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2011 Bridal photo

Special section: 2011 Bridal Guide

Take a look at our February special section just for brides and grooms. Find articles and vendors to help with your wedding day plans. Get advice on how to pick the right ring or how to put your own unique spin on the wedding ceremony and reception. Let these wedding stories serve as an inspiration for your big day.

Bridal Guide Directory

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How to have a successful marriage: Words of wisdom from area religious leaders

bridal notes By Jessica Wiant - jwiant@nvdaily.com Couples have lots to think about when planning a wedding: the cake, flowers, bridal party, dress, hairdo, guest list and more. Across denominations, local religious leaders stress that couples need to think not just about the wedding but also the marriage. "It's what I will tell anybody, anywhere," St. Paul Lutheran Church interim pastor Russ Siler says: Get in touch with your church or pastor at the very beginning of the planning process. In most cases, engaged couples will have their wedding ceremony officiated by a pastor or other religious figure. These leaders also often provide some type of pre-marital counseling, ranging anywhere from a conversation before the ceremony to a series of sessions or a weekend retreat with other couples. Siler says it's important to start that process before even setting a date or announcing an engagement to the rest of the world. It's up to each couple whether to go through with marriage, he says, but he usually encourages them in three to six sessions to examine themselves and ask the right questions to determine if marriage is right for them. Some of the things he'll go over are the shared interests and... comments
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Lovely Luray

Skyline Drive By Josette Keelor - jkeelor@nvdaily.com LURAY - Recent news that Luray came in second only to Jackson Hole, Wyo., in TLC's list of "Ten Beautiful Destination Wedding Locales" is not surprising to those who live and work in the community. In fact, local wedding experts say Luray offers a lot for couples looking for a scenic retreat for their special day. "I think it really appeals to all kinds of brides," said Pamela M. Flasch, director of communications and tourism marketing for the Luray-Page County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center. "We knew how popular it is, but we didn't know that someone like TLC [was interested.]" The television network, part of Discovery Communications LLC, lists Luray among the likes of Kauai, Hawaii; Puerto Rico and Niagara Falls, N.Y., on its website http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/weddings. "It really has become quite popular because it is so close to D.C.," Flasch said of Luray. More than being convenient to sightseeing and shopping, however, the area draws in visitors because of its scenery and laid-back atmosphere. "Natural beauty, the national park opportunity and the national forest" are what John Shaffer, director of public relations at Luray Caverns, lists as part of the region's drawing power.... comments
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Trash the dress; keep the photos and memories

Emily Roache poses in a bridal gown A bride poses next to a large tiller wheel, the hem of her dress mingling with the tall grass around her on a Northern Virginia farm; another bride wades knee deep into the surf along a beach at the Outer Banks in North Carolina. comments
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W.Va. couple win the wedding of their dreams

By Laetitia Clayton - lclayton@nvdaily.com Historic Jordan Springs in Stephenson made one area couple's dreams come true last fall when they provided them with a lavish wedding at the estate. After a nearly yearlong contest and online voting by the public, Dena Morgan and Todd Glover, of Martinsburg, W.Va., were wed in October in an estimated $100,000 wedding that didn't cost them a cent. Colt Nutter, Jordan Springs executive director and event producer, said the idea came about because Jordan Springs wanted to put on an event that was charity driven and involved the wedding industry. All of the participating vendors donated time, services and merchandise for the Dream Wedding Giveaway, he said. Although the contest was largely decided by the online voting, the couples also had to compete in several contests at Jordan Springs, Nutter said. Initially, each couple had to submit a video that included footage of both the future bride and groom and answered three questions: Why do you want to have your wedding at Historic Jordan Springs? What would make your wedding special by having it at the estate? Why do you believe you most deserve a dream wedding? "We got literally stacks and stacks of... comments
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Bridal show first of its kind in region

WINCHESTER -- Brides-to-be who want a different way to plan for their big day will find just that at the Blue Ridge Winter Bridal Show this weekend. comments
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Baker's designs take the cake

FRONT ROYAL -- They've gone hand in hand with family celebrations for generations. Whether little Isaac is turning 1, or great aunt June is turning 100; whether you're a starry-eyed bride-to-be at your wedding shower or doing the fox-trot at your 50th wedding anniversary, there's always one present. comments
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Couple making big day truly their own

STEPHENS CITY -- The ring bearer-to-be is a little camera shy, but it's no wonder. As the April 4 wedding inches ever closer, the event becomes more elaborate. Details like the design of the orange artificial flowers and the brown bridesmaids' dresses are being decided each day. The guest list has reached four pages, the bride says -- and plans for the reception and pig roast are filling out. comments
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Wedding singer a witness to nuptials of all kinds

STRASBURG -- George Hoffman has sung at more than 100 weddings and still thinks no two are the same. comments
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The groom's big job is to pick the right ring

Ladies will tell you size does not matter, but don't listen to them. If you are a man contemplating taking that next step and popping the question, the first, most important and likely only significant role of the male in a wedding is selecting and purchasing a ring. comments
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A Southern tradition lets the groom have his cake

Imagine a giant, many-tiered wedding cake, decorated with white roses and figurines of a little dancing bride and groom on top. comments

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