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wedding guide

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Wedding Guide 2012

Modern weddings marry trends, tradition

Photo courtesy Riverhaus

by Tetona Dunlap Valley Journal


arly weddings in America were often intimate family affairs held in the homes of the parents of the bride or groom. By 1820, weddings started to evolve into the recognizable contemporary event with a wedding cake and reception. The iconic white wedding dress didn’t even become popular until 1840, when Queen Victoria of Great Britain married Prince Albert. After that, lavish white wedding gowns became customary. Before that fad, women were often married in their “one best dress.” Fast-forward 172 years to modern-day weddings, and one might note that not much has changed. Brides are still gliding down the aisle wearing white and not-so white wedding gowns (see related story), and weddings still include cake and receptions. And according to Jason DeCunzo, founder of Riverhaus Productions in Missoula, the newest trends are taking weddings back to their earliest American roots. Lately, brides and grooms have been taking the traditional ceremony out of the church. DeCunzo estimated that only two out of 10 weddings are held in churches. However, he said this change in venue hasn’t decreased the spirituality associated with the ceremony, but has heightened it as couples incorporate what they consider spiritually significant. DeCunzo said people still use candle-lightings to symbolize unity but he has also seen more elaborate vows and Native American elements included in ceremonies. However, the biggest trend has nothing to do with locale or ceremony.

Stock photo

Wedding Guide 2012

January 11, 2012 – 3

Ceremony trends from page 19

“The trend is friends and family,” DeCunzo said. “People are spending time, effort and resources on multi-day celebrations.” As a result, brides and grooms are keeping the celebration less formal and hosting activities that involve more people than just the traditional wedding party. “It’s a like a pre-ceremony before the ceremony,” DeCunzo explained, adding that typically the rehearsal dinner was the time when everyone in the wedding party got together. Now that idea is expanding to encompass all-day activities such as picnics or weeklong trips. The rehearsal is now secondary to the celebration and is worked into the activities instead of being the focus. “Montana is a beautiful place to have weddings; even for people from here, it’s a destination,” DeCunzo said, noting that many people have rented buses full of Stock photo


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their family and friends and spent a day or two in Glacier National Park. “People are having buffet dinners instead of catering to save money to take people to Glacier,” DeCunzo said. “(Brides and grooms) are even putting off honeymoons in order to stay and socialize with friends and family.” Another blast from the past that hasn’t gone away is the wedding planner. Since the 1920s, wedding planners have been a staple for creating the ideal event. The average wedding today costs about $20,000, but DeCunzo said people nowadays do more with the same amount while maintaining a budget. For example, people splurge less on the wedding cake and use the money for a photo booth at the reception. “People are not letting a wedding coordinator tell them what they need to spend,” DeCunzo explained. “They want to be involved, but most really need help.” And though DeCunzo’s business specializes in all aspects of the big day, he is more than just a wedding planner. DeCunzo and his crew offer a full range of production services. They are lighting and staging see page 22 Stock photo

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experts, accredited tent raisers, music DJ’s, emcees, and support staff, which includes such services as a client liaison who will provide activities for the children. People are taking creative control of their weddings by envisioning what they want their wedding to be, and people like

DeCunzo and his expert team can help fulfill and create that dream. “That’s where creativity comes in,” DeCunzo said. “We excel at technical wedding services, we do everything, and that’s extremely rewarding.”

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Wedding Guide 2012

First dance song reflects couple’s personality by Berl Tiskus Valley Journal

irst dance songs for a newly married couple are often the couple’s favorite song. But sometimes DJs want a list of tunes to include for dancing or do-it-yourselfers want a playlist of songs for their iPod. The Internet has lists and lists of first dance songs, but here are a few favorite, old, new, country, indie and in-between.


“Feels so Right” — Alabama “The Dance” — Garth Brooks “Marry Me” — Train “Waterloo Sunset” — The Kinks “What a Wonderful World” — Louis Armstrong “You Never Can Tell” — Chuck Barry “God Only Knows” — The Beach Boys “Lost in the Moment” — Big & Rich “Keeper of the Stars” — Tracy Bird “If Tomorrow Never Comes” — Garth Brooks “Darlin’ Companion” — Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash “Goin’ to the Chapel” — Dixie Cups “When U Love Somebody” — Fruit Bats “Isn’t It Romantic” — Glenn Miller “I Want to be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart” — Patsy Montana “I Love the Way You Love Me” — John Michael Montgomery “Could I Have This Dance?” — Anne Murray “Brown-eyed Girl” — Van Morrison “If I Didn’t Have You” — Randy Travis “Unchained Melody” — The Righteous Brothers “Till the Rivers All Run Dry” — Don Williams “This Will be Our Year” — The Zombies Stock photo

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Not-So-White Linda Sappington/Valley Journal

10 – January 11, 2012

Wedding Guide 2012

Off-white hues popular among brides


by Tetona Dunlap Valley Journal

ith so many styles, fabrics, colors and accessories to choose from, soon-to-be brides might feel a little overwhelmed when they begin the daunting task of dress shopping. However, Melissa Beumer, owner of Mimi’s Bridal in Kalispell, has two simple tips to send brides on the journey of navigating the aisles of silk and lace. The key to finding the perfect wedding dress is simple: shop early and set a budget. At least that would be the most important piece of advice Beumer could give to brides-to-be. “(The budget) is one of the first questions I ask when I work with brides,” she said. This figure, Beumer explained, gives bridal consultants a starting point and limit when it comes to dresses. She said the typical budget is around $1,000. Once brides know how much they can spend, they can then start shopping, preferably at least eight months in advance of the big day. “Wedding gowns take an average of 20 weeks to manufacture. Often girls are so clueless about that,” Beumer said. “I recommend (shopping and fitting) anywhere from eight months to a year.” She said it’s often necessary for brides to schedule appointments with wedding gown shops to browse and fit for dresses. Not only is this polite, but it also ensures proper time for individual attention. Beumer said it’s also a good idea not to bring children while shopping. This way brides can focus on finding the perfect gown. And though brides often bring a bevy of opinions that include their mothers’ and friends’, Beumer said a solo trip is often the most beneficial. “Come in alone after you’ve come in with friends and family,” Beumer said, stating that often the bride’s voice in lost in the crowd, which can often “make for bridezilla” moments. After these two easy steps, brides have the whole gown world at their


see page 28 Linda Sappington/Valley Journal

Brides are leaning to warmer hues — such as off-white, alabaster or pearl — as they shop for their wedding gowns.

Wedding Guide 2012

January 11, 2012 – 11

Dress trends from page 11

Linda Sappington/Valley Journal

Jeweled, fitted bodices are popular once again and accented with plenty of “bling.”

feet with a variety of colors, fabrics and styles to choose and try. “Romance is back and in full swing,” Beumer said. “Dresses have gone to the extreme with fitted, jeweled bodices and full dramatic skirts.” What are not back are the days of the white wedding. Beumer said many women are flocking to dresses that are off-white in hues called ivory, alabaster, pearl, sea shell and glacier mist, which has a golden undertone. “White is such a stark color … It doesn’t photograph well,” Beumer said, adding that white often makes women with lighter skin tones look washed out. However, she added that white does compliment women with olive or dark skin and features. Beumer said white dresses look very nice on redheads as well. “(White wedding dresses) don’t have the stigma they used to,” she said. Though white is not as popular as it was 20 years ago, sparkles and bling seem to be the “in” thing. Beumer shared that brides often drape themselves in brooches, necklaces and chandelier earrings. “Colored sashes are also a new trend that can work again with a cocktail dress,

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Linda Sappington/Valley Journal

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Dress trends from page 13

evening gown or even a beautiful sweater,” she said. In addition to vibrant sashes, multi-hued shoes are a look that hasn’t faded. “Platforms, peep-toe and stilettos are a fabulous accessory for brides wanting to add height without compromising the hem of her gown,” Beumer added. Bridesmaids are not exempt from the rainbow gallery, and their gowns are available in an array of colors and textures. “Taffeta is back and glamorous as ever,” Beumer said. “Satin and chiffon are mainstays with both long and short dresses available in a plethora of colors to fit any color scheme.” Beumer recommends pairing a bridesmaid dress with a jeweled belt as a “fun way to glam up your girls,” which can double as a memento of their participation. And she hasn’t forgotten the all-tooimportant men in the wedding picture. “Classic lines and colors that match your bridesmaids are the trend in men’s formalwear,” Beumer mentioned. “Suspenders in different colors and self-tie bow ties are the new look for summer.”

Linda Sappington/Valley Journal

Sometimes it’s better to return alone to the bridal shop, where the bride can evaluate her choices without other’s opinions influencing her.

14 – January 11, 2012

Wedding Guide 2012

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Stock photo

Self-tie bowties

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Wedding Guide 2012

January 11, 2012 – 15

Cost divisions more flexible in modern weddings


“Bucking” tradition Stock photo

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Wedding Guide 2012

rifts of tulle and lace, tuxedos, calla lilies and lilacs, buffets and even shoes all come at a price. How do families decide who pays for each part of a wedding? Years ago, everything was done according to the rules according to “The Knot,” a magazine and website devoted to all things bridal. The bride’s family paid for the venue for the wedding and the reception, the bride’s gown, veil and other accoutrements, flowers for the attendants and the church, photographs and videotaping. Purchasing the bride’s bouquet, the corsages for the mothers and grandmothers and the groomsmen’s boutonnieres, the groom’s family also clothed the

groom, bought the marriage license and paid the officiant, as well as for the honeymoon. For more elaborate weddings, the two families also took turns paying for engagement parties with the bride’s family going first. The groom’s family hosted the rehearsal dinner, and attendants paid for their own clothing and shoes. According to Joyce Barbour of Be Our Guest Wedding and Event Planning, it’s kind of a hodgepodge any more. Some of the traditional families feel the bride’s family should pay for most of the food and the bride’s gown and veil. The groom’s family almost always pays for the rehearsal dinner, Barbour added. “Most trends are that attendants pay for their own attire,” she noted. Modern couples many times

pay for their wedding themselves so all the “rules” can all be broken. The rules may have begun when brides had dowries, and part of the dowry was a feast to celebrate the wedding. Engagement parties also began when marriages were contracted and sometimes the couple had not seen each other. The party was a chance to finalize the details of the bride’s dowry — lands, goods, houses, even jewels. The Medici in Italy in the 1400s were the first to give engagement rings. Today many couples are older, prefer less formal weddings or the recession has eaten into funds available for weddings. Money doesn’t make a wedding, though. Thoughtful planning, do-it-yourself projects and ideas and some cash are all that’s necessary.


Stock photo

Despite changes in tradition, the groom’s family still picks up the tab for the rehearsal dinner.

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January 11, 2012 – 17

Wedding emergency kits prevent stress by Berl Tiskus Valley Journal

Weddings planners always keep a bag with emergency items that might be needed during a wedding. It’s a good idea for any couple planning a wedding. Possible item to include are: • Scissors • Tape, both scotch and duct. • Aspirin, Tylenol or Aleve for pre-wedding or après-wedding headaches • A bottle of water or several in case someone gets dehydrated. Plastic cups might come in handy, too. • Snacks, like trail

mix or almonds, for drops in blood sugar • Super glue • Tissues • Make-up remover and q-tips for touch-ups on eye make-up after tears • Band-aids or even a small first-aid kit • A small sewing kit with threaded needles, a button or two and some different colored threaded for quick fixes. •Tampons • A pair of flats in the bride’s size • An extra pair of panty hose and a couple of pairs of panties • Tide stain stick or Shout wipes • Visine

Berl Tiskus/Valley Journal

A wedding emergency kit is a great idea to have on your wedding day.

• Binaca and mints • Baby wipes fro cleaning anything from shoes to the ring bearer’s face. • Safety pins • Febreze spray

• A card that tells how to tie a bow tie and a regular tie. • A corkscrew and a bottle opener • Lint brush • Hair brush, comb

and hairspray • Matches or lighter • Bobby pins • Nail polish, clear and in the bride’s color • A couple of spare pairs of sparkly earrings

and some cufflinks, if the groom and groomsmen are wearing them • A card which says, “No matter what happens, at the end of the day I will be married.”

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Wedding Guide 2012l

Pablo couple still in love after 57 years of marriage by Mike Moore Valley Journal


hen Richard Tougas was a young boy growing up in rural North Dakota, he had bad asthma, so his family decided to try the Mission Valley’s climate for a fix, and it worked. Living and attending school in Pablo, Richard soon met the love of his life Lorna, and eventually asked her to go dancing at a local event. Fifty-seven years later, Richard, 76, and Lorna, 77, are as in love today as they were that night. “Back then they had ‘Teenagers in Pablo,’ where they’d have music twice a month,” Richard said. “I asked her if I could take her home, and she accepted.” The couple were married Aug. 13, 1954, and the newlyweds lived on the family farm for two years before a career change moved them to Missoula Richard and Lorna Tougas stand together outside their family home in Pablo just as they have for the last 57 years. where they lived for 23 years before moving back Richard credits his wife’s pinochle,” Richard said. to the family farm outside dedication with raising the “All the families were the Pablo. children, as he was away same age as us, and they all Richard delivered milk to from home spending most had kids about the same stores and cafés for of the time on the road age. We got along real Community Creamery working. well.” before a job change moved “I was on the road as a When the children got him to Industrial Air salesman Monday through older, Lorna took on a job Products, where he retired Friday,” Richard said. “It at Hellgate High School, 28 years later. was pretty much Lorna’s where she took care of the Together, Lorna and job to raise (the children).” lunch tickets. Richard raised five chilOf their five children, The couple says the key dren, Tom, Rob, Sharri, Bill youngest son Corey was the to their marriage is getting and Corey. only one along and helping each “They’re not raised other out. • Full Bar all scatMissoula, “We don’t fight,” Richard • Mobile Cooker tered graduatsmiled. “We get along well, around,” ing from and help each other.” Richard Ronan Richard added that his said. High wife’s devotion in taking “Tom’s in School. care of the house, cattle Mesa, In and flowers until he retired Ariz.; Missoula, was a big help for the famiBill’s in the couly. Missoula; ple says The couple still lives on Corey’s in they the same farm they first Fort .” lived in a called home more than 50 McCoy, wonderyears ago, and where Lorna Wis.; Rob ful comwas raised. They now - Richard Tougas lives in the munity. reside in a newer home little house “We built next to the one she next to us; had a grew up in, where son Rob and Sharri’s in Bigfork.” great neighborhood,” Lorna now lives. Thirty years ago, their said. Now retired, the couple other son Richard was “Every Saturday night we spends their time traveling killed in a car accident after would get together; ping and visiting with friends at apparently falling asleep at pong in the summer, and in the Ronan Senior Citizens the wheel. the winter we’d play Center.

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Mike Moore/Valley Journal

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hile the core elements of a wedding ceremony — an ancient, sacred tradition — remain unchanged, creativity is the name of the game in planning a wedding these days, according to Joyce Barbour, a Polson-based wedding and event planner. As with any industry, wedding trends are constantly evolving, and brides are taking more and more liberties to add personal, creative touches to their weddings. From personalized favors like monogrammed coasters or locally made jam to designing one’s own wedding invitations, there are many ways brides can ensure their weddings have unique, memorable accents, explained Barbour, who’s a member of the Association of Bridal Consultants. She described several current trends that are taking the bridal industry by storm. • Two dresses: It’s becoming more and more popular for brides to select two dresses for their wedding day — one a wedding gown and then a “fun dress” for the reception or party. The trend originated in Japan, Barbour said, and designers are taking note, often making gowns with detachable trains and skirts so they can be modified into party dresses. • Mix and match: Instead of having all uniform tables at a reception, or all the bridesmaids in the same dresses, it’s common to throw in a smattering of round and square tables and to have each bridesmaid in a different style, or even



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Wedding Guide 2012

file photo

A beautiful lavender bouquet is a unique and creative touch to any wedding.

color, of dress. One dress cut won’t fit everyone, and having a variety of styles and colors makes for more eye-catching pictures, too. • Colors: Most brides are leaning toward browns, teals and sage greens, while pastels have largely faded out of popularity. Bright colors aren’t unusual, though. • Tent-less: Rather than a huge, billowy tent, many people are opting for patio umbrellas to shade tables at outdoor weddings. Assuming the weather cooperates, this gives a more outdoorsy feel and

can be more aesthetically pleasing. • Food: White glove, sitdown dinners are “coming back very strong,” Barbour said. Most of her clients want either a “sit-down dinner” or a traditional twosided buffet. Food stations scattered throughout the reception area are becoming less common. • Flowers: Natural is the way most brides seem to go as far as selecting flowers. Many people choose a local or state flower and carry a hand-tied bouquet rather than an elaborate floral arrangement.


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• For the groom: While tuxedos are still big, “Here in Montana, a lot of grooms are just doing slacks and the (cowboy) hat — you know, the Western style,” Barbour said. “Which makes for fantastic pictures.” • Music: DJs don’t just play music anymore; they usually serve as emcees as well. But with the extreme popularity of iPods and laptop computers, it’s quite simple to compile one’s own wedding playlist instead of hiring a disc jockey or a band for the reception, Barbour noted. Many couples also plan a unique, choreographed first dance to their favorite song, or even have the wedding party dance their way down the aisle, as seen in “JK Wedding Entrance Dance,” the third most popular YouTube video in 2009. • Guestbook: Instead of a traditional guestbook that everyone signs only to have it end up buried in a closet, many people have their guests sign a piece of glass, sometimes with a photo of the bride and groom in the center. The signed glass can be hung in the couple’s home as a permanent keepsake. • Photography: Everyone has a certain number of posed group shots they expect from their wedding photographer, but brides are doing more “fun” pictures, too, Barbour said. Placing disposable cameras on each table at the reception so guests can document the event, too, is “out,” she added. “But it’s really whatever the bride wants. If the bride wants cameras on the tables, then that’s what she should have,” Barbour said. And knowing what she wants is crucial for any bride. Careful planning is essential in today’s economy, Barbour added. The average Montana wedding costs $24,800, which may surprise people who assume prices are lower in Montana. One reason it’s easy to rack up a huge bill is that there aren’t a lot of full-service resorts in the state, so many people opt for outdoor weddings, Barbour explained. And renting all the equipment — tents, tables, chairs, dishes, etc. — isn’t cheap. “It’s hard to stick to a budget … One thing I don’t think brides understand is how important your budget is,” Barbour said. Researching every aspect of the wedding will make the whole process easier and help keep things on budget. “I think it’s essential that brides attend as many bridal shows as they can,” Barbour said. “They have to do their homework, too.”

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January 11, 2012 – 21

Wedding superstitions, traditions live on by Mike Moore Valley Journal


edding traditions and superstitions have been around since the dawn of holy matrimony. From finding something old, new, borrowed and blue to seeing your fiance on the morning of the wedding, many couples engage in old traditions prior to tying the knot. But where do these popular practices come from? According to a Wedding Superstitions and Traditions website, some can be traced back to Roman and Anglo Saxton times, some to Victorian rhymes and others to folklore that has been passed down through generations. Many have been changed or altered over time, as many were much harsher customs when they originated. Even the common tradition of tying old shoes to the back of the couple’s car comes from Tudor times, when guests would throw shoes at the bride and groom, with the best of luck being bestowed on them if they or their carriage were hit. Luckily, things have changed since then, and couples take more liberties with their big day. “Some like to write their own vows,” Justice of the Peace Chuck Wall said. “Others like to have no reference to God.” In Wall’s nine years of marrying couples, he says not much has changed in regard to couples requesting specific traditions or superstitions. “At my own wedding I requested a smudging ceremony,” Wall noted. “They take sweet grass or sage and burn it to an ember; take an eagle feather and blow smoke through it to the couple.” Wall says he’s married Jewish couples, where after the bride has been given the ring, or at the end of the ceremony (depending on local custom), the groom breaks a glass, crushing it with his right foot, and the guests shout “Mazel tov!” (“Good luck”). “I’ve also had a sand ceremony, where both the bride and groom have a container of sand, and they pour their containers together,” he added. At weddings on the shore of Flathead Lake, Wall says many couples like to hold hands and jump into the lake together after tying the knot. Flowers have always been a big feature at weddings. Traditionally, the groom is supposed to wear a flower that appears in the bridal bouquet in his button hole, a practice which stems from the Medieval tradition of a knight wearing his lady’s colors as a declaration of his love.

22 – January 11, 2012

Wedding Guide 2012

file photo

Some weddings that have taken place on the shore of Flathead Lake end with the couples jumping into the water.

Even the month and day chosen for the wedding are considered to possess superstitious qualities. Sunday used to be the most popular wedding day, but was changed to Saturday because many believed it was improper to be festive on the Sabbath. This comes despite the rhyme: Monday for health, Tuesday for wealth, Wednesday best of all,

“Some like to write their own vows, others like to have no reference to God” - Justice of

Thursday for losses, Friday for crosses, Saturday for no luck at all. The tradition of something old, something new,

will remain with them. Something new refers to the future for health, happiness and success. Something borrowed is an opportunity for the the Peace Chuck Wall bride’s family to give her something as a token of their love, as it must be returned for good luck. Something blue something borrowed and signifies luck, because the something blue originated color blue represents fideliin Victorian times. ty and constancy. Something old signified that the couple’s friends vj

Wedding Guide 2012

January 11, 2012 – 23

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Wedding Guide 2012

2012 Bridal Guide  
2012 Bridal Guide  

Valley Journal 2012 Bridal Guide