Sunday, January 31, 2010

OBG Posters

The Onslow Bridal Gala posters are here! Contact me to get some. or 252-671-6939

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Vendors get 20% off advertising on Operation Wedding Day Magazine

Introducing Operation Wedding Day, a bridal magazine presented by The Globe.
The Operation Wedding Day Magazine is the area's only authorized bridal magazine with access to Eastern North Carolina
Military Bases. 30,000 copies distributed annually.
The Globe is offering our vendors the opportunity to advertise at a discounted rate. Contact 910-376-0657 or 910-347-9624 or email Heather Miller, Advertising Director at to reserve your space, the deadline is Tuesday.

Reserve your booth today, only a few spots left! The Onslow Bridal Gala will be held March 7 at the Jacksonville Commons Recreation Center at 100 Recreation Lane, Jacksonville, NC 28541.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Free honeymoon giveaway at the Onslow Bridal Gala

Super news! One lucky couple will receive a 3 day, 2 night stay at the Poconos Resorts! Check out their web site.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Planning a bridal shower? Relax and enjoy it with these food shortcuts

(ARA) - Your dear friend or sister announces she's engaged. She wants you to be her maid of honor. It goes without saying, you're thrilled for her. But - does this mean you'll have to plan at least one bridal shower? Not to mention, wear a dress not of your own choosing and find the perfect gift?

If the bridal shower causes you the most anxiety, help is on the way. Kendall McFarland, director of product and recipe development at Simply Organic, suggests cutting down on stress with these time-saving tips to host a simple but sensational shower for the bride.

* Accept help. When the bride's mother or other guests ask if they can bring anything, say yes. Ask them to bring something you don't especially enjoy preparing or something you know is that person's specialty which the bride really loves. Or have each guest bring a dessert or appetizer, so you can focus solely on the rest of the party and fun. Offers to help are gifts, so allow other bridesmaids or friends to assist if they offer. Working together can add to the shower fun, and give you stories to share as you continue down the wedding day road.

* Go the healthy route - the bride, her bridesmaids and the mother of the bride all want to fit into their dresses when the big day finally arrives. The most thoughtful meal you can offer your guests is a delicious and healthful one. Provide great-tasting, nutritious snacks that go easy on salt, fat, sugar and other potentially unhealthy ingredients and your guests will fondly remember your hospitality.

* Remake everyday favorites. Great dishes don't require hours in the kitchen. Make your easy-to-prepare favorites and dress them up with special festive seasonings. Try distinctive seasoning blends like curry or Italian seasoning, or even seasoned sugar combinations like lemon sugar or cinnamon sugar for a gourmet touch. For example: Add a liberal dose of a spice like oregano, basil or cayenne (or an herbal seasoning blend) along with some garlic and Parmesan cheese to your usual mashed potatoes and you'll instantly serve something out of the ordinary.

* Use clever shortcuts. For inviting flavor without fuss, keep a supply of natural dressing and dip mixes on hand for fresh, homemade appetizers and snacks. Add a dip or dressing mix, such as creamy dill, French onion, guacamole or ranch to equal parts of low-fat cottage cheese and non-fat plain yogurt and mix in a blender or food processor until smooth. Serve with fresh veggies you can buy already cleaned and cut up at the store.

* Plan and shop wisely. Don't exhaust yourself shopping. Outline your menu - including impromptu snacks - ahead of time. Then pick up everything non-perishable at the same time, eliminating last-minute sprints to the grocery store. Don't panic if your grocer is missing that key spice ingredient since it's easier than ever to order online. For example, Simply Organic carries culinary items like organic spices, seasoning blends, baking extracts and flavors, gluten-free baking mixes and other cooking ingredients and supplies - which they will ship to you within a few days of your order.

Here are two great examples of healthy bridal shower dishes from the Simply Organic recipe collection that are easy to prepare:

Strawberry Spice Muffins

1 package Simply Organic Carrot Cake Mix
1/3 cup water
2 large beaten eggs
1 cup very finely diced strawberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine carrot cake baking mix, water and eggs. Blend until just moist. Fold strawberries into blend. Pour into well-greased or lined muffin pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

Makes 12 regular-size muffins or six large muffins.

Chef Suggestions
Top with cream cheese frosting and sliced strawberries.

Spicy Clementine Dressing

1/2 cup juice from fresh Clementine oranges
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
1 package Simply Organic Salsa Dip Mix

Whisk all ingredients together. Chill until ready to serve, stirring right before drizzling on mixed greens.

Chef Suggestions
Combine fresh mixed greens, Feta cheese and slices of Clementine oranges to make a fresh and spicy salad.

For more delicious, healthy and easy recipes, visit and click on the recipe drop-down menu. Courtesy of ARAcontent

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Beyond the basics: How to create a one-of-a-kind wedding

(ARA) - Millions of couples get engaged every holiday season when love and affection are in the air. But what many couples don't know is that you can keep that good feeling alive and avoid stress while planning your wedding.

Turn your dream into reality

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, and is most likely a day you've spent hours, days or even years dreaming about. When the time finally comes to start planning the big day, you don't want to cut corners or settle for a run-of-the-mill, impersonal event. With the help of the American Rental Association (ARA) and your local rental store, you can be sure your wedding day will be one that will be remembered by all.

Rental opens the doors to options you may have never even considered due to time or budget constraints. A romantic outdoor wedding is possible any time of the year with huge tents and elegant canopies, equipped with heating or cooling options. Make a statement by skipping the traditional tiered cake and going with something more unique, like an impressive chocolate fountain with brownie or cheesecake bites or an ice cream cart complete with all the fixings. You can even create dramatic scenery on the walls and ceiling of your venue with a variety of accent lighting options.

Don't break the bank

While your wedding day may be the most important day of your life, there is no reason why it has to be the most expensive. You can save money on seating, centerpieces and more by renting. Why buy all your wedding supplies when you are only going to use them once? Why bother paying for their storage and upkeep after the big day is over? Simplify your wedding and your budget by letting the rental store take care of the cleanup, maintenance and storage of all your decorations and supplies.

And forget about running all over town, wasting time, energy and money - make one stop at your local rental store and get everything you need. ARA members, which include more than 7,500 rental businesses and 1,100 manufacturers and suppliers, are located in every state, so you can get all the supplies you need in one stop. To make finding the rental store nearest you even easier, ARA offers, the world's largest and most comprehensive rental store locator. Here, people planning their wedding and reception can find the rental store nearest them, read how-to tips and get ideas and inspiration for their event.

Enlist the experts

To make planning your big day even easier, some ARA member rental businesses offer Certified Event Rental Professionals (CERPs). And most offer on-site support, relieving much of the stress associated with planning a wedding. These professionals are ready and willing to share their knowledge and experience with you, from pre-wedding set-up all the way through the day of the event.

Deadlines, budgets, guest lists - these are all aspects of a wedding that need to be managed and sometimes are better left to the professionals. CERPs know what needs to be organized right away, and what can wait until later. They will think of that one detail that never would have crossed your mind and keep your budget in check.

Enlisting the help of a CERP will not only ease the stress and tension of planning an entire wedding, but it will also ensure that the wedding you always envisioned is the one you will remember for years to come. From the latest trends and themes, to innovative budget saving strategies, CERPs know the ins and outs of planning a wedding.

Don't let planning your wedding be as stressful as the holidays. Make it an enjoyable experience with the help of ARA and your local rental store. CCourtesy of ARAcontent

Monday, January 4, 2010

Engaged? How to experience all the excitement of this special time

(ARA) - Congratulations - you're engaged! This is a special time, leading up to the big day that will change your lives forever. Don't wait for the nuptials to arrive, however, before you bask in the bliss. Savor every minute of your engagement experience.

"Brides may find that making wedding plans can distract them from the simple joy of being engaged," says Raymond Miller, a wedding planning expert with the Web site My Wedding Reception "But some advanced planning and creative ideas can help them fully enjoy their engagement while still preparing for the wedding day of their dreams."

Miller offers brides-to-be some simple advice for getting the most enjoyment out of being engaged:

Announcing your big news

News of your engagement is one of the most exciting pieces of information you'll ever share with family and friends. Get creative and fun with your engagement announcement, but don't overlook practicality. You want to announce your engagement and wedding date in a way that will be quick and easy for you - and memorable to those receiving the message. Save the date magnets can be a great way to get the word out and put your wedding date front-of-mind for those who are invited.

Traditional engagement announcements in local newspapers limit your creativity and the reach of your news. Save the date wedding magnets can relay information about your wedding plans across the country to distant loved ones. And because we all have a tendency to hold on to magnets (How many pizza delivery magnets do you have on your refrigerator?) in conspicuous places in our homes, your guests-to-be will see a constant reminder of your special day.

My Wedding Reception can help you create customized wedding save the date magnets that reflect your individuality, convey the theme of your wedding and keep your date on the minds of friends and family.

Sharing the celebration

Sure, your maid of honor and other girlfriends will probably throw you a bridal shower. But you don't have to wait to begin celebrating the good news. You and your fiancé can involve loved ones in the celebrating - and do it at a time you choose - by hosting your own engagement party.

Staging your own party allows you to share the excitement sooner. Plus, you can use the occasion as an opportunity to "test drive" wedding day seating arrangements or check out a restaurant you're considering for the rehearsal dinner. You can also experiment with linens and décor; using colors you're considering for your wedding will give you an idea of what these decorator items will look like in an elegant setting. Or, use the engagement party as way to preview your wedding theme - for example, host the party at a seaside location for a beach-themed wedding.

And don't forget to celebrate as a couple, as well. If planning starts to feel too stressful, consider taking a pre-honeymoon trip that will help you decompress and reconnect as a couple. Time away together will help remind you what all your wedding planning is really about - your love for each other. The break could be as simple as a weekly date night or as elaborate as a weekend getaway.

Be resourceful

The Internet has made wedding planning easier than ever. Use online resources, like sites that allow you to experiment with seating charts for receptions, compare color schemes and create sample menus. My Wedding Reception can help you pick and plan personalized wedding favors, accessories and gifts for your wedding party. The site also provides tips on different kinds of napkins and how to choose them, and other useful planning hints. Visit to learn more.

"Planning a wedding should be part of the enjoyable experience of being engaged," Miller says. "With creativity and some expert help, it's possible to make the months of your engagement as memorable and special as the wedding day itself." Courtesy of ARAcontent

Sunday, January 3, 2010

How to add classic traditions to a modern wedding

(ARA) - Every bride remembers the age-old saying, "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue," and considers how to incorporate these elements into her wedding.

This English poem - believed to be from the Victorian era - was created to provide the bride with several good-luck tokens for her new life with her husband. Here are a few ideas to help the modern bride incorporate some classic traditions into her wedding:

Something old: No, you don't have to attempt to fit into or resurrect from the back of the closet your mother's, or even your grandmother's gown. You might discover one of them wore a unique headpiece that you can incorporate into your veil. Or your husband-to-be's aunt has a ring you could wear, or an embroidered satin handkerchief you can blend into your bouquet. Vintage purses, antique lace threaded into your veil or wound around your bouquet, or even a squirt from a bottle of your grandmother's perfume also work well to classically merge the "something old" tradition into your ceremony.

Something new: The pearl necklace is a classic look that complements a wedding dress perfectly. Since ancient times, pearls - with their unblemished perfection - have been tied to weddings as a symbol of innocence.

"Because they are considered a symbol of purity, pearls work perfectly to complete a bride's wedding-day look," says Jeremy Shepherd of, the world's largest online pearl company. "Akoya pearls have the perfect round shape with soft, neutral colors, while freshwater pearls shine with more of an intense, natural metallic luster, perfect to complement an embroidered gown."

Visit to see the differences between Akoya and freshwater pearls and to find the perfect pearl necklace for your wedding day.

Something borrowed: This is an excellent way to get your best friend or a close relative more involved in your special day. But don't think that something borrowed must be clothing or jewelry. You could borrow a back yard for the wedding reception, or a purse your sister used when she got married. Another potential item is to borrow the family Bible for readings during the ceremony. Other ideas include borrowing candles for the ceremony or reception, a cake knife set, music from your friends to play at the reception or even the toasting glasses you and your new husband will click together to celebrate your marriage.

Something blue: One popular idea is for brides to incorporate blue into their garter belts, but the idea can stretch much further. Nail polish, makeup, shoes, embroidered flowers on the gown, small pieces of jewelry, a wrap or even blue flowers woven into the bouquets offer plenty of alternatives. If you want to create something a little more surprising, consider wearing blue lingerie. And if you really are planning a modern wedding, you could always wear a blue dress, since blue is a symbol of love, purity and fidelity.

Courtesy of ARAcontent