"La Reina" ("The Queen") - Pablo Neruda

I have named you queen.
There are taller than you, taller.

There are purer than you, purer.
There are lovelier than you, lovelier.

But you are the queen.

When you go through the streets
No one recognizes you.

No one sees your crystal crown, no one looks
At the carpet of red gold

That you tread as you pass,
The nonexistent carpet.

And when you appear
All the rivers sound

In my body, bells

Shake the sky,
And a hymn fills the world.

Only you and I,
Only you and I, my love,

Listen to me.

Wedding Dates to Avoid in 2018

Ready to set a date? Check this list of dates you might want to steer clear of when booking your wedding.

By Justine Lorelle Blanchard    

Personally Significant Days

Check your own calendar for college reunions, family weddings, anniversaries or other events, like big conventions or festivals in your city (call your local chamber of commerce), and any annual occasions that involve your family or close friends.

Holiday Weekends

Holiday weekend weddings have pros and cons. You've got an extra day for the festivities (and recovery!); plus, a Sunday wedding is often less expensive than a Saturday one. But costs of travel and hotels may be higher. And if you're looking to marry around Valentine's Day, be wary of your floral bill, especially if you've got your heart set on red roses—they'll likely be more expensive than at any other time of the year. Likewise, reception sites often charge a higher fee for a New Year's Eve wedding. Also consider the impact of a holiday weekend on your guest list: Some families have standing plans or traditions that they'd prefer not to miss.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day (always a Monday)

Weekend of January 13-15, 2018

Presidents' Day (always a Monday)

Weekend of February 17-19, 2018

Mother's Day (always a Sunday) Make sure your moms are okay sharing this weekend with your wedding. And ask yourself: Do you want your anniversary to fall on the same weekend as Mother's Day when (or if) you become a mom?

Weekend of May 12-13, 2018

Memorial Day (always a Monday)

Weekend of May 26-28, 2018

Father's Day (always a Sunday)

Like you would with your moms, check with your dads about doubling up on this day. And grooms, make sure you're okay with celebrating your anniversary the same weekend as Father's Day if you decide to have kids.

Weekend of June 16-17, 2018

Independence Day

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Labor Day (always a Monday)

Weekend of September 1-3, 2018

Columbus Day (always a Monday)


Weekend of October 6-8, 2018


Avoid it if you're terrified that someone might actually show up in costume (and embrace it if you want them to!)

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Thanksgiving (always a Thursday)

November 22, 2018

New Year's Eve

Monday, December 31, 2018

Religious and Cultural Holidays

Be mindful of religious and cultural holidays (your own and those of your guests) when planning your wedding. There may even be restrictions at your house of worship as to whether you're allowed to marry at these times.

Palm Sunday

March 25, 2018

Easter Sunday

April 1, 2018

Passover (begins at sunset)

Friday, March 30, 2018

Tisha B'Av (begins at sunset)

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Rosh Hashanah (begins at sunset)

Sunday, September 9, 2018 until nightfall on Tuesday September 11, 2018

Yom Kippur (begins at sunset)

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 until nightfall on Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Hanukkah (begins at sunset)

Sunday December 2, 2018 until nightfall on Monday, December 10, 2018


Tuesday, December 25, 2018


Tuesday, December 26, 2017, until Monday, January 1, 2018

Wednesday, December 26, 2018, until Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Eid al-Fitr (dates may vary based on the lunar calendar)

Thursday, June 14, until Friday June 15, 2018

Eid al-Adha (dates may vary based on how each family observes; the holiday lasts for about four days)

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Ram Navami

Monday, March 26, 2018

Krishna Janmashtami

Monday, September 3, 2018

Days of Remembrance

We're talking about historically significant days (like the anniversary of September 11) that may be off-limits if you come from a big military family. Or, that could make them all the more meaningful—it's up to you to decide.

Patriot Day

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Friday, December 7, 2018

Major Sporting Events

If you're die-hard sports fans—or if you're worried your guests might have a hard time choosing between your wedding and the big game—avoid getting married during popular sporting events. And if a lot of your guests come from the same alma mater, watch out for homecoming weekends and bowl games that might conflict.

Super Bowl Sunday

February 4, 2018, in Minneapolis, MN

Saturday, March 31, 2018 and Monday, April 2, 2018, in San Antonio, TX

Unlucky Dates

If you're superstitious, you might want to watch out for these historically inauspicious dates from across several cultures.

The Ides of March For ancient Romans, an "ides" was simply a date that marked the middle of the month—until Julius Caesar was assassinated on March 15 in 44 B.C. Since then, "Beware the Ides of March" has become the mantra of this superstitiously unlucky date.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Friday the 13th The unluckiest date of the year has questionable origins. Some historians say it comes from the 13 diners who were present at the last supper, but the famous Babylon's Code of Hammurabi doesn't include a 13th law, which suggests this superstition is as old as 1700 BC. And it wasn't until a successful novel titled Friday, the Thirteenth was published in the early 1900s that Friday became part of the unlucky equation.

July 13, 2018

Leap Years Greeks and Romans thought that starting any new life event— from getting married to baptizing a child— in a leap year would bring bad luck.

Following Leap Year: 2020

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Do you know your Cultural Wedding Traditions?

Black weddings have always had a unique flair. From jumping the broom to pouring libations, there are plenty of wedding ideas to take from.

1.        The Taste of the Four Elements

“For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.” These vows originate with the Catholic church but the Yoruba tradition has a more literal interpretation.

The taste of the four elements incorporates four flavors to represent the flavors of married life: lemon for the sour, vinegar for the bitter, cayenne for the hot and honey for the sweet. Many couples have the flavors baked in cupcakes. Then the groom and bride take a bite of each to remind them of their commitment.

2.        The Kola Nut

Before the vows, the bride and groom and both pairs of in-laws eat a kola nut. In Africa, the kola nut is used for medicinal purposes. When families share it in the wedding tradition, it symbolizes their commitment to heal each other physically and spiritually in their new connected lives.

3.        Jumping the Broom

Slaves weren’t allowed to marry. So instead of having a ceremony, the couple jumped a broom. The tradition has deep African roots and the broom is a symbol to show that all of the old problems have been swept away.

Today many couples jump the broom at the end of their ceremony before they walk back down the aisle. But they don’t jump any old broom. These ceremonial brooms are hand made and beautifully decorated. After the wedding, couple’s display the broom in their home as a symbol of their love.

4.        Crossing Sticks

Crossing sticks is another symbolic gesture that originates from slavery. The bride and the groom would each bring a tall stick. When they cross the two sticks, it symbolizes the beginning of a new life with a strong and grounded beginning — like the trees the branches came from.

Want to incorporate this tradition into your wedding? Traditionally couples choose one stick from the groom’s property and one stick from the bride’s. Alternatively, you can both choose sticks from places that are significant to you individually or as a couple.

5.        Tying the Knot

Tying the knot symbolizes the unbreakable bond between husband and wife. Before the vows, the officiant loosely ties the bride and groom’s wrists together with a strip of kente cloth or a string of cowrie shells. Once tied together, the couple says their vows to confirm their commitment to one another.

6.        The Libation Ceremony

We know all about pouring out a little liquor. But did you know that it has roots in African tradition? Pouring libations is all about honoring your family members — those who have passed and those who are still here.

During the wedding ceremony, an elder member of the family pours alcohol in four spots: to the north, east, south and west. As the alcohol is poured, the names of family members who have recently passed are recited. Some people also take the time to acknowledge the elders in the family and ask them to pass on their wisdom and advice

7.        Kente Cloth

Many brides use Kente cloth in their wedding. The good stuff is hand made in Ghana and contains red (for the blood shed in captivity), gold (for prosperity) and green (for the land). Many brides incorporate the fabric into their bridesmaids dresses, invitations, decorations or even the groomsmen’s vests. The key to incorporating the colors is minimalism. An accent or two can make a big statement without looking overwhelming.

8.        Knocking on the Door

This wedding tradition has its roots in Ghana and it’s a lot of fun. Soon after the engagement, the future groom and his family buy a few gifts and knock on the door of his fiancee’s family’s house. If “the knock” is accepted, the bride’s family opens the door and welcomes their future in-laws in. Then both families celebrate by going out to brunch or having a small get together at the house.

9.        Purple and Gold

Purple and gold symbolize royalty in many African cultures. And they’re popular wedding colors. We recommend going heavy on the gold and saving the purple for an accent color. It’s the perfect way to feel like a queen on your wedding day while embracing your culture.

10.    The Gele’

The gele is a traditional head piece from the Yoruba tradition — where many African-American wedding traditions originate. And when done right, these head pieces are beautiful. They have more flair than a traditional veil and make the bride look positively regal when she walks down the aisle.

11.    Feeding the Family

Marriage is about joining two families as much as it is about joining two people. This tradition honors that union. After the couple tastes the four elements, they feed each other’s family members from baskets of unleavened bread.

12.    Cutting the Cord

When a couple “cuts the cord”, they symbolize their break from their old family ties and their commitment to their new ones. The eldest member on the grooms side and the eldest member on the bride’s side sit in the first row on either side of the aisle. When the couple walks back down the aisle after they say their “I do’s” they cut the cord and end their old lives to start their new ones.

13.    Ditching the Diamond

This is a new tradition that’s gaining traction because diamonds aren’t always a girl’s best friend. Many of them are mined in Africa by people living in quasi-slavery who look just like you and me. Not every bride wants to think about her participation in that cycle when she looks down at her finger. So some of us choose other precious stones or manufactured diamonds. It’s an opportunity to think outside of the box and choose a ring that you think is beautiful without focusing on the stone.

14.    Cowrie shells

Cowrie shells are beautiful. And once upon a time in Africa, they were used as money. Today brides use them in their weddings to symbolize beauty and power. They make gorgeous headpieces or table centerpieces. Some brides even accent their dresses with the white shells

15.    The Electric Slide

It’s electric! If you don’t have at least one go-round of the electric slide at your wedding, we’re pretty sure they come to take your black card away. At the very least, your grandmother will be disappointed. So go on ahead and tell the DJ to make sure that he brings this classic wedding jam to the reception.

Happy Anniversary To Those Celebrating In February

Wedding Stamps


Most people know the Silver Wedding Anniversary is the 25th Anniversary, and the 50th is considered the Golden Anniversary. How many are aware the 40th is Ruby, or the 45th is Emerald?

Well let N.E. Informer help you with your anniversary questions.  Whether you wish to give the traditional gifts given through the ages or stay in the loop with what the modern gift lists consist of N.E. Informer has it here.  

Anniversary Gift

1st  Paper
2nd  Cotton
3rd  Leather
4th  Fruit, flowers
5th  Wood
6th  Sugar
7th  Copper, wool
8th  Bronze, pottery
9th  Pottery, willow
10th  Tin
11th  Steel
12th  Silk, linen
13th  Lace
14th  Ivory
15th  Crystal
20th  China
25th  Silver
30th  Pearl
35th  Coral
40th  Ruby
45th  Sapphire
50th  Gold
55th  Emerald
60th  Diamond



Things To Make You Look Great On Your Wedding Day

By Le Huo

1. Choose your dress well in advance. Your dress is one of the most important items in your wedding plans, so make sure you take enough time to choose one that suits you - not your best friend, not your bridesmaids, and not your mother. For the day of your wedding, you'll want a dress in which you can stand, walk and dance in without worrying about "wardrobe malfunctions" or causing you discomfort. Allow necessary time if you decide on having the dress made, but even if bought "off the rack," you'll need to factor in time for tailoring and any adjustments. Choosing a comfortable wedding dress will make you look natural on the wedding day, it also helps the wedding photographers and videographers to capture more great moments. Imagine if the bride has always to worry if her wedding dress will fall, she will not have a natural or pleasant facial expression, and it will make your wedding photographers and videographers have a hard time doing their job to capture the "great" moments.

2. Choose a classic hair style. You don't want to overpower your dress and headpiece with a flamboyant hair style or color that overwhelms everything else. Keep it simple and classic, and remember to practice the look you want at home or with your stylist before the wedding day. When we recorded a wedding in summer 2011, a bride chose a hair style that her hair covers half of her face. This couple chose to do the outdoor photo/video session by the lake in downtown Toronto. As you can imagine, it is very windy by the lake, her hair flies everywhere...

3. Fix your nails professionally. Have your nails professionally manicured the day before the wedding. This is one thing you don't want to do too far in advance. Reduce the chances of a broken nail, chipped polish; or, if using applied nails, reduce the risk of having one coming off by having your manicure as late as possible. If you are not inclined toward colored polishes or long fingernails, simply make sure that they are neatly trimmed, filed, polished, and buffed. Your hands will be the focus of attention when showing off that new wedding ring and for photos and video.

4. Enhance your beauty with makeup. Makeup is the last thing you'll need to worry over. It is done on the big day itself but you should have a test run before this. Don't try to transform yourself into a different person with dramatic eye makeup or garish lipstick. Simply make the real you look better! This is also going to help you look good on the wedding photos and videos.

• Use a slightly heavier hand than with your usual daytime makeup so that your photos won't have you appearing washed-out looking, but don't overdo it. And if your wedding is at night, with more subtle lighting, apply makeup as though you were going to a club or restaurant at night - a little heavier than daytime, but not too much! Avoid deep red lipstick as well as a too-pale pink. Frosted eyeshadows or lipsticks are definite no-nos. Taking your own photo with a digital camera or a camera phone is a good way to check your makeup before the wedding photos and videos.

• Also, if you have sensitive skin, this is not the time to try a new brand. The last thing you want to do is head for the altar with blotches or zits thanks to an allergic reaction.

5. Prepare in advance to feel your best.

• The night before your wedding is not the time for partying, so get eight hours of restful sleep. If you're having a rehearsal dinner, or a bachelorette bash, make sure that it ends early. Drink moderately or, better yet, not at all. Bloodshot eyes and a banging hangover will not make for a fun wedding.

• Don't gorge yourself the night before because we all know that there are strange forces at work which will try to make your wedding gown just a wee bit snug in the morning. Let alone the fact that it isn't so pleasant feeling bloated! To overcome excitement and nerves, try taking a long walk - it can help with pre-nuptial jitters. A relaxing bath with soothing background music, a cup of herbal tea, and you should be ready to doze off with images of a happy future marriage in your dreams.

6. Be yourself. It is absolutely normal to feel awkward when you are surrounded by the wedding photographers and videographers on the big day, especially for those who marry for the first time. Just try to think there is only your and your love when they are taking photos for you. Modern professional photographers and videographers do not take lots of photo when they say "one, two, three, cheese", instead, like our photographers and videographers, they capture the most natural moment by giving the couple some creative directions and then follow the flow to capture the great moments.

NG Studio is based in Toronto, Ontario and has been in business for seven years offering a wide variety of photography and videography services. Our goal is to make your special day shine! What makes us different? We offer every type of special event photography and videography service you can imagine! NG Studio specializes in weddings, engagement proposals, family photo shoots, photo booth rentals, destination weddings, honeymoon services, drone aerial services and in house video and photography sessions.


2018 BOOKS