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Wedding P lanner The

2021

A Dream Honeymoon Just a Couple Hours Away

Memories of a One-of-a-Kind Dress Breaking the Mold:

Ways to Make Your Wedding Unique


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lanner Wedding Planner W The

2021

A Dream Honeymoon Just a Couple Hours Away

Memories of a One-of-a-Kind Dress Breaking the Mold:

in this issue 6

Memories of a One-of-a-Kind Dress

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Breaking the Mold: Ways to Make Your Wedding Unique

Ways to Make Your Wedding Unique

Cover photo: Rosalyn and Samuel Photo by John Malloy Photography, Red Lion, PA For more articles about all the facets of planning a wedding, visit theweddingplanneronline.com. Published by Engle Printing & Publishing Co., Inc. ©2021 All rights reserved

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A Gift for Guests: Wedding Favors

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A Dream Honeymoon Just a Couple Hours Away

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Wedding Checklist

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Local Couples 18 Angie and Eddie 22 Rosalyn and Samuel 26 Rashna and Brian

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2021 Bridal Shows

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Rashna and Brian Photo by Dream Team Photography, Philadelphia, PA


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Memories of a One-of-a-Kind Dress

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By Krista Hurley

W

hen Robert Adams III was stationed in England during World War II as a member of the Army Air Forces, he undoubtedly had more than the war efforts on his mind. Also occupying space in his thoughts – and his heart – was a young lady named Mary Stilwell, his fiancée. But Bob was also focused on the task at hand. As a photographer during the war, he was assigned with lying in the belly of the plane and taking photos to show whether the planes hit their targets. Always at the ready was his parachute, made of nylon, at the time a new material that had begun to replace silk in the manufacturing of parachutes. Thankfully, he never had to use it. After Bob safely finished his tour in World War II, his parachute would remain an important part of his life, albeit in a different form. “He sent his parachute home to his fiancée to have her wedding dress made from (it),” shares Gail Miller, Bob and Mary’s daughter. “The idea came to him because he had to have his parachute with him every time he went up. He figured it was clean and beautiful material that had never been used.” Mary loved the suggestion.


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She took the concept to an Oxford seamstress. Because nylon was a new fabric, however, the seamstress was hesitant to work with it. “But she was willing to give it a try,” Gail says. From photos of designs the seamstress provided, Mary selected an elegant dress design that boasted a slight V-neck, full-length sleeves, and a flowing train. “The dress turned out beautifully, covered buttons and all!” Gail exclaims. “I loved the entire gown, but I loved it more because of who was wearing it,” Bob shares. The couple met at Oxford High School when Bob, then a senior, noticed Mary, a freshman, in a play. But when he approached her to ask her out, she told him she was not allowed to date until she was 16. “This meant he had to wait an entire year,” Gail explains. And that’s what he did. Bob and Mary dated for four years – three of which were spent with Bob in the service. He proposed one day when they were sitting in the car after a date. “I love you and would love to marry you as soon as we are able,” Bob told her. He recalls, “I asked her how she felt, and she said she felt the same way.” On Oct. 6, 1945, Mary donned her beautiful, one-of-a-kind gown and walked down the aisle. She and Bob were married 68 years until her passing in 2014. “At my mom’s celebration of life ceremony, the symbolism was made of how Dad’s parachute was intended to save his life just as God’s Son was given to save our lives,” Gail shares. “Then his parachute was used again during their wedding ceremony to bind God’s love for Mom and Dad with their love for God and each other in holy matrimony.” During the service, Bob reflected, “My parachute was originally used as an instrument of war, but at the wedding it was used as an instrument of peace and love.” Bob, now a resident at Quarryville Presbyterian Retirement Community, celebrated his 100th birthday on Feb. 15. His secret to living a long life? Love. “He married the love of his life,” Gail shares. “And my mom felt the same way about him.”


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BREAKING THE MOLD: Ways to Make Your Wedding Unique

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rides and grooms once felt compelled to conform to traditional weddings. From highly romantic vows to pastel colors to the white, tiered cake, various wedding components were long considered must-haves. However, modern couples are increasingly expressing their individuality and even embracing more edgy and adventurous elements when planning their weddings. According to The Knot, today’s weddings are not what they were just a few years ago. Bold colors, exotic cakes, and nontraditional foliage are just some of the elements modern couples are embracing to set their weddings apart.

Adventurous Locales

Vineyards and catering halls can be great places to tie the knot, but couples that like to push the envelope are looking to more adventurous locales to impart their unique spin on their weddings. Sharing vows atop a mountain crest at the end of a favorite hiking trail or on a roller coaster at a theme park that

harkens back to a first date offer some adventurous places to tie the knot.

Outside-the-Box Menus

Couples may want to break with tradition by offering a wide selection of foods at their receptions. These foods can include items that fit with their specific ethnic cuisines, gourmet comfort foods, or foods that fit with their dietary choices, such as organic or vegan options. Couples may work with a caterer to provide a variety of tasty choices.

Bold Wardrobe Choices

Brides can put new spins on their gowns by adding color and texture. Sequins, bold embroidery, shorter hemlines, and other features can be considered. Brides may consider wearing colors other than white, and grooms can choose to wear a black suit or any combination of color and style they want to make a dramatic impression.


Full of Flavor

Cakes don’t have to be white with white buttercream icing. Couples can explore other options and incorporate favorite flavor combinations into their cakes. For example, a chocolate and caramel filling reminiscent of a candy bar might be something to consider.

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Modern couples are embracing bold, unique, and edgy components when planning their weddings. Putting an individualized spin on the ceremony and reception can make couples even more excited to tie the knot.


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A Gift for Guests:

Wedding Favors Wedding favors have changed in recent years, evolving from inexpensive trinkets purchased in bulk into more personalized mementos that guests can cherish. Today’s couples are interested in customizing their weddings and offering guests something meaningful, or, at the very least, edible, so that favors don’t immediately get relegated to the trash can. Wedding planners from across the country offer the following wedding favor trends that couples may want to incorporate into their own celebrations. Welcome Bags Rather than take-home bags, welcome bags have replaced the traditional favor at some weddings. Many weddings have become multi-day events that ask guests traveling from out of town to attend a wedding weekend. To help greet guests and make their experience memorable, couples may fill a gift bag with items guests can use or enjoy during their stay, like a bottle of locally sourced maple syrup or some handmade soaps from a nearby shopkeeper. Experience Gifts Instead of a candle or a monogrammed cake server, think of experiences to offer guests. A coupon for free drinks at a nearby brewery, a tour of a local attraction while guests are in town, or a group excursion for guests attending a destination wedding can be fun and will help guests create lasting memories.

Charitable Donations Some couples feel that favors are wasteful, and they would rather set aside a portion of their wedding budgets toward giving back. In such situations, a donation to charity in guests’ names can be the way to go. Guests can vote on two favorite charities advertised on a special table at the wedding reception. The one with the most votes will get the proceeds. Late-Night Snacks After a night of celebrating, some guests may want the festivities to continue but may need some extra

sustenance to make it through a few more hours. Some couples are eschewing traditional favors in lieu of making room for extra food or beverage expenses that can include after-party treats. These may run the gamut from wood-fired pizzas to food truck vendors to extra desserts. A tasty take-home option also may be given, such as fresh zeppole or beignets, or even a personalized bottle of wine. Even if the food and drink is not consumed right away, there’s a good chance it will hit the spot when guests return to their hotel rooms.

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A Dream Honeymoon Just A Couple Hours Away theweddingplanneronline.com

By Wendy Royal

W

henever the best resorts in Pennsylvania are mentioned, you can bet you’ll see Nemacolin among the top contenders. And for good reason. The fourseason resort located in southwestern Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands offers five distinctive lodging options totaling 323 rooms on the 2,000-acre property. From an English Tudor-style lodge on a more affordable scale to the 42-room Falling Rock, a boutique hotel with butler service, there’s no wrong choice here. Regardless of whether you’re staying in one of the hotels or a luxury vacation home at Nemacolin, the experience is second to none, and the amenities go on forever.

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Photo by Nemacolin

Perhaps that is why producers chose Nemacolin as the location for season 25 of The Bachelor. The resort was closed for two months last fall while shooting the popular series, but it is back open and welcoming guests once again.  If pampering is an essential part of your dream honeymoon, you’ll love Nemacolin’s spa and wellness offerings. The Woodlands Spa features 40 treatment rooms and a full-service salon. The Holistic Healing Center emphasizes integrative methods designed to create body balance and wellness. The resort has nine dining options, with the crèm de la crèm being Lautrec, located inside Nemacolin’s opulent Parisian-style hotel, Chateau Lafayette. The Forbes 5-Star and AAA 5-Diamond restaurant is a culinary experience you and your other half are not likely to forget. Guests do not receive a menu. Rather, they are given a wax-sealed envelope containing a list of ingredients from which they may choose 10. From there, chef Kristin Butterworth and her staff create the dinner, complete with a wine pairing. Every dinner is uniquely designed for each guest. The property boasts two highly rated golf courses, a safari adventure,


Photo by Nemacolin

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of the amenities offered at Nemacolin, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention an airfield, just in case you want to arrive on your private plane. The rates may not be for everyone, but special package deals, like buy two nights, get one free, are often available. Since it’s a reasonable drive from most of Pennsylvania, you’ll save on airfare. For most of us, these accommodations are reserved for special occasions, and your honeymoon is definitely like a special occasion. Don’t you agree? Nemacolin 1001 Lafayette Drive Farmington, PA 15437 866-344-6957 | nemacolin.com

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tennis courts, swimm-ing pools, and horse-back riding. For a more rugged experience, Nemacolin’s Jeep Off-Roading Driving Experience takes guests on rough terrain for an adren-aline rush like no other. In addition, the resort offers sporting experiences like clay shooting and fly fishing. When you visit during the winter, you can take advantage of Mystic Mountain’s six downhill slopes, snowboarding, and terrain park. You can also enjoy snow tubing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and even dog sledding with a team of huskies. Nemacolin is owned by Joseph Hardy III, who is the founder of 84 Lumber. When you visit the resort, you will see the Hardy family’s multimillion-dollar art collection displayed throughout the property. You’ll find much of the collection in the Chateau Lafayette. The Chateau’s grandeur created the perfect backdrop for The Bachelor  as contestants stepped out of the limousine and onto the red carpet to meet Matt James, season 25 bachelor.  I’ve just barely scratched the surface


Your Wedding Planning

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CHECKLIST

There are so many things to think about when planning a wedding. We have provided this handy checklist so you stay on top of your to-do list and your planning goes as smoothly as possible. Everyone has a different vision, so this is just a starting point. Amp up or scale back as you see fit! As we are all aware, things can change rapidly during a pandemic, so having some flexibility in your plans is a good idea. 9-12 Months Before

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Announce your engagement to your family and friends. Determine the approximate size, style, and formality of your event. Work out a budget. Decide who is paying for what. Start the guest list to know an approximate count for booking venues. Decide on an approximate date for the wedding. Choose the members of your wedding party. Hire a wedding planner, if you wish. Research and visit ceremony and reception venues. Note: If you are hoping to book a popular venue, especially if you are set on a particular date, this step should be completed earlier. Book your ceremony and reception sites. Create a wedding website, if you wish. Begin looking at wedding gowns. Start thinking about where you would like to take your honeymoon. Research florists, bands/DJs, and photographers and begin getting quotes. Research caterers (if separate from the reception venue) and bakeries for your cake.

6-9 Months Before

Purchase a wedding dress. Shop for and order bridesmaids’ dresses. Send out save-the-date cards. Book a photographer and/or videographer. Note: If you are getting married during the peak wedding season, you probably want to complete this step sooner, especially if you have a particular photographer in mind.

Get engagement photos taken and submit your announcement to your local newspapers. Start finalizing the guest list and collecting addresses. Book a caterer, set up a tasting, and begin choosing your menu. Choose a honeymoon destination and update your passports if necessary. Book a wedding officiant. Choose musicians for your ceremony and book reception entertainment. Meet with a florist and start choosing flowers. Create a wedding registry at several different stores/ websites. Reserve a block of rooms at a nearby hotel for out-of-town guests.

4-5 Months Before

Begin premarital counseling, if you wish. Choose and purchase wedding invitations. Book your honeymoon accommodations and buy plane tickets. Reserve a site for the rehearsal dinner. Buy wedding shoes and try on veils and other accessories with your gown. Book a hair and makeup appointment at your salon. Book limos, carriages, a trolley, town cars, or other modes of transportation for your wedding and reception, if needed. Meet with bakers, have a cake tasting, and decide on your wedding cake design. Meet with the officiant and begin discussing ceremony details. Give your wedding guest list to the host of your bridal shower. 3 Months Before

Finalize your menu options. Send out wedding invitations. Choose ceremony music. Finalize flowers. Arrange for rental items for your reception, if necessary. Start looking for wedding favors. Purchase undergarments and other accessories, as well as bridesmaids’ accessories. Purchase wedding rings and send them to be engraved, if you wish. Make an appointment for a dress fitting for alterations.


2 Months Before

1 Month Before

Get your marriage license. Purchase gifts for the wedding party and your parents. Have a trial run with your hairdresser for your hair and makeup. Send out final payments to vendors.

Week of the Wedding

Pack for your honeymoon. Enjoy a bachelor/bachelorette party. Pick up your dress. Pick up tuxes/suits. Gather any items that need to

be transported to your venues (guestbook, photos, favors, etc.). Have the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. Make any additional payments that haven’t been paid. Confirm, confirm, confirm. Prepare envelopes with tips for vendors. Pack your emergency wedding day kit. Try to get some sleep.

Day of the Wedding

Be sure to eat and drink plenty of fluids. Get your hair and makeup done. Enjoy your day! After the Wedding

Complete paperwork for changing your last name, changing insurance, etc. Send out thank-you notes.

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Practice walking in your wedding shoes if you purchased high heels. Finalize ceremony music and readings. Go for dress fittings. Enjoy your bridal shower. Determine a day-of schedule and send it out to your vendors. Review your reception playlist with your band/disc jockey. Mail rehearsal dinner invitations. Finalize honeymoon details/ itinerary. Choose the groom’s and groomsmen’s attire. Begin a beauty regimen (teeth whitening, pedicures, etc.).

Call any guests who haven’t RSVP’d. Give final counts to caterers/ venues. Determine a seating chart. Get menu cards/programs printed, if you wish. Get place cards/escort cards printed. Look into changing your last name (if you are planning to), as well as some of the other details of your status change. Write vows, if you are going that route. Have a final dress fitting. Prepare a shot list for your photographer.

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The

Marietta Community House

Beautiful historic setting, perfect for your Wedding, Reception, Rehearsal Dinners, or rentals for all occasions. The places where we choose to get married reflect our personalities, our interests, and our passions. If you are one of those people who love the rich character of historic places, what better place to declare one’s timeless love than in a beautiful, over 150-year-old building that has stood the test of time itself?

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Angie and Eddie March 22, 2020


bride’s hometown: Manheim, PA groom’s hometown: Pequea, PA current place of residence: Columbia, PA bride’s occupation: family business, The Honeybee Shoppe groom’s occupation: welder/fitter how they met: Angie and Eddie met in October 2013, crossing paths when Angie and a mutual friend arrived at a babysitting job. “He caught my eye!” Angie recalls. “However, I was only 15 and he was 23, so naturally I didn’t catch his.” Four years later, though, they met again at a coming-home party for the mutual friend, who was now a Marine. “This time, I was all grown up,” says Angie. The couple began dating three weeks later. “Those kids I helped babysit are now my niece and nephew!” Angie says.

length of engagement: eight months and 22 days honeymoon destination: The couple had planned to visit Bushkill Falls. “Because of COVID, we decided to cancel that trip,” Angie shares. “We just stayed in our new home.”

photography: Avastahs Photography, Lancaster, PA flowers: Lancaster Flower Co., Manheim, PA music: Maya Sauder, close friend bride’s dress: Country Threads by Gail, Manheim, PA altering: Country Threads by Gail, Manheim, PA suits: Men’s Wearhouse salon: Hats Off A Vous Salon, Sophia Zook, East Petersburg, PA cake: Rachel Holliday, Eddie’s sister decorations: Kelly Miller, Angie’s mom

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the proposal: Two weeks before popping the question, Eddie gave Angie money to buy a dress that made her feel pretty “because it was time we went on a fancy date,” Angie says. On their way home from that fancy date, Eddie, who was sitting in the driver’s seat, pulled over and asked Angie to drive because he said he wasn’t feeling well. When Angie came around to the driver’s side, however, Eddie was on one knee holding a Ring Pop. “He said the sweetest words as he proposed,” Angie recalls. “I ugly cried while he reminded me he needed an answer.” She said yes, of course, and Eddie then presented her with a diamond ring. “This resulted in me crying all over again,” Angie shares.

Vendors

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ceremony location: Conestoga River Park, Conestoga, PA vow renewal date: June 27, 2020 vow renewal and reception location: The Gathering Place, Mount Joy wedding colors: burgundy, blush, and sage green wedding theme: classic special reading: 1 Corinthians 13 flowers: white peony, Tessa crimson garden rose, mauve astrantia, seeded eucalyptus, cinerea eucalyptus, ice princess pink protea, blush ranunculus, parvifolia eucalyptus, and burgundy spray roses the menu: pulled pork, ham loaf, baked corn, green beans, macaroni and cheese, dinner rolls, and salad, along with a dessert buffet provided by Angie’s mom and Eddie’s sister that included sugar cookies, angel food cake, chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, cream cheese Oreo brownies, cream cheese cupcakes, cake pops, peanut butter eggs, Oreo cheesecake, and, of course, the wedding cake cake: vanilla cake with vanilla icing favor: a jar of raw Lancaster County Spring Blossom honey from Angie’s dad’s bees something worth splurging on: “My dress – hands down!” Angie says. favorite decoration: a large hanging flower arrangement put together by Angie’s mom. “It went on the arbor we stood under,” Angie says.

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The Wedding


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The Wedding Planner: What was the first thing you did when you began to plan your wedding? What inspired you to start there? Angie: Technically it was our guest list because that was something we talked about before we were engaged! Once we were engaged, though, I chose our color theme first. After knowing that, I could decide on decorations and talk to my florist, my mom could start making invitations, etc.

TWP: How did you select the bride’s dress, the groom’s attire, and the outfits of the members of the wedding party? Angie: I tried on several different dresses, but I knew the one I chose was “the one” because I said I loved it when I looked at myself in the mirror. After they held up some lace to show what it would look like with straps, I LOVED it. I knew I wanted my bridesmaids in all sequins because I love sparkles, and burgundy is one of my favorite colors! As for the guys, I knew I wanted them in black with burgundy ties. Eddie had a custom suit made. Thanks to COVID-19, Men’s Wearhouse was shut down for a long while, so they just sent him a standard suit.

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TWP: How did you incorporate the tastes and personalities of both the bride and the groom into the wedding? Angie: I chose what I liked and then ran it past Eddie to make sure he was OK with it. He smeared the wedding cake in my face, and that’s pretty much all he ever wanted out of his wedding so he was content with that. TWP: What did you find to be the biggest challenge/hurdle in planning a wedding? Angie: The biggest was when we had to cancel our wedding, send out new invitations with a new date, find a new venue, and then send out a bunch of un-invitations. We had to take our guest list of 200 who said yes down to 60 to keep it small and safe. I don’t wish that stress and heartbreak upon anyone. TWP: What is the single most important piece of advice you have for other brides and grooms planning their weddings? Angie: As long as you don’t have to cancel it, everything will work out just fine!


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Rosalyn and Samuel June 21, 2020 & August 16, 2020


bride’s hometown: Ronks, PA groom’s hometown: Oneonta, AL current place of residence: Colorado Springs, CO bride’s occupation: hair stylist and wood finisher groom’s occupation: Army officer how they met: Rosalyn and Samuel met through mutual friends at a New Year’s party. After being friends since 2017, they reconnected in 2019 when Sam returned from Airborne School and a tour in South Korea. Rosalyn turned him down several times before agreeing to date him in October 2019. With Sam stationed in Colorado, the couple dated long distance but still saw each other in person every few weeks, with Sam finding excuses to visit the area.

length of engagement: just over three months honeymoon destination: Italy, when COVID allows

photography John Malloy Photography, Red Lion, PA flowers: Sam’s mother disc jockey: Dylan Heisler catering: Dickey’s BBQ, York, PA bride’s dress: David’s Bridal groom’s attire: Army Green Service Uniform (AGSU) and Army Service Uniform (ASU) hair: Rosalyn cake: House of Clarendon, Lancaster, PA engagement ring: ordered from an ethical moissanite jeweler and set in platinum by James Allan

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the proposal: Sam and his family planned a trip to Gatlinburg, Tenn., for Valentine’s Day. “They had all told me they’d wanted to get some new family pictures of all of us while we were there,” Rosalyn shares, with the “moon rocks” on Little Pigeon River in Greenbrier Park serving as the photo shoot location. Rosalyn and Sam arrived before the rest of his family, so the photographer suggested the couple start setting up and testing the lighting in the meantime. “That’s when Sam got on one knee and asked me to marry him,” Rosalyn recalls. So, instead of family pictures, the couple ended up with photographic reminders of their engagement, all planned in advance by Sam. “Sam knew that pictures were so important to me,” Rosalyn says. “He spent significant time researching photographers in the area to find the best one and planned this proposal perfectly.”

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first ceremony location: Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, CO second ceremony and reception location: Nissley Vineyards, Bainbridge, PA wedding colors: champagne neutrals, olive green, charcoal, marsala red wedding theme: garden party unity ceremony: “We created a unique ‘wine unity ceremony,’” says Rosalyn. “Our pastor explained the tradition of Jewish parents handing their children a glass of wine to symbolize taking responsibility for their own life. Then we combined our glasses of wine (red and white) to create a new wine, a Rosé, representing becoming one, a new life, and permanently united. We both drank the cup. Then we smashed the glass to represent that no one else can drink from our covenant.” flowers: eucalyptus, red scabiosa, white roses, white hydrangea, and wax flower the menu: beef brisket, chicken barbecue, macaroni and cheese, Caesar salad, and green beans cake: vanilla with white frosting first dance song: “You, Wonderful You” by Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore, from the couple’s favorite show, “The Dick Van Dyke Show” favor: mini cardboard suitcases with Italian candy inside, a reference to the couple’s long-distance relationship and planned honeymoon to Italy something worth splurging on: a photographer

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The Wedding


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The Wedding Planner: What was the first thing you did when you began to plan your wedding? What inspired you to start there? Rosalyn: We found a venue and picked a date; it’s hard to have concrete plans without a date set in stone. TWP: How did you select the bride’s dress, the groom’s attire, and the outfits of the members of the wedding party?

Rosalyn: I left the dresses up to the girls. I showed them the shades I preferred and then let them pick whatever dress they wanted so long as it was floor length. I wanted a variety of textures and shades. They couldn’t have picked a better combination of colors and textures if I had picked them myself!

bride and the groom into the wedding? Rosalyn: Sam and I both have a love for the vintage classics and incorporated that by both including vintage décor as well as wearing the AGSUs that the army just released; they are a reproduction of the WWII uniform. I’m a big dancer, and we made sure to give time for dancing!

TWP: How did you incorporate the tastes and personalities of both the

TWP: What did you find to be the biggest challenge/hurdle in planning a wedding? Rosalyn: COVID, of course. We had to reschedule the wedding three times. Thankfully, all vendors adjusted without any issues. The hardest part for me was the number of people who decided not to come. I took every guest who did make it as an extra blessing! Due to COVID, it was impossible for Sam to come to Pennsylvania for a wedding prior. So we decided with two weeks’ notice to elope at Garden of the Gods with a few friends. My dress was covered in pink dust after the ceremony, which I loved! I left it dirty for the second ceremony to bring a piece of the elopement back! We repeated the ceremony at the second wedding to give our friends and family the chance to witness our vows and partner with us in our new covenant.

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TWP: What is the single most important piece of advice you have for other brides and grooms planning their weddings? Rosalyn: Go into the day with open hands. Release control, as things won’t go according to plan, but gratefully accept all of the things that do go well and look for the little things. Also, make time to enjoy it; it’s over in the blink of an eye!


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Rashna and Brian

October 3, 2020

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bride’s hometown: Lancaster, PA groom’s hometown: Manheim/Mount Joy, PA current place of residence: Conestoga, PA bride’s occupation: general laborer groom’s occupation: general laborer how they met: Rashna and Brian’s sister Tiffany worked together. “One day, she told me her brother was going to start working there too,” Rashna says. “I was excited because Tiffany is a joy to be around, so I expected the same energy from Brian.” The first night they met, he introduced himself and then they went back to work. “He then came up to me in one of the aisles and started another conversation,” she recalls. Despite the fact that she was introverted at the time, Rashna says, “We laughed and talked all evening like long-lost best friends.” They met on Oct. 3, 2015, and got married exactly five years later on Oct. 3, 2020!

length of engagement: one year honeymoon destination: Annapolis, MD. “We had planned to go to Costa Rica, but the travel ban ruined that,” Rashna says.

The Wedding reception location: Hawthorne Ridge Community Center, Lancaster, PA wedding colors: white, pink, and gray wedding theme: modern and garden special reading: Solomon 3:4. “It was also on our customized runner,” Rashna shares. “Song of Solomon was the first book in the Bible Brian and I read and finished together.” unity ceremony: sand art. “Our moms added their colored sands first because they brought us into the world,” Rashna explains. “Then Brian and I added ours, and then lastly our pastor, symbolizing God, added the sand on top.” the menu: chicken biryani, kebabs, naan, chicken tikka masala, chicken pulao, korma, chaat, samosa, pakora, and more cake: chocolate with chocolate-covered strawberries for the bride and groom and marble cake for the guests first dance song: “Turning Page” by Sleeping at Last favor: personalized invitation baskets with a candle, a jar of popcorn and almonds, Pakistani desserts, and the invites for the Mehndi ceremony and the traditional ceremony. “At the wedding reception, we had little baggies of our favorite candy and labeled them ‘Her Favorites’ and ‘His Favorites,’” Rashna shares. something worth splurging on: food and cake favorite decoration: a beautiful tapestry the couple got married on

music: Dream Team DJ, Philadelphia, PA catering: Namaste Restaurant, Lancaster, PA bride’s dress: Azazie bridesmaids’ dresses: Azazie salon: Ashley Velez, Lancaster, PA suits: Central PA Tuxedo, Lancaster, PA cake: Achenbach’s Pastries, Leola, PA decorations: Rental World, Lancaster, PA, and Ace the Party Place, Lancaster, PA

27 theweddingplanneronline.com

ceremony location: Muddy Run Park Amphitheater, Holtwood, PA

photography/videography: Dream Team Photography, Philadelphia, PA

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the proposal: Sept. 28, 2019, was the day before Rashna’s birthday. “Brian had been hyping this day up like no other,” Rashna recalls. He bought her a fancy dress and encouraged her to do her makeup and hair. Rashna suspected that he was planning a surprise birthday party! After taking in a production of “Evita” at the Fulton Theatre, the couple drove to Breezyview Overlook in Columbia, where Brian suggested they take some pictures before dinner. “I was thinking, ‘OK, the party might not be ready yet,’” Rashna says. With the camera recording, Brian pulled out his phone and began playing “Marry Me” by Train. “It’s the song I always wanted playing in the background when he proposed,” Rashna says. “I started crying!” Brian read her a letter he wrote, then pulled out a ring and asked her to marry him. “I said yes!” Rashna exclaims.

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The Wedding Planner: What was the first thing you did when you began to plan your wedding? What inspired you to start there? Rashna: The proposal, haha! The budget for sure. We wanted to know what we had to spend before we went looking for our options. TWP: How did you select the bride’s dress, the groom’s attire, and the outfits of the members of the wedding party? Rashna: I always wanted a dress that would complement my body shape and size. I had the chance to go to David’s Bridal before the lockdown, but after that it was mostly online shopping. I came across Azazie, and seeing that it offered a try-before-you-buy option was a saving grace. I ordered 12 to 15 dresses and had a virtual bridal party to try them on. The dress I ended up picking was the last dress I tried on, and I knew as soon as I put it on. It was everything I wanted: quality, design, fabric and shape. Ever since he was a little boy, Brian always wanted to wear a white tuxedo for his wedding, so all we had to do was match our whites. The guys’ and girls’ outfits I picked out as well. I picked

these beautiful off-shoulder dusty rose gowns for my girls from Azazie, and the guys’ suits were a darker shade of gray that matched the girls’ dresses. My flower girl and maid of honor had their own unique dresses. TWP: How did you incorporate the tastes and personalities of both the bride and the groom into the wedding? Rashna: Brian and I fortunately have very similar taste in decorations, venues, and colors. Special ways that we incorporated our personalities would be music and the color of the sand we picked for each other. Our wedding rings were also an extension of our personalities; Brian wanted something blingy and extravagant. The food we picked was our favorite dishes and desserts. TWP: What did you find to be the biggest challenge/hurdle in planning a wedding? Rashna: Not being able to see or plan the wedding in person because of COVID. It was really hard finding things online. Money also became a hurdle, but because we had already changed the wedding twice up until that point we decided to work through it.

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TWP: What is the single most important piece of advice you have for other brides and grooms planning their weddings? Rashna: You don’t have to spend what everyone thinks you should spend. We had two ceremonies with equal amounts of attention given to both, but we managed to get everything under $10,000. Do research on the vendors around your town; there are so many local vendors willing to work with you. Also, Thumbtack is your best friend. They have a lot of vendors with all kinds of budget options.

Combining Culture and Tradition To honor Rashna’s heritage, Rashna and Brian celebrated two ceremonies: a Pakistani wedding and a traditional ceremony. “I always knew I wanted to have both,” says Rashna. “Brian has always been very respectful to my culture and valued my expectations.” The couple’s Mehndi ceremony was a pre-wedding event held at Hawthorne Ridge Community Center, where their reception later took place. “Mehndi Day is usually extremely colorful and full of dancing and singing to start the wedding celebration,” explains Rashna. “This ceremony is usually celebrated a couple of days before the wedding day.” Historically, brides and grooms have separate ceremonies with their respective families, but in recent years, the celebrations have been combined. Rashna and Brian opted for a combined celebration. For the decorations, the couple selected bright colors like pumpkin, fuchsia, and marigold, along with a selection of lights. As part of the festivities, the couple’s friends and family adorned them with flowers, henna, Ubtan (a face and body mask made up of turmeric, wheat, and yogurt), and holy oils. “My mom and Brian’s mom, along with my friends, all put a platter of henna (herb mix), Ubtan, oils, and desserts together,” Rashna says. The platter was put on a table in front of the bride and groom, and each guest came up to adorn and bless them. “All this is so the bride and groom look their best and are protected from any evil eye before the wedding,” Rashna says.


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The Wedding Planner 2021  

Wedding Planner - A guide to help you plan your big day. bride, bridesmaids, cake, dress, flowers, gown, groom, honeymoon, photographer, rec...

The Wedding Planner 2021  

Wedding Planner - A guide to help you plan your big day. bride, bridesmaids, cake, dress, flowers, gown, groom, honeymoon, photographer, rec...

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