May 21, 2006

Unique Centerpieces for a Wedding

A couple wishing to really make a statement at their wedding may want to invest in truly unique centerpieces. Typically reception halls do not allow for a great deal of creativity in the decorations as they utilize standard table linens and place settings. However, utilizing unique centerpieces is one way that the bride and groom can make their reception truly memorable.

Incorporating live fish into the centerpieces is one truly unique centerpiece idea for a wedding reception. Simple glass bowls can be used and filled with a few colorful glass marbles along with some water and an exotic and colorful fish. You could even include a small amount of fish food at the table where children will be sitting with careful instructions on how to avoid overfeeding the fish. The children will have a lot of fun and will be less distracted then they would have been with a more traditional centerpiece on the table. This lively and interactive centerpiece idea is sure to be a hit with kids and will even keep adults entertained.

Another unique centerpiece idea is to arrange a collection of board games in the center of each table. This idea is not only unique but if the guests choose to partake in the games; it gives the guests at the table the opportunity and incentive to get to know those seated at their table if they don’t already know them. This is an excellent option for guests who don’t enjoy dancing because they won’t feel so left out of the fun of the wedding.

Cakes or cupcakes arranged on a serving tray and artfully decorated with fresh or artificial flowers also make a lovely and unique centerpiece. These cakes can be used in place of the traditional wedding cake. Using several small cakes as centerpieces is not only an extremely unique centerpiece idea but it also allows the couple the option of having several different types of cakes and fillings. These centerpieces can be collected by the wait staff and sliced in the kitchen for desert or they can be sliced at the individual tables for additional entertainment value.

An attractive journal that matches the theme of the wedding along with several pens can also serve as a unique centerpiece. This centerpiece will not only look lovely on the table but can also be used by the guests to leave messages of congratulations or words of advice for the couple. This way the couple not only had a unique centerpiece but they also have a treasured souvenir of their wedding day in the kind words recorded by their wedding guests.

Mirrors and candles can also be used to create unique centerpieces. An attractive round mirror could be placed in the center of the table with several lit candles resting on the glass. The flickering light of the candles reflecting on the glass makes for a very striking centerpiece especially if the light in the reception hall is kept dim.

Gift boxes of several sizes can also be used to create unique centerpieces. The couple could take gift boxes of three different sizes and wrap each box in a different but complementary piece of wrapping paper. Once the gift boxes are wrapped they can be glued together at odd angles to create very unique centerpieces.

Another unique centerpiece idea is to have puzzles made up from pictures of the couple. The pieces of the puzzle can be left scattered on the table. This unique centerpiece idea encourages the people sitting at the table to work together to try to put the puzzle together. This is especially useful if many of the guests do not know each other because it is a great ice breaker.

An eclectic assortment of Champaign flutes also makes a truly unique centerpiece. You can purchase an assortment of flutes of various shapes and sizes from a thrift store and clean them up to use them as centerpieces. The flutes can be arranged in an attractive but random pattern to create a unique centerpiece for any occasion.

The choice of the centerpieces is one of the only opportunities that a couple has to express their individuality and ensure that their wedding reception really stands out. While some unique centerpiece ideas may require more of an effort than the traditional centerpiece of flowers, a unique centerpiece is more likely to be remembered than a boring one.

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February 6, 2006

Ideas for Inexpensive Centerpieces

Traditional floral centerpieces can be expensive especially if you plan on having a large number of tables at the wedding reception. While floral arrangements have traditionally been the centerpiece of choice at many weddings there are many more original centerpiece ideas that are also very inexpensive. Depending on the theme and color scheme of the wedding, there are a variety of low cost options available.

A wedding with a light-hearted theme hosted by a fun loving couple might be a suitable opportunity to utilize candy to create festive centerpieces. Clear glass bowls can be filled with colorful candies such as jelly beans or M & Ms to create a lovely and very inexpensive centerpiece that reflects the personalities of the bride and groom. The candy and bowls can probably be purchased for a fraction of the price of floral centerpieces and create a lovely centerpiece that is easily assembled and can be enjoyed by all of the guests.

The bride and groom can also opt for silk floral arrangements if they are intent on having flowers as their centerpiece. Many hobby stores sell a wide variety of attractive artificial flowers that can be arranged by the bride and groom to create attractive centerpieces for the tables. Using fake flowers gives the couple more of an opportunity to express their creativity. The hobby store also likely sells inexpensive vases so the couple may be able to purchase everything they need for the centerpieces in one location. Arranging the flowers in a vase is nice but long stemmed flowers such as calla lilies also look very attractive tied with twine or ribbon and simply laid in the center of the table. The couple could either choose seasonal artificial flowers or artificial flowers that fit the theme of the wedding and arrange them in inexpensive vases or tie them with attractive ribbons to create inexpensive centerpieces for their wedding.

Another inexpensive option for a couple wishing to utilize flowers for their centerpieces is to use potted plants. You can find a multitude of inexpensive potted plants at home improvement stores, greenhouses, and even grocery stores. The couple can choose plants that match the other decorations for the wedding or that will stand out amongst the other decorations. These plants could be repotted into festive pots to create attractive centerpieces for a relatively low cost.

Balloons can be another option for a couple looking to have fun yet inexpensive centerpieces. Balloons are relatively inexpensive and can be easily found in a wide variety of colors and patterns. The couple could choose solid or print patterns that match the colors of the table linens. An extra tip for these centerpieces is to weigh down the balloons with a piece of candy. This will encourage each guest at the table to take home a balloon as a souvenir. With a typical centerpiece only one guest has the opportunity to take home the centerpiece but using balloons makes it possible for each guest to take home a part of the centerpiece.

Another inexpensive wedding table centerpiece is a picture frame in the shape of cube that allows the insertion of a photo into each side of the cube. The couple may choose to include pictures of themselves during their courting or they may wish to include pictures of them with the guests who will be sitting at that table. This is a great opportunity for the couple to express their individuality and share a little bit of themselves with their guests. Artfully arranged photographs create fun centerpieces that are also very inexpensive.

Candles also create a very attractive yet inexpensive centerpiece. The couple may choose to purchase many of the same candle or candles of varying shapes, sizes and colors to arrange on the tables. Candles of the same size, shape and color can be arranged in a uniform pattern to create a beautiful centerpiece. Candles that vary in size, shape and color can be placed at random on the table to create an eclectic appeal.

With a little bit of thought and creativity a couple can find centerpiece options that are affordable, attractive and well suited for the couple. The traditional centerpieces of floral arrangements can be boring and also extremely expensive. Utilizing creativity and ingenuity to create centerpieces that are an accurate representation of the taste of the couple often creates a more appealing centerpiece at a very affordable price.

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February 17, 2006

Italian Wedding Traditions

Couples who are of Italian descent may choose to incorporate a variety of Italian traditions into their wedding even if they have never even set foot on Italian soil. This is a fun way to honor your ancestors with a nostalgic glimpse into the past. The religious aspects, dances and food at a wedding may all hold traditional values.

The dominant religion in Italy is Roman Catholicism. Therefore a traditional Italian wedding would also be linked to a traditional Catholic wedding and would include a full Mass with the ceremony. Although, not all Italians are also Catholics and if you and your future spouse are not Catholic you can still have a traditional Italian reception to celebrate your marriage. Immediately after the wedding ceremony the couple may release a pair of white doves. These doves symbolize the love and affection that the couple hold for each other.

There are a few other small traditions that apply to the ceremony. One of these traditions is to adorn each entry way that the couple will pass through with elaborately tied ribbons. These ribbons are symbolic of the unity of the couple. It is also customary for the groom to carry a small piece of iron in his pocket during the wedding ceremony. This piece of metal is said to ward off evil spirits and ensure a happy future for the couple. The bride may also rip her veil slightly. This is said to bring good luck to the couple.

The reception that follows the wedding ceremony is where the majority of Italian traditions take place. It is customary for the guests to assemble in the reception room before the bride and groom arrive. You should arrange for your guests to be served alcoholic beverages during this time. The women are traditionally served sweet liquors while the men are served stronger drinks. It is important that these drinks be served before the couple arrives at the reception because tradition holds that the guests offer a toast to the bride and the groom the moment that they arrive at the reception.

There are a few traditional dances that are typically performed at traditional Italian weddings. The Tarantella is one example of these dances. There are several different stories on the origin of this dance but most of the stories revolve around a spider bite. In just about every version of the story, la tarantella was a dance that was performed either to counteract the venom of the spider or as an uncontrollable response to the venom. In modern times this dance is performed as a way of wishing the couple good luck in their future together. La Tarantella is a group, circle dance where the participants dance in a clockwise direction until the music speeds up and then they reverse directions. These tempo changes occur several times and each time the tempos speeds up the group changes direction again. This continues until it is impossible to keep up with the tempo of the music.

No authentic wedding would be complete without a scrumptious feast featuring several courses. A traditional Italian wedding reception begins with an antipasto course that features olives, pickled sweet peppers, mushrooms and cheeses. That is followed by many other courses that include pastas, meats, soups, salads and desserts that are each accompanied by free flowing wine. There are certain foods that have symbolic meanings. For example guests are usually presented with an odd number of almonds. The almonds represent the fact that marriage is often bittersweet. They are presented in odd numbers that have different traditional meanings. For example three almonds wish the couple luck with children while five almonds wish the couple monetary wealth.

Another Italian wedding tradition is to have the couple break a glass or vase at the conclusion of the reception. The Jewish faith has a similar tradition where the groom will break a wine glass at the conclusion of the ceremony but these traditions vary in their intentions and symbolism. Jewish couples break a glass as a symbol of human frailty and the hardship that their ancestors have endured because of their faith. An Italian couple, however, breaks a glass or vase for a completely different reason. According to Italian tradition the number of pieces that the glass breaks into represents the number of happy years that the couple will enjoy together.

It is fun for couples of Italian descent to incorporate traditional elements into their wedding. Even if the couple only has distant relatives that originated from Italy and have never even been to Italy, it is still acceptable to follow these traditions. Couples of other nationalities may also choose an Italian themed wedding just for the enjoyment of trying something different.

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April 23, 2006

Planning Weddings with Themes

Planning a wedding with a theme can be a fun way to incorporate a specific interest that the couple shares into the wedding. Themes are a fun way for the couple to express themselves and share a little bit of their personalities with the guests. The theme of the wedding can be incorporated into just about every aspect of the wedding. From the couple’s attire, to the decorations, music, favors and even wording of the vows the couple can ensure that every aspect of the wedding reflects their chosen theme. While incorporating a theme into a wedding can be a lot of fun, it’s important to not go too overboard with the theme because the results could be extremely tacky. Below are just a few examples of wedding themes and how they can be incorporated tastefully into your ceremony or reception.

A medieval theme is a popular choice for couples who pine for the romance and tradition of earlier times. You could incorporate this theme by making your reception a costume party and suggesting that your guests dress accordingly. The couple could choose their attire to reflect the theme by wearing outfits that are indicative of the chosen time period. They can do this by either renting costumes or searching far and wide for attire that suits their needs. This theme can also be carried over into the food and entertainment choices. A couple may opt to have a multi-course meal that includes traditional medieval fare. They may also wish to provide entertainment such as musicians and troubadours to perform between each of the courses. Using medieval language during the ceremony and in the vows is another way to incorporate a medieval theme.

A fairly tale wedding is another popular theme for many couples. As many young girls are first exposed to the idea of a wedding in common fairy tales, it is understandable that many brides dream about a fairy tale wedding. This simple theme translates well to wedding preparations and can be incorporated into the wedding in a variety of ways. The couple’s attire is one of the easiest ways to incorporate a fairy tale theme. A form fitting bodice with a tulle skirt is very reminiscent of fairy tale weddings. Furthermore this style of dress is readily available in many bridal shops. In many cases it is even referred to as a “Cinderella Gown”. Simply letting the bridal shop attendants know that you are planning a fairy tale themed wedding will result in them producing a multitude of dresses for you to try on that will be very fitting for the theme. The groom may wish to opt for attire reminiscent of Prince Charming such as a white tuxedo with tails. The theme can be carried forward and included in the transportation that the couple chooses. Arriving in a horse drawn carriage is a very elegant way to include the fairy tale theme. The couple may also choose to perform their first dance together as husband and wife to a traditional ballroom medley. A careful choreographed ballroom dance will look elegant and further convey the fairy tale theme.

An under the sea theme is another common wedding theme. A couple choosing this type of theme may want to consider holding their ceremony and reception on a beach. As always the attire can be incorporated into the theme. If the wedding is held on a beach, the bride may choose to adorn herself in a simple white dress and may opt to be married without shoes. The groom could choose a casual linen suit and may even consider shorts with a lightweight sports jacket. He too could choose to not wear shoes. The decoration possibilities are limitless with this theme. One very popular and appropriate centerpiece idea is to fill glass bowls with sand and seashells. This simple centerpiece is an excellent way to incorporate the theme into the decorations. The couple could also cover the tables in a blue table cloth that is similar to the color of the ocean and layer fishing net over the table. A simple favor idea is to present each guest with a collection of seashell shaped soaps. These are relatively inexpensive and readily available.

While it’s not required for a wedding to have a theme, choosing one can be an excellent way to tie the different elements of the wedding together. The attire, entertainment, decorations, favors and food are all elements that can be used to reflect the theme. Subtle hints at your theme are nice touches but it is possible to go overboard with a theme and the results are often tacky.

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April 20, 2006

Inexpensive Wedding Gifts

A wedding gift does not have to be expensive to be well received and appreciated by the couple. While the extravagance of some weddings may compel their guests to purchase pricey gifts, it is not necessary to do so. Many people are invited to a number of weddings each year and it’s not feasible to purchase an expensive gift for every wedding you attend. While you may want to splurge on an extravagant gift for a close friend or relative, you are not required to invest a great deal of money in a gift for a casual acquaintance. Even if you are very close with the couple you may be able to create a very inexpensive gift for their wedding. The following are just a few ideas for inexpensive wedding gifts that are sure to delight the couple without breaking your budget.

One inexpensive gift idea is to fill a mixing bowl with a variety of kitchen utensils. This is both an inexpensive and an extremely useful gift. Many couples are starting their life together and will need a few basic utensils and kitchen gadgets to get them started. This gift is thoughtful and useful without being detrimental to your budget.

Another inexpensive gift idea is to create a basket containing elements for a romantic dinner. You could put this basket together by yourself and include items such as dry pasta and sauce as well as a bottle of wine and two wine glasses. You might also want to include a non-perishable desert such as biscotti to complete your meal. You could even include a recipe card with one of your own personally tested recipes. This inexpensive gift idea will be greatly valued by the couple because it essentially giving them the gift of a romantic night alone.

Picture frames can also be an inexpensive wedding gift idea. The couple will likely have a wide variety of photos that they will want to display in their home and providing them with a few simple frames is an inexpensive way to give them a truly useful gift. While many picture frames can be expensive, you could find simple wooden frames in a craft store and paint or decorate to suit the couple’s taste. You could also shop at closeout stores for these items and may find quite a few bargains available. Picture frames are an inexpensive and useful wedding gift idea that is likely to be cherished by the couple.

The couple’s registry could also be another source of inexpensive wedding gift ideas. Many couples will register for an assortment of items that span a large price spectrum. You may find that the couple has included many inexpensive items in their registry that may fall within your budget constraints. Choosing an inexpensive item from the couple’s registry ensures that you are giving them a gift that they will truly like and appreciate because they picked out the item themselves.

If you are a close friend or relative of the couple you may be able to make a very inexpensive wedding gift that will also be unique and greatly cherished by the couple. If you have many pictures of the couple, you might consider arranging these pictures in a unique way in a photo album to give to the couple as a gift. You could also use the photos to create a scrapbook or even a video presentation set to music that features the couple. These gifts will be greatly appreciated by the couple and can be created for a relatively small cost.

Candles are another inexpensive wedding gift. Newlyweds often incorporate candles in their decorating and also use candles to create ambiance during dinner or on other occasions. Just after they are married is the time when couples are most likely to enjoy candlelight dinners frequently and for no specific occasion so a wedding gift of candles is bound to be used often. Candles come in a great variety of colors, sizes and scents so it should be easy to find an assortment of candles that will be appreciated by the couple.

A wedding gift does not have to be expensive to be useful and appreciated by the couple. Many wedding guests spend a great deal of money on fancy china or glassware that is only used on special occasions while inexpensive gifts such as candles and kitchen utensils are used by the couple on a daily basis.

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August 28, 2006

A Quick Peek into Japanese Wedding Rings, Tradition and Styles

With changing times, the Japanese culture and tradition has also accepted a lot of changes. Exchange of wedding rings in the marriage ceremony is one of them. For, the wedding rings were never a hardcore part of the traditional Japanese weddings. But the modern Japanese couples enjoy slipping the wedding rings in each other’s fingers.

In fact, it is believed that the history of the exchange of wedding rings in Japan is only 150 years old. The custom of wearing a wedding ring in Japan is related to the Edo Era, belonging to the late 1800s. before that, Japanese women used to color their teeth to prove their marital status.

The times have changed and Japanese married couples have started wearing wedding rings. While other things are still traditional in Japanese weddings, the exchange of wedding rings is a contemporary and popular concept. Still it is enjoyed greatly and practiced with respect. Japanese call the ring finger as kusuri-yubi.

The bride and the groom appear quite composed during the staid marriage ceremony. But as the time of rings exchange approaches and the groom slips the wedding band on the bride‘s finger, they smile together.

It is interesting to note that people in Japan wear the wedding bands not because of any religious or supernatural reason. They wear it because they want to make the public announcement of their marriage. They wish to tell the world that they welcome a special person in their life and they plan to spend the rest of their lives with together.

Japanese people consider various aspects before buying the wedding rings. They consider the look, attractiveness, and the material value of the ring as important factors to choose a wedding ring. The religious connotations attached with wedding rings in other countries hold absolutely low or no relevance for the Japanese.

Let’s take a quick peek into the styles and designs of Japanese wedding rings.

Mokume gane is a traditional Japanese term used to explain the art of making wedding rings. It came into being a couple of centuries ago. The mokume gane artists layer the non-ferrous and precious metal and make patterns over it. It is originated from the ancient Japanese technique by which damascus steel was created.

In the mokume gane art, two or more metals are piled together in sporadic sheets and merged together. Then, a billet is forged, formed and filed to divulge an attractive pattern of the sheet layers. Mokume is an apt art for making the wedding rings, as it poses the perfect marriage of metals too.

Well generally Japanese people do not like wedding gaudy rings with heavy crafting on them. This is perhaps because big diamonds get stuck with clothes or other things and are not practical to wear daily. Most of them love simple and casual designing, which they can show off regularly.

If you also cherish simplicity in life, get a Japanese wedding band and adorn your wedding ceremony. [493 Words]

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February 14, 2006

Gift Ideas for Your Groomsmen

Choosing a gift for the groomsmen could be a difficult task for many grooms. Most grooms don’t want to go with a gift that is too traditional or unoriginal but they also struggle with feelings that a gift that is too creative may not be appropriate. Perhaps the most important aspect of a groomsmen gift is not whether it is traditional or unique but whether or not it fits the personality of the recipient. As long as you know your groomsmen very well and put an honest effort into finding their groomsmen gifts you are sure to find a gift that will be enjoyed by your groomsmen.

One of the most traditional groomsmen gift ideas is a flask. If this is something that you think your groomsmen will fully enjoy then by all means go out and buy them the most attractive silver or leather flask that you can find. It’s important to choose a gift not because of its traditional connotations but because you know the groomsmen will cherish the gift. If you believe that your groomsmen have a use for a flask or will be touched by receiving such a traditional gift as a souvenir and not be concerned by its lack of practicality then a flask may be a wonderful gift idea.

A CD case with a few CDs chosen specifically for the groomsmen can be a great gift idea if you know that your groomsmen enjoy music. This is a wonderful gift idea because it is sure to be used often by the recipient and your groomsmen will remember your wedding day each time they listen to one of their CDs. This is also a thoughtful gift because including CDs that you know your groomsmen will enjoy but do not already own shows that you really put an effort into choosing the gift. Personalizing the gift for each of the groomsmen also shows that you see them as individuals and took the time and effort involved in making the gift unique for each of them.

A men’s perfume or fragrance can be another unique gift idea for the groomsmen. Choosing a different fragrance for each member of the wedding party sends the message that you did not buy your gifts in a rush. Taking the time to choose a unique fragrance for each of your groomsmen lets them know that you truly appreciate their assistance and participation in your wedding.

Another idea for giving gifts for your groomsmen is to give each man a different gift. While the groomsmen are all close friends of the groom and may have certain common interests, they all still have something about them that makes them unique. You could recognize their individuality by personalizing a unique gift for each of your groomsmen. For example you could give a journal and fancy pen to the groomsman who likes to write and an assortment of dance CDs to the groomsman who enjoys going to nightclubs and dancing. While traditionally grooms have given each of their groomsmen either the same gift or very similar gifts, it is also acceptable to give each groomsman a unique gift that suits their personality.

Bracelets or watches are another traditional groomsmen gift idea. Depending on your budget, you might want to purchase a watch or bracelet that is appropriate to wear on your wedding day. This is a wonderful gift that not only expresses your appreciation for participating in your wedding but also gives the groomsmen a nice accessory to wear at your wedding and other formal functions.

Cuff links or tie clips are still another traditional gift idea for a groom to give to his groomsmen. These items are not very common and many groomsmen do not own either so giving them as a gift ensures that the groomsmen will have these items to wear with their tuxedo on your wedding day. Although these are traditional gift ideas, you could make them more modern by giving each groomsman an accessory that suites their personality. For example you could give your sports loving groomsman a tie clip that is in the shape of a basketball while you could give your musically inclined groomsman a tie clip that is in the shape of a few musical notes. Giving each of your groomsmen a variation of the same idea makes even the most traditional gift idea appear modern.

Groomsmen can be difficult to buy gifts for because many of the traditional groomsmen gifts seem boring or impractical. Traditional gifts can be made more modern with the introduction of a twist such as a variation in each groomsman’s gift instead of giving them each the exact same thing. The most important thing to consider in choosing a gift for your groomsmen is to make sure the gift will reflect the personality of the recipient.

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May 9, 2006

10 Unique Gift Ideas for Your Bridesmaids

It is customary to honor your bridesmaids for their participation in your wedding with a gift of appreciation. Traditional gifts include a piece of jewelry such as earrings or a necklace that complements their bridesmaids dress and can be worn on the wedding day but many bridesmaids will truly appreciate a more unique gift idea. With careful consideration you may be able to give your bridesmaids gifts that show your appreciation for their assistance and also demonstrate that you understand their personality as well.

One unique gift ideas for your bridesmaids is an evening bag to be used as an accessory on the wedding day. This gift can be a lovely gesture and will serve the purpose of keeping the accessories of the bridesmaids uniform and will free your bridesmaid from the burden of searching for an evening bag that matches the dress. In this case you may choose to give the bridesmaids their gifts early in the wedding planning so that they don’t purchase a bag specifically for the occasion of your wedding.

A photo album complete with a picture of you and the bridesmaid or the entire wedding party can be another unique gift idea for the bridesmaids. You could purchase photo albums with the date of your wedding engraved on the front cover and start the photo album with a picture of you and the bridesmaid. This is a wonderful gift idea because the bridesmaid can place her photos from the wedding day in the album and will always have a precious souvenir from your wedding day.

Gift certificates to a spa or a salon also make unique gift ideas for your bridesmaids. Your bridesmaids most likely spent a great deal of time and energy in helping you to plan your wedding. The week prior to your wedding was also probably especially hectic with a great deal of last minute details to attend to and errands to run. While you will have your honeymoon to relax and renew your energy your bridesmaids do not have this luxury so by honoring them by presenting them with a gift certificate to a spa or salon you are giving them the gift or being pampered and the gift of relaxation.

A few more unique gift ideas for your bridesmaids’ gifts include handcrafted or homemade gifts. For example you could put together a CD of some of your bridesmaids’ favorite songs. You could make the CDs different for each bridesmaid and include a photo of the two of you on the cover and include a heartfelt poem on the inside of the CD cover. You could also create a scrapbook for each of your bridesmaids. You could either make the scrapbook a memory of your entire friendship together and include photos and other items from your various adventures throughout the years or if you plan ahead and take many photos documenting your wedding preparations, you could create scrapbooks as a remembrance of the wedding planning that you shared.

Personalized cosmetics bags can also be used as unique bridesmaids gifts. You could purchase attractive cosmetic bags and have them embroidered with your bridesmaids’ initials and the date of your wedding. Another nice touch with this gift is to include a few items such as lipstick or nail polish that complement each of your bridesmaids’ style and complexion.

Another unique gift idea for a bride to give to her bridesmaids is a gift certificate to a local restaurant. Assisting in your wedding preparations was probably extremely stressful and time consuming for the bridesmaids and they certainly deserve a night on the town and the opportunity to not have to cook for a night. This simple gift lets your bridesmaids know that you appreciate their efforts and that you want to thank them for all that they have done to support you.

Unique gift ideas for the bridesmaids can also stem from the wedding theme. For example if you are having a beach themed wedding you might want to give your bridesmaids a gift of a tote bag, a beach towel and a novel to enjoy on the beach. This unique gift idea ensures that your bridesmaids will remember your wedding fondly the next time they are at the beach.

Traditional bridesmaid’s gifts such as jewelry and jewelry boxes are always welcomed but if you have a large group of friends and most of them will be bridesmaids several more times as more of your friends get married it might be nice to give your bridesmaids a gift that is unique. Unique gift ideas convey your message of appreciation but also let the bridesmaids know that you put a great deal of effort into choosing their gift.

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September 9, 2006

Baby names and their meanings

Naming a baby may seem simple enough but when you are the one doing the naming, it can be really frustrating. One of the ways that can help you with this really frustrating task is by giving names that have special meanings. The job of today’s moms and dads is a whole lot easier actually compared to parents in previous years. There are probably hundreds of baby naming books in bookstores as well as websites where you can enter the names that you are considering and find their meanings.

Some websites even have categories that group names into their origins. For instance, names that have Indian origins have their own grouping, names that have Italian origins have separate grouping and so on. Names are also classified according to gender or to popularity. Of course, alphabetical classifications of names will always be there. You can even browse through several different names and just take your pick from the pack.

Finding out the meaning of the name that you are going to give your child will not only make the name special but will also put a small meaning into the name. By giving your baby a name with a meaning that you like, you are, in a way, putting a representation of what you hope your child would grow up to be. Remember that a name is a stamp of identity, something that your child will be using for the rest of his or her life.

Here are some of the names and their meanings that you can find in websites. If you want a complete list, just go to a search engine and type keywords baby names meaning and voila, a list of websites where you can browse different names.

Aaron- High Mountain
Bailey- Server
Caesar – Purposeful
Abel- Breath of vapour
Caleb – Dog lover
Calvin- Bold
Abner – Cheerful
Cameron – Bewitched
Abraham – Father of Multitude
Barron – Fighter
Carlos – Expressive
Bartholomew – Friend
Carol – Champion
Cary – Charmer
Casey – Brave
Alan – Harmony
Benedict- Blessed
Cecil – Obstinate or Blind
Albert – Nobly
Alexander- Leader
Alexis- Helper
Alfred- Wise
Bing – Intuitive
Alison – Holy
Blair – Dignified
Clair – Famous
Clarence – Bright
Clark – Charmer
Claude – Lame
Alroy- Regal
Bradford – Mighty
Clay – Mortal
Clayton- Town-Dweller
Alvin – Beloved
Brandon – A Fighter
Clifford – Brave
Dale – Dweller
Dalton – Farmer
Dan – A Judge
Ebenezer – Integrity
Eden – Diplomatic
Farrell – Brave
Darius – Strong
Edgar – Fortunate
Felix – Happy
Gary -Old man
Ian – Lord’s Grace
Geoffrey – Peace
Ingram – Hero
Giles – Young goat
Irvin – Friend of the Sea
Godfrey – God peace
Isaac – Glad
Harlan – Warrior
Isadore – A good gift
Grant – Great
Harley – Athletic
Harry – Princely
Guy – Sensible
Hector – Defender
Kane – Exacting
Lachlan – Fighter
Kay – Rejoicing
Lambert – Wealthy
Jason- Healer
Kean – Tall
Keith – Gardener
Jed – Beloved
Lewis Well-Known
Lincoln – Settled
Lindo – Tree
Lionel – Lionlike
Llewellyn – Swift
Lloyd – Joy
Ludovic – Fighter
Loredo – Learned
Loren – Victor
Loring – Fighter
Lothario – Cheerful
Macy – Steadfast
Napoleon – Comforter
Nathan – A Gift
Malcolm – A Servant
Nat – Versatile
Nathaniel – Godly
Orlando – Famous
Paine- Rustic
Radcliffe – Fiery
Quincy – Restful
Ralph – Hero
Quinn – Wise
Parker – Princely
Patrick – Noble
Randall – Relentless
Shawn – Gracious
Trevor – Prudent
Sherlock – Eminent
Silvester – Earthy
Spencer – Provider
Stephen – Loyal
Samson – Resplendent
Xavier – Bright
Valentine – Healthy
Wade – Wonderer

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July 29, 2006

Pick a Celtic Wedding Ring and Steal The Heart Of Your Beloved Again!

Wedding rings have always been exchanged as an emblem of a ‘potent bond’ of marriage. The ritual of wedding ring ceremony has been practiced in various cultures and traditions, literally from the ages. The perfect circle of a wedding ring has always been a representative of undying love and continuous happiness for the nuptial couple. Moreover the circle represents the wholeness and timelessness of their wed-locked new relationship.

Today, there are several types of wedding rings available in the market. Some of the famous ones are the diamond rings, platinum rings, gold rings and titanium rings. But, there is one category of wedding rings which had its essence in the past and holds it even today. Any guesses? Well, this particular genre of wedding rings is known as Celtic wedding rings.

So, Let us take a closer look at some aspects related to the Celtic wedding rings and their popularity.

Thousands of years back, a group of liberal tribes called Celts spread throughout the various parts of Europe. A majority of these people were classy artisans who used to carve knot work patterns. These work patterns have also motivated the modern day jewelers to develop some exquisite wedding rings. The Celtic patterns created on the wedding rings today have some particular meanings. But understanding these patterns and their relevance to the wedding rings is somewhat illusive.

Some people tend to prefer Celtic wedding rings as a way to connect profoundly into their own heritage. Indeed they tend to feel compassion with a tribal tradition of Europe that regards the earth as the Mother Earth. Moreover some people tend to feel that a Celtic wedding ring brings them closer to the poetry and music. And for other people, it’s just another type of jewelry which holds some significance and value.

Well, coming a step ahead of the cultural aspects of the Celtic motif rings, you will find that people wear these rings irrespective of the fact, whether they belong to Celtic ancestry or not. A majority of people consider wearing Celtic motif rings because they believe that these motifs have a symbolic and universal meaning. In fact the knots in the Celtic motifs depict the interweaving of two different paths together. Moreover the knots represent the interconnection of various aspects of life. Indeed a Celtic wedding ring is a mascot which titillates the mystical connection of life and people.

There are several knot styles and designs of the Celtic motif wedding rings. Moreover people prefer certain knot work motifs over the other due to their specific meanings. For example, a couple might choose a simple and flowing knot work motif style as it depicts ease, harmony and partnership. The wedding rings with other knot work designs can be more intricate and dynamic, suggesting passion and other creative elements.

Apart from the round knot motifs wedding rings, the square knot motif works also hold their symbolism. A square knot motif wedding ring is a clear representation of stability of a relationship. Even most of the buildings are square-shaped because of the symbolism of the stability attached with the square designs. Other than these shapes, the Celtic rings also deal with the directions of the vectors. Another very common design of Celtic wedding ring is the depiction of trinity work pattern.

Considering the aspects of Celtic rings and knot work motifs, it would be appropriate to say that if you insist on buying a Celtic wedding ring, you should spend some time to understand the meaning of a particular motif as well. And you will surely choose a better motif style ring for your wedding. [602 Words]

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10 Great “No Reason” Gifts for Under $10 | Your Relations

January 10, 2006

10 Great “No Reason” Gifts for Under $10

We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s the thought that counts,” and this is especially true when giving a gift in a relationship. Simple gifts given to a loved one, don’t have to be for any reason other than to let them know that you care and are thinking of them and these gifts don’t have to be expensive. With a little creativeness you can give your loved one a gift that shows how much you love them and value your relationship for under $10.

The key to giving inexpensive gifts is to make sure they are something that the person you are giving the gift to will really cherish and appreciate. To give a really great inexpensive gift you have to think beyond the generic gifts of perfumed soaps and lotions for women and ties and socks for men. In giving inexpensive gifts try to personalize the gift to reflect the personality or hobbies of the recipient of the gift.

One inexpensive gift idea for a person who enjoys cooking is a specialty cookbook such as a dessert or ethnic cookbook. Interesting cook books can often be found in the discount section of book stores for less than $10. For an additional twist try making one of the dishes in the cookbook yourself and serving it when you present the gift to your loved one. Your loved one will appreciate the gesture and enjoy sharing the dish with you and will remember that moment fondly when using the cookbook.

For a sentimental soul, give a gift of personal photos arranged in a photo album in a unique way. Photo albums can be found for just a few dollars in convenience stores and you can use existing photos to fill the pages. The key to this gift is to present the photos in an original way. Try creating a photo album with a theme such as one that documents your relationship from courtship to your current stage or one that highlights the trips you have taken together.

The runner in your life will appreciate an inexpensive stopwatch or pedometer. While these gadgets can get pricey you can still find models that perform the basic functions for under $10. This gift lets you know that you are thinking of them and that you understand their hobby. They will appreciate your interest in their activities. You can even include a note letting them know you would love to join them for a run one day.

Another inexpensive gift idea is a basket filled with homemade cookies, breads or other goodies. If you know that your sweetheart has a sweet tooth, invest a few hours of your time to bake up some tasty treats for your loved one just to let them know you are thinking of them. They will not only enjoy the treat you have prepared but will also appreciate the effort that went into the gift. If the person you are baking the goodies for is on a special diet, be sure to incorporate their dietary needs into your recipe.

A homemade coupon book is always a welcomed gift and can certainly be made for under $10. Create coupons on your computer or by hand for services that you know your loved one will enjoy and include a small gift to go with the theme of the coupon book. For example the man in a relationship where the couple has children could give the woman a bottle of nail polish along with coupons offering his services as a babysitter while she goes out for a manicure with a friend. She will appreciate that you are sending her out to be pampered while you get a chance to enjoy some time with the kids. In giving this gift try to think of something your partner will appreciate but won’t splurge on for themselves.

Search the discount DVD bins for ones that are less than $10. Believe it or not, they are available and you just might find one that would make a great gift for someone you love. Inexpensive DVDs are often less mainstream and you could use that originality to try something new. If your partner is always trying to get you to go dancing but you keep refusing, you might find an instructional video on flamenco dancing or square dancing. Invite your loved one over and try following the video together.

Flowers don’t have to cost a fortune. You may spend hundreds on red roses for Valentine’s Day but for everyday occasions or for no reason at all, you could stop by your local supermarket and pick up a bouquet of colorful wild flowers from their floral department. Ditch the cellophane wrapper that the flowers come in and arrange them in a vase yourself or tie them with a pretty ribbon. Pre-arranged bouquets such as these are often available for under $10.

A CD filled with songs that your loved one enjoys or that have special meaning for you as a couple makes a wonderful and inexpensive gift. For under $10 you could easily use your computer to assemble a CD of meaningful songs. You could even create a CD cover that conveys the message you want to send with the CD.

Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy a trip to a local National Park to hike, observe wildlife and enjoy the outdoors so surprise your partner with a day trip to the park. Entry fees for many National Parks are under $10 and you and your loved one will have the opportunity to spend quality time together. Pack a picnic lunch and spend the day enjoying nature and each others company.

If your loved one enjoys working out, a jump rope is a gift that you can give them for less than $10. This inexpensive gift will not only remind them of their childhood but also demonstrate that you understand them and realize that fitness is important in their life. An even better idea is to buy one for yourself as well and challenge your loved one to a friendly competition.

Gift giving doesn’t have to be expensive and doesn’t have to be for a specific occasion. Surprise your partner with well thought out gifts that reflect their interests. With a little creativity you can give your loved one a gift that shows how well you know them and they are in your thoughts every day and you don’t have to spend more than $10 to do so.

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casual acquaintance | Your Relations

Inexpensive Wedding Gifts

A wedding gift does not have to be expensive to be well received and appreciated by the couple. While the extravagance of some weddings may compel their guests to purchase pricey gifts, it is not necessary to do so. Many people are invited to a number of weddings each year and it’s not feasible to purchase an expensive gift for every wedding you attend. While you may want to splurge on an extravagant gift for a close friend or relative, you are not required to invest a great deal of money in a gift for a casual acquaintance. Even if you are very close with the couple you may be able to create a very inexpensive gift for their wedding. The following are just a few ideas for inexpensive wedding gifts that are sure to delight the couple without breaking your budget.

One inexpensive gift idea is to fill a mixing bowl with a variety of kitchen utensils. This is both an inexpensive and an extremely useful gift. Many couples are starting their life together and will need a few basic utensils and kitchen gadgets to get them started. This gift is thoughtful and useful without being detrimental to your budget.

Another inexpensive gift idea is to create a basket containing elements for a romantic dinner. You could put this basket together by yourself and include items such as dry pasta and sauce as well as a bottle of wine and two wine glasses. You might also want to include a non-perishable desert such as biscotti to complete your meal. You could even include a recipe card with one of your own personally tested recipes. This inexpensive gift idea will be greatly valued by the couple because it essentially giving them the gift of a romantic night alone.

Picture frames can also be an inexpensive wedding gift idea. The couple will likely have a wide variety of photos that they will want to display in their home and providing them with a few simple frames is an inexpensive way to give them a truly useful gift. While many picture frames can be expensive, you could find simple wooden frames in a craft store and paint or decorate to suit the couple’s taste. You could also shop at closeout stores for these items and may find quite a few bargains available. Picture frames are an inexpensive and useful wedding gift idea that is likely to be cherished by the couple.

The couple’s registry could also be another source of inexpensive wedding gift ideas. Many couples will register for an assortment of items that span a large price spectrum. You may find that the couple has included many inexpensive items in their registry that may fall within your budget constraints. Choosing an inexpensive item from the couple’s registry ensures that you are giving them a gift that they will truly like and appreciate because they picked out the item themselves.

If you are a close friend or relative of the couple you may be able to make a very inexpensive wedding gift that will also be unique and greatly cherished by the couple. If you have many pictures of the couple, you might consider arranging these pictures in a unique way in a photo album to give to the couple as a gift. You could also use the photos to create a scrapbook or even a video presentation set to music that features the couple. These gifts will be greatly appreciated by the couple and can be created for a relatively small cost.

Candles are another inexpensive wedding gift. Newlyweds often incorporate candles in their decorating and also use candles to create ambiance during dinner or on other occasions. Just after they are married is the time when couples are most likely to enjoy candlelight dinners frequently and for no specific occasion so a wedding gift of candles is bound to be used often. Candles come in a great variety of colors, sizes and scents so it should be easy to find an assortment of candles that will be appreciated by the couple.

A wedding gift does not have to be expensive to be useful and appreciated by the couple. Many wedding guests spend a great deal of money on fancy china or glassware that is only used on special occasions while inexpensive gifts such as candles and kitchen utensils are used by the couple on a daily basis.

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Hosting a Wedding in Your Home

Large venues such as catering halls make an elegant wedding location but for a more intimate gathering you might want to consider hosting your wedding either at your own home or the home of a close friend or relative. A wedding hosted at a private home can be a lovely and memorable affair that is sure to be enjoyed by all of the guests. There are plenty of advantages to hosting your wedding in a private home including having increased freedom in making choices and providing your guests with a warm casual atmosphere. The downside of hosting a wedding in a private home include the inconvenience and strain placed on the owner of the home and limitations on the number of guest that you can accommodate as well as whether or not it is feasible to hire a caterer.

One of the distinct advantages to hosting a wedding in your home is that there is more freedom in decorating and food choices. Many catering halls have a few options for linens, china and decorations and a limited menu but you are limited by their pre-existing constraints. While sometimes it is easy to simply go along with the template offered by the catering hall, it just doesn’t give the couple much creativity in planning their wedding. In a private home you are free to buy or rent any decorations, linens and china that you choose and use these to set the atmosphere for your wedding. You are also free to hire your own caterer or even take care of food preparations yourself. This freedom gives the couple the opportunity to allow the wedding to truly reflect their personalities. They can opt to have the wedding be as formal or casual as they wish and they may choose to incorporate any imaginable theme in their wedding.

The other advantage to hosting a wedding in your home is the warm casual atmosphere that it provides for your guests. The formality of catering halls makes some people very uncomfortable. Furthermore they often feel obligated to dress formally for an event that is held at a catering hall. While the couple may still opt for a certain degree of formality, many of the guests will feel more relaxed at a wedding hosted in a private home. While they may still dress formally, the absence of a doting wait staff and other stuffy personnel allows the guests to relax more and enjoy the wedding. Informal seating such as couches and loveseats in a living room lend even further to the idea that guests are meant to relax.

One distinct disadvantage to hosting a wedding in a private home is that although the homeowner originally agreed to host the wedding, they may feel increased pressure as the wedding approaches. The homeowner may begin to feel a great deal of stress related to preparing the home for the wedding. The homeowner may feel obligated to partake in rigorous cleaning efforts or purchase additional decoration items in preparation for the wedding. One way to reduce this stress is to enlist the assistance of a cleaning service so that the homeowner does not continue to worry about the cleanliness of the home. You also may want to speak to the homeowner to let them know that you appreciate their efforts but that you are perfectly happy with the home just the way it is and you don’t wish them to go to anymore trouble to prepare for the wedding.

Another disadvantage to hosting a wedding in a private home is that the size of the home may restrict the number of guest. While it is true that most catering halls have maximum occupancy restrictions as well, most of these commercial venues are capable of seating far more guests than even the most extravagant home. If you have a large family or many friends and plan to have many guests then hosting your wedding in a private home may not be a feasible option. However, if you plan on having only a small number of guests then a wedding in a private home may be a wonderful option. The size of the home also factors into your decision to hire a caterer. A home with a small kitchen could be problematic if the caterers intend to prepare all of the food onsite.

Hosting a wedding in a private home can be a wonderful idea. This type of wedding works best if you have a relatively small number of guests and are looking for a casual atmosphere that provides endless decoration possibilities. On the other hand hosting your wedding in a private home may not be feasible if the homeowner is neurotic about cleaning or if you are planning to have a large number of guests in attendance.

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Make an Impression with Your Invitations

While the main purpose of a wedding invitation may be to inform the guests of the date, time and location of the ceremony and reception, this is not the only purpose of a wedding invitation. A wedding invitation is your first chance to make and impression on your guest and to give them a hint about what to expect at your wedding. The invitation can hint to the theme of your wedding or simply give the guests a glimpse into how formal your wedding will be. The appearance, wording and formality of your wedding invitation all contribute to the impressions that your guests form about your wedding before the even decide whether or not they will attend.

Since the most important purpose of a wedding invitation is to let guests know the particular details of the wedding it is important to ensure that these details are accurate. You will want to hold off on ordering your invitations until you have finalized all of the details to ensure that your invitations are printed with accurate information. In order to avoid confusion that results from misinformation on you your invitations, it is critical that you proofread your invitations several times to ensure that all of the information in correct. Once you have proofread the invitation a few times, you might consider having someone else proofread it as well. This is sometimes necessary because it is easy to overlook a mistake on your invitation when you know what the invitation should say. Sometimes your mind will subconsciously fix the error making it appear as though everything is correct when it is really not. It is imperative that you ensure that the details of your wedding invitation are accurate but it is also very important to proofread the entire invitation to make sure that there are no other errors. Check your names and your parent’s names, if they appear on the invitation, carefully to ensure that they are spelled correctly and also check the spelling and punctuation of the rest of the text. Wedding information that is accurate and contains no errors is sure to make a wonderful impression on your guests and can help to avoid guests from missing parts of the wedding because they were misinformed by inaccurate information on the invitation.

The look of your wedding invitation can say a lot about your taste and your expectations for your wedding. If you are planning to have a particular theme for your wedding, you might want to incorporate your theme in your wedding invitation to give your guests a hint at what they can expect at your wedding. If you are planning to incorporate a theme of old fashioned movie romances you might want to invest in invitations that depict a scene or make a reference to an old fashioned romantic movie such as Casablanca. Or if you plan to have a wedding with a Hawaiian or beach theme you might choose invitation that conveys this sentiment with a background picture of a beach or a whimsical border with a Hawaiian pattern. While not all weddings have a particular theme, if you are planning on having a theme, it’s a fun idea to purchase invitations that express this theme to your guests.

The wording that you use on your wedding invitations can also make an impression on your guests. You will want to ensure that the text of the invitation matches with the formality of the wedding. If you plan to have a wedding with a relaxed atmosphere you can afford to be creative and original in your wording but if your wedding will be more conservative you will want to use language that will convey this sentiment. While slang and vulgarity are never appropriate verbiage on a wedding invitation it is acceptable to use more relaxed speech if the wedding is expected to be casual.

Many guests form their first impressions of a wedding based on the invitations. Since this is true, it is important to exercise caution and ensure that your wedding invitations will convey the message that you wish them to express. If you want to maintain a degree of formality in your wedding, then your invitations should also be very formal. Conversely, if you expect your wedding to be casual with a relaxed atmosphere, it is acceptable to send out invitations that are informal.

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10 Ways to Reawaken Passion

If your relationship is starting to lose its passion you may need to make a conscious effort to re-ignite the spark in your relationship and reawaken the passion. Sometimes it may take elaborate plans and gestures to reawaken the passion in your relationship and sometimes it may just be small seemingly insignificant things that can help you to reawaken the passion in your relationship.

Planning a romantic weekend getaway can be one way to reawaken passion. A trip to a spa or a romantic destination can help to put the passion back in your relationship. This type of trip gives a couple the opportunity to step away from their everyday lives and spend some time focusing on romance.

Treating your partner with respect can also be a simple way to reawaken passion. Sometimes people get in the habit of taking their partner for granted while they continue to treat complete strangers and casual acquaintances with respect. People tend to work harder on casual relationship than they do on their romantic relationship because they take their partner for granted. Making an effort to impress your partner, however, can help to revive the passion.

Doing something new and adventurous can also help to reawaken the passion in your relationship. Try an activity that you have never done before such as skydiving or water skiing. Participating in an adventurous sport can make you feel more alive and this will transcend into your relationship and reawaken the passion.

Holding hands is another way to reawaken the passion in your relationship. This simple act draws you and your partner closer together. Most couples hold hands all the time early in their relationship but as time goes by they begin to do so less and less often. Grabbing your partners hand and holding on while you run errands can make your partner feel desired again and this will help put the passion back in your relationship.

Another way to reawaken the passion in your relationship is to plan date nights. Spend some time getting dressed up and plan a night out on the town. Putting this level of effort into a dinner date makes it feel much more special and romantic plus it gives you a chance to let your partner know that you are still interested in spending time with them. No mater how busy your week is, plan to have at least one night a week where the two of your connect in a special way. Even if it’s just some quiet time at home after the kids go to bed or even a family game night with the kids, it will give you time to bond.

Taking care in your own appearance is still another way to reawaken the passion in your relationship. If you feel good about yourself, you will be more appealing to your partner. Spend a few extra minutes getting ready to go out and really pamper yourself. This will give you a confidence boost that can help bring the passion back to your relationship.

Complimenting your partner can also help to reawaken passion. Noticing when your partner puts extra effort into their appearance lets them know that you still find them desirable and attractive. Even complimenting them when they aren’t all dressed up, lets them know that you love them for who they are and not just their appearance.

Even just planning trips that you would like to take in the future can reawaken passion. Spend an afternoon thinking of trips you would like to take together and make a list of all the places you want to go and all the things you want to do. This type of daydreaming draws a couple closer together and can revive passion.

Spending some quiet time together daily can be another way to reawaken passion. Plan on having at least a few minutes alone with your partner each day to help put the spark back into your relationship. Taking time to reconnect daily can help keep the passion in your relationship.

Taking a bath together can also help to reawaken passion in a relationship. This is a very sensual activity that makes you both feel pampered and gives you the opportunity to reconnect on a physical level. Beyond that it can also give you a chance to relax and unwind after a hard day of work and sometimes it’s the stresses of everyday life that are putting a damper on passion.

If your relationship is starting to lose its passion it doesn’t mean the relationship is over. All of these examples are simple ways that a couple can reawaken the passion in their relationship. As long as the love still exists, it is possible to bring back the passion.

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10 No-Stress First Date Ideas

Asking a person out can be stressful enough but once you’ve found someone to agree to going on a date with you, you may find yourself under the immense pressure of planning a first date. Planning a first date can be stressful because you want everything to go smoothly and you also want to set yourself up for a second date. The ideal first date offers the couple a chance to get to know each other in a casual atmosphere that doesn’t put too much pressure on them to keep up a constant stream of small talk. While first dates are the perfect opportunity to get to know someone new, if you are apprehensive about too much conversation on the first date, you can plan a date that focuses more on an activity than on conversation. This type of date which focuses on a fun filled activity may be beneficial in leading to a second date. First dates don’t have to be stressful and there are many activities that are perfect for whatever type of first date you are looking to have.

Dinner theater is a perfect no-stress first date idea. The atmosphere is usually cozy and romantic and provides the perfect blend of conversation and entertainment. While a traditional dinner date can lead to awkward pauses in the conversation and the stress of juggling dinner and conversation, a dinner theater alleviates this stress because the meal is usually served during the performance. This allows you to eat your meal without having to worry about small talk. Intermissions are a great opportunity for the couple to get to know each other and if you have trouble with a conversation starter you can always fall back on talking about the performance.

Another no-stress first date idea is the aquarium or a museum. The casual atmosphere alleviates the normal pressures of first dates. There is so much to see and do at these facilities that you will not be lacking things to talk about or do. You can spend a few hours wandering through the exhibits and really get to know your date. Be sure to ask questions about what your date likes or doesn’t like about the exhibits. Being inquisitive will give you a better understanding of your date’s personality.

Theme parks are also a great no-stress first date idea. Everybody loves the chance to be a kid again and the opportunity to spend a day on thrill rides is a great way to spend a first date. The long lines give you plenty of time to talk and get to know each other and you may find that every time the conversation starts to wane, you’ve made it to the front of the line and it’s your turn to jump onboard and enjoy the ride. The exhilaration of thrill rides may loosen inhibitions and bring a couple on a first date closer together.

If you are nervous about conversation, you might want to try the traditional movie and dinner first date. The movie portion of the date takes the stress of conversation off of your shoulders and afterwards at dinner you have an instant conversation starter. If you can’t think of anything to talk about, you can always ask her what she thought of the movie to spark up a conversation. Additionally you may find that after spending a few hours in a theater you already feel closer to your date and conversation comes easier than anticipated.

If conversation is your strong point and you’re are not at all worried about keeping a conversation going a great no-stress date idea for you may be a coffee shop. This is an environment where there is little to do except talk to your date. This is perfect for the person who enjoys the art of conversation and is really looking forward to getting to know their date.

A white water rafting trip can be a terrific no-stress date idea. Well, it may not be completely no-stress as the rapids can get pretty intense but it can be free of dating stress. Rafting is a fun an adventurous activity where you have the opportunity to bond by working together to navigate your raft through rapids and enjoy the excitement of riding the rapids. If you are not an experienced rafter, be sure to arrange to have this trip professionally guided so that you are not putting yourself in danger.

Still another no-stress first date idea is to spend some time volunteering. You can make arrangements for you and your date to spend a few hours volunteering at either a soup kitchen or an animal shelter or any other non-profit organization you like. This situation gives you a specific task to focus on and takes the stress off of the date. It also gives you the opportunity to see whether or not your date is interested in helping others or not. Make sure to check into this activity ahead of time because many places will not allow you to come in to volunteer unless you have completed a short introductory class beforehand.

Taking a course can be another great no-stress first date idea. Many colleges offer courses on a variety of subjects and you are bound to find one that will be of interest to you. For example a cooking class might be a fun first date idea. You will have the opportunity to learn a new skill together and will probably leave at the end of the night with a really tasty dish that you can enjoy together. Working together will alleviate the stress of a first date and will give you the opportunity to get to know each other in a casual environment.

Many cities offer singles or couples group bike rides or hikes. Taking advantage of one of these opportunities can lead to a no-stress first date. These activities can be fun because you are outdoors enjoying nature and you have the opportunity to get some exercise. These activities also often include scheduled breaks in a scenic location which can be a great time to really talk to your date and get to know them a little.

One final no-stress first date idea is a trip to a fun center that offers mini-golf and arcade games. Engaging in a game of miniature golf or squaring off by playing some video games is a fun and competitive way to spend your first date. The activities are lighthearted and fun and introducing the element of competition really loosens people up so you and your date will probably have an easy time getting to know each other.

The key to a successful first date is to plan activities that are fun and entertaining without placing too much pressure on the couple. Finding relaxing ways to get to know your date will ensure that your first date is a no-stress event that leads to a second date. A completely no-stress date is one that both parties enjoy and one that allows the couple to engage in a balance of fun activity and meaningful conversation without putting too much emphasis on any one aspect of the date.

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floral centerpieces | Your Relations

February 6, 2006

Ideas for Inexpensive Centerpieces

Traditional floral centerpieces can be expensive especially if you plan on having a large number of tables at the wedding reception. While floral arrangements have traditionally been the centerpiece of choice at many weddings there are many more original centerpiece ideas that are also very inexpensive. Depending on the theme and color scheme of the wedding, there are a variety of low cost options available.

A wedding with a light-hearted theme hosted by a fun loving couple might be a suitable opportunity to utilize candy to create festive centerpieces. Clear glass bowls can be filled with colorful candies such as jelly beans or M & Ms to create a lovely and very inexpensive centerpiece that reflects the personalities of the bride and groom. The candy and bowls can probably be purchased for a fraction of the price of floral centerpieces and create a lovely centerpiece that is easily assembled and can be enjoyed by all of the guests.

The bride and groom can also opt for silk floral arrangements if they are intent on having flowers as their centerpiece. Many hobby stores sell a wide variety of attractive artificial flowers that can be arranged by the bride and groom to create attractive centerpieces for the tables. Using fake flowers gives the couple more of an opportunity to express their creativity. The hobby store also likely sells inexpensive vases so the couple may be able to purchase everything they need for the centerpieces in one location. Arranging the flowers in a vase is nice but long stemmed flowers such as calla lilies also look very attractive tied with twine or ribbon and simply laid in the center of the table. The couple could either choose seasonal artificial flowers or artificial flowers that fit the theme of the wedding and arrange them in inexpensive vases or tie them with attractive ribbons to create inexpensive centerpieces for their wedding.

Another inexpensive option for a couple wishing to utilize flowers for their centerpieces is to use potted plants. You can find a multitude of inexpensive potted plants at home improvement stores, greenhouses, and even grocery stores. The couple can choose plants that match the other decorations for the wedding or that will stand out amongst the other decorations. These plants could be repotted into festive pots to create attractive centerpieces for a relatively low cost.

Balloons can be another option for a couple looking to have fun yet inexpensive centerpieces. Balloons are relatively inexpensive and can be easily found in a wide variety of colors and patterns. The couple could choose solid or print patterns that match the colors of the table linens. An extra tip for these centerpieces is to weigh down the balloons with a piece of candy. This will encourage each guest at the table to take home a balloon as a souvenir. With a typical centerpiece only one guest has the opportunity to take home the centerpiece but using balloons makes it possible for each guest to take home a part of the centerpiece.

Another inexpensive wedding table centerpiece is a picture frame in the shape of cube that allows the insertion of a photo into each side of the cube. The couple may choose to include pictures of themselves during their courting or they may wish to include pictures of them with the guests who will be sitting at that table. This is a great opportunity for the couple to express their individuality and share a little bit of themselves with their guests. Artfully arranged photographs create fun centerpieces that are also very inexpensive.

Candles also create a very attractive yet inexpensive centerpiece. The couple may choose to purchase many of the same candle or candles of varying shapes, sizes and colors to arrange on the tables. Candles of the same size, shape and color can be arranged in a uniform pattern to create a beautiful centerpiece. Candles that vary in size, shape and color can be placed at random on the table to create an eclectic appeal.

With a little bit of thought and creativity a couple can find centerpiece options that are affordable, attractive and well suited for the couple. The traditional centerpieces of floral arrangements can be boring and also extremely expensive. Utilizing creativity and ingenuity to create centerpieces that are an accurate representation of the taste of the couple often creates a more appealing centerpiece at a very affordable price.

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May 21, 2006

Unique Centerpieces for a Wedding

A couple wishing to really make a statement at their wedding may want to invest in truly unique centerpieces. Typically reception halls do not allow for a great deal of creativity in the decorations as they utilize standard table linens and place settings. However, utilizing unique centerpieces is one way that the bride and groom can make their reception truly memorable.

Incorporating live fish into the centerpieces is one truly unique centerpiece idea for a wedding reception. Simple glass bowls can be used and filled with a few colorful glass marbles along with some water and an exotic and colorful fish. You could even include a small amount of fish food at the table where children will be sitting with careful instructions on how to avoid overfeeding the fish. The children will have a lot of fun and will be less distracted then they would have been with a more traditional centerpiece on the table. This lively and interactive centerpiece idea is sure to be a hit with kids and will even keep adults entertained.

Another unique centerpiece idea is to arrange a collection of board games in the center of each table. This idea is not only unique but if the guests choose to partake in the games; it gives the guests at the table the opportunity and incentive to get to know those seated at their table if they don’t already know them. This is an excellent option for guests who don’t enjoy dancing because they won’t feel so left out of the fun of the wedding.

Cakes or cupcakes arranged on a serving tray and artfully decorated with fresh or artificial flowers also make a lovely and unique centerpiece. These cakes can be used in place of the traditional wedding cake. Using several small cakes as centerpieces is not only an extremely unique centerpiece idea but it also allows the couple the option of having several different types of cakes and fillings. These centerpieces can be collected by the wait staff and sliced in the kitchen for desert or they can be sliced at the individual tables for additional entertainment value.

An attractive journal that matches the theme of the wedding along with several pens can also serve as a unique centerpiece. This centerpiece will not only look lovely on the table but can also be used by the guests to leave messages of congratulations or words of advice for the couple. This way the couple not only had a unique centerpiece but they also have a treasured souvenir of their wedding day in the kind words recorded by their wedding guests.

Mirrors and candles can also be used to create unique centerpieces. An attractive round mirror could be placed in the center of the table with several lit candles resting on the glass. The flickering light of the candles reflecting on the glass makes for a very striking centerpiece especially if the light in the reception hall is kept dim.

Gift boxes of several sizes can also be used to create unique centerpieces. The couple could take gift boxes of three different sizes and wrap each box in a different but complementary piece of wrapping paper. Once the gift boxes are wrapped they can be glued together at odd angles to create very unique centerpieces.

Another unique centerpiece idea is to have puzzles made up from pictures of the couple. The pieces of the puzzle can be left scattered on the table. This unique centerpiece idea encourages the people sitting at the table to work together to try to put the puzzle together. This is especially useful if many of the guests do not know each other because it is a great ice breaker.

An eclectic assortment of Champaign flutes also makes a truly unique centerpiece. You can purchase an assortment of flutes of various shapes and sizes from a thrift store and clean them up to use them as centerpieces. The flutes can be arranged in an attractive but random pattern to create a unique centerpiece for any occasion.

The choice of the centerpieces is one of the only opportunities that a couple has to express their individuality and ensure that their wedding reception really stands out. While some unique centerpiece ideas may require more of an effort than the traditional centerpiece of flowers, a unique centerpiece is more likely to be remembered than a boring one.

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May 18, 2006

10 Tips for Setting a Budget and Sticking to It

Budget concerns can be one of the most prominent sources of disagreement for a couple in the process of planning their wedding. The couple may have different ideas about what type of wedding they want and also about what they can afford. It is important for the couple to discuss financial constraints before the wedding planning goes too far.

The first tip for setting a budget and sticking to it is to have a conversation regarding finances well before the wedding planning starts in earnest. It is important that everyone involved in the decision making process of the wedding understand just how much money is available to be spent on the wedding.

Another tip for setting a budget and sticking to it is to start saving early for your wedding. Putting aside a portion of each paycheck for awhile can add up to a sizable savings that can be used for your wedding. This advanced planning and saving will allow you to maximize the budget that is available to you for your wedding planning.

Once the budget has been established, set it aside for a few days and then review it again. This time away from the budget gives those involved the chance to let the information settle in and the review of the budget after this waiting period gives the participants the opportunity to verify that they understand and agree to the budget. This is important because if someone does not agree with the budget, they may be likely to overspend in one area leaving the budget in jeopardy.

After an overall budget is established it is important to divide the total amount appropriately to establish budgets for items such as the venue, food and drink, the bride’s attire, the groom’s attire, transportation, entertainment, photography, favors, centerpieces, gifts for the wedding party and even gifts for each other. It is also important to partition a small amount of money for incidentals to account for small unexpected expenses.

In establishing a budget it is also important to be clear about who will be paying for what items. For example, if the groom’s family offers to pay for the centerpieces and you choose to let them, this will allow you to divert your previously designated centerpiece budget to other aspects of the wedding. The key to sticking to your wedding budget is to be aware of who has agreed to pay for what.

It is important that budgets for each individual aspect of the wedding be established to enable you to follow this next tip. This tip advises the couple to be mindful of their budgets for each individual component of the wedding before negotiating contracts for services. If you know that you have allotted $250 for entertainment you would be wise to seek out a DJ that is offering his services for approximately that amount and then negotiate your contract to ensure that you remain under budge.

Doing as many things as you can on your own is another way to ensure that you are sticking to your budget. Crafts and homemade invitations can greatly reduce the cost of your wedding. For example making your own favors or centerpieces can greatly reduce your costs and free up additional budget for other areas of the wedding.

Another tip for sticking to your wedding budget is to not view the budget as restrictive. If instead of thinking about the things that you can’t afford, you focus on how you can make your wedding and reception truly unique you will be inspired to create a fabulous and memorable wedding despite your budget constraints.

Still another tip for sticking to your wedding budget is to shop around and comparison shop for services. A limousine company may come highly recommended but if they are not in your price range, don’t be afraid to let them know why you are going to have to choose another company and you may be surprised at how soon they are willing to give you a different offer.

A final tip for creating and sticking to a budget is to realize that there are bound to be snags along the way. As long as you remain cognizant of your spending and realize the ramifications of your actions you are likely to realize that if you go over budget in one area, you will need to modify other areas by reducing their total budget.

A wedding budget can be a serious cause of emotional strain on a couple. It is important for them to discuss their finances and establish a budget for their wedding plans. Doing this early on in the wedding planning process can help the couple to avoid conflict during the planning phase of the wedding.

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February 13, 2006

Choosing the Perfect Wedding Location

The location of the wedding is critical because it can play a key role in setting the mood for the wedding. There are a number or ways to choose a potential location for your wedding including choosing a location where you have previously attended a wedding, shopping around and visiting multiple venues and seeking suggestions from trusted friends or relatives. Once you have narrowed your choices down to a few options it is important to consider a few additional factors such as price, seating capacities and services available.

There may be a wide variety of suitable wedding venues available but you could greatly reduce the number of venues that you are required to visit by choosing only locations that come highly recommended from a trusted source. This will save you from having to visit every venue in town to determine whether or not it is an acceptable location. Seeking input from others can greatly reduce the amount of venues that you need to visit.

The location of your wedding can play a key role in the style of your wedding. Some couples opt for a ceremony at a church followed by a reception at a catering hall while others may wish to hold the ceremony outdoors but have a reception at an indoor location. Still others choose to hold both the ceremony and the reception at a catering hall. Whichever option you choose for your wedding it is important to ensure that the location you choose has all of the elements that you were seeking in a wedding location such as ambiance, seating capacity, a dance floor or anything else that you require.

Price is one of the most important considerations in choosing the perfect wedding location. There may be many locations where you wish to hold your wedding but if they are out of your price range you may have to eliminate them from your list if you are not able to successfully renegotiate the asking price. Whether you are being charged a price per guest or a flat fee for a set duration of time, if you simply cannot afford the location it is not right for your wedding. Fortunately most cities have a wide variety of options available so it is extremely likely that you will find a suitable venue that is within your price range.

Maximum occupancy is another important consideration when choosing the perfect wedding location. While you may really like the intimacy that a quaint location that seats only 50 guests affords, this is not a feasible option for a couple who has invited over 300 guests to their wedding. Likewise a large reception space that is capable of seating 500 people is not a good option for a couple who is planning a small wedding with only a handful of close friends and family members. It is important to choose a wedding location that is capable of accommodating the number of guests that you have invited without being large enough to accommodate almost twice as many people that you have invited. Choosing a venue that is either too small or too big is not feasible because a venue that is too small will be cramped and may not fit all of your guests while a venue that is too big will be a waste of money because large spaces often include a minimum number of guest required and you may wind up paying for more guest than you actually have in attendance.

The services that are offered may also factor into choosing a wedding location. Many catering halls may also have staff available to provide entertainment or floral designs. If you find a facility that is capable of either performing additional services or recommending service providers you might want to consider choosing this venue to eliminate the amount of services that you have to account for. Consolidating in any way possible can greatly reduce the effort that is required of you to complete you wedding planning.

Choosing the perfect location for your wedding may seem like an impossible task especially if you live in an area that has a number of options. Setting strict criteria for evaluating locations can save you a lot of time and effort. Only visiting venues that meet these criteria will greatly reduce the number of locations that you need to visit.

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January 10, 2006

10 Great “No Reason” Gifts for Under $10

We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s the thought that counts,” and this is especially true when giving a gift in a relationship. Simple gifts given to a loved one, don’t have to be for any reason other than to let them know that you care and are thinking of them and these gifts don’t have to be expensive. With a little creativeness you can give your loved one a gift that shows how much you love them and value your relationship for under $10.

The key to giving inexpensive gifts is to make sure they are something that the person you are giving the gift to will really cherish and appreciate. To give a really great inexpensive gift you have to think beyond the generic gifts of perfumed soaps and lotions for women and ties and socks for men. In giving inexpensive gifts try to personalize the gift to reflect the personality or hobbies of the recipient of the gift.

One inexpensive gift idea for a person who enjoys cooking is a specialty cookbook such as a dessert or ethnic cookbook. Interesting cook books can often be found in the discount section of book stores for less than $10. For an additional twist try making one of the dishes in the cookbook yourself and serving it when you present the gift to your loved one. Your loved one will appreciate the gesture and enjoy sharing the dish with you and will remember that moment fondly when using the cookbook.

For a sentimental soul, give a gift of personal photos arranged in a photo album in a unique way. Photo albums can be found for just a few dollars in convenience stores and you can use existing photos to fill the pages. The key to this gift is to present the photos in an original way. Try creating a photo album with a theme such as one that documents your relationship from courtship to your current stage or one that highlights the trips you have taken together.

The runner in your life will appreciate an inexpensive stopwatch or pedometer. While these gadgets can get pricey you can still find models that perform the basic functions for under $10. This gift lets you know that you are thinking of them and that you understand their hobby. They will appreciate your interest in their activities. You can even include a note letting them know you would love to join them for a run one day.

Another inexpensive gift idea is a basket filled with homemade cookies, breads or other goodies. If you know that your sweetheart has a sweet tooth, invest a few hours of your time to bake up some tasty treats for your loved one just to let them know you are thinking of them. They will not only enjoy the treat you have prepared but will also appreciate the effort that went into the gift. If the person you are baking the goodies for is on a special diet, be sure to incorporate their dietary needs into your recipe.

A homemade coupon book is always a welcomed gift and can certainly be made for under $10. Create coupons on your computer or by hand for services that you know your loved one will enjoy and include a small gift to go with the theme of the coupon book. For example the man in a relationship where the couple has children could give the woman a bottle of nail polish along with coupons offering his services as a babysitter while she goes out for a manicure with a friend. She will appreciate that you are sending her out to be pampered while you get a chance to enjoy some time with the kids. In giving this gift try to think of something your partner will appreciate but won’t splurge on for themselves.

Search the discount DVD bins for ones that are less than $10. Believe it or not, they are available and you just might find one that would make a great gift for someone you love. Inexpensive DVDs are often less mainstream and you could use that originality to try something new. If your partner is always trying to get you to go dancing but you keep refusing, you might find an instructional video on flamenco dancing or square dancing. Invite your loved one over and try following the video together.

Flowers don’t have to cost a fortune. You may spend hundreds on red roses for Valentine’s Day but for everyday occasions or for no reason at all, you could stop by your local supermarket and pick up a bouquet of colorful wild flowers from their floral department. Ditch the cellophane wrapper that the flowers come in and arrange them in a vase yourself or tie them with a pretty ribbon. Pre-arranged bouquets such as these are often available for under $10.

A CD filled with songs that your loved one enjoys or that have special meaning for you as a couple makes a wonderful and inexpensive gift. For under $10 you could easily use your computer to assemble a CD of meaningful songs. You could even create a CD cover that conveys the message you want to send with the CD.

Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy a trip to a local National Park to hike, observe wildlife and enjoy the outdoors so surprise your partner with a day trip to the park. Entry fees for many National Parks are under $10 and you and your loved one will have the opportunity to spend quality time together. Pack a picnic lunch and spend the day enjoying nature and each others company.

If your loved one enjoys working out, a jump rope is a gift that you can give them for less than $10. This inexpensive gift will not only remind them of their childhood but also demonstrate that you understand them and realize that fitness is important in their life. An even better idea is to buy one for yourself as well and challenge your loved one to a friendly competition.

Gift giving doesn’t have to be expensive and doesn’t have to be for a specific occasion. Surprise your partner with well thought out gifts that reflect their interests. With a little creativity you can give your loved one a gift that shows how well you know them and they are in your thoughts every day and you don’t have to spend more than $10 to do so.

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May 21, 2006

Unique Centerpieces for a Wedding

A couple wishing to really make a statement at their wedding may want to invest in truly unique centerpieces. Typically reception halls do not allow for a great deal of creativity in the decorations as they utilize standard table linens and place settings. However, utilizing unique centerpieces is one way that the bride and groom can make their reception truly memorable.

Incorporating live fish into the centerpieces is one truly unique centerpiece idea for a wedding reception. Simple glass bowls can be used and filled with a few colorful glass marbles along with some water and an exotic and colorful fish. You could even include a small amount of fish food at the table where children will be sitting with careful instructions on how to avoid overfeeding the fish. The children will have a lot of fun and will be less distracted then they would have been with a more traditional centerpiece on the table. This lively and interactive centerpiece idea is sure to be a hit with kids and will even keep adults entertained.

Another unique centerpiece idea is to arrange a collection of board games in the center of each table. This idea is not only unique but if the guests choose to partake in the games; it gives the guests at the table the opportunity and incentive to get to know those seated at their table if they don’t already know them. This is an excellent option for guests who don’t enjoy dancing because they won’t feel so left out of the fun of the wedding.

Cakes or cupcakes arranged on a serving tray and artfully decorated with fresh or artificial flowers also make a lovely and unique centerpiece. These cakes can be used in place of the traditional wedding cake. Using several small cakes as centerpieces is not only an extremely unique centerpiece idea but it also allows the couple the option of having several different types of cakes and fillings. These centerpieces can be collected by the wait staff and sliced in the kitchen for desert or they can be sliced at the individual tables for additional entertainment value.

An attractive journal that matches the theme of the wedding along with several pens can also serve as a unique centerpiece. This centerpiece will not only look lovely on the table but can also be used by the guests to leave messages of congratulations or words of advice for the couple. This way the couple not only had a unique centerpiece but they also have a treasured souvenir of their wedding day in the kind words recorded by their wedding guests.

Mirrors and candles can also be used to create unique centerpieces. An attractive round mirror could be placed in the center of the table with several lit candles resting on the glass. The flickering light of the candles reflecting on the glass makes for a very striking centerpiece especially if the light in the reception hall is kept dim.

Gift boxes of several sizes can also be used to create unique centerpieces. The couple could take gift boxes of three different sizes and wrap each box in a different but complementary piece of wrapping paper. Once the gift boxes are wrapped they can be glued together at odd angles to create very unique centerpieces.

Another unique centerpiece idea is to have puzzles made up from pictures of the couple. The pieces of the puzzle can be left scattered on the table. This unique centerpiece idea encourages the people sitting at the table to work together to try to put the puzzle together. This is especially useful if many of the guests do not know each other because it is a great ice breaker.

An eclectic assortment of Champaign flutes also makes a truly unique centerpiece. You can purchase an assortment of flutes of various shapes and sizes from a thrift store and clean them up to use them as centerpieces. The flutes can be arranged in an attractive but random pattern to create a unique centerpiece for any occasion.

The choice of the centerpieces is one of the only opportunities that a couple has to express their individuality and ensure that their wedding reception really stands out. While some unique centerpiece ideas may require more of an effort than the traditional centerpiece of flowers, a unique centerpiece is more likely to be remembered than a boring one.

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February 6, 2006

Ideas for Inexpensive Centerpieces

Traditional floral centerpieces can be expensive especially if you plan on having a large number of tables at the wedding reception. While floral arrangements have traditionally been the centerpiece of choice at many weddings there are many more original centerpiece ideas that are also very inexpensive. Depending on the theme and color scheme of the wedding, there are a variety of low cost options available.

A wedding with a light-hearted theme hosted by a fun loving couple might be a suitable opportunity to utilize candy to create festive centerpieces. Clear glass bowls can be filled with colorful candies such as jelly beans or M & Ms to create a lovely and very inexpensive centerpiece that reflects the personalities of the bride and groom. The candy and bowls can probably be purchased for a fraction of the price of floral centerpieces and create a lovely centerpiece that is easily assembled and can be enjoyed by all of the guests.

The bride and groom can also opt for silk floral arrangements if they are intent on having flowers as their centerpiece. Many hobby stores sell a wide variety of attractive artificial flowers that can be arranged by the bride and groom to create attractive centerpieces for the tables. Using fake flowers gives the couple more of an opportunity to express their creativity. The hobby store also likely sells inexpensive vases so the couple may be able to purchase everything they need for the centerpieces in one location. Arranging the flowers in a vase is nice but long stemmed flowers such as calla lilies also look very attractive tied with twine or ribbon and simply laid in the center of the table. The couple could either choose seasonal artificial flowers or artificial flowers that fit the theme of the wedding and arrange them in inexpensive vases or tie them with attractive ribbons to create inexpensive centerpieces for their wedding.

Another inexpensive option for a couple wishing to utilize flowers for their centerpieces is to use potted plants. You can find a multitude of inexpensive potted plants at home improvement stores, greenhouses, and even grocery stores. The couple can choose plants that match the other decorations for the wedding or that will stand out amongst the other decorations. These plants could be repotted into festive pots to create attractive centerpieces for a relatively low cost.

Balloons can be another option for a couple looking to have fun yet inexpensive centerpieces. Balloons are relatively inexpensive and can be easily found in a wide variety of colors and patterns. The couple could choose solid or print patterns that match the colors of the table linens. An extra tip for these centerpieces is to weigh down the balloons with a piece of candy. This will encourage each guest at the table to take home a balloon as a souvenir. With a typical centerpiece only one guest has the opportunity to take home the centerpiece but using balloons makes it possible for each guest to take home a part of the centerpiece.

Another inexpensive wedding table centerpiece is a picture frame in the shape of cube that allows the insertion of a photo into each side of the cube. The couple may choose to include pictures of themselves during their courting or they may wish to include pictures of them with the guests who will be sitting at that table. This is a great opportunity for the couple to express their individuality and share a little bit of themselves with their guests. Artfully arranged photographs create fun centerpieces that are also very inexpensive.

Candles also create a very attractive yet inexpensive centerpiece. The couple may choose to purchase many of the same candle or candles of varying shapes, sizes and colors to arrange on the tables. Candles of the same size, shape and color can be arranged in a uniform pattern to create a beautiful centerpiece. Candles that vary in size, shape and color can be placed at random on the table to create an eclectic appeal.

With a little bit of thought and creativity a couple can find centerpiece options that are affordable, attractive and well suited for the couple. The traditional centerpieces of floral arrangements can be boring and also extremely expensive. Utilizing creativity and ingenuity to create centerpieces that are an accurate representation of the taste of the couple often creates a more appealing centerpiece at a very affordable price.

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May 9, 2006

10 Unique Gift Ideas for Your Bridesmaids

It is customary to honor your bridesmaids for their participation in your wedding with a gift of appreciation. Traditional gifts include a piece of jewelry such as earrings or a necklace that complements their bridesmaids dress and can be worn on the wedding day but many bridesmaids will truly appreciate a more unique gift idea. With careful consideration you may be able to give your bridesmaids gifts that show your appreciation for their assistance and also demonstrate that you understand their personality as well.

One unique gift ideas for your bridesmaids is an evening bag to be used as an accessory on the wedding day. This gift can be a lovely gesture and will serve the purpose of keeping the accessories of the bridesmaids uniform and will free your bridesmaid from the burden of searching for an evening bag that matches the dress. In this case you may choose to give the bridesmaids their gifts early in the wedding planning so that they don’t purchase a bag specifically for the occasion of your wedding.

A photo album complete with a picture of you and the bridesmaid or the entire wedding party can be another unique gift idea for the bridesmaids. You could purchase photo albums with the date of your wedding engraved on the front cover and start the photo album with a picture of you and the bridesmaid. This is a wonderful gift idea because the bridesmaid can place her photos from the wedding day in the album and will always have a precious souvenir from your wedding day.

Gift certificates to a spa or a salon also make unique gift ideas for your bridesmaids. Your bridesmaids most likely spent a great deal of time and energy in helping you to plan your wedding. The week prior to your wedding was also probably especially hectic with a great deal of last minute details to attend to and errands to run. While you will have your honeymoon to relax and renew your energy your bridesmaids do not have this luxury so by honoring them by presenting them with a gift certificate to a spa or salon you are giving them the gift or being pampered and the gift of relaxation.

A few more unique gift ideas for your bridesmaids’ gifts include handcrafted or homemade gifts. For example you could put together a CD of some of your bridesmaids’ favorite songs. You could make the CDs different for each bridesmaid and include a photo of the two of you on the cover and include a heartfelt poem on the inside of the CD cover. You could also create a scrapbook for each of your bridesmaids. You could either make the scrapbook a memory of your entire friendship together and include photos and other items from your various adventures throughout the years or if you plan ahead and take many photos documenting your wedding preparations, you could create scrapbooks as a remembrance of the wedding planning that you shared.

Personalized cosmetics bags can also be used as unique bridesmaids gifts. You could purchase attractive cosmetic bags and have them embroidered with your bridesmaids’ initials and the date of your wedding. Another nice touch with this gift is to include a few items such as lipstick or nail polish that complement each of your bridesmaids’ style and complexion.

Another unique gift idea for a bride to give to her bridesmaids is a gift certificate to a local restaurant. Assisting in your wedding preparations was probably extremely stressful and time consuming for the bridesmaids and they certainly deserve a night on the town and the opportunity to not have to cook for a night. This simple gift lets your bridesmaids know that you appreciate their efforts and that you want to thank them for all that they have done to support you.

Unique gift ideas for the bridesmaids can also stem from the wedding theme. For example if you are having a beach themed wedding you might want to give your bridesmaids a gift of a tote bag, a beach towel and a novel to enjoy on the beach. This unique gift idea ensures that your bridesmaids will remember your wedding fondly the next time they are at the beach.

Traditional bridesmaid’s gifts such as jewelry and jewelry boxes are always welcomed but if you have a large group of friends and most of them will be bridesmaids several more times as more of your friends get married it might be nice to give your bridesmaids a gift that is unique. Unique gift ideas convey your message of appreciation but also let the bridesmaids know that you put a great deal of effort into choosing their gift.

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February 14, 2006

Gift Ideas for Your Groomsmen

Choosing a gift for the groomsmen could be a difficult task for many grooms. Most grooms don’t want to go with a gift that is too traditional or unoriginal but they also struggle with feelings that a gift that is too creative may not be appropriate. Perhaps the most important aspect of a groomsmen gift is not whether it is traditional or unique but whether or not it fits the personality of the recipient. As long as you know your groomsmen very well and put an honest effort into finding their groomsmen gifts you are sure to find a gift that will be enjoyed by your groomsmen.

One of the most traditional groomsmen gift ideas is a flask. If this is something that you think your groomsmen will fully enjoy then by all means go out and buy them the most attractive silver or leather flask that you can find. It’s important to choose a gift not because of its traditional connotations but because you know the groomsmen will cherish the gift. If you believe that your groomsmen have a use for a flask or will be touched by receiving such a traditional gift as a souvenir and not be concerned by its lack of practicality then a flask may be a wonderful gift idea.

A CD case with a few CDs chosen specifically for the groomsmen can be a great gift idea if you know that your groomsmen enjoy music. This is a wonderful gift idea because it is sure to be used often by the recipient and your groomsmen will remember your wedding day each time they listen to one of their CDs. This is also a thoughtful gift because including CDs that you know your groomsmen will enjoy but do not already own shows that you really put an effort into choosing the gift. Personalizing the gift for each of the groomsmen also shows that you see them as individuals and took the time and effort involved in making the gift unique for each of them.

A men’s perfume or fragrance can be another unique gift idea for the groomsmen. Choosing a different fragrance for each member of the wedding party sends the message that you did not buy your gifts in a rush. Taking the time to choose a unique fragrance for each of your groomsmen lets them know that you truly appreciate their assistance and participation in your wedding.

Another idea for giving gifts for your groomsmen is to give each man a different gift. While the groomsmen are all close friends of the groom and may have certain common interests, they all still have something about them that makes them unique. You could recognize their individuality by personalizing a unique gift for each of your groomsmen. For example you could give a journal and fancy pen to the groomsman who likes to write and an assortment of dance CDs to the groomsman who enjoys going to nightclubs and dancing. While traditionally grooms have given each of their groomsmen either the same gift or very similar gifts, it is also acceptable to give each groomsman a unique gift that suits their personality.

Bracelets or watches are another traditional groomsmen gift idea. Depending on your budget, you might want to purchase a watch or bracelet that is appropriate to wear on your wedding day. This is a wonderful gift that not only expresses your appreciation for participating in your wedding but also gives the groomsmen a nice accessory to wear at your wedding and other formal functions.

Cuff links or tie clips are still another traditional gift idea for a groom to give to his groomsmen. These items are not very common and many groomsmen do not own either so giving them as a gift ensures that the groomsmen will have these items to wear with their tuxedo on your wedding day. Although these are traditional gift ideas, you could make them more modern by giving each groomsman an accessory that suites their personality. For example you could give your sports loving groomsman a tie clip that is in the shape of a basketball while you could give your musically inclined groomsman a tie clip that is in the shape of a few musical notes. Giving each of your groomsmen a variation of the same idea makes even the most traditional gift idea appear modern.

Groomsmen can be difficult to buy gifts for because many of the traditional groomsmen gifts seem boring or impractical. Traditional gifts can be made more modern with the introduction of a twist such as a variation in each groomsman’s gift instead of giving them each the exact same thing. The most important thing to consider in choosing a gift for your groomsmen is to make sure the gift will reflect the personality of the recipient.

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September 16, 2006

10 Exciting Bridal Shower Game Ideas

The bridal shower is an opportunity for the women in the future bride’s life to honor her with a simple luncheon or get together filled with good food, fun and games. Many bridal showers feature a series of games that are not only a great deal of fun but also allow a bonding opportunity for all of the women at the party and sometimes serve the purpose of completing a task for the bride to be.

A game that encourages the participants to get to know each other is always a fun game with which to start the party. One game you can play is known as the Name Tag Game which encourages guest to mingle with the other guests. In this game, the hostess writes the name of each of the guests along with a word related to weddings such as veil, favors, groom, etc on a name tag. The rules of the game are that you are not allowed to say the word on your name tag or else you lose your name tag to the person who got you to say the word. If you acquire one or more additional name tags you are tasked with not saying any of the words on either your name tag or any of the other tags. If you say the word on your tag, you have to relinquish it to the person who got you to say the word and if you say the word on one of the other tags, you also have to give that person the tag plus you have to introduce them to the person from whom you had acquired the tag. There is usually a pre-determined time limit for this game and the person with the most tags when time runs out is the winner.

The Purse Game is another popular bridal shower idea. This is a simple game where the hostess draws up a list of items likely to appear in a woman’s purse and assigns a point value to each item ranging from 1-5 depending on how unusual the item is. For example car keys might be a 1 on the scale, a mirror a 3 and an eye lash curler a 5. The hostess might also choose to allow 10 bonus points for the woman who can produce the most outrageous item from her purse. The woman with the most points wins the game. Another variation of this game is to have a list of items and call out the items one at a time. The first woman to find each item and hand it to the person judging the game wins one point. After the entire list has been completed, the woman with the most points is proclaimed the winner.

Another common bridal shower game is the Television Couple Game. In this game the hostess will read out the first names of a television couple and the guests try to guess the last name of the couple. A few examples clues along with the answers are George and Jane – Jetson, Al and Peg – Bundy, Ward and June – Cleaver. One point could be awarded for each correct answer or a point system could be established to award more points to more obscure references. This game is also sometimes called the Famous Couple Game and includes references to celebrities or political figures and their real spouses such as Bill and Hillary – Clinton.

Bridal Shower Bingo is another simple bridal shower game. This game is played just like regular bingo except that instead of using letters and numbers for the spaces, each space is filled with a word or words that relate to weddings, love or marriage such as wedding dress, favors, eternal, true, rings, etc. The host makes up the bingo cards ahead of time and puts a piece of paper with each word used on the cards into a large bowl. During the game, the hostess will draw out a word and read it allowed and each participant will mark that square on their card. The first person to complete an entire row, column or diagonal wins the game.

One bridal shower game that can be a real benefit to the bride to be is a simple drawing. The hostess may purchase a few inexpensive gifts for the drawing and ask each participant to fill out an envelope with their name and address to enter the drawing. The hostess then picks out a name for each prize. This is a fun game because it offers the participants a chance to win a prize plus it really helps out the guest of honor because she can use the envelopes to send out her thank you cards after the party.

The Who Am I Game is another bridal shower game that encourages guests to interact with each other. In this game, the host prints out pictures of characters from romantic books or movies and tapes one character to the back of each guests so that other guests can see the picture but the person wearing the picture cannot. The point of the game is to ask other guests questions where the answer is either yes or no to try to determine who is on the picture on your back. At the end of the party, each guest takes a guess at who is depicted in the photo on their back.

The Wedding Jumble is another fun bridal shower game. For this game the hostess will prepare a list of words related to a wedding day such as toast, limousine, receptions, and vows. Next the hostess will scramble each word so that the letters are out of order and provide each guest with a copy of the scrambled words. The guest will be given a set amount of time to unscramble the words and the person who unscrambles the most words wins. If more than one person gets all of the words correct then the person who did so in the fastest time is the winner.

The Wedding Day Obstacle Course is another game that can really help out the bride. In this amusing game each guest is timed individually on how fast they can complete a series of tasks such as wrapping a wedding favor, addressing envelopes, filling out a place card, assembling a centerpiece, or whatever other projects the bride has in progress that can be incorporated into the game. Not only is this a game that is both fun to watch and participate in but it also helps the bride to complete some of the tasks on her list.

The Bridal Shower Memory Game is also very popular. The typical way to play this game is to have a tray filled with various household items. Bring out the tray and allow the guests to study the items for a few minutes and then take the tray away and ask questions about the items such as, where the spoon was and what color was the spatula. This game could also be modified to have one of the guests bring the tray out and then leave the room to take the tray away. You could then catch the guests by surprise by asking questions about the person who carried the tray such as what color shirt were they wearing or on which finger was she wearing a ring instead of asking questions about the contents of the tray.

The Price is Right Game can also be a great deal of fun at bridal showers and can serve to benefit the bride as well. For this game the hostess will purchase about 10 different items that will be useful for the couple such as towels, soap dispensers, household cleaners, etc. and have the guests try to guess the price of either all the items combined or each item individually. This is not only a fun game but the bride also gets to keep the items which makes it useful for her.

All of these games are a lot of fun to play at a bridal shower and they encourage the guests to get to know each other in a casual atmosphere. Some of these games even serve the purpose of helping to complete some of the bride’s last minute projects. The fun of these games is that they help people to get to know each other better which is helpful especially if the bride and grooms’ families don’t know each other well.

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first date ideas | Your Relations

How to Survive a First Date (and Guarantee a Second One)

First dates can be daunting but this article will offer a few tips for not only surviving a first date but also guaranteeing a second date. You can not only survive your first date but ensure a second one by carefully planning the date while remaining flexible, being tidy, polite and courteous, being relaxed and honest on your date, being committed to having a good time and sharing about yourself without monopolizing the conversation. These tips will help you survive your first date and also go a long way towards securing a second date.

Careful planning will help you to survive your first date and may lay the groundwork for a second date. Make sure you have planned out the date ahead of time and made arrangements to ensure that the date runs smoothly. On a first date it is best not to leave anything to chance or to rely on making on the spot decisions about what to do next because doing so can create uncomfortable moments on the date. Don’t just plan out what you would like to do on the date but also map out the best routes to arrive at your destinations and pre-arrange any necessary reservations so you don’t wind up not being able to find your destination or waiting a long time for an activity. While careful preparation before the date will ensure that everything runs smoothly and will eliminate any unnecessary tension on the date you may still need to remain flexible. Despite your best efforts, you may suffer a snag in your plans and being flexible and willing to adapt your plans will prevent you and your date from being frustrated on the date. Your date will be impressed that you went to so much trouble in planning the date and will be flattered by your efforts.

Key characteristics for surviving a first date include tidiness, politeness and courteousness. While these characteristics are important in any dating situation they are particularly important on a first date. This is your opportunity to make a first impression that your date will admire so go all out in trying to impress your date. Put extra effort into your personal appearance and strive to remain polite and courteous at all times during your first date. Showing your date that you respect them by taking pride in your appearance and treating them with respect will help you to not only survive a first date but also guarantee a second one.

If you want to survive a first date and guarantee a second one, it’s important to be relaxed and honest during your date. If you are tense or evasive during your date, your date may not trust you and will not be comfortable on the date or eager to go on a second date with you. If you try to be something you are not, your date will most likely see through your charade and will be put off by your dishonesty. Additionally, they most likely will not be interested in pursuing a second date. However if you relax during your date and are completely honest your personality will shine through and impress your date enough to entice them to be interested in a second date.

Committing to having a good time on your date will help you to survive a first date and guarantee a second date. If you go into a first date with apprehensions or prejudices you will find yourself not having a good time. It is extremely difficult to have a good time if you aren’t open to the experience. On the other hand if you are truly optimistic and are looking forward to your first date, you and your date will most likely wind up having a great time. Your optimism and attitude will be infectious and will ensure that both you and your date have a great time on the first date and are eager for a second.

Finally truly being interested in sharing details of your personal life and learning more about your date will ensure that you survive a first date. If you don’t open up to your date and show them who you really are, they will most likely not be interested in a second date with your or even sharing much about themselves on the first date. If you are not afraid to share personal information about yourself and are open to listening to what your date has to say, you will have a very successful first date.

Many singles find themselves nervous and apprehensive on a first date because they worry about how they will get through the date and whether or not this first date will lead to future dates. It’s okay to be nervous about a first date but following the advice in this article can enable you to not only survive a first date but also guarantee yourself a second date.

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10 Unique Gift Ideas for Your Bridesmaids

It is customary to honor your bridesmaids for their participation in your wedding with a gift of appreciation. Traditional gifts include a piece of jewelry such as earrings or a necklace that complements their bridesmaids dress and can be worn on the wedding day but many bridesmaids will truly appreciate a more unique gift idea. With careful consideration you may be able to give your bridesmaids gifts that show your appreciation for their assistance and also demonstrate that you understand their personality as well.

One unique gift ideas for your bridesmaids is an evening bag to be used as an accessory on the wedding day. This gift can be a lovely gesture and will serve the purpose of keeping the accessories of the bridesmaids uniform and will free your bridesmaid from the burden of searching for an evening bag that matches the dress. In this case you may choose to give the bridesmaids their gifts early in the wedding planning so that they don’t purchase a bag specifically for the occasion of your wedding.

A photo album complete with a picture of you and the bridesmaid or the entire wedding party can be another unique gift idea for the bridesmaids. You could purchase photo albums with the date of your wedding engraved on the front cover and start the photo album with a picture of you and the bridesmaid. This is a wonderful gift idea because the bridesmaid can place her photos from the wedding day in the album and will always have a precious souvenir from your wedding day.

Gift certificates to a spa or a salon also make unique gift ideas for your bridesmaids. Your bridesmaids most likely spent a great deal of time and energy in helping you to plan your wedding. The week prior to your wedding was also probably especially hectic with a great deal of last minute details to attend to and errands to run. While you will have your honeymoon to relax and renew your energy your bridesmaids do not have this luxury so by honoring them by presenting them with a gift certificate to a spa or salon you are giving them the gift or being pampered and the gift of relaxation.

A few more unique gift ideas for your bridesmaids’ gifts include handcrafted or homemade gifts. For example you could put together a CD of some of your bridesmaids’ favorite songs. You could make the CDs different for each bridesmaid and include a photo of the two of you on the cover and include a heartfelt poem on the inside of the CD cover. You could also create a scrapbook for each of your bridesmaids. You could either make the scrapbook a memory of your entire friendship together and include photos and other items from your various adventures throughout the years or if you plan ahead and take many photos documenting your wedding preparations, you could create scrapbooks as a remembrance of the wedding planning that you shared.

Personalized cosmetics bags can also be used as unique bridesmaids gifts. You could purchase attractive cosmetic bags and have them embroidered with your bridesmaids’ initials and the date of your wedding. Another nice touch with this gift is to include a few items such as lipstick or nail polish that complement each of your bridesmaids’ style and complexion.

Another unique gift idea for a bride to give to her bridesmaids is a gift certificate to a local restaurant. Assisting in your wedding preparations was probably extremely stressful and time consuming for the bridesmaids and they certainly deserve a night on the town and the opportunity to not have to cook for a night. This simple gift lets your bridesmaids know that you appreciate their efforts and that you want to thank them for all that they have done to support you.

Unique gift ideas for the bridesmaids can also stem from the wedding theme. For example if you are having a beach themed wedding you might want to give your bridesmaids a gift of a tote bag, a beach towel and a novel to enjoy on the beach. This unique gift idea ensures that your bridesmaids will remember your wedding fondly the next time they are at the beach.

Traditional bridesmaid’s gifts such as jewelry and jewelry boxes are always welcomed but if you have a large group of friends and most of them will be bridesmaids several more times as more of your friends get married it might be nice to give your bridesmaids a gift that is unique. Unique gift ideas convey your message of appreciation but also let the bridesmaids know that you put a great deal of effort into choosing their gift.

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10 No-Stress First Date Ideas

Asking a person out can be stressful enough but once you’ve found someone to agree to going on a date with you, you may find yourself under the immense pressure of planning a first date. Planning a first date can be stressful because you want everything to go smoothly and you also want to set yourself up for a second date. The ideal first date offers the couple a chance to get to know each other in a casual atmosphere that doesn’t put too much pressure on them to keep up a constant stream of small talk. While first dates are the perfect opportunity to get to know someone new, if you are apprehensive about too much conversation on the first date, you can plan a date that focuses more on an activity than on conversation. This type of date which focuses on a fun filled activity may be beneficial in leading to a second date. First dates don’t have to be stressful and there are many activities that are perfect for whatever type of first date you are looking to have.

Dinner theater is a perfect no-stress first date idea. The atmosphere is usually cozy and romantic and provides the perfect blend of conversation and entertainment. While a traditional dinner date can lead to awkward pauses in the conversation and the stress of juggling dinner and conversation, a dinner theater alleviates this stress because the meal is usually served during the performance. This allows you to eat your meal without having to worry about small talk. Intermissions are a great opportunity for the couple to get to know each other and if you have trouble with a conversation starter you can always fall back on talking about the performance.

Another no-stress first date idea is the aquarium or a museum. The casual atmosphere alleviates the normal pressures of first dates. There is so much to see and do at these facilities that you will not be lacking things to talk about or do. You can spend a few hours wandering through the exhibits and really get to know your date. Be sure to ask questions about what your date likes or doesn’t like about the exhibits. Being inquisitive will give you a better understanding of your date’s personality.

Theme parks are also a great no-stress first date idea. Everybody loves the chance to be a kid again and the opportunity to spend a day on thrill rides is a great way to spend a first date. The long lines give you plenty of time to talk and get to know each other and you may find that every time the conversation starts to wane, you’ve made it to the front of the line and it’s your turn to jump onboard and enjoy the ride. The exhilaration of thrill rides may loosen inhibitions and bring a couple on a first date closer together.

If you are nervous about conversation, you might want to try the traditional movie and dinner first date. The movie portion of the date takes the stress of conversation off of your shoulders and afterwards at dinner you have an instant conversation starter. If you can’t think of anything to talk about, you can always ask her what she thought of the movie to spark up a conversation. Additionally you may find that after spending a few hours in a theater you already feel closer to your date and conversation comes easier than anticipated.

If conversation is your strong point and you’re are not at all worried about keeping a conversation going a great no-stress date idea for you may be a coffee shop. This is an environment where there is little to do except talk to your date. This is perfect for the person who enjoys the art of conversation and is really looking forward to getting to know their date.

A white water rafting trip can be a terrific no-stress date idea. Well, it may not be completely no-stress as the rapids can get pretty intense but it can be free of dating stress. Rafting is a fun an adventurous activity where you have the opportunity to bond by working together to navigate your raft through rapids and enjoy the excitement of riding the rapids. If you are not an experienced rafter, be sure to arrange to have this trip professionally guided so that you are not putting yourself in danger.

Still another no-stress first date idea is to spend some time volunteering. You can make arrangements for you and your date to spend a few hours volunteering at either a soup kitchen or an animal shelter or any other non-profit organization you like. This situation gives you a specific task to focus on and takes the stress off of the date. It also gives you the opportunity to see whether or not your date is interested in helping others or not. Make sure to check into this activity ahead of time because many places will not allow you to come in to volunteer unless you have completed a short introductory class beforehand.

Taking a course can be another great no-stress first date idea. Many colleges offer courses on a variety of subjects and you are bound to find one that will be of interest to you. For example a cooking class might be a fun first date idea. You will have the opportunity to learn a new skill together and will probably leave at the end of the night with a really tasty dish that you can enjoy together. Working together will alleviate the stress of a first date and will give you the opportunity to get to know each other in a casual environment.

Many cities offer singles or couples group bike rides or hikes. Taking advantage of one of these opportunities can lead to a no-stress first date. These activities can be fun because you are outdoors enjoying nature and you have the opportunity to get some exercise. These activities also often include scheduled breaks in a scenic location which can be a great time to really talk to your date and get to know them a little.

One final no-stress first date idea is a trip to a fun center that offers mini-golf and arcade games. Engaging in a game of miniature golf or squaring off by playing some video games is a fun and competitive way to spend your first date. The activities are lighthearted and fun and introducing the element of competition really loosens people up so you and your date will probably have an easy time getting to know each other.

The key to a successful first date is to plan activities that are fun and entertaining without placing too much pressure on the couple. Finding relaxing ways to get to know your date will ensure that your first date is a no-stress event that leads to a second date. A completely no-stress date is one that both parties enjoy and one that allows the couple to engage in a balance of fun activity and meaningful conversation without putting too much emphasis on any one aspect of the date.

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Gift Ideas for Your Groomsmen

Choosing a gift for the groomsmen could be a difficult task for many grooms. Most grooms don’t want to go with a gift that is too traditional or unoriginal but they also struggle with feelings that a gift that is too creative may not be appropriate. Perhaps the most important aspect of a groomsmen gift is not whether it is traditional or unique but whether or not it fits the personality of the recipient. As long as you know your groomsmen very well and put an honest effort into finding their groomsmen gifts you are sure to find a gift that will be enjoyed by your groomsmen.

One of the most traditional groomsmen gift ideas is a flask. If this is something that you think your groomsmen will fully enjoy then by all means go out and buy them the most attractive silver or leather flask that you can find. It’s important to choose a gift not because of its traditional connotations but because you know the groomsmen will cherish the gift. If you believe that your groomsmen have a use for a flask or will be touched by receiving such a traditional gift as a souvenir and not be concerned by its lack of practicality then a flask may be a wonderful gift idea.

A CD case with a few CDs chosen specifically for the groomsmen can be a great gift idea if you know that your groomsmen enjoy music. This is a wonderful gift idea because it is sure to be used often by the recipient and your groomsmen will remember your wedding day each time they listen to one of their CDs. This is also a thoughtful gift because including CDs that you know your groomsmen will enjoy but do not already own shows that you really put an effort into choosing the gift. Personalizing the gift for each of the groomsmen also shows that you see them as individuals and took the time and effort involved in making the gift unique for each of them.

A men’s perfume or fragrance can be another unique gift idea for the groomsmen. Choosing a different fragrance for each member of the wedding party sends the message that you did not buy your gifts in a rush. Taking the time to choose a unique fragrance for each of your groomsmen lets them know that you truly appreciate their assistance and participation in your wedding.

Another idea for giving gifts for your groomsmen is to give each man a different gift. While the groomsmen are all close friends of the groom and may have certain common interests, they all still have something about them that makes them unique. You could recognize their individuality by personalizing a unique gift for each of your groomsmen. For example you could give a journal and fancy pen to the groomsman who likes to write and an assortment of dance CDs to the groomsman who enjoys going to nightclubs and dancing. While traditionally grooms have given each of their groomsmen either the same gift or very similar gifts, it is also acceptable to give each groomsman a unique gift that suits their personality.

Bracelets or watches are another traditional groomsmen gift idea. Depending on your budget, you might want to purchase a watch or bracelet that is appropriate to wear on your wedding day. This is a wonderful gift that not only expresses your appreciation for participating in your wedding but also gives the groomsmen a nice accessory to wear at your wedding and other formal functions.

Cuff links or tie clips are still another traditional gift idea for a groom to give to his groomsmen. These items are not very common and many groomsmen do not own either so giving them as a gift ensures that the groomsmen will have these items to wear with their tuxedo on your wedding day. Although these are traditional gift ideas, you could make them more modern by giving each groomsman an accessory that suites their personality. For example you could give your sports loving groomsman a tie clip that is in the shape of a basketball while you could give your musically inclined groomsman a tie clip that is in the shape of a few musical notes. Giving each of your groomsmen a variation of the same idea makes even the most traditional gift idea appear modern.

Groomsmen can be difficult to buy gifts for because many of the traditional groomsmen gifts seem boring or impractical. Traditional gifts can be made more modern with the introduction of a twist such as a variation in each groomsman’s gift instead of giving them each the exact same thing. The most important thing to consider in choosing a gift for your groomsmen is to make sure the gift will reflect the personality of the recipient.

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Ideas for Inexpensive Centerpieces

Traditional floral centerpieces can be expensive especially if you plan on having a large number of tables at the wedding reception. While floral arrangements have traditionally been the centerpiece of choice at many weddings there are many more original centerpiece ideas that are also very inexpensive. Depending on the theme and color scheme of the wedding, there are a variety of low cost options available.

A wedding with a light-hearted theme hosted by a fun loving couple might be a suitable opportunity to utilize candy to create festive centerpieces. Clear glass bowls can be filled with colorful candies such as jelly beans or M & Ms to create a lovely and very inexpensive centerpiece that reflects the personalities of the bride and groom. The candy and bowls can probably be purchased for a fraction of the price of floral centerpieces and create a lovely centerpiece that is easily assembled and can be enjoyed by all of the guests.

The bride and groom can also opt for silk floral arrangements if they are intent on having flowers as their centerpiece. Many hobby stores sell a wide variety of attractive artificial flowers that can be arranged by the bride and groom to create attractive centerpieces for the tables. Using fake flowers gives the couple more of an opportunity to express their creativity. The hobby store also likely sells inexpensive vases so the couple may be able to purchase everything they need for the centerpieces in one location. Arranging the flowers in a vase is nice but long stemmed flowers such as calla lilies also look very attractive tied with twine or ribbon and simply laid in the center of the table. The couple could either choose seasonal artificial flowers or artificial flowers that fit the theme of the wedding and arrange them in inexpensive vases or tie them with attractive ribbons to create inexpensive centerpieces for their wedding.

Another inexpensive option for a couple wishing to utilize flowers for their centerpieces is to use potted plants. You can find a multitude of inexpensive potted plants at home improvement stores, greenhouses, and even grocery stores. The couple can choose plants that match the other decorations for the wedding or that will stand out amongst the other decorations. These plants could be repotted into festive pots to create attractive centerpieces for a relatively low cost.

Balloons can be another option for a couple looking to have fun yet inexpensive centerpieces. Balloons are relatively inexpensive and can be easily found in a wide variety of colors and patterns. The couple could choose solid or print patterns that match the colors of the table linens. An extra tip for these centerpieces is to weigh down the balloons with a piece of candy. This will encourage each guest at the table to take home a balloon as a souvenir. With a typical centerpiece only one guest has the opportunity to take home the centerpiece but using balloons makes it possible for each guest to take home a part of the centerpiece.

Another inexpensive wedding table centerpiece is a picture frame in the shape of cube that allows the insertion of a photo into each side of the cube. The couple may choose to include pictures of themselves during their courting or they may wish to include pictures of them with the guests who will be sitting at that table. This is a great opportunity for the couple to express their individuality and share a little bit of themselves with their guests. Artfully arranged photographs create fun centerpieces that are also very inexpensive.

Candles also create a very attractive yet inexpensive centerpiece. The couple may choose to purchase many of the same candle or candles of varying shapes, sizes and colors to arrange on the tables. Candles of the same size, shape and color can be arranged in a uniform pattern to create a beautiful centerpiece. Candles that vary in size, shape and color can be placed at random on the table to create an eclectic appeal.

With a little bit of thought and creativity a couple can find centerpiece options that are affordable, attractive and well suited for the couple. The traditional centerpieces of floral arrangements can be boring and also extremely expensive. Utilizing creativity and ingenuity to create centerpieces that are an accurate representation of the taste of the couple often creates a more appealing centerpiece at a very affordable price.

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hobby stores | Your Relations

July 22, 2006

Baby Specialty Stores

A newborn baby is the celebration of life. It is a time where friends and family celebrate the birth of a child and the challenges and memories that will occur in the future.

Getting a gift does not only happen before the baby is born but is a continuous process that will occur as the infant grows older.

Giving something does not have to be a chore. It can be fun and challenging and by knowing the gender, the needs of the baby and other things that are equally important to the mother and child, this will be something that the family will certainly love and appreciate.

The best place to look for things for a baby is a specialty store since such places have everything from clothes, bibs, and bottles to baby baskets and strollers. Some of these specialty shops can be found inside malls while others share a small space in a building with other tenants.

Categories are divided from infant to toddler depending on the age, size and weight of the child. Before one buys something inside the shop, it is best to know what is available by looking around. If the person has something in mind, then by asking for assistance will really help saving time in getting the ideal gift from the baby store.

Some baby stores carry other brands aside from the ones that are primarily carried by that company which limits the choices of other products that may be available.

One can just get the company name and perhaps do some surfing in the internet to see what else is available and if it is affordable, then one can order it online and wait for a few days for the manufacturer to ship it to ones home.

Here are some suggested gifts that are great for either the mother or child;

1. A bobby is a support pillow that has a dual function. It can act as a nursing pillow for the mother and a toy for the baby. This will help sore the tired arms during the first months of breastfeeding and helps the baby play.

2. A breast pump is another great gift since this handy device will help women get milk for the baby which is very convenient and inexpensive.

3. A baby basket is a handy carrier which can be carried around. This comes in many models and one can get one that is good till the infant becomes a toddler.

4. Since the child is not able to be toilet trained yet, a lot of diapers will be needed keeping the baby clean and odorless free.

5. The toddler bath is similar to a bathtub. This something both the mother and infant can enjoy when taking a bath.

7. Babies love to cuddle and stuff toys like a bear can help put the baby to sleep or just help it relax.

Babies can be cute, smell good, are quiet and noisy at certain times. It is all part of the phase of the baby growing up. It is a challenge that the parents and those close to the family can do together in making this baby grow up.

Picking a gift does not have to be expensive. There are many things one can get and if that person is not able to pick one, then that person can just pick a variety of things and put it in a basket that the mother and child will surely enjoy.

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February 6, 2006

Ideas for Inexpensive Centerpieces

Traditional floral centerpieces can be expensive especially if you plan on having a large number of tables at the wedding reception. While floral arrangements have traditionally been the centerpiece of choice at many weddings there are many more original centerpiece ideas that are also very inexpensive. Depending on the theme and color scheme of the wedding, there are a variety of low cost options available.

A wedding with a light-hearted theme hosted by a fun loving couple might be a suitable opportunity to utilize candy to create festive centerpieces. Clear glass bowls can be filled with colorful candies such as jelly beans or M & Ms to create a lovely and very inexpensive centerpiece that reflects the personalities of the bride and groom. The candy and bowls can probably be purchased for a fraction of the price of floral centerpieces and create a lovely centerpiece that is easily assembled and can be enjoyed by all of the guests.

The bride and groom can also opt for silk floral arrangements if they are intent on having flowers as their centerpiece. Many hobby stores sell a wide variety of attractive artificial flowers that can be arranged by the bride and groom to create attractive centerpieces for the tables. Using fake flowers gives the couple more of an opportunity to express their creativity. The hobby store also likely sells inexpensive vases so the couple may be able to purchase everything they need for the centerpieces in one location. Arranging the flowers in a vase is nice but long stemmed flowers such as calla lilies also look very attractive tied with twine or ribbon and simply laid in the center of the table. The couple could either choose seasonal artificial flowers or artificial flowers that fit the theme of the wedding and arrange them in inexpensive vases or tie them with attractive ribbons to create inexpensive centerpieces for their wedding.

Another inexpensive option for a couple wishing to utilize flowers for their centerpieces is to use potted plants. You can find a multitude of inexpensive potted plants at home improvement stores, greenhouses, and even grocery stores. The couple can choose plants that match the other decorations for the wedding or that will stand out amongst the other decorations. These plants could be repotted into festive pots to create attractive centerpieces for a relatively low cost.

Balloons can be another option for a couple looking to have fun yet inexpensive centerpieces. Balloons are relatively inexpensive and can be easily found in a wide variety of colors and patterns. The couple could choose solid or print patterns that match the colors of the table linens. An extra tip for these centerpieces is to weigh down the balloons with a piece of candy. This will encourage each guest at the table to take home a balloon as a souvenir. With a typical centerpiece only one guest has the opportunity to take home the centerpiece but using balloons makes it possible for each guest to take home a part of the centerpiece.

Another inexpensive wedding table centerpiece is a picture frame in the shape of cube that allows the insertion of a photo into each side of the cube. The couple may choose to include pictures of themselves during their courting or they may wish to include pictures of them with the guests who will be sitting at that table. This is a great opportunity for the couple to express their individuality and share a little bit of themselves with their guests. Artfully arranged photographs create fun centerpieces that are also very inexpensive.

Candles also create a very attractive yet inexpensive centerpiece. The couple may choose to purchase many of the same candle or candles of varying shapes, sizes and colors to arrange on the tables. Candles of the same size, shape and color can be arranged in a uniform pattern to create a beautiful centerpiece. Candles that vary in size, shape and color can be placed at random on the table to create an eclectic appeal.

With a little bit of thought and creativity a couple can find centerpiece options that are affordable, attractive and well suited for the couple. The traditional centerpieces of floral arrangements can be boring and also extremely expensive. Utilizing creativity and ingenuity to create centerpieces that are an accurate representation of the taste of the couple often creates a more appealing centerpiece at a very affordable price.

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September 19, 2006

10 Great Places to Meet New Women

There are a lot of great women out there just waiting to meet the man of their dreams but finding these available women can take a little creativity. Sure there are plenty of single women at bars and nightclubs but the competition is also tough with many men also trying to meet women and women are usually on guard at these locations so getting through their defenses can be difficult. Instead of battling other men for a woman’s affection at a bar, try meeting women in new locations. Specifically locations that sport a high female to male ration will enhance your chances of meeting new women.

A woman’s clothing store is a great place to meet new women. Not only is this location filled with women but it is also almost completely devoid of other men. Many men avoid a woman’s clothing store like the plague so if you are brave enough to venture inside you will have an assortment of women to choose from. You can start a conversation by asking a woman for advice for a gift for your sister or by complimenting her on her purchases.

The gym can also be another great place to meet new women. While you may already spend hours a day pumping iron in the weight room try spending some time on a cardio machine or drop in on an aerobics or yoga class. These activities are typically dominated by women so engaging in these activities increases your chance of meeting women while at the gym.

Another great place to meet new women is in an adult continuing education class. Many community colleges offer night classes on a variety of subjects. Try signing up for a class or two and you may find that you meet a variety of new women. The key to choosing a class is to not only choose a class that sounds interesting but to also choose a class that is likely to consist of mostly women such as cooking classes or pottery classes.

The Internet is always an option for meeting women. You can try placing a personals ad online or join a dating service to read profiles of available men. There are so many personals sites available that it would almost be impossible not to find a suitable match. Just be sure to exercise caution and not give out your contact information or agree to meet anyone in a secluded location.

Hobby and craft stores are also excellent places to meet new women. Many women enjoy activities in arts and craft and often frequent these types of stores to purchase items for craft projects. More importantly though this is a hobby that does not attract many men so you will most likely be one of only a few men in the store.

Tanning spas or salons can be great places to meet new women. Again, these locations aren’t frequented by men so you are most likely to be one of the only men present. If you are attracted to women who put a lot of effort into their appearance the salon is definitely the place to go. Here you will find women who are committed to their appearance and who will appreciate you for your ability to understand that a manicure is just as important to men as it is to women.

If you are in search of a woman with interests similar to yours, a bookstore might just be the place for you. Try visiting a bookstore and only searching sections of the bookstore that interest you. Forget about attempting to determine what section might attract the most women and stick to the sections that hold your interests. You might be pleasantly surprised to meet a new woman who shares your passion for restoring old cars.

Sporting events can also be a great place to meet women who either share your love of sports or are in search of men themselves. You may attend a baseball game and wind up meeting a woman who shares your love of sports or you may at least meet a woman who is trying to meet a man. Sporting events are typically well attended by men so it’s possible that the women you meet at a sporting event are trying to put the odds in their favor and use this opportunity to meet men.

Another great place to meet new women is the theater. Women are typically drawn to the arts and if you begin attending local theater productions you may find the opportunity to meet a variety of new women. Not many men take in plays or operas on their own so doing so will help you to stand out from the crowd and single women are more likely to notice you.

Finally a grocery story is a great place to meet new women. Women make up the larger percentage of grocery shoppers so as one of only few men the odds will be in your favor. Also, women typically are experienced shoppers and you can take this opportunity to ask for their assistance in picking out produce or choosing a pasta sauce. Women will be flattered by you asking their advice and may be open to inviting you to their place for a home cooked meal.

While bars and nightclubs are certainly full of available women the likelihood of meeting a woman at these locations is slim to none. Although many women frequent nightclubs and bars in the hopes of meeting a man, these are also locations where women feel vulnerable and are likely to have their defenses up making them unapproachable. Try frequenting other locations and you may have an easier time meeting available women with interests similar to your own.

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January 18, 2006

10 Great Places to Meet New Men

If you are tired of searching for a man in the usual singles scenes such as bars and nightclubs, it may be time to broaden your horizons and try alternative locations for meeting men. If you think outside the box and begin exploring new locations you may find that meeting a man who shares your interests is easier than you thought. A few non traditional locations for meeting men include gyms, animal shelters, home improvement stores and sports bars. While these locations may contain a high male to female relationship it’s important to choose a location where you are comfortable to search for Mr. Right. If you don’t enjoy working out or are allergic to animals it would be best to avoid gyms and animal shelters in your quest for a mate because they will most likely lead to you finding a man who is not compatible with you. There are many locations that are filled with available men and these are great locations to meet new men.

The gym is a great place to meet new men. If you don’t already have a gym membership, sign up for your local gym and prepare to meet a multitude of new men. Even if you don’t find your Prince Charming at the gym, you will have at least had the opportunity to enjoy some physical activity. The gym is a great place to meet men for a number of reasons. First of all while women make up a significant percentage of the gym, men still make up the larger percentage of clientele at most gyms. Venturing into historically male dominated areas such as the weight room heightens your chance of meeting a new man. You can take the opportunity as one of the few women in the weight room to chat up a man and ask his advice.

If you are an animal lover, you can meet available new men at your local animal shelter. If you have a love for animals and a desire to meet a new man head on down to an animal shelter on a busy weekend afternoon. Here you may find many men in search of a canine companion. The bonus in this situation is that the single men are easy to spot. Men involved in a relationship wouldn’t consider adopting a dog without their partner’s input so you can be sure that if there isn’t a woman hanging on his arm, he is available.

Outdoor activities such as hiking also present an opportunity for meeting new men. Instead of dressing up and heading out to a chic nightclub in the evening try waking up early and hitting the hiking trails with one of your pals. If you are interested in meeting the rugged outdoors type of man, this can be your opportunity to meet an available man.

Anther great place to meet new men is a home improvement store. These stores are almost overrun with handy men. You may find the man of the dreams in the tool aisle or at the very least may find a man who is capable of fixing a leaky faucet for you. While home improvement and maintenance may not be your idea of a way to spend a Saturday evening you might be pleasantly surprised by the number of available men wandering the aisles of a home improvement store on a weekend night.

If you are interested in meeting an artistic man, coffee houses are another place to meet new men. The relaxed, cozy atmosphere of a coffee house provides the perfect mood to strike up a casual conversation with a new man. Coffee houses invite customers to linger over the coffee and this is the ideal opportunity to approach a man who catches your eye.

The woman who enjoys sports would be well advised to visit a sports bar on the night of an important local game to meet the man of her dreams. This location works wonders for meeting new many for a few reasons. First you will most likely be one of only a few women in the bar and secondly displaying any knowledge of the sport will charm the men in the bar.

If you have a specific interest or hobby, try taking a course on the subject. In doing so you will further your knowledge about your hobby and may meet a new man in the process. Many men enjoy taking courses and learning about new activities so you may find yourself pleasantly surprised by the number of men in your class.

If you are the athletic type, you may find a great place to meet new men is in a local sports league. Try signing up for a recreational league in either a sport you enjoy or one that you have always wanted to learn. Some cities even have singles leagues that you might be interested in joining. This will give you the opportunity to meet a wealth of men who share you love of sports. Even if you don’t wind up meeting the man of the dreams you will have at least had the opportunity to participate in a sport you enjoy.

The technically inclined, modern woman may choose to meet new men online. There are plenty of dating sites available on the Internet that are just full of single men looking to make a love connection. You may find personals sites that cater to a specific interest or those that cater to specific demographic groups. Searching for a man online affords you the ability to read through personals ads at your leisure and allows you to search and sort men according to different categories.

Another great place to meet new men is a Laundromat. Even if you own your own washer and dryer, head on down to your local Laundromat and you are sure to meet available men. While the Laundromat may not be your ideal location for meeting a new man, there are some distinct advantages to meeting a man in a Laundromat. First you can be almost positive that a guy doing his laundry by himself is truly single and secondly it never hurt to meet a man who is capable of doing his own laundry.

If you find yourself frustrated with the lack of new men available at bars and nightclubs try venturing out to different locations to meet new men. The key to doing this is to choose an activity you enjoy and head out to an appropriate location in search of a compatible man. Men are out there doing just about every activity imaginable so whether you like artistic, athletic or handy men, there are more than a few places that are great for meeting new men.

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January 10, 2006

10 Great “No Reason” Gifts for Under $10

We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s the thought that counts,” and this is especially true when giving a gift in a relationship. Simple gifts given to a loved one, don’t have to be for any reason other than to let them know that you care and are thinking of them and these gifts don’t have to be expensive. With a little creativeness you can give your loved one a gift that shows how much you love them and value your relationship for under $10.

The key to giving inexpensive gifts is to make sure they are something that the person you are giving the gift to will really cherish and appreciate. To give a really great inexpensive gift you have to think beyond the generic gifts of perfumed soaps and lotions for women and ties and socks for men. In giving inexpensive gifts try to personalize the gift to reflect the personality or hobbies of the recipient of the gift.

One inexpensive gift idea for a person who enjoys cooking is a specialty cookbook such as a dessert or ethnic cookbook. Interesting cook books can often be found in the discount section of book stores for less than $10. For an additional twist try making one of the dishes in the cookbook yourself and serving it when you present the gift to your loved one. Your loved one will appreciate the gesture and enjoy sharing the dish with you and will remember that moment fondly when using the cookbook.

For a sentimental soul, give a gift of personal photos arranged in a photo album in a unique way. Photo albums can be found for just a few dollars in convenience stores and you can use existing photos to fill the pages. The key to this gift is to present the photos in an original way. Try creating a photo album with a theme such as one that documents your relationship from courtship to your current stage or one that highlights the trips you have taken together.

The runner in your life will appreciate an inexpensive stopwatch or pedometer. While these gadgets can get pricey you can still find models that perform the basic functions for under $10. This gift lets you know that you are thinking of them and that you understand their hobby. They will appreciate your interest in their activities. You can even include a note letting them know you would love to join them for a run one day.

Another inexpensive gift idea is a basket filled with homemade cookies, breads or other goodies. If you know that your sweetheart has a sweet tooth, invest a few hours of your time to bake up some tasty treats for your loved one just to let them know you are thinking of them. They will not only enjoy the treat you have prepared but will also appreciate the effort that went into the gift. If the person you are baking the goodies for is on a special diet, be sure to incorporate their dietary needs into your recipe.

A homemade coupon book is always a welcomed gift and can certainly be made for under $10. Create coupons on your computer or by hand for services that you know your loved one will enjoy and include a small gift to go with the theme of the coupon book. For example the man in a relationship where the couple has children could give the woman a bottle of nail polish along with coupons offering his services as a babysitter while she goes out for a manicure with a friend. She will appreciate that you are sending her out to be pampered while you get a chance to enjoy some time with the kids. In giving this gift try to think of something your partner will appreciate but won’t splurge on for themselves.

Search the discount DVD bins for ones that are less than $10. Believe it or not, they are available and you just might find one that would make a great gift for someone you love. Inexpensive DVDs are often less mainstream and you could use that originality to try something new. If your partner is always trying to get you to go dancing but you keep refusing, you might find an instructional video on flamenco dancing or square dancing. Invite your loved one over and try following the video together.

Flowers don’t have to cost a fortune. You may spend hundreds on red roses for Valentine’s Day but for everyday occasions or for no reason at all, you could stop by your local supermarket and pick up a bouquet of colorful wild flowers from their floral department. Ditch the cellophane wrapper that the flowers come in and arrange them in a vase yourself or tie them with a pretty ribbon. Pre-arranged bouquets such as these are often available for under $10.

A CD filled with songs that your loved one enjoys or that have special meaning for you as a couple makes a wonderful and inexpensive gift. For under $10 you could easily use your computer to assemble a CD of meaningful songs. You could even create a CD cover that conveys the message you want to send with the CD.

Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy a trip to a local National Park to hike, observe wildlife and enjoy the outdoors so surprise your partner with a day trip to the park. Entry fees for many National Parks are under $10 and you and your loved one will have the opportunity to spend quality time together. Pack a picnic lunch and spend the day enjoying nature and each others company.

If your loved one enjoys working out, a jump rope is a gift that you can give them for less than $10. This inexpensive gift will not only remind them of their childhood but also demonstrate that you understand them and realize that fitness is important in their life. An even better idea is to buy one for yourself as well and challenge your loved one to a friendly competition.

Gift giving doesn’t have to be expensive and doesn’t have to be for a specific occasion. Surprise your partner with well thought out gifts that reflect their interests. With a little creativity you can give your loved one a gift that shows how well you know them and they are in your thoughts every day and you don’t have to spend more than $10 to do so.

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February 6, 2006

Ideas for Inexpensive Centerpieces

Traditional floral centerpieces can be expensive especially if you plan on having a large number of tables at the wedding reception. While floral arrangements have traditionally been the centerpiece of choice at many weddings there are many more original centerpiece ideas that are also very inexpensive. Depending on the theme and color scheme of the wedding, there are a variety of low cost options available.

A wedding with a light-hearted theme hosted by a fun loving couple might be a suitable opportunity to utilize candy to create festive centerpieces. Clear glass bowls can be filled with colorful candies such as jelly beans or M & Ms to create a lovely and very inexpensive centerpiece that reflects the personalities of the bride and groom. The candy and bowls can probably be purchased for a fraction of the price of floral centerpieces and create a lovely centerpiece that is easily assembled and can be enjoyed by all of the guests.

The bride and groom can also opt for silk floral arrangements if they are intent on having flowers as their centerpiece. Many hobby stores sell a wide variety of attractive artificial flowers that can be arranged by the bride and groom to create attractive centerpieces for the tables. Using fake flowers gives the couple more of an opportunity to express their creativity. The hobby store also likely sells inexpensive vases so the couple may be able to purchase everything they need for the centerpieces in one location. Arranging the flowers in a vase is nice but long stemmed flowers such as calla lilies also look very attractive tied with twine or ribbon and simply laid in the center of the table. The couple could either choose seasonal artificial flowers or artificial flowers that fit the theme of the wedding and arrange them in inexpensive vases or tie them with attractive ribbons to create inexpensive centerpieces for their wedding.

Another inexpensive option for a couple wishing to utilize flowers for their centerpieces is to use potted plants. You can find a multitude of inexpensive potted plants at home improvement stores, greenhouses, and even grocery stores. The couple can choose plants that match the other decorations for the wedding or that will stand out amongst the other decorations. These plants could be repotted into festive pots to create attractive centerpieces for a relatively low cost.

Balloons can be another option for a couple looking to have fun yet inexpensive centerpieces. Balloons are relatively inexpensive and can be easily found in a wide variety of colors and patterns. The couple could choose solid or print patterns that match the colors of the table linens. An extra tip for these centerpieces is to weigh down the balloons with a piece of candy. This will encourage each guest at the table to take home a balloon as a souvenir. With a typical centerpiece only one guest has the opportunity to take home the centerpiece but using balloons makes it possible for each guest to take home a part of the centerpiece.

Another inexpensive wedding table centerpiece is a picture frame in the shape of cube that allows the insertion of a photo into each side of the cube. The couple may choose to include pictures of themselves during their courting or they may wish to include pictures of them with the guests who will be sitting at that table. This is a great opportunity for the couple to express their individuality and share a little bit of themselves with their guests. Artfully arranged photographs create fun centerpieces that are also very inexpensive.

Candles also create a very attractive yet inexpensive centerpiece. The couple may choose to purchase many of the same candle or candles of varying shapes, sizes and colors to arrange on the tables. Candles of the same size, shape and color can be arranged in a uniform pattern to create a beautiful centerpiece. Candles that vary in size, shape and color can be placed at random on the table to create an eclectic appeal.

With a little bit of thought and creativity a couple can find centerpiece options that are affordable, attractive and well suited for the couple. The traditional centerpieces of floral arrangements can be boring and also extremely expensive. Utilizing creativity and ingenuity to create centerpieces that are an accurate representation of the taste of the couple often creates a more appealing centerpiece at a very affordable price.

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January 30, 2006

10 Ways to Recharge Your Romance

Early in a relationship the romance factor is very high. The romance is seemingly effortless and it seems as though the romance will never fade. You may find, however, that over time the romance does fade and the relationship doesn’t seem as exciting as it did in the beginning. This is natural as a couple becomes more familiar with each other they begin to make less of an effort in the romance department. When this happens it is time for the couple to start making a conscious effort to recharge their romance.

Recreating your first date can be one way to recharge your romance. Both partners probably put a tremendous amount of effort into their first date and it was probably an incredibly romantic night for both of you. Reenacting this first date by not only returning to the sight of the first date but also putting the same effort into preparing for the date can help to recharge your romance by reminding you of how exciting your relationship was in the beginning.

Leaving your work at the office is another way to recharge your romance. If you are constantly allowing your work life to interfere with your romantic life it is time to put your romance ahead of your career. While it is okay to talk to your partner about work and how your day went, obsessing over work is not acceptable and can put out the fire in your romance rather quickly.

Giving your partners flowers or small gifts for no reason can also recharge your romance. This lets them know that you still think about them when the two of you are apart and that your love for them is always on your mind. The gifts don’t have to be expensive or extravagant but if they truly come from the heart they will help to recharge your romance.

Another way to recharge your romance is to be spontaneous. Romance often fades when a relationship becomes routine and the partners begin to take each other for granted. Spicing things up by suggesting new activities on a whim can reintroduce the romance in your relationship. Too much planning and debate about what to do or where to go can put a damper on the activity or trip before it even takes place. Excessive planning can make something seem dull while spontaneity has the opposite affect of making the activity seem more exciting.

Spending time apart can also recharge a romance. It may sound counterproductive but having your own activities and interests keeps you from becoming bored with your partner. Spending time together is very important but spending time apart is equally important because this time apart gives you the chance to grow as an individual which can enhance your relationship.

Quality time together, just like time apart, can also help to recharge your romance. You need alone time as a couple to reconnect and nurture your romance. A night out on the town for just the two of your or a quiet night alone at home can be equally effective for recharging your romance. Without this time together a couple will not have the opportunity to express themselves to their partner in a romantic way.

Incessant arguing can destroy the romance in a relationship. If you find that you and your partner are arguing constantly or over every little thing, it’s time to really evaluate the relationship and figure out why you are arguing so much. Believe it or not, you may find that this arguing is a subconscious attempt to try to recharge your romance. Arguing invokes passion and you may be trying to bring that passion into your relationship. If you find yourself doing this, it’s time to realize that the arguing is having the opposite effect and that you have to stop this unhealthy pattern. Once you realize that there are other ways to recharge a romance your arguing will subside.

Making a concerted effort to impress your partner can also recharge the romance in a relationship. As a relationship progresses there is often a sense of familiarity and comfort that emerges and results in the couple feeling as if they no longer need to try to impress their partner. They may begin to let their appearance go or stop going out of their way to please their partner. Reversing this by returning to your old ways of trying to impress your partner can go a long way in recharging romance in a relationship.

Taking a trip together can also have the effect of recharging your romance. While planning a trip may be stressful most people relax and enjoy themselves once they reach their destination. Planning a trip with your partner will give each other the opportunity to enjoy each other’s company without the worries and hassles of everyday life.

Turning off the computer for a few days can be a really simple way to recharge your romance. Many couples use their computers often to check email, search the Internet or chat with others and this time spent on the computer can really add up and begin to take time away from your partner. Time can fly when you are computing and you may find that you have wasted an entire night on your computer. You may find that if you turn the computer off for a few days, you have a lot more time to spend with your partner and the romance may naturally return to your relationship.

It is natural for romance to begin to fade if the partners begin to take each other for granted and stop trying to impress each other. Romance doesn’t exist on its own; it needs to be nurtured in a loving way in order to survive. Recharging your romance may seem like a daunting task but it really isn’t. Making an effort to spend time together, showing your partner that you care and scheduling time together and apart are all simple ways to recharge your romance.

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February 14, 2006

Gift Ideas for Your Groomsmen

Choosing a gift for the groomsmen could be a difficult task for many grooms. Most grooms don’t want to go with a gift that is too traditional or unoriginal but they also struggle with feelings that a gift that is too creative may not be appropriate. Perhaps the most important aspect of a groomsmen gift is not whether it is traditional or unique but whether or not it fits the personality of the recipient. As long as you know your groomsmen very well and put an honest effort into finding their groomsmen gifts you are sure to find a gift that will be enjoyed by your groomsmen.

One of the most traditional groomsmen gift ideas is a flask. If this is something that you think your groomsmen will fully enjoy then by all means go out and buy them the most attractive silver or leather flask that you can find. It’s important to choose a gift not because of its traditional connotations but because you know the groomsmen will cherish the gift. If you believe that your groomsmen have a use for a flask or will be touched by receiving such a traditional gift as a souvenir and not be concerned by its lack of practicality then a flask may be a wonderful gift idea.

A CD case with a few CDs chosen specifically for the groomsmen can be a great gift idea if you know that your groomsmen enjoy music. This is a wonderful gift idea because it is sure to be used often by the recipient and your groomsmen will remember your wedding day each time they listen to one of their CDs. This is also a thoughtful gift because including CDs that you know your groomsmen will enjoy but do not already own shows that you really put an effort into choosing the gift. Personalizing the gift for each of the groomsmen also shows that you see them as individuals and took the time and effort involved in making the gift unique for each of them.

A men’s perfume or fragrance can be another unique gift idea for the groomsmen. Choosing a different fragrance for each member of the wedding party sends the message that you did not buy your gifts in a rush. Taking the time to choose a unique fragrance for each of your groomsmen lets them know that you truly appreciate their assistance and participation in your wedding.

Another idea for giving gifts for your groomsmen is to give each man a different gift. While the groomsmen are all close friends of the groom and may have certain common interests, they all still have something about them that makes them unique. You could recognize their individuality by personalizing a unique gift for each of your groomsmen. For example you could give a journal and fancy pen to the groomsman who likes to write and an assortment of dance CDs to the groomsman who enjoys going to nightclubs and dancing. While traditionally grooms have given each of their groomsmen either the same gift or very similar gifts, it is also acceptable to give each groomsman a unique gift that suits their personality.

Bracelets or watches are another traditional groomsmen gift idea. Depending on your budget, you might want to purchase a watch or bracelet that is appropriate to wear on your wedding day. This is a wonderful gift that not only expresses your appreciation for participating in your wedding but also gives the groomsmen a nice accessory to wear at your wedding and other formal functions.

Cuff links or tie clips are still another traditional gift idea for a groom to give to his groomsmen. These items are not very common and many groomsmen do not own either so giving them as a gift ensures that the groomsmen will have these items to wear with their tuxedo on your wedding day. Although these are traditional gift ideas, you could make them more modern by giving each groomsman an accessory that suites their personality. For example you could give your sports loving groomsman a tie clip that is in the shape of a basketball while you could give your musically inclined groomsman a tie clip that is in the shape of a few musical notes. Giving each of your groomsmen a variation of the same idea makes even the most traditional gift idea appear modern.

Groomsmen can be difficult to buy gifts for because many of the traditional groomsmen gifts seem boring or impractical. Traditional gifts can be made more modern with the introduction of a twist such as a variation in each groomsman’s gift instead of giving them each the exact same thing. The most important thing to consider in choosing a gift for your groomsmen is to make sure the gift will reflect the personality of the recipient.

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April 20, 2006

Inexpensive Wedding Gifts

A wedding gift does not have to be expensive to be well received and appreciated by the couple. While the extravagance of some weddings may compel their guests to purchase pricey gifts, it is not necessary to do so. Many people are invited to a number of weddings each year and it’s not feasible to purchase an expensive gift for every wedding you attend. While you may want to splurge on an extravagant gift for a close friend or relative, you are not required to invest a great deal of money in a gift for a casual acquaintance. Even if you are very close with the couple you may be able to create a very inexpensive gift for their wedding. The following are just a few ideas for inexpensive wedding gifts that are sure to delight the couple without breaking your budget.

One inexpensive gift idea is to fill a mixing bowl with a variety of kitchen utensils. This is both an inexpensive and an extremely useful gift. Many couples are starting their life together and will need a few basic utensils and kitchen gadgets to get them started. This gift is thoughtful and useful without being detrimental to your budget.

Another inexpensive gift idea is to create a basket containing elements for a romantic dinner. You could put this basket together by yourself and include items such as dry pasta and sauce as well as a bottle of wine and two wine glasses. You might also want to include a non-perishable desert such as biscotti to complete your meal. You could even include a recipe card with one of your own personally tested recipes. This inexpensive gift idea will be greatly valued by the couple because it essentially giving them the gift of a romantic night alone.

Picture frames can also be an inexpensive wedding gift idea. The couple will likely have a wide variety of photos that they will want to display in their home and providing them with a few simple frames is an inexpensive way to give them a truly useful gift. While many picture frames can be expensive, you could find simple wooden frames in a craft store and paint or decorate to suit the couple’s taste. You could also shop at closeout stores for these items and may find quite a few bargains available. Picture frames are an inexpensive and useful wedding gift idea that is likely to be cherished by the couple.

The couple’s registry could also be another source of inexpensive wedding gift ideas. Many couples will register for an assortment of items that span a large price spectrum. You may find that the couple has included many inexpensive items in their registry that may fall within your budget constraints. Choosing an inexpensive item from the couple’s registry ensures that you are giving them a gift that they will truly like and appreciate because they picked out the item themselves.

If you are a close friend or relative of the couple you may be able to make a very inexpensive wedding gift that will also be unique and greatly cherished by the couple. If you have many pictures of the couple, you might consider arranging these pictures in a unique way in a photo album to give to the couple as a gift. You could also use the photos to create a scrapbook or even a video presentation set to music that features the couple. These gifts will be greatly appreciated by the couple and can be created for a relatively small cost.

Candles are another inexpensive wedding gift. Newlyweds often incorporate candles in their decorating and also use candles to create ambiance during dinner or on other occasions. Just after they are married is the time when couples are most likely to enjoy candlelight dinners frequently and for no specific occasion so a wedding gift of candles is bound to be used often. Candles come in a great variety of colors, sizes and scents so it should be easy to find an assortment of candles that will be appreciated by the couple.

A wedding gift does not have to be expensive to be useful and appreciated by the couple. Many wedding guests spend a great deal of money on fancy china or glassware that is only used on special occasions while inexpensive gifts such as candles and kitchen utensils are used by the couple on a daily basis.

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February 27, 2006

Creative Wedding Gifts

Many new couples receive more picture frames, candy dishes and candle stick holders than they can possibly use. While these are all lovely gifts, they are also very common and not likely to stand out very much to the new couple. On the other hand a gift that is truly creative is likely to be well appreciated by the bride and groom.

A collection of board games can be a very creative and useful wedding gift. Many couples enjoy entertaining and having a number of their friends over for dinner, drinks and conversation. While this in itself is a great deal of fun, introducing board games can be a competitive way to spice up the evening and bring laughter into the gathering. Everyone enjoys playing their old favorite board games and many people also enjoy experimenting with new games. Giving the couple a collection of board games as a wedding gift can lead to many nights of fun for the couple and their friends.

Theme baskets also make wonderful creative gift ideas. In creating a theme basket you are only limited by your imagination in what to include in your basket. You could create baskets that are cooking related, sports related or travel related. The key to creating a theme basket that is not only creative but also appropriate for the couple is to keep in mind their likes and dislikes. The couple that eats out every night of the week may not enjoy cooking and would therefore not appreciate a basket full for recipes and kitchen utensils, however, the couple with season tickets to a particular sport may enjoy a basket filled with DVDs from a championship series as well as memorabilia from their favorite sports team.

A couple is likely to receive countless picture frames on their wedding but you can put a twist on the idea of giving a picture frame to turn it into a more creative wedding gift. One way to do this is to purchase a large frame and insert an inexpensive print that the couple will appreciate or a blown up picture of the two of them. This creative gift stands out from the traditional picture frame because it includes a photo and is ready for immediate display. Many picture frames remain in the box for years while the couple tries to decide on the perfect picture to display in the frame but giving the couple a framed portrait or print eliminates this dilemma.

Another creative gift for a wedding is a personalized calendar. Many office supply stores will create a calendar for you if you provide them with the twelve pictures that you would like to include in the calendar. This creative gift idea can be created by an office supply store for a relatively low price or the wedding guest may opt to create the calendar themselves on their own computers. It is very simple and many word processing programs offer calendar templates. This creative gift idea is sure to be appreciated by the new couple for its practicality and originality.

There are many companies that will create a print that has the appeal of a watercolor painting from a photograph. Giving a gift certificate for this service can be a very creative gift idea. You may choose to give the gift certificate with instructions for the couple to redeem the gift certificate to have a water color likeness created from one of their favorite wedding pictures. If you have a copy of a picture that is flattering to both the bride and the groom you may want to arrange for this service using the picture you have in lieu of giving the couple the gift certificate. The one caveat to giving this gift is to allow enough time for the print to be created and returned to you so that you don’t have to present your gift to the bride and groom after their wedding date. If you plan to attend the wedding in person, it is appropriate to have the gift for the bride and groom either at the wedding or else scheduled to arrive via shipping prior to the wedding date.

A couple that already has children may appreciate a gift certificate stating that you would be willing to baby-sit for the couple’s children once a month for the first year of their marriage. This creative gift is extremely useful for the couple because it allows them one night a month to go out and enjoy themselves.

Creative wedding gift ideas don’t have to be expensive but they are often widely appreciated. A creative wedding gift is likely to stand out from the more traditional gifts. Creative gifts are also likely to be greatly appreciated by the new couple.

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inexpensive option | Your Relations

February 6, 2006

Ideas for Inexpensive Centerpieces

Traditional floral centerpieces can be expensive especially if you plan on having a large number of tables at the wedding reception. While floral arrangements have traditionally been the centerpiece of choice at many weddings there are many more original centerpiece ideas that are also very inexpensive. Depending on the theme and color scheme of the wedding, there are a variety of low cost options available.

A wedding with a light-hearted theme hosted by a fun loving couple might be a suitable opportunity to utilize candy to create festive centerpieces. Clear glass bowls can be filled with colorful candies such as jelly beans or M & Ms to create a lovely and very inexpensive centerpiece that reflects the personalities of the bride and groom. The candy and bowls can probably be purchased for a fraction of the price of floral centerpieces and create a lovely centerpiece that is easily assembled and can be enjoyed by all of the guests.

The bride and groom can also opt for silk floral arrangements if they are intent on having flowers as their centerpiece. Many hobby stores sell a wide variety of attractive artificial flowers that can be arranged by the bride and groom to create attractive centerpieces for the tables. Using fake flowers gives the couple more of an opportunity to express their creativity. The hobby store also likely sells inexpensive vases so the couple may be able to purchase everything they need for the centerpieces in one location. Arranging the flowers in a vase is nice but long stemmed flowers such as calla lilies also look very attractive tied with twine or ribbon and simply laid in the center of the table. The couple could either choose seasonal artificial flowers or artificial flowers that fit the theme of the wedding and arrange them in inexpensive vases or tie them with attractive ribbons to create inexpensive centerpieces for their wedding.

Another inexpensive option for a couple wishing to utilize flowers for their centerpieces is to use potted plants. You can find a multitude of inexpensive potted plants at home improvement stores, greenhouses, and even grocery stores. The couple can choose plants that match the other decorations for the wedding or that will stand out amongst the other decorations. These plants could be repotted into festive pots to create attractive centerpieces for a relatively low cost.

Balloons can be another option for a couple looking to have fun yet inexpensive centerpieces. Balloons are relatively inexpensive and can be easily found in a wide variety of colors and patterns. The couple could choose solid or print patterns that match the colors of the table linens. An extra tip for these centerpieces is to weigh down the balloons with a piece of candy. This will encourage each guest at the table to take home a balloon as a souvenir. With a typical centerpiece only one guest has the opportunity to take home the centerpiece but using balloons makes it possible for each guest to take home a part of the centerpiece.

Another inexpensive wedding table centerpiece is a picture frame in the shape of cube that allows the insertion of a photo into each side of the cube. The couple may choose to include pictures of themselves during their courting or they may wish to include pictures of them with the guests who will be sitting at that table. This is a great opportunity for the couple to express their individuality and share a little bit of themselves with their guests. Artfully arranged photographs create fun centerpieces that are also very inexpensive.

Candles also create a very attractive yet inexpensive centerpiece. The couple may choose to purchase many of the same candle or candles of varying shapes, sizes and colors to arrange on the tables. Candles of the same size, shape and color can be arranged in a uniform pattern to create a beautiful centerpiece. Candles that vary in size, shape and color can be placed at random on the table to create an eclectic appeal.

With a little bit of thought and creativity a couple can find centerpiece options that are affordable, attractive and well suited for the couple. The traditional centerpieces of floral arrangements can be boring and also extremely expensive. Utilizing creativity and ingenuity to create centerpieces that are an accurate representation of the taste of the couple often creates a more appealing centerpiece at a very affordable price.

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April 27, 2006

Options for Wedding music

The old saying is that, “music soothes the savage beast.” Music can also maintain the pleasant atmosphere of your wedding. Choosing wedding music is not always the easiest task in a wedding. You have to put some thought into the wedding music that will be played and how it will be played. Of course, budget concerns are also something to consider when making your wedding music decisions.

The tradition for wedding music is to hire a live band that will play during the wedding reception. Check your local area to see if there is a band available that is willing to play wedding music during your reception. If you are a member of a church that has a band, you might request their services during your reception. This may choose to be less expensive than hiring a local band. When you hire a band, be sure to discuss meals in addition to wedding music selections. Although the bride and groom are not traditionally responsible for feeding the band, it is something that a band may include in their list of requirements.

Hiring a DJ should be similar to hiring a music coordinator. The DJ is in charge of the music entertainment. Don’t take this position lightly. You need someone who is not only talented with wedding music selection, but someone who will be able to keep your guests entertained. For example, a good DJ will play music that everyone can enjoy. The music the DJ plays will serve as your wedding music. It is a good idea that you request to review the collection of wedding music the DJ intends to play. If you don’t know someone who can serve as your DJ, you may want to solicit the services of a local radio station DJ.

Another option to having people control your music is to use CDs of appropriate wedding music. This option is appropriate for the wedding and the reception. If the wedding ceremony is going to be held in a church, you will probably need your music approved. Be sure to take care of this as soon as possible. There are collections of wedding music that you can find in just about any store that sells music that are probably fairly inexpensive. You could also create your own CDs or have someone with a variety of music create the CD for you. With the prevalence of music-recording software, it’s easy to make your own wedding music CDs.

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April 20, 2006

Inexpensive Wedding Gifts

A wedding gift does not have to be expensive to be well received and appreciated by the couple. While the extravagance of some weddings may compel their guests to purchase pricey gifts, it is not necessary to do so. Many people are invited to a number of weddings each year and it’s not feasible to purchase an expensive gift for every wedding you attend. While you may want to splurge on an extravagant gift for a close friend or relative, you are not required to invest a great deal of money in a gift for a casual acquaintance. Even if you are very close with the couple you may be able to create a very inexpensive gift for their wedding. The following are just a few ideas for inexpensive wedding gifts that are sure to delight the couple without breaking your budget.

One inexpensive gift idea is to fill a mixing bowl with a variety of kitchen utensils. This is both an inexpensive and an extremely useful gift. Many couples are starting their life together and will need a few basic utensils and kitchen gadgets to get them started. This gift is thoughtful and useful without being detrimental to your budget.

Another inexpensive gift idea is to create a basket containing elements for a romantic dinner. You could put this basket together by yourself and include items such as dry pasta and sauce as well as a bottle of wine and two wine glasses. You might also want to include a non-perishable desert such as biscotti to complete your meal. You could even include a recipe card with one of your own personally tested recipes. This inexpensive gift idea will be greatly valued by the couple because it essentially giving them the gift of a romantic night alone.

Picture frames can also be an inexpensive wedding gift idea. The couple will likely have a wide variety of photos that they will want to display in their home and providing them with a few simple frames is an inexpensive way to give them a truly useful gift. While many picture frames can be expensive, you could find simple wooden frames in a craft store and paint or decorate to suit the couple’s taste. You could also shop at closeout stores for these items and may find quite a few bargains available. Picture frames are an inexpensive and useful wedding gift idea that is likely to be cherished by the couple.

The couple’s registry could also be another source of inexpensive wedding gift ideas. Many couples will register for an assortment of items that span a large price spectrum. You may find that the couple has included many inexpensive items in their registry that may fall within your budget constraints. Choosing an inexpensive item from the couple’s registry ensures that you are giving them a gift that they will truly like and appreciate because they picked out the item themselves.

If you are a close friend or relative of the couple you may be able to make a very inexpensive wedding gift that will also be unique and greatly cherished by the couple. If you have many pictures of the couple, you might consider arranging these pictures in a unique way in a photo album to give to the couple as a gift. You could also use the photos to create a scrapbook or even a video presentation set to music that features the couple. These gifts will be greatly appreciated by the couple and can be created for a relatively small cost.

Candles are another inexpensive wedding gift. Newlyweds often incorporate candles in their decorating and also use candles to create ambiance during dinner or on other occasions. Just after they are married is the time when couples are most likely to enjoy candlelight dinners frequently and for no specific occasion so a wedding gift of candles is bound to be used often. Candles come in a great variety of colors, sizes and scents so it should be easy to find an assortment of candles that will be appreciated by the couple.

A wedding gift does not have to be expensive to be useful and appreciated by the couple. Many wedding guests spend a great deal of money on fancy china or glassware that is only used on special occasions while inexpensive gifts such as candles and kitchen utensils are used by the couple on a daily basis.

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January 10, 2006

10 Great “No Reason” Gifts for Under $10

We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s the thought that counts,” and this is especially true when giving a gift in a relationship. Simple gifts given to a loved one, don’t have to be for any reason other than to let them know that you care and are thinking of them and these gifts don’t have to be expensive. With a little creativeness you can give your loved one a gift that shows how much you love them and value your relationship for under $10.

The key to giving inexpensive gifts is to make sure they are something that the person you are giving the gift to will really cherish and appreciate. To give a really great inexpensive gift you have to think beyond the generic gifts of perfumed soaps and lotions for women and ties and socks for men. In giving inexpensive gifts try to personalize the gift to reflect the personality or hobbies of the recipient of the gift.

One inexpensive gift idea for a person who enjoys cooking is a specialty cookbook such as a dessert or ethnic cookbook. Interesting cook books can often be found in the discount section of book stores for less than $10. For an additional twist try making one of the dishes in the cookbook yourself and serving it when you present the gift to your loved one. Your loved one will appreciate the gesture and enjoy sharing the dish with you and will remember that moment fondly when using the cookbook.

For a sentimental soul, give a gift of personal photos arranged in a photo album in a unique way. Photo albums can be found for just a few dollars in convenience stores and you can use existing photos to fill the pages. The key to this gift is to present the photos in an original way. Try creating a photo album with a theme such as one that documents your relationship from courtship to your current stage or one that highlights the trips you have taken together.

The runner in your life will appreciate an inexpensive stopwatch or pedometer. While these gadgets can get pricey you can still find models that perform the basic functions for under $10. This gift lets you know that you are thinking of them and that you understand their hobby. They will appreciate your interest in their activities. You can even include a note letting them know you would love to join them for a run one day.

Another inexpensive gift idea is a basket filled with homemade cookies, breads or other goodies. If you know that your sweetheart has a sweet tooth, invest a few hours of your time to bake up some tasty treats for your loved one just to let them know you are thinking of them. They will not only enjoy the treat you have prepared but will also appreciate the effort that went into the gift. If the person you are baking the goodies for is on a special diet, be sure to incorporate their dietary needs into your recipe.

A homemade coupon book is always a welcomed gift and can certainly be made for under $10. Create coupons on your computer or by hand for services that you know your loved one will enjoy and include a small gift to go with the theme of the coupon book. For example the man in a relationship where the couple has children could give the woman a bottle of nail polish along with coupons offering his services as a babysitter while she goes out for a manicure with a friend. She will appreciate that you are sending her out to be pampered while you get a chance to enjoy some time with the kids. In giving this gift try to think of something your partner will appreciate but won’t splurge on for themselves.

Search the discount DVD bins for ones that are less than $10. Believe it or not, they are available and you just might find one that would make a great gift for someone you love. Inexpensive DVDs are often less mainstream and you could use that originality to try something new. If your partner is always trying to get you to go dancing but you keep refusing, you might find an instructional video on flamenco dancing or square dancing. Invite your loved one over and try following the video together.

Flowers don’t have to cost a fortune. You may spend hundreds on red roses for Valentine’s Day but for everyday occasions or for no reason at all, you could stop by your local supermarket and pick up a bouquet of colorful wild flowers from their floral department. Ditch the cellophane wrapper that the flowers come in and arrange them in a vase yourself or tie them with a pretty ribbon. Pre-arranged bouquets such as these are often available for under $10.

A CD filled with songs that your loved one enjoys or that have special meaning for you as a couple makes a wonderful and inexpensive gift. For under $10 you could easily use your computer to assemble a CD of meaningful songs. You could even create a CD cover that conveys the message you want to send with the CD.

Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy a trip to a local National Park to hike, observe wildlife and enjoy the outdoors so surprise your partner with a day trip to the park. Entry fees for many National Parks are under $10 and you and your loved one will have the opportunity to spend quality time together. Pack a picnic lunch and spend the day enjoying nature and each others company.

If your loved one enjoys working out, a jump rope is a gift that you can give them for less than $10. This inexpensive gift will not only remind them of their childhood but also demonstrate that you understand them and realize that fitness is important in their life. An even better idea is to buy one for yourself as well and challenge your loved one to a friendly competition.

Gift giving doesn’t have to be expensive and doesn’t have to be for a specific occasion. Surprise your partner with well thought out gifts that reflect their interests. With a little creativity you can give your loved one a gift that shows how well you know them and they are in your thoughts every day and you don’t have to spend more than $10 to do so.

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January 22, 2006

Non-Denominational or Mixed Religion Weddings

Couples of mixed religions or who come from families that do not have a strong religious background may choose to have either a non-denominational wedding or a wedding that blends two separate religions. This can be tricky however because many religions may not honor or recognize a wedding unless it is performed according to their own unique guidelines. For this reason it is very important to check with potential officiants and church leaders to ensure that your wedding plans will result in a union that is recognized by both churches. This is significant because you would not want to invest time and money on a marriage that will wind up not being recognized by the church and possibly not even recognized by the government. Whether a couple decides to have a non-denominational wedding, incorporate aspects of both religion into a ceremony that will not be recognized by either faith or participate in two separate religious ceremonies, it is important to remember that their love for each other and their love of their faith are equally important.

If both the bride and the groom have very strong faith backgrounds and wish to have their wedding recognized by their respective churches, they may have to take a few extra steps to ensure that their union is recognized by their churches. Sometimes the only way to do this is to have a wedding ceremony in both churches. This may seem like an unnecessary step but one of the defining criteria of having your marriage recognized by your faith, for many religions, is to have your wedding ceremony in the church. It is simply not possible to do this unless the couple takes the extra steps of having two wedding ceremonies to ensure that they will be both be accepted as a married couple into their faiths.

Another alternative to participating in two separate ceremonies in order to have the union recognized by both churches is to have a non-denominational wedding that is only recognized by the government. Couples may choose this option if they do not have the time or money that would be required to have two separate wedding ceremonies. A couple may choose a compromise that results in neither church recognizing the union. The theory behind this type of choice is that the couple decides that their love for each other is strong enough to survive and that they do not need to have the approval of their churches in order to have a successful and lasting marriage.

Still another alternative is to have a non-denominational wedding ceremony at a location in a natural setting. At this type of ceremony the couple has no restrictions and can choose to incorporate either religion into the ceremony in any way that they see fit. They may do this by using traditional prayers and religious songs during the ceremony. While this type of ceremony will not be recognized by the church is does offer the couple the opportunity to incorporate some of the religious traditions of both of their faiths into a beautiful ceremony that successfully blends two religions.

A final alternative is to incorporate one faith fully into the wedding ceremony and incorporate the other faith fully into the wedding reception. This option results in the marriage being recognized by one of the religions but does not allow the other family to feel neglected because their faith is well represented in the traditional activities of the wedding reception. This option is only feasible if the member of the couple who will not have their church recognize the union, is completely accepting and understand of this fact. This is important because the resentment and jealousy that could result from this could be very detrimental to the couple.

Inter-faith couples are on the rise. Years ago it was unheard of to marry someone outside of your faith but this is no longer true and many couples today are inter-faith couples. It is difficult but not impossible to integrate the two faiths in a way that is satisfactory to all of those involved. While the faiths can be blended to create a beautiful wedding, the problem is that many churches will not accept this blended wedding as a union. Sometimes the couple decides that their happiness together is more important than having the church recognize the union so they opt for a non-denominational wedding that is completely devoid of any religious traditions.

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