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Positive Reflections

Every morning before I leave my house to embrace the world, I make a crucial visit to my good friend “Mirror.” Mirror will tell me if my mascara is clumpy or if my hair needs to be straightened. Mirror will point out if my earrings beautifully match my purse, but Mirror will also flag me down if my shirt is inside out. In fact, I have come to depend on Mirror to accurately and honestly reflect me; what Mirror says is truth I take as truth.

In a similar way, we act as mirrors to our significant others.  The way we perceive them is reflected in how we treat them and formulates the way they perceive themselves. That gives us quite a responsibility! We can either build up the self-image of our loved ones or completely tear them down. In “Before You Say, ‘I Do,’” a daily devotional for engaged couples, H. Norman Wright says, “Too often we give those closest to us cracked mirrors of displeasing words or hurtful remarks. These cracked mirrors give a distorted reflection of the person. But when we reflect to those we love their uniqueness and value, they begin to see themselves as priceless.”

Here are a few simple steps to smooth a cracked mirror:

1. Acknowledge that you are not a change-agent. He can change. Those words reflect a dangerous mindset that so many women fall into. While your man can change (and there might be some areas were change is truly necessary), people typically do not like to feel change forced upon them by someone else. For example, if you often find yourself telling your fiancé what he is doing wrong and needs to do differently, then every time he looks at you, he sees that cracked mirror, filled with personal flaws. It is okay to express an area of concern or encourage personal growth, but the positive should far outweigh the negative, which brings me to my next point:

2. Find and focus on the good. If your fiancé is a strong leader, praise him for that. If he is funny, feel free to laugh often at his jokes. Bringing out the positive in your man will not only build his self-esteem and self-image, but you will also become a mirror he likes looking at! That about it – would you rather look at yourself through a cracked, distorted mirror, or through a clear, complete mirror that reflects who you truly are?

Obviously, none of us are perfect, but usually we can be so hard on ourselves that we do not need someone else pointing out our flaws, too. In addition, letting go of what you cannot change will free you to be your loved one’s friend and not his parent. An added bonus: the more you focus on the good in your fiancé, the more good you will see!

Craving more relationship advice? If you would like to find out more about Rachael or to read other “Newly Wed” columns, just click here. Thank you, Rachael! Also, it’s always good for couples to get away together … whether it is for a honeymoon or a fun weekend away, visit Travelbugs … Melissa is great to work with!! We also have our giveaway going on, so be sure to enter here.

  • Lemon - Great advice. Thanks for the always-needed reminder for all of us :)

  • Rachel McLean (RS Exclusive) - Love this. Marriage is SO much more than a wedding day. So happy you’re writing this!

  • Amanda - Thanks Rachael for sharing! You are a great writer! :)

  • Rachael Eberle - Thank you for your feedback ladies! :)

Again, kudos go out to dear old Twitter … you know, the social media connection I swore that I would never join that now would be the last one that I would give up (business wise, speaking … I would perish socially without Facebook!)? Well, through Twitter I “met” Caren Richardson, who is the owner of The Favour Shoppe and hails from Canada. I had the opportunity to guest post for her blog, and she is returning the favor (or favour!) for the readership of Hill City Bride.

Caren is very in tune with the trends for wedding favors, and she has a wonderful way to keep track of the trends … after all, what sells best on her site is what brides are dolling out as gifts for her guests. Thank you, Caren for compiling this information on the Top 10 Wedding Favors in 2010!

Top 10 Favor Trends of 2010

Wedding favors are keepsakes given by the couple on their wedding. They show the guests that you appreciate them sharing in your day. As 2010 unfolds, I am seeing how popular some wedding favors have become.  Here at The Favour Shoppe I will give you our top 10 trends for 2010.

#10 Towel Cakes

  • Towel cakes popularity is on the rise this year.  These favors are made to resemble favorite desserts but are actually made with soft and comfortable towels.  Best part of a towel cake favor? They are 100% calorie free!

#9 Bottle Stoppers

  • Wine bottle stoppers are functional and also enjoyable wedding favors.  Guests love these useful favors that they can enjoy after your special day.

#8 Scented Soaps

  • These are always a popular choice.  Soaps are practical wedding favors and very unique.  Why not say thank you with an aroma that lets people feel relaxed and gives them a desire to be pampered?

#7 Candles

  • It’s about time that candles are becoming popular once again!  After all, candle favors are the most practical and most affordable wedding favors nowadays.

#6 Themed Favors

  • Deciding on having a themed wedding? Why not? From cute Las Vegas favors to “winter wonderland” favors, each bride can now choose from an array of themes to enhance her wedding.

#5 Personalized

  • Personalized favors are slowly on the rise this year.  By customizing the favor with your names and date, it instantly adds personality and flair to your favors, making it more memorable.


  • Bookmarks are climbing the popularity ladder in hot trends.  Bookmark favors are something that your guests will enjoy for years to come.

#3 Edible Favors

  • You can never go wrong with edible favors.  With the abundance of choices out there, you are bound to find something that appeals to you and your guests.

#2 Eco-Friendly

  • The “eco” trend began quite a few years ago and has made a huge impact in the wedding world.  It is still one of the top hot trends in 2010.

And our #1 top trend for 2010 is …

#1 Damask Patterned Boxes

  • Damask is a reversible pattern that was originally created in the Middle Ages, and it is making a huge come back as one of the leading wedding favor trends in 2010. It is perfect for any event that you are planning on having. The box is a gift in and of itself, and whatever surprise you put inside is sure to please your guests!

You can rest assured that no matter what direction the wedding world takes, these wedding favor trends will still have the timeless appeal for years to come.

Thank you again, Caren! Be sure to visit her site, The Favour Shoppe, which she started in 2009. Be sure to visit her wonderful wedding blog by clicking here. Also enter this week’s giveaway by clicking here!

  • Rachel (RS Exclusive) - These are a lot of fun, especially the wine topper idea! LOVE IT!

  • KathleenK - I love the starfish idea! I’m getting married at the beach and going with the starfish and sand dollar theme. This is such a GREAT idea!!

  • Brigitte - Thanks for using my printable damask pillow box as an example of the number one trend! I am honored!

Let me say that I am SUPER excited to have a great staff of interns headed your way. Some you will meet at bridal shows, and others you will “meet” via their writing blog posts for Hill City Bride. I am so pleased to introduce Madison White to you, who is a student at Liberty University. We met over coffee (iced decaf at the White Hart to be exact!), and we shared our hearts … she has a love for weddings, blogging and events. What a perfect Hill City fit! Without further due, I will let you hear from Madison as she introduces herself and shows you an amazing DIY video!!

Hey there all you HCB blog readers!

I am Madison White and the newest member/intern of the staff of Hill City Bride! I am in my Junior year at Liberty University, and I am a Communications Studies Major with specializations in Journalism and Public Relations/Advertising and also am minoring in Music Performance in Piano.

I absolutely love the area of Lynchburg and can honestly say that I can see myself living here in the future with my future husband. I am engaged and in the process of thinking about my own wedding in 2012. My fiance, Andrew, is also a student at Liberty, but we met in our hometown.

I had always known about him, but nothing clicked until my freshman year at Liberty as we conversed via facebook in December of my fall semester. I am so glad that he is at Liberty this year because before this past August, he was at home working, but now he is in Lynchburg pursuing a Sports Management degree. I can not wait to become Mrs. Madison Heisler, and I am also excited to be involved with Hill City Bride and also use it as a resource/inspiration for planning my own wedding!

Ok, now on to the DIY part … have you been wanting to have your dream wedding, but cannot find your dream location? With this DIY Video, you can learn to build your own Gazebo to anywhere you want, even your backyard! I can just imagine a wedding in the beautiful, scenic Central Virginia mountains with this gazebo as a backdrop for your ceremony. Wouldn’t it just be gorgeous? Enjoy this DIY video!

  • Linda Hall - Love Is In The Air - Decor, Cakes & Catering - Thanks for the video, Madison, and welcome to Hill City blog. I look forward to your posts in the future.

    There are certainly as many ways to say “I DO” as there are brides and grooms! A personal touch that makes “A” wedding “THEIR” wedding is the best way to go.

    That is always what “Love Is In The Air” strives to do…give it a personal touch.

My daughter is only 11, yet she faithfully watches TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress” in hopes that she will be able to go to Kleinfeld’s one day to pick out her gown (or more likely just to get on TV!). Well, did you realize that you can get a gown straight from Kleinfeld’s here in Lynchburg? Yes, that’s right!!

Michelle Duncan of the YWCA travels far and wide for gowns that stores like Kleinfeld Manhattan donates to Church Street Bridal (in the YWCA building downtown) and Church Street Couture (in the Galleria on Main Street downtown). Buying a gown from either of these shops not only ensures a beautiful dress at a great price, but the funds that these Church Street shops earn goes straight to empowering and helping women in our area. I encourage you to go to the website of the YWCA to see all of the wonderful things that they are doing for women … I am a firm believer in their cause!

Michelle makes a great team with her husband, David, of David Duncan Photography, and together they are the power team behind this fun photo shoot showcasing two of the shop’s gowns. For the past three years David has partnered with the YWCA of Central Virginia to create new photography, video and multimedia to showcase their programs and services through different projects, which David has done pro-bono to help this worthy cause. The Briers sisters modeled the gowns … the pink dress is from Exclusive Bridals in Atlanta, GA and the white wedding gown and feather headpiece hail from Kleinfeld Manhattan. Enjoy a few highlights from this fun shoot!

Thanks again, David Duncan Photography and Church Street Bridal/Church Street Couture! I appreciate your heart for helping the women in the Central Virginia Area. For a sneak peek of current findings in the shops head on over to their facebook page by clicking here.

  • Alicia @CharityWedding - Awesome photos and such a great cause!! Love it!

  • BEA's Bride Guide - Such a great cause and amazingly beautiful dresses!!

  • Rachael Eberle - I have never seen a completely pink wedding dress before, but that is GORGEOUS. And these shots are breathtaking. What a great cause!

  • michelle - Thanks for the compliments everyone. We were very pleased with the shots and even more pleased that HCB gives us such support. Please tell all of your friends about us…especially the new shop in the Galleria!

  • sandra guelzo/RS Exclusive - I recommend the bridal shop to all my brides.. it is a win win situation for everyone.. the gown makers get a write off, the brides get a great deal and the YWCA gets funded! How great is that!

  • sandra guelzo/RS Exclusive - The pink dress is fabulous! Beautiful work David!

  • Rachel - Beautiful photos! I have been (and will continue to be) a HUGE supporter of the YWCA Bridal Bridal shop. Not only have I recommended the shop to other brides, I myself got all three of my wedding gowns there! :) Amazing prices and an even more amazing cause. Thanks Duncans for all you do!

  • Jennifer - Thank you for all of your wonderful comments. I truly believe in their cause, and I am glad that so many others do, too!!

Something definitely has to be said for the feeling that Autumn brings upon me … I can not decide if I like the tastes (pumpkin bread and spiced cider), the festivals, the decor (pumpkins and mums!) or the beautifully colored landscape of the changing leaves. Fall is a wonderful time for all things wedding, and I am absolutely thrilled to have Shachi from Two Penny Parties guest posting on how to pull off a great Autumn wedding while considering your budget.

Two Penny Bridal Tips for an Autumn Wedding

Ahh, Autumn bridal season is upon us. Crisp fall air, gorgeous leaves changing color, pumpkin and spice filled desserts, a $20,000 bill … *record screeches to a halt* … TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS?! Say WHAT?! Yup, I know. Platinum Weddings and Bridezillas aside, the average wedding will set you back twenty thousand smackaroos. Wait! Before you book that flight to Vegas and elope, here are three Two Penny tips to help keep costs down on your big day.


Weddings are all about tradition, I know, I know. I totally get it – you want those shiny, fancy ribbon, lace and the kitchen sink invites sent to everyone! Well … if you’re ready to blaze a new trail, why not send out electronic invitations? NOT EVITE, calm down. Check out sites like Paperless Post that can help you craft and send gorgeous online invitations for your wedding. The best part? Invites cost less than the price of postage to send, and RSVPs can be conveniently stored in one centralized place. Plus, they offer a handy tracking page that allows you to follow up with guests who haven’t responded! How easy is that?! Think about it this way: in a year, no one is going to remember your wedding invitations, so why not make them eco-friendly and electronic?


Keep it simple people, keep it simple! One of the best weddings I’ve been to served barbecue. People loved it because it gave guests the chance to let down their hair and loosen up a little! You’d be surprised how the level of fun at a wedding is correlated to the absence of multiple forks at a table. No need for a 10 course meal filled with fois gras and truffle topped filet mignon! Comfort food prevails, and is usually a bit cheaper to serve. I’m not saying run to McDonalds or Subway; I’m just saying serve foods YOU like – your guests will thank you! Suggestions include upscale roasted chicken, penne with pumpkin, sage and sausage, and spinach salad.


Decor can end up costing you a fortune. Yes, it’s important to dress your tables, but if you’re looking for a budget-friendly wedding for heaven’s sake, don’t dress your table in Swarovski crystals and custom linens! Stick to warm autumn colors (golds, deep reds and oranges, mixed with bursts of cream), and use seasonal inspiration. Here’s a great carved pumpkin centerpiece (which can easily be spray-painted any color you’d like) and a beautiful wheat inspired one. Both are DIY! Surround them with candles (either real or artificial) and you’ve got yourself an easy, inexpensive-but-gorgeous centerpiece.

Do you have any budget-friendly wedding tips to share? Brides and brides-to-be, sound off in the comments section below!

Thank you again, Shachi, and yes, readers … please comment. I love reading your ideas and so do the other Hill City Bride readers. Also visit Two Penny Parties for great ideas when you get a chance!