View Older News »


Ask an Expert with Cindy Bliss

Do I need a skincare routine?

Yes you should start as early as a year out if possible with a skin care system. Products designed to work together. This will ensure you have healthy, radiant skin for your big day!

What products create a Skincare system?

A good skincare routine should includes a cleanser, toner, exfoliator, moisturizer and a foundation to protect the skin.
Skincare is like brushing your teeth, twice daily is best practice to cleanse, tone and moisturizer. Light exfoliating twice a week and protect daily with a foundation.

My dress is a low back, can I use the same skincare products on my back?YES absolutely! And on your upper arms if needed! 

Does tanning damage my skin?

Yes, tanning and or burning are actually damaging you skin. The sun’s UV rays pierce the skin and cause damage to your DNA. Use a safe self tanner or spray tan. 

I get facials monthly do I still need a skincare routine?

YES! Having a professional facial is great but maintain the skin with a skincare routine between facials will help keep your skin healthy and the results from the facial will last longer.

Ask an expert with Bridges Restaurant

What should a couple think about when selecting a venue for their rehearsal dinner?

 Select a venue close to the rehearsal location and to hotels of out-of-town guests. You may want to add a cocktail hour to allow all of your guests time to arrive. 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 to guests.

What should I think about when selecting my rehearsal dinner menu?

 Make sure that the menu you are selecting compliments the food being served at the wedding rather than repeating or overshadowing it. Consider preselecting all but the main course with “crowd pleaser” options. For example, Bridges Restaurant recommends serving our famous Spinach and Arugula Salad as a first course option. A relaxed environment with thoughtful planning is key to a stress-free evening.  

What if a couple wants a more non-traditional, casual rehearsal dinner?

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 venue is the perfect way to celebrate. A more casual event allows families to meet, mingle and relax before the big day.

What should a couple think about when sending invitations to the rehearsal dinner?

 Send your invitations out close to when the wedding invitations are sent so that your guests can plan their schedules around all activities. Make it clear that each invited guest must select their menu options. Don’t forget to invite the officiant and spouse or significant other. They may not choose to attend; however, it’s the polite thing to do.
Bridges is here to help… Plan your rehearsal dinner with the venue coordinator so that you can spend your time meeting, greeting and enjoying your guests. Casual self-seating is the standard for rehearsals and tables of 6 or 8 make for easier conversation. Communicate all important information to the venue coordinator to enjoy a stress-free evening. 

Ask and Expert with Silver Swan Bayside

What should a couple look for if their hearts are set on an outdoor wedding venue?

Many couples dream of the perfect outdoor wedding where the setting, weather and festivities all come together perfectly. Your outdoor wedding can be as perfect as you imagine when offered in a spectacular natural setting that also offers the amenities and facilities you want for a dream wedding… and options for the unexpected. 
Should the couple be worried about weather conditions for an outdoor wedding? September and October on Kent Island typically offer warm sunshine, cool breezes and a crisp fall scent in the air. Even a January wedding can have an outdoor feel when the main area overlooks the Chesapeake Bay with gorgeous views all around from the comfort of indoors. Surrounded by water and protected from extremes of temperature and climate, Kent Island provides one of the most desirable outdoor wedding venues on the Eastern Shore. The welcoming fireplace at Silver Sway Bayside will take the edge off any chilling breezes coming off the Bay.
What kind of help should the bridal couple look for from the venue of choice?Our professional team can handle all the details on-site. Everything about your outdoor or indoor wedding can be relaxed and seamless… from the food and beverages to the linens and décor; we can take care of every detail. Whether you choose one of our worry-free, seamless wedding packages or want to tailor a one-of-a-kind event in our spectacular setting, our staff is here to make everything go smoothly. 
By hiring a venue coordinator to help with preparation and with the day of the wedding, your family and wedding guests can spend free time before and after enjoying the many wonderful outdoor activities available in the Kent Island area. A sunset cruise around the Bay, a scenic kayak adventure, fishing, or simply hiking and biking our trails.  
Silver Swan Bayside is surrounded by a vibrant historic community. Bay breezes in summer, warm sunshine in spring, and brilliant autumn colors shine year around creating wonderful wedding memories. 

How to make any occasion sparkle

(BPT) – What if everyone spent a little more time and energy celebrating everyday moments, tiny victories and micro-achievements? Rather than focusing on the negative, directing your attention toward what you are grateful for, and making a special occasion out of those things, is the secret to a happier life – according to many psychologists, writers and self-help experts.

So what can you do, right now, to add a little more sparkle to your life, to celebrate those little occasions that actually make the difference between a bad day and a great one?

  1. Tune up your tablescape

Whether you just made it through a grueling day of meetings at work, you managed to take the car in for an oil change or you got through the holidays unscathed, it’s worth celebrating!

So roll out a tablecloth and light a few candles for dinner tonight – even if it’s takeout or delivered. Turn off your phone and relish the moment!

  1. Dress to impress

Going out to dinner with your significant other for the first time in ages? Or maybe you’re staying in for a night with friends?

What’s stopping you from dressing up as if it was your first date or as if you’re headed to a cocktail party? Toss on that little black dress or a fun, festive outfit just because. Add some sparkly accessories or makeup and enjoy the reaction when you show up looking like a million bucks!

  1. Drink something sparkly

For those everyday moments that you want to celebrate, fill a glass with a delicious sparkling wine, like Riondo Prosecco Spago Nero, or use it to create a tasty cocktail. Riondo Prosecco has a light effervescence and fresh notes of apple and pear that make any ordinary occasion seem extra special.

Follow the lead of media personality, author, entrepreneur and restaurateur Giuliana Rancic by embracing the authentic flavor of Italy while you enjoy Giuliana Prosecco. Elevate your everyday dinner as you savor the fruity and elegant prosecco – or serve it to guests at your next awards show viewing party!

Or for a bigger occasion, make a statement with another great prosecco worthy of New Year’s Eve, a wedding or an anniversary. Nino Franco Rustico Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG will impress your guests or fellow revelers with its crisp, bright, refreshing and fruity taste.

  1. Celebrate someone you love

Stop at a party store and pick up banners, glitter, confetti or other decorations to celebrate someone you care about. Surprise them by decorating their doorway with a sign that says “Congratulations” or “Welcome Home” – even if they’ve just been at work all day.

Bring flowers, cupcakes or other special treats to celebrate being together and whatever mini-accomplishment your loved one may have achieved recently – or simply for being there for you when you needed them.

Show that person how much you love that they are a part of your life, and have a mini-party, just the two of you.

  1. Crank up the music

Instead of the drone of the TV or talk radio, play your favorite upbeat tunes on the way home from a long day at work. Crank up songs you love at home while you do your household chores to put some pep in your step.

Make a “victory playlist” to celebrate finishing a tedious appointment or completing a project. Then set your favorite song as your ringtone.

Let each day be an opportunity to enjoy everything life has to offer, and to celebrate being a part of it. By adding just a little extra sparkle, everyday moments can become special occasions.

Get hitched without a hitch!

Get hitched without a hitch!

(BPT) – Your wedding is one of the most memorable days of your life. To pull off the big day of your dreams, it is important to have a plan in place.

The average engagement in the United States lasts 16 months – this may seem like a lot of time, but with so many details to account for, it will fly by. Weddings have many moving parts, so couples need to prioritize and prepare for the unexpected in case their big day doesn’t go exactly as they’d hoped.

To ensure that your special day goes as smoothly as possible, keep these tips in mind:

Vet your vendors

Couples have to rely on many different vendors – from caterers and transportation companies to florists and venues. Depending on so many different people can leave room for error – just ask the couple whose DJ couldn’t make the reception because he was in jail.

To protect your investment, make sure trust is established between you and your vendors. Start by thoroughly researching potential vendors, including talking to past customers, to ensure they are reputable. Then follow up with them throughout the planning process to make sure you are still on the same page.

Don’t lose out on your deposits

According to the Brides American Wedding Study, the average cost of a wedding in 2018 was more than $44,000. Clearly, a wedding is a significant financial investment. To protect against potential losses, couples should use a credit card instead of a check or debit card whenever possible for deposits. In the event something happens, a credit card payment is easier to recoup than cash.

Say “I do” to expert help

Planning a wedding is no easy feat – it is quite literally a full-time job. Couples can make the process a lot easier by hiring a wedding planner to make sure everything is covered. These experts will use their experience and many talents – like communication and planning skills, negotiation and problem-solving – to help your wedding dreams become a reality.

Dealing with destinations

Destination weddings are definitely on trend as couples seek Instagrammable, unique locations around the world for their special day. If you’re taking this route, factor additional money into the budget to cover unforeseen expenses. Consider hiring a local wedding planner who will be familiar with reliable venues and vendors in the area. Additionally, many destination weddings take place outdoors, and unpredictable weather could roll in at any time. It is important to have a back-up plan when it comes to venues, photographers or any vendor that could face a problem and be unable to provide their contracted services.

Invest in peace of mind

Because you can’t guarantee that everything will go right on your big day, wedding insurance solution providers like WedSafe can help protect your investment with wedding insurance. Investing in wedding insurance, on average, costs less than half of your three-tiered wedding cake. Wedding insurance generally comes in two forms:

  • Wedding Cancellation Insurance. This coverage offers protection if a couple needs to cancel or reschedule their wedding in the event of issues like severe weather, a sudden illness or venue closure. In 2018, 43 percent of WedSafe’s claims came from the need to cancel or postpone a wedding. For example, the company saw a surge in claims in the Carolinas when Hurricane Florence hit, forcing cancellations for weeks following the storm as venues and vendors dealt with the impact to their business.
  • Wedding Liability Insurance. This type of coverage, which is now required by many venues, helps protect an insured if they are held liable for property damage or bodily injury. It can also offer host liquor liability to protect against alcohol-related accidents. And these things happen more often than you’d think. Twenty-three percent of WedSafe claims in 2018 stemmed from venue/property damage while 14 percent related to injury or accident.

This information is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide individualized business, insurance or legal advice. All descriptions, summaries or highlights of coverage are for general informational purposes only and do not amend, alter or modify the actual terms or conditions of any insurance policy. Coverage is governed only by the terms and conditions of the relevant policy.

A Sweet Wedding Story

Jordan and Leslie got married on a beautiful Sunday in October 2016.  Early in the day, Leslie had a pain in his stomach that he chalked up to pre-ceremony nerves.  After the ceremony was over, the pain was only getting stronger and by the time the couple was done taking portraits during cocktail hour, the groom could hardly stand. While their guests enjoyed their reception dinner, Jordan helped Leslie into their car and drove him to the Emergency Room.  Thankfully, the doctors informed the newlyweds that Leslie had kidney stones –painful, but not life threatening. They did not make it back to their wedding reception, but their guests danced and had a great time in their honor.
A few weeks later, Leslie reached back out with the hopes of throwing a surprise reception for Jordan. He was so appreciative and grateful that his bride stood by his side, even when it meant missing the day they had looked forward to for so long, and he wanted to give her a chance to enjoy all the work she put in.  
Under the guise of returning to the venue to take sunset pictures in their wedding attire, he had her bouquet and their cake re-made and invited their closest friends and family back to celebrate with them. After they finished taking pictures on the lawn, he led Jordan back inside where all of their guests were waiting! She was so surprised! They got to share their first dance, cut their cake, and get the send-off they had been dreaming of.  
Silver Swan Bayside Venue & Caterer412 Congressional Drive,

Destination weddings: How to plan your dream celebration in uncertain times

(BPT) – Something old, something new, masks for guests and hand sanitizer, too – weddings during COVID-19 look different than those in the past. However, love is leading the way as couples are making thoughtful adjustments to their ceremonies to reflect their personalities and commitment to each other while prioritizing health and safety.

“Expect the unexpected is a phrase wedding planners have shared with couples for decades, and the global pandemic is certainly having an impact on matrimony traditions,” says Jonalee DeNoble, associate director of meetings and events at Destination Kohler. “Although the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way weddings are typically planned and performed, that doesn’t mean you can’t still have a dream wedding in a memorable location.”

Jonalee offers expert insights for planning a wedding during the pandemic and the top wedding trends that smart brides and grooms are embracing:

Smaller groups provide intimacy enjoyed by all

Having hundreds of people gather for a wedding or reception simply isn’t possible right now. Don’t sweat the change and instead embrace the intimacy that only smaller celebrations can provide. This might be a few dozen of your closest friends and family or something as simple as the bride and groom and their parents. There is a beauty in smaller ceremonies that truly reflects the unconditional love a couple has for each other. When planning, remember group gathering restrictions vary by state and can change at any time, so be sure to plan accordingly and be conservative in your numbers.

Road trips rule for local destination weddings

Jetting to a tropical country or international destination for a wedding is not currently a great option, however, you can still enjoy a dream destination wedding in a picturesque setting when you explore options within driving distance. For example, Kohler, Wisconsin, is the premier wedding destination for people in the Midwest, with the new Straits Chapel at Destination Kohler that’s an intimate location surrounded by the beauty and serenity of nature. The picturesque setting of Straits Chapel, complemented by its modern design and proximity to Whistling Straits golf course, will captivate guests looking to celebrate as well as seeking a place for tranquility.

Nature-based settings are stunning and spacious

Opting for celebrations in nature over urban settings helps guests feel more comfortable knowing there is ample space for safety and social distancing. For example, Straits Chapel is nestled in the woods on the edge of bluffs overlooking Lake Michigan, which provides stunning views with plenty of access to the outdoors. When planning a wedding, consider if you want an indoor or outdoor ceremony, and how the natural benefits of parks, gardens and other nature-based destinations can enhance your wedding aesthetically while also providing a safer setting for everyone who attends your special day.

Streaming ceremonies and celebrations online

So many people are working and attending school online, it’s no surprise that the wedding ceremony has gone digital, too. Knowing celebrations will likely be smaller, this is a wonderful way to make people feel included even if they can’t attend in person. Research platforms and streaming options, as many have pros and cons, and choose the best one for your needs. Then on the big day you can broadcast the ceremony and celebration to loved ones who want to watch as you say “I do” and share your first moments as a married couple.

Request contactless accommodations

For guests who are attending the ceremony in person and need a place to stay overnight, research the safest and most convenient options so they can choose which they are most comfortable with. Many hotels have upgraded cleaning routines and offer contactless accommodations for a safer experience. Guests at Destination Kohler might consider the new Lake and Pond cabins with upscale features in a beautiful location that is very secluded from other guests. Reach out and get the details on different options to make it easy for guests to feel comfortable with their stay.

“COVID-19 has forced us to go back to the drawing board and create unique and luxury experiences while keeping everyone safe,” says DeNoble. “With great thought and our proactive measures, you can have a dream wedding with memories to last a lifetime.”

Make Sure Your Wedding Day Food Is Something to Remember! What Every Couple Should Ask.

What should couples keep in mind when looking for a wedding caterer?Couples should be shopping for a full service caterer with a proven track record and current social media imprint of their catered weddings and events. Current reviews and customer testimonials from past weddings should be asked for, if they are not available online.
A lot of caterers and personal chefs will call themselves a full service catering company. Ask to set an appointment at their place of business:1. To make sure they are not working out of  their homes; 
2. To actually see the licenses they hold,  which must be publicly displayed; 
3. A personal chef may not even be licensed to sell food. A full service caterer will be completely licensed
and insured for every aspect of your wedding.What should they keep in mind when
making specific food choices?
Choose the food that you want to have on your special day, remember this is your wedding. You should also make sure you do not overlap the menu from the rehearsal dinner to your wedding menu. You should have two totally different menus.
Accommodating your guests’ tastes is important, but you won’t be able please everyone. Try to have 2 entrée selections like a beef and a chicken or a seafood option. While vegetarians can be accommodated easily, guests with strict dietary needs for themselves usually know what they can and cannot eat and will usually say something in advance or prepare accordingly for all their dietary restrictions.
Any common mistakes people make when choosing a caterer and food?Your bar service is 3/4’s of your wedding reception and should be one of the most important decisions you make besides the menu selection and venue/location. A lot of newlyweds try to save money by providing their own bar services, but don’t realize that when they do so, they also assume 100% of the liability of providing/serving alcohol and any misfortunes that could happen. Not to mention if the wedding is held on private property or a family estate then the property owner may also be held liable for any misfortunes.
Another important piece of advice is to make appropriate seasonal selections. If your wedding reception is outside under a tent, remember mother nature is in charge and always has the final say. Appetizers like cheese and charcuterie boards are not recommended in the summer months as heat and flying insects will most likely get to your appetizers before your guests can finish them.What are Smokehouses’ most popular dishes?Our most popular upscale entrée’s are our famous jumbo lump Maryland crab cakes and our Smokehouse prime rib. Our most popular BBQ menu selections are our whole roasted pigs displayed right on the grill for self-serve pig pickin’ and our famous pit beef and BBQ chicken.

What makes Smokehouse Grill a great wedding caterer?

Experience is knowledge. Smokehouse Grill is celebrating 20 years in business and caters on average 60-70 weddings each year. Our service area includes Maryland, Delaware, Northern Virginia and Washington DC. We have won several local awards, including best caterer 2 years in a row from the Shore Update.
We also have been Wedding Wire’s couple’s choice awards 6 years in a row.”
The Smokehouse Grill is located at 1001 Butterworth Court in Stevensville. They can be reached at 410-643-6851 or Visit The Smokehouse Grill web site at to
learn more about what their delicious food offerings for your special day
including testimonials and a gallery of event pictures.

DIY Eastern Shore Style Weddings

Weddings are not just an evening anymore, they are evolving into weekend-long events. Make part of your wedding weekend a shrimp boil
We are so fortunate to live on the Eastern Shore where there is an abundance and variety of seafood and fresh produce available. So why not be a bit more creative and use our plentiful resources for your welcome party, rehearsal dinner or wedding shower?
And, at the same time, you’ll be supporting our local businesses. 
Here’s an idea you just might like to try… A Shrimp Boil. Add to it a unique dress code, special décor and setup, and local brews, and you’ll provide your guests with a party to remember. The following recipe makes about 8 servings, so you’ll want to be sure to make enough for all your guests.  
Shrimp Boil Recipe1 12-oz. bottle of beer3 bay leaves2 onions, quartered2 garlic bulbs, halved1 lb. small red potatoes4 ears fresh corn, husked and halved or quartered1 lb. smoked sausage, cut into 1-inch diagonal slices2 lbs. large shrimpSalt, Cayenne, Old Bay Seasoning to tasteFrench baguette, lemon wedges, melted butter
INSTRUCTIONS: Make sure to add the ingredients in the order and stages listed. Bring the first 4 ingredients and the seasonings to a
boil in a large pot. Add potatoes and simmer for 15 minutes. Add
the corn and sausage and simmer for another 8 minutes. Finally,
add the shrimp, cover the pot, and turn off heat. Let the shrimp combination sit for 10-15 minutes to absorb all the flavors. Drain the liquid and spread the Shrimp Boil on several large dishes or
newspaper-covered table. Serve with the sliced bread, lemon
wedges and melted butter. Don’t forget to have plenty of Old Bay Seasoning on hand in case someone desires extra flavoring.And now for decorating tips for your special event. Use a red and white theme for the boil. Checkered tablecloths add fun and color to the party. You also can use the red and white theme in other more subtle ways such as decorate with white flowers and use red dishes or plastic ware. Ask your guests to come party-ready and dress in red or white. Or, if you prefer, use your wedding theme colors. Make it a festive and fun event with lots of good food and drink and create memories for everyone about your special day.

 Speaking of drink, following are local breweries you will want to visit for your party brew needs:Bull & Goat Brewery, 204 Banjo Lane, Suite E, Centrevillewww.bullandgoatbrewery.comNestled in downtown Centreville, we invite you to stop by our taproom and experience delicious beer recipes crafted and perfected for your taste buds.  We have table games, shuffleboard and host monthly and community events featuring local artists and musicians. 
Cult Classic Brewing, 1169 Shopping Center Road, Stevensvillewww.cultclassicbrewing.comLocated on Kent Island, our dog and family-friendly taproom features one of the longest bars in Maryland, offers a live music room that can be rented for private events and has food trucks on site almost every day.  We currently feature fifteen taps with everything from
German-style lagers to IPAs, stouts, and porters. Stop by and see what’s brewing!
Ten’Eyck Brewing Company, near intersection of Routes 40 & 213, Queenstown Eyck Brewing Company is locally owned by women veterans and first responders. We’ve served around the globe and now we want to serve our Eastern Shore community. We are building from the ground up and hope to be open by the end of 2019. 

The Picture Perfect Venue For Your Picture Perfect Day

After years of hosting bridal shows across the shore at different venues from woodsy pastoral to gorgeous waterside locales, we are excited to host this year’s spring Bridal Show at the Kent Island Yacht Club. Located in the heart of The Narrows, the Kent Island Yacht Club is a unique and special spot for your big day. The club is located on a small peninsula, completely surrounded by water on all but one side. Nearly everywhere you look you’ll find the sight of serene open water, local marine life, and boats cruising on the Chesapeake. 
The Kent Island Yacht Club has a waterside area perfect for your ceremony, and a ballroom that holds over a hundred guests, making it the perfect location for your dream wedding. You’ll even find a special private bride’s room and private bathroom, offering you some peace and relaxation before the excitement of your big day officially begins. The Kent Island Yacht Club has a lot of experience working with different local caterers and planners, so you know your big day will go off without a hitch. If you would like to learn more about the Kent Island yacht Club, you can visit their website at The Kent Island Yacht Club is a must-see venue for any couple interested in having their big day on the Chesapeake Bay!

If you could only give couples one piece of advice, what would it be?Don’t worry about hurting feelings with your guest list. Keep your guest list to only family and very close friends. You should know that every person who is there came because they love you both and want the best for you.What should couples try to avoid?Don’t overdo it; pick a few things that are most important to you and forget about the rest. Spend your money and your time on those few things. This will help you not go crazy.What makes the Kent Island Yacht Club a great wedding venue?The view is amazing on the peninsula of the Eastern Bay, with a wonderful breeze and located in the Kent Narrows. Surrounded by water on all three sides, there really isn’t anything like the Kent Island Yacht Club.

The Kent Island Yacht Club is located at 117 Yacht Club Drive in Chester. They can be reached at 410-643-4101 or Visit the Kent Island Yacht Club web site at to learn more about what they have to offer for your special day including a gallery of pictures of their beautiful location and the very special private bride’s room.

4 steps to financial fitness in the new year

(BPT) – Sponsored ad content from Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, Inc.

The new year is just around the corner and it’s never too early to think about your 2020 goals – and for many, this means prioritizing finances. Taking the time to focus on your goals and determine what’s important to you financially is the best way to set yourself up for success, but actually following through can be difficult. These easy financial exercises from Vanderbilt Mortgage will help you reach your goals in the new decade.

  1. Outline your plan

If you don’t already have one, establish your plan. Write down short-term financial goals, such as creating a monthly budget, and long-term goals, such as paying off a debt or buying a home. Defining these goals will help as you set your budget for the next year.

  1. Create a monthly budget

Gather pay statements, bills and bank statements to get started. You can write down all this information or use a budget tool. Start by calculating your monthly income, which includes not only the amount you may get from a regular paycheck, but also any money you get in government aid, child support or pensions. The next step is to look at your bills and bank statements to find out exactly what you spend in various categories of expenses such as utilities, auto, medical, personal, insurance, etc. This accurate information will empower you to take control of your spending.

  1. Set a savings goal

Saving is another important aspect of financial health. Whether you’re using a general savings account, adding to an emergency fund, or setting aside funds for a new home, saving for larger financial goals helps you prepare and gives you peace of mind no matter where life takes you. If you’re new to saving, start small. Simply skipping your daily latte from the coffee shop a few times a week can add up quickly.

  1. Stick to it

The statistics on how many people actually follow through and keep their New Year’s resolutions are rather bleak, but sticking with your financial goals will pay off. Stay on track by monitoring your progress each week. As you get closer to your goals, excitement will build and you’ll be motivated to keep budgeting and saving.

Vanderbilt Mortgage offers helpful online resources whether you are looking to purchase a new home or keep your current home in great shape. “Here at Vanderbilt, we want to use our years of experience to help current and future homeowners.” Said Eric Hamilton, President of Vanderbilt Mortgage, “Providing educational materials for every step of homeownership is one of the ways Vanderbilt is with customers every step of the way.”

View Older News »