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Find Wedding Bliss This Fall

(NewsUSA) - Caterers, event halls and wedding planners are gearing up for fall wedding season, one of the busiest times of the year for hopeful couples. Fall guarantees exquisite photo opportunities without the heat of summer -- and the wealth of in-season decorations are beautiful and affordable.

In fact, September and October are the most popular and third most popular months for weddings, respectively.

If you're planning a fall wedding this season, read on for some helpful tips:

1. Keep warm. Since outdoor fall weddings have the potential to get chilly, keeping your guests warm is a must. Offer hot cocoa and homey baskets of soft blankets or cozy shawls. Set up fire pits or outdoor heating stations where guests can shake of the chill.

2. Location, location, location. Select a locale that is known for its fall scenery. For example, as much as it's known for history, Valley Forge and Montgomery County, Pa. is celebrated for its brilliant autumnal hues and stunning landscape -- a picture-perfect place for memorable fall nuptials in a historic area of southeastern Pennsylvania. Named among the top 10 national parks for fall foliage, the 3,500-acreValley Forge National Historical Park offers a perfect fall backdrop. Learn more at www.valleyforge.org.

3. Incorporate fall colors into the wedding party wardrobe. Chocolate brown compliments a variety of fall color schemes, and it's flattering for most women. But if brown doesn't suit the plans, burgundy is another great fall shade that makes the bridal white pop.

4. Select in-season flowers and decorations. Unless the bride has her heart set on lily of the valley or orchids, there are beautiful in-season flowers to choose from. Dahlias, chrysanthemums, asters, roses, zinnias and sunflowers all create elegant bouquets and floral displays with a lovely hint of fall. Add some crab apples for a playful, non-floral element.

5. Mix and match gourds, pumpkins and squash. Pumpkins can be tacky or a little too reminiscent of Halloween, so class them up by serving pumpkin soup, pumpkin cocktails or tiers of mini pumpkins. Gourds also make eye-catching vases, and all three can be arranged as charming centerpieces.

 

Pre-Wedding Beauty Tips for the Bride

(NewsUSA) - You want everything to be picture perfect for your wedding, including your smile. But like everything else about your big day, that perfect smile could require some work ahead of time. In fact, experts suggest starting your entire beauty regimen six months before the wedding.

Here's a complete pre-wedding beauty checklist.

* Lips: Get soft, kissable lips by brushing away flakes of dry skin with an infant toothbrush soaked in baking soda and water. Apply healing ointment, and in no time, your lips will be ready for that "kiss the bride" kiss.

* Teeth: A cosmetic dentist can often correct an imperfect smile with veneers. But if spending painful hours in the dentist's chair getting your teeth ground down sounds like it would put a damper on all the joyful planning, here's good news: Lumineers (www.lumineers.com) are now used by thousands of dentists nationwide and can be applied in two short, pain-free appointments.

Unlike other veneer procedures, Lumineers are so strong and thin that they don't require removal of sensitive tooth structure. The procedure is quick, painless and even reversible.

* Makeup: Women with warm skin tones look best in makeup with pink, coral, peach, amber, brown and red with yellow undertones. If you have a cool skin tone, choose pink, berry, lilac, mauve or red with blue undertones.

* Skin: Make your face glow with a good cleansing program. Use a cleanser that's appropriate for your skin type in the morning, makeup remover and cleanser at night and a daily moisturizer. Use a gentle facial scrub once a week.

* Hair: If you're planning to change your hairstyle or color, experiment several months before the wedding so you have time to correct any mistakes.

* Nails: If you're a nail-biter, get weekly manicures to keep your nails healthy. Plan your last manicure a couple of days before the big day. Choose a pretty pale pink or splurge on a French manicure, not just because it looks great, but because the chips won't show as much and are easy to fix. You'll have beautiful hands for the rehearsal dinner and any other festivities.

Don't forget, practice makes perfect. Schedule a trial run with your hair and makeup artists several days before your wedding, so there are no surprises the day of the ceremony.

 

How to Choose the Perfect Honeymoon Destination

(NewsUSA) - So, you are engaged and ready to choose that romantic spot for your first getaway as husband and wife. But where should you go?

A lot of couples have difficulty finding the honeymoon destination that is "just right" for them. There are so many things to consider, like the season, accommodations and types of leisure activities available. But actually, making a decision can be simple once you know what you are looking for. The Villa Group - experts in matching clients with their ideal holiday destination - advise couples to consider the following, before they make their choice:

1. In what season are you traveling? Remember that every destination has its own weather pattern. You want to make sure that you choose a place where the weather suits your taste.

2. How many amenities are you getting for your money? Be sure to pick a destination that offers you the romance and relaxation you need after the wedding. How big is the room? Does the destination offer honeymooners special packages? Spas are always great for considering your every need. You could try a mud bath for two or a couple's massage.

3. Are there enough activities to keep you busy? Consider what you would like to do. How about water sports and nightlife? Are there cultural aspects that you can explore?

Destinations that offer everything you could want and more include The Villa Group Resorts in Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta. You don't have to go far from home to explore culture, adventure and relaxation all in one place. The Villa Group offers a variety of packages for honeymooners.

For instance, Villa del Palmar Flamingos, located in Vallarta Nayarit, north of Puerto Vallarta, has a 2007 Honeymoon Package that features a three-night stay per couple with upgrade to a one-bedroom suite. The package, which includes daily breakfast buffet, welcome fruit basket with truffles, moonlight couples massage, in-suite flowers, a bottle of sparkling wine and a certificate for a complimentary two-night stay on the first wedding anniversary starts at $1,076. The property, which has beautiful views of Banderas Bay, offers an upscale European-style spa with fitness center, golf courses nearby, a freeform adults pool, three tennis courts (two lit for night play) and a themed dinner buffet.

 

Light up your reception

You can achieve everything you desire to create those great memories with the help of the right lighting. Whether your goal is to have a brightly lit venue or a softly illuminated ambience to create the perfect look and feel for your special event. That’s how the right lighting can help make your special event feel to you and your guests. Well placed lighting in the form of votive candles, lanterns, candleholders , candle lamps and candelabras to softly illuminate your tabletops or discreet corners around your space, whether placed or hung, indoors or out, there are styles and colours to suit everyone’s taste, from the subtle or conservative to the more decadent and ornate. Styles that can provide a warm, intimate, laid back feel for your guests with the soft glow of colours and patterns they emit.

 

Wedding Gifts for Grooms: A Tradition Brides Shouldn't Ignore

(NewsUSA) - The answer is: Yes, it's expected.

But it's also a chance for all you brides out there to truly show you know that not everything is about you on your wedding day. That there really is another person involved (that would be the groom) who deserves a bit of recognition, too.

We're talking wedding presents -- specifically, yours to your husband-to-be.

Tradition does, indeed, hold that both you and he exchange gifts. And while it's true that some guys are initially shocked to learn your engagement ring doesn't also count as a "present," that's no excuse for you to waver.

"Giving him something that's just for him will make him feel really special," advises BrideBox.com.

Here's what you need to know now that it's prime time for weddings:

* When to exchange them. Etiquette dictates that the hand-off occurs at one of three times: the night before the wedding, the morning of the ceremony, or right before leaving on your honeymoon. Think it's bad luck to see the groom before the nuptials? "Many couples choose to courier gifts via bridesmaids or groomsmen just before the ceremony," says Brides.com.

* There's a thin line between "romantic" and "mushy." Some of you may be tempted to compile a "love notes" journal of every bit of correspondence you've ever sent your groom. Even assuming he's the type who wouldn't consider that a bit "over the top," there's always the chance he might be left wondering, "Okay, where's my real present?"-- especially if his gift to you is a serious piece of jewelry.

* The consensus choice. There's a reason a watch invariably makes everyone's short list: It's the perfect statement of who he is or aspires to be. (It's also a lot more impressive than a flask, which for some reason also gets a few votes).

No less a taste arbiter than MarthaStewartWeddings.com favors Baume & Mercier's Clifton line -- as elegant as the original 1950s model that inspired it -- for the way it "easily transitions from big day to every day." Like the Swiss watchmaker's timelessly charming (and affordably luxurious) Classima line, it comes with a choice of straps, dial faces and a variety of what's known as "small complications" that go way beyong just telling the hour. You can shop them at the Baume & Mercier e-boutique or by calling 1-800-MERCIER, where free engraving and wrapping are available.

* Fun fact. One writer at AskMen.com says he's "heard of women giving their husbands watches in the ceremony instead of a wedding ring." If so, the answer is: No, just like your engagement ring, that wouldn't also qualify as a wedding present.

 

Tips for Brides On Budgets

(NewsUSA) - Between the thrilling proposal and the pre-wedding whirlwind -; setting the date, finding the perfect wedding dress, planning the honeymoon -; weddings should feel joyous and romantic.

But after the wedding, couples should enjoy their newly wedded bliss -; not panic about digging themselves out of debt.

According to the Association for Wedding Professionals International, the average wedding costs between $18,000 and $21,000.

In these difficult economic times, couples might need to minimize the cost of their wedding. But brides on budgets do not need to whittle their guest list from 200 to 10.

Here are some affordable -; and tasteful -; measures couples can take to stay within their budget.

What eats up wedding cash? Wedding receptions usually account for half of a wedding's cost. Dinner and drinks add up, especially if couples pay for a full or open bar.

To save money on the bubbly, couples should nix the mixed drinks. Soon-to-be-marrieds can serve champagne during the toast, then offer beer and wine for the rest of the evening. Give clumsier guests white wine, not red, and the evening should progress with fewer mishaps at a lower cost.

For dinner, couples should think outside the catering-company box. Local restaurants might make better deals. Classy catering can come from unexpected places.

Boston Market restaurants provide full-service catering options with elegant entrées like roasted sirloin, turkey or rotisserie chicken, and a selection of gourmet sides. The cost? From $14.99 to $21.99 a head.

After the reception, photography and videography are the second largest budget-breakers. Couples can hire a photographer and videographer for the ceremony, then leave reception photographs to friends, family and digital cameras.

To avoid the cost of a live band, brides and grooms can opt for MP3 playlists, customized CDs and speaker rentals over pricey bands.

Finally, hiring a wedding coordinator can save time, manage stress and get better deals.

So, here's a toast to tweaking old traditions to make a dream wedding financially attainable -; and to save enough money for a long, relaxing honeymoon. Cheers!