Winter 2 0 1 1 •
A Special Supplement of The Montana Standard
Winter 2 0 1 1 •
A Special Supplement of The Montana Standard
Cover photograph by: Lisa Wareham Photography
Financial Tips for Cost-Conscious Couples
Honeymoon Planning How-To
For ‘Green’ Weddings
Top 10 style predictions for bridesmaids
You’re engaged! Now what?
Wacky Wedding Facts
Wedding Cake 2.o
What your choices and combos say about you
Bridal Guide is published by The Montana Standard 25 W. Granite • Butte, MT 59701 • 406-496-5500
Locally Owned and Operated
Wedding Guide •3
photograph by: Lisa Wareham Photography
photograph by: TLC Photography
Financial Tips for Cost-Conscious Couples
In a recent survey released by Visa Inc., 88 percent of couples believed they overspent on some aspect of their wedding. Over the years, weddings have become a major financial commitment, in many instances ensuring a couple’s first task as man and wife will be paying off the mountain of bills they accrued to achieved their dream wedding. In today’s economic climate, the cost of weddings is even tougher to swallow, as both the domestic and global economy remains difficult to predict. Economic uncertainty has left many young couples fearful of making a big financial commitment to their weddings. But it’s still possible for couples to make the most of their wedding without landing themselves in heavy debt once the honeymoon is over and the bills must be paid.
• Limit beverage availability. In the Visa survey, respondents felt they overspent more on food, drink and cake than any other aspect of their wedding. The bar tab can quickly add up at the end of the night, but couples can limit the bar expense by making on a few different types of drinks available. Offer just two or three drink options instead of a full bar. Couples can also consider a cash bar for mixed drinks to help lower the bar tab by the end of the night.
• Switch from Saturday. Saturday weddings are not only the most popular, but also the most expensive. Couples with some flexibility can save money by moving their wedding to a Friday or Sunday. Couples who move their weddings to Friday often find they get to spend more time with their friends and families the following day, as guests are more inclined to stay in town an extra day than they are on Sunday afternoons following a wedding.
• Forgo a traditional honeymoon. Seventeen percent of male respondents to the Visa survey felt they overspent on their honeymoon. While it’s certainly nice to fly off to the Caribbean and spend your first week as a married couple soaking up some sun, a more local getaway for a couple of days can be just as relaxing and save couples substantial amounts of money. Once the bills have been paid, couples can then enjoy a more traditional honeymoon, possibly in celebration of their first anniversary.
• Limit the guest list. Inviting all friends and family members might be a nice gesture, but it’s also an expensive one. Cost-conscious couples can save a good deal of money by only inviting those friends and family members who are closest to them.
• Order less extravagant floral arrangements. Floral arrangements for a wedding can prove very expensive. But couples can trim those costs using more greenery in the floral displays and ordering less expensive, seasonal flowers. When discussing arrangements with the florist, explain that the budget can only allow so much for flowers, and work together to find ways to add aesthetic appeal without breaking the bank.
Bridal Guide •5
With all the work that goes into planning a wedding, it can be easy for couples to overlook their own honeymoons. But in the middle of all those seating arrangements and reception hall negotiations, couples also need to plan and look forward to the rest and relaxation that awaits, which will no doubt be a well-deserved escape once the wedding has come and gone. Couples can take the following advice to ensure their getaway goes off without a hitch.
• Be budget-conscious. Many couples could enjoy a honeymoon to Siberia in the dead of winter after their big day has passed. After all the stress of planning and paying for the wedding, couples will likely just enjoy the time away. Take this into consideration when planning a honeymoon. If a dream trip isn’t in the budget after all the wedding bills have come due, don’t fret. A less expensive getaway is still a getaway, and couples will enjoy their well-deserved break no matter where it is they’re putting their feet up.
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• Plan an off-season honeymoon. That dream honeymoon might be affordable after all if couples can wait till it’s not the height of tourist season. Most weddings occur during the summer months, when tourist season is in full swing. Couples who can put off their honeymoon until the off-season will no doubt find their dream honeymoon is much more affordable. • Start early. It’s never too early to start planning the honeymoon. The earlier couples begin to research possible destinations, the better feel they will have for what they can and can’t afford. Research can be done well in advance to give couples an idea of what their dream trip will cost. But don’t book any flights or make any reservations too far in advance. The best deals are often available a few months before the trip. • Spread the news that you’re newlyweds. Hotels love hosting newlyweds, and many will upgrade rooms for recently married guests. Couples should not be too brash about it, as fully booked hotels won’t be able to upgrade their guests. But let the hotel know you’re on your honeymoon when checking in, and they might just upgrade your room and comp you a bottle of champagne as a gift. • Think outside the box. When asked about a dream honeymoon, couples will often bring up Hawaii or even Paris. While those are beautiful places to spend a honeymoon, they’re also expensive. Fortunately, there are a bevy of locales, be it domestic or international, that aren’t nearly as pricey as the most popular honeymoon destinations but still make wonderful options for a honeymoon getaway couples won’t soon forget.
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Wedding Guide •7
Environmentally friendly ideals are now permeating all aspects of daily living. Many people want to take the concept further and ensure their nuptials -- and subsequent reception -- are good for the planet as well. Although there are no firm statistics on the number of green weddings being held each year, emerging trends point to the growing interest in eco-conscious weddings. Individuals who 8•Wedding Guide
For ‘Green’ Weddings already do their best to recycle, reuse and reduce want to employ those same values on their wedding day. There are many ways to employ a green mindset to wedding planning and execution. Largely the carbon footprint of a wedding can be reduced simply by scaling back and avoiding overconsumption. Here are some ideas to think about.
1. Reduce travel. Research indicates that more than twothirds of emissions in the U.S. are produced by energy consumption and transportation. By reducing guests’ need to travel far for a wedding or offering transportation that can accommodate several people at once (like a bus), carbon emissions will be reduced. 2. Home is where the heart is. Keeping weddings close to home is helpful. Those with big backyards or a park nearby can host the event at home or in a nearby park and reduce dependence on large reception halls that use up large amounts of energy to operate. A home wedding also gives couples the opportunity to shop around for locally produced, organic foods. 3. Shop for floral alternatives. Flowers would seem “green” in themselves. However, many blooms available at florist shops are grown in hothouses with the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, something that is not very good for the environment at all. Brides opting for something more ecoconscious could consider alternative options, such as bouquets made of sustainable succulent plants and centerpieces full of organic fruits and wildflowers. 4. Choose an open registry. Instead of fine china that may never be used, many couples are opting for open registries that enable guests to gift everything from eco-friendly housewares to charitable donations to cash for down payments on a home. 5. Opt for mixed seating arrangements: Instead of formal escort cards indicating firm seating arrangements, couples are saving paper by allowing guests to choose their own seats from mix-matched options, such as long, communal benches and comfy sofas. 6. Go with something old. Recycled gowns and gently used items are good alternatives for eco-conscious brides. Many Web sites will match up brides with others looking to swap items at low or no cost. 7. Skip the paper. Though etiquette experts frown on abandoning paper invitations for electronic ones, many couples are doing just that. For those who still prefer paper, print invitations on recycled paper. Reduce other wedding stationery needs by posting information on a wedding Web site shared with family and friends. 8. Go small scale. Instead of inviting every last cousin and distant uncle, couples are opting for more intimate affairs, including only the people they are closest to, which saves on cost and helps the environment. 9. Trim some of the wedding day fat. Some couples opt for an all-you-can-eat buffet and then a subsequent dessert bar later on in the evening. Stuffed guests may end up wasting more food than eating it. Instead of all-you-can, go for a more traditional meal. 10. Choose a charitable party favor. Instead of a party favor that collects dust on a shelf, couples are choosing to gift with organic products or a donation to a charitable organization in the guests’ names.
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Top 10 style predictions for bridesmaids 1. Bright hues and bold colors like lime, bright blues, yellow and fuchsia, especially in short party-style dresses. 2. Silver and pewter tones for late summer and fall weddings. Make sure fabrics have a sheen and nice elegance. 3. Details - frills, embroidery, fabric flowers, ruching and more. 4. Short, formal dresses in luxurious fabrics like chiffon. 5. Nude or white bridesmaids’ dresses that surprisingly don’t detract from the bride. 6. Two-toned dresses to go with color scheme. Caveat: Play with tones, hues and shades of colors to eliminate the “matchy-matchy” look. 7. Assymetrical detailing or wraps to flatter all shapes and sizes of bridesmaids. 8. Solid colors are so last year. Look for florals, plaids, geometric prints in a simple style. 9. Low backs or backless dresses for evening weddings. 10. Black is back - especially short dresses worn with strappy sandals
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You’re engaged! Now what? The top five wedding planning questions to answer first
Holiday season is engagement season. But after he pops the question and she says “yes,” the reality of wedding planning sets in and that feeling of joyful romance can fade as quickly as Christmas lights on an overloaded circuit. Here are the top five questions you will need to answer to make your wedding planning journey a pleasant experience. “After Valentine’s Day, the holidays are the most popular time of year for couples to become engaged,” says wedding planning expert Raymond Miller of My Wedding Reception Ideas.com, a leading online resource for brides seeking unique wedding favors, decorations, and gifts. “Many brides-to-be who get engaged over the holidays will begin their planning efforts in the first months of the new year. Knowing where to start can be overwhelming.” 12•Wedding Guide
Brides should begin their planning by answering five basic questions. 1. What is our budget? “Funding your wedding can be one of the most expensive undertakings you’ll tackle in your life together as a couple,” Miller says. “Many couples only spend more on buying a house or car, or funding their children’s college educations.” Setting - and sticking to - a budget for your wedding is an essential step toward starting your married life on a sound financial footing. Determine where your funding will come from - if your parents can help or if you’ll be paying on your own - and decide how much you can afford to spend without going into debt.
2. What season works? Virtually as soon as you announce you’re engaged, people start asking what the wedding date will be. To make answering that question as simple as possible, start by considering in what season you would like to be married. Would you prefer a spring ceremony? Or do you dream of a holiday wedding? By narrowing down the season, and selecting it well in advance, you’ll be able to secure a date that will work for everyone.
3. Where do we want to get married. Will you have a destination wedding? Or do you want to keep it local? While wedding planning is
usually most successful when done well in advance, if you’re interested in a destination wedding, planning far ahead is essential. Popular destinations book quickly in prime wedding seasons and you may find venues in the destination of your choice are booked a year or more in advance.
4. What kind of venue do you want? Do you dream of a big church wedding? Or saying your “I do’s” in a beautiful natural setting? Perhaps you want your reception to be in a grand hotel. Knowing the type of venue you desire will help you refine your options and choose a specific location down the road.
5. Who do you want to officiate? Is it important to you to be married by your own church’s minister? Or are you OK with a justice of the peace? Do you fantasize about being joined in marriage by a ship’s captain? Or does your mother have her heart set on seeing you married by the rabbi who was there at your bat mitzvah? Just as popular venues book quickly, favorite officiants also have their dance cards fill fast for popular wedding seasons. As soon as you know who you would like to officiate at your wedding, it might pay to approach him or her and find out about future availability.
“Of course there are many, many things to consider when planning a wedding,” Miller says. “But these five points are the basics you must address and everything else about your wedding will be planned around your answers to these questions. Once you’ve made these initial decisions, it will be easier to refine your options and decide exactly what will make your wedding wonderful, memorable and perfect for you.”
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Wacky Wedding Facts
According to TheKnot.com, the unofficial experts on all things weddings, there are some things that may surprise the average person about weddings across the country. Here are some facts to consider. • Weddings in Iowa and Nebraska are the biggest, averaging 200 guests.
• The average engagement ring costs more than $5,800.
• Most brides have one do-it-yourself element, such as favors or escort cards.
• “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” and “Lady in Red” are the two most popular first dance songs (even though 87 percent of brides wear white).
• Only 19 percent of couples rely on a wedding planner.
• Ancient Romans broke a cake over the bride’s head to symbolize fertility. Today, brides must be fortunate to have only a little cake smashed in their faces!
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Wedding cake 2.0 The long, sweet history of the wedding cake is a mix of traditions, dreams and changing tastes. So it’s no surprise that cupcakes are playing a major role in the latest version of this multitiered, frosting-swirled world. Call it Wedding Cake 2.0. Dozens of cupcakes — tiered on decorated stands or arrayed on a table, often in a variety of flavors, colors and embellishments — let bridal couples personalize the celebratory sweet. “The whole trend in weddings in general is to make it personal,” said Darcy Miller, editorial director for Martha Stewart Weddings. The ultimate personal touch? Cupcakes you bake and decorate yourself. America’s love affair with cupcakes is intense. “Whether it is a throwback to childhood or another way to make dessert a little more special and fun, these small cakes are a sweet spot for adults and children,” NPD Group’s Kathleen Cella noted. The research group found cupcake pan sales were up 14 percent in the 12 months ending September 2010, and 555 million cupcakes were eaten between February 2009 and February 2010. Before you opt for DIY cupcakes for your wedding, realize that they require planning, a strong support team and a cup of common sense. “In the 48 hours before your wedding, you should have no responsibilities other than being with your guests, enjoying yourself
and getting last-minute stuff done that has to be done,” said Miller. However, if you love baking and you’ve always baked, go for it, she said. “You can make them ahead, then stick them in the freezer, though I think it’s better if they’re fresh.” Bobbie Lloyd understands the urge to bake the mini-cakes. “I’m one of those crazy people who catered my own wedding,” said Lloyd, president and chief baking officer of New York-based Magnolia Bakery. Remembering the 180 cupcakes she baked, “I have to tell you, it takes away from your wedding because you’re stressing out about all these factors.” She suggests that home bakers tackle cupcakes for small weddings of 50 or so guests. DIY success, say experts, depends on finding the perfect first lieutenant in charge of sweets, a cupcake wrangler — an aunt, cousin, friend — with baking savvy. “Maybe it’s a collaboration with you and your aunt. Someone who is close to you so you can enjoy the process, but not someone who has to be at the rehearsal and is in your wedding party,” said Miller. Added Lloyd, “If you do cupcakes the day before and even ice them the night before, they stay pretty fresh.” “Whatever you do, practice,” Miller said. “You shouldn’t be doing anything for the first time at your wedding other than going down the aisle, whether it’s your first dance or ... tasting the food or baking the cupcakes. What you don’t want the day of your wedding is surprises — cupcakes that are too sweet or too rich.”
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What your choices
and combos say about you and your wedding After announcing your engagement and showing off that engagement ring to family and friends, one of the first questions asked - after how he proposed and when is the wedding - is “what are your colors?” Historically, wedding colors were divided by seasons: Pastels and bright colors for spring and summer; jewel tones for fall and winter. No longer. Today’s brides know that bright colors are the rule, not the exception. And dark colors can work, whatever the season. Colors have meaning. Color is “the catalyst for feelings,” writes Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of Pantone Color Institute, in “Colors For Your Every Mood.” Romantic, whimsical, bold, subtle, sensual, sophisticated, contemplative or classic, colors can send whatever message you desire. Bright colors - fuschia, orange and green - remain favorites in 2011. For vintage appeal, look toward muted tones of the same color - deeper pinks, bittersweet oranges, loden green, for example. Experts predict these will be the year’s hot colors: apple green, mauve, lilac, hot pink, slate grey, celadon, aged gold, coral, red, violet purple, mocha, chocolate, navy, emerald, clementine orange and yellow. Dark colors such as charcoal, brick red, dark green, dark orange, asparagus, deep purple, mocha and deep blues also are good choices. Nudes and gray emerged last year as mixers and remain trendsetting colors.
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Wedding Guide •19
Wedding Checklist Upon Becoming Engaged:
1. Set the date and the time 2. Determine your budget and the type of wedding you want 3. Start your guest list 4. Select your attendants 5. Schedule your engagement photo 6. Announce your engagement (newspaper and/or engagement party) 7. Select your wedding consultant (if desired) 8. Select a place for the ceremony 9. Schedule premarital classes (if appropriate) 10. Select color scheme 11. Select a place for the reception 12. Select florist 13. Select photographer 14. Select videographer 15. Select music for the ceremony and reception 16. Select caterer 17. Select rentals needed (tents, chairs, tables, etc.) 18. Select wedding gown, headpiece, veil, accessories 19. Discuss honeymoon with fiancé
3-6 Months Before Wedding Day: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
Finalize guest list Order invitations and accessories (napkins, stationery) Order or start making favors for the reception Select formal wear Choose wedding cake Choose wedding bands and schedule engraving Choose decorations for the reception and ceremony Plan rehearsal dinner Gather information for out-of-town guests (hotel, transportation, map and directions) to include with wedding invitations 10. Schedule appointments for hair, nails, facial and tanning 11. Choose furniture and/or appliances for your home 12. Bridal shower 13. Write thank you cards for bridal shower 14. Start addressing, stamping and stuffing wedding invitations
6-8 Weeks Before Wedding Day:
1. Mail invitations (6 weeks before wedding) 2. Apply for passports (if necessary) 6-10 Months Before Wedding Day: 3. Make moving plans 1. Mothers chose their dresses and accessories 4. Plan bachelor and bachelorette parties 2. Select attendants’ dresses and accessories 5. Schedule final fitting for the wedding gown 3. Register for bridal gifts 6. Obtain something old, new, borrowed, blue 4. Select limousine service or plan other transportation 7. Verify with bridesmaids final dress fittings for the wedding day 8. Have programs for the ceremony printed 5. Start looking for a home or apartment (if applicable) 9. Prepare arranged seating list for the reception if applicable 2 days a week 2 good to be
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10. Experiment with your hair and headpiece to find a style for your wedding 11. Schedule your final bridal portrait 12. Purchase cake top, cake knife, toasting glasses, ring bearer’s pillow, guest book, garter, aisle runner, unity candles 13. Shop for your honeymoon (clothing, lingerie, luggage, film, sunscreen) 14. Buy gifts for attendants and fiancé 15. Mail invitations for the rehearsal dinner 16. Acquire a marriage license (valid for 180 days) 17. Inform special guests of their duties (i.e., readings at ceremony)
1-2 Weeks Before Wedding Day:
1. Begin moving into your new home (if appropriate) 2. Get address and name change forms for Social Security card, driver’s license, etc. 3. Call guests who have not responded 4. Confirm all the above services 5. Prepare place cards for the reception and ceremony (if appropriate) 6. Give your caterer or reception site a final count of guests 7. Pack for your honeymoon, purchase Travelers Checks and pick up travel tickets 8. Confirm details with the attendants (rehearsal dinner and ceremony rehearsal)
9. Write thank-you notes for wedding gifts you have received and record them 10. Confirm rehearsal dinner details 11. Send wedding announcement to the newspaper 12. Prepare rice/bird seed/confetti to be thrown at bride and groom after the ceremony 13. Give band leader a list of must-play music, sheet music for special requests 14. Write out wedding announcements for mailing after the ceremony 15. Clock travel time to and from the ceremony site to determine departure time on the wedding day 16. Confirm reservations for the rehearsal dinner and out-of-town guests’ hotel rooms 17. Scuff soles and heels of new bridal shoes, practice walking in them
Day Before Wedding Day:
1. Pamper yourself (manicure, massage, tanning) 2. Lay out your wedding attire and accessories 3. Prepare an emergency sewing kit, make-up bag and overnight bag (extra stockings, tissues, aspirin, glasses, nail polish, spot remover) 4. Write out a day-of-wedding checklist/timetable; keep it handy 5. Show someone how to bustle your train 6. Check attendants’ outfits and accessories 7. Have going away outfits delivered to the reception site 8. Ask the best man to pick up honeymoon luggage and store it in his trunk 9. Put cash in envelopes for tips, officiant’s payments; give to the best man for distribution 10. Go to your rehearsal and rehearsal dinner 11. Go to bed early
Eat breakfast and enjoy yourself. If you have planned well in advance and have delegated tasks, you should be able to enjoy your wedding!
Wedding Guide •21
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Come to Steele’s to Register for those lasting treasures! Steele’s Bridal Registry makes gift buying easy! Choose the perfect gift list for your perfect life together!
Contribute any amount towards a gift. Individually, or as a group, friends and relatives can give any amount they wish towards a gift selected by the couple.
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