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The Waushara Argus

Bridal Guide

Special Supplement - Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Flowers are our Specialty

Waushara Argus, Wednesday, February 13, 2013, Page 2

From the ceremony...to the reception... we guarantee your flowers will create the perfect setting for your day

Pioneer Floral & Greenhouse 323 E. Main St., Wautoma

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Waushara Argus, Wednesday, February 13, 2013, Page 3

Some relaxation for the stressed-out bride to be

Jeff Martz & Sara Marouszek August 4, 2012

Tradition behind tossing rice Once a couple has been married, tradition states that they be covered with tossed rice upon exiting the ceremony. The idea of throwing rice began during the Middle Ages, when rice symbolized fertility. Rice was tossed at the married couple in the hopes they would have many children and be blessed with prosperity as

a family. A false rumor spread that rice was harmful to birds who would eat the discarded rice and explode, so many people now use birdseed or rose petals as alternatives. However, rest assured that the rice myth has been debunked by The Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Getting married can create a great deal of stress for the bride to be. As a friend, you’re in a good position to see that. So here is a gift to offer her during her engagement party or her hen party: a bridal spa package. Of course these days more and more couples already live together before they get married, which greatly reduces the list of gift ideas — no need for toasters and pots and pans! A day at the spa is an ideal gift that will give her some peace and relaxation before the big day. Here is a brief overview of what spas can offer you. If you want to accompany the future bride while she’s recharging her batteries, opt for a spa that offers different thermal baths. Your friend can start the day with a complete body scrub followed by a wrap treatment. After this, an esthetician could give her a facial that will make her skin radiant just in time for her wedding. Of course, you

shouldn’t forget a hand and foot treatment and, as a final touch, a relaxing massage. Thinking along the same lines, you could also choose a relaxation and beauty package that would consist of two separate visits. During the first visit, she would receive a body scrub followed by a hot wax body hair removal, ma­ king her skin feel like silk. After this, she could benefit from a massage and a trial make­­up session. Her second visit could include hand care, a foot massage, a manicure, a pedicure, as well as a complete makeup session. This type of gift is really appreciated by most wo­men and is great for a group. What’s more, you won’t have to worry if your gift will be appreciated or useful. Every woman loves to be pampered and feel like a princess, especially a few days before her wedding!

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Waushara Argus, Wednesday, February 13, 2013, Page 4

Tips for writing your own wedding vows

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A wedding is a oncein-a-lifetime event for many couples, so brides and grooms wish for the event to be momentous and memorable. As such, couples are increasingly integrating personal nuances into their ceremonies and receptions to tailor weddings to their unique visions. The desire to include personalized wedding vows continues to be a popular trend. If you are considering personalized wedding vows, first realize that it may not be a simple task. That’s because you want the message conveyed to be dear to your heart, and that can be challenging when faced with the pressures and planning of the rest of the wedding. That isn’t to say that writing your own vows is impossible. Here are some guidelines for personalizing your ceremony with your own sentiments. •Schedule time for writing. Amid the bustle of dress

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fittings and interviews with photographers, it can be easy to put off the important task of writing vows for another day. But as any great writer can attest, it takes writing -- and rewriting -- to achieve a finished product you can be proud of. Give the task of writing your vows your undivided attention. Mark it in on your calendar or set a reminder on your computer just as you would any other appointment. •Be aware of ceremony guidelines. It is best to check with your officiant and confirm that personalized wedding vows are allowed. During civil ceremonies it’s often acceptable to customize vows as you see fit. However, during religious ceremonies there may be lines of scripture that need to be read or certain passages required. Before you spend hours working on the task, be sure that it is allowed and that your spouse and you are on the same page. •Jot down your feelings. Answer some questions about what marriage means to you and how you feel about your spouse. Try to avoid trite sayings and think from your heart and personal experiences. Think about what is the most important thing you want to promise to your future partner. These notes can serve as the starting points for the actual vows. •Read inspirational writings. Perhaps there is an author or a poet who inspires you? You can quote certain writers in your vows or let the tone of their works help shape the words of your vows. There also are suggested wedding readings and other quotes about marriage readily

available at the library or with a quick search online. •Decide on a tone. Although the day is based on love and affection, you may not feel comfortable spouting words of adoration in front of friends and family. Feel free to tap into your unique personality. Humor can be used if it aligns with the way you normally express your affections. Be sure to weave this tone into more traditional passages to create a cohesive expression of your feelings. •Establish an outline. Put together all of the words and phrases you’ve jotted down into an outline to help you organize the flow of the vows, using these words as a blueprint for the vows and building upon them. Make sure the vows will be concise. Aim for your entire speech to be around 1 minute in length to keep everyone engaged and the ceremony moving along. •Put everything together. Draft your vows and then practice them by reading out loud. You want to avoid long sentences or anything that trips you up. Although large words may sound impressive, they could make the vows seem too academic and not necessarily heartfelt. Enlist the help of a friend or two to act as your audience to see if the vows sound good and are easily understandable. Writing your own vows can be a way to include personal expressions of love into a couple’s wedding day. Public speaking is seldom easy, nor is finding the perfect words to convey feelings about a future spouse. However, with some practice and inspiration, anyone can draft personalized vows

Waushara Argus, Wednesday, February 13, 2013, Page 5

Unforgettable Receptions ...we’ll create one just for you...

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Marsha Protokowicz & Joey Rosin June 23, 2012

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Waushara Argus, Wednesday, February 13, 2013, Page 6

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The top ten wedding to-do’s He has finally proposed? Then your top priority is to do a bit of bragging and tell everyone the good news! Once your initial excitement has calmed down a touch, though, you’ll have to take time to do some serious thinking. There are so many details to plan, a budget to draw up, and deadlines to be met: it seems so overwhelming. If you are finding it hard to get some traction and launch your wedding planning, here are ten tips to give you some direction and help you get moving. 1. Establish your budget per guest. In fact, this is the perfect time to draw up your guest list. 2. Order your invitations, being careful to include your names, the date, time, and place of the wedding and reception, as well as the date by which you need to receive replies. Being clear about this will help you save a lot of precious time and money. Be sure to include stamped, addressed envelopes if you can. 3. The reception hall is often one of the biggest expenses, so be sure to reserve one as quickly as possible. If you want to keep expenses down, think about holding the reception at a family home or in a garden. 4. Creating a good atmo-

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sphere is just as important as choosing a caterer, although you don’t want to skimp on food either. To cut costs, consider serving fewer courses, with a focus on excellent quality instead of quantity. 5. Make up or order wedding favours for your guests. These are put with their place setting or offered at the end of the reception. Let your imagination run wild: you could offer small homemade soaps, candles, local produce in mini format, bath pearls, or small boxes of candies. It can also be fun to have a “retro” favour, such as a pack of matches with the bride and groom’s names embossed on the matchbook cover. 6. Give yourself enough time to find a wedding gown that really suits your personality. It is also possible to rent a dress for the occasion, much as your beloved can buy or rent his tuxedo. 7. Book your hair, makeup, esthetician, and manicure appointments several weeks before the wedding. If possible, plan a test run. 8. Put all your heart into writing down the vows that you would like to make during the marriage ceremony. If you plan to make a speech at the reception, be sure to get that down in writing as well. 9. Plan the reception down to the last detail: create the atmosphere you like

with suitable music, entertainment, and a décor that matches your personality. (Don’t forget to decorate the bathrooms, a place everyone will see at some point!) 10. Organize your honeymoon so that you can celebrate your new life together. And while we’re talking weddings, here are a few other tips to keep in mind: •Avoid giving important jobs to the parents of the bride and groom — unless they really want to be involved that way. Instead, let them enjoy being with the guests. •If you intend to create a gift list, be sure to put it on the Internet so that it will be easily accessible to everyone. •If small children will be at the reception, plan to have a space available where they can play and a quiet room where they can sleep. •Take photographs of your hair and makeup test runs so you can choose the perfect combination when you’re well rested. Prepare a make-up kit for any touch-up jobs on your big day. •Leave a guest book at the entrance of the reception hall. It’s a great souvenir to keep, along with your photo album. - Leave a disposable camera on every table so that guests can record magical moments during the reception.

Roles of the best man and maid of honor

Being chosen as a best man or a maid of honor is a significant and meaningful honor. Those roles have evolved over the years, but these special participants must still perform some of the traditional duties of the past, including serving as the official witnesses to the ceremony. The following is a rundown of the various duties maids of honor and best men are now expected to handle once they’re chosen for these distinguished honors. Prior to the wedding Before the wedding takes place, the maid of honor will closely assist the bride-to-be with many of the important decisions related to the look and the feel of the wedding. She typically accompanies the bride to dress shops to select gowns for the bride and bridesmaids. Much in the same manner, the best man will assist the groom-to-be with choosing tuxedoes or suits and also with coordinating with the ushers to ensure they know when to go for fittings. Although the best man will serve as a sounding board for the groom, traditionally the bride and her bridesmaids

have taken on the majority of the wedding planning, so the maid of honor can expect to play a larger role than the best man. The maid of honor may be asked to delegate certain assignments, such as helping to find wedding vendors or addressing invitations. She may go with the bride for makeup and hairstyle trials. Together with the bridesmaids, she will plan a bridal shower party and a bachelorette excursion. She may select a wedding gift for the couple and present it on behalf of all the wedding attendants. The best man will coordinate the bachelor party and may be asked to assist the groom with selecting a honeymoon site or to come along to book the trip. Wedding day On the day of the wedding, the maid of honor and the best man will act as a support system for the bride and groom. The maid of honor will help the bride get dressed and help iron out any mini-emergencies that should crop up. The best man will help ensure all of the ushers are dressed and get the groom to the wedding on time.

Waushara Argus, Wednesday, February 13, 2013, Page 7

During the ceremony, the maid of honor will hold the bride’s bouquet while she participates in the wedding. The best man will keep the rings safe until they are needed. The maid of honor also will help adjust the bride’s train and veil as she sits and stands during the ceremony. Both will sign the marriage certificate as witnesses. At the reception, the best man is expected to give a toast and the maid of honor may share some words as well. She also may accompany the bride to the restroom and assist her with managing the gown.

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After the wedding The best man will be in charge of returning the tuxedoes to the rental shop, if necessary. He also may drive the newly married couple to the airport so they can depart on their honeymoon. The maid of honor will assist the bride in changing out of her gown and into her travel clothes. Oftentimes the maid of honor takes the gown to the cleaners in the days following the ceremony so the dress can be preserved.

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Make guests feel special with these extra touches Wedding receptions run the gamut from small, intimate gatherings in a restaurant to large spectacles featuring hundreds of guests inside a banquet hall. At the heart of any wedding reception is the desire to present a memorable party for all in attendance. That being said, there are some steps couples can take to add extra indulgence to wedding receptions and really set them apart from the mundane. With the average cost of weddings now teetering around $28,000, couples certainly are pulling out expensive stops to treat guests to a good party. Although some may argue that spending tens of thousands of dollars on a one-time event is preposterous, there are scores of couples who want to splurge on an event that (hopefully) will be a once-ina-lifetime occurrence. With this in mind, many want to add special touches to the wedding that will show guests how much they are appreciated and to make their celebration different from previous weddings. Here are some ways to do just that. * Valet parking: Most wedding venues provide on-site valet parking. However, if you’re using a restaurant or banquet hall that does not provide this service, you can hire a valet company to do the parking for guests. While you will be whisked to and fro in the back of a limousine, guests will

have to do their own driving. Being able to exit the car right in front of the venue and not worry about finding a parking space will be convenient for guests. •Emergency toiletries baskets: Rather than spending money on an extra floral arrangement for the men’s and women’s restrooms, purchase items that can be grouped into a handy basket. For women, include items such as extra pairs of stockings, spray deodorant, sanitary items, and sewing kits. For men, mints or mouthwash, dental floss, cologne, and stain removal pens may come in handy. In the event that a minor mishap occurs during the wedding, guests will have items at their disposal to remedy it. •Specialty courses: In addition to the cocktail hour and the main meal, you may be able to arrange specialty stations for guests with particular palates or interests. Some couples like to have a cigar smoking area or you can offer specialty cocktails. When ethnic customs are included in a wedding, menu items can be geared around native dishes. Candy and dessert bars are also popular to have at weddings, particularly if children are invited. A flambe dessert presentation is both a spectacle and a treat. •Overnight accommodations: For the wedding that will run into the wee hours of the morning, offer guests a

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place to stay nearby to remove the hassle of driving home at a late hour. Some reception halls have arrangements with nearby hotels. For those that don’t, negotiate a discounted rate for wedding guests. Many do and will set aside a block of rooms for your event with a discount code. You may want to treat guests who choose to stay over to a complementary breakfast the next day as one final show of appreciation. •Special seating: Guests who may have mobility issues or difficulty hearing may appreciate being seated in certain spots for convenience. Seat the elderly or handicapped close to the exits and the restrooms if possible. When choosing a reception room, confirm the distance to the restrooms to make it convenient for those who may not be able to walk far. Those who may be sensitive to the music can be seated away from the speakers. And of course, every attempt should be made to seat individuals who may have conflicts with others away from one another. •Birthday and anniversary mentions: You can notify the band or deejay of any guests in attendance who may be celebrating their own special events on your wedding day or in close proximity. There are many extra touches you can take as a couple to make guests feel welcomed and important at your wedding.

Waushara Argus, Wednesday, February 13, 2013, Page 9

Wedding day survival kit

Alissa Sie & Seth Boersma June 24, 2012

If you feel your stress level rising at the mere thought of your upcoming wedding, imagine what it will be like on the big day. Of course you want your wedding day to be fabulous, and the best way to ensure that is to be prepared for every eventuality. Here are a few things to pack and have on hand for the big day: •Makeup kit and makeup removal pads •Pocket mirror •Glue for false nails and eye lashes •Pre-moistened wipes, deodorant, and lip balm •A toothbrush, toothpaste, and breath mints (avoid chewing gum, especially during the photo session!) •Transparent nail polish, nail file, and nail polish remover •An extra pair of glasses or contact lenses, including the case and lens solution. •Tampons •Curling iron, hair straightener, or hot rollers

•Bobby pins (to control rebellious curls and to affix your veil) •White and black thread, sewing needles, safety pins, and a pair of scissors (for clothing repairs) •Iron and ironing board •Extra pair of pantyhose •Pair of ballerina shoes (for the end of the evening when your feet ache after all that dancing!) •Tissues as well as acetaminophen or ibuprofen (for unexpected headaches) •Super glue or something similar, masking tape, and transparent adhesive tape •Finally, because you know just what your man is capable of, include a pair of black socks in case he had the bright idea of wearing white sports socks with his tux! Collect all these things in one spot before the wedding day. Why not use one of your grandmother’s magnificent hat boxes or that travel bag you spotted in your favourite store?

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Waushara Argus, Wednesday, February 13, 2013, Page 10

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Find a gown they all will love Close friends and family members are an important component of a couple’s wedding day. Individuals who are especially close to the bride and groom are often asked to become members of the wedding party, which means a bride-to-be will be asking one or more women to play an integral role in the celebration. To set these ladies apart from other guests at the wedding, they are often asked to wear coordinating bridesmaid gowns. Selecting a style and color that is fitting to the unique people of the bridal party can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. As if choosing your maid of honor wasn’t tricky enough, you now must make a host of other decisions as well, all while playing stylist to the wedding party. Fashion sense is as unique as a fingerprint, and it is unlikely the bridesmaids will be able to agree on every aspect of the gowns they will be asked to wear. However, there are ways to narrow down the choices and be as accommodating as possible to their needs. Size matters The body shapes and sizes of the women in your bridal party will be different, and this should be kept in mind when selecting a gown style and cut. There are certain dress shapes that are universally flattering, such as A-line. Try to avoid gowns that are extremely form-fitting, as only a few of the bridesmaids may be able to pull off this look successfully. The remainder

could be left feeling selfconscious and uncomfortable. Plus, form-fitting clothing will be restrictive and can be difficult to move around in -- particularly considering the gown will be worn for an entire day. Flattering Color As a bride you may have a colorscape in your mind for the wedding. But what looks good in table linens and flowers is not always the right choice for clothing. Take the skin tones and hair colors of your bridesmaids into consideration before choosing a dress. Green- and yellowhued dresses may not look nice on women with olive skin tones, while very pale colors may wash out women with fair skin. Price Tag It is an honor to be asked to be part of a bridal party, but that honor can be very expensive. The bridesmaids are expected to pay for their wardrobe, hair styling, and makeup, as well as parties and gifts for the happy couple. As a courtesy to the women who already will be investing a considerable amount to be a part of your wedding, make every effort to select a gown that is affordable. Other Tips Once you’ve decided on the basic elements, consider the following suggestions to find a gown that the bridal party will enjoy.

•Take one or two bridesmaids shopping with you. Try to select ones with opposite body types so you can see how the gown looks on a woman who is thin and one who may be more fullfigured. •Think about choosing separates. The bridesmaids can mix and match tops and bottoms to find a fit that works. This may enable a woman with a larger bust size to select a top with supportive straps while another bridesmaid can opt for strapless. Many stores have increased their inventory of separates because of their growing popularity. •Choose one color and then let the bridesmaids choose the style they like the best for themselves. The look will still be cohesive, but it won’t be boring with one type of gown. Also, each bridesmaid will be comfortable with a gown that flatters her shape. •Go with a tea-length gown. These gowns have become quite trendy and are less formal and cumbersome than full-length gowns. Plus, there is a greater likelihood that the gown can be used again at a later date. •Purchase the bridesmaid gowns at the same store where you will be purchasing your wedding gown. Most shops will offer a courtesy discount if the bridesmaid gowns are purchased at the same store.

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Waushara Argus, Wednesday, February 13, 2013, Page 11

Did you know? For decades the month of June held firm as the most popular month for weddings. But statistics now indicate that there may be shifting preferences in the time of the year for marriages. According to The National Center for Health Statistics, July and August are now the most popular months for tying the knot in the United States. September and October have also gained momentum as premier months. Explanations for this shift vary, but it may have something to do with changing weather patterns and warmer weather now arriving later in the season than in the past. Also, getting married later in the year may make it easier for couples to secure their first choice of wedding venues.

Brianna Alyssa Daberkow & Christopher John Kotolski October 6, 2012

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Featuring a Completely renovated dance hall in 2012, 250 people capacity, main floor and upper balcony overlooking dance floor, A separate stage for your entertainment or head table. Includes tables, chairs, bar, and bartending staff, you must provide your own caterer/food and cake decorator. We are the most competitive priced in the area. Give the owner’s Doug (920)229-1423 or Connie (608) 403-6350 a call or come on down and check us out or visit us on Facebook http://facebook.com/djscornerbar.

Blader’s Dakota Inn Let our newly designed banquet hall create the perfect spot to host your •Wedding •Bachelor Party •Bridal Shower •Business Meeting •Birthday •Anniversary Accommodating up to 300 guests. Plus two full service bars.

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Waushara Argus, Wednesday, February 13, 2013, Page 12

Redgranite Lions Hall

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For Booking Call 920-566-4683 Leave Message

Variety is the spice of life with wedding cuisine

Weddings are a celebration wherein guests look forward to the reception as much as the actual ceremony, and the food served at the wedding is often hotly anticipated. Wedding receptions feature a bevy of different foods to tempt the palates of those in attendance. From appetizers served during the cocktail hour to the last crumb of cake, food plays a big role in a wedding reception. Choosing foods for a reception can take a little forethought, especially when the wedding party is especially large. The following are a few suggestions to ensure most guests are happy with the menu selections. The first rule of thumb is variety. As much as budget allows, give guests the choice over what they dine on. During the cocktail hour -- if there is one -- couples can play with many different tastes and offerings. For those who want to be creative, this is the time to do so. Exotic flavors can be served alongside more traditional offerings that guests

recognize. For example, offer Asian fusion appetizers that may have spice alongside more traditional items, like miniature quiches.

During the main course of the meal, give guests a few options. Most catering facilities will offer suggestions in their meal packages. Couples can typically choose to offer a meat dish, a poultry and a seafood. It is important for couples to recognize that many people have food allergies or are on restricted diets. While it may not be possible to provide for everyone’s specific requirements, it is possible to make some accommodations Couples who have the environment in mind can choose to serve organic foods and look to catering facilities that purchase foods from local vendors and farms. If a banquet hall does not make such concessions, ask if specialty items that benefit organic and local food producers can be brought in. Some caterers will be happy to make the change, but it will likely affect the cost

of the wedding package to do so. Food and drink will be some of the most costly portions of a wedding, and couples who are interested in keeping costs down can still offer quality foods if they make some changes. Varying the time of day that the wedding is held can enable a brunch or luncheon wedding to take place. These foods are often less expensive and labor-intensive to prepare, and therefore the cost savings are passed down to the bride and groom. Some couples opt for a cocktail and hors d���oeuvreonly reception -- which should clearly be indicated on the invitation so that guests can plan accordingly. An informal wedding may feature only a selection of desserts and specialty liquors. This may be the least expensive option. Food is an important factor at a wedding and it is in a couple’s best interest to ensure that the food served is tasty, full of variety and acceptable to the majority of the guests who will be attending the reception.

Before you make your vows, we’d like to make a few. Boarders Inn & Suites Wedding Specials

It’s the most important day of your lives and we vow to help make it even more special. Our lobby and hospitality rooms are great for social gatherings before or after the ceremony. Guests will enjoy our extra-quiet rooms and the pool is always inviting. We’ve put together other great amenities to make your day perfect. Group rates available. Call for details! • Suites with fireplaces and whirlpools • Use of community room for gift opening • Complimentary breakfast • Inviting pool and whirlpool

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Save-the-date card etiquette

Waushara Argus, Wednesday, February 13, 2013, Page 13

Abby Kessenich & Nathaniel Huck December 29, 2012

More and more couples planning to walk down the aisle are embracing savethe-date cards to give guests adequate notice that there is a party on the horizon. Save-the-date cards do more than let guests know when you’re getting hitched. The cards are a preliminary way to keep guests informed and let them know they are, in fact, on the guest list. These cards haven’t always been so popular, but have risen in popularity due to longer engagement periods, a growing number of destination weddings and the growing number of couples with guests from all over the country, if not the world. Considering people often plan business trips, vacations and other excursions several months in advance, save-the-date cards help secure a greater number of attendees at your wedding. S a v e - t h e - d a t e announcements can vary in many ways. They may be postcards or magnets that can be attached to a refrigerator door. If you desire a cohesive theme to your wedding stationery, select the save-thedate cards at the same time you choose your wedding

invitations. This way you can ensure that either the patterns, fonts, colors, or style of the cards will match. It will also help convey the tone of the wedding. Guests often take their cues regarding the level of formality of the wedding from the type of stationery couples choose. When to send out the savethe-date announcements is important as well. As a general rule of thumb, it is wise to mail out the cards 6 months in advance for a standard wedding. If the wedding requires travel or extended overnight accommodations, you may want to mail them out 8 months to a year in advance to give guests the time to investigate flight costs and hotel arrangements. Be sure to make your guest list in advance of sending out save-the-date cards. Everyone who receives a card should also be sent an invitation prior to the wedding. Remember to include any members of your planned wedding party in the list of recipients. Just because a person has verbally confirmed attendance at your wedding doesn’t mean they should be excluded from subsequent announcements. Guests may

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talk to one another and it is best to avoid hurt feelings and any added drama before the wedding by treating everyone equally. Be sure to include the wedding date, your names and the location of the wedding on the save-the-date cards. You do not need to offer RSVP information or detailed specifics at this time. You may want to include a Web site URL on the card so guests can check it frequently for updates on wedding information. Be sure to also include that a formal invitation will follow at a later date. You do not want to cause confusion by having guests think that the save-the-date card is the actual invitation. Also, make sure you address the save-thedate cards correctly to show your intentions with respect to guest invites. For example, be clear about whether children will be invited and whether a boyfriend/girlfriend or another guest can tag along. Although save-the-date cards are not a necessity, they have become a popular part of wedding planning to eliminate confusion about invitations as well as help guests plan time off for your wedding.

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Here’s to you - tips for a great best man toast

Waushara Argus, Wednesday, February 13, 2013, Page 14

The best man toast can be one of the most memorable parts of a couple’s wedding. Sometimes a toast is memorable for its humor and heartfelt sense of appreciation for the groom and his bride, while other toasts are more memorable for all the wrong reasons. One of the reasons best man toasts can be so unpredictable is that giving a best man toast is such a unique experience. It’s something many men never do, while those who do give a best man toast may only do it once in a lifetime. It’s understandable to be nervous when asked to give a best man toast, but there are a few tricks of the trade a best man can employ to calm those nerves and ensure his toast is memorable for all the right reasons. •Practice makes perfect. Few people are capable of standing in front of a crowd of people and speaking off the cuff. A best man should take this into account and practice his speech before the big day. A spur-of-the-moment speech

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may provide an adrenaline rush, but such an endeavor may come off as if you didn’t care enough to put the effort into writing a thoughtful toast ahead of time. In addition, practicing the toast once it’s been written will make you feel more comfortable and confident in front of the crowd. If possible, practice in front of a friend or family member so you can solicit feedback. A friend or relative might be able to help you fine-tune the speech, which in turn can calm your nerves once you’re handed the microphone. •Avoid alcohol. Getting liquored up prior to your toast is a recipe for disaster. Though it may seem like a good idea to employ alcohol to calm your nerves and lower your inhibitions, it’s not a good idea. Consuming alcohol before your toast increases the chance that you will end up embarrassing the bride and groom as well as yourself. •Get to the point. Men and women who have attended their fair share of wedding receptions no doubt have sat

through a long-winded toast from the best man or maid of honor. Such toasts can bring a festive reception to a grinding halt, and guests will likely tune out before the best man or maid of honor gets to the point. Being succinct should be a goal for a best man with regard to his toast. •Spin a yarn. While it’s important to be brief, don’t be so brief that no one at the reception learns about your relationship to the groom. Share a humorous anecdote from your mutual past to illustrate the type of relationship you and the groom share with one another. This story should have an element of humor but don’t include anything too embarrassing, and all ex-girlfriends should be considered off-limits. •Congratulate the couple. Because nerves play such a significant part in many best man toasts, it can be easy to forget to congratulate both the bride and groom. Don’t just toast the groom at the end of your best man speech; toast his new bride as well.

Ashley Pokela & Robert Peters June 23, 2012

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Waushara Argus, Wednesday, February 13, 2013, Page 15

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The Waushara Argus Bridal Guide 2013