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Exquisite Gowns


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Wedding Gowns Bridesmaids Flower Girl Mother’s Dresses Tuxedo’s Prom Gowns Full Line of Accessories • Headpieces • Veils • Invitations • Shoes • Guest books & Pens • Cake tops & Knives • Candles • Glasses • Jewelry • Garters • Ring Pillows • Money Bags

Great Prices & Excellent Service!

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Weekdays 10-5 • Saturdays 10-3 • Sunday 11-3

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Adirondack Pines B&B and Vacation Rentals

Batcheller Mansion Inn (518) 584-7012

1234 Stevenson Road • Westport, NY 12993 31027

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Union Gables B&B

Blackstone Lodge

Schroon Lake, NY


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Warren’s Inn

Saratoga Springs, NY Daniel Del Gaudio - Innkeeper Visit us on Facebook & Twitter!

In the heart of Saratoga Springs

(518) 584-1558 Beautiful outdoor setting for your wedding - up to 250 guests.


Betty’s Bed & Breakfast In the of the Adirondacks 676 14th Rd., Minerva, NY 12851

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A Four-Season Adirondack Retreat Nestled At The Foot Of Eleventh Mountain Perfect for the Romatic Getaway with all the added extras that make it special

225 Sugar Hill Road, P.O. Box 143 Crown Point, NY 12928

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Blackstone Lodge Bakers Mills, NY


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2 • Wedding Planner 2012

Sugar Hill Manor B&B



• Enclosed Private Garden • 2-Tiered Deck with Spiral Staircase • Gas-Fired “Wood Stove” • Flat Screen TV & DVD • Wi-Fi Access

Fax: 251-3975 Email:

Proprietors Dan & Nancy Lindsley-Freebern Adirondack, NY 12808 30082

Station House B&B

Brunswick Bed & Breakfast

75-77 Main St. • Granville, NY (518) 955-0771 or (518) 642-1276

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The Countdown Begins To help you get a better understanding of how to plan a wedding and when you should be making certain decisions, here’s a timeframe you can follow that should ensure that your wedding goes off as smoothly as possible.

9-12 months before Set an initial budget. Select a wedding date and time. Announce your engagement in the newspaper . Determine the type of wedding you want (day/night, indoor/outdoor, formal/casual). Research availability of r eception locations. Select and book your r eception location, or get a tent if that is what you decided upon. Find a caterer if not alr eady provided by the r eception facility. Research availability of cer emony locations, if not included with your reception site. Select and book your cer emony location. Determine who will of ficiate at the cer emony, if not pr ovided with the ceremony location. Determine how many guests you wish to invite. Set aside blocks of hotel/motel r ooms for out-of-town guests. Get a band or DJ, get one early because they can get booked quickly . Decide if you want a bridal party, and if so, then how lar ge. Start to research your bridal gowns. Start to research the grooms formal wear/tuxedo. Start to research bridesmaids' dresses.

Wedding Planner 2012 • 3

Start to research formal wear for the groomsmen. Compare and find a photographer.

Choose and reserve your florist. The parents of the gr oom should begin to arrange the Rehearsal Dinner, and reserve a restaurant or make other arrangements.

Compare and find a videographer. Find local florists and set appointments to look at their work. Be sure that you get contracts fr om all the professionals you choose. Create a bridal r egistry, and/or an engagement registry. Visit bridal shows. Check the schedule of upcoming bridal shows in your ar eas.

Arrange for transportation for the wedding. Limousines, vans, etc.

4-6 months before Make appointments for a physical exam with your doctor/dentist. Check requirements for blood test and marriage license in your state. Shop for wedding rings.

Marital Counseling.

6-9 months before Start compiling the guest list (inform your families to do the same).

Select and order the invitations and stationery. Make sure all the men's attir e has been ordered. Decide where to live after the wedding.

Select the attendants for your wedding party.

Complete the guest lists.

Purchase the bride's gown.

Begin shopping for tr ousseau.

Purchase the groom's tuxedo.

Send your engagement announcement to the newspaper.

Purchase bridesmaids' dresses. Inform mothers to select their dr esses. Arrange for your gr oomsmen to be measured and reserve the tuxedos. TIP: If your groomsmen do not live close to the formal wear shop you choose, tell them to go to a local shop - most shops will measure them as a courtesy. Shop for the wedding dr ess, headpiece, veil, and other accessories. Start planning for honeymoon, r esearch your destinations. Will it be a Caribbean Island, the South Pacific, Hawaii, a cr uise, or a trip thr ough Europe. Whatever, you decide research thoroughly.

Select and order the men’s attir e. Finalize honeymoon details and make the necessary reservations.

2-4 months before Confirm the menu and catering details with the caterer. Prepare all maps and dir ections for the ceremony and reception. Select your wedding rings.

Order the wedding cake, if not pr ovided by the caterer or reception hall.

4 • Wedding Planner 2012

Buy a wedding guest book.

The Adirondack Wedding Center provides FREE bridal and event planning for all tastes and budgets. We’ll make sure your event is unique, memorable and fun! Our Association Members are among the best providers in their fields, and combined, make your event one to remember!

Some of the events we plan include: • Weddings (Ceremony, Reception, Bridal Showers, Bachelor/ette Parties, Engagement Parties & More!) •Anniversaries • Birthdays (Fabulous Sweet 16s are our specialty!) •Reunions • Retirement Parties • Graduation Parties •Fundraisers • Corporate Events • Private Parties • Bar/Bat Mitzvahs... and More! Contact us today for a personal consultation at our Glens Falls location (518) 798-9333 • Email: •

Producers of the two largest Bridal Shows in the Lake George Area... Fall Bridal & Prom Expo and Winter Bridal Weekend! Adirondack Wedding Association Members 2011 AWA Vendors:

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Dunham’s Bay Resort Entertainment One Rentals Foto Magic Glens Falls National Bank Glens Falls Printing Goldstein Auto Group Ground Force One G & S Printing Hampton Inn of Lake George High Definition Band Holmes Photo Imaging Honorable James Evens The Inn at Erlowest Jonathan Reid LTD Lemonade – Designs Leroy’s Chocolate Fountains Lia Sophia Jewelry LibertyTravel The Living Harp Ludo’sLair Lyl Harper Music The Magnet Man MaryKay Memory Lane Photo Services

Miche Bag Mike’s Tents Natural Beauty Salon North Country Photo works Northwestern Mutual Northwoods Inn Resort Pampered Chef Passions with Heather Powers Media Productions PrincessHouse PristineLimousine PrintaPetal NY RibbonGifts Silver Leaf Resorts Six Flags Great Escape Lodge and Indoor Water Park Sleep Inn, Queensbury Stomach Cakes StoneIndustries Sweet Basil Restaurant Thirty One Tiki Resort Time Capsule Photobooth Tina’s Hair Affair

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Wedding Planner 2012 • 5

Set the dates and times with the of ficiant for the rehearsal. Plan the bridesmaids' luncheon and any other parties.

Pick up your wedding rings. Purchase (borrow) all wedding accessories such as the ring pillow, garter belt, etc. Confirm florist details and delivery times.

Determine resources for designing and printing the program for the cer emony.

Plan the seating for the reception as well as other details for the cer emony & reception.

Finalize the florist details, photographer, videographer, musicians, etc.

Start writing placement car ds.

Arrange the necessary accommodations for out-of-town guests.

Make sure all bridesmaids' attir e has been fitted.

Plan a rehearsal dinner, time and place.

Buy a gift for the bride.

Confirm the wedding cake details with the baker.

Choose the music for your cer emony, first dance, parent dances, and party and give information to band, dj, or other musicians.

6-8 weeks before

2 weeks before

Mail invitations and announcements. Prepare a portrait for the newspaper . Check your local newspaper for details and timing. Set appointment with photographer for your formal bridal portrait.

Make arrangements to have your wedding gifts moved to your new home. Handle business and legal details such as name changes, address changes, etc. Prepare the wedding announcement for the newspaper.

Select gifts for all your attendants. Set appointments with any hair dressers and/or makeup artists. Hire the limousine or other forms of transportation for the wedding.

4-6 weeks before

Make sure all clothing and accessories for you and the bridal party ar e ready. Get your marriage license and any blood tests which are needed.

1 week before Review any seating details with the ushers.

Decide what your menu is going to be for the reception. Estimate the expected number of guests.

Make sure all wedding attir e fits. Finalize the seating arrangements.

Buy a gift for the gr oom. Schedule a final fitting for your gown so it is ready for your formal bridal portrait.

Reconfirm your honeymoon r eservations. Ensure you have necessary plane tickets. Start packing for your honeymoon.

Purchase a going away outfit. Call any guests who have not r esponded.

6 • Wedding Planner 2012

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Wedding Planner 2012 • 7

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8 • Wedding Planner 2012

Finish all the place car ds for the reception. Review all the final details with your photographer, videographer, etc.

Stay with your family the night befor e and sleep early. Review and rehearse all the details of your participants.

Give a final head count to the cater er. Confirm the availability of the musicians and vocalists. Delegate responsibilities to reliable individuals on your wedding day. Wrap and present the wedding party gifts. Finalize your rehearsal dinner arrangements or other plans.

1 day before

The Big Day Make sure the best man and maid of honor sign the wedding certificate. Allow yourself plenty of time to get dressed. Be sure to eat pr operly. Rest and relax with a good bath. Prepare for your hair dresser and makeup appointments.

Get a manicure or massage to r elax yourself.

Get Creative: Choose a wedding theme Every couple wants their wedding to be memorable. The goal of planning a wedding is to cr eate an experience that everyone will r emember for years to come. For some couples, a theme wedding is the best way to accomplish just that. When it comes time to select a theme, the day the wedding takes place may dictate the theme. For example, if the wedding takes place on Halloween, the ideas for the theme ar e easy . Many other couples choose a theme that highlights a specific interest or hobby or something that is dear to them. Her e ar e some popular wedding themes. •Holiday: The Christmas season lends itself well to wedding planning. The colors (r ed, gr een, gold) ar e alr eady established, and most churches and buildings are already decked out in holiday finery, cutting down on the amount of flowers and embellishments couples need. Because the holiday season is so busy and a popular time for socializing, couples who want to tie the knot during this time of year should send save-the-date car ds well in advance. Another option is to have a "Christmas in July" wedding, featuring the same holiday themes but without the hectic nature of the holiday season. •Vegas: Couples who want to tie the knot in Las V egas but want to ensur e all their loved ones can attend can r ecreate the magic of V egas wher ever they may be. Casino-inspir ed games and big buf fet meals can make guests feel like they have stepped into a casino on the famed V egas strip. In addition, an Elvis impersonator is essential to a Vegas wedding. •TV show: Some couples elevate certain television shows to cult status. Whether it's "Friends" or "Star Trek," popular television shows have been transformed into festive wedding themes. Whether the idea is to go daring and exchange vows in costume or simply name reception tables according to characters or show

locations, couples can include a little television fun into the event. •Fairytale: Many men and women envision a fairytale wedding complete with horse-drawn carriage and the "happily ever after." This is what makes Disney pr operties as well as the various castles ar ound the world popular backdr ops for wedding events. Those planning a fairytale wedding need only look to favorite stories or movies for their inspiration. •Interest or passion: Love to climb mountains? Avid about scuba diving? Couples who shar e a particular inter est can include elements of this sport or hobby into their wedding. Invitations and decor can hint at the theme, and then special activities can further enhance it. Fish bowls as centerpieces may call to mind underwater adventur es, while surfboar d-shaped invites may set the scene for a beachside party . Theme weddings can add an extra spice to the festivities and incorporate couples' inter ests into the event — making it even more special.

Wedding Planner 2012 • 9

Getting Engaged is just the beginning ... Now what? Are you one of the thousands of couples who got engaged over the holidays? This is the time for you and your soon-to-be to get everything you ever wanted — whether you're starting from scratch, upgrading, expanding or replacing. Turn a whole bunch of mismatched mine and yours into a lifetime of ours. Here ar e some additional tips to make wedding planning a breeze: •Plan Ahead: Start a bridal r egistry as soon as you say "yes." That way guests will have lots of options for engagement gifts and showers. Periodically update your registry by adding mor e pr oducts if you need to, even after the wedding. Be kind to pr ocrastinators. •Do the Math: Experts advise r egistering for 2-3 items times the number of guests you plan to have. Close friends and family will r ely on your r egistry for special events leading up to the wedding — such as engagement parties, bridal showers, and holidays! Your guests will appreciate having lots of choices when they shop for you. Be sur e to r efresh your list r egularly as gifts get purchased. •Register Now, Because You Won't Buy it Later: You may think you will ... but you won't. Now is the time to let others get you the stuff you'd never buy yourself. Your

10 • Wedding Planner 2012

friends and family might even get together to pur chase a higher priced "group gift." •Dream Big: Register for gifts in a range of prices and categories. This will give guests and gr oup givers lots of options to choose fr om. •Remember the Rule of Three: When it comes to setting your table, if you choose bold patterns for your china and flatware, pick a more simple style of glassware. Prefer intricate stemware? Pair it with simpler patterns of china and flatwar e. So, it's bold/bold/simple or simple/simple/bold. •Visit a Store: It's in YOUR best interest to visit a stor e and schedule an appointment with an expert consultant who can help you with your gift selections and share great tips like "The Rule of Thr ee," what cookwar e you will need to pr epare your favorite dish, what knife to use when and much mor e. When making your selections, it's important to touch the towels, heft the flatwar e, see everything in person! •C'mon Back: Most couples don't make all their selections in a single spr ee. Plan on making multiple visits. Congratulations and best wishes on your engagement. Now get registering and let the gift-giving begin.

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4264 Main St., Port Henry, NY 12974 • 518-546-9911 • Ask for Boni

A Touch of An Angel Florist “Our Perfect Wedding” Vicki and Nick Fisher We specialize in weddings with over 20 years experience. As a full service bridal florist, you’ll find our personal commitment to your special day shines through in everything we do.

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Wedding Planner 2012 • 11

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12 • Wedding Planner 2012

Located across from Target Located across from Victoria’s Secret Aviation Mall • Queensbury, New York Wilton Mall •Saratoga Springs, New York (518) 793-5678 • (518) 793-9171 (518)581-9173

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The Wedding Party What are your responsibilities? As weddings have become less r egimented and mor e expensive, the traditional bridal party is often par ed down to a best man and a bridesmaid or two. Their r oles, however , have remained constant through the years. Whether the wedding you've got in mind is large or small, formal or casual, conventional or original, it's helpful to have a sense of the roles that bridal party members have played through the years. •Maid of Honor — Usually the closest friend of the bride and sometimes a r elative. A married, divor ced, widowed, or older woman might be called the matr on of honor. She assists with the details of the wedding plans, like shopping for the bridal gown, addressing invitations and choosing flowers. She arranges the bridal shower in conjunction with the bride's family , is in char ge of coordinating the bridesmaids and organizing fittings, and typically signs the couple's certificate of marriage or wedding license as a legal witness. At the r eception, she should stand immediately after the gr oom in the r eceiving line. •Best Man — Commonly the gr oom's best friend, r elative or not, the best man is in char ge of instructing the ushers and coordinating the gr oom's transportation to the cer emony. He usually holds the rings until the cer emony and will also sign the marriage certificate as a legal witness. At the r eception, he holds a place of honor , escorting the maid of honor in the r eceiving line

and in all other wedding party activities. He's also the toastmaster, offering the first toast to the couple. •Bridesmaids and Ushers — Typically friends or r elatives of the bride, bridesmaids may be asked to coordinate special details during the cer emony preparations or at the r eception, and assist the bride and the maid of honor . Ushers (sometimes also known as groomsmen) should be prepared for an early arrival at the ceremony to escort female guests to their seats. During the cer emony, they will escort the bridesmaids down the aisle. They may also be asked to coor dinate the guests' trip fr om the ceremony to the reception as well as assist the gr oom and the best man. •Flower Girl and Ring Bearer — The flower girl carries a basket of flower petals to sprinkle down the aisle, or flowers to be passed out to the women seated near the aisle. The ring bear er may either escort the flower girl down the aisle, or follow her , with the rings on a pillow. •Father of the Bride — His most conspicuous duty is giving away the bride at the cer emony. He might also fulfill numer ous rolls, such as coor dinating transportation, dancing and toasting. Traditionally, he and the mother of the bride have paid for the wedding and reception but today it is common for expenses to be shared by both families along with the bride and gr oom themselves.

Wedding Planner 2012 • 13

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14 • Wedding Planner 2012

Weddings • Banquets Special Events • Conferences

Is a wedding loan for you? Engaged couples about to take a trip down the aisle ar e increasingly choosing to pay for the wedding themselves. Wher e it used to be tradition for the bride's parents to handle the bill for the occasion, today the responsibility for funding has largely fallen into the hands of the prospective bride and groom. To meet the financial demands of the modern wedding, some individuals turn to loans for financing a portion or all of the wedding. You may question whether this is a good idea. As with any situation, there are pros and cons. The same can be said about a wedding loan. The following ar e some factors you will need to consider befor e taking out a loan. One of the most important things to r ealize is that a wedding loan, like any loan, will need to be paid back and inter est fees will be included. What that means is that, by the end of the payback period, you will have spent several thousand dollars mor e on the loans than the original principal amount when inter est is added in. If you're taking out a loan because you've already gone above budget on wedding expenses, a loan may push that budget even further into the r ed. That being said, ther e are some instances wher e a loan may be an option that works for a couple. For example, couples who anticipate considerable monetary gifts fr om guests attending the wedding can of fset the cost of the loan with those gifts. Some couples might begin their pr ofessional car eers after their wedding, which will incr ease their salary enough to r epay the loan quickly. Others may actually have the money for the wedding, but want to use a loan as a way to establish str ong joint credit as a new couple. However, many couples take out loans because they simply cannot afford their dream wedding. In a world wher e many people alr eady live beyond their means — financing cars, homes, retail purchases — a wedding loan may just be another shovelful of soil on a financial grave. The consensus among financial experts is that it is better to scale back the wedding or postpone it until you can save money the old-fashioned way instead of taking out a loan.

But if a loan seems the only option, here are some tips. •Shop ar ound on a wedding loan, just as with any other loan. Find the best rates and terms befor e settling on a lender. •Decide how much you can af ford to pay back within 2 to 3 years and how much the monthly payment will be. Then take out the loan only in that amount. •Figure out which portions of the wedding can be scaled back to make the finances work. •See if options like r efinancing a home or borr owing from family would be better than taking out a loan. •Look at banks, cr edit unions and even pr ograms sponsored through your employer to compar e rates on loans. •Wedding loans may be secur ed or unsecur ed. A home or car can serve as a form of security in a secured loan. Unsecured wedding loans do not r equire a form of security. •Personal loans, like wedding loans, generally have low annual percentage rates.It may be worth it to take out the loan rather than using a cr edit car d for financing because the car d's rates could be double. Keep in mind that a wedding loan — even if it comes at a low interest rate — means you'r e starting out your new life together with a large amount of debt for an event that lasts one day. Think about whether the wedding of your dr eams is worth using that joint checking account to pay of f months of wedding debt.

2012 Wedding Shows Lake George Adirondack Wedding Association Bridal Weekend Jan. 6-8 Durham's Bay Resort Georgian Resort Bridal Show March 11 Georgian Resort Adirondack Wedding Association Fall Bridal & Prom Show Sept. 16 Six Flags Great Escape Lodge and Indoor Water Park

Plattsburgh Area Bridal Expo 2012 Jan. 29 The Rainbow Room, Altona 2012 Bridal and Fashion Expo Jan. 8 West Side Ballroom

Vermont Burlington Winter Bridal Show Feb.19 Double Tree by Hilton Burlington Rutland Bridal Show Jan. 22 Holiday Inn Rutland/Killington

Wedding Planner 2012 • 15

Origins of Wedding Customs Chances ar e those who have attended a wedding have witnessed some popular traditions take place. The bride wears a veil, a court of wedding attendants accompanies the bride and groom, and bir dseed, rice or flower petals ar e tossed. But have you ever wondered why? The wedding customs are ripe with tradition and harken back to days when superstition and myth often ruled the day. •Throwing rice: Today it has become de rigueur to blow bubbles, toss bir dseed or r elease doves when the bride and gr oom leave the house of worship newly betr othed. That's because savvy individuals found that raw rice can pose a hazar d to birds pecking in the area. However, rice throwing is an old custom that dates back to the Middle Ages, when wheat or rice where thrown to symbolize fertility for the couple. •Bouquet: Nowadays, the bride carries a beautiful bouquet of flowers. But the purpose of the bouquet held dif ferent meanings in the past. Saracen brides carried orange blossoms for fertility . Others carried a combination of herbs and flowers to war d of f evil spirits with their ar oma. Bouquets of dill wer e often carried, again for fertility r easons, and after the cer emony, the dill was eaten to encourage lust. •Bridesmaids: There may be ar guments over dr esses and how many bridesmaids to have in a wedding party now, but in ancient times it was "the mor e the merrier ." That's because bridesmaids

were another measur e to keep the bride safe against evil spirits. Essentially the bridesmaids wer e decoys for the spirits -- dr essing like the bride to confuse the spirits or maybe help deter them to leave the bride be. •Wedding rings: Wearing of wedding rings dates back to ancient Egypt. The round shape of a ring symbolizes eternal love. The ring is worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because it is believed this finger has a blood vessel that goes dir ectly to the heart. •Wedding cake: The traditional wedding cake evolved fr om Roman times when the cake was originally made fr om wheat. It was br oken over the bride's head to ensur e fertility . All of the guests eat a piece for good luck. Single women used to place a piece of wedding cake under their pillows in the hopes of finding their own husbands. •Father accompanying the bride: This tradition symbolizes that the bride's father endorses the choice in husbands and is presenting his daughter as a pur e bride to that man. •Kissing the bride: In older times, a kiss symbolized a legal bond. Ther efore, the bride and gr oom kissed to seal the deal on their betrothal. There are many traditions surr ounding a wedding that people simply accept. But understanding their origins can make the ceremony more meaningful.

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16 • Wedding Planner 2012

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Create a wedding to remember

Use Cuisine

Despite the months of planning and poring over every minute detail of a wedding, it has often been said that what people remember most about wedding r eceptions is the food and if they had fun. Ther efore, instead of worrying about choosing Jor dan almonds over chocolate truffles, or whether the cake should have an extra tier, couples may want to pay more attention to selecting their reception menus. Although certain foods ar e wedding staples, it could pay for couples to think with their stomachs instead of their heads when selecting wedding day fare. Having a selection of foods that taste as good as they look is a wise idea over having certain foods simply because they ar e trendy. Whether you ar e cooking yourself, having a family member serve as chef or r elying on the menu of the r eception hall, think about foods that will please guests and select those items, regardless of them being fancy. Here are some other tips. •You want foods to be filling but not so much so that guests have to waddle to the dance floor . If you'r e planning on several courses, keep portion sizes small to of fer a taste of the dif ferent items offered. •Classic foods can work well as wedding far e. Roasts, barbecued meats and favorite pasta dishes can make guests feel like they're dining at someone's home and not at a wedding. •Choose items people have hear d of. Instead of tornadoes of beef, select a hearty prime rib. Just because a dish sounds fancy doesn't make it taste better . If a guest doesn't know what he or she is eating, it can be uncomfortable. Now is not the time to experiment with exotic foods, either . Otherwise, some picky eaters may be left hungry. •Think about the foods you love and see if they can be incorporated at the wedding. Although a br eakfast bar at an evening event may seem funny , waf fles and omelets may appeal to a greater number of guests than a gourmet fish cr eation. •Don't make vegetarians an afterthought. T oo often, vegetarians must eat whatever the kitchen can pull together , which is usually a compilation of the vegetable garnishes fr om the meat dishes. Make an effort to have a true vegetarian dish that is intricate and delicious. •Mashed potatoes ar e a cr owd pleaser. Serve little portions of mashed potatoes in cocktail glasses and enable guests to top as they see fit with bacon bits, cheese or chives. •No idea is silly, and serving any type of food in a hors d'oeuvre style can make it acceptable at a formal af fair, whether that food is pizza or caviar -topped crackers. •If you have a favorite r estaurant that serves delicious food, find out if they will cater your wedding. •Just because it isn't on the menu doesn't mean it cannot be prepared. Talk to the catering manager and let him or her know your pr eferences. Pr ovided you'r e willing to pay a little mor e, there's a good chance you can have items that ar en't on the standard catering menu. •Think outside the box for your cocktail hour "bars." A br ead bar, a dipping station, milk and cookies service, or vegetable bar are options that go against the standar d cheese and pasta stations.

Wedding Planner 2012 • 17

A Day to Remember Jennifer & Joseph Litwak - Nov. 6, 2010 Fall painted the perfect backdr op for Jennifer Giella Litwak and Joseph Litwak, of Queensbury , to tie the knot. W ith the support of a 12-person bridal party and many friends and family, they were wed on the shor es of Lake Geor ge. Jennifer and Joseph fell in love in Lake Geor ge, and came full circle as they recited their wedding vows in the foreground of the lake that started it all. “We knew we need to have our wedding gon the lake,” said the bride. •The Ceremony: Guests wer e welcomed to the day’s happenings with invitations by Documents & Designs. The cer emony took place under party tents at Dunham’s Bay Resort on Lake George. The vows wer e officiated by Judge Evans. •The Reception: “My family and friends love to dance and party, and party we did fr om about 6:30 p.m. ‘til 1 a.m.,” said Jennifer of the r eception. Guests enjoyed a custom-made cake by The Chocolate Mill of Glens Falls and entertainment by Mark Br enneisen of T otal Entertainment. The day will always

18 • Wedding Planner 2012

be remembered by the photos, taken by T .R. Laz. •The Look: The bride, bridesmaids and flower girls wer e stylishly clad in dr esses fr om Nor dstrom and David’s Bridal. They pr epared for the day at Spa Studio at Union Squar e in Glens Falls, wher e they r eceived hair and nail tr eatments. Custom-made jewelry was pr ovided by Achenbach Jewelers. Rings and other jewelry wer e pr ovided by Zales. The gr oom and groomsmen wore suits by Jonathon Reid. •A Special Gift: The bride and groom donated to Hospice in honor of the bride’s late grandmother in lieu of favors. •The Details: Among the ceremonial duties of the mother of the bride, Jennifer’s mother also wore the hat of wedding planner. Jennifer , who was working in New Jersey as a law clerk and Joseph, who was stationed in Iwakuni, Japan during much of the planning wer e very thankful for her ef forts. •The Honeymoon: After celebrating, the bride and gr oom boarded a cruise ship in Baltimore, Maryland and sailed to the Caribbean on Celebrity Cr uise Lines.

Secrets to a Happy Marriage

Consider the following advice ... Some might say a long celebrity marriage is one that endur es the duration of the newly betr othed's trip down the aisle. W e've seen Britney Spears dissolve a marriage after 55 hours and Kim Kardashian call it quits after 72 days. It seems even money can't buy matrimonial happiness. But some couples have been together for 50, 60 years and say they're still as much in love as they were the day they spoke their "I dos." What do they know that others do not? According to clinical psychologist and r elationship gur u Dr . Phil McGraw, "We all need to be flexible and to compr omise in marriage, but you've got to be true to your core traits and characteristics, what I call your authentic self." Some couples enter a relationship pr ojecting a persona they believe the other person wants — one that really isn't what they're all about. This could be a woman trying to fill the r ole of her husband's nurturing mom or a guy playing the pr otector to his wife. In r eality, marriage is more of a partnership, and tr uth and tr ust ar e often at the basis of good marriages. There are many other "secr ets" that marriage experts will of fer to couples seeking the magic formula. Whether you'r e pondering marriage or have alr eady tied the knot, consider the following advice to make a marriage endur e for the long haul. •There's no such thing as the perfect marriage. Some couples create an image of what they think marriage is supposed to be, and that image that often goes "poof" once r eality sets in. Even soulmates are bound to frustrate or irritate one another from time to time. •Couples should express their frustrations. Bottling up fr ustrations can eat at a person and eventually destr oy a marriage. Talking about the things that are bothering you with your partner

opens up a discussion and can help you work thr ough things. •Divorce should not be seen as a viable option. Couples who want to bail on the marriage at every turn could be dire cting their energy toward divorce as the only solution instead of discovering ways to remove the cause of strife. Divorce can sometimes be the easy way out when you think about the work that goes into keeping a marriage working. Experts say that ther e ar e a few issues, like adultery, abuse and drug/alcohol addiction, that may be reasonable catalysts for divorce if personal safety and sanity is being compromised. •Make time for romance. It's easily said but not so easily done. Too often married couples for get what it was like to date when all of their attention was spent on each other instead of the house, kids, work, etc. T oday ther e seems to be even mor e distractions, from e-mails to texts to pr essure and obligations at the office. Happy couples find the time to spend quality time with their spouses — even if that's only 10 minutes of alone time a day . •Put "we" first. Many people operate on a "me" mentality . When you're part of a couple, give more to your spouse than you take. If he or she is doing the same, you'r e working collectively for the benefit of the marriage instead of yourselves. •Respect each other. Often couples having tr oubles r ealize they treat strangers better than they tr eat each other . Would use the insults or unflattering terms that you sometimes thr ow at your spouse with a complete stranger? Pr obably not. Good marriages are based on a foundation of r espect and love. It's easy to lose feelings of love if the r espect is gone. Couples can r ealize that ther e are some thorns that come with the roses of marriage, and staying happy together does take work for it to all be worth it.

Wedding Planner 2012 • 19

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20 • Wedding Planner 2012

Wedding Planner 2012 • 21

Su n day, Jan u ary 29th , 2012

T w o Sessio n s: 10:00A M - 12:30P M & 1:30P M - 4:00P M

p resen ted by

Rainbow Wedding & Banquet Hall

R u n w ay F ash io n Sh o w p ro v ided b y T h e F ash io n E xch an g e

$1000’s of D ollars or G ifts, C ash & P riz es are to be G iv en A w ay! This year’s vendors include: • G reer C icarelli P h otograph y • F ash ion E xch an ge • R ain bow W eddin g & B an quet H all • R ain bow W eddin g & B an quet H all D écor • D an ce R h yth ym s D J S ervice • K n eucraft Jew elry • U ltim ate B ody A pplicator • T aylor R en tal & P arty P lus • B est W estern In n at S m ith field • K D L P roduction s • T h rough T h ese E yes P h otograph y • C h am plain V alley D oves • W oodm en of th e W orld • S em eraro P h otograph y • M adison H an d B ags • M cC luskey P h otograph y • A A A N orth w ay • N orth east P h oto & E n gravin g • C h air A ffair & T uxedo S tudio • O vertim e P h otograph y • V alcour C on feren ce C en ter • L eroy’s C h ocolate F oun tain s • B atters U p B ake S h op • C ollege F orm als & L aura’s B ridal • S ayw ard’s C lassic C arriage

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20 • Wedding Planner 2012

Wedding Planner 2012 • 21

Seating Wedding Guests

Edible Wedding Favors Guests may look forwar d to an edible favor because it's a memento of the special occasion and it won't become a permanent fixture in their homes. They can also be customized accor ding to the theme of the wedding.


It's dif ficult to find an edible favor mor e universally beloved than chocolate. Rich and inviting, chocolate has long been given as a symbol of love and devotion. Chocolate candies and baked goods can work well for wedding favors, provided the favors are refrigerated to avoid melting. Ideas for chocolate favors include individually packaged tr uffles, gourmet br ownie bites, candy-cover ed chocolates with an inscription, chocolate cover ed apples, chocolate coins, and other similar cr eations. Chocolate molded designs (much like those chocolate Easter bunnies) ar e another idea.


Sweet cookies also make good edible favors. Butter cookies are a favorite because they ar e stur dy enough to cut into dif ferent shapes. Professionally iced, these cookies can be a masterpiece to behold. Some couples opt for customized fortune cookies that express personalized sentiments to guests.


Sometimes it's less expensive to give guests kits that they can take home to cr eate their own edible tr easures. Options abound and can include everything fr om personalized packets of hot chocolate to tea bags. Other couples choose among mixes for making cookies or cakes.


It has become popular to have a self-serve candy bar at many weddings. Guests are invited to step up to the display and serve themselves fr om a series of dif ferent confections. Autumn weddings could have Halloween-inspir ed candies or those in fall hues. It's easy to follow a color theme when you have a bevy of different candies at your disposal. Many discount stores sell inexpensive jars and candy dishes to house the candy .

22 • Wedding Planner 2012

Weddings are filled with many emotions: happiness, excitement and anticipation, to name a few . With all of the positive emotions a wedding may dr um up, in the mix ther e may be a few negative ones, including feelings of being overwhelmed at all the details that need to be completed on a deadline. One aspect of wedding planning that tends to send people into panic is wedding r eception seating arrangements. The thought of having 200 friends and family members together under one roof — and then attempting to seat them next to an acceptable gr oup of people — can cause some couples to hyperventilate. Every family has its ups and downs, and ther e ar e certain people who get along well and a few who clash. Ensuring that a wedding is memorable for all the right r easons (and not for the brawl at table 3) is why seating arrangements are so important. Many couples can use a little advice when seating guests, while others would love another person to handle the seating arrangements for them. Here ar e some guidelines for setting up r eception seating arrangements. •Place yourselves, as well as the bridal party , at a separate table that is in a prime location in the r oom. Be sur e to allow the spouses or dates of bridal party members at the same table so couples remain together. •Some couples choose to seat both sets of par ents at one table together — the par ents' table. Grandparents may also be seated at this table, depending on the number of people each table can accommodate. •If childr en under the age of 7 ar e invited, they should be seated with their par ents. Children between ages 7 and 14 can be seated at a separate kids' table. •Be mindful of guests with disabilities or mobility issues. Seat them close to the door , bathrooms or food station. •Instead of separating the bride and the gr oom's family to separate sides, intermingle the tables to promote conversation. •Consider arranging guests by common inter ests at each table, seating business associates or par ents' friends together. •Take into consideration people who have r elationship rifts and try to seat them separately . But don't str ess about this too much because it won't be possible to accommodate everyone. You'll have to hope that at your wedding a certain level of decorum will preside. •It's not unheard of to let guests seat themselves. This takes the pressure of finding a seat for everyone of f of you as a couple and enables you to think about the other tasks at hand. This can take place at a buf fet wedding or a smaller af fair.

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Wedding Planner 2012 • 23

Wedding Video

Advantages In a financial climate wher e most people ar e pinching pennies, it comes as no surprise that many engaged couples seek ways to cut costs with r egard to their weddings. Some couples ar e undecided whether certain components of their wedding are necessary. The decision to hir e a videographer is one such ar ea couples fr et over. After all, with a photographer snapping hundr eds of pictures, having a video may seem like an unnecessary luxury . However , people

24 • Wedding Planner 2012

often find that having a wedding video to cherish long after the day has passed is well worth the price. There are several advantages to hiring a professional videographer to captur e the day. A pr ofessionally pr oduced wedding video is not the same as Uncle Fr ed carrying ar ound his ar chaic camcor der and catching a few embarrassing dance moves during the reception. A professional video will showcase all moments of the wedding from perspectives not easily captur ed by photography. In addition to showcasing the images of the wedding, the video will also share the sounds and emotions of the day. Here are some things to think about. •Choose a videographer who will work in conjunction with the wedding mood

and parameters. You pr obably don't want a videographer who uses bright lights that can be distracting. Nor do you want a videographer who pushes the camera in guests' faces for a less-than-candid interview. Today's pr ofessionals ar e inconspicuous and simply r ecord the events as they unfold. •The videographer often works in tandem with the photographer. Some photographers have a videographer on staf f. But it is fine to bring in your own if you like the quality of the photographer's photos but not the videographer's work. •A videographer will capture the things you may have missed during the busy day. He or she can serve as the eyes and ears for the things you'r e not seeing and hearing. •Although ours is an incr easingly digital world wher e people captur e photos and videos on their smartphones and other devices on a r egular basis, a wedding video can serve as a family memento. What other time, apart fr om the holidays, do you have all of your friends and loved ones together in one place? •Although no one wants to think of a friend or r elative passing away while planning their wedding, the fact r emains that after a few years some of the people who attended your wedding may no longer be ar ound. Having a wedding video may be the only last moving image and sound of a special person who is no longer in your life. •Sound is a portion of the wedding that photos simply cannot captur e. T o r elive the music and the wor ds of the day , a videographer is a necessity . Pr ofessionals who use wir eless micr ophones will pr oduce a video with the best sound quality . •You can work with a good videographer so it's not simply a video with close-up shots of your face or unflattering perspectives. T alk about your pr eferences and even fears about being filmed (some people just don't like watching themselves on TV), and the videographer can no doubt find solutions that will accommodate your needs. •There ar e many things that you will not see at the wedding but may have liked to, such as the first gasps of wonder upon guests walking into the reception room, or the tears on the face of an aunt who was sitting too far back in the chur ch pews. This is wher e a wedding video can pr ove invaluable. •Modern videographers offer high-resolution, edited movies. These can be delivered via Blu Ray DVD and ensur e the best quality for your package. Although brides and gr ooms may be cutting costs with regard to their wedding, they may not want to pass on the wedding video.

Unique Reception Touches Over the course of their lifetimes, many people will be wedding guests on several occasions. During the height of wedding season, weddings can run into one another, as the format and the festivities ar e similar at various cer emonies. Couples inter ested in setting their nuptials apart may want to enhance the wedding reception with a few unique ideas. Who hasn't attended a wedding that seems formulaic? The couple enters, they do their spotlight dance, ther e's food, a bouquet toss and then the cake cutting. Guests may actually be able to predict what's coming next. While it is often customary and easy to follow tradition, that doesn't mean you cannot buck with tradition and of fer a few cr eative ideas to make your event stand out. Here are several ideas you can intr oduce into your wedding to add something special to the r eception. •Skip the big entrance. Those who were kind enough to attend the ceremony have alr eady been intr oduced to the newly minted happy couple. Instead of spending the cocktail hour in the isolation of the wedding suite, mingle with your guests fr om start to finish. So much time is spent posing for pictur es or being out of touch with guests, the cocktail hour can be a great time to sit and chat. Being with guests during the cocktail hour means you don't have to make that big entrance fr om behind closed doors. Guests will have all eyes on you when you step on the dance floor for your first dance together. •Dance to an upbeat number. Guests ar e expecting a slow , sappy tune. What they may not expect is an upbeat song that shows you are willing to have a little fun. If you haven't mastered the waltz but enjoy a little quick step now and again, feel fr ee to choose a tune that shows your excitement and love for each other. •Encourage couples to dance together. It's often customary for the bridal party to join the bride and gr oom on the dance floor midway through the first dance. However, that leaves spouses or significant others waiting in the wings while their dates tango with gr oomsmen or bridesmaids. Instead, don't have assigned partners. Rather, encourage your bridal party members to dance with whomever they choose. •Swap the garter/bouquet toss for something more meaningful. If you'r e part of a couple who feels the garter and bouquet toss has become trite, ther e ar e other ways to cr eate special moments in your celebration -- ones that don't single out the singletons who haven't yet found their special someones. Use this time to present a small gift or token of your affection to someone on the guest list who has served as a mentor or source of inspiration. •Choose one special component as an extra goodie for guests. Some couples feel the mor e they offer the better guests will view their wedding. Spending mor e money doesn't necessarily mean guests will have a better time. If you want to go above and beyond the ordinary, find one thing that you absolutely love and offer that at the party. It could be a flambe presentation, a chocolate or candy bar , a carving station with your all-time favorite food (even if that's PB&J), or a carnival-inspired automatic photo booth. •Hire a live performer. Although it's hard to beat the performance quality of your wedding song being performed by the original artist, unless you'r e cousins with Celine Dion, chances ar e she won't be available to sing "My Heart W ill Go On" at your reception. However, a live band adds a certain level of excitement that a disk jockey may not be able to pr ovide. Those who ar e adding a cultural or ethnic component to their wedding may

want to hir e a dance tr oupe or another type of performer , like a bagpiper, as an added measur e of entertainment for guests. •Let them eat ... cookies? Some people just don't like cake. Therefore, why should a couple have to cut a seven-tier ed white confection? T owers of dif ferent types of tr eats can be cr eated from just about anything and serve as the perfect backdr op for that classic cake-cutting photo. A pyramid of cr eam puffs, stacks of brownies, a cookie castle, or cereal-cake concoctions can work. Some bakeries will decorate a "dummy" styrofoam cake, and then you can serve apple pie a la mode, if you desir e. •Stage a costume switch. Let's face it, dancing all night in a long gown takes some stamina. As the bride, have a mor e comfortable cocktail dr ess available to switch into for the latter part of the r eception. It will also add some variety to your wedding photos.

Wedding Planner 2012 • 25


for guests

Overnight solutions When your par ents or grandpar ents got married, ther e was a good chance that their closest relatives and friends lived nearby - in the neighbor hood. Attending the wedding was easy , and everyone headed home afterwar d. This scenario is not too common nowadays. Many families have spr ead out acr oss the country, or even the world, making travel a significant component of modern weddings. As a r esult, couples must take accommodations into consideration when planning their nuptials. Couples cannot expect r elatives to travel to their wedding, party into the wee hours of the morning and then be r esponsible for finding a place to stay. It is common courtesy for hotel r ooms to be made available to out-of-town guests. Although most couples reserve a block of r ooms for guests, a bride and gr oom really looking to go above and beyond will choose to cover the cost of these rooms as a gift. To ensure there will be available r ooms for guests, it is important to contact an ar ea hotel (or hotels) well in advance of your wedding. To start, find out if the r eception site you will be using has an agr eement or r elationship with an ar ea hotel. In some cases, nearby businesses will of fer a courtesy discount to facilitate foot traf fic. A wedding consultant should know about packages that may include discounts on lodging.

26 • Wedding Planner 2012

If there is no package deal, start cold-calling hotels. If you have a discount pr ogram or fr equency r ewards car d with a particular hotel chain, start with them first. Most hotels require a minium of 10 r ooms be r eserved to secur e a "block." Ther e's a good chance the greater the number of r ooms reserved, the mor e competitive the nightly rate will be. Find out about cancellation policies or when guests need to make a r eservation in or der to secur e the discounted rate. You can include information about hotel r eservations right in your wedding invitation, including a code or number to mention to get the wedding discount. If you'r e tech-savvy, you may have a link to the hotel's booking website or information on your wedding Web page. Either way, be sure there is ample time for guests to make a decision concerning their hotel r eservations. As an added courtesy to guests, you can arrange shuttle bus service between the reception site and the hotel. This way guests who may have imbibed too much during the party do not need to worry about transportation to the hotel. However, they will have to make arrangements to r etrieve their cars the following day. It may pay to have your wedding on a Sunday so guests ar e entitled to the fr ee br eakfast many hotels of fer to business customers during the week. Otherwise, find out if ther e will be a meal available to guests the following day and offer to pay for it. The more pleasantries you can pr ovide to your guests, the mor e they will feel pamper ed and believe the decision to travel for your wedding was the right one.

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Wedding Planner 2012 • 27

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Engagement Photo Tips Newly engaged couples choose to captur e the occasion in photos that they can cherish. Often, one of these photos is used as an announcement to family and friends and might even be published in the newspaper. Engagement photos may be part of a package negotiated with the photographer who will be covering the wedding day . Some couples enlist the help of a friend or a budding photographer to capture an engagement shot. The average cost of engagement photos can range fr om $200 to $500. Some couples opt to use a photographer who might specialize in other areas (i.e. fashion models) but may want to break into the wedding biz because of how lucrative it can be. Costs may be negotiated as a r esult. When shopping ar ound for a photographer , ther e ar e certain things couples should keep in mind. The first and most important is selecting a photographer you can r elate to. If you don't feel a connection with the photographer , he or she will have tr ouble coaxing the shots that will pr oduce the best r esults. He or she should also be a pr ofessional and have some experience working with posing couples. This way the photos don't look stif f or contrived. Here are some other tips that can lead to gr eat photos. •Find a photographer who fits your style. If you'r e a quirky couple, go with a quirky photographer . If you'r e r eserved and a follow-the-book type of couple, then select a mor e traditional photographer. Some photographers out ther e for get that this is your moment and want to impart their idea of what you want. Make sure he or she takes your ideas into consideration. •Select one who is open to different shoot locations and brainstorming. Some of the best photos occur in natural settings, where things ar en't entir ely planned. If a photographer simply

works out of a studio, you may want to select one who has mor e free reign with different locales. •Choose your location wisely. Certain locations will stand out in your minds because they ar e visually stunning or ar e special places where you have spent moments as a couple. By choosing a place that of fers a personal connection, ther e's a good chance you'll appreciate the photos in the long r un. Also, be open to the fact that unplanned stops may of fer a gr eat backgr ound for the image. Be open to the unexpected. •Try random poses and some candid shots. Although you might have a vision of the perfect photo in your mind, experimenting with different ideas can sometimes lead to a great photo you really love. Expect to take your shar e of kissing, nose-touching and portrait shots. But some fun poses, such as r unning or jumping (or rolling around on a beach full of waves) can produce candid shots that ar e tr uly masterpieces. Remember , sometimes photographers will pose you in positions that seem a bit awkward, but this is to get the best lines of the body and flattering images. •Choose clothing that fits the mood. If time and budget allows, have several dif ferent wardrobe changes so that you can see which outfits work and which ones don't. A formal outfit, comfortable street clothes, something beachy or clothing that fits with your interests (such as polo or baseball) can make for interesting engagement photos. Avoid clothing that is too tr endy or busy, which may take away fr om the actual images in the long run. Plus, you don't want to look back at these photos in the future and say , "What was Ithinking?" Avoid matchy-matchy , though. If you are dressed alike, you may appear to be trying too hard. It's the individual personalities you want to shine thr ough.

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Packing for Your Honeymoon When basking in the afterglow of a momentous wedding, most couples would rather think about scor es of other things than packing for their honeymoons. But with ever -changing r estrictions on what and how much a person can bring along on airlines and other modes of travel, packing is something that eventually must be done. According to the Honeymoon Study 2010 by The W edding Report, a W edding Statistics and Market Resear ch or ganization, 81 percent of newly married couples take a honeymoon. The top honeymoon destination for those in North America is the Caribbean, wher e the average couple will spend $3,500 on their honeymoon. Although 15 per cent choose to cr uise to their destinations, the remaining likely drive or fly. In any case, packing becomes a part of the honeymoon planning. Some people ar e good at packing and can execute the task rather easily. Others ar e left with a bulging suitcase that won't pass muster at security clearance or meet size and weight guidelines imposed by airlines. Nevertheless, anyone can become a packing pro with a few guidelines. •If you don't alr eady have a suitcase, choose a design with a hard case. This way it won't expand while packing, and there 's no chance it will ever exceed the size limits. •Roll clothes because it will limit wrinkling. •Use a layering technique to fit a multitude of items and pr otect against displacement during transit. 1) Fill the bottom of the suitcase with the heavier items: shoes, jeans, jackets, and any gear or tech items. 2) Next, layer dresses and slacks so they lay lengthwise on top

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of the first layer of items. It's okay if the ends extend over the edge of the suitcase. 3) Shirts and sweaters (if applicable) can be r olled and then layered next. Use any over hanging slacks and dr esses to fold over the shirts and keep them in place. 4) Lightweight items, like lingerie and under garments, can be placed on top. Also, include toiletries that ar e sealed in leakproof bags. •Be sure to know airline r equirements in advance. While some restrictions have been lifted, the T raffic Safety Administration and the airlines themselves may have r ules regarding how much liquid or sharp items you can bring along. •Keep important documents, such as tickets, r eservation numbers and emer gency contacts, with you in a travel bag. Any prescriptions you need should be carried as well. •Place an emer gency outfit in your carry-on in the event your luggage is lost or temporarily detained. •Consider packing lightly and buying some necessities at your destination. •Sometimes it is less expensive to ship items instead of paying airline baggage fees. Investigate these options, especially on the return trip. •Take advantage of laundry service on honeymoons so you won't r eturn with a bag full of dirty items that need laundering right away. Also, doing laundry on your trip limits the number of things you need to pack because you can wash and r ewear. •Make the most of the honeymoon by packing early . Come your travel day, you can simply hop in the car and look forwar d to the vacation ahead.


How-To After the thrill of wedding festivities dies down, couples often jet off to a honeymoon retreat and begin an entir ely dif ferent adventur e. The honeymoon may create mixed feelings, some concerning the chance to spend time alone after months of planning and a few feelings of anxiety over spending the first night together as a married couple. For many couples, the honeymoon wedding night is the first time they ar e intimate together or it holds a special meaning of being intimate for the first time after being married. Such significance can put pr essure on a happy and natural experience. Wedding jitters ar e normal, as ar e honeymoon and wedding night jitters. But just as wedding trends have changed through the years, so, too, have beliefs about the wedding night. Knowing about shifting trends can alleviate some of the nervousness. According to a recent survey from Brides magazine, one in thr ee brides plan to get into bed on the wedding night and ... sleep. After all of the hoopla of planning and enjoying the wedding, most people ar e exhausted. Others say they plan to stay up and r elive moments of the day . Only about half of all couples think they will consummate the marriage on their wedding night. Taking the pressure off of the wedding night means that the r est of the honeymoon may be filled with opportunities to be amor ous. But couples may still be filled with expectations for the perfect r omantic retreat. Here are some things to think about. •Accept the fact that some wedding nights and honeymoons aren't exactly what's pictured in the movies. Don't try to live up to a Hollywood-inspir ed ideal or you may be let down when things don't go your way. In other wor ds, it may rain on your beachside liaison. •A wedding requires a lot of work. Many people find themselves to be physically exhausted afterward. Others find they ar e so wound up that they cannot relax. When the mind or body is on adr enaline overload or completely wiped out, it's not the ideal situation for romantic endeavors. •Try to make the honeymoon stand apart from other nights. Pack nice lingerie or nighttime attir e so that the memories will be special. Ther e will be plenty of other times down the r oad when you'r e an old, married couple to hop between the sheets in a ratty college T-shirt. •Pack some candles and mood music. Or ask the resort to handle these details for you. These items can help set the scene. •Make sure your packing list includes special toiletries. Also include birth contr ol methods if you'r e not ready to start a family so soon after being married. The brands you prefer may be hard to acquire while at some honeymoon locations.

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The Guys Responsibilities of the Groomsmen Happy couples choose friends and family members to serve as attendants in their weddings. Bridesmaids and gr oomsmen each have different responsibilities in the wedding. In ancient times, gr oomsmen essentially served as the gr oom's bodyguards, ensuring that he made it safely to the altar and to his futur e wife. T oday, the gr oomsmen's r oles ar e not based on saving life and limb. Today's gr oomsmen serve as assistants to the gr oom and help plan the bachelor party. They also usher guests down the aisle at the cer emony. They also may have a few other r esponsibilities, depending on what the couple wants of their assistants.

Before the Wedding •Help pick out the tuxedos and show up for fittings. •Help plan and shar e the cost of the bachelor party. •Attend rehearsals for the ceremony and appear at the rehearsal dinner. •Pay for their own wedding attir e or formal wear r entals. •Help unload cars with supplies if the couple is doing the decorating the wedding themselves. •Pay for their travel expenses and accommodation during the

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celebration. •Return formal wear for themselves and the gr oom. •Provide transportation for the couple to the airport or honeymoon destination if the best man is unavailable.

During the Ceremony •Greet and seat guests at the ceremony in the appropriate rows or pews. •Stand near the gr oom during the cer emony. •Serve as escorts for the bridesmaids at the cer emony. •Cater to anyone's needs and mingle with the guests afterward.

Party Time •Ensure that the gr oom does not get too intoxicated. •Sit at the table of honor beside the r est of the bridal party. •Mingle with the guests. •Participate in all photos if asked. •Dance with their bridesmaid counterpart. •Help load the wedding gifts into the car afterwar d.

The Gals Choosing a hue for the gowns Choosing a gown and a color that will flatter all of the bridesmaids typically takes a little work. Every well-planned wedding carries a color scheme thr oughout. This includes the color a bride selects for her bridesmaids to wear. But not every color accentuates everyone's featur es. Therefore, some experimentation might be necessary to find a color that is flattering to all and fits with the color scheme. Depending on hair color and skin shade, there are many flattering hues available for gowns. When making this decision, consider bridesmaids' ethnicity and skin tone. African-American:Women with dark skin and hair may r eally shine in jewel-color ed gowns, including silver , gold, purple and salmon. Very pale colors may be daring and conspicuous. Asian and olive-skinned women: Those with a slight yellow tone to their skin will look good in many colors, including r ed, navy, peach, and fuchsia. However , avoid colors in light yellow , aqua, gray, taupe, or mint, which may make the bridesmaid look washed out. Fair skin: Ladies with pale skin will benefit from richly colored gowns in jewel tones. Pastels may work, but be car eful about those depending on hair color. Pink or red-hued gowns may clash

with someone with auburn hair . Yellow and gr een may not work with a fair brunette. Gray and silver may wash out someone who is pale and blonde. Once a color is chosen, brides also need to consider the season. Certain colors may look out of place depending on the season. For example, an evergreen or deep blue may seem wintry during a summer wedding. Similarly, russet or br own may work for the autumn but not for a spring wedding. Many brides gravitate toward mid-level blues, greens, pinks and purples for their weddings, simply because those colors transcend the seasons. After colors ar e worked out, the style of the gown deserves consideration. Because not every bridesmaid has the same physical attributes, many brides ar e now open to selecting a color and length and allowing the bridesmaid herself to choose the exact style. This way someone who is busty won't feel uncomfortable in strapless, and someone who is thin won't be overwhelmed by a lot of r uffles. The intent is to have bridesmaids feel beautiful and comfortable, and dif ferent styles can help achieve this. Making the effort to choose a gown color and style that is flattering to all in the bridal party will help the ladies feel they ar e truly a special part of the wedding.

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Toasting Tips for Best Man and Maid of Honor Wedding days ar e typically steeped in tradition. Whether it's the hours befor e the wedding or the bride's attir e or the first dance, it seems no aspect of a couple's big day isn't accompanied by some ages-old tradition. One of the mor e enjoyable wedding day traditions is the toast. Once the r eception has begun, the maid of honor and the best man are trusted to toast the new bride and groom. Such toasts are typically heartfelt and humor ous, but there are also a few guidelines to follow to ensur e the toast is memorable for all the right reasons. •Stand up! Stand up when delivering a wedding toast. Sitting down won't command the guests' attention, and your voice likely won't carry as well if you'r e sitting down. •Don't go too long. A good wedding toast shouldn't str etch beyond five minutes. Long-winded toasts could come of f as rambling and incoher ent, and the guests will likely tune out if the toast goes longer than five minutes. •Introduce yourself. Just because you'r e a maid of honor or a best man doesn't mean all of the guests know your r elationship with the bride or gr oom. Make it brief, but pr ovide an explanation of your r elationship. •Keep the toast appropriate. Many adults who have been to a wedding or two in their day have a story about a wedding toast gone awry . While these stories ar e humor ous, no best man or maid of honor wants to have similar stories told about his or her toasts. Make the toast appr opriate, keeping in mind ther e might

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be some younger guests in attendance. In addition, avoid r eferences to past r elationships. Such r eferences ar e awkwar d and uncomfortable. •Don't make it an "inside" joke. Maids of honor or best men are typically close friends or siblings of the bride and gr oom. Such a close relationship makes it easy to tell an inside joke only a few guests will understand. Avoid such inside jokes, as one of the goals of the toast should be to illustrate your love and appreciation of the bride or gr oom in a way all guests can understand. •Make it personal. A personal anecdote is a nice touch. Such anecdotes can be about anything, whether it's the first time you met your friend's now-spouse or, if you're not related to the bride or groom, how you met. •Steer clear of the bar before the toast. Many a well-intentioned wedding toast has gone horribly wr ong thanks to alcohol. Maids of honor and best men should abstain fr om alcohol before their toasts to avoid embarrassing themselves and the bride and groom. If you're especially nervous, maybe a drink can help calm your nerves. But if you're going to drink before the toast, be sure to drink only in moderation. •Practice beforehand. Very few people can survive "winging" a wedding toast. Practice the toast beforehand so you're comfortable with what you'r e going to say befor e the moment arrives. •Don't put too much pressure on yourself. Weddings are typically laid back and fun af fairs, so don't str ess about giving the perfect toast. If the toast comes of f as genuine and stays appr opriate, it's a good toast.

Wedding Dress: Stay True to You For most brides-to-be, the choice of a dr ess is among the first and most important decisions in planning a wedding. With thousands of choices in every price range, finding the perfect wedding dress can be a dif ficult and time-consuming process. But by making some decisions befor e setting foot in a stor e, the sear ch will be both easier and a whole lot mor e enjoyable.

First things first Start by knowing your limits. T o avoid disappointment down the line, determine the maximum amount that you can spend on a dress -- and don't for get to include all the little extras, such as undergarments, shoes, jewelry , veil, and/or hair ornaments. Next, take an inventory of your personal style. If you know that you're not comfortable in strapless or sleeveless dr esses, for example, you can immediately eliminate these options. The trick is to r ule out a few style options befor e hitting the magazines or stores and then be open to all other options.

Firm yet flexible There will be no shortage of opinions -- fr om mothers, sisters, friends, and stor e personnel -- about your choice of a wedding dress, but the decision, ultimately , is the bride's alone. A gr eat strategy is to be open to suggestions about dr esses to try on, but reserve the right to choose the look that feels right to you. W ith so many potential options, you might want to consider bringing

along a camera and taking photos of yourself in the dr esses that could be "contenders."

Go for a flatter ing fit Remember: Your goal is to find a dr ess that flatters your body and expr esses your personal style -- not to fit into a particular size. If you look ghostly in white, feel fr ee to choose a cr eamier shade or a dr ess that has decorative accents of a dif ferent color near your neck, shoulders and face. Similarly, there's no rule that a wedding dress has to be floor -length. If you're planning a daytime or mor e casual wedding, you might want to consider a tealength dr ess (one that falls a few inches above the ankle) or go even shorter.

Comfort is key Style and fit may be the two most important factors in choosing a wedding dr ess, but comfort should be a close thir d. Ask yourself if you will be comfortable in a particular dress given the setting in which your wedding will take place. For instance, if you've always dr eamed of an outdoor wedding, you may want forego a dress with a long, trailing train that could trip you up on your walk to or down the aisle. Even if you're planning an indoor event, having a dr ess and shoes that ar e as comfortable as they are beautiful will gr eatly incr ease your odds of enjoying your special day to the fullest.

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Common signs you might be a

Bridezilla Few brides-to-be want to be tagged as a "bridezilla," an overbearing bride who is difficult and often a perfectionist. Ther e ar e several traits that many bridezillas have in common.

Talking about the wedding nonstop. Getting married is exciting and stressful at the same time. It is good for brides to have enthusiasm about the big day, but speaking incessantly over every little detail, especially when the conversation often veers to complaints about vendors and other arrangements, can be of f-putting to people. Remember , the world is still turning outside of a bride's wedding realm.

Extreme dieting. It's understandable when a bride wants to look her best on her wedding day , and this can create a desir e to shed a few pounds. However , if dieting becomes extr eme, including dramatic calorie contr ol, binging or purging, it can be unhealthy and dangerous. Putting appearances before well-being may constitute bridezilla behavior.

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Failing to spend time with a fiance. When wedding planning and meetings take pr ecedence over spending time with your fiance, it can set a poor course for the future marriage and strain the current relationship.

A "me-first" attitude. It's unproductive for a bride-tobe to think that her family , bridemaids and others involved in the wedding will drop everything for the sake of the event. Although it is expected that a bridal party will partake in some tasks and responsibilities, they ar e not the

property or employees of the bride. Also, diva behavior and meltdowns — where all the attention is dir ected toward the brideto-be — is not beneficial as well.

Going well over budget. At its cor e, a wedding is the union between two people who pledge to spend the r est of their lives together . While many people want to have the perfect wedding, fixating on every detail and spending excessively to achieve what is per ceived as perfection is bridezilla behavior . Entering a marriage alr eady in debt can put a strain on newlywed bliss.

Fighting with fr iends and family. Oftentimes brides- and gr ooms-to-be mask apprehension about starting a new chapter in their lives by getting into disagr eements with others. Brides may bicker with their moms over seating arrangements and hairstyles, but they might just be glossing over their evolving mother-child r elationship. Fighting just to fight and draw attention to oneself is bridezilla behavior .

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Expecting preferential treatment. Many bridezillas ar e r ude to wedding vendors and think that they deserve something extra. Individuals should r emember that florists, dr ess shops, musicians, and photographers work very hard in their lines of work and often with couples who ar e emotional and feeling the str ess of spending lar ge amounts of money . Adding even more animosity to the situation could r esult in less-than-stellar results on the big day.

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