Wednesday, July 6, 2016

January isn't even over yet, however the smart Valentine is already think about how he or she will wow their beloved on February 14th. Believe it or not, celebrating your Valentine doesn't have to include expensive gifts or candy in a heart shaped box. Think outside the box this year, and surprise him or her with a heartfelt sentiment from the list below.
  • Tell them you Love them. Sounds like a cop-out, right? Well it isn't. It's what Valentine's Day is really all about. Love. Tell your special someone you love them in a whole new way. Call and leave a million messages of love while they are at work, or put it on post-its all over the bathroom mirror. Anything that makes your Valentine feel loved all day is a big win.

  • Make Something. Maybe your Valentine would love a handmade card decorated with artwork and language only you could create. Maybe he or she loves sushi and you could impress them with a handmade roll. If your sweetie has a sweet tooth, bake a cake or cokkies yourself rather than depending on your local chocolatier.

  • Make Peace. All couples have hot button issues that rear their ugly heads over and over. This Valentine's Day, make peace with your special someone over your dreaded issue. Promise to have an open mind to his or her way of thinking and let them know that you'll do your part to keep the peace.
  • Give your time. Don't just schedule your mate in between work and social commitments, really make time for him or her. Whether you curl up on the couch for a favorite movie or help them with a project they've been meaning to get started on, undivided attention and time is a priceless gift that is bound to fill the love bank.

Enjoy each other this Valentine's Day and treasure each other outside the box.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Once the wedding is over and the last guest has left, most couples look forward to their honeymoon-five days, a week, maybe more, of unwinding, relaxing and spending quality time together in an exotic spot somewhere around the world. Honeymoons come in all shapes and sizes – a beach vacation, a safari, a ski trip -- and are based more on the couple's joint-personality than on tradition. You might want to stay stateside and indulge in a few guilty pleasures, or maybe the beach offers the tranquility you seek, or maybe your a little more adventurous and would like to experience very different cultures. There's a perfect destination for each couple's personality and budget.
Las Vegas, Nevada
So maybe you didn't escape to Las Vegas to elope, but who says you can't celebrate your nuptials at this hot destination? Las Vegas is an ideal place for newlyweds looking for an action-packed and exciting honeymoon, while having the option of being pampered, all for a reasonable price. Vegas offers fine accommodations and a fun night life, but also gourmet dining, and elaborate pools. Las Vegas' romantic side is undeniable, and the whirlwind of available activities is sure to provide an unforgettable vacation.
Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Nestled on a power-white beach and a crystal blue lagoon,Bora Bora invites newlyweds to revel in post-wedding privacy in bungalows perched above the lagoon on high stilts. Take a romantic dip or snorkel anytime right from your bungalow’s swimming platform. And with full views of the lagoon, catch a surreal sunrise without leaving your bungalow. Couples can relax and be pampered at the resort’s Spa that overlooks the lagoon with breathtaking panoramic views.
Bali, Indonesia
Even savvy world travelers can find fresh and enchanting destinations to celebrate a new life together -- it just may require some more time onboard. One such spot is tucked away on the island of Bali in Indonesia. Overlooking the Lombok Strait in East Bali, many resorts in Bali offer stunning views of the sea and a lovely pools. A day away from the resort promises an experience of rich culture steeped in religious tradition at one of the island's 10,000 temples.
The best honeymoons are the ones that are planned to celebrate the couples taking the trip. Be sure to take the time to plan a great trip to recover from the wedding stress and celebrate the start of your new like together. Enjoy!


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The wedding ring, that most famous and instantly recognizable symbol of the joining of a man and a woman as husband and wife in the institution of marriage, has a long, and widespread and mysterious history.
The ancient Egyptians used plants growing on the banks of the Nile to fashion the first wedding rings. The ring is of course a circle and this was the symbol of eternity for the Egyptians as well as many other ancient cultures. It had no beginning and no end, like time. It is not difficult to see how the ring and the gift of a ring began to be associated with love and could take on the characteristics of the circle and capture eternity.They wore it like we do today, on the third finger of the left hand, because of a belief that the vein of that finger directly traveled from the heart.
This legend was later taken up by the Greeks, when they conquered Egypt under the generalship of Alexander the Great in 332 B.C. and from them passed onto the Romans, who called this the ‘vena amoris’, which is Latin for ‘the vein of love’.
Today, wedding bands are a billion dollar industry. The biggest trend right now? Individuality. Your wedding band is a reflection of who you are and of the story you tell as a couple. The days are long gone when the bride’s engagement ring and wedding band were sold as a set-sometimes even as a trio, with the groom’s wedding band included in the mix-and style choices were fairly limited.
Today, the engagement ring and bride’s and groom's wedding bands are three unique entities, with a seemingly limitless choice of style.
Wedding-Band Buying Tips
  • Shop around. Each jeweler offers different designers and each has its own style. A special event and special occasion in your life should be celebrated with your wedding band as a symbol. Jewelers carry the classics plus a majority of the alternative metals. Discover which material speaks to you and works with your lifestyle.
  • The size of your fingers fluctuates during the day, so have someone qualified measure your ring finger. The proper way for a ring to fit is to have to work to get it on and off over your knuckle. Along these lines, the band width tends to match the size of your finger. A man with a smaller finger may have a preference for a 4-millimeter width over the more popular 6-millimeter.
  • Plan ahead! On average, give 4 to 6 weeks before you get the ring you ordered. Keep in mind that this is a lasting symbol of not only your wedding day but of your lives. Put the time and energy into choosing something that will last the rest of your lives.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Frosting, Adornments, Bling, Frills, Bells and Whistles, or Embellishments...anyway you shake it, wedding accessories are fun! 2014 sees several accessory trends emerging for brides allowing them to make a personal statement with fashion whether they're starting a new tradition or donning a precious family heirloom.
Veils for 2014 brides make their entrance with ornate headpieces featuring elaborate combs and/or crown-like florals and tiaras. This dramatic look is ultimately bridal. After all, the veil is what makes you a bride. Unless you're a career pageant girl, this might be one of your only chances to wear a crown in public, so go for it!
Bridal jewelry for 2014 is another great place for brides to make a style splash. Often the tone for jewelry worn by the bride is dictated by the style of her engagement ring. A bride with an antique setting may wear vintage family heirloom jewelry at her ears and neckline to compliment her setting. Whereas a modern bride may choose to make a bold statement and add color to her palette with her jewelry.
Runways for 2014 highlighted many brides with capes and wraps to compliment their overall looks. Other than the practical application of warmth, wraps can also be helpful in protecting your dress from weather and mussing in general. There are whimsical choices like feathered and furred wraps that may fit with a vintage Gatsby-esque themed affair, and sleeker silks and satins for a more demure event.
The most important thing when choosing accessories is to express yourself and have fun!


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Going to a rave or black tie affair? Check out these tips to look smashing..
warehouse/rave party
Rave parties are always popular on New Year's Eve, especially among younger partygoers. If you're going to a 24-hour dancing session that feels more like a full-body massage, I suggest you wear something sporty and comfortable. Here are a few guaranteed winners for those all-nighters:
  • A dark blue, white, red, purple, or black sleeveless T-shirt. A tank top is perfect because it'll give your body plenty of breathability and you won't have to take off everything when you start to break a sweat.
  • Go for black, charcoal gray or dark blue track pants. They should be made of water-absorbing fabric for maximum comfort. The simpler the better.
  • Your outfit will not fly unless you wear flamboyant sneakers. Whether they're designer running shoes or the latest Nikes, make sure they blend with the rest of your attire for the ultimate look.
  • If you really want to stand out, you can wear a fisherman hat or a glitzy cowboy hat with tinted aviator glasses.
On a side note, don't forget to drink plenty of fluids and only stick to herbal pills, or you may not be seen at all for most of the night.
formal scene

If your party requires a tux, your best bet is a classic black and white combination. However, if you're going to wrap up the New Year at a trendy restaurant or a more traditional hall party, you'll need to wear a remarkable suit.
  • Make sure your suit fits and looks perfect.
  • If you're a little less conservative, a sharply cut three-piece suit is a throwback to the '70s and could definitely put the fever and groove back into your party.
  • If you are very confident, then try the latest plaid suits, but watch out because if improperly worn, they can look extremely tacky.
  • If you're more conservative in the image and financial departments, then buy a high-end suit that you could wear all year round. Lightweight black and gray suits are your best bets.
  • Try to keep the colors to a minimum and focus on buying a very nice
  • tie. Plaid ties with shades of purple and cherry look great.
  • Remember to polish your trendy footwear and always display
  • proper table manners.
Have a great holiday and remember to always look like a million bucks!
This blog was originally posted by Ask Men and written by Chris Rovny.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Christmas is only a few days away and if you're lucky, Santa will deliver some fabulous articles of clothing to guarantee that you look great at your New Year's Eve bash. For you less fortunate ones who receive Santa's more ordinary lines of clothing, don't worry, because we have fashion suggestions that will make you look fantastic wherever you party on December 31st.
club scene

If you're spending New Year's Eve in a nightclub where everybody dons the latest trends, it's important for you to look the part and stand out from the regular Joes. Be risky and try one of this year's coolest garments. One of these fashion items or a combination of several will help you achieve the perfect look.
  • A light blue or purple dressy shirt. Open up the two top buttons for a slick and more confident image.
  • If you're aiming for a more polished look, top your shirt off with a classy leather blazer. Great brands that have leather apparel are: Hugo Boss, The Gap, Andrew Marc, DKNY, and Prada.
  • This year, it's all about leather, so get yourself a nice pair of leather pants. Unless you're attending Fetish Night , don't buy plastic looking leather pants (pleather); opt for a jean-cut pair of leather trousers offered at stores like The Gap, Banana Republic or J. Crew.
  • Whether or not you decide to use one of the aforementioned suggestions, make sure you have great looking shoes, and that your ensemble's colors match perfectly.
outdoor scene

If you're lucky enough to be in Times Square (or any other outdoor event) when the clock strikes 12, look great with this year's trendiest jackets. Don't forget to wear quality winter boots, a matching winter hat, scarf and gloves, and check out which winter fashion no-nos you should avoid.
  • Leather is also a winner when it comes to winter jackets. Try a -length leather trench coat — preferably made out of nice, shiny leather. Black, brown and tan colors all look great when properly matched. Check out Armani, Andrew Marc and The Gap.
  • A rich-looking sheepskin jacket is always a classic amongst top designers. It's always a perfect fit for the more mature, classy gentleman who has achieved a certain status and wants to show it. Sheepskin jackets are guaranteed to keep you warm throughout the whole winter season. These are available by Armani, Prada and John Varvatos.
  • For those of you who can't afford leather, opt for a dark gray mohair trench coat (single-breasted). These can be found at Sisley/Benetton, Armani, Banana Republic, and J. Crew.
  • For a sportier look, get a quilted jacket with a fake fur hood and cuffs. The furry and fuzzy added touch is extremely hot this winter. Don't worry if you look like an Eskimo; at least you'll be toasty, not to mention very fashionable. You can find them at DKNY, and most trendy department stores.
Going to a rave or black tie affair? Check out our next post and look smashing...


This blog was originally posted on Ask Men and written by Chris Rovny


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

There are so many choices in Birmingham when couples are selecting a wedding venue. We like to send our friends to people and places we can trust. Park Crest in Hoover is a one stop shop that doesn't disappoint.
Park Crest is a beautiful and contemporary event facility located in Hoover, Alabama. It is the perfect venue for weddings, receptions, anniversary parties, corporate events, and so much more. They offer several unique settings that can satisfy any event, small or large.
Whether you are looking for an indoor or outdoor setting, Park Crest can accommodate. Their indoor venue is a converted restaurant which consists of several rooms, that are perfect for any party. They also offer Park Crest Gardens, which is our beautifully designed and landscaped outdoor venue.
Park Crest can provide event coordinating, catering, floral, and many more services for your convenience. Also, do not forget to ask about their classic car collection.  At Park Crest, they can provide you with in-house catering, florists, photographers, and any other service you may need. However, they do allow outside services of any kind. Outside caterers are allowed to use the fully-equipped kitchen for a small fee.
Park Crest can even help couples plan their honeymoon destinations.  There are vacation homes available, located on the Gulf Coast, that are perfect for private getaways or large family/friends vacations.  Call them today to book your tour!


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The look of weddings change throughout the years from florals to favorite colors used and fashion as well. When looking at photographs years from now, 2013-2014 men's fashion will show a trend toward slimmer fitting suits and skinny ties. Many guys are using these trends to highlight aspects of their personalities on wedding day.
Selecting Slim-fit Suits:
Get the skinny: Slim-fit suits typically feature a tapered waist, slim and slightly tapered legs, and a narrower point-to-point shoulder measurement. This style is especially flattering on men with a slim build but can give anyone a modern, trimmed-down silhouette.
Wear the pants: Men's slim-fit suit pants feature a lower rise than traditional suit pants and have a slightly shorter length. In addition, slim-fit suit pants will always have flat-front design, rather than the traditional pleated-front style, to keep an overall slim look underneath the jacket.
Take your coat: Slim-fit dress suits almost always have a narrower lapel with a higher gorge (or notch). This pairs with a lower button stance to lengthen the look of the body, as slim-fit jackets typically have a shorter suit coat length overall. Smaller and softer shoulder pads also characterize the slim-fit, and most slim suits will have a single-breasted coat with two buttons rather than three, which is often the standard for traditional suits.
Dress the part: A slimmer style isn't all in the suit. What you wear with your slim-fit suit is just as important as the suit itself. A regular tie can appear too bulky or wide underneath a slim-fit suit, so try it with a skinny tie instead. If you're going for the more modern look, pair your suit with a shirt in a bright color or pattern to give it a little edge.
Skinny Tie Trend:
Observing the recent trend, you might tell that this chunky piece of accessory is not wholly confined to
geeks but is also holds a cool, funky and chick look that goes well with casual laid back fashion. Sport
them with tailored suit and bright colored sneakers and you will get that look. If you are going for a
formal wear, black skinny silk tie will do your job the best way. Neutral shades also work well but all
depends on the color and design of the shirt. And apart from ties in black and white, you can explore
kaleidoscopic range.
From coral red to zesty yellow, emerald green to turquoise blue you will find a
wide gamut of colors in skinny ties. Fuchsia skinny ties in satin, silk or polyester go well with black or
dark hued shirts. A turquoise skinny tie works well with neutral, bright as well as dark hued shirt.
Apart from single hued ties, you will also find designer ties with prints on silk or satin material.
Whatever your fashion statement is- Formal or laid back, don't forget to add "skinny-ties" to your clothing accessories and flaunt that flair. Believe it, these are must haves for every occasion and their trend is never-ending!
Follow these simple guidelines to stay current on your wedding day!


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

If you’ve noticed the telltale flash of a pocket square peeking out from a suit jacket, you might be watching Mad Men, or you might just be noticing one of the biggest resurgences in menswear history. While trends come and go, there’s something about the pocket square that’s been gaining momentum with all types of guys from the boardroom to the backroom.
It’s a really simple way to elevate your look, but one that also seems to incite a little panic for guys who want to know how to pull it off.
According to experts, pocket squares grew out of necessity. Men needed something to wipe sweat off their brows or blow their noses, and of course they couldn’t just use their shirtsleeves. From there, gentlemen carried one for themselves and one for the ladies, making it a chic, must-have accessory for every guy. While khaki-wearing magnates and the advent of casual dress codes changed the focus of men’s fashion, retro shows such as Mad Men, the resurgence of the classic prep look have brought back the pocket square and thrust it into the spotlight once again.
Today, a trip to J. Crew or even a department store like Nordstrom yields myriad choices. From plain white, to the madras, chambray, and silk that are seen on glossy magazine covers and runways, one thing is for sure-it's hip to be square-again.
The pocket square, like all fashion trends, has made its way to the wedding world as well. A pocket square is a great place to pick up the color of the bridesmaids dresses or décor accent colors. Besides, it's always a good idea to have an extra hanky to share of wedding day, right?


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

As every couple plans their upcoming nuptials, there are many aspects that are often assigned to either the bride or the groom. Gift registry, however, is an activity often enjoyed by both parties. During gift registry, couples select items that will be a part of décor in their homes and/or used during holidays and the new family's favorite activities for years to come. Without realizing it, heirlooms may be added to a couple's family on their wedding gift registries.
It is so important to have seasoned professionals helping with the selection of gift items for each registry. These pros will make sure couples include items from each department and price range. This insures that gift purchasers have many options to choose from on your preselected list of goodies. Sally Holsenback at Belk here in Birmingham is the perfect example of these pros. We love to send couples Sally's way, as we know they'll be handled with the utmost care.
Another great thing about Belk registry is it's nationwide accessibility both in stores across the country for those who like to purchase in person as well as online for others. Belk registries can also be linked to a couples wedding website for click through convenience.
Professionals like Sally also advise their couples to register least 6 months before the wedding. Some friends and family members start sending gifts as soon as the engagement is announced. Six months out guest lists are usually finalized and most couples have a solid idea about their living arrangements for after the wedding. It's also plenty of time before most gift giving party and shower invitations have gone out, giving everyone plenty of time to shop.
All in all, enjoy the process. We promise that having a pro like Sally and/or the other registry associates at Belk on your side is a step in the right direction. Happy Shopping!