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Brides

SUNDAY | september 12 | 2010

inside:

It’s your wedding,

get creative!

Make your Wedding Beautiful

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{ get creative }

It’s your wedding,

get creati creative!

This photo provided by Heidi Ryder shows Dorie Turner, right, and her husband John Nolt during their wedding Sept. 26, 2009, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Heidi Ryder)

The Associated Press

fter the I dos and ‘til death do us parts, they’re the two little words every bride waits to hear on her wedding day: “How creative!” At least, that’s what I wanted to hear after I got married last September before 90 guests in an outdoor ceremony at an antebellum mansion in downtown Memphis. Artsy to the core, I longed to create the perfect handmade wedding, with clever details that my guests wouldn’t see anywhere else. I wanted to highlight my personal style and undying love for being crafty and gluing stuff together. And with a budget of $10,000, I wanted to save a

little cash. Already an avid shopper at the online artists marketplace Etsy.com, I knew when my beau, John, proposed that it was the first place to start looking for unique items, and to get ideas for what I could make myself. Etsy sales have risen quickly since it began in 2005, reaching $180 million last year thanks in part to a burgeoning wedding section with thousands of handmade wares, said spokesman Adam Brown. Brides can peruse everything from typewriter-key cufflinks to a personalized ring-bearer pillow. Wedding blogs such as 100 Layer Cake, Style Me Pretty and Etsy Wedding also promote handmade wedding fare and artsy style. Online bridal message

boards light up with suggestions when brides-to-be ask about how to make their own table numbers, or craft lanterns out of baby food jars and tea light candles.

Do-it-yourself wedding decorations and favors have become so popular that TheKnot.com and Martha Stewart Weddings - the arbiters in all things bridal - now have sections dedicated to brides looking to break out the hot-glue gun.

“In generations past, weddings were very similar, but now people want to put their own unique spin on their wedding,” said Rebecca Dolgin, executive editor of TheKnot.com. “They want it to be different from someone else’s, and these DIY details really make that happen.” continued on page 4

Brides 

|  Sunday, September 12, 2010  |  www.fdlreporter.com

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{ get creative }

“In generations past, weddings were very similar, but now people want to put their own unique spin on their wedding. They want it to be different from someone else’s, and these DIY details really make that happen.” - Rebecca Dolgin, executive editor of TheKnot.com

Here’s how I crafted my own handmade wedding: I hired Etsy artists to create boutonnieres and corsages for the wedding party and our families - something more permanent (and cheaper) than flowers that they could take home with them. The boutonnieres were roses made from folded roadmaps, and the corsages were flowers created from brown and green organza and brown pearls. (Corsages, $15 apiece. Boutonnieres, $8 apiece.) I asked a friend who is a graphic artist to design our program based on a wedding invitation I had found online. It read like a story rather than the traditional order of ceremony, and it drew more comments than any other item at our wedding. (“Here’s how it’s going to go …” the program read near the top.) We printed the programs at home on recycled card stock and used a paper cutter from a craft store to round off the edges (photo page 4, bottom left). After searching for nearly three months for the perfect cake topper, I realized I’d have to spend

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Instead of a photo slideshow during the reception, we hung photos on long pieces of twine with clothes pins to create a more homey feel. I also made a sign that said “LOVE” to hang in the middle, using a fancy font I found for free online and flower-shaped cardboard cutouts (photo page 4, top left). We decided to print our invitations and save-the-

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Favors for our guests were CDs of songs written by my fiance and his fellow songwriter friends as part of his proposal (he’s the creative type too). We designed the CD cover and label and assembled them ourselves at home, spending about $60 on the whole project.

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more than $100 and probably still wouldn’t get exactly what I wanted. So, I turned a pair of birdshaped salt and pepper shakers into a little bride and groom and mounted them on an antique letterpress stamp with the word “September.” I used polymer clay to create the groom’s top hat and shoes, and I recycled tulle and pearls from my mom’s wedding dress to decorate the bride bird. (About $25 total. Photo page 5)

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date cards at home, so we had a designer from PrintablePress.com create them and send us the PDF. We gussied up the envelopes with tree and bird stamps from Etsy and Target. ($175 for the design, $50 for paper supplies and $45 for stamps.) I wanted our guests to fill out notes of advice to us, so I used a set of typewriterstyle stamps to make little note cards from our leftover card stock saying things like “wishes” and “thoughts” and “blessings” at the top (photo page 4, right).

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Instead of a traditional guest book, we had a photo booth where guests could don pirate hats, sunglasses and feather boas. Guests got to keep one copy, and the other they glued into our guest book, where they could write notes. (About $1,400 for six hours of booth rental, which includes an attendant, unlimited photos, two sets of prints, a scrapbook and a digital CD of every photo taken. We provided the basket of costume pieces ourselves to save $400.)

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John, a musician by hobby, wrote and recorded two processionals, for the wedding party and for me, on the cello. No need to hire a string quartet.

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Not everything that can be DIY at a wedding should be, though. There are some things best left to the experts.

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Dolgin recommends that brides - even the most frugal ones - hire people to take care of the food, cakes and photos. No matter how good a baker she is or how talented with a camera, the bride has too much to worry about on her wedding day (and the week leading up to it) to handle those items herself. In the end, many guests at my wedding gave me the best compliment possible with these simple words: “This wedding is just so you!” And it absolutely was. ❍

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{ make your day beautiful }

Ten weeks before my wedding, I put 140 invitations beautifully letter-pressed on Crane lettra paper with silver ink - into the mail, eagerly anticipating the flood of RSVP cards marked yes. Two days later, my soon-to-be-husband got laid off from his newspaper job. I went from sorrow to anguish to rage to worry: We’d just invited 300 of our nearest and dearest to eat and drink on our dime, and it was too late to postpone the festivities without paying hefty cancellation fees. After a one-day pity party that involved a two-hour wait at the unemployment office and a bloody mary brunch afterward, we set about reworking our wedding in a way that would be a little easier on the wallet without sacrificing the elements of a very special day.

Make your wedding

beautiful,

even during a down economy The Associated Press

The first casualty: the pro videographer that I’d booked months before. I forfeited the $100 deposit and recruited a college friend who’d majored in broadcasting to record the ceremony. Then I sold my beloved Kate Spade wedding shoes online (via the great message boards on WeddingBee.com) and picked up a more practical pair of silver flats on eBay that I knew I’d wear again. What happened to us isn’t uncommon. Weddings, typically one of the most recession-proof industries, are getting smaller as the economy struggles. The average price of a wedding was $28,385 in 2009, down 3 percent from 2008’s average of $29,334, according to the 2009 Real Weddings Study by TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com. Brides are cutting back, most heavily in favors, rehearsal dinner costs and catering, the study said. “There’s still merriment. It’s not something that’s going to

Weddings, typically one of the most recession-proof industries, are getting smaller as the economy struggles. The average price of a wedding was $28,385 in 2009, down 3 percent from 2008’s average of $29,334. - Source: the 2009 Real Weddings Study by TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com.

AP Photos/Lane Hickenbottom LEFT: This photo shows Jill Zeman Bleed, third from left, surrounded by her bridesmaids during her wedding May 16, 2008, in Omaha, Neb. RIGHT: A three-tiered stand filled with cupcakes at Jake Bleed and Jill Zeman Bleed’s wedding.

deplete your bank account, but there are definitely ways around it to still have your dream wedding,” said Sharon Stimpfle, deputy site director of WeddingChannel.com. The easiest fix? Trimming your guest list, Stimpfle advises. And rethink the traditional Saturday night wedding; Friday and Sunday weddings are significantly cheaper, as are daytime events, she said. Even before Jake lost his job, we tried to be thoughtful

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Brides 

|  Sunday, September 12, 2010  |  www.fdlreporter.com


{ make your day beautiful }

about how to spend money on our wedding, picking certain areas to splurge and others to save. We knew we’d spend the most on food and drinks at a great reception spot, as well as on a talented photographer and an unbelievable honeymoon. Everything else, we tried to do on the cheap.

THE ATTIRE I nearly gave up on finding a dress after many fruitless visits to bridal shops. I refused to buy a dress if the shop cut out the label, and I wasn’t loving anything I’d tried on with the label, either. One afternoon, I lazily browsed pre-owned dresses on eBay, more out of boredom than anything else. One seller offered an ivory Anne Barge sample in my size from a few seasons back. It retailed for more than $3,000, and I impulsively made an offer of $500, thinking it would never be accepted. I stepped away from the computer, ran a couple errands, and when I came back I’d received the congratulatory email. The gorgeous silksatin strapless dress was mine (and luckily, thankfully, wonderfully, it fit!). And post wedding, I got a tax deduction by donating my dress, veil and slip to Brides Against Breast Cancer

(directions available at BridesAgainstBreastCancer.org).

THE DECOR

For my five bridesmaids, I selected gray chiffon dresses from Watters & Watters and ordered them from NetBride. com to save at least 40 percent on each dress. We also skipped the bridal shop for my flower girl’s dress, opting instead for the affordable online retailer PinkPrincess. com.

Decorating isn’t my thing. The idea of elaborate, expensive centerpieces didn’t appeal to me even before Jake was out of work. Another thing that didn’t merit a lot of excitement was a big, traditional wedding cake, so we killed two birds with one stone by putting three-tiered stands filled with cupcakes at every table. Bada bing, bada boom, done.

THE PAPER STUFF

We used stands from Martha Stewart’s craft line from Walmart, though thrift stores would have been another good place to look for vintage cake stands.

I got all my paper goods - invitations, save the dates, programs, maps, everything - from sellers on Etsy.com. Sure, the thriftiest thing is to DIY all paper stuff, but I didn’t have the skill, time or patience to do that. However, paying individual artists throughout the country to craft our paper items made me feel a little bit better than dropping $5 a set at the local wedding shop.

As for the dumb things we did - it’s easy to get too excited about things at the beginning. Had I known we’d be a one-income household come wedding day, I wouldn’t have dropped $100 on a customized wedding Web site. Mywedding.com has fantastic, free sites that look just as good as the paid ones.

We customized our invitations to keep them within our budget (we used only one color of ink for the letterpress, skipped the reception card and used an RSVP postcard) and we got a lot of bang for our buck.

I’d have also skipped the wedding-day transportation we got a 22-seat trolley to drive six blocks - and saved $500.

Likewise, we also used Etsy for our wedding programs - although totally optional, I wanted them - and got them for less than $1 each.

But still, regrets are few. We had a sunny, 65-degree day, good friends and family with us and an open bar. We didn’t notice a single cutback. ❍

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{ great hairstyles }

A great gown deserves a

great hairstyle The Associated Press

Maybe that first call a bride-to-be makes after finding her fairy-tale wedding gown shouldn’t be to her mother. Maybe it should be to her hairdresser.

wear a neat, high chignon - like a ballerina bun.

The process for perfect tresses can take six months, says stylist Ted Gibson. “Six months means you can do whatever you want. You can grow it, cut it, grow it out again if you don’t like it,” he says.

He suggests that only brides with very thin, oily hair wash their hair on the day of the wedding. For everyone else, the hair will be smoother and stay in place better if it’s shampooed the day before.

But, he adds, there’s no point in having the hair conversation with your stylist until the dress is selected. The neckline matters most, but so does the overall silhouette, as well as the formality of the gown, explains Gibson, who has namesake salons in Manhattan and Washington. Giovanni Giuntoli of Redken says he also likes to get in on the selection of the veil or other head piece. “A busy dress, you want simple hair. A simple dress, you want more dramatic hair,” says Prive founder Laurent Dufourg. “You want to complement the mood, but be opposite too. An elegant dress should have elegant hair, and a sexy dress, sexy hair.” Dufourg says brides certainly should step up their look, but never stray from what they feel comfortable with. They’re the ones, after all, who have to live with the photos for many years. “Remember, it’s not a photo shoot or fashion show, it’s a wedding,” he says. The Associated Press asked Gibson, hair guru of TLC’s “What Not to Wear,” Giuntoli, known as Redken’s bridal expert, and celebrity stylist Dufourg, who splits his time between his Manhattan and Los Angeles salons, to suggest specific hairstyles based on three specific gowns from the new spring 2011 collections that recently debuted on the runways. 1. Dufourg on St. Pucchi’s elaborate, frothy strapless gown with tiers of tulle and a bouquet of fabric roses and ribbons on the back at the waist: “This is an amazing dress,” he says. “You can wear your hair up or all back. The perfect look for this dress is to slick the hair back and do a beautiful braid on the side, maybe you could even put flowers in the braid.” That braid is a very youthful look, he adds. An alternative would be to 8

Brides 

2. Gibson on Oscar de la Renta’s sweetheart-neck, corset-bodice gown with a flared, embroidered skirt:

“You want to complement the mood, but be opposite too. An elegant dress should have elegant hair, and a sexy dress, sexy hair.” - Laurent Dufourg, Prive founder

This dress begs for the bride to show off her decollete, shoulders and the back of her neck. That bareness, Gibson says, is feminine and sexy but still elegant and respectful. A relaxed ponytail with side-swept bangs would work for long or even mediumlength hair; it’s OK if there are a few pieces hanging down _ that just adds to the romantic look, he says. What you don’t want are tight “sausage” curls, he adds: “Sausage curls over your head - which women somehow think is fine for formal occasions - are never appropriate for a bride.” 3. Giuntoli on Reem Acra’s high-neck, slim, draped gown with the bodice swathed in tulle and decorated at the bustline with fabric petals and a small black bow: This dress can take a statement hairstyle, says Giuntoli. “This dress is interesting enough to allow the bride and the hairstylist to be a little more boastful with their styling choices.” He’d also go for an updo, but it would be voluminous, not sleek. The bow on the dress also could be a starting point, incorporating a similar ribbon, or at least ribbon of a similar color, into the hair. ❍

|  Sunday, September 12, 2010  |  www.fdlreporter.com

Photos from Left : Haley Rothman’s hair is styled by Ted Gibson to match a strapless wedding dress Thursday, May 13, 2010, in New York. The process for perfect wedding tresses can take six months, says Gibson. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) A St. Pucchi bridal gown from their spring 2011 collection. (AP Photo/St. Pucchi, Dan and Corina Lecca) A bridal gown from the Oscar de la Renta Spring 2011 collection. (AP Photo/Oscar de la Renta) This photo provided by Reem Acra shows a bridal gown from their spring 2011 collection. (AP Photo/ Reem Acra)


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The foods range from fried crickets to candied almonds to fish. Attaching symbolism to food is a common practice throughout the world, said Amy Bentley, associate professor of food studies at New York University. “All rituals and holidays and celebrations involve food,” she said. “This is somewhat universal.” In Mexico, brides and grooms sometimes dine on fried crickets, lentil soup, and a bean, rice and agave dish, said Beatriz Mejia, director of celebrations at One and Only Palmilla resort in Los Cabos, Mexico. The crickets and the rice dish are said to bring fertility and good luck, and the soup is associated with good luck and good fortune, she said. The resort has seen growing interest from couples outside of Mexico in the foods and traditions of the region, she said. “Couples today are seeking a more personalized and authentic experience when they host a destination wedding that is reflected in both the food and venue,” she said. Brides and grooms discussing their celebrations on the wedding website TheKnot.com also seem more interested than before in incorporating

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Many cultures around the globe have identified foods for newlyweds that supposedly will bring good luck, fertility or other blessings.


{ wedding feast }

“Couples today are seeking a more personalized and authentic experience when they host a destination wedding that is reflected in both the food and venue”

AP PhotoS/Grace Bay Resorts The One&Only Palmilla in Los Cabos, Mexico. (AP Photo/One&Only Resorts)

- Beatriz Mejia, director of celebrations at One and Only Palmilla resort in Los Cabos, Mexico traditional elements into their plans, said Rebecca Dolgin, an executive editor for the site. “Couples reaching into their own culture is more popular now,” she said. “Incorporating culture is creating a buzz on the message boards.” Often, foods are considered lucky because of shape, color or taste, Dolgin explained. Italians serve almonds at weddings because their bittersweet taste represents life, she said. The almonds are sugarcoated to wish the couple more sweetness than bitterness. Common at a Chinese wedding is whole fish, because the Chinese word for fish sounds similar to the word for abundance, Dolgin said.

Frese, a professor of anthropology at the College of Wooster in Ohio. Fish and other white meats, such as turkey and chicken, are common wedding foods because of old beliefs that women had whiter blood than men, she said. White meats were thought to strengthen women’s blood, so they were served at weddings to energize the bride. “It was extra strength to her on her wedding night so she can become a mother,” Frese said.

“The Chinese also believe that eating spring rolls will bring wealth and prosperity,” she said. “Due to its color and size, it is also thought to resemble gold bars.”

In Caribbean countries, special attention is paid to the groom’s sexual performance on the wedding night, said Caitlin Austin, a spokeswoman for Grace Bay Club in the Turks and Caicos. Grooms are encouraged to eat the pistil of a conch “to increase their drive,” she said. “The conch’s pistil is viewed by locals as nature’s Viagra.”

Moroccan couples also eat fish because it’s an ancient symbol of fertility, she said.

Conch meat also is commonly served to wedding guests because islanders believe it’s an aphrodisiac, she said.

Fish appears on the menu at many weddings, added Pam

Wedding cake, one of the oldest elements of a wedding

banquet, also has connections to luck and fertility. “The traditionally accepted practice is for the bride to have the first bite; otherwise, she’d be childless and barren,” Dolgin said. Early English cakes were fruit cakes, and brides used to count the number of raisins in their piece of cake to see how many children they would bear, Frese said. “The cake has power,” she said. “It promises reproductivity.” Wedding cakes changed in texture and appearance in the 1920s, when lighter cakes with fluffy, creamy frosting became more popular. But the symbolism remained, Dolgin said. The white cake represented the bride’s purity. The decorations of flowers and other signs of spring are meant to represent birth and new life, she said. “It’s this little bubble of nature in the middle of a wedding,” Frese said. “It’s the promise of fertility that’s embedded in spring.” ❍

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{ bridal shower shortcuts }

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Fond du Lac Brides