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Spring 2018

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Bridal 2018

The Bulletin-Spring 2018


Perfect Engagement Photos


ongratulations, you’re engaged. This is such an exciting time as you and your now fiance join together and make plans to share the rest of your lives together.

After celebrating with friends and loved ones, one of the first things you will want to do is capture the moment in engagement photos. You’ve most likely seen engagement photos before — the good, the bad and the outright cringe-worthy. To avoid the latter, consider the following elements.

lish it with an engagement announcement in the local paper. Even if you choose to do none of these things, it will be one task complete. This will give you the free time to focus your attention elsewhere later — when you will need to make many decisions very quickly.


Your engagement photos should reflect who you and your fiance are as a couple. You, your fiance and your photographer should discuss overall style and location, as well as any outfit changes you might have planned. Keep in mind how you plan to use the photos, as well as who will want them. Think of what you wouldn’t want hanging on your grandmother’s wall.


Stick with styles that complement one another and stay within the same color pallet. You also want to avoid looking like a “matching set.” Many brides-to-be incorporate white attire into their engagement sessions, which is a classic choice and allows the groom to choose colors he is comfortable in, as everything matches white.

Choosing a local photographer is key. Look through portfolios and other engagement sessions each professional has photographed. Keep in mind that many photographers include an engagement photo shoot in their wedding photo package, so you will save in the long run if you book the same photographer for your wedding as your engagement session. There are many benefits to snapping your engagement photos as early as possible. Not only will you want to capture the moment while your emotions of excitement are at their peak, but if you have them in hand early, you can incorporate them into your save-the-date cards and your wedding website or pub-




Choosing Wedding Color Palettes Some 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. Examples of opposite colors include purples and yellows, reds and greens, and oranges and blues. Couples should not be afraid to take some chances with their color palettes, especially if they want to make a bold and modern statement.

Wedding Costs: What To Expect

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Newly engaged couples may experience an array of emotions when they sit down to plan their weddings. Some couples cannot wait to jump into planning and want to catalog every aspect of the process, while others may proceed with caution because they don’t know what to expect; particularly in regard to cost. Many couples find it difficult to create their wedding budgets because they have no previous experience to draw on. The wedding planning advisor indicates the average wedding cost in the United States is $26,720, with most people spending between $20,000 and $34,000. Seventh Heaven Event Catering states that, in Canada, the average wedding costs around $30,000. Such costs can vary greatly depending on couples’ preferences, including where they hope to tie the knot. By breaking down wedding expenses, couples can get a clearer picture of how much they may need to pay for their weddings and where they may

need to cut costs. • Reception site: According to The Knot, a premiere wedding planning resource, couples can expect their receptions to eat up the largest chunk of their wedding budgets. Wedding reception venues may cost between $10,000 and $15,000. The average price for catering per person is roughly $70. Bar service may be around $2,000 for a three- to four-hour party. Some reception sites combine the room cost with the food and beverage costs, while others have’ la carte fees. • Cake: Wedding cakes tend to be multitiered intricate designs, so they will cost more than birthday cakes. According to Statistics Brain, wedding dessert will come in around $390. • Music: The Knot says wedding bands cost around $3,500, which is more than twice as much as hiring a deejay ($1,200). Soloists or ceremony musicians may cost around $650. • Wedding planner: Many couples employ wedding planners to make planning their

weddings easier. Wedding planners cost an average of $1,300, says Thumbtack, a company that matches professionals with people who require their services. • Transportation: Limousines and other transportation prices vary depending on the vehicle(s) couples choose. The Knot notes that budgeting between $400 and $500 for transportation might be wise. • Wedding gown: Brides-tobe should expect their gowns to cost around $1,100 and the veil or headpiece to be roughly $120, according to the Association of Bridal Consultants. • Photography and Video: Preserving wedding day memories costs around $2,800 for video and photography services, based on data from Statistics Brain. The smaller details, such as accessories, gifts, officiant fees, stationery, spa services, and favors can quickly add up as well. Couples should be sure to leave some wiggle room in their budgets for incidental expenses that may pop up.

Bridal 2018

The Bulletin-Spring 2018



An Intimate Affair


small, intimate wedding has loads of romance to it — as well as many other advantages. While the large wedding has become a staple of contemporary American culture, the small wedding is making a comeback, and for good reason.

Before you set your final budget and guest list, consider the following motivations for staying small.


Think of all the gorgeous venues you could either price yourself out of, or not be able to fit into due to the size of your party. Keeping your guest list small gives you more options. It also opens up venues that don’t traditionally host weddings — or charge “wedding prices.” Think of places such as an art museum, a zoo or a greenhouse.


An intimate wedding typically has less than 75 guests, which means you will have a lot more time to spend with each person. Walk around to each table and personally thank people for coming. Depending on the size of your party, consider seating everyone at one long table — creating an intimate dinner party atmosphere.


Small weddings can cost less, saving you thousands. Alternatively, you could spend the same amount as you would have set aside for a larger affair


and splurge on the luxurious extras you want most. A smaller wedding can be a way for you to ensure your guests have a night they will always remember, and that you

have the wedding you always dreamed about.


Your wedding day is a magi-

cal day and will most likely always hold a distinct place in your heart. But remember, it is just one day. Hosting a smaller wedding means you are free to put addi-

tional money toward future goals, such as putting a down payment on a house or saving to start a family. Remember, your lives together are just beginning.

Put More You Into Your Wedding Day A 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.

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.

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.

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

The wedding party is intended to be a collection

take things digital and load all your images into a slide show set to music. 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

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

around a region that you hold close to your heart. Weddings are filled with

Wedding Planning 101 First comes the proposal then comes the wedding planning. There are dozens of decisions that need to be made before it’s time to walk down the aisle, which can be overwhelming for brides and grooms. To help make it less stressful, these tips from Macy’s can help couples through the entire wedding-planning process, from on-trend apparel and accessories for the entire wedding party to all the essentials to create a perfect registry. Dressing the Ladies When it comes to bridesmaid dresses, the mix-andmatch approach is trending

in popularity. Start by deciding on a color palette, such as lilac, champagne and petal pink. Then have each bridesmaid choose her favorite style within that range of hues. Bring it all together by choosing a uniform look for makeup, shoes and accessories. There is no better time to thank the ladies than the morning of the big day. A few thoughtful gifts can go a long way, such as matching robes, tumblers to stay hydrated throughout the day and cosmetic cases to stow makeup essentials. Dressing the Gents Similar to bridesmaid

dresses, groomsmen attire can be dependent on the venue and overall event aesthetic. While a suit can fit the bill for a country club wedding, a city affair may call for the sleek finishes of a tux. Tuxedo accessories, such as cuff links or bow ties, make great groomsmen gifts and are classic pieces they can use time and time again. Creating the Perfect Registry When building a registry, it’s never too early to start. People want to give gifts as soon as they know a couple is engaged. Start by taking inventory of what you already have, what you need and what

you want to upgrade. It’s also recommended to update the registry regularly so there are enough gifts to choose from, especially if there is an engagement party and bridal shower coming up. To get started, some popular registry items include stand mixers, craft beer glasses, Dutch ovens, bath towels and vacuums. For extra guidance, couples can speak to advisors who can help with the full registry building process at Macy’s stores. For more wedding ideas and inspiration, and to find the right attire and gifts for your wedding planning, visit

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Bridal 2018

The Bulletin-Spring 2018


ChoosingBridesmaids Bridesmaids Dresses Choosing Dresses


othing can cause

othing can cause more drama than more drama than choosing bridesmaids choosing bridesmaids dresses — especially if you dresses you have—a especially large bridalifparty haveora opinionated large bridalattendants. party or opinionated attendants. The smart bride understands that this aspect of her wedding is Theless smart bride about herunderstands and more about her that this aspect of her wedding is maids.

less about her and more about her maids. HAVE KEY INFO IN HAND


You should know your wedding colors andINFO have your venue HAVE KEY IN HAND booked and your own gown You should know your wedding ordered. All of these items colors and have your venue will impact the style and hue of the booked and your own gown gowns you choose. ordered.Will All of these items will you be choosing the gown impactorthe style hue to of allow the your have youand decided gownsmaids you choose. to choose their own (with Willyour you final be choosing gown Do approval,the of course)? or have you decided to allow your you want your maids in the same maidsstyle? to choose their own (with Will they be wearing various your final approval, of course)? Do colors or hues of the same color? you want your maids in the same style? Know the answers to each of these before stepping foot Willquestions they be wearing various colinside a bridal salon.

keep in mind, as much as you love

bride-to-be will be mindful of this. Unless you are picking up the tab, theymany are) — so what you don’t choose a pricey gown. Not Look(unless through photos photosshopping. will look different everyone views your wedding as beforesee youinbegin Also in person and on each individual perthe investment you see it as.of this. bride-to-be will be mindful keep in mind, as much as you love son. Unless you are picking up the tab, them, your friends are not models

START WITH PICTURES them, your friends are not models


don’t choose a pricey gown. Not (unless they are) — so what you CONSIDER THE COST This applies both to your expeceveryone views your wedding as see in photos will look different in Not everyone is going to have the tations of the dress and your investment seethat it as. personsame and budget, on eachand individual per- themaids. a compassionate Keep inyou mind the color son.


CONSIDER THE COST This applies both to your expecNot everyone is going to have the tations of the dress and your same budget, and a compassionate maids. Keep in mind that the color


ors or hues of the same color? Know the START answersWITH to each of these PICTURES questions before stepping Look through many foot photos insidebefore a bridal salon. you begin shopping. Also

three months to ship, so be sure to allow for this. After the dresses arrive, you also will need time for your maids to pick them up (unless they are being shipped three months to ship, so be sure to directly) and for the gowns todresses be allow for this. After the altered. arrive, you also will need time for Be flexible in terms of what is So don’t wait too long before your maids to pick them up will look good on different skin ORDER AT THE RIGHT TIME checking this item off the bridal (unless tones. as much ManyRemember, dresses require one to as you to-do list. they are being shipped

you see in a magazine might be slightly different in person. Be flexible in terms of what is will look good on different skin tones. Remember, as much as you you see in a magazine might be might love a color, above all, slightly different in want everyone to look their best.

might love a color, above all, you want everyone to look their best.

ORDER AT THE RIGHT TIME Many dresses require one to

directly) and for the gowns to be altered. So don’t wait too long before checking this item off the bridal to-do list.

Affordable Bachelor And Bachelorette Party Ideas Weddings can be expensive. Various sources estimate the average cost of weddings is anywhere from $26,000 to $31,000. Couples and their parents may bear the brunt of wedding expenses, but those who have accepted a role in the wedding party also can expect their share of expenses. Taking into account gifts, wardrobes, makeup, bridal showers, and travel, including getting to and from the bachelor/bachelorette party, bridal party members are on the hook for a lot of money when their friends or family members tie the knot. Many men and women like to travel for their bachelor/ bachelorette parties, and cost-conscious bridal party members may be concerned about how expensive such parties can be. Pulling out all the stops can be excit-

ing, but there’s no guarantee these types of parties will be more enjoyable than simpler soir’es. Taking steps to control costs can help cost-conscious couples and their friends. The following are some affordable ideas that can be fun for all involved. • Bar or winery crawl: Partygoers typically want to enjoy a night out on the town, and traveling from one establishment to another can be a fun way to do just that. Everyone invited can set themselves apart with a signature item (hat, T-shirt, or colored clothing), and make the rounds. • Attend a group event: Group events include sporting events, concerts, theater shows, or a night at a comedy club. Investigate discounted tickets for large groups.

• Belt out the tunes: Open mic nights at restaurants, bars and other establishments around town may make for a fun way for friends to share a few laughs together. Participants need not be professional singers to join in on the festivities. • Camp out: Get in touch with nature by enjoying a camping trip, complete with a campfire and a few brews. Spending time in the wilderness can restore focus and let stress melt away. • Poker or game night: Groups can gather around the poker table to test their skills in poker and other card games. With some free-flowing beverages and snacks galore, games can get pretty animated. • Dinner party: Hire a chef to visit your house and prepare a meal for guests. Serve a signature cocktail and let the conversation flow.

Bachelor and bachelorette parties can be affordable without sacrificing fun.

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Couples are increasingly bucking long-established 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 groomto-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.

Bridal 2018

The Bulletin-Spring 2018



Plan an Elegant Bridal Tea


pring is the perfect time to host an elegant bridal tea. Whether you are a bridesmaid or the mother of the bride or groom looking to honor the bride-to-be — or are a bride yourself — consider hosting a fancy get-together.

It is inexpensive, chic and fairly easy to pull off without additional stress.


You can save a significant amount of money by hosting the tea at someone’s home rather than at an event center or restaurant. Sunny spring weather means everyone should be comfortable in a backyard or patio setup. You will just need to be sure to have enough seating for everyone, which might require renting a few tables and extra chairs.


An outdoor affair also provides plenty of natural decor. Afraid of rain? Flowers such as peonies are bountiful in spring, and their large blooms mean you only need one or two at each table to create a stunning effect. Roses also are a classic choice, with many varieties blooming in early spring. Any flower you choose, however, will add feminine flare and complement the tea service.



While the betrothed couple might not be registering for china, you can bet that their grandmothers — and the grandmothers of close friends — did so, still have it and hardly ever use it. Many women will most likely be happy to contribute to the occasion and let you borrow their settings. Be sure to keep track of which patterns belong to who, and return them promptly and hand washed. (Most china is too delicate for a dishwasher.)


Not everyone is fond of tea, so be sure to have alternatives to offer to

Rustic Bouquets Add Natural Flair To Wedding Celebrations Couples 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 ecofriendly 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 bou-

quets 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 ele-

ments 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.

guests. For hot beverages that also can be sipped out of china, offer coffee or hot chocolate (a delicacy consumed year-

round in many other countries), as well as cold beverages such as lemonade, or water garnished with cucumber or mint.

How To Handle Seating Wedding Guests Receptions may be big or small, lavish or casual. But regardless of their size or style, receptions all share a common element: They will require couples set up seating arrangement for guests. Even though assigned seating isn’t mandatory, selecting seats for a sit-down dinner makes things simpler and reduces confusion. Some reception venues may even require assigned seating so that catering staff can service tables accordingly. Seating guests can be tricky, but employing a few strategies can make the process go quickly and smoothly. • Use a seating chart. A seating chart, whether it’s venue-specific or one couples make themselves, is essential. If you using a self-made chart, inquire with the venue about the shape of tables, how many guests each table can seat, and the location of tables around the space. • Start with the wedding party table. Couples can ease themselves into the task of seating by doing the easy tables first. The primary one is the wedding party table. This traditionally can be a dais or a sweetheart table flanked by the wedding party. According to Martha Stewart Weddings, the table should be centrally located and the wedding couple should sit in the middle. A male-female pattern follows on either side of the couple, consisting of the ushers, bridesmaids, best man, and maid of honor. If much of the wedding party is already married, couples may opt to have the wedding party sit with their spouses instead of at the dais. • Organize family tables. Tables for parents, grandparents and immediate family members of the bride and groom also are high priority. Both families can be com-

bined at one table, or they can be separated into two tables. These tables should be the closest to the bride and groom. • Consider mobility issues. Next seat guests who have specific needs at tables. Elderly guests may want to be away from the band, deejay or speakers. Guests in wheelchairs may need an accessible seat near the exit. • Get some help. Enlist the help of parents to seat their friends and extended family members. Parents may know best who gets along and who should be separated. • Seat dancers near the dance floor. To encourage dancing, place guests who tend to be lively close to the dance floor so others can see them getting up to dance and join in.

Couples can use apps, lists or selfmade charts to plot their reception seating arrangements. Create place cards or a central chart so guests can find their seats promptly and easily.

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Bridal 2018

The Bulletin-Spring 2018


All About the Hair


our hair is a central component of the overall bridal look. What you choose to do with it — and adorn it with — can dramatically change your finished appearance. How you look will be an obvious focus of wedding planning since everyone else’s eyes will be on you. But don’t fret just yet. Follow these tips and tricks, and you are sure to be happy with the results.


Before you choose a hairstyle, you must take into consideration the style of your gown, as well as the overall tone you are hoping to set for your wedding. Your hairstyle should complement these aspects — not compete with them. Your face shape also will play a role in your overall decision. Just remember, the goal is to look like the best version of yourself — not someone completely different. So consider styles that don’t stray far from your everyday look. If you regularly wear your naturally wavy hair loose, a simple side-swept bun with a long veil will look more appropriate than tight ringlets and a tiara.


The veil has become a classic wedding accoutrement and is available in many lengths, styles and fabrics. Consider the style of your dress when choosing a veil; ideally, these items will be purchased at the same time. Will you want to show off the back of the dress? Stick with a veil of sheer silk netting.


Is your dress an ankle-length, vintage chic stunner? A birdcage veil is the likely choice. When choosing a hairstyle, be sure it allows for the veil of your choice to be easily



Another option is to forgo the veil altogether. Baubles

designed specifically with your locks in mind are getting more and more popular. Think golden floral combs, delicate headbands and whimsical bun wreaths. You

can leave behind jewels and metals of all kind, and go floral; a wreath of delicate rosebuds or one elegant magnolia bloom can add a breath-taking touch of romance.

How Couples Can Benefit From Hiring Local Wedding Vendors Local vendors are often a go-to choice when couples are planning their wedding ceremonies and receptions. As the “shop local” movement grows in popularity, weddings present a prime opportunity to embrace this movement. Couples may have different ideas regarding where to tie the knot, but local vendors can be hired regardless of geography. Brides magazine says the biggest factor influencing wedding location is the size of the guest list and the number of people who wouldn’t be able to attend if the wedding was in a particular locale. Hometowns might be the traditional choice regarding wedding location, but the XO Group says one in four couples now host destination weddings. Once couples choose a town or city to host their weddings, they can begin exploring the benefits of working with locally-based vendors. Familiarity Local vendors will be familiar with the area and possibly even the location where the

wedding will be held. That can help couples avoid having to give directions, discuss venue protocols, and handle other tasks that must be worked out with non-local vendors. For example, local photographers familiar with a particular venue will know all of the best places to get shots, and some vendors may have preexisting relationships with venue representatives that could ensure wedding day operations go smoothly. Proximity Local vendors can meet with brides and grooms more readily throughout the planning process, making things less stressful on the happy couple. This also makes it easier to drop off deposits, attend meetings, make fitting appointments, or attend styling sessions. Savings Couples who travel for their weddings and employ local vendors will not have to pack as much. Using local vendors eliminates the need to bring along bulky dresses, decora-

tive items, flowers, and much more. Plus, couples needn’t pay to transport and house vendors brought along from back home. Environment Individuals who take great strides to conserve resources by reducing their energy consumption and protecting the environment often find that shopping local is beneficial. Local vendors are more likely to source their materials from other local businesses, reducing their carbon footprints along the way. For example, local caterers may rely on local farmers for their foods, affording couples the chance to host eco-friendly or even farm-to-table weddings. Customization Working with local vendors often translates into getting more personalized service and attention than mass retailers or merchants can provide. Going local when choosing wedding vendors is an increasingly popular choice among couples about to tie the knot.

Local vendors have intimate knowledge of the areas they serve, and that can make for a more personalized, eco-friendly wedding.

What To Consider When Shopping For Rings

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Engagements precede wedding dresses, flower arrangements, limousines, and even a couple’s wedding vows. And no proposal is complete without a ring. Knowledge of rings and stones is essential for those who plan to propose in the near future. A recent survey from the wedding resource The Knot in which 12,000 brides and 1,200 grooms in the United States were asked about their rings, found that people spend an average, of $5,978 on engagement rings. Recognizing the potential cost of engagement rings can help ring shoppers

prepare for their purchases. In addition to considering costs, couples can employ the following tips to shop with confidence. • Cut costs with style. Engagement rings can be costly, but many couples feel they are worthwhile investments. According to In Style magazine, a ring with a classic solitaire of one carat weight can cost thousands of dollars, while a band covered in just under one carat of tiny pavŽ diamonds will offer plenty of sparkle for a lot less money. • Know your settings. How the diamond is framed can

affect how big it looks and even how much it sparkles. Gems framed with a bezel can give the illusion of a larger stone. • Get the desired cut. A skilled jeweler knows how to properly cut a stone to bring out its best radiance. From round to princess to emerald to marquise cut, cut styles can affect how the stone looks as well as the price. • Know ring metals. Platinum and gold are some of the most popular ring setting metals. Platinum costs considerably more than gold or silver, but is long-lasting.

2018 MB BRIDAL  
2018 MB BRIDAL