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Your local guide to all things wedding


TIPS AND ADVICE to help you plan your

perfect day


Look inside for the best of Black Hills

wedding professionals 2021-2022


2021 - 2022 • Black Hills I DO

Reconnect during wedding planning


edding planning can be intense and often requires dedication and many hours of work. Coordinating a wedding often requires that couples make many different decisions and spend a considerable amount of time in the wedding-planning trenches. Couples expend so much energy planning their weddings that it can be easy to lose sight of the bigger picture — namely the relationship that is the basis for the marriage in the first place. But as easy as it can be to get lost in wedding planning, couples can use this time together to connect on a deeper level and learn to work cooperatively.


Separate wedding planning duties so that both of you feel you are contributing equally and no one person gets overly stressed out. Stress can lead to short tempers and arguments.


Even the healthiest couple argues over finances from time to time, but budgetary debates should not set a negative tone for wedding planning. Couples should discuss their potential

2021 - 2022 • Black Hills I DO

budget before they even begin to plan their weddings, and both partners should do their best to compromise while also understanding where the other person is coming from.




Reconnect during wedding planning............3

Do not let wedding planning be all-consuming. Schedule days that allow you to enjoy yourselves together without having to think about or discuss your pending nuptials. This may include date nights that may have fallen by the wayside since getting engaged or periodic day trips to get away from it all. Explore your mutual hobbies or try something new.

Spearfish weather at a glance....................4

LEARN TO LAUGH AT THE LITTLE THINGS Not every detail will go off without a hitch. How you react as a couple may influence how much you enjoy your wedding. Recognize that certain things will not go your way, but that unforeseen circumstances will not ruin your wedding day, no matter how unpleasant they may seem. Laugh at what cannot be changed and recognize that, in the long run, the details you think are major today may actually prove trivial when you look back on your wedding day in the years to come. n

Wedding planning apps.............................4 Choosing the dress....................................5 Engagement announcement form...............6 The wedding venue...................................7 Wedding colors.........................................8 The bridesmaid dresses..............................9 The Four C’s: Selecting a diamond............10 The rings...............................................10 Flowers tips & tricks...............................14 Go cheesy.............................................15 Wedding budget worksheet & notes......16-17 Day of wedding transportation..................18 Choosing a photographer...................19, 21 Wedding announcement form...................22 Changing your name...............................24 100 Tips: Planning your wedding.........26-30 Emergency wedding day kit.....................28 Required documents list...........................30


Planning apps wedding

Spearfish weather at a glance Listed below are average temperature highs, lows and preciptation for the city of Spearfish throughout the year. Month High



Jan. 37˚ 15˚ 0.6”

Feb. 38˚ 17˚ 0.8” Mar. 47˚ 25˚ 1.3” Apr. 57˚ 34˚ 2.4” May 66˚ 43˚ 3.6” June 77˚ 53˚ 3.9” July 86˚ 59˚ 2.1” Aug. 85˚ 57˚ 1.9” Sept. 75˚ 48˚ 1.5” Oct. 60˚ 37˚ 1.8” Nov. 47˚ 26˚ 0.9” Dec. 38˚ 17˚ 0.8”


Letti Lister - Publisher Sona O’Connell - Ad Director Mark Watson - Editor

ADVERTISING SALES: Dawn Hatch Katie Heggem Sharon Mason Jaci Conrad-Pearson


Katie Hartnell Melissa Barnett Scott Altstiel Sara Ramos

Black Hills I DO is published by Seaton Publishing, Inc. 315 Seaton Circle, Spearfish, SD 57783 (605) 642-2761


lanning and celebrating your wedding has never been easier thanks to the technology of smartphones and other handheld devices. There are mobile and digital applications for every aspect of the wedding process, from planning to communicating with your guests to reveling in the fun after the big day has come to an end. Here are just a few worth taking a closer look at:


The Knot Wedding LookBook lets you research through major designers and current trends to help you narrow down your wish list before ever stepping foot into a salon. The app lets you refine your search by style, shape and price point, as well as shop for others in your bridal party, including the mother of the bride and attendants — both adult and pint-sized. Perk? The app also will make suggestions to you based on your saved favorites.


Pantone Studio app is perhaps one of the most useful applications but is easy to overlook. This app is extremely helpful in helping you curate the perfect color palette. When you find something you love and feel the color must be incorporated in your wedding, Pantone Studio allows

you to upload a photo of it (whatever “it” is), and show you other hues that perfectly complement your color. No more wondering if colors match, or what “goes” with what.


Wedding Happy allows you to keep track of your to-do list and add tasks, while syncing with your phone’s calendar and address book to help you keep track of appointments with potential vendors or dress fittings. Wedding Happy also keeps all your vendors and costs in one place, keeps track of payments and will adjust your remaining budget and cost per guest when you enter an expenditure or payment. It’s never been easier to stay on budget.


Wedpics is a modern take on passing out disposable cameras to your guests. This app allows all your guests to share their photos of your special day with you. You just need to create a wedding ID and share it with your guests. This is great information to include on your wedding website and at your reception to remind guests to use it. You can even download high-resolution copies of your guests’ photos and order prints directly from the app.

~ Since 1876 ~


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choosing the

while they want to downplay others. Try on gowns that play up your best features. If you have shapely legs, consider a dramatic gown with a slit to show them off. Certain gowns can enhance the decollete or show off an hourglass shape. Remember, many gowns can be modified so that you feel secure and confident. Sleeves can be added or fabric placed to cover up any perceived flaws. Confidence and pride are important parts of the comfort factor.


Bridal gown sizes do not coincide with street sizes. Depending on the manufacturer, brides may have to select gowns that are several sizes larger than they would normally wear. This should not be a cause for alarm. Brides should go by their measurements. Attempting to squeeze into a dress that is too small will only lead to discomfort on the wedding day.



any brides-to-be visit bridal brides may prioritize beauty over shops with specific goals in comfort, even though it’s entirely posmind regarding the style of sible to find a gown that’s both stuntheir wedding gowns. Some women ning and comfortable. When friends come equipped with magor family who have come azine tear-outs or pull along to offer advice start up ideas on their mobile to blush over wedding Average spent on phones. Others may have gowns, brides-to-be may a wedding dress: an entire scrapbook filled feel pressured to downplay with various ideas they’ve any discomfort they feel. been compiling for years. To make sure brides Much consideration is look flawless and elegant given to wedding gowns. but are still comfortable The cost and silhouette of the dress in their wedding gowns, consider the may garner the bulk of that considerfollowing tips. ation, but brides might want to spend KNOW WHAT TO more time considering comfort. HIGHLIGHT AND WHAT TO Depending on the time of day their weddings take place, brides can spend COVER UP 12 hours or more in their wedding No two body types are the same, gowns on their wedding day. Howand many women feel certain parts ever, when shopping for their gowns, of their bodies are their best assets


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Improperly fitting bras, shapewear and other undergarments can lead to discomfort as well. Some seamstresses can sew in supportive cups to remove the need for separate bras. Brides can explore various options to reduce the visibility of certain accoutrements.


Brides should not just stand in front of the mirror and smile when trying on gowns. Put them through their paces. Try sitting, bending and even a little dancing. Make sure the dress is comfortable to move around in.


The gown brides have in mind may not be the one they ultimately go home with. Explore different styles and materials. Choose cooler, breezier fabrics and lightweight gowns, like crêpe, georgette or organza, for summer weddings. Heavier fabrics, such as brocade, may be more comfortable in the winter. Wedding gowns can be both beautiful and comfortable for those who know how to shop. n


Engagement Announcements run free of charge in our Black Hills Pioneer Saturday edition or as space allows. NOTE: Submissions may be edited according to available space.

Engagement Information Bride’s Name and Hometown: ___________________________________________________________________________ Bride’s Parents’ Names and Residence(s): __________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Groom’s Name and Hometown: _________________________________________________________________________ Groom’s Parents’ Names and Residence(s): ________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Date and Place of Wedding: _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Bride’s Education: _____________________________________________________________________________________ Employment: _________________________________________________________________________________________ Groom’s Education: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Employment: _________________________________________________________________________________________ PHOTO ENCLOSED:



NO q

If photo needs to be returned, please enclose self-addressed, stamped envelope. We strongly urge you to type this form or print neatly. Handwriting can be misinterpreted and if we can’t read your handwriting, mistakes can happen. We cannot re-run engagement news printed incorrectly if the mistake is caused by misinterpreted handwriting.

Phone number and contact person if there are futher questions:_____________________________________________________________________________ Please Return Completed Form To: Black Hills Pioneer, 315 Seaton Circle, Spearfish, SD 57783 • (605) 642-2761 – OR –



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venue Wedding the With the overall natural beauty found during any season, it’s no wonder why so many couple are opting for unique venues to host their special day. You can access the great outdoors to take advantage of the beauty outside or invite the colors inside with a unique theme. No matter which location you choose, the season provides a bounty of outstanding options when it comes to choosing your colors, decor and attire.


Good weather and the beautiful colors make the outdoors an ideal option for planning a romantic, memorable wedding. Vintage farms. Thinking rustic? Consider a local country farm for your venue. These venues combine the best of both worlds – classic outdoor beauty

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and reclaimed barns. Many vintage farms offer plenty of space for a large guest list. You’ll also be supporting local farmers, as many have found ways to host events to supplement their regular revenue streams. Wineries and breweries. Wineries offer breathtaking views and spacious indoor or outdoor options for your festivities. And while you’ve likely celebrated a wedding at a local winery, have you considered a brewery? This is a trendy option that offers industrial backdrops for photos and reception celebrations, not to mention plenty of drink options for your thirsty guests. Local forests. Looking for a stunning, sustainable location for your wedding? You won’t find a venue more fitting than your local forest. Nature-lovers agree, forest-theme weddings offer beautiful,

serene locations for getting married to your special someone.


Due to the uncertainty of Mother Nature, many couples opt for an indoor wedding. Fortunately, color palettes and decorations can be easily adapted indoors. Castles. Frequently found along the east coast, step inside a storybook castle venue to host the wedding of your dreams. There are many of these venues that were built in the 1880s and have since been reclaimed and restored to their original glory. Historic hotels. For a more intimate setting, small historic inns, lodges and hotels can help whisk you and your guests away to a simpler, more understated time that is equal parts charm and nostalgia. Large estates. The stunning, spacious exteriors of large, historic estates provide beautiful backdrops. You likely have one of these restored mansions in your neck of the woods, and they create an idyllic setting for a unique indoors ceremony or reception. n



icking your wedding colors is a huge decision in planning your special day. Here are the top trendy colors for 2021 from the wedding experts at The Knot.


In the past few years, jewel tone blues in deep blues have been all the rage. But this year, look for lighter tones to take the stage. The dark blues will stay around as accent colors to set off powder blue, cornflower and French blue hues. Light blues work great with other pastels and even earth tones.




Unlike other colors, yellow is going more vibrant for 2021. Look for a sunflower yellow that’s also popping in roses, lemons and peonies. Accent your tables with bright yellow candles and linens or gold flatware.


A recent trend of tropical themed weddings has brought green shades back into the spotlight. Pistachio and avocado greens will give your nuptials


Adobe Stock

a cool vibe. Look for green dresses, ties and other accessories because green’s range makes it flattering for almost any skin tone. Look for flowers such as palms and ferns to add more green to your floral arrangements.


Once again, these aren’t the

punchy, bold purples popular in the past. Instead, look to pale lilac and lavender paired with pastel yellow and mint green for a whimsical, ethereal wedding palette. Incorporate these hues’ namesake flowers in your bouquet and use edible flowers in your cake and treats for maximum punch.


Coral and peach have been the hit oranges, but this year they’re making way for a darker, warmer papaya orange. This orange is also not as dark as a rust orange, making it a great middle ground if you’re wary of this bold color. Think terracotta vases, orchids and lilies to work this vibrant color into your big day.


We’ve seen the 1980s back in fashion, now it’s in wedding palettes. Look for screaming hot fuchsia, teal and cobalt blue in trendy 2021 weddings. Don’t just pick one neon for your wedding, choose a whole pack of them to go together for a bold, non-traditional look. n

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Bridesmaid dresses


othing can cause more drama than choosing bridesmaids dresses — especially if you have a large bridal party or opinionated attendants. The smart bride understands that this aspect of her wedding is less about her and more about her maids.


You should know your wedding colors

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and have your venue booked and your own gown ordered. All of these items will impact the style and hue of the gowns you choose.Will you be choosing the gown or have you decided to allow your maids to choose their own (with your final approval, of course)? Do you want your maids in the same style? Will they be wearing various colors or hues of the same color? Know the answers to each of these questions before stepping foot inside a bridal salon.


Look through many photos before you begin shopping. Also keep in mind, as much as you love them, your friends are

not models (unless they are) — so what you see in photos will look different in person and on each individual person.


Not everyone is going to have the same budget, and a compassionate bride-to-be will be mindful of this. Unless you are picking up the tab, don’t choose a pricey gown. Not everyone views your wedding as the investment you see it as.


This applies both to your expectations of the dress and your maids. Keep in mind that the color you see in a magazine might be slightly different in person. Be flexible in terms of what is will look good on different skin tones.


Many dresses require one to three months to ship, so be sure to allow for this. After the dresses arrive, you also will need time for your maids to pick them up (unless they are being shipped directly) and for the gowns to be altered. So don’t wait too long before checking this item off the bridal to-do list. n


The Four C’s Carat, Color, Clarity and Cut

Buying a diamond ring can be intimidating. Demystify the process by learning about the four C’s. This system of grading diamonds was developed 60 years ago by the Gemological Institute of America. • Carat is a weight measurement. A 1-carat diamond weighs 200 milligrams. But there’s no ideal size for a diamond. It depends on your budget and taste. • Color is graded by letter, starting with D for rare, colorless diamonds. E and F are considered excellent, but G or H diamonds will look just as good to the naked eye. Farther down the scale, you’ll notice differences. “If you put a K color beside a G color, you’ll notice more yellow in the K,” said Russell Shor, senior industry analyst for the Gemological Institute. • Clarity measures diamond flaws, called inclusions, which might appear as tiny spots, clouds or cavities in the stone. The clarity grade SI stands for “slightly included.” VS is a better grade, “very slightly included.” VVS is even higher, “very, very slightly included.” Most inclusions in the VVS-SI range cannot be seen by the untrained eye “unless someone tells you where it is,” Shor said. • Cut measures workmanship, rather than a diamond’s inherent qualities. The way a stone is cut enhances sparkle and luminosity and can hide flaws.


Rings the


ngagements precede wedding dresses, flower arrangements, limousines, and even a couple’s wedding vows. And no proposal is complete without a ring. Knowledge of rings and stones is essential for those who plan to propose in the near future. A recent survey from the wedding resource The Knot in which 12,000 brides and 1,200 grooms in the United States were asked about their rings, found that people spend an average, of $5,978 on engagement rings. Recognizing the potential cost of engagement rings can help ring shoppers prepare for their purchases. In addition to considering costs, couples can employ the following tips to shop with confidence.


Engagement rings can be costly, but many couples feel they are worthwhile investments. According to In Style magazine, a ring with a classic solitaire of one carat weight can cost thousands of dollars, while a band covered in just under one carat of tiny pavé diamonds will offer plenty of sparkle for a lot less money.


How the diamond is framed can affect how big it looks and even how much it sparkles. Gems framed with a bezel can give the illusion of a larger stone.


A skilled jeweler knows how to properly cut a stone to bring out its best radiance. From round to princess to emerald to marquise cut, cut styles can affect how the stone looks as well as the price.


Platinum and gold are some of the most popular ring setting metals. Platinum costs considerably more than gold or silver, but is long-lasting. Couples should weigh the cost versus benefit of splurging on a more expensive metal, or speak with a jeweler about a suitable substitute.


People should pay attention to the jewelry their significant others wear so the engagement rings complement their style. Some love modern jewelry, while others gravitate toward vintage pieces.


Buying just shy of the next carat weight can save between 20 and 30 percent, offers The Knot. Plus, the size discrepancy probably will not be visible to the naked eye.


Some couples like to replace engagement rings with a more elaborate ring for a big anniversary. Some jewelers will accept the purchase of the engagement ring toward the price of a future ring. n

2021 - 2022 • Black Hills I DO

2021 - 2022 • Black Hills I DO



2021 - 2022 • Black Hills I DO

2021 - 2022 • Black Hills I DO


Flowers F

tips & tricks

loral arrangements are key components of wedding themes, as they help to establish ambiance at both the ceremony and reception. Flowers can easily help couples achieve a desired vibe, whether that’s rustic, romantic, modern, or even whimsical. Skilled florists may use a variety of flowers and foliage, as well as dramatic displays to


help create the couple’s wedding day vision. The cost of floral arrangements can vary depending on the scope of the arrangements and choice of flowers, including whether they’re in season or not. It is essential for couples to spend time vetting potential florists to find one who will produce their desired vision at a price that fits their budget.


Floral arrangements will complement and enhance other elements of the wedding, including color scheme and the wedding theme. If your wedding theme ties into a specific season, you will work with the florist to find blooms and other pieces that coordinate. For example, winter weddings with white, ice blue and silver color schemes may coordinate with white ranunculus flowers, dahlias, dusty miller foliage, and viburnum berries.

the florist the types of arrangements you prefer and have actual fabric swatches from bridesmaid gowns or groomsmen vests so that colors can be complemented.


Types of floral arrangements include bridal bouquet, bridesmaids’ bouquets, maid of honor bouquet, corsages for mothers/grandmothers, boutonnieres for groomsmen and fathers/ grandfathers, flower girl headpiece, petals to sprinkle, table centerpieces, altar arrangements, pew or chair decorations, and cake decorations.


Tread lightly when selecting blooms that have strong aromas. They may be beautiful, but many people are sensitive to smells. Allergies also may be exacerbated by flowers with strong aromas.

BRING SWATCHES & PHOTOS EXPLAIN YOUR BUDGET This can help the florist narrow down TO CONSULTATIONS It is easier to explain color palettes to a florist with examples in hand. Show

options or make substitutions that fit your theme and your budget. n

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Cheesy go


heese is definitely having a moment. As part of charcuterie boards, displays and other elegant meals, the cheesier the better. Put this trend front and center at your reception with these ideas.


Talk to your caterers about a custom grilled cheese bar with different flavors of breads, spreads and cheeses. Choose melty cheeses like nutty Gruyere, sharp cheddar and gooey fontina. Next, consider the bread. Think sourdough, rye and other easily sliceable breads. You can also add a variety of fruits – apple is a great choice – herbs, aromatics, veggies and more.


Similarly to the grilled cheese bar, this station combines different cheese

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sauces with your guests’ choices of pasta and toppings. Pasta shapes to look at include macaroni, cavatappi, rotini or penne. Sauces can include a creamy alfredo, classic cheddar, Swiss and Gruyere, or blue cheese. For toppings, thing about crispy bacon or pancetta, cool diced tomatoes, steamed broccoli, spicy jalapenos and chopped herbs.


Instead of a multi-tiered confectionary glory of a wedding cake, consider stacking up wheels and servings of cheese for an eye-catching and delicious wedding cake alternative. Garnish with fresh fruits and flowers. This is a great idea if either the bride or groom is gluten-free or low carb.


Serve charcuterie boards or spreads at each table or at a giant table so guests can help themselves. Charcuterie is a French word that refers to a type of food preparation that focuses on prepared meats like bacon, ham,

sausages, confit and more. These meats are often paired with complimentary cheeses, fruits, jams and more on gorgeous boards for guests to enjoy.


If your event space allows, consider hiring a sommelier for the evening to pair wines and cheeses for your guests to sample and enjoy. For favors, pack up tiny bottles of your favorite vintages and mini wheels of cheese for your guests to take home. Or, if you prefer, pair up cheese with different kinds of beer. n


budget Ceremony

Use this list to help you develop a budget and keep track of spending as you plan for your wedding.


Venue Fee....................................... _____________ Officiant Fee/Donation............. _____________ Ceremony Décor......................... _____________


_____________ _____________ _____________

Reception Venue Fee....................................... _____________ Rentals............................................ _____________ Food & Service............................ _____________ Beverages & Bartenders........... _____________ Cake & Cutting Fee................... _____________ Reception Decor.......................... _____________

_____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________

Attire & Beauty Gown & Alterations.................. _____________ Veil................................................... _____________ Jewelry............................................ _____________ Bride’s Accessories...................... _____________ Hair & Makeup.......................... _____________ Pre-wedding Pampering........... _____________ Groom’s Tux or Suit.................. _____________ Groom’s Accessories.................. _____________ Shoes................................................ _____________ Undergarments............................ _____________

_____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________

_____________ _____________

Photo + Video Photographer................................ _____________ Videographer................................ _____________ Prints & Videos........................... _____________

_____________ _____________ _____________

Flowers Bride’s Bouquet............................ _____________ Bridesmaid Bouquets................. _____________ Groom & Groomsmen Boutonnieres................................. _____________ Flower Girl Flowers................... _____________ Additional Boutonnieres & Corsages................................... _____________ Ceremony...................................... _____________ Reception ...................................... _____________ Centerpieces.................................. _____________



_____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________

Music Ceremony Musicians................. _____________ Cocktail Hour Musicians......... _____________ Reception Music......................... _____________

_____________ _____________ _____________

Transportation + Lodging Limo or Car Rental.................... _____________ Guest Shuttle or Parking.......... _____________ Bride/Groom Hotel Room(s)............................. _____________

_____________ _____________ _____________

Gifts Attendant Gifts............................ _____________ Favors.............................................. _____________ Parent Gifts................................... _____________ Flower Girl & Ring Bearer Gifts................... _____________

Event Planner............................... _____________ Marriage License......................... _____________ Dance Lessons.............................. _____________ Rehearsal Dinner ....................... _____________ Rentals & Lighting.................... _____________ Tip Money for Vendors............ _____________

_____________ _____________ _____________ _____________

Travel.............................................. _____________ Lodging.......................................... _____________ Entertainment.............................. _____________ Souvenirs........................................ _____________

_____________ _____________


_____________ _____________ _____________ _____________

____________............................... _____________ ____________............................... _____________ ____________............................... _____________ ____________............................... _____________ ____________............................... _____________ ____________............................... _____________

_____________ _____________

_____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________


_____________ _____________

Stationary Save-the-Dates ............................ _____________ Invitations & Reply Cards...... _____________


Rehearsal Dinner Invites.......... _____________ Ceremony Programs.................. _____________ Thank You Cards....................... _____________ Postage............................................ _____________ Guest Book.................................... _____________


Wedding Rings Her Ring........................................ _____________ His Ring......................................... _____________


TOTAL .............................................. _____________

_____________ _____________ _____________ _____________

_____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ ACTUAL COST:


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2021 - 2022 • Black Hills I DO


Transportation day of wedding

Start Today! Plan your perfect day with the

Black Hills I DO Wedding Planning Directory found exclusively on the Explore Black Hills App powered by the Black Hills Pioneer.

get the


Text “XBHAPP” to 313131



ou’ve planned the date, met with the officiant, decided on what to wear, and booked the venue. But how are you going to arrive in style? Arranging wedding transportation can be tricky, even if it seems like it’s a relatively minor detail. However, getting not only the bride and groom, as well as the rest of the bridal party and guests, from point A to point B and even point C is often a taller task than it seems. The wedding planning resource The Knot says couples should begin focusing on transportation between four and six months before their weddings. If the wedding will be held during prom season, couples may want to reserve vehicles even earlier due to high demand. While rented transportation is not necessary, it’s a luxury many couples prefer, as it allows them to leave the driving to someone else. Generally speaking, hired cars will pick up the bride and groom separately before the ceremony; otherwise, they will arrive to the ceremony by other means and then utilize a limo or other vehicle after-

ward. The transportation will then take the married couple and typically members of the bridal party and immediate family to the reception venue. Depending on the head count and how many other people will be getting a lift, two or more vehicles may be necessary. And since the limos will leave after the reception drop off, some other form of transportation will be necessary to take the couple and whomever else rode to the reception back home (or to the airport). This may require dropping off one or more personal cars at the reception venue in advance. The majority or guests will drive their own cars to the wedding. However, if the ceremony and reception site are far apart or if the journey is arduous and out of the way, some well-meaning couples will arrange for transport. Many times couples will have to opt for function over form when tasked with transporting a large number of people. Pricing out different options can yield the most cost-effective route, which very well may be a school or charter bus instead of several limousines. n

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5 tips on choosing & working with a wedding photographer (AP) — Your wedding is fast approaching and you have an un-blissfully long to-do list, from finalizing your flower selection to choosing your menu to deciding on your dress. Near the top of that list you might want to put “select photographer.” That way, one of the most important parts of your wedding — the memories — will be preserved. Think about booking your photographer soon after you have selected your venue, and make sure he or she is a good fit with your personality. Look at potential photographers’ electronic portfolios, pricing and availability, and plan to meet several candidates to gauge their sensibility. Below are five tips on choosing and working with a wedding photographer:


Ask to see a complete portfolio from beginning to end for at least one or two weddings. You don’t want to see only a few “best” photos. “It’s easy to show a bunch of terrific single images taken at many weddings,” says Radhika Chalasani, “but a great wedding photographer has to capture an entire wed-

ding beautifully from start to finish.” The New York-based Chalasani has been photographing weddings since 2004. Looking at portfolios will ensure that the photographer wasn’t just an assistant or a guest with a camera. You can see how the photographer handles all parts of the wedding, including the preparations, ceremony, cocktails, portraits, speeches, dancing and cake-cutting.


A wedding photographer without a contract (and without liability insurance) is likely not a professional. The contract should spell out what the photographer will provide, and whether the pictures will be on DVDs, an online gallery, a finished album, etc. It will include the hours worked, and what happens if you ask the photographer to work longer. In addition, you want to know how things will be handled if the photographer becomes unable to work on the wedding day due to illness or injury. He or she should have a back-up. The contract also should spell out the cost, the amount CONTINUED ON PAGE 21

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2021 - 2022 • Black Hills I DO


of any deposit and when the balance must be paid. Small, casual weddings might not seem to require a contract, but having one will protect both you and the photographer.


“There’s no harm in being specific,” says Chicago wedding photographer Candice C. Cusic, a photojournalist for 15 years and a teacher at Northwestern University. Tell the photographer what the most important aspects of the day are to you, whether it’s exchanging rings or walking down the aisle. “Brides should be realistic about their day and make every possible effort to help their photographer capture great imagery,” Cusic said. A bride or groom getting ready inside a messy hotel room, for instance, will not make for strong pictures, she noted.


Other than your significant other, the person with whom you’ll spend the most

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time on your wedding day might well be your photographer. He or she will be with you as you get ready and as you go through the emotional highs of the day. The photographer might guide you and your family through a portrait session, walk backward as you process up the aisle, and hang close by during your first dance. So this person’s personality — sense of humor, demeanor, even appearance — should be a good fit with both of you. Craig Warga, a New York-based wedding photographer, said “good photography happens when you can get close to your subjects, and they feel completely comfortable being natural and themselves in front of your lens. If you don’t like someone, you’re not going to have that level of comfort in front of them, and it will affect the pictures.” If you like a sassy personality who will add some color to your day, then by all means hire a vibrant, outgoing photographer who exudes energy. On the other hand, if you want a subtle documentary photographer who will capture important moments without being intrusive, go for someone who won’t talk loudly over you

when you first meet, and who seems cool and composed. The right photographer, said Warga, is someone who leaves you thinking, “it’d be nice to have that person as a guest at my wedding.”


Ask if the photographer has a full set of equipment: multiple bodies and lenses with back-ups. Will he or she be working with an assistant or second photographer? If so, what is the additional cost and does that person need to be there all day? If your venue will be dark, can the photographer handle it? Is the photographer able to work in adverse conditions such as rain at an outdoor ceremony?

FINALLY, MAKE PROVISIONS FOR YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER TO EAT; IT’S HARD TO BE “ON” FOR EIGHT TO 10 HOURS STRAIGHT A 15-minute meal break might just be the best thing you do for the photographer. n


Wedding Announcements run free of charge in our Black Hills Pioneer Saturday edition or as space allows. NOTE: Submissions may be edited according to available space.

Wedding Information Bride’s Name and Hometown: ___________________________________________________________________________ Bride’s Parents’ Names and Residence(s): __________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Groom’s Name and Hometown: _________________________________________________________________________ Groom’s Parents’ Names and Residence(s): ________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Date and Place of Wedding: _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Wedding Party:________________________________________________________________________________________ Wedding Colors:_______________________________________________________________________________________ Bride’s Education: _____________________________________________________________________________________ Employment: _________________________________________________________________________________________ Groom’s Education: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Employment: _________________________________________________________________________________________ PHOTO ENCLOSED:



NO q

If photo needs to be returned, please enclose self-addressed, stamped envelope. We strongly urge you to type this form or print neatly. Handwriting can be misinterpreted and if we can’t read your handwriting, mistakes can happen. We cannot re-run wedding news printed incorrectly if the mistake is caused by misinterpreted handwriting.

Phone number and contact person if there are futher questions:_____________________________________________________________________________ Please Return Completed Form To: Black Hills Pioneer, 315 Seaton Circle, Spearfish, SD 57783 • (605) 642-2761 – OR –



2021 - 2022 • Black Hills I DO

2021 - 2022 • Black Hills I DO



changing your


fter months of planning your should be changed is your Social Secuwedding and all the details that rity card. go along with making your This should be on the top of your special day one to remember, you’re to-do list as some banks want your new finally able to relax and enjoy spending name on your Social Security card betime with your new spouse. But if you fore opening an account. Updating your or your spouse plan on changing your card will also ensure your wages are name, there is more work to be done. posted correctly to your Social Security How does that work, exactly? records. From changing Changing your your driver’s license, Social Security to bank account, card cannot be Social Security card, done online; and more, getting however there is your name changed no charge to make on all official the changes. documents can be To change your • Thank you notes a process, but it is name on your • Vendor reviews important to ensure Social Security accuracy. card you will need • Dress cleaning and/or Don’t try to start to complete Form preservation the name change SS-5. These forms game before you say, can be obtained • Gift returns “I do.” It’s a waste at http://www. • Registry completion of time and you have plenty of other forms/ss-5.pdf. priorities to take care Additionally, of. Instead, start after you will need you say your vows. proof of your First, stop by your county’s Register identity. Sometimes you also may need of Deeds office and get at least two to prove your current U.S. citizenship certified copies of your marriage license. or lawful noncitizen status. This can It is a good idea to make several more be done with a driver’s license, non-certified copies as well. passport, or state-issued, non-driver ID One of the first documents that card.Mail your application to your

More Post-Wedding Tasks to Tackle


local Social Security office. To change your driver’s license, stop by your local department of motor vehicles office. You will need to bring a certified copy of your marriage license. If your license has a gold star in the upper right corner, you will also need to bring your current driver’s license or ID card, two documents proving your residential address such as a utility bill, bank stub, phone bill among other items. If your license does not contain the star you will need to bring more items. This includes a document that proves your date of birth, identity and citizenship. This can be a valid and unexpired U.S. Passport, a certified copy of your birth certificate as well as other items. You will also need to bring documents that prove your Social Security number. This can be your Social Security card, a W-2 form, or a pay stub with your name and full Social Security number. For more information on what documents are needed, visit http://dps. Now that you have a new Social Security card and driver’s license, other documents can be updated. If international travel is in your future, be sure to update or receive a passport. You may run into troubles if you have a passport in one name and a driver’s license in another. Find need to know info at It does take a while for your passport to be issued - four to six weeks, however expedited processing can be requested for a charge. If you are honeymooning abroad and are using your maiden name and will later change your name, don’t worry about losing all your visas and stamps. Your old, cancelled passport can be sent separately from your new passport. Other documents should be changed such as bank accounts and mortgages, credit cards, investments, utilities, health insurance, voter registration, other legal documents and with your employer. Each entity seems to have its own policy when it comes to the name change game, but relax, and enjoy your new spouse. n

2021 - 2022 • Black Hills I DO

2021 - 2022 • Black Hills I DO


100 tips Being well informed about every detail - big or small - will make all the difference.


hen was the last time you planned a party this big? If you’re like most brides, this event is a first in size, details — and pressure! Because wedding planning is so time consuming, being well organized is the only way to keep things under control. Most weddings, especially large ones, require lots of advance planning in order to book the best bridal resources, many of which are reserved one or two years before the event. Today’s long engagements — ­ 14 months on average — allow couples time to pull the details together and save for the expenses they may be handling or sharing with parents. This checklist is packed with all the essential steps you need to know about during planning. The more time you have, the more opportunity you’ll have to comparison shop. And you’ll also feel less pressured to commit to something that does not seem right for you. However, if your timetable is condensed, simply move the steps up. For a much shorter schedule, a wonderful wedding can still be had by making some logical compromises. For example, plan on a morning/noon wedding,

with a breakfast or brunch/luncheon reception, or a Friday or Sunday evening ceremony and reception. In some areas of the country there is also more flexibility for hiring choice resources for a Saturday wedding on shorter notice during the months of January, February and March. Happy planning!


limitations. 10 Select two or three possibilities for your attendants’ gowns and arrange an appointment with the shop to bring your attendants in to see their choices. Because they pay for their own dresses, it’s thoughtful to do this, if possible. After a review of the styles, the final decision is yours. 11 Buy calendars for attendants and immediate families and mark important wedding-related dates for them in red. As other dates are made during the planning, they can plug them into their calendar. 12 Draw up the guest list. Notify your fiancée’s family to do the same. 13 Interview photographers, videographers, musicians and florists. Make a separate folder for each service you select. Keep contracts, notes, questions and all pertinent data in them for a handy and quick reference.

1 Visit your clergy together and set the date for the ceremony. 2 Discuss expenses with all concerned and establish a firm budget. 3 Decide on the size and formality of your wedding. 4 Interview party planners or wedding consultants with a reputation for a job well done. If time is at a premium for you or distance is a problem, a professional planner is well worth the fee. With so many details to look after, their experience can help save you costly 6 to 12 MONTHS mistakes. BEFORE THE WEDDING 5 Consider unusual locations to hold the celebration. Contact your local parks 14 Select and order your invitations. department or historical society. Include extra envelopes in case of mis6 Select the place takes, and a few extra inviyou’d like to hold tations to have as mementhe reception. Make tos for you and your family. Besides the reception, reservations if it If you want calligraphy and the most expensive parts is in a club, hotel, find handwork too expenof the wedding are engagement rings ($6,163), catering hall or sive, look into computer rephotography and video restaurant. If it is sources. Ask for envelopes ($3,378), music ($1,297), to be at home or at to be delivered early so you & wedding rings ($1,727). a place that does can address them leisurely. not provide food, At the same time, order check into catering personal stationery (an amservices and book them. Ask to see a ple supply of both letter and notepaper) variety of possible menus; inquire if a for writing thank-you notes. wedding cake is included or if one must 15 Have mothers select their dresses. be arranged for separately. The bride’s mother has the privilege of 7 Start shopping around for your wedfirst choice so that she can have the color ding dress, headpiece and veil. and style she prefers. The groom’s moth8 Make alternate plans for an outdoor er chooses a dress similar in formality wedding in case the weather is bad. The and in a complementary color. Both most logical options include a very sturshould blend with your bridal-party dy tent and a platform that withstands color scheme. rain, or an indoor, alternative location 16 Decide upon the men’s attire. Acthat is indicated on the reception invitacompany your fiancée to a formal-wear tion. specialty shop in your locale to select 9 Invite relatives and/or friends to be in what the groom, best man, ushers and your wedding party. Talk over finances fathers will wear. with them and be considerate of their 17 Register with the bridal gift registry



2021 - 2022 • Black Hills I DO

2021 - 2022 • Black Hills I DO


Pack an emergency wedding day kit • needle and thread in white, black and the color of bridesmaid gowns • extra pairs of pantyhose • pain reliever pills/antacid • quick-clean detergent stick • bandages • powder • deodorant • double-sided tape • black buttons • sanitary pads • mints/gum • makeup for touch-ups • extra cash • slippers or a change of shoes • umbrellas • hairspray • hair pins • names and phone numbers of all wedding vendors • static cling spray • hair dryer • contact lens solution/ eye drops • nail file/clipper • straws (to sip drinks without ruining lipstick) • safety pins • black socks • earring backs



in your favorite store. Meet with the director of the registry and her trained staff for help choosing your china, crystal, linens and other household preferences. Indicate engagement and shower gift choices, as well as wedding presents. 18 Reserve the location for your rehearsal dinner.

of the wedding party, their spouses, fiancées or significant others should be invited, along with both your immediate families. If possible, invite out-of town guests, too. 26 Arrange accommodations for attendants who do not live in town. If neither you nor any of your family, friends or neighbors have the facilities to house them, make hotel reservations. Your 4 MONTHS fiancée does the same for his attendants. BEFORE THE WEDDING 27 Reserve a block of rooms at a hotel 19 Address invitations and announcefor out-of-town guests. Most hotels ments. All addressing, stuffing and offer discounts to guests for a wedding stamping should be completed in time weekend. In advance of mailing invitato mail the invitations four to six weeks tions, write to your guests and enclose before the wedding. If you have an “A” the hotel information so they can make and a “B” list, you may mail “A” eight their reservations directly. Once they weeks in advance. When you receive rearrive, have waiting for them a comgrets, you may invite people on “B” four plete information packet, including city weeks (and no less than three weeks) maps, transportation schedules and before the wedding. Prepare maps and prices, sights to see and restaurants. directions to include with invitations. An additional courtesy, included with 20 Check with the post office for the this information, might be a refreshing postage needed to mail the invitation basket of fruit, snacks or other food that when all the pieces are enclosed in the your region is known for. envelope. 28 Ask a friend or relative 21 Schedule profesto check on your out-ofsional dance lessons town guests to be sure to make your first they are comfortable and of brides use Pinterest dance memorable. answer any of their questo communicate their 22 Meet with the tions. Provide that person’s wedding-day vision to caterer to firm up name and phone number planners and vendors. the menu and all the in your letter because you details. If any guests will be so busy those last require special food, few days. arrange that now. Be 29 Visit your florist with sure all your expectations are clearly dedress-color swatches to help with the fined in a written contract, which should selection of flowers for your wedding include taxes, any service charges, and reception. Ask about providing the and additional fees to bartenders and aisle runner for the ceremony. Again, be waiters, if not included in the package. sure everything is clearly itemized in a Also, you should make certain that the contractual agreement. location — which should be a licensed 30 Decide on your honeymoon destinacatering establishment — carries basic tion. Consult a travel agent. Traditionalliability insurance. ly, the groom makes these arrangements, 23 Engage a baker to create a special but if you’re better at that, don’t hesitate wedding cake, if you want something to offer. more elaborate than what your caterer 31 Hire limousines or other specialty offers. Inquire about a cake-cutting cars for the wedding party members. charge if you bring in the wedding cake 32 Investigate resources for designing from elsewhere. and printing a program to distribute 24 Investigate having air-conditioning in at the ceremony. Desktop publishing a tent when the wedding is to be held in should make that possible at a reasonwarm weather. able cost to you. 25 Plan a rehearsal dinner. Members 33 Consult with your officiant about


2021 - 2022 • Black Hills I DO

any restriction on photography and videography. 34 Discuss with helpful family or friends the possibility of their inviting out-of-town guests to dinner the night before the wedding, if you can’t include them at your rehearsal party. Also, they might host a breakfast or lunch for travelers, if the wedding is late in the day.

dentist, too. rich chocolate, may be ordered from 48 Meet with the organist and anyone your baker. Guests take a piece home in else you have asked to play or sing at the little boxes. service to determine the music. 57 Give thought to your cake top. Por49 Meet with the musicians or DJ celain figurines are beautiful and will be engaged to play at the reception to plan a lasting memento. A creative baker will the selections you and your fiancée want, most likely have other ideas to present from your song to the dance tempo you to you. expect them to maintain. Plan a vari58 Talk about ways to personalize your ety of songs so there’s something older ceremony and then discuss your ideas guests will enjoy as well with the officiant. 2 MONTHS as what’s hot among 59 Check with the church sexton and BEFORE THE WEDDING your peers. Caution manager of the reception location for acthe musicians about cessibility to accommodate handicapped 35 Compile a list of all excessive volume — it or elderly guests. Inform ushers of this. of marrying the friends and family can ruin a reception. 60 Buy fake rings to sew on your ring members you would couples choose to Tell them about any bearer’s pillow. The best man carries the like to have invited to write their ethnic favorites you real ones. showers. own vows. may want so they’ll be 36 Tell the hostess for familiar with the music. parties in your honor 1 MONTH Inquire about breaks, where you are regisBEFORE THE WEDDING continuous music and overtime. Get it tered. That store may be indicated right all in writing. on the shower invitation, but not on the 61 Finalize plans with your photogra50 Speak with the caterer about the wedding invitation. pher and draw up a list of pictures you food you want to serve to your photog37 Now’s the time to put your wedding definitely want taken during the ceremorapher and musicians. Something simple invitations into the mail. ny and reception. to eat, a beverage and a place to sit that’s 38 Record your wedding gifts as they 62 Ask a relative or friend who knows away from your guests are considered arrive. Note the giver’s name, address, the family well to help the photographer sufficient. type of gift, date received and date you identify the people to be included in your 51 Meet with the person handling acknowledge them. photos, especially if there is a divorce or your reception and firm up every detail. 39 Write thank-you notes promptly. remarriage, or any type of sticky situaIf rental equipment is required, make Within two months of returning from tion among the parents of the couple. arrangements for it. your honeymoon, you should acknowl63 Develop an orderly system of track52 Select your wedding ring(s). Arrange edge all wedding gifts. ing guests’ responses and any special for engraving. 40 Call to confirm the exact date and information you need to remember. 53 Set a date with your photographer time of rehearsals with your officiant. 64 Discuss the bachelor party with your for a formal bridal portrait to be made Notify attendants and family of the time fiancée. Suggest the event be scheduled four weeks before the and place. at least a week before wedding. 41 Send out all invitations to the rethe wedding day so 54 Discuss having a The reception hearsal dinner. there’s plenty of time accounts for portrait of both of you 42 Plan a get-together party for your to recover from the done for the newspaper attendants. revelry. announcement. This is 43 Select gifts for wedding attendants. 65 Have a final fitting of wedding costs, an alternative to the traYour fiancée does the same for his. on your gown and with an average price tag ditional formal newspa44 Begin trousseau shopping for lingemake certain it will be of $12,343. per photo. Or you may rie, honeymoon clothes and other items ready to take to your submit a wedding photo you’ll need depending on where you bridal-portrait sitting. of the two of you taken plan to live. 66 Make an appointon your wedding. 45 Purchase a pretty wedding guest ment to have your hair styled just before 55 Check with your local newspaper book for friends and family to sign at the your formal portrait is taken, and again for the form and timing of your wedreception. the day before or day of your wedding. ding-announcement submission. 46 Check with local authorities to see 67 Check apparel for the wedding 56 Select party favors to present to your whether a blood test is needed for a party. Have bridesmaids’ gowns fitted. guests to thank them for sharing your marriage license. Get swatches of material and have shoes happiness. For this purpose, a groom’s 47 Make an appointment with your dyed to match. If any attendants live cake, in a traditional fruitcake or deep, doctor for a complete physical. See your out of town, send their dresses to them




2021 - 2022 • Black Hills I DO


I’m getting married!

What documents are required? Marriage licenses may be obtained at your county’s Register of Deeds office. To receive the license: • Both parties must be present. • A valid photo ID, such as a driver’s license, state ID or passport is required. • The fee is $40, and can be paid by cash and usually credit cards. Checks are not accepted. • There is no blood test or waiting period required. • The license may be used the same day, and it must be used within 20 days from issue. • The license may be used anywhere within the State of South Dakota. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 29

to be fitted. Check mothers’ dresses and accessories. 68 Call the caterer and make a final decision on the reception menu. Be sure that the cake has been ordered. 69 Give your caterer a reliable estimate of the number of guests expected at the wedding reception, so they can give you a written confirmation of cost per person with an itemized accounting - to the smallest detail - of what they promise to provide. 70 Confer with the florist to be sure everything is ordered. Confirm the time that flowers will be delivered and decorations will be completed. 71 Arrange a transportation schedule for those in the wedding party. 72 Select a special wedding gift to give


each other. brought to the reception to your parents’ 73 Go over all procedures of the wedhome or other designated place. ding ceremony and receiving line with 87 Call guests who have not responded each other. to their invitation to ask if they’ll be 74 Make seating plans for the rehearsal attending. dinner, ceremony and reception. 88 Add last-minute acceptances and 75 Write out place cards, if you plan to phone your caterer with the final guest have a bride’s table and a parent’s table. count. Also complete table num89 Confirm ceremony ber cards for guests if vocalists and musiyou’re hosting a sit-down cians, and recheck dinner. your musical selecRecent trends in wedding planning 76 Decide which tions. indicate September and members of the wedding 90 Arrange your October to be the will be included in the gift display. All cards most popular receiving line and plan should be removed. months to get married. their positions. Checks are not 77 Keep gift checklist up displayed, but a card to date, and write thankstating “Check from you notes daily. Aunt Louise” may be 78 Consult professional movers for essubstituted. Insure gifts. timates to move your gifts and personal 91 Invite friends and relatives to drop belongings to another town, if you’re by to see your gifts. relocating. 92 Present a small gift or note of appre79 Make certain you are insured against ciation to friends and relatives who did damage or loss in transit. special favors that made planning run smoothly. 2 WEEKS 93 Do a final check on details with your BEFORE THE WEDDING florist, caterer, sexton, clergy, musicians and photographer. 80 Set a date with your fiancée to get 94 Finalize your honeymoon plans and your marriage license. begin packing. 81 Be sure that the clothing and accessories for all members of the bridal party are in order. 82 Check with the society editor of your local newspaper and your groom’s hometown paper to find out what form they wish you to follow to submit your wedding announcement and photograph. Mail the materials soon. 83 Start gathering documents to change your name on your bank account, Social Security card, license, insurance and other important documents, if you are assuming your husband’s name.



95 Have a manicure, pedicure and even a massage to pamper yourself and help you feel relaxed. 96 Attend the rehearsal. Review all important duties with the principals in the wedding party. 97 Give ushers the list of guests to be seated in the reserved section. THE



84 Finalize your rehearsal dinner arrangements. 85 Wrap gifts purchased for your attendants and groom. Present them at the rehearsal party. 86 Make plans to transport any gifts

98 Rest and thoroughly relax in a nice warm bath. 99 Allow plenty of time to dress - about two hours before the ceremony begins, if possible. 100 Have a wonderful wedding day and enjoy every beautiful moment! n


2021 - 2022 • Black Hills I DO

2021 - 2022 • Black Hills I DO



2021 - 2022 • Black Hills I DO

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