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A Picture Perfect Wedding… Featuring KPD Photography

KPD Photography

443-262-5755 or

I started my business part time while I was still in high school after which I decided to pursue my childhood dream and become a full time photographer. I love making my clients (friends) happy with beautiful memories they can treasure for a lifetime. I like to avoid stiff poses and try to capture who my clients really are. I want our sessions to be fun and unique. I love doing previews after a session because my clients get so excited once they see a few sneak peeks.

My sunflower logo has special significance for me. Sunflowers are my favorite flowers, but, more importantly, they remind me about grandmother… my best friend and biggest supporter. She passed away from cancer in 2014, and I wanted to have a piece of her in my business.

When you can’t find me behind my camera, I am at home or going on adventures with my very handsome man and our two dogs, Leo and Bella. If you book with me there is a possibility you will meet Bella. She’s a great attention grabber with young children and babies.

What’s new in wedding photography? Many brides and grooms look for light and bright images when they choose a wedding photographer.

What are the latest trends in photography? This year, first looks seem to be popular, and most ceremonies are outdoors. Rustic themes such as barn backgrounds and warm tones are popular for engagement photos and weddings.

What questions should a bride and groom ask a potential wedding photographer and how should they prepare? Couples should already have an idea of the photographer’s style before they meet. Questions couples should ask the photographer: Do you have insurance? Do you have backup equipment? What makes you unique? What is your turnaround time? How much experience do you have photographing weddings and working in a variety of settings and lighting conditions? How would you describe your style? Do you offer a second shooter?

What can the bride and groom provide that makes it easier for a photographer to understand what the couple is looking for? It is helpful to share a pinterest board or wedding planner showing your wedding style and sample images/poses. It is also important for the photographer to know the number of people in the bridal party to help with posing. Share how you met; it may spark an idea that is unique to your style as a couple.

What are some shots brides and grooms never think to ask for? Many couples don’t think about photographing the details of their wedding. Ask for detail shots of flowers, rings, invitations, decor, etc. Also, the bride’s father gets a lot of photographic attention by default. Couples may want to ask for intimate family shots with the moms.

What are some ideas for shots that are unique to the Eastern Shore? The Eastern Shore is all about rustic and country themes, portraying the shore lifestyle on the bay/rivers or farms, and putting that into poses.

What should you expect from a wedding photographer and your wedding portfolio? You should expect a variety of shots, from getting ready to the reception. Although light and bright “Golden Hour” photos are popular now, you should also expect to see a variety of lighting situations such as daytime light or evening or night time light in their portfolio.

What are some of your favorite settings for good photos? Definitely outdoors whether by the water, in the woods, or in a field of beautiful sunflowers. Natural light is key, and the timing is usually best an hour before sunset, or the “Golden Hour.”

Do you have a “checklist” to help couples ensure they get all the shots they want? I have a questionnaire I have my couples fill out before their wedding. It includes a shot list, vendors and their information, where they are honeymooning, family list and much more!

An affordable way to qualify for a home loan without that big down payment

(BPT) – For many Americans, the biggest hurdle in buying a home is the 20 percent down payment they think is required for mortgage approval. According to a recent survey by the National Association of Realtors, 34 percent of respondents believe they need more than 20 percent. Meanwhile, low down payment mortgages account for a significant amount of home buying annually.

Families with down payments as low as 3 or 5 percent have been able to purchase a home thanks to private mortgage insurance (MI) for 60 years. Since 1957, MI has helped 25 million families become homeowners. In the past year alone, MI helped more than 795,000 homeowners purchase or refinance a mortgage. Nearly half were first time homebuyers and more than 40 percent had incomes below $75,000.

How MI works

Mortgage insurance is simple. In addition to the other parts of mortgage underwriting process — such as verifying employment and determining the borrower’s ability to afford the monthly payment — lenders traditionally required 20 percent down to ensure the borrower had some of their own money committed before the bank would provide a loan. This is where MI enters, bridging the down payment divide to qualify borrowers for mortgage financing.

Benefits of MI

* It helps you buy a home, sooner. For the average firefighter or school teacher, it could take 20 years to save the typical down payment. Private mortgage insurers help borrowers qualify with as little as 3 percent down.

* It’s temporary, leading to lower monthly payments. MI can be cancelled once you build 20 percent equity, either through payments or home price appreciation — typically in the first five to seven years. This is not the case for FHA loans, the federal government’s form of MI. The majority of which require MI for the life of the loan.

* It provides several flexible payment options. Your lender can offer several options for MI payment; the most common is paid monthly along with your mortgage.

* It’s tax-deductible. Subject to income limits, MI premiums are tax deductible — similar to interest paid on a mortgage. In 2014, 4 million taxpayers benefited from this deduction with the average being $1,402.

MI is a stable, cost effective way to obtain low down payment mortgages, and offers distinct benefits to borrowers. It’s been a cornerstone of the U.S. housing market for decades, providing millions the opportunity to own homes despite financial barriers. Ask your lender for low down payment options using MI. Visit for more information.

Borrow these wedding planner tricks for a polished event on a budget

(BPT) – Planning your wedding is one of the most important management jobs you’ll ever take on. A professional wedding planner could help make the day go smoothly, but you can also achieve the same effect yourself for less money.

According to, the average cost for a professional wedding planner is just under $2,000, but many couples don’t have that kind of wiggle room in their budgets. In fact, 74 percent of couples didn’t hire a wedding planner in 2015, the website says. You can still pull off a polished wedding if you borrow a few tactics from a wedding planner’s bag of tricks.

Make the rental store your playground

Professional wedding planners don’t stockpile wedding items, they rent what they need to make a wedding run smoothly and look great. From tents and outdoor heaters, tables and chairs, to glassware, dishes, dance floors and décor, rental stores supply the wedding industry with the basics, luxuries and everything in between.

When a professional planner rents items, he or she typically passes on the rental cost to the clients, on top of fees for professional services. You can rent the same items yourself through a rental store — visit to find one in your area.

“Working with rental companies is like being in a fantasyland,” Minneapolis-based wedding professionals Matthew Trettel and Bruce Vassar, The Wedding Guys, recently said in an interview with Rental Management magazine. “There are so many endless possibilities, and the only thing holding you back is the event budget. Even on the smallest budget, you can always enhance or elevate an event working with a rental company.”

Emphasize organization

Professional wedding planners use their organizational skills to ensure weddings go smoothly despite any surprises that arise. You can employ many of the same organizational tricks they use to help yourself manage the numerous details that go into a wedding, including:

* Create an inspiration board. Gathering your color choices, theme elements and inspirations in one spot can help your decision-making process. For example, not sure which floral arrangement will look right for your wedding? Refer back to your inspiration board and see which of your choices best matches your inspiration.

* The budget can be the most challenging aspect to manage, so be sure to talk with your partner about your budget before you sign any contracts. Set a budget and use a budgeting worksheet (readily available for free online) to help control costs.

* Numerous types of planning helpers are available, from online worksheets to apps, books and old-fashioned paper planners. Find one that’s easy for you to use and stick with it. Your planner should include a checklist with a timeline, and allow you to store all pertinent information, including estimates and contracts, in one place.

Work your connections

Professional wedding planners have networks of vendors to choose from. You can also network to find vendors for your wedding. Ask family, friends and co-workers for recommendations. Talk to any couples whose wedding you recently attended to see who they recommend.

Another trick is to find one professional with whom you really connect — a photographer, florist or entertainer — and ask for referrals to other quality professionals he or she likes working with. Check out their websites and feedback on social media to get an idea of their work.

Planning a wedding can be challenging and rewarding. With a few tricks borrowed from professional planners, such as renting what you need, you can create the wedding of your dreams on your real-world budget.

Champagne Taste Bridal Boutique

Champagne Taste Bridal Boutique
1645 Defense Hwy (second floor of Black Eyed Susan Florist)
Gambrills, MD  21054
443-579-GOWN (4696)
What are the latest trends for wedding and bridesmaids dresses?
What we are seeing on the runways this Spring 2016 are layers and dimension on gowns, like lace overskirts and tiered skirts formed from layers of tulle, silk and organza.  There were also illusion bodices (front and back) and added interest with separates (bodice and skirt) paired to create a wedding ensemble.  Bridesmaid gowns are moving in the direction of floral, patterned or even sequined for bridal parties that love bling!  Gone are the days when ‘maids have a closet of 27 dresses they will only want to wear once!  Some popular trends we have seen recently are brides who pick a color palette for gowns and allow their attendants to choose styles and lengths that suit their body type and style preference.  Another popular trend is to rent bridesmaid attire much the same way groomsmen rent tuxedos.  This is a great way to have the bridal party in designer gowns at a fraction of the cost….at the end of the event, there’s no dress to dry clean or take up space in the closet.
What should a bride take into consideration while picking out her dress? How can a bride ensure that the selection/fitting process goes smoothly?
Brides typically start shopping for a gown as soon as they get engaged, which could be anywhere from 6 months to two years before their actual wedding date.  It’s a process that usually starts with looking at gowns online, in magazines, on social media and then lastly in person at either bridal shows or in boutiques.  This is the most exciting and most overwhelming part of planning the wedding for a bride, and sometimes the most stressful.  First, you should know your body type and what silhouettes will be most flattering on you.  Take the body type quiz in this graphic to determine what gowns you should try on.  Then check out these tips so you can avoid trying on too many dresses and stick with ones that will work best!
Pear Body Type:  Halters, wide-set straps and draped necklines look good on you.  An A-line silhouette will be most flattering, and stay away from mermaid/trumpet gowns that hug the body as well as ballgown skirts.
Inverted Triangle Body Type:  Broader shoulders and narrow hips look best in A-line and Ballgown silhouettes.  Halter, V-neck and strapless necklines take emphasis off the shoulders, and you should avoid wide-set straps, off the shoulder styles and cap sleeves.
Column Body Type:  You look best in spaghetti straps, V-necks, dropped or cinched waists and A-line gowns that flare at the hemline.  Avoid gowns that are clingy or tight in the bodice, and the sheath silhouette.
Hourglass Body Type:  Choose gowns that emphasize your bust and waist, especially with ruching.  Mermaid and modified A-line will look amazing on you, as well as V-necks, halters and sweetheart necklines.  Avoid gowns that are too loose or ‘poofy’ like a tulle ballgown.
Apple Body Type:  Look for empire or raised waists, fitted corsets and bodices, tops with detail or movement and drop V-necklines.  Like the Hourglass, you should avoid ballgowns with billowing skirts and lots of layers.
Three important things to keep in mind through the entire process:
•    Ultimately, you have to love the gown and feel beautiful in it.  Go with your gut, not with what your Mom, sisters or attendants want….and don’t worry about what your future husband is going to like best, he most likely won’t even remember details of your gown until you are looking at the pictures later.  You are his BRIDE and he is going to think you are the most enchanting thing to walk down the aisle even if you are wearing yoga pants and a Jonas Brothers t-shirt.
•    What you think will look good on you and what actually looks AMAZING on you may be two different things….be flexible during your bridal appointment(s) and be willing to try something on that might not be what you think you like.  Listen to your consultant’s suggestions, you may be shocked at the result!
•    Your ‘gown budget’ must include room for sales tax, undergarments, shipping and alterations/bustling.  These additional items can add as much as $500 – $600 to the price of your gown.  This is where Champagne Taste comes in and can really help you stay within your comfort zone!

What sets Champagne Taste apart from other bridal shops?
Champagne Taste focuses on the “Customer Experience” rather than the transaction, whether you are buying, selling, or preserving a wedding gown.  We provide world-class, personalized service to ensure that you come back….and tell your friends.
At Champagne Taste we believe that you should enjoy all aspects of the ‘quest for your dress’ – the research, the ‘trying on’, and most importantly the PRICE.  Savvy brides come to Champagne Taste before they pay thousands in a retail boutique.
Why not save $500 – $800 and use that money somewhere else in your wedding budget, like a photo booth or a longer open bar?
Our gowns are ‘New With Tags’ (NWT), ‘Samples’ that have been tried on but never worn, and ‘once loved’, filled with good luck and ready to be worn by you!  We also have dresses for flower girls, mother of the bride/groom, bridesmaids, special occasion, and a large selection of brand new veils!
Already have your gown?  No problem!  Champagne Taste is a full-service boutique and can help you at every stage of your wedding gown experience.  Once you have worn your gown on your BIG DAY and had it cleaned, bring it to us where we can help you recoup some of your investment by consigning your dress and matching it up with another excited bride!
Want to keep your dress?  Purchase our ‘Wedding Gown Preservation Kit’ for an easy, affordable and fabulous way to clean and preserve your gown as a wedding keepsake.  These kits also make excellent gifts for the Holidays, Bridal Showers and the Wedding!
Call or visit us to make your personalized one-on-one appointment to find your dream gown.  At Champagne Taste, each of our brides and guests is the center of our attention, ensuring that your experience is tailored to YOU and as pleasant a memory as your BIG DAY!
Like us on facebook to see our inventory and visit our website, where you can find out more about us and schedule your appointment online.  Questions?  Send us a facebook message, or email us at
We can’t wait to meet you!

Trends in Wedding Cakes

Peace of Cake
Helps You with the Sweetest Part of Wedding Planning
314 Love Point Rd, Stevensville • 410-604-0355

A wedding cake is more than a dessert.  Historically, it is a symbolic showing of the bride and groom’s union and promise to provide for each other. In more modern times, it has also become a means for the bride and groom to express themselves
through this sugary confection.  Choosing just right flavor, theme, color and topper give the couple another sweet way to represent who they are and their future together.

Peace of Cake, located in Stevensville, MD, is a family-operated gourmet pastry shop specializing in fine desserts and special occasion cakes… and just the right ones to help brides and grooms decide on the perfect cake. They use only the finest ingredients,
bake to order and book a limited number of wedding cakes per weekend to ensure that there is plenty of time to bake and decorate the cake you deserve. Peace of Cake has a large portfolio of cakes to choose from, but if you have an idea or theme, they will help you create the wedding cake that reflects your personal taste and style.

Before you give them a call to schedule an appointment for your consultation and complimentary tasting, take a look through these pages at some of their finest creations and advice…

Trends in Wedding Cakes
This year our brides are continuing the trends from last year with a few exceptions.

Naked or semi-naked cakes forgo an outer layer of buttercream or have an ever so thin coating so that the texture of the cake and the colors inside are put on display. It is a simple, elegant, rustic finish. We have finished these cakes with fresh flowers or greens or fruit.

We have also combined the naked cake with another new trend – a drip or drizzle of white chocolate ganache “dripping” down the sides of the cake. The ganache can be tinted so it can add a pop of color.

Woodland or bohemian-textured and rustic-finished cakes with simple greenery also continue to be popular. Using fresh flowers on the cake does add a pop of color and can tie the cake in with the wedding colors or the theme.

Adding a splash of metallic accents to the cake still continues to be popular. We hand make gold and silver fondant sequins and pearls to cover tiers. A traditional white cake can be transformed with a small lightly brushed gold design. We have had several watercolor inspired cakes – painting subtle splashes of color on the face of the tiers.

Cupcakes for weddings are still popular and a very viable option for a cost efficient dessert for a wedding. It is an easy way to include many different flavors and designs.

For the summer months, strawberry and other fresh berries in combination with citrus flavors are very popular. Combinations of rich chocolate truffle and white chocolate buttercream or salted caramel are very popular in the fall.

When You Are Ready for Your Cake
We recommend ordering your cake at least 4 to 6 months in advance. Since we limit the number of wedding cakes taken each week, the earlier you reserve your date the better. Cake pricing is based on the number of servings and the details of your cake design. In determining the size of the cake, we recommend a size that would serve at least 80 to 90% of your guest count.

Inspired Advice When Choosing Your Venue

Create your guest list before you start looking at venues.  You may be surprised that your “intimate wedding for 75” has instantly turned into 150 after both sets of parents have added their guests. You can’t begin researching potential venues until  you have a concrete number of guests to accommodate.

After choosing your venue, be sure to go back and visit it at the same time of day your wedding will be held. The lighting based on the time of day can play a role in staging and photography decisions you will need to make.

Be sure to check for special needs… if you are planning an outdoor wedding at it rains, what is the venue’s back up plan… is there any construction on the site or nearby roads planned around your wedding date… smoking regulations, etc.

When visiting venues, along with a notebook and pen to record information, take photos. This is the perfect way to spark your memory when sorting through all the information when narrowing down your choices. Take general pictures, but also take pictures of your likes and dislikes so you have an account of points to consider.

You’ll gather a ton of information when visiting venues. Keep everything they give you and develop a filing system to organize the information. Add your notes and pictures to each file… then everything will be in one location!

You asked, Eastern Shore Dental Care answered!

Are over-the-counter teeth whitening products as effective as professional in-office treatments?

NO! Nor are they as safe. While OTC products may be cheaper, they definitely have many pitfalls. First, they provide gradual and lackluster results. If you use a strip product, you are more likely to end up with two-toned colored results because they don’t cover teeth evenly. Plus, they are extremely rough on gums. Also, many people tend to overuse OTC products. That combined with ill-fitting trays and strips leads to many long-term problems from enamel damage and gum sensitivity.
On the contrary,  in-office treatments are much safer because we create custom-fitted mouth trays to provide even coverage of a much more-effective whitening gel. The biggest benefit of a custom mouth tray is the gel will not run over and harm your gums. Prescription whitening gel is also better for your enamel and produces a much quicker and longer-lasting result. Plus, being under the supervision of your doctor helps us monitor the health of your gums and teeth while giving you the brightest smile possible!

Eastern Shore Dental Care, (410) 643-5500,

You asked… and Kent Manor Inn answered!

What is the difference between an on-site venue coordinator and a wedding planner?
This question is asked frequently when speaking with brides and grooms at Historic Kent Manor Inn.  Having an on-site coordinator at your venue is a great asset to assist the bride as well as the wedding planner to your wedding day as pleasurable and smooth.  On-site coordinators have intimate knowledge of the wedding venue, understands what works best at the venue, ideas of how to make the ceremony and banquet spaces work best and ideas to assist you in your planning. On-site coordinators normally hold a junior role as compared to the wedding planner. They are available to answer questions, provide professional vendor list, assist with room layouts, ensure that venue rules and guidelines are being followed.  Most importantly, this coordinator provides you with your hands-on, day-of coordination to help guide the bride, groom and wedding party through their special event.
By comparison, a wedding planner will be there to assist you from beginning to end with one-on-one help with planning every last detail of your wedding.  This often includes the colors, table-top, florals as they help customize your dream wedding.  Make sure you ask your prospective wedding venue exactly what your on-site coordinator will be providing.  You can then decide if these coordinator services will be satisfactory or if you prefer to hire a wedding planner. Interviewing several wedding planners is without cost and will also help you decide.
Kent Manor Inn • 410-643-4242 •

These online tools can help you find a first mortgage that fits

(BPT) – Whether you’re a first-time or experienced homebuyer, chances are a good portion of your real estate journey will take place online. In fact, four in 10 homebuyers start their house-hunting with an online search, according to the National Association of REALTORS. It’s easy to understand why: Online tools and apps can make the homebuying experience — including finding a mortgage — easier and more enjoyable.

If you’ll be shopping for a home, use the tools homebuyers find most useful, according to the Bank of America Homebuyer Insights Report:

* Mortgage calculators — It’s important you’re as comfortable with your mortgage terms and lender as you are with the home you’re paying for. An affordable mortgage helps homebuyers reap the full benefits of home ownership, including building equity and long-term financial security. A mortgage calculator can help you understand what you would pay each month, as well as estimate monthly mortgage payments and rate options.

* Finance websites — Home shoppers can learn a lot about mortgage options and a bank’s customer service through websites that feature reviews of mortgage loan officers and lending institutions. More than a third (36 percent) of first-time homebuyers and more than a quarter (28 percent) of experienced homebuyers use bank apps or websites to research reviews of lenders and loan officers.

* Loan status portals — Applying for a mortgage can sometimes be overwhelming, but real-time loan status information is transforming the process. For example, Bank of America’s Home Loan Navigator allows mortgage applicants to securely upload, submit and sign documents, get real-time status updates on their application and loan, receive important documents and disclosures and communicate with experts via secure messaging.

* Mobile real estate listings — With many home listing websites available, it can be difficult to narrow down online searches to homes that meet all your criteria in your location of choice. Using a bank’s online real estate center can help you refine your home search or, if you’re selling, it can help you determine your home’s estimated value.

* Down payment sources — Saving for a down payment can be one of the most challenging tasks of buying a house. Tools like Bank of America’s Down Payment Resource Center offer a searchable database of more than 1,000 local and national assistance programs that may be able to save you money on your down payment.

* Home design apps — With inspiration in hand, homebuyers can use home design apps to put their ideas into virtual reality. These apps allow you to take and store room measurements, make notes on design ideas and see virtual representations of what your decor plans will look like in your home.

To learn more about home buying and mortgages, visit Bank of America — Home Loans.

Have Your Heart Set on an African Travel Honeymoon?

5 cornerstones of an unforgettable African travel experience

(BPT) – If you love to travel, chances are you have a bucket list filled with once-in-a-lifetime destinations you simply cannot wait to visit, whether you dream of exploring the homeland of your ancestors, cities renowned for their culinary feats, or a place known for its wildlife.

If your focus is the latter, no bucket list is complete without an authentic African safari that provides the opportunity to step into the native habitats of Africa’s big five animals, rare birds, and great apes. If this type of intimate animal experience is on your must-do travel list, here are five reasons Uganda is the perfect destination for your African adventure.

You can get up close and personal with mountain gorillas and chimpanzees

Uganda is home to more than half the world’s population of endangered mountain gorillas, and trekking to see these majestic creatures in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is a top bucket list item for nature enthusiasts. The country is also a prime location for those hoping to catch sight of chimpanzees, as Budongo Forest Reserve is home to 700 of these playful primates, including three groups that have been habituated and can be visited by humans.

See it all at Murchison Falls National Park

You can see it all at Murchison Falls National Park, which is a four-hour drive northwest of the capital city of Kampala. Bisected by the Nile River, Murchison Falls boasts 76 species of mammals and 451 species of birds. The park is home to iconic African game such as elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes and giraffes, as well as river-loving animals like crocodiles and hippopotamuses. The dramatic falls, created by a remnant rift that plunges water 150 feet down the valley wall, provide a picture perfect photo opportunity.

Catch a glimpse of the southern white rhino at Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch

Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch is home to 15 southern white rhinoceroses and is the only place in Uganda to see this majestic creature. The ranch, a collaborative effort between the Uganda Wildlife Authority and Rhino Fund Uganda, serves as a sanctuary where the animals can live and breed in a protected environment. In addition to the rhinos, more than 40 species of mammals, reptiles, and birds call Ziwa home. Those who visit leave invigorated by the power of conservation and the work the ranch is doing to protect its residents for generations to come.

Queen Elizabeth National Park is for the birds, and you

Bird is the word at Queen Elizabeth National Park in southwestern Uganda, where 600 different species of birds can be found – more than any other park on the eastern half of the continent. Here, you will have a chance to see some of Africa’s most sensational birds such as the Shoebill, African Broadbill, Martial Eagle, Black-rumped Buttonquail, African Skimmer and Pink-backed Pelican.

Seize the opportunity to enjoy authentic, immersive cultural experiences

Uganda is home to more than 50 distinct tribes, and meeting individuals from any of them offers a unique opportunity to experience their way of life and make lasting personal connections. Join the Batwa Experience for a glimpse into the living history of a tribe that once called Uganda’s forests home. You can also learn the art of basket weaving or beekeeping from communities across Uganda who use these arts to sustain their villages. A number of lodges connect travelers directly to these local communities, providing the chance to experience unique cultural performances of dance, music and song that will leave a lasting impression on your heart and soul.

Uganda is often referred to as “The Pearl of Africa,” and those who visit quickly understand why. Some of the continent’s most diverse wildlife viewing, dramatic landscapes, and mesmerizing cultural interactions await adventurous travelers, and there is no better time to plan a visit than right now. To get started, head to and begin preparing for the African adventure of a lifetime.

IMAGE CAPTIONS: ——————————————- Caption 1: Mountain Gorilla trekking in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is one of the world’s top wildlife experiences. Caption 2: The Nile River spills over Murchison Falls in Uganda’s largest and oldest conservation area.

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