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weddings 2017

the

ultimate guide for local brides Tips, Tricks & Tulle Meet 12 Local Couples in Love pg. 10

Recent

Brides Tell All


SPECIALTIMES. TIMES. SPECIAL From bridal showers rehearsal dinners accommodations From bridal showers to to rehearsal dinners to to accommodations your wedding guests… you’ll enjoy elegant spaces and forfor your wedding guests… you’ll enjoy elegant spaces and excellent service Pennsylvania’s premier resort destination. excellent service at at Pennsylvania’s premier resort destination.

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ECSTATICALLY EVER AFTER. At the Renaissance Allentown, weddings of distinction are meant to be. And with novel amenities, expressive dĂŠcor and savvy service to enhance the ambience your big day will be as untraditional as it is unforgettable. To reserve your room, call 800.MARRIOTT or visit renhotels.com.

Renaissance Allentown Hotel 12 North Seventh Street Allentown PA 18101 t 4842734000 Rates are per room, per night, based on availability, not available for groups of 10 or more rooms.


CONTENTS WEDDINGS 2017

30 | Ask the Expert Mastering the Art of the First Dance

34 | Cheers! Bubbly Bridal Brunch

42 | Tips, Tricks and Tulle Recent Brides Tell All

53 | Receptions in Style Essential Reception Site Guide 4

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Cover photo by Maggie J Photography | Photo by Annandale Photography, CT

10 | Just Married 12 Lehigh Valley Love Stories


#GreatBeginnings

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CO M P I L E D BY DA I S Y W I L L I S

JUST MARRIED 12 LE H I G H VALLE Y LOVE STO R I E S

taylor & chris A L I S O N CO N K L I N P H OTO G R A P H Y

J U LY 2 , 2 01 6 Taylor Dias and Chris Foundas started out as sales analysts working at different locations for the same company—Chris in Boston and Taylor in Bethlehem. After two years of friendship, they finally went out for sushi and wine. Almost immediately after finishing their spicy tuna, Taylor moved to Boston and they've been inseparable ever since! After a long winter, Chris planned a trip to Maine, where Chris knew Taylor’s love for the ocean would lead them to the beach. By the first windy day, they were strolling the sand, and Chris dropped down on one knee to ask Taylor to spend forever with him. With the help of a local designer and wedding planner, Taylor and Chris coordinated a “classic summer romance” wedding. Shades of cream and accents of gold and blush were enhanced by the beautiful Bethlehem summer. For Taylor, a Bethlehem native, this was a wedding she’d only dreamed about, holding the reception at the Historic Hotel Bethlehem steps away from where her parents were married over 30 years ago at the Moravian Chapel. They included their favorite late-night snacks and played every Backstreet Boys hit. At the conclusion of the night, guests took beautiful gold Bethlehem star ornaments off delicate gold trees, each taking a piece of Bethlehem home with them. With a sparkler send-off fit for the Fourth of July weekend, the couple concluded this amazing night surrounded by family and friends.

the details: Ceremony: St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church Reception: Historic Hotel Bethlehem Hair: Noelle Nicolaou Makeup: Jenna Kelly, Allentown Dresses: Anne Barge custom gown, Kleinfeld Bridal, New York City Flowers: Allium Floral Design, Bethlehem Transportation: Bucks County Trolley Co. Cake: Piece 'a Cake LLC, Macungie Wedding Planner: DPNAK Weddings, Lehigh Valley Stationery: The Paperbag, Allentown Music/DJ: She Said Sunday (cocktail hour), Rockin’ Ramaley Videographer: Abominable Productions, Kutztown 10

LEHIGHVALLEYST YLE.COM/WEDDINGS


JUST MARRIED

jillian & patrick A N N A N DA L E P H OTO G R A P H Y, C T

J U N E 2 5 , 2 01 6 Jillian Bevacqua and Patrick Fligge met as students at Muhlenberg College. Friends throughout their three overlapping years, they reconnected after graduation when Pat returned to work for the college. They shared their first kiss after a summer’s walk through campus, and nearly five years later, the couple said “I do” mere yards away from the spot of that first kiss. Pat and Jillian purchased their first home together in May of 2015. About a month before they moved in, they visited their future Whitehall house to check on some installations. Jillian was excited about the dishwasher, and Pat was excited to get down on one knee, in the middle of their future living room. As proud alumni of Muhlenberg, their dream was to get married on the front lawn of their alma mater. When it came to choosing a place to celebrate with their 200-plus guests, the choice was clear: Jillian’s employer, Paxos Restaurants, is the family behind Blue Grillhouse and Event Center in Bethlehem. Jillian and Pat exchanged vows in front of friends, family and the most important member of the bridal party: their Golden Retriever puppy, Steve! The celebrations continued at Blue with signature drinks, beautiful toasts and a performance from Jillian’s brother, who jumped up to sing with the band. Pat and Jillian put their own spin on some wedding traditions by playing a cheeky tune from the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack during the garter removal and serving endless cake pops, milk and cookies and a chocolate fountain for dessert.

the details: Ceremony: Muhlenberg College, Allentown Reception: event center at blue, Bethlehem Hair & Makeup: Becky Kinn Hair & Makeup Design, Lehigh Valley Dresses: Alfred Angelo, Whitehall Flowers: Phoebe Floral, Allentown Transportation: J&J Limo, Allentown Cake Pops: Bittersweet Bakery, Macungie Invitations: Self-designed, printed at The Paperbag, Allentown Band: Almost Easy, Long Branch, NJ

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JUST MARRIED

kerri & mike

B I R D S O F A F E AT H E R P H OTO G R A P H Y

J U N E 4 , 2 01 6 Michael Furman and Kerri Ann Swan met during their third year at Loyola University Maryland in 2008. Kerri had been studying abroad in England with all of Mike’s best friends and kept hearing his name over and over again. All the while, Mike kept hearing Kerri’s name from his friends as well. Once Kerri returned from England and the two met, there was an instant spark. In 2014, Kerri was offered an incredible dental residency opportunity at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, and Michael, a school psychologist, soon followed her there. They fell in love with the countryside and small-city feel all in one beautiful place. One weekend in July 2014, an impromptu date night turned magical as Michael surprised her with an intimate proposal, hundreds of candles aglow in their little apartment. With the help of Kerri’s talented aunt-turned-wedding-planner, Maureen, they planned the rustic, nature-inspired wedding of their dreams. Although it rained for days before the big day, the sky was blue by the time their intimate afternoon ceremony began. They exchanged vows under an ancient oak tree, with a simple burlap-and-lace arch draped over a branch. One of their mutual best friends who first introduced them performed the ceremony, and, together with family and friends, they danced the rest of the night away under the stars.

the details: Venue: Monterre Vineyards, Orefield Hair & Makeup: Studio 950 Salon, Allentown Flowers: Garden of Eden, Allentown DJ: Bar None Weddings, Macungie Videographer: Salty Stache Productions, Ocean City, NJ 12

LEHIGHVALLEYST YLE.COM/WEDDINGS


JUST MARRIED

ashley & bill CO L I N C O L E M A N P H OTO G R A P H Y

S E P T E M B E R 3 , 2 01 6 Ashley Stolte and Bill Audelo grew up ten minutes from each other in northern New Jersey, but they didn't meet in person until a blind date. After that first date, Bill called his future best man to report that Ashley was out of his league. Luckily for Bill, it was Ashley who picked up the phone to request a second date. The dates kept coming and love soon followed. After two years together, Ashley joined Bill on a trip to Mexico to visit his family. One night during dinner, a 15-piece mariachi band appeared. When the band cut out, what would become their wedding song came on over the speakers, and Bill asked Ashley to marry him. Not wanting to waste a moment of their lifetime together, Ashley and Bill began planning with only seven months to spare. The couple knew they found their venue the first time they experienced the classic elegance of the Historic Hotel Bethlehem. Being the ever-loyal Jersey girl, Ashley found solace by having the ceremony back home. When the big day came, the gorgeous weather was only bested by an even more beautiful bride. After the “I dos� were over, Bill and Ashley were joined by their closest friends and family in a celebration that pushed the dance floor (and the bartenders) to the limit. With the sun ready to come up, the party finally ended. Ashley and Bill could not have imagined a more perfect day or perfect way to start their lives together.

the details: Venue: Historic Hotel Bethlehem Hair & Makeup: Badass Bridal Hair Co., Morristown, NJ Dress: Casablanca Bridal Flowers: Flores Devine Videographer/DJ: Eclipse Events, Cranford, NJ

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Contact your AAA Honeymoon or Wedding Consultant TODAY! 1-800-532-7245 Rates are based on roundtrip air travel to/from Newark, NJ (EWR), and are per person, based on double occupancy. Advertised vacation rate(s) valid for departure 8/1/17. Rates for other travel dates may vary. Rates, terms, conditions and itinerary are subject to availability. Certain restrictions apply. Rates shown include government-imposed fees and taxes. Rates are current as of 10/25/16; at the time you purchase your package, rates may be higher. For current prices, please check with your AAA travel agent. Airline fees for optional services, including, but not limited to, fees of up to $25 per bag for the first checked bag and up to $40 per bag for a second checked bag, may apply. Baggage fees are current as of 10/25/16. Airline tickets are non-refundable and subject to airline change/ cancellation penalties and rules, including pre-flight notification deadlines. Fees and policies vary among airlines and are subject to change without notice. Please contact the airline directly for details and answers to specific questions you may have. Additional restrictions apply. Advertised rates do not include any applicable daily resort or facility fees payable directly to the hotel operator at check-out; such fee amounts will be advised at the time of booking. Royalton Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa $150 Resort Credit Offer: Valid on new bookings of three nights or longer. Resort Credit is per room per stay to be used on select items: $50 at the Royal Spa, $80 toward room upgrades at check-in, and two $10 credits toward the purchase of any wine. Restrictions apply. Resort credit expires at the end of stay and is not transferrable or redeemable for cash. Offer based on availability. Resort credit promotion is not combinable with other credits, discounts or promotions. Resort credits are not transferrable, non-cumulative and cannot be held over for future stays. Promotions, prices and applicable service fees are subject to change without notice. Guests will receive the booklet with credits at check-in. Hyatt Gold Passport® Points: To qualify, traveler must be a member of the Hyatt Gold Passport® program and must present their Hyatt Gold Passport® card at check-in. Hyatt Gold Passport® terms and conditions apply. AAA Member Benefit: Activity voucher does not apply to air/car only bookings. AAA members must make advance reservations through AAA Travel to obtain Member Benefits. *Age restrictions may apply. Not responsible for errors or omissions. [Pleasant Holidays acts only as an agent for the various travel providers shown above.] CST# 1007939-10. UBI# 601 915 263. TAR# 5308. Copyright © 2017 Pleasant Holidays, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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JUST MARRIED

heidi & rich M I A N A J U N P H OTO

J U N E 4 , 2 01 6 Rich Wendell met Heidi Hon at the St. James Gate Irish Pub over a Guinness in July of 2013. After several years of dating, they adopted a Vizsla named Max and moved in together. Rich proposed to Heidi on her birthday in September of 2015 over a home-cooked meal, her engagement ring a unique yellow sapphire. The Bally Spring Inn was a wonderful venue, and its resident wedding coordinator, Stephanie, treated them like family. Oishi Japan's dumplings and sushi were a hit at cocktail hour, and thanks to the discovery of local Aunt Jack's Real Home Baking at the local Saucon Valley Farmers’ Market, a delicious vanilla almond cream cake and pie bar was paired up with succulent ice cream from the Penn State Creamery. Beautiful bouquets, boutonnieres and shepherd-hook vases played up the theme colors inspired by blue hydrangeas, including hints of yellow, greys and blues. The salon team tackled makeup for 11 people with phenomenal skill. The wedding was a true dance party, thanks to the DJ, and included a unique send-off for their one and only Max, who passed away suddenly prior to the wedding, with helium balloons and his favorite treats. The perfect day ended with sparklers and s'mores at a lovely bonfire.

the details: Venue & Catering: Bally Spring Inn, Barto Cocktail Hour Snacks: Oishi Japan, Ewing Township, NJ Hair & Makeup: Blink 27 Salon & Spa, Bethlehem Ring: The Natural Sapphire Company Flowers: Distinctive Florals by Mary, Coopersburg Cake: Aunt Jack's Real Home Baking, Easton Ice Cream: Penn State Creamery, University Park DJ: Steve Vazquez from Soundfactor, Boyertown 16

LEHIGHVALLEYST YLE.COM/WEDDINGS


JUST MARRIED

michelle & patrick M AG G I E J P H OTO G R A P H Y

J U N E 1 1 , 2 01 6 Patrick Collins and Michelle Hanna met in September of 2009 in the Moravian College dining hall. On a stormy June afternoon in 2015, Pat wrote a note and placed it in Michelle’s apartment. The note instructed Michelle to meet Pat on the third floor of Comenius Hall. Almost six years after they had first met in that classroom, Pat asked Michelle to marry him. Pat and Michelle chose to have an intimate wedding ceremony where it all began, Borhek Chapel located in Comenius Hall, Moravian College, after which they rode off in a 1934 Franklin. Michelle loved restyling her mother’s wedding gown, using one of the sleeves as a detail to be wrapped around her bouquet. The theme was classic black and white with a rustic Italian flair to match the elegance of Folino Estate. The venue boasted a patio with a perfect view of the beautiful sunset as well as the capacity for over 200 family and friends. From the black-and-white polka dot invitation envelope liner to the men’s black-and-white polka dot socks, and the vibrant, textured floral choice including all of the bride's favorites, and the lantern centerpieces, the couple's style was signified with just the right mix of formal and rustic. Following speeches, dinner and parent dances, the bride’s father, Joseph Hanna, sang his own rendition of “The Way You Look Tonight” a cappella to Michelle, kicking off a night of dancing and celebration. Family and friends joined on the dance floor to participate in the traditional Arabic “Dabke” dance, representing Michelle's Syrian heritage.

the details: Ceremony: Borhek Chapel in Comenius Hall (Moravian College), Bethlehem Reception, Catering & Cake: Folino Estate Vineyard, Winery, Restaurant and Event Venue, Kutztown Hair: KellyAnn EarnestWaddell, Salon 309, Orefield Makeup: Micah Gilley, Zionsville Dress: Mother’s wedding dress restyled by Susan Kolar Couture, Easton Tuxedos: Top Hat Formalwear, Whitehall Rings: Redd & Co. Fine Jewelers, Allentown Flowers: Ross Plants & Flowers, Orefield Music: Taylor Cope, Cellist; Christina Park, Violist DJ: Wesley Works, Emmaus

LEHIGHVALLEYST YLE.COM/WEDDINGS

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JUST MARRIED

matthew & bradley A R M E N E L L I OT P H OTO G R A P H Y

J U LY 3 0 , 2 01 6

Matthew Kamont and Bradley Wilson met in May of 2005 at MainGate Night Club. After hitting it off very well, they rented an apartment in Easton a few months later and have been together ever since. Once same-sex marriage was legalized in May 2014, they really began talking about it. Bradley decided for their tenth anniversary, May 19, 2015, he would propose. After dinner at Ocean in Easton, Bradley had their closest friends and family waiting in the audience at the State Theatre with signs he made out of glitter asking Matthew to marry him. They held their wedding at the Theatre as well, creating a show with props and a wedding party on stage behind the closed curtain. After the ceremony, they burst into a surprise lip sync to Frozen’s “Love Is an Open Door,” with snow falling onstage! The reception was in the Acopian Ballroom of the Theatre, with centerpiece arrangements made of white standard lilies, hydrangeas and roses. Matthew’s tuxedo sparkled with Swarovski crystals hand-sewn by Deborah Lopresti Designer for Brides. The reception featured a raw bar, macaroni and cheese and mashed potato bar, carving station and dinner station. Another surprise for the evening was a lip sync battle between the couple. Guests voted for their favorite by applause. Yet another attention-grabber was the cake, made to look like a chandelier. In lieu of a traditional guest book, guests signed stones they placed on top of the sand used during the couple's sand ceremony. Matthew and Bradley's three pups were also present for this unforgettable night in the form of cocktails named after each of them.

the details: Ceremony & Reception: State Theatre Catering: 3rd & Ferry Fish Market, Easton Hair & Makeup: Glass Slipper Weddings and Events in Monmouth County, NJ Flowers: Pondelek’s Florist, Hellertown Transportation: Anthony Limousine, Allentown Cake: Cozze Cakes, Nazareth Invitations: The Paperbag, Allentown Programs: Broadway Playbill style by Minuteman Press, Easton DJ & Photo Booth: Rockin' Ramaley and Rockin' Photobooth

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LEHIGHVALLEYST YLE.COM/WEDDINGS


JUST MARRIED

victoria & joshua A M A N DA DA N Z I G E R P H OTO G R A P H Y

J U N E 2 4 , 2 01 6 Victoria Oliva and Joshua Parris met in January 2014 at Lehigh University, where they were both student-athletes. Victoria's research for her psychology thesis used Joshua's football team as its participant pool. Their interactions expanded beyond the research project, and their first kiss was at a Lehigh Track & Field formal. Joshua asked her to be his girlfriend while watching the sunrise together on the beach of Bay Head, New Jersey, and they began dating in hopes that their relationship would continue to grow and eventually lead to marriage. It was only fitting that Joshua asked Victoria to be his wife back on Bay Head beach watching the sunrise. He surprised her with a new chapter in “their book” titled, “The Proposal,” which concluded with him rapping a love song to her ending in, “Will you be my Mrs.?” Victoria and Joshua returned to Lehigh University to get married in the same place where their relationship began. Pastor Matt officiated their nuptials, and the ceremony was full of spirit, friends and family. As their reception began, the dance floor quickly filled up until the DJ sat Victoria down for a surprise from Joshua—another rap. He remixed his engagement rap and performed a similar love song telling her he was “never letting go.” To end the night, all 200-plus guests circled the dance floor joining arms to “Piano Man,” a Lehigh Track & Field team tradition. Joshua and Victoria couldn’t have asked for a better way to begin their marriage—being surrounded by friends and family, with a very tangible presence of God among them.

the details: Ceremony: Lehigh’s Packer Chapel, Bethlehem Reception: Historic Hotel Bethlehem Hair: Zdenka Kocela Makeup: Alisha Nycole & Co., Easton Dress: Unveiled, Philadelphia Flowers: Allium Floral Design, Bethlehem Transportation: Bucks County Trolley Co. Cake: Cozze Cakes, Nazareth DJ: Wesley Works, Emmaus

LEHIGHVALLEYST YLE.COM/WEDDINGS

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JUST MARRIED

sarah & keven D U S T I N W E I S S P H OTO G R A P H Y

J U LY 1 6 , 2 01 6 A childhood friendship between Sarah Deem and Keven Derolf developed into a relationship after his steadfast support helped her through the death of her mother. In May of 2015, Keven graduated from college and left soon after to start his career in the U.S. Army. They talked about marriage in letters, but Sarah wasn't suspecting anything when Keven came home a day early for Christmas and proposed in her home. Planning long distance while Keven was away, Sarah had the help of her father to coordinate things, and she chose a venue nestled in the countryside with breathtaking views. The rustic feel of the event was achieved with chalkboards for the seating arrangements, an old ladder holding pictures of the couple and Mason jar centerpieces. The florist made a special memorial table arrangement for the seat that would have been Sarah's mother's. A homemade cornhole game invited guests to take advantage of the beautiful night and venture out to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful sunset views. It was a special day spent surrounded with everyone close to them. The whole day went smoothly thanks to Nina, a coordinator from Olde Homestead, and Keven was thrilled to see how everything turned out. At the end of the night, they made their exit with guests holding sparklers in a truly magical moment.

the details: Venue: Olde Homestead Golf Club, New Tripoli Catering & Cake: Rodale, Emmaus Hair: Fringe Stylz Salon by Megan, Easton Makeup: Lauren's Makeup Designs LLC by Heather, Allentown Dresses & Tuxedos: Wedding Belles Bridal Shoppe, Drums Rings: Van Scoy, WilkesBarre Flowers: Allium Floral Design, Bethlehem DJ: NEPA Entertainment, Mountain Top Videographer: Carden’s Film, Williamsport 22

LEHIGHVALLEYST YLE.COM/WEDDINGS


JUST MARRIED

allison & shawn M AG G I E J P H OTO G R A P H Y

J U N E 4 , 2 01 6 Shawn Borelli and Allison Walker were set up on a blind date by his best friend's mother. The match was a good one, and they hit it off quickly. After a romantic dinner one night at their favorite restaurant, Go Fish, they got home, had a glass of wine and Shawn surprised her by getting down on one knee. Shawn had designed a custom engagement ring for Allison and even invited her parents with him to go shopping for it. It was a warm day with some drizzles but the rain held off for the outdoor ceremony. It was a completely custom event with a minimalist bridal party and both tears and laughter throughout. The bride and groom wrote their own vows and decided to “tie a knot� as their unity ceremony. The bridal party had an amazing entrance with the maid of honor picking up the best man and swinging him around. Dinner selections were chicken, beef, and sole-stuffed crab and ravioli, which all received rave reviews. The bride and groom exchanged cake very nicely and followed that up with a special dance. Instead of a traditional bouquet toss, the couple opted to give the bouquet to the woman who had set them up on their first blind date. Guests danced the night away and flooded to the photo booth. The night ended with a sparkler exit.

the details: Venue: Bear Creek Mountain Resort, Macungie Hair: Image Hair Studio, Kutztown Makeup: Makeup By Lauren Dresses: Bridals by Sandra, Nazareth Tuxedos: J.C. Penney Tux Rentals Rings: Kay Jewelers, Whitehall Flowers: Buttonwood Blooms, Reading Cake: Piece 'a Cake LLC, Macungie Wedding Planner: DPNAK Weddings, Lehigh Valley DJ: Celebrations DJ, Kutztown Videographer: Kevin Fonash Studios, Scranton

LEHIGHVALLEYST YLE.COM/WEDDINGS

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JUST MARRIED

samantha & carlos D O U G L A S B E N E D I C T P H OTO G R A P H Y

AU G U S T 1 3 , 2 01 6 Carlos Samayoa and Samantha Hoell met in 2014 while working together at Victaulic. At first, Sam thought Carlos was too serious, but after a St. Paddy's Day night out with coworkers, she learned how much fun he could be. On vacation the next year in St. Maarten, Carlos proposed on a quiet corner of the beach at night, with flower petals spread under the blue moon. They went with an elegant, contemporary theme, so the Renaissance Allentown was a perfect venue: a big-city feel at home in the Lehigh Valley, and right in the heart of the revitalizing downtown. A mariachi band provided lively music for the cocktail hour. Rockin’ Ramaley provided an LED dance floor whose colorful lights guaranteed that guests would be dancing all night long. And, of course, Stitch, their pet Yorkie, made an appearance during cocktail hour. Sam also received a unique gift from a bridesmaid: a custom painting of the happy couple (and Stitch), created by hand by an actual Lilly Pulitzer designer (Sam’s favorite). Their wedding date brought record heat and storms, but that didn’t slow down the party. Guests partied from the beginning of the night until the very end of the reception, after which the celebration continued at The Dime and Roar.

the details: Venue & Cake: Renaissance Allentown Hotel Hair: ReVive! Hair Salon, Allentown Makeup: Makeup by ROXY, Catasauqua Dress: Stella York, Christina’s Bridal, Easton Flowers: Ruby’s Floral Factory, Allentown Stationery: Invitations by Dawn Linens/Rentals: Dream Events, Northampton Ceremony Music: Liz Kerner, Lehigh Valley Cocktail Hour Music: Maya Internacional DJ: Rockin’ Ramaley, Bethlehem 26

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JUST MARRIED

alison & chad J O H N W I R I C K P H OTO G R A P H Y

J U N E 4 , 2 01 6 Alison Figler and Chad Wasilkowski's story began in July of 2010, when they were introduced through mutual friends at the Outer Banks in North Carolina. They both ended up at Marywood University, and after dating for three years, Chad proposed to Alison while they were making her grandmother's Christmas cookie recipe. Their wedding vision was of rustic charm, and Lawnhaven at the Stroudsmoor fit the bill. Stroudsmoor's resident wedding planner, Ashley, gave off such an energetic glow and confidence that they knew their day would be perfect. They were married at the church where Alison grew up, St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Alpha, New Jersey. Alison wore a ball gown wedding dress from the Disney Collection with a cathedral train and veil, navy shoes and sapphire jewelry. Her bouquet, pink peonies and white hydrangeas, was held together with her late grandmother’s rosary. The cocktail hour was held outside with over a dozen varieties of appetizers. Guests enjoyed custom monogrammed cornhole boards, a photo booth, cigars and, of course, a signature drink, “Sweet Summer Sip.” In a reception hall decorated with flowers, vines and deer antlers, the tables were decorated with tall centerpieces filled with blue and white hydrangeas along with rustic lanterns and Mason jars. Their four-tiered cake wore hydrangeas and a Mickey and Minnie cake topper. Guests, vendors and the Stroudsmoor went above and beyond to make their special day perfect.

the details: Venue: Lawnhaven at the Stroudsmoor, Stroudsburg Makeup: Ashley Malesky and Kate Newhart Dress: Bridals by Sandra, Nazareth Bridesmaids' Dresses: David’s Bridal, Allentown Tuxedos: Vera Wang from Men’s Wearhouse, Whitehall Invitations & Programs: Kellie Pypiuk Design, Lehigh Valley DJ: Tony Piazza, Wilkes-Barre

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ASK THE EXPERT Q U ICK TI P S F RO M A LOCAL S P ECIALI ST

MASTERING THE ART OF THE

FIRST DANCE

Lillian Freeman

Photo by Colin Coleman

OW N E R ALLEGRO DANCE STUDIOS

What options do couples have when planning for their first dance? Bridal couples have the opportunity to choose from learning a few dance moves to a fully choreographed dance. Dance lessons are booked four at a time for a half hour each in length. After the four lessons, private lessons are booked one at a time, depending on how much practice is needed.

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Photo by Birds of a Feather Photography

ASK THE EXPERT

How should a couple embark on choosing the “perfect” song for their dance? When choosing music, if the future [couple has] their heart set on a certain song, I say “Go for it!” I usually recommend something classic with a good beat like Frank Sinatra’s “The Way You Look Tonight,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” or Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You.” What is your advice for couples that are intimidated by the idea of a public dance or that are lacking in dance skills? I recommend that a couple come in for a lesson and learn enough moves to be able to look semipolished and comfortable on the dance floor. I also recommend that they shorten the length of their dance. A wedding dance should be two to three minutes. If they’re feeling anxious, they can shorten the length of the time that they are dancing. Dancing is an art form that should be shared with everyone. [It] brings you and your partner closer together in a relaxed, fun environment. Dance is one of the best activities you can do to strengthen your bond in a really healthy way, and it is good for you. You shouldn’t worry about who is watching.

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Where in the wedding planning timeline should the first dance come into play? The wedding dance should be scheduled with the rest of the event details. Lessons are booked five to eight months before the wedding date, and lessons usually begin two to four months before the wedding. The private lessons are 30 to 40 minutes in length. Couples are encouraged to wear comfortable clothes, but many brides bring their bridal shoes to the practice sessions. Videoing the learned dance steps is highly recommended for further practice at home. What recent trends have you noticed in wedding choreography? Couples who want to blow the roof off the joint and really knock it out of the park like to mix in a fun hip-hop combination. After they pick their slow sentimental song, I mix in popular hip-hop mixes and teach them a hip-hop combination. I’ve had great success with this approach, and the wedding attendees love it! Is it ever OK to just skip a first dance altogether? Dance joins couples together. Over the last eighteen years, I’ve taught many couples, and dance brings joy. Why skip it? In a marriage, you need all the help you can get.

How can a couple make their dance extra memorable? To make the dance extra memorable, I have seen many brides dance with their fathers, and the grooms with their moms. Flower girls and ring bearers, blended families and the entire wedding party join in! It’s a spectacular way to start any reception! What is the most rewarding part about helping couples with their wedding choreography? One of the most magical [times] of your life is the first dance at your wedding—a moment in time you’ll always remember. The most rewarding thing about teaching couples their wedding dance is that I get to see them learn to dance with each other, laugh and be in love. There’s something very special about the month to three months before they say their vows, and I get to be part of that time in their lives. As a dance teacher, this has brought profound joy to my life, and I’m very grateful to have this be a part of a career I love. Allegro Dance Studios 4030 Chestnut St., Emmaus allegrodancestudiosllc.com | 610.509.1313


The Lotus Ballroom and bar at the Hampton Inn Easton is the perfect location for your special event. From weddings to conferences and meetings, we offer group rates for your overnight guests for every occasion.

LOTUS BALLROOM 2,470 sq. ft.

Perfect for Larger Events & Meetings Accommodates up to 200 in Theatre-style; up to 150 in Banquet-style

MEETING ROOM 552 sq. ft. Accommodates up to 32 people

BOARDROOM 364 sq. ft. Great for small meetings; accommodates up to 10 people

3723 EASTON-NAZARETH HWY (RTE. 248) EASTON EASTON.HAMPTONINN.COM 610.250.6500

Have a

BLAST B

achelors and Bachelorettes—here’s a surefire idea for a memorable party! Shoot 50 to 100 clay targets on courses for various skill levels with a wide variety of target settings in our scenic limestone quarry. Bring your favorite shotgun or let us provide everything you need, including low recoil shells. First Time Specials and Lessons available.

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CHEERS! Bubbly Bridal Brunch P H OTO G R A P H Y BY A L I S O N CO N K L I N

F L O R A L A N D P R O P S T Y L I N G BY S A R A H P E T RY K O F A L L I U M D E S I G N W I T H A D D I T I O N A L S T Y L I N G F R O M D O N N A P I N KOW I C Z A N D VA N E S S A K I M I M R AV I C H

Becoming newly engaged is quite possibly the best excuse to be silly and celebrate with girlfriends. The recipe for a perfect bridal brunch is simple: champagne, flowers, a decadent cake, confetti and love. Whether you are the bride-to-be or the maid of honor, use this as inspiration for planning a celebration that will be remembered forever.

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LEHIGHVALLEYST YLE.COM/WEDDINGS

Jill Jill Stuart two-tone popover two-ply crepe gown, $298


2

3

1

! P POFIZZ!CLINK!

1. Holding Horses Magnolia lace dress, $168, Alice + Olivia Dominque shoes, $325 2. Set the tone for brunch with specialty invitations that are sure to stand out. These vibrant designs were created by Somersault Letterpress. 3. Popsicles and prosecco is a pair worth celebrating!

LEHIGHVALLEYST YLE.COM/WEDDINGS

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2

3 1 WHAT’S A BRIDE WITHOUT

HER CAKE!

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LEHIGHVALLEYST YLE.COM/WEDDINGS

1. This four-layer vanilla bean cake, made with cookie-butter buttercream and topped with a salted butterscotch drizzle, is available to order from Made by Lino. 2. Personalized place cards are a must at any gathering—top each napkin with the flower of your choice. 3. Turn simple white balloons into playful décor by using a gold marker to draw polka dots.


Bon Appetit! Keep it cohesive by coordinating the table settings with the flower arrangement. Table linen by Special Occasions and Queen Street Linens.

LEHIGHVALLEYST YLE.COM/WEDDINGS

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Present Time

Adrianna Pappell boatneck sleeveless ball gown, $260 Kate Spade New York Dakota shoes, $298

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LEHIGHVALLEYST YLE.COM/WEDDINGS

Eva by Eva Franco Zander dress, $218 Sam Edelman Telsa shoes, $120


CLOTHING STYLIST Gwen Sagula

INVITATIONS Somersault Letterpress

HAIR & MAKEUP Alisha Nycole & Co.

DESSERTS Made by Lino

FURNITURE Fox and Finch Vintage Furniture Rentals

HAND LETTERING Kaytie Kramer

LOCATION Allium Design Studio 502 S. Clewell St., Fountain Hill

TABLE LINENS Special Occasions and Queen Street Linens

2

1

TREE

WISHING

3 1. Allow guests to pen their happy thoughts on glass bulbs and place them on your very own wishing tree. 2. Complement your color scheme with matching macarons. They are as scrumptious as they are pretty! 3. Make any moment magical with petal confetti.

LEHIGHVALLEYST YLE.COM/WEDDINGS

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©2013 ALYSSA ANDREW PHOTOGRAPHY | ALYSSAANDREW.COM

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KENDRA’S BUTTERCUP BAKERY Traditional & Gluten-Free Baked Goods kendrasbuttercupbakery.com

KONA ICE of ALLENTOWN Hawaiian Shaved Ice kona-ice.com

PECULIAR CULINARY CO. Local • Seasonal • Different peculiarculinary.com

ROLLIN DOUGH Woodfire Pizza • Fresh Toppings rollindoughpizzatruck.com

THE TAZA TRUCK Egyptian-Inspired Cuisine thetazatruck.com

VINCE’S CHEESESTEAKS A Lehigh Valley Tradition thecheesesteakplace.com

TRIXIE’S TREATS Allentown’s First Mobile Bakery trixiestruck.com

ZIGGY’S ROASTER Roasted Corn & More! ziggysroaster.com


TIPS, TRICKS & TULLE PA ST B R I D E S S HAR E TH E I R DO ’ S AN D DO N ’ T S

Jennifer & Andrew J U N E 1 8 , 2 01 6 HOTE L BETHLE HE M

What is the very best part about getting married in the Lehigh Valley? The talented local vendors! My husband and I live outside of New York City. Friends of ours who got married near Manhattan were overwhelmed by the sheer volume of vendors and how expensive they were. You can find that same talent in the Lehigh Valley for a much more affordable price. Most venues will even go as far as to recommend their favorite vendors to help you narrow down your search! Do you have any local cost-saving tips for brides and grooms on a tight budget? Work ahead of time to chip away at projects that can be done weeks in advance—this way you aren't scrambling and splurging. You can find creative DIY ideas online that will save you money! Also, reach out to friends and coworkers who recently got married. You will be surprised how many former brides have centerpieces, sweetheart table signs and other decor that were only used for one day and will never be used again!

Photo by Sam Rodriguez

Looking back now, is there anything you would have changed? Just one thing: We wish we had gotten a videographer! Lay out and rank your wish list. Whenever a budget is involved, not everything will be achievable. Think about what is most important to you. At the time, we didn't think a videographer was necessary, but now that the wedding is over, we wish we had footage to look back on. Where/how will all future anniversaries be celebrated in the Lehigh Valley? By reliving our wedding weekend! Dinner at our favorite Italian BYOB, Tre Scalini, in Downtown Bethlehem where we had our rehearsal dinner. Brunch in the Terrace Room at Hotel Bethlehem— a place that will always be dear to our hearts!

LEHIGHVALLEYST YLE.COM/WEDDINGS

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TIPS, TRICKS & TULLE

Photo by Photography by Lynn

very quickly! Take time to remember why you are planning this day in the first place and use it as a time to grow closer with your future spouse. Planning together and laughing through the craziness of it all truly alleviated a lot of our wedding-planning stress. Even though we both groan and say “We’re so glad the planning is over,” I know we both secretly miss it! Where/how will all future anniversaries be celebrated in the Lehigh Valley? I love the idea of anniversary photo shoots! I want to visit the Malcolm Gross Rose Gardens (where we took our wedding photos) every year in May to document our years together. We have our favorite restaurants (Grille 3501, Corked Wine Bar & Steak House) and are always up for trying new places as well. There are also highly rated B&Bs in the area (Sayre Mansion Inn, Stone House Inn & Spa), which would be perfect for an anniversary getaway close to home!

Kristen & Joseph What is the very best part about getting married in the Lehigh Valley? It’s home! My husband and I grew up and currently reside in the Lehigh Valley and we absolutely love the area. We wouldn’t have considered anywhere else to celebrate our special day. In addition, the Lehigh Valley has so many beautiful venues, gorgeous photo spots and wonderful vendors available to match various styles and themes to make any bride’s wedding visions a reality. We had a blast attending bridal shows and meeting these vendors in our planning process. I wish it were socially acceptable to still attend them! What do you think your guests enjoyed most about your special day? I worked very closely with my venue and vendors to make sure that the ambience of our wedding day defined my husband and me as a couple. I wanted our personalities and interests to shine through so that our guests would look around and think “This is without a doubt Kristen and Joe’s wedding,” and I think they enjoyed that. I’ve also heard rave reviews about my father’s welcome speech (he now thinks he has a career as a stand-up comedian) and our venue’s cheesesteak bar that was opened up toward the end of our reception as a late-night snack. What advice would you give to newly engaged couples that are about to embark on the wedding-planning process? Enjoy every minute and make decisions together! The wedding-planning process can be very stressful and making decisions is challenging at times, especially if you have a particular vision in mind. However, it is also very fun and goes by

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LEHIGHVALLEYST YLE.COM/WEDDINGS

Photo by Erin Joyce Photography

M AY 2 1 , 2 01 6 H A N OV E R G R A N D E B A L L R O O M

Erika & Kyle AU G U S T 1 , 2 01 5 WO O D S TO N E CO U N T RY C L U B What is the very best part about getting married in the Lehigh Valley? Having all of our family and friends able to attend our wedding. My husband and I were born and raised in Easton, so this is home to us. To have our wedding here in the Lehigh Valley with people who helped us grow as individuals and as a couple was so gratifying. We had 150 guests at our wedding and about 95 percent of our list was local. We did include hotels close to our venue just so that our guests had the option to stay close by after having a fun night of partying! What do you think your guests enjoyed most about your special day? Long after our wedding passed, everyone told us that our “little touches” made our wedding

so personable and hard to forget. One thing that was important for my husband and me was to have a table at our wedding of photos of our loved ones that had passed away. I had recently lost an aunt, and my husband had lost his uncle when he was young. It was a great way to show our family members and friends how much we miss and love them and that their memory would continue on. We also had a barbershop quartet sing during our cocktail hour. Their style of singing and personality really won the hearts of our guests. From signature cocktails, dancing on clouds and a fireworks exit, we surely kept our guests entertained all night. People still to this day tell us that it was the best wedding they ever attended! What advice would you give to newly engaged couples that are about to embark on the wedding-planning process? One thing my husband and I wanted to never lose sight of was the fact that we were getting married. Our wedding day was about our love for one another and the commitment we were about to start together. It wasn’t about the details, the venue or how the weather was supposed to be. It was about our love and how God brought us together for this new chapter in our lives. One piece of advice I would like to give newly engaged couples is to stay consistent with your spouse. A lot can be thrown at you, which can make the wedding planning super stressful and unenjoyable. If you have a specific theme or color palette, stay true to it. Keep to your budget, know what you want and don’t want and always communicate with each other. Communication is key! One thing I recommend is to schedule a couple's massage during your wedding planning and don’t forget those date nights either! Couples can get wrapped up in wedding planning, but at the end of day, it is about you and your spouse and the love you have for each other. That’s all that really matters! Do you have any local cost-saving tips for brides and grooms on a tight budget? My husband and I had a honeymoon registry set up with VIP Vacations in Bethlehem. We had bought our home four years ago, so we really didn’t want a traditional home registry. By doing a honeymoon registry, we were able to enjoy our honeymoon in Jamaica with no stress of having to pay for it. The staff at VIP Vacations made our honeymoon effortless and super relaxing. I highly recommend any brides and grooms to have a honeymoon registry!


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