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The Newtown Bee’s


A SUPPLEMENT TO THE NEWTOWN BEE • 5 Church Hill Road, Newtown Connecticut 06470 • 203-426-3141 • JANUARY 27, 2017

2 - Brides 2017

The Newtown Bee - January 27, 2017

Reflections On What Made Marriage Last For Some Local Couples

By Eliza Hallabeck They have honored, cherished, and been together through decades of change. For some it started with friendship, for others it was an instant recognition of love. One thing each of the couples who spent time reflecting on their marriages with The Newtown Bee recently had in common was longlasting, proven, relationships. None of the couples shared one simple rule to follow when it comes to marriage, but each reflected on what has worked for them.

Beach State Park. “And that was the start of dating,” said Mr Schaedler. After they were married, the Schaedlers honeymooned in Bridgeport. They moved to Newtown in 1955, and they went on to have nine children. “I didn’t marry the boy next door,” said Mrs Schaedler. “I married his friend.” When asked what has made their marriage work, Mr Schaedler said simply, “We love each other. Do what comes naturally.” Mrs Schaedler added, “We depended on each other, and didn’t listen to other people... It was me and him. We were together.” When complications arose, Mrs Schaedler said, the couple has worked things out together. “It helped to have similar ideas about raising the kids,” she added. Their family was a big part of their marriage, the couple said, and they always made an effort to attend school events to support their children.

Chris and John Reed After meeting as students at Worcester State University former Superintendent of Schools John Reed and his wife Chris were married on November 21, 1964. Mrs Reed said she walked into the library at Worcester State University and, “That’s where I saw him for the first time.” Laughing, she said she thought he was a professor. Dr Reed said he and his wife have remarkably Maria and Vitto Dionisio similar tastes and values. They can individually Maria and Vitto Dionisio were introduced walk into an art gallery or antiques store, peruse, through a friend of her sister. He was three years and when they meet up afterward the same items older than her. will have struck each of them. “I fell in love right away... from the day we met Friendship and devotion have been constants for we never left each other,” Mr Dionisio said. the Reeds. Their wedding rings have the word The pair were married on October 28, 1958, “devotion” engraved on them. The pair believes and when asked what has made their marriage they would have been friends as children if they work since then, Mrs Dionisio said, “honesty, had met then. After they were married, Dr Reed fidelity, and religion.” said people would point out that he had married The couple had three children, and they moved his best friend. He seconds that statement. to Newtown from New York in 1999. Their friendship, Dr Reed said, is a good “base” “The main thing,” Mr Dionisio said, “is never get for their marriage. Mrs Reed’s devotion to him, Dr Reed said, is Robert L. and Ann Schaedler were married on February 6, 1954. “I didn’t in an argument with each other. Never be angry.” deeply valued. At the end of the day having some- marry the boy next door,” Mrs Schaedler is fond of saying. “I married his In order to not argue, Mrs Dionisio said, “I count one there who valued him and was interested in friend.” The couple’s love for and reliance on each other are part of why their to ten, then I count to ten again. Then I go away and close myself in the bedroom... Take a book.” his personal welfare meant everything. He said marriage has endured for more than 60 years. their friendship evolved into personal happiness AnnaMarie and Robert Macey and love. AnneMarie and Robert Macey were married on September 14, 1963, after being introDr Reed said he feels there has been remarkable continuity between the two over the years, and it helped to have careers that fulfilled them. Mrs Reed was a teacher, too, he duced by friends. At first, “I didn’t like him,” Mrs Macey said. “I couldn’t understand why my friend added. The Reeds have two children, and they have lived in Newtown for 34 years. The town has thought he was so wonderful, but he grew on me.” They both worked at Fairfield Hills Hospital when they met. He continued to “show up been a “home base” for their roots, Dr Reed said. Interacting with groups in town and every night,” she said, until she agreed to go on a date. being active in the community has been a significant part of their lives. Spending the sum“I was a nursing student and he was a local boy,” Mrs Macey said. She lived in Prospect, mer in Maine has also created a community base for them. N.Y., at the time. Dr Reed said he and Mrs Reed also share the same sense of humor. The couple dated for three years before marriage. Their first date, as Mrs Macey remem“I think you do have to laugh, and, occasionally, laugh at yourself,” said Dr Reed. bers, was to a coffee shop called The Straw Hat on Route 25, which she said was the popuReflecting back, even though they came from different family backgrounds, Dr Reed said lar place to stop and get coffee. he and his wife both entered their marriage with the same goal and mutual devotion. Many guests at their wedding in 1963, Mrs Macey said, gave $2 as their gift to the new“I think we are lucky so far,” he said. Mrs Reed agreed. lyweds. “That was a lot of money then,” she added. Barbara and Joe Borst The couple has lived in Newtown since 1966. In marriage, Mrs Macey said it is important Helping a friend led to former First Selectman Joe Borst meeting his wife Barbara. Mr Borst met Barbara’s cousin while attending Middlebury College in Vermont. They to respect each other. “Don’t fight over the small things. Let each other be themselves,” she said. were roommates. One day his roommate asked for a ride home. Mr Borst took him home One thing the Maceys always did, she said, was make sure to eat at least one meal a day in one of Middlebury College’s Flying Club’s planes to meet the roommate’s family on together. They also always went to church with their two children. Over the years, Mrs Long Pond in Dracut, Mass. Mrs Borst was visiting her cousins at the time. “She was in the water,” Mr Borst remembered. “ From where I was standing on the shore, Macey said it also helped to have the same circle of friends, who also tended to remain married. I said ‘This is the girl for me.’” He was 27 and she was 16 years old at the time. Helen and R. Scudder Smith When they first met Mrs Borst remembers thinking, “he was nice.” Bee Publisher R. Scudder Smith and wife Helen met when Mr Smith was out with a felThey became friends and then dated for a few years before marrying on July 31, 1954. Mr low US Marine Corps friend one night in Morehead City, N.C. The men were interested Borst said it was “the hottest day of the year. It really was.” The couple had five children, who they are very proud of. They moved to Newtown in in playing miniature golf, but happened on two girls, one of whom had noticed the two young men earlier and had sought them out with her friend, Helen. 1955 after living in Bridgeport when they were first married. “I offered to give Helen a ride home,” said Mr Smith, but Mrs Smith was under strict Throughout their marriage, Mr Borst said Mrs Borst took care of the domestics, “and I orders from her father not to take rides with strangers. had to go out to work.” They worked cooperatively in everything. She handled the financSo, Mr Smith followed her home. When they arrived, her father immediately came out of es, and they made decisions together. Both agreed that they always discussed what to do the house and wrote Mr Smith’s license plate on the side of the porch with a pen. together. They never had big arguments over the decisions. “He wanted to make sure he could find me if I disappeared with his daughter, I guess. “We got along very well,” said Mrs Borst. I don’t know,” said Mr Smith. Both are Catholic, which has helped, both Borsts agreed. Being active in town has also The couple dated sporadically, due to Mr Smith’s schedule with the air wing of the Marine been a big part of their relationship. “That brought us together,” said Mr Borst, adding that Mrs Borst worked for the school Corps, for about a year before marrying on March 9, 1956. For the year they were dating, Mrs Smith would tease him for never giving a warning about when he would be back in the system for 32 years. Family also played a “big part” in their marriage. In 2004, when Mr and Mrs Borst were area. “It worked out all right,” said Mr Smith, with almost 61 years of perspective. celebrating their 50th anniversary, family members traveled with them for a big celebratory When they were first married they were young with little money, and they did not have vacation in Maui, Hawaii. many interests in common, according to Mr Smith. Mutual interests grew in time. “We had a good time,” Mr Borst said, looking at a group photo shared with and printed Mrs Smith tried a lot of things and was always cooperative. He would bring her to in The Newtown Bee in 2004 from the vacation. “It was really nice.” antiques shows, and at first she was only interested in weathervanes. She has sat through many antique auctions since, whenever he has dragged her with him, he said. Ann and Robert L. Schaedler The couple had two children and have traveled a lot through the years, to places like After meeting in the summer of 1952, Robert L. and Ann Schaedler were married on Spain, Portugal, and France. When they find somewhere they like, they return. February 6, 1954. Whenever he would have long hours working at the Church Hill Road office of the news“It will be 63 years next month,” said Mrs Schaedler. In 1952, Mr Schaedler was attending Brooklyn Technical High School in New York. That paper his family has owned since 1881, Mr Smith said Mrs Smith would take care of dinner. They are also longtime members of the Newtown Congregational Church. Being summer one of his friends hosted a birthday party. “There was a cute little girl there... She happened to be his next-door neighbor,” said Mr cooperative with a husband or wife’s interests, Mr Smith said, helps develop mutual interests over time. Schaedler. Along the way the Smiths also entered into a mutual pact to not buy birthday or Christmas The pair did not begin dating until Mrs Schaedler was out of high school. He asked her to go on a date with him, and he borrowed his brother’s car to pick her up to go to Jones presents for each other. Instead they buy presents when it is not expected and there is less pressure.

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The Newtown Bee - January 27, 2017 Pat and Bob Llodra When asked when they were married, First Selectman Pat Llodra and her husband Bob looked at each other, smirking. “We eloped, so we never really paid attention to the date,” she explained. The couple married on June 14, 1963, they said, before a probate court judge and probate clerk in New York. Mrs Llodra was 20 at the time, and was too young, under 21, to be married in Connecticut. The couple met at the University of Bridgeport. Mrs Llodra had a scholarship job working in the university’s library, which kept her on campus. They were in the same circle of friends, and they met at “the circle,” where students hung out. Mr Llodra remembers going into New York City with a friend group for an early date. Their relationship began over time through friendship, then dates with friends. The couple had three children, and moved to Newtown in 1971. When they first moved to town their youngest daughter was a year old, and their older two children were enrolled in Sandy Hook Elementary School. Before Newtown, the couple lived in Fairfield and Monroe. Though they have traveled throughout their years together, Mrs Llodra said she and her husband have never had a honeymoon. Both came from financially challenged families, so their dating life was cheaper in group dates and they eloped partially to save money. They worked hard together, which Mrs Llodra shared came naturally to her after being

raised on a farm in Massachusetts. They worked together to raise their children and build their life together. “You look back and there were a lot of good times then,” said Mr Llodra, reflecting on the early years. There is a certain perspective gained from looking back, Mrs Llodra said, that they did not have when they first started their relationship. She can now say the pair had a sense of commitment, persistence, and confidence that at the end of the day everything would be okay. They both grew as individuals throughout their years together, and that is okay, too, Mrs Llodra said. Tolerance of one another and optimism that the present challenges would be overcome helped throughout the years. “The hurt of the day is going to pale in the face of the long relationship,” said Mrs Llodra, reflecting on what has worked for her marriage. “Having each other going through the trial is a lot better than being alone,” Mr Llodra added. When thinking of her friends who have also been married for decades, Mrs Llodra said children is a common thread in those relationships. It helps ease difference and bridges a common interest. Relationships, Mrs Llodra said, need to be nurtured, treasured, and never taken for granted.

Joe and Barbara Borst were married on July 31, 1954. A shared religious background and a number of mutual interests are among the things the Borsts credit to their longstanding marriage. —Bee Photos, Hallabeck

Pat and Bob Llodra were married on June 14, 1963. A sense of commitment, persistence and confidence in their relationship has helped the pair, who eloped after meeting through mutual friends while attending college.

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The Newtown Bee - January 27, 2017

Choosing Wine For A Wedding By Alissa Silber Wine at weddings has become a lasting tradition for a very good reason. Beyond the beverage being a symbol of life, love, and vitality, wine is the drink of choice for celebrating special occasions because of its versatility. From the experienced sommelier to the 21-year-old novice, there is a wine out there to delight the palate. For those who are planning a wedding and do not know where to begin with selecting wine, it is beneficial to know the basics. There are five main categories of wine: white, a light shade containing no red pigments; red, a darker pigment from the inclusion of the skin of the grape; rosé, commonly produced from red grapes without the skin; sparkling, which is bubbly due to a second fermentation that forms carbon dioxide bubbles; and fortified, which is wine that has been blended with liquor. These types breakdown into what is called the “varietal,” which explain what specific type of grape is used to make the wine. For example, a Chardonnay wine is made from Chardonnay grapes. Then based on the region where the wine is produced and how the grapes are picked (individually plucked grapes versus harvesting whole clusters), determines characteristics such as the sweetness and texture. Yankee Wine & Spirits Manager/Wine Specialist Brian Hutcheson says an important factor in choosing a wine is to find out if the person likes lighter and fruitier or dryer and heavier flavors. He suggests a pinot noir as a great choice for lighter preferences, while a Cabernet Sauvignon pleases those who enjoy a heavier wine. Zinfendels, petite sirahs, sirahs, merlots, malbecs and blends tend to fall in between that spectrum. “My general rule of thumb, though, for a wedding isn’t always go big and bold or what sells the best everywhere,” said Mr Hutcheson. “You want something in the middle road, because there are going to be many people there.” Mr Hutcheson says that the most popular red wines for weddings are Cabernets, and the most popular white wine is a toss-up between Chardonnay and Sauvignon blancs. “Chardonnay was always the big one,” Mr Hutcheson explained, “but Sauvignon blancs have really started to take over.” Cork N Barrel owner Chris Van Steen says that ultimately, there are many factors that go into choosing the right wine for a wedding. The theme and menu are strong aspects to consider when finding a wine to complement the wedding. But just how important is it to have wine as a beverage option available at weddings? “It is probably one of the most important, besides water. Even if it’s not a huge drinking crowd, wine is tradition,” Mr Hutcheson said.

have a higher-end bottle. Party Favors Wine as party favors for guests is a fun and thoughtful option that allows newlyweds to thank their guests for sharing in their day of matrimony. Prosecco is one of the most common wines to give guests, because of the taste. Mr Van Steen says prosecco is sweeter than Champagne. Not only that, but prosecco is a popular choice because of the style of bottles it comes in. Couples who are considering giving wine as party favors can always customize the wine bottle to display their names on the label. Whether it is a large or small bottle, it will make a positive statement. Taste Test For Research Yankee Wine & Spirits, 6 Queen Street in Newtown, offers wine classes on the third Thursday of every month. For $20 per person, wine enthusiasts can enjoy learning about the wine they are drinking and take a bottle home. Private classes and free wedding consultations are also available; for more information call 203-426-4999. For those planning their wedding, another good option for discovering new wines is the Yankee Wine & Spirits Wine Club. For $22.95 a month, club members receive one new red wine and one new white wine from Mr Hutcheson’s selected theme. People can sign up by e-mailing

Prosecco is a sweet wine that has become a popular party favor at weddings. Many times couples choose to include a customized label to show their names and wedding date. The Toast One of the most widely celebrated traditions at weddings is the dinner toasts. It is the time where those closest to the couple raise their glass and give their best wishes to the newlyweds as they embark on the next chapter of their life (see related story in this supplement, “Concise Remarks Make Wedding Toasts Memorable”). For such a special moment of the evening, champagne is usually the drink of choice for its elegance and prestige. “Champagne is sparkling wine,” Mr Hutcheson explained. “Champagne just has to come out of the Champagne region of France to be called Champagne.” In most cases during the toast, the bridal party will

Cork N Barrel, at 266 South Main Street in Newtown, has aisles filled with bottles of wine. Pictured is just a sampling of the Chardonnay, pinot noir, Sauvignon blanc, and zinfandel wine selections.

Set Up A Consultation For those still unsure about what wine to select for their wedding, all hope is not lost. Cork N Barrel, located within Plaza South at 266 South Main Street in Newtown, has more than 5,000 varieties of wine, ranging from $12.99 to $300 per bottle, in its shop and offers wine tastings. People can get notified when they sign up for the store’s rewards program. Mr Van Steen also offers one-on-one consultations for people looking to purchase wine for their wedding. “What I also do and offer is if someone comes to Cork N Barrel and wants to talk about weddings, I will physically open a bottle and let them taste,” he said. People can call Cork N Barrel at 203-270-7600 to set up a consultation with Mr Van Steen to talk about pricing and wine flavors. He understands choosing the right wine is like the bride finding the right dress. There are a lot of options out there and you might have to try a few to find the perfect one, he said. “I don’t want people to get discouraged,” Mr Van Steen said. “The most important part of the wedding is always the planning.” With that said, make sure to enjoy the process of planning a wedding and pour a glass of wine or two for research.

Yankee Wine & Spirits, at 6 Queen Street in Newtown, offers a wine club and wine class for people looking to learn more about different wines. —Bee Photos, Silber

5 - Brides 2017

The Newtown Bee - January 27, 2017


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6 - Brides 2017

The Newtown Bee - January 27, 2017

Bridal Shows In Connecticut This Year

By Shannon Hicks Finding vendors for all facets of a wedding can be exhausting and time-consuming. It can also be fun. Statistics show that most couples become engaged between December and February — Christmas and Valentine’s Day — which is why so many bridal shows and extravaganzas are scheduled for the first few months of the year: vendors want to take advantage of the excitement of a new engagement. A few shows have already taken place in January, including The Connecticut Bridal Show Expo, billed as the largest bridal show on the East Coast. Plenty of shows still remain, however, for those ready to start planning their big day. The following have also been announced for 2017 in Connecticut: *20th Annual Saint Clements Castle Bridal Show, at Saint Clements Castle & Marina, 1931 Portland-Cobalt Road, Portland; Sunday, February 5, 11 am to 3 pm; admission $10; featuring Connecticut vendors including photographers, videographers, bridal gown designers and transportation; 860-342-0593 ext 221, *Wedding Steps Bridal Show Extravaganza Trumbull, at Trumbull Marriott, 180 Hawley Lane; Sunday, February 12, 1 to 4 pm; admission $9; first 50 brides arriving will roll dice for a chance to win $25,000; also vendors for photography, videography, transportation, bridal fashions, invitation, jewelry and more; door prizes and giveaways, also Grand Prize Honeymoon; *The 16th Annual Hartford Bridal Showcase Expo, at Hartford XL Center, 1 Civic Center Plaza, Hartford; Sunday, February 19, 11 am to 4 pm; admission $8; more than 100 displays and vendors including DJs, photographers and videographers, day spas and beauticians; wedding consultants, jewelers, florists, stationers, banquet facilities and hotels, gowns and formal wear, and samplings by bakeries and caterers; live music and entertainment including fashion shows; one attendee will win a Grand Prize Package that will include a honeymoon vacation, a tuxedo package and a cake gift certificate, and one attendee will win a chance to win a brandnew Dodge Dart; for information and coupon for $1 off admission. *The Woodwinds Bridal Show, at Woodwinds, 29 School Ground Road, Branford; Sunday, February 26, 11 am to 2 pm; admission $10; vendors for planning all aspects of wedding, from engagement party and bridal show, rehearsal dinner, wedding day and even day-after brunch, vendors including DJs and bands, hair stylists, transportation, jewelers, catering, officiants, and more; food samplings; goodie bag for each bride; also chance to win honeymoon package and other prizes;

*2017 Wadsworth Mansion Wedding Show, at Wadsworth Mansion at Long Hill Estate, 421 Wadsworth Street, Middletown; Sunday, February 26, 11 am to 3 pm; admission $5 at the door (free for existing Wadsworth brides and grooms); vendors featured within the 16,000-square-foot Classical Revival house situated on 103 acres of wooded area, the former home of Colonel Clarence S. Wadsworth, with landscape architecture provided by the Olmstead brothers, will include caterers, DJs, florists, musicians, et al, reservations requested; 860-347-1064, *Women’s Health, Beauty & Bridal Expo at Mohegan Sun, at Mohegan Sun Casino (Grand Uncas Ballroom), 1 Mohegan Sun Boulevard, Uncasville; Sunday, February 26, 11 am to 5 pm; admission $10; approximately 150 vendors from Connecticut and New England including entertainment, bands and DJs, hair and makeup, gowns, jewelry and accessories, photography and videography, honeymoon, limos, MediSpa, weight loss, novelties; three New York-style fashion shows;, moheganexpo. com. *The Southbury Bridal Show, at The Heritage Hotel, 522 Heritage Road, Southbury; Sunday, February 26, 12 to 4 pm; free for engaged couples, other guests asked to make $5 donation for spotlight charity; expert professionals in photography, wedding attire, invitations, confections, transportation, jewelry, make-up and more; also gourmet sampling (cash bar); reservations suggested; *Wedding Steps Bridal Show Extravaganza Norwalk, at Dolce Norwalk, 32 Weed Avenue; Sunday, February 26, 1 to 4 pm; admission $9; see additional details under February 12 event in Trumbull. *Connecticut National Wedding Expo, at Connecticut National Golf Club, 136 Chase Road, Putnam; Sunday, March 5, 12 to 4 pm; admission $10; “variety of wedding professionals” will help showcase club and its amenities; March Events *Wedding Steps Bridal Show Extravaganza Branford, at Bill Miller’s Castle, 834 East Main Street (Route 1), Branford; Sunday, March 12, 1 to 4 pm; admission $9; see additional details under February 12 event in Trumbull. *CT Bridal Show: Connecticut Wedding Expo, at Fantasia Wedding & Banquet Facility, 404 Washington Avenue, North Haven; Sunday, March 12, 6:30 to 9:30 pm; admission $10 at door, $5 in advance; designer wedding fashions (including men’s and attendants), Connecticut wedding exports, floral designs and hors d’oeuvres; also live fashions event; photo booths and specialty bride services; Gangamstyle Dance-Off Contest; discounts and drawings including

hotel drawings, wedding spa bridal party package, and more; *Wedding Steps Bridal Show Extravaganza Bolton, at A Villa Louisa, 60 Villa Louisa Road, Bolton; Sunday, March 26, 1 to 5 pm; admission $9; see additional details under February 12 event in Trumbull. May *Wedding Steps Bridal Show Extravaganza Milford, at Great River Golf Club, 130 Coram Lane, Milford; Tuesday, May 2, 6 to 9 pm; admission $9; see additional details under February 12 event in Trumbull. *Holiday Hill Wedding Expo, at Holiday Hill, 41 Chaffeeville Road, Mansfield Center; Sunday, May 21, 12 to 4 pm; admission $10; special event will highlight venue created for those seeking a nature themed, rustic, country of “magical woodland” setting, also catered refreshments; 401767-7674, June *Wedding Steps Bridal Show Extravaganza Norwalk II, at Shore and Country Club, 220 Gregory Boulevard, Norwalk; Tuesday, June 6, 6 to 9 pm; admission $9; see additional details under February 12 event in Trumbull. *Wedding Steps Bridal Show Extravaganza New Haven, at Fantasia, 404 Washington Avenue (Route 5), North Haven; Tuesday, June 13, 6 to 9 pm; admission $9; see additional details under February 12 event in Trumbull. *Wedding Steps Bridal Show Extravaganza Danbury, at The Amber Room Colonnade, 1 Stacey Road, Danbury; Tuesday, June 20, 6 to 9 pm; admission $9; see additional details under February 12 event in Trumbull. August *Wedding Steps Bridal Show Extravaganza Seymour, at The Inn at Villa Bianca, 312 Roosevelt Drive (Route 34), Seymour; Tuesday, August 1, 6 to 9 pm; admission $9; see additional details under February 12 event in Trumbull. *Wedding Steps Bridal Show Extravaganza Brookfield, at The Candlewood Inn, 506 Candlewood Lake Road, Brookfield; Tuesday, August 8, 6 to 9; admission $9; see additional details under February 12 event in Trumbull. September *Wedding Steps Bridal Show Extravaganza New Haven II, at Amarante’s Sea Cliff, 62 Cove Street, New Haven; Tuesday, September 26, 6 to 9 pm; admission $9; see additional details under February 12 event in Trumbull. October *Wedding Steps Bridal Show Extravaganza Brookfield II, at The Fox Hill Inn, 257 Federal Road, Brookfield, Tuesday, October 24, 6 to 9 pm; admission $9; see additional details under February 12 event in Trumbull.

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7 - Brides 2017

The Newtown Bee - January 27, 2017

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8 - Brides 2017

The Newtown Bee - January 27, 2017

Brides Bee Lines—

First Song Selections Can Have Great Backstories

By Shannon Hicks The Newtown Bee reached out in recent months to see what some couples with connections to town had selected as the first song they danced to during their wedding reception, and why they chose that particular song. Following are their answers.

Kathryn and Matthew Bergquist Colleen Ballantine: We made a CD of 14 possible song choices. After using up our allotted vetoes, we chose Van Morrison’s “Someone Like You.” We still have the CD to listen to. Kathryn & Matthew Bergquist Kathryn Ebert and Matthew Bergquist knew each other while both were attending Newtown High School, but did not start dating until after college. They were married on July 18, 2015, at The Barns at Wesleyan Hills in Middletown. They lived in Newtown following their wedding, and currently reside in Stamford. Kathryn Bergquist: The first year we dated my husband was deployed in Afghanistan, flying Chinooks for the Army National Guard. The popular song “Safe and Sound” by Capital Cities took on a new meaning for us. Daily, I waited for that text or Skype call from him to let me know he was back on the ground safe and sound. The song stuck as we dated over the years and thought it would be cool to have as our first dance song. We found a slower cover by Hordan Haller that was just perfect! Everyone was in tears. My advice for brides as they are picking their wedding song is to be open minded to songs that aren’t traditions, like pop or indie; you can find a cover if you love the lyrics that will make it even more special and unique for your big day.

Christine & Mychal Augustine Christine Sanchez and Mychal Augustine were married on May 28, 2016, at St Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Newtown. They moved in September to Graz, Austria. Her parents continue to live in Newtown. Christine Augustine: “Heaven’s Knife” by Josh Garrels. We picked it because we typically don’t have the same taste in music but fell in love with the song driving to a coffee shop one morning. It’s a song about the beauty of marriage and reflects how we hope to love each for the rest of our lives.

Lisa & Steve Bigham Lisa Pollard and Steve Bigham were married on September 2, 2001, at Newtown Congregational Church. Their reception was at The Inn at Villa Bianca in Seymour. She was an administrative assistant with the Town of Newtown and he was a reporter for The Newtown Bee when they met. Today they are the parents of two beautiful daughters, and the family lives in Southbury. Lisa Bigham: “From This Moment” by Shania Twain was our wedding song. We chose this song because it was a perfect song to wrap up our wedding vows. The words are just so sweet, stating that I will love you through everything. Our dreams were granted the day that we met, and we have never looked back. That is what marriage is all about: being together through it all and never giving up.

Colleen & Rob Ballantine Newtown native Colleen Gibbons and Rob Ballantine, of Hampstead, Md., were married on October 4, 2008, at ThorpeWood, Thurmont, Md. Their ceremony was on a forested hillside overlooking a native trout stream. The 155-acre mountain retreat off a quiet mountain road is 1,500 feet high in the Catocin Mountains. Their reception was within the ThorpeWood Lodge. “We looked at many places,” said Colleen, “but this one was a no-brainer when we saw it because it was so. totally. us.” The Ballantines currently live in Pennsylvania with their spoiled yellow lab Liberty Belle (Libby on most days).

Katelynn & Ryan Clark Katelynn Murray grew up in Connecticut, but moved to the West Coast in 2009. She moved back to Connecticut in July 2013, and met Newtown native Ryan Clark on September 1, 2013. They were married on July 24, 2016. Their ceremony and reception took place at The Barns at Wesleyan in Middletown. The Clarks now live in Sandy Hook. Katelynn Clark: Our wedding song was “From the Ground Up” by Dan+Shay. This was one of the hardest decisions for us while wedding planning. We wanted a song that was both sided — not a man singing to or about a woman

Colleen and Rob Ballantine

Lisa and Steve Bigham

Christina and Mychal Augustine

9 - Brides 2017

The Newtown Bee - January 27, 2017

Katelynn and Ryan Clark or a woman singing to or about a man — we wanted a song about our life and the life we were building together. This song really spoke to us when we heard it because it was about making memories together and walking in our grandparents’ footsteps. In both of our families our grandparents have had long marriages and we want the same thing. We were also looking for something new — and not a song that decades of couples before us chose — something that felt unique to us. Sasha & Tyler Fellone Former Newtown resident Sasha Mastro and Tyler Fellone, formerly of New Fairfield, were married on May 26, 2016, at Forsyth Park in Savannah, Ga. The couple had moved to Savannah before their wedding. When she walked down the aisle that Saturday morning, Sasha wore an embroidered ivory silk skirt, an ivory silk top and a beaded belt, all handmade by her mother, Adell Mastro of Newtown. The Fellones continue to reside in Savannah. Sasha Fellone: Our song was “Down (Candlelight Remix)” by Jay Sean. This song had come our song right after we started dating, and Tyler played it for me one date night. It ended up being on a dance game we played, and has just always been a song we’ve played for each other. When trying to pick a song to dance to at the wedding he found the candlelight remix and it just seemed serendipitous!

Christina Wolf-Gallo and Thomas Gallo

—Fantasy Flash Studio

well, but we just really liked the meaning of the song as well as the lyrics. I call my husband my best friend and my husband calls me his best friend so we felt this song best describes our relationship. However, it wasn’t until we were on our way to meet our DJ that we officially decided this would be the song we wanted to dance to on our wedding day. Katie Rose Crevier & Drew Grigg Katie Rose Crevier, who grew up in Newtown, married Drew Grigg at on September 29, 2012. The couple’s wedding ceremony and reception took place at The Gwyn Careg Inn in Pomfret. The Griggs now live in Colchester. Katie Rose Grigg: We danced to “Real Love” by the Beatles for our first dance. We liked listening to classic rock together, particularly the Beatles. We thought the message of that song was really sweet, and it was something we could dance to. (continued on page 10)

Sasha and Tyler Fellone Christina Wolf-Gallo & Thomas Gallo Christina Wolf and Thomas Gallo were married on August 7, 2016. They currently live in Newtown. Christina Wolf-Gallo: The first song my husband and I danced to was “Lucky” by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat. We had a few other songs that we had liked as

Drew and Katie Rose Grigg

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The Newtown Bee - January 27, 2017

Brides Bee Lines—

First Song Selections Can Have Great Backstories (continued from page 9)

Alisa & Dennis Lyons Newtown resident Alisa Maher and Dennis Lyons of Stoughton, Mass., were married on November 6, 1999, at Newtown Meeting House. They continued the day with a reception at Woodwinds in North Branford. Today they live in Wolcott, and have a beautiful daughter. Alisa Lyons: “From The Moment” by Shania Twain was our first song. We chose it because the words really touched us as being “us.” To this day, I still get teary when I hear it. Maureen & Bill Pendergast Maureen Flanagan and Bill Pendergast were married on September 26, 2009, at St Rose of Lima Church in Newtown. Their reception was held at a private home in Sandy Hook. The Pendergasts live in Sandy Hook.

Maureen and Bill Pendergast

Alisa and Dennis Lyons

Michelle and Charlie Rankin

The Challenge Of Finding The Perfect Song By Shannon Hicks Music has always been an important part of the lives of Wendy (Borst) and Bryan LaBarge. A member of Newtown High School Class of 2005, Mrs LaBarge played viola in the NHS Orchestra and mellophone in the NHS Marching Band. Mr LaBarge, meanwhile, plays guitar, has taught himself how to play additional instruments, and has played in a variety of bands. “My husband is a passionate consumer of music, and I love a good car karaoke on my way to work,” Mrs LaBarge said recently. When the couple was planning their January 2012 wedding, one of their toughest decisions came down to music. “We were never a couple that had a song, you know?” Mrs LaBarge said. “We never had that moment where we looked at each other when a song came on and knowingly said ‘This is our song.’” That lack of a special song made the decision of music for their first dance “a bit of a challenge,” she said. “Deciding on the father-daughter dance? Piece of cake!” she said. Ella Fitzgerald’s arrangement of “Puttin’ on The Ritz” filled that need. The couple gave the decision of which song to use for the mother-son dance to Mr LaBarge’s mother. Even ceremonial music was easier to decide on. Acoustic versions of “Blackbird” by the Beatles and “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey were both part of the wedding ceremony, performed on an acoustic guitar Wendy had given to Bryan as a wedding gift. They even knew that there were a number of songs that they wanted their DJ to play during the early portion of their reception. “We decided to have our families’ wedding songs played during our cocktail hour, knowing how special these melodies are,” said Mrs LaBarge. But their song? “It became the decision we couldn’t make,” said the former Sandy Hook resident. “Songs were suggested. Songs were rejected. Songs were considered.”

On their wedding day — with her wearing her grandmother’s pearls and him in his fedora — Wendy and Bryan LaBarge danced to a song that was perfectly suited to them. —Tim Nosenzo Photography Meanwhile, the clock ticked. Everything else was falling into place. It actually got to the week of their wedding, and Wendy and Bryan had yet to agree on a song for their big moment. “While I wasn’t one to adhere to many wedding traditions, this one seemed important to us,” Mrs LaBarge said. While planning their wedding, the couple decided to eschew the tradition of not seeing each other on their wedding day before the ceremony (“We’ve seen each other before, so why not before the wedding?” Mrs LaBarge said) and took photos before they said their vows in order to spend more time with their guests after their six-minute ceremony. They did keep, however, the cake cutting, incorporating something blue into their day (the guitar Wendy gifted to her husband was blue), and having

her father Jim walk her down the aisle. “I don’t think we necessarily did or didn’t do anything because it was tradition,” Mrs LaBarge said. “We just did things that we thought were fun, because that’s what we wanted our wedding to be.” One night shortly before their wedding Wendy and Bryan sat down with one task in front of them: figure out their first dance song. “We put the laptop on the pub table in our dining space in our condo, cued up YouTube, and set out on the task to find a song we both liked and then decide if we could dance to it,” she said. During all of this, Mrs LaBarge had one song hidden away. It was something she had heard during an episode of Scrubs, when Dr Christopher Turk proposes to Carla Espinosa, RN. “In the episode, Turk gets down on one knee and very simply proposes to Carla in a park — so simple and pure — and the song that played in the background of that moment stuck with me,” said Mrs LaBarge. Without mentioning the context of the song to her fiancé, Wendy queued the song on YouTube and played it. “I said ‘How about this one?’” she recalled. “And we danced. “We tried some other songs, but inevitably came back to this one,” she said. A very short time later, on January 21, 2012, at The Seasons at the Tradition Golf Course in Wallingford, newlyweds Wendy and Bryan Labarge danced together to “Question” by Old 97s. “It was short, it was sweet, and it is perhaps uniquely ours,” said Mrs LaBarge. “And on our wedding day, me in my grandmother’s pearls and my husband in his fedora, on the one January day it snowed in 2012, we danced.” The LaBarges live in Wolcott with their daughter Paige, who is already showing hints of enjoying music as much as her parents. “At 5 months old her taste is questionable at best,” said Wendy LaBarge, “but she kicks her legs when music comes on that I assume she likes and she has recently started smiling, so that’s a terrific adventure.”

11 - Brides 2017

The Newtown Bee - January 27, 2017

Maureen Pendergast: Our song was “18th Floor Balcony” by Blue October. The song’s lyrics portray vulnerability, understanding, excitement, and security. A true tear-jerker! It’s not your typical wedding song, but Bill and I had our ups and downs, and this spoke to us! Michelle & Charlie Rankin Michelle Frank and Charlie Rankin were married on July 5, 2008, at Grassy Hill Lodge in Derby. Trumbull residents at the time of their wedding, today the Rankins and their two boys live in Sandy Hook. Michelle Rankin: We chose to dance to “At Last” by Etta James, because we had been dating for quite a while and at last it was our wedding day.

Julie Temple & Tim Stan Julie Temple and Tim Stan were married in 1996, “on the hottest day of the year, in August, in a church in Carmel, N.Y., with no AC and me wearing a long-sleeved dress,” Julie shared recently. Julie Stan: Our first dance was “Cheek To Cheek” by Eliza Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. We chose it because of the lyrics and because we planned to take dancing lessons and Wow our guests by dancing the foxtrot.

Rebekah Harriman-Stites & Christopher Stites Newtown residents Rebekah Harriman and Chris Stites were married on the front lawn of Edmond Town Hall in Newtown on October 13, 2012. For her wedding day, Rebekah had the US Army Air Force wings that had belonged to her late grandfather, a veteran of World War II, sewn into the lining of her dress over her heart. The couple celebrated their wedding with a reception in The Alexandria Room, the formal room of the former town hall building. They continue to live in Newtown, and have a son. Rebekah Harriman-Stites: The first song we danced to was “I’ll Stand By You” by The Pretenders. We chose it because one of our first dates was a Pretenders concert, and the lyrics mean a lot to us

Rebekah Harriman-Stites and Chris Stites

Julie and Tim Stan

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12 - Brides 2017

The Newtown Bee - January 27, 2017

Visual Or Edible?

Local Bakers Create Cakes With Good Taste That Taste Good, Too! By John Voket The Latest Trends With television reality shows like Cake Boss, Ace of Taking a look at wedding cake trends for 2017, Cakes, and Last Cake Standing competing with the even lifestyle diva Martha Stewart recognizes the most dazzling array of baked and bejeweled images importance of ensuring that wedding cakes taste as on social networks like Pinterest, you might think good as they look. But that does not mean sacrificing local bakers would be discouraged from going pan to interesting design applications inside or out. spatula against some of the world’s most amazingHer website highlooking wedding cake creators. lights the latest inside of cake trends, including makBut three of the area’s local wedding cake bakers say ing the layers pop with varying shades of red velvet or bring it on. These local purveyors are ready to create even stripes of differing flavors. wedding cakes so beautiful and tasty that brides and Stewart also touts the idea of offering several differgrooms in Newtown and beyond will be thrilled to ent-looking but complimentary smaller cakes, to prohave their cakes and eat them too. vide a variety of confections for wedding guests. At DOrazio Sisters Bakery in Newtown (Plaza Chef Kirshner at Cafe Xpresso can oblige with fillSouth, 266 South Main Street in Newtown; dorazioings from simple rich buttercream or chocolate the namesake siblings Jojo and mousse to jams, lemon curd, and beyond, with cake AnnMarie on average create one to two wedding foundations of vanilla or chocolate sponge, carrot, cakes each month for folks tying the knot. And while lemon, red velvet, and one of their most recent and they can oblige most clients, once in awhile they have popular additions: salted caramel. to say No to someone seeking a wedding cake that is “We had a groom’s mother come in last fall to order way more about style than substance. a salted caramel cake, because the guests devoured the “Our cakes are visual and edible — that’s how we one we made for the wedding so fast that the groom roll,” Jojo D’Orazio said. “Clients tend to eat our only got a taste of it when he cut it,” said Marie entire cake, and like it!” Schlump. About a mile north, at Cafe Xpresso (150 South Martha Stewart is also showing off cakes for 2017 Main Street, Newtown;, decorated with live flowers instead of ones made from owners Marie and Bob Schlump are happy to enterfrosting, fondant, or plastic — as well as cakes with tain any client’s idea for their wedding cake. Their This wedding cake by DOrazio Sisters Bakery in Newtown was created to only frosted layers or filling, leaving the scrumptious confidence is bolstered as a result of their recent rela- reflect the leisurely beachgoing lifestyle their bride and groom clients love. spongy base exposed. tionship with expert baker and cake designer Mat- Baker AnnMarie D’Orazio used white chocolate to create starfish and shells, The folks at actually thew Kirshner. and buttery crushed graham crackers for sand, topping the cake with two combined two of Stewart’s concepts, creating a Chef Kirshner has been baking virtually all his life, Popsicle stick Adirondack chairs that were created by the bride’s father. “naked cake” with just the thinnest layer of butterand has been professionally devoted to pastry arts for cream frosting and fresh wildflowers that complea dozen years, having proven himself to the most discriminating clients at New York’s Essex ment the wedding party and reception decor. House and Russian Tea Room. He began working locally with Cafe Xpresso last fall. The site also notes that couples in 2017 are seeking a cakes that are unique looking and a reflecJust over the river in Southbury, lifelong baker and former Newtown merchant Tony Posca at tion of their own relationship, with design elements reflecting their shared passions, even if those Bakes N’ Cakes Cafe (within Bennett Place, 316 Main Street South, Southbury; bakesandcak- passions include relaxing by the shore. also tends to put his focus as much on flavor as on image when devising his wedding The D’Orazio sisters recently delivered such a cake for one beach-loving couple, complete with cakes. Popsicle stick Adirondack chairs crafted by the bride’s father on top surrounded by white chocoFrom a couple’s most important cake to entire dessert presentations, all three of these local late shells and starfish with tasty piles of sand created from buttery crushed-up graham crackers. purveyors are poised to make wedding receptions classy, fun, and ultimately sweet. Their creations can also encompass anything from cookies for younger guests to full Venetian Sheet Cake Conundrum dessert tables, even cupcake trays shaped and decorated like the bride’s wedding dress for showDuring a recent wedding cake consultation between Mr Posca and Newtown clients Callie ers or rehearsal dinners. Koch and her mom, Connie, the subject of creating a showpiece cake for the reception room and The Schlumps are seeing more clients calling for Cafe Xpresso’s macaroon tree as a unique a separate sheet cake to serve came up. offering along with their cakes, while Mr Posca and the D’Orazios can help supplement a recepThe concept seems logical, especially if clients are ordering extravagantly designed cakes tion dessert course with dozens of different mouth-watering creations. using decidedly less tasty fondant, a moldable exterior finish made from sugar, water, gelatin, and glycerol. None of the three bakers featured locally prefer to use fondant over fresh, delicious butter cream frosting. All of them are open to providing a showpiece cake for the reception, and a sheet cake made of the same ingredients that is kept in the kitchen to be cut up for guests. At his consultation, Mr Posca was able to determine — based on the number of guests expected for the reception of Ms Koch and her fiance Allan Dominguez — that a sheet cake would not be required, and that all their guests could easily be fed from a single showpiece cake. “If we can find an appropriate size with the design features the bride wants that can serve all the guests, we can save them some money by just serving all the guests from that single main event cake,” he said. Callie Koch at Bakes N’ Cakes, along with many of the wedding cake clients who approach Cafe Xpresso and DOrazio Sisters Bakery, arrive at their consultations with caches of photos, primarily showcased on the social network Pinterest. All three bakers talked about how they work to match either the one cake, or features from several that in the bride’s eye, illustrate the cake they envision for their own wedding day.

Former Newtown merchant Tony Posca created this simple but elegant four-tiered wedding cake with fresh roses as a topper, which is displayed on an engraved pedestal to enhance its presentation. He is ready to meet with brides and grooms to help plan their wedding cake and dessert options at his new shop, Bakes N’ Cakes Cafe on Main Street South in Southbury.

Tony Posca at Bakes N’ Cakes in Southbury decorated this lattice frosted three-tiered wedding cake with colorful natural flowers, accenting the table with simple greens to complement the presentation.

13 - Brides 2017

The Newtown Bee - January 27, 2017 “We’ll try to match the clients ideas and what they are showing us from Pinterest to the best of our ability,” said Chef Kirshner. “A lot of times, with the help of those pictures, we have a good idea about what the client wants. There is a lot of detail work in those pictures that can be very time-consuming to reproduce. Personally, I’d rather give you a beautiful cake that tastes amazing versus using three pounds of fondant — which you won’t be able to eat in the end.”

John Fulton

DiamonD Jewelers

And Then Some... The money Mr Posca was able to save his Newtown clients was shifted to expanding a variety of alternate desserts for their wedding party, including wedding cookies, mini-cupcakes and creamy puff pastries from Bakes N’ Cakes. He also offered some advice for brides dealing with caterers for separate sheet cakes, because he has seen a number of them serving big box store cakes instead of those made from the same ingredients as the “main event” cake. “We’re looking at some of the most extravagant show cakes that could cost as much as $20 or $30 a slice, versus what is being served to the guests, which can be as little as 20 or 30 cents a slice,” he said. When it comes to pricing, at all three of local bakers: a nice two-tiered wedding cake can start as low as around $100 to $150, and a variety of other desserts can be added for about $100 for a party of 50 to 75 guests. Jojo D’Orazio says clients can get one of their best show cakes and a separate sheet cake made from the same fresh ingredients for under $500 for up to 75 guests, with the expense graduating proportionately depending on the size of their party. All three use only the best and freshest ingredients, they said. And while they all prefer as much lead time as possible, they all tend to prepare wedding cakes within a day of the event to ensure their cakes are as close to fresh baked and frosted as possible. Of course last-minute wedding cake orders can be accommodated, but even these local bakers draw the line at a couple of days notice, which could significantly limit both recipe and design options.

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Exit 4 off I-84, Danbury, Ct 203.744.1776 Pastry arts expert Matthew Kirshner, who creates wedding cakes and other scrumptious desserts for Cafe Xpresso in Newtown, is pictured beginning and concluding his decorating work on a two-tiered cake at the South Main Street cafe and bakery. Chef Kirshner previously created baked confections for The Russian Tea Room and Essex House in New York City. —Bee Photos, Voket

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14 - Brides 2017

The Newtown Bee - January 27, 2017

Concise Remarks Make Wedding Toasts Memorable By Andrew Gorosko The toasts made at a wedding reception are a ritual form of well-wishing in which the person giving the toast honors the newlyweds as they start their married life. The beverage generally consumed is champagne, or some other sparkling wine. Eileen Whitney, the director of catering/wedding specialist at Ethan Allen Hotel in Danbury, said of such toasts, “They’re all different… They’re all over the board.” Toasts need not be lengthy to be effective, Ms Whitney said, adding that a two-minute toast is a good length for the honorific remarks. Humor is especially effective, she said. Typically, toasts are made by the best man and by the maid or matron of honor, she said, adding that the parents of wedding couples are making more toasts than in the past. The best man most often serves as the master of ceremonies at the reception, according to Wedding Paper Divas (WPD), a wedding website. Traditionally, the toasts follow a

sequence, in which the best man offers a toast to the bride; the maid or matron of honor then toasts the groom; the father of the bride toasts the couple; other parents of the couple toast the couple; and finally the couple toasts their family and guests, according to WPD. Regardless of the sequence of events during which toasts are made, it is important that a schedule be made and followed, so that the reception runs smoothly, according to WPD. WPD offers some tips to ensure that toasting process is successful, beginning with suggesting that the person about to give the first toast speak calmly into the microphone, announcing that the toasts are about to begin. “Keep it as concise as possible … A toast of even just a couple of heartfelt sentences is completely adequate. Speaking for two to three minutes should be the maximum,” according to the website. The toast itself should be complimentary and also appropriate, keeping the message clean and positive, and avoiding mention of any past

embarrassments and any sensitive matters. A wedding toast should be a sincere statement touching on the couple’s suitability for each other, WPD adds. Also, those who make toasts should practice before giving the talk; be clear-headed and not intoxicated while making the toast; and follow the ritual of a toast by holding up the glass while the toast is made and then sipping from the glass following the comments. While the toasts are underway, the couple should remain seated and smile. The couple should not drink from their glasses until the toasts are complete, according to Wedding Paper Divas’ website. Possible Toasts The bridal website The Knot offers a range of quotations that may be used as part of a wedding toast. Among them are: To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage. —Lao Tzu One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love. —Sophocles Love is a fire that feeds our life. —Pablo Neruda

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We love because it’s the only true adventure. —Nikki Giovanni There is only one happiness in life: to love and be loved. —George Sand Love is all you need. —John Lennon & Paul McCartney The Huffington Post also offers a range of memorable quotes suitable for inclusion in a toast. Among those are the following: You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams. —Dr Seuss To get the full value of joy, you must have someone to divide it with. —Mark Twain. Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile. —Elizabeth Barrett Browning The best thing to hold onto in life is each other. —Audrey Hepburn

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15 - Brides 2017

The Newtown Bee - January 27, 2017

What Couples Need To Know About Choosing A Caterer, Photographer By Kendra Bobowick When making plans, Ms Buchler said, “You can do so What will we eat? Do we need to order linens? Will much online, but I always tell people to actually look at we be comfortable with the photographer? linens or china, or anything. You can see them online, Engaged couples have many decisions to make, right but it’s never the same as in person… that it’s important down to whether they need to rent silverware, as their to not only rely on the internet, but actually look at wedding day approaches. A few photographers and things.” caterers have shared their thoughts about what the cou(Reach Aquarian Caterers head-chef and owner Pam ple might want to consider. Buchler at 203-364-7484.) Frank DeGirolamo of Nick’s Catering in Newtown Looking For Your Photographer believes that among the most important considerMarleen Cafarelli of Photo & Video Art Works in ations, a couple needs “to get their price point for what Newtown weighed what couples ought to think about they are looking to spend,” and he can design a menu when searching for a photographer. based on budget, he said. Nick’s Catering handles a “Number one, they should feel very comfortable with host of events from picnics, business meetings, rehearsthe [photographer] and likewise for video,” Ms Cafarelal dinners, weddings, and more. Regarding weddings, li said. “Those are the people with you morning to he said, “We do quite a few,” and he has experience night and if you’re not comfortable then it is a miss, so working with couples prior to their wedding day. meet people in advance and get to know them.” “Budget is usually the first question,” he said. CouCouples should ask to see photographer’s work. ples also need to determine if they will want china, “Ask to see a whole wedding album,” Ms Cafarelli tablecloths, plastic dinnerware, etc. advised. Two or three photos is not enough, she said. Both the main courses and appetizers are equally “You still don’t get the feeling for [a photographer’s] important, Mr DeGirolamo said. Often, couples have style and what they do.” done some online reading and have ideas about what People prefer different approaches such as artistic/forthey will want to serve their guests. mal/candid, she said. “So find a photographer with a “Brides are pretty savvy these days and they know style you love.” exactly what they want,” he said. “The internet makes Couples also need to confirm what they expect of it easy. They don’t miss much.” their photographers. Weddings of various sizes “all present different chal“Photographers will be there for everything they want lenges,” Mr DeGirolamo said. Twenty people are “easicovered and sometimes things run late,” said Ms er than 200, but once you get set up, the biggest things Cafarelli. “Make sure they’re there for the important is to make sure that everything is ready to go.” things. I have seen some photographers leave really Timing is critical. Food needs to be ready to serve at early.” the same time, to avoid some guests being served much Couples should ask for a timeline, including when later than others, he added. they will see their images. “You have to stay on top of it,” he said. A party of 200 “Will it be online, or will they have them physically in to 300 people “can get challenging, that’s why you have hand or on a thumb drive?” Ms Cafarelli asked. A bride to set up.” Chelsea McIntosh and Mark Simpson were married recently at Lake of (Learn more about the business at nicksnewtown. the Woods in Mahomet, Ill., with photographer Marleen Cafarelli there to and groom should have the answers for these questions. Get a finished wedding album, if you can, Ms com, or call 203-304-9208.) capture the moment. Cafarelli also encourages. Pam Buchler of Aquarian Caterers LLC, also based in “If the photographer doesn’t do it, it probably will never happen. An album is often something Newtown, said the key is “to find someone with the same ideas as you — find compatibility with a caterer.” She has seen weddings where people have not connected with the caterer, “and it’s a that you pass down through generations and that’s important to have,” she said. “If you could afford it, get an album, definitely, do it.” struggle,” she said. Also, make sure you offer meals to photographers, she said. Ms Buchler listens to her clients. “Even just an entrée, but be sure to feed the people working for you, and you will have a much “It’s a lot of give and take and for me it’s important to understand what a client wants and how to get there with the least stress,” she said. Weddings should be “a fun day and should be a fun smoother wedding,” she said. Contact Ms Cafarelli at 203-426-9999, or through photoartworks. event and should be fun to put it all together.” Michelle Babyak would not call herself a wedding photographer, but has done her share of wedAfter 24 years of catering Ms Buchler has never “had anyone upset with the outcome. I have dings. She prefers portrait work, and when talking to a client or a bride, she said, “I always ask, been lucky,” she said. “So I feel I am doing my job.” By listening to the brides and grooms, she said, “Sometimes there are new ideas and your clients ‘What style of photography you are interested in? Do you like formal, photo journalistic, artistic, or edgy type of photography?’” will bring you the best new ideas and you can do something new and different.” The Newtown residents says she asks what the client wants in a final product. Catering covers more than just dinner, she points out. “Are you looking for an album, prints, or just digital images? What kind of time and/or budget “I personally love a cocktail hour; it’s where people start to relax and it can be super fun and intimate,” she said. A signature cocktail can mark that time, Ms Buchler said. “We did one cock- do you have? Are you looking for any special effects or retouching?” are always among the questail with bourbon and one with rye in the spring with a barbecue and Southern [wedding] theme tions asked of those looking for a photographer. “Photography is an art and people have different views on the style of art they like, so it is very and that helps you put your own unique spin on that,” she said. Cocktail hour is also a chance to important that you like the photographer’s style of photography,” said Ms Babyak, who also leave a good first impression, she said. “Cocktail hour should be fun for the bride and groom too,” Ms Buchler said. “I always try to advised, “Make sure you see samples of [a photographer’s] work and point out what you like say [to the bride and groom], give yourself an extra 20 minutes instead of just doing pictures, and about their style so they know what you like.” She also makes a list of things to remember. spend some time in that fun environment. “I always like to have the couple write down who is important to them to be photographed “The thing with weddings,” she said, is having a good caterer and well-planned event. “It should run itself. That’s the key to having someone in charge who knows what they are with. It is such a busy day.” Forgetting to grab a photo with a godparent or great-grandmother doing, and things should unfold,” she said. There are “always hiccups,” she warns, but they “would be horrible,” she said. “I don’t know your family, so having a list and a key person in the “shouldn’t be noticeable. It’s about experience and being in the background, but also present.” wedding party to help coordinate these shots is extremely helpful.” Learn more about Ms Babyak’s photography through her Facebook page at Michelle Babyak Photography. Guests “shouldn’t notice any mishap.”

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16 - Brides 2017

The Newtown Bee - January 27, 2017

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Brides 2017  
Brides 2017