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February 2014

Merging Money

Tips for newlyweds about to consolidate their finances

Finding A Florist

Tips for selecting wedding day flowers

Perfecting Your Planning Careful timing makes weddings go off without a hitch Provided by:

Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers


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Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers • February, 2014

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Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers • February, 2014

4 Choosing the right

wedding reception favors

5 Explore unique cake

flavor combinations

music on your wedding day

wedding day flowers

6 How to approach

8 Tips for selecting 10 Makeup tips for the brides and bridesmaids

11 Tips for newlyweds

about to merge finances

when mulling a destination wedding

weddings go off without a hitch

the bride and groom

12 Things to consider 13 Careful timing makes 14 Tips when toasting

Tradition behind tossing rice

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nce 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.

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Choosing the right wedding reception favors

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lanning a perfect wedding is no small undertaking. From scheduling venues and hiring vendors to tasting menus, lots of decisions must be made when planning a wedding. But when the pieces fall into place, the entire day can be magical. One of the final components of weddings are the favors guests will take home with them as mementos of the festivities. Though favors don’t require immediate attention, that does not mean couples should wait until the last minute to made decisions regarding their wedding favors. Brides- and grooms-to-be should not underestimate the importance of handing out wedding favors, a tradition with a rich history. A wedding favor is considered a symbol of good will to guests, and there

GO TO

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are many different wedding favors on the market. Finding the right one can take a little work. It is usually a good idea to find something that suits the theme of the wedding and is both long-lasting and practical. Try to avoid anything that is too kitschy. A couple’s budget should be considered when choosing wedding favors. A couple may want to give their guests lavish gifts but should only do so if their budget allows. It may be challenging for couples to find favors that fit the theme of their wedding, as well as their own personalities and budgets. But it can be done. The following are some favorfinding guidelines.

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Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers • February, 2014

Be creative

Go traditional

Wedding favors can be just about anything, so there’s no need to stick to Jordan almonds or wine bottle stoppers. The more creative couples are, the more receptive their guests will likely be. For example, for an autumn-theme wedding, fill mason jars with the ingredients for a spiced cake and give the recipe directions on a tag. For a summer wedding, gift guests with a sun and surf survival bag, full of sunblock, a beach towel and sunglasses.

Couples who opt for universally appealing favors can lean toward some popular options, such as silver cake servers, candlestick holders, decorative photo frames, or engraved keepsake boxes. Aim for favors that have utility. Otherwise, favors may end up collecting dust on someone’s shelf.

Complete the theme Some weddings follow a particular theme from start to finish, and wedding favors should stick with that theme. Couples who will showcase their love of travel on their wedding days may want to give guests keychains or purse holders that feature popular landmarks around the world. Those who are admitted beach bums may want to present a small fishbowl with sand and a goldfish inside, reminiscent of days at the seashore.

Food and beverage gifts are fun Food favors mean guests can enjoy their gifts and not have to worry about finding space inside their homes to display trinkets. Food favors can be lavishly decorated cookies, fine chocolates, petit fours, small bottles of champagne or cupcakes decorated like the wedding cake. Favors are often integral to wedding celebrations. Selecting a favor that will be appreciated and fit with the wedding is often a fun and stress-free part of planning a wedding.

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Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers • February, 2014

Explore unique cake flavor combinations

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wedding cake is the pièce de résistance of the wedding ceremony. Guests anxiously await the unveiling of the cake near the end of the festivities. Modern cakes are showpieces grander in scale than in years past. As bakers and confectioners hone their skills with fondant, buttercream and gum paste even further, the results are often impressive, awe-inspiring cake designs. While the look of a wedding cake is certainly important, cakes should not only look good, but taste good as well. Vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream frosting was once the gold standard. But today’s couples are being more adventurous with their wedding cakes and winning rave reviews from guests along the way.

The vast scope of wedding cake flavor choices available to brides and grooms is astonishing. Options may range from the traditional to something adventurous and daring. Keeping in mind that couples will need to please the masses, finding a compromise between plain vanilla and a mocha-chilecoconut surprise is essential. Otherwise, they risk an unpopular flavor and a lot of wasted, expensive cake. Some couples shy away from more adventurous cakes because they fear something chocolately or not white in color will not be well suited to a wedding reception. Such couples should keep in mind that any flavor of cake can be hidden beneath layers of pearly white fondant or royal icing. Therefore, the sky is the limit with regard to flavor combinations. Those who might want to veer from tradition can consider these clever cake combinations. • Lemon cake with vanilla buttercream: Lemons are tart, juicy and refreshing, helping to cleanse the palate after a rich meal. Lemon cake, with its summery feel, is tailor-made for summer weddings. The flavor is popular enough to appeal to many, but just a little different to add an unexpected zip of flavor. • Chocolate cake with chocolate gânache and mocha filling: True chocoholics will be hard-pressed to resist such a decadent flavor profile. Chocolate can be sweet and satisfying and a welcome change from the vanilla cakes commonly served. For traditionalists, the cake can be covered with a white chocolate gânache. Or couples can ask that the cake be adorned with white sugar roses for an eyeappealing contrast. Chocolate cakes covered with autumn hued flowers go over well at fall weddings. • Red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting: Red velvet cake was once a

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Think outside of the cake box when selecting flavors for the centerpiece of the wedding reception. regionally specific staple, but now has grown steadily in popularity across the country. Red velvet has quickly become the new classic, as its vibrant red coloring offers a shock of something different, while the flavor is mild for those who are not comfortable taking risks. The richness and creaminess of cream cheese is irresistible.

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ing Wedd s Cake

• White cake with chocolate mousse: Couples who want a bit of chocolate but do not want to be overwhelmed can select a white cake that is filled with light and rich chocolate mousse. It’s the perfect blend of vanilla and chocolate for guests who enjoy both. • Variety tiers: Those who cannot settle on just one flavor can have different flavors on each tier of their cakes. This gives guest some flavorful variety and enables them to pick their favorite flavor combination. Brides- and grooms-to-be who have specific flavors in mind can ask their bakers to include two cupcakes with the wedding cake. Then the couple can enjoy their own mini cakes while the rest of the guests enjoy a more classic cake. In addition, an assortment of cupcakes in lieu of one cake can give guests the opportunity to sample several different flavors. Cakes are a part of many special events, but few cakes are fawned over as much as wedding cakes. Couples can spice things up by choosing a nontraditional flavor combination.

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Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers • February, 2014

Shorewood Country Club The Premier Location for your special occasion.

How to approach music on your wedding day

Situated on Lake Erie, our beautiful clubhouse takes full advantage of its glorious setting. We offer the highest quality and attention to detail in the area. We have the most experienced management and staff to guide you every step of the way.

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Main Banquet Hall, Outdoor covered patio (seasonal) and private board room to choose from. Non Member events graciously welcomed For more information, please contact our general manager 366.1880 ext 1 Shorewood Country Club

4958 West Lake Road, Dunkirk, NY 14048 www.shorewoodcc.com

Need a Place to Celebrate? Check out Eden VFW Post 8265 2551 March Road, Eden, NY Reasonable Hall Rentals for all your party needs.

• Beautiful large hall with full service bar. • Outdoor shelter for stags, reunions, graduation parties, etc. with barbecue pit, horseshoe pits and large recreational area. • Small all available for showers, birthday parties, meetings, etc. • Full kitchen facilities available • Plenty of parking • Handicapped accessible • Member Discounts

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usic often plays an important role on festive occasions, and wedding days are no exception. The right music can make a wedding day that much more meaningful, while the wrong music can make a couple’s big event memorable for all the wrong reasons.

Though music selection might seem like one of the easier decisions couples must make, those about to tie the knot typically must make a host of music-related decisions regarding their wedding day, including whether to choose a live band or a deejay to perform at their wedding receptions. While the reception is when music might be most on display, couples planning their weddings must think beyond the reception when setting the musical tones for their weddings. Ceremony

The ceremony itself often sets the tone for a couple’s wedding day. A beach wedding, for example, often creates a laid back atmosphere, while a ceremony held in a large church or temple often sets a more formal tone. Music played during the ceremony also goes a long way toward setting the tone couples hope to establish. When choosing music for the ceremony, couples should first consider the venue where they are tying the knot. Some, such as houses of worship, may have rules pertaining to what can and cannot

be played inside the venue. Classical, hymnal or processional music often makes the best fit when weddings are taking place in more formal venues. Outdoor weddings tend to give couples more leeway. But in general couples don’t want to choose any music that’s too loud or over-the-top for their ceremonies. Keep in mind that while the music played during the ceremony can set the tone for the day, this music can vary significantly from the music played during the reception. A favorite performer may not be appropriate during the ceremony, but that doesn’t mean the couple can’t dance to that artist’s music during the reception.

Live musicians can add a more elegant feel to the ceremony, but such performers also can be costly. Playing prerecorded music may not be as elegant as having a live performer, but it can cost a lot less and still make for an enjoyable day and evening. Reception

Many couples prefer deejays to live bands for their wedding receptions. Deejays can play favorite songs as couples and their guests know them, while bands can only play their own renditions of those songs.

Another thing to consider when choosing between a deejay or live band for the reception is the venue itself. Some venues are smaller and unable to accommodate a full band, while others


Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers • February, 2014 couples for their ceremonies. Renting such equipment can be costly, but couples can often skirt such charges by hiring deejays or bands who lend couples their equipment during the ceremony. Deejays or bands who will loan and set up the necessary sound equipment for outdoor ceremonies merit extra consideration.

may not have ideal acoustics, making it difficult for a live band to sound as good as they might in a more music-friendly environment.

The formality of the event should also come into consideration when choosing between a live band or a deejay for the reception. Deejays spinning the latest top 40 hits may stick out like sore thumbs at especially formal weddings, while a classical orchestra likely won’t fit into the laid back theme of a beach or destination wedding.

When discussing music to be played during the reception, couples must consider their own musical tastes as well as those of their guests. A wide range of popular music tends to go best at wedding receptions, as guests are more likely to dance to songs they recognize. Avoid any music that has the potential to offend guests, opting for lighter, happier tunes instead. Whether hiring a band or deejay, couples should make a list of noplay songs or artists and make sure that such lists are included in their contracts.

Music plays an important role on couples’ wedding days. Though choosing music for the ceremony and the reception is often fun, couples must take such decisions seriously.

Couples tying the knot outdoors may need to consider equipment when choosing bands or deejays to play their weddings. For example, some venues do not provide equipment, such as microphones and speaker systems, to

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Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers • February, 2014

Tips for selecting wedding day flowers

• To give the impression that there are more flowers than there really are, use fragrance and filler as your tools. Fragrant flowers can fill up the room with a welcoming aroma. Look for frangipani, lilies, hyacinths, jasmine, and sweet peas for a big impact. Florists know how to stretch arrangements by using greenery and other filler to lend bulk without too much extra cost.

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hat would a wedding day be without flowers? The beauty and the aroma of fresh-cut flowers can create a welcoming atmosphere and complement the beauty and the style of a wedding wardrobe. Flowers are often the first things that guests see upon arriving for the ceremony, and they may even be something guests take home at the end of the night. Flowers create an air of romance, and most couples want to make flowers — whether fresh or silk — an integral part of their wedding day.

As with any decision when planning a wedding, choosing the right flowers requires some research and a basic knowledge of which flowers will convey the message and the theme of your wedding. The number of colors, textures and combinations that can be created are so numerous that couples may feel the decision on the floral arrangements is best left to the florist. But it doesn’t take a lot of expertise to know what you want, and it is important for couples to convey their feelings to the florist. Consider these tips when choosing a florist and selecting flowers.

• Experts advise that a couple start looking for a florist at least six months before the wedding, especially if the wedding will take place during the peak season of May through September. Get recommendations from friends as to which florist they used or find out if your wedding planner or banquet hall manager recommends a particular florist. Some catering halls have agreements with florists, and they work together.

• Browse magazines to get ideas of what you like. You also may be able to find a florist through an advertisement or if he or she has been featured in publications. Keep a scrapbook of the colors, types of flowers and arrangements and any other ideas that attract you so you will be able to present this information to the florist.

• Establish your flower budget prior to sitting down with the florist. You should expect to pay at least 8 percent of the total wedding cost on flowers. Get an estimate on the floral arrangement and then tweak your needs according to your budget. Many florists can modify arrangements and find a middle ground with regard to cost. Selecting flowers that are in-season will result in more affordable rates than if you desire exotic or out-of-season blooms. • Once you’ve hired the florist, you can come up with a wedding flower worksheet that establishes all of your needs. The florist may ask for specific information, such as photos of the bride’s gown as well as the colors and styles that the wedding party will be wearing. A good florist knows that a bouquet should not overpower or detract from the beauty of the bride. The florist may want to mimic textures from the dress, such as beading, with smaller flowers or berries within the arrangement. The groom’s boutonniere is traditionally one of the flowers from the bride’s bouquet so that the look is cohesive.

• Ceremony flowers may be traditional, and some houses of worship have strict guidelines as to what can and cannot be used. However, reception flowers can be where you show off your creativity and whimsy. After all, this is a party and it should be fun. You may want to give the florist more freedom of expression with regard to reception centerpieces and flowers that adorn other areas of the room.

• Because receptions tend to take place in the evening hours and are often indoor affairs, experts say that added lighting may be needed to put emphasis on the floral centerpieces and help present them in their best light. You may want to think about hiring a lighting designer to spotlight some areas of the room or at the very least incorporate candlelight into your centerpiece arrangements.

Did you know?

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• Experienced florists will know how long it takes certain buds to open and show off their maximum beauty. Therefore, expect a florist to be working on your floral arrangements as much as a week before the wedding date — purchasing containers, cleaning flowers and waiting for certain ones to open fully. Minimize changes close to your wedding date as most things will already be started.

• It is possible to make your own centerpieces or bouquets if you so desire. Simplicity will work best for the novice. Think about grouping similar-hued calla lilies together for a bridal bouquet. Hydrangea and peonies are larger flowers that can easily fill up a vessel on a table as a centerpiece. White flowers will coordinate with any color scheme and could be the easiest to mix and match. White blooms include sweet pea, rose, camellia, stephanotis, narcissus, gardenia, orchid, lily of the valley, jasmine, and gypsophila. Flowers are one component of the wedding that will help achieve the magic and beautiful atmosphere couples desire.

hough many couples still tie the knot in traditional religious ceremonies officiated by a minister, priest, rabbi or other religious leader, more couples are embracing less traditional ceremonies that can be officiated by secular officiants. Humanist weddings, for example, may be officiated by someone who shares the same philosophy of life as the bride and/or groom, and such officials typically have no religious affiliation. Civil ceremonies are another type of wedding ceremony for couples who do not want a traditional religious wedding. Civil ceremonies are often presided over by a justice of the peace, political official or even a certified notary public. The rules regarding civil ceremonies vary from state to state, so couples considering a civil ceremony should do their homework before moving forward with any wedding plans. Couples with different religious backgrounds who still want a religious ceremony may want to consider an interfaith ceremony that includes traditions from each faith and may even include religious leaders from each faith.


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Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers • February, 2014

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Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers • February, 2014

Makeup tips for brides and bridesmaids

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ew events are more photographed than weddings. Needless to say, wedding participants, from brides and grooms to the couples’ parents, hope to look their best for the celebrations. Women often find that well applied cosmetics can enhance their beauty and help ensure they are picture-perfect. The key to wedding makeup is finding a balance between application that will come across well in person and will look good in photographs. Professional makeup artists may understand just how heavy a hand to use to apply makeup, but the novice do-it-yourselfer may need some instruction to master wedding day makeup.

Very often the key to wedding makeup is simplicity. Brides want their best features enhanced and have the makeup add to their beauty rather than outshine it. Brides want guests to notice their faces and gowns and not their makeup. Here are some other tips brides can employ in an effort to put their best faces forward.

applies to your brows. Tweezing, waxing and threading can create irritation and redness. Have your brows professionally shaped a few days before the wedding and then do a minor touch-up with your tweezer the night before. This allows your skin to recover and redness to dissipate. • Begin preparations a few days prior to the wedding. If you will be enhancing your skin color with a spray-tan, do so at least two days prior to the wedding. By the third day the color will set and appear more natural. The same idea

Look simply radiant for your wedding day. Schedule a free makeover. Invite your bridesmaids. Your mom. I can even help with great gifts for your wedding party. Call me today.

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• Start out with well hydrated and moisturized skin. Apply a few layers of moisturizer, preferably one with an SPF if you will be spending time out in the sun. When the moisturizer is completely absorbed and dry, use a skin priming product that will help keep your foundation locked into place. • Match your foundation color to your natural skin color. When these colors don’t match, your face may look like it is a separate shade from your neck and decolletage. If you will be tanning, then find a shade that matches the tanned color. A foundation that has slightly yellow undertones will even out redness on the face and look better in photos. Apply the foundation thoroughly with a sponge or brush and be sure to blend it well at your neckline. Set the foundation with a matte powder. • Apply concealer to red spots or undereye circles after the foundation. Aim for a creamy, emollient concealer for under the eyes. A peach color that will contrast with the purple and blue tones of your eyelids. Putting on the concealer after the foundation means you will probably need less and won’t look like you’re caked with product.

• Use an eyebrow pencil or powder to fill in your brows. This is a must for your wedding day and can really help to frame your eyes. Use small, light flicks of the pencil rather than long strokes to make the color blend naturally. Use a brush to blend in further. Always go a shade or two lighter than your natural color. Finish with a gel that will set the hairs into place. • Complement your lips and eyes. Many brides like to play up their eyes on

their wedding days. If you are going for a dramatic eye, opt for a more neutral lip, and vice versa. Otherwise, you may look like you’re wearing stage makeup. Neutral colors look best for weddings and will not appear dated in photos. Stick to subtle browns and taupes for universal flattery on most eye colors. Use a light hand to apply a neutral shade of light shadow all over the lid. Apply a medium brown to the crease of the eye and a darker brown to the very outer corner, and blend thoroughly. A very light shade of shadow can be used directly under the browline and toward the inside of the eye to make eyes appear wide and bright. Stick with matte shades of eye shadow, with the exception of one pearlescent shade that is lightly dusted right in the center of the lid from the lashline to the crease. This will add just a touch of luster to catch the light and make eyes sparkle. • Apply liner before mascara, and blend it with a brush. Push the liner into the lashline to make lashes appear thicker. Use mascara to lengthen lashes. Place a makeup sponge behind your lashes when applying mascara so you don’t risk hitting your lids with the mascara wand. If you will be using false lashes, apply them now. Err on the shorter side for fake lashes, and cut them as needed to fit your eye. Lashes that are too long or full may appear cartoonish and can be uncomfortable to wear. Connect your lashes together with the false ones with another application of mascara. Waterproof mascara will hold up through tears of joy. • Be subtle with blush. Use subtle blush in a peach-pink color to achieve that blushing bride appearance. Smile and apply the blush only to the apples of your cheeks. • Choose a long-lasting lip color that will hold up through kisses and smiles. Lip stains work very well, as they provide that hint of color but wear well during the day. Another helpful tip is to perform a practice run prior to the wedding, taking some photographs to see how the makeup looks in pictures. Cameras and flashes can wash out makeup, so sometimes you need to apply just a little bit more than usual for it to show up on film. Also, certain makeup products will reflect light more. Don’t forget to stock up on oil-blotting papers to touch up your face during the day.


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Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers • February, 2014

Tips for newlyweds about to merge finances

Lakeshore Federal Credit Union 8766 Erie Road, P.O. Box 227, Angola, NY 14006

Phone: 716-549-4150 • Fax: 716-549-2785

discussing finances, define both shortterm and long-term goals and how each of you can adjust your spending habits to make those goals come true. • Pay off any debts. The cost of weddings has skyrocketed over the last several decades, and many newlyweds find themselves in a considerable amount of debt upon returning from their honeymoons. When merging finances, couples should prioritize paying down such debt, as debt is a significant source of stress for newlyweds and longmarried couples alike. Newly married couples with little or no debt should avoid spending above their means in the months after they get married. Such spending is commonplace, as newly married couples often want to fully furnish their new homes or reward themselves for pulling off their weddings. But new debt can be just as stressful on a marriage as debt from the wedding, so avoid this potentially problematic pitfall by paying down existing debts with your newly merged finances.

Merging finances is an issue many newly married couples face upon returning from their honeymoons.

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ewlyweds often have a lot on their plates upon returning from their honeymoons. One of the more critical issues newly married couples must address is their finances and how those finances will be combined going forward.

Combining finances can be a touchy subject for many couples, especially those who had not given much thought to their finances prior to tying the knot. But there are steps couples can take to make the process of merging finances go more smoothly. • Discuss finances early and often. Allowing finances to be the elephant in the room is a mistake, as couples do not want to begin their lives together treading lightly around an issue as significant as finances. Couples should discuss their expenditures and spending habits as early as possible, as one of the biggest hurdles newly married couples must clear is coming to grips with one another’s financial habits. If such habits have already been discussed, then developing a financial plan will be much easier once that time comes. When

• Make note of mutual expenses and open a joint account to pay for those expenses. Mutual expenses like mortgage payments, food and utilities should be the responsibility of each partner, and a joint account should be established to handle such expenses. When opening a joint account, discuss how much and how often each partner will contribute money. One partner might earn considerably more money than another, so work out a reasonable agreement that details how much each partner will contribute each month, and whether such contributions will be made on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis.

• Make concessions for one another. When merging finances, couples often discover that they don’t see eye-to-eye on how each person spends money. Couples who successfully merge their finances often note the importance of making concessions with regard to their partners’ spending on certain hobbies or luxuries. As long as those hobbies are not putting couples in debt or jeopardizing their financial goals, couples can make concessions so their partners continue to be happy and enjoy their favorite activities. Merging finances is an issue that looms for many newlyweds or couples about to tie the knot. Though it’s not always easy, merging finances early and discussing goals can ensure newlyweds get off on the right financial foot.

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Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers • February, 2014

Things to consider when mulling a destination wedding

find a destination wedding much more manageable than those whose guest lists crack triple digits.

Another thing to consider is that the larger the guest list, the more likely many of those guests will not be able to afford to attend or get enough time off from work to make it to a destination wedding. Couples who want to ensure all of their loved ones can be there with them on their big days might be better off avoiding destination weddings. Accessibility

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ccording to a study from XO Group Inc., creator of wedding Web sites TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com, 350,000 destination weddings take place annually. Such figures reflect a growing trend of couples who want to tailor their weddings to their own personalities, even if that means tying the knot in exotic or unusual locales. But as popular as destination weddings have become, couples who have had have such weddings can attest that planning a destination wedding is not necessarily easier than planning a more traditional ceremony close to home. Though destination weddings can make for memorable affairs, there are some factors couples must consider when mulling whether or not to have a

destination wedding. Guest list

The XO Group study found that destination weddings have an average of 86 guests. When sitting down to organize their guest lists, many couples realize they have well over 100 guests on their lists. Such couples may find a destination wedding especially difficult to pull off, as resorts may or may not be able to accommodate such a substantial number of guests. In addition, couples who hope to invite children to their weddings might want to reconsider a destination affair, as those youngsters’ parents will have to foot the bill for additional airfare and accommodations and, depending on when the wedding takes place, pull the kids out of school for an extended period of time. Couples with smaller guests list might

Accessibility is a common concern for couples considering destination weddings. Destination weddings typically ask guests to travel far to attend the ceremony and reception, but there are ways to make that travel less of an ordeal. When choosing a location for their destination weddings, couples should consider the cost and convenience of travel. Remote islands are not very accessible, and as a result guests will likely have to pay a pretty penny for their flights and lodging. In addition, the more remote a destination wedding locale is, the less convenient getting there figures to be. Nonstop flights likely won’t be a possibility. Before choosing a locale for a destination wedding, research flights, making sure that affordable flights are available within spitting distance of loved ones’ homes and that they won’t have to suffer through multiple connecting flights when traveling to and from the wedding. Weather

not very familiar with weather patterns overseas. Couples who choose outdoor weddings close to home are often familiar enough with local weather patterns to choose a wedding date that likely won’t be interrupted by harsh weather. But choosing an overseas or distant locale erases that comfort level, and couples may find themselves worrying about storms or other inclement weather conditions as their wedding days draw nearer. Before choosing a locale for their destination weddings, couples should thoroughly research each potential destination’s weather patterns. Brides, grooms and guests alike don’t want to do all of that traveling only to end up indoors because it just so happens to be tropical storm season. Competition

As destination weddings have grown in popularity, the competition for idyllic locales and top-notch venues has increased. That competition is great for venue owners’ bottom lines, but it might not be so great for couples looking to keep their wedding costs down. Costs might be considerably less in the offseason, but that’s also when storms and inclement weather tend to take hold, Booking a venue early can help couples mitigate some of the costs of a destination wedding, but the growing popularity of destination weddings might make them out of reach for couples working on tight budgets.

Weather is another factor couples must consider before choosing to have a destination wedding. The XO Group study found that 30 percent of American couples who have destination weddings choose to tie the knot outside of the continental United States. That’s a distinct disadvantage for couples who likely are

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Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers • February, 2014

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s any holiday host can attest, timing is crucial to getting a meal out hot and ensuring each course is ready for the table. Timing is equally important when planning a wedding. Various elements must come together in the right order to create a seamless day for couples and guests alike. In addition to organizing floral deliveries, ensuring the wedding party arrives on time, and getting hair and makeup done promptly, couples who will be having their ceremony in a different location from the reception will need to spend more time factoring timing into their wedding day equations. Factors like traveling to and from the site, as well as hunger pangs and potential weather-related complications, will need to be considered. Many couples choose to have their ceremonies and receptions at the same site, a decision that makes scheduling much easier. Once the ceremony is over, guests simply go inside or to another area of the grounds to begin the reception. Some traditionalists, though, prefer to have their ceremony in a place of worship and then travel to a separate reception location afterward. Both scenarios are acceptable, but the latter option requires a little more planning. Couples will need to know when the church or temple is available for the ceremony and when the reception hall will be open to guests. Some weddings are held after daily masses or other religious ceremonies. An afternoon wedding may end a few hours before the cocktail hour begins at the reception site, leaving guests with time to kill before the reception. Couples can try to remove as much time between the reception and ceremony as possible by coordinating with their catering managers. If finances allow, couples can

request the wedding reception begin early. This way guests can arrive at the cocktail hour and comfortably mingle among themselves. These requests are common, and many catering managers will be happy to meet requests to keep a bride and groom’s business. If this is not possible, couples have a few alternatives. If the reception site is a good distance away, the travel there may take up the idle time. Otherwise, the bride and groom may need to come up with another plan. In some instances, a family member opens his or her home up to some of the guests, who may enjoy light refreshments. It may be possible to use a cafeteria or gathering space at the ceremony site for a little while as well. If the photographer plans to take outdoor photos between the ceremony and reception, the couple can invite some guests along to witness the shots or be a part of the photo shoot. Thoughtful couples also can provide other accommodations, such as letting guests know about local restaurants where they can spend a little time and grab a small bite to eat before the reception begins. Hotels affiliated with the wedding party may be able to host guests during these in-between hours as well. The hotel bar or a conference room might be ideal spots for guests to kill some time. Couples also can arrange something with the reception hall. While the party room or cocktail area may not be ready until the designated time, the site may have an attached restaurant, salon or gardens, where guests can relax as they wait for the start of the festivities. Timing all of the elements of a wedding day properly can be challenging. Guests’ comfort and needs should always be a priority.

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Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers • February, 2014

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oasting the bride and groom at a wedding reception is a responsibility that typically falls on the shoulders of the bride’s father as well as the best man and the maid of honor. Though it is an honor to give a wedding toast, it also can be nerve-wracking, as no one wants to give a toast that’s memorable for all the wrong reasons. While the best toasts are often those that veer off the beaten path, coming from the heart rather than from a how-to guide found on the Internet, there is a certain formula men and women can follow to ensure their toasts cover all of the appropriate bases without offending the bridal party or fellow guests. • Acknowledge the guests. Families are more geographically diverse than ever before, so more and more weddings host guests who come from far and wide to celebrate with happy couples on their wedding days. It’s customary for men and women making wedding toasts to acknowledge the guests, thanking them for being there. This is often a great way for best men and maids of honor to break the ice and calm their nerves, especially at larger weddings where they may only know a small percentage of the guests. When thanking the guests, be sure to thank the parents of the bride and groom as well.

• Explain your relationship to the bride and/or groom. Best men and maids of honor should devote a portion of their toasts to explaining their personal relationships with the bride and/or groom. Introduce yourself and explain how you met the bride or groom. Oftentimes, such stories have a comical twist that can further calm your nerves.

• Aim for a jovial toast. Wedding toasts are typically given at the wedding reception, when guests and the bridal party are ready to celebrate. Such an atmosphere lends itself to a jovial toast wherein best men and maids of honor focus on happy times with the bride and groom. Tell a funny anecdote that illustrates the special bond you have with the bride or groom. When choosing a story to tell, remember to keep things appropriate for guests of all ages, including young children.

• Steer clear of alcohol before giving your toast. Many people overindulge in alcohol at wedding receptions, but best men and maids of honor should avoid consuming alcohol until after they have toasted the bride and groom. Horror stories about drunken, inappropriate wedding toasts may seem more like an urban legend than a legitimate possibility, but the tendency for alcohol to lower people’s inhibitions makes it dangerous for men and women to consume it before giving their toasts. • Give your best wishes to the bride and groom before raising your glass. Raising your glass to toast the bride and groom is often the last step before your toasting duties officially end. But before you raise your glass, remember to offer your best wishes to both the bride and groom. Once those sentiments have been expressed, ask the guests to raise their glasses and toast the newlyweds.

Toasting happy couples at their wedding receptions can be stressful for best men and maids of honor who are unaccustomed to speaking in front of large groups of people. But following a certain formula and speaking from the heart will ensure such toasts go off without a hitch.


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Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers • February, 2014

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2014 Weddings Guide