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Local Essentials BRIDAL GUIDE

February 15, 2013

THE COMMUNITY NEWS

A Special Section


2B February 15, 2013

Bridal Guide 2013

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Wedding essentials: Cakes ◗ Jeri’s Back Home Bakery

is all about taste Staff Reports The Community News

Jeri’s Back Home Bakery makes wedding cakes pretty, but more importantly, makes them taste delicious. “People love our cupcakes, so they choose our cakes for the taste,” said decorator Leslie Monzel.

Wedding cakes For brides looking for a vintage, antique feel for their wedding, Jeri’s caters right to them. “We create vintage, old-style cakes,” Monzel said. SPECIAL TO THE COMMUNITY NEWS

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Bridal Guide 2013

February 15, 2013

The staff is often asked to recreate cakes the brides find online, like the popular half black and half white cake. Just like the variety of grooms that Jeri’s works with, Monzel said the bakery sees all types of brides. “Some brides have it all planned out, and some brides don’t care as long as it tastes great,” Monzel said.

Grooms’ cakes Every groom is different, so grooms’ cakes range from classy to country. “One groom worked on an oil rig, so we made him a chocolate cake with an oil rig in the middle,” Monzel said. From beer can cakes ordered by brand (Monzel said she’s received requests for Budweiser and Keystone light) to target cakes for the avid hunter, Jeri’s staff works on any request that comes in. Cakes start at $125 for the smallest, most basic cake and can run up into thousands of dollars. “We don’t just make sure the cakes are beautiful; we make sure it’s what people actually want to eat,” Monzel said. “We love what we do and we want to make our customers happy.” For more information, call 817-594-4003. SPECIAL TO THE COMMUNITY NEWS

Grooms’ cakes made by Jeri’s show off the grooms’ personalities. Jeri’s has crafted oil rig, beer can and cowboy-inspired cakes.

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JENNIFER RETTER/THE COMMUNITY NEWS

JENNIFER RETTER/THE COMMUNITY NEWS

Carve the bride’s new inital into a cutting board from Chattel.

Top: Agape’s one-of-a-kind jewelry works for a bridal gift or flower girl fashion.

Wedding essential: Gifts ◗ Shop local for one-of-a-

Agape

Aisle Ten

kind presents

Agape, the coffee shop and gift store rolled into one, located off 1187 in Aledo, offers a unique variety of jewelry perfect for a little flower girl. Between one-ofa-kind headbands and sweet imitation pearl bracelets, you’re certain to find something cute for her to wear down the aisle. The jewelry also makes for a nice unique gift for a bride.

For a lingerie party or bachelorette party, look in Aisle Ten for Cosabella lingerie. The shop also offers J. Devlin little glass jewelry boxes, picture frames and candles. Owner Glenda King said one of the most popular gifts is the Aluèur Candle, a creamy white candle, no matter the scent, in a bronze-frosted glass. The candles are poured locally and come with stick matches. 817-922-8422

Staff Reports The Community News

Whether it’s thank you gifts for bridesmaids or a unique wedding present, local area shops present lovely options.

Forté At Forté in Old Town Aledo, owner Darlene Mead keeps the store stocked with darling little gifts appropriate for bridal party thank yous or fun options for the brides. Check out Forté’s collection of Jon Hart makeup bags, which can be customized with initials or school names. Pick and choose between the different sizes and colors (perhaps your wedding color) and add personalization for each bridesmaid. Forté also offers a bridal registry. Fortealedo.com; 817-441-5400

817-441-7770

Urban West Located at 201 East Oak St. in Aledo, Urban West offers a variety of apparel, jewelry, art and home décor. Pick out an item for the bride’s new home for a wedding present. Brides are sure to find a sweet thank you gift for bridesmaids or moms in Urban West’s jewelry selection. 817-441-9110

Chattel In the South, monogramming is key. When everything from your purse to your towels boast your initials, it’s only appropriate that your cutting board should, too. Chattel sells beautiful wood cutting boards, easily customizable with an initial, and Beatriz Ball fine metal-

Middle: Forté’s John Hart collection makes a perfect gift for bridesmaid. Bottom: A Touch of Elegance offers gifts appropriate for a bride’s new home.

ware, which can be engraved with the design or letters of your choice. Not only will you give the bride and groom something personal and sweet, but a gift they can use every day in their new home. Pkflowers.net; 817-441-5499

Touch of Elegance Touch of Elegance, which also offers a bridal registry, offers charming country items and household pieces, from candles and centerpieces to cutting boards and kitchen furnishings. Owner Nannette Gallison routinely receives new shipments to keep products unique. Check out the store’s Mr. & Mrs. picture frame, perfectly adorable with white ribbon and stitched type. 817-441-1870


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Bridal Guide 2013

February 15, 2013

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Planning the Honeymoon ◗ Travel agents share tips Staff Reports The Community News

Harvey Boysen of Gulliver’s Travel in Fort Worth has seen it all when it comes to honeymoons. “We have a lot of people choose Mexico because it’s so close and the price makes it an easy choice,” Boysen said. “But we’ve also booked honeymoons to Italy, Tahiti and Disney World. You just never know.” With an overwhelming variety of location options, price constraints and lack of planning time, many people turn to travel agents to help sort through the travel planning process. Boysen and his team at Gulliver’s Travel plan a lot of honeymoons to Caribbean destinations, like St. Lucia and Jamaica. Boysen said the travel agency books “a fair amount of cruises” for honeymoons, too. Linda Bierle of River Plaza Travel, located at 211 Rim Rock Lane in Aledo, said no one tour company always has

the lowest price or best itinerary. Just because one company boasts a great rate for a cruise does not mean they have the best deal on hotels, or that the rate will even stick for more than a week. “Prices change constantly and can vary a great deal from search to search,” Bierle said. “I get a lot of calls from people who have shopped it so long on their own that they are frustrated and confused.” While a certain amount of patience should be factored into the travel search, Bierle said waiting until the last minute will not pay off. “Honeymoons should be booked well in advance,” Bierle said. “Last minute travel is only best if you aren’t set on a date and are extremely flexible.” Bierle said she receives a lot of requests for the Caribbean, but with a longer distances comes a higher price. “If you want white beaches and blue water, Cancun and the Mayan Riviera are the most cost-efficient

due to non-stop flights and location,” Bierle said. “If you’re willing to spend more on air, recent popular locations you might want to consider are Turks and Caicos, Punta Cana, Grand Cayman or St. Lucia.” Bierle recommends checking out Sandals or Couples resorts, which tend to focus on the couple experience, instead of resorts labeled “adults 18 and over,” which typically cater to the single scene. In the late winter, Bierle said “Wave Season” kicks in, with cruise lines offering their onboard credits and discounts. She recommends booking a cruise during this time period to secure the best rates. Sharon Lasater, founder of UMC Travel in Fort Worth, said couples on a budget often come to her for trips to Jamaica. “Jamaica is very popular,” Lasater said. “There are nonstop flights available through American and you can get there in just three-and-a-half hours.” Lasater said though a common

misconception on travel agencies is that they cost more in the end, she argues this is not the case. “It doesn’t cost them any more to work with me since I can find them a better price, and I take care of a lot of details,” Lasater said. “Working with a travel agent helps if you run into a problem. If you booked your trip online, there’s no one to call for help.”

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Wedding essential: photography ◗ From save the dates to

wedding day memories, take photos right Staff Reports The Community News

From the start of the engagement to the big day, photography can make or break your engagement and wedding experience. No one wants to look back and cringe at the awful outfit choices that made you look uncomfortable or poor lighting that made guests squint into the camera. Les Lopez of Lopez Photography in Aledo and Tammy Graham of Locations Photography in Fort Worth shared simple tips for brides planning out their photography basics and budget.

Engagements for Save the Dates With save the dates becoming more of a

trend and the internet supplying any kind of save the date prompt under the sun, it’s essential to make your engagement photos just as important. As your first chance to present yourself as a couple to your future wedding guests, Graham recommends keeping outfits simple. “Don’t dress formal if you’re not a formal person,” Graham said. “Dress to fit your personality.” Lopez said the biggest mistake couples make when taking engagement photos is placing too much emphasis on the garments worn. “You don’t need to go out and buy something new or even match,” Lopez said. “We cover expression, not fashion. When I ask you to look into each other’s eyes for a photo, I don’t want you to be fidgeting with an uncomfortable new shirt you’ve never worn before.” Lopez said he looks to incorporate ele

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ments specific to each couple into his sessions – so if you got engaged just down the road, share it with your photographer. “Did you meet somewhere locally? Where did he propose? I want to know these things for the session,” Lopez said. After the camera flashes stop, choosing the right save the date to match your photos and personalities can be simple through Locations Photography. Graham said Locations offers a variety of save the date templates, from magnets to cut-out cards in any size and shape. “There are so many different ways to remind people to put your date on their calendar,” Graham said.

for those, it’s not going to happen.”

The Wedding

According to The Knot’s Real Weddings Survey, brides spent an average of $2,299 on photographers, the third highest expense after the venue and the reception band, excluding the honeymoon cost.

When choosing a wedding venue, a stream of questions should run through your head. What’s the cost? When can I book it? How many people will fit? What colors would work in this space? One questions brides should not overlook, Lopez said: How will my photos look? “Work with your photographer to plan your wedding,” Lopez said. “If you’re doing an outdoor wedding at noon, the lighting will be terrible for pictures.” Lopez said brides often overlook the lighting aspect, a mistake that comes back to haunt them when bridal party photos turn out mismatched from the harsh midday lighting. “Even if you have a 3 p.m. wedding inside, you need to think about it,” Lopez said. “Remember that you’ll start pictures around 1 p.m. and if you’re outside

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Like engagement photos, Lopez recommended brides think about looking back on photos when choosing a wedding dress, “Younger brides are picking all of these fashionable gowns,” Lopez said. “When you look back in four or five years, you’re not going to like it. Purchase a dress that’s you, not an outlandish fashionable trend.”

Budget

Lopez recommended setting aside 25 percent of the wedding budget for photography, noting that the photography cost should match the setting. An outdoor, simple wedding photography budget would be less than a full-blown reception at the Reata. Even as the amount spent on weddings climbs, Lopez said it’s essential that brides don’t cut the budget on photography. “Once the champagne gets stale and the guests leave, all you have left are the photographs,” Lopez said.

February 15, 2013

Save the date (n): A notification to your guests that precedes the official invite, reminding them to mark your wedding date on their calendar.

L o c a t i o n s Photography offers save the date templates.

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Where fl flowers owers bloom, so does hope. ~Ladybird Johnson

Bridal Guide 2013

Wedding essential: Flowers ◗ The “Flower Bombs can

pull together anything from roses to calla lilies By Jennifer Retter The Community News

Kelly McCauley of Aledo Florist calls herself Flower Bomb #1, and with good reason. McCauley and her team, which includes her daughter Meredith (Flower Bomb #2), Nanci Ivey (Flower Bomb #3), and Lauri Gustafson (Flower Bomb #4), service all types and sizes of weddings. “We can do anything from immaculate to simple country,” Ivey said. “Don’t underestimate us. The flower bombs can pull off anything.”

The flowers

Aledo Flowerbombs For All Your Floral Needs & Events

While Aledo Florist receives many orders for traditional roses for weddings (“classic and timeless,” said McCauley), a trend in colorful arrangements makes up more and more orders. “We’re seeing a lot more colors in bridal bouquets,” McCauley said. “Many brides go for calla lilies because they come in shades from dark, deep plum to the purest white.” Other popular flowers include hydrangeas, peonies, and garden roses. Garden roses, which open to look like miniature peonies, cost twice as much as regular roses. “They don’t grow as fervently [as normal roses] and they’re harder to raise,” McCauley said. “They have a totally unique look, like grandma’s roses straight from the garden.” While the Aledo Florist women take orders for just about any flower in any type of arrangement, there is one bloom the flower bombs steer clear of – tulips. “A lot of people try to use tulips,” McCauley said. “Tulips are so sensitive to the temperature, so we try to avoid them.”

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Bridal Guide 2013

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SPECIAL TO THE COMMUNITY NEWS

Top left: For a bridal show, Aledo Florist put together a bouquet of white orchids, white hydrangea, pink roses and hypericum berries. Middle left: Aledo Florist added green hypericum berries to esperanza roses for this bouquet. Bottom left: For a green wedding, Aledo Florist put together a bouquet of pink roses, antique hydrangeas, pink heather and green and burgundy hanging amaranth.

The logistics For a wedding with 50 or more guests, McCauley advises ordering flowers at least three months in advance. For large scale weddings, brides should order up to a year in advance. For June weddings, McCauley advises visiting the florist no later than March. Between Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, proms and weddings, spring is the busiest time for florists. That said, the Aledo Florist women have pulled together arrangements with minimal notice. “We’ve had people walk in and they’re getting married tomorrow,” McCauley said. “We can run and get flowers.” Costs for wedding flowers can vary greatly depending on flower type and wedding size. In general, McCauley said a simple rose bouquet with greenery and a ribbon wrapped around it will cost a bride around $85, but prices climb steeply from there. Brides can put down a deposit and make payments at Aledo Florist, but all flowers must be paid for by the week before the wedding at the absolute latest.

The planning “I recommend all brides bring pages, magazines, online printouts, or pictures from Pinterest when they come see me,” McCauley said. McCauley said brides need to set up a free consultation, which she considers the most important part of the process. As for what to expect in the consultation? “Smile, breathe, and let us do it,” Ivey said. “This is your day,” McCauley said. “I don’t care how many times you get married, it’s still your day. Just bring the colors of your wedding party and let us fly.”

JENNIFER RETTER/THE COMMUNITY NEWS

From left, Nanci Ivey, Kelly McCauley and Meredith McCauley put together arrangements for weddings.

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Wedding essential: Location

Left: A ceremony at A&M Gardens takes place under the trees. Top right: The Parson’s Table sets up for an outdoor wedding. Bottom right: An evening wedding reception at Chandor Gardens employs twinkling lights.

◗ Local spots offer two-in-

one options for weddings and receptions Staff Reports The Community News

Local area wedding and reception venues keep guests in an idyllic country scape. Here are a handful of popular local venues.

The Parson’s Table Susan Pearson, runs the Parson’s Table, a charming old church-turnedvenue, with her son, Aaron. “It’s a historical venue, which gives it a nice touch,” Pearson said. The Parson’s Table, located at 200 South FM 1187 in Aledo, offers indoor and outdoor spaces for both weddings

and receptions. “We have very lovely outdoor grounds for people who want to incorporate the outside,” Pearson said. “It’s like one-stop shopping: you can hold your wedding and reception in the same place.” The Parson’s table staff calls the cuisine “heavenly,” with a basic menu offering hors d’oeuvres and main courses. Cold and hot hors d’oeuvre options range from cucumber cups to tortellini skewers and dinner options like beef tenderloin with red wine mushroom sauce and grilled pork chop with baked apples and bleu cheese complete the package. Pearson said the menu changes seasonally, and custom menus can be created for guests. Most brides book the Parson’s Table six to nine months in advance, but Pearson recommends booking earlier

with a more popular date, such as a June Saturday. For more information on the Parson’s Table, call 817-441-2650 or visit parsonstable.net.

Chandor Gardens A couple very much in love constructed the Chandor Gardens site, located at 711 West Lee Ave in Weatherford, making it an appropriate location for weddings. “That feeling still permeates the air here,” said Karen Nantz, who manages the facility which is now owned by the City of Weatherford. Chandor Gardens’ layout makes the location an easy spot for both a wedding and reception. A private outdoor garden hosts weddings while a charming historic house holds receptions. To keep the attention fully on one

bride at a time, Nantz said Chandor Gardens will only hold one wedding per day. “Since we only hold one wedding per day, so there’s no pressure to clean up fast and get out before the next ceremony,”Nantz said. Nantz recommends brides reserve Chandor Gardens six months to one year in advance of their wedding date. The gardens will host their 3rd Annual Say Yes to Romance bridal fair, a free event for brides featuring a cakeoff, fashion shows with high-end dresses, and a multitude of vendors from DJs to caterers, on March 17. To learn more about Chandor Gardens, call 817-6131700 or visit chandorgardens.com.

Clark Gardens As Clark Gardens Director of Events Kay Huse says, there are 35 acres of


The Community News sons to choose Clark Gardens for a wedding venue. The gardens feature nine venues for both weddings and receptions, attracting couples from across the globe. “We’ve had people come from Nicaragua, Argentina and Canada to get married here,” Huse said. Each of the venues within the garden has a different look and feel, and Clark Gardens can accommodate weddings from 20 people to 500 people. The gardens offer 5,000 foot square tents in the case of rain so brides can still hold their special days in the lush gardens. Huse said Clark Gardens was named one of the top ten garden venues in the United States. For more information about Clark Gardens, call 940-682-4856 or visit clarkgardens.org.

A&M Gardens A&M Gardens, named after its founding couple Allen and Melody Shelton, features lush gardens with outdoor paths at its Azle location. “We are a very beautiful established garden,” said property manager and coordinator Cyndi Baker. “We have water features outside and a private hall for inside receptions.” Baker said the garden area is only used for one wedding a day, and only for weddings. Receptions are held in the private dining hall near the garden, which includes a dance floor, sound system, lighting, tables and a bar. For more information on A&M Gardens, call 817-

Bridal Guide 2013

February 15, 2013

11B

Tips on selecting a venue Compare apples to apples “I encourage brides to shop around and compare apples to apples. If you find a venue that’s cheaper, make sure it’s really a good deal. How much does the price include? Do you have to rent tables and tablecloths?” Susan Pearson, The Parson’s Table

Consider your budget and guest list upfront “Ask questions. Make absolutely sure your budget and wedding size will fit in the venue before making any decision.” Kay Huse, Clark Gardens

Look back

Find a friendly staff “It’s a personality thing. Know you’re going to work well with the staff before you book.” Susan Pearson, The Parson’s Table

“When you look back in 20 years, where’s the place you would say ‘That’s where I had the best day of my life?’” Cyndi Baker, A&M Gardens

Consider Plan B “It’s always good to ask the venue, especially if it’s outdoors, if they have an alternate site in case of inclement weather. You may check out your venue on a gorgeous day in May, but remember it could be raining on your day.” Karen Nantz, Chandor Gardens

Know who’s knowledgeable “People think family and friends can help with anything, but you need someone who knows the facility, too.” Karen Nantz, Chandor Gardens

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Will you love me in December as you do in May, Will you love me in the good old fashioned way? When my hair has all turned gray, Will you kiss me then and say, That you love me in December as you do in May? ~James J. Walker

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