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l a d i r B e d i Gu Groom style tips

Eloping planners

Bridal hair styles

Picking a bouquet

Popular wedding months

Tips for a second wedding Wedding photos that last forever About religious ceremonies Finding the perfect dress Choosing a caterer DA

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Published February 25, 2016 by the

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Southern Maine's LOCAL Guide to Wedding Planning

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2 BRIDAL GUIDE

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2016 Bridal Y Guide Y n AP EWsP

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Finding the perfect dress...............................3 Wedding photos that last forever...............4 Choosing a caterer..........5 Picking a bouquet........6-7 Bridal hair styles...............8 Groom style tips..............9 Eloping planners............10 Tips for a second wedding........................10 About religious ceremonies....................10 Popular wedding months.........................11

Publisher: Devin Hamilton

Design/ Composing:

Michelle Cote, art director Shelley Richard, Claire Smith

Articles/ Editing:

Journal Tribune news staff The Bridal Guide was published by the Journal Tribune at 457 Alfred Street, Biddeford, ME 04005. Phone: (207)282-1535

Thursday, February 25, 2016

ou’re engaged; now what? First thing’s first: Breathe. Now let’s talk! Many recently engaged couples tell us they aren’t sure where to begin. It’s not like you plan a wedding every day, so know that you’re not alone if you feel slightly overwhelmed. Here are 17 steps (in order!) to help you plan your perfect day, courtesy of Blue Elephant Events and Catering in Saco: 1. Venue: It could be said that the venue is the most important piece of someone’s wedding day, because without it, the party can’t go on. Choosing your venue is almost like buying a house. It should be truly special to the both of you, and if you’re not crazy about it upon your initial visit, you definitely won’t be crazy about it on your wedding day. With hundreds of venues in Maine, there are plenty to choose from. 2. Catering: There are different types of dinner services to choose from and endless food options. Once you have determined your menu and the type of dinner service, you can create your rental list. You may need a tent, tables, chairs, china, flatware, glassware and more, including decor and props. 3. Photography/videography: A visual record of your day is very important. Your photos and videos will last for years to come, and will be seen by your children’s children.

Your perfect

wedding planning timeline

Photography works best when you click with the person taking your photos – they will see you when you’re vulnerable, when you’re crying and maybe when you’re in your underwear! You certainly don’t have to be friends with your photographer, but you should know them well enough that you are not shy in front of them. 4. Wedding planning: Your wedding should be the most enjoyable experience ever. Planning the entire thing yourself can be tiring and worrisome, especially since you probably have a job and a life to worry about. Choosing a company that offers planning will help save costs, and the planning will pay for itself, because this person can tell you where you should really be spending and saving your money. They will also remember everything to the last detail, including who is going to set up and break down all of your tables, who is going to fill

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your monogrammed Champagne flutes, and who is going to make sure the bridal party gets down the aisle on time. The right vendors are important, because they will make your wedding vision a reality, and your wedding planner will know which ones can make it happen the way you want it to. 5. Florals: Arrangements and centerpieces never leave the tables, so make them beautiful, and be sure to select a florist who will listen to your vision. 6. Dresses and tuxedos: Choosing your wedding attire can be one of the most fun pieces of your planning. Have someone come with you to try on wedding dresses (this is a great mother/daughter thing). Make a day of choosing your bridesmaid dresses and groomsmen tuxedos. Separate in the morning, and meet for lunch when you’re done. 7. Music: We all agree that music makes a party and that people love to dance, but the big dilemma lies in deciding between a DJ or a band. If you prefer to hear songs in their original format, hire a DJ. If you like interpretation, hire a band. Either way, make sure whoever you choose is experienced and has good reviews under his or her belt. 8. Lighting: Whether it’s soft, glowing yellows or wild purples, lighting adds elements to a room that can completely change the look. Have your event planner pick the lighting company

and help lead you in the right direction. 9. Wedding cake: Who doesn’t like cake? It is the last thing your guests will eat, and one of the last things they will remember about your special day. Be sure to have a tasting, and don’t feel as though you have to go too big. A lot of couples purchase a small cake for the cake cutting and have sheet cakes cut for their guests. Ask your caterer or planner for recommendations – after all, they get to try them all! If cake isn’t your thing, try cupcakes, a candy bar or ice cream. 10. Transportation: At weddings, we see antique cars, limousines, convertibles and buses. The right company should have a backup in case of a breakdown or flat tire – make sure to include that in your list of questions for the transportation companies. 11. Officiant: The person who’s marrying you could be your brother, sister, friend or a total stranger. Make sure you enjoy standing next to this person, because he or she will be standing in front of you during the ceremony, and will be in all of your photos. 12. Bar: Unless you have a caterer with a license, choosing the right bar service is a must. Maine has a lot of hoops to jump through if you buy your own alcohol. Always go with a company that is fully licensed and insured. Different types of bars include cash, open, cocktail hour only and consumption bars. 13. Invitations: Your invitations should be special, as they are a keepsake. From vintage to modern, choose something that is a reflection of your day. 14. Favors: Do away with them and save the money for something else. If you want them, go for it, but we often find that many get left behind. • See Timeline, Page 3


BRIDAL GUIDE 3

Thursday, February 25, 2016

the dress:

Finding the perfect gown requires prep work, time By KRYSTEANA SCRIBNER Special to the Journal Tribune

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edding dresses, like the unique women who wear them, come in all shapes and sizes. But what truly goes into buying the attire that’s just right for you? Wearing the perfect dress • Timeline, From Page 2

15. Bridal party gifts: It is always fun to give something to the people that you’ve chosen to be part of your day. There is no need to go all out for these, as they can be meaningful without breaking the bank. Even if it’s a rock from your favorite beach as kids, that will mean more than a monogrammed flask.

can provide that glorious atmosphere you’ve always wanted to the celebration you’ve always dreamed of. Here are some tricks and tips to buying a dress that won’t put a hole in your wallet: 1. Shop with a price in mind: At most stores, prices for dresses can skyrocket to 16. After-party: Weddingafter parties have become a new trend, especially for people in Maine getting married near Portland’s Old Port. Spending some time at the hotel bar where you’re staying is a great way to ensure safety for your partygoers. 17. The most important step of all: Don’t forget to enjoy each moment of your wedding day!

uncontrollable rates. It’s important to be realistic and have a set price in mind when you leave for the store. While most stores offer discounted rates on dresses, having a smaller budget can help you buy a dress that won’t break the bank. For Halie Cote of Sanford, finding the perfect dress was difficult, but well worth the work. At the very beginning of the process, she set a clear budget. Although it was small, she was able to find a dress that reflected how she wanted to feel on her special day. “There is a lot that goes into buying a wedding dress. There are thousands of options and styles, and you can even add personal touches,” Cote said. “You need lots of time for this. They are very expensive, but I genuinely believe they are

worth the cost.” Dress prices will vary from store to store. David’s Bridal in Portland has dresses priced as high as $1,500 and as low as $99 (on sale, that is). Knowing when a store will be having sales may also be a good time to purchase it as well.

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Buying on a small budget may feel constricting, but if you’re only going to wear your wedding dress once or twice, why spend thousands of dollars for a beautiful closet decoration? 2. Be open to recommendations: People often delve into their wedding plans with a specifically crafted image of what everything will look like, but don’t be afraid to take advice from the people who surround you. When trying on dresses, give the sales representative an idea of what you’re looking for, and they may bring you the perfect dress that you would have never picked otherwise. 3. Trust your judgment and instinct: Don’t leave the shops with a dress you’re not absolutely in love with. Remember, even if you spend all morning trying on dresses and nothing seems to be feeling “just right,” it’s probably safe to say purchasing it out of sheer frustration will lead only to regret later on.


4 BRIDAL GUIDE

Thursday, February 25, 2016

PHOTO COURTESY RUSS CARON WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

Hiring a wedding photographer should be second on your to-do list behind booking a venue, says Russ Caron of Russell Caron Wedding Photography in Biddeford.

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hile wedding ceremonies typically only last around 30 minutes, the photographs last forever. So finding the right wedding photographer is crucial to the big day – and can take some time. According to two local wedding photographers, couples should contract with a photographer about a year before their wedding day, which means they should start hunting for one even sooner. “There’s more risk the longer you wait,” says Russ Caron of Biddeford-based Russell

Caron Wedding Photography, who recommends hiring a photographer as the next step after booking a venue. “The earlier they start planning, the better,” said Joe McKenney of McKenney Photography in Biddeford. Ideally, Caron said, couples should choose a photographer based on “how (their) images speak to them,” even if that means rearranging their budget. “Most of the other things they’re going to buy for the wedding are going to be tossed out at the end of the night, but the photographs will last forever, so it’s an area that’s defi-

nitely worth putting the money into,” Caron said. Besides the fact that photographers are often booked a year or more in advance, both Caron and McKenney said it’s important to find a photographer early to build a relationship with him or her. The more comfortable a couple is with their photographer, the more genuine and better the photos turn out. Caron and McKenney both use a photojournalistic approach to wedding photography to capture real moments and emotions. They never shoot weddings alone • See Photography, Page 5


BRIDAL GUIDE 5

Thursday, February 25, 2016

S

Choosing a caterer starts with a vision

By TAMMY WELLS Senior Staff Writer

o you’re engaged, and have set the wedding date. But what sort of wedding do you want to have? Traditional, formal or more relaxed? Would you enjoy a Maine lobster bake? A reception with a hoe-down theme? How about a 1920s-retro event? It all comes down to planning ahead, figuring out your vision, and choosing a caterer and event planner. That’s the word from Reuben Bell of Blue Elephant Events and Catering in Saco and Gina Sawtelle of Above and Beyond Catering at the Town Club in Sanford. Both have years of experience helping folks plan a perfect wedding – one that take the stress off the happy couple. • Photography, From Page 4

(Caron works with his wife; McKenney with his sister-inlaw), and this is something they strongly recommend couples look for in a photographer. “It’s really tough to capture everything going on at a wedding with one person,” McKenney said. Having a second photographer also allows as much attention to be given to the groom as to the bride, said Caron. Couples should hold what’s known as an “unplugged wedding,” they said. While it has nothing to do with the photographers themselves, unplugged weddings are weddings in which guests are asked to refrain from using electronic devices such as cell phones and cameras. Not only does this allow guests to fully experience the wedding, it allows the photographers to do their jobs without the distraction of a crowd of guests gunning for the best Instagram shot. “I wish 100 percent of people would go unplugged,” McKenney said.

From the food to the decor, a wedding caterer can help take the stress out of planning the big day.

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Perhaps the first task, said Bell, is calling a caterer early on. He suggested 12 to even 18 months before the event, “to give yourself some room.” “If you start early, you have more options,” said Bell. Couples want to make sure the caterer they choose is available for their special day. Sawtelle puts it a little differently. “We can do it in 11⁄2 years or three weeks,” she said, depending on her company’s availability.

Bell urged couples to think about what they want the caterer to do. Some provide just the food, while others such as Blue Elephant and Above and Beyond also do event planning, recommend venues, help with the decor and more. Sawtelle said it’s important that couples find a caterer and event planner that listens to their vision. “You want to fulfill their vision,” she said, “whether its a laid-back family barbecue or a winter wonderland.”

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Both Blue Elephant and Above and Beyond offer venues as part of a catering package, if that is what the couple wants. Bell said cocktail receptions are increasingly popular these days, as are family-style dining services and lobster bakes. Sawtelle said barn weddings have been a big hit over the past few years. Food can range from ethnic choices to that Maine lobster bake or something much more formal.

Caters and event planners can do it all– from venue to flowers and cake – or they can just a part of the wedding experience. And while it may be uncomfortable to talk about, budget is an important factor to discuss, said Bell. “Its realistic to look at your budget and decide how much to put into the wedding,” he said. — Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 327 or twells@ journaltribune.com.

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6 BRIDAL GUIDE

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Picking a bouquet not always an easy task By ALEX SPONSELLER Sports Staff Writer

O

rganizing a wedding requires much time, thought and preparation. Between where and when

to marry and who to invite, brides and grooms must make many decisions leading up to the special day. A simple yet important part of any wedding is the floral

arrangement for the bride. Although choosing and generating floral arrangements may seem like a simple task, there are many elements to consider. Perhaps the most important

advice any florist would give is to plan ahead. The recommended time to order flowers is three to six months before the date. This will ensure both parties will land on the perfect arrangement and have enough time to adjust if need be. Of course, another key piece

to choosing an arrangement is what colors to include. When deciding on the color and tone of an arrangement, keep in mind the color of the dresses of the women on the altar. As one might expect, many factors contribute to the • See Bouquet, Page 7

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Thursday, February 25, 2016 • Bouquet, From Page 6

color coordination of dresses. One of the most important factors is the season, with warm months usually leading to warm colors and cool months, cool colors. In terms of creating ideas, the most effective way is to set up an arrangement consultation with a local florist. Consultation fees may vary, so be aware of this when plan-

ning your wedding budget. There are a handful of local shops that specialize in bridal arrangements, including Thom’s Twin City Florist, located on Elm Street in Biddeford. You could also ask friends and family for advice, and explore the Internet. Many websites such as Pinterest and bridalguide.com serve as great resources, as well.

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8 BRIDAL GUIDE

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Heads up

on hair styling for bride to be By BRAD SPIEGEL Special to the Journal Tribune

A

ny hairdresser who works on a bride’s hair on the day of the big event will tell you that the top priority is to have the least amount of stress possible. There are a multitude of issues that can – and probably will – arise throughout the couple’s day. But if the bride comes to the salon with realistic expectations and is well prepared, it should be smooth sailing. “I always say that we want you to be the most beautiful version of yourself on your wedding day,” said Heather Valliere, co-owner of Salon Smith in Saco. “(The bride) has to have realistic expectations of what her hair can do.” The first order of business is contacting the salon of choice two to three months before the wedding – not just to schedule an appointment for the wedding day, but also to schedule

a consultation/test run, which is best performed about four to six weeks out. This is the time the bride comes in with ideas of hairstyles and possible items to be put in her hair, such as a veil or headpiece. “If you want to look a certain way, it is better to come in for a consultation. That way, there is no guessing (on the wedding day),” said Lisa DeHaven, a partner at Saundarya Hair Salon and Day Spa in Sanford. “We don’t want a bridezilla in here, so we want to make sure she is as comfortable as possible.” In past years, tight up-dos were all the rage, but DeHaven and Valliere, who both do more than 20 weddings per year, said the current trend is a softer, romantic look. That includes loose curls and pieces of hair hanging down. They also see instances where everything is braided. Bright colors and styles that a bride has never attempted

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before are discouraged. “You should look like yourself, but at your very best,” Valliere said. Here are some other tips to consider: • Up to the day of the wedding, continue regular mainte-

nance of your hair, including washing and cutting. • Stick with your style. • Bring only supportive people on the day of the wedding and limit the number to the size of the room, whether at

COURTESY PHOTO

the salon or offsite. • Wear appropriate clothing, such as a button-down shirt or zipper hoodie, so when it’s taken off, it doesn’t disrupt your hair.


BRIDAL GUIDE 9

Thursday, February 25, 2016

COURTESY PHOTO

A soft, romantic look is popular with brides this year.

Grooms:

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eddings are a chance for couples tying the knot to be the center of attention. All eyes will be glued to the bride and groom on this special day, which makes it even more important for couples to look their collective best. Brides might garner most of the attention on a couple’s wedding day, but dashing grooms also will get their share of attention. As a result, grooms must be just as diligent as their blushing brides with regard to grooming and appearance on their wedding days. To look picture-perfect, grooms may want to include these grooming tips in their wedding day preparation.

Hair

Schedule a haircut with a professional stylist roughly a week before the wedding to get your hair shaped and trimmed. Although trendy hairstyles may show off creativity, keep in mind that photos last forever and it’s often better to stick with a clas-

Look your wedding day best sic cut. A barber or stylist may suggest styles that best suit your face shape and hair texture. Above all, the haircut should be neat. Resist the urge to wash your hair every day before the wedding. Allow some natural oils to build up and make your hair shine in a healthy way.

Heather Valliere of Salon Smith in Saco works on a bride’s hair.

Shaving

Shaving is another thing grooms must consider. If you have a beard, make sure it is clean, combed and trimmed. Men who shave the day of their weddings may find their skin is sensitive and irritated, which can lead to redness. Unless your facial hair grows especially fast, shave the evening before. This is a good time to splurge on a professional shave with a straight razor at a barber shop. A hot shave from a professional will produce a close shave with the least amount of irritation when done correctly. • See Grooms, Page 10

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10 BRIDAL GUIDE

Eloping?

• Grooms, From Page 9

Hands

Grooms also may want to book a manicure. Keep in mind that salons will do men’s nonpolish manicures and pedicures and they can be well worth the investment. Photos of entwined hands or close-ups of the ring exchange will have guests zeroing in on your fingers. Have hands look their best with clean, shaped fingernails and trimmed cuticles.

Skin

Get plenty of sleep the night prior to the wedding. Being well rested will help reduce puffy eyes, dark circles and sallow skin. It will also put you in a more positive mood, which can help you enjoy the day even more. The day of the wedding, shower using water and a mild soap. Avoid any skin irritation by patting your face and body dry, rather than rubbing it with the towel. Moisturize your skin to avoid dry patches. Stores sell many moisturizers geared toward men’s needs, often in unscented or more masculine fragrances. Reducing shine is key for wedding day photos. Rely on face and hair products that will not add unnecessary sheen to your skin or hair to avoid making you look greasy. Matte hair waxes and sprays will tame tresses. Also, ask your fiancé to pick you up a package of blotting tissues if you are prone to oily skin. These absorbent, typically rice-paper sheets will remove oil from your face and keep sheen to a minimum.

Smile

Make sure your teeth have been thoroughly brushed and that you have used a minty mouthwash so you’re primed for that first kiss. Many grooms also opt for whitening treatments prior to the wedding so they have a dazzling smile. On their wedding days, grooms will likely be photographed more than any other time in their lives. That means putting extra effort into personal grooming to look their best.

Thursday, February 25, 2016T

There are planners for that too By LIZ GOTTHELF Staff Writer

In the past, eloping was thought of as two lovers running away to secretly get married on short notice. “That’s not the case anymore,” said Peter Hill, manager of the Gazebo Inn at Ogunquit. “They are often planned.” The Gazebo Inn is one of a number of hotels, inns and resorts in Maine and around the country that offers an elopement package, in which a couple can arrange a private wedding and accommodations. Hill said couples of all ages have eloped at the inn. For some, it’s a second wedding, and neither wants the big to-do they had at their first. Others are younger couples looking for an economical option so they can save money for a house and start a family. Some couples opt for a private elopement ceremony rather than have a family reception at a later date. The Gazebo Inn’s basic elopement package includes roses, chocolate-covered strawberries, Champagne, a photo shoot, the ceremony itself, officiate fees, dinner for two and transportation to and from dinner in an antique Mercedes limousine. “We want everything to be relaxed and stress-free for the bride and groom,” said Hill. The photographer and wedding offi-

ciant are both in-house, which keeps the package affordable, he said. “Our package has no hidden costs,” said Hill. “It’s very easy to calculate.” The Gazebo Inn performs elopements all year round every day of the week, and those eloping must stay at the inn, meeting minimum stay requirements for that time of year. No more than one ceremony per weekday or per weekend is performed. Hill said the Inn began offering elopement packages about three years ago, and they have proved to be extremely popular. Several ceremonies have already been performed at the Inn this year, and all weekends in June are booked. — Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 325 or egotthelf@ journaltribune.com.

Make a second wedding stand out

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eddings can be even more special the second time around. Couples planning to get married do so with the intention of spending the rest of their lives together. Few couples exchange rings thinking divorce or the loss of a spouse is in their future, but some marriages do end. Happily, that reality does not prevent many people from seeking happily ever after once again. A recent study from

the Pew Research Center found that many people who were married before are deciding to take the plunge a second time. Four in 10 new marriages in the United States now include one partner who was married before. Roughly 42 million American adults have gotten married a second time - up from 22 million in 1980. The Pew study also discovered that more men than women are likely to get remarried.

Around 65 percent of previously married men have a desire to remarry, compared to 43 percent of previously married women. Men and women about to get married for a second time can consider the following tips to help make the day one to remember forever. · Recognize that a second wedding is in no way less important than the first. Couples should remember that • See Second Wedding, Page 11

What to expect at a religious ceremony

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edding ceremonies commonly include scripture readings, vows, rituals, and other religious traditions specified by the faith. Weddings can be as unique and varied as the couples tying the knot. Quite often couples like to include certain twists on the ceremony and celebration to personalize their big days. Just as there are surprises at weddings, there are also many traditions that will be adhered to during ceremonies. Couples who opt for religious wedding ceremonies often adhere to certain rules and traditions fostered by their faiths. Guests who may be unfamiliar with traditions outside of their own beliefs may not know what to expect during certain ceremonies. • See Religious Ceremony, Page 11


BRIDAL GUIDE 11

Thursday, February 25, 2016 • Second Wedding, From Page 10

this is still the first wedding for the two of them as a couple and it should be seen as just as special as any other wedding celebration. It’s easy for men and women marrying for a second time to be hard on themselves, especially when thinking ahead to the gifts that were given and the money spent by guests for their first marriage. But a new relationship and love is worthy of a good party. Friends and family who are supportive of you shouldn’t have reservations about helping you celebrate. · Don’t feel boxed in by oldschool etiquette. Rules have relaxed with regard to weddings. Many couples put their personal imprints on their weddings and do not feel the need to conform to outdated expectations. You don’t have to skip all of the frills of a first wedding the second time around or head to the local courthouse and pass on another big wedding. Do what feels comfortable to you, whether that means throwing a big party or hosting a smaller affair. · Let past experience serve as your guide. You’ve been married before and can use that to your advantage. It’s likely you know what worked for the wedding the first time around and which things you probably could have changed or done without. Maybe you were stressed about having everything go perfectly or feeling like you had to put on a show for guests. As a more mature person this time around, you no doubt realize that sharing this special time with the ones you love is the most important wedding component of all. · Be open-minded with your wardrobe. Let the formality of the event and the time of day when you’re getting married influence what you will be wearing instead of perceived etiquette or family notions. It’s acceptable to wear white again if you so desire. Plus, more mature couples have a sense of what makes them look good, rather than opting for trendy outfits. · Above all, have fun. Couples know what to expect the second time around, so stress usually doesn’t stem from the unknown. You may feel more relaxed at a second wedding, so let that ensure you have a great night.

• Religious Ceremony, From Page 10

husband and wife in the eyes of God. The bride and groom will go on to sign the marriage document with two witnesses on hand.

Jewish celebrations

The world’s Jewish population is divided among many distinctive denominations and further classifications. Although there may be subtle differences in wedding ceremonies between the sects, Jewish wedding traditions tend to be consistent across the groups. Conservative and Orthodox Jews may not hold weddings on the Sabbath or other holidays. Couples will sign the Ketuba, which is a marriage document affirming their connection to each other and to God. The ceremony starts with grandparents seated first, followed by a procession of the rabbi, cantor and groomsmen. The groom and bride will be escorted by their parents. The wedding party will gather beneath the chuppah, which is a canopy that signifies a house and represents the couple’s future together. A solid gold ring is given only to the bride according to Jewish law, although more liberal rabbis may allow a ring for the groom as a gift. The bridegroom smashes a wineglass with his foot after the vows have been exchanged.

Christian celebrations

Christian celebrations are similar among the various denominations. Such ceremonies typically involve a proces-

Hindu celebrations

sional, though the groom is typically not included, instead standing at the altar. Christians typically hear various scripture readings, and the officiant will explain the significance of marriage in this faith. Many Catholic weddings feature a full Mass during wedding ceremonies, and this Mass includes the transubstantiation of the Holy Eucharist. After vows and rings are exchanged, the couple kisses and is pronounced

A Hindu wedding celebration is an elaborate affair that includes extended family and community members. The wedding ceremony is called vivaah sanskar and can be a very colorful celebration that lasts for days. The couple and guests will be wearing traditional dress. The bride usually wears body art produced with a mixture of henna and turmeric. Hindu rituals may vary widely, but some key things are shared. According to the “Encyclopedia of Hinduism,” many will include the Kanyadaan, or giving away of the daughter by her father; Panigrahana, or holding one’s hands by a fire to signify the union; and Saptapadi, which is taking seven steps and making seven promises to each other before the fire. The couple may have their clothing tied together during the seven promises ritual to represent their lifelong bond. Wedding ceremonies may vary depending on culture and religion, but they all share the joy of two people pledging their love and devotion to each other.

Be prepared when choosing popular months for weddings

T

he season couples choose to get married can affect many aspects of their ceremonies and celebrations. Vendors are in high demand during popular wedding seasons like spring and summer. But those same vendors may be more flexible and less expensive during those times of year when fewer couples tie the knot. According to The Knot. com, June, August, September and October are the most popular months for couples to say “I do,” while January, February and March are the least popular months to get married. Wedding dates can affect wedding costs considerably, and knowing this can help couples find the date that works best for them and their budgets.

Value dates

Tying the knot in the early part of the year can be a more budget-friendly option for cost-conscious couples. Prices for reception sites and vendors may be lower in January and March than during other times of the year. However, February may not be so budget-friendly thanks to Valentine’s Day. December also may not garner significant discounts thanks to the holiday season.

Local events

Even though certain months may not be in high demand for weddings, that doesn’t always mean they are the perfect time for couples to tie the knot. Popular local events, such as festivals, large-scale meetings and conventions, can intrude on

wedding plans. Consult with a local chamber of commerce and local schools to see if any local events that might drive up the cost of your wedding are going on. Reunions or conventions can stretch nearby restaurants, hotels and reception sites pretty thin, leaving you with fewer options.

Vary the time

If you have your heart set on getting married during more popular months to tie the knot, then you may be able to save a bit here and there by being more flexible with the time and day you choose to make your vows. Couples often choose a Friday or Saturday wedding because they believe it will make it most convenient for guests to attend. However, if

you provide ample notice to guests, they may be able to take off a Thursday or even a Monday from work, making a Thursday or Sunday wedding a more doable option. If Saturday is still your ideal day to walk down the aisle, think about having an early wedding ceremony followed by a brunch or lunch reception. You also can customize your wedding to be a cocktail party only, saving you some money.

Have backup options

Recognize that if you want to get married on a Saturday at the height of wedding season, you may not get first choice on your venues and vendors. Have a list of service providers at the ready just in case your first choices are already booked.


12 BRIDAL GUIDE

Thursday, February 25, 2016

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