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Published February 23, 2017


Join DIY forces 3

Suthern Maine's Guid to Planning ou Big Day Money saving tips 2 Guest-friendly details 2

Choosing a photographer 3

On-site wedding options 7 What you really need 7

Songs for modern couples 9

A bouquet toss twist 10

Baking your cake 4

Include stepparents 8

New wedding trends 10

Plan on a budget 5

Customize with a logo 6

Setting the date 8 Nontraditional gowns trending 9

Registry to relish 11

'I Do', take two 11


Thursday, February 23, 2017

help, and when the job is done treat everyone to take-out in your new home. For particularly heavy or fragile items, like an antique armoire or big sectional, it may make sense to hire professionals to help you pack and load those items.

Moneysaving tips

Loading up

ve o m – xt e n r o – t rs fi r u yo r fo




ith the average wedding costing upwards of $30,000, starting your new life together takes a lot of careful budgeting. After you’ve finished paying for the flowers, reception hall, caterer, photographer and everything else related to your big day, you may not have much money left over when it comes time to move into a new home together. However, managing your move can be your first big DIY home project together, and it’s one that’s very doable on a budget. Whether you’re moving in together for the first time or moving up from a smaller apartment to the home where you’ll start your married life, you can save money and make your move go smoothly with a few tips:

If you were both living on your own before marriage, you probably have duplicate items you won’t need, such as two sets of pots and pans, dishes, glassware and furniture. You also likely received some wedding gifts that can replace old stuff. Don’t take things you don’t need with you to your new home. Instead, streamline by selling or donating excess stuff. Selling unneeded items can put some money in your pocket when you need it most. Or, donating goods can help you get a tax credit for charitable contributions when you file your taxes next year.

Hold on to gift cards

If you received gift cards for your wedding, you might be tempted to spend them right away. However, every item

Bridal Flawless

Line up your moving truck

Renting a truck and doing your own packing and driving are great ways to save money on your move. If you’re moving from a small apartment or condo into a larger home, you probably have less stuff, and a smaller vehicle - such as a 12- or 16-foot Penske rental truck should be big enough. Generally, moving experts recommend you plan for 150 cubic feet of space for every furnished room you’ll be moving. Be sure to reserve your truck at least

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two weeks in advance, and ask about discounts; Penske Truck Rental offers discounts for AAA members and military personnel.

Pack wisely

You’ll need multiple sizes of sturdy boxes to pack and protect your belongings for the move. Your local truck rental store will have all the packing supplies you need. Start early and pack over time so the job doesn’t feel overwhelming. Label each box with the contents and the room where it will go in your new house, tape it securely and it’s all ready to go onto the truck on moving day.

Get help

Moving day is a great excuse for a party! Ask friends over to

Drive safely

Your move may be the first time you’ve driven a vehicle larger than an SUV. Safely driving a moving truck takes some caution, such as using your mirrors to help navigate turns, avoiding abrupt stops or lane changes, and setting the emergency brake every time you park. For more tips on driving a moving truck, visit Moving into your first new home together can be an exciting experience. With some planning and care, you can accomplish your move smoothly and on budget.

These guest-friendly details make the difference BPT


you buy before the move is one more thing you’ll have to pack and haul. Put off using gift cards until after the move, when you can use them to help decorate or furnish your new home.

Loading the truck well maximizes the use of the space and helps protect your belongings while they’re in transit. Load the heaviest boxes and items first, placing them on the bottom of the truck. Next, load lighter items and boxes on top. Penske’s Truck Wizard application can help you plan how best to pack your truck.

Is your wedding day really all about you? In some ways it is, but in others, it’s very much about other people too. While the ceremony is certainly about you and your fiance, the reception is about your guests - something that becomes apparent as you plan your event. After the vows have been said and the rice thrown, you want to make sure that your guests have a wonder-

ful time at the reception. Consider how much effort you put into pleasing your guests. You take on the delicate task of creating seating assignments so that no one will end up feeling left out or awkward. You design table settings and decorations to give them a beautiful setting. You give them dining options that allow them to choose what meal they’ll like best.

What you’re really saying, in doing all this for your guests, is “thank you for being a part of our day.” It’s important to make your guests feel special because they’ve often traveled long distances, bought gifts and made changes to their schedules to be there to celebrate with you. And when your guests are having a great time, it will make your day even more joyful. Luckily, adding guest-friendly touches

to your reception is easy and doesn’t have to add too much extra expense to your budget. Here are some ideas for making your guests feel like they’re an important part of your wedding: • On your RSVP cards, have the printer add a space where guests can make a song request. Not only will this make for a diverse playlist, it’ll get your guests excited and out on the dance floor • See Details, Page 3

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Part of the wedding is delegating, collaborating, not only to get it done, but to make it more fun.

Forget DIY. Think DIT (Do It Together)

By JENNIFER FORKER Associated Press


any brides and grooms who want to craft meaningful and memorable wedding decorations choose to make one important item — the bouquet, table centerpiece or party giveaway gifts. Others go all-out, crafting nearly every detail, either to save money or to make the day more personal. Marissa DeMercurio, of Arvada, Colorado, made everything she could by hand for her 2014 wedding. The key, she says, was planning the projects well in advance and inviting family and friends to help. She asked some friends who are artists to make, paint and • Details, From Page 2

when their song is played. • Set out a wedding guest book and ask everyone to sign it. Decorate the table it’s placed on with childhood photos, or wedding pictures of your parents and grandparents, for a nostalgic touch. You could also ask your guests to write their marriage advice in the guest book, giving them the opportunity to share fun anecdotes from their lives with you.

handprint items, from handmade signs to the lawn games played at her outdoor ceremony and reception. She found her inspirations at online sites such as Pinterest and Etsy, and in craft stores, and chose Colorado nature as the theme. Recruit friends, she says, “and you can save tons of money and it’ll look better because it’s exactly what you wanted,” DeMercurio says. Darcy Miller, editor at large for Martha Stewart Weddings and author of the new “Celebrate Everything” (HarperCollins), calls it DIT: do it together. “Yes, the DIY is fun and makes it personal, but DIT makes it more meaningful,” says Miller. “Part of the wed• Do everything you can to greet and personally thank every one of your guests. Receiving lines are one classic way to do this, but if you take photos after your ceremony, you may need to take time during the cocktail hour or meal to make the rounds. • At your reception, give every guest a favor. Whether you set boxes of truffles at each place setting or display packets

ding is delegating and collaborating, not only as a means to get it done but as a means for making it more fun.” Some of DeMercurio’s decorations, such as a chalkboard showing the couple’s relationship highlights, hang in the house she shares with her husband, Pete Kardasis. That was another priority: The coupled wanted to live with their wedding memories, not file them away. “We wanted to have things that would remind us of that day continuously,” DeMercurio says. Whitney and Jordan Weaver of Seneca, Kansas, made most of the decorations for their 2014 wedding: paper flower bouquets, a ring bearer “pillow” (it was a framed quote tied with ribbon), the guest book, table decorations (incorporating 500 Mason jars), church pew decorations, and a card box made from a snare drum. Family and friends helped, one making the cake topper. “For me it was about doing our wedding around what we like and making it special for us,” says Whitney Weaver, whose relationship with her future husband grew out of a shared love of music. She and her mom spent untold nights folding and gluing individual paper petals from thin, sheet-musicthemed paper to make the bouquets and boutonnieres. “I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to repay her,” Weaver says. • See DIT, Page 5

of Jordan almonds in a decorative basket, give a little something back. While it might seem like a lot of items to buy, it’s easier than ever to find discount wedding favors on sites like You can get favor boxes and bags customized to match your theme, and personalize the items by adding your monogram and wedding date.

Oh, snap


Tips to consider before choosing your photographer Submitted By AMIE KNIGHT, McKenney Photography


eing a wedding photographer is not only a great honor but a great responsibility. Two people have chosen you to photograph one of the most important days of their lives. We here at McKenney Photography take this responsibility very serious. We know how much time, thought and dedication went into planning this special day. Our job as photographers is to capture your wedding day the way you have envisioned it and to capture all those important details you have put so much work into. Whoever you choose to be your wedding photographer – whether it is us here at McKenney Photography or someone else – here are some tips I believe are important to know before you hire a wedding photographer: 1. You must feel very comfortable with whomever you hire. You will be spending your whole day with them. You want to be able to feel comfortable

and at ease with them. 2. Make sure you are hiring two photographers. We always work as a team here at McKenney Photography. One of us stays with the bride, another with the groom. Having two photographers moves things along smoother and with two we are able to grab every detail of your wedding day. 3. Time. A lot of photographers give you a time limit on your day. They will photograph for only four hours, or six hours. We here at McKenney Photography believe you can’t put a time limit on your wedding day. There is so much to capture every step of they way. It is hard to choose what moment you want captured. You want it all documented. 4. Last but not least ... Remember that this is your wedding day. You planned this day for months and maybe years. Enjoy every moment of it, because it goes by so fast. In the end you need to remember that this day is about the love you share between the two of you.

Those precious moments when our families get together for special occasions come and go so quickly. Let us create those memories together and by capturing the special events throughout your wedding day.

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Piece of cake Submitted By ELIZABETH REILLY HUSSEY


ur days at Reilly’s Bakery begin when the moon is still high in the sky. In the very early morning hours, our small crew of four bakers venture in to fire up the mixer, fry-o-later, industrial oven and coffee-maker in a mad dash to stock the cases before unlocking the front door at 6 a.m. Accustomed to the early morning routine, it’s not uncommon for the radio to be blaring songs of all different types, from country to alternative music to the oldies, depending on who gets to the radio first. When in season, it’s Christmas music, my father’s favorite. The ones that get us all hustling, are songs by the Trans-

Siberian Orchestra. My earliest memories of my father are ones intertwined with the bake shop. Some are of accompanying him on Sundays while he did paperwork and I played with decorating bags, making “creations” that thankfully have no documented proof. Others are of waiting for him to come home, smelling like doughnuts and coated with flour. From a very early age, I wanted to be a part of our family business. Everywhere we went people would seek my father out to sing the bakery’s praises. I was fascinated. I wanted in. Having worked every single position there since I was old enough, from dishwasher to counter help to cake decorator, I now stand elbow-to-elbow

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Historic Biddeford bakery continues wedding cake-baking tradition

with my husband, Kevin, at the head bakers’ bench, under the watchful eye of my father. Back in the old days, women were not allowed to work anywhere besides the front counter, and that evolution is no less than miraculous. When I started baking, my grandfather, who owned the bakery with his brother for more than 30 years, would still stop by everyday to take a peek at what we were working on, and would express pride of the next generation’s work. Now that he has passed, his words echo through my thoughts. Each day, Kevin and I throw ourselves into continuing to master recipes, old and new. Some of the old ones have passed down through four generations — starting with my great-grandparents when they opened at our first location in 1910 — and include our pork pies and hot-crossed buns. We’re surrounded by a crew of mostly family, family friends and a few dedicated employees who all work with the same love of the business that we have. The wooden bench we work at has been worn down in spots from over a century of my family’s hands, working out countless doughs and pastries over time. Our dough divider, scale and pans have lasted decades, all made during the time when they built things to last. The history and life’s work of

former generations is never far from mind. How many people have the honor of that kind of a legacy? It’s humbling. Going forward, my husband and I are dedicated to continuing that legacy and honoring ageless recipes, while trying out new products. Now, instead of tagging along with my father on Sundays, we’re the ones there, sometimes accompanied by my 14-year-old daughter who is growing more interested in the business. Often my father makes an appearance to see if he can help, even in his semi-retirement. After more than 50 years of throwing your entire heart into a business, some habits just don’t change. We’re eternally grateful for his wisdom. In a time of people returning to small mom and pop shopping, we see an increase of a younger generation of customers introducing their children to our butter cookies ... the same recipe my grandfather made for his customers. There is a great big, fresh breath coming into downtown Biddeford after many years of it resembling a ghost town. Reilly’s has seen so many changes over the decades — in our family, in the town, through the Great Depression, stock market crashes, 27 presidential campaigns, more than 19 major wars, transitions to big box retail and back again to Main

Photos Courtesy of REILLY'S BAKERY

Street America. Through all those changes, one thing remains. Our family loves what we do, and we intend to continue this legacy as long as we can. Who knows, perhaps there will be a fifth generation? Call or visit Reilly's Bakery on Main Street, Biddeford, for more information about our wedding cakes. We look forward to sharing our generations-long tradition of adding a big dose of sweetness to southern Maine couples' big celebrations.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Wedding planner tips

for a polished event on a budget



lanning your wedding is one of the most important management jobs you’ll ever take on. A professional wedding planner could help make the day go smoothly, but you can also achieve the same effect yourself for less money. According to, the average cost for a professional wedding planner is just under $2,000, but many couples don’t have that kind of wiggle room in their budgets. In fact, 74 percent of couples didn’t hire a wedding planner in 2015, the website says. You can still pull off a polished wedding if you borrow a few tactics from a wedding planner’s bag of tricks.

on top of fees for professional services. You can rent the same items yourself through a rental store - visit RentalHQ. com to find one in your area. “Working with rental companies is like being in a fantasyland,” Minneapolisbased wedding professionals Matthew Trettel and Bruce Vassar, The Wedding Guys, recently said in an interview with Rental Management magazine. “There are so many endless possibilities, and the only thing holding you back is the event budget. Even on the smallest budget, you can always enhance or elevate an event working with a rental company.”

Emphasize organization

Professional wedding planners use their organizational skills to ensure weddings go smoothly despite any surprises that arise. You can employ many of the same organizational tricks they use to help yourself manage the numerous details that go into a wedding, including: • Create an inspiration board. Gathering your color choices, theme elements and inspirations in one spot can help your decision-making process. For example, not sure which floral arrangement will look right for your wedding? Refer back to your inspiration board and see which of your choices best matches your inspiration. • The budget can be the most

Make the rental store your playground

Professional wedding planners don’t stockpile wedding items, they rent what they need to make a wedding run smoothly and look great. From tents and outdoor heaters, tables and chairs, to glassware, dishes, dance floors and decor, rental stores supply the wedding industry with the basics, luxuries and everything in between. When a professional planner rents items, he or she typically passes on the rental cost to the clients,

• DIT, From Page 3

Miller, of Martha Stewart Weddings, warns against hitting Pinterest boards unprepared; they can be overwhelming. When she works with couples, she asks about their personal style and inspirations to tease out a wedding theme. Her book does the same with a personalization “cheat sheet.” “You need to think about what matters to you,” Miller says. “Those are the things that are going to make your wedding reflect you, make it feel like you.”

More DIY tips:

• Buy and collect items in bulk. DeMercurio tied large swaths of burlap around trees and smaller pieces around Mason jars. She collected glass jars, some of which she filled with flowers and hung from trees branches. • If you choose a lovely setting — DeMercurio chose a park with mountains as her backdrop; Weaver’s reception was in a big, beautiful barn — you’ll need fewer decorations. • Put Epsom salts in the bottom of Mason jars before

adding tea lights, says Weaver. “It looks like crystals, and it’s a really cheap alternative for holding tea lights steady.” • Hand-stamp compostable utensils with phrases such as “all you need is love” to add a personal touch, says DeMercurio. With all the crafting possibilities, Miller warns against doing too much too close to the wedding date. “As a bride, you should be doing nothing except being a bride the day of your wedding,” says the expert.

challenging aspect to manage, so be sure to talk with your partner about your budget before you sign any contracts. Set a budget and use a budgeting worksheet (readily available for free online) to help control costs. • Numerous types of planning helpers are available, from online worksheets to apps, books and oldfashioned paper planners. Find one that’s easy for you to use and stick with it. Your planner should include a checklist with a timeline, and allow you to store all pertinent information, including estimates and contracts, in one place.

Work your connections

Professional wedding planners have networks of vendors to choose from. You can also network to find vendors for your wedding. Ask family, friends and co-workers for recommendations. Talk to any couples whose wedding you recently attended to see who they recommend. Another trick is to find one professional with whom you really connect - a photographer, florist or entertainer - and ask for referrals to other quality professionals he or she likes working with. Check out their websites and feedback on social media to get an idea of their work. Planning a wedding can be challenging and rewarding. With a few tricks borrowed from professional planners, such as renting what you need, you can create the wedding of your dreams on your real-world budget.

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Put a logo on it



hile making the wedding day spectacular may seem like the main goal for engaged couples, savvy twosomes are also considering how they will build their home and life together

after the honeymoon. Luckily, these days, there are plenty of ways to plan your big day and happily ever after at the same time, say wedding trend experts. “Couples who personalize their weddings are also quietly

Thursday, February 23, 2017

setting a tone for their future,” says Nelson Tejada, senior vice president and chief merchandising officer at Things Remembered, retailer of personalized wedding gifts and accessories. Tejada suggests creating a customized wedding logo to adorn everything from invitations to keepsake items at the reception like champagne



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flutes and cake servers, items that can be used during future celebrations. If you work with a retailer like Things Remembered, you can celebrate your marriage every day by using the logo on needed items for your home, like cutting boards and picture frames. The company also provides the files to the couple, so you can use the logo on items they don’t sell. For example -- the cake! Including your monogram on wedding items like drinkware, the guest book, photo albums and unity candles is another personalized way to celebrate the big day and beyond. Many couples use the same stylized initials on home items like wall art, blankets and aprons, as well as accessories like keychains, wallets and

jewelry. Your monogram can also make a fun and memorable addition on items in your gift bag for the wedding party and guests. To thank your wedding party properly, be sure to seek out items they will actually use, such as t-shirts and highquality water bottles. Attending a wedding? Guests too can help the couple create a life together with personalized wedding gifts that help make the house a home. There are many useful, beautiful home gifts that can be given a personalized touch. For more ideas for bride and groom and everyone in attendance, visit ThingsRemembered. com/Weddings. When wedding bells are ringing, take care to make that day and every day following one-of-a-kind with unique flourishes that speak to you.

Imagine a Beautiful Garden Ceremony...

A Highlander’s



Thursday, February 23, 2017

Weddings at Village by the Sea:

Call to plan your stress-free on-site event Submitted By VILLAGE BY THE SEA


hat’s beautiful about a wedding at Village by the Sea is the one-stop shop aspect for wedding couples and their guests. Rehearse, say your vows, celebrate and stay and play with your entire wedding party. Today’s brides and grooms want a complete venue for their special day, even better if it’s By The Sea in Maine.  

Everything on site, just right!

Village by the Sea has a splendid new on-site ceremony setting, a grand indoor Maine Ballroom that flows effortlessly and a beautiful outdoor patio and space — with all new lighting and picture perfect landscaping. Say your vows outside under our lovely new pergola, and if the Maine weather doesn’t cooperate on your special day, you have the ease and option of moving inside without the stress of changing venues at the last minute.

Stay and celebrate your Big Day!

Village by the Sea provides the wedding party and the bride and groom’s guests overnight lodging — suite

accommodations just steps to the wedding reception. Don’t worry about people driving after celebrating, your guests can stay at our resort — allowing for more time to socialize before and after the ceremony. Picture your wedding party, family and friends gathering by the indoor or outdoor pool, enjoying the bbq area and going to the beach nearby. Folks who have traveled near and far can relax and rejoice at Village by the Sea’s resort.

No Stress!

To further reduce wedding stress, Village by the Sea has on-staff wedding event coordinators, not one, but two assigned to each wedding couple. Village by the Sea wedding specialists are trained in offering superior customer service and have a very keen eye for those last minute details that make a big difference on your big day. Today’s wedding couples want to be part of their party, not planning and sweating the little details, they want to stay and celebrate with their guests in a resort environment — Village by the Sea is a destination wedding without the big ticket and travel to some remote island.

Wedding Gifts: The Good, Bad and Ugly StatePoint

For many couples, there’s nothing more exciting than creating wedding wish lists. Almost half (45 percent) of U.S. adults who are or ever have been married or engaged have had a bridal registry, according to a recent Moen survey conducted online by Harris Poll. Registries can help you avoid receiving disappointing gifts. Respondents to

the Moen survey told tales of getting such gaffes as a meat griller for a vegetarian couple, and even “ball and chain underwear.” Good gifts ranged from cookware to dream vacations. However, even with a registry, many realize postnuptials their list may have been less than ideal. If you’re headed down the aisle, plan ahead to avoid these common registry mistakes:

• Including impractical items: Think twice before registering for large or specialty products that take up storage space but may never get used, like a panini press or ice cream maker. • Aspirational registering: Register for pieces that fit who you really are, not who you want to be. • Sticking too much to tradition: Don’t register for traditional items, like silver flatware or formal china, unless you’ll truly use them. “Instead of registering for traditional items you’ll rarely use, consider requesting gifts to make daily life better, like a kitchen faucet with a pulldown hose for easy clean-up, or a soothing rainshower showerhead to provide relaxation after a long day,” suggests Andrea Maher, senior marketing communications specialist, Moen.



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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Includ steants: Experts say it's best By LISA A. FLAM Associated Press

It's important to be inclusive on your wedding day, says Darcy Miller, editor at large of Martha Stewart Weddings. “It reminds people again that it’s a day to all be together, and it’s about two people getting married, and it’s not about whatever anyone’s personal politics are,” she said. Miller believes most couples

include stepparents in the wedding. While there is no set rule on how to do so, couples should consider family relationships and dynamics to decide what feels right. “Sometimes it might be pretty straightforward, and other times it’s very complicated,” Miller said. “You, as a bride and groom, have to know your family politics. It is your day, but it is also about your family and being

sensitive to what works for everyone and making sure everyone feels included.” Eva Zimmerman, whose parents divorced when she was 4, grew up feeling as if she had two sets of parents after her mom and dad remarried, and she gave her stepmother and stepfather prominent roles in her wedding. During her ceremony, her mother and stepmother walked down the aisle together on the arm of her brother. Her stepfather, who had long been a spiritual guide in Zimmerman’s life, helped create the ceremony and BPT

Congratulations on your engagement. As you’ve probably learned, the first question everyone asks is when is the wedding date? About 6,100 weddings are held in the United States each day. That is an awful lot of planning and preparation and the very first thing you need to do is pick your wedding date. Setting the date for your big day takes much thought and investigation. To help you navigate through the planning process, consider these helpful hints: Budget. It is certainly possible to have a beautiful wedding without spending a fortune. From affordable wedding invitations for an intimate gathering of 25 to a bash for thousands of guests that includes food, drinks, flowers, a band, wedding favors and fireworks, costs can add up quickly so do your financial homework before committing yourself to a venue and head count you can’t afford.

served as the officiant. “I wanted to keep the tradition of having my dad walk me down the aisle, but I wanted my stepdad involved,” she said. “My stepdad has been a huge support of our relationship and also a huge support of me in my life, and he just seemed like the perfect fit to be an officiant.” A special moment was walking down the aisle with her dad toward her groom, Noah Schreck, with her stepfather standing at the altar. Whatever you decide, it’s crucial — as with most everything in a wedding — to plan it ahead of time, and it’s a good idea to communicate your plans with everyone involved, parents and stepparents, so nobody’s caught off guard on the already emotional day. There are various ways of acknowledging a stepparent at your nuptials. A stepfather could walk a bride down the aisle with her dad if they all felt comfortable, or you can give them a special role, like a reading or prayer, Miller said.

Venue. Do you have your heart set on a particular venue for your ceremony or reception? Popular locations can be fully booked years in advance. Make some phone calls and see what is available before setting the date. It is becoming increasingly popular to consider something other than a Saturday wedding and may make it easier for you when scheduling. It is also often less expensive too. Conflicts of interest. Make sure you schedule your wedding date so that all of those you want there on your big day will be able to attend. Keep in mind holidays and events that may already be planned. Is someone expecting a new baby? Is another close family member graduating or planning a wedding of their own soon? Will school schedules interfere? How about the weather? Can you take off work for the wedding and honeymoon? Headcount. Will your wedding be an intimate family affair or a super-huge extravaganza? The size of your wedding really depends

A stepparent’s name can be included in the program with some words of thanks, or a stepmom can be acknowledged with a special flower, she said. You can give her a gift like an embroidered handkerchief, and including a note of appreciation goes a long way. There are even more subtle ways to make someone feel connected to the big day. A stepmom could attend a dress fitting, perhaps when the bride’s mother is not there; she could help bake a treat for the favor or be in charge of bustling the gown, Miller says. A stepfather could give a toast during the celebration. Couples shouldn’t feel obligated to treat stepparents exactly the same as a parent, but should acknowledge them if they have been a parent to you. Also, think of the future. Keep in mind the decision you make on your wedding day — hurt or non-hurt feelings — will affect your relationship for a really long time. Don't do anything out of spite or to be hurtful. That’s still your family.

on your budget. Know that you may think small to begin with, but outside influences like your parents and your fiance’s parents may want a say too. If they are helping fund the event, your guest list may begin to grow larger than you anticipate. Don’t be afraid to limit the list, especially if you are funding it yourself. Before you set your wedding date, consider who you are including on your guest list. The size of your wedding will influence the chosen venues and therefore the wedding date selected. Guest list. Will guests all be local or will many be coming in from out of town? Consider the guests who may need to purchase plane tickets in order to be at your wedding. Also take into account what responsibilities others may already have on their agendas. Allow enough prior notification so that they can find affordable transportation and clear their calendars for your big day. Sending save the date cards in advance will help insure attendance as well.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

From blush to black: Nontraditional gowns becoming popular By Solvej Schou The Associated Press

When deciding what kind of dress I wanted to wear for my wedding this year, I knew what I didn’t want. No lace, no veil, and absolutely nothing long, corseted, traditional and white. So, for our tiny May marriage ceremony, I went with an off-the-rack, navy blue sailor dress with a film noir flair. For our wedding celebration with friends and family six months later, I wore a shorter, stretch velvet halter dress in red — my favourite color — custom-made by a boutique I’ve gone to for years. It turns out that unconventional wedding dresses, while still not as popular as their white, floor-sweeping counterparts, are catching on. “We saw a noticeable spike in the number of nontraditional dresses — shorter dresses, the use of color — a

couple of years ago,” said Keija Minor, editorin-chief of Brides magazine. “There’s a move for all couples to want to personalize their wedding and not be the cookiecutter wedding their parents want. If your dream dress isn’t a flowy white gown, and you want a pop of color, then why not?” According to the magazine’s 2016 American Wedding Study, an annual survey of engaged and newlywed women, 93 percent of brides still select white and off-white gowns. Yet 7 per cent of brides opt now for something “unique,” from cocktail-length and non-white dresses to slinky jumpsuits. The study also found that 73 percent of couples pay for or contribute to the cost

of their own wedding. “If your mom’s paying for your dress, she would probably want more of a say,” said Minor. Popular nontraditional colors range from lighter pastels such as champagne, blush, pale pink and light blue to glittery gold and silver, said Minor. Besides shorter lengths, high-low hemlines appeal to women who want to show off their shoes. “Even traditional designers, and in the mainstream, are giving a nod to the feeling that brides can wear what they want,” Minor added. When Brooklyn, New York-based Jamie Hardy, 37, and her husband were planning their June 2011 wedding celebration — a lunch and dance party — a year after they secretly married, Hardy asked her architect friend Gerri Davis to make the dress. Hardy and Davis — who plans to make a pantsuit for her own wedding next year — met

5 love songs that aren't 'Here comes the Bride' By SOLVEJ SCHOU Associated Press

Today, with many couples financing their own weddings, personalized playlists run the gamut, from music played during the ceremony to a first dance song, said Jill Sieracki, senior features editor of Brides magazine. Open, non-gender-specific love songs also appeal to contemporary couples. “Who says you have to walk down the aisle to ‘Here Comes the Bride’?” she said. Tastes change with the times, and so do popular wedding songs (the Baroque classic Pachelbel’s Canon has shown real staying power). Keeping many choices in mind, here are five songs that seem to speak to modern lovebirds. JOHN LEGEND — “ALL OF ME” Singing “’Cause all of me/ Loves all of you/ Love your

curves and all your edges/ All your perfect imperfections,” Grammy-winning R&B artist Legend doesn’t just channel his love for his wife (and model) Chrissy Teigen, he proclaims it. After analyzing more than 400,000 wedding-themed playlists worldwide, Spotify in 2015 named the song the top choice for tying the knot. “I love the lyric ‘your perfect imperfections,’” said Sieracki. “It’s a common theme with these songs that they have these great lyrics, about appreciating the person for who they are. I don’t think there’s anyone on the planet who doesn’t want to be the John Legend-Chrissy Teigen love story. They’re so fantastic.” ED SHEERAN — “THINKING OUT LOUD” Speaking of ballroom dancing, British singer-songwriter Sheeran made a splash when his video for 2014’s “Thinking Out Loud” debuted, featuring him

sashaying with “So You Think You Can Dance” contestant Brittany Cherry, who was clad in a white dress. “And, darling, I will be loving you ‘til we’re 70/ And, baby, my heart could still fall as hard at 23,” Sheeran croons, later belting, “Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars.” The mid-tempo guitar- and piano-fueled song, which won two Grammys, including 2015 song of the year, is a favorite wedding tune for Brides magazine readers. Like many newer songs, this is open to all couples, whether it’s two grooms or two brides. ADELE — “MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE” Backed by a steady piano melody, mega-hit-maker Adele’s 2008 cover of Bob Dylan’s 1997 song “Make You Feel My Love” doesn’t just ooze melancholy romance; it showcases her instantly recognizable soulful

and hashed out a design. Then they shopped for fabrics, and Davis took a plaster cast of Hardy’s body to work off of. Hardy’s neutral toned, cocktaillength dress ended up being a sleek and artistic combo of raw silk, clear sequins, upholstery fabric and darker, vine-like embroidery, with part of a multi-colored kimono sash on one shoulder. “I wanted it to be tree-like and rootlike, and Gerri as an architect brought structure to it,” said Hardy, who was then going to school for landscape design. “I also don’t like the colour white. It doesn’t look good on me, and I would get it dirty. Comfort is really important. If I’m in a corset or bodice, that wouldn’t work.” A more comfy, translatable wedding look that can also be worn at other events has a certain appeal. Still, while Hardy wanted her dress “to not just be a wedding dress in my closet,” she said, she hasn’t yet worn it again. “For a certain bride, there’s something about a more casual dress, if it’s a more casual wedding or party,” said Minor. “I have to be honest, though. I haven’t seen someone wear their wedding dress again. I have a friend who wore cocktail-length gold, and we said, ‘You’re going to wear that again!’ But she didn’t.”

voice. The song was on her first studio album, “19.” “When the rain is blowing in your face/ And the whole world is on your case/ I could offer you a warm embrace/ To make you feel my love,” Adele sings at the beginning, filling each note with a raspy warmth. LONESTAR — “AMAZED” With lyrics such as, “I wanna spend the rest of my life/ With you by my side,” Lonestar’s 1999 twangy power ballad “Amazed” has become a favorite for country music lovers, said Sieracki. Oodles of videos on YouTube show couples doing their first dance to the tune. “There are a lot of people that look to country music for their wedding songs,” she said. “This song is a love story, a lyrical piece that really works for all types of couples.” Farra also recommends singer-songwriter Jack Johnson’s mellow acoustic ode “Better Together” for cake-cutting or a processional. “It has an upbeat feel to it,” he

said. “The lyrics are about being better with that other person.” ETTA JAMES — “AT LAST” With its sweeping violin melody and James pouring her heart out, “At Last” has a timeless quality. Short and direct, its poetic lyrics muse about finding and keeping love. “There’s something that holds true with the lyrics in 2016, 2017,” said Sieracki. “It’s doesn’t matter what the couple looks like, their ages. At your 50th anniversary, this is the song you’re going to want to dance to again.” A few other popular modern options: “Marry You” (2010) by Bruno Mars “A Thousand Years” (2011) by Christina Perri “Ho Hey” (2012) by The Lumineers “You Are the Best Thing” (2008) by Ray LaMontagne “I Won’t Give Up” (2012) and “I’m Yours” (2008) by Jason Mraz



A twist on the bouquet toss

any couples are ready to toss aside the idea of a bouquet toss and reinvent the tradition. The bouquet toss is one tradition that may benefit from a little personalization. In a 2015 Jezebel poll of about 4,500 readers, 19 percent supported having a bouquet toss, but 81 percent were against it, suggesting that this tradition is ready for some updating. The bouquet toss traces its origins to Olde English times. In those days, women used to try to rip pieces of the bride’s dress and flow-

ers in order to obtain some of her good luck. To escape from the crowd, the bride would toss her bouquet and run away. The bouquet is tossed to single women with the idea that whoever catches it will be the next to marry. This may have placated the throngs of single ladies in olden times. Today, however, some single women are no longer interested in finding matches at a wedding and view the bouquet toss as a somewhat archaic tradition. For couples who want to

New trends: campgrounds, bubbles, food trucks


By Beth J. Harpaz The Associated Press

Thursday, February 23, 2017T

f your idea of a wedding involves throwing rice and eating a slice of white, three-tiered cake, you’ve got some catching up to do. These days, guests blow bubbles or light sparklers instead of throwing rice. Trendy couples are getting married in barns and campgrounds, and they’re hiring food trucks for dinner and serving doughnuts for dessert. And how did anyone get married before the internet? From Pinterest inspiration to emailed invites and hashtagged photos, everything but the “I do” can be digital. We got input from more than 100 sources — including wedding planners, hotels and caterers, newlyweds and guests, websites, magazines and Mindy Weiss’ “The Wedding Book” — to compile the following look at what’s new in weddings.

embrace the traditional bouquet toss while giving it a more modern twist, consider the following suggestions. · Girls-only dance: Invite all of the women out on the floor - not just the single ones - and play a female-centric empowerment song or one that mentions ladies having a good time. This puts the emphasis on having fun rather than finding a spouse. · Attach a prize to the toss. To encourage people to participate, explain that the bouquet- and garter-toss winners get prizes - and that the prize has nothing to with finding a partner. · Wedding anniversary count-


Instead of a printed program, look for chalkboard signs telling you where to go, what to do and when. Dogs are on planes, in stores and everywhere else, so why shouldn’t they walk down the aisle with their owners? Couples are also inviting those nearest and dearest to join them at the altar regardless of gender. A bride can have a male friend by her side and a groom can have a female friend. Some even call them bridesmen and groomsmaids.


Beaches and gardens have been popular alternatives to hotel ballrooms for a while. But venue options are getting even more rustic. Barns are a big trend, as are campgrounds where guests bunk for the weekend and line up for grub in the dining hall. These relaxed, semi-outdoor settings also lend themselves to weddings that feel more like summer camp or bar mitzvahs than formal occasions. Think scavenger hunts, trivia games, color war, campfires, singalongs, volleyball, bocce, croquet and glow necklaces for dancing in the dark.


Anything goes as fun alternatives to staid seated dinners: wedding brunches, food trucks, vegan and glutenfree spreads, barbecues, cheese trays, oyster bars and sliders. Multicultural menus include make-your-own taco bars and sushi stations. And with guests wandering around nibbling this and that, assigned seats can be replaced by a mix of informal tables, chairs, stools, counters, sofas and picnic tables. Booze trends include craft beer and signature cocktails. Some couples still want that three-tiered cake, but lots of wedding desserts are going rogue. Cupcakes were the darling alternative a decade ago, but today’s trendy sweets include milkshakes, gourmet doughnuts, s’mores, pies, churros, candy buffets and make-yourown ice cream sundae bars. There’s also a “naked cake” craze — filling between the layers but no frosting!

down: Invite all of the married couples to the center of the dance floor. The DJ or band can play a beautiful love song and count up the years as the song plays. As each year is mentioned, couples leave the dance floor after their most recent anniversary has passed. The last couple on the dance floor marks the couple who has been married the longest. That couple gets to take home the bouquet. · Have a bridal piñata. All guests can take a turn at hitting a bouquetshaped piñata. It’s fun and entertaining and doesn’t discriminate based on age or marital status. With a little ingenuity, the traditional bouquet toss can be reborn.


Today’s couples need Pinterest, Instagram and Etsy for inspiration, the WeddingWire database for vendors and WeddingHappy for planning help. They may reject paper invitations in favour of emails. Directions, schedules and other FAQs can be found on personal wedding websites. Digital registries are no longer limited to individual retailers. Amazon has a wedding registry, MyRegistry. com allows you to aggregate products from any number of retailers, and Zola offers a curated selection of products from various brands. Couples with enough towels and silverware might prefer donations toward a honeymoon via sites like GoFundMe or What’s that you’re mumbling about writing a check? Stop living in the 20th century! For photos, the happy couple will provide a custom hashtag to make it easy to find all the Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts, and they may also ask you to upload your images to a website like WedPics. Are you ready for the wedding video shot by drone? Or are you still trying to wrap your head around weddings that are livestreamed or Skyped for those who can’t be there in person? And what’s that in the side of the wedding gown? A POCKET? Of course! The bride needs to keep her cellphone handy. Because if there were ever a day for selfies and Snapchat, this would be it. Of course there are anti-cellphone couples too. They might ask guests to please put cellphones away to reduce distractions during the ceremony. This policy also prevents you from posting pics that aren’t as flattering as the ones shot and edited by a professional photographer.


Floral arrangements are trending green and wild — eucalyptus, pine boughs and holly berries, wildflowers in jam jars, plants instead of cut flowers and environmentally friendly succulents. Some brides may still toss the bouquet to all the single ladies, but many have tossed that tradition into the garbage.


Thursday, February 23, 2017


'I DO', TAKE TWO: Guid to a second ariage

A registry to relish

egistries are a wedding tradition, not unlike a couple’s first dance or the best man/maid of honor toast. But as practical as wedding registries are, many couples approach their registries with a degree of hesitation, fearful that they might appear presumptuous or simply uncertain about what to include on their lists. The following tips can help engaged couples build a registry to relish and utilize for years to come. · Establish an online registry. Whereas guests once had to visit a couple’s favorite retailer(s) and ask what remained on their registry, online registries now allow well-meaning family members and friends to peruse potential gifts from the comforts of home and ship gifts directly to the couple. Online registries even indicate which items have already been purchased, saving couples the trouble of returning duplicates while reassuring buyers that their gifts are fulfilling a need or want. · Share your registry information on your wedding website and stationery. Guests need to know where you are registered, so share that information on your wedding website and include it on your save-the-date cards and invitations. · Register with multiple retailers. By registering with more than one retailer, couples can give their guests more options to choose from. Try to include one brick-and-mortar store, ideally one with a national presence, so guests who prefer to shop in-person won’t be forced to buy online. · Don’t be afraid to list expensive items. While few guests will break the bank to buy wedding gifts, that

does not mean couples should avoid including expensive items on their registries. Some couples might feel it’s inappropriate, but it can actually prove practical. Many stores offer couples steep discounts on items they listed on their registries that ultimately were not purchased. If you have your eye on an especially expensive item, include it on your list without worrying about how it may look to your guests, as they will understand when you explain the post-wedding discount you’re eligible for. · Don’t limit your registry to expensive items. While it’s perfectly acceptable to include expensive items on your registry, remember that variety is the spice of life when adding items to your registry. Include items at a range of price points for guests working with various budgets. Don’t hesitate to include low-cost items, as some guests may enjoy building a wedding gift basket with various affordable items from your registry. · Remember that no gift is too obscure. Thanks to the Internet, just about any item can now be tracked down by ambitious gift givers. If you want to include items that might not be available at run-of-the-mill retailers, choose an online retailer such as Amazon to host one of your registries. Such sites are great places to find specialty items or more obscure offerings that might be out of stock at more traditional retailers. · Encourage donations. If you are truly hesitant to ask for gifts or you’re tying the knot later in life and already have everything you need, encourage guests to donate to a favorite charity in lieu of making a donation.


avish second weddings were once uncommon, but that trend is shifting. Couples who are taking another crack at marriage are tying the knot with renewed vigor and with weddings that may rival some first-timers’. The following are some guidelines to making the wedding sequel a success.


Couples who have been married before often find that they have more leeway with regard to their wedding wardrobes than they did when tying the knot for the first time. Brides may choose something less traditional than a long, white dress. In fact, this can be a time to let loose and select something that is festive or even funky. This also may provide a great opportunity to choose clothing styles from different cultures or ties into one’s heritage. This freedom also allows brides to broaden their horizons with regard to where to buy their wedding wardrobes. Grooms may opt for something more casual than a tuxedo or coordinate with their brides-tobe so they are on the same creative page.


The guest list doesn’t have to be a source of


anxiety. Others will understand that there may be a melange of people at a second wedding. Children from previous marriages as well as divorced spouses or former parents-in-law are not out of the question. Even if exes will not be included, make sure they know about the nuptials in advance of others. It’s common courtesy, and it can help head off feelings of ill-will. Some couples choosing to tie the knot again scale back the size of the wedding this time around, feeling something smaller and more intimate - with only the closest of friends and family - is more suitable.

Considering couples who have been married previously likely have many of the housewares and items for daily living that first-timers may not, registering for these gifts is not necessary. In lieu of gifts, couples may ask guests to donate to a specific charity or forgo gifts altogether.


Couples can use experience to draft vows that have personal meaning to their unique situations and make the wedding ceremony even more special. People getting married again can impart their own personalities into the ceremony and party to follow. There are no hard rules governing second weddings, so couples can plan their weddings with good times in mind.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

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2017 Bridal Guide  

Southern Maine's guide to help you plan your big day! With everything from new trends to local venues and vendors, you don't want to miss ou...

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