From the South Shore to a warm beach

From the South Shore to a warm beach

Destination weddings have become a favoured choice for couples eager to tie the marital knot in countries offering azure waters, silky sand beaches, constant blue skies and warm local hospitality.

Middle LaHave residents Kevin Corkum and Amanda Nauss recently invited 30 family members and friends to witness their nuptials and participate in a week of fun at a resort in Cayo Coco, Cuba.

“Cuba is one of our favourite places, and relying on someone at the resort to take care of most of the arrangements left Kevin and me more time to enjoy our family and friends during the week,” said Nauss, an administrative assistant with the Nova Scotia Health Authority in Bridgewater.

Assembled on a pristine beach in Cayo Coco, Cuba, newlyweds Amanda Nauss and Kevin Corkum kiss as members of the wedding party admire them. From left, bridesmaids Denby MacRae, Christine Abreu and Kim Freeman, and groomsmen Bruce Sangster, Johnny Nauss and Aaron Henley. Destination weddings are popular. (Kevin & Christine Photography)
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“The wedding and honeymoon co-ordinator at the resort was very organized. Her attention to detail was phenomenal, and the staff went above and beyond to make everything perfect for us,” she said.

“For the entire week we were treated like a king and queen. During the days before and after the wedding, we would return to our room to discover gifts, champagne and rose petals. It wasn’t just a wedding day, it was a wedding week.”

The Melia Jardines del Rey resort hosts many weddings, particularly during the spring. The ever-cheerful co-ordinator said she and her staff were involved in 18 weddings in April alone, and 25 ceremonies were held at the resort during April, 2016.

Corkum said the resort staff’s hospitality and determination to make his and Nauss’s wedding special was exceptional. “For me, the appeal of Cuba is its people and culture,” he said.

A career firefighter and paramedic, Corkum is a captain with Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency. In fact, the wedding group had a definite emergency-responder feel to it, with firefighters, emergency-room nurses, paramedics and one RCMP member in attendance.

Although single, Jamie Macumber of Wileville is an old hand at destination weddings. He has attended two weddings and one vow renewal in Cuba.

“They were mostly South Shore residents with some Cape Bretoners. I like coming down with larger groups because no matter where I go on the resort, I bump into someone I know,” said Macumber, who works two weeks of every month in Nunavut, trucking iron ore 100 km across the tundra from the minesite to the port.

“Maybe one day I would consider having my own destination wedding, but right now I’m having fun at other people’s weddings,” he said.

Vanessa Legay of Upper LaHave attended the wedding with boyfriend Aaron Henley, a groomsman and first cousin to Corkum. The trip down to Cuba with Air Transat was Legay’s maiden flight, and she was “super excited” to be going south, and experiencing for the first time all the activities offered at a beachfront resort.

“The beach wedding was wonderful. The weather was gorgeous and the resort was beautiful. We had an amazing time sailing on a catamaran, and spending time in the ocean and pools,” said Legay.

“Aaron and I snorkelled, took a Jeep safari, toured a crocodile farm, and visited a remote island for lunch. It was a busy week, but we enjoyed ourselves,” she said.

With a record four million tourists visiting Cuba in 2016, tourism is a key component of the Cuban economy. Currently, Canadians make up more than 60 percent of all tourists, although predictable weather, safety, friendly and accommodating people, and good value are attracting tourists from Europe. During the week of the wedding, sold-out flights arrived from England and Italy.

The town of Moron is home to most of the nearly 10,000 workers who are bused daily to their jobs at the 18 resorts and one villa located across the causeway on Cayo Coco. The worker count swells to 15,000 when you factor in construction workers at three resorts being built. Cubans are not allowed to reside on the island.

One of Nauss’s three bridesmaids, Christine Abreu, (both lifelong friends married men named Kevin) said she and her husband exchanged vows in the Dominican Republic four years ago, and the next week they photographed a destination wedding at the same resort.

“During our honeymoon I was speaking to a girl who said she was getting married the following week. I mentioned that my husband and I photograph destination weddings, and after viewing our work online she asked us to shoot her wedding,” said Abreu.

“Since then we have photographed weddings in Vietnam, Thailand, Jamaica and two in Cuba. We also photograph many weddings at home in Nova Scotia.”

Abreu believes there is less pressure on the bride and groom during a destination wedding.

“If you get married at home, you spend a good part of the wedding and reception talking to people you haven’t seen for months, maybe even years. So you spend a lot of time socializing and catching up,” she said.

“At a destination wedding you see and speak with those people all week, so your actual wedding day is just about you and your spouse.”

Abreu said if couples are planning a destination wedding and want to ask Uncle Bob to be the photographer because he has an awesome camera and always takes good pictures, think again. Uncle Bob likely doesn’t have the right equipment or know-how to shoot successfully in a hot, humid climate.

“You really have to know your equipment and how it operates in different weather conditions. We are used to travelling overseas with our equipment and can easily adapt to changing conditions,” said Abreu.

Shooting 20 to 30 weddings a year at home and abroad together has created an intuitive on-the-job dynamic between Abreu and her husband. Often they don’t communicate for hours during a shoot.

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Confessions of Bridesmaid

Confessions of Bridesmaid

It's the day every girl dreams of: standing at an alter, in an expensive dress, with your hair done, and your nails done, with the glow of a fake tan radiating off your skin, and when it's all over, you walk down the aisle on the arm of a guy in a tuxedo.

Yes, you are a bridesmaid.

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The title is a true honor. Remember in the early 2000s when MySpace wanted you to rank your Top 8 friends? It's like that, but someone else tells you how to dress and how to do your hair for all the pictures. You have the privilege of being one of the of the few friends who gets to stand by the bride's side. You've watched and been a a part of so many other phases in her life, and on this day, that tradition continues.

With all of that said, you probably just paid $300 for the dress you're wearing, and several more dollars for the nails, hair and tan... and the bachelorette party, wedding shower, hotel rooms, plane tickets, gifts and maybe even the shoes.

And so begins Next's new series, Confessions of a ____. Courtney and Paula (names have been changed) joined us to kick off Confessions. They didn't hold back about why being in a wedding really can kind of suck. You can watch their Confession in the video above.

We want Confessions to be a place for you to gripe -- a platform for you to vent about whatever it is that's grinding your gears lately. Almost no topic is off limits.

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Prom dresses fashion

Prom dresses fashion

It’s prom season and every girl is looking for the perfect dress that fits their own personal style while also remaining trendy.

In every boutique and department store, the racks are lined with dresses covered in sequins, tulle, lace and silk.

It looks like there is a dress for everyone, with one major exception.

For the girls who want to maintain their modesty, it’s difficult to find a dress among the revealing cuts and slits that seem to be found on almost every gown.

Opting for modesty in their prom gowns are, from left, Audreyann Boren, Ashlyne Conway, Rebecca Farnsworth and Bailie McCabe.
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In the East Valley, a few stores help those girls find what they need while also staying stylish.

Jerolyn Greenberg, owner of A Closet Full of Dresses in Mesa, said the common stereotype behind what “modest” dresses look like is wrong.

“I think a lot of times people think modest means frumpy,” Greenberg said. However, a lot of the designers and brands that Greenberg sells have modest versions of a lot of their gowns.

“There are reps that know what religious groups need, and they’ve chosen gown styles that they have made modest for that exact reason,” Greenburg said.

This way, girls can get the styles they want while also feeling covered with sleeves and higher necklines.

Greenberg understands that many girls see risqué dresses in the stores and want to fit the trend, she said.

However, many girls want the styles without the revealing features.

“There are still many girls that want to look beautiful and trendy without revealing so much,” Greenberg said.

Jeanay Sirrine, owner of Modest Wedding and Prom in Mesa, said she offers stylish dresses that have modest sleeves and length.

“When a lot of girls come in they say, ‘This is exactly what I’ve been looking for,’” Sirrine said.

Sirrine has also had many moms thank her for making their daughter’s shopping experience much easier for them, she said.

Having raised daughters, Sirrine understood how difficult it was to find dresses for special occasions that were not revealing.

“They can’t see the rest of you if they only see skin,” Sirrine said.

Sirrine said she won’t carry anything that she believes is inappropriate and won’t change the image of her store. “There are some dresses that I honestly find offensive,” she said.

Carol McDowell, a junior at Mountain View High School, was brought up in the LDS church and chooses to dress modestly.

“When I dress modestly, it’s telling people that this is the way I choose to live and I’m just protecting my body,” McDowell said.

When McDowell first started looking for non-revealing dresses, she made the mistake of searching in the mall, she said.

“We went to all of the department stores and I only found one dress that was modest,” she said. “It was a motherof-the-bride dress.”

The dress also came with a price tag of $300, McDowell said.

McDowell was hesitant to shop in stores that specialized in modest gowns because she was afraid they would be filled with “flour sack” dresses. But, she said, Modest Wedding and Prom surprised her.

“This store showed me that there are so many beautiful options,” McDowell said.

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Style Trends

Style Trends

Ande Stamper and Dylan Teague were married February 25, 2017 at First Christian Church in Danville, by Dr. Mickey Anders.

Matron of honor was Tesa Brooks, cousin of the bride, of Asheville, N.C. Bridesmaids were Hannah Grimes of Stanford, Holly Funkhouser, sister of the bride, of Hustonville, Lyndsey Gates of Georgetown, and Madeline Funkhouser, sister of the bride, of Danville. Flower girl was Sophia Teague, niece of the groom, of Danville.

Best man was Ryan Napier of Berea. Groomsmen were Logan Teague, brother of the groom, of Lancaster, Hagan Teague, brother of the groom, of Danville, Steven Roy of Georgetown, and Ty Walls, cousin of the bride, of Danville. Ring bearers were Zack and Blake Walls, cousins of the bride, of Danville and Levi Stamper, cousin of the bride, of Stanford.

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A reception was held after the ceremony at the Danville Country Club.

The bride is the daughter of John and Kendra Stamper Funkhouser of Danville and Brian H. Brown of Lexington. She is the granddaughter of Kenny Stamper and Theresa Stamper both of Stanford, Ted and Wanda Lavit of Lebanon and the late Bob and Sue Funkhouser of Danville. She is a graduate of Lincoln County High School and Eastern Kentucky University. She is employed by CLS, Inc. in Lexington.

The groom is the son of Terry and Beth Prather of Lancaster and Jamie and Angie Teague of Bryantsville. He is the grandson of Manford and Mary Ann Bolton of Lancaster, Jim and Debbie Talley and Mike and Marietta Teague, all of Danville. The groom is a graduate of Garrard County High School and holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Eastern Kentucky University. He is employed by Kentucky Employers’ Mutual Insurance (KEMI) in Lexington.

The couple resides in Richmond.

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Wedding Tips

Wedding Tips

Congratulations, you got engaged! But logistics don't stop after securing your wedding venue. You actually have to get married on paper, too. The entire process isn't difficult, but there are several things to keep in mind before heading to the courthouse.

Step 1: Find out where you can obtain a marriage license.

This can be city hall, the county clerk's office, the registrar's office, etc., in the city or district of your nuptials. You can locate by state. Make sure to make an appointment in advance if required.

Step 2: Bring identification.

US marriages require both parties to provide valid photo ID that includes your birthday (driver's license, passport, birth certificate, etc.). District of Columbia, Mississippi, and Montana are the only three US states that require a premarital blood test (to show if either has a STD) to be provided. Some states may also require proof of citizenship.

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If you've been previously married, you must provide proof of divorce.

Step 3: Get married.

If you're opting out of a big wedding and want to make it official on the spot, someone will be appointed to perform your marriage or you may choose a certified officiant legally recognized in your state. You'll also need one witness to sign the license to validate your marriage; a witness will not be provided.

If you are planning on having a wedding, take your license with you and have your officiant and a witness sign the license after your ceremony.

Step 4: Return the signed license.

Whoever performed the marriage must submit the license back to the clerk within 10 days of the ceremony date.

Step 5: Purchase a copy of your marriage license.

You must request and pay for a certified copy of your marriage license or else you won't receive one.

Other things to note:

Some states have a waiting period (up to six days) from applying for a marriage license to receiving it by mail. Most don't make you wait and you'll receive your license that day.

Don't apply for your license too early because they usually expire within months of applying. You'll have to get another license if it expires before you get married.

There's a license fee. For example, it's $35 in New York, while it's $108 in San Francisco.

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