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WEDDING PLANNER

16 — JANUARY 2011

JOURNAL GAZETTTE / TIMES-COURIER

10 Trends for ‘Green’ Weddings Environmentally friendly ideals are now permeating all aspects of daily living. Many people want to take the concept further and ensure their nuptials — and subsequent reception — are good for the planet as well. Although there are no firm statistics on the number of green weddings being held each year, emerging trends point to the growing interest in eco-conscious weddings. Individuals who already do their best to recycle, reuse and reduce want to employ those same values on their wedding day. There are many ways to employ a green mindset to wedding planning and execution. Largely the carbon footprint of a wedding can be reduced simply by scaling back and avoiding over-consumption. Here are some ideas to think about. 1. Reduce travel. Research indicates that more than twothirds of emissions in the U.S. are produced by energy consumption and transportation. By reducing guests’ need to travel far for a wedding or offering transportation that can accommodate several people at once (like a bus), carbon emissions will be reduced.

2. Home is where the heart is. Keeping weddings close to home is helpful. Those with big backyards or a park nearby can host the event at home or in a nearby park and reduce dependence on large reception halls that use up large amounts of energy to operate. A home wedding also gives couples the opportunity to shop around for locally produced, organic foods. 3. Shop for floral alternatives. Flowers would seem "green" in themselves. However, many blooms available at florist shops are grown in hothouses with the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, something that is not very good for the environment at all. Brides opting for something more eco-conscious could consider alternative options, such as bouquets made of sustainable succulent plants and centerpieces full of organic fruits and wildflowers. 4. Choose an open registry. Instead of fine china that may never be used, many couples are opting for open registries that enable guests to gift everything from eco-friendly housewares to charitable donations to cash for down payments on a home.

5. Opt for mixed seating arrangements: Instead of formal escort cards indicating firm seating arrangements, couples are saving paper by allowing guests to choose their own seats from mix-matched options, such as long, communal benches and comfy sofas. 6. Go with something old. Recycled gowns and gently used items are good alternatives for eco-conscious brides. Many Web sites will match up brides with others looking to swap items at low or no cost. 7. Skip the paper. Though etiquette experts frown on abandoning paper invitations for electronic ones, many couples are doing just that. For those who still prefer paper, print invitations on recycled paper. Reduce other wedding stationery needs by posting information on a wedding Web site shared with family and friends. 8. Go small scale. Instead of inviting every last cousin and distant uncle, couples are opting for more intimate affairs, including only the people they are closest to, which saves on cost and helps the environment. 9. Trim some of the wedding day fat. Some couples opt

for an all-you-can-eat buffet and then a subsequent dessert bar later on in the evening. Stuffed guests may end up wasting more food than eating it. Instead of all-you-can, go for a more traditional meal.

10. Choose a charitable party favor. Instead of a party favor that collects dust on a shelf, couples are choosing to gift with organic products or a donation to a charitable organization in the guests’ names.

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WEDDING PLANNER

2 — JANUARY 2011

JOURNAL GAZETTTE / TIMES-COURIER

JOURNAL GAZETTE / TIMES-COURIER

WEDDING PLANNER

JANUARY 2011 — 15

More brides informing guests with wedding websites

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By: CARYN ROUSSEAU For The Associated Press

KERSTIN SOPKE Associated Press

With friends and family headed to her California wedding from all over, bride-to-be Carrie Shields decided online organization was key. “Really the wedding website was one of the first things we did,” the 32-year-old public relations director from San Diego said. Shields is marrying fiance R.J. Jones, 36, who was born and raised in Wales. Their April wedding in Napa Valley comes four years after they met through friends. “I knew people were going to have a lot of questions about what to do and how to get there,” Shields said. “I wanted to make it fun and personal. I kind of jumped right on things because people were traveling so far.” Wedding experts at TheKnot.com and its partner WeddingChannel.com say this year’s annual survey found 64 percent of brides now have a website to share details with guests about

ceremony and reception logistics, registry information and travel accommodations. Web companies exist that allow couples to host wedding sites for free while others charge a fee for access to fancier templates and tools. The page Shields created has a personal and creative flair. It features a blue and orange frame with a brown background. The happy couple smile from behind sunglasses on a beach. A counter below them lets visitors know it’s “151 days until our wedding!” “A lot of the people coming over, they’ve never been to America,” Shields said. “I’m going to add a little bit about things to do in San Francisco, trying to take the guess work out of it.” Experts at WeddingWire.com recommend that couples launch their website at least six months before the wedding date to give guests as much information as early as possible. That allows enough time to make travel

This Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010 shows Carrie Shields as she updates her wedding web site at her home in San Diego. With friends and family headed to California from around the country and the United Kingdom for her upcoming wedding, Shields knew online organization was key. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

arrangements. WeddingWire also offers other online tools, including a program that lets guests RSVP directly from the website. Carley Roney, editor and founder of TheKnot.com, said her site and WeddingChannel.com together host more than

500,000 wedding websites for couples. “It’s a simple, easy way of communication,” Roney said. “It’s really like going to the website for a restaurant or a concert event. Everything is in one place.” That’s why more wedding

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website addresses are appearing in fancy fonts on the bottom of printed invitations. “You’re going to want to give the same information you always needed to have on an invitation: the name, location, time of event,” Roney said. But things like dress code or babysitting services can be saved for the website. Some sites let couples upload music or an audio track of their voices, video, animated graphics, or polls asking guests what songs to play or which appetizers to serve. To personalize her website, Shields added a “glossary” of Welsh and American words, and photos of the 20-member wedding party. Couples who choose WeddingChannel.com to host their websites can choose from templates by high-fashion designers like Oscar de la Renta, Monique Lhuillier and Vera Wang. “You still want to make the investment in it to make it uniquely you,” Roney said. “Just like you do on the wedding day.” Roney offers three tips for setting up a wedding website: 1 – Don’t assume your audience is only younger friends, and remember your etiquette. “You want to keep things ‘wedding and older people friendly,’” Roney said. “You don’t want to go on and on forever. You don’t want to put things like, ‘please ship our gifts to.’ Some of the etiquette that is wrong for wedding invitations is wrong for this too. To be making specific demands of your guests isn’t appropriate.” 2 – Include your registry information. According to TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com survey, about 61 percent of guests find out where a couple is registered from their wedding website—a figure that has grown from 47 percent in 2008. “It really is becoming the absolute de facto way that guests are going to find out where you’re registered,” Roney said. “It used to be that brides were worried it was tacky, but it’s simply not tacky. It’s how it’s done now.” 3 – Get the word out. Don’t just create and publish the website and assume everyone knows it exists. “Send the information directly to your guests,” sometimes more than once, Roney said. “You can’t assume that something you put on your website was acknowledged by all.”

AMBERG, Germany (AP) Couples who spend their wedding night at the tiny Eh’haeusl in Amberg will live happily ever after and never get divorced, at least according to an old legend told by the locals of this medieval town in Bavaria. Now newylweds who want to test the legend can do so in luxury. The 282-year-old Eh’haeusl, a Bavarian expression for “marriage house,” was recently renovated and turned into a five-star hotel. It’s so tiny that the entire building can only be rented out by one couple

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at a time, and its owners claim it’s the smallest hotel in the world. The red building on Seminargasse in the town’s historical old city is only 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) wide, and stretches over seven narrow floors. The house was originally built in 1728, after the city council ruled that couples could only get married if they owned property. To give lovebirds a chance to tie the knot even if they did not own a home, a resourceful Amberg citizen came up with an idea of skirting the new law. He built a house so tiny and inexpensive, that even poor people could afford it, at least on a short-term basis. They would buy the house, get married, move in and then sell it soon after to the next marriage-minded couple. With a different newlywed couple as occupants every few weeks, it became known as the “wedding house.” Even today, many couples spend their wedding night at the Eh’haeusl, which costs €240 ($327) per night and includes a whirlpool and an open fireplace. After a recent overnight stay, Barbara and Heinz Wilhelm, a couple in their early 70s, said even though their honeymoon was long ago, the experience was one-of-a-kind. “We stayed at lots of good hotels around the world, but there you’re just one guest among many others,” said Heinz Wilhelm. “Here we are the only guests of the entire hotel.”

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WEDDING PLANNER

14 — JANUARY 2011

JOURNAL GAZETTTE / TIMES-COURIER

WEDDING PLANNER

JOURNAL GAZETTE / TIMES-COURIER

JANUARY 2011 — 3

Tradition of throwing rice at weddings

Friend, will you marry us? Online ordinations rise

There are many traditions for weddings that can be traced back thousands of years to early civilization. One enduring tradition is to throw rice at the newly betrothed. For the safety of birds and other animal life, rice has been switched to birdseed in recent times. Some wedding traditions are based on very real needs of ancient times. Others are based on superstitions or existing etiquette at the time they were initially practiced. Throwing rice remains a timeless tradition that many cou-

By: MONICA RHOR For The Associated Press

ples still enjoy. Everyone attending the wedding gets to participate in throwing rice, or whatever is being used in lieu of rice, be it birdseed, confetti or even bubbles. Couples can even borrow from traditions in other countries. In France, people throw wheat, a symbol of bounty, after the ceremony. Italians toss candy and sugared nuts over couples, for sweetness in marriage. Rice was traditionally used to symbolize fertility and prosperity. Wheat was also very much used in ancient wedding

ceremonies for the same reasons. When guests threw rice at the bride and groom at a wedding, they were symbolically wishing them a lifetime full of children and good fortune. Some cultures even ate a meal of rice before the wedding to guarantee further prosperity. Different cultures have long harbored different perspectives on throwing rice. Some even believed it fed the evil spirits that, though uninvited, crashed the wedding. It was thought that well-fed spirits would not wreak havoc on the happy day.

Rice and wheat were also thought to represent virginity and wholesomeness by some. A virginal bride used to wear white and carried a stalk of wheat. Single women rushed after the bride hoping to get a few pieces of rice so they would be the next person to walk down the aisle. Despite its foundation in superstition, throwing rice has remained a staple of weddings today.

Respectful ways to honor a deceased family member Weddings are supposed to be joyous events, which can make it difficult to honor the deceased. Doing so in a way that does not compromise the upbeat mood of the event can prove quite a challenge to prospective brides and grooms. But there are many ways couples can honor a deceased family member at their ceremony. • Display pictures of the deceased with the wedding couple so that the memory of these people can be part of the festivities. • Set up a table with a special floral arrangement and photo with a placard that states, “In memory of ...” • Wear a piece of clothing or jewelry that belonged to the deceased. Cufflinks from a father or a veil from a mother. • Ask the pastor or officiant to specifically mention the deceased in the wedding ceremony and offer a special prayer in that person’s name. • Add a memoriam line to the end of the wedding program. “Today we honor Mary Smith, aunt of the bride who could not be with us today.” • Dedicate a special song during the reception in the person’s name. • A bride who will not be able to walk down the aisle with her father can choose to

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Jessica Alexander’s wedding was everything she had envisioned: a private gathering by her summer house on an Iowa lake. There was a pink and purple color scheme, a butterfly motif, and a dessert bar rather than a full meal. And, wearing a short periwinkle dress designed “to show off her legs,” was Alexander’s minister and bridesmaid, AnnaMegan Raley, a close friend who was ordained online specifically to perform the ceremony. Raley, a blogger for the Houston Chronicle, didn’t even know she had been ordained until Alexander and her mother sprang the news at the bridal shower. They had already paid a $25 fee and filled out a form with her name and address, making her the Rev. Raley. “I thought it was a joke. I’m sure that I put it on Facebook and Twitter,” said Raley. “But I had heard about people getting ordained to perform weddings. So, I said: ‘Sure, I’d love to.’” Nontraditional? Perhaps. A growing trend? Definitely. More and more engaged couples are turning to friends or family members to perform their wedding ceremony. They say it is more personal, relatively stressfree and cheaper. It is also surprisingly fast and simple. Getting ordained requires little more than finding an online ministry that performs ordinations, and filling out a short form with your name and

Anna-Megan Raley, who was ordained online specifically to perform a wedding ceremony for a close friend, poses Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010 in Houston. More and more engaged couples are turning to friends or family members to perform their wedding ceremony. They say it is more personal, relatively stress-free and cheaper. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

address. Some websites require a nominal fee for paperwork; others don’t charge anything. Prospective brides and grooms should look into the website and local marriage laws, however, to make sure the ceremony would be valid. Although online ordinations are generally recognized, laws vary widely from state to state, sometimes from county to county. Some states require ministers to regis-

ter after they are ordained. In Louisiana, parishes ask for a letter of good standing from the church, while Las Vegas requires a four-page application and background check. Last year, about one in seven weddings were performed by a friend of the couple, according to The Wedding Report, a research firm. Andre Hensley, president of the non-denominational Universal Life Church, which has been issuing ordination credentials since 1962, believes more couples are turning to friends because of the Internet, which makes the process easier, and because of many people’s lack of affiliation with a church. “I’ve gone to weddings where the ministers didn’t know the couple or anything about them. It didn’t have a special feeling,” said Hensley, who estimates that his church has ordained 18 million people. About 3,000 to 5,000 are ordained every month, a number that has steadily increased over the last 10 years, Hensley said. It takes about 24 hours for the church to process an ordination request, all of which are reviewed by a live person, he said. Janis Jones, a 27-year-old Chicago nurse, asked her older sister to perform her wedding this June. “Neither of us belong to a church, and we liked the idea of incorporating prayers and the religious aspect into the ceremony, but we didn’t want to be married by someone we don’t know at all and who didn’t know us,”

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minister to be on hand at the service—just in case. “If you find out after the fact that you are not legally married, it can definitely put a damper on things,” said Nichols, who lives in Montgomery County, Md. Nichols, who is Christian, and her husband, who was raised Muslim, wanted a spiritual ceremony that would “focus on us coming together under God, not on the fact that we are of two different faiths.” At Alexander’s lakeside wedding in Iowa, her ministerbridesmaid Raley also served as personal attendant, and helped decorate for the reception—all of which lent an air of comfort and familiarity to the ceremony. “It helped that she was the one standing up there for us,” said Alexander, a fourth-grade teacher who lives in Rockwell, Texas, outside Dallas. “I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.”

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said Jones, who has been dating her fiance, Eric Strand, for six years. The couple turned to Jones’ sister, Vicky Rappatta, who has been happily married for 10 years, has a background in writing and had always been a motherly figure to her younger sibling. “I was so honored and so moved that they wanted me to be such a huge part of their wedding. Now, I’m getting terrified,” joked Rappatta, who plans to write an original wedding prayer for the couple. Rappatta said she researched the legality of the ordination process, including checking with the county where her sister will be getting her marriage license. “The last thing I wanted to do was get a fake ordination,” said Rappatta, who got her credentials from American Marriage Ministries, whose website boasts “over 10,000 marriages performed!” Kirsten Nichols, whose October wedding was performed by her husband’s cousin, asked a co-worker who is an ordained

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JOURNAL GAZETTTE / TIMES-COURIER

Do vintage because you love it, not to cut corners By: SAMANTHA CRITCHELL AP Fashion Writer NEW YORK (AP) There’s something romantic about the idea of a vintage wedding dress, with the wonderful stories it could tell. Maybe there’d be some delicate lace, too, or exquisite siren-worthy satin. Reality, though, isn’t always so pretty. Some vintage dresses are those perfect gowns you dream of, says Mark Ingram, CEO and creative director of Manhattan’s Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier, but others are too costume-y, too dated or, more likely, simply illfitting. “You can reach back to some vintage eras and look as contemporary as buying a new dress. But,” he says, “you have to consider your figure first and foremost. If the dress isn’t flattering to your figure type, just don’t go down the road.” Cameron Silver, owner of the Los Angeles couture vintage shop Decades, suggests these questions to ask — frankly — of yourself: Do you need to wear a bra? Do you have a boyish figure? An hourglass shape?What about your hips? All of these, he says, are factors in buying any wedding gown, but particularly those meant to fit women of previous generations. Silver, a resource for Hollywood red-carpet looks, also warns that finding a pristine white vintage dress can be hard, and that a good vintage dress, if it’s not an heirloom, can be more expensive than you’d think. Even with your grandmother’s dress, there could be pricey alterations. “Don’t do this because you think it’s the easy way out, or that it’ll be cheaper,” adds Ingram. “You have to want it — you have to want to have this look.” But if you do find that ideal gown from yesteryear, Silver says, it’s a magical moment. He once sold a full Chantilly lace wedding gown by Chanel. “It was such a thrill,” he says.

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There was a more recent Olivier Theyskens for Rochas gown that practically brought tears to his eyes. (If you find a keeper, be ready to buy it right away — no wavering — because there’s not another one stuck in some inventory closet.) If you’re partial to embroidery, look at gowns from the 1920s-’30s, while sultry, satin gowns come out of the ‘40s. Women with a full bust might look to the curvier ‘50s silhouette, says Ingram, WE TV’s “gown guru,” while mini-dresses of the ‘60s are cool, yet hard to pull off unless the event is casual or the bride prides herself an individualist. Silver says that’s usually the case with those who wear vintage. “This bride doesn’t want to look like everyone else.” Still, you can hit contemporary fashion trends. Something from the ‘70s, a little bohemian but sexy, too, is probably the hippest look going. The period to stay away from is, no surprise, the ‘80s, with its oversize pouffy shoulders and tapered sleeves. “Right now, the ‘80s looks so dated. Yes, 20-30 years back is ‘vintage,’ but if you’re going back, that’s a bad period to dip into. No ‘Dynasty,’ not even Princess Diana,” Ingram says. “There could be a big trend back to the ‘80s if Kate (Middleton) wore it, but I can’t imagine that. It’s too big. The proportion was too big, and it wouldn’t look modern now.” A bride’s goal often is a timeless look, since the photos will

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fitted, maybe give it a fuller skirt,” Shettel says. He also borrows from the past for new gowns. The tightbodice, tea-length ballgown, which “Mad Men” helped bring back in style, seems very fresh, Shettel says, and the asymmetrical neckline remains popular. Ingram says the best of both

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expanding its collections of induction-suitable pots and pans. The current assortment includes something to satisfy every single style preference, cooking habit and price point. At the premium level, Anolon Nouvelle Copper features a patented design that includes a unique base of magnetic stainless steel with an inner core of fast-heating aluminum and highly responsive copper for optimum control and cooking results. Unbeatable for versatility and convenience, Infinite Circulon is hard-anodized nonstick cookware that is both dishwashersafe and induction-ready. Prostyle home cooks who want to use clad metal cookware can choose between KitchenAid Architect Clad, Anolon Chef Clad or Anolon Ultra Clad, three collections that are also dishwasher-safe. Other inductionready and dishwasher-safe

options at moderate price points include the newly launched KitchenAid Gourmet Stainless Steel. It’s hard to find bakeware that will match nicely with my cookware collection. Truth – "It is possible to have a cohesive look in your kitchen with bakeware that beautifully complements the design of your cookware," says Rassin. For couples who have registered for Anolon Advanced or Anolon Advanced Bronze Cookware, Rassin points to the availability of similarly styled bakeware collections with silicone grips on side rims in matching hues. Both Anolon Advanced Bakeware with Silicone Grips and Anolon Bronze Bakeware with Silicone Grips are made of heavy weight carbon steel that heats up quickly and evenly, and resists bending and warping. The durable nonstick finish on both the inside and outside of each piece

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makes clean up a snap, and maintains the "good as new" look of the bakeware for longer. Bakeware sets are not readily available for bridal registries and wedding gifts. Truth – While it’s true that the majority of bakeware products are sold in open stock, there is a growing assortment of conveniently packaged, gift-ready sets. In honor of its 25th anniversary, Circulon offers two different 3-Piece Bakeware Sets at the special anniversary price of $25.00. One of the anniversary sets combines two 10x15inch cookie pans with a cooling rack, and the other one pairs two round 9-inch cake pans and a cooling rack. For a more complete set, brides can register for the Anolon Bronze Bakeware’s 5-Piece Set, which includes two 9-inch round cake pans, the 9x9inch cake pan, the 14x16-inch cookie sheet, and a generously sized cooling rack. Nonstick bakeware will overbrown delicate baked goods. Truth – Dark colored nonstick bakeware does have a tendency to over-brown delicate sweets, such as cookies. You can adjust the oven to a lower temperature, or avoid the problem entirely by registering for nonstick cookware featuring lighter hues to slow down the absorption of heat in the oven. As its name implies, Anolon Bronze Bakeware with Silicone Grips

Left to right: KitchenAid Architect 10-Piece Set; Anolon Advanced Bronze 4.5 Quart Tapered Stockpot; Circulon 25th Anniversary Bakeware Set; Anolon Nouvelle Copper 4-Quart Casserole; Anolon Advanced 10-Piece Set; Anolon Ultra Clad 4-Quart Dutch Oven

has a lighter bronze nonstick finish on both the inside and outside to prevent over-browning. An even lighter choice is Circulon Bakeware with a silver colored, durable nonstick inside and out. I need to register for separate sets of tools for cooking and serving.

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Truth – Functional kitchen tools can be well designed for dual cooking and serving purposes. According to Rassin, "Brides assume that a kitchen tool will be too utilitarian-looking to work in the dining room. However, there are tools pretty enough for double-duty, which is better for budgeting and convenience." Anolon, for example, provides elegantly styled and durable kitchen tools that echo the design of cookware collections, and make a pleasing pres-

See cookware page 15

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hopefully last a lifetime, but each era still has its signature, says Michael Shettel, designer of bridal brand Alfred Angelo. You might be best off with a classic silhouette, while adjusting embellishments and details to current tastes, he suggests. Wedding-gown trends don’t swing as quickly as ready-towear fashion, he explains: Of course, white always dominates the market and the overall vibe is fancy, but when you line them up, you’ll see differences in the size and types of pearls and beads, changes in popular lace patterns, hemlines going up and down. “You want to make it your own, while still honoring whoever wore a vintage dress before. ... Maybe you’d like to make it a little more low-cut, a little more

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This Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010 photo shows lace and beading contribute to the vintage look of this Monique Lhuillier wedding dress at Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier in New York. Some brides like the idea of a vintage or vintage-inspired wedding gown. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

worlds might be vintage or vintage-inspired accessories on a new dress. “Add a fur piece — a shrug or a stole — and it looks vintage, even if it’s new, which probably means a better fit. The look could be 1910 or 2010,” he says. He also likes to add a beaded belt or sash, which also can give the illusion of a small waist, and carries that retro feel. There’s no reason, though, to go back in time for your beauty routine. “If you do a vintage wedding dress, your accessories, hair and makeup have to be incredibly modern,” says Decades’ Silver. “You don’t want to be the bride of Frankenstein. If the dress looks ‘period,’ you have to play against it in your styling — unless you have a Renaissance theme, and who does that?”

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Choosing cookware with confidence

Lighting can transform a wedding space

Dispelling misconceptions for perfect match at bridal registries

By: DIANA MARSZALEK For The Associated Press

(MS) – Getting married can be a full time job, especially when it comes to deciding what to register for wedding gifts. A seemingly endless array of kitchen products for cooking and entertaining can entice, but also overwhelm bridal couples. To gain confidence in choosing cookware and bakeware, two popular categories for bridal gift registries, Meyer Corporation, U.S. – the largest cookware company in the nation – clarifies misconceptions that can get in the way of making a perfect match. Stainless steel cookware is stronger than hard-anodized aluminum cookware. Truth – Stainless steel is stronger than plain aluminum. However, the process of anodizing the aluminum changes the molecular structure of the metal and makes it twice as strong as stainless steel. As a result, hardanodized aluminum cookware offers two key benefits: first, durability; and secondly, because aluminum is a superior conductor of heat, fast and even heating with no hot spots to mar cooking results. Look for a heavy-gauge collection for top cooking results and years of enjoyment. Anolon Advanced and Anolon Advanced Bronze are two gourmet choices that are top choices at bridal registries, according to Janice Rassin, National Bridal Director at Meyer Corporation, U.S. I like the convenience of nonstick cookware, but I can’t use it in the oven. Truth – Many people mistakenly believe that nonstick cookware is designed only for stovetop use, when in fact there are numerous quality collections that are oven-safe upwards to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Elegantly crafted Anolon Nouvelle Copper and Infinite Circulon are two gourmet nonstick collections with stainless steel handles and lids that are oven-safe to 500 degrees. Nonstick cookware with

handles made of a combination of stainless steel and silicone, such as Anolon Advanced and Circulon Contempo, are oven safe to 400 degrees. The addition of silicone provides a comfortable and secure grip. I love the performance of clad metal cookware, but it’s so heavy. Truth – Pro-style clad cookware is constructed with a core of fast-heating aluminum or copper sandwiched between two layers of gleaming stainless steel. As a result, the pans are typically heavier and can be difficult to manage. Fortunately for the avid cook, there are now two innovatively designed collections that are significantly lighter and more agile without compromising on cooking results. Anolon Ultra Clad and KitchenAid Architect Clad are premium clad collections with an inner core of thick aluminum permanently bonded to stainless steel on the inside and outside. To make the pans lighter, a portion of the exterior stainless steel has been stripped away and replaced with a decorative finish – a classic black band for Anolon Ultra Clad, and an elegant taupe shade, called "coco metallic," for KitchenAid Architect Clad. Both

collections are easier to handle, and quite stylish, too. Cookware with metal handles will get hot during stovetop use. Truth – Solid metal handles do have a tendency to retain heat and can make handling on the stovetop a safety issue. Look for gourmet cookware designed with hollow cast stainless steel handles, which deter heat from traveling from the pan to the handle to keep them cool to the touch. Options include Anolon Nouvelle Copper and Infinite Circulon. Other styles of handles combine hollow cast stainless steel with silicone for additional heat resistance as well as a softer touch to enhance comfort. Among the most popular collections with silicone handles are Anolon Advanced and Anolon Advanced Bronze with their signature SureGrip handles. Nonstick cookware is usually grey or black, and I want more color in my kitchen. Truth – Fashionable gourmet nonstick collections that pop with color include top-registry choice Anolon Advanced Bronze, and the newly launched Circulon Elite Platinum. Both collections are crafted from heavy

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looking great. "Bridal couples are more sophisticated than ever, and enjoy having stylish color choices in cookware that not only adds interest to their kitchen decor, but allows them the timesaving benefits of oven to table presentation," says Rassin. It’s difficult to find pots and pans suitable for induction burners. Truth – For the forwardthinking cook who wants to use today’s state-of-the-art, energyefficient induction burners, options in induction-suitable magnetic cookware are getting brighter. Meyer Corporation, U.S. is keeping up with this new and emerging kitchen trend by

See cookware page 13

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You’d be hard pressed to find a bride who doesn’t make flowers, centerpieces and tablecloths a priority when it comes to creating a certain mood for the wedding. But talk to wedding lighting designer Bentley Meeker — whose clients have included Chelsea Clinton and Catherine Zeta Jones — and he’ll tell you that simple tricks, such as changing the color of light bulbs, can create the desired ambiance more effectively then roses and fancy tablecloths ever could. “Wedding lighting is really about what people are always trying to do with their weddings, which is to create a certain vibe and atmosphere,” the New York City lighting pro said. “Say you’re going to do a wedding in your office, and you bring in flowers and the tables and you still have fluorescent lighting,” he said. “It will look like your office decorated for a wedding. “But if I came in and lit the office and didn’t do any other decorations, we would have transformed that space.” Diann Valentine, a Los Angeles wedding designer and expert on the cable station Wedding Central, agreed that lighting

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using pink and amber light bulbs, though he warns that those colors must be used cautiously (“There is ugly amber”). Dimmed incandescent light is another of his favorites. Particularly in closed rooms, he said, use lighting that’s appropriate for the setting—fixtures that can be absorbed into, rather than take over, the larger setting. “It has to look beautiful so when the guests walk in they lose their breath,” Meeker said. Make sure light isn’t so glaring—or dark—that it distorts or distracts from the wedding party. And choose soft, flattering colors to create a serene atmosphere, particularly by quelling strong lights. “Lighting can change so much that people really feel good about themselves,” Meeker said. Meeker sometimes works with crews 120 strong, and charges anywhere from $4,000 to $500,000 to custom light a wedding. But there is plenty that brides and wedding planners with more limited resources can do quite simply, he said. One cost-free suggestion: Dim the lights. “If you want to transform a space, you put everything on dimmers,” he said. Meeker says he dims lights somewhat darker than you’d expect (“Your eye adjusts”); whether you can see your shoes and laces clearly is a good barometer or whether you’ve hit it right. Other wise advice: “Ask your mother or mother-in-law-to-be, and if it’s not too dark for her, there’s your atmosphere.” Meeker also suggests this fairly inexpensive trick: Use small spotlights (about $30 each, he said) to highlight architectural or decorative features around the wedding space.

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gauge, hard-anodized aluminum for excellent heat conductivity and durability. Anolon Advanced Bronze gets its warm bronze tone from colored bronze nonstick on both the inside and outside of the pan. The silicone enhanced handles and lids are also designed in bronze to match. Circulon Elite Platinum is similarly styled with a stunning platinum silver colored nonstick on the exterior, and matching platinum colored silicone and stainless steel handles and lids. Besides adding a lovely touch to kitchen decors, and making it possible to bring the cookware straight from the oven to the table, the nonstick finish on the outside of the pans helps to keep the cookware stain-free and

should top brides’ decorating priority lists because it “allows us to program the mood of an event.” That might mean changing the intensity of light throughout a wedding—dimmer for cocktails, brighter for dinner, for example—or using it to completely change the feel of a room. Rainer Flor, who married wife Candice last month at singer Gloria Estefan’s Costa d’Este in Vero Beach, Fla., said lighting effects enhanced the “Miami chic” atmosphere they were looking for. With floor lights and strategically placed LED lights, he said, the room, right off the beach, “looked almost like an aquarium.” Central Florida wedding planner Karry Castillo, who helped design the Flors’ wedding, said effects can range from simple spotlights on particular room features or decorations, to lighting motifs and patterns on walls, floors and ceilings. In addition, lighting effects can be relatively inexpensive, anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands, depending on complexity. “In many ways, lighting not only enhances the elements you have in place, but it can also give you a lot more bang for the dollar too,” Castillo said. Meeker is particularly fond of

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This undated photo courtesy of wedding lighting designer Bentley Meeker shows lighting designed by Meeker at the wedding of Melissa Rivers at New York’s Plaza Hotel. “Wedding lighting is really about what people are always trying to do with their weddings, which is to create a certain vibe and atmosphere,” the New York City lighting pro said. (AP Photo/Bentley Meeker)

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JANUARY 2011 — 11

Invite only – pare down your wedding guest list

Wedding day transportation options abound

Couples are faced with many decisions when planning a wedding. One often overlooked decision concerns the guest list. Ideally, couples would love to invite all their friends and family to share in their special day. Realistically, however, budget often dictates just how many guests a couple can invite. That reality has led to a disagreement or two over the years, as both the bride-to-be and her future husband make their case for who makes the cut. To help avoid such disagreements, couples should consider the following tips when paring down their guest list. • Make a master list as early as possible. It’s impossible to pare down a guest list if there’s no list to begin with. Once the planning process begins, couples should separately write down all the guests they would like to invite. Once each is finished with their list, the hard work of paring that list down can begin. • Consider who’s footing the bill. If Mom and Dad are paying for the wedding, then their suggestions for the guest list should carry most of the weight. Weddings are very expensive, and if Mom and Dad are paying they should have a significant say who will in attendance. The same principle can be applied if the couple is paying for their own wedding. If the costs are being split down the middle, then both the groom- and brideto-be should be allowed to invite the same number of guests. • Ask that kids stay home. Many couples request that their guests leave the kids at home.

Couples have many decisions to make regarding their wedding ceremony and reception. One of those decisions conerns transportation to and from the special event. There are many options in wedding transportation. The more traditional options include renting a car or limousine. The Bridal Association of America reports that the average couples spends $400 to $500 for an automotive rental. However, prices may vary depending on geography and the type of vehicle rented. Wedding transportation is perhaps something grooms-to-be can get excited about. After all, we’re talking about cars – some fancy, some large, and many decked out with different features. Plus, it’s traditionally the responsibility of the groom to arrange transportation to and from the ceremony, reception and the hotel or honeymoon destination. Grooms responsible for arranging transportation can consider the following options. • Limousine: A limo is one of the most traditional methods of transport on a couple’s wedding day. A limousine’s size enables them to carry the bridal party in its entirety. Because the bride and groom often do not see each other before the ceremony, two limos may be rented, one larger for the bridal party, and one smaller for the bride and her parents, depending on personal preference. • Classic car: Sports car enthusiasts may want to make an entrance – and exit – behind the wheel of a sporty vehicle. These can include a high-end Ferrari or an Aston Martin. Because of their high purchase price, sports car rentals may carry a premium. • Stretch SUV: The traditional limo has morphed into the stretch SUV of popular models, including the Cadillac Escalade, Ford Expedition or even a stretch Hummer. Because of their popularity, these rentals may be snatched up quickly. Be sure to book well in advance of

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While nieces and nephews might make the cut, it’s perfectly acceptable for couples to state their preference that children not attend. This can be noted on the invitation, addressing friends as “Mr. John Doe and guest” or “Mr. and Mrs. John Doe.” Guests should take the hint, but if any RSVPs with their kids, be sure to call them immediately and explain the situation. Friends

and family should understand the preference, particularly in the current economic climate. • It’s not a reunion. Couples are often tempted to invite longlost friends to their wedding. But cost-conscious couples must recognize their wedding is not a reunion. If the goal is to keep the guest list under control, only invite close friends and family members who have kept in touch

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cutting back in other areas. Before signing any contracts, closely examine each one for items that can be removed without drastically changing the ceremony and celebration. Chances are there are savings to be had, and they might make the difference between inviting and not inviting another friend or family member.

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with over the years. • Stick to your guns. Couples vary greatly with what they want out of their wedding. Some want a grandiose affair they can share with their whole family and all of their friends. Other couples want a more laid-back affair with only those closest to them in attendance. Whatever their preference, couples should remain firm and not feel guilty no matter how many guests they choose to invite or not invite. • Cut back in other areas. If it’s proving simply impossible to agree on a reduced guest list, consider inviting everyone and

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the big day. • Party Bus: Many couples are leaning toward a party bus rental, which may be a single- or double-decker bus that can fit scores of people inside. These are particularly attractive to couples with a very large bridal party, or those who hope to begin the celebration even before reaching the reception hall. • Horse-drawn carriage: Some couples truly want the fairytale feel on their wedding day. A horse-drawn carriage can evoke feelings of a Cinderellatype day. The carriage tends to be best suited to warm weather. For winter weddings, a horsedrawn sleigh might make a better alternative. • Motorcycle: Exciting couples may want to ride off into the sunset on the back of a roadster or sports bike. • Horses: Horses can haul more than just a carriage. A bride and groom atop a handsome steed can make for a memorable wedding transportation option and equally memorable photos. • Boat: Individuals getting married by the sea or another body of water may want to consider attending the festivities via boat, be it a large vessel or a more intimate canoe or rowboat. Wedding day transportation varies depending on each couple’s preference. Here are some

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WEDDING PLANNER

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JANUARY 2011 — 7

Photographer 411 – choose the right one for you

Last-minute change of place? Don’t panic

By: SUSAN M. GANO-YOUNG

By: ALICIA CHANG For The Associated Press

In the selection of your wedding photographer, you are often at the mercy of a super-salesperson and/or your own intuition. Price is often the main determining factor, even though there is never a second chance to retake poor quality photos. The following questions and suggestions will help select the photographer who is right for you. Get Recommendations The best place to start is to have a recommendation from someone whose opinion you trust. If the photographer has more than one recommendation, that is even better... especially if the same photographer’s name comes from different sources. Call the Photographer First, check to see if he/she is available on your wedding date. If he/she is, get an estimate of cost and ask for a face-to-face meeting to look at his/her portfolio. During the Meeting At the meeting, the first assess-

ment you should make is whether you feel comfortable in the presence of the photographer. If you are going to spend a good part of the most important day of your life with this person, it should be someone with whom you know you will enjoy sharing that time. Then, take a look at some of the photographer’s work. If you see a picture, or a series of pictures, that you really like, you should ask: 1. Who are these people? 2. Did you, personally, take these photographs? 3. May I call these people for a personal reference? After all, it is one thing to see some beautiful pictures, but it is equally important to find out if the bride and groom enjoyed working with this photographer. It is also a way of knowing that the photographs you are being shown were actually made by the person you are speaking to. You want to be sure that the work you are admiring was made by the photographer who will be at your wedding. Another result of this meeting could be to allow you and your

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Additional Questions Too often important details that you had never before considered come back to haunt you later. Take this list of questions with you to ask during your initial meeting. 1. Do you use film, digital or a combination of both? 2. Do you have a suggested list of photos to take? Can we add to it? 3. How will you be showing me the pictures for selection? 4. Will you be helping me in the selection of the final pictures? 5. How can people who live out of town be accommodated with ordering, paying and delivering? 6. What are the costs of the various styles of coverage? Are there different degrees of coverage? What is included in each? 7. How much for the extras? Duplicates? If you are ordering an album, ask to see the specific style. Are alternate choices available? At an extra cost? 8. What kind of time frame are you looking at for preparing the pictures for my selection? How much time do I have to make up my mind as to which pictures I want and how many? 9. Do you have any particular philosophy about your approach to photographing weddings?

10. What would you plan to do at my wedding that would make my wedding photographs unique and personal to me? 11. How can I be certain that you will be taking the pictures? 12. With whom will I be dealing with after the wedding? 13. What is your payment policy? Do you give any guarantees on your services and photographs? Information You Should Have for the Photographer 1. If the ceremony is indoors, is flash photography allowed? 2. Who will the contact person be the day of the wedding? (Remember, you’ll be busy that day and unable to gather people for photos.) 3. What type of wedding are you having (formal, casual, themed, etc.)? 4. What type of photos do you want taken (formal, casual, etc.)? Make a Commitment! By now, you have probably spent a good deal of time with

the photographer. His/her time is money, the same as yours. Realize that in the long run someone has to pay for the hours each photographer spends as a consultant. Keep his/her (and your) expenses to a minimum by going to the meeting with the photographer prepared to leave a deposit to confirm the date. Before you do, however, you may want to assure yourself of a few more last-minute details. Find out the photographer’s policy if the date of your wedding is changed and he/she is not available on the alternate date. Find out, too, what the policy is for an unknown cancellation of the date. At this stage, if you have really taken the time to get into some of the above questions, you have to know whether this photographer is for you. If so, then make the commitment and rest assured that this is undoubtedly one of the best and most intelligent decisions you have made in planning your wedding!

LUCIA’S BRIDAL

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Exceptional Receptions Let us ensure your wedding day celebration is everything you dreamed it would be. To schedule a complimentary consultation with our event coordinator, please call Mae at 217-234-4855.

Hunan Restaurant

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For Rehearsal Dinners

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Newlywed Special $10.00 OFF Any Upholstery or Carpet Cleaning Call Patty Today! Offer Expires 2/28/11

Charleston

Effingham

520 W. Lincoln Ave.

115 W. Banker St.

217-348-1835

photographer to begin a one-onone relationship. In that way, neither of you would be strangers to each other on the day of the wedding, and you will be more relaxed in front of the camera.

217-342-3103

The Floor Show Inc.

235-3161 • 345-3309 • 342-2740 • 1-800-926-1082

LOS ANGELES (AP)—Jennifer Cassista expected that her 18-month journey to the altar would include a few stumbles. A mixed-up order, perhaps. An incorrect size. A meltdown or two. She didn’t count on having to book a new venue less than three months before her May nuptials because her first choice closed down. Of all the troubles that can arise during wedding planning, having the location fall through at the last minute is perhaps the most trying. Couples tend to decide early where to tie the knot, and every other detail is linked to that. When a seemingly perfect spot unexpectedly evaporates before the big day, it sets off a domino effect. Real-life stories of desperate brides abound on Internet message boards and vendor blogs. With many world economies weakened in the last few years, it’s not uncommon for restaurants or event spaces to go out of

business, leaving couples in the lurch. Pre-wedding hurdles usually can be fixed in time, said Tampa, Fla., wedding planner Lauren Grove, who keeps the “Every Last Detail” blog. For couples who find themselves venue-less before the big day, the priority should be fighting to get the deposit back. Those who can’t need to rethink their budget when searching for a plan B venue, Grove said. “Hopefully the losses wouldn’t be too severe, and they would be able to reschedule and have their dream wedding day,” she said. Luck and resourcefulness saved the day for Cassista and her fiance, Tom Bryan. They had thought they had found their dream ceremony site when they booked a resort lodge not far from where they lived in Ontario, Canada, in March 2009. During a walk-through, the wedding coordinator gushed about an upcoming renovation to erect a new vow-exchange site down by some rapids, complete with a

Gifts, Decor & a Little Bit More!

Let us design the wedding of your dreams. Or, for the do-it-yourselfer, purchase flowers and supplies from us. Check out our large line of rentals for your ceremony and reception! Wreaths • Baskets • Candles • Quilts Flowers for all occasions • Vases • Arches Candelabras • Linens • Unity Candles Tuxedo Retals • and more!

This May 29, 2010 photo courtesy of Stacey Wight shows Jennifer Cassista and Tom Bryan, center, as they celebrate with members of their wedding party during their wedding at the Golden Beach Resort on the south shore of Rice Lake, east of Toronto. Of all the troubles that can arise during wedding planning, having the location fall through at the last minute is perhaps the most trying. Couples tend to decide early where to tie the knot, and every other detail is linked to that. (AP Photo/Stacey Wight)

lush garden and pew-style seating. Though the couple had to use their imagination, they trusted the resort to deliver. Things became suspicious when no one returned Bryan’s calls or e-mails when he asked for updates on the project. This past spring, he received a call from a resort front desk receptionist saying the place had gone bankrupt. Cassista and Bryan started dialing other venues on their short list. All were booked on their wedding date, May 29. “We were in desperation mode. It was like, ‘Oh my God, we have to do this all over again,’” Bryan said. Bryan’s father, who sells computer touchscreens to restau-

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rants, suggested Golden Beach Resort on the south shore of Rice Lake, east of Toronto. Cassista and Bryan weren’t impressed by the space’s website, but in desperation decided to check it out in person. Not only were the grounds better than the first place, but the dance floor was larger. An added bonus was that it was available the day they wanted, and was cheaper than the previous resort too. With the new venue locked in, the couple spent the next several weeks redoing invitations and notifying other vendors. Looking back, Cassista said, she was willing to change the wedding date if they didn’t find a backup in time.

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“You just need to relax and roll with the punches. Things will happen in every bride’s planning,” she said. “Be levelheaded and try to figure it out.” Self-described foodies Sarina Chhay and Brian Harnett worked their connections to turn a pre-wedding near-disaster in their favor. The couple were set on holding their reception at Great Bay restaurant, a seafood restaurant close to Fenway Park in Boston. But the economy had other plans. After six years in business, the restaurant was shuttered at the end of May 2009, three months before their wedding. They scurried to find a replacement, calling more than 20 places and visiting half a dozen, with zero luck. “There was a feeling of helplessness,” Chhay said. “I was losing sleep.” Harnett had an idea. As a last resort, he reached out to the restaurant’s events manager, who promised to check with the other sister restaurants to see if they could host their wedding. Fortunately, Radius, known for modern French cuisine, was available. The couple went with it since it was where they shared their first fine dining experience. In September, they celebrated their one-year anniversary there too, the chaos all but a memory. “It goes to show that you can plan a wedding in two months,” Harnett said. Both Cassista and Bryan, and Chhay and Harnett managed to get their money returned. Christina and Christoph Schumacher had a laundry list of things go wrong before they said their “I dos” in June 2008. Many couples worry about the weather not cooperating, but for the Schumachers Mother Nature unleashed a flood a week before their wedding in a small Indiana town, triggering a state of emergency. The state park where they planned to have their wedding was shut down because of lack of water, and it was unclear whether it would reopen in time. With no backup plan, the couple contacted several politicians and explained the situation. In the end, they were able to use a log cabin at the park for their ceremony, but the guest lodgings were off-limits. After saving the venue, they scrambled to find motel rooms for out-of-town guests. It rained on and off the day of the wedding, but the Schumachers managed to have their first dance and cake-cutting outside.


WEDDING PLANNER

8 — JANUARY 2011

JOURNAL GAZETTTE / TIMES-COURIER

WEDDING PLANNER

JOURNAL GAZETTE / TIMES-COURIER

JANUARY 2011 — 9

Financial tips for cost-conscious couples

Responsibilities of the groomsmen Gift your groomsmen for under $50

In a recent survey released by Visa Inc., 88 percent of couples believed they overspent on some aspect of their wedding. Over the years, weddings have become a major financial commitment, in many instances ensuring a couple’s first task as man and wife will be paying off the mountain of bills they accrued to achieved their dream wedding. In today’s economic climate, the cost of weddings is even tougher to swallow, as both the domestic and global economy remains difficult to predict. Economic uncertainty has left many young couples fearful of making a big financial commitment to their weddings. But it’s still possible for couples to make the most of their wedding without landing themselves in heavy debt once the honeymoon is over and the bills must be paid. • Limit beverage availability. In the Visa survey, respondents felt they overspent more on food, drink and cake than any other aspect of their wedding. The bar tab can quickly add up at the end of the night, but couples can limit the bar expense by making on a few different types of drinks available. Offer just two or three

Happy couples choose friends and family members to serve as attendants in their weddings. Bridesmaids and groomsmen each have different responsibilities in the wedding. In ancient times, groomsmen essentially served as the groom’s bodyguards, ensuring that he made it safely to the altar and to his future wife. Today, the groomsmen’s roles are not based on saving life and limb. Today’s groomsmen serve as assistants to the groom and help plan the bachelor party. They also usher guests down the aisle at the ceremony. They also may have a few other responsibilities, depending on what the couple wants of their assistants.

Choosing less extravagant floral arrangements is one way couples can save money on wedding expenses.

drink options instead of a full bar. Couples can also consider a cash bar for mixed drinks to help lower the bar tab by the end of the night. • Switch fromSaturday. Saturday weddings are not only the most popular, but also the most expensive. Couples with some flexibility can save money by moving their wedding to a Friday or Sunday. Couples who

move their weddings to Friday often find they get to spend more time with their friends and families the following day, as guests are more inclined to stay in town an extra day than they are on Sunday afternoons following a wedding. • Forgo a traditional honeymoon. Seventeen percent of male respondents to the Visa survey felt they overspent on their honeymoon. While it’s certainly nice to fly off to the Caribbean and spend your first week as a married couple soaking up some sun, a more local getaway for a couple of days can be just as relaxing and save couples substantial amounts of money. Once the bills have been paid, couples can then enjoy a more traditional honeymoon, possibly in celebration of their first anniversary. • Limit the guest list. Inviting all friends and family members might be a nice gesture, but it’s also an expensive one. Costconscious couples can save a good deal of money by only inviting those friends and family members who are closest to them. • Order less extravagant floral arrangements. Floral arrangements for a wedding can

prove very expensive. But couples can trim those costs using more greenery in the floral displays and ordering less expensive, seasonal flowers. When discussing arrangements with the

florist, explain that the budget can only allow so much for flowers, and work together to find ways to add aesthetic appeal without breaking the bank.

Wedding affordable Fashions

ALL GOWNS UNDER $200! Stop in today, and see why we’re the best-kept secret in bridal fashion. What will you do with the money you save?

time weddings – should be as formal or as casual as the wedding itself. At afternoon weddings it may be acceptable to wear a tea-length gown or even a cocktail dress. Enhance beachside or casual affairs with less elaborate gowns. Formal second weddings should still feature a

gown that is formal in nature. A more mature bride may feel more comfortable wearing a well-tailored pantsuit rather than a gown. Again, the choice is up to the bride regarding what she wants to wear.

Wedding Gowns Bridesmaid Dresses • Mother of the Bride Fashions • Sizes 4 to 26 • Flower Girl Dresses • Accessories

We Offer Wedding Day Makeup Application with Makeup Artist

• •

Little Treasures

(217) 234-4277

Let Us Create The Best Look Possible, with a Spa Facial Before Your Big Day

Hair styled by Ashley at

Barb’s

Renee England, Owner 1608 Broadway • Mattoon, IL

During the Ceremony • Greet and seat guests at the ceremony in the appropriate rows or pews. • Stand near the groom during the ceremony. • Serve as escorts for the bridesmaids at the ceremony. • Cater to anyone’s needs and mingle with the guests afterward. Party Time • Ensure that the groom does not get too intoxicated. • Sit at the table of honor beside the rest of the bridal party. • Mingle with the guests. • Participate in all photos if asked. • Dance with their bridesmaid counterpart. • Help load the wedding gifts into the car afterward.

Wardrobe options for second-time brides Remarriage rates continue to increase, and many vendors are now catering specifically to couples entering second marriages. A bride getting married for the second or third time has just as many attire options as she did for her first wedding. Research indicates that more than half of all marriages end in divorce. The silver lining to that cloud is that 54 percent of divorced women remarry within 5 years, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Furthermore, 75 percent of divorced women remarry within 10 years. These statistics show that the need for bridal gowns for women entering a new marriage remains strong. When choosing a gown for a second wedding, brides-to-be can use their discretion. Gone is the stigma of wearing white. However, brides still may want to choose an alternative color to bright white to be more complementary to their skin tones. Offwhite, pale yellow and pale pink can be flattering shades. If second brides do choose to wear white, they may want to avoid a flat white color. Instead, they can opt to wear a shimmery shade of white and a gown with a little more pizzazz. The gown – just as with first-

Before the Wedding • Help pick out the tuxedos and show up for fittings. • Help plan and share the cost of the bachelor party. • Attend rehearsals for the ceremony and appear at the rehearsal dinner. • Pay for their own wedding attire or formal wear rentals. • Help unload cars with supplies if the couple is doing the decorating the wedding themselves. • Pay for their travel expenses and accommodation during the celebration. • Return formal wear for themselves and the groom. • Provide transportation for the couple to the airport or honeymoon destination if the best man is unavailable.

TJ’S ON HAIR

1000 Lakeland Blvd. Mattoon

235-1142 2509 Marshall Ave Mattoon, IL 217-235-5060

Formerly Rumorz Hair Studio Established in 2001 1516 Broadway, Mattoon (217) 235-6616 SPECIALIZING IN BRIDAL • Hairstyles and Updos • Make up • Spray Tanning (by appointment) Stylists: Natasha Wallace, Jennifer Johnson, Ashley Herbert

(MS) – When it comes to planning a wedding, grooms often take a backseat to their blushing brides. While men no longer serve a strictly spectator role when it comes to planning a wedding, much of the ins and outs of the wedding remain the bride’s domain. One area where men maintain complete control is gifting the groomsmen. A tradition that dates back decades if not centuries, gifting the groomsmen is the groom’s way of showing his appreciation to those frequently overlooked but trusted friends who stand by his side on his wedding day. "Groomsmen are often overlooked in a wedding party even though they play important roles," says Mark Walerstein, founding of GroomsOnline (www.groomsonline.com), an informational Web site offering tips, pointers and a host of unique gifts tailored to grooms with budgets big and small. Understandably, many of today’s grooms are working with budgets smaller than they might have been in years past. Fortunately, GroomsOnline.com boasts a bevy of gift ideas under $50, all of which will ensure lasting memories for years to come. Hit a Homerun Seemingly since the beginning of time, men have bonded over sports. Be it football, baseball,

Thanks to GroomsOnline, grooms can show their groomsmen how much they’re appreciated with thoughtful gifts that won’t break the bank.

hockey, or hoops, grooms can find sports-specific gifts their groomsmen will love. At GroomsOnline.com, grooms can peruse an extensive catalog of personalized sports gifts, complete with all your favorite MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA, and even NCAA teams. Be it a personalized locker room print, a stainless steel hip flask or a stadium fan framed print, grooms have a host of choices under $50 that won’t break the bank but groomsmen will be proud to display every time they turn on the big game.

YODER’S KITCHEN

Rent 5 Get One FREE Custom Embroider y Hats, Jackets, Shirts EIU Licensed 725 Windsor Rd. Charleston , IL 217•348•8279 Mon. - Fri. 8 - 5 p m Sat. & Evenings by Appointment www.winningstitch.com

Embrace Everyone’s Inner Executive For older grooms whose groomsmen are all established businessmen, perhaps no gift will be more proudly displayed than a personalized Executive Silver Plated Card Case and Pen Set. A gift no rising corporate baron can resist, this unique set is professionally engraved and can hold business cards and an executive pen. Executives on the rise will also love the personalized Executive Money Clip and Pen Knife Set, tailor made and personally engraved for the executive who’s always on the move. For more great gift ideas and tips on everything from wedding planning do’s and don’ts to valuable timesaving tips leading up to the wedding, visit www.GroomsOnline.com.

Banquets Small or Large Seating 20-300 Capacity

Mon-Sat 7:00 am - 8:00 pm

217-543-2714 • www.yoderskitchen.net 1195 E. COLUMBIA • ARTHUR

Destination Weddings & Honeymoons Tuxedo Rental

Stock the Bar No man cave is complete without a fully stocked bar, and grooms can help their groomsmen transform their basement into a Mecca of man caves with a carefully chosen gift that’s sure to prove a proud addition to their groomsmen’s home bar. Grooms can choose a personalized Pewter Medallion Glass Mug that says Best Man, Groomsmen or Usher and personalize each mug with up to two lines. For the groomsman who already has his own beer mug, consider a personalized 5-piece Decanter Set that’s ideal for the man who loves to entertain. What’s more, this uniquely personalized set makes a timeless reminder of the groom’s big day whenever he visits his groomsmen to share a drink and a few laughs.

Let Arrow Travel assist you in choosing a

romantic honeymoon location or the perfect wedding destination. 1505 18th Street Charleston, IL 217-348-0147 or 866-205-0381 kelli.arrow@vacation.com www.arrowtravel.vacation.com

920 W. Lincoln • Charleston 217-348-2830 • In the Worthington Inn Tues. & Wed. 7:00 am - 9:00 pm Thurs., Fri. & Sat. 7:00 am - 10:00 pm Sunday 7am - 3:00 pm Closed on Monday

Flavorful Food & Outstanding Service come together to make your special occasion all it should be & more! We can host onsite events for up to 300 and as many as you need offsite! Buffet or plated meals, Hors D’oeuvre stations or any format you conceive. Call 217.348.2830 to set up an appointment or tasting. View our complete menu and services at

www.twoflowers.net


WEDDING PLANNER

8 — JANUARY 2011

JOURNAL GAZETTTE / TIMES-COURIER

WEDDING PLANNER

JOURNAL GAZETTE / TIMES-COURIER

JANUARY 2011 — 9

Financial tips for cost-conscious couples

Responsibilities of the groomsmen Gift your groomsmen for under $50

In a recent survey released by Visa Inc., 88 percent of couples believed they overspent on some aspect of their wedding. Over the years, weddings have become a major financial commitment, in many instances ensuring a couple’s first task as man and wife will be paying off the mountain of bills they accrued to achieved their dream wedding. In today’s economic climate, the cost of weddings is even tougher to swallow, as both the domestic and global economy remains difficult to predict. Economic uncertainty has left many young couples fearful of making a big financial commitment to their weddings. But it’s still possible for couples to make the most of their wedding without landing themselves in heavy debt once the honeymoon is over and the bills must be paid. • Limit beverage availability. In the Visa survey, respondents felt they overspent more on food, drink and cake than any other aspect of their wedding. The bar tab can quickly add up at the end of the night, but couples can limit the bar expense by making on a few different types of drinks available. Offer just two or three

Happy couples choose friends and family members to serve as attendants in their weddings. Bridesmaids and groomsmen each have different responsibilities in the wedding. In ancient times, groomsmen essentially served as the groom’s bodyguards, ensuring that he made it safely to the altar and to his future wife. Today, the groomsmen’s roles are not based on saving life and limb. Today’s groomsmen serve as assistants to the groom and help plan the bachelor party. They also usher guests down the aisle at the ceremony. They also may have a few other responsibilities, depending on what the couple wants of their assistants.

Choosing less extravagant floral arrangements is one way couples can save money on wedding expenses.

drink options instead of a full bar. Couples can also consider a cash bar for mixed drinks to help lower the bar tab by the end of the night. • Switch fromSaturday. Saturday weddings are not only the most popular, but also the most expensive. Couples with some flexibility can save money by moving their wedding to a Friday or Sunday. Couples who

move their weddings to Friday often find they get to spend more time with their friends and families the following day, as guests are more inclined to stay in town an extra day than they are on Sunday afternoons following a wedding. • Forgo a traditional honeymoon. Seventeen percent of male respondents to the Visa survey felt they overspent on their honeymoon. While it’s certainly nice to fly off to the Caribbean and spend your first week as a married couple soaking up some sun, a more local getaway for a couple of days can be just as relaxing and save couples substantial amounts of money. Once the bills have been paid, couples can then enjoy a more traditional honeymoon, possibly in celebration of their first anniversary. • Limit the guest list. Inviting all friends and family members might be a nice gesture, but it’s also an expensive one. Costconscious couples can save a good deal of money by only inviting those friends and family members who are closest to them. • Order less extravagant floral arrangements. Floral arrangements for a wedding can

prove very expensive. But couples can trim those costs using more greenery in the floral displays and ordering less expensive, seasonal flowers. When discussing arrangements with the

florist, explain that the budget can only allow so much for flowers, and work together to find ways to add aesthetic appeal without breaking the bank.

Wedding affordable Fashions

ALL GOWNS UNDER $200! Stop in today, and see why we’re the best-kept secret in bridal fashion. What will you do with the money you save?

time weddings – should be as formal or as casual as the wedding itself. At afternoon weddings it may be acceptable to wear a tea-length gown or even a cocktail dress. Enhance beachside or casual affairs with less elaborate gowns. Formal second weddings should still feature a

gown that is formal in nature. A more mature bride may feel more comfortable wearing a well-tailored pantsuit rather than a gown. Again, the choice is up to the bride regarding what she wants to wear.

Wedding Gowns Bridesmaid Dresses • Mother of the Bride Fashions • Sizes 4 to 26 • Flower Girl Dresses • Accessories

We Offer Wedding Day Makeup Application with Makeup Artist

• •

Little Treasures

(217) 234-4277

Let Us Create The Best Look Possible, with a Spa Facial Before Your Big Day

Hair styled by Ashley at

Barb’s

Renee England, Owner 1608 Broadway • Mattoon, IL

During the Ceremony • Greet and seat guests at the ceremony in the appropriate rows or pews. • Stand near the groom during the ceremony. • Serve as escorts for the bridesmaids at the ceremony. • Cater to anyone’s needs and mingle with the guests afterward. Party Time • Ensure that the groom does not get too intoxicated. • Sit at the table of honor beside the rest of the bridal party. • Mingle with the guests. • Participate in all photos if asked. • Dance with their bridesmaid counterpart. • Help load the wedding gifts into the car afterward.

Wardrobe options for second-time brides Remarriage rates continue to increase, and many vendors are now catering specifically to couples entering second marriages. A bride getting married for the second or third time has just as many attire options as she did for her first wedding. Research indicates that more than half of all marriages end in divorce. The silver lining to that cloud is that 54 percent of divorced women remarry within 5 years, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Furthermore, 75 percent of divorced women remarry within 10 years. These statistics show that the need for bridal gowns for women entering a new marriage remains strong. When choosing a gown for a second wedding, brides-to-be can use their discretion. Gone is the stigma of wearing white. However, brides still may want to choose an alternative color to bright white to be more complementary to their skin tones. Offwhite, pale yellow and pale pink can be flattering shades. If second brides do choose to wear white, they may want to avoid a flat white color. Instead, they can opt to wear a shimmery shade of white and a gown with a little more pizzazz. The gown – just as with first-

Before the Wedding • Help pick out the tuxedos and show up for fittings. • Help plan and share the cost of the bachelor party. • Attend rehearsals for the ceremony and appear at the rehearsal dinner. • Pay for their own wedding attire or formal wear rentals. • Help unload cars with supplies if the couple is doing the decorating the wedding themselves. • Pay for their travel expenses and accommodation during the celebration. • Return formal wear for themselves and the groom. • Provide transportation for the couple to the airport or honeymoon destination if the best man is unavailable.

TJ’S ON HAIR

1000 Lakeland Blvd. Mattoon

235-1142 2509 Marshall Ave Mattoon, IL 217-235-5060

Formerly Rumorz Hair Studio Established in 2001 1516 Broadway, Mattoon (217) 235-6616 SPECIALIZING IN BRIDAL • Hairstyles and Updos • Make up • Spray Tanning (by appointment) Stylists: Natasha Wallace, Jennifer Johnson, Ashley Herbert

(MS) – When it comes to planning a wedding, grooms often take a backseat to their blushing brides. While men no longer serve a strictly spectator role when it comes to planning a wedding, much of the ins and outs of the wedding remain the bride’s domain. One area where men maintain complete control is gifting the groomsmen. A tradition that dates back decades if not centuries, gifting the groomsmen is the groom’s way of showing his appreciation to those frequently overlooked but trusted friends who stand by his side on his wedding day. "Groomsmen are often overlooked in a wedding party even though they play important roles," says Mark Walerstein, founding of GroomsOnline (www.groomsonline.com), an informational Web site offering tips, pointers and a host of unique gifts tailored to grooms with budgets big and small. Understandably, many of today’s grooms are working with budgets smaller than they might have been in years past. Fortunately, GroomsOnline.com boasts a bevy of gift ideas under $50, all of which will ensure lasting memories for years to come. Hit a Homerun Seemingly since the beginning of time, men have bonded over sports. Be it football, baseball,

Thanks to GroomsOnline, grooms can show their groomsmen how much they’re appreciated with thoughtful gifts that won’t break the bank.

hockey, or hoops, grooms can find sports-specific gifts their groomsmen will love. At GroomsOnline.com, grooms can peruse an extensive catalog of personalized sports gifts, complete with all your favorite MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA, and even NCAA teams. Be it a personalized locker room print, a stainless steel hip flask or a stadium fan framed print, grooms have a host of choices under $50 that won’t break the bank but groomsmen will be proud to display every time they turn on the big game.

YODER’S KITCHEN

Rent 5 Get One FREE Custom Embroider y Hats, Jackets, Shirts EIU Licensed 725 Windsor Rd. Charleston , IL 217•348•8279 Mon. - Fri. 8 - 5 p m Sat. & Evenings by Appointment www.winningstitch.com

Embrace Everyone’s Inner Executive For older grooms whose groomsmen are all established businessmen, perhaps no gift will be more proudly displayed than a personalized Executive Silver Plated Card Case and Pen Set. A gift no rising corporate baron can resist, this unique set is professionally engraved and can hold business cards and an executive pen. Executives on the rise will also love the personalized Executive Money Clip and Pen Knife Set, tailor made and personally engraved for the executive who’s always on the move. For more great gift ideas and tips on everything from wedding planning do’s and don’ts to valuable timesaving tips leading up to the wedding, visit www.GroomsOnline.com.

Banquets Small or Large Seating 20-300 Capacity

Mon-Sat 7:00 am - 8:00 pm

217-543-2714 • www.yoderskitchen.net 1195 E. COLUMBIA • ARTHUR

Destination Weddings & Honeymoons Tuxedo Rental

Stock the Bar No man cave is complete without a fully stocked bar, and grooms can help their groomsmen transform their basement into a Mecca of man caves with a carefully chosen gift that’s sure to prove a proud addition to their groomsmen’s home bar. Grooms can choose a personalized Pewter Medallion Glass Mug that says Best Man, Groomsmen or Usher and personalize each mug with up to two lines. For the groomsman who already has his own beer mug, consider a personalized 5-piece Decanter Set that’s ideal for the man who loves to entertain. What’s more, this uniquely personalized set makes a timeless reminder of the groom’s big day whenever he visits his groomsmen to share a drink and a few laughs.

Let Arrow Travel assist you in choosing a

romantic honeymoon location or the perfect wedding destination. 1505 18th Street Charleston, IL 217-348-0147 or 866-205-0381 kelli.arrow@vacation.com www.arrowtravel.vacation.com

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WEDDING PLANNER

10 — JANUARY 2011

JOURNAL GAZETTTE / TIMES-COURIER

WEDDING PLANNER

JOURNAL GAZETTE / TIMES-COURIER

JANUARY 2011 — 7

Photographer 411 – choose the right one for you

Last-minute change of place? Don’t panic

By: SUSAN M. GANO-YOUNG

By: ALICIA CHANG For The Associated Press

In the selection of your wedding photographer, you are often at the mercy of a super-salesperson and/or your own intuition. Price is often the main determining factor, even though there is never a second chance to retake poor quality photos. The following questions and suggestions will help select the photographer who is right for you. Get Recommendations The best place to start is to have a recommendation from someone whose opinion you trust. If the photographer has more than one recommendation, that is even better... especially if the same photographer’s name comes from different sources. Call the Photographer First, check to see if he/she is available on your wedding date. If he/she is, get an estimate of cost and ask for a face-to-face meeting to look at his/her portfolio. During the Meeting At the meeting, the first assess-

ment you should make is whether you feel comfortable in the presence of the photographer. If you are going to spend a good part of the most important day of your life with this person, it should be someone with whom you know you will enjoy sharing that time. Then, take a look at some of the photographer’s work. If you see a picture, or a series of pictures, that you really like, you should ask: 1. Who are these people? 2. Did you, personally, take these photographs? 3. May I call these people for a personal reference? After all, it is one thing to see some beautiful pictures, but it is equally important to find out if the bride and groom enjoyed working with this photographer. It is also a way of knowing that the photographs you are being shown were actually made by the person you are speaking to. You want to be sure that the work you are admiring was made by the photographer who will be at your wedding. Another result of this meeting could be to allow you and your

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Additional Questions Too often important details that you had never before considered come back to haunt you later. Take this list of questions with you to ask during your initial meeting. 1. Do you use film, digital or a combination of both? 2. Do you have a suggested list of photos to take? Can we add to it? 3. How will you be showing me the pictures for selection? 4. Will you be helping me in the selection of the final pictures? 5. How can people who live out of town be accommodated with ordering, paying and delivering? 6. What are the costs of the various styles of coverage? Are there different degrees of coverage? What is included in each? 7. How much for the extras? Duplicates? If you are ordering an album, ask to see the specific style. Are alternate choices available? At an extra cost? 8. What kind of time frame are you looking at for preparing the pictures for my selection? How much time do I have to make up my mind as to which pictures I want and how many? 9. Do you have any particular philosophy about your approach to photographing weddings?

10. What would you plan to do at my wedding that would make my wedding photographs unique and personal to me? 11. How can I be certain that you will be taking the pictures? 12. With whom will I be dealing with after the wedding? 13. What is your payment policy? Do you give any guarantees on your services and photographs? Information You Should Have for the Photographer 1. If the ceremony is indoors, is flash photography allowed? 2. Who will the contact person be the day of the wedding? (Remember, you’ll be busy that day and unable to gather people for photos.) 3. What type of wedding are you having (formal, casual, themed, etc.)? 4. What type of photos do you want taken (formal, casual, etc.)? Make a Commitment! By now, you have probably spent a good deal of time with

the photographer. His/her time is money, the same as yours. Realize that in the long run someone has to pay for the hours each photographer spends as a consultant. Keep his/her (and your) expenses to a minimum by going to the meeting with the photographer prepared to leave a deposit to confirm the date. Before you do, however, you may want to assure yourself of a few more last-minute details. Find out the photographer’s policy if the date of your wedding is changed and he/she is not available on the alternate date. Find out, too, what the policy is for an unknown cancellation of the date. At this stage, if you have really taken the time to get into some of the above questions, you have to know whether this photographer is for you. If so, then make the commitment and rest assured that this is undoubtedly one of the best and most intelligent decisions you have made in planning your wedding!

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LOS ANGELES (AP)—Jennifer Cassista expected that her 18-month journey to the altar would include a few stumbles. A mixed-up order, perhaps. An incorrect size. A meltdown or two. She didn’t count on having to book a new venue less than three months before her May nuptials because her first choice closed down. Of all the troubles that can arise during wedding planning, having the location fall through at the last minute is perhaps the most trying. Couples tend to decide early where to tie the knot, and every other detail is linked to that. When a seemingly perfect spot unexpectedly evaporates before the big day, it sets off a domino effect. Real-life stories of desperate brides abound on Internet message boards and vendor blogs. With many world economies weakened in the last few years, it’s not uncommon for restaurants or event spaces to go out of

business, leaving couples in the lurch. Pre-wedding hurdles usually can be fixed in time, said Tampa, Fla., wedding planner Lauren Grove, who keeps the “Every Last Detail” blog. For couples who find themselves venue-less before the big day, the priority should be fighting to get the deposit back. Those who can’t need to rethink their budget when searching for a plan B venue, Grove said. “Hopefully the losses wouldn’t be too severe, and they would be able to reschedule and have their dream wedding day,” she said. Luck and resourcefulness saved the day for Cassista and her fiance, Tom Bryan. They had thought they had found their dream ceremony site when they booked a resort lodge not far from where they lived in Ontario, Canada, in March 2009. During a walk-through, the wedding coordinator gushed about an upcoming renovation to erect a new vow-exchange site down by some rapids, complete with a

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This May 29, 2010 photo courtesy of Stacey Wight shows Jennifer Cassista and Tom Bryan, center, as they celebrate with members of their wedding party during their wedding at the Golden Beach Resort on the south shore of Rice Lake, east of Toronto. Of all the troubles that can arise during wedding planning, having the location fall through at the last minute is perhaps the most trying. Couples tend to decide early where to tie the knot, and every other detail is linked to that. (AP Photo/Stacey Wight)

lush garden and pew-style seating. Though the couple had to use their imagination, they trusted the resort to deliver. Things became suspicious when no one returned Bryan’s calls or e-mails when he asked for updates on the project. This past spring, he received a call from a resort front desk receptionist saying the place had gone bankrupt. Cassista and Bryan started dialing other venues on their short list. All were booked on their wedding date, May 29. “We were in desperation mode. It was like, ‘Oh my God, we have to do this all over again,’” Bryan said. Bryan’s father, who sells computer touchscreens to restau-

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rants, suggested Golden Beach Resort on the south shore of Rice Lake, east of Toronto. Cassista and Bryan weren’t impressed by the space’s website, but in desperation decided to check it out in person. Not only were the grounds better than the first place, but the dance floor was larger. An added bonus was that it was available the day they wanted, and was cheaper than the previous resort too. With the new venue locked in, the couple spent the next several weeks redoing invitations and notifying other vendors. Looking back, Cassista said, she was willing to change the wedding date if they didn’t find a backup in time.

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“You just need to relax and roll with the punches. Things will happen in every bride’s planning,” she said. “Be levelheaded and try to figure it out.” Self-described foodies Sarina Chhay and Brian Harnett worked their connections to turn a pre-wedding near-disaster in their favor. The couple were set on holding their reception at Great Bay restaurant, a seafood restaurant close to Fenway Park in Boston. But the economy had other plans. After six years in business, the restaurant was shuttered at the end of May 2009, three months before their wedding. They scurried to find a replacement, calling more than 20 places and visiting half a dozen, with zero luck. “There was a feeling of helplessness,” Chhay said. “I was losing sleep.” Harnett had an idea. As a last resort, he reached out to the restaurant’s events manager, who promised to check with the other sister restaurants to see if they could host their wedding. Fortunately, Radius, known for modern French cuisine, was available. The couple went with it since it was where they shared their first fine dining experience. In September, they celebrated their one-year anniversary there too, the chaos all but a memory. “It goes to show that you can plan a wedding in two months,” Harnett said. Both Cassista and Bryan, and Chhay and Harnett managed to get their money returned. Christina and Christoph Schumacher had a laundry list of things go wrong before they said their “I dos” in June 2008. Many couples worry about the weather not cooperating, but for the Schumachers Mother Nature unleashed a flood a week before their wedding in a small Indiana town, triggering a state of emergency. The state park where they planned to have their wedding was shut down because of lack of water, and it was unclear whether it would reopen in time. With no backup plan, the couple contacted several politicians and explained the situation. In the end, they were able to use a log cabin at the park for their ceremony, but the guest lodgings were off-limits. After saving the venue, they scrambled to find motel rooms for out-of-town guests. It rained on and off the day of the wedding, but the Schumachers managed to have their first dance and cake-cutting outside.


WEDDING PLANNER

6 — JANUARY 2011

JOURNAL GAZETTTE / TIMES-COURIER

WEDDING PLANNER

JOURNAL GAZETTE / TIMES-COURIER

JANUARY 2011 — 11

Invite only – pare down your wedding guest list

Wedding day transportation options abound

Couples are faced with many decisions when planning a wedding. One often overlooked decision concerns the guest list. Ideally, couples would love to invite all their friends and family to share in their special day. Realistically, however, budget often dictates just how many guests a couple can invite. That reality has led to a disagreement or two over the years, as both the bride-to-be and her future husband make their case for who makes the cut. To help avoid such disagreements, couples should consider the following tips when paring down their guest list. • Make a master list as early as possible. It’s impossible to pare down a guest list if there’s no list to begin with. Once the planning process begins, couples should separately write down all the guests they would like to invite. Once each is finished with their list, the hard work of paring that list down can begin. • Consider who’s footing the bill. If Mom and Dad are paying for the wedding, then their suggestions for the guest list should carry most of the weight. Weddings are very expensive, and if Mom and Dad are paying they should have a significant say who will in attendance. The same principle can be applied if the couple is paying for their own wedding. If the costs are being split down the middle, then both the groom- and brideto-be should be allowed to invite the same number of guests. • Ask that kids stay home. Many couples request that their guests leave the kids at home.

Couples have many decisions to make regarding their wedding ceremony and reception. One of those decisions conerns transportation to and from the special event. There are many options in wedding transportation. The more traditional options include renting a car or limousine. The Bridal Association of America reports that the average couples spends $400 to $500 for an automotive rental. However, prices may vary depending on geography and the type of vehicle rented. Wedding transportation is perhaps something grooms-to-be can get excited about. After all, we’re talking about cars – some fancy, some large, and many decked out with different features. Plus, it’s traditionally the responsibility of the groom to arrange transportation to and from the ceremony, reception and the hotel or honeymoon destination. Grooms responsible for arranging transportation can consider the following options. • Limousine: A limo is one of the most traditional methods of transport on a couple’s wedding day. A limousine’s size enables them to carry the bridal party in its entirety. Because the bride and groom often do not see each other before the ceremony, two limos may be rented, one larger for the bridal party, and one smaller for the bride and her parents, depending on personal preference. • Classic car: Sports car enthusiasts may want to make an entrance – and exit – behind the wheel of a sporty vehicle. These can include a high-end Ferrari or an Aston Martin. Because of their high purchase price, sports car rentals may carry a premium. • Stretch SUV: The traditional limo has morphed into the stretch SUV of popular models, including the Cadillac Escalade, Ford Expedition or even a stretch Hummer. Because of their popularity, these rentals may be snatched up quickly. Be sure to book well in advance of

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While nieces and nephews might make the cut, it’s perfectly acceptable for couples to state their preference that children not attend. This can be noted on the invitation, addressing friends as “Mr. John Doe and guest” or “Mr. and Mrs. John Doe.” Guests should take the hint, but if any RSVPs with their kids, be sure to call them immediately and explain the situation. Friends

and family should understand the preference, particularly in the current economic climate. • It’s not a reunion. Couples are often tempted to invite longlost friends to their wedding. But cost-conscious couples must recognize their wedding is not a reunion. If the goal is to keep the guest list under control, only invite close friends and family members who have kept in touch

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cutting back in other areas. Before signing any contracts, closely examine each one for items that can be removed without drastically changing the ceremony and celebration. Chances are there are savings to be had, and they might make the difference between inviting and not inviting another friend or family member.

Couples are often faced with tough decisions when it comes to paring down the guest list for their wedding.

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with over the years. • Stick to your guns. Couples vary greatly with what they want out of their wedding. Some want a grandiose affair they can share with their whole family and all of their friends. Other couples want a more laid-back affair with only those closest to them in attendance. Whatever their preference, couples should remain firm and not feel guilty no matter how many guests they choose to invite or not invite. • Cut back in other areas. If it’s proving simply impossible to agree on a reduced guest list, consider inviting everyone and

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other things to keep in mind concerning transportation. • Be sure to have transportation options at the ready for guests who may have over-

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the big day. • Party Bus: Many couples are leaning toward a party bus rental, which may be a single- or double-decker bus that can fit scores of people inside. These are particularly attractive to couples with a very large bridal party, or those who hope to begin the celebration even before reaching the reception hall. • Horse-drawn carriage: Some couples truly want the fairytale feel on their wedding day. A horse-drawn carriage can evoke feelings of a Cinderellatype day. The carriage tends to be best suited to warm weather. For winter weddings, a horsedrawn sleigh might make a better alternative. • Motorcycle: Exciting couples may want to ride off into the sunset on the back of a roadster or sports bike. • Horses: Horses can haul more than just a carriage. A bride and groom atop a handsome steed can make for a memorable wedding transportation option and equally memorable photos. • Boat: Individuals getting married by the sea or another body of water may want to consider attending the festivities via boat, be it a large vessel or a more intimate canoe or rowboat. Wedding day transportation varies depending on each couple’s preference. Here are some

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WEDDING PLANNER

12 — JANUARY 2011

JOURNAL GAZETTTE / TIMES-COURIER

WEDDING PLANNER

JOURNAL GAZETTE / TIMES-COURIER

JANUARY 2011 — 5

Choosing cookware with confidence

Lighting can transform a wedding space

Dispelling misconceptions for perfect match at bridal registries

By: DIANA MARSZALEK For The Associated Press

(MS) – Getting married can be a full time job, especially when it comes to deciding what to register for wedding gifts. A seemingly endless array of kitchen products for cooking and entertaining can entice, but also overwhelm bridal couples. To gain confidence in choosing cookware and bakeware, two popular categories for bridal gift registries, Meyer Corporation, U.S. – the largest cookware company in the nation – clarifies misconceptions that can get in the way of making a perfect match. Stainless steel cookware is stronger than hard-anodized aluminum cookware. Truth – Stainless steel is stronger than plain aluminum. However, the process of anodizing the aluminum changes the molecular structure of the metal and makes it twice as strong as stainless steel. As a result, hardanodized aluminum cookware offers two key benefits: first, durability; and secondly, because aluminum is a superior conductor of heat, fast and even heating with no hot spots to mar cooking results. Look for a heavy-gauge collection for top cooking results and years of enjoyment. Anolon Advanced and Anolon Advanced Bronze are two gourmet choices that are top choices at bridal registries, according to Janice Rassin, National Bridal Director at Meyer Corporation, U.S. I like the convenience of nonstick cookware, but I can’t use it in the oven. Truth – Many people mistakenly believe that nonstick cookware is designed only for stovetop use, when in fact there are numerous quality collections that are oven-safe upwards to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Elegantly crafted Anolon Nouvelle Copper and Infinite Circulon are two gourmet nonstick collections with stainless steel handles and lids that are oven-safe to 500 degrees. Nonstick cookware with

handles made of a combination of stainless steel and silicone, such as Anolon Advanced and Circulon Contempo, are oven safe to 400 degrees. The addition of silicone provides a comfortable and secure grip. I love the performance of clad metal cookware, but it’s so heavy. Truth – Pro-style clad cookware is constructed with a core of fast-heating aluminum or copper sandwiched between two layers of gleaming stainless steel. As a result, the pans are typically heavier and can be difficult to manage. Fortunately for the avid cook, there are now two innovatively designed collections that are significantly lighter and more agile without compromising on cooking results. Anolon Ultra Clad and KitchenAid Architect Clad are premium clad collections with an inner core of thick aluminum permanently bonded to stainless steel on the inside and outside. To make the pans lighter, a portion of the exterior stainless steel has been stripped away and replaced with a decorative finish – a classic black band for Anolon Ultra Clad, and an elegant taupe shade, called "coco metallic," for KitchenAid Architect Clad. Both

collections are easier to handle, and quite stylish, too. Cookware with metal handles will get hot during stovetop use. Truth – Solid metal handles do have a tendency to retain heat and can make handling on the stovetop a safety issue. Look for gourmet cookware designed with hollow cast stainless steel handles, which deter heat from traveling from the pan to the handle to keep them cool to the touch. Options include Anolon Nouvelle Copper and Infinite Circulon. Other styles of handles combine hollow cast stainless steel with silicone for additional heat resistance as well as a softer touch to enhance comfort. Among the most popular collections with silicone handles are Anolon Advanced and Anolon Advanced Bronze with their signature SureGrip handles. Nonstick cookware is usually grey or black, and I want more color in my kitchen. Truth – Fashionable gourmet nonstick collections that pop with color include top-registry choice Anolon Advanced Bronze, and the newly launched Circulon Elite Platinum. Both collections are crafted from heavy

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looking great. "Bridal couples are more sophisticated than ever, and enjoy having stylish color choices in cookware that not only adds interest to their kitchen decor, but allows them the timesaving benefits of oven to table presentation," says Rassin. It’s difficult to find pots and pans suitable for induction burners. Truth – For the forwardthinking cook who wants to use today’s state-of-the-art, energyefficient induction burners, options in induction-suitable magnetic cookware are getting brighter. Meyer Corporation, U.S. is keeping up with this new and emerging kitchen trend by

See cookware page 13

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You’d be hard pressed to find a bride who doesn’t make flowers, centerpieces and tablecloths a priority when it comes to creating a certain mood for the wedding. But talk to wedding lighting designer Bentley Meeker — whose clients have included Chelsea Clinton and Catherine Zeta Jones — and he’ll tell you that simple tricks, such as changing the color of light bulbs, can create the desired ambiance more effectively then roses and fancy tablecloths ever could. “Wedding lighting is really about what people are always trying to do with their weddings, which is to create a certain vibe and atmosphere,” the New York City lighting pro said. “Say you’re going to do a wedding in your office, and you bring in flowers and the tables and you still have fluorescent lighting,” he said. “It will look like your office decorated for a wedding. “But if I came in and lit the office and didn’t do any other decorations, we would have transformed that space.” Diann Valentine, a Los Angeles wedding designer and expert on the cable station Wedding Central, agreed that lighting

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using pink and amber light bulbs, though he warns that those colors must be used cautiously (“There is ugly amber”). Dimmed incandescent light is another of his favorites. Particularly in closed rooms, he said, use lighting that’s appropriate for the setting—fixtures that can be absorbed into, rather than take over, the larger setting. “It has to look beautiful so when the guests walk in they lose their breath,” Meeker said. Make sure light isn’t so glaring—or dark—that it distorts or distracts from the wedding party. And choose soft, flattering colors to create a serene atmosphere, particularly by quelling strong lights. “Lighting can change so much that people really feel good about themselves,” Meeker said. Meeker sometimes works with crews 120 strong, and charges anywhere from $4,000 to $500,000 to custom light a wedding. But there is plenty that brides and wedding planners with more limited resources can do quite simply, he said. One cost-free suggestion: Dim the lights. “If you want to transform a space, you put everything on dimmers,” he said. Meeker says he dims lights somewhat darker than you’d expect (“Your eye adjusts”); whether you can see your shoes and laces clearly is a good barometer or whether you’ve hit it right. Other wise advice: “Ask your mother or mother-in-law-to-be, and if it’s not too dark for her, there’s your atmosphere.” Meeker also suggests this fairly inexpensive trick: Use small spotlights (about $30 each, he said) to highlight architectural or decorative features around the wedding space.

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gauge, hard-anodized aluminum for excellent heat conductivity and durability. Anolon Advanced Bronze gets its warm bronze tone from colored bronze nonstick on both the inside and outside of the pan. The silicone enhanced handles and lids are also designed in bronze to match. Circulon Elite Platinum is similarly styled with a stunning platinum silver colored nonstick on the exterior, and matching platinum colored silicone and stainless steel handles and lids. Besides adding a lovely touch to kitchen decors, and making it possible to bring the cookware straight from the oven to the table, the nonstick finish on the outside of the pans helps to keep the cookware stain-free and

should top brides’ decorating priority lists because it “allows us to program the mood of an event.” That might mean changing the intensity of light throughout a wedding—dimmer for cocktails, brighter for dinner, for example—or using it to completely change the feel of a room. Rainer Flor, who married wife Candice last month at singer Gloria Estefan’s Costa d’Este in Vero Beach, Fla., said lighting effects enhanced the “Miami chic” atmosphere they were looking for. With floor lights and strategically placed LED lights, he said, the room, right off the beach, “looked almost like an aquarium.” Central Florida wedding planner Karry Castillo, who helped design the Flors’ wedding, said effects can range from simple spotlights on particular room features or decorations, to lighting motifs and patterns on walls, floors and ceilings. In addition, lighting effects can be relatively inexpensive, anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands, depending on complexity. “In many ways, lighting not only enhances the elements you have in place, but it can also give you a lot more bang for the dollar too,” Castillo said. Meeker is particularly fond of

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Do vintage because you love it, not to cut corners By: SAMANTHA CRITCHELL AP Fashion Writer NEW YORK (AP) There’s something romantic about the idea of a vintage wedding dress, with the wonderful stories it could tell. Maybe there’d be some delicate lace, too, or exquisite siren-worthy satin. Reality, though, isn’t always so pretty. Some vintage dresses are those perfect gowns you dream of, says Mark Ingram, CEO and creative director of Manhattan’s Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier, but others are too costume-y, too dated or, more likely, simply illfitting. “You can reach back to some vintage eras and look as contemporary as buying a new dress. But,” he says, “you have to consider your figure first and foremost. If the dress isn’t flattering to your figure type, just don’t go down the road.” Cameron Silver, owner of the Los Angeles couture vintage shop Decades, suggests these questions to ask — frankly — of yourself: Do you need to wear a bra? Do you have a boyish figure? An hourglass shape?What about your hips? All of these, he says, are factors in buying any wedding gown, but particularly those meant to fit women of previous generations. Silver, a resource for Hollywood red-carpet looks, also warns that finding a pristine white vintage dress can be hard, and that a good vintage dress, if it’s not an heirloom, can be more expensive than you’d think. Even with your grandmother’s dress, there could be pricey alterations. “Don’t do this because you think it’s the easy way out, or that it’ll be cheaper,” adds Ingram. “You have to want it — you have to want to have this look.” But if you do find that ideal gown from yesteryear, Silver says, it’s a magical moment. He once sold a full Chantilly lace wedding gown by Chanel. “It was such a thrill,” he says.

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There was a more recent Olivier Theyskens for Rochas gown that practically brought tears to his eyes. (If you find a keeper, be ready to buy it right away — no wavering — because there’s not another one stuck in some inventory closet.) If you’re partial to embroidery, look at gowns from the 1920s-’30s, while sultry, satin gowns come out of the ‘40s. Women with a full bust might look to the curvier ‘50s silhouette, says Ingram, WE TV’s “gown guru,” while mini-dresses of the ‘60s are cool, yet hard to pull off unless the event is casual or the bride prides herself an individualist. Silver says that’s usually the case with those who wear vintage. “This bride doesn’t want to look like everyone else.” Still, you can hit contemporary fashion trends. Something from the ‘70s, a little bohemian but sexy, too, is probably the hippest look going. The period to stay away from is, no surprise, the ‘80s, with its oversize pouffy shoulders and tapered sleeves. “Right now, the ‘80s looks so dated. Yes, 20-30 years back is ‘vintage,’ but if you’re going back, that’s a bad period to dip into. No ‘Dynasty,’ not even Princess Diana,” Ingram says. “There could be a big trend back to the ‘80s if Kate (Middleton) wore it, but I can’t imagine that. It’s too big. The proportion was too big, and it wouldn’t look modern now.” A bride’s goal often is a timeless look, since the photos will

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fitted, maybe give it a fuller skirt,” Shettel says. He also borrows from the past for new gowns. The tightbodice, tea-length ballgown, which “Mad Men” helped bring back in style, seems very fresh, Shettel says, and the asymmetrical neckline remains popular. Ingram says the best of both

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expanding its collections of induction-suitable pots and pans. The current assortment includes something to satisfy every single style preference, cooking habit and price point. At the premium level, Anolon Nouvelle Copper features a patented design that includes a unique base of magnetic stainless steel with an inner core of fast-heating aluminum and highly responsive copper for optimum control and cooking results. Unbeatable for versatility and convenience, Infinite Circulon is hard-anodized nonstick cookware that is both dishwashersafe and induction-ready. Prostyle home cooks who want to use clad metal cookware can choose between KitchenAid Architect Clad, Anolon Chef Clad or Anolon Ultra Clad, three collections that are also dishwasher-safe. Other inductionready and dishwasher-safe

options at moderate price points include the newly launched KitchenAid Gourmet Stainless Steel. It’s hard to find bakeware that will match nicely with my cookware collection. Truth – "It is possible to have a cohesive look in your kitchen with bakeware that beautifully complements the design of your cookware," says Rassin. For couples who have registered for Anolon Advanced or Anolon Advanced Bronze Cookware, Rassin points to the availability of similarly styled bakeware collections with silicone grips on side rims in matching hues. Both Anolon Advanced Bakeware with Silicone Grips and Anolon Bronze Bakeware with Silicone Grips are made of heavy weight carbon steel that heats up quickly and evenly, and resists bending and warping. The durable nonstick finish on both the inside and outside of each piece

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makes clean up a snap, and maintains the "good as new" look of the bakeware for longer. Bakeware sets are not readily available for bridal registries and wedding gifts. Truth – While it’s true that the majority of bakeware products are sold in open stock, there is a growing assortment of conveniently packaged, gift-ready sets. In honor of its 25th anniversary, Circulon offers two different 3-Piece Bakeware Sets at the special anniversary price of $25.00. One of the anniversary sets combines two 10x15inch cookie pans with a cooling rack, and the other one pairs two round 9-inch cake pans and a cooling rack. For a more complete set, brides can register for the Anolon Bronze Bakeware’s 5-Piece Set, which includes two 9-inch round cake pans, the 9x9inch cake pan, the 14x16-inch cookie sheet, and a generously sized cooling rack. Nonstick bakeware will overbrown delicate baked goods. Truth – Dark colored nonstick bakeware does have a tendency to over-brown delicate sweets, such as cookies. You can adjust the oven to a lower temperature, or avoid the problem entirely by registering for nonstick cookware featuring lighter hues to slow down the absorption of heat in the oven. As its name implies, Anolon Bronze Bakeware with Silicone Grips

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hopefully last a lifetime, but each era still has its signature, says Michael Shettel, designer of bridal brand Alfred Angelo. You might be best off with a classic silhouette, while adjusting embellishments and details to current tastes, he suggests. Wedding-gown trends don’t swing as quickly as ready-towear fashion, he explains: Of course, white always dominates the market and the overall vibe is fancy, but when you line them up, you’ll see differences in the size and types of pearls and beads, changes in popular lace patterns, hemlines going up and down. “You want to make it your own, while still honoring whoever wore a vintage dress before. ... Maybe you’d like to make it a little more low-cut, a little more

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This Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010 photo shows lace and beading contribute to the vintage look of this Monique Lhuillier wedding dress at Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier in New York. Some brides like the idea of a vintage or vintage-inspired wedding gown. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

worlds might be vintage or vintage-inspired accessories on a new dress. “Add a fur piece — a shrug or a stole — and it looks vintage, even if it’s new, which probably means a better fit. The look could be 1910 or 2010,” he says. He also likes to add a beaded belt or sash, which also can give the illusion of a small waist, and carries that retro feel. There’s no reason, though, to go back in time for your beauty routine. “If you do a vintage wedding dress, your accessories, hair and makeup have to be incredibly modern,” says Decades’ Silver. “You don’t want to be the bride of Frankenstein. If the dress looks ‘period,’ you have to play against it in your styling — unless you have a Renaissance theme, and who does that?”

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JANUARY 2011 — 3

Tradition of throwing rice at weddings

Friend, will you marry us? Online ordinations rise

There are many traditions for weddings that can be traced back thousands of years to early civilization. One enduring tradition is to throw rice at the newly betrothed. For the safety of birds and other animal life, rice has been switched to birdseed in recent times. Some wedding traditions are based on very real needs of ancient times. Others are based on superstitions or existing etiquette at the time they were initially practiced. Throwing rice remains a timeless tradition that many cou-

By: MONICA RHOR For The Associated Press

ples still enjoy. Everyone attending the wedding gets to participate in throwing rice, or whatever is being used in lieu of rice, be it birdseed, confetti or even bubbles. Couples can even borrow from traditions in other countries. In France, people throw wheat, a symbol of bounty, after the ceremony. Italians toss candy and sugared nuts over couples, for sweetness in marriage. Rice was traditionally used to symbolize fertility and prosperity. Wheat was also very much used in ancient wedding

ceremonies for the same reasons. When guests threw rice at the bride and groom at a wedding, they were symbolically wishing them a lifetime full of children and good fortune. Some cultures even ate a meal of rice before the wedding to guarantee further prosperity. Different cultures have long harbored different perspectives on throwing rice. Some even believed it fed the evil spirits that, though uninvited, crashed the wedding. It was thought that well-fed spirits would not wreak havoc on the happy day.

Rice and wheat were also thought to represent virginity and wholesomeness by some. A virginal bride used to wear white and carried a stalk of wheat. Single women rushed after the bride hoping to get a few pieces of rice so they would be the next person to walk down the aisle. Despite its foundation in superstition, throwing rice has remained a staple of weddings today.

Respectful ways to honor a deceased family member Weddings are supposed to be joyous events, which can make it difficult to honor the deceased. Doing so in a way that does not compromise the upbeat mood of the event can prove quite a challenge to prospective brides and grooms. But there are many ways couples can honor a deceased family member at their ceremony. • Display pictures of the deceased with the wedding couple so that the memory of these people can be part of the festivities. • Set up a table with a special floral arrangement and photo with a placard that states, “In memory of ...” • Wear a piece of clothing or jewelry that belonged to the deceased. Cufflinks from a father or a veil from a mother. • Ask the pastor or officiant to specifically mention the deceased in the wedding ceremony and offer a special prayer in that person’s name. • Add a memoriam line to the end of the wedding program. “Today we honor Mary Smith, aunt of the bride who could not be with us today.” • Dedicate a special song during the reception in the person’s name. • A bride who will not be able to walk down the aisle with her father can choose to

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Jessica Alexander’s wedding was everything she had envisioned: a private gathering by her summer house on an Iowa lake. There was a pink and purple color scheme, a butterfly motif, and a dessert bar rather than a full meal. And, wearing a short periwinkle dress designed “to show off her legs,” was Alexander’s minister and bridesmaid, AnnaMegan Raley, a close friend who was ordained online specifically to perform the ceremony. Raley, a blogger for the Houston Chronicle, didn’t even know she had been ordained until Alexander and her mother sprang the news at the bridal shower. They had already paid a $25 fee and filled out a form with her name and address, making her the Rev. Raley. “I thought it was a joke. I’m sure that I put it on Facebook and Twitter,” said Raley. “But I had heard about people getting ordained to perform weddings. So, I said: ‘Sure, I’d love to.’” Nontraditional? Perhaps. A growing trend? Definitely. More and more engaged couples are turning to friends or family members to perform their wedding ceremony. They say it is more personal, relatively stressfree and cheaper. It is also surprisingly fast and simple. Getting ordained requires little more than finding an online ministry that performs ordinations, and filling out a short form with your name and

Anna-Megan Raley, who was ordained online specifically to perform a wedding ceremony for a close friend, poses Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010 in Houston. More and more engaged couples are turning to friends or family members to perform their wedding ceremony. They say it is more personal, relatively stress-free and cheaper. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

address. Some websites require a nominal fee for paperwork; others don’t charge anything. Prospective brides and grooms should look into the website and local marriage laws, however, to make sure the ceremony would be valid. Although online ordinations are generally recognized, laws vary widely from state to state, sometimes from county to county. Some states require ministers to regis-

ter after they are ordained. In Louisiana, parishes ask for a letter of good standing from the church, while Las Vegas requires a four-page application and background check. Last year, about one in seven weddings were performed by a friend of the couple, according to The Wedding Report, a research firm. Andre Hensley, president of the non-denominational Universal Life Church, which has been issuing ordination credentials since 1962, believes more couples are turning to friends because of the Internet, which makes the process easier, and because of many people’s lack of affiliation with a church. “I’ve gone to weddings where the ministers didn’t know the couple or anything about them. It didn’t have a special feeling,” said Hensley, who estimates that his church has ordained 18 million people. About 3,000 to 5,000 are ordained every month, a number that has steadily increased over the last 10 years, Hensley said. It takes about 24 hours for the church to process an ordination request, all of which are reviewed by a live person, he said. Janis Jones, a 27-year-old Chicago nurse, asked her older sister to perform her wedding this June. “Neither of us belong to a church, and we liked the idea of incorporating prayers and the religious aspect into the ceremony, but we didn’t want to be married by someone we don’t know at all and who didn’t know us,”

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minister to be on hand at the service—just in case. “If you find out after the fact that you are not legally married, it can definitely put a damper on things,” said Nichols, who lives in Montgomery County, Md. Nichols, who is Christian, and her husband, who was raised Muslim, wanted a spiritual ceremony that would “focus on us coming together under God, not on the fact that we are of two different faiths.” At Alexander’s lakeside wedding in Iowa, her ministerbridesmaid Raley also served as personal attendant, and helped decorate for the reception—all of which lent an air of comfort and familiarity to the ceremony. “It helped that she was the one standing up there for us,” said Alexander, a fourth-grade teacher who lives in Rockwell, Texas, outside Dallas. “I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.”

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said Jones, who has been dating her fiance, Eric Strand, for six years. The couple turned to Jones’ sister, Vicky Rappatta, who has been happily married for 10 years, has a background in writing and had always been a motherly figure to her younger sibling. “I was so honored and so moved that they wanted me to be such a huge part of their wedding. Now, I’m getting terrified,” joked Rappatta, who plans to write an original wedding prayer for the couple. Rappatta said she researched the legality of the ordination process, including checking with the county where her sister will be getting her marriage license. “The last thing I wanted to do was get a fake ordination,” said Rappatta, who got her credentials from American Marriage Ministries, whose website boasts “over 10,000 marriages performed!” Kirsten Nichols, whose October wedding was performed by her husband’s cousin, asked a co-worker who is an ordained

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WEDDING PLANNER

JANUARY 2011 — 15

More brides informing guests with wedding websites

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By: CARYN ROUSSEAU For The Associated Press

KERSTIN SOPKE Associated Press

With friends and family headed to her California wedding from all over, bride-to-be Carrie Shields decided online organization was key. “Really the wedding website was one of the first things we did,” the 32-year-old public relations director from San Diego said. Shields is marrying fiance R.J. Jones, 36, who was born and raised in Wales. Their April wedding in Napa Valley comes four years after they met through friends. “I knew people were going to have a lot of questions about what to do and how to get there,” Shields said. “I wanted to make it fun and personal. I kind of jumped right on things because people were traveling so far.” Wedding experts at TheKnot.com and its partner WeddingChannel.com say this year’s annual survey found 64 percent of brides now have a website to share details with guests about

ceremony and reception logistics, registry information and travel accommodations. Web companies exist that allow couples to host wedding sites for free while others charge a fee for access to fancier templates and tools. The page Shields created has a personal and creative flair. It features a blue and orange frame with a brown background. The happy couple smile from behind sunglasses on a beach. A counter below them lets visitors know it’s “151 days until our wedding!” “A lot of the people coming over, they’ve never been to America,” Shields said. “I’m going to add a little bit about things to do in San Francisco, trying to take the guess work out of it.” Experts at WeddingWire.com recommend that couples launch their website at least six months before the wedding date to give guests as much information as early as possible. That allows enough time to make travel

This Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010 shows Carrie Shields as she updates her wedding web site at her home in San Diego. With friends and family headed to California from around the country and the United Kingdom for her upcoming wedding, Shields knew online organization was key. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

arrangements. WeddingWire also offers other online tools, including a program that lets guests RSVP directly from the website. Carley Roney, editor and founder of TheKnot.com, said her site and WeddingChannel.com together host more than

500,000 wedding websites for couples. “It’s a simple, easy way of communication,” Roney said. “It’s really like going to the website for a restaurant or a concert event. Everything is in one place.” That’s why more wedding

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website addresses are appearing in fancy fonts on the bottom of printed invitations. “You’re going to want to give the same information you always needed to have on an invitation: the name, location, time of event,” Roney said. But things like dress code or babysitting services can be saved for the website. Some sites let couples upload music or an audio track of their voices, video, animated graphics, or polls asking guests what songs to play or which appetizers to serve. To personalize her website, Shields added a “glossary” of Welsh and American words, and photos of the 20-member wedding party. Couples who choose WeddingChannel.com to host their websites can choose from templates by high-fashion designers like Oscar de la Renta, Monique Lhuillier and Vera Wang. “You still want to make the investment in it to make it uniquely you,” Roney said. “Just like you do on the wedding day.” Roney offers three tips for setting up a wedding website: 1 – Don’t assume your audience is only younger friends, and remember your etiquette. “You want to keep things ‘wedding and older people friendly,’” Roney said. “You don’t want to go on and on forever. You don’t want to put things like, ‘please ship our gifts to.’ Some of the etiquette that is wrong for wedding invitations is wrong for this too. To be making specific demands of your guests isn’t appropriate.” 2 – Include your registry information. According to TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com survey, about 61 percent of guests find out where a couple is registered from their wedding website—a figure that has grown from 47 percent in 2008. “It really is becoming the absolute de facto way that guests are going to find out where you’re registered,” Roney said. “It used to be that brides were worried it was tacky, but it’s simply not tacky. It’s how it’s done now.” 3 – Get the word out. Don’t just create and publish the website and assume everyone knows it exists. “Send the information directly to your guests,” sometimes more than once, Roney said. “You can’t assume that something you put on your website was acknowledged by all.”

AMBERG, Germany (AP) Couples who spend their wedding night at the tiny Eh’haeusl in Amberg will live happily ever after and never get divorced, at least according to an old legend told by the locals of this medieval town in Bavaria. Now newylweds who want to test the legend can do so in luxury. The 282-year-old Eh’haeusl, a Bavarian expression for “marriage house,” was recently renovated and turned into a five-star hotel. It’s so tiny that the entire building can only be rented out by one couple

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at a time, and its owners claim it’s the smallest hotel in the world. The red building on Seminargasse in the town’s historical old city is only 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) wide, and stretches over seven narrow floors. The house was originally built in 1728, after the city council ruled that couples could only get married if they owned property. To give lovebirds a chance to tie the knot even if they did not own a home, a resourceful Amberg citizen came up with an idea of skirting the new law. He built a house so tiny and inexpensive, that even poor people could afford it, at least on a short-term basis. They would buy the house, get married, move in and then sell it soon after to the next marriage-minded couple. With a different newlywed couple as occupants every few weeks, it became known as the “wedding house.” Even today, many couples spend their wedding night at the Eh’haeusl, which costs €240 ($327) per night and includes a whirlpool and an open fireplace. After a recent overnight stay, Barbara and Heinz Wilhelm, a couple in their early 70s, said even though their honeymoon was long ago, the experience was one-of-a-kind. “We stayed at lots of good hotels around the world, but there you’re just one guest among many others,” said Heinz Wilhelm. “Here we are the only guests of the entire hotel.”

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WEDDING PLANNER

16 — JANUARY 2011

JOURNAL GAZETTTE / TIMES-COURIER

10 Trends for ‘Green’ Weddings Environmentally friendly ideals are now permeating all aspects of daily living. Many people want to take the concept further and ensure their nuptials — and subsequent reception — are good for the planet as well. Although there are no firm statistics on the number of green weddings being held each year, emerging trends point to the growing interest in eco-conscious weddings. Individuals who already do their best to recycle, reuse and reduce want to employ those same values on their wedding day. There are many ways to employ a green mindset to wedding planning and execution. Largely the carbon footprint of a wedding can be reduced simply by scaling back and avoiding over-consumption. Here are some ideas to think about. 1. Reduce travel. Research indicates that more than twothirds of emissions in the U.S. are produced by energy consumption and transportation. By reducing guests’ need to travel far for a wedding or offering transportation that can accommodate several people at once (like a bus), carbon emissions will be reduced.

2. Home is where the heart is. Keeping weddings close to home is helpful. Those with big backyards or a park nearby can host the event at home or in a nearby park and reduce dependence on large reception halls that use up large amounts of energy to operate. A home wedding also gives couples the opportunity to shop around for locally produced, organic foods. 3. Shop for floral alternatives. Flowers would seem "green" in themselves. However, many blooms available at florist shops are grown in hothouses with the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, something that is not very good for the environment at all. Brides opting for something more eco-conscious could consider alternative options, such as bouquets made of sustainable succulent plants and centerpieces full of organic fruits and wildflowers. 4. Choose an open registry. Instead of fine china that may never be used, many couples are opting for open registries that enable guests to gift everything from eco-friendly housewares to charitable donations to cash for down payments on a home.

5. Opt for mixed seating arrangements: Instead of formal escort cards indicating firm seating arrangements, couples are saving paper by allowing guests to choose their own seats from mix-matched options, such as long, communal benches and comfy sofas. 6. Go with something old. Recycled gowns and gently used items are good alternatives for eco-conscious brides. Many Web sites will match up brides with others looking to swap items at low or no cost. 7. Skip the paper. Though etiquette experts frown on abandoning paper invitations for electronic ones, many couples are doing just that. For those who still prefer paper, print invitations on recycled paper. Reduce other wedding stationery needs by posting information on a wedding Web site shared with family and friends. 8. Go small scale. Instead of inviting every last cousin and distant uncle, couples are opting for more intimate affairs, including only the people they are closest to, which saves on cost and helps the environment. 9. Trim some of the wedding day fat. Some couples opt

for an all-you-can-eat buffet and then a subsequent dessert bar later on in the evening. Stuffed guests may end up wasting more food than eating it. Instead of all-you-can, go for a more traditional meal.

10. Choose a charitable party favor. Instead of a party favor that collects dust on a shelf, couples are choosing to gift with organic products or a donation to a charitable organization in the guests’ names.

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Wedding Planner 2011