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This Book Belongs To:  Wedding Date: 



4 getting started Master budget planner 8 engagement 12 Planning your wedding Month-by-month checklist

Wedding day itinerary 14 wedding checklist 22 the wedding party Bridesmaids

Groomsmen Wedding party responsibilities 26 The Ceremony Selecting the perfect location

Choosing an officiant 30 The Reception Selecting a reception location

Dining options Cocktails Rentals 38 cakes & bakeries 42 Parties & celebrations Engagement party

Bridal shower Bachelor/bachelorette parties Rehearsal dinner 46 Invitations & stationery Options

Additional stationery items The guest list 50 Gifts Registry

Wedding favors Wedding party Unique ideas 54 Wedding Attire Bridal dress

Accessories Bridesmaids' dresses Groom’s & ushers’ attire Ideas for parents attire 60 hair & makeup Hair & makeup

Spa services

2013 Greater Reading Wedding Planner Hoffmann Publishing Group, Inc., Publisher 2921 Windmill Road, Reading, PA 19608 610.685.0914 Professional photography supplied by Dave Zerbe, John Secoges and Mark Searfoss. Stationery design and photography by Emily Hollinger of Penna Ink, LLC.

64 hair & NUTRITION 66 Flowers & decorations Ceremony

Reception 70 Music & Dance Ceremony

Cocktail hour Reception 74 Photography & videography 78 Transportation 80 guest information & Accommodations

Copyright 2013 by the Greater Reading Wedding Planner. All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced; mechanically, electronically, or by any other means, including photocopying without written permission of the publisher.

84 traditions 88 Etiquette Finances

Family 90 honeymoon 94 Directory

Getting Started G


STORIES NEVER HAVE ENDINGS.” -Richard Bach, American Novelist


Planning your wedding is one of the most exciting and meaningful tasks you’ll ever undertake. It may be the largest event you ever plan, and you'll need to do it with little or no prior experience. There are no ‘do-overs’ with your first wedding.

INTRO CHECKLIST ITEMS There is no single source for all the information you’ll need to plan a successful and joyous wedding  Get ideas for different types of wedding styles by

reading magazines, visiting online resources and using this Planner to compile your growing ideas. Organize your wedding planning for less stress  Prepare a notebook, binder or pocket folder to keep all

loose notes and printed pages, and refer to the Planner to help you stay organized with the many wedding planning details you’re about to tackle. Pick styles, colors and themes that make you happy  It’s your wedding so you need to do what’s right

for you, whether it’s formal or casual, a destination wedding or a backyard barbecue, or anything in between. We’ll help you get there with sanity in check. If money were no object  Decide who’s paying for your wedding, choose a budget that’s right for you and stick to it. You’ll be much happier if you navigate the process with open eyes and the budget checklist provided here.


Whether you’re just beginning to plan, have partially completed planning, or your wedding day is almost here, you no doubt are immersed in thoughts of everything wedding. At this point, you may be feeling overwhelmed by details, unclear about when certain tasks should be completed, or concerned about keeping within a budget. The Greater Reading Wedding Planner has been carefully designed to lessen the stresses of handling the details and tasks associated with planning your wedding. It’s a step-by-step guide to help you understand the many facets of wedding planning. The Greater Reading Wedding Planner is a resource you’ll turn to again and again as you plan for your day, and it will be an everlasting keepsake through all the years of your marriage. Each section of the book contains a place for notes, along with a task or budget checklist for items pertaining to that section. Make planning and budgeting easier by entering the amount you’ve spent, or committed to spending on each item as you check off your accomplishments, then tally the final totals into the Master Budget Planner in this section. We’ve provided a breakdown of a typical wedding budget to better help you allocate your resources. Your wedding requires significant investments of time, energy, attention, and money. Let the Greater Reading Wedding Planner help you maximize those investments.

“Treat your wedding planning as a journey, not a destination. Enjoy each step and book professional vendors that share your vision for your Big Day.”


From the rings you select, to the clothing you wear, to the gifts you buy for others, your wedding and reception signify and celebrate your commitment to one another in a manner that reflects your personalities and values. While others will offer input and advice, it’s up to you and your fiancé to create a day that you’ll treasure for the rest of your lives.

Greater Reading Wedding Planner

_Brooke Adams, The INN at Reading








Ceremony site fee, Officiant’s fee, Officiant’s gratuity, Guest book, Pen, Penholder, Ring bearer pillow, Flower girl basket WEDDING ATTIRE (10%)



Bridal gown, Alterations, Headpiece/Veil, Jewelry, Garter, Shoes, Hairdresser, Makeup artist, Manicure/Pedicure, Groom’s formal wear PHOTOGRAPHY (9%)



Bride & Groom’s album, Parents’ album, Extra prints, Proofs, Negatives/Digital files, Engagement photos, Formal bridal portrait VIDEOGRAPHY (5%)



Main video, Titles, Extra hours, Photo montage, Extra copies STATIONERY (4%)



Invitations, RSVP’s, Reception cards, Ceremony cards, Pew cards, Seating cards, Rain cards, Maps/Directions, Ceremony programs, Announcements, Thank-you notes, Stamps, Calligraphy, Napkins/Matchbooks RECEPTION (35%)



Reception site fee, Hors d’oeuvres, Main meal, Caterer, Liquor/Beverages, Bartending/Bar set up fees, Corkage fee, Fee to pour coffee, Service providers’ meals, Gratuity, Party favors, Disposable cameras, Rose petals/Rice, Gift attendant, Parking fee/Valet services MUSIC (5%)



Ceremony music, Cocktail hour, Reception music BAKERY (2%)



Wedding cake, Groom’s cake, Cake delivery/Set-up fee, Cake cutting fee, Cake topper, Cake knife, Toasting glasses FLOWERS (6%)



Bride, Tossing, Maid of honor, Bridesmaids, Hairpieces, Bride’s going away corsage, Family member corsages, Groom’s boutonniere, Usher boutonnieres, Family member boutonnieres, Altar, Aisle seats, Reception site, Head table, Guest tables, Cake table, Cake, Cake knife, Toasting glasses, Floral delivery/Set-up DECORATIONS (3%)









Table centerpieces, Balloons, etc...

Bridal slip, Ceremony accessories, Tent, Dance floor, Tables, Chairs, Linens, Chair sashes, Tableware, Heaters/Fans, Lanterns, etc... GIFTS (3%)



Bride’s gift, Groom’s gift, Bridesmaids’ gifts, Ushers’ gifts PARTIES (4%)





Bridesmaids’ luncheon, Rehearsal dinner MISCELLANEOUS (4%)

Newspaper announcements, Marriage license, Prenuptial agreement, Bridal gown preservation, Bridal bouquet preservation, Wedding planner, Taxes, Online wedding planning services GRAND TOTAL 8

Greater Reading Wedding Planner



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EEngagement T

The coming months will be busy and exciting, filled with preparations and parties and, yes, a certain amount of stress that seems to inherently accompany wedding planning. For now, however, as you’re preparing to make your engagement official, or are in the first weeks of your engagement, you’ll want to focus on a few important issues, such as your proposal, how to let others know that you’ve become engaged, and, of course – the engagement ring.

CHOOSING AN ENGAGEMENT RING Choosing a ring is an exciting experience. There are lots of resources available to help you get a beautiful ring that is within budget. Your future groom may not be sure about what you like. Lead him to a trusted friend or family member. Make note of the type of rings you admire on other people or when passing by a jewelry store. If the ring isn’t going to be a surprise, shop together to make sure you get exactly what you like. Your best resource, and one of the most readily available, is a reputable jeweler. Some, but not all jewelers and people who work in jewelry stores are members of the GIA or other associations such as the American Gem Trade Association, Jewelers of America, or the American Gem Society. Don’t be afraid to ask about a jeweler’s credentials. Someone who is certified as a Diamond Graduate of the GIA, for instance, has received extensive training in all aspects of diamonds. Some tips to keep in mind as you begin looking at diamonds include the following: �

10 Greater Reading Wedding Planner

rice. For the future groom, determine how much you can spend on P a ring, and then start checking selections in jewelry stores to get an idea of the engagement rings available in your price range.  onsider the four Cs. Consider carat, clarity, color, and cut as you C begin to look at diamonds. Find out more about the four Cs on the GIA’s website at

S ettings. Ask a jeweler to explain different ring settings, such as solitaire, prong and channel. The shape of diamond, whether you buy a single stone or many, will help determine the type of setting you choose. Shapes. Diamonds come in various shapes, including princess cut, brilliant-cut, emerald, heart shaped, or pear shaped. Be sure to consider all the possibilities before choosing a diamond.

 etals. Consider different types of precious metals available for M bands. Yellow gold in 14, 18, or 24 karat is traditional and popular, but platinum is also widely used.

Stones. Engagement rings do not have to be diamonds. Some brides opt for other precious stones, such as rubies, sapphires, or emeralds.



FRIENDSHIP SET ON FIRE.” -Jeremy Taylor, clergyman, bishop, author

agement “When shopping for an engagement ring, inquire about the availability of

WEDDING a matching wedding band. Many newer styles of settings do not fit with a TIP: traditional, straight wedding band, creating a need for a custom band when

the time comes. Shop for your bands at least three months prior to your wedding.” _Caroline Hill, Van Scoy Jewelers

Greater Reading Wedding Planner 11

THE PROPOSAL Share this with your man. Proposals are as individual as the people offering them, and can be as traditional or non-traditional as you’d like. While it’s still traditional that a man proposes to a woman, those rules also are changing as we rethink the terms and definitions of marriage. If you’re getting ready to make a proposal, keep these tips in mind: � 

Make it a surprise...Even if she’s anticipating a proposal, she’ll want to be surprised at how and when it happens.

 ick a great location...The site of your first date, a beautiful P beach, or a romantic, moonlit night is a good pick. Unless she’s a sports fanatic, a baseball or football game is not a good choice.

 now her preferences regarding an engagement ring... Sure, K you know her well, but it doesn’t hurt to get input from her, a good friend, or family member about the type of ring she’ll love. Keep this in mind when considering the size and quality of the stone, as well as the style and design. And, don’t be tempted to propose first and shop later. She’ll want to show everyone her ring when she shares the good news.  alk to her folks...Sure, she’s an independent 21st century woman, T but most women report they’d like for their husband-to-be to consult with her parents before proposing.  ake sure your proposal is sincere and heartfelt... and M whatever else you say, finish it with the words, “will you marry me.” Also, dropping to one knee before you begin can’t hurt.

ANNOUNCING YOUR ENGAGEMENT While it’s traditional to place an announcement in your local newspaper, more and more couples are using electronic options to share their news with family and friends. You might consider posting a video on You Tube or sending out a video eCard, setting up a Facebook page, or sending an announcement out to your email list. Regardless of how you decide to share your news, be careful to include everyone who will want to know. If you and your fiancé don’t live in the same community and you decide you’d like to have the engagement announced in your local paper, remember to send the notice to papers in both communities.

12 Greater Reading Wedding Planner

ENGAGEMENT CHECKLIST ITEMS  Engagement Rings…Come in all shapes, sizes and price ranges. Make sure you have it properly sized and don’t forget to have it appraised and insured.  Tell the World…Consider announcing your engagement through video e-Cards, Facebook and traditional newspapers. You may wish to have engagement photos taken for this memorable time.  Selecting Wedding Dates…It’s important to discuss dates and times with family, close friends and relatives before setting the actual wedding date. You might be disappointed if certain people were unable to attend due to extenuating circumstances. You’ll also need to confirm availability of officiants and facilities before locking in that special date.  Wedding Bands…Reflect on that special bond between future husband and wife. Take time to review what it means to you before choosing.



2733 Papermill Road, Wyomissing l 610-374-9330 l


Planning Your Wedding


Maybe you’re still waiting, but you know that magical question, “Will you marry me,” is coming soon. Or, maybe you’ve recently gotten engaged and, as happy as you are, you find yourself constantly preoccupied with thoughts of guest lists and bridesmaids and dresses and...the list goes on and on. The months ahead will be filled with arrangements, preparations and planning. You’ll want to do a great deal of research to become familiar with what’s available. You’ll be getting recommendations for the best products and services, and making a great many decisions, at times on a daily basis. All of this planning will not be accomplished without some stressful moments. You’re almost sure to encounter some problems or obstacles as you navigate the world of wedding planning. You and your fiancé, your mother, your best friend, or one of your bridesmaids might disagree on a location, a guest list, or a color. It’s likely there may be moments when you’ll feel frustrated or overwhelmed. You can, however, minimize those moments and assure that planning for your wedding will be a thoroughly enjoyable and exciting experience by taking care of a few extremely important tasks right now.

START ORGANIZING Regardless of whether you’ll be planning every detail of your wedding on your own or hiring a professional wedding planner to help you, you will greatly benefit from staying as organized as possible throughout the process. Determine what method works best for you, and begin now to get and stay organized. You can use a spreadsheet, a binder notebook, folders, or whatever method works best for you. The point is to keep track of everything you do related to planning your wedding, and to store all paperwork in one place. You’ll want to keep all receipts, order forms, bills, and notes in a manner that makes them easily accessible and organized, and file notes regarding caterers, photographers, florists, and so forth. If you’re planning to work with a wedding coordinator, you should start looking for one now. Ask for recommendations, and be prepared to interview several planners before deciding who to hire. You can view and download a list of questions to ask potential wedding planners www. planners.


WEDDING “Wedding design doesn't have to be elaborate to make a statement. TIP: Sometimes the most beautiful wedding decor consists of simple

flowers, clean lines, and rustic accents. Plus a more simple setting allows the real star of the show to shine: you!” _Jodi Bukowski, Simple Soiree

14 Greater Reading Wedding Planner

YOUR THEME & VISION It’s extremely important to have a clear vision because everything you do will be done in accordance to your answers to the following questions: �

Will your wedding be formal, semi-formal, or informal?

Do you and your fiancé prefer classic, modern, vintage, chic, or another style?

� � � �

Will it be held early in the day, late afternoon, or in the evening?

Do you want a special or memorable theme, such as sports tailgating, picnic

barbecue, social awareness, or others? What colors will complement your style?

Do you like to think outside of the box or do your own thing? What will you use as your planning budget?

Your answers here will go a long way in helping to make decisions concerning attire, decorations, flowers, and many other details, and will ease the way for the remainder of your planning experience. THINGS TO CONSIDER

P  lanners & Coordinators…Do you want to do it all with family and friends or choose a professional to help you through the many choices? G  et Fit…Think about how you want to look on your wedding day and decide if a fitness and nutrition regimen are right for you. If so start early. F  ood & Reception…The largest expenses will be food and reception. You’ll want to look at your many options to find the best location and the best menu. Guests always remember the ceremony and reception but seldom recall the food.




 Newspaper Announcements $  Prenuptial Agreement $  Online Wedding Planner $  Wedding Consultant $  Marriage License $  Taxes $ TOTAL $

It’s your wedding...enjoy it!

anning Let us take the stress out of your wedding. Full service planning Day-of coordination

Design & Decor Vendor recommendations

Timelines Budgeting

Seating charts Etiquette


Greater Reading Wedding Planner 15


Wedding Checklist MONTH BY MONTH Mark the boxes after you’ve completed the tasks


 Research Photographers…Discuss you thoughts and wishes  Hair & Make-up…Think about styles and select a salon

 Reception Facility…Decide your reception style and look for a perfect location match. Book it as soon as you agree it’s perfect and available for your date  Reception/Catering Contract…Confirm that your reception/catering contract includes everything that you discussed, sign it, and submit deposit  Menu…Plan your menu with reception facility or caterer  Officiant…Identify and select ceremony officiant and/or premarital counselor who meet your needs and personality  Engagement Party… Set date, guest list, and order invites  Wedding Guest List…Discuss approximate count with parents and request their ‘guest list’  Finalize Guest List  Ceremony Location…Identify a ceremony site if not already chosen  Bridal Party…Discuss bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl, ring bearer. Also think about family and friends for ceremony readers, guest book attendants, candle lighters, etc.  Colors & Themes…Lock in wedding colors and themes with regards to ceremony decor, reception space, and your wishes  Wedding Dress Thoughts…Start looking at styles in magazines and online  Wedding Dress Shopping…Head out to bridal salons to review options  Customs & Traditions…List and discuss family thoughts and wishes to incorporate into your ceremony or reception  Reception Music…Identify options and begin sampling bands or DJs  Flowers…Schedule appointments to research wedding florists

 Registry…Open registries at your favorite locations

6 TO 8 MONTHS  Select Photographer…Decide on packages, sign contract and submit deposit  Schedule Engagement Photos  Select Florist…Reserve services, sign contract, and submit deposit  Bridesmaid Dresses…Search options and photos and discuss with your bridesmaids  Buy Wedding Dress…Finalize options and submit deposit  Cakes & Bakers…Discuss your desires and begin your search  Book the Band or DJ…Sign the contract and submit your deposit  Music…Select ceremony music/musicians  Honeymoon Selection…Discuss, confirm, and book  Dress Selections…Finalize Bridesmaids  Out-of-Town Guests…Select hotel and set aside rooms  Registry Updates…Update and expand the list (bridal party ideas)  S elect Your Baker…Choose the design, sign the contract, and submit your deposit  Send Save-the-Date Notices…Don’t forget to include family and


bridal party members

 Confirm Bridesmaid Dress Orders…Confirm that all necessary measurements have been submitted and orders have been placed

 Rentals…Review your needs (linens, chairs, dance floor, tent, etc.)

 Finalize Ceremony Music…Confirm and submit deposit

 Invitations…Review options and ideas

 Rehearsal Dinner…Review locations and options for dinner

 Ceremony Planning…Talk to your officiant about regulations,

 Invitations…Select wording and designs

requirements, or counseling

16 Greater Reading Wedding Planner

 Finalize Receptions/Catering Menu


“Once your date is determined, secure the wedding and reception location as soon as possible. Most venues will allow you to book one year out from your date.” _Meggan Kerber,ViVA Catering

 Wedding Insurance…Research and purchase if desired  Floral Centerpieces…Research and place order  Order Invitations & Announcements

4 TO 5 MONTHS  Flower Details…Revisit floral styles, choose wedding flowers and

confirm contract

 Groomsmens’ Attire…Decide on style, from formal wear to casual, based on wedding style  Place Groomsmens’ Order…Buy or rent as necessary and schedule

ecklist fittings

 Finalize Rental List…Confirm items for ceremony and reception

 Book Rehearsal Dinner…Provide estimated attendance numbers and


special requirements

 Wedding Night Hotel Room…Book it now!

 Send Invitations…Three months before wedding date

 Honeymoon Reservations…Book and confirm flights, rooms, and plans

 Marriage Contract…Select based on your religion or culture

 Address Invitations…Decide on calligraphy or start addressing to

 Identify Bridesmaid Accessories…Shoes, jewelry, etc. and share

avoid crunch

the info

Greater Reading Wedding Planner 17

 Beauty, Nutrition & Fitness…Make appointments to begin the final preparations. Consider facials, massages, teeth whitening, weight management, and tanning  Ceremony/Reception Decorations…Buy or rent last minute items not included in other contracts  Purchase Wedding Bands…Send for engraving

 Special Photography…Schedule boudoir, formal portraits, day-after or rock the dress session  Bridal Shower List…Provide guest list to party host  Reception Bar…Identify desired beverage requirements and confirm or stock if it’s not included in contract  Wedding Day Transportation…Make and confirm arrangements

 Attire Confirmations…Make sure all attendants have purchased or rented necessary attire and accessories


 Wedding Favors…Select items and provide extra time for any customizing  Gather Honeymoon Documents…Organize now for less stress later (passport, birth certificate, visa, vaccinations, etc.)  Visit Tux shop for final measurements  Schedule Three Dress Fittings…First should be six weeks before wedding date  Dress Fitting Preparation…Have all under-the-dress garments ready for fitting  Confirm Dress Delivery Date  Parties & Celebrations…Notify maid of honor and best man about pre-wedding party plan.  Finalize Ceremony Song... Review list and readings with appropriate parties  Confirm Bridesmaid Dress Delivery Date  Insurance Policies…Review and prepare health, home, life, and auto policies to reflect future marital status

18 Greater Reading Wedding Planner

 First Dress Fitting…Six weeks to go. Have everything you need!  Reception Parking…Confirm arrangements  Ceremony Vows…Time to get to work  Wedding Veil…Confirm and purchase veil and shoes prior to next fitting  Ceremony Programs…Time to think about your schedule and what you want to say  Newspaper Announcement…Time to submit if you desire  Marriage License Planning…Know where to get it (Register of Wills), and when (up to two weeks in advance of wedding). Mark your calendar  Confirm Hotel Guest Reservations…Do you need more rooms?  Wedding Party Gifts…Buy gifts for all wedding party participants  Bridal Shower Thank-You Notes…Get started to stay ahead of the crunch  Hair Appointment…Visit salon to run through desired wedding


 Confirm Vendor Instructions…Place final call to baker, caterer, florist, decorator, photographer, DJ, musicians, transportation

 Second Dress Fitting…Bring shoes, veil, and undergarments

contacts, and others to confirm head count, delivery times, pick-up

 Finalize Ceremony Vows

schedules, and other critical details

 Guest Book…Decide how you want to collect memories

 Prepare Wedding Toasts

 Rehearsal Dinner Invitations…Send them to all desired guests

 Wedding Day Photo List…Create list of VIPs for your

 Finalize Ceremony Programs…Send to printer  Wrap Wedding Party Gifts  Wedding Night & Honeymoon Final Confirmation  Accessorize for Final Look

photographer  Honeymoon Preparations…Be sure to have everything you‘ll need. Shop and pack now  Confirm Final Vendor Payments…Make sure you’re still on budget

 Wedding Rings…Pick up and confirm inscriptions  Finalize Ceremony…Cover any last details or changes  Ceremony Music Confirmation…Review and confirm with participants  Confirm Wedding Day Schedule…Confirm who is responsible for transportation, return of items, gown pick-up, etc.  Select Customs to Include  Paperwork for Name Change  Start Thank-you Notes…Saves time later  Bride's Final Haircut…Give it time to grow just right  Communicate with Wedding Party…Cover duties, dates, times, and other details for rehearsal and wedding  Reception Seating…Begin arrangements

1 TO 2 WEEKS  Final Wedding Dress Fitting…Pick it up two weeks before wedding  Get Marriage License  Organize Receiving Line…Determine your order  Guest Confirmation…Call those who have not yet responded for the wedding or rehearsal dinner  Reception Communications…Confirm access details for all wedding vendors and party members  Wedding Day Assignments…Confirm responsibilities with bridal party and others  Pick up Veil or Headpiece  Walk in Your Bridal Shoes

Greater Reading Wedding Planner 19

 Groom's Final Haircut…Plan two weeks prior so you’re looking good  Wedding Day Directions…Distribute directions, schedules and contact list to parents and bridal party  Designate Vendor Contacts…Assign coordinator or close friend to

 Final Vendor Payments…Prepare final payments and tips and designate bridal party or family member to take care of this business wedding day  Wedding Day Eve Plans…Make specific plans to enjoy your evening with friends and family

manage all vendors on wedding day  Pack Overnight Bag…Be prepared. Gather clothing, tooth brush, hair


essentials, and miscellaneous items that you’ll need for the morning after your wedding, and ask one of your close friends to deliver it to the hotel for you

 Re-confirm Honeymoon Travel Plans…Including transportation

 Wedding Day Gifts…Make plans for receipt and transportation of cash

 Pack for Wedding…While still fresh, gather all wedding day attire

and gifts delivered at the wedding  Confirm Reception Music Play List  Honeymoon Itinerary…Leave it with your parents for emergency contact  Manicure & Pedicure…Plan a day or two in advance of wedding and enjoy

 Ceremony Rehearsal…Have run-through with officiant and bridal party  Rehearsal Dinner…Have fun, enjoy family and friends, and relax  Guest Book…Make plans for someone to deliver guest book and pen to reception facility  Set Alarm Clock…You don’t need any additional stress

WEDDING DAY  Confirm Reception Toasts…A friendly reminder never hurts  First Dance…Have bridal party member bring back-up of your cherished songs. It wouldn’t be the first time a DJ forgot it  Private Time…Set aside 10 to 15 minutes between the ceremony and reception to savor the moment together as husband and wife

20 Greater Reading Wedding Planner

DAY AFTER  Wedding Cake…Make plans for your anniversary celebration. Have a friend retrieve your wedding cake layer and get it to the freezer  Wedding Dress Retrieval…Make plans for family or friends to gather your gown and assorted bridal items from the hotel  Tux Return…Make plans to have your family or friends return your tuxedo and assorted rentals  Family Time…Be certain to thank all who helped you make your wedding day memorable

Brides receive two-part “celebrity treatment” on the morning of their Big Day! Our professional stylist will pamper your bridesmaids and mothers at our Salon...while enjoying complimentary champagne, orange juice, and Panera Bagels! Our professional hair stylist and make-up artist will travel to your "Getting Ready" location to make your preparation extra easy for you and your wedding party.

922 Penn Ave., Wyomissing, PA 610.374.4494 /

Featuring the areas only certified Novalash specialist!


Bakery Caterer Ceremony Musicians Florist/Decorator Hair Stylist Limousine Makeup Artist Manicurist Officiant Party Rentals Photographer Reception Musicians Videographer Other



WEDDING “Get to know your timeline and stick to it as you plan, book TIP: events, and reserve various locations and services. This will help to

assure that you secure the accommodations you want and are not disappointed.”

22 Greater Reading Wedding Planner

_Meggan Kerber, Toscani Events by ViVÁ

Time Description Bride Bride's Mother Bride's Father Maid of Honor Bridesmaids Bride's Family Groom Groom's Mother Groom's Father Best Man Ushers Groom's Family Flower Girl Ring Bearer


Greater Reading Wedding Planner 23

TheWeddingParty T M Many friends come and go in our lives. Only a few earn the honor of standing with us on our big day. Who merits the honor and who can tackle the tasks of planning a wedding? For most, these questions are easily answered—your brother, sister, or best friend will suffice—but what happens when you’re in between friends? How does a bride go about replacing a best guy friend with the role a female friend would normally play as maid or matron of honor?

While many of these questions will be outlined below, it’s important to remember that this is your wedding. You know the members of your bridal party intimately enough to make the decisions. Therefore, consider their feelings and the important part they played in your life, and mold your big day to fit their unique personalities. Reflect upon the following advice as you consider what tasks your friends and family would enjoy.

BRIDESMAIDS Bridesmaids share an important role in helping the bride carry the burden of event planning—you won’t be able to enjoy a sizeable wedding without them. The most important of these is the maid or matron of honor. She is tasked with appearing at all bridal affairs and keeping abreast of all important appointments. Choosing a maid or matron honor should not be based upon the person’s ability to plan events. However, you should share your expectations as her inability to invest time may lead you to look for another maid or matron of honor. �

Want a smaller bridal party? Want to keep peace in the family? Limit

your selection to only siblings and your best friend.

Be courteous and ask your future spouse’s sister(s) or niece(s) to be

bridesmaids. S truggling to find friends to act as your bridesmaids? It’s never too late to make a few new lifelong friends.

GROOMSMEN The best man has many responsibilities to play in the months leading up to your wedding. Choosing this person should not be based solely on his ability to give speeches or his experience as an event planner. Like the maid of honor, your best man should understand his responsibilities.

� �

� �

Thin the herd...limit your scope to only siblings and relatives to avoid

hurt feelings.

Think family...ask your fiancé’s brother(s) to be groomsmen, if you

anticipate that not doing so would cause a problem. Need guy friends...It’s never too late to make new friends.

Mentors or role models...consider anyone who has been an influence

Weddi in your life.


The friends and family you choose to stand with you at your ceremony have unique roles to play. The following is a list of helpful responsibilities that you should delegate to your bridal party.

24 Greater Reading Wedding Planner

WEDDING “You’ve spent thousands of dollars to create the perfect wedding, so TIP: don’t just stand there and rock back and forth on the dance floor.

Dance lessons are inexpensive, and fun for the entire bridal party.” _Louise Lamar, Louise Lamar Dance Studio



ingParty -Aristotle

Greater Reading Wedding Planner 25

Assists the bride in her dress selection





 Maid of Honor   Best Man   Bridesmaids       Groomsmen       Ring Bearer    Flower Girls    Officiant   Marriage License Date:   Wedding Date: 

� � �

Helps the bride get in and out of her dress and stores the dress for the

bride following the wedding

Holds the groom’s ring during the ceremony for weddings without a

ring bearer  ccompanies bride and groom to act as a witness for the signing of the A marriage license Finances permitting, he pays for the wedding’s officiant

BEST MAN � � � � �

� �

Holds the bride’s wedding ring for weddings without a ring bearer

Returns his attire and the groom’s attire if they are renting tuxedos Teaches groomsmen how to greet and usher for the ceremony

Accompanies the bride and groom when they apply for a marriage

license to act as a witness

Gives a speech at the rehearsal dinner and at the reception meal Plans the bachelor party Plan the bridal shower


Assist in wedding planning The groomsmen can be available to help the mothers gather wedding


supplies, serve as the set-up team for the ceremony, or run errands. Weddings are busy happenings and many hands make light work.


� � � �

Helps her daughter’s wishes come to fruition by sharing useful

tips that she learned from her own wedding Prepares guest list

Plans the ceremony and reception with her daughter Goes with the bride to select her dress

Chooses her wedding attire first and then tells mother of the

groom about the cut and color of her dress


Gives bride away at the ceremony

Shares wedding responsibilities with his wife


Prepares guest list for her side of the family and her son’s friends Plans rehearsal dinner with husband

Chooses her dress according to the color and cut of the bride’s

mother’s dress


26 Greater Reading Wedding Planner

Offers toast to the bride at the reception

Shares wedding responsibilities with his wife

“Wedding Day Dancing”

Wow your wedding day reception guests with a first dance that they’ll remember long after the reception. We’ll have you, your parents and bridal party looking like stars. Let us choreograph your first dance.

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The First Dance. A Lasting Impression.

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TheCeremony T T

Ten or 20 years after your wedding, you may not remember what salad or first course was served at the reception, or the exact number of guests who attended, or every variety of flowers in your bouquet. Hopefully, however, the details of your ceremony will remain vivid, as it is central to not only your wedding day, but speaks to the life you and your fiancé are planning together. You’ll want to consider your ceremony options carefully, and plan according to your personal views and preferences. You’ll need to decide whether you’ll write your own vows, use vows that are traditional to your cultural or faith traditions, or perhaps script a combination of the two. You’ll also need to consider readings and music for your ceremony, which you’ll read about later in this Planner. First, however, let’s consider how to go about finding a place to hold your wedding ceremony.

SELECTING THE PERFECT LOCATION Your wedding ceremony may be held in your place of worship, on the top of a mountain, in your living room or back yard, or in the same venue as the reception. While location is crucial to some couples, others feel that it’s the ceremony itself that is critical, regardless of where it is held. If you’re not locked into a location, feel free to explore ideas for a site that suits your personalities and comfort levels, as well as your budget. Consider your guest list when choosing the location for your ceremony, however, if it’s very important to you that your grandparents attend, a mountaintop ceremony may not be practical. If the location requires extensive travel, you might lose guests who don’t have the logistical or financial ability to attend. If your wedding will be close to home but not held in a religious setting, you have a variety of options available in the Greater Reading area. Hotels, bed and breakfasts, restaurants, country clubs, event facilities, outdoor locations, historical sites, and halls are among your choices for your wedding ceremony. Sites and locations can be found online, but start looking early, as you’ll want to be sure to get the site reserved for your wedding date. Most event planners recommend reserving a location for your ceremony at least 12 months prior to the wedding. When determining where to hold your ceremony, consider a space that provides ease of access relative to the reception, and in which you and your fiancé feel at home and comfortable. Once you’ve selected a location, learn all you can about any rules, restrictions, or issues that might come into play. Some things to consider include: � � � � � � �

What is the fee for the site?

What is the payment policy?

What is the cancellation policy?

Does the facility have liability insurance?

What is the minimum/maximum number of guests permitted? Are outside officiants permitted?

Is there a denominational affiliation?

What equipment, such as speakers or microphones, is

The C �


Who is responsible for setting up and clearing up the site?

Once you’ve locked into a location, establish contact with a key person there who you can contact with any questions or concerns you might have.


If your ceremony will take place in a church, synagogue, or other place of worship, it’s likely that a minister, priest, rabbi, or someone else associated with the facility will serve as your officiant. If your ceremony is held

28 Greater Reading Wedding Planner

WEDDING “Don’t settle for another planner’s vision of what your special day TIP: should be; work with an event coordinator who strives to achieve

your vision within your budget.” _Jody Folk, Golden Oaks Golf Course

outside of a religious setting, you’ll need to choose an officiant. If you want a member of the clergy to perform the ceremony, contact a house of worship with which you’re familiar or check the Internet for suggestions. If you’re not looking for a clergy person, consider a judge or district justice. County clerks or their appointed deputies also may perform wedding ceremonies, as can mayors of cities and boroughs. Private wedding officiants can be located on line. A current trend is to have a friend or relative conduct the wedding ceremony. There are free and fee-based ministerial certifications online that enable almost anyone to become ordained and perform weddings and other ceremonies. However, you should be extremely diligent to confirm the official status with local laws.


Ceremony Don’t wait until the last minute to start looking for an officiant, as you may encounter conflicts. And, make an effort to get to know your officiant so that you can establish a relationship and have clear communications well before the ceremony.



Your wedding vows are central to your ceremony, and set the tone for your life together as a married couple. If you plan to write your own wedding vows, talk to the officiant who will conduct your ceremony. He or she may be able to offer suggestions and guidelines. for what to include and how to write them. Also, be aware that some

Greater Reading Wedding Planner 29

congregations, such as Catholic and Episcopal, may require you to recite traditional vows. Keep the following suggestions in mind if you’re planning to write your own vows: � �

Decide whether you’ll write your vows separately or together. If you’re each writing your

own vows, will you share them with each other before the ceremony?

Feel free to share your fondest memory of your fiancé, when you first realized you were

in love with him or her, a touching moment you’ve shared, how your mate has made your life better, and so forth, but don’t allow your vows to ramble.

Write in your own voice. Don’t use words you’d never use in conversation or summon

flowery sentences from other sources if you would not normally speak in those terms.

Once the vows are written, practice saying them out loud and time yourself on how long

it takes to say them. You probably want both sets of vows to take about the same time to recite, and that shouldn’t be more than a minute or two.

READINGS AND TRADITIONS Many couples include special passages of scripture, favorite poetry or song lyrics, or another special reading in their wedding ceremonies. Usually, these are read by a member of the wedding party, family member, or a friend. You also might consider incorporating meaningful traditions into your ceremony, whether they are religious or secular, such as a unity candle that symbolizes the joining of two families.

OBTAINING YOUR MARRIAGE LICENSE In Pennsylvania, the Marriage License Bureau is part of the Clerk of the Orphan's Court and Register of Wills. To apply for a license, you’ll need to go to the Clerk of Orphan’s Court in the Berks County Services Center in Reading. You can apply for the license up to 60 days before your wedding, but no later than three days before your wedding, as there is a three (business) day waiting period before the license is issued. You’ll need to know your Social Security number and present a photo ID when making your license application. Find out more about applying for a marriage license in Pennsylvania at search/united_states/pennsylvania/index.shtml.




 Ceremony Site Fee $   Officiant's Fee $   Officiant's Gratuity $   Guest Book/Pen/Pen Holder $   Ring Bearer Pillow $   Flower Girl Basket $   Ceremony Accessories $  TOTAL $ 

30 Greater Reading Wedding Planner

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The Reception


While a wedding ceremony is likely to be emotional and poignant, the reception should be fun, fun, fun! Regardless of where it’s held, how many people attend, or how much it costs, your wedding reception is a time to celebrate with people you care about and who care about you. It’s a time for good food, toasts, music, dancing, and being congratulated and photographed. It’s a time you will want to remember forever. A reception typically consumes about one-third of a wedding budget, meaning that it’s definitely a big deal. When planning your reception, consider all available options and remember that there are many ways you can trim costs if that is a concern.

representative who can give direction regarding what will be provided and what you’ll need to rent, such as a tent, dance floor, tables, chairs, linens, and so forth. Keep in mind that outdoor receptions, while beautiful and festive, come with some special challenges that you’ll want to thoroughly address in advance. Most popular venues for wedding receptions fill up far in advance, meaning that booking your reception is something you’ll want to do early in the planning process. You can focus on decorating and other details after you've reserved your location. After you’ve determined the type of reception you want, narrow your search to a few places. Take time to compare features and ask some questions before making a final decision. Be sure to consider the following:

WHERE TO HAVE YOUR WEDDING RECEPTION There are many choices for wedding receptions within the Greater Reading Area. Consider your personal preferences, budget, and the number of people you’ll need to accommodate. Basically, there are two types of reception sites – those that charge a per-person fee that includes almost everything you’ll need, and those that charge a room-rental fee, where you’re responsible for providing almost everything else.

Unless you’ve already decided on a place for your reception, you’ll want to research options. If the ceremony and reception are in two different locations, most couples prefer to hold them fairly close to one another.

I s the location the right size for your guest list? If you’re having a large gathering, is it big enough to comfortably accommodate all your guests? If your reception is more intimate, consider if the space might be too large for your guests. You might want to consider a facility that offers a bar/lounge area away from the dining tables, giving guests who wish to do so a chance to move around and spread their wings a bit.

Will there be other events at your

Locally, wedding receptions are held in museums; art centers, historic mansions, hotels, inns, private clubs, outside groves and parks, ballrooms, restaurants, historic sites, and private homes. Look for locations that will accommodate and enhance the style of your wedding. Consider the level of formality, whether you’ll be there during the day or at night, proximity to lodging, and other factors.

location on the same day or at the same time? This doesn’t have to be a deal breaker, but consider the possibility that you’ll be sharing space with people from another party. If the place you’re considering will have multiple events on your wedding day, try to visit the location on a day there is more than one event there to see what it’s like before you agree to rent it. Pay attention to noise, traffic flow, and so forth.


If you’ve got an outdoor reception in mind, check for venues that facilitate, or specialize in, outdoor events. You will need to work with a site

32 Greater Reading Wedding Planner

“Leave the little, day-of details to the experts. You should be relaxed and WEDDING looking beautiful. A Wedding Coordinator or the venue’s Maitre D’ are TIP: trained to handle the stress, so you don’t have to do anything but enjoy your day!” _Tracey Kirk-Carabello, The Abraham Lincoln _ a Wyndham Hotel  �

 oes the location match your budget? You’ll be given a rental fee, and D then it’s time to start investigating. Ask what deposits are required, what payment plan is in place, and what the cancellation policy is like. Find out if there are extra fees for parking, security or janitorial services, and so forth. Many facilities include basics such as tables, chairs, and linens, but be sure to ask exactly what is included in the fee and be sure to factor in all costs involved before signing a contract for the location. I s the site convenient for you and your guests? If a third of your guests are from out of town, will they need overnight accommodations? If so, it may make sense to consider a location with overnight facilities, such as a hotel, inn, or bed and breakfast. Is there adequate parking for guests? Is it handicapped accessible? Are there adequate spaces for photo opportunities?



Will you be able to add your personal touches to the location?

If the hall or other location is already decorated, will you be able to make changes or additions to match your wedding style and colors? Ask to see photos of other receptions held there to get some ideas of what types of decors are possible. What’s the situation with food and catering? Some locations require

that they provide all food services, while others allow you to arrange for whatever catering services you want. Also, be sure to ask about the alcohol policy. Is the facility known for excellent service? You don’t want to end up

worrying about details on your wedding day. Choose a place that’s known for excellent service. Work closely with representatives ahead of time to assure that all details are covered so you can relax and enjoy your day.

34 Greater Reading Wedding Planner

While a wedding ceremony is likely to be emotional and poignant, the reception should be fun, fun, fun! Regardless of where it’s held, how many people attend, or how much it costs, your wedding reception is a time to celebrate with people you care about and who care about you. It’s a time for good food, toasts, music, dancing, and being congratulated and photographed. It’s a time you will want to remember forever. A reception typically consumes about one-third of a wedding budget, meaning that it’s definitely a big deal. When planning your reception, consider all available options and remember that there are many ways you can trim costs if that is a concern.

WHERE TO HAVE YOUR WEDDING RECEPTION There are many choices for wedding receptions within the Greater Reading Area. Consider your personal preferences, budget, and the number of people you’ll need to accommodate. Basically, there are two types of reception sites – those that charge a per-person fee that includes almost everything you’ll need, and those that charge a room-rental fee, where you’re responsible for providing almost everything else. Unless you’ve already decided on a place for your reception, you’ll want to research options. If the ceremony and reception are in two different locations, most couples prefer to hold them fairly close to one another.

WEDDING “Make every guest comfortable with bathroom essentials that may come TIP: in handy on your wedding day. Feel free to pick and choose from the list


_Heather Brady, Uh-Oh! Baskets Items for both Men's and Women's Baskets  Body spray  Tylenol/ Advil  Toothpicks  Comb  Cups for mouth wash  Brush  Sewing kit - needles, threads, buttons, snaps,  First aid kit - Band-Aids, tape measure, scissors antiseptic wipes, gauze  Lint roller  Safety pins (assorted sizes)  Static cling spray  Chap-stick  Blotting papers  Lotion  Nail clippers  Hair-spray & gel  Tweezers  Shout wipes & Tide to go Pen  Gum  Breath strips  Breath mints  Scissors  Tissues  Alka Seltzer  Nail file  Immodium AD  Mouthwash  Baby Powder  Dental floss  Shoe polish  Tums  Q-tips  Spray deodorant  Contact Rewetting Drops

 Visine  Cough Drops  Purell  Wisp disposable toothbrush  Granola Bar  Packing Tape  Double Sided Tape  Instant Hem & Cuff Fabric Tape  Crazy Glue  Sharpie, Pen, Post-it Notes Extra Items for Women’s Basket  White Chalk (to cover stains on wedding dress)  Pads  Tampons  Clear nail polish  Hair Elastics  Bobby Pins

Greater Reading Wedding Planner 33


“Brides, remember you can rent tents, chocolate fountains, drink fountains, make your wedding unique.” _Sue Killian, ARK Rentals

Locally, wedding receptions are held in museums; art centers, historic mansions, hotels, inns, private clubs, outside groves and parks, ballrooms, restaurants, historic sites, and private homes. Look for locations that will accommodate and enhance the style of your wedding. Consider the level of formality, whether you’ll be there during the day or at night, proximity to lodging, and other factors. If you’ve got an outdoor reception in mind, check for venues that facilitate, or specialize in, outdoor events. You will need to work with a site representative who can give direction regarding what will be provided and what you’ll need to rent, such as a tent, dance floor, tables, chairs, linens, and so forth. Keep in mind that outdoor receptions, while beautiful and festive, come with some special challenges that you’ll want to thoroughly address in advance.



34 Greater Reading Wedding Planner


 Reception Site Fee $   Hors d'oeuvres $  Main Meal/Caterer $   Liquor/Drinks $   Bar Set-up/Bartending Fees $   Corkage Fee $  Coffee Pouring Fee $   Service Providers' Meals $  Gratuity $   Party Favors $   Disposable Cameras $   Rose Petals/Rice $   Gift Attendant Fee $   Valet Services/Parking Fees $   Tent/Canopy $   Dance Floor $   Tables & Chairs $   Linens/Tableware $   Heaters/Fans $   Lanterns $  TOTAL $

Most popular venues for wedding receptions fill up far in advance, meaning that booking your reception is something you’ll want to do early in the planning process. You can focus on decorating and other details after you've reserved your location. After you’ve determined the type of reception you want, narrow your search to a few places. Take time to compare features and ask some questions before making a final decision. Be sure to consider the following: �

I s the location the right size for your guest list? If you’re having a large gathering, is it big enough to comfortably accommodate all your guests? If your reception is more intimate, consider if the space might be too large for your guests. You might want to consider a facility that offers a bar/lounge area away from the dining tables, giving guests who wish to do so a chance to move around and spread their wings a bit.

Will there be other events at your location on the same day or at the same time? This doesn’t have to be a deal breaker, but consider the possibility that you’ll be sharing space with people from another party. If the place you’re considering will have multiple events on your wedding day, try to visit the location on a day there is more than one event there to see what it’s like before you agree to rent it. Pay attention to noise, traffic flow, and so forth.

 oes the location match your budget? You’ll be given a rental D fee, and then it’s time to start investigating. Ask what deposits are required, what payment plan is in place, and what the cancellation policy is like. Find out if there are extra fees for parking, security or janitorial services, and so forth. Many facilities include basics such as tables, chairs, and linens, but be sure to ask exactly what is included in the fee and be sure to factor in all costs involved before signing a contract for the location. I s the site convenient for you and your guests? If a third of your guests are from out of town, will they need overnight accommodations? If so, it may make sense to consider a location with overnight facilities, such as a hotel, inn, or bed and breakfast. Is there adequate parking for guests? Is it handicapped accessible? Are there adequate spaces for photo opportunities? Will you be able to add your personal touches to the location?

If the hall or other location is already decorated, will you be able to make changes or additions to match your wedding style and colors? Ask to see photos of other receptions held there to get some ideas of what types of decors are possible.

What’s the situation with food and catering? Some locations require  that they provide all food services, while others allow you to arrange for whatever catering services you want. Also, be sure to ask about the alcohol policy. Is the facility known for excellent service? You don’t want to end up 

worrying about details on your wedding day. Choose a place that’s known for excellent service. Work closely with representatives ahead of time to assure that all details are covered so you can relax and enjoy your day.

DINING OPTIONS There are no rules here. Many brides and grooms choose a reception with a sit-down, served dinner. That is just one option available as you plan your event. Depending on the time and style of your wedding, you could consider a brunch, buffet, tasting menu, food stations, or even a picnic lunch with menu options that match your wedding theme. The Greater Reading area has no shortage of good food and dining options. Some reception venues require that you use their catering services. As long as you’ve sampled the food and know that it’s what you want, this is a fine option. If your venue doesn’t include catering services, you’ll need to make those arrangements yourself. Be sure to do plenty of research and seek personal recommendations before choosing a caterer. Let’s take a closer look at some dining options. �

Hors d’oeuvres reception. You could have a cocktails and hors

d’oeuvres reception rather than a sit-down dinner. This is especially appropriate for an afternoon wedding. There are, literally, hundreds of options, ranging from fondue stations and chicken wing buffets, to elegant bites served from trays.. If you choose this option, just be sure to plan for a wide variety of hors d’oeuvres so everyone can find foods they like.

Buffet dinner. A buffet meal provides a variety of foods that guests select and either serve for themselves, or are served to them at the buffet table. Some wedding venues offer buffet service while others offer only sit-down options, so be sure to ask. Wedding brunch. A brunch can be a lovely option for a late-

morning ceremony. It can be less expensive and less formal than a sit-down dinner. You’ll want to work with representatives from your venue or with a reputable caterer to plan the right variety of food choices for guests.

Served dinner. This is probably the best option for a formal event,

as some guests expect to be served at a wedding reception. This is normally the most expensive dining option. If you’re on a tight budget you'll really need to stick to a plan.


Art Gallery Ballroom Banquet Hall Barn Beach Golf Course Grove Hilltop Home

Food stations. These themed serving stations are a hot reception

trend. Generally, food stations are located at various places in the reception hall and serve one food or one food variety. You could have a seafood station, a cheese station, a pasta station, a carving station, or whatever else you can imagine. The idea is to keep guests mingling. Food stations allow you to offer a wide variety of foods.

Family-style serving. Some bridal parties like this option because it’s

less formal and assures that guests will interact with one another as they pass plates and bowls of food.

To-Go Containers. Consider To-Go containers for the many leftovers

that might otherwise go to waste. Talk to your caterer or reception hall staff in advance to make this convenient for your guests. Again, your dining options will be determined by your budget, the type of venue you choose, your wedding style, and your personal preferences. Whatever you choose, just be sure to pay attention to details and hire reputable caterers and service providers. Cocktails

Cocktails are a traditional aspect of a wedding reception. If you choose not to serve alcohol, you can keep your reception festive and happy by serving sparkling punches and juices, flavored waters or fruit smoothies. If you will be serving alcohol, there are some guidelines to keep in mind. An open bar is a fully stocked bar from which guests are free to get whatever, and as many, drinks as they wish. This is your most expensive option. Another possibility includes an open bar for a limited portion of the reception, and just beer, wine and non-alcoholic drinks after that. Some wedding parties offer a signature cocktail, such as mojitos or martinis, supplemented by wine and beer, instead of a fully stocked open bar. Punches, either with or without alcohol, also are popular. Or, you could offer just wine and beer, and opt for a cash bar, at which guests pay for their own cocktails. Other options include a champagne toast at the table. Typically the best man proposes a toast and guests drink champagne to wish you well. If you serve alcoholic beverages, estimate on about one drink per guest per hour for budgeting. Your wedding consultant, caterer, or venue representative will be able to help you decide what liquors and beverages to have on hand. Rentals

If you hire a reception site that is all inclusive, you won’t have to worry about renting equipment and accessories for your reception. If you’re renting a venue that simply charges a room fee, you’ll need to pa attention to what you need. Most facilities at least include tables and chairs. You’ll need to make sure there are enough for your guests, however, and make arrangements to rent more, if necessary. Other items to consider renting include:

36 Greater Reading Wedding Planner

� � � � � �

Hotel Inn Island Lake Landmark Mansion Museum Private Club Park

Public Space Reception Hall Religious Facility Resort Restaurant Retreat Sports Facility Tavern

Table linens, including chair covers

China and silverware

Tents, if applicable Candle holders

Champagne fountains Cake plateaus

Serving tables Steam tables Lighting

Dance floor, if


Table décor

Work with your wedding consultant, caterer, or a site representative to determine exactly what you’ll need to supply and where you can get it. There are various party rental places in the Greater Reading area.

Celebrated Occasions WCR Center for the Arts

The Villa

An historic 19th century gem:

The Villa, an early 20th century landmark for all your “Celebrated Occasions”

• A fully equipped stage and balcony • Seating and table arrangements • State-of-the-art musical acoustics • Accommodations for 175 guests • Convenient parking • A fully licensed caterer & event planner on site Located at 140 North 5th Street in the heart of downtown Reading

• 1924 mansion ambience • Indoor wedding chapel • Beautifully appointed ballroom perfect for intimate wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners, showers, etc. • Two outdoor wedding sites on 8 acres of beautiful park-like settings • Outdoor tent wedding receptions for unlimited sizes • Off street parking Located at: 1201 Museum Road Reading, PA

For more information please call 610.775.5749 or email:


© John Secoges Photography


100 N. Fifth Street, Reading, PA 610.372.3700 – 800.372.3710

Begin your story at the Abraham Lincoln Hotel...


Cakes & Bakeries


A wedding cake is so much more than dessert. It is a focal point of your wedding reception, a reflection of your wedding style, and, when you cut the cake – it becomes an event. Quite simply, it is probably the most important baked good you’ll ever buy, so you want to make sure you do your homework and get the cake you really want. There are many factors to consider when choosing a wedding cake, including how it looks, flavor, type of icing, how it’s decorated, the cost, how it will be served, and so forth. Let’s start by looking at some wedding cake basics.

Choosing a Look and Style for Your Cake

Think about cakes early in your planning process. You’ll want to confirm your baker about four months in advance of your wedding day. Do not, however, select a cake until after you’ve confirmed your wedding theme, colors, and décor. It’s all about complementary styles. And be certain to confirm any policies your reception venue may have concerning cakes, as some venues require that you use their bakers or pay additional slice fees. Regardless of who bakes your cake, you’ll want to get some design ideas by visiting wedding and bakery websites to view the hundreds of cake images. Cakes can be traditional or modern, with a great variety of looks and styles. You’ll find photos of polka-dot wedding cakes, square cakes, round cakes, monogrammed cakes, and cakes with icing that looks like lace or ruffles. Having a good idea of the type of cake you want will help move things along when you start interviewing bakers, so invest time to educate yourself first. Wedding Cake Alternatives

Cupcakes have become extremely popular, either as an extra dessert or in place of a cake. Choosing cupcakes as an alternative allows you to mix and match flavors, which can be fun and appealing for guests. Other alternatives or add-ons to a wedding cake include chocolate covered strawberries, cannolis, or chocolate fountains. If you’re not a traditionalist, you might consider swapping out a cake for something more expressive of your personality, wedding style, ethnic background, or so forth. Bite-sized s’mores, that classic combination of graham cracker, marshmallow, and chocolate would be fun for an outdoor, casual summer wedding, while tiramisu would reflect your Italian ancestry. The options are endless.


“Food choices can have a great impact on your wedding and guests. When selecting your caterer, be sure to ask about glorious foods that are most appealing in appearance and taste while placing emphasis on quality and freshness.”

Cakes&B _Maria DiCecco, Celebrated Occasions

38 Greater Reading Wedding Planner

WEDDING “Reception facilities and services come in all shapes and sizes to meet TIP: every budget. When looking for your reception venue consider what

things are most important to you.” _Mark Ebersole, Weaver Markets



Choosing a Baker

Begin by getting recommendations and perusing websites of bakers in your area. This will help you to narrow your search. Many bakeries offer tastings when prospective clients can visit to sample different kinds of cakes and icings, view portfolios, and get more information. While you’re there, learn as much as you can about options for cakes, icing, fillings, and toppings. Ask about costs, and confirm delivery schedules. It’s important that you know as much as possible. Before agreeing to hire a baker, be sure to ask the following questions: � � � �

� � �


Do you make one-of-a-kind wedding cakes or work from set designs?

What ingredients do you use? Think allergies.

What choices do I have regarding flavors, fillings, types of icing, etc.?

Will you coordinate with the florist if we choose to decorate the cake

with flowers?

How long will it take to make our cake, and when will you start

preparing it?

How are your cakes priced?

Are there extra charges for design?

Do you have a price list I can take with me?

Greater Reading Wedding Planner

� � � �

What are your delivery policies and fees?

Does the price include the top tier or layer? Are you licensed to bake wedding cakes? Can you provide references?

Once you’ve selected a baker, share your ideas and preferences, and provide photos of some of your favorites. It’s best if you share your budget, and ask your baker what he or she can do to help you keep costs down. Most wedding cakes are priced by the slice, so you’ll need to have a fairly good count for number of guests.

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Parties & Celebrations P P

Prenuptial events are organized to have close family members and friends from both sides of the aisle have a chance to learn more about one another as you’ll be bringing all of them together for your special day and, perhaps, throughout your married life. Your future as a married couple is new territory for everyone. While you can’t dictate the future of all these relationships, you can plan for successful harmony on your wedding day by following one practical rule of thumb - make sure all pre-wedding activities share a common purpose to build goodwill and friendships. Engagement Party

Engagement parties can be held at clubs, restaurants, and even bigger venues, but no one is expecting you to make this event as elaborate as your rehearsal dinner or reception. You may choose to have a more intimate engagement party that includes only your parents, or your closest friends and family in celebration of your future wedding. Regardless of whether you share the joy with many or few, visit a warm, inviting restaurant, hire a caterer to cook and serve at your home, or have a barbecue or dinner at one of your parent’s homes, your engagement party should be a time to look forward. �

� �

lso, stay organized. It’s easy to forget A what gifts were presented by which guests. Consider assigning tasks to track gifts as this will help you with thank-you notes later.

Two Truths and a Lie...A great way to break the ice for friends and family who have never met. Play by having all guests tell three “facts” about themselves. Guests then guess which statement is false and which two are true. Arts and Craft...A fun way to mingle while working on a project—especially if you and your friends are artsy. Choose a project that can be beneficial to your wedding, or something that your guests can keep. Your guests may need aprons to keep their clothing clean.

will enjoy, giving your in-laws a comfortable environment in which to become better acquainted with your family and friends. Don’t jump the gun. The newly

Recipe Cards...Can be a fun way to collect food preparation tips from friends and loved ones as a keepsake present for the bride. Each guest verbally shares her recipe with the group and then submits the recipe on an index card with a personalized note for the bride. The recipes are then presented in a decorative or handmade box.


A good rule of thumb is to plan to invite your engagement party

guests to your wedding. Invite family first and then friends.

Use email or Facebook to invite guests. Save printed invitations.

42 Greater Reading Wedding Planner

Bridal showers can be conducted in many different fashions. The hostess, usually a bridesmaid who is a non-family member, plans the event with input and guidance from friends and fellow bridesmaids. However, please ask your hostess to thoughtfully consider your tastes and not pursue her own preferences as you and your expected guests do not wish to be placed in awkward situations.

Game Ideas

Plan events that both your families

engaged couple may want to slowly reveal their plans to friends and extended family. Throw this event one month out from the engagement.

Bridal Shower

Toilet Paper Dress...Begin by dividing your guests into two or more teams. Allot a limited amount of time for one member of each team to be wrapped in a toilet paper dress. When time runs out, choose a winning team based on the creativity of the dress or the team’s ability to use the entire roll.

Bachelor Parties

Bachelor parties have received bad reviews for as long as we can recall. However, most are little more than a day or night of manly fellowship and good ribbing that takes place far from the risqué venues of storytelling lore. Men usually spend most of their time talking about sports, playing sports, or watching sports during this time of fellowship. It’s typically meant to signify the future groom’s last day or night of bachelorhood, and nothing more. �

 on’t let the events of your bachelor party be the elephant in the room on the first D night of your honeymoon. Choose activities that are also comfortable for your father and father-in-law. A golf course is often a great place to start the activities.

Plan a bachelor party that is both fun and safe. Athletic events, a game of cards, or

an outdoor trip are just a few of many options.

Take time to relax and don’t preoccupy your time with worrying about the wedding. Be sure to thank the guys for their thoughts and support.

Bachelorette Parties

Your bachelorette party is another opportunity to unwind with friends and family. You can choose a hostess, help plan the guest list, and share ideas for the events. Typically, all attendees cover the bride’s expenses for the activities. � �

 on’t give out costly gifts at the bachelorette party. To remember the night, shirts D or small trinkets will suffice.

Agree upon a comfortable budget to spend on the party as not all of your

bridesmaids may be comfortable with a costly bachelorette party.

Bridezilla may want to rear her ugly head, but don’t let her. Take this time to enjoy the

many events your bridal party is planning for you. They may not be exactly what you had in mind, but enjoy the company of good friends.


rations -Nathaniel Hawthorne

Greater Reading Wedding Planner 43


Rehearsal Dinner

A rehearsal dinner is an intimate gathering between the wedding couple’s families, their closest friends, and all members of the bridal party before the busy events of the next day. Rehearsal dinners are usually celebrated in conjunction with the ceremony rehearsal, and are another occasion for your separate families to spend time together. Wedding events are busy happenings because your guests require your attention. The rehearsal dinner is one last chance to enjoy food and good cheer alone with your friends and family. Most bridal parties celebrate this occasion in a restaurant, where guests can either enjoy pre-selected appetizers and entrees or choose from menu selections. You’ll want to visit some restaurants as a private patron well in advance of your wedding to determine the quality of food, service, and atmosphere firsthand. You may desire a private room for your rehearsal dinner, so ask your host what size party can be accommodated. For bigger families, consider a larger venue. The Greater Berks County area offers venues of all sizes. Food for Thought

Size...What type of space is available for small or larger parties (8 to 80), and is it open or private?


Menu...Will you select from a limited menu, the full menu, or will the facility prepare anything you desire? Special Requests...Can the facility accommodate special dietary needs? Pricing...Will the restaurant offer fixed pricing with alcohol, and are there any additional fees?


 Bridesmaids' Luncheon $  Rehearsal Dinner $  Engagement Party $ TOTAL $

Time...How long will you be able to use the space? Service...How many servers will be handling your party?

WEDDING “During the rehearsal dinner, the bride and groom traditionally toast TIP: their guests. This is the time to thank your parents and attendants

for all they’ve done to help you. Prepare a speech ahead of time if you anticipate getting nervous about toasting; and don’t forget to bring thank you gifts for bridesmaids and groomsmen.” _ Tina Grande, GNA Ristorante

44 Greater Reading Wedding Planner

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Invitations & Stationery I T

The look and feel of your invitations and stationery should reflect your wedding style. Generally, there are three types of wedding invitations: formal, contemporary, and informal. Your choice should correlate to the type of wedding you’re planning. A very formal wedding, for instance, may call for a formal invitation, with a response and reception card included. Invitations for contemporary or informal weddings can be more reflective of your personal preferences, perhaps incorporating color or even graphics. Your wedding invitation is the first impression your guests will receive, and you want it to be a good one. It sets the tone for the event, as well as relating important information. Begin the process of selecting invitations, wording and design six to eight months prior to your wedding date. If you choose to hire a calligrapher, do so four to five months prior. If you’re addressing the invitations yourself, begin the process in plenty of time to avoid a last minute panic, as your invitations should be mailed two months prior to the wedding.

Options for Printing

There are several printing methods available for your wedding stationery. They include Engraving, Letterpress, Offset, Digital, and Embossing. Each offers benefits and drawbacks. That’s why it’s important to choose a good printing partner when selecting your wedding stationery package. Engraved printing is typically used for elegant invitations and tends to be quite costly. It also requires more time to print than other options. Offset printing, on the other hand, is one of the most popular types of wedding printing. It produces quality imaging that can be applied to a large variety of papers. Letterpress, as the name implies, is text pressed into paper creating a textured feel. Many years ago, letterpress offered fewer type styles because each machine came standard with letter stamps, however, with the invention of modern polymer plates, couples now have a wider variety of design and type styles to select. Digital printing is the least expensive option and could be a good fit for lower quantity, lower complexity jobs. Embossing is the rarity in wedding printing and is sometimes used to imprint a monogram on your invitations. Many couples choose a combination of letterpress and offset printing. Ask your printer to show you samples of invitations with each of these methods so you can get an idea. Most printers have portfolios or sample books of invitations. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and have the printer explain the various printing processes. Calligraphy

If you decide you want your invitations or other stationery items to include calligraphy, which is the art of handwriting in a manner that appears decorative and somewhat formal, locate a professional calligrapher well in advance. Unless you’ve been trained in calligraphy, it is not wise to attempt this yourself. You can also opt for computer-generated calligraphy. Ask your printer to see some samples.

46 Greater Reading Wedding Planner


“Make your wedding unique, and something your guests will remember. Try naming the tables with some places you have traveled to or favorite WEDDING TIP: things you both enjoy, so guests can learn tidbits about you that they may not have known before.” _ Tonya Salkowski, SAVOR...Reading,

Additional Stationery Items

While you’re ordering wedding invitations, you’ll also want to think about ancillary stationery items. The invitation itself can contain several pieces, including a response card, reception card, ceremony card, pew card, rain card, and map or directions to the ceremony and/or reception. Not every invitation contains all of these pieces; again, it depends on the formality of the event and your personal preferences. You will, of course, need to include a response card on which guests can write whether or not they’re able to attend the wedding, and an addressed, stamped envelope in which guests can return the response card. Ask your printer to show you examples of these pieces and decide what you want or need. Aside from the invitation and additional pieces that are mailed with it, you may want to consider the following stationery options. �

Ceremony Program...Lists the different parts of your ceremony,

including musical selections, the name of your officiant, and procession.

Seating/Place Card...Tells guests where they'll be seated during the

 nnouncement...Sent shortly after the wedding to inform select A people the wedding has taken place. Typically, these are sent to friends who could not be included because of a limited guest list, or to acquaintances who would wish to be informed, but you do not wish to obligate with gift giving. reception.

Thank You Card...Every guest should receive a written thank you

for gifts received.

Napkins/Matchbooks...Optional items that usually can be ordered

from your printer or stationer. Choosing the wording for your invitations is not as straightforward as it once was, as family structures can be somewhat complicated and a wider variety of wording is considered acceptable. For a list of suggestions for wording invitations for a variety of family circumstances and wedding styles, visit any number of online resources.

Stationery Greater Reading Wedding Planner 47

The Guest List

Unless your wedding is very small and you and your fiancé are making the guest list yourselves, you’ll need to work with both sets of parents to determine who will be invited. After you’ve decided on a maximum number of guests, to be determined by your budget and personal preferences, ask each set of parents to give you a list of who they want to invite, as you and your fiancé make your own list. Some wedding parties divide the number of guests evenly between the two families, while others allow more for the family bearing more of the wedding costs. Keep the following tips in mind when working to compile a guest list. �

Identify Categories… Divide potential guests into categories of

immediate family, other family, couple’s close friends, parent’s close friends, neighbors, and co-workers. This makes it easier to identify and narrow down invitees.  ersonal Connections… If you need to trim the lists, start by P eliminating people who might be friends of parents, but who you and your fiancé do not know personally. If you haven’t seen your second cousin for 10 years, you don’t need to feel obligated to invite him/her to the wedding. You may, however, want to send an announcement shortly afterward.

The Second Wave… If necessary, consider compiling two lists

and initially mailing invitations only to those on the first list. As you receive regrets, mail invitations to those on the second list. Just be sure you mail the first round of invitations early. Record Keeping…When compiling your guest list, set up a file

for each guest, including name, full address, phone number, and email. Include a space for the reception table number and for gifts received. This allows you to record when an invitation was sent and when you mailed thank you notes for gifts. Making a guest list can sometimes be one of the more difficult tasks of planning a wedding, as different people may have different ideas about who should be included. Be patient, but firm, if you’re setting limits regarding children, co-workers, or so forth.




 Invitations $  Response Cards $  Reception Cards $  Ceremony Cards $  Pew Cards $  Seating/Place Cards $  Rain Cards $  Maps/Direction Cards $  Ceremony Programs $  Announcements $  Thank-You Notes $  Stamps $  Calligraphy $  Napkins $  Matchbooks $ TOTAL $

48 Greater Reading Wedding Planner

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Gifts G C

Coming up with a wish list for your wedding can be overwhelming, but creating a gift registry is the perfect opportunity for you and your soon-tobe to focus on life after the big day. Remember that you’ll be both giving and receiving gifts for your wedding. Bridal registry

You’ll want to register first for gifts that you need and will use. A sterling silver serving platter or a complete set of crystal stemware might be beautiful, but if you’re the type of couple who enjoys camping, hiking, and traveling the world, chances are those are not practical choices for you. Most couples register for gifts at their favorite stores. You let the store know what items you’d like to receive, and they convey that information to guests who are shopping for your gift. You can register for both shower gifts and wedding gifts. �  Register early. Friends and family will ask you where you’re registered soon after you become engaged. �

Choose a store or stores that suit you as a couple. If you prefer casual,

registry and update it often, which helps ensure that your guests always have a variety of gifts to choose from.

� �

don’t let your mother-in-law talk you into registering at a store that specializes in formal styles and items.

Register online. There are various websites that allow you to register

online with different stores, giving you, as well as your guests, a much larger selection. It’s also convenient for your guests, especially those from out of town. Registering online also allows you to check your

Create your registry together. The gifts are for both of you, so talk

about what you have, what you need, and what you want. Have fun with the process, and don’t forget to compromise!

Select gifts for different price ranges. Be sure to hit all of the major

price points from $25 to $200. You don’t want to make anyone feel as though they can’t afford your registry. Skip tradition. Don’t be pressured into registering for kitchenware or typical household items. If you want a new DVD player, register it! You may also wish to consider unique crafts, artwork, or collectibles if that’s your style. Be clear when indicating choices, locations, and ideas.

 e polite. If it’s money that you want, you can register for gift cards at B stores you like. Consider Charity. If there’s nothing you need, or you’re already feeling cluttered with “stuff,” consider registering through a charity so that your guests’ generosity can go to someone in need. Some nonprofit organizations offer online charity wedding registries. Couples can choose from thousands of national charities and will be notified when guests donate. Include your registry card in bridal shower invitations. If you are using a wedding website, you may be able to email your registry to friends and family.

 uests should receive thank you cards within two months. Be sure G you specifically name the gift when you write the note. For monetary gifts, feel free to share how you plan to use the money.




“Your wedding offers several opportunities for gift giving and receiving. Take a few extra moments to make selections that you and your bridal party will cherish for many years.” _Megan Bauer, Coventry Corners

50 Greater Reading Wedding Planner

Wedding Favors

Wedding favors are thoughtful mementos for wedding guests, and have become a fun tradition in American weddings. The bridal couple provides favors–tokens of appreciation–to guests for sharing in their wedding day. You could consider sweets, such as candies and cookies, or opt for more personal gifts like picture frames, personalized candles, or packets of flower seeds. Some couples give favors that reflect their wedding themes, such as sunscreen with personalized labels or paper fans for a beach wedding. Guests will appreciate something that is usable. Gifts for the Wedding Party

Traditionally, the bride and groom select special gifts for members of the wedding party in order to express their appreciation for their loyalty and help. You’ll need to consider both your budget and the expense of your wedding when deciding what wedding party gifts to buy. Some brides give their maid of honor a more generous gift because she normally is the person who plans the bridal shower and bachelorette party. Choose gifts that may have significance to you, but also may be significant to members of the wedding party. Be sure that the gifts reflect your appreciation for the time, effort, and support that your bridesmaids and groomsmen have put into your wedding preparations, and include a handwritten note of appreciation with the gift. Traditional bridesmaid gift ideas include: � � �

Manicure set

Personalized tote or travel bag

Cosmetic case

Monogrammed bathrobe Jewelry


Traditional groomsmen gift Ideas include: �

Engraved money clip

Personalized cigar cutter


Gifts � �

Personalized flask

� �

Polo jerseys or shirts Golf gift certificates

Don’t forget about your ring bearer, flower girl, and any other special people who have been supportive throughout the wedding planning process. These gifts often are presented at the rehearsal dinner, but some brides choose to do so at their bridal luncheon instead.


“Travel agents have resources that you cannot access online. Your travel agency will have contacts at all of the major cruise and tour companies, honeymoon destinations, and hotels. Because of this, they are likely to locate special offers and promotions all over the world that you would not be able to find by searching on your own. And, travel agencies provide these services at no cost to you!” _Judy Sager, Cruise Planners

Greater Reading Wedding Planner 51



Unique Gifts

If you’re looking beyond traditional wedding favors and gifts, here are a few ideas to get you started. Unique Wedding Favors � H  omemade wine with personalized labels � � � �

Seeds or trees for your guests to take home and plant Personalized tea, coffee, or hot chocolate bags Personalized candy

Charity donation card

Unique Bridesmaids Gifts � M  onogrammed party slippers to wear during the reception �

� �

A bridesmaid’s essential survival kit for the big day (include

items such as a hair brush, bobby pins, hair spray, emory board, clear nail polish, needle and thread, stain remover, antacid, and bandages) Monogrammed wet bikini bag Signature jewelry

Unique Groomsmen Gifts � E  ngraved beer mug or stein � �

Stainless steel grill set

Personalized golf club covers and golf towel

Whatever you decide, make it fun and personal.

52 Greater Reading Wedding Planner


 Bride's Gift $   Groom's Gift $   Bridesmaid's Gifts $   Ushers' Gifts $ TOTAL $


Free honeymoon registry! List anything you want to do on your honeymoon...even let your family and friends pay for portions of your trip. It works just like a gift registry, only your guests give you the gifts to help make your honeymoon perfect. On average, couples receive nearly $2,500 in gift money to spend on their honeymoon. You can share the joy with family and friends. Included with the registry is a free website to post pictures of your trip of a lifetime!

Go ahead, make travel the ultimate wedding gift.

Set up your destination wedding or honeymoon registry for free at:

Judy Sager

Cruise & Travel Specialist 610.320.0233 /

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Wedding Attire


For many brides, the bridal gown is a focal point of the wedding preparations. You are the star of the show, and everyone, including the groom, will be anxiously waiting to see what you look like as you enter the room or begin your walk down the aisle. You’ll want to find a gown that is not only stunning, but comfortable and reflective of your personality. The bridal gown, however, is not the only wedding attire to be considered. The groom will want to be looking his best, along with members of the wedding party – both male and female. You’ll need to consider the sizes and styles of all of your attendants to select attire that is flattering to everyone. Let’s start, though, with the main attraction – the bridal gown.

The Bridal gown

Bridal gowns are available in a variety of styles, colors, lengths, and fabrics, some of which will be more flattering and comfortable for you than others. Selecting a bridal gown can seem like an overwhelming task, as there are thousands available in many different styles. Some brides select a designer they like and limit their search to those gowns, while others choose based on a particular style. When shopping for your bridal gown, you should consider what type of silhouette and neckline you prefer, the length of the gown, and the sleeve length and style. Then consider what fabric works best for you. �

If you are short and thin...A shirtwaist or natural waist style dress

with a bouffant skirt are good choices. Consider fabrics such as chiffon, velvet, lace, and Schiffli net.

If you are tall and thin...A shirtwaist or natural waist style with a full

skirt would work well. Consider adding flounces or tiers if you want to minimize the impression of height. Satin and lace work well in these styles. If you are short and plus sized...Select a princess or A-line style dress. Avoid knit fabrics, choosing instead a chiffon, which helps to camouflage weight. If you are tall and plus sized...A princess or A-line style in satin,

chiffon, or lace is recommended. An Empire dress with a skirt that starts just below the bust can be attractive for plus-sized figures. If you are pear shaped...Look for a skirt that flares gently from the natural waist. A sturdier fabric, such as taffeta, would be a good choice because it doesn’t cling.

If you are apple shaped...Choose a dress that hugs the smallest point on your waist line, then flares gently in an A shape.

Other styles to consider, depending on your proportions, include mermaid, baby doll, and sheath. Once you’ve selected a basic style for your gown, consider various types of necklines. Choose from scoop, halter, strapless, sweetheart, modest, V-neck, square, sheer, off-the-shoulder, and more. Your choice for neckline style could depend on your height, shape, and comfort level. There also are a variety of sleeve styles, including cap, sheer, puffed, fitted, bell, and detachable. You can see examples of all of these styles, and more, on bridal websites.

54 Greater Reading Wedding Planner


Dress Length

The length of your dress is another factor to consider. Generally, short dresses or tea-length dresses are considered appropriate for informal weddings, while semi-formal and formal weddings call for floor-length gowns. It’s your wedding, however, and your dress should be exactly what you want it to be. Dress Color and Skin Tone

While most brides prefer the traditional white or off-white wedding dress, some like to mix it up by choosing a gown in a different color or adding colorful touches to a white dress. When thinking about the color of your dress, consider what your skin tone is likely to be at the time of your wedding. Do you anticipate being tanned? Remember that lighter colors enhance medium to dark skin tones, while off-white, cream, and tan are better for very fair tones. Ask the bridal shop attendant if dresses you like come in colors other than those in stock.


“Future brides should begin shopping for their wedding dress about a year ahead of the wedding, with an intent to make a final decision about nine months before the big day. Although it is true that some companies are able to deliver a wedding dress within six to eight weeks before the wedding, it is very unwise to depend on that time period.� _Elizabeth Kemp, Sweethearts


Bridal & Formalwear

Greater Reading Wedding Planner 55


Begin shopping for your dress nine-to-ten months before your wedding day. This is necessary in order to select and order a dress and have enough time for alterations and fittings. If you don’t leave sufficient time, you may limit your options. Locate a reputable bridal salon that’s easily accessible, as you’ll need to visit numerous times. Ask other brides about their experiences with bridal shops and choose one that comes highly recommended. accessories

Narrow your choices for style and fabric before you start shopping as it also impacts your selections for accessories. Having an idea of what you like and what suits your body type will help you avoid being overwhelmed by choices. Remember that, in addition to the gown, you’ll need to consider some or all of the following: � � � � � � �

Alterations, which can cost between $75 and $500 Shoes, between $50 and $500

A headpiece, with or without a veil, between $60 and $500 Gloves, between $15 and $50

Jewelry, which can range between $60 and $2,000

Stockings, between $10 and $20

Lingerie, between $30 and $100

There are numerous ways to reduce spending on a wedding dress. If necessary, consider renting a dress, or look for discounted styles and brands. Be alert for clearances or sales, or consider locating a bridal outlet store. If you’re dealing with a bridal salon, don’t be afraid to ask about sales or less expensive options for dresses.




 Bridal Slip $   Alterations $   Gloves $   Jewelry $   Shoes $   Bridal Gown $   Headpiece/Veil $   Bridal Gown Preservation $   Garter/Stockings $   Groom's Tuxedo/Suit $  TOTAL $

Bridesmaids' dresses

While the bridal dress is all about the bride, bridesmaid dresses require some collaboration and flexibility. Chances are that your bridesmaids come in varied shapes and sizes, making it challenging to find a dress that everyone likes and is comfortable wearing. Plus, personal preferences vary, sometimes making it even more difficult to find a dress that everyone loves. You’ll take a lot of stress off yourself by being flexible regarding bridesmaid dresses. One recent Berks County bride selected the designer and color of dress she wanted, and allowed her five bridesmaids to each select the style and length they preferred. She didn't want her bridesmaids to have to buy something they really weren’t happy with and wouldn’t be able to use again. Some brides prefer to have different colored bridesmaid dresses (within your overall color scheme), while others insist on the same color or varying shades of the same color. As with the wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses can be floor or ankle length, tea length, knee length, or even mini. While the bride should initiate the bridesmaid dress selection, it’s important to ask your attendants what they like and give them some choices regarding the dress. Flower Girl Dresses

If you have a flower girl, her dress can mirror either the bridal gown or the bridesmaids’ dresses. You might consider a white or cream dress that matches yours, accented with a sash or ribbons that match the color of the bridesmaids’ dresses. A flower girl’s dress does not need to be as formal as that of the bride and bridesmaids.

The Groom’s and Ushers’ Attire

The groom’s and ushers’ attire will depend largely on the formality of the wedding. Traditionally, tuxedos are worn for semi-formal and formal weddings. A business suit with a dress shirt and a tie is acceptable for a more informal event. While most brides and bridesmaids purchase their attire, many men prefer to rent a tuxedo. Point your fiancé toward a wedding website and let him browse to get an idea of what’s available. After that, you and he can visit some reputable tuxedo rental stores to look at styles, colors, costs, availability, and other concerns. Some grooms enjoy getting involved with this process, while others may require a little more encouragement. If your fiancé isn’t overly interested in selecting wedding attire, you might consider narrowing his search by selecting a particular designer or color. If he’s doing the choosing, remind him that the men’s clothing must blend with the rest of the wedding look. The groom’s suit or tuxedo can be the same or different as those worn by his groomsmen. Be sure that all the groomsmen are informed about what tuxedo shop to use, how to order the clothing they’ll need, when to pick up and return the clothing, and so forth. In addition to the actual tuxedo or suit, many rental shops supply shirts, vests, cummerbunds, shoes, cufflinks, bow ties, and more. Ideas for Parents’ Attire

Your wedding day is nearly as special for your parents as it is for you and your fiancé, and they will want to look their best. Talk to parents about the general color scheme and style of the wedding so they have some direction when they start to look at attire. It’s best if everyone’s clothing is the same level of formality, and in colors that complement – not clash with one another. Many bridal and fine women's wear shops offer dresses for mothers of brides and grooms, and some department stores stock special collections. Moms should wait until the bride’s and bridesmaids’ dresses have been selected before choosing their attire in order to complement styles.



58 Greater Reading Wedding Planner

Sweethearts Bridal & Formalwear


Let Sweethearts be your one-stop bridal shop. We can help you find attire for every member of your bridal party, and are committed to having samples in all sizes so even curvy women can find the gown of their dreams. Voted “Best of Reading 2012 Wedding & Bridal Stores.” Also offering Bridesmaid dresses, Flower girls dresses, Tuxedos, and Mother dresses. 610.750.5087 / fx: 610.750.6820 4239 Penn Ave., Ste. 9 / Sinking Spring, PA


ecause You Want Your Wedding Day To Last Forever...


Specializing In:


Wedding Gown Preservation The archival alternative to boxed and sealed gown preservation

. Vintage Gown Restoration . Wedding Gown Cleaning Protect your gown from yellowing, fabric damage, and stains

MEN’S SHOP 65 Years of Dry cleaning Elegance

234 N. Whiteoak St. Kutztown 13 N. Franklin St Fleetwood


320 STATE ST / HAMBURG, PA 610.562.7548

We also carry:

Bridal Gifts / Groomsmen Gifts & Accessories Personal Tuxedo Rental Service

Hair & Makeup H Y

You’ll want glowing skin, the perfect hair style, a super-white smile, flawless makeup, and all the finishing touches to make you look and feel gorgeous on your special day. Ideally, you should address health and beauty issues well before your wedding day, especially if you’re hoping to lose weight or modify other physical conditions. You’ll want to consult your ophthalmologist, dermatologist, dentist, trainer, and/or nutritionist six to 12 months in advance, if possible, to provide plenty of time to successfully acclimate to your desired outcome. Hair and Makeup

Choosing a hairstyle for your wedding day is a big decision. You know that all eyes will be on you, and you want to look perfect. Where do you begin? �

Your Stylist...Think about who will style your hair. It may be someone you’ve been going to for years, or you might decide to find someone who specializes in formal styles. This might be an ideal time to try a new salon and stylist. Either way, visit salons that offer hair, makeup, and even spa treatments. Consider your budget, time, and preferences. Hairstyles...When considering hairstyles, start by surfing the

web. Be realistic. Is your hair long, straight, or curly enough for the styles you like? Select a few photos and take them to your stylist for a trial run. Schedule this appointment threeto-six months before your wedding in case you need to grow your hair longer. If you don’t know whether you’ll wear your hair up or down, think about the style that best fits your face shape, and don’t be afraid to ask your stylist for advice. Consider what style will be most comfortable for you on your wedding day. Choose a style that complements your dress...If you want a

romantic look, go for curls. If you want chic, try simple and straight or pulled back. If you’re wearing a tiara or veil, these should complement your hairstyle, not hide it. For extra sparkle consider adding beads, flowers, or jewels.

Health& 60 Greater Reading Wedding Planner

“Hair, makeup and salon services are cornerstones to your perfect day;

WEDDING so reserving your salon 12 months in advance of your wedding date is TIP:

highly recommended. A reputable salon will offer a free consultation to ascertain your needs and desires for your wedding day.”

_Dave & Deb Meas, Hair On The Avenue

Wedding Hair Checklist �  Schedule an appointment with your stylist well in advance of your

wedding date. Take photos of your dress and any headpiece or hair accessories, as well as pictures of hair styles that you like.

Determine if you need to grow your hair out for the hairstyle you

choose, and improve its condition with treatments. Change the color a few weeks ahead of time if you’d like, but don’t wait until the day before in case it doesn’t turn out how you’d hoped.

Don’t shampoo or condition your hair on the big day. Instead, wash

it the night before. If you are wearing your hair up, you can put it in a high pony tail at bedtime. If you’re going to be wearing a veil, ask the stylist to show you and your maid of honor how to remove it without disturbing your style.

On the day of the wedding, be sure you and your bridal party are

wearing button or zip-up shirts to avoid messing up your style!

 o wear waterproof mascara. You don’t want black streaks D down your cheeks after the ceremony.

Makeup Do's and Don’ts

� � � � � � � �

 on’t use black or brown eyeliner. Both are too dramatic. D Choose a lighter shade of brown, such as mahogany.

 o use a light color eye shadow, such as white for fair skin, D and peach for darker skin, above the eyelid on the brow bone. Do color your eyebrows to define them.

 o use an eye drop if your eyes look red from the lack of D sleep, but now is not the time to experiment with a new brand.

 o use blush for added pop! For fair skin, use a light pink, and for D those with darker skin, try a rosy color. Don’t touch your face often. This will only make blemishes worse.  o have your makeup done in daylight near a window or other D natural light for the best view.

 o use bronzing powder on your neck and chest if you need to even D your skin tone.  on’t use foundation on your neck and chest; it may stain your D gown.

Do choose a lip color that’s bright to avoid looking washed out.

Whether you choose to apply your makeup yourself, have a friend do it, or hire a beautician, be clear about your desires.

&Beauty Greater Reading Wedding Planner 61

Spa services

Some brides-to-be take advantage of spa services shortly before their wedding day to help them relax and remain focused. Simple services such as scalp or body massages have been proven to not only relax you, but also help you sleep better. Many also choose to have manicures and pedicures on these visits. Some brides plan a spa night at home with their bridesmaids weeks before the wedding, exchanging manicures, pedicures, facials, and massages, while sharing stories and dreams. It’s a great bonding experience. There are tips online for hosting a spa night. Manicure


Some traditional spa services for brides and bridal parties include: � � �


Eyebrow waxing

� �



If you’re going to take advantage of spa services, choose the spa you’ll use well in advance, and make reservations to avoid the stress of finding a place just before the wedding.



62 Greater Reading Wedding Planner


 Hairdresser $  Makeup Artist $  Manicure/Pedicure $ TOTAL $


Our focus is you! We welcome you to unwind in our relaxing professional environment that is truly focused on you. Your complete image and total satisfaction is our goal. We offer a no-tipping environment that ensures a stress free experience that will bring you back for more. You are the reason we are in business and you will continue to be our top priority.

Complete hair Care• Complete Skin Care • Complete nail Care avé mineral make-up • Coloring & perming • hair Straightening hair replaCement • WigS & extenSionS • retail Center



Visit us at for a full list of services and salon details.



Mon. thru Fri. 8:30AM to 8PM ~ Sat. 8:30AM to 5PM ~ every other Sun. 8:30AM to 2PM 3459 Penn Avenue ~ Sinking Spring, PA 19608 ~ 610 927 3772

REcipiENt NiNE coNsEcutiVE YEaRs

10 Village Center Drive Reading, PA 19607 610-775-3351

Unique Intimate Barn Setting! Choice of Caterers enables you to plan your special day your way! ● Beautiful Outdoor Garden for your Ceremony ● Receptions, Birthday/Anniversary Parties ● Corporate Events ● Family Gatherings



Bridal bouquets Bridesmaid bouquets Flower girl flowers Bountonieres Corsages

Ceremony and reception designs Cake flowers Delivery to mulitple locations the day of the wedding Set-up of venue flowers

3049 Pricetown Road Temple, Pa Rt. 12 610.929.5049

Health & Nutrition H F

For many brides-to-be, an engagement ring is a signal to get into shape. If you’re already in great shape, congratulations and keep up the good work. If you’d like to lose some weight or simply improve your overall health and muscle tone, you should begin doing so as far ahead of your wedding as possible. The sooner you target your “problem areas” and come up with a plan for how to address them, the better. The first step may be to join a gym, hire a personal trainer, or see a nutritionist. � 

Setting Achievable Goals...If you haven’t been exercising, don’t expect to start running six miles a day or join the advanced yoga class. If your goal is to lose 15 pounds before your wedding day, you’ll need more than one or two months. Establish modest goals and, as you meet them, set new ones. This will help to keep you motivated.

 etter Health...If your goal is to lose weight, you might consider consulting a professional B trainer or nutritionist to help you establish a plan. He or she could help you set realistic goals and provide information regarding the nutritional values of various foods, portion sizes, healthy and unhealthy fats, and so forth. Additionally, you could visit some of the many websites available to help you understand these issues.

Avoid the temptation of trying a diet that is extremely limiting, or promises results that sound too good to be true. A well balanced diet that allows you to enjoy reasonable quantities of a wide variety of food, allows you to lose weight in a controlled manner, and keep it off. Moderate exercise is extremely important, as being physically active will help you shed those extra pounds and keep you energized, especially during the stressful months leading up to your wedding. Eat smaller meals throughout the day.

consider these tips � � � � � �

Cut out soda completely.

Drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Take a multi-vitamin.

� �

 ake fruits, veggies, and other M healthy snacks your grocery mainstay. Don’t shop on an empty stomach.


Take stairs instead of the elevator and park a little farther from the office or store.

Create a meal plan.

�  Keep yourself busy. Many people  emove temptation from your home. R tend to eat more when they’re bored. Throw away sweets and snacks.

“Always have a make-up consultation prior WEDDING to your wedding with your chosen makeup TIP: artist. Also, consider mineral makeup as it photographs soft and natural, and looks beautiful in person. Finally, you might wish to wear natural colors on your wedding day to enhance your complexion and eye color.” _Jeanette Azar, NutritionWorks

64 Greater Reading Wedding Planner



We are focused exclusively on practicing natural care. Our internationally trained make up artist and skincare specialist has been in the cosmetic industry for over 25 years specializing in bridal and event makeup. She has appeared on the television program "The View� and featured in several national magazines. She is a certified personal trainer and her innovative program "Color & Body Image" includes personalized color theory, body type and exercise. Call 610.589.5182 for your appointment today!

NuYu II Diet

NUYU2 is an FDA approved weight loss program providing a healthy protocol with quick and long-lasting results. Our portion controlled meal replacements are nutritionally balanced and physician formulated. Lose 20 pounds in 30 days, no exercise required. Weekly consults help you to achieve your goal. Call 610.589.5182 for your appointment today!

543 West Franklin St / Womelsdorf, PA / 610.589.5027

As you take care of everything let us take care of YOU. We offer the services to help you look and feel perfect. Medical Skin Care Nails Massage

Body Treatments Botox & Fillers Spray Tan I 610.685.2575 906 Penn Avenue Wyomissing, PA Alyce Versagli RN/Medical Aesthetician

Congratulations on your engagement! Start your bridal workouts and exercises today. Charlie (owner of 3rd Element Fitness Center) & Emily (owner of EMJ Pilates) will help you hit your weight, posture, and toning goals. Sign up for personal or group training sessions, or create your own bridal party sessions. Begin your new life as a Mrs. with a toned, healthy body from EMJ Pilates and 3rd Element Fitness Center! West Lawn, PA / 484.525.0715 West Lawn, PA / 484.338.0473

Flowers &Decorations F L

Like all other elements, the flowers and decorations you select for your wedding ceremony and reception should be reflective of your overall style and color scheme. They will help to carry your wedding theme from the ceremony to the reception, as they will be one of the first things your guests notice when entering the site of the ceremony, and one of the last things they’ll see when leaving the reception. Flowers are also one of the most photographed elements of a wedding. They can signify a meaning or tradition that is special to you. If the first bouquet your fiancé ever gave you contained white roses, for instance, you might choose the same flower for your bridal bouquet. If you’ve always had a special fondness for purple iris because your grandmother had a garden full of them when you were a child, you might incorporate them into the centerpieces on the reception tables Your florist will work closely with you to find the flowers you love that fit your style – and your budget. Ceremony Flowers

Bride’s bouquet...Complements your dress and your bridesmaids’ dresses, as well as takes into account the season, style, and formality of your wedding. There are literally hundreds of flowers, some of which carry centuries of symbolism. If you have a favorite flower, you can build your bouquet around it and include it in all arrangements. Large or cascading bouquets generally pair better with a simple gown or a tall or big bride, while smaller bouquets are complementary to petite brides or very ornate gowns. If you want to preserve your bridal bouquet, but still want to have a bouquet to toss at the reception, ask your florist about having a smaller, less expensive bouquet made for that purpose. Bridesmaids’ bouquets...Smaller in size than the bride’s bouquet, but complementary in color, shape, and style. A maid or matron of honor might have a slightly larger bouquet than the bridesmaids. You can insert a flower that carries significance into the bouquet of each bridesmaid to tell her how she is special to you. A flower girl could carry a small bouquet, or a basket filled with rose blossoms and decorated with flowing ribbons.

66 Greater Reading Wedding Planner

Boutonnieres...Boutonnieres generally consist of a single bloom, but can also be fashioned from small clusters of flowers. The groom, ushers, family members, including fathers, grandfathers, and brothers; and male officiants often wear boutonnieres. Altar flowers...If your ceremony is in a church or synagogue, altar flowers are traditional, and serve to draw the attention of guests to the front of the ceremony space. If your ceremony is held outside or in a different setting, flowers often are used to decorate an arch, gazebo, or other structure. Jewish ceremonies incorporate a Chuppah, a structure placed at the altar and covered with greens and flowers, under which vows are recited. Aisle pew decorations… Flowers, candles, or ribbons can be used to add color to pews or chairs, or to mark pews that are reserved for family members or others. Reception Flowers Head table...Use a large, dramatic bouquet in the center of the table, or smaller ones along the length of the table. To save money, place your bouquet and the bridesmaids’ bouquets along the front of the head table instead of having additional arrangements prepared. Guest tables...Flowers are nice on guest tables, but a variety of options can be combined with flowers or used instead. A wreath of greenery, live plants in baskets, fruits or vegetables, berries, pumpkins or gourds, candles, and other items can be used in place of flowers. This is an opportunity to get creative. You may wish to incorporate items that complement your theme, such as memorabilia; sea shells; personal craftwork, pottery, glass vessels; or sports items. Buffet table...While flowers will add beauty and interest to a buffet table, some people feel that they distract from the food, which should be the main event at this location. If you do want flowers here, avoid strong, fragrant varieties, which can compete with the food. Punch table or cake table...These would be smaller arrangements in colors and styles complementary to the rest of your flowers.


WEDDING “Prioritize your wedding decorations by making a list of what you TIP: want. Then organize it in order of what you feel will have the

biggest impact. An event décor professional can help you make wise decisions and stay in your budget.” _Jenz Yoder, Studio Jenz

Embrace your floral budget...It's easy to have unrealistic expectations, as you've no doubt seen gorgeous–and very expensive–flower arrangements on wedding sites and television shows. Embrace your budget and work within it. While flowers are traditionally an important part of a wedding and definitely add to the beauty and elegance of an event, brides vary on their importance. Use your judgment when deciding what type and how many flowers you want, and remember to set a budget and stay within it, as the cost of flowers and decorations can add up quickly. A good florist/decorator will keep your style and theme consistent while staying within your budget, as some blooms and special items are much more expensive than others.



Greater Reading Wedding Planner 67


A variety of decorations can be used at both your wedding ceremony and reception. As with flowers, they should reflect your style and theme. There are hundreds of ideas for wedding decorations available online. Work closely with your decorator to achieve the desired results for your special day. Some ideas to get you started

uy rolls of fabric, such as organza or tulle, to wrap posts or poles or create B chairback decorations � F  ill glass containers with river rocks or glass marbles to anchor flowers � D  ecorate dining tables with unique crafts �  Use potted herbs as seat markers that double as wedding favors �  Illuminate the entranceway to the ceremony or reception with lanterns or luminarias � D  ecorate dining tables with disposable cameras so your guests can take photos, and include a basket on the table for guests to place used cameras �  Use white or silver balloons to create an archway �  Decorate pews with ivy that trails down the sides �




 Bridal Bouquet $  Bride's Tossing Bouquet $  Maid of Honor Bouquet $  Bridesmaids Bouquets $  Any Floral Headpieces $  Bridal Going Away Corsage $  Family Member Corsages $  Altar $  Candelabra $  Aisle Seating $  Reception Site $  Head Table $  Guest Tables $  Buffet Table $  Punch Table $  Cake Table $  Cake $  Cake Knife $  Toasting Glasses $  Floral Set-up/Delivery Fees $  Table Centerpieces $  Balloons $  Bridal Bouquet Preservation $ TOTAL$

68 Greater Reading Wedding Planner

Lighting & Decor for Every Event! 717.278.4145

included with every rental! We specialize in quality: Party Tents Canopies Chairs

Tables Dance Floor Chocolate Fountains

...and much more! Local Delivery & Setup Included! 570.366.1071 / 1180 Centre Turnpike / Orwigsburg, PA 17961

Music&Dance M M

Music creates the mood for our lives. Could you imagine watching your favorite movie void of a musical score? That’s why it’s important to choose appropriate music for your wedding. Rap n’Roll might not fit your ceremony, but it will rock your reception. Aside from the obvious choice of live versus canned music, you’ll have many decisions and price ranges. Ceremony

Most ceremonies have three distinct musical parts: the prelude, the processional and the recessional. You could play it safe or consider adding other styles of music to accompany traditions you wish to honor and incorporate. � 

Prelude Music...Played before the wedding party makes its grand entrance. It’s the first piece of music that guests hear as they’re being seated. It’s typically soft or ambient to set the mood.


Processionals Music...Played for the bride’s grand début. It’s typically more dynamic than the prelude music, and it’s a key for your guests to recognize the program is ready to begin.  ecessionals Music...Played to announce the end of the ceremony. R You can jazz it up to dance down the aisle or select a more serious, romantic choice to bring tears of joy to the crowd.

If you choose live music for your ceremony you may wish to consider pairing complementary instruments together for that classic touch. You might choose to incorporate vocals, or instruments including strings, harp, flute, piano, or even a saxophone. Cocktail Hour

A cocktail hour provides the opportunity for your guests to enjoy drinks and hors d'oeuvres while your reception dinner is being prepared. This event is almost always held at the same place as the reception and can include live music—usually something light on the ears so guests can converse comfortably. You may wish to consider a solo guitar player. Reception Music

Do you go with the live band or the DJ? This is often a difficult choice that’s decided by two factors - budget and command. Every good reception needs a great entertainment director to guide the event to a successful conclusion and keep your guests entertained. You may love a certain band that performs well in the clubs but will they be able to perform the necessary reception duties like introducing the bridal party and playing the typical wedding favorites? On the other hand, some DJs know how to program the songs you want but may not be the energetic

entertainer that keeps your crowd on the dance floor all night long. The right choice will bring good times and great memories for all who share in your joyous day. Wedding Day Dancing

You’ve spent thousands of dollars to look like a million. Why not complete the picture? Maybe you’ve never given much thought to movin’ and groovin’, but when it’s time for that first dance you don’t want to be short on moves. Consider booking dance lessons before your wedding day so you can look smooth and feel great in front of all your friends and family. You can select private instruction, join group lessons, or invite your parents and bridal party for private sessions. It can be a fun activity with friends and family, and might even help dad with the father/daughter dance. You’ll be amazed at how all eyes will be focused on you as you glide effortlessly across the dance floor on your wedding day.


70 Greater Reading Wedding Planner


“When choosing the right entertainment for your big day, it's

WEDDING TIP: important to understand the major role your DJ plays. A Professional

DJ's most important (often unknown) responsibility is as Master Of Ceremony (MC). Only experienced DJ Entertainers can guide your guests from orchestrating the traditional activities, to heart pumping dancing.” _ Kim Chilton, PartyMasterz


Recommendations...Ask your friends if they’ve seen or heard of any good musical acts that might be appropriate for your wedding and reception. Research...Before contracting a DJ or live band research their previous gigs. View their work on YouTube or request a copy of past performances. Feeling the Vibe...If you’re not feeling the love during the interview or a visit to see a current performance, move on. Your instincts are usually on the money. Clear Communications...Be clear when communicating your dates, times, and expectations, and make sure the band or DJ knows how and when to gain access to the venue to set up in advance of your reception. Back-up Plans...Bring your favorite songs in case the DJ doesn’t have them on hand, especially a copy of your first dance songs. Do We Dare...The Macarena and The Electric Slide can be heard at almost any reception. If you don’t want to include them, consider adding them to your ‘do not play’ list. The Contract...Read what you sign! A DJ or band should be bound by their contract to show up on time, perform the necessary rituals, and play only songs that you’ve chosen.




 Ceremony $  Cocktail Hour $  Reception $ TOTAL $

72 Greater Reading Wedding Planner



Photography & Videography


There are few pieces of your wedding planning that are more important than photography and videography. You’ll want to make sure you hire the best photographer you can in order to capture your memories. You’ll also want to find a videographer who understands your wedding style and what you hope to accomplish with your video in order to make it truly reflective of your event. Many couples hire a photographer just for the day of their wedding and reception. You may want to consider documenting your love for one another from the time you become engaged until after the wedding. Creating a Story

Wedding photography is all about creating a story. From the first days of your engagement to the last minutes of your wedding reception, photos will capture precious moments you’ll want to share forever. These are the photos you may someday show to your children. Photos taken shortly after you become engaged begin the story of your nuptial journey in a setting that is special to you and your fiancé. You also could have a photographer capture the fun of an engagement party, the drama of trying on dresses, the joy of a bridal shower, the uncertainty of your rehearsal, and all the other

emotions and events that highlight your engagement period. Your journey to marriage culminates on the day of your wedding, during which your photographer will create and capture beautiful photos – both posed and candid – to record this day. Selecting a Photographer

You can begin narrowing your search for a photographer by visiting websites, most of which contain portfolios, information about the business, services offered, pricing, and, perhaps most importantly, testimonials from past clients. Once you get an idea of what’s available and what you like, you can begin contacting photographers for more information, and to see more work. When choosing a photographer, keep these very important factors in mind: � 

Quality and style of work. Some photographers are more traditionalists who are most comfortable with posed and arranged shots, while others prefer to take mostly unscripted shots that capture the natural flow of the day. Most are somewhere in the middle of those styles. Talk to photographers about their styles and keep style in mind when you look at various portfolios.

 ecommendations from others. Ask friends and other recently married R couples what they liked and disliked.


Your comfort level. Ideally, you should not only like a photographer’s work, you should like the photographer. Remember that you’ll be working closely together, and you need to have confidence that the person you choose is the best for the important job he’ll be doing.

It may be that a friend or family member has a nice camera and will offer to take wedding photos for you. If, as is most often the case, that wellmeaning person is not a professional photographer, think carefully about what your wedding photos are worth to you. A professional photographer, unlike a friend or your cousin, has training and experience in arranging people for posed images. He understands lighting, exposure and camera angles. He carries extra equipment to overcome problems, and he owns equipment necessary to get the best images under all kinds of conditions. He knows what type of images to look for, and how to get them in an unobtrusive, professional manner.

Photo By all means, encourage friends and relatives to take pictures during your reception, and the ceremony, if permitted and applicable. You’re likely to get some shots that you love. However, think very carefully before agreeing to have a non-professional photographer be the sole source of your wedding photos. �

Professional photographers provide professional prints. Having your photos on compact discs is great, but as technology advances, CDs have the potential to become a relic of the past. Also, there’s the possibility that the CD could get scratched and become unreadable.


A professional photographer who has been taking wedding photos

74 Greater Reading Wedding Planner

“Your photographer should ask how much posing you want to do, and

WEDDING how much you want to celebrate with loved ones and have it recorded TIP:

sensitively. Ask how they align their creative role with your wishes, and what they look for when you interact with guests.” _Dave Zerbe, Dave Zerbe Photo Studio

for an appreciable amount of time has encountered nearly every type of situation. Bad weather, a ring bearer meltdown, a key relative who is late to the ceremony – these are all situations a pro has encountered and knows how to handle. Little problems don’t become big problems for someone who has been through them and knows how to react.


While many people have a nice digital camera, few own, and know how to properly use, the extensive equipment that professional photographers own.

While there are many good reasons to keep your wedding budget foremost in mind and reduce spending when possible, your wedding photography probably is not an area in which you should look to cut costs. Videography

Videography is another popular option. A high-resolution DVD copy of your wedding can be duplicated numerous times with good results, allowing you to share your day with loved ones. The point of a wedding video is to capture the personality of your wedding by filming portions of the wedding that define it – that make it uniquely yours. A good videographer will record not only the essential ingredients like vows, the ring exchange, and cake cutting, but will capture the spirit and style of your event. If you ask the videographer to provide a condensed three-to-five minute, low-resolution version of your wedding video, you can email it to friends and family. Keep the following suggestions in mind when considering a wedding video and choosing a videographer.

ograpghy Greater Reading Wedding Planner 75

� � � �

ideography services can be pricey because of advances in technology. Keep V your budget in mind.  on’t sacrifice photography for videography. Choose video recording as an D addition.

 sk to see some of the videographer’s work before agreeing to hire him. Look A for seamless transition of scenes, sharp color, and steady filming.

Ask for references and check them before hiring.




76 Greater Reading Wedding Planner


 Bride & Groom's Album $  Parents' Album $  Extra Prints $  Proofs $  Digital Images/Negatives $  Engagement Portrait $  Formal Bridal Portrait $  Main Video $  Titles $  Extra Hours $  Photo Montage $  Extra Copies $ TOTAL $

Your Wedding... One Memory at a Time! Dave Zerbe Studio of Photography






Traditionally, the bride and groom travel separately to the wedding ceremony, accompanied by their respective members of the wedding party. It is customary for the bride to ride with her father in a separate car from that used by other members of her wedding party. This time provides an opportunity for the bride and her father to review last minute plans, reminisce, or just be together. The bride’s mother and other members of her wedding party can ride in one or more cars, or, alternately, a limousine hired for the occasion. If the wedding party is large, you might consider hiring two limos – one for the bride’s attendants and one for the groom and his groomsmen. There are a number of limousine service companies in the Greater Reading area, some of which also can provide stretch limos, buses, luxury cars, and other vehicles. Companies have various rates and billing structures, so be sure to investigate before deciding which to hire. Some offer wedding packages that may be beneficial. While limousines offer the advantages of extra space and worry-free travel, some couples prefer other means of transportation. If you’re lucky, your father, aunt, or brother might be a collector of classic cars, and willing to provide transport for you and your bridal party. If classic fits your wedding style better than limos, there are sources available for renting classic, vintage, or other specialized vehicles. Or, of course, you can opt to use vehicles that you, or members of your wedding party own or borrow. With a little research, you may be able to find companies or individuals that offer horse-drawn carriage rides, classic trolleys, or other nontraditional forms of transportation. Remember, the transportation you choose should fit your wedding style.

For your guests

Some hotels may also offer transportation packages based on the number of rooms rented, so be sure to ask when you book reservations. If the hotel does not include shuttle service, consider hiring vans or buses to transport guests from the hotel to the ceremony site, the ceremony to the reception, and from the reception to the hotel at the end of the day or evening. Hotels may also offer free transportation for the bride and groom if you book the honeymoon suite for your wedding night.

How many years has the company been in business?

�  �

How many vehicles are available for rent?

�  � � �

How many drivers does the company have available? What types of vehicles are available?

Does the company have backup vehicles and drivers available? How do drivers dress for wedding transport?

�  � � � � � � � �

Can the wedding party bring its own snacks/beverages on board? Are the cars stocked with snacks and/or beverages?

Is there a minimum amount of time required for renting a vehicle?

What is the cost per hour?

Is there a separate cost per hour for the vehicle and the driver, or is it one fee? What is the payment policy?

What happens if you need to cancel?

Can you extend service the day of the wedding if necessary?

 an you get a discount if you also hire transportation for your C rehearsal dinner?

Once you’ve decided on a transportation provider, get a signed contract with everything in writing. The important thing is that you, members of your wedding party, and your guests arrive where you need to be safely and on time.




If you’re planning to rent one or more vehicles, you’ll want to get some information and then compare the services of several different companies. Some suggestions for what to ask are listed below: � 


Can it provide references, specifically from people who have hired vehicles for weddings? What guarantees does it offer regarding timeliness, courtesy, etc.?

78 Greater Reading Wedding Planner


 Transportation $

Andrews Transportation 529 Reading Avenue, Suite V-2 West Reading, PA 610.374.7955 / 800.882.0866

Stretch Lincoln Limo Stretch Hummer Trolleys

800.528.3569 610.689.4600 1816 Weavertown Rd. Douglassville, PA

Call or visit our site to see how we can serve your transportaion needs.

Creating Memories to Last a Lifetime! WEDDING TIP:

“Make your first day as husband and wife as stress free as possible. Avoid booking a 6 a.m. flight to your honeymoon destination.�

Portrait Business

Commercial Musician

portation 610.350.5268 / Pottstown, PA

_Jennifer Quick, Courtyard by Marriot

Greater Reading Wedding Planner 79

Guest Information&Accommodations G


Your wedding day might feel like it’s all about you and your fiancé, and, to a great extent, that’s true. Because your wedding guests are an integral and important part of the day, however, you’ll want to make sure they’re feeling the love, as well. It is your guests, after all, along with family members and close friends, who are offering you and your soon-to-be-spouse their love and support for your married life. They are the people with whom you’ve chosen to spend this very important day, so you’ll want to make it as wonderful for them as it will be for you. Keeping Guests Informed

A successful wedding is like a well-directed and much-rehearsed play. To assure that your guests know what’s expected, don’t leave anything to chance, whether it concerns guest attire, who’s invited, directions to locations, and more. What are guests to wear? Most guests will dress appropriately without any direction from you. However, if your wedding is formal or very themed, you might want to note that in your invitation. You could use the wording “black tie optional,” or “black tie invited,” to let guests know that tuxedos and long dresses are appropriate. That wording, however, allows for those who don’t own or want to rent a tux the opportunity to wear a nice suit, instead. On the other hand, if your reception is very casual or themed, such as a picnic or beach theme, you might suggest somewhere in your invitation that guests are encouraged to dress comfortably. Exactly who is invited? Clearly state who is invited to various parts of the wedding. If children are welcome at the ceremony, but the reception is adults only, be sure that’s stated on your invitation or reception card. If it’s a smaller, more intimate wedding, you may also wish to clarify who is permitted to bring guests. You may run the risk of offending some invitees, but it’s better to manage expectations upfront than create issues later.

Are there recommended activities between the ceremony and reception? Sometimes, for reasons you can’t avoid, there may be a delay between the end of the ceremony and the beginning of the reception. If this is the case, it’s nice to provide guests, especially those from out of town, with some suggestions for filling that time. You could suggest a coffee shop that’s near the reception site, a bookstore, mall, park, local historical site, museum, or any other pleasant, convenient, and accessible site. What are the directions? Include directions to the ceremony, and from the ceremony to the reception. If guests are coming into town from different directions, you should provide driving instructions from various highways or interstates. Is parking an issue? Make sure guests have an idea of available parking areas near your ceremony and reception sites. You might note, for instance, that the hotel includes an attached parking garage, or that street parking is available in an area behind the church. Parking can be of particular concern in urban areas, so be sure to ease any anticipated concerns of your guests. What’s there to do in the Greater Reading Area? Some out-of-town guests may extend their visit by a day or two. A thoughtful gesture would be to provide them with some suggestions for interesting places to visit while they are here. You might suggest an area historical site, a shopping opportunity, some good restaurants, or antiquing opportunities to make their trip more rewarding. Think about other possible opportunities to clarify information for guests. If you prefer for some reason that guests do not bring gifts to the reception, for instance, make that clear, along with suggestions for an alternative drop-off site. If you know that a particular guest or guests may have trouble getting up steps to your ceremony site, you might include a note that a side entrance is available. Be thoughtful, and anticipate what your guests might need or wish to know.

Guest A

80 Greater Reading Wedding Planner

Guest Accommodations

Most weddings include at least a few guests from out of town, so you’ll need to address the matter of guest accommodations. The Greater Reading Area offers a variety of lodging options, from full-service hotels to historic bed and breakfasts. Many offer wedding packages that may include special services and reduced rates for the bride and groom, the wedding party, and blocks of rooms for out-of-town guests. You may also wish to inquire about transportation packages associated with your reservations. If your reception is in a hotel or resort that includes guest rooms, it makes sense to recommend that your guests stay there. Once you have an idea of how many guests you anticipate, you can reserve a block of rooms with the hotel. The rooms will be held at a special rate until a set date, by which guests must make their reservations. Stay in touch with the hotel as your guests are reserving their rooms so that you’ll know whether you might have to increase or decrease the number of rooms in your block.



WEDDING “Consider blocking off hotel rooms for your out-of-town guests in an TIP: area close to your venue. You’ll get a better rate because of the block,

and your guests will appreciate your extra efforts. Also, ask your hotel if there will be any renovations taking place during the date of your wedding. There is no reason to risk an unpleasant stay.” _Lorrie Miller, Hampton Inn at Wyomissing

Greater Reading Wedding Planner 81




 Hotel  # of Rooms held   Hotel  # of Rooms held   Our hotel $ TOTAL $

Be sure to also ask about options for breakfast the following morning. Some places will provide a special buffet or other accommodations for guests. If your reception is not in a place that includes lodging, you’ll want to provide guests with some recommendations for places that are close to where the reception is held. Since guests may have varying budget constraints, try to offer suggestions of places with varying costs. Just be sure that all the places you suggest are reputable, clean, and comfortable. If you can, visit each place and ask to see some of the guest rooms. A place that is proud of the quality of its facilities will be happy to accommodate you. Let guests know your recommendations well in advance of your wedding date, so they have time to decide where to stay and make reservations. Be sure to inform them of any hotel policies that might affect them, such as arrival and check-out times, smoking policies, pet policies, and so forth. Your guests will greatly appreciate your gestures of caring and gratitude.

82 Greater Reading Wedding Planner

Traditions T M

Many wedding behaviors and traditions are passed along from one generation to the next. These traditions, including the positions in which the bride and groom stand, rituals performed during the ceremony, and guest responses, all symbolize a bride’s and groom’s cultural, social, and/or religious affiliations. Consider the following list of traditions, and consider if any seem appropriate for your wedding. The Veil

Symbolizing purity and virginity, the veil was used to hide a young woman’s eyes from her fiancé. Engagements of old were arranged, so for many, the wedding was the first time a groom set eyes upon his bride. prosperity toss

Rice was thrown in honor of a newlywed couple’s fertility, and also to wish for a good harvest. Today, other items often are substituted for rice because of its potentially negative effects on wildlife. Consider having your guests blow bubbles, which can also double as wedding favors, or throw petals or sunflower seeds. Breaking the Glass

The Jewish wedding tradition of breaking the glass is steeped in tradition. Although interpretations vary, tradition states that, at the end of a Jewish ceremony, the groom steps on the glass (wrapped in a cloth) and the audience shouts, “Mazel Tov.” The many shards that the groom’s action produces represent the hope that the couple’s love will be as plentiful. Other interpretations suggest that the broken glass also symbolizes the need to foster love because it is a fragile virtue, or the end of the couple’s lives as singles. Catholic Weddings

Catholic weddings are conducted under the instruction of an elaborate liturgy. The service is typically performed in English, or preferred languages of the bridal party, moving through six distinct stages. The audience is uniquely involved in this ceremony tradition. Doves

Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue

Something old is an object that symbolizes a bride’s kinship to her family. Something new represents a bride’s union with her husband’s family, and her new future. Something borrowed is intended to be an object from a friend of the family who enjoys a successful marriage; chosen in hope that the newlywed couple will also enjoy a strong marriage. Something blue represents purity. These trinkets might be given to the bride by her family or she may have ideas for what she wants to use. White Aisle Runner

A white aisle runner symbolizes walking on sacred ground. Plan ahead before using one outside—wind and wet weather can ruin this tradition.


For Christian-Judeo cultures, doves symbolize peace and fidelity. Doves are monogamous birds and are used to symbolize the union of a couple. Releasing doves at your wedding can add ambiance and grace to your ceremony. If you’re planning to incorporate doves in your wedding, plan ahead. Businesses that offer dove releases will cancel in windy, rainy, or snowy conditions to protect their birds. Butterflies could always be substituted for doves.

84 Greater Reading Wedding Planner

Unity Candle

Moments before the ceremony begins, the mothers of the bride and groom walk to the altar together to light candles. Once the bride has entered, she and the groom each take the candle that their mother has ignited and use it to light a middle candle with both their flames. Wine can be substituted for candles depending on your religious affiliation.

So many




WEDDING “Of the choices that follow your wedding and honeymoon, deciding TIP: where to live is one of the largest. An experienced Realtor is an asset

in assisting you with this choice. Of all the professionals you hire and trust throughout your life a Realtor should be one of them.”

_Jeffrey Hogue, Realtor

Greater Reading Wedding Planner 85

The Receiving Line

The receiving line is an opportunity for the couple to greet all guests, and for guests to offer congratulations and good wishes. Parents of the bride and groom also stand in line to receive blessings and congratulations from the guests. Father Daughter / Mother Son Dances

This is a traditional way of honoring your parents before you take your first steps into the world as husband and wife. These dances are conducted during the reception, and are most often performed to songs that hold special meaning. Speeches

Traditionally, speeches are given by any member of the bridal party who wishes to verbally honor the bride and groom. While this seems like a nice gesture, speeches sometimes can get cumbersome and long – even boring to guests. Traditionally, the father of the bride, best man, and maid of honor deliver orations. A special time can be reserved for speeches during the reception. Speeches should be kept positive, short, and polite.

The Wedding Rings

A circle has no end. The ring represents a couple’s eternal and endless love for one another and it is given to symbolize faithfulness. More importantly, many ancient civilizations believed the ring finger held a vein that led directly to the heart. Placing a ring on the fourth finger was a way of connecting the promise of faithfulness to the heart. Kissing the Bride

The kiss is a way for a couple to publicly seal their marriage. This act symbolizes a sharing of souls. It’s also where we get the saying, “sealed with a kiss.” The Couple Pronounced as Husband and Wife

When an officiant pronounces a couple “husband and wife,” he is doing so to declare a definite point in time when a marriage began. It is spoken to establish the validity of a union. Signing a Guest Book

Marriage is a covenant between two persons and a guest book is a way for witnesses to establish their witness of a union. Many sources say the book should be signed after the wedding. In much simpler terms, a guest book is a great way to remember everyone who attended your wedding.

86 Greater Reading Wedding Planner



What Will We Do

 Prosperity Toss  Rice  Birdseed  Confetti  Sweets  Sunflower Seeds  Flower Petals  Bubbles  Other  Chuppah  Seven Circles  Dove Release  Unity Candles  Old   New   Borrowed   Blue   Speeches

Celebrate with

The Craig Satchell Experience! Music for your ceremony, cocktail hour & reception

Classic Jazz, Swing, Smooth Jazz, R&B, Oldies, Motown, Top 40 / 610.259.4396


HARPIST 610.468.8300 Boyertown, PA 610.413.0948 A full service jeweler Jewelry Appraisal & Repair 45 S. Fourth St. / Hamburg, PA / 610.562.7837 29 N. White St. / Shenandoah, PA / 670.462.3245 Member NAJA

Party canopy tent rentals 1340 Centre Ave. Reading, PA 610.375.7572


Etiquette Wedding etiquette, which once was clearly defined, has changed over time along with family situations and social norms. Traditionally, the bride’s family paid for the ceremony and reception, and the groom’s family paid for the rehearsal dinner and ring. In today’s pluralistic society all rules are up for interpretation, which means you are not constrained to the expectations of past generations. However, you’ll still want to consider wedding etiquette while planning, making sure that, regardless of your family or social situation, your wedding is in good taste and your guests will be comfortable.

Travel expenses for the bride’s family

Wedding invitations and mailing costs

Traditionally, the bride’s family pays for:

� � �

Bride’s wedding dress Groom’s ring

Medical checkups for the bride

Costs for the ceremony and reception

Travel expenses for groom’s family

Medical checkups for the groom

Traditionally, the groom’s family pays for:

The rehearsal dinner

Bride’s bouquet, grandmother’s corsage, and boutonnieres

Fee for an officiant


Marriage license

Wedding formal wear

Transportation to the wedding ceremony and reception

Traditionally, attendants pay for: �

Wedding gifts

Family Etiquette

Members of both families are expected to behave diplomatically toward one another in order to avoid hurt feelings or awkward situations. Wedding etiquette is essential in creating good will between families and assuring that the wedding is a pleasant event. �

� �


Depending on your monetary needs, you and your fiancé might consider sitting down with both families and having a conversation about a fair way to share the costs of the wedding. The average cost of a wedding in 2011 was $25,000. To that extent, couples and their families are finding new ways to celebrate, and to pay for weddings. The spending information that follows is traditional wedding etiquette. However, you, your fiancé, and your families may find alternate ways to share wedding costs.

88 Greater Reading Wedding Planner

� �

Shortly after the engagement, the mother of the groom should contact the mother of the bride and wish her well. It is important for both moms to keep one another informed regarding dresses, important events, and the guest list. Keep in close communication in order to avoid any misunderstandings or problems.  s parents, make an effort to show up at all prenuptial parties A (excluding the bachelor/ette parties).


I f you are divorced and planning to get remarried, make it a priority to tell your children first.

The mother of the bride should choose the color and cut of her dress

before the mother of the groom, who should look to find an outfit that is complementary to that of the bride’s mother. The groom’s mother should consult the bride’s mother before

planning any prenuptial events.

Make it a point to introduce all close family members to your guests.

A receiving line might have been part of the ceremony, but use the reception to further your interactions.

NEWLY RENOVATED! Our affordable elegance Wedding Packages start at $49.95.* Includes: Cocktail hour with stationed & butlered hors d’oeuvres Option for reception in our renovated ballroom or atrium Private suite for bridal party including hors d’oeuvres & cocktails Celebratory champagne toast Delicious selections of plated or buffet dinners Maitre d’ service for bride, groom & bridal party Four-hour open bar After dinner coffee bar White, floor length table linens and napkins Overnight sleeping rooms at reduced rates for overnight guests Complimentary overnight accommodations for the bride and groom, including breakfast Menu sampling for select entrees

Take advantage of package upgrade incentives which include a customized cake, beautiful chair covers and stunning floral arrangements! Ceremony space & officiants also available for on-site services.

All Things Considered � � � � �

Give yourselves plenty of time to plan.

Maintain steady communication with all members of your

 Listen to ideas and suggestions from siblings, parents, and grandparents.

wedding party—your wedding will run much more smoothly.

Remember your budget.

Stay fit, eat well, and improve your physique before your wedding day—create a fitness routine that will continue well into your marriage.  ommunicate with your wedding service providers, even after C booking. Greet and speak with all your guests during the reception.




� � �

Expect the best and plan for the worst—Murphy’s Law is universal.

 Make wedding planning your top priority over other scheduled events.

Grooms can, and should play an active role in preparing for a wedding. Steve Lecatsas Catering Sales Manager 610.286.3600, ex196 6170 Morgantown Rd. Morgantown, PA 19543

*Not applicable to our Bronze Package. Not combinable with any other offers or promotions. For first-time appointments only. Expiration Date: 3/31/13. **$5.00 off per person for wedding receptions booked on Fridays or Sundays. Not combinable with any other promotion or coupon. Expiration Date: 3/31/13.

A Few Things to Avoid � D  on’t ask guests to provide food or alcohol. Families are expected to �

quette �


provide these items.

Parents who are separated or divorced should stand apart from their

exes in the receiving line. This can be accomplished by alternating your parents with your fiancé’s parents.  void using electronic means to publicize your wedding. Print your A invitations.


“Are you trying to stand out and make your wedding different and save money? Many venues offer a discount for Friday or Sunday Weddings. Just Ask!”

_ Linda Lovenstein, Holiday Inn


Greater Reading Wedding Planner 89




From the picturesque mountains of Europe to the dynamic landscapes of America and New Zealand, the world is at your doorstep. You can travel to a topical beach, a world-class city, an exotic foreign land, or a remote wilderness area. With all those honeymoon choices, then, how can you possibility decide where to go? In this section, we’ll explore some ideas for honeymoons, and offer tips for choosing and planning.

Picking the Ideal Location

If you and your fiancé are planning a honeymoon directly following your wedding, you’ll need to plan it as you plan the wedding. Some couples choose to delay their honeymoons until a later date. Regardless of when you schedule your honeymoon, you should think about what you want from the trip, and what you’re able to afford. As a couple, do you see yourselves being pampered at a beach resort and spa, relaxing on a tropical island in the Caribbean, or strolling through England’s countryside? Your answers to these questions, along with how much money you have for the trip, will ultimately decide the type of destination you’ll choose. �  �

Explore...Browse travel logs and travel articles. Learn from others who have visited destinations you’re considering.

Create a List...Separately, create a list of five ideal locations to visit and

then compare ideas.

Share...Talk about what you hope to experience on your honeymoon.

90 Greater Reading Wedding Planner

Staying Home or Going Abroad...Decide if you’ll stay in the

United States or travel to a different country. If planning to travel out of the country, check the weather. Some countries experience rainy seasons, intense heat, or other conditions during certain seasons. Look for Bargains...Offered through travel sites such as

Travelocity, Priceline, or Orbitz and discuss with your local travel agent.

Budget...Consider whether your destination fits your budget.

While many people enjoy researching, planning, and booking travel online, a full-service travel agency can be a huge help in coordinating activities, flights, rental vehicles and hotels that fit within your budget. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by wedding planning, you might consider using the services of a travel agency. Preparing for Travel

Once you decide where you’ll be traveling, make sure you make the necessary preparations to avoid being disappointed or inconvenienced. As you know, travel has become more difficult within the past decade. You’ll want to be sure you have everything in order before embarking.

Book plane and hotel reservations well in advance, especially if


you’re traveling to the Bahamas, Jamaica, or Cancun.


If you’re traveling out of the country, including Canada or Mexico,

you’ll need to have a passport. Routine passport applications can take four to six weeks to fill. Expedited service is available for extra fees. Even if you’re planning to assume your husband’s last name once


you’re married, be sure you reserve plane tickets in your maiden name if traveling immediately, as it will take several months for name change paperwork to be filed. You’ll want the name on your plane ticket to exactly match that on your passport or driver’s license. Once you’ve booked your trip – especially if you book well in

advance – look into purchasing travel insurance. Enjoy the peace of mind you’ll experience.

Look into cell phone international plans if you feel like you’ll need a phone and you’re traveling abroad. Or, consider leaving phones at home and using Facebook or Skype to stay in touch.


Give a family member a complete travel itinerary, especially if you

won’t be able to be reached by phone. Provide card numbers of the credit cards you’re taking along and photocopies of passports, if you’re traveling abroad. Make copies of all reservation confirmations – from your hotel and

rental car to the swimming with dolphins excursion. Also, copy phone numbers for credit card companies and photocopy your passports and driver licenses and store them in a safe place.


“If you are not in need of traditional gifts such as a toaster, towels or a crock pot, take advantage of a Honeymoon Travel Registry. Your shower and wedding guests can contribute to your dream getaway, which may even help you afford a room or cabin upgrade, spa treatments and more.”


_Tina Hogue, Wyomissing Travel CruiseOne

Greater Reading Wedding Planner 91

What and When to Pack

Unless you’re headed for the wilds of Greenland or some other remote area, you’ll be able to purchase toiletries or other items you might forget to bring along. That means you don’t have to obsess about taking everything you might possibly need. There are some things, however, that you definitely want in your suitcase. In addition to copies of identification, reservations, receipts, and so forth, be sure you pack battery chargers for cameras, phones, iPods, and other electronics; adapters and converters if the electrical system will require them; and a travel alarm if you’re not sure your cell phones will be in service. Travel guides and foreign language dictionaries are good ideas, and don’t forget to take ample supplies of any medications you take. Zip-lock bags in various sizes come in handy. Once you’ve got these essentials, you can pack up your favorite outfits and other items. If you’re leaving for your honeymoon on the day of your wedding or the day after, do not, under any circumstances, put off packing until after the reception. Have everything ready in advance so it doesn’t add any stress to your wedding day.

92 Greater Reading Wedding Planner

Great honeymoon ideas

Trek through Europe Relaxing holiday in Greece Snowy ski vacation Quiet cabin by a lake Tropical over-water bungalow Quaint bed & breakfast Scenic vineyard vacay Wild safari Cultural experience in a small village Beach time on America's coasts Volunteer Humanitarian project Cr uise to new destinations Cycling back roads Sightseeing in metropolitan cities

Directory D Accommodations

GNA Ristorante


Golden Oaks Golf Club


The Abraham Lincoln– a Wyndham Hotel” 37

SAVOR…Reading Catering by SMG


GNA Ristorante


Courtyard by Marriott


Golden Oaks Golf Club


Hampton Inn


Holiday Inn Morgantown


ViVÁ Catering Weaver’s Markets

3 41

Celebrations & Parties

Green Valley Country Club by ViVÁ


The Hendel House of the Historical Society of Berks County 7

Holiday Inn Morgantown The Abraham Lincoln – a Wyndham Hotel 37 The Inn at Reading


Reading Public Museum


Homewood Suites - Hilton


The Barn at Flying Hills

The Inn at Reading


GoggleWorks 49

Sovereign Center


Golden Oaks Golf Club


Sovereign Performing Arts Center



Toscani Events by ViVÁ



The Villa St. Elizabeth





GNA Ristorante


GNA Ristorante

Rebecca’s Heavenly Goodies


Green Valley Country Club by ViVÁ

Weaver’s Markets


The Well Dressed Cake


The Hendel House of the Historical DANCE INSTRUCTION Society of Berks County 7 Louise Lamar Dance Studio Holiday Inn Morgantown 89

Bridal Accessories


Event Plan Design & Decor

Dietrich’s Men’s Shop


Exclusively Weddings


Hop on Over Bead Shop


Sweethearts Bridal & Formalwear


Uh-Oh! Baskets


Bridal Attire, Alterations & Preservation

Dietrich’s Men’s Shop


Kelchner Cleaners


Sweethearts Bridal & Formalwear


Catering & Catering Services

The Inn at Reading


PartyMasterz 73 Reading Public Museum


Sovereign Center


Sovereign Performing Arts Center


Toscani Events by ViVÁ


The Villa St. Elizabeth


Uh-Oh! Baskets


ViVÁ Bistro & Tapas Lounge


WCR Center for the Arts


Weaver’s Markets


Ceremony Venues

The Abraham Lincoln – The Abraham Lincoln – a Wyndham Hotel 37 a Wyndham Hotel 37 Celebrated Occasions, A Division The Barn at Flying Hills 63 of Penn Square Catering 37 GoggleWorks 49

94 Greater Reading Wedding Planner

PartyMasterz 73 Simple Soiree


Studio Jenz



Heck Bros. Florist & Gifts


Riverview Florist



Coventry Corners


EMJ Pilates


Cruise Planners


Exclusively Weddings


GoggleWorks 49 Golden Oaks Golf Club


Hair On The Avenue


Heck Bros. Florist & Gifts


GoggleWorks 49

The Inn at Reading

Hop on Over Bead Shop


Hop on Over Bead Shop


Reading Public Museum


Nutrition Works


Reading Public Museum


Sovereign Center


Reading Public Museum


Steinmetz Jewelers


Sovereign Performing Arts Center


Skin Care by Alyce


Van Scoy Jewelers


Toscani Events by ViVA’


Steinmetz Jewelers


Music & Entertainment

The Villa St. Elizabeth


Taste Buds on the Avenue


Betsy Scott Chapman - Harpist


WCR Center for the Arts


Third Element Fitness


Craig Satchell Band


Weaver’s Markets


Uh-Oh! Baskets


Louise Lamar Dance Studio



Van Scoy Jewelers


Party Masterz Productions


Ark Rentals


Weaver’s Markets



Gehringer Canvas


Wyomissing Travel – Cruise One


Eternal Light Spiritual Center – Rev. Kelly Jo Singleton 87


Hair & Make-up


Hair on the Avenue


Nutrition Works


Shear Style Salon


Skin Care by Alyce


Uh-Oh! Baskets


Health & Nutrition

2J Photography


Carlson Photography


Dave Zerbe Studio


Jon Athans Photography


Stardust Photography Studio


Real Estate Services

3rd Element Fitness


EmJ Pilates


It Works


Nutrition Works


The Abraham Lincoln – a Wyndham Hotel 37

Skin Care by Alyce


The Barn at Flying Hills

Uh-Oh! Baskets


GoggleWorks 49

Jeff Hogue, Realtor - Prudential Landis 93 Reception Venues


Invitations & Stationery

Golden Oaks Golf Club


Exclusively Weddings


GNA Ristorante


Penna Ink


Green Valley Country Club by ViVÁ

Taste Buds on the Avenue


The Hendel House of the Historical Society of Berks County 7


Coventry Corners


Holiday Inn Morgantown




Andrews Transportation


Rhoads Limousine Service



Cruise Planners


Wyomissing Travel – Cruise One


Spa Services

Hair on the Avenue


Nutrition Works


Shear Style Salon


Skin Care by Alyce


Visitor Services

The Abraham Lincoln – a Wyndham Hotel 37 Courtyard by Marriott


Cruise Planners


Hampton Inn


Holiday Inn Morgantown


Homewood Suites - Hilton


The Inn at Reading


Wyomissing Travel – Cruise One


Greater Reading Wedding Planner 95



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Greater Reading Wedding Planner  

The Greater Reading Wedding Planner has been carefully designed to lessen the stresses of handling the details and tasks associated with pla...

Greater Reading Wedding Planner  

The Greater Reading Wedding Planner has been carefully designed to lessen the stresses of handling the details and tasks associated with pla...

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