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Carole Keily

Charitable Gifts for your Wedding

By Lisa Beth Miller Couples who want to incorporate giving into their wedding celebrations have several options on how to do so. Here are a few ideas on how to be philanthropic for one of your first acts as a married couple. Incorporate specific charities into your registry: Allow guests to donate in your honor to a cause that is meaningful to you both. This is especially common for couples who have already established their home. Charities that have a local impact will resonate with guests. Here are a few of our favorites: Semper K9 Assistance Dogs – semperk9.org ACTS – actspwc.org Community Foundation of Northern Virginia – cfnova.org Give Back Prince William – givebackpw.org Habitat for Humanity Prince William County – habitatpwc.org Donate instead of giving favors: A charitable registry shows that a couple is philanthropically-minded, but a donation …

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Love Loudoun Wedding Showcase to Spotlight Loudoun County Venues, Wedding Professionals

Provided by FNP Events Visit Loudoun and FNP Events announce a new wedding event designed to connect couples to Loudoun County venues and wedding professionals. “Love Loudoun: A Wedding Showcase” will be hosted at West Belmont Place at The National Conference Center in Leesburg, Virginia, on March 15, from 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m., with the first hour open to VIP ticket holders. “The wedding industry contributes more than $118 million to Loudoun’s economy annually and continues to grow,” Visit Loudoun President and CEO Beth Erickson said. “With everything from historic settings and vineyards to modern ballrooms, Loudoun has one of the most diverse offerings of wedding venues in the D.C. region. This Wedding Showcase will give couples a chance to meet with dozens of wedding vendors all under one roof.” The Love Loudoun Wedding Showcase will feature almost 100 …

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Get Married and Honeymoon in Style with Divine Destination Weddings and Honeymoons

Iceland, Divine Destinations

By Erin Pittman Sponsored by Divine Destination Weddings and Honeymoons So, you’ve found the person you want to marry, gotten the ring and have enough excitement bottled up inside for years to come. Now it’s time to make plans for your unforgettable wedding and honeymoon. But where do you start? No matter what you’re looking for, turn to Divine Destination Weddings and Honeymoons. Expert Travel Planners When you contact Divine Destinations, you’ll receive tailored service from the very beginning. Dana Franklin and her Virginia team of agents bring years of expert service to the table. Franklin has been a travel agent for 14 years and has been with the company since 2014. “People will find that human connection from start to finish,” said Franklin. “Our clients will receive multiple options, and we will walk them through the booking process, often …

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Weddings at the Hylton Performing Arts Center

By Ashley Simpson Sponsored by Hylton Performing Arts Center Many would say that you’re the star of your own show on your wedding day. And, the Hylton Performing Arts Center – an opera house and theater venue in Manassas – gives this idea a whole new meaning for local brides. The Hylton Center opened in 2010, and the first wedding took place the very next year. “We’ve been doing weddings almost since the beginning,” said Susan Landess, Sales and Community Relations Manager of the Hylton Performing Arts Center. “The Hylton Center began reaching out to the wedding market as a way to enhance our community outreach when not being used for performances.” Hylton Center performers include the Northern Virginia Ballet, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers Band, the Manassas Ballet Theater, the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, and even the National Symphony …

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Pamper the Bride with Pampered Chef Showers and Registries

By Erin Pittman Sponsored by Pampered Chef One of the most popular rooms to stock from a bridal registry is the kitchen. Who doesn’t want new stoneware, appliances and gadgets for entertaining in a new home? What if you could do so in a more creative and fun way? Anna Tjoumas, local Pampered Chef consultant, offers creative twists on the traditional bridal registries and showers. With typical registries, couples go to the store and register. With Pampered Chef, they get more. “Couples create their registries, have a shower and receive all the host benefits including free and discounted items, plus monthly specials,” said Anna. Pampered Chef Bridal Showers At the shower, guests shop from a couple’s Pampered Chef registry and can purchase items for themselves, too. There’s no need for guests to shop ahead, as they can complete their shopping …

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Three Generations of a Blooming Business: Johnson’s Florist and Garden Centers

By Marianne Weaver Sponsored by Johnson’s Florist and Garden Centers Johnson’s Florist and Garden Centers, with locations in Kensington and Olney, Maryland, has established itself as the go-to for floral arrangements, plants and garden products. But that was not the vision when the business was founded 87 years ago. “In 1932, in the midst of the Depression, Raymond T. Johnson Sr. opened a small grocery store at Wisconsin and Van Ness Streets in Washington, D.C.,” said Thomas Johnson, Johnson’s Florist and Garden Centers Director of Store Operations. “In the spring of 1933, an individual who lived on Van Ness Street and raised geraniums as a hobby offered him a few geranium plants to sell on consignment. And the plant business was born.” After World War II, the grocery department suffered from the competition of the new, larger supermarkets. The floral …

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Dessert Table Inspiration for Your Big Day

Cakes by Happy Eatery

By Amy Taylor Sponsored by Cakes by Happy Eatery The wedding cake has been the star of the reception for years. Now it’s time for cake to share the stage with some supporting actors on the dessert table. Victoria and Emily Wu of Cakes by Happy Eatery have seen wedding trends ebb and flow for years. Lately they’ve seen more orders for full dessert tables to accompany the traditional, decadent wedding cake. “A bountiful dessert table is visually memorable and unforgettable,” said Victoria Wu, General Manager of Cakes by Happy Eatery. “Creative looks and flavors mesmerize the guests, while reflecting the wedding couples’ personality.” Here are some sweet ideas to inspire your wedding dessert table! Choose a few or have them all. The more desserts, the merrier! Chocolate fountain with dippers – If you’re having an elegant celebration, what better …

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For a Wedding Photographer to Tell Your Story, Start with the Engagement

By Tom Conway Sponsored by Wedding Stories by Tania Wedding Stories by Tania is setting a new standard among the best wedding photographers and videographers in and around Washington, D.C. “We want to have video and pictures to tell the whole story from beginning to end,” said Tania Hossain, the company’s founder and lead photographer. “We want to capture everything special about the day, including all of the friends and loved ones who were there and the moments you’ll tell your kids and your grandkids about.” “Pictures aren’t static things these days,” Hossain continued. “Facebook and Instagram have changed everything. People from halfway around the world can see everything through photo and video as if they were there. That’s why telling the whole story is so important. It used to be these pictures might just hang on someone’s wall, but …

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Wedding Cake Inspiration – Which Cake is Your Style?

wedding cake, Simply Desserts

By Amy Taylor Sponsored by Simply Desserts Wedding cakes come in so many beautiful styles, it might be hard to choose. Simply Desserts, an award-winning bakery based in Gainesville, Virginia, brings us some wedding cake inspiration to help you choose the perfect sweet touch to your big day! Wedding Cake Styles to Inspire You Floral – If you can’t get enough fresh flowers, you may want to have this style wedding cake. These cakes are usually tall, multi-tiered cakes with cascading flowers. If you’re having a romantic or whimsical-themed wedding, this cake would fit right in. Tall – If you’re having a classic or formal wedding with many guests, a tall cake might fit the bill. These cakes are usually four to six tiers with piping and floral elements. These cakes give a grand feeling to your reception. Naked – …

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Our Favorite Things

We love finding new gift ideas for our readers to showcase. Here are a few of our favorite things that are a little unique than what is the usual wedding party gift. Consider these items for your wedding party or just as an anytime gift for those you love. Tie the Knot: Grant Patton has a great selection of unique ties made in the USA. Matching socks also available. Starting at $65. grantpatton.com Ruff Mornings: Custom blended for Semper K9, this is a combination of two light to medium roasted coffees. Roasted by Veteran Owned Ricks Roasters in Northern Virginia, sales from this coffee benefit Semper K9’s Service Dogs for Veterans program. Starting at $4. semperk9.shop Whiskey Wedge: Creates an ice slope that chills spirits but minimizes dilution with this rocks glass’s fitted silicone mold. $18. uncommongoods.com Local Gin: Distilled …

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Floral Initials

By Amanda Baity Floral initials are beautiful, personal wedding decorations, especially when filled with the couple’s favorite plants. They are great to make for your own wedding or to give as a gift to a gardening friend who is tying the knot. Try the couple’s first initials, or just their last initial if you only have time to make one. Or go all out and spell their names if you have the time! Wire Outline: To make your personalized floral initials you’ll need to begin with a wire frame. You can make them yourself, but they can be found at many craft and garden stores. The time and trouble saved to make the small cost worth it. You’ll also need moss to line your letters, plants to fill them and dirt for your plants to grow. Try to choose plants …

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Venue Coordinator or Event Coordinator: What is the Difference?

By Lisa Beth Miller As you plan for your big day and search for your dream venue, it is important to pay attention to what assistance is offered at each venue. If the venue itself provides a coordinator, you may not need to hire a separate event coordinator. Confused about the differences between the two types of coordinators? Here are some tips regarding the roles of venue coordinators and event coordinators: Venue Coordinators: When you’re picking out your wedding venue, one of the first things you should ask is whether or not there is an on-site wedding coordinator at your disposal. If your venue offers a coordinator as part of its package, that means there’s no added cost for this added benefit. A venue coordinator works for the venue, not directly for you. They’ll act as a liaison between you …

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