Forever Bridal 4

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T h e

B r i d e ’ s

R e s o u r c e

WEDDING FAVORS THAT

Grow

Free

HONEYMOON

Wedding Countdown Checklist

n r e d o M e h T e d i r B THROW OUT THE RULE BOOK

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14 THE MODERN WEDDING CAKE A MATTER OF TASTE 21 WEDDING SHOWER IDEAS FOR THE BRIDE AND THE GROOM 26 THROW OUT THE RULE BOOK PLAN A WEDDING THAT’S A REFLECTION OF YOU 28 FASHIONABLE ACCESSORIES FOR YOUR SPECIAL DAY 30 HONORING YOUR PARENTS ON YOUR SPECIAL DAY 32 DEADLINES & DETAILS

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WHICH WEDDING WEBSITE? 5 FABULOUS OPTIONS

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SUCCULENTS STUN IMPRESS WITH PLANTS

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WRITE OFF CONVENTION IT’S A NEW DAY FOR THE WEDDING GUEST SIGN-IN

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NOT JUST A NUMBER CLEVER IDEAS FOR RECEPTION TABLES

36 GIFTS OF GRATITUDE THANKING YOUR BRIDESMAIDS 40 CREATE A REGISTRY FOR A HASSLE-FREE HONEYMOON 42 GIFTS THAT’LL GROW ON THEM 44 THANK YOU NOTES


T h e

B r i d e ’ s

Executive Publishers GREG AND SUZANNE FOX Copy Editor LIZ MCGEHEE Creative Director JENNIFER CABALLERO Production Manager DEBBIE WELDON Ar t Director TRA PHAM Web/Digital Design NEAL BOYD Graphic Design DIANNE WALLER

R e s o u r c e

Writers PATRICIA DANFLOUS MICHELLE FOUCHI ESNEAULT

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MICHELE ROBERT POCHE CINDY LUGO SUZANNE FOX Sales Team VIVIAN DUGAS MICHELLE DUNN PAM ROGERS MELISSA FOSTER

©2017 Jumpstart Publishing, LLC. • PO Box 8, Mandeville, LA 70470 All rights reserved. • info@igofox.com • www.igofox.com

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Which

Wedding Website? 5 FABULOUS OPTIONS

By Michele Robert Poche

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hey tell your story, track your invitations, keep your guests updated, and even share your pictures. Today’s wedding website can practically run the show for you. But with so many options, how do you know where to start? Following is a glimpse of some of the best-rated wedding websites currently available. Each is unique in its offerings so it’s best to decide what’s most important to you before making your selection.

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WithJoy.com

TheKnot.com

Website and app In addition to numerous design templates, Joy offers a planning dashboard, custom Q&A sections for your guests, digital invites, and RSVPs, automatic text blast capabilities, unlimited photo storage, an online guestbook, daily technical support and a live slideshow that can be maintained at the wedding for those who can’t attend. Free.

Website and app Along with keeping track of guests, RSVPs, and thank you notes, the Knot offers an event checklist, a budget planner, and a central organizer for all of your registries.The app allows you to edit your website on the go. Advice and vendors are available on everything from rings and cakes to hairstyles and music. Free. Custom domains are $19.99/year.


AppyCouple.com Website and app The short demo makes it easy to create your website. Tell your story, upload photos, and disseminate information via text blasts. Guests can also upload photos and communicate with you and other guests. In turn, you can share details of Appy Couples’s guest concierge service with deals on hotels, car services, and beauty. $39 boutique collection & $89 luxury collection. One-time fee.

eWedding.com

WeddingWindow.com

Website only The basic package includes sections for your story, slideshows, a message wall, polls, quizzes, music, and guest RSVPs. The upgrade offers all of the above as well as the ability to add your own custom domain name, RSVP texting and more theme options. There is a short tutorial video that simplifies the website creation process. Free basic package. Premium package is $9/month.

Website only The site offers a large library of themes, templates, colors, and images to personalize your wedding page. Useful tools of Wedding Window include a budget tracker, a checklist builder, an RSVP manager and an event planner. Additionally, you can send email blasts of the wedding invitation to everyone on your guest list. Free basic package. Premium package is $14.95/month or $79/year. Custom domains are $19.95/year.

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Succulents

STUN WITH SUCCULENTS, IMPRESS WITH PLANTS By Michelle Fouchi Esneault

One of the biggest trends in weddings for the last few years has been the use of plants and succulents in dÊcor and flower arrangements. Any plant or flower you love can be potted to enhance your ceremony or reception. Long-lasting succulents store water in their leaves and stems, guaranteeing they won’t wilt. They come in a variety of shapes, a multitude of colors and many interesting textures. Both add an eco-chic and budget-friendly modern touch to your special day. 8


WHAT’S YOUR STYLE?

Succulents work in formal and rustic themes, and everything in between. The contrast of succulents with traditional wedding flowers of any color is stunning, but they are also striking all by themselves to present a more nontraditional display. They can be wired into any arrangement, such as the ring bearer pillow, flower girl baskets, bouquets and boutonnieres. They make a bold statement alone, or as a punch of texture and color in a mass of classic blooms. Attendants carrying a mixture of potted herbs, flowers and succulents in baskets or in fabric-covered bouquets have become popular.

ONE OF A KIND DÉCOR

Place potted plants and flowers down the aisle and around the room. Place them on raised pillars or hang them from the ceiling to hide wires or to

divide a room. Succulents, in particular, thrive in warm climates, so they are a spectacular accent when incorporated into the design of outdoor ceremonies. Combine them with distinctive container plants and stylish candlesticks to add elegance to your centerpieces. Tucked into small pots, succulents and plants make charming place cards or an eye-catching display on a wedding cake. Bundles tucked into and at the foot of an arch make a breathtaking impression.

A SPECIAL MOMENTO

Potted plants and succulents make lovely wedding favors. A single plant placed in a small pot, pail, mason jar or teacup with hand-written instructions makes a special remembrance. Also, succulents and plants can be propagated or replanted to make a beautiful garden that will remind you of your special day for years to come.

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A NEW DAY FOR THE WEDDING

GUEST SIGN-IN

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By Cindy A. Lugo

hen it comes to your wedding day, even the smallest of details provides an opportunity to make a statement. This includes the traditional guest sign-in book, which has given way to a more creative, personalized element of the wedding day festivities. Whether couples decide to share their love story or emphasize a theme, it is clear that guests are invited to become an integral part of the memories on this all-important day. With an endless array of ideas for a guest sign-in opportunity, there are four categories you can consider to make your personal statement. In the keepsake category, think out-of-the-box – the mailbox, that is. Place a mailbox or an old suitcase on a table with a plethora of vintage postcards strewn about, and invite guests to sign the card or write a

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message. Especially when adventure is the theme, an old atlas serves as a perfect item for guests to sign their names with bold markers. Consider having a puzzle made with a favorite romantic snapshot and encouraging guests to sign the back of the puzzle pieces. Later, you can enjoy assembling this interactive keepsake. If scrapbooking is more your style, supply a polaroid camera and instruct guests to take their best shot. Include some decorative tape and they can add their picture, along with notes and signature to the scrapbook. If you prefer the advice seeking category, preprint a mock prescription pad, and ask guests to tear off a sheet and write their personal prescription for a happy marriage. Monogrammed coasters make a great note card. Leave a stack of these by the entrance to the reception, and encourage guests to write a personal toast to the bride and groom. Enjoy

reading them as Mr. & Mrs. with each glass of wine you share together. Some guest sign-in items can double as home décor. Couples zoning in on a hobby or interest have rewritten the conventions by using everything from a surfboard, skateboard, buoy, patio bench, or a canoe paddle to have wedding guests leave their signatures. Millennials are more apt to gravitate to social media when soliciting guests’ participation in their wedding celebration. With websites that now assist couples in selecting a personalized wedding hashtag for the purpose of posting on Instagram and Twitter, the bride and groom may opt to have their guests post on social media. Provide a space where guests can take photos, complete with a chalkboard to write a message, and include signage with the wedding hashtag. You can have fun looking at all of your guests’ posts while on your honeymoon.


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r e b m u N

NOT JUST A

CLEVER IDEAS FOR RECEPTION TABLES By Cindy A. Lugo

Guests arriving at your wedding reception are on a mission... to find their table and have a good time.

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Guiding guests with table numbers can be a part of the creative canvas as you incorporate your signs with the table dĂŠcor. Think of this centerpiece as an opportunity to share your journey, include your interests, tell a story, or enhance a theme. Table numbers no longer need to be just a practical placard. Get creative and draw your guests in with some of these unique ideas.

HAND-PAINT YOUR ROMANTIC JOURNEY From a scene in the city where you met to the location where you got engaged, you can highlight special moments in a small painting that doubles as a table sign. Just number each one in the corner and guests get to reminisce your romance with you.


TAKE A TRIP BACK IN TIME Nostalgia is the inspiration behind this idea for a sign printed on cardstock that displays a number, along with corresponding photos of the bride and groom at that age. INCLUDE YOUR FUR BABY If you can’t bear the thought of leaving your pet out of the wedding festivities, why not capture photos of

your furry child wearing a numbered sign? Your guests will love perusing each table to see that adorable face. GO INDUSTRIAL CHIC Scrounge up some old bricks and paint on the table number using spray paint and stencils for a cool and economical DIY table sign. You can also soften the look with candles and baby’s breath in mason jars and candles.

AD INSPIRE WITH LITERATURE Using some of the couple's favorite novels, you can display a numbered chapter corresponding to the table number. Add a few more stacked books with some flowers and voila – a personal and beautiful centerpiece.


The Modern Wedding Cake

f o r e t t a AM Taste By Cindy A. Lugo

NAKED CAKE – Simplistic and modern, this cake doesn’t fuss over the icing. In fact, the naked cake is reminiscent of an unfinished cake with icing only between its layers. This bare-cake trend offers an array of style options. Make a statement with dark cake layers and a contrasting light-colored filling. Add pops of color with strategically placed blooms. With the cake layers exposed, you can add a touch of whimsy by using rainbow sprinkles in the batter, or go light with the cake layers and let the filling make the statement. Think of using a bright berry filling to bind layers of solid-colored cake and garnish with fresh blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries. Whether you go with short stacks, an elaborately embellished tower of layers, or chiseled tiers of contemporary square perfection, naked cake is in. GEOMETRIC Eye-catching geometric patterns can be a work of edible art. Fondant triangles, squares, and stripes in bright hues or subdued contrasting colors offer a fresh twist on the contemporary wedding.

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t is still safe to say that the cake is a major centerpiece at any wedding, whether it represents the simple or the grandiose. However, the modern wedding cake is no longer just a tiered confection with piped icing. It is often a reflection of the overall wedding theme or a personal expression of the bride and groom. The most significant trend of the contemporary wedding cake is that there are no longer rules for how it should look. With weddings evolving from the traditional to a personalized affair, the focal point of the reception has come to match that intent. Couples today are capitalizing on the skill of bakers to showcase their inspiration, offering guests everything from a little out of the ordinary to the extraordinary.

HANDPAINTED Have your baker take artistic license with a hand-painted cake design. A wedding cake painted with an intricate floral, stained glass, or marble design will make a stunning presentation.


LACE DETAILING Using inspiration from your bridal gown, choose a detail from your dress to highlight on your cake. Experienced bakers are producing cakes decorated with spectacular designs, from a few simple sugarmade buttons to ivory and white fondant lace appliques wrapped around each tier.

METALLIC Incorporating metallic accents into wedding cakes has become a popular trend. Silver and gold have long been present on the wedding scene, but brides are now embracing bronze, rose gold, and copper tones. By pairing the metallic with your wedding colors, or the softness of an ivory buttercream, you can create a cake suitable for any style from rustic and shabby chic to classic.

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DESSERT TABLES An alternative to the modern cake is the trend being set by couples desiring more than just cake at their reception. A dessert table provides the perfect solution for variety. Cupcakes, cookies, cake pops, and macaroons provide that perfect bite-sized sweet treat for all of your guests, no matter their taste.


What’s Hot, What’s Not By Liz McGehee

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Casablanca Bridal


This wedding season will make you believe in fairytales again. Floral appliqué, illusion necklines, layered tulle and sparkly details are transforming brides into nymph-like royalty only Shakespeare himself could dream up. Sheer dresses with floral or beaded overlay are steaming up the runway. Brides are pairing scintillating dresses and flashy headbands with embroidered, floor-length veils—uniting something old with something new. If an oversized veil isn’t for you, fascinators—petite headpieces with mesh netting— make the perfect substitute. Whether you’re into traditional modesty or highfashion, statement pieces will

make you pop in any dress. It’s all about oversized earrings, bobble necklaces, and stand out accessories. More ex-pat, less beach bum. Stand out with tulle skirts and trains, which add texture to your gown. Consider bright colors, gems and metallic accents to take your wedding fashion to the next level. If skin isn’t your thing, longsleeves are extremely popular this season along with high collars. Make a splash down the aisle in rose-gold, champagnetinted or ombré garb. White, billowy pants with an off-theshoulder top and oversized hat will give you a modernly laidback yet sophisticated look. Anything is possible this wedding season— be bold.

Casablanca Bridal

Eve of Milady / Amalia Carrara

RIVINI & Alyne


Avant-garde fashion is taking the aisle by storm. Capes and caplets of every length, texture and translucency add a nice, modern touch to romantic gowns and allow you to change your look in the blink of an eye. With opaque tulle, clear fabrics and damask, brides are sporting looks good enough to rival Shakespeare’s very own fairy queen. Expect to see a number of peeping styles this season including diaphanous, flower-framed vignettes on bodices, skirts, backs or, in some cases, the entire gown. If you’re a little more fashion forward, embellished and sheer, open-front skirts over pants and jumpsuits give you a contemporary, couture look. Whether you decide to rock a pair of fabulous trousers or a stunning pixie dress, one thing is clear this wedding season – sheer is here! Olvi's by Olga Yermoloff

Solo Merav Bridal Couture

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g n i d d We r e w o h S Ideas For the Bride and the Groom By Michele Robert Poche

Stock the Bar

A wedding is a special ceremony that creates a lifelong union between two people. It takes two to meet, two to fall in love and two to take that timehonored walk down the aisle together. So, why shouldn’t two be involved in all the fun leading up to the big day?. Here are some ideas for throwing a couples shower that everyone will enjoy.

Transform the party space into a dimly lit, hipster lounge and hire a bartender (or ask a talented friend) to mix the craft cocktails. Gift ideas can include the couple’s preferred brands for spirits, glassware, bottle openers, a corkscrew, ice buckets, cocktail shakers, bar utensils, and serving trays. To create the mood, hire a jazz trio (if your budget allows), or simply set your stereo to smooth jazz.

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Power Shower

Prepare a spread of dishes containing power foods such as spinach, black beans, salmon, nuts, eggs, berries, and dark chocolate. Gift ideas can include anything you can plug in, such as blenders, toasters, espresso machines, drills, and electric screwdrivers. To create the mood, give Powerball tickets as favors and have guests promise that, if they win, they share 1% of their fortune with the bride and groom.

Pizza Party Guests are invited to create their own pizzas from a buffet of fresh ingredients. Gifts ideas can include cooking classes, pizza stones, a knife block, candle sets, tablecloths, napkins, wine glasses, Wine of the Month club membership, cheeseboards, a cheese grater, a garlic press, herbs, and spices. To create the mood, hosts can play classic Italian music sung by artists like Luciano Pavarotti to Dean Martin.

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Backyard BBQ Fire up the grill so guests can enjoy steak, burgers, chicken, ribs, fish, shrimp and anything that can be cooked over an open flame. Gifts ideas can include outdoor cooking utensils, prep tools, a fire pit, a picnic basket, blankets, matching aprons, lanterns, ice chests, weatherproof speakers, serving dishes, sauces, and rubs. To create the mood, set up a volleyball net, horseshoes, and a fire pit for s’mores.

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THROW OUT THE RULE BOOK Plan a Wedding That’s a Reflection of You By Patricia Danflous

y r a r e t i L le Sty THERE IS ONLY ONE RULE TO REMEMBER ABOUT THE MODERN WEDDING. TWO WORDS: ANYTHING GOES 24


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hether you are looking at an unlimited budget for a fantasy wedding or working within strict time, place, and financial restrictions, the 21st century wedding can be anything you want it to be. From ultra-posh and elegant to classical and traditional, from wild and colorful to quiet and simple, the modern wedding is more about a reflection of you as a couple, rather than conforming to the way it’s always been done. Themed weddings are fashionable, trendy, and the most prevalent choice among the modern bride. An informal survey among certified wedding planners and event managers indicates that almost every couple looking for guidance begins with the explanation: “We want something unique, creative, and all about us.” Those parameters are used by the youngest of couples just starting out after college graduation or the more mature couples who are planning their second or third ceremony. The modern wedding is literally a production following a theme incorporated into every element of the occasion. Save-the-date announcements, colors, invitations, location, decorations, centerpieces, favors, and gifts for the wedding party are fine-tuned to reflect the theme while spotlighting the bride and groom. It may be challenging to keep that spotlight shining, but it is important to remember the day is about you and your spouse-to-be. In today’s global environment, marrying the boy or

girl next door is no longer the way it is. Chances are you are marrying someone from another region, or even another country. In other words, your family and friends – and his family or friends – may know little or nothing about your intended. So, the wedding day is not only about you, it is also a way to introduce yourselves to his friends and family.

POPULAR THEMES TODAY FALL IN THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES:  Mother Nature/Environmental  Romantic  Military/Patriotic  Back to the Beach  Country/Rural  Literary  Spiritual  Nostalgic  Traditional  Elegant

Rural Style

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There are hundreds of variations within each themed category, limited only by your imagination. A romantic literature motif, for example, may be reflected by selecting Romeo and Juliet-inspired attire with vows written in Shakespearean prose. Once you have decided on a theme, take the next step to define elements of the wedding that tell your love story. CONSIDER THESE OPPORTUNITIES FOR SHARING INFORMATION:  Save-the-date announcement  Wedding website  Venue  Catering  Ceremony  Attire  Cake and groom’s cake  Invitation  Music  Entertainment  Wedding party gifts  Favors  Flowers  Centerpieces

The Sto ry of U s

Keep in mind that your wedding theme and the way it’s presented will be part of your history. As you tell “the story of us” to your family and friends, remember that you will want to look back on that day as the beginning of a new story – together.

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Remember that two-word rule: Anything goes? Let’s add another two-word rule for the modern bride’s wedding: Plan ahead. Planning ahead will ensure that everything no detail is overlooked, and that your wedding is a true reflection of you.


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Marchesa

BRIDAL BOBBLES Loud, oversized earrings are all the rage in 2017 bridal fashion. These bobbles will draw attention to your face and transform your entire look.

Marchesa

Fashionable Accessories

Marchesa SPRING BLING Jeweled headbands and ornate barrettes provide a classic, sophisticated look. Paying homage to the past, these pair spectacularly with modern dress styles and make perfect statement pieces.

For Your Special Day Add a little bling to your wedding dress with the latest in fashion!

By Liz McGehee THE MIDDAS TOUCH A simple pair of strappy, metallic stilettos will compliment your dress while keeping the outfit at the forefront. Marchesa

Sophia Webster

Sergio Rossi


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Honoring Your Parents on Your Special Day

The obvious is to wear ychoice mot her’s dr our ess.

By Michele Robert Poche

Maybe it’s because they were always at your basketball games, dance recitals and school plays. Maybe it’s because they were always there to pick you up when you were down. Or maybe it’s simply because they’re bankrolling your whole wedding. Like many brides and grooms, you may relish the opportunity to show their love and appreciation to their parents on their wedding days. We’ve put together a few ideas on how to do just that. MUSIC. Walk down the aisle to the same music your parents used at their wedding. Or at the reception, use the song they chose or even borrow “their song” for your first dance as a couple. BOUQUET. Incorporate a family heirloom or miniature framed photographs into your bouquet, or ask your florist to include flowers that

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can be nestled, but not fastened, into the bouquet. Then, as you walk down the aisle, surprise the mothers by presenting one to each of them. ATTIRE. An obvious choice is to wear your mother’s dress. Other alternatives would be to wear her veil, garter, or jewelry. A swatch from her wedding dress or a garment belonging to your father could

be incorporated into your wedding attire via a handkerchief or some other memento. CAKE. Use the cake topper from your parents’ wedding to adorn your own cake, or decorate the cake table with frames of original photographs from your parents’ weddings. SPEECH. Include a meaningful reading about mothers, parents,

or family as part of your ceremony. Or prepare a well-worded toast to be given at the reception. As with everything else, each wedding is different. In some cases, the couple will want to honor just the mothers. In others, they may choose to celebrate all four of their parents, or even stepparents or grandparents. Special dedications can also be made for loved ones who have passed on and are unable to share in the experience. In any event, this opportunity is one that you should make your own to ensure that your wedding is a memorable one for all in attendance.


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Deadlines & Details By Michele Robert Poche

THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN PLANNING A WEDDING. TO ENSURE SUCCESS -- AND YOUR SANITY -- THE KEY IS ORGANIZATION. WE’VE COMPILED A DETAILED CHECKLIST THAT PAYS SPECIAL ATTENTION TO TIME-SENSITIVE DEADLINES, SO YOU CAN CREATE A FOOLPROOF CALENDAR AND TO-DO LIST.

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12 months +  Select date, time, and place. Then reserve venues!  Decide on wedding size and style.  Hire wedding consultant (if applicable) and create wedding website.  Shop for gown.  Begin guest list.

9-12 months  Research honeymoon destinations.  Book musicians, DJ, florist, photographer, videographer, and limousines.  Order invitations.  Purchase gown and begin alterations.  Ask friends to be in wedding party and order bridesmaid dresses.

6-9 months  Finalize guest list and send save-the-date cards.  Book appointments for hair, nails, and make-up.  Reserve attire for groom and groomsmen.  Order cake(s).  Purchase rings.

3-6 months  Secure bridal accessories (such as shoes, jewelry, garter, and mementos)  Give musicians a list of songs you want them to play. (Or not play!)  Make food choices with venue.

2 months  Mail invitations.

1 month  Give photographer a list of pictures you want taken.

1 week  Give final head count to reception venue.

The day before  Hold rehearsal ceremony and dinner.  Deliver everything to site and work out any kinks.  Give marriage license to officiant.  Present gifts to wedding party, parents, and any other honored guests.

The day of  Give rings and officiant’s fee to best man.  Designate liaison for photographer to ensure all necessary pictures are taken.  EXHALE! NOTE: Larger cities have long waiting lists for wedding vendors so you may need to act sooner!

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Gifts of Gratitude Thanking Your Bridesmaids By Patricia Danflous

She said, “Yes.” Now, how do you thank your bridesmaid for standing by your side on your big day?

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oth oldfashioned and contemporary etiquette says a thank you gift is called for, but modern brides (and modern bridesmaids) are most excited about gifts that show sincere appreciation in a creative,

but useful way. The most unique bridesmaid’s gift is the one that makes a long-lasting, happy memory. You want the gift to reflect you and possibly your wedding theme, but not so out-of-the-box that it winds up hidden away in a closet and long-forgotten.

TRENDS TODAY INCLUDE:  Monogrammed items  Accessories that can be used on the day of wedding  Shoes – for the wedding day and/or flats for reception  Tote bags  Garment bags  Jewelry to complement the bridesmaid’s gown  Make-up palettes and brushes  Robes, pajamas, slippers, and bath oils

Show sincere ap preciat ion in a creat ive, but us efu l way. 36

THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE AS A GREAT BRIDESMAID’S THANK YOU,AND LET YOUR IMAGINATION GUIDE YOU. CONSIDER SUCH GIFTS AS:  Candles in the color theme of your wedding or with the fragrance of your flowers  An individualized photo album with pictures of you and your bridesmaid along with a description of some of your favorite memories together.  A journal in your wedding theme colors with a personalized thank you on the first page  Artwork that you created yourself, something different for each bridesmaid  A novel that reminds you of your bridesmaid and/ or your friendship, with a dated inscription

 Gift certificates for a day of beauty at her favorite local spa  A year of monthly deliveries of flowers, wine or a massage-a-month gift to show your bridesmaid that you appreciate her as a friend, not just a bridesmaid Need more inspiration for finding that extra-special, unique gift? Find inspiration the modern way. Check out internet sites such as etsy, Pinterest, The Grommet, Uncommon Goods, and Perpetual Kid. Or look for ideas the old-fashioned way by attending crafts fairs or visiting a local craft store. Keep in mind that the best gift you can give your bridesmaids is a sincere thank-you and a positive attitude from the moment you ask her until the lights go off on your wedding day.


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The

g n i d d e W get Bud Invitations & Stationery Save the Date cards Invitations, Reply Cards Postage Programs Menu Cards Place Cards Thank You Cards Calligraphy Miscellaneous TOTAL Bridal Attire & Beauty Gown Veil / Headpiece Alterations Shoes Lingerie Accessories Jewelry Makeup Hair Nails Miscellaneous TOTAL Groom’s Attire Tuxedo / Suit Shoes Cuff Links Grooming Accessories Miscellaneous TOTAL

Ceremony Location fee Officiant fee Marriage License Rings Music Miscellaneous TOTAL

Reception Location fee Food Drink Rentals Wedding Cake Groom’s Cake Favors Music Security Gratuities Miscellaneous TOTAL Flowers Ceremony Reception Decorations Bridal Bouquet Attendant Bouquets Boutonnieres Flower Girl Parents & Grandparents Miscellaneous TOTAL

Photography Photography Videography Albums Miscellaneous TOTAL Transportation Limousine(s) Miscellaneous TOTAL Gifts Wedding Party Parents Bride & Groom Miscellaneous TOTAL Honeymoon Airline tickets Accommodations Car Rentals Food Entertainment Excursions Souvenirs Passports Clothing Miscellaneous TOTAL Miscellaneous Wedding Consultant Gown Preservation TOTAL TOTAL BUDGET:

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e t a e r C egistry aR FOR A HASSLE-FREE HONEYMOON By Michele Robert Poche

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THERE ARE MANY ONLINE HONEYMOON REGISTRY WEBSITES AVAILABLE. HERE’S A GLIMPSE OF SOME OF THE LARGER ONES.

The best thing to ha ppen to wedding s since cake.

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hether you have 12 attendants, a Vera Wang wedding gown, and a 5 ct. diamond -- or your best friend, a simple frock, and your grandmother’s ring -- chances are, you’d like to take a honeymoon. Unfortunately, many young couples downgrade or even put off their first getaway together because of financial limitations. Older couples, on the other hand, often already have a house full of domestic items and may actually want to register something other than a gravy boat. Enter the honeymoon registry -- the best thing to happen to

weddings since cake. Honeymoon registries are fully customizable websites that assist couples in planning and financing their honeymoons. As more and more non-traditional wedding gift options enter the mainstream, honeymoon registries offer the couple the opportunity to share their travel itinerary and accept financial gifts for the trip. For example, a couple may want to visit Paris. For this registry, guests could be given a menu of gift items ranging from a hotel stay or theater tickets to a boat ride on the Seine or even just some wine and crepes. As with any registry, the gift options vary to suit the budget of any guest.

Honeyfund.com  Free to set up, but there are upgrade packages with more design options.  For cash gifts, there are no fees.  For credit card purchases, there is a 2.8% fee plus 30 cents per gift (paid by the couple).  To avoid fees, guests are encouraged to print a certificate of their “purchase” from the site and give with a check. Wanderable.com  Free to set up.  For cash gifts, there are no fees.  For credit card purchases of gifts from their merchant network, there is a 2.5% fee (paid by the couple or the guest).  Offers more layouts, themes, colors, fonts and design options than other sites. TravelersJoy.com  Free to set up. There are no upgrades or add-ons.  For cash gifts, there are no fees.  For credit card purchases, there is a 2.95% fee (paid by the couple or the guest), plus 99 cents for credit card processing (paid by the guest).  There’s a toll-free service for less tech-savvy guests. Honeymoon Wishes  Free to set up.  All purchases are charged a 7% service fee (paid by the couple or the guest). Credit card purchases are charged an extra 2.65% fee (paid by the guest).  Gifts can be sent directly to your honeymoon resort or cruise line.  There’s a toll-free service for less tech-savvy guests.

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SEEDS

For the couple looking to save money but still wanting to go green, seed packets can make great favors for your guests. Be sure to include a little tutorial with your packets for your less gardensavvy friends.

POTTED FLOWERS

Instead of cut flower arrangements that perish all too quickly, small flowering plants can be grouped on the reception tables to create colorful, ecologically responsible centerpieces.

Gifts That’ll Grow on Them

Plants & Seeds as Wedding Favors

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By Michele Robert Poche

edding favors leave a lasting impression on your guests. Why not give them something to remember you every time they see it? A beautiful addition to any home, plants are eco-friendly and will continue to grow with your friends and family with each passing day. As an extra bonus, these favors can be arranged at the reception to double as wedding décor and save on expenses. At the end of the event, invite your guests to take one with them and display it in their homes, or plant it in their gardens as a permanent keepsake of your special day.

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BAMBOO

According to ancient Chinese tradition, these plants bring luck to the bearer, and their energy is determined by their stalk number. One stalk means prosperity, two means love, and three means happiness, long life, and wealth. (NOTE: Four brings bad luck!)

HERBS

Select an aromatic herb that will look nice displayed throughout your event and be useful when taken home by your guests. Even better, select a variety of herbs that will look nice and be useful, then let your guests take their pick.

SUCCULENTS

One of the most popular trends in home gardening today is succulents, such as cacti or aeoniums. They’re hardy and require very little maintenance, so they’re perfect for everyone, even the garden-challenged.


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1.

Designate a writing station. Make things easier on yourself by creating a space where cards, envelopes, gift lists, your address book, stamps, and pens can reside until the job is done.

2. By Michele Robert Poche Your guests took the time to research your gift registry and put some thought into selecting something special to commemorate your big day. All you need to do in return is say, “thank you.” Hand-writing thank-you notes can be incredibly time consuming, but if you remember these few tips, the task will be less daunting.

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Don’t take on too many notes at a time. The magic number varies for each person, but on average, writing five per day will keep your writing fresh and sincere.

3.

Mention the gift specifically. Add a sentence about when, where, and how it will be appreciated. (For cash gifts, you needn’t include the amount.)

4.

Personalize your correspondence. Was she a member of the wedding party? Was he an old college roommate? There’s (almost) always a little something you can include to make the reader feel special.


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