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Bethel, Maine

{ WINTER 2014 }

Weddings Tips for selecting your wedding day flowers

A SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT TO

The Bethel Citizen

Tips when toasting

the bride and groom

Careful timing makes weddings go off without a hitch


2 Bethel, Maine Weddings

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Bethel, Maine

Weddings 3

Careful timing makes weddings go off without a hitch

4

Roles of the best man and maid of honor

5

Simple ways to save on your wedding

6

Tips for selecting your wedding day flowers

7

Tips when toasting the bride and groom

8

How to stay energized on your wedding day

9

Exploring unique cake flavor combinations

10

Choosing the right favors

11

Tips for merging finances

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Bethel, Maine Weddings 3

Careful timing makes weddings go off without a hitch As 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. Photo: Carol Savage Photography

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4 Bethel, Maine Weddings

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 brideto-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. 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.

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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Bethel, Maine Weddings 5

Simple ways to save on your wedding According to a 2012 report in Brides magazine, the average American couple spends just under $27,000 on their wedding, while their northern neighbors in Canada spend slightly more than $23,000 on average for their big day. Clearly couples, regardless of which side of the border they call home, can expect to invest a substantial amount of money for their weddings. While many couples find the cost of a wedding is well worth it, others would like to find ways to save so their big day isn’t a budget-buster. Such savings aren’t always easy to come by, especially for couples with a very distinctive picture in mind of what their wedding should be. However, even couples strongly committed to a certain wedding style might change their minds once they realize how much such a dream wedding will cost. For those couples as well as couples who simply want to save some money, the following are a few ideas to avoid busting your budget without venturing too far from your dream wedding. * Trim the guest list. The guest list is perhaps the easiest place to begin saving money. Many reception halls will charge by the head, so consider if you really need to invite 150 guests or if 100 will do. Such trimming can save you a substantial amount of money. For example, a banquet hall that charges $200 per guest will cost couples with a guest list of 150 $30,000 for the reception alone. Cutting that guest list to 100 reduces that cost by $10,000. When putting together the guest list, remove those candidates who would best be described as acquaintances. This can include coworkers with whom you don’t socialize, as well as old college friends to whom you rarely speak. Distant cousins you haven’t spoken to in years can also be cut from the list. * Don’t go overboard on the gown. Styles are ever-changing, so there’s a strong chance brides won’t be passing down their wedding gowns to their own daughters someday. What’s popular now will likely seem outdated by the time your daughter walks down the aisle. Keep this in mind when shopping for a wedding dress, which can be made in the same design as the one you try on but with cheaper fabrics that are a fraction of the cost. The disparity between gown costs in the United States and Canada should paint a good picture of how easily brides can save money on their gowns. According to a survey of wedding trends conducted by Weddingbells, an online resource for Canadian brides, the average Canadian bride in 2011 spent just under $1,800 on her wedding gown, while the average American bride spends roughly $1,100 on her gown. Though the reasons for that disparity are unclear, it’s safe to say there are savings to be had for brides who don’t want to break the bank paying for their wedding gowns. * Get hitched in the off-season. Many couples prefer to get married sometime between the months of May through October. During these months, venues and vendors, including limousine services, caterers, photographers, musicians, and deejays, are more expensive. If you are willing to switch your wedding date to the off-season you can save a substantial amount of

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money. In addition, you likely won’t face as much competition for the best venues and vendors as you will during the peak wedding season. * Trim your beverage budget. The bar tab at the end of the reception can be considerable, but there are ways to save money while ensuring your guests can still toast you and yours with a few libations. Rather than offering a full bar, limit the choices to beer and wine, which will be perfectly acceptable to most guests anyway. In addition, rather than paying the caterer for the wine, buy your own and you’ll save a considerable amount of money. You may have to pay the caterer a fee to pour the wine, but that fee is negligible compared to what you’d pay the company to provide the wine. * Choose a buffet-style dinner over waiter service. Many guests will no doubt prefer a buffet-style dinner instead of waiter service, so take advantage of that and choose a more affordable buffet-style dinner that allows diners to choose their own entrees and side dishes. When it comes to trimming wedding costs, couples will have to make compromises. But those compromises don’t have to come at the cost of a beautiful and memorable event. Photo: Carol Savage Photography

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6 Bethel, Maine Weddings

Your Wedding Florist Tips for selecting your wedding day flowers

© Joseph Prezioso

in the Mountains of Bethel, Maine

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What 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 an integral part of their wedding day. 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. * 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. 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. * 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. *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.


Bethel, Maine Weddings 7

Tips when toasting the Designs bride and groom by Janet Black AIFD

Exceeding your Expectations

Wedding & Event Specialist 207.514.3500 www.janetblack.com designsflorist@live.com

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Largest Bridal Shop in Northern NH Shop Tax Free Toasting 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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8 Bethel, Maine Weddings

How to stay energized on your wedding day

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* Recognize your wedding day is a very long day. It’s possible to rise quite early in the morning to begin prepping with makeup, hair styles, wardrobe and more. If the party is an evening reception, it could last until the wee hours of the night. You may find yourself up for nearly 24 hours, when the cameras will be flashing and the video rolling throughout. Naturally, you’ll want to look your best throughout. * Get a good night’s sleep the night before. Get to bed early the night before so you will get ample sleep and look rested. * Enjoy a hearty breakfast. At breakfast on the morning of your wedding, consume a combination of carbohydrates and protein. The carbs will provide the initial burst of energy you need to get going, and the protein will keep you feeling full. A combination of whole wheat toast, fresh fruit and Greek yogurt makes for a filling start to the day. * Stay hydrated. It is essential to stay hydrated. Dehydration can result in headaches, weakness and dizziness and may make you feel cranky. Be sure to consume water throughout the day. * Pack some snacks. The time between breakfast and the cocktail hour of a wedding may be significant. Be sure to pack some easy snacks to eat. Trail mix can be nibbled for a boost of energy, and a banana can take the edge off of hunger pangs. Avoid anything messy that can drip onto clothing or get stuck in your teeth. Arrange to have snacks stowed in the limousine or another mode of transportation so that you can refuel on the way to the ceremony or in transit to the reception. * Don’t overdo it with caffeine. It may be tempting to lean on an energy drink or a super-size cup of coffee to give you the boost you need. But caffeine is only a temporary fix. After the effects of the caffeine wear off, you could find yourself more tired than before and crash at an inopportune time during the day. Instead, a brisk walk outdoors may recharge your batteries. Afterward, time spent on the dance floor enjoying the reception will likely stimulate some adrenaline to keep you going. * Eat dinner. When family is beckoning and the photographer needs to get yet another pose, it is easy to skip dinner. Be firm with your decision to enjoy your meal. After all, you paid for it and it should not go to waste. Besides, sitting down to dinner enables you to rest and absorb the atmosphere of the wedding. * Continue to drink plenty of water throughout the night. Alcoholic beverages may be flowing, but too many spirits can compromise your energy levels. Be sure to balance the booze with hydrating fluids, such as water or juice. Weddings take up the entire day, and it can be easy to succumb to a lack of energy as the day progresses. But by heeding a few tips, it’s possible to remain in top form throughout the entire wedding.

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Bethel, Maine Weddings 9

Exploring unique cake flavor combinations

A wedding cake is the piece de resistance 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 ganache 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 ganache. Or couples can ask that the cake be adorned with white sugar roses for an eye-appealing 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 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.

* 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. Photo: Carol Savage Photography

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10 Bethel, Maine Weddings

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Choosing the right wedding favors Planning 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 make 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 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 favor-finding guidelines.

Be creative

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.

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.

Go traditional

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.

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.


Bethel, Maine Weddings 11

Tips for merging finances Newlyweds 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 discussing finances, define both short-term 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 long-married 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. * 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. Photo: Carol Savage Photography

A wedding is a day . . . A marriage is a lifetime

As you embark on one of life’s most wonderful journeys, take a moment to plan your route. We can help you establish your savings and checking accounts and prepare for buying your first home together. We want your financial foundation to be as solid as your marriage. Give us a call.

River Valley Branches: Rumford and Mexico www.FranklinSavings.com 364-7866 800-287-0752


www.carolsavagephotography.com • 207-836-3505


Bethel, Maine Weddings