Special Section: Bridal Supplement

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-114609166110767.jpg’, ‘Photo by Ren Krause’, ‘Marrissa Best of Oregon models inside the Sinissippi Greenhouse, beautifully attired in a bridal gown from Great Hang Ups.’);

A guide to help you plan the perfect wedding

By Holly Myers, Staff Writer

Congratulations! You are now officially engaged and ready to start planning the wedding you’ve been dreaming of for years. Before you embark on this amazing journey, remember there is a lot to get done before the actual ceremony.

One of the hardest things about planning a wedding is finding the items you would like to be a part of your big day. This is where The Rock River Times’ Bridal Guide comes in.

We have compiled a list of local vendors who carry bridal items—everything from the invitations to the photographs that last a lifetime. Pick and choose, or call all of these vendors, for services, gifts, decorations and pretty much anything else you can think of. They are here to help make your day the way you always dreamt it would be.


The Dozen—8324 N. 2nd St., 636-0668

Flower Flour—4795 Blue Stem, Roscoe, 623-1333

Mary’s Market—4431 E. State St., 397-7291

Reynolds Melinda: Cake Decorating—15423 Capron Rd., Capron, 815/569-2789

Roma Bakeries—525 Marchesano Drive, 964-6737

Simply Cakes—1409 Apache Drive, 394-1490

Sweet Ambrosia—962-0306

Banquet Halls

American Center—221 W. Main St., Rockton, 399-5164

Castaways—10 E. Riverside Blvd., 877-8455

Cliffbreakers—700 W. Riverside Blvd., 282-3033

Clock Tower Resort—7801 E. State St., 398-6000

Community Building—111 W. First St., Belvidere, 547-3928

DiGiovanni’s—4866 Bluestem Drive, Roscoe, 623-2320

Forest Hills Lodge—9572 Forest Hills Drive, 633-1500

Francesco’s Restaurant Pizzeria & Lounge—2404 Perryville Rd., 332-4992

Freeport Masonic Temple—233-0513

Giovanni’s—610 N. Bell School Rd., 398-6411

Grazie Amici—7801 E. State St., 387-9000

Guiseppe Verdi Club—782 N. Madison St., 968-8119

Hawks View—282-4868

Hello Folks Restaurant & Holiday Hall Banquet Facility—408 Center, Durand, 815/248-4643

Hoffman House—7550 E. State St., 397-5800

Holiday Inn—7550 E. State St., 398-2200

Jarrett Prairie Center—7993 River Rd., Byron, 234-8535 ext. 200

Jewish Community Center—1500 Parkview Ave., 399-5497

JMK Nippon—2551 N. Perryville Rd., 877-0505

John’s Restaurant & Pizzeria—2914 11th St., 398-4044

Leonardi’s Char House—4602 E. State St., 316-7300

Lino’s—5611 E. State St., 397-2077

Loves Park VFW—2018 Windsor Rd., 654-2195

Lucerne’s Fondue & Spirits—845 N. Church St., 968-2665

Lyran Society—1115 Fourth Ave., 964-0511

Midway Village & Museum Center—6799 Guilford Rd., 397-9112

Nunzio’s Restaurant & Lounge—5800 N. 2nd St., Loves Park, 633-5000

Olympic Tavern—2327 N. Main St., 962-8758

Paragon on State—205 W. State St., 963-1660

Ramada Hotel Plaza—200 S. Bell School Rd., 226-2100

Rockford Area Teamsters—5533 11th St., 874-9988

Rockford Banquet Center—4414 Charles St., 997-2600

Rockford College—226-4039

Rockford Woman’s Club—323 Park Ave., 965-4233

Sam’s Restaurante & Pizzeria—6075 E. Riverside Blvd., 877-2127

Shogun—293 Executive Pkwy., 394-0007

Sicilian Restaurant—5506 Clayton Circle, Roscoe, 623-7358

Stockholm Inn—2420 Charles St., 397-3534

Super Buffet Chinese Restaurant—1229 Sandy Hollow Rd., 226-9600

Sweden House Lodge—4605 E. State St., 398-4130

Tebala Shrine—7910 Newburg Rd., 332-2010

Thunder Bay Grille—7652 Potawatomi Trail, 397-4800

TLC Learning Center—207 N. First St., 965-8920

Trackside OTB—5011 E. State St., 398-2300

UAW Building & Affiliated Local Unions—112 N. 2nd St., 962-0601

Venetian Club—2180 Elmwood Rd., 282-6037

Villa Di Roma—1620 Harrison Ave., 397-4757

White Pines Wedding Canyon—946-3817

Williams Tree Farm—4661 Yale Bridge Rd., Rockton, 800/423-6635



A Better Choice Catering—742-8044

A Cut Above Café & Catering—1018 Ralston Rd., 282-3995

A Movable Feast— 227-0102

AACE Catering—964-8647

Best Events Catering—608/755-4123

Brio Catering & Restaurant—515 E. State St., 968-9463

Chiles Catering Co.—502 Buckbee St., 964-8647

Countryside Meats & Deli—821 S. Perryville Rd., 399-8660

Eickman’s Processing—3226 S. Pec. St., Seward, 247-8451

Heavenly Ham—7451 E. State St., 395-1426

Hoffman House—7550 E. State St., 397-5800

Huddle, The—1100 N. State St., Belvidere, 544-9214

Hungry I Catering—1517 James Court, Belvidere, 544-5850

King’s Table—308 W. State St. in Stewart Square, 986-0921

Kwik Buy-Pie Shell Catering—6116 Mulford Village, 229-8214

Penguin Foods—965-8604

River District Catering—964-8365

Disc Jockeys

AAA Mobile DJ’s—424 W. Garfield, Freeport, 232-7637

Beat Goes On, The—637-4824

Best of Times—654-0372

Big King DJs—712-0229

Cam Music Entertainment—877-9678

Celebrations DJ Service—624-8816

Choice Tunes by Dana Logsdon—847/507-1266

DJ Digital D—540-6957

D. J. Productions—847/754-1525

First Class Mobil DJ—742-5521

Flipside DJ Service—394-4806

Fun Times—229-3535

Harmony Music—633-3292

Imagine-Eared Productions—654-9499

IMANI Productions—536 Island Ave., 986-0481

J & J Mobile DJ & Karaoke Service—389-1487

Jeti Entertainment—395-0415

Jock in a Box Mobile DJ—4320 Mayflower Ave., 874-5288

John Stewart’s Mobile Music—608/365-3352

Magic Mike’s Karaoke & DJ Service—637-2238

Music by Chance—623-6676

Music Express With Jim & Kathy—2100 Harlem Rd., Loves Park, 654-7550

Music Inc. —1612 Hackberry Lane, 633-9268

Music Man DJ Service—4215 Brendenwood Rd., 299-3995

97 ZOK’s Roger Peters—965-0835

Power Play Mobile DJ—235-6006

Rockin Good Times—633-9718

Ron Hawthorne the Magical Entertainer—543-7830

Scott Thomas Entertainment—877/783-4386

Sound Explosion—547-4260

Sound Express Mobile Disc Jockeys—633-3928

Sound Image Mobile Music—871-7179

Sound Productions—484-2424

Studio 915—915 West St., 800/244-5345

Those Guys DJ—636-7695

Time Machine Mobile Music, The—3151 Talbot Trail, 637-4695

Tunes “R” us—877/521-0199

Unlimited Entertainment—398-6517

Zebra Enterprises—3530 Freemont St., 654-8400


A Cut Above Florist—3640 E. State St., 399-3558

All Seasons Floral & Gifts—417 Center, Durand, 248-4454

Al-Mar The Florist—1904 S. Main St., 965-9543

Alpha Floral Company—513 Toner Ave., 968-1878

Aunt Jenny’s Floral Treasures—316 E. State St., Cherry Valley, 332-7838

B Sanfield—6505 N. Alpine Rd., 633-3100

Baker & Blooms—4795 Bluestem Rd., Roscoe, 623-1333

Balloons & Flowers by Haley—282-4214

Barr’s Flowers & Greenhouse—420 Fairview St., Belvidere, 544-3141

Belfiori Flowers & Gifts—3505 N. Main St., 282-0088

Beloit Floral—1205 Cranston Rd., Beloit, Wis., 608/365-9484

Blossom Basket—125 W. Second St., Byron, 234-5563

Broadway Florists—1010 Broadway, 968-0825

Cherry Blossom Flowers & Gifts—3304 N. Main St., 654-1188

Crimson Ridge Florist—735 N. Perryville Rd., 399-9000

Discoteca Ritmo Latino Flowers—408 S. State St., Belvidere, 544-9793

Distinctions by Diana—308 W. State St., 972-1144< p> Enders Flowers—1631 N. Alpine Rd., 229-1290

Event Floral—8181 Starwood Drive, Loves Park, 885-3900

Fiori Di Amore—1318 Auburn Rd., 962-3000

Flower Bin Specialty Shoppe—1434 N. State St., Belvidere, 544-2800

Flowering Vine, The—1107 S. Mulford Rd., 226-3924

Forget Me Not Floral—315 Main St., Pecatonica, 239-2455

G. Gordon Flowers—5528 Elevator Rd., Roscoe, 623-8977

H S Floral—7151 Walton, 397-3425

King’s Flowers—3600 E. State St., 399-3557

Nelson’s Flowers—430 River Park Rd., 633-8323

O’Fallon’s Fine Flowers—1605 N. Bell School Rd., 395-8320

Pepper Creek—7295 Harrison Ave., 332-2103

Potting Shed Flower Shop—1495 N. State St., Belvidere, 547-3249

Timeless Elegance Unique Floral—961-9872

Treasure Shop Florists—2202 Rural St., 397-6930

Wedding Day Flowers of Rockford—2142 Douglas St., 966-0437

Whispering Willow—7975 Forest Hills Rd., Loves Park, 877-1599

Xandra’s Floral—5301 E. State St., Ste. 114, 229-8401

Formal Wear

After Hours Formal Wear—7200 Harrison Ave., 332-9567

Amelia’s Bridal—317 State St., Beloit, Wis., 608/365-9697

Castronovo Bridal Shop—722 N. Main St., 962-4731

Classic Formal Wear—Colonial Village Shopping Center, 397-2889

Courtesy’s Tuxedo—608/365-8556

Desmonds Formal Wear—CherryVale Mall, 332-9567

Elite Formalwear—316-8899

Glamour Bridal—408 E. State St., 961-1567

Great Hang Ups—613 S. Rockford Ave., 229-8500

Memory Lingers on Bridal—40 N. Ayer, Harvard, 943-8345

Men’s Wearhouse—6250 Mulford Village Drive, 3977949

Nedrebo’s Formal Wear—6156 E. Riverside Blvd., Loves Park, 877-8770

Premier Wedding Services—500 E. Milwaukee St., Janesville, Wis., 608/743-0550

Sara Grace—1615 N. Alpine Rd., 398-9896

Seno Formal Wear—6520 E. Riverside Blvd., Loves Park, 654-3818 and Cherry Vale Mall, 332-2444

Stephanie’s House of Brides—1613 N. Alpine Rd., 399-1220

Trend Room Menswear—430 E. Grand Ave., Beloit, Wis., 608/363-3808

Vera’s House of Bridals—1781 S. Bell School Rd., Cherry Valley, 332-5585


Absolute Travel—6254 E. Riverside Blvd., 654-3939

Accent on Travel—4777 E. State St., 398-9636

Camelot World Travel—2627 N. Mulford Rd., 633-2200

Carlson Wagonlit Travel—623-7117

Executive BTI Travel—929 S. Alpine Rd., 397-1942

E-Z Travel/Cruise—7101 N. Alpine Rd., 877-8080

Globetrotter Travel—504 N. State St., Belvidere, 547-7800

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow—7007 N. Second St., 639-2550

Illinois International—308 W. State St., 964-8627

Lindstrom Travel—5970 Guilford Rd., 398-8888

Morrison Travel—1710 Rural St., 229-8544

The Cruise Company—262 N. Phelps Ave., 399-7400

Travel Towne—5861 Forest Hills Rd., 637-2699

Truitt Travel—1680 N. Alpine Rd., 968-1200


Baymont Inn—662 N. Lyford Rd., 229-8200

Best Western Clock Tower Resort—7801 E. State St., 398-6000

Cliffbreakers River Restaurant Hotel—700 W. Riverside Blvd., 282-3033

Comfort Inn—7392 Argus Drive, 398-7061

Courtyard By Marriott—7676 E. State St., 397-6222

Exel Inn—220 S. Lyford Rd., 332-4915

Holiday Inn—7550 E. State St., 398-2200

Ramada Hotel Plaza—200 S. Bell School Rd., 226-2100

Red Roof Inn—7434 E. State St., 398-9750

Sweden House Lodge—4605 E. State St., 398-4130


A Touch of Class—389-9488

A Touch of Class II—624-6555

A Fantasy Limousine—624-6555

AAA Quality Limousines—1021 E. State St., Rockford, 964-2964

Affordable Limo—739-6033

Anderson Limousine—8414 N. 2nd St., Machesney Park, 654-1155

Black Cadillac Limousine Service—2424 Bypass, Rte. 20, 547-4328

Classic Limousine—5024 Willow Creek Rd., Machesney Park, 282-1868

Cloud 9 Limousine—450 Congress Pkwy., Crystal Lake, 815/739-6033

Diamond & Gems Limousine Service—3911 Louisiana Rd., 800/427-0522

J & J Limousine Service—1905 S. Afton Rd., Beloit, Wis., 608/365-8980

Majestic Limousine Service—1617 Pierce Ave., 637-4658

Mark V Limousine—200 N. Galena Ave., Freeport, 235-1780

Park Avenue Limousine of Rockford—2230 7th Ave., 299-5466


Star Line Transportation Service—306 Grand Ave., Loves Park, 877-1315

Twilight Limousine—399-7170

William Limousine—4210 Flaxseed Trail, Cherry Valley, 332-7824

Yellow Line Limousine—962-5511


Ace Photography—624-0022

Afforable Weddings—60/364-0748


Amer Studios Inc. —3849 Northridge Drive, 877-1809

Better Image Photography—2703 N. Alpine Rd., 282-8880

BJB Photography—7123 Cherryvale North Blvd., Ste. 4, 332-8808

Blassage Photography Studio—624-8984

Brian Thomas Photography Inc. —4230 Charles St., 395-1105

Bruce & Deb Solko Photography & Video—5178 Oak Hill Rd., 874-0120

David C. Olson—873-1777

David Hale Photography—226-4934 /988-3075

Edwards Photography—9667 Highstone Drive, Roscoe, 229-3034

G & M Photography—847/269-0882

Image-N-That—1644 N. Alpine Rd., 397-3400

Jann Photography—7315 N. Alpine Rd., Ste. F, Loves Park, 633-3281

Kane Photography—1540 N. Bell School Rd., 399-5504

Kathleen’s Photography—4654 Quarry Ridge Trail, 489-1758

Ken Ring Photography—6392 Linden Rd., 874-5292

Kim Chance Photography—995 Westridge Drive, 335-2548

KMK Media Group—1111 S. Alpine Rd., 399-5504

Krist Photography— kristphoto.com, 654-1268

Meissen Photography—6102 Elevator Rd., Roscoe, 623-7416

Memories by Michael—1142 Belvidere Rd., Belvidere, 544-0734

Mr. Photographer—516 E. Riverside Blvd., 633-7765

PCA International—7219 Walton St., 226-1522

Photo Emporium—6924 Forest Hills Rd., 877-9390

Photography By Harvey—6551 E. Riverside Blvd., 398-5323

Perfect Image Studio—7200 Harrison Ave., 332-9575

Portraits by Tiffany—3241 Golden Prairie Ave., 873-1611

Pritz Photography—885-2988

Rawson Photography—601 E. State St., Cherry Valley, 332-9222

RB Photography & Video—547-0999

Ron & Terry’s Wedding Services—765-2985

Studiographics Photography—5454 Ahrens St., Pecatonica, 239-1202

Timber Creek Photography—566-9100

Wedding Day Photography—1740 S. Bell School Rd., Cherry Valley, 332-9474


B Sanfield—6505 N. Alpine Rd., 633-3100

Balfour—4145 Brookwood Drive, Loves Park, 637-7815

Busch Jewelers—1960 Pawlisch Drive, 332-2222

Clodius & Co. Jewelers—252 S. Mulford Rd., 227-1200

Design Force Jewelry Studio—398-4343

Fred Meyer Jewelers—CherryVale Mall, 332-5650

Gem Shop & Diamond Source—110 W. Main St., Rockton, 624-6667

Glamour Jewelry & Bridal—408 E. State St., 961-1567

Gruno’s—801 N. Perryville Rd., 399-1525

Helzberg Diamonds—6270 E. State St., 397-4730

J Kamin Jewelers—250 N. Mulford Rd., 226-0898

Jewelry Concepts—940 W. Riverside Blvd., 877-2220

K’s Merchandise—175 Executive Pkwy., 399-4500

Kay Jewelers—CherryVale Mall, 332-5711

Lee’s Fine Jewelry—2430 Charles St., 22


Mincemoyer Jewelry—3504 E. State St., 397-7227

PD Jewelers—1252 S. Alpine Rd., 484-4726

Rogers & Holland Jewelers—7200 Harrison Ave., 332-3400

Rowland’s Jewelers—1351 S. Alpine Rd., 877-2662

Sims Jewelers—412 E. State St., 963-2958

Zales Jewelers—7200 Harrison Ave., 332-4925

Zavius Jewelers—2636 McFarland Rd., 654-4000

Wedding Supplies

A Family Affair—7003 Claremont, 968-0959

Berg Industries Rentals—3456 S. Mulford Rd., 874-1588

Best Printing Service—5032 Welsh Ct., 877-8656

GE Video Productions—2405 Devon Ave., 633-6455

North Park Rental Service—9624 N. Second St., 633-9234

One Stop Wedding Shop—5732 E. Riverside Blvd., 636-9344

Partyland Inc. —4315 Charles St., 399-1873

Rock River Printers—3837 Broadway, 399-3837

Rockford Rentals—1921 Broadway, 397-6084

Silk Expressions—874-6401

Sweet Pans Shoppe—4020 11th St., 229-5590

Sweet 104—104 S. Benton St., 335-7104

Things Remembered—CherryVale Mall, 332-4416

Unique Wedding Accents—623-3761

White Doves—4794 S. Bend Rd., 962-1199

Video Memories—129 S. Phelps Ave., 389-5459

Everything Else

Amor Wedding Chapel—2409 Charles St., 289-5970

Arthur Murray Dance Studio—2426 S. Alpine Rd., 394-0900

Ceremonies by United We Stand—631 N. Longwood, 963-1585

DRDT Wedding Coordinator & Party Planner—358 Olobgy Rd., 986-0051

Julie Anna Makes Faces—985-9950

Parkside Alterations—282-8855

Piano Works—624-1171

Work With Your Wedding—630 N. Church St., 968-5596

High Maintenance: Beauty preparation an elaborate event

By Heather Hall, Nail technician, presenter

Spring is here! The sun is shining, birds are chirping and couples are saying, “I do.”

More time is taken than ever before to prepare for the wedding day. Beauty preparation has also become a much more elaborate event to achieve a perfect look.

Weddings of the past consisted of the bridal party possibly having its hair done in a salon the day of the wedding. Most brides and bridesmaids applied their own make-up and nail polish.

Today’s bridal parties reserve the day before the wedding to have manicures, pedicures, nail enhancements or massage. This leaves their hair and make-up to be done at the salon the morning of the wedding, because the whole bridal party is involved in looking great.

After discussing the latest bridal trends with new brides and brides from the past, most agreed that the pampering spa visit would be better if taken care of on the Thursday before the special day. This leaves the rehearsal day to do the last-minute running around at a more relaxed pace.

Digits downtown realized this need and exclusively offers Thursday night nail parties. The salon is closed to the public to provide a more intimate setting. A discounted rate on services is offered with parties having five or more attendants. The bridal party enjoys its time together while sipping wine and champagne along with nibbling on fruit and cheese. The bride wears a tiara while the party has their hands and feet glamorized. Pictures are taken of the bride and her attendants being pampered and given to the bride as a gift with a keepsake frame. The nail party is a unique and fun experience for everyone getting ready for the special day.

Don’t forget the parents of the bride and groom. They need pampering too, especially with all the checks they’ll be signing.

Massage is a beneficial service that helps to de-stress before the wedding. Jill Johnson, the massage therapist at Digits, explains, “Massage can aid in better sleep and help eliminate approximately 3 pounds of water weight.” That would make anyone feel great!

It’s amazing to see how much time and effort are now put into looking perfect for the wedding.

Another bridal trend of the past was having the nails airbrushed with a French manicure and rhinestones glued on top of the nails. Today, skilled nail artists can create customized sculptured acrylic and gel nails. With a consultation, the bride can choose her own unique French manicure design and can add sparkle or rhinestone embellishments inside the nail. These nail enhancements could cost anywhere from $75 to $150. Talk about high maintenance!

Getting ready for the “big day” has transitioned into an intricate and exciting process. These brides believe it is worth every penny to look their absolute best on their wedding day. Some day if I get married, I hope spas will offer “week-long” pampering parties.

Heather Hall is a nail artist at Digits in the River District and a national educator for nail professionals. Inquiries or comments about the world of vanity, e-mail HiMaintenance15@aol.com.

Tips about how to look your best on your wedding day

Avoid letting stress ruin your big day

Delegating responsibility, exercising and getting enough sleep can make a big difference

Courtesy of ARA Content

“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.”

Ask any recent bride or bride-to-be to reflect on the planning of her wedding, and she’s sure to agree that Charles Dickens’ famous assessment of human affairs is timeless.

The months prior to her wedding can be the most magical—and stressful times—in a woman’s life. There are so many issues to worry about: fulfilling your dream on your budget; satisfying the expectations of two different families; deciding and coordinating the numerous details. With all this on your mind, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

But, if you let the stress take over, your body may soon show the signs in the form of weight gain, under-eye circles and acne. Every bride wants to look her best on her wedding day, so it’s important to understand early on how to minimize the stress you’re under and prevent its unpleasant effects.

Here’s some advice about how to control your stress and its impact on your appearance. Keep these in mind, and you won’t have to worry about turning into the dreaded “Bridezilla.”

Tips to reduce wedding-related stress

Delegate responsibility—Don’t take on the entire job of planning alone. Friends and family are sincere when they offer their assistance, so don’t make the mistake of turning down their help. Let them know how you’d like your wedding to look and feel, and then hand over tasks based on people’s strengths. Ask your parents to visit local reception halls and tell you about the best two; your sister to think up a few options for decorations within your budget; and your best friend to help you pick out yours and the bridesmaids’ dresses. They’ll be honored to play such an important role in your wedding, and you’ll get a much-needed break.

Establish a regular exercise routine—Make sure to get your heart pumping for at least 30 minutes a few times a week. Exercising releases endorphins into your body, which will give you energy and regulate your mood. Exercising is not only a good way to lose a few pounds and gain sexy muscle tone, but it also provides an outlet to release the stress that is built up inside of you.

Get plenty of sleep—Sleep is likely to be last on your priority list when you’re planning a wedding, but it should be at the top. Repeatedly going without enough sleep will leave you drained and unequipped to deal with stress. Small issues that wouldn’t give you anxiety under normal circumstances can feel like major catastrophes when you are sleep-deprived.

Even with this advice, you can’t be entirely shielded from stress. You’re getting married, and a certain amount of nervousness comes with the territory. The good news is that you don’t have to let it show.

Tips to combat the effects of stress

Potential weight gain—When people get nervous, they tend to eat more, and if brides-to-be aren’t careful, they can

pack on the pounds quickly. Try to be mindful when you eat: Is what you’re eating healthy? Are you actually hungry, or are you eating as a way to use nervous energy? It may also be smart to invest in a body-shaping garment to wear under your dress so areas of concern aren’t given a second thought.

Dark circles under the eyes—Dark circles under or around the eyes can be caused by many different things, including heredity, medications, a poor diet and lack of sleep. There’s not much you can do about the first two causes, but if all the stress you’re under has you eating and sleeping irregularly, you need to regain control; and don’t wait until the last minute to do it! Also, make sure you’re armed with a great concealer!

Acne breakouts—Everyone has heard that stress and acne go hand in hand. A study published in the July 2003 issue of the Archives of Dermatology offers scientific proof that stress or worry can precipitate or worsen acne breakouts.

All eyes are going to be on you, and the last thing you want to be dealing with are blemishes, so you need to start caring for your skin now. Prevent pimples from ruining your big day by establishing a daily skin regimen involving products that have specific ingredients to treat and prevent acne, say the skin care experts at Nature’s Cure.

Erika Mason-Chow, a recent bride from San Francisco, took that advice to heart.

“I’ve always had problems with pimples, especially when I’m under stress,” Mason-Chow said. “I’ve tried a lot of expensive skin care products over the years with little success. Nature’s Cure Anti-Acne Papaya Skin Care System is the only system that gave me results.”

The Anti-Acne Papaya Skin Care System contains three skin care essentials that utilize the power of papaya and salicylic acid, a proven acne-fighter, to treat and prevent acne without disrupting the skin’s delicate balance.

Mason-Chow said not long after using the system’s cleanser, toner and moisturizer at least once a day, her skin cleared up completely.

“I can’t say enough great things about it,” Mason-Chow said. “I love the smell, how my skin reacts to it, how gentle it is. It’s like treating myself to a mini-facial every day.”

Brides-to-be who have more chronic problems with acne may want to supplement the Papaya Skin Care System with Nature’s Cure’s Two-Part Acne Treatment for Females, which includes all-natural homeopathic acne tablets to balance the body, along with the use of a Vanishing Cream made with Benzoyl Peroxide, an anti-bacterial agent, to spot-treat existing pimples.

Mason-Chow added: “The best advice I can give is to start your skin care regimen early. Then, as your wedding date approaches, your complexion will be one thing you don’t have to worry about.”

You can find both the Papaya Skin Care System and Two-Part Acne Treatment in grocery, drug and discount stores, including Rite Aid, Eckerd, Kroger, ShopKo, Fred Meyer and select Wal-Mart stores.

For more information about Nature’s Cure, visit www.naturescure.com.

Courtesy of ARA Content

Personalize your wedding from start to finish

Courtesy of ARA Content

Your wedding should be a reflection of you and your spouse-to-be, and for many modern brides, the perfect wedding means one that is personalized and unique. There are many ways to customize your wedding, but it is especially meaningful if you craft some of these special touches yourself.

From the invitations to your wedding gown, opportunities abound for adding individual touches to the event. Here are some ways you can make your wedding one-of-a-kind, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Before the wedding

Invitations—Tradition still has its place, but brides have more options than ever before. You can personalize the invitations by choosing an image and wording that have special meaning, such as a photo of the garden where your fiancé proposed. You can match your invitations to the color scheme of your ceremony. If your wedding is small, you may even consider crafting the invitations yourself. Take a cue from scrapbookers and add stitching to your invitations that echoes the embellishments on your dress. Theme weddings are once again gaining in popularity. If your wedding will have a specific theme, make sure your invitations reflect that.

Rehearsal Dinner—It’s customary to give gifts to your bridal party at the rehearsal dinner. You can make any gift more meaningful by adding a personal touch. If you are giving your bridesmaids jewelry, present it to them in lovely drawstring bags that you sew yourself in fabric that matches their dresses.

At the wedding

Program—This is a great place to include a special touch. You can add poems that are meaningful to you, or that you and your spouse wrote for each other. You can thank friends and family for their support and help in organizing the wedding, and being present to celebrate with you. You may wish to repeat some of the motifs from the invitations for continuity, or pick up decorative elements from your wedding gown.

Dress—Your wedding dress is the center of attention at the ceremony. Express yourself by choosing a style that fits your personality as well as your body. If you or someone you know is an accomplished sewer, you can custom-make your dress. Even if you buy off the rack, there are many ways to customize the dress by adding beading, appliqués or embroidery. Just be sure to give yourself enough time to finish this project without creating extra stress leading up to the wedding.

“Today’s computerized sewing and embroidery systems make even a project like a wedding dress much easier than it used to be,” said Gayle Hillert, vice president of education at Bernina of America, a premier sewing machine company.

Bernina accessory feet make sewing fine fabrics like satins or velvets easy, and there are a variety available like hemming, pintucking and edgestitching feet that enable one to add couture elements quickly and successfully. The Bernina artista 730E sewing and embroidery system helps with embellishments. Microsoft Windows powered, it allows the user to create her own designs, and easily edit the designs on screen using the artista 730E’s built-in capabilities.

One trend that is gaining popularity is to embroider the wedding date or a special message around the hem of dress, or on the slip. Hillert tells of one mother who made her daughter’s wedding dress and added a special message to her daughter in embroidery on the slip. Tone-on-tone embroidery is popular for embroidering on the dress itself; color stitching can be used on the slip.

At the reception

Food and drink—Whether you’re having a sit-down dinner, offering a buffet or passing hors d’oeuvres, what you serve is important. If you have a theme, try to work the food around that. For example, if you love gardening, incorporate edible flowers into some dishes or on the cake. Or feature ethnic food that reflects the ancestry of you or your spouse. Many companies offer wine with personalized labels. Provide each table with a specially labeled bottle of red and white wine.

Decorations—The decorations you choose set the tone for the day. You’ll want to incorporate your wedding colors and, if you have one, your theme. If you add appliqués or beading on your dress, you can echo that design on table runners, or have the appliqué motif printed on your napkins.

Favors—Send your guests home with a special memento. If you’ve featured ethnic food, prepare a special jar of spices for each guest, along with a treasured family recipe. Or if you have an outdoor wedding, present each guest with a sapling tree to plant in memory of your wedding.

For sewing and embellishing tips and techniques, visit www.berninausa.com.

Courtesy of ARA Content

From the April 26-May 2, 2006, issue

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