Page 1

Letting wedding party in on decisions 3


Registry building takes planning


Shedding for the wedding


Save the date


Put more you into your wedding day 5

Wedding day tips for nervous grooms 5

Dazzle guests with reception touches 6

A twist on the bouquet toss


Wedding guide helps couples budget 8

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Planning tips you can't miss


Home decorating needs compromise 10

Serious style for short-haired brides 11

Plan a successful ceremony


Nontraditional grandparent roles


Choose your color palette


Rustic bouquets add natural flair


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Maine's Guide to Your Big Day

Champagne: a key wedding detail



Published February 23, 2018 Look past gender for modern parties 15


Friday, February 23, 2018

2018 Bridal Guide


8Friday, February 23, 2018


Brides opting out of parties' choices By LEANNA ITALIE Associated Press lison Kelly felt she had enough on her plate dealing with her own wedding gown and all the details of her mountain getaway nuptials without micromanaging how her bridal party would dress. So instead, she asked her maid of honor — her sister — and the rest of her bridal party to choose natural tones to honor the informal Vail, Colo., location that she and her husband had picked for their Sept. 2 nuptials, and to wear styles that made them feel good. “I’m surrounded by women who make their own decisions and are strong and independent. There’s no


way I could tell any of them what to wear. It just wouldn’t even work,” Kelly laughed. “I know that they know their own bodies.” She was thrilled with the results, a soft mix of rose blush, light red, ivory and taupe that proved the perfect complement to her own white gown. The bridesmaids wore matching rings of flowers on their heads. The groom’s party was also not matchy-matchy. He wore light gray, his best man was in black and the other groomsmen were in darker gray. Identical boutonnieres tied their looks together. While brides have been giving their stand-up loved ones greater freedom from the constraints of more


Devin Hamilton


This bridal party gathers at a wedding in Ashville, N.C. The bride allowed her bridesmaids to choose their own dresses, though she stayed in the loop on their plans and was the final arbiter. Mismatching bridesmaids dresses has become more popular in recent years. traditional — often hideous — matching confections, they now seem to be taking the mismatch bridesmaid trend a step further. Matching colors in different silhouettes or identical dye lots for different styles of dresses have given way to completely different cuts, textures and colors. “They did so well,” said Kelly, who lives in Colorado Springs, Colo., and works as a librarian. “They kept showing me the pictures of

what they were thinking. I thought that was really nice because I was just too busy doing my own thing and planning my own stuff. I trusted them, and it ended up being much better than I imagined.” The trend is well represented on the retail side. David’s Bridal, with more than 330 stores in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom, has an online section of mismatched brides-

maids options with advice on how to make the concept work, from using the same color in different styles to choosing wildly different fabrics, lengths, silhouettes, colors, prints and embellishments. One suggestion from the company: Select different shades of the same color, but include light, medium and dark shades to allow for an ombre gradation. For large

See Party Choices, 13

Design/ Composing: Michelle Cote, creative director,

Carol Mancini

Editing: Ed Pierce,

executive editor

ADVERTISING: Katie Frothingham, Michael Pinard, Dayle Pennell, Justin Chenette The Bridal Guide was published by the Journal Tribune February 23, 2018


Registry building takes planning

Friday, February 23, 2018


Seek advice and ask for help with wedding gift selections about what you’ll need to enjoy your home long after the wedding ceremony is over.

StatePoint ust engaged? Before those wedding bells ring, you’re going to do lots of planning in the months ahead. While most of your preparations will only matter on the first day of your marriage, your wedding registry will impact your happily ever after. Wedding experts say to ensure domestic bliss, clinic make the most of your registry with proper planning, research and free resources. “Determining what you want and need for your future should be an exciting process,” says Audrey Stavish, gift registry coordinator at Bed Bath & Beyond. “An expert consultant can help demystify product details and ensure you don’t miss any categories.”


See Registry, 13

Shedding for the Wedding: A 3-month guide


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he dress, the tux, the guests, the honeymoon — there are so many details that go into your wedding day. All eyes are on you from the moment you walk down the aisle until the last dance of the night. Understandably so, brides and grooms often feel a lot of pressure to look their best on this important day — there’s nothing like a wedding to motivate you to get serious about your health and fitness goals.

But crash diets or extreme exercise programs are never the answer. “It’s usually best to start thinking about your specific goals three months before your wedding day to allow plenty of time to establish your routine and adjust to a healthier lifestyle,” says Steve Bronston, personal trainer. “This creates a great opportunity for the bride and groom to support each other and get in shape together.”

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Weeks 1-4

Focus on changing your unhealthy habits. Nutrition is key when trying to lose weight, decrease body fat and increase your overall health. Work with a professional to lay out a detailed nutrition plan that consists of carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats at each meal. Then, begin with a fitness program that incorporates weight training and cardio intervals. Arm exercises like overhead press, tricep push-ups and bicep curls, and back exercises like rows and rear flys help brides looking to tone up for a strapless or low-back dress. Bronston suggests starting with two or three days of weight training, two or three days of cardio and one day of Pilates or yoga.

Weeks 5-8

Now it’s time to switch up your exercise routines. It’s a good idea to work with a personal trainer or join a group fitness class once or twice a week to shake up your routine and stay motivated. Your

workouts should include one to two weight training exercises per body part throughout the week. If you can, try to shift the amount of weight you use and number of repetitions you do to help stimulate change within your body. Continue a cardio routine of two to three days per week and add in another day or Pilates or yoga.

Weeks 9-12

It is important to keep up with your developing healthy habits as the weeks progress, but as your wedding day approaches, you’re sure to feel the stress of planning. “A new focus on rest and relaxation during this time period is key,” Bronston says. You can eat well and exercise perfectly, but without sleep, stretching, rest and recovery, your body is at risk of not functioning properly. Planning a wedding can be stressful and tiresome, but if you commit to a healthy diet and fitness plan, you’ll walk down the aisle feeling confident and ready for your new life ahead.

Save the date

BPT ongratulations 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. 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?


See Date, 13

Friday, February 23, 2018

Put more you into your day


wedding day is filled with symbolic tradition, from varied religious customs to the never-ending circle reflected in the rings and the types of flowers accentuating the celebration. Even with all the traditional rituals to consider, nearly every bride and groom can find ways to give their special day some unique touches that reflect their personality and love. Music sets the mood for every wedding, and it’s an easy place to put your own spin on the celebration. Whether you forgo the traditional bridal march entirely or simply look for an arrangement that gives an updated twist to the classic version, let guests know this isn’t your average wedding by setting the festivities against a soundtrack that lets your true character shine. The wedding party is intended to be a collection of those nearest and dearest to the bride and groom, who help ensure the day goes off without a hitch and who lead fellow revelers in celebrating the start of the new couple’s life together. That being said, there’s no reason this group must be limited to women on her side and guys on his, or even that it’s limited to humans – a beloved pooch can make for an adorable ring-bearer, after all. Photography is an essential element of your big day, but think beyond the images you’ll capture throughout the wedding and reception. Photos lend a personal touch, no matter what your color scheme or theme. Integrate photos of the two of you at various stages of life, together as a couple and with loved ones (perhaps even some you’re honoring in memoriam). You can display these at a table with the guest book, as part of the table centerpieces, or even on the gift table. Or take things digital and load all your images into a slide show set to music.



Wedding day tips

StatePoint here’s an endless stream of advice out there for brides-to-be -- from insights into gown trends to leads on finding the best photographer. But grooms, who are more involved than ever these days in the wedding planning process, may have their own set of worries. Being prepared can keep the pressure of the big day at bay, say experts. “Your wedding day involves hundreds of moving parts. But putting things in perspective and leaning on close friends, family and hired professionals can help you stay calm and happy,” says author Eric San Juan. Whether you’ve been a best man three times in the past or you’re new to the wedding game entirely, these tips from San Juan can help you survive your own big day. • Be a well-groomed groom: Go beyond your normal grooming routine. This is a once-in-a-lifetime occasion and you should look the part. Consider a manicure, ensure your suit or tux is tailored to fit you perfectly. Get a haircut, trim your nose hair. Looking impeccable on your wedding day is crucial. • Melt cold feet: Even the most laid back guy can turn into a wreck once the reality of the big day settles in. Calm your nerves by talking to your best man, having a drink -- as in just one drink, and projecting confidence.


Make favors meaningful. Forgo more common items like bubbles and chocolate, and instead send a little of yourself home with your guests. Maybe it’s a memento from a place with special meaning to you both, or a bottle opener shaped like a bicycle to represent the way you met. Just think about the moments and things that define you as a couple and do some searching online. You’ll probably be surprised by how quickly the options pile up. Serve up a menu that shows guests more about your life together. Your loved ones can order basic beef or chicken anywhere. Instead, give them a glimpse into you. Make your main course the same food you enjoyed on your first date or during another monumental moment in your courtship. Or plan the entire menu around a region that you hold close to your heart. Weddings are filled with traditions, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put your own touches on the day for a special event filled with memories that are uniquely your own.

• Essentials for your pocket: Carrying these essentials with you can help you get through the day-of emergencies: aspirin, your phone, numbers essential for the wedding (such as vendors, drivers and caterers), cash, a stain remover pen, camera, breath mints, handkerchief, lip balm, and of course, the ring. • Master the meet and greet: You can’t avoid small talk on your wedding day. Consider a greeting line so you can get all your hi-and-thank-yous over in one fell swoop. If your better half is the charming one, let her take the lead. Circulate early. The cocktail hour is the perfect time to do a quick circuit of the room. Remember, you don’t need to dwell in any one conversation. You have a built-in excuse to exit a conversation early -- “I should really make my way around the room,” -- is always a legitimate exit line. • Savor the wedding night: Avoid the after party. Allow yourselves to bask in your first hours alone together. You’ll never have this night with her again. Still feeling nervous? “In the United States alone, over 2.5 million guys every year manage to plan and execute one of these celebrations,” says San Juan. “Remember, you really are not alone.”

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Friday, February 23, 2018

Dazzle guests with original reception touches


ost brides have a vision of a beautifully decorated and themed wedding reception. Luckily, it is easy to achieve the wedding decor you see in your mind’s eye with a few easy and inexpensive do-it-yourself projects.

T abl e s th e y ’ l l t a l k a b o ut

You don’t have to settle for the same old table settings and centerpieces when it comes to putting your mark on your reception. Find knickknacks or trinkets that mean something special to you and then use spray paint to turn

them into a coordinated collection perfect for sparking dinner conversation. For example, paint mismatched candlesticks with metallic spray paint in your wedding colors to create a glistening and glamorous centerpiece. Similarly, turn lovebird figures and plain tins into one-of-a kind favors that are sure to please.

Novel n apki n rin gs

Napkins are a necessary dinner table accessory, so what do you do to make them stylish and add another personalized touch? Custom-made nap-


it’s easy to achieve the wedding decor you envision with a few easy and inexpensive do-it-yourself projects.

Metallic paints create a classy look that complements your main wedding colors. While those items dry, spray the glass with a shiny silver spray paint. Once all the pieces are dry, reassemble the frames and use an adhesive to bond the number to the front of the glass. When setting up for your reception, nest these numbers among your other table decorations for an exquisite presentation.

C a r d c a tch e r

kin rings are just the right detail. Wood or metal rings are often available at your local craft store. Then make them your own by gluing on personalized tokens, such as small decorations ornaments or initials, and spray painting to coordinate with your other table decorations for a completely classy look.

Table numbers

Numbering the tables at your reception is an easy way to direct guests to their seats. It’s simple to add an elegant touch by creating your own table numbers using inexpensive photo frames. Whether you purchase frames from a store, garage sale or by collecting them from around your own home, you can create

a cohesive and classy collection in no time. Once you have your frames, purchase house numbers (like those used to show an address) that will fit within the glass area of your picture frames. Remove the glass and wipe all surfaces with alcohol to achieve a clean surface. Spray paint the frame and numbers the color of your choice.

Looking for a creative space for guests to put cards? Convert an old bird house into a beautiful vessel to capture cards. Whether metal or wood, start with a clean surface and paint it in your wedding colors and complementary metallics for a surprisingly classy simple solution for cards. With a bit of inspiration and spray paint, you’ll have a wedding table to wow you guests.

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Delectable appetizers and hors d’oeuvres, creative table displays and spectacular entrees. Bliss can also cater your Rehearsal Dinner or Post Wedding Brunch. This is your day. Relax and enjoy – and leave the rest to Bliss Caterers. To learn more, or to make an appointment to discuss your wedding plans, call (207) 318-9060

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Friday, February 23, 2018

A twist on the toss M 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 flowers 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 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 countdown: 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.

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Friday, February 23, 2018

Champagne: a key nuptial detail

magical moments - from popping StatePoint the question, to the engagement izzing, bubbling, excitparty to the big day. ing and inspiring. “Whatever your style Champagne is - vintage glam, clasthe quintessential sic black-tie, modcomplement to ern, art deco any memorable - Champagne occasion, but is the common perhaps is denominator most inextrithat completes cably linked the most to setting memorable the mood for day of your life,” romance. Pabros said. With wedFrom romanding season tic Champagne upon us, New Towers to FILE PHOTO York City-based gorgeous Champagne and sparkling wine expert Champagnewine are used during wedand bride-to-be Chantelle Pabros, ding toasts. Experts recom- inspired arrangemend providing two glasses ments to the peris sharing some fect Champagne of champagne per guest. of her favorite and dessert ways to incorporate everyone’s favorite celSee Champagne, 12 ebratory beverage into all those


One-of-a-kind weddings with unique flourishes will speak volumes to guests and family members making it a day to remember and reminisce about.

Wedding guide helps couples budget effectively CHEVY CHASE, Md. — WeddingWire Inc., an online database listing local wedding professionals, has launched its latest resource, the Wedding Cost Guide, for addressing the age-old question: How much does a wedding cost? The company touts itself as the only brand in the wedding industry with a feature that provides engaged couples with average cost data for vendors in various mar-

kets across the United States. Engaged couples underestimate how much they will spend on their wedding by about 40 percent and rank understanding vendor pricing information as a top wedding planning pain point, according to WeddingWire research. The guide’s category-specific pricing data includes the high, low and average range of what other real couples recently spent in their geographic area and surfaces

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added details to help couples have a clearer understanding of what to expect to pay for a comprehensive set of wedding services. For example, if you have a larger bridal party, expect to shell out more when considering florals for each attendant (the average cost of a bridesmaid’s bouquet is $75). On average, couples in the U.S. spend nearly $30,000 on

See Budget, 13

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Friday, February 23, 2018

Planning tips you can't miss

BPT 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.


t h e r ental s tore's y o u r p l aygrou nd

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, on top of fees for professional services. You can rent the same items yourself through a rental store - visit to find one in your area. “Working with rental companies is like being in a fantasyland,” Minneapolis-based 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.”

use their organizational skills to ensure weddings go smoothly despite any surprises that arise. You can employ many of the same

E mphasize organ izatio n

Professional wedding planners

organizational tricks they use to help yourself manage the numerous details that go into a wedding, including:

BRIDAL GUIDE 9 • Create an inspiration board. Gathering your color choices, theme elements and inspirations in

See Planning, 12

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Home decorating requires compromise


or most newlyweds, getting back to real life after the honeymoon means turning a house into a shared home. But merging the furniture, housewares and artwork of two individuals is not always a cakewalk.

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Friday, February 23, 2018 Here are some ideas that will help keep you both happy as you plan your new home and future together:


Returning to real life after the honeymoon means turning a house into a shared home. But merging furniture, housewares and artwork of two individuals is not always easy.

Choose your battles When merging belongings you may not agree with each other every step of the way, but it’s not worth picking a fight. Choose what is most important to you so your protests carry more weight. For example, it’s OK to put your foot down when it comes to painting an entire room a color you detest, but it may be better to let it go if you’re talking about the color of the bathroom rug. Likewise, let your spouse have his or her way when you recognize what is meaningful to them. You may hate the rocking chair in your living room, but if it belonged to your spouse’s great-great-grandmother, you better learn to love it. S omething new Thinking of your combined belongings in terms of “ours” and not “mine” is a transition that you can make smoother by picking new things out together.

Even if your home is fully furnished, it doesn’t hurt to invest in at least one new side table or a pair of lamps in which you can take pride in as a couple. What you put on your walls can help you bridge the style gap. “Choosing art together is a great way for new couples to decorate their home as a team,” said Mariam Naficy, CEO of, an online stationery and art store. You can give art even more meaning by presenting wedding art to your spouse as a gift to remember your big day. Divide a nd conquer No matter the size of your home, each of you should have a space that you can call your own and have the freedom to take whatever decorating liberties you please -- be it an entire room of the house, or simply a corner. Living together doesn’t have to mean forfeiting your individuality. If you and your spouse have different approaches to home décor, don’t let the process be a source of stress. Instead, use the experience as a first opportunity to collaborate as a married couple.

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Friday, February 23, 2018

Serious style for short-haired brides Color, embellishments, retro styles, and clever up-dos can set short bridal hairstyles apart.


n a day when all eyes and cameras will be trained on them, it’s natural for brides and grooms tying the knot to want to look their best. As a result, many couples invest a portion of their budgets into spa and beauty treatments, with many even hiring salon stylists to ensure their wedding-day looks are flawless. Women with short hair may lament that they do not have many options when styling their hair for their wedding days. Some may even consider growing out their locks. However, plenty of creative styles exist for ladies without long locks. Experiment with color One way to “tress to impress” is to experiment with some color. Well-placed highlights, balayage treatments, ombre, or peek-a-boo underlights can add an extra spark to a bride’s normal hairstyle. Speak with a qualified stylist about what you plan to achieve with a wedding-day look, so color can be applied correctly.

Retro glamour Brides may want to harken back to an era when glamour reigned supreme. Replicate one of the short styles of the 1940s or 1950s, paying homage to Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall, or Judy Garland. Braids a nd plai ts Braids can add whimsy to shoulder-length or shorter hair. In addition, braids can anchor short locks when an up-do is desired. Braids can be placed into the front or rear crown of the head to look like a hair halo or crown. Use embellishments If short hair cannot be gathered into a braid or bun, you can opt for adorned pins, barrettes or headbands to add a touch of sparkle to the look. Ask a stylist to tease the crown of your hair to achieve a little more height and impact. Half-up style Many women with short hair find that using bobby pins to pin up select areas of their hair can help achieve a partial up-do look without the need for longer locks. Experienced stylists will know how to manipulate hair effectively to create this look. Small tendrils of hair can be left free and curled for a less structured, more natural effect.

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12 BRIDAL GUIDE Champagne, Continued from 8 pairings, here is a great guide to elevating the wedding experience. The Proposal When it’s time to pop the question, splurge on a vintage Champagne that neither of you will ever forget. It’s more than just opening a bottle, it’s an emotional connection. A big, juicy rib eye and a tin of caviar is all you need to offset great Champagne (and the big question). Try Champagne Taittinger’s Comtes de Champagne, which is made from 100 percent Chardonnay, aged for 10 years, and only in the best vintages. “The beauty of a luxurious Champagne is the intrinsic qualities and complexities of the final blend, that extra touch of aging, and the textural experience that you can indulge in as it has a chance to evolve,” says Pabros. The Engagement Party With the growing trend of Champagne cocktails, a Rosé Champagne garnished with fruit or flowers is a terrific signature drink for an engagement party. The delicate pale pink color and racy vibrancy is perfect for warm weather parties, and is unbelievably effortless when it comes to food pairing. “Always a crowd pleaser, refreshing and expressive, all you have to do is pull the bottles out of the fridge and set out the Champagne coupes and some garnishes like edible flowers, raspberries and strawberry slices,” she says. The Wedding Day The honor of any Champagne house lies in the quality of its non-vintage Brut. It is for this reason that Champagne Taittinger makes its Brut La Française every year of consistent quality. Delicate with aromas of white flowers, vanilla and brioche, this Champagne is a great accompaniment for toasts, Champagne towers, and delicious with wedding cake, making it a great choice for the big day.

Plan a successful ceremony

Friday, February 23, 2018



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 setting a tone for their future,” says Nelson Tejada, senior vice president and chief merchandising officer at Things Remembered, a retailer that provides 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 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 high-quality water bottles like Corkcicle, Contigo or TruHydrate. 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. 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.

Nontraditional ways to add grandparents to weddings By LISA A. FLAM Associated Press ancy Rutchik and Flossie Pack are flower girls extraordinaire. Not only did the outgoing and energetic 80-somethings draw cheers as the surprise flower girls at their granddaughter Lucy Schanzer’s wedding, but they reprised the role to further acclaim at the wedding of Schanzer’s younger sister the following year. Being close with her grandmothers, Schanzer, 31, wanted to involve them in her wedding ceremony in a way that was prominent and unique. “Grongong” Nancy and Grammy Flossie embraced their chance to be


Planning, Continued from 9 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 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

flower girls, which was kept secret until the two, wearing pearls and big smiles, began scattering petals from antique silver baskets to the I Love Lucy theme song. They walked down the aisle before an adoring crowd just before Schanzer married Kyle Schanzer on May 30, 2015, in a redwood forest in Carmel, Calif. “When they saw us, they started laughing,” said Rutchik, 87, of Dallas. “Then they had whistle calls are available, from online worksheets to apps, books and old-fashioned 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

and they called our names and ‘Go girl!’ We broke up the wedding. It was really a fun thing.” Many modern couples are tinkering with tradition as they personalize their weddings, and that includes placing grandparents in more visible positions like flower girl or ring bearer, best man or bridesmaid. It’s a loving way to celebrate grandparents who

See Grandparents, 13

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.


Friday, February 23, 2018 Registry, Continued from 4 As you think about registering, Stavish is sharing tips on creating the perfect registry: Don’t delay: You’ll likely have multiple occasions that require gift-giving on the part of friends and family. From the engagement party to the shower to the main event, guests will want giving guidance. So register early. Opt for a registry that offers convenience and good customer service. A store with locations nationwide and an online ordering system will make it easy for you and your guests. Take inventory: Assess what you already have, what you don’t have and what needs replacing. A walk through your home using a registry checklist can help you build a list. Talk to your fiancée and work together. Also, think about what you need now and in the future – you might be dining for two, but soon you could be hosting a dinner party for 12 and will want dinnerware worthy of the occasion. Ask for help: Don’t be shy about seeking advice. Visit a store and talk with an expert consultant who can help with gift selections and offer tips on what you’ll need to enjoy your home. Be sure to research the items that go on your registry. Touch the towels, hold the flatware — you may need to visit the store multiple times to get it right. If you change your mind, remember it’s always possible to update your registry online at any time. Dream big and small: Not all guests will be working with the same budget, so include a range of items at various price points. Guests will appreciate the variety for individual and group gifts. Dream big and include a few big ticket items and gifts that last a lifetime. Keep in touch: From save-the-date notifications, personalized announcement cards and registry details, keep in touch with your guests stylishly with a complete, customized wedding stationery ensemble. Return Policy: Did you get duplicate gifts or gifts in the wrong color or size? Or maybe you just changed your mind. Check a store’s return policy before registering so you can return or exchange any gift on your list and live hassle-free ever after. This is your chance to get everything you ever wanted. By using the help of experts and free resources, you can build the perfect registry.

Party Choices, Continued from 3 a really easy way to make your bridal party stand out.” It’s also a great way for brides wedding parties, mix in some to be more sensitive to the shapes, pale neutrals that will offset the sizes and skin tones of their overall palette. bridesmaids, Brown said. While mismatching is more Complete freedom of choice visible these days, it hasn’t comcan go wrong, so Brown suggests pletely taken over. According to that brides provide some broad the most recent Bridal Fashion guidelines. Study by the wedding site “Offering no guidelines can, done in 2015, 51 create a more stressful process for percent of bridesmaids still wear the bridesmaids,” Brown said. “So the exact same dress as others in their wedding party, while 33 per- don’t just say, oh, buy a blue dress. cent wear the same color in differ- Is it strapless, is it floor length, what material is it, what shade of ent styles, 11 percent wear different dresses and 5 percent wear the blue?” If it’s a super-formal wedding, same style in different colors. for instance, a short dress likely Shelley Brown, fashion and wouldn’t work, Brown said. Nor beauty editor for The Knot, said would a more informal fabric the idea of mismatched bridesmaids dresses is picking up speed like jersey, she said. Some brides who want to offer choice in color as more brides look for ways to without losing control altogether personalize their weddings. may want to offer paint chips as “Over the past few years, a guide. designers have picked up on this “One of my favorite ways to trend, adding new colors and interpret this trend is to pick a styles and patterns so brides can really subtle, neutral color like mix and match,” she said. “It’s

blush or nude or even a very soft pewter and then let your girls choose what embellishments or silhouettes they like,” Brown said. “They could do rose gold sequins if they want to, maybe someone else has a lace dress and someone has some kind of separates happening. That way your girls get to show some of their personalities. They’re definitely spending a lot of time on your wedding. They’re invested in the process. They want to look good, too.” Sydney Broadhead of Nashville, Tenn., is a graduate student in public health and health policy. She was married in May 2016 in a historic home in Asheville, N.C. She went way out of the box when it came to her bridesmaids’ dresses. “I had several bridesmaids of varying sizes, different body types, and I wanted dresses that were going to make them feel more comfortable and weren’t run of the mill,” she said. She wanted romantic tones

but the overall vibe was eclectic. She went shopping with a couple bridesmaids who live near her. Out-of-town bridesmaids sent her photos and questions as they made their selections. “I had one girl in gold and another in pink. One was in metallics. My sister was in red. One had a beaded top. It came together very organically,” Broadhead said. She set few guidelines on styles and fabrics but made it clear she preferred longer dresses. She was the final arbiter before selections were made, and she anchored the bridal party by putting groomsmen in the same suit with matching red ties and boutonnieres to help ground the mismatch on the other side of the aisle. “It was more of a conversation than a free-for-all,” Broadhead said. “The traditional everybodymatching idea felt a little uninventive. I was fine with trying something new.”

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.

wedding ceremony and reception costs, yet determining how to budget for the various vendors and services involved often feels like an overwhelming challenge. By providing realistic costs for everything from the photographer to the wedding cake — as

well as information on sometimes unforeseen or not-included costs that can impact a budget — WeddingWire offers financial insight and education to couples as they start making decisions about their big day. With this new resource, couples and their families can feel more confident and validated in vendor

choices that may impact their bottom line. Once couples are armed with more knowledge, they can easily search and filter by price point in WeddingWire’s comprehensive vendor directory, which features more than 200,000 local wedding professionals across the country. “Setting a budget is a critical first step in wedding planning, but

today’s couples remain unclear on how it could — and should — all add up,” said Sonny Ganguly of WeddingWire. “That’s why we’ve collected this key information.” For more information, and to find out what couples near you are spending on specific wedding services, visit weddingwire. com/cost.

Grandparents, Continued from 12 were involved and influential in their upbringing. “It honors the legacy of a family and the extension of a family and how the family is growing, because that’s fundamentally what marriage is about,” said San Francisco wedding and event planner Alicia Falango, who estimates that about 30 percent of her couples include grandparents in a unique way. “It’s not the norm

per se, but it’s gaining popularity,” she added. These unexpected, high-profile roles are a departure from what many brides and grooms have done for years: quietly recognizing grandparents with a corsage or boutonniere, and having them walk down the aisle ahead of the bridal party to take front-row seats. Recent wedding seasons have seen an Indiana groom who tapped his 90-year-old grandfa-

ther as best man, a Minnesota bride who chose her 92-year-old grandmother as her flower girl, and a Pennsylvania wedding featuring two grandmothers in matching gowns as flower girls. “It resonates with a lot of people,” Falango said. “When you are an adult, it’s a blessing to have a living grandparent. It’s so emotional for people. They go inward and say, ‘Wow, I wish my grandma or grandpa were still here.’”

Beyond including a grandparent in the bridal party, couples can ask one to officiate, like Nadine Gorand did with her grandfather Raymond Oddi. Gorand and her fiance, Pat, wanted an officiant they loved and respected for their Sept. 16 in Chicago. They immediately thought of Oddi, then 89. “His work ethic and his family values are definitely things we both look up to and admire,” said Gorand, 28.

Date, Continued from 4 Headcount. Will your wedding be an intimate family affair or a super-huge extravaganza? The size of your wedding really depends on your budget. Know that you may think small to begin with, but outside influences like Budget, Continued from 8


Friday, February 23, 2018

Choose your palette


ome brides may feel beholden to the color white on their wedding days, at least in regard to their gowns. Those who do often embrace the opportunity to showcase their personal styles and set the mood for their nuptials by embracing various colors throughout their ceremonies and receptions. Color can be a critical component when establishing the ambiance for a wedding. Color can evoke certain moods and set the tone for the day. Some colors work better together than others, so while choosing a color scheme may seem like an easy undertaking, some couples may find it requires more careful consideration than they first imagined. According to the bridal guide 'A Practical Wedding', wedding colors can give couples a starting-off point for all of the other details of their weddings. This ensures the wedding ultimately has a cohesive look. Colors need not necessarily match, but borrowing on similar hues can make it easier to plan wedding party wardrobes, flowers, table linens, and much more. Colors can come from anywhere, but many couples try to coordinate their color schemes with the season

in which the wedding takes place. In fact, couples who are finding it difficult to decide on a palette can look to seasonal colors for inspiration. For example, pastels and blooming flowers can set the scene for spring weddings, while jewel tones and rich reds and greens may be fitting for winter ceremonies. Some couples opt for more loosely defined color palettes, such as neutral and natural colors. Country and garden weddings can borrow ideas from the landscape, with natural linens paired with wildflowers. Using whites, grays and beiges enables couples to add a pop of color without overwhelming the setting. 'Brides' magazine suggests that couples avoid choosing too many colors. A maximum of three with one metallic can ensure that things look cohesive without being over-the-top. Also, brides and grooms needn’t feel pressured by the “hot” colors of the moment. As with clothing and hairstyles, trends change. It is better to select colors that will stand the test of time and look good for years to come. Couples may have to incorporate colors already at their wedding venues into their style. Fortunately many reception sites are outfitted in neutral tones to enable customization. The wedding resource 'The Knot' also says having a basic knowledge of the color wheel can help. Typically, colors that pair well together are those that are opposites on the color wheel. Also, colors that share proximity on the color wheel will have similar tones and play well together.

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Rustic bouquets: natural C flair ouples opting to get back to basics, streamline their nuptials and create more intimate and less superficial affairs often gravitate toward rustic celebrations to showcase their ideals. Rustic weddings also may appeal to environmentalists and men and women who want their weddings to be as eco-friendly as possible. Rustic weddings may include those ceremonies and receptions that take place outdoors or in abodes, such as barns, wineries, castles, or converted silos or town factories. In fact, Bridal Guide says that barn weddings have never been more popular - among both urban and rural couples alike. Coordinating a rustic wedding may mean letting go of perceived notions of how everything from food to favors to flowers should be. In fact, one way to describe rustic weddings - and especially the floral arrangements that adorn them - is “purposely imperfect.” Rustic wedding bouquets may seem like they were plucked right out of the garden or grabbed through a stroll in a meadow. They’re rarely

symmetrical or feature the customary flowers of more formal wedding celebrations. When designing rustic bouquets, florists may keep the stems of wildflowers or other blooms untethered for a relaxed feel. Long stemmed arrangements are quite popular, and trends point toward bouquets that are loosely tied with raffia, twine, vines and other natural materials rather than more refined ribbon. Another way rustic bouquets set themselves apart is with the introduction of other elements into the arrangements. Not merely blooms and greenery, rustic pieces may feature twigs, vines, berries, scabiosa pods, ivy, and feathery ferns. The heights of elements in the bouquet are varied, and the bouquets will not have an overly uniform shape. Rustic bouquets are far from pretentious, and brides shouldn’t feel that these bouquets are delicate or will fall apart when handled. When planning a rustic wedding, couples can work with their florists to create bouquets and arrangements that fit with their visions.


Friday, February 23, 2018

Look beyond gender for modern wedding parties


ouples are increasingly bucking longestablished trends to make weddings uniquely their own. One of today’s more popular tradition-busting trends is not adhering to gender lines when couples select friends and family members for their wedding parties. Until recently, the vast majority of wedding couples selected members of the same sex to fill the roles needed for the ceremony and reception. For example, grooms would choose fellow males to serve as their groomsmen while brides choose other females for their bridal parties. The wedding resource The Knot says the days of having men on one side and women on the other are gone. Coed wedding parties enable brides and grooms to have their favorite people by their side, regardless of gender. According to The Daily Mail,

over the past year, weddings across Australia and other areas of the world have seen a rise in “groomswomen” and “bridesmen,” blurring the lines of wedding traditions. Couples have often said that choosing whomever they desire to stand beside them during the wedding is more authentic than separating people simply because of gender. Take for example a groom-to-be who is especially close to his sister. Such siblings may serve as bridesmaids, but grooms may want to have their sisters by their sides on

their big day. Foregoing gender roles may make for a unique, customized wedding. However, it does create the question of what wedding party members will wear. Again, there are no firm rules, but coordination can make for better photos. A woman standing on the groom’s side can coordinate with the color of the bridemaids dresses, but wear a different style. Or she can wear a dress that matches the color of the groomsmen’s suits. A man standing with the bride can have accessories, such as tie, vest and pocket square, that match bridesmaid dresses. One of the areas where mixing and matching genders may get a tad sticky is with older, more traditional guests. They may not understand the freedom of choice in the wedding. However, couples can discuss their bridal parties to select

people who they think might prefer couples adhere to tradition. Another possible snag is with bachelorette parties and bachelor parties. A solution to this dilemma may be to simply organize a getaway weekend for the entire bridal

party, and not separate parties for each side. Couples are increasingly deviating from tradition for their weddings by looking beyond gender when picking wedding party members.

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Friday, February 23, 2018

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2018 Bridal Guide  
2018 Bridal Guide