and location so you don't need to worry about them.

Don't arrive late to the reception. It is customary that guests do not start eating until the bride and groom start the food line. Be sure to get as many of your pictures taken BEFORE the wedding. There are many ways to accomplish this. One is to have the entire bride's family pictures taken. Then, have the bride return to the dressing room. Next, take pictures of the groom and his family as guests can see the groom before the wedding. This way you will not compromise the groom seeing the bride before the wedding. Therefore, all that is left after the ceremony are pictures of the happy couple.

Don't seat the young at heart directly in front of the music entertainment. Older generations are at a wedding typically to socialize with their family and friends. If they cannot hear each other talk, an unhappy situation may occur. So, if by choice, seat the young at heart near the wedding party but away from the entertainer's speakers.

Don't have one particular type of music. There are many different types of people in the world. And yes, they include your family and friends. For example, the bride and groom may love country music. It doesn't mean you have to play country music the whole night. There is a lot of celebration music besides what you like.

Start the food line or meal as soon as possible. Guests plan their meal times the day of your wedding around your reception. Guest will not eat a big meal before your wedding because they know they will be eating at your reception. Don't starve them.

Know what it will cost you if the reception goes into overtime. Ask the reception facility exactly how long you have the hall to rent and what time you must be out. Please allow time for cleanup if you are the ones doing it. What is the overtime charge for the facility, music entertainment, photography, etc?

Greet and say hello to all your guests. Finally and most importantly, greet all your guests. Make an effort to have a conversation with each and every person. They are there to celebrate your marriage. Give them the common courtesy of thanking them for coming to your wedding.

Don't get drunk and obnoxious. Keep in mind the only time brides and grooms eat during the wedding day rituals are at the wedding reception. There's not much food in your stomach and alcohol will affect you much faster. Try and eat throughout the day and watch how much you drink. You want your guests to remember how beautiful the bride looked, not how you acted.

� Matt Campbell is the owner and webmaster for is a place to plan, book and rate your wedding day. You can email him at or visit

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Should You Send 'Save the Date' Notices To Your Guests?

Should You Send 'Save the Date' Notices To Your Guests?

Should You Send 'Save the Date' Notices To Your Guests?
By Sara Haese

You've probably heard about Save the Dates since they have become quite popular with brides but you might not know exactly what purpose they serve.

People's lives are getting increasingly busier and more tightly scheduled so that's where Save the Date announcements come in handy. You want to make sure that your guests, especially family and close friends, keep the date of your wedding open when planning their schedules. To ensure this, you'll want to consider sending out Save the Date notices shortly after you have set your wedding date, especially if it's several months in the future or around a holiday.

Proper etiquette doesn't dictate that these advance notices have to be sent but in today's world it helps your guests in their planning so they can be sure to be with you sharing in the celebration of one of the most important days of your life. If you do decide to send them out, you are not required to send them to every one of your guests but you'll probably want to at least include close family members and friends. Guests who will have to travel to be in attendance will find them especially helpful for giving them plenty of travel preparation time particularly if you are having a destination wedding.

It's easy to be creative when sending out your Save the Dates since there are so many different varieties and designs available.

o Magnets have become a favorite selection and why not since your guests can easily stick them onto their refrigerator as their reminder. Some magnets have the option of including a photo and some actually show a calendar of your wedding date month with your date circled for easy reference.

o Announcement Cards can be as creative or as simple as you like. They come in varying designs, colors and themes from whimsical to more traditional. Some of them even come in creative shapes.

All designs are printed with your wedding date and names and some even give the option of including the wedding location. Blank white mailing envelopes are usually included in the price no matter which design you choose. Be sure to list at the bottom of your Save the Date the added line, "invitation to follow", so guests won't assume that this is the actual wedding invitation. This is also why it's imperative that everyone who receives your Save the Date will also receive your wedding invitation.

Wedding invitations play an important role in planning your wedding, and in today's society, Save the Dates are becoming increasingly popular because of your guests' busy schedules. You want to do everything you can to make sure family and friends will be able to share in the joy of your wedding day.

Sara Haese is the owner of where you'll find a fantastic selection of Save the Dates as well as wedding invitations and wedding accessories. Sign up to receive the FREE Wedding Invitation Guide.

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Essential Advice for Your Wedding Day

Essential Advice for Your Wedding Day

Essential Advice for Your Wedding Day
By Keith Kingston

You've been engaged for months, you've made it through planning the
ceremony, the attire, the reception, the honeymoon, and you haven't killed
each other yet. The worst is over. When you wake up on the morning of your
wedding day, your only job is to go along for the ride, enjoy every moment
and make some memories. Read on for essential advice for your wedding day.

Both of you have been waiting and planning for a long time in order to make
this day go off without a hitch. Just be aware that things NEVER go as
planned, so expect the unexpected and don't get too worked up about it. It
is the unexpected events that make the best stories for years to come.
Relax, and have a good time. This is your day to celebrate your blissful

For her:

The day of the wedding is often more stressful for the bride than any of the
planning process has been. Start your morning off with a relaxing bubble
bath or a massage at the spa. You deserve to start this hectic day as cool
and relaxed as you possibly can be. Do it alone if you need some private
time (since you will be surrounded by people ogling and vying for your
attention for the remainder of the day), or if you are nervous and need to
chat, invite the bridesmaids along for some pre-wedding pampering.

Have all appointments made ahead of time, and allow plenty of time for
hair-dos, make-up, manicures, etc. Have a close friend who is not part of
the wedding party act as your gopher for the day. If you get a run in your
pantyhose, they'll be on call to run to the store. If your florist is
running late, they are in charge of calling the company. This will keep you
removed from most of the stressful situations, and keep you moving on
schedule. Don't forget to give your friend a gift for helping you through
any wedding day glitches! Arrive at the church with plenty of time to
spare. Remember, you MIGHT tear up a bit, so have plenty of tissues handy
as to not smear that gorgeous make-up.

Spend the last few minutes before the wedding starts with your bridesmaids.
Do some deep breathing if you're nervous, and think about how long you have
been awaiting this precious day.

For him:

It is perfectly normal for the groom to wake up a bit jittery on the morning
of his wedding. The best way to handle the stress of this day is to make
sure you have all your responsibilities completed ahead of time so you can
spend this day in a stress-free zone. Things to double check the preceding
week include travel plans for the honeymoon, transportation from church to
reception and reception to airport, cost of anyone you will be paying on the
actual wedding day (and remember to have plenty of extra cash for tipping-
EVERYONE involved expects to be tipped at least 15%).

Sleep in. Having plenty of rest is important before the hours of
socializing you'll be doing today. When you get up, a long jog or a trip to
the gym is often just what you'll need to work off some of those anxious
feelings. Allow plenty of time to get ready and arrive early at the church.

Spend some time horsing around with your groomsmen. Take some deep
breaths, and wait for your beautiful bride

Keith Kingston is a professional web publisher who offers advice on cheap wedding stationery [] such as invitations, place cards, thank you cards and order of service booklets

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cultivating Spiritual Intimacy

Cultivating Spiritual Intimacy

Cultivating Spiritual Intimacy
By Omaudi Reid

When two people - destined for each other, come together, there is often an incredible amount of combustibility. Combustion occurs when two or more substances react chemically together, resulting in the giving off of heat and light; often called burning. In the same manner, two people joined together by God can spiritually set each other on fire.

However, after being married a while that sense of combustibility can easily be lost if the spiritual life of the marriage is not cultivated. But, a couple that intentionally, and actively engages in maintaining the spiritual life of the marriage continues to be a strength one to another, and ignites new sparks that blazes through every area of marriage and family. I believe that through personal devotion, mutual support, joint devotions, spiritual dialogue, and spiritual activities, a Christian couple can maintain spiritual intimacy in their marriage.

First, each spouse must keep their fire burning. Each partner keeps their fire burning by maintaining a growing and intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus, through personal prayer and Bible study. When we first got married, my wife and I mistakenly thought we could depend on each other's spiritual life for our personal growth. I thought to myself "my wife is such a great Christian, she will be able to help me solve my spiritual struggles". The mistake we made was instead of pursuing the Lord for our personal growth, we began to depend on each other. Eventually instead of helping, we began to drain each other. What we learned is that we must maintain intimacy with the Lord in order to have true spiritual intimacy with each other.

Once our personal lives are burning with spiritual fire, then we can conduct that heat to our partners. If you have ever touched a hot pot, then you understand what a conductor is. Metal pots are good conductors because they transmit the heat coming from the stove. The person whose spiritual life is hot and on fire can conduct that spiritual strength to their partner.

To be spiritual heat conductors we must intercede for our mates in prayer, and support them with our encouragement. An effective intercessor believes God for the success of their partner. Exercising faith in prayer for your partner is crucial. Why? Well, we know more than anyone else the strengths and weaknesses of our partners. We see their faults, joys, and sadness. Thus, not only do we have the opportunity to intimately intercede in faith for them, but also our encouragement means a lot to them. Essentially, we must be our partner's own spiritual cheerleader - fanning the flames.

In addition to the above, a Christian couple spreads the spiritual flames through joint spiritual habits. The most obvious of these is having scheduled devotions. In devotions couples pray and share biblical truths with each other in an open and transparent way. I recommend not only having a scheduled time of devotion, but also allowing that time to develop into a natural habit. In our experience, my wife and I, have found it best not to allow our scheduled time to become a rigid formality; instead, it serves as a training time for the natural flow of our spiritual connection. So that in times of difficulty praying and sharing together will be as simple as breathing.

A natural outflow of a joint spiritual life is spiritual dialogue. Although often neglected, spiritual dialogue is an important part of spreading the flames of spiritual intimacy. I define spiritual dialogue as qualitative and interactive conversation concerning our application, thoughts, feelings, and conclusions on spiritual matters as it relates to our life and society. Put simply, it is enjoyably talking about how spiritual things affect our life and the world around us.

Spiritual dialogue is qualitative and interactive. It is more than surface talk, such as "Pastor preached a good sermon today". It involves sharing our deep spiritual thoughts to each other, such as "this is how I'm going to apply the sermon to my daily life..", or "the Lord showed me weakness in that area". Remember to interact, and allow each other ample time to share insights and thoughts.

Going to spiritual events together provides opportunities for spiritual dialogue. Sometimes we can make religious activities such a duty that we drain all the joy out of it. Couples, however, can enjoy spiritual activities together. The spiritual activities couples can share together goes beyond the regular Sunday services, and weekly conferences. Volunteering to work side by side in a Christian ministry, and working together on Christian projects are good activities to share together.
Along with that, today there are Christian movies and television programs that you can watch. Many Christian organizations today are making Christian videos more than ever. Perhaps you and your mate can buy a video, and watch it together, then discuss it afterwards. Simply enjoy your joint spiritual life; you are heirs together of God's promise.

Omaudi Reid is the owner of HarvestersOnline, and author of Creating Unbreakable Bonds: Marital Intimacy on Three Levels [] He has a diploma in ministry from Harvest Army Bible Institute, and is currently pursuing a bachelor at Beulah Heights Bible College. He is an ordained minister of the gospel of Christ. Visit his website, Harvesters Online [], for other marriage articles [].

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Friday, February 11, 2011

The SURGE of the URGE!

The SURGE of the URGE!

The SURGE of the URGE!
By Stanley Leffew

Have you ever heard the expression, "The Urge to Merge"?

It is a term relating to sexuality and marriage. The "URGE" symbolizes sexual interest, and the "MERGE" symbolizes marriage union.

We see it all around us!

Late night TV bombards us with sexual images and sensual content. Commercials that have nothing to do with sex use a sensual foundation to market to the masses. More than ever in history our minds seem to be more interested in the sex-drive channel than in channeling the sex-drive.

We call this, "The SURGE of the URGE".

Let's travel back in time about sixty years before we became so technologically advanced and started opening up the bedroom door for anyone with an appetite and "prying eyes". Many of the older generation know of what time I speak! Back when some things were still considered sacred and "The SURGE of the URGE" was yet in the future.

It used to be that life was about marriage and family principles. It used to be that faith and family were the criteria for determining life success. In other words, it was about the "MERGE". Family and relationship building principles for living was the norm.

Then came The Beatles, Elvis, Rock-and-Roll and yes, Hugh Hefner and Playboy.

Gradually our society began to shift its thinking and embrace a mindset for the "URGE" itself. The sexual revolution stepped onto the horizon, and "The SURGE of the URGE" was born and became the focus.

Sadly, and to our demise I might add, the "MERGE" has been placed on the shelf and in many cases mocked and ridiculed.

For over fifty years now we have been a world dominated with a fascination for the "URGE".

Playboy, Penthouse, Hustler, Strip Clubs, Porn Movies, Girls Gone Wild, Spring Break, Wild On, etc. The Music Industry lyrics display this same "URGE" mentality and, of course, let's not forget the recent Halftime Super Bowl antics.

We even went through a time in recent history where the "URGE" became the main topic of conversation surrounding the Presidency of the United States.

Maybe, instead of just enacting and enforcing laws and high-dollar fines...maybe, instead of just issues of censorship...maybe, instead of just battling it out in the boardroom and courtroom...maybe we should do something so foreign as to go back to the shelf, dust off the idea that marriage and family life is where it's really at and get our focus back on the importance of the "MERGE".

Being wanted for a "Night of a Lifetime" can never fully satisfy, fulfill or replace the greatest longing of our hearts for being wanted for a "Lifetime of Nights".

Let's all consider taking the "MERGE" down from the shelf. Marriage and family life will always play the greatest role in our civilization.

The greatest gift we will ever give the world is a stable home.

(C)Copyright 2004 Stanley J. Leffew

All Rights Reserved!

Stanley J. Leffew is the Author of, "How To Be Wanted For a Lifetime of Nights and Not Just a Night of a Lifetime". His website is based on this same theme. Find out for yourself why feeding desire and leading-with-the-body in life and relationships fails to satisfy the longing of the human heart to connect at

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Basic Tips for Planning a Wedding

Basic Tips for Planning a Wedding

Basic Tips for Planning a Wedding
By Tyler Casselman

Planning a wedding should be fun and exciting. However, if you don't do the proper research and stay within your budget things can go bad in a hurry. What you need is to keep things well organized and simple. Here are some tips to help make sure your weeding plans go smoothly.

1. The first thing you should decide is how big and complex you want your wedding to be. Do you want a small wedding? Or would you rather have a big wedding? You need to make sure both you and your partner are on the same page and agree on things. Prepare to make some compromises.

2. Decide on a good theme for your wedding. This includes how people will dress, food, location, and decorations.

3. How much can you really afford. There is no reason to go all out on a wedding if you cant afford it. This could lead to some really big problems with your families and you as a couple.

4. Do you want to hire a wedding planner? Wedding planners are certainly great and do a good job. But there not necessary either. Be sure if you do hire one that they don't get you spending allot more money then you originally planned.

5. Don't wait to long to get your plans in order. This is something that you must start taking care of. Start booking locations, getting invitations ready, and find your dress. Planning a wedding takes time and work. You need to set a date and get at it. If you don't you might find a year or two go by and your still not married.

If you follow some of these basic tips I think you will find things to along smoothly. Soon you will be off on your honeymoon with your sweet heart.

Tyler Casselman operates the site Wedding Ideas Home. []

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Jak dobrać suknę do Twojej figury? How to choose a cloth to your figure?

Jak dobrać suknę do Twojej figury?

Autorem artykułu jest Suknie Slubne

Poniżej doradzamy jak dobrać suknię ślubną do swojej sylwetki i wyglądać
olśniewająco tego szczególnego dnia w Twoim życiu. Wiadomo, ze suknia slubna to dosc spory wydatek dlatego warto wiedziec jak ja dobrac zeby wygladac olsniewajaco.

Poniżej doradzamy jak dobrać suknię ślubną do swojej sylwetki i wyglądać
olśniewająco tego szczególnego dnia w Twoim życiu.
1. Figura typu gruszka

Jeśli masz szerokie biodra najlepsza dla Ciebie będzie długa, klasyczna suknia z gorsetem i szerokim dołem. Hafty i tiule ukryją mocno zbudowane uda oraz szerokie biodra a gorset pięknie uwidoczni Twoje wcięcie w talii.
2. Figura typu jabłko

Masz szerokie ramiona, wydatny biust, krągłe biodra oraz brakuje Ci wcięcia w talii? Jeśli tak, najlepiej będziesz prezentować się w prostym fasonie. Ważne, aby sukienka nie opinała za nadto Twojego ciała. Wybierz suknię z miękkiego materiału ze zwiewnymi rękawami lub z bolerkiem. Najlepszy będzie dekolt w kształcie litery V. Unikaj ramiączek, które optycznie poszerzają ramiona.
3. Figura odwrócony trójkąt

Czy Twoje ramiona są zbyt szerokie w stosunku do całej sylwetki? Jeśli tak, wybierz suknię ślubną składającą się z dwóch części. Unikaj marszczeń, bufek w okolicy ramion oraz długich i obcisłych rękawów. Wybierz suknię uszytą z lekkich, zwiewnych materiałów.
4. Chłopięca figura

Masz drobny, mały biust i wąskie biodra? Wybierz suknię odkrywającą ramiona z błyszczącej tkaniny. Osoby obdarzone taką sylwetką mogą pozwolić sobie na bufki i marszczenia w okolicy bioder.
5. Delikatna i filigranowa

Jesteś bardzo szczupła i filigranowa? Jeśli tak to powinnaś unikać sukni z ciężkich materiałów z mnóstwem ozdób. Może ona Cię zbytnio przytłoczyć. Wybierz raczej prosty, zwiewny krój.

Pozdrawiam i zapraszam do naszego sklepu z sukniami:

Artykuł pochodzi z serwisu

How to choose a cloth FOR YOUR FIGURE? The author of this article is Wedding Dresses

Here we recommend how to choose a wedding dress for your body and look brilliant this special day in your life. It is known that wedding dress is quite a lot to purchase so you should know as I am chosen in order to look drop-dead.
Here we recommend how to choose a wedding dress for your body and look brilliant this special day in your life. 1. Figure a pear
If you have wide hips best for you will be a long, traditional gown the corset and wide bottom. Embroidery and tulle can hide well built and wide hips a corset beautifully apparent your waistline. 2. Figure type apple
You have broad shoulders, prominent bust, rounded hips, and you lack the indentation deck? If so, most will show up in a simple fashion. It is important that dress is not too opinała for your body. Choose a dress with a soft material from zwiewnymi sleeves or bolerkiem. The best will in the neck Avoid V-shaped straps, which are optically widen the shoulders. 3. Figure inverted triangle
Are your shoulders are too wide in relation to the body? If so, choose a wedding dress made up of two parts. Avoid ruffles, bufek in shoulder area and a long and tight sleeves. Choose a dress with sewn light, airy materials. 4. A boyish figure
You have a small, small bust and narrow hips? Choose a dress with revealing shoulders shiny fabrics. A person endowed with such a stance can afford puffy and wrinkles around the hips. 5. Delicate and petite
You are very slim and petite? If so, should avoid a dress with heavy fabrics with lots of ornaments. It can overwhelm you too much. Choose a rather simple, airy fit.