Creating a dating profile

Written By: Michelle Orduna

When it comes to dating, today’s technology is both a blessing and a curse. Online dating sites allow you to connect with the one, or the next one at least. Although it allows you to meet people you might never come across otherwise, it does make it more difficult to stand out. Having hundreds of people to choose from might seem daunting to most, so having a memorable profile will help you connect with possible matches.

1. Answer as many questions as you can: The questionnaires might seem boring, but the more questions you answer, the better the quality of your matches. If you truly cannot stand the idea, do it while you watch TV. Call a friend over and make a game of it. Whatever motivates you to answer the most questions, do it.

2. Try to fill out as much of your profile as you can: Gone are the days of leaving things to the imagination. A profile with more information about yourself, including likes and dislikes, will garner more attention. Use a casual voice and inject as much of your persona into what you write as possible. It is important to advertise yourself, but be concise. Not everyone is ready to read essays about you.

3. Do use spell check: It is important that you come across clearly to others; simple mistakes will hinder this. Mistakes come across as careless and will make it seem like you are uninterested.

4. Be honest: There’s no such thing as being too honest. It is important that you answer all the questionnaires with honesty. This seems like a no-brainer, but not everyone is truthful when it comes to online dating. It is especially important to be honest when it comes to what you are looking for. No one wants their time wasted. If you are looking for a long-term relationship, say so; if something casual is more your speed, say so. With so many people joining dating sites every day, there is bound to be someone looking for the same thing you are.

5. Upload several pictures of yourself: It might make you feel narcissistic, but it is important for your matches to see what you look like. People are very visual and it’ll help round out your profile. Upload a good quality close-up of your face. It’s okay if it’s a selfie or cropped from a larger picture. Try to include pictures of you doing things you like. If you must upload a group photo, make sure you point out yourself, as it might not be clear to other people. A full-body picture is also encouraged, though not necessary.

Have fun creating your new dating profile. Don’t think of it as a means to an end, but more as part of the experience. Be open to anyone that piques your interest. Not everyone you talk to has to be your soulmate or produce a date; sometimes just interacting with someone new is entertaining. Who knows, you might end up making a friend or two. If anything, you’ll have an interesting story for the next person you talk to.

The easy guide to guest welcome bags

Written By: Susan Bell

Finding the perfect destination spot for a dream wedding can be fun and exciting, but it also leads to extra planning. Making guests comfortable in out-of-town surroundings is a priority that should not be overlooked.

Welcome bags are the perfect touch, providing both fun and sensible items for visitors. Depending on budget, a basket, box or bag of goodies should reflect the style and theme of the wedding. What’s most important is showing appreciation for those that have made the extra effort (and incurred additional expense) to be part of your celebration.

Where to start

Allocating budget dollars is important and usually based on the number of guest bags you will need. Generally, one per couple/family per room is sufficient.

For those with kids, consider adding a second “kid only” bag filled with activities and games that can keep the younger set busy.

Some hotels charge a per-bag fee to deliver welcome bags to guest rooms or hand them out upon check in. These fees should be included as part of your budget.

What should be included

Customize according to the location. For example, sunscreen might be included for a beach destination, whereas hot beverage mixes would be appropriate for cold regions. The basics:

  1. Bottled water: At least one bottle per person in the room should be enough to keep everyone hydrated. These can be personalized with custom bottle labels.
  2. Something local: Sharing local culinary treats helps get guests in the spirit of the locale and supports local businesses.
  3. Something from home: Items from both the bride’s and groom’s hometowns makes it more personal.
  4. Fresh fruit: A healthy, fresh snack is always a welcome treat.
  5. Prepacked snacks: For those late-night cravings, two to three snacks should be included. Appeal to both savory and sweet palates.
  6. Sundry items: Travel-sized containers of sunscreen, toothpaste, a toothbrush, aspirin (for the hardest of party-goers) and tissues always come in handy. A sewing kit can save the day in a fashion emergency.
  7. The itinerary: Everyone must have a clear list of events including time, location with address, directions, expected travel time, shuttle transportation (if provided) and dress code. Listing an emergency cell phone number (of the wedding planner or a member of the bridal party) adds extra security that questions will be answered.
  8. Local information: Destination weddings offer lots of opportunities to explore new places. Local tourism bureaus and chambers of commerce will often donate maps, coupons, and travel guides. A list of local restaurants, attractions and shops makes a nice addition.
  9. A local souvenir: Kitchy, personalized totes or reusable bags can serve a dual purpose — to hold the welcome items and as a destination souvenir. As an alternative, mementos specific to the locale will certainly be treasured. These need not be pricey or large but should reflect the local culture. Items should be easily packable, non-perishable, unbreakable and non-liquid. Remember, guests traveling by air in the U.S. have limits on what will make it through security screening.
  10. The thank-you note: A heartfelt, personal note written by the bride and groom is a must. Words of gratitude are always welcome and make them feel that the trek was worthwhile.

A warm welcome sets the tone for a smooth, happy destination wedding.

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