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Newlyweds: Money-saving tips for your first move together

(BPT) – With the average wedding costing upwards of $30,000, starting your new life together takes a lot of careful budgeting. After you’ve finished paying for the flowers, reception hall, caterer, photographer and everything else related to your big day, you may not have much money left over when it comes time to move into a new home together. However, managing your move can be your first big DIY home project together, and it’s one that’s very doable on a budget.

Whether you’re moving in together for the first time or moving up from a smaller apartment to the home where you’ll start your married life, you can save money and make your move go smoothly with a few tips:


If you were both living on your own before marriage, you probably have duplicate items you won’t need, such as two sets of pots and pans, dishes, glassware and furniture. You also likely received some wedding gifts that can replace old stuff. Don’t take things you don’t need with you to your new home. Instead, streamline by selling or donating excess stuff. Selling unneeded items can put some money in your pocket when you need it most. Or, donating goods can help you get a tax credit for charitable contributions when you file your taxes next year.

Hold on to gift cards

If you received gift cards for your wedding, you might be tempted to spend them right away. However, every item you buy before the move is one more thing you’ll have to pack and haul. Put off using gift cards until after the move, when you can use them to help decorate or furnish your new home.

Line up your moving truck

Renting a truck and doing your own packing and driving are great ways to save money on your move. If you’re moving from a small apartment or condo into a larger home, you probably have less stuff, and a smaller vehicle — such as a 12- or 16-foot Penske rental truck should be big enough. Generally, moving experts recommend you plan for 150 cubic feet of space for every furnished room you’ll be moving. Be sure to reserve your truck at least two weeks in advance, and ask about discounts; Penske Truck Rental offers discounts for AAA members and military personnel.

Pack wisely

You’ll need multiple sizes of sturdy boxes to pack and protect your belongings for the move. Your local truck rental store will have all the packing supplies you need. Start early and pack over time so the job doesn’t feel overwhelming. Label each box with the contents and the room where it will go in your new house, tape it securely and it’s all ready to go onto the truck on moving day.

Get help

Moving day is a great excuse for a party! Ask friends over to help, and when the job is done treat everyone to take-out in your new home. For particularly heavy or fragile items, like an antique armoire or big sectional, it may make sense to hire professionals to help you pack and load those items.

Loading up

Loading the truck well maximizes the use of the space and helps protect your belongings while they’re in transit. Load the heaviest boxes and items first, placing them on the bottom of the truck. Next, load lighter items and boxes on top. Penske’s Truck Wizard application can help you plan how best to pack your truck.

Drive safely

Your move may be the first time you’ve driven a vehicle larger than an SUV. Safely driving a moving truck takes some caution, such as using your mirrors to help navigate turns, avoiding abrupt stops or lane changes, and setting the emergency brake every time you park. For more tips on driving a moving truck, visit

Moving into your first new home together can be an exciting experience. With some planning and care, you can accomplish your move smoothly and on budget.

7 tips to conquer your packing challenges while traveling

(BPT) – Whether it’s business travel, family road tripping or a romantic getaway, exploring new places is exciting. You may be counting down the days until you leave, but if there’s one thing you dread, it’s packing. Deciding what earns a spot in your suitcase is hard enough, let alone figuring out how you can fit it all in.

Do you look with envy at savvy jet-setters who seem to navigate airports with ease while only toting a small carry-on? It’s because years of travel experience has taught them some packing tricks that make the process simple. Now you can use these same strategies to pack with ease no matter how near or far you plan to travel.

Select double-duty clothing items.

Check the weather for your destination so you pack only items appropriate for the forecast. You won’t need that big sunhat if rain is coming. Want to take it one step further? Choose items that multitask. For example, a large scarf can be a stylish accessory and also be used as a blanket on the plane or at the beach.

Pack toiletries strategically.

If possible, only bring samples and travel sizes of items to save space. Then leave them behind at the end of the trip to open up luggage space to bring home mementos. To avoid luggage spills and explosions, place toiletries in plastic bags or add plastic wrap to the tops before screwing on the cap.

Choose time-saving tools.

Air drying hair takes forever and hotel hair dyers are often slow and unreliable, so pack a lightweight, folding dryer like the Panasonic EH-NA27-K Nanoe Compact Hair Dryer to streamline your beauty routine. The nanoe technology draws moisture from the air to create moisture-rich ions that penetrate each hair shaft ad enhance hair’s smoothness and shine. Need more incentive? The unique Quick-Dry Nozzle is designed to dry hair faster, so you can spend less time getting ready and more time enjoying your vacation.

Fold to prevent wrinkling.

To prevent wrinkles on delicate items, try wrapping them around soft, bulky items. For example, wrap a silk blouse or cotton trousers around a sweater. Avoid folding clothing any more than necessary. In fact, many people use a rolling method for packing clothes to save space and prevent wrinkles.

Utilize odd-shaped items.

Shoes take up a ton of luggage space, so strive to select no more than three pairs, and wear the heaviest or bulkiest pair while traveling. Place shoes along the sides or bottom to strengthen the bag and then stash items inside to maximize space (like socks, nylons and deodorant).

Eliminate makeup mayhem.

Only bring makeup essentials on a vacation and pack multi-use items such as a lipstick that can also be used as a blush. To prevent shadows and pressed powders from cracking, place a pressed cotton pad between the powder and the lid.

Grab a few plastic bags.

One of the most versatile things you can bring on a trip is also one many people forget: resealable plastic bags. Whether you need a bag for bringing toys down to the pool, a place to put dirty clothes throughout your trip, or something to place that soggy swimsuit in before you check out of the hotel, plastic bags are your secret weapon.

Nothing Sets the Mood for a Picture Perfect Wedding Day Like Flowers…

Let Your Style Bloom

At some point in every girl’s life she thinks about that one special day when she gets to feel like Cinderella- Prince Charming, pumpkin carriage, glass slippers, THE WORKS. Now, your Prince Charming may ride a Harley instead of a white horse, or your pumpkin carriage may be a fine crafted Skipjack, passed down from generation to generation, working days have long behind. For every Cinderella, there are many creative ways to leave little stamps of herself all throughout a wedding ceremony and reception. Flowers,
being one of them. Let your style bloom…

Article & Photos courtesy of The Flower Shop
101 Dundee Aveune, Suite 100, Chester, MD 21619

We all know very well the picture of a traditional bride with a traditional ceremony. The brick church, a perfectly made up bride in a stark white ball gown accompanied by her tuxedo clad father carrying what else, but a bouquet of beautiful white roses; perfectly classic in every way. Maybe those white roses are accented with grand alter pieces of white hydrangea, blush peony, and that traditional wedding staple: calla lilies. There is just something about Frank Sinatra and a beautiful blush pink peony centerpiece that screams WEDDING! Now, what about the bride who wants something just a little bit different, a little bit outside the box? Our brides here on the Eastern Shore are proud of their roots and aren’t afraid to show it!

Here on the Eastern Shore we are known for our beautiful Chesapeake Bay and the rivers and creeks that connect us. This makes it no surprise that a nautical themed wedding is quite popular and the trend shows no signs of slowing down. Beautiful blue hydrangeas in a rope wrapped oyster can are a great way to bring a nautical feel to reception tables. If you are a really bold bride, filling Old Bay cans with Black Eyed Susan’s and bay grasses is just about as MD proud as you can get! There are certainly ways of bringing the Eastern Shore spirit to your waterfront ceremony through flowers as well. Mark your aisle with bushel baskets spilling with marsh grass, solidago and tiger lilies just like the ones that grow wild along Hwy 301 all summer long.

Doing a total 180- we don’t want to leave out the modern bride! Playing up any and all angles is a great way to get a modern feel to your wedding. Opt for an asymmetrical bouquet of orchids, calla lilies, and pin cushions for a look sure to impress your guests. It’s all about the lighting! Sure, submerging a stack of calla lilies in a clear cylinder container is great, but add a LED light underneath to pump up the energy and add an unexpected flare!

Now, a frequent concern of many brides is what flowers are in season when and how to use those flowers in a color palette appropriate for the time of year. For winter brides who are all about the glam, deep purple hydrangeas, accompanied by Picasso calla lilies and dainty, but show stopping stephanotis is a great choice; accent with silver broaches to add some glitz. If you are a winter bride getting married around the holidays, play up on those colors as most venues will have their own decorations out as well. Red amaryllis accented with roses, hypericum berries, and a touch of holly is a classic holiday combination.

Spring, the unofficial wedding season. Blush peonies adorned with dusty miller make any mint bridesmaid dress look spectacular. If you really want a wedding exemplifies the spring season yellow daffodils and an array of red, pink, and yellow tulips are a staple of the season.

When it comes to a summer wedding, there really are no rules. If you are going for a down home, outdoor picnic vibe try using a variety of zinnias, sunflowers, and fever few daisies. Accent with butterfly weed and mountain mint to complete this look! If you are more of a beachy bride- play on the colors of sea glass using white hydrangeas, blue delphiniums, and  white freesia. Accent with driftwood and mission accomplished.

Last, but certainly not least, the fall bride. With so many beautiful choices for all it can be overwhelming. To bring in the rich jewel tones of fall try using marsala dahlias with orange roses and ivory mums. Pair with an emerald dress or napkin- talk about a pop of color! If you are a more neutral bride, try white dahlias, Sahara roses, and white ranunculus. Bring in natural elements, such as pheasant feathers and pinecones to add an unexpected punch to your florals.

No matter what look your are going for- there is a color and flower vibe out there just for you, there truly are endless possibilities when it comes to wedding florals!

For more inspirational ideas, contact The Flower Shop at 410-604-3860 or visit them at 101 Dundee Aveune, Suite 100, Chester, MD 21619 or

Seasoned with Love… DIY

D-I-Y Eastern Shore Style is all about putting a personal touch on your special day. This issue’s idea, “SEASONED WITH LOVE,”makes not only a creative wedding favor and late night snack bar, but can also be used at your rehearsal dinner or bridal shower. Harris Crab House and Seafood Market in Grasonville is not only a wonderful Eastern Shore style venue for your rehearsal dinner or bridal shower, their custom seafood spice blend packets make creative gifts with an Eastern Shore flare. Call 410-827-9500 for pricing, ordering or scheduling your rehearsal dinner.

Order Harris Crab House’s Custom Seafood Spice Blend and Turn Them Into a D-I-Y Eastern Shore Style with These Few Simple Ideas:

-Create a custom sticker with your names, wedding date and “Seasoned with Love” to give as favors at your wedding or any pre-wedding event. Offer the recipients ideas for their seasoning packets:
Enjoy Your Seasoning Sprinkled On
Deviled Eggs – Popcorn – Party Mix – Croutons – Corn-on-the-Cob – Shrimp – Fried Chicken Coating – Scrambled Eggs – French Fries – Sauteed Vegetables  – Alfredo Sauce – Soups
Mix in your favorite: Dry Rubs – Potato Dishes – Cole Slaw – Guacamole – Condiments – Egg, Shrimp or Chicken Salad

– Be creative when displaying these! Try decorating a crab pot and displaying your custom seasoning packets in this inviting display.

– Have a Bloody Mary Bar at your event and rim the glasses with the seasoning blend. Then have packets displayed for guests to take. Be sure to include your favorite Bloody Mary recipe on a tag.

-Are you having a midnight snack bar at your wedding? Feature french fries, party mix and popcorn all sprinkled with the seasoning at your snack bar. If the party is still hopping, serve some Eastern Shore brewed beer (like RAR Beer) with the salty snacks.

– Have an Eastern Shore style shrimp boil for your bridal shower or engagement party. These are fun, relaxing way to enjoy your guests. Shrimp boils also make a tasty avenue for Harris’s seasoning, not to mention another creative way to give your decorated seasoning packets as gifts.

-Have out-of-town guests? Make a “Welcome Basket” with snacks seasoned with the spice blend, a packet of seasoning, bottled
drinks and a photo of your fiance and you holding a  “Welcome” sign. Be sure to include a few ideas and details to entertain your guests along with contact information or a friend or family member that can answer any questions they may have. Don’t give them your number, you’ll be too busy getting ready for your  special day!

Planning a Successful Rehearsal Dinner Rehearsal Dinners are No Longer Just a Formality

By Michael Moon
Manager Bridges on Kent Narrows
321 Wells Cove Rd, Grasonville, MD

Michael Moon was born and raised in the quaint town or Easton, Maryland. Michael’s interest in food has been with him for as long as he can recall. He remembers working up from the position of dishwasher in his grandmother’s kitchen to the coveted position of sous chef by age 10. Growing up working his family’s business taught him the importance of service and hospitality in the warm Eastern Shore way.


Rehearsal dinners have become a very important part of wedding planning rather than just a formality. Rehearsals allow the families and wedding party the time to meet, greet and commune with one another in a more informal environment. Preplanning your evening will allow you to enjoy this wonderful occasion without the worry of stress.
Picking a venue close to the rehearsal location and the hotels of out-of-town guests is very important. Living on the Eastern Shore you may need to take into consideration weekend beach traffic in the planning of your event. You may want to add on a cocktail hour to allow all of your guests to arrive; given that some may be traveling after a workday or encounter congestion on the roads. Once the rehearsal is complete your guests should not have to travel far to get to a good night’s sleep before the big day.
Cocktail hours are an excellent way to buffer the staggered arrival of guests and to set a casual, relaxed tone for your evening. With the next day being so important a less ‘spirited’ evening is usually in order. Most hosts opt for beer and wine selections to be offered at the rehearsal dinner. Thoughtful wine pairings or the selection of the bride and grooms favorites are excellent ideas to add a signature touch while keeping your guests’ consumption under control.
Chances are if the wedding is taking place in Maryland that there is a crab cake and filet mignon in your near future! Make sure that the menu you are selecting compliments the food being served at the wedding rather than repeating, reinventing, or overshadowing. Highlighting what is fresh, regional and a specialty of the restaurant is always a good idea. Rockfish, soft crabs and oysters are some of Maryland’s best offerings and can be incorporated into your menu in endless ways.
When choosing a menu that has courses, consider preselecting all but the main course with “crowd pleaser” options. For example Bridges Restaurant serves our famous Spinach and Arugula Salad with a white balsamic honey dressing, crispy bacon, hard boiled eggs, roasted red peppers and a warm goat cheese crouton as a first course dining option. Everyone who has had this salad is a member of the clean plate club! Selecting an item like this for all of your guests shows thoughtfulness in your preparations for the dinner and saves you from having to collect and organize that information from them!
Think outside the table! Why not have a non-traditional rehearsal; where seating and preordered menu selection formalities are put aside? Think about planning a casual event where both families can meet, mingle and relax before the big day. Cocktail party themed events take the stress out of planning a formal seated dinner. A selection of heavy hors de oeuvres stationed around a beautiful waterfront or country venue is the perfect way to celebrate on the Shore. Thoughtfully selected wine and cocktail parings will impress your guests and add a signature touch to your event.
Invitations are standard for rehearsal dinners hosted in a banquet room, restaurant or similar venue. Send your invitations out close to when the wedding invitations are being sent so that your guests can plan their schedules around all the wedding related activities. It is very important that you are clear with your instructions in collecting menu preorders for your dinner.
Be certain to make it clear that you want to know what each individual guest will be selecting for their meals. You don’t want to get invitations back with just a list of check marked orders and no corresponding names. Don’t forget to invite the officiant and his or her spouse or significant other. They may or may not choose to attend, however it’s the polite thing to do.
The night of the dinner should be planned out with the venue coordinator so that you can spend your time meeting, greeting and enjoying your guests. Casual selfseating is the standard for rehearsals. You may want to consider a head table where the bride and groom will sit with the parents or the bridal party. Tables of 6 or 8 guarantee an environment where conversation can be had easily. You should know in advance who will be speaking, toasting, if there will be any gift exchanges and any other activities. Communicating this information with your venue coordinator is essential in organizing your night.
Remember that the ultimate goal of the rehearsal dinner is to acclimate the families and to set the tone of the coming day. Anticipating your guest’s needs and preparing for them are at the core of hospitality. A relaxed environment with thoughtful organization and planning are certain to guarantee a stress free evening, setting the foundation for all the fabulous things to come.

F.A.Q’s for your onsite wedding

1. Help! My wedding is in the hot humid summer and my hair is frizz prone. What should I do??
Keratin is a frizzy girl’s best friend! A Keratin Express Blowout one week prior to your wedding will protect and seal in the shine for a totally frizz-free day.
2. My fine, limp hair needs to shine on my wedding day. Any suggestions?
The week before the wedding, a highlight will give your hair the illusion of being fuller and the color will be fresh and bright for your big day.
3. I am not sure what style will look best for my wedding. Can you help? What about accessories?
A trial prior to the wedding will allow you to see how your hair will look and ensure that you have the peace of mind that your style will be exactly as you want it and will last all day! During your trial and consultation, we will discuss all your options and address your wish list. If volume is needed, Jackie is a certified hair extension specialist. Jackie will place the veil and hair accessories on location to make sure there is “Not a hair out of place!”
4. I need my make-up to last all day. What can I do?
Airbrush make-up application. This application is a flawless light weight make-up that doesn’t sweat off, wear off or rub off onto other people. For a traditional make-up application using a setting spray like Urban Decays Out all night will help make-up last.
Jackie’s Design
704-968-1314 •

5 reasons seafood is a great choice for a relaxing date night

(BPT) – “Date night” is an activity people typically look forward to with great anticipation. The good news is, your plans don’t have to be elaborate for evenings together to turn out romantic and fun. Sometimes the most-satisfying date nights are the relaxing evenings spent at home with the one you love, while enjoying a simple meal you’ve prepared with each other. For planning your next dinner rendezvous, here are five great reasons to put seafood on the menu.

* Seafood is a healthier dinner option. Seafood and other lean meats both average about 45 calories per ounce, but seafood usually contains more “good fats” that have been shown to lower cholesterol and your risk of heart disease. Many types of seafood, such as salmon, also are rich in vitamin B-12, which supports your metabolism and neurological functioning.

* Seafood offers plenty of flavor possibilities. Far beyond what beef or chicken might have to offer, seafood provides an ocean of flavor choices. Start your date night with shrimp – America’s favorite seafood – and then move on to crab cakes or lobster if you’re looking to really impress. Or, if fish is more to your liking, salmon, flounder, or tuna can all be prepared in a variety of ways.

* A dish to match your evening. Date night is what you make of it. You could go casual with shrimp cocktail or pasta, or you can make it a more-formal affair, accompanied by a fine wine. Whatever type of evening you plan, there’s a seafood dish to match.

* Seafood’s a cinch to prepare. No need to spend an entire evening preparing something complicated. A quick visit to the frozen food aisle will help you get cooking with brands like SeaPak offering effortless meal solutions to help make date night a breeze. For more recipe inspiration and ideas, head to

* You can get creative. To prepare a tasty seafood dish, the only limit is your imagination. Once you decide what you’re in the mood for, you can find a seafood option to match. For example, this Shrimp Diavolo recipe is sure to seduce your taste buds.

Whatever path you choose, the food should match the mood when it comes to your date night menu. For an unforgettable, relaxing evening together, don’t forget to add seafood to the mix.

Simple tips for recreating red carpet looks for your wedding

(BPT) – Whether you’re looking to enhance your daily beauty routine or for tips to add glam to your style for an upcoming special occasion, Hollywood’s red carpet is the best source for trends and inspiration.

Fortunately, many of today’s hottest looks are easy to create at home. Celebrity makeup artist Matin Maulawizada has tips to help you recreate your favorite red carpet looks in less time than you’d think.

1. Get glowing with toner

Celebrities always seem to have a special “glow” on the red carpet with dewy, fresh skin. This effect is intentional and it all starts with proper hydration.

To achieve luminous skin, Matin starts by spraying the face with a toner or rose water to balance the skin. He likes to pair this glowing look with dramatic eyes and a soft pink lip.

2. Apply foundation

Get flawless skin thanks to perfectly blended foundation. For better application, Matin’s quick tip is to always warm the foundation first.

“To get a sheer wash of foundation, I warm the foundation up in my hands before evenly distributing it on the brush and then I wipe the excess off the back of my hand,” he says. “This helps it blend seamlessly into the skin.”

3. Prime the lips

Whether you’re going for a nude lip or a bold hue, oftentimes, all eyes are on the perfect pout. Before applying any product to the lips, it’s important to ensure they are prepped and smooth. Matin starts with ChapStick Total Hydration Conditioning Lip Scrub to gently exfoliate the lips and remove any dead skin cells.

“I love this scrub because it is made from naturally sourced ingredients, including sugar crystals, maracuja and coconut oils, shea butter and vitamin E,” he says. “It leaves the lips soft and smooth and turns them into a perfect canvas for any other products I will apply.”

4. Swap lip liner for concealer

Matin recommends shaping the lip line with concealer rather than a lip liner to add definition. Contouring around the lip creates a natural-looking full pout. The bonus is that it prevents any color from bleeding, just as a liner would.

5. Bring out your natural beauty

Tinted lip balms are great for a beautiful, subtle lip. Matin’s go-to is ChapStick Total Hydration Moisture + Tint because it adds a hint of color to enhance the lips’ natural color, while providing moisturizing benefits the lips need. It’s currently available in three shades – Rose Petal, Merlot and Coral Blush – so there is a tint for any occasion.

“Tinted lip balms are perfect for creating a naturally beautiful lip look,” says Matin. “Not only do they provide alluring color to the lips, but it is also easy to maintain throughout the night.”

6. Use soft shades for a dramatic eye

One of Matin’s favorite trends seen on this year’s red carpets is the pairing of a sheer lip and strong eye. This classic look is ideal for any age because it lets your true beauty shine while drawing the focus to the eyes. Matin recommends using a lighter pencil to get started and then smudging with a brush. You can use a powder shadow to fill in space and add definition.

“For a dramatic eye, start with softer shades until you get the hang of it,” he says. “Use beige, taupe or grey to get a smoky effect that adds depth and drama.”

With these simple tips, anyone can recreate popular trends and add some glam to their daily look. You may not be walking down a red carpet, but you’re sure to get noticed and feel beautiful. For more information on Matin’s favorite lip products, visit

Help with Your Hair for Your Special Day

Marshal Hartman of Atelier Aveda Salonspa + Barber
answers your questions about hair for your special day

Atelier Aveda Salonspa + Barber
1551 Postal Road, Chester  •  410-643-4180  •
Visit web site for more information and to easily schedule an appointment online.

At Atelier, we live by a very simple mission: Beauty Without Compromise. We provide stellar, award winning services and results. We invite you to join us for one of our services, or simply stop in to enjoy a cup of Aveda’s comforting tea or our own Atelier tea blend and learn what beauty without compromise truly means. Aveda Services:  Salon – cut & style, Aveda color & treatments, makeup & spray tan, extensions; Spa – waxing, Aveda skincare, Aveda massage, Aveda bodycare; Barber; Nails; Bridal

Should a bride do a trial run? When? What questions should she ask during trial run?
Absolutely a bride should do a trial to make sure her vision matches reality. We recommend that brides book their trial no more than 6-8 weeks before the wedding to make sure major changes don’t happen to their hair (color or cut) or their ideas don’t change between the trial and the day of. There aren’t many questions a bride should ask but the bride should come ready to openly communicate. If you’re not liking a direction, say so! There’s nothing worse than getting all the way through the trial before voicing your opinion that you don’t love it after you’ve realized that early on. Don’t be afraid to speak up, this is a trial run to figure out what works for you!

What should the bride bring to the appointment?
I always suggest brides bring in at least 2 if not 3 ideas for what they’d like their hair and what they’d like their makeup to look like to their trial. Sometimes what looks amazing in a photo doesn’t end up looking amazing on every person’s face shape or hair texture so having 1 or 2 backups helps the process. Aside from that be sure to wear a button up shirt that can easily be taken off. If there is a specific lipstick that you are set on wearing on your wedding bring that to your trial AND the day of and bring your favorite tube of waterproof mascara.

Should the bride bring her accessories?
ALWAYS bring hair accessories… even the veil if available. We have to test the accessories in the hair. Sometimes the most beautiful antique comb has to be scratched because the bride’s hair texture might be too fine to support it and if that’s your something old you need time to make a plan B!

How should the bride prepare for the trial and wedding day appointment?
For both just make sure to come with an open mind, clean and air-dryed hair and a clean face.

What styles tend to hold the best for the longest period of time?
Anything that is styled fully up and that is classic in style. Downstyles tend to lose their shape thanks to gravity as the night goes on. Classic styles always tend to hold up well whether it’s a French twist or a chignon. There’s a reason they’re classics!

What styles are trending now?
The past 5 or so years have been DOMINATED by loose curls, texture, braids and rustic styles. We’re really starting to see a turn for more clean, polished looks. Classic and well done is always a good look, and many brides are going for a casual but still sleek and sophisticated style.

Do different hair types lend themselves to certain styles?
If your hair is curly then you hit the jackpot! Curly hair tends to hold styles much better because of the way the hair is structured.

I can’t decide how I want to wear my hair… suggestions?
Pinterest! Pinterest is our best friend. You can see THOUSANDS of photos. Make a board for wedding hair and pin every wedding hair that you like. Then go through it and start looking for common themes and trends. You’ll easily figure out what you like and what you don’t like that way.

What suggestions do you have for the groom?
We LOVE groomsmen parties. For the longest time the ladies have gotten all of the fun. We have a full service men’s barber lounge that’s perfect for hosting a groomsmen party for beard trims, straight razor shaves and haircuts but can also do all of that on location. Nothing ruins a wedding photo more than a groom’s best friend from college with a full neck beard situation going on.

A lot of brides forget to eat the day of their wedding. Whatever you do, eat a full breakfast before coming in. You’re already stressed, probably two cups of coffee deep;  being hungry can make everything 500X more intense.

In the Know for Your First Home

What you should know about rising interest rates

(BPT) – Homeowners planning to refinance and buyers searching for a home may have an idea of what’s in store for them with regards to interest rates, but they never really know until they lock in a rate. This is in part because rates can change direction fast, and when they rise—as they have been recently—it can cost borrowers a great deal of money and time.

The effect of rising interest rates on your home purchase

Today, the median existing home price in the United States is around $235,000, and the average mortgage interest rate is near 4 percent. If you were to buy a home at that price, an interest rate increase of half a percent would cost you an additional $70 per month on your loan payment. And that assumes you’ll put the standard 20 percent down in advance. A more dramatic rate increase—say from 4 percent to 6 percent, even over time, would increase your monthly payment by almost $300.

Home price gains

For homebuyers, it’s not just rising interest rates that can increase your payment, but so can home price appreciation. In fact, in most markets, housing prices have increased past highs previously set before the financial crisis in 2007/2008. For example, in citing this recovery, the Federal Housing Finance Agency recently increased the maximum loan amount for mortgages that meet Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines for the first time in more than a decade.

The new conforming loan limits increased only slightly, to $424,100 in most parts of the country. This will enable home buyers in higher-cost areas to access larger home loan amounts and more affordable loan products, in line with local housing prices.

The home buying season may start early this year

Spring/summer is traditionally the busiest home buying time of the year as many sellers wait to list their homes after the cold winter weather is over and to coincide with the summer school break. However, with both home prices and interest rates on the rise, more buyers are expected to enter the home buying market earlier this year, making for a more competitive home buying season. Potential buyers will need to be aggressive to find the home they want at a rate they can afford.

Starting your loan search today

If you’re in the market but haven’t found the home of your dreams yet, there are tools available to guard against increasing mortgage rates. Lenders like loanDepot help customers save by giving them the opportunity to lock a quoted rate and hold (lock in) that rate for 45 to 60 days, protecting them from potential fluctuations in the market. And with rates rising, now is a great time to lock your loan at a more favorable interest rate.

If you do choose to lock your loan, you’ll need to provide an appraisal deposit which can range from $450 to $750. This is not a fee, and is returned when working with loanDepot if there is no appraisal performed on a home.

Navigating your options can seem confusing at first, but a loanDepot licensed lending officer can help. You can learn more by visiting or by calling (888) 983-3240 today for more information.

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