3_lrgSerenity Spa Marriott

Get closer to the one you love this Valentine’s Day and visit the Serenity Spa by the falls at the Marriott Hotel Fallsview.

The spa is situated on the same floor as an indoor pool, hot tub with waterfall and steam room all on the cusp of the falls. Take a dip in the pool and then venture out onto the balcony for a breathtaking view of one of the seven wonders of the world.

The Serenity Spa itself is fully equipped to bring you and your Valentine closer together.  The spa features twelve treatment rooms, for singles and couples. The couple’s rooms feature twin massage beds and rain showers, perfect for some relaxing romance.

Choose a spa package specifically designed for two. Whether it’s a couple’s relaxing facial, massage or a soak in the hydrotherapy tub that helps drain toxins from your system using an exclusive blend of thermal properties made from ingredients rich in minerals and natural trace elements found in the Grotto Giusti thermal waters of Italy, the Serenity Spa has packages for every level of romance.
And instead of choosing just one, why not try all of the services in a four-hour package that includes a facial, massage, deluxe spa pedicure and a soak in the hydrotherapy tub complete with a spa parfait. Together for everything, this package is sure to make Valentine’s Day memorable.

Traveling from outside Niagara Falls? Spend the night in one of the Marriott’s fallsview rooms and indulge in a hearty breakfast overlooking the falls that’s included as part of your stay.

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples. Spend this lovely occasion with the person you love best: You!

Oakes Garden Theatre in Spring_lgBountiful in breathtaking scenery, luxurious reception and ceremonial venues and experts that are awaiting your every beck and call – a Niagara Parks wedding might just fulfil your every wish. Known as the Honeymoon Capital of the world, you shouldn’t be surprised it’s the perfect fit for a destination wedding or ideal for a local wedding because it’s just that easy. It’s a thought, and one you should most definitely consider. Like no place on earth and being unlike any couple to wed – this could be the greatest spot considering it’s something almost as unique as you!

Experts stand by to help out with all aspects of your special day and are sure to come through no matter the expense.
With nearly 10 different spots to pick from for your ceremony and reception – indoor and outdoor, the choices are endless and there is no need to go extravagant, if you prefer a small casual wedding that is always an option! Rest assured, you’ll receive the attention and personal care you and your special day deserves.

Take advantage of what Niagara Falls and all its year round activities offer and incorporate them into your wedding. Whether it is the falls illumination as your picturesque outlook or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police greeting your guests – it’s all possible here.

Be part of the magic that inspires all of us who visit the Falls, your signature wedding awaits at the Niagara Parks Commission this spring!

MulticulturallgLooking to stray away from the typical white dress and big party wedding tradition? Take part in the new trend that seems to sweeping the world at large, where cultured couples are incorporating each other’s own flair and perfectly bound together.

Multi-cultural weddings are becoming more and more prominent among western culture. Although it has always existed I believe that the more we travel the more we become fascinated in all aspects of culture around the world. Therefore we like to integrate it into our most precious days such as our wedding day because we feel it truly symbolizes us as a couple.

Whether the culture is a part of your heritage or something you’ve shared with a loved one, multi-cultural weddings are very inspiring and exciting for your guests. It is like embarking on a foreign adventure for one night and when it comes to combining two different cultures, together, the diversity is endless.

There are so many factors to lay out when it comes to planning a multi-cultural wedding, whether it’s clothing, music, décor, food, etiquette, ceremonial traditions or rituals they all have to be taken into consideration. Some weddings run longer than a day or two. For example in Morocco, wedding parties can last up to seven days and are called “furnishing parties,” which consist of friends and relatives furnishing the newlywed’s home followed by a purifying bath for the bride.  So to any guest, they’re in for a cultural whirlwind of activities and fun!

But as I mentioned before, sacred rituals and traditions do in fact play a major role in cultural weddings. For example in India, wedding traditions include the painting of hands and feet with henna and a special religious ceremony held the night before the wedding, in which a small stalk is planted in the garden as a celebration of the new life for the couple.

Cultural weddings set yourself apart from the norm, so embrace your own culture and heritage and use it to make your wedding uniquely you. In any given way it can be, it all depends on where you plan to take it.

Historical Wedding Traditions

Something New, Old, Borrowed and Blue.

The saying, “Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” is a popular rhyme that has been used since Victorian times. The “something old” represents the bond to the bride’s family and her old life; “something new” represents the couple’s new life together and their future hope for happiness, prosperity and success; “something borrowed” from a happily married woman is meant to impart similar happiness to the bride; and “something blue” represents fidelity and constancy.

Sharing a Piece of the Wedding Cake

A wedding tradition with Roman roots. The Romans believed that by eating the wedding cake together a special bond was created between the couple. The wheat used to bake the cake was a symbol of fertility and “fruitful union,” while the cake’s sweetness was thought to bring sweetness to all areas of the couple’s new life.

Why We Wear
Wedding Rings

Egyptians believed the “vein of love” ran directly from the ring finger to the heart. Therefore the ring was placed there to denote eternal love.

White Bridal Dress

Wearing white also dates back to the Victorian times when Queen Victoria abandoned the usual royal tradition of wearing a silver gown, instead choosing to wear white. Before that time brides simply wore their best gown, rather than a special wedding dress. The popularity of white can also be attributed to it symbolizing purity and virginity. White was also thought to ward off evil spirits.

Excerpt from Your Wedding 101.com

frugal_bridelrgMake your own Boutonnières

Step  1
You will need carnations, some greenery, tape, scissors, pins, ribbon and wire to complete this project. Cut the carnations stem off and link a wire through the bottom of the flower.
Gather greenery and neatly place it around the flower.

Step 2
Wrap the tape around the stems of the greenery with the wire and repeat this technique 3 times and when done, wrap them all together with tape.

Step 3
To add ribbon, loop it multiple times evenly and secure with wire. Once done, fluff the ribbon and wrap the wire around the taped stem downward then tape.

Step  4
Take the taped wire and wrap it around a pen to create a twirled effect. Finally use a pin to attach the corsage to the pocket of the suite.

Make your own Bouquet

Step  1
You will need 30 to 40 carnations, a ribbon of choice, floral tape, clippers, and pearl pins. Keep the stem of the carnation and start taping a few together at a time while placed in a triangular shape.

Step  2
To add more, tape them on an angle to create a spiral effect. Begin wrapping your ribbon of choice from top to bottom of the stem, when you have reached the desired length give a little extra ribbon to fold under to prevent any ragged edges.

Step  3
Secure the fold with pearl pins for decoration and cut the extra
length of the stem.

Make your own Veil

Step  1
You will need tulle fabric, get a little more than what length you would like your veil to be. You will need scissors, a hair comb, a needle and thread, a marker, something round to make an oval cut and clothes pin to secure while you sew.

Step  2
For where your head piece will go, use something round (cake pan) and use a marker to trace the oval cut. Cut the tulle following the mark you traced. With your needle and thread, push the needle through the top of the veil and gather the material together to make it look nice and pleated.

Step  3
Place the hair comb against the gathered tulle and neatly sew the comb to the fabric, while still loose, try it out and make any adjustments if needed.

science of love_lrgThe science behind love is inexplicable. We call it love, and feel it but here you will read the “behind the scenes” of what love actually is and  what it actually does to us.

In the end of it all, love is nature’s way of keeping humans alive and reproducing. We can thank our brain for this beautiful sensation as the mixture of chemicals we exude is our brain’s way of swaying us to the ones we admire most.

Love comes alive in three stages:
Lust, attraction and attachment. The first stage is feelings driven from sex hormones in both men and women. Within minutes of meeting your mate, your brain has already established a connection or not. This is just the beginning.

Stage two, attraction, is when you are completely love-struck and can barely think of anything else. This is where it is believed that three main neurotransmitters are involved: Adrenaline, Dopamine and Serotonin. (See there is more to love than you think!).

Adrenaline:
The initial stage of falling for someone that activates your stress response, this has the ever-so-charming effect of sweating, heart racing and mouth dryness as you meet and greet your admirer.

Dopamine:
A brain stimulant that increases energy, lessens need for sleep or food and focuses attention on the littlest details that have occurred in this new relationship that is about to blossom. It is considered to have the same effects as cocaine!

Serotonin:
This chemical reaction is one of love’s most important factors – it may just explain why your new lover keeps popping up in your mind. This also may be the reason for feeling occasionally depressed and anxious when you are away from your partner for too long.

FACT:
The serotonin levels of a new love were equivalent to the low serotonin levels of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder patients.

In a way, newly smitten lovers often idolize their partner, sharing their virtues and flaws, they become accepting of each other and therefore enter the final stage of love – attachment.

This is the common phase of love where couples have been together long enough to build a life together like having a family. There are two major hormones involved, Oxytocin and Vasopressin. Both hormones deepen the feeling of love between couples after sexual intercourse, over time – the closeness cements the strong bond. Oxytocin is also evident after a mother gives birth to her child, a love felt like no other.

And there you have the science of love, the reasons to why we feel so strongly for that special someone, it’s something you can’t fake – even if you tried. Enjoy, embrace and celebrate the love chemistry you’ve found!

Referenced by:
Your Amazing Brain – Website:
http://www.youramazingbrain.org.uk/lovesex/sciencelove.htm
Kevin Dillon, Contributing Writer at Suite 101:
copyright @ http://www.suite101.com/content/the-science-of-love-a302336
Scientific American Magazine:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-it-hurts-to-be-away
How Stuff Works – Website:
http://people.howstuffworks.com/love6.htm

ultimate cover

AFamilyAffairSomething that the ladies of Pen Press 2 always wanted to do was grow the wedding invitation department. The retail store always carried the catalogues from the big wedding invitation companies, but they wanted to start producing custom invitations. The response from the public has been wonderful and business has been growing steadily each year since. “We are about customer service first and foremost,” said Carolynn Scandrett, Custom Invitation Designer for Pen Press 2. “We want our brides to leave here with a feeling that they made the right decision choosing us to make their invitations. We help them work within their budget and create the feeling that they want to portray to their guests.” Carolynn has been with Peninsula Press and Pen Press 2 for over seven years and is an encyclopaedia of information with anything that you require for your invitations. “We can incorporate your colour scheme with all your stationery pieces from Save the Dates, bridal shower invitations, invitations, programmes, place cards, seating charts, menus, table numbers and anything else that you require.”

Pen Press 2’s roots go back a long way, all the way to the late 1920’s when Gil Morris, an accomplished pressman, offered to purchase Peninsula Press from the aging McComb brothers who started the company in 1894. Gil, being a family man, soon after brought the talents of his own family to the firm. He and his three sons ran the business until his retirement and his son, Des Sr. took charge. Des Sr. passed the business onto his son, Des Jr. who now runs the business with his sisters. A part of the business was the retail store that was run by Patsy Kazragis (Des Jr.’s cousin) and her mother Molly O’Hearn (Gil’s daughter). In August of 2007, Patsy and her sister, Pixie Ziraldo bought the store from Des Jr. and called it “Pen Press 2”. With the unfortunate passing of Patsy just recently, Pixie has stepped up and is now carrying the tradition on.

bellacakesPastry Chef Tanya Huggins’ passion and desire began since she was a little girl. Baking cookies, breads and cakes with family and friends she then became enchanted with the art of pastry.Tanya is certified in cake decorating and with using her imagination as her textbook she has made it next to impossible for customers to find more creative or sophisticated cakes and pastries. It is her persistent self-discipline and perfectionism that has powered her rise in this competitive and talent driven field. Tanya’s skills and talent will create custom cakes for any special occasions. With much experience and practice she can convert any concept into realism. From converting a Coco Chanel Purse into an astonishing hand sculpted innovation, or to making a bride’s perfect day become magical.

“We are shaped and fashioned by what we love,” wrote the German philosopher, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832). Even though they had lived together for 18 years and had one son, it was not until she physically saved his life during Napoleon’s invasion of Weimar in 1806 that Goethe married Christiane Vulpius. Elbert Hubbard (1856–1915, founder of the Arts and Crafts movement Roycroft in East Aurora, NY, was no stranger to love. His remark that “the love we give away is the only love we keep” was an emotive response to the stories of sacrifice that proliferated after the sinking of the Titanic in 1908. Sadly, he and his second wife Alice themselves perished at sea several years later. “At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet,” wrote the Greek philosopher Plato (428–348 BCE) in his dialogue, the Symposium. At the root of all virtue and truth, earthly love was something he generally believed was unattainable – indeed, it was Platonic. Not one to express himself solely with a string of mathematical equations, Albert Einstein (1879– 1955) relied on the metaphor of love to explain his concept of relativity:
“Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love … sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.” The Lebanese author, Khalil
Gibran (1883–1931), explained all facets of life through the voice of the fictional prophet, Al-Mustafa. Of marriage, he wrote: “You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore. You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days. Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But let there be spaces in your togetherness, let the winds of the heavens dance between you.”

by Sarah King Head

Something NewWhat could be more new than an eco-friendl wedding dress? Designed by fashion students at Sheffield Hallam University in England, the polyvinyl alcohol dress dissolves in water without doing harm to the environment. Explained Jane Blohm, one of the instructors, “the students wanted to challenge the notion that a wedding dress should only be used once and aimed to explore modern society’s attitudes towards throwaway fashion.” It’s a good idea if you support the notion of sustainable marriage, but not so good if it rains on the big day. So, don’t forget to bring an umbrella … and your going away outfit.