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Getting engaged is just the beginning ... now what?
registries online and go into the stores many times. There aren’t any rules that you must follow. Choose items that are right for you and your soon-to-be. Go through the registry process together and have fun!” Here are some additional tips to make wedding planning a breeze: • Plan ahead — Start a bridal registry as soon as you say “yes.” That way guests will have lots of options for engagement gifts and showers. Periodically update
(MS) — Have you just gotten engaged? This is the time for you and your soon-to-be to get everything you ever wanted — whether you’re starting from scratch, upgrading, expanding or replacing. Turn a whole bunch of mismatched mine and yours into a lifetime of ours. “When it comes to registering, relax, take your time and have fun,” recommends Audrey Stavish, a bridal and gift registry expert at Bed Bath & Beyond. “Most brides update their
Follow a few wedding registry tips and give wedding well-wishers plenty of gifting options.
your registry by adding more products if you need to, even after the wedding. Be kind to procrastinators. • Do the math — Experts advise registering for two to three items times the number of guests you plan to have. Close friends and family will rely on your registry for special events leading up to the wedding — such as engagement parties, bridal showers, and holidays! Your guests will appreciate having lots of choices when they shop for you. Be sure to refresh your list regularly as gifts get purchased. • Register now, because you won’t buy it later — You may
think you will ... but you won’t. Now is the time to let others get you the stuff you’d never buy yourself. Your friends and family might even get together to purchase a higher priced “group gift.” • Remember the “Rule of Three:” When it comes to setting your table, if you choose bold patterns for your china and flatware, pick a more simple style of glassware. Prefer intricate stemware? Pair it with simpler patterns of china and flatware. So, it’s bold/bold/simple or simple/simple/bold. Please see NOW WHAT?, Page 5
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see everything in person! • C’mon back — Most couples don’t make all their selections in a single spree. Plan on making multiple visits. Once you’ve set up your registry, take advantage of Bed Bath & Beyond’s Bridal Toolkit, the complimentary wedding planning tools available at bedbathandbeyond.com, including your own personal wedding website, budgeter, task manager, guest list manager, gift tracker and even a seating arranger. This way, all of your information can be stored in one convenient place. Congratulations and best wishes on your engagement. Now get registering and let the gift-giving begin!
NOW WHAT?, from page two • Dream big — Register for gifts in a range of prices and categories. This will give guests and group givers lots of options to choose from. • Visit a store — It’s in your best interest to visit a store and schedule an appointment with an expert consultant who can help you with your gift selections and share great tips like “The Rule of Three,” what cookware you will need to prepare your favorite dish, what knife to use when, and much more. When making your selections, it’s important to touch the towels, heft the flatware and
Wedding budget planner
There’s no getting around the fact that weddings can be expensive. For many couples, they’re the first of the largest expenses they will make together. It’s quite easy for individuals to go over budget on their wedding day if • Venue and rentals • Food and service • Beverages • Cake • Miscellaneous fees • Gown and alterations • Headpiece and veil • Accessories • Makeup and Hair • Groom’s tux or suit
they do not carefully keep track of what has been spent on all the elements of the big day. Use this checklist to make sure you haven’t overlooked an important element associated with the wedding:
• Groom’s accessories • Floral arrangements • Bouquets • Ring pillow • Boutonnieres • Corsages • Reception decorations • Lighting • Ceremony musicians
• Reception musicians • Photography • Videography • Transportation • Favors • Ceremony fees • Invitations • Stationery • Wedding rings • Honeymoon
10 trends for ‘green’ weddings
Environmentally friendly ideals are now permeating all aspects of daily living. Many people want to take the concept further and ensure their nuptials — and subsequent reception — are good for the planet as well. Although there are no firm statistics on the number of green weddings being held each year, emerging trends point to the growing interest in eco-conscious
weddings. Individuals who already do their best to recycle, reuse and reduce want to employ those same values on their wedding day. There are many ways to employ a green mindset to wedding planning and execution. Largely the carbon footprint of a wedding can be reduced simply by scaling back and avoiding overconsumption.
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Green wedding trends are growing in popularity as more brides and grooms want to be eco-friendly.
Here are some ideas to think about: â€˘ Go small scale. Instead of inviting every last cousin and distant uncle, couples are opting for more intimate affairs, including only the people they are closest to, which saves on cost and helps the environment.
â€˘ Choose an open registry. Instead of fine china that may never be used, many couples are opting for open registries that enable guests to gift everything from eco-friendly housewares to charitable donations to cash for down payments on a home.
Please see GOING GREEN, page 9
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GOING GREEN, from page seven • Reduce travel. Research indicates that more than two-thirds of emissions in the U.S. are produced by energy consumption and transportation. By reducing guests’ need to travel far for a wedding or offering transportation that can accommodate several people at once (like a bus), carbon emissions will be reduced. • Home is where the heart is. Keeping weddings close to home is helpful. Those with big backyards or a park nearby can host the event at home or in a nearby park and reduce dependence on large reception halls that use up large amounts of energy to operate. A home wedding also gives couples the opportunity to shop around for locally produced, organic foods. • Shop for floral alternatives. Flowers would seem “green” in themselves. However, many blooms available at florist shops are grown in hothouses with the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, something that is not very good for the environment at all. Brides opting for something more eco-conscious could consider alternative options, such as bouquets made of sustainable succulent plants and centerpieces full of organic fruits and wildflowers.
• Opt for mixed seating arrangements. Instead of formal escort cards indicating firm seating arrangements, couples are saving paper by allowing guests to choose their own seats from mix-matched options, such as long, communal benches and comfy sofas. • Go with something old. Recycled gowns and gently used items are good alternatives for eco-conscious brides. Many websites will match up brides with others looking to swap items at low or no cost. • Skip the paper. Though etiquette experts frown on abandoning paper invitations for electronic ones, many couples are doing just that. For those who still prefer paper, print invitations on recycled paper. Reduce other wedding stationery needs by posting information on a wedding website shared with family and friends. • Trim some of the wedding day fat. Some couples opt for an all-you-can-eat buffet and then a subsequent dessert bar later on in the evening. Stuffed guests may end up wasting more food than eating it. Instead of all-you-can, go for a more traditional meal. • Choose a charitable party favor. Instead of a party favor that collects dust on a shelf, couples are choosing to gift with organic products or a donation to a charitable organization in the guests’ names.
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Responsibilities of the groomsmen
Happy couples choose friends and family members to serve as attendants in their weddings. Bridesmaids and groomsmen each have different responsibilities in the wedding. In ancient times, groomsmen essentially served as the groom’s bodyguards, ensuring that he made it safely to the altar and to his future wife. Today, the groomsmen’s roles are not based on saving life and limb. Today’s groomsmen serve as assistants to the groom and help plan the bachelor party. They The groomsmen have several different also usher guests responsibilities before, after and during down the aisle at the the wedding ceremony. ceremony. They also may have a few other respon• Help plan and share the cost of sibilities, depending on what the the bachelor party. couple wants of their assistants. • Return formal wear for themselves and the groom. Before the wedding • Pay for their own wedding attire or formal wear rentals. • Help pick out the tuxedos and show up for fittings. Please see GROOMSMEN, page 13
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GROOMSMEN, from page eleven • Attend rehearsals for the ceremony and appear at the rehearsal dinner. • Help unload cars with supplies if the couple is doing the decorating the wedding themselves. • Pay for their travel expenses and accommodation during the celebration. • Provide transportation for the couple to the airport or honeymoon destination if the best man is unavailable. During the ceremony
• Serve as escorts for the bridesmaids at the ceremony.
• Greet and seat guests at the ceremony in the appropriate rows or pews. • Stand near the groom during the ceremony. • Cater to anyone’s needs and mingle with the guests afterward. Party time
• Ensure that the groom does not get too intoxicated. • Sit at the table of honor beside the rest of the bridal party. • Mingle with the guests. • Participate in all photos if asked. • Dance with their bridesmaid counterpart. • Help load the wedding gifts into the car afterward.
Selecting musicians for your wedding
Brides and grooms have a few options when it comes to the music played at their ceremony and reception. Live musicians or DJs are often the entertainment of choice. When hiring the entertainment, there are some important things to keep in mind. The music of the wedding will set the tone for the event and keep guests entertained during
key moments of the day. Musicians will often work in conjunction with a maitre d’ to be sure the reception moves along smoothly and sticks to the schedule. Music will be played while guests are dining and when there are opportunities for dancing. It’s essential to listen to
Please see MUSICIANS, page 15
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In most cases, wedding musicians are professionals who have handled many weddings and are very accustomed to what should be done to make the night a memorable one.
MUSICIANS, from page thirteen musicians or DJs before hiring anyone to ensure what they’re offering will fit in with the wedding. Also, it’s helpful to confirm that the person or people being auditioned will be the exact individuals at the wedding. Some entertainment companies hire out contract musicians, meaning the preview musicians may not be the same person who will perform at the ceremony. That can potentially prove disastrous. If a certain musician or DJ is requested, be sure it is put down in writing in the contract. Provide the musical entertain-
ment with some information to further help the wedding go off without a hitch. This may include: • Names of all wedding party participants so they can be properly introduced. • Name of the married couple, including pronunciation of the last name, if necessary. • The title of the couple’s song. • The titles of songs to be danced with mother/son or father/ daughter. • A listing of any preferred songs. • The title of a “spotlight dance” song. • Whether a bouquet and garter toss will take place, and which songs should be played during these traditions.
Please see MUSICIANS, page 17
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MUSICIANS, from page fifteen • Special announcements that should be made, such as mentioning a guest’s birthday or another special event involving guests.
• Any music that is off-limits at the reception. In most cases, wedding musicians are professionals who have handled many weddings and are very accustomed to what should be done to make the night a memorable one. Trust in the expertise of the musicians, and provide guidance where necessary.
Technology may transform the future of weddings
Brides and grooms are routinely turning to technology to manage certain aspects of their weddings.
Imagine sending out personalized, colorful e-vites inviting guests to a wedding ceremony and reception? Or plugging in an Mp3 player with a pre-set wedding music playlist to get people dancing? How about recording the festivities on handheld video cameras and uploading data instantly to a social networking site? Some or all of these technological conveniences are already growing in popularity, revolutionizing the way couples plan and carry through with wedding plans along the way. Many couples are choosing to eschew the formalities and traditions associated with weddings for the convenience that many digital or technological advancements can provide. Electronic
Please see TECHNOLOGY, page 19
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mentally responsible. Eliminating wedding stationery or hiring individuals who have to travel to and from the ceremony and reception, as is the case with a band wedding invitations are just one or photographer, reduces carbon of the many aspects of the wedemissions and further energy. ding that have begun to embrace Technology can also help the digital age. keep things organized. Instead There are several advantages of keeping receipts and papers to enlisting the help of technolinside of a folder, saving items ogy to execute a wedding. First in e-mail and conversing with and foremost is the cost factor. vendors electronically creates a The number of items that couples digital paper trail that can make can do themselves will greatly cut loose ends a little easier to mandown on the expenses of hiring age. professional vendors. BudgetAlthough there are some conscious couples may seriously detractors who frown on employwant to consider sending e-vites, ing technology when planning a which can save several hundreds wedding because of the improper of dollars on printing costs and etiquette implications, many postage. modern couples are embracing Another advantage is that tech- the convenience and cost savings these technologies provide. nology might be more environ-
TECHNOLOGY, from page seventeen
Counseling for healthy marriages
A marriage doesn’t have to be in distress to bring in the help of a counselor. Marriage counselors can help newlyweds start out on the right foot or help established couples fine-tune their marriages. Counseling can help in a number of ways: • Decrease conflicts that lead to fights. • Provide communication strategies for men and women. • Suggest new ideas for reconnecting.
• Identify potentially problematic areas that may be easily resolved or require further attention. Couples should interview prospective counselors to determine the best fit and the one they feel most comfortable with. Not all counselors are the same, and some have specific areas of relationship expertise. There also may be counselors who work with both couples and families.
Friend, will you marry us? Online ordinations rise BY MONICA RHOR FOR THe assOCIaTeD PRess
Jessica Alexander’s wedding was everything she had envisioned — a private gathering by her summer house on an Iowa lake. There was a pink and purple color scheme, a butterfly motif, and a dessert bar rather than a full meal. And, wearing a short peri-
winkle dress designed “to show off her legs,” was Alexander’s minister and bridesmaid, AnnaMegan Raley, a close friend who was ordained online specifically to perform the ceremony. Raley, a blogger for the Houston Chronicle, didn’t even know she had been ordained until Alexander and her mother sprang the news at the bridal shower. They had already paid a $25 fee and filled out a form with her name
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and address, making her the Rev. Raley. “I thought it was a joke. I’m sure that I put it on Facebook and Twitter,” said Raley. “But I had heard about people getting ordained to perform weddings. So, I said: ‘Sure, I’d love to.’ ” Nontraditional? Perhaps. A growing trend? Definitely. More and more engaged couples are turning to friends or family members to perform their wedding ceremony. They say it is more personal, relatively stressfree and cheaper. It is also surprisingly fast and simple. Getting ordained requires little more than finding an online ministry that performs ordinations, and filling out a short form with your name and address. Some websites require a nominal fee for paperwork; others don’t charge anything. Prospective brides and grooms should look into the website and local marriage laws, however, to make sure the ceremony would be valid. Although online ordinations are generally recognized, laws vary widely from state to state, sometimes from county to county. Some states require ministers to register after they are ordained. In Louisiana, parishes ask for a letter of good standing from the church, while Las Vegas requires a four-page application and background check. Last year, about one in seven weddings were performed by a
friend of the couple, according to The Wedding Report, a research firm. Andre Hensley, president of the non-denominational Universal Life Church, which has been issuing ordination credentials since 1962, believes more couples are turning to friends because of the Internet, which makes the process easier, and because of many people’s lack of affiliation with a church. “I’ve gone to weddings where the ministers didn’t know the couple or anything about them. It didn’t have a special feeling,” said Hensley, who estimates that his church has ordained 18 million people. About 3,000 to 5,000 are ordained every month, a number that has steadily increased over the last 10 years, Hensley said. It takes about 24 hours for the church to process an ordination request, all of which are reviewed by a live person, he said. Janis Jones, a 27-year-old Chicago nurse, asked her older sister to perform her wedding this June. “Neither of us belong to a church, and we liked the idea of incorporating prayers and the religious aspect into the ceremony, but we didn’t want to be married by someone we don’t know at all and who didn’t know us,” said Jones, who has been dating her fiancé, Eric Strand, for six years. The couple turned to Jones’ sister, Vicky Rappatta, who
Please see ORDINATIONS, page 25
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The idea of getting married atop a roller coaster could be amusing to some couples.
More creative ways to get married
Many weddings adhere to tradition, with a big church wedding, a white gown and a bustling reception. Still, there are some couples who prefer to do something a bit unique and unconventional. They may choose to get married underwater or while skydiving. If a “creative” wedding is for you, here are some ideas to think about. • Prison wedding: A visit to an abandoned prison or haunted location may appeal to the couple with a taste for the macabre.
• Skydiving: The concept of taking the plunge takes on an entirely new meaning when jumping out of a plane at several thousand feet while reciting vows. • Life in the fast lane: Couples who are NASCAR fans can recite their vows and then take a spin at 200 mph around a neighborhood track. • Scuba diving: Some couples prefer to recite their vows with a few bubbles in between and marine life as their witnesses.
Please see CREATIVITY, page 25
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• Wedding of the “Stars”: Trekkies may want to recite vows while dressed in costume and speaking native Klingon, while Star Wars fans may want to do so with Storm Troopers attending the festivities. • Mountain climbing: Couples can reach new heights while scaling a mountainside and saying their “I do’s.”
CREATIVITY, from page twenty-three • Amused festivities: Some couples might prefer to get hitched while enjoying the ups and downs of their favorite roller coaster or other amusement park rides.
ORDINATIONS, from page twenty-one has been happily married for 10 years, has a background in writing and had always been a motherly figure to her younger sibling. “I was so honored and so moved that they wanted me to be such a huge part of their wedding. Now, I’m getting terrified,” joked Rappatta, who plans to write an original wedding prayer for the couple. Rappatta said she researched the legality of the ordination process, including checking with the county where her sister will be getting her marriage license. “The last thing I wanted to do was get a fake ordination,” said Rappatta, who got her credentials from American Marriage Ministries, whose website boasts “over 10,000 marriages performed!” Kirsten Nichols, whose Oc-
tober wedding was performed by her husband’s cousin, asked a co-worker who is an ordained minister to be on hand at the service — just in case. “If you find out after the fact that you are not legally married, it can definitely put a damper on things,” said Nichols, who lives in Montgomery County, Md. Nichols, who is Christian, and her husband, who was raised Muslim, wanted a spiritual ceremony that would “focus on us coming together under God, not on the fact that we are of two different faiths.” At Alexander’s lakeside wedding in Iowa, her ministerbridesmaid Raley also served as personal attendant, and helped decorate for the reception — all of which lent an air of comfort and familiarity to the ceremony. “It helped that she was the one standing up there for us,” said Alexander, a fourth-grade teacher who lives in Rockwell, Texas, outside Dallas. “I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.”
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There are many ways to remember a special loved one at a wedding without bringing down the mood of the event.
Respectful ways to honor a deceased parent
Weddings are supposed to be joyous events, which can make it difficult to honor a deceased parent. Doing so in a way that does not compromise the upbeat mood of the event can prove quite a challenge to prospective brides and grooms. The death of someone close is rarely easy to accept, especially when it happens close to a couple’s wedding day. But there are many ways couples can honor a deceased parent at their ceremony. • Light a candle at the ceremony for the deceased relative.
• Display pictures of the deceased with the wedding couple so that the memory of these people can be part of the festivities. • Set up a photo slide show that includes photos of the deceased. Choose poignant but upbeat music so that the moment is not overly somber. • Add a memorial line to the end of the wedding program. “Today we honor Mary Smith, mother of the bride who could not be with us today.”
Please see IN MEMORY OF, page 31
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• A bride who will not be able to walk down the aisle with her father can choose to do so with her mother or another relative and carry something that • Ask the pastor or officiant to belonged to their father. specifically mention the de• Display something that symbolceased in the wedding ceremoizes the person at the wedding, ny and offer a special prayer in such as a flag for a deceased that person’s name. veteran or an item that rep• Wear a piece of clothing or resents the person’s favorite jewelry that belonged to the dehobby. ceased, such as cufflinks from a • Leave an empty chair and place father or a veil from a mother. setting at the reception for the • Set up a table with a special person who could not be there. floral arrangement and photo • Dedicate a special song during with a placard that states, “In the reception in the person’s memory of ...” name.
IN MEMORY OF, from page twenty-nine
Tradition of throwing rice at weddings
There are many traditions for weddings that can be traced back thousands of years to early civilization. One enduring tradition is to throw rice at the newly betrothed. For the safety of birds and other animal life, rice has been switched to birdseed in recent times. Some wedding traditions are based on very real needs of ancient times. Others are based on superstitions or existing etiquette at the time they were initially practiced. Throwing rice remains a timeless tradition that many couples still enjoy. Everyone attending the wedding gets to participate in throwing rice, or whatever is being
used in lieu of rice, be it birdseed, confetti or even bubbles. Couples can even borrow from traditions in other countries. In France, people throw wheat, a symbol of bounty, after the ceremony. Italians toss candy and sugared nuts over couples, for sweetness in marriage. Rice was traditionally used to symbolize fertility and prosperity. Wheat was also very much used in ancient wedding ceremonies for the same reasons. When guests threw rice at the bride and groom at a wedding, they were symbolically wishing them a lifetime full of children and good
Please see RICE, page 33
RICE, from page thirty-one fortune. Some cultures even ate a meal of rice before the wedding to guarantee further prosperity. Different cultures have long harbored different perspectives on throwing rice. Some even believed it fed the evil spirits that, though uninvited, crashed the wedding. It was thought that well-fed spirits would not wreak
havoc on the happy day. Rice and wheat were also thought to represent virginity and wholesomeness by some. A virginal bride used to wear white and carried a stalk of wheat. Single women rushed after the bride hoping to get a few pieces of rice so they would be the next person to walk down the aisle. Despite its foundation in superstition, throwing rice has remained a staple of weddings today.
Seating plans for your wide array of wedding guests takes some thought
Everyone’s aware of the saying, “Opposites attract.” When it comes to couples, that’s often true. When it comes to wedding guests, that’s not necessarily so. Choosing the seating arrangements at a reception can be one of the more frustrating aspects of planning a wedding. Both bride and groom want their friends to mingle at the wedding, but they also want to ensure their friends and family get to spend some quality time with the people they already know, whom they might not have seen in awhile. When assigning seats for your recep-
tion, follow these tips to help lessen some of the stress: • Seat kids with their parents. If your guests are going to be bringing their children, seat the kids with their mother or father, especially if the kids are young. There is some leeway here, however, if many kids will be in attendance. If there are a handful of older children coming to the wedding, you can set up a kids table where they all sit together. They’ll probably have more fun at such a table.
Please see SEATING PLANS, page 34
• Consider location with elderly guests. Elderly guests should be seated away from the stage or speakers, and preferably in close proximity to a restroom. When • Keep age and interests in seating the elderly, try to make mind. Couples should try and things as easy as possible on keep people of similar ages them. and interests seated together. • Seat co-workers together. If For example, your parents’ you’re inviting coworkers to the elderly neighbors should not be wedding, seat them together. seated at the same table as your Chances are your coworkers former college roommates. don’t know many of your friends Instead, consider what guests and family, so seat them with might have in common and seat people they know so they’ll have them accordingly. If there are a better time. people who simply do not get along from a family riff, do seat them apart.
SEATING PLANS, from page thirty-three
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Your honeymoon takes planning, too
With all the planning and forethought that goes into a wedding, it can be easy for couples to overlook or at least procrastinate when it comes to their honeymoon. However, planning a successful honeymoon should be a priority for couples, as they’ll no doubt have earned a getaway and much more when the time finally arrives for them to depart on their trip. When planning a honeymoon, consider the following tips to ensure your well-deserved vacation provides all the rest and relaxation you’ll need: • Do your research. Wherever you will be spending your honeymoon, you’ll want to eat at the best restaurants and avoid any tourist traps that aren’t what they’ve advertised. Search online or ask friends and family who might have spent their honeymoons at the same resort. • Be prepared. Many couples like to spend a portion of their honeymoon exploring with just each other, as opposed to more tourist-focused attractions such as guided tours. That’s a great idea, but be sure to pack a daypack that includes local maps, a camera, a first aid kit in case of emergency, and even a couple of bottles of water.
• Ready yourself for jet lag. Most couples tend to travel to places in different time zones for their honeymoon. That can be a problem for sufferers of jet lag, and can result in an unfortunate lost day if honeymooners aren’t prepared. However, there are jet lag remedies that can help couples avoid the side effects of a time zone change, and remembering to stay hydrated can also help negate the side effects of traveling. • Label your luggage with distinctive tags or markings. Nothing can ruin a getaway more than losing your luggage. Unfortunately, the vast majority of luggage nowadays is black, making it hard to differentiate your luggage from that of your fellow travelers. To avoid losing your luggage, label it with distinctive markings, such as your initials. Or purchase luggage that isn’t black to lessen the likelihood of confusion at the baggage claim.
Chelsey Newcomb admires a beautiful gown at The Blushing Bride. Visit your The Blushing Bride and Merle Norman for a personalized bridal consultation. We’ll help select the ideal makeup shades to wear on your special day and show you how to maintain a blushingbridal glow through proper skin care. For a picture-perfect look, call for an Michael Church and Crystal Partin admireappointment a beautiful today! wedding gown, shown by Fran Kearney.
Visit your The Blushing Bride and Merle Norman for a personalized bridal consultation. We’ll help select the ideal makeup shades to wear on your spe521dayDabney Drive • Henderson • 438-3977 492-8018 cial and show you how to maintain a blushing-bridal glow•through proper skin care. -For a picture-perfect call for •anSaturday appointment10AM today! - 3 PM Monday Friday 10AM -look, 5:30PM
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521 Dabney Drive • Henderson • 438-3977 MondayIndependently - Friday 10 AM - 5:30 PM •and Saturday 10 AM - 3 PM owned operated Owner: Fran C. Kearney Independently owned and operated
Wedding cake trends this season
The multi-tiered cake is a favorite wedding tradition that’s often presented at the end of the night. The happy couple takes a slice and enjoys the first piece. In recent years, wedding cakes have become more of an artistic centerpiece than just a confectionery treat. Couples often seek out renowned wedding cake bakers for a cake that will amaze the crowd and complete the theme of the wedding. The average couple will spend between $700 to $800 for their wedding cake. Although many catering halls or reception sites will include the wedding cake in a package deal, many couples choose to order their cake from a specialty bakery who creates culinary masterpieces.
Black-and-white wedding cakes are one theme that couples routinely turn to for their dramatic flair and aesthetic appeal.
If television trends are any indication, many people are opting to spend several hundred to thousands of dollars on a customized wedding cake. These fondant and buttercream creations may be elaborate in nature, so much so they’ll likely need to be ordered several months in advance. Couples looking for something a bit different for their upcoming nuptials many want to consider these trends in wedding cakes: • 3-D accents on the cake, such as graphic appliques. • A lot of bold color in the cake, instead of just white or ivory. • Dramatic monograms that can add class to the cake. • A black-and-white motif that gives the cake a simplistic, yet trendy appeal. • Painted cakes with edible food coloring paint that feature beautiful landscapes or a portrait. A work of art, they’re both delicious to eat and fun to admire. • Cakes that mirror the style of the wedding gown, including fondant ruffles and appliques. Many couples still opt for the traditional, and that is always in style. Instead of experimenting with the outside of the cake, couples can be creative with cake flavor and fillings. Imagine cutting open the cake to find red velvet or a chocolate ganache filling!
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Your wedding day: look bridal beautiful
As the bride, you’ll be the center of attention come your wedding day. That’s why you spend an eternity looking for the perfect gown and accessories. You want to look flawless for your trip down the aisle and in the photos that will preserve the memory. Looking bridal beautiful doesn’t just involve the primping that occurs the day of the wedding. There are steps you should take well in advance of this momentous day to ensure you look your best. Here are skin care and other beauty tips to keep in mind. • Hair: Don’t make any radical style changes too close to your wedding. If you’re thinking about doing a chemical treatment — perming, relaxing or coloring — do so at least a month in advance so you’ll be able to get used to the look and handle any problems, such as breakage or awkward coloring, should they occur. • Teeth: You’ll be all smiles at your wedding, so prepare your teeth for their closeup. Consult with your dentist if you want to whiten your smile. He or she can do an in-office procedure to combat discoloring of the teeth. There are also many over-thecounter products available for do-ityourself whitening.
• Body: In an effort to look amazing in their wedding gowns, many brides-to-be engage in crash dieting. This is an unhealthy way to shed pounds. Rather, consider revamping your fitness plan a few months prior to the wedding. If budget permits, consult with a trainer to see how you can tone problem areas. A nutritionist can recommend a diet that will be healthy and keep you trim. A happy bride is one who looks and feels her best. One of the best beauty tips is to have fun at your wedding and make memories to last a lifetime. • Wedding prep: With the added stress surrounding your wedding, your skin may pay the price. Additional blemishes, breakouts and damage from tanning could occur. Plus, hours spent planning, running around and not getting a full night’s sleep could take their toll as well, resulting in tired, dull skin. In defense, don’t just grab any product off the supermarket shelf to revitalize your skin. • Honeymoon: Most honeymoons involve dashing off to tropical ports of call. Your skin is at risk for damage under the blazing rays of the sun. Remember to use a quality sunscreen at all times and cover up your face and head with a widebrimmed hat.
Pulling off a flawless first dance
Ballroom dancing’s popularity has increased in recent years and become a component of pop culture. Thank dance-inspired movies or the popular television shows “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Dancing With the Stars” for the revived interest, but enrollment in dancing classes has grown. Many are lining up to learn the fox trot, passa doble and waltz. Fans of ballroom dancing enjoy the social aspects as well as the physical benefits. They can gain confidence when mastering steps and also work toward a toned physique. Others take their enjoyment of ballroom dancing to their wedding day — brushing up on steps for a flawless first dance together. Weddings present many all-eyes-on-you moments, but at the reception none is more prominent than a couple’s first dance. Being prepared for this moment can calm some first-dance jitters and present a couple who is relaxed and ready for their life together. Because music and dancing are large components of the wedding day, practicing your songs of choice and brushing up on some dancing techniques will be beneficial. Consider these tips: • Choose a wedding song that is romantic but also has a steady beat to make following along easier. • First dance, mother-son, fatherdaughter, and any other special
songs should be kept to a two-tothree minute maximum each. Songs that are too long may end up boring guests. They can also make the dancers in the spotlight feel overly nervous. • Practice your chosen wedding song with your spouse-to-be. This way you can gauge the length of the song and figure out what steps you will use during the dance. Make sure your band or DJ plays the same version of the song so that you will not be caught off-guard. • Practice dancing to songs of different tempos so that you will be able to hold your own on the dance floor during the reception. Guests will expect to see the happy couple joining in the festivities. • If you feel your dancing skills are subpar, sign up for dancing lessons at a local studio. Five to 10 lessons should give you adequate knowledge of basic steps and help you look more confident on the dance floor. • Keep your calm whatever may happen. Remember, your guests won’t know what you’re planning in terms of dance numbers. You can easily cover up missteps if you remain calm and look confident. • Have fun! Looking too serious or intent on mastering steps can ruin the show for guests. You’re not being judged on your dance moves.
William McCann and Chelsey Newcomb brows Dot’s Hallmark with Bobby Tippett to help them choose the right Wedding Book for their upcoming wedding.
Dot's Hallmark offers a Unique line of Bridal Gifts for any Bridal Couple! Stop by today and check out our large selection of Gifts!
Dot’s Hallmark 1255 Dabney Dr. (Henderson Mall)
Mothers of the bride and groom should sparkle, but never outshine the bride
Whether you’re the mother of the bride or the groom, it goes without saying that you want to look your best on your child’s wedding day. While tradition offers guidelines for choosing appropriate wedding attire for mothers of brides and grooms, choices abound. The most important rule of thumb for mothers is to follow the couple’s cues about the style and tone of their nuptials. Before purchasing an ensemble for the big day, talk with the bride and groom about their vision for the wedding. It’s also a good idea for mothers to postpone purchasing their own wedding attire until the bride has selected her wedding dress and those of her attendants. It may also be useful to know if the couple has selected a color scheme for their wedding. These decisions will be helpful in determining the style, colors and level of formality that will be appropriate for the mothers. Mothers’ dresses should complement the attire of the wedding party, but do not have to match the bridesmaids, the wedding colors or each other. In fact, the only color that is off limits is white, which is reserved for the bride. While wearing black to weddings is gaining popularity, it is not a common color for mothers — particularly the mother of the bride.
In general, mother-of-the-bride and mother-of-the-groom dresses tend to be solid colors rather than intricate prints, which can be distracting and look out of place in photos. Traditionally, the mother of the bride selects her dress first, and the mother of the groom then chooses something similar in style. If either mother has questions about their choice of wedding attire, they should consult the bride. Clear communication between the mothers or between each mother and the bride will not only make the shopping process both pleasant and productive, but will ensure that one mother doesn’t “outdo” or overshadow the other. When looking for that perfect dress — whether it’s a floor-length gown or a flowing cocktail dress — stick with styles that flatter your figure and enhance your best features. Since your children’s wedding photos will be viewed — and may even be on display — for many years to come, choose a style that photographs well and a color that works well with your skin tone and won’t get “washed out” by the camera. Also, keep in mind that while you will be one of the leading ladies at the wedding, your attire should never compete with or draw attention away from the person with the starring role in the production — the bride.
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Hiring a wedding consultant can save you time and stress
You have just gotten engaged and your brain is swarming with all of the future plans you will soon be making. Perhaps you’ve already started dreaming about your perfect wedding — or maybe you have had ideas since you were young. Although your wedding is special and unique to you, if you marry during popular wedding months you will soon find you’re competing with many other couples for the perfect location, DJ, photographer, limousine service, and so much more. Hiring an experienced wedding consultant could be a very smart move, saving you time and stress where wedding planning is concerned. In today’s wedding market, there are many independent wedding consultants whose No. 1 priority is helping brides- and grooms-to-be navigate the often confusing world of wedding details. There are also wedding consultants who are tied to particular reception venues and may offer abbreviated services, which can still be of much help. Once thought of as a luxury for the wealthy, hiring a wedding consultant can actually be an economically smart
decision. A professional plans weddings for a living and will know the ins and outs of the process, including where to get the best deals. One of the biggest advantages to hiring a wedding planner is having a person available who can answer all of your questions and be on call whenever one of these questions may surface. A wedding consultant doesn’t control your plans, but simply ensures they are moving along smoothly. He or she understands that brides are busier than ever these days with careers and even families, and may not have all the free time in the world to sit and plan their wedding. Therefore the consultant serves as a “project manager” and ensures that no detail is overlooked. He or she may touch base with vendors to make sure everything is moving according to schedule, and likely guides the bride and groom on some decisions. When you plan ahead and hire a wedding consultant, you help ensure that some stress has been lifted and you can enjoy all of the nuances of your special day.
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The right theme can spice up your wedding
Many prospective couples want their wedding to be unique, in an effort to bring even more excitement to their memorable day. Some adventurous couples have said their “I dos” underwater, decked out in full wedding regalia — and a scuba tank. Others have plunged out of airplanes and committed to one another in a free-fall beneath the clouds. Yet, if you want something different, but not so “exotic,” you could try a theme wedding. Brides magazine have predicted that theme weddings will be a fast-growing trend. Limited only by your own imagination, themes can run the gamut from fairy tale to western to ethnocentric. If you’re considering a theme for your event, here are some ideas to get you on the right track. Determining your theme
Discuss your collective interests with your future spouse. It will be a good jump-start for determining a theme that appeals to you both. Themes can be as basic or as creative as you’d like. For example, if your wedding day is during an autumn month, a natural theme is a harvest wedding, replete with ripe pumpkins, corn husks, orangehued decor and fresh apple cider. Or, play upon your heritage and
culture. Incorporate native dances, embellishments and menu items into your ceremony and reception for a day that is not only memorable, but dear to older generations. If you’ve always been a fan of Disney flicks but can’t make it to Walt Disney World, consider throwing a Cinderella-themed wedding instead. Ride to the ceremony in a horse-drawn carriage. Wear dainty glass-slipper-inspired shoes with your billowing ball gown. And ensure that your future husband is an enchanting Prince Charming. Eye for detail
Feel free to get extravagant with the details of your theme wedding. After all, the decor, wardrobe and special touches you include will help solidify the theme. Some items to consider: • Use coordinating accessories. Repetition of a common element is a simple way to carry out your theme. If you want a butterfly wedding, use pillar candles with butterfly accents and napkin rings adorned with butterflies, and hang delicate twinkle lights to simulate butterflies in flight. • Involve your guests. While it’s fun for you and the wedding
Please see THEMES, page 48
THEMES, from page forty-seven party to be swept up in the theme, don’t forget to include your guests in the festivities. A Renaissance wedding may inspire guests to dress in period clothing. Word invitations and seating cards in Old English to keep the tone of the celebration consistent. However, remember that not all guests may want to don a corset or carry a sword to the festivities! Keep participation voluntary and everyone will be smiling. • Expect naysayers. Some
family members or friends may not be receptive to your theme idea. Express that it is your big day and you reserve the right to have the party you desire — especially if you’re paying for the event. To keep the peace, try to incorporate some traditional elements where possible. Your theme wedding is certain to be memorable and will certainly be talked about for a while if done right. While a wedding is the beginning of a serious, life-changing event called marriage, there’s no reason it shouldn’t be as fun, extravagant or exotic as you’d like. So have fun with themes and get those creative juices flowing!
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The countdown commences.... To help you get a better understanding of how to plan a wedding and when you should be making certain decisions, here’s a time frame you can follow that should ensure that your wedding goes off as smoothly as possible.
10-12 months in advance
If you haven’t done it already, this is a good time to announce your engagement and introduce your respective families. Since most reception halls and churches have busy wedding schedules, it is also important to book both as early as possible, preferably at least a year in advance of your wedding day. It’s also a good idea to start putting together a guest list around this time and ask your parents whom they’d like to invite as well. Also, since your budget will determine just about every aspect of your wedding, sitting down and determining what you can spend, and developing a savings plan should be first and foremost. 6-9 months in advance
This is the time when you want to start booking some services, such as a florist, caterer, a DJ/band, and a photographer. However, some of the more experienced DJs and bands as well as photographers might have their schedules booked a year in advance, so this might be something you’ll want to consider doing shortly after you get engaged
and choose a date. Also, this is a good time to inform any guests who will be traveling significant distances of the date of your wedding. The earlier your guests can book a flight, the less expensive that flight will be. This is also a good time to order gowns for both the bride and bridesmaids, as some manufacturers require a few months to ship to bridal shops. You might want to ask someone such as your priest or rabbi to be the officiant of your wedding. And much like out-of-town guests will save travel dollars the earlier they learn of your wedding date, you will likely save money, too, if you book your honeymoon around this time.
4-5 months in advance
This is a good time to decide on wedding invitations, of which there are many styles to choose from. Also, now is ideal to start hunting for a wedding cake by sampling a number of different bakeries and their style of cakes before ultimately making a decision. Just to be sure, confirm that all of the bridesmaids have ordered their gowns and start looking for a tuxedo for the groom as well as the groomsmen. If you haven’t done so already, purchase your wedding rings and let any other people you’d like to participate in your wedding (ushers, readers during
Please see COUNTDOWN, page 51
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COUNTDOWN, from page forty-nine
a good time to order any food or drinks you might want to serve that night, or make a restaurant reservation.
the ceremony, etc.) know of your intentions.
3-4 weeks in advance
2-3 month in advance
Finalize your guest list and mail out your invitations. If your guest list includes a considerable number of people who are spread out geographically, mail the invitations as close to 12 weeks in advance as possible. This is also a good time to finalize your menu choices for your guests, and find all your wedding accessories such as the ring pillow, candles, etc. Also, since it is tradition to provide gifts for those in the wedding party as well as the parents of the bride and groom, this is a good time to decide on and purchase those gifts. Just to be safe, confirm that all groomsmen have ordered their tuxedos and finalize all transportation, both to and from the wedding and to the airport for your honeymoon. 1-2 months in advance
Schedule the first bridal-gown fitting. Also finalize the readings you’d prefer during the ceremony and mail them out to anyone who has agreed to do a reading. If your family prefers to host a small gathering for close family and friends after the wedding rehearsal on the night before the wedding, this is
Confirm your honeymoon arrangements and see if your wedding rings are ready. This is also when you should get your marriage license and check the guest list to see who has and hasn’t RSVP’d. For those who have yet to RSVP, you might want to contact them so you can get a closer idea of what the head count will be. You should also prepare and order your wedding program around this time. 1-2 weeks in advance
Get a final attendance count and submit it to the caterer as soon as you know can, while also providing a final seating chart. Pick up the wedding gown and tuxedo. Make sure the wedding party members picks up their attire. Also, finalize your vows and confirm all wedding-day details such as transportation, photo schedules and addresses. And don’t forget to pack for your honeymoon. The day before
This is mainly when you rehearse for the ceremony and make any final confirmations you might have to make. Also, make sure to get some sleep so you’ll look good in all of your wedding-day photos.
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The Cake Lady 919-339-4551
209 BROAD STREET â€˘ OXFORD, NC We are a specialty dessert and cake shop/Deli Specializing in decadent cakes, cream pies, many individual dessert, birthday cakes, special occasion cakes and wedding cakes. All occasion cakes, pies, desserts.
Open 10AM - 6PM Tuesday - Saturday Closed Sunday-Monday www.thecakeladyoxfordnc.com