Surround Yourself with Love

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Dear Readers,

I recently celebrated my ninth wedding anniversary. Despite all the planning and hand-wringing that goes into planning your big day, it’s all the days that come after you say, “I do” and how you and your partner approach them together that are far more important to your life together than your actual wedding day. That being said (and despite the cliche), my wedding day was definitely one of the most joyful days of my life. Sure, looking back, there are some things I might change: There’s one detail I let my mom win on, where I wish I had stood my ground. There’s another detail that I fought for and, well, she was probably right, though I have never told her until now. But when I look back at the photos of the day –  the moment between my dad and me right before I walked down the aisle, and the quiet moment with Kenley right after the ceremony – what I see are the huge smiles on everyone’s faces. What I see is pure joy. What I learned from my wedding is that Kenley and I can throw one heck of a party and that we are surrounded by lots of friends and family who love and support us. Without their love and support over the past nine years, we wouldn’t have made it this far. Surround yourself with love.

When it comes to wedding planning, here’s my advice: Set a budget early and try to stick to it. Even more importantly, set your priorities so you know where you want to spend most of your budget. Talk with your parents, if they’re involved in the planning, and see whether you agree on what’s important. Offer to contribute as much as you can afford to the cost because, even if you’re trying to keep it small and simple, wedding expenses just seem to pile up. Involve your partner in the planning. Make sure the day reflects your personalities and meets your expectations, not anyone else’s. Hire experts to help you! Make sure your guests know how much you appreciate them being there.

In our February issue, we celebrate love and marriage, but we also recognize the need to stay true to yourself, to be in control of your own destiny, to take charge of your physical health and to maintain friendships with girlfriends who can lend support when things are not going as planned.

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In this issue, we introduce our new Skirt Book column with the Bookish Blonde Lorna Hollifield. Lorna will introduce us to women in literature who will inspire us to love and grow and be better people in our real lives. We’re also hosting our first Skirt Book Club presented by Buxton Books on Feb. 6. We hope all book lovers will join us!

This month, we also support the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign to raise awareness for heart disease, which is the No. 1 killer of women. We gather Feb. 7-9 for Women Rising! to embrace our feminine qualities and use them to help bring about change. Join us for the Wine, Women & Shoes fundraiser Feb. 21 at the Hotel Bennett, where we’ll shop, sip and kick up our shoes to raise money for Florence Crittenton programs, which provide a home for young, at-risk pregnant women. Finally, you’re invited to Skirt Night Out on Feb. 28 at Bourbon N’ Bubbles on King Street.

Hope your February is full of love!

Shelley Hill Young

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