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Put More You into Your Wedding Day

A wedding day is filled with symbolic tradition, from varied religious customs to the never-ending circle reflected in the rings and the types of flowers accentuating the celebration. Even with all the traditional rituals to consider, nearly every bride and groom can find ways to give their special day some unique touches that reflect their personality and love.

Music sets the mood for every wedding, and it’s an easy place to put your own spin on the celebration. Whether you forgo the traditional bridal march entirely or simply look for an arrangement that gives an updated twist to the classic version, let guests know this isn’t your average wedding by setting the festivities against a soundtrack that lets your true character shine.

The wedding party is intended to be a collection of those nearest and dearest to the bride and groom, who help ensure the day goes off without a hitch and who lead fellow revelers in celebrating the start of the new couple’s life together. That being said, there’s no reason this group must be limited to women on her side and guys on his, or even that it’s limited to humans – a beloved pooch can make for an adorable ring-bearer, after all.

Photography is an essential element of your big day, but think beyond the images you’ll capture throughout the wedding and reception. Photos lend a personal touch, no matter what your color scheme or theme. Integrate photos of the two of you at various stages of life, together as a couple and with loved ones (perhaps even some you’re honoring in memoriam). You can display these at a table with the guest book, as part of the table centerpieces, or even on the gift table. Or take things digital and load all your images into a slide show set to music.

Make favors meaningful. Forgo more common items like bubbles and chocolate, and instead send a little of yourself home with your guests. Maybe it’s a memento from a place with special meaning to you both, or a bottle opener shaped like a bicycle to represent the way you met. Just think about the moments and things that define you as a couple and do some searching online. You’ll probably be surprised by how quickly the options pile up.

Serve up a menu that shows guests more about your life together. Your loved ones can order basic beef or chicken anywhere. Instead, give them a glimpse into you. Make your main course the same food you enjoyed on your first date or during another monumental moment in your courtship. Or plan the entire menu around a region that you hold close to your heart.

Weddings are filled with traditions, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put your own touches on the day for a special event filled with memories that are uniquely your own. Find more advice for life’s special moments at elivingtoday.com.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

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Get Ready to Sparkle

Tips for being the ultimate holiday host

’Tis the season for holiday gatherings. Decorating and preparing to host a festive party or get-together can be stressful, but with these tips, you can add a seasonal sparkle that makes guests feel welcome and ensure that you – and your home – are ready to look and play the part.

Brighten up your home.

Seasonal decor and holiday lights enhance both the interior and exterior of your home to create a welcoming atmosphere for family and guests alike. Further set the mood with a seasonal soundtrack that plays softly in the background throughout your gathering and strategically place holiday-scented diffusers and candles throughout your home. Give careful attention to lighting overall, adding task lighting where needed to keep every room cheery and bright.

Look your best.

The holidays are a time when you can’t stop smiling as you gather with loved ones, attend holiday parties and seasonal work events, or pose for those annual family photos. It’s important you look and feel your best, which starts with your smile, along with choosing the right outfit and accessories that add a festive touch. When brushing twice daily for six weeks, a toothpaste such as Colgate Optic White Platinum High Impact White can deliver four shades visibly whiter teeth, starting in just three days, so your smile is at its whitest for those holiday moments and photos. Keeping your smile white can be convenient and affordable, so go ahead and indulge in your favorite red wine and holiday treat.

Set a shining table.

Dress up the dining room table with elegant place settings, including fine china or crystal dishes and glassware. For a more formal gathering, consider placing name cards in stylish holders so guests know where to take their seats. Adding seasonal-colored accents throughout the table can also help set the mood, as can displaying desserts on tiered serving trays. Even if the center of the table will be filled with food, look for creative, subtle ways to infuse the elegance with a pretty centerpiece that brings the whole spread together.

Give gifts that sparkle.

Whether gifting for family or assembling gift bags for party guests, look for shimmery wrapping paper or gift bags in vibrant, cheerful colors. Include small seasonal trinkets, such as ornaments that reflect the theme of the party or bejeweled photo frames to capture memories of the celebration for years to come.

For more ways to make your holidays shine, visit colgateopticwhite.com.

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Keep Cool-Weather Clothes Looking Fresh

Cooler weather often brings busier schedules – balancing family activities, daily chores and holiday festivities – but it is also a time when you want to look your best. Lower temperatures also open closets to a variety of fashionable seasonal items such as knit tops, delicate formal wear, corduroy pants and more.

While caring for the varying fabric types of those cooler-weather clothes can take additional steps, it’s always a good idea to check the care label on garments prior to cleaning. These tips from the Whirlpool Institute of Home Science can help keep even the most delicate clothes in your closet looking fresh and new.

Read Silk Labels Carefully
Successfully cleaning silk without damage means adhering to the care label. Regardless of the care label, if there are stains on the garment, the safest route is taking the garment to a dry cleaner. Rubbing a stain can remove dye, leaving a permanent faded spot. Washable silk can be hand washed or machine washed on a delicate cycle in cool water. Unless stated otherwise on the care label, air-dry flat or hang on a padded hanger, which can help remove wrinkles. If drying in a dryer, set to a low temperature, delicate cycle.

Organize Delicates by Color
After consulting the care label, wash any clothing containing delicate material with similar colors and keep any hooks fastened to prevent snags. If hand washing, use a small amount of gentle detergent and cold water to soak and rinse. If using a machine, use the delicate cycle. Dry on low heat if the care label instructs; otherwise hang or lay flat to dry.

Keep Different Materials Separated
Almost nothing goes with fall sweaters better than corduroy, but to keep it looking great, some special care is needed. Corduroy picks up lint easily. To wash, turn inside out, separate by color and do not wash with garments such as sweaters or towels that give off lint. Wash darks on cold and lights on warm, unless otherwise directed on the care label. Corduroy can shrink, so after washing, give it a gentle tug lengthwise to reshape before air-drying or tumbling on low heat. Have a lint brush or roller handy to remove lint.

Take Advantage of Smart Machines
Make laundry easier with a smart washer and dryer that feature hands-free commands and remote functions. For example, the Whirlpool Smart Cabrio Top Load Laundry Pair offers intuitive touch control panels and pairing via mobile with smart devices such as Amazon Alexa and Nest thermostats. Smart technology provides for conveniences such as checking the time remaining on a load, tumbling items in a dryer so they’re ready for folding when you arrive home, monitoring supplies such as detergent that may need to be re-ordered and converting to economy mode to align with the thermostat’s away setting.

Dry Wool with Care
Wool is generally soft and warm, and wool sweaters, socks and blankets can last for years. Turn wool garments inside out and machine-wash in cool water on a gentle cycle or hand-wash, but do not wring. If hand-washing, gently squeeze out excess water then lay flat on a clean towel and roll up to remove water. Tumble-dry on low heat or as recommended on the care label. Or skip the dryer, reshape the garment and lay flat to dry.

Explore more ways to keep your laundry fresh for every season at whirlpool.com.

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5 Ways to Perfect a Carefree Style

(Family Features) A carefree summery style may appear effortless, but creating a look that stands up to a busy, fun-filled day still requires some simple work.

Keep your skin in top condition and your hair and makeup on point with these tips from the beauty experts at Macy’s to help you look and feel your best.

Protect your skin. If there’s only one skin care product you use, it has to be sunscreen. Not only is daily SPF important for avoiding sunburns, it also helps prevent wrinkles and spots caused by sun damage. Apply early and often, and don’t be fooled by a cloudy day. Even when skies are overcast, those UV rays can inflict plenty of harm. If you’ll be out for an extended period, consider a stylish hat to lend extra protection to your scalp, ears and face. Also remember to cover or apply sunscreen to often-overlooked places, such as the tops of your feet.

Get that glow. While you’re using sunscreen to prevent damage, adding a bronzer to your daily routine can help give you that sun-kissed glow. Preventing sun damage doesn’t have to mean looking less than golden. Create the look of healthy radiance with Clarins Sunkissed Summer Bronzer Compact. This trio of tropical leaf-embossed powders warms the complexion while an iridescent pop of coral brings a beachy glow to cheeks.

Go for all-day eyes. When you’re embracing a laid-back look, a fully done eye can be overkill. A basic tint and some mascara is a simple way to achieve a put-together but fuss-free style. Using a waterproof formula can give you the confidence that your lashes are in perfect condition and ready for whatever the day may bring. If you have a favorite formula, check to see whether a waterproof version is available.

Make it matte. For lip color that lasts from sunrise to moonlight, matte lipstick is the real deal. In addition to being long-lasting, matte lipsticks pack an intense punch of color perfect for a bright and cheerful lip. If a little sparkle or shine is more your thing, go ahead and add a light layer of clear gloss and give yourself bonus points if one layer or both include SPF.

Explore new ideas. Switch up your look and unlock new favorites with Macy’s Beauty Box, a $15 monthly subscription to beauty’s most wow-worthy products specially chosen by beauty experts. With a variety of products from the best brands ranging from eye shadows to mascaras to lipsticks, each month you’ll receive five deluxe beauty samples, one bonus item, a collectible cosmetics bag and a $5 beauty coupon available for use in-store and on macys.com.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

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