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“How to Give ‘I Love You’”

With the holidays right around the corner, thoughts of wedding planning are now intermingled with possibilities for the looming (and sometimes dreaded) holiday gift exchange. Now not only do you have to worry about gifts for your family and friends, but you also have to find presents for your prospective in-laws and, of course, your fiancé.

But before you dash out to the store to buy him another shirt, stop and ask yourself if that gift would truly make your man feel loved. What I mean is that not everyone feels loved through receiving physical gifts. In fact, according to “The One Year Love Language Minute Devotional” by Gary Chapman, there are five different love “languages:” gifts, physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, and quality time. Let’s briefly look at each of these and see if they spark any gift ideas:

1.      Gifts: If your loved one’s eyes light up when you hand them a physical present and they rave about it for days, then gifts probably make them feel cared for. For ideas, research things your guy is interested in and find corresponding gifts. For example, if he likes sports, buy him his favorite player’s jersey; if he enjoys technology, get him wireless speakers for his smart phone.

2.      Physical Touch: While most men enjoy physical touch, the real question is whether or not it makes them feel loved. If the answer is yes, then gift ideas include homemade coupons for head/shoulder/foot rubs, or you could buy him a gift certificate for a professional massage from your favorite spa. Some guys love this!

3.      Words of Affirmation: If verbal expressions edify your fiancé’s soul, then write him a sweet card or poem. While we were dating, I bought my husband-to-be a box of chocolates and wrote something I loved about him under each piece of candy. It was a great success!

4.      Acts of Service: Some people feel loved when you do things for them (you will learn to appreciate this one more once you are married!). If this is true of your hubby, then get his car detailed, make him his favorite dinner, or help him with a project he is working on.

5.      Quality Time: If your fiancé appreciates you making time for him, then invest in gifts that emphasize this. For instance, you could buy him tickets for a football game you could attend together, or plan a picnic lunch or weekend getaway.

While you may feel uneasy not having a traditional gift for your fiancé this year, trust me when I say that he would much rather receive something that makes him feel valued than something you are “supposed” to give him. If you are not sure what his primary love languages are, take some time and explore this with him, sharing your favorites as well. In the process, you may just inspire him to invest in your love languages, too!

Thanks again, Rachael, for writing “Newly Wed” … it’s always great advice for those who are looking forward to marriage and even those of us who have been married for a while! To view previous “Newly Wed” articles, just click here, and this is definitely a column to look forward to each month!

When doing your holiday shopping, give our Hill City Bride vendors a thought. Lots of them offer gift certificates, and some have store fronts. Check them out by clicking here, and have fun shopping!!

  • Linda Hall - Love Is In The Air - Decor, Cakes, Flowers & Catering - Love this article! Buying a gift just to be buying a gift – without thinking about all this is senseless. I would MUCH rather someone put some thought into it and all of these ideas really will put Love in the AIR!

  • Jennifer - I know! Rachael did a great job of thinking through everything.

  • sandra guelzo/RS Exclusive Event Company - Nice job Rachel and very meaningful indeed. I just love Gary Chapman and his works.

  • Rachael Eberle - Thank you Linda, Jennifer, and Sandra! Linda, I know how frustrating holiday shopping can be (especially for men!), and studying the love languages was very helpful to me. And Sandra, Gary Chapman is fabulous! I usually try and reference books that I have found particularly insightful. Thank you all for your feedback! :)

When I saw these cupcake stands online, I just knew that I had to share them with you … they are absolutely adorable, and they would be great for a wedding, bridal shower or even for a sweet addition to your holiday decor. These originally came from a blog in Brazil, so cupcakes are definitely winning the world over due to their charm. Enjoy this cute, easy DIY!!

Here are the super easy instructions!

1. Go to your local craft store, and purchase some heavy cardstock. There is such a variety of patterns and colors available nowadays that you should surely be able to find something that will coordinate with your theme or decor.

2. Click for the downloadable template, and print it on paper so that you can use it as a pattern.

3. Trace your pattern onto the cardstock (choose one topper … either the scalloped or the round), and cut it out, being sure to cut the slits into the base.

4. Assemble the cupcake stand by inserting the base pieces into each other.

5. Lightly run glue along the top of the base, and adhere the top to the base.

6. Put a cupcake on top, and enjoy the site before you devour your cupcake.

Isn’t that just the cutest? I can even see it going beyond weddings and holidays to baby showers and birthday parties … adorable, and I hope you enjoyed this posting as much as I did finding it for you!!

The holidays are upon us, and I know I have to be careful about what I am eating … cute and delicious cupcakes are not the only food temptation out there! If you need help getting ready for your big day or just want to be put on the right track towards a healthy lifestyle, be sure to contact TCP Nutrition … what a great way to get through the holidays and start out the new year on the right foot.

  • Laurel G - and here I paid for em at paper source. dang it! lol

  • Alicia @CharityWedding - This is SO cute! I love it!

  • Jennifer - Oh no! Maybe next time you can make these … so cute to personalize them!!

  • Jennifer - Alicia, I love them, too!! I can’t wait to find a reason to make these.

Love doesn’t end with the wedding … thank goodness for that, right!? I enjoy seeing couples in love long after they have said their vows, and that is what our Everyday Love photo postings are about. Josh and Tasha have been married for a little over three years, and Adam Barnes of Adam Barnes Fine Art Photography captured this lovely couple in and around Lynchburg. You can just see the love in their eyes, and it is fun to see their laughter and the smiles on their faces!

Here is a little about their love story in Josh’s own words: We met during college and dated most of our time at school. After we graduated, Tasha moved to Connecticut to start her masters at the University of Connecticut, and I moved to New York for a job. We got engaged in the fall during a trip back to Lynchburg. A year later we married and made Lynchburg our home!

Josh also offers some sage advice for those of you who are engaged or newly wed: Find wise counsel. Marriage is hard work, and we have found that the people who are speaking truth into our lives have made a huge difference. With that said, marriage is also a lot of fun, so don’t take yourself too seriously.

Thank you, Josh for the great advice for our Hill City Bride readers! I wish you and Tasha the best, and have many more years of happiness in your marriage.

Feel free to view more of Adam’s work (and his beautiful website … truly a treat!) by clicking here to go straight to Adam Barnes Fine Art Photography. I am glad to have Adam on board as a trusted Hill City Bride photographer!

Hello friends! I am excited to share with you another suggestion to help assure you will get the most out of your wedding day photography. This is something I really believe makes a huge difference in your photography experience, so I am eager to get right to it. But, real quick, if you ever have any questions or comments about anything that I write, please feel free to leave them in the comment area. I would love to hear your feedback! Okay, onto this month’s topic …

I cannot stress enough the importance of scheduling an engagement session with your choice wedding photographer. Though brides often think the only result of an engagement session is the final pictures, there really are many reasons an engagement session is beneficial to both the couple and the photographer. If your wedding day photography is important to you, an engagement session should be right near the top of your wedding planning priorities.

Getting to Know Your Photographer

Each photographer is different in the way they approach a session. Preparing for the session, interacting with the couple, and even setting up shots can all be done in different ways producing a different end product. No matter how an engagement session is handled, chances are very good your photographer will treat your wedding day photography in a similar fashion. An engagement session offers a great chance for you to experience being in front of your photographer’s camera and get a feel of how the pictures will flow on your wedding day. Doing this before your wedding day really helps to shake any “picture-taking” nerves ahead of time.

Give Your Photographer the Opportunity to Get to Know You

The biggest reason I highly suggest booking an engagement session with each of my clients is because it gives me the opportunity to learn how my clients interact with each other in front of the camera. Sometimes they want to kiss in front of the camera, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they are afraid they are going to look awkward in the pictures, sometimes they prefer to model for me. Every couple is unique in the way that they behave in front of the camera. Knowing this information before the wedding day is crucial in my finding ways to encourage natural interaction between a bride and groom.

See the Quality of Product Beforehand

From a client perspective, this may be the most beneficial aspect of booking an engagement session. Through the final product, you are able to see the photographer’s vision of the relationship between you and your fiancée.  In addition, you can observe some other things that may matter to you as well. Things like the turnaround time, the quality of any products you purchase (guestbooks, prints, etc) and general customer service. All of these things can help you decide if you want to continue with your decision to hire that person as the photographer of your wedding day.

I hope you can see that there are more benefits to booking an engagement session than just receiving the final prints. If you want to get the most out of your wedding day photography, I would highly suggest you book an engagement session and treat it as a trial run for your big day.

‘Til next time!

Thank you again, Liz, for your sage advice! To read her other “Point of View” columns, just click here, and to take a peek at her photography, head on over to the Sincerely, Liz: Photography website … you will be glad you did! All of the work within this posting is Liz’s.

Once again, I am thrilled to have another adorable guest posting. If you missed Rose Marie’s first DIY project, just click here to check it out. This is a perfect idea to use for a wedding or even for a small Christmas gift … how perfect!

Hi Hill City Bride readers! It’s me again, RoseMarie from Home Confetti. This time I am sharing an idea on how to package your wedding favors for your Christmas or even Valentine’s Day wedding.

How adorable is this little red felt gift box? Use it to add a special handmade touch to your groomsmen and bridesmaid gifts, or it is easy enough to make to give one to all your guests! Best of all, this felt box can be customized to any wedding theme or season just by changing the color or ribbon.

Get the full tutorial, with downloadable template, here, and to help you throw a little confetti into your everyday life, visit me at Home Confetti here.

Thanks again to Rose Marie. I have enjoyed following her Home Confetti blog … she always finds the cutest things! Also, if you are looking for little things or even stocking stuffers to put into one of these little gift boxes,  just contact Suzanne Jennings from BeautiControl … there are lots of great things to choose from (and they have a sale ending today!).