17th Year Anniversary For NJWedding.com Means Changes, New Web Site Features

February 14, 2014

NJWedding.com logo roseSince its launch on Valentine’s Day 1997, NJWedding.com has made it simple for engaged couples to find services such as local banquet facilities, bands, disc jockeys, photographers, videographers, clergy and wedding officiants, floral designers, limousines, invitations, favors and much more through the Internet in the comfort of their home or office. This local wedding planning web site is now entering its 17th year serving the wedding community on February 14, 2014, announced co-publishers Erik and Beth Kent.

The site currently features a directory listing for each wedding venue or service providers, containing an image, description and contact information so couples can get in touch directly.  The Kents are in the process of redeveloping the web site to allow each company to provide more detailed information, create photo albums (to show more about their services or products), include video links, create blog posts with interesting articles, show upcoming events and more! Users of the new site will also be able to post reviews / testimonials for these wedding professionals, allowing more information to be included on each listing, providing couples with a fuller site experience to gather more information on their search for regional wedding services.

NJWedding.com currently features around 500 listings for various types of wedding businesses that couples can choose from, as well as links to helpful articles and other wedding planning tips. Other special features include information about wedding dress designers, virtual tours of banquet facilities, video/music clips from local wedding bands, ceremony musicians, disc jockeys and videographers, a photo gallery showing the creativity of local wedding photographers and free relationship advice from a local marriage expert.

Throughout the years, there have been several additions to the site, including sections on South Asian / Indian Weddings and Same-Sex Weddings (celebrating the legalization of Same-Sex Marriage in New Jersey on October 21, 2013) a listing of upcoming bridal shows and wedding planning events throughout the Tri-state area, and sections focused on planning a beach wedding along the Jersey shore, including specific categories for Cape May and Long Beach Island weddings. Also, NJWedding.com in association with the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce and the New Jersey Division of Travel & Tourism, is giving away a VIP Experience to the Wedding Road Show on LBI (on Sunday, April 27, 2014) through a special contest.

For wedding professionals, the Kents developed a Business Resource Center, providing links to wedding statistics, trends, “green” and eco-friendly weddings, marriage research, podcasts, blogs, wedding and event industry associations and more. Wedding vendors and engaged couples can also find NJWedding.com on social networking web sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube, providing an even greater experience to learn about the world of weddings and connect with members of the New Jersey wedding community. In addition couples and wedding professionals can keep up with additional wedding news through our WordPress BLOG.

NJWedding.com is heavily involved in the NJ wedding industry and is a proud member of the Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC), Jersey Shore Wedding Association (JSWA) and Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce (SOCC), and happy to support altruistic initiatives to help couples in the weddings community with nonprofit organizations Wish Upon A Wedding and Weddings For Heroes.

Visit NJWedding.com directly at http://www.njwedding.com to search for local wedding services, view upcoming bridal shows, and much more, or inquire about advertising opportunities for wedding professionals. For more information, contact Erik and Beth Kent at (908) 874-0417 or e-mail them at info@njwedding.com.

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Your Engagement: The Mini-Marriage

February 12, 2014

mileswagman_justmarriedThe question has been popped, the ring is on your finger, and now you’re engaged. Congratulations! You just made the most important decision of your relationship. However, the initial joy and excitement about the engagement will soon fade (though not vanish) and the practicalities of a planning a wedding will take over. During the course of your engagement you’ll have to find new ways to communicate, compromise about family differences, follow a budget, and make dozens of decisions about things big and small. In other words, being engaged is just like being married. I like to think of it as a mini-marriage.

If anyone tells you that planning a wedding is easy, they’re pulling your leg. A day that is so loaded with emotions, traditions, and personalities is bound to present some drama. Just take a look at reality TV–“Bridezilla,” and “Say Yes to the Dress” document the ups and downs (and craziness) of all that’s involved weddings. Besides all the vendors–venue, caterer, band, florist, photographer, videographer, hair and make-up artists–there are all your friends and family that are involved. You might find yourself wondering how a day that is supposed to be just about you and your future spouse has turned into such a production. When you dreamed about your wedding did you ever think that so many people would have an opinion? Are there ways to avoid having family conflicts turn into relationship problems?

The saying goes that the only way to make sure your wedding truly feel like your day is to elope. That may be true in a purely technical sense, but it’s not a hard and fast rule. Being engaged can very rewarding–a time to really think about and nurture your relationship. And at the end of it is a wonderful day and then your life together. Yes, there are a million logistics and the thoughts and feelings of your spouse and both of your families. But once you accept those things as necessary, your engagement can be a very satisfying experience. Here are five suggestions to help guide you and your fiancé through the process as you develop a foundation that will help your marriage remain strong through the years.

It is no longer “me” but “we”.
Becoming engaged solidifies your commitment to your partner and that means looking out not only for the needs of you and your spouse, but also the needs of your relationship. The decisions in your life now directly impact another person and their input needs to be part of your thinking. Think of your relationship as a three-legged stool. Two of the three legs are represented by the two individuals in the relationship and the third leg is the relationship itself. The stool cannot sustain any significant weight if either of the legs is weak or shaky. Both you and your partner generate the energy and passion to keep the relationship fresh and vibrant while also providing rules and expectations for how the relationship is to function.

Discuss your expectations of the engagement and the marriage.
Unrealistic and unmet expectations often lead to resentment and conflict in a marriage. The engagement is a good time to communicate to each other your expectations of how the relationship should work. Take responsibility for the roles and responsibilities you commit to in the relationship. It’s important, though, to be willing to compromise and be flexible.

Learn how to communicate effectively and resolve conflict.
Not being able to communicate effectively is a primary factor in marriages failing. Your partner and the relationship should always be protected when you are communicating your feelings about an issue. When you disagree, look for solutions that resolve the problem while still maintaining your integrity as well as that of the relationship. Of course, it never hurts to apologize if you are wrong.

Talk about money.
Money is the number one issue that causes conflict in most relationships. Planning a wedding is the first major joint financial decision in your relationship, so it is important to discuss how you will deal with the challenges of planning what is usually a very expensive day. Develop a budget early on to ensure so that both of you have clear ideas of what is possible for the actual wedding.

Attend a premarital preparation class.
Couples who participate in premarital preparation classes experience a 30% increase in marital satisfaction than couples with no education. These couples are able to communicate more effectively, have stronger conflict management skills, enjoy a more intimate Miles Wagman, MSW, LCSW, LMFT Director, The Relationship Center in Red Bank, NJrelationship, and improve their ability to have a stable and satisfying marriage.

Is your engagement causing stress between you and your fiancé? Contact Miles Wagman, MSW, LCSW, LMFT, Director of The Relationship Center in Red Bank, NJ at (732) 345-1399 or email him at mwagman@relationshipsfirst.com to learn strategies to resolve conflicts and build a strong foundation for your marriage.


Treat Your Sweetheart To Valentine’s Day Sweets at Carlo’s Bakery Retail Locations

February 10, 2014

Red Heart Fondant Cake from Carlo's Bakery for Valentine's DayHOBOKEN, NJ / February 10, 2014 – Carlo’s Bakery, the setting of the hit TLC series Cake Boss, has released a special Valentine’s Day menu with festive sweets available in-store at NJ retail locations in Hoboken, Ridgewood, Westfield and Red Bank for seven days only (from February 10th to February 16th) with prices starting at only $3.00.

“Valentine’s Day is about celebrating with someone special, be it your wife or girlfriend or your family,” said Buddy Valastro, owner of Carlo’s Bakery, also known as the ‘Cake Boss.’ We want to help make the day even more fun and special with our Valentine’s Day desserts.”

A variety of cakes, pastries, cupcakes, mousse, chocolate covered strawberries and more at Carlo's BakeryThe holiday menu will include classics like assorted chocolate mousse cakes and heart-shaped red velvet cake to specialties including hand-made chocolate boxes filled with assorted chocolate-covered strawberries.

About Carlo’s Bakery

Opened in 1910, Carlo’s Bakery is renowned for its delicious creations, hardworking staff, and family atmosphere. Carlo’s has spearheaded the recent custom cake craze and has garnered attention from a variety of media outlets including Brides, Rachael Ray Show, Huffington Post and Good Morning America. Most recently, Carlo’s has been showcased as the setting for TLC’s hit shows Cake Boss and Next Great Baker.


New Jersey Couple Gets Married At The Grammys

February 5, 2014
Daniel Pepper and Melody Kulesza-Pepper, of Clinton, New Jersey, joined 33 other couples, both gay and straight, to exchange vows during a momentous marriage ceremony at the 56th annual Grammy Awards.

Daniel Pepper and Melody Kulesza-Pepper, of Clinton, New Jersey were married at The Grammys

LOS ANGELES, CA, February 05, 2014 — Daniel Pepper and Melody Kulesza-Pepper of Clinton, New Jersey, joined 33 other couples, both gay and straight, to exchange vows during a momentous marriage ceremony officiated by Queen Latifah, and with music performed by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Madonna at the 56th annual Grammy Awards.

“Not only was it unbelievably moving to openly commit to the love of my life before millions of people on national television,” says Mrs. Pepper, “but being able to celebrate marriage equality and help promote the legalization of same-sex marriage created the perfect magic moment. The challenging part was for two busy professionals to make it all look effortless with only 5 weeks’ notice while having to keep it secret under a confidentiality agreement. And of course we wanted to actually enjoy our wedding!”
Mrs. Pepper, a former model and fashion photographer with significant experience preparing for photo shoots and events, is the principal of Pepper Tree Entertainment, a fashion and entertainment industry advisory firm, and artistic production company consultant.
“When the great news came that we were selected to be part of the Grammy wedding, suddenly, even though I’m no stranger to red carpet events, I had to convert myself into a Hollywood bride while helping my future husband prepare on short notice – with both of us working full-time managing Pepper Tree Entertainment and Pepper Law Group. That meant getting into fighting shape with glowing skin, having to find and book a photographer, make-up artist, hair professional, a clothing and accessory stylist, celebrity jeweler, stylish shoes, shape-wear & hosiery, and a designer gown – all for an event 3,000 miles away.
Daniel Pepper and Melody Kulesza-Pepper, of Clinton, New Jersey Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/1720675#ixzz2sUAg3jz5“Fortunately, I had clients and colleagues, past and present, who were able to save the day for me. The success of bringing the various fashion gurus together for my Grammy wedding sparked the idea of creating a standing beauty ‘swat team’ to help other brides and grooms, brides and brides, and/or grooms and grooms to create the wedding look of their dreams.”
Drawing upon her elite fashion industry network, Melody Kulesza-Pepper is expanding her company to include a bride/groom image consulting and preparation service which will provide couples seeking a truly special wedding experience with their own dream team, including photographers who shoot for the top fashion magazines, master make-up artists, stylists, couture gown designers, high-end jewelry providers, wedding paparazzi, and other unique services worthy of a Hollywood celebrity wedding.

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