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A Hersam Acorn Newspapers publication

2010 Winter Bridal & Events


Wedding Dress for Success:

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Stay True to Your Personal Style

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For most brides-to-be, the choice of a dress is among the first and most important decisions in planning a wedding. With thousands of choices in every price range, finding the perfect wedding dress can be a difficult and time-consuming process. But by making some decisions before setting foot in a store, the search will be both easier and a whole lot more enjoyable.

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Melissa Miller, cover design Jen Hathaway, page design TriState Pennysaver News 109 South Street, Bennington, VT 05201 802-447-3381 Vermont News Guide 99 Bonnet Street, Manchester, VT 05254 802-362-3535

Berkshire Penny Saver Brides often try on numerous dresses before choosing the one they’ll wear on their walk down the aisle. First things first Start by knowing your limits. To avoid disappointment down the line, determine the maximum amount that you can spend on a dress

Yankee Shopper Renee Tassone, General Manager

continued on page 5 2010 Winter Bridal & Events

A Hersam Acorn Newspapers publication

3


Accessory Essentials for Brides and Bridesmaids

(MS) -- When it comes to weddings, much is made of the bride’s wedding gown. Typically the end product of an exhausting yet enjoyable search, a bride’s wedding gown is, along with the bride herself, often the focal point of the day. As central as the wedding dress is, brides also know their look is never complete without the right accessories. Arguably the most important accessory, aside from the groom, is the jewelry the bride and her bridesmaids will be wearing on the big day. According to Amy Yankelevitz, designer and founder of Hazel & Harlow Jewelry, how the bride selects the accessories and jewelry pieces for herself and her bridesmaid can be one of the most important, and very personal decisions for her special day. Incorporating family heirlooms, favorite keepsakes and contemporary styles can be complicated, but Amy believes in choosing delicate pendant, earrings and even bracelets, but always remember the focus is on the bride’s face and neckline so keep your jewelry selections to just one or two special items. “A signature pair of earrings (our Heart of Gold styles are perfect) highlights the bride’s hair and neckline without competing with the dress,” says Yankelevitz. Because many brides recognize the importance of jewelry when creating their bridal ensemble, Yankelevitz offers the following jewelry tips for brides on their big day. � � ��������������������� • Match jewelry with your gown. No two brides are ever the same, but � � �������������������������������� there are similarities between wedding gowns and certain jewelry that ����������������� goes well with each type of gown. For example, the type of necklace a � � ������������������������ bride chooses will depend on the neckline of her gown. When the bride is interested in matching a piece of jewelry with her �� �������������������������������������� wedding dress, we believe the lines and flow of the dress are the defining ���������������������� accents to consider. If the bride has chosen a vintage, lacy gown, then ������������ something antique, or beaded and chandelier style is beautiful. For a more clean, modern and linear style dress, a simple charm or statement piece, such as Hazel & Harlow Love Bird Pendant or Crescent Moon, is ideal to enhance the wedding gown or dress without taking away from the complete ensemble Recognizing the myriad style wedding gowns, Hazel & Harlow

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Wedding Dress for Success: Stay True to Your Personal Style continued from page 3

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Go for a flattering fit Remember: Your goal is to find a dress that flatters your body and expresses your personal style -- not to fit into a particular size. If you look ghostly in white, feel free to choose a creamier shade or a dress that has decorative accents of a different color near your neck, shoulders and face. Similarly, there’s no rule that a wedding dress has to be floor-length. If you’re planning a daytime or more casual wedding, you might want to consider a tea-length dress (one that falls a few inches above the ankle) or go even shorter. Comfort is key Style and fit may be the two most important factors in choosing a wedding dress, but comfort should be a close third. Ask yourself if you will be comfortable in a particular dress given the setting in which your wedding will take place. For instance, if you’ve always dreamed of an outdoor wedding, you may want forego a dress with a long, trailing train that could trip you up on your walk to or down the aisle. Even if you’re planning an indoor event, having a dress and shoes that are as comfortable as they are beautiful will greatly increase your odds of enjoying your special day to the fullest.

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-- and don’t forget to include all the little extras, such as undergarments, shoes, jewelry, veil, and/or hair ornaments. Next, take an inventory of your personal style. If you know that you’re not comfortable in strapless or sleeveless dresses, for example, you can immediately eliminate these options. The trick is to rule out a few style options before hitting the magazines or stores and then be open to all other options. Firm yet flexible There will be no shortage of opinions -- from mothers, sisters, friends, and store personnel -- about your choice of a wedding dress, but the decision, ultimately, is the bride’s alone. A great strategy is to be open to suggestions about dresses to try on, but reserve the right to choose the look that feels right to you. With so many potential options, you might want to consider bringing along a camera and taking photos of yourself in the dresses that could be “contenders.”

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Did You Know?

Personal style and preference aren’t the only things that dictate certain wedding day decisions. In fact, a host of style guidelines exist to help brides and grooms make the right choices on their big day. For example, while a man might have a specific tuxedo style in mind for his wedding day, something such as the time of the ceremony can dictate which styles are appropriate. A morning ceremony, for instance, typically calls for a cutaway, or morning coat, with the ushers in matching strollers. For early afternoon ceremonies, however, it’s typical for men in the wedding party to wear tuxedos without tails. Grooms who really want to wear tails should only do so for ceremonies that begin after 4 p.m., as tails are considered too formal for ceremonies beginning earlier in the day. When wearing tails, a white vest and bow tie, but no cumberbund, is the traditional style. When planning a wedding, it’s best to keep in mind that tradition as well as personal style should dictate certain decisions. To learn of any additional norms and traditions, consult a wedding planner. 2010 Winter Bridal & Events

A Hersam Acorn Newspapers publication

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Countdown to Your Wedding Day To help you get a better understanding of how to plan a wedding and when you should be making certain decisions, here’s a timeframe you can follow that should ensure that your wedding goes off as smoothly as possible. 10 to 12 Months Before If you haven’t done it already, this is a good time to announce your engagement and introduce your respective families. Since most reception halls and churches have busy wedding schedules, it is also important to book both as early as possible, preferably at least a year in advance of your wedding day. It’s also a good idea to start putting together a guest list around this time and ask your parents whom they’d like to invite as well. Also, since your budget will determine just about every aspect of your wedding, sitting down and determining what you can spend, and developing a savings plan should be first and foremost. 6 to 9 Months Before This is the time when you want to start booking some services, such as a florist, caterer, a DJ/band, and a photographer. However, some of the more experienced DJs and bands as well as photographers might have their schedules booked a year in advance, so this might be something you’ll want to consider doing shortly after you get engaged and choose a date. Also, this is a good time to inform any guests who will be traveling significant distances of the date of your wedding. The earlier your

guests can book a flight, the less expensive that flight will be. This is also a good time to order gowns for both the bride and bridesmaids, as some manufacturers require a few months to ship to bridal shops. You might want to ask someone such as your priest or rabbi to be the officiant of your wedding. And much like out-of-town guests will save travel dollars the earlier they learn of your wedding date, you will likely save money, too, if you book your honeymoon around this time. 4 to 5 Months Before This is a good time to decide on wedding invitations, of which there are many styles to choose from. Also, now is ideal to start hunting for a wedding cake by sampling a number of different bakeries and their style of cakes before ultimately making a decision. Just to be sure, confirm that all of the bridesmaids have ordered their gowns and start looking for a tuxedo for the groom as well as the groomsmen. If you haven’t done so already, purchase your wedding rings and let any other people you’d like to participate in your wedding (ushers, readers during the ceremony, etc.) know of your intentions. 2 to 3 Months Before Finalize your guest list and mail out your invitations. If your guest list includes a considerable amount of people who are spread out geographically, mail the invitations as close to 12 weeks in advance continued on page 9

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Accessory Essentials for Brides and Bridesmaids

jewelry offers an extensive catalog, ensuring that each and every bride will find the right accessories no matter the style of her dress. Made from fine sterling silver and 24K gold vermeil, all pieces of Hazel & Harlow jewelry are hand carved, hand etched and enhanced with beautifully set topaz stones.

����������������� ����������������� ������������������������ ����������������������������� ������������������ ��������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������� ������������������������������� Both the Love Bird Pendant (above, l.) and the Crescent Moon (r.) from Hazel & Harlow are ideal choices to enhance a wedding gown or dress without taking away from the complete ensemble. • Consider a splash of color. Today’s brides aren’t solely hoping to look elegant and demure. They’re also hoping to attract attention. And nothing helps to do just that more than some colorful jewelry to complement your white wedding gown. Colored gems and even yellow diamonds are a growing trend among brides. If that’s not your thing, the Hazel & Harlow Web site boasts an assortment of designer collections, enabling visitors to enjoy creations by comparable artists from all over the global fashion community, including luxury and moderate priced brands that speak to the trendsetter within every bride. • Go green. Perhaps no trend is more popular or hot button than the go green movement. As a result, many brides are showcasing their environmental side and embracing a growing trend among bridal jewelry, namely the choice of nature-inspired jewelry that includes themes such as flowers, butterflies, leaves, and rosettes. Hazel & Harlow is inspired by the whimsical, organic and feminine styles of vintage Paris, with the unique birds, floral motifs, animal and leafy carvings and filigrees so elegantly done by the designer. Everything about Hazel & Harlow jewelry evokes a mood and feeling of nature, and the growing interest in the collections of more floral inspired pieces is a true testament to the bride’s desire to incorporate these classic themes into their memorable day. For more information or to peruse their extensive collection, visit Hazel & Harlow at www.hazelandharlow.com.

2010 Winter Bridal & Events

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Wedding Folklore, Myths and Good Luck Charms Who doesn’t hope for good fortune on their wedding day? That’s why there are so many traditions and steps people take to ensure luck is smiling down on them for their wedding. Here are some traditions you may not have known about. • According to Greek culture, tuck a sugar cube into your glove on your wedding. The sugar will sweeten your union. • English tradition says that Wednesday is the best day to marry. Monday is for wealth and Tuesday is for health. • The groom carries his newly betrothed across the threshold to protect her from evil spirits.

• Hindu tradition says rain on your wedding day is good luck. • For good luck, Egyptian women are known to pinch the bride on her wedding day.

• In Holland a pine tree is planted outside of the newlyweds’ home for good luck and fertility. • A law in 1775 said a wedding was not legal if the bride wore makeup during the

ceremony. • Wedding and engagement rings are worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because it was long believed a vein ran from that finger directly to the heart. • Ancient Greeks and Romans said a wedding veil protected the bride from evil spirts. It has been a tradition to wear a veil ever since. •The term “tie the knot” comes from Roman times when the bride wore a girdle tied in knots that the groom was later able to untie. Some also believe it refers to the knots of rope that were tied to form the marriage bed.

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Countdown to Your Wedding Day

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as possible. This is also a good time to finalize your menu choices for your guests, and find all your wedding accessories such as the ring pillow, candles, etc. Also, since it is tradition to provide gifts for those in the wedding party as well as the parents of the bride and groom, this is a good time to decide on and purchase those gifts. Just to be safe, confirm that all groomsmen have ordered their tuxedos and finalize all transportation, both to and from the wedding and to the airport for your honeymoon. 1 to 2 Months Before Schedule the first bridal-gown fitting. Also finalize the readings you’d prefer during the ceremony and mail them out to anyone who has agreed to do a reading. If your family prefers to host a small gathering for close family and friends after the wedding rehearsal, the night before the wedding, this is a good time to order any food or drinks you might want to serve that night, or make a restaurant reservation.

order your wedding program around this time. 1 to 2 Weeks Before Get a final attendance count and submit it to the caterer as soon as you know of it, while also providing a final seating chart. Pick up the wedding gown and tuxedo. Make sure the wedding party picks up their attire. Also, finalize your vows and confirm all wedding-day details such as transportation, photo schedules, and addresses. And don’t forget to pack for your honeymoon. The Day Before This is mainly when you rehearse for the ceremony and make any final confirmations you might have to make. Also, make sure to get some sleep so you’ll look good in all of your wedding-day photos.

3 to 4 Weeks Before Confirm your honeymoon arrangements and see if your wedding rings are ready. This is also when you should get your marriage license and check the guest list to see who has and hasn’t RSVP’d. For those who have yet to RSVP, you might want to contact them so you can get a closer idea of what the head count will be. You should also prepare and

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9


Wedding

Did You Know?

Web Site

Coordinating your wedding is no easy feat, even if you’re a master organizer. One way to make it easier on yourself and guests looking for information is to create a personalized wedding Web site. This way you can post all the pertinent information in one place (such as key dates for fittings, rehearsals, parties, etc.) and not have to field calls from dozens of people. A Web site is also a place to post pictures of the milestones you’ve completed since becoming engaged. Family and friends can view these pictures and any comments you have posted to learn that much more about the couple who will soon be walking down the aisle. In addition to dates, facts, addresses, and more, link your bridal registry site to your wedding Web site so that guests can quickly view the items for which you’ve registered. Also, if you don’t mind some e-responses, you can enable guests to RSVP for the big event via your Web site, particularly if you know some guests will be lax in mailing back response cards.

According to the United States Census Bureau (USCB), more than 2 million couples get married each year in the United States. The average bride is a shade over 25 years of age, while the average groom is nearly 27-years-old. In a nod to the changing nature of society, one-third of those getting married each year have been married before. That’s especially notable to those who make a living providing wedding services, be it reception halls, videographers, photographers, or others who make their living in the wedding industry. That’s because the average wedding budget is roughly $20,000, meaning weddings, even for brides and grooms who have been down the aisle before, remain a costly expense for the participants and a lucrative venture for those in the industry. In fact, $72 billion is spent on weddings each year. To put that in better perspective, consider that only $8 billion per year is spent on honeymoons, meaning brides and grooms are liable to spend nine times more on their wedding than they are on their honeymoon. June and August remain the months of choice for ceremonies, as more weddings occur in June and August than any other month. However, while July is the third most popular month to walk down the aisle, September and even October are becoming increasingly popular according to the Association for Wedding Professionals International.

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Choose the Right Restaurant for Your Next Event the time you have to comparison shop. Hosting a party can be a wonderful party. Prices can vary greatly when it comes • Choose a central location. When hosting opportunity to share a few laughs and good to private parties, and some might not even a party at home, there’s always the potential to times with family and friends. However, be capable of accommodating larger parties. allow guests to stay overnight should the party hosting duties come with an array of To be certain you’re getting the best deal, use run late. However, when having responsibilities, often making a private party at a restaurant, the day of the party a hectic one all guests will eventually be for even the best of hosts. driving home. To make it easy Avoiding such responsibilities on everyone, choose a centrally is one popular reason for located restaurant that’s within a choosing a restaurant to host short driving distance for most. your next party. Restaurants If possible, choose a restaurant take care of the cleaning and that’s near public transportation preparation, allowing hosts as well. This can provide a safe to enjoy the party as much as fallback option should a guest their guests. Those thinking of have too much to drink and not using a restaurant to host their be able to drive home. next party should consider the • Negotiate with the following tips. restaurant manager. The • Comparison shop. While you restaurant manager should be might have a favorite restaurant open to negotiation regarding in mind, it pays to comparison A restaurant with ample room to seat many guests is ideal the menu, both food and shop when looking for a for party hosts looking for a locale to host their next getrestaurant to host your next continued on page 15 together.

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Wedding Toast Tips relatives, it can be nervewracking to come up with sentiments for the toast, which can mean the difference between a memorable or an embarrassing wedding day experience. While there are no toasting guarantees, following a few tips can help nervous toasters do a bang-up job. • Be prepared: Individuals who try to “wing it” the day of the wedding may find their nerves get the best of them. It’s best to write out your thoughts in advance of the wedding and fine tune your sentiments many times. Think about whether you want to go funny or sentimental. Consider your relationship with the bride and groom and try to personalize the speech as much as possible. Practice the toast in

A wedding day toast is a tradition that has long been a part of wedding celebrations. Toasts are a personal way of commemorating the good fortune of the newly betrothed and looking forward to future happiness. The best man traditionally gives the main toast at the wedding. At different occasions on the road to the wedding there may be other opportunities for toasts from the maid of honor or even the parents of the bride and groom. While some people are natural orators and have no trouble speaking in front of large crowds of people, the majority of toasters approach the toast with a bit of trepidation. Apart from the anxiety of speaking in front of a group of friends and

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A Hersam Acorn Newspapers publication

2010 Winter Bridal & Events


A Sampling of Wedding Traditions

from Different Faiths

From every religious perspective, the priest blesses the rings as symbols of love Taking communion is another traditional joining of a couple in matrimony is the and fidelity and offers a prayer to bless the part of a Catholic ceremony, often followed celebration of a new and cherished stage couple’s new union. by the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer by the in their lives -- one that entire congregation. Once focuses on both the joys and the priest has blessed and responsibilities of building a dismissed the congregation, life together. However, there the wedding party begins are many wedding customs its recessional and exits the particular to each religious church. tradition that have endured Jewish weddings can over generations and include any of a number continue to be an important of customs, depending on part of marriage celebrations the couple’s preferences and throughout the world. their family traditions. Many Catholic weddings Jewish couples include the typically start off with a signing of a Ketubah, a processional and opening marriage agreement in hymn, followed by readings which the couple declare from both the Old and their commitment to each New Testaments and a other and to God and the psalm. After the recitation Jewish people, in their of the wedding vows and Wedding ceremonies can vary greatly depending on the faiths of the the exchange of rings, the bride and groom. continued on page 14

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A Sampling of Wedding Traditions

from Different Faiths

continued from page 13

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ceremonies. In Jewish weddings, both the bride and groom are typically accompanied down the aisle by their parents and the ceremony takes place under a chuppah, or canopy, that represents the home. Once the ceremony

has concluded, the groom steps on a glass that has been wrapped in cloth -- a tradition with several meanings, including a regard for the sanctity of marriage. Muslim wedding ceremonies are traditionally brief and simple, though they can be followed by several days of celebration. Typically, at the marriage ceremony, called a nikah in Arabic, the bride and groom are in different rooms and may or may not be able to see each other. The officiant goes into each room to ask the bride and groom if they consent to the marriage and are entering into the marriage of their own free will. The bride’s responses are communicated to the officiant by a guardian, called a wali. Then, with witnesses in attendance, the couple signs the marriage contract or license and the officiant brings them together to pronounce them husband and wife. Protestant weddings can vary according to the particular denomination, but in most ceremonies, a friend or family member of the couple participates in the ceremony by reading a passage from the Bible. Most often, the wedding begins with the groom and best man standing in front of the church with the pastor as the wedding party enters and makes its way to the front of the church. The ceremony ends with the pastor offering a final blessing and the wedding party exiting the church following the bride and groom.

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2010 Winter Bridal & Events


Wedding Toast Tips

Choose the Right Restaurant

for Your Next Event

continued from page 12

front of others and get some unbiased opinions before the wedding. • Time it right: If the thought of spending the entire reception waiting to give the toast has you on edge, ask the prospective couple if you can give the toast early on in the night. This way you can relax afterward and enjoy the party.

• Jot down notes: If you think your nerves will get the best of you, bring some index cards with key phrases of the toast. You could write out the entire speech, but if you simply read it, the toast could seem stiff and impersonal. • Hold off on cocktails: While it’s generally fine to have one or two drinks prior to the toast to loosen up, it’s not recommended to be intoxicated. Alcohol and public speaking often do not mix. You don’t want to say something you will regret later on or make a mockery of the wedding. • Keep it short: Aim for a two- or three-minute speech. Something longwinded won’t hold the attention of wedding guests who are looking to get on with the fun of the wedding reception. • Speak slowly and clearly: Articulate and speak loud enough so everyone can hear the speech. You will likely be handed a microphone. If you get nervous and trip up, simply make a quick joke and get back to it. Others will understand if you are tense. • Don’t be afraid of getting emotional: “Wedding guests would rather see real feelings than a beauty-pageant speech,” says Sharon Naylor, author of “Your Special Wedding Toasts.” So if you get choked-up, don’t worry.

continued from page 11

beverages. Flexibility is a must, as your guests will no doubt have varying diets. Be sure to ask about the availability of vegetarian meals and other diet-specific foods that guests with health ailments might need. Restaurants might not be as flexible for larger parties, but smaller parties should expect flexibility with respect to the menu. • Get it in writing if possible. For especially large parties, it’s ideal to get a contract in writing for the services the restaurant will provide and the cost of those services. You’ll likely need to put down a deposit in advance of the party, so that can be a great time to have a contract drawn up as well. • Arrive early. Hosts should arrive at the restaurant early to ensure that everything is going smoothly. The host should always arrive before the guests and put up decorations if that’s part of the party. • Send out invitations with specific directions. Whether it’s an e-vite sent through e-mail or a paper invitation sent through snail mail, invitations should include specific directions to the restaurant. The directions should include routes with major highways and the restaurant’s address. Providing the restaurant’s address allows guests to seek other directions via online mapping sites or GPS if they so choose.

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2010 Winter Bridal