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Ready, set, I do


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POSTED: Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Many couples will say their "I dos" on Saturday. "People always want to get married on Valentine's Day because it's romantic," said Tanna Dang, owner of The Wedding Cafe.

Countless other couples will become engaged on Cupid's special day. Whatever the case, Dang cautioned that couples need to focus on the fact that "it's all about the marriage, not the wedding."

               

     

 

MEET THE AUTHOR

       

Book Signings

        A "Bridal Brag Bag" filled with deals from The Wedding Cafe vendors is included with each book purchase:
       

» Saturday: 1 p.m., Barnes & Noble, Kahala Mall
        » Feb. 21: Noon, Borders, Windward Mall

       

Wedding Workshops

        Held in the Ward Warehouse conference room, 6:30 p.m. Call 591-1005 or visit www.theweddingcafe.net.
       

» Photo Showcase: Tomorrow
        » Invites, Favors and Registry Showcase: Feb. 18
        » Video Showcase: Feb. 25

       

That advice aside, Dang considers herself a "wedding addict" and enjoys talking about anything to do with nuptials. Dozens of brides visit her at The Wedding Cafe and share their unique wedding stories. She gives them a wider audience in her new book, "Wedding Belles: Ideas & Inspiration from Island Brides" (Watermark Publishing, $ 22.95).

"Through their stories we gain the wisdom that we pass on to other brides," she said.

The book is meant as a tool for anyone planning a wedding, she said, and would make a worthy Valentine's or engagement gift.

One thing she learned through all the stories in the book is the importance of including the groom in the process. "We need to take a step back and see that there is a two-person party. The grooms were equally excited to share their stories. I realized that we need to focus more on the groom, their feelings and their ideas."

Preparing the book also gave Dang the opportunity to relive her own wedding. Her personal story, involving pre-wedding photography, is included in the publication.

A month before their wedding, Dang and her husband, Bryson, took photographs in downtown Honolulu. Under sunny skies, they marched through the streets in wedding attire, posing in front of coffee shops, next to buildings and while crossing streets.

Dang's story goes: "As we were wrapping up the final shot, it started to rain ... gentle raindrops at first, and then it got heavier and heavier. Our photographer shoved a colorful umbrella in Bryson's hand and told us to walk toward her down the rainy street."

"Well, we did as we were told, huddling together under the umbrella. Bryson and I were cracking up because we were squished together, stepping on each other's toes and getting pelted by raindrops. But, we were having a blast. And out of all the shots we took that day, that 'running in the rain' shot became our favorite photo."