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Norfolk Daily News

January 4, 2011

Go-To Local Vendors


Simple, Stylish Advice Planning Must-Do’s Expert Tips

How to Plan

a Simply Awesome Wedding



NORFOLK DAILY NEWS, Tuesday, January 4, 2011


s ’ It w! Ne

Let’s Get It


Congratulations! You and the person of your dreams are embarking on a new life together, and we couldn’t be happier for you. It’s time to create a day that you and your loved ones will never forget. One thing brides everywhere have learned this past year is how important it is to make every detail count. Despite smaller budgets - the average bride spent about 10 percent less on her wedding in 2010 than she did in 2009, according to The Wedding Report - brides still deserve the wedding of their dreams. The key is to bid adieu to over-the-top opulence and employ simple, smart and stylish techniques. The best part: It’s easy to do. Just let our 2011 Bridal Planner show you how to do it. From planning a budget to arranging flowers to choosing a cake, we’ve outlined how to pull off an awesome wedding with ease. Our experts’ tips on how to “keep it simple” show you how to make the most of your time, energy and budget, while keeping style high and stress low. Dive in. Follow our tips. Plan a wedding that your guests won’t soon forget. It’s never been simpler to do.


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Debt is no way to start a life together. Get your wedding started right by budgeting smart The first thing newly engaged couples probably think about today is how in the heck they are going to pull this thing off! According to market research company The Wedding Report, the average cost of a wedding in 2009 fell 10.2 percent compared to 2008 to $19,581 - a hefty sum, recession or not. Whether your budget is nearly that or half that, smart couples who employ simple budgeting techniques from the start won’t be crying all the way to the bank after their wedding.

First Things First

It’s not the easiest thing, but before couples get planning, they need to establish their magic budget number. That means looking at designated savings, contributions from parents or other relatives, and what of their regular income they can devote toward the wedding, without sabotaging their day-to-day budget. According to the The’s 2009 Real Wedding Survey, the biggest financial contributors to a wedding are the bride’s parents (46 percent) and the bride and groom (40 percent.) Groom’s parents contributed 12 percent of the final tally, according to the survey.

Get Listing

Carrie Zack, an event planner who works in Los Angeles and Miami, says that she has seen a huge increase in her “creative consulting packages” for couples who want some help but don’t have the budget for a full-time planner. Together they come up with ideas, and Zack sends them on their way with a binder of ready-to-do-it-yourself tasks. “Now it’s something I do all

the time,” she says. “I have an Excel spreadsheet that lists every single detail you can think of. I’ll ask them how much they want to spend or what their budget is. We’ll go through everything and get a total ... then we go through and cut,” she says. One of Zack’s favorite budgeting tricks: overbudgeting. “I don’t like to go back and tell them to spend more.” She also encourages couples to put together a wish list of things they want but aren’t willing to commit to. As last-minute plans come together and more money (from the overbudgeting) becomes available, they start checking off items from the wish list.

KEEP IT SIMPLE Follow these estimates to get a budget started. The figures are estimates; adjust as necessary to fit your wedding’s style

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Where to Save, Where to Spend

With every penny important, couples are being more judicious in their spending. Zack says she sees a lot of couples cutting back on invites but increasing their budget on alcohol and wedding attire. Choose what’s important to you and focus there - the rest will fall into place. -Timothy R. Schulte © CTW Features

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Picking Out the


Your wedding’s style starts with where you choose to celebrate Close your eyes and imagine your wedding: What do you see? While other elements of the big day might flash by in a blur, images of your venue and the way it made you feel to be there will remain with you forever. It’s important to take time to envision your entire event’s style and the atmosphere you want to remember - whether it’s funky and hip, elegant and modern, or intimate and sentimental. Think about places you have visited, parties you have enjoyed and other things close to you that bring you joy.

Setting the Stage


Tara Wilson, a professional wedding planner and president of Tara Wilson Events in Fort Worth, Texas, says there are a few main style cues. A traditional bride might lean toward a church wedding and hotel reception, while someone who is earthy and free-spirited might do best outdoors, in a barn or in custom tents. Eclectic brides might consider environments that are

new and modern, such as a boutique or hotel, or even something old and historic, like a library or mansion. Once you have narrowed down the choices - at least a little bit - it’s important to visit multiple venues to get a real idea of what they offer. Many questions will begin to pop up. Marcia Hemphill, professional wedding planner of Chicago-based An Urban Affair, recommends considering overall budget, the city where you are getting married, the number of guests you expect and the overall style and ambiance you desire. Other details to consider may range from the dates and times certain venues are available, the space rental fee and what it includes, what materials are provided (tables, chairs, linens) and whether other parties can be held at the same time. Don’t be afraid to keep asking questions. Every venue is different in its rental inclusions and capabilities.

Location Considerations

Some venues offer in-house catering, which can simplify planning by reducing the number of vendors you must juggle. Hotels are making a comeback for this reason; their fees generally cover all venue and catering costs. Consider locations that can host both your ceremony and reception to make planning and guest coordination more manageable.

Plan strategically and separate your wants from your deal-breakers. The first thing to consider: the number of guests at the reception, which will have the greatest affect on your bottom line. According to wedding planner Tara Wilson, many brides are favoring more intimate environments over lavish extravaganzas as a way to stay simple without sacrificing quality. “Homestyle venues, including backyards and homes, are gaining popularity,” she says. “We’re also seeing a rise in unexpected locations, such as boats and bowling alleys.”

“Brides are valuing their guests’ convenience in not having to travel back and forth for the wedding and reception,” Wilson says. According to Hemphill, art galleries will continue to be a popular venue. They are increasingly open to hosting private events. Another option is a simple, loft-like space. “Raw spaces are popping up more and more,” she says. “In these spaces, the rules are generally much more flexible. You can bring the caterer you want, provide your own liquor, decorate as much or as little as you would like and really make it your own.” For all the venues, don’t forget the significant details. “Always look at the bathrooms,” Hemphill warns. “That could be a deal-breaker.” -Melanie Wanzek

© CTW Features

NORFOLK DAILY NEWS, Tuesday, January 4, 2011

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SHE’S GOT THE LOOK How to put together an ensemble that’s just as ready for the red carpet as it is the aisle

As brides take more chances with their fashion statements, Hollywood Glam is one of the key trends emerging in bridal fashion. Not afraid to experiment with color, shine and other attention-drawing details, brides are borrowing ideas from the red carpet, looking for tips and style direction from celebrities. “Hollywood style offers endless inspiration to brides,” says San Franciscobased wedding designer Amy Kuschel.

Star Power


Brides can pour on the glitz with gowns heaped in beading and embroidery in form-fitting shapes for a curvaceous silhouette. Romantic flair is part of the look, with eye-catching floral touches or textured designs. For extra bling, metallic shine is in. Accessories are another way to

-Nola Sarkisian Miller © CTW Features

Brides who favor the simplicity of an understated dress can enhance the drama with Swarovski-crystal belts or lavish chapel or cathedral veils. pull together a Hollywood look. Shoulder-duster earrings, long and layered draping necklaces and bangles are ways to set off a variety of dresses, from strapless to those with sweetheart necklines. The rule of thumb: More extravagant dresses call for more restrained jewelry. Jewelry is not the only accessory, however. For impact and Audrey Hepburn

cool, brides can don long beaded gloves. They can play up hair with sparkling combs and birdcage veils. Ornate headbands are another option. Footwear has progressed far beyond the dyed-to-match pump. These days, it’s all about color and bedazzlement, whether it’s a slinky, strappy sandal or a peeptoe pump in a bold shade. “Color is very big, especially as brides look for something blue,” says Sharon Stimpfle, deputy director of Up or down, the ‘do’ for brides on their special day should look soft and sensuous. With wavy hair or finger curls parted on the side any bride can channel a big-screen siren. Hair swept back in a low, loose bun with cascading tendrils also captures a Hollywood look. The rest of the wedding party can ride on the coattails of the bride’s Hollywood Glam style. Custom-made suits are an option for grooms/men. Bridesmaids can wear bias-cut gowns in rich jewel tones such as burgundy, amethyst and vintage green.

The Shopping Experience

Shopping for a dream wedding dress may at first sound daunting. Keep in mind a few simple tips: 1. Plan Ahead Most wedding designers require at least four to six months production time, so start the shopping process around nine months in advance, especially when you factor in the need for alterations. Even custommade gowns may need a nip or tuck here and there. 2. Bring and Wear the Bare Minimum. Literally To keep bridal gowns pristine, don’t wear makeup, lipstick or even lotions that can stain fabric. Stick to undergarments that match

your skin tone to get a realistic view of how a gown will look. Bring footwear that’s easy to take on and off, such as flip-flops. 3. Edit with an Open Mind It’s nice to know that customer service does exist in some retail entities, and that’s what the bridal industry touts. When visiting a bridal boutique, a sales rep will work with you. Describe your theme and vision and let her take it from there. Try on a variety of gowns, even cringe-inducing ones the rep may suggest. There’s a chance you’ll be pleasantly surprised.


Higher-end gowns can range in price from $3,000 to $6,000 and higher, with matching veils that range from $1,000 to $1,800. For brides who allocate more of their budget outside of the dress realm, a number of gowns - from Alfred Angelo to Faviana to Watters - can be had for less than $1,000. For footwear, glittering peeptoe platforms can set you back about $700 at Jimmy Choo or brides can find strappy sandals from under $100 to $200 at department stores. Another way brides can save a little green, especially if time is on their side, is by buying vintage gowns, accessories and even bridesmaid dresses. Most bridal experts say Hollywood Glam style is here to stay, especially since it can always be updated. For instance, the addition of a shoulder-warming cover-up is another element brides can use to enhance their wedding day wardrobe, especially if the wedding will take place during a chilly month.Feathered capelets, airy tulle mini-boleros or even fur shrugs are ideal with strapless gowns, tying the ensemble together while you tie the knot.

NORFOLK DAILY NEWS, Tuesday, January 4, 2011



‘Groom’ing Tips Finding the Right Wedding Wardrobe for Your Groom All eyes are typically on the bride during a wedding. But that doesn’t mean the groom should be a shrinking violet. While the bridal gown may garner the “oohs” and “aahs,” what the groom wears on his wedding day is quite important as well. In many ceremonies, the groom spends several minutes standing beside the alter awaiting his bride-to-be. Before the first notes of “Here Comes the Bride” are played, all eyes will be on him as he anxiously awaits the start of the ceremony. As such, it is essential that the groom look well polished and is dressed in accordance to the tone and scope of the wedding. Because most weddings are formal occasions, grooms often choose to wear a tuxedo or high-end suit. A well-fitted tuxedo combined with a formal shirt, tie and vest is the classic wedding ensemble. Generally the tuxedo jacket is single-breasted with three buttons and satin trim. This style is universally flattering to most men’s frames. Accessorizing the tuxedo can mean different things. Some choose to wear a vest while others opt for a cummerbund. Others add suspenders. These accessories, including the tie or bow tie and the vest, can be all black like the tuxedo or can be coordinated with the colors of the wedding party. For example, if the bridesmaids are wearing butter yellow gowns, the groomsmen can wear yellow accessories. However, to set themselves apart from the groomsmen and ushers, grooms tend to go with the classic black and white and forego colors. On some occasions, grooms may choose to wear a white tuxedo. A well-groomed groom is also an important wedding day must. He should be well-shaven and have recently had a haircut. If he has facial hair, it should be trimmed and neat. Because he will be photographed all day long, a groom can choose to take some cues from his soon-to-be-spouse. He may indulge in a manicure to ensure nails and cuticles are neat. A dusting of translucent facial powder can tame shiny skin in photos. Some couples opt for teeth whitening prior to the wedding to ensure a sparkling smile. When dressing the rest of the men in a wedding, they should take their cues from the groom, but not be carbon-copies of him. Fathers of the bride and groom can set themselves apart with a pocket square or a specially colored boutonniere. The exception to a tuxedo or a suit would be for a casual wedding, particularly one held at the beach or in a park. Then the groom can wear what will coordinate for the occasion, such as a dress shirt and slacks, or even sandals and shorts for the ultra-casual wedding.

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NORFOLK DAILY NEWS, Tuesday, January 4, 2011



want heavy hors d’oeuvres with a couple protein options, and it’s a good idea to make sure guests are aware there won’t be a full meal.” If the budget is limited but food is a priority for you, consider opting for a Sunday soirée, an offseason wedding date or an afternoon affair, when you can usually get more bread for your buck.

Eats It’s simple: People gotta eat. Here’s how to select the right options for perfect event

While the “I do’s” may be a wedding’s main event, the edibles at the reception are a strong second place. Food not only serves as a “thank you” to guests who’ve given you gifts and gathered to celebrate your union, it helps sop up the alcohol and can keep the festivities going all night long. A great party is as simple as finding the right food to match an event’s style.

Service Selections

Food service options include plated and family-style dinners, buffets, stations and heavy hors d’oeuvres. Each one helps set the tone of an event, says Bridget Pelster, a sales and catering manager for St. Louis-based Butler’s Pantry. Seated dinners are typically more formal and elegant, family-style meals are more intimate, buffets are more

relaxed, stations are more interactive and hors d’oeuvres allow a lot of flexibility. First, determine the style of service you want based on the vibe you’d like to create, and then start playing around with menu ideas based on your budget and the timing of the event. “If you’re having an evening wedding and you think the reception will last more than three hours, you should plan on serving something fairly significant,” says Molly Schemper, co-owner of Chicago-based FIG Catering. “At the minimum you

Stations - Brides like this less formal setting because it allows guests to mingle, says Dieckmann, and they can customize stations to reflect a theme. Ethnic Options - Even if you opt for the classic beef-or-chicken dinner, you can showcase your heritage with ethnic stations or hors d’oeuvres, says

KEEP IT SIMPLE Play up the component of your wedding dinner that matters most to you, says Barb Dieckmann, of Butler’s Pantry catering. If you’re a foodie, go with basic china and linen and spring for five-star cuisine. If you care more about memorable décor, add personal touches to the buffet, such as grandma’s linens, mom’s platters or custom menus, adds Molly Schemper of FIG Catering.

Plating Prices

Catering costs can vary widely, from as low as $20 per person at a banquet hall up to $200 per person at a luxury hotel, says Schemper. The city, the venue and the menu all play a part. Big towns are often more expensive; standard venues may have minimums; nontraditional locations may require additional rentals; and no matter where the event takes place, the quantity, variety and style of cuisine will drastically affect price. In general, the most expensive

What’s new?

options are multi-course plated dinners and stations, says Pelster. The next level down is typically limited-course plated dinners and family-style meals, followed by buffets. And the most affordable option is heavy hors d’oeuvres, either passed or served buffetstyle. The caterer can help you determine what style works best for your budget and will often adjust a menu to meet your needs,

such as forgoing coffee service in exchange for an additional appetizer or two.

-Anna Sachse

© CTW Features

plastic glasses.”

Farm-to-Table Everyone is interested in fresh, local foods A ‘Couple’ Favorites right now, says Newlyweds are Pelster. “It’s a great serving quirky items way to give your that they really enjoy or have a history with, guests a taste of your hometown.” says Sheldon. “One couple served their Comfort Foods - The favorite McDonalds hamburgers as a late- down-home trend continues strong: night snack, while mac-and-cheese in another couple who tiny dishes, gourmet actually met at 7-11 served drinks in 7-11’s sliders, pigs-in-aSchemper.

blanket and mashed potato bars, says Brooke Sheldon, owner of Lilybrooke Events in Kennebunkport, Maine.

NORFOLK DAILY NEWS, Tuesday, January 4, 2011




Drink up! Find the perfect recipe for a bar that keeps the party going all night long

From the cocktail hour to the Champagne toast, drinks are a key component of most modern weddings. They can make good food great, and they warm strangers both to each other and the dance floor.



The key elements of a wedding

experts, say a cash bar is the ultimate no-no. 2. Guests: If you’ve invited a gaggle of gourmands, you may want to emphasize fine wine. A ton of college friends? Perhaps (a lot of) cheap beer is fine. “Or maybe spirits are a must because the older generation only drinks gin martinis,” Tanghe says.

bar include wine, beer, bubbly, cocktails - plus soda, “mocktails” and other nonalcoholic drinks. Determine which libations you want based on these factors: 1. Budget Fancy, formal affairs may offer premium versions of all beverages all night long. But couples with limited funds might prefer to serve only carefully selected wines and beer and perhaps a signature cocktail, says Chris Tanghe, a master sommelier candidate and coowner of Elevage, a Seattle beverage consultancy. You also can limit the full open bar to just the cocktail hour, but be aware: many members of the bridal world, from editors to etiquette

Drinks & Dollars

Plan for one drink per person per hour of the reception, says Toni Ketrenos, the beer and wine buyer for New Seasons Markets, a chain of Portland-Ore.-based artisan grocery stores. If serving a special sparkling wine for the toast perhaps a budget-friendly Spanish Cava or Italian prosecco - allot one additional glass per adult. Traditional venues usually have set prices, but you may be

Quirky or mismatched cocktail vessels lend immediate character to an event. Consider using old Ball Mason or POM jars, says Chris Tanghe of Elevage. Check out garage sales and thrift stores for unique glasses, goblets or teacups that guests can take home as party favors.

able to trim costs by paying a nominal corkage fee to bring in your own vino. If your venue allows you to provide all alcohol yourself, kegs are the more affordable beer option at approximately $1 per 12ounce glass of draft beer or 63 cents per glass of domestic, says Ketrenos. Smaller gatherings are better off with bottles that can be purchased in quantities. When it comes to wine, look for deals on labels from an upand-coming region like South Africa, or ask about close-out prices on the last few cases of a vintage. As for liquor, a 750ml bottle contains about 17 drinks, making it a good deal, but remember that you will also need ice, mixers and more bartenders.

-Anna Sachse

© CTW Features

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Stay Use blooms to add personality and panache to your party


Wedding flowers are more than just petals to toss or a bouquet to throw - they’re an accessory that can complement your dress, bring life to your venue and offer an important opportunity to express your overall style and personality. This year, the best way to be up-todate is easy: be yourself. “Individualism is the key trend for 2011,” says Sharon McGukin, a

Limit bouquets and arrangements to three or fewer types of flowers for a simple, clean look, suggests Maureen deBruyn of deBruyn designs. Create inexpensive centerpieces by floating flowers in a glass bowl or use a larger flower that takes up more space and requires fewer stems, such as a lily or hydrangea. McGukin recommends choosing a focal point and investing in one large, eyecatching design, or choosing smaller bridesmaid bouquets that incorporate trendy colors and stylish designs.

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Fresh professional florist and author of “Flowers of the Heart” (Floral Trend Publications, 2009).

Assessing Arrangements

Before going to the florist, first decide on overall budget, venue and color scheme. All these play important roles in determining the florist’s ideas. The budget will determine appropriate suggestions, while the venue will suggest colors and décor needs. Bare, funky spaces may need a large number of decorations while ornate hotel ballrooms might not. Pinpoint your personal style by collecting pictures from magazines and online resources. The photos you choose will reveal qualities that are important to you, such as color, arrangement and


Bloom Budget

Professional florist Maureen deBruyn, owner of deBruyn designs in Maple Grove, Minn., says couples tend to spend about 10 percent of their overall budget on flowers. The price depends on many factors, such as the number of bouquets and arrangements or whether the blooms are in season or out of season, local or nonlocal. To keep costs down, avoid specifying specific flowers. “If you have a general idea of color, type and how much to spend, your florist can come up with something,” deBruyn says.

Fresh Ideas

Many fresh color ideas are

emerging this year for brides to experiment with in their flowers, according to McGukin. Greens mixed with buttercreams, delicate pinks and fresh blues are a popular neutral that suggests an eco theme.The retro look will be popular, sweetly complemented with a mix of soft, burnished yellow tones. For home weddings, which are on the rise, McGukin suggests a splash of color: bright orange, hot pink, sunny yellow, electric blue. Larger, looser bouquets also are making a comeback, deBruyn says. Bouquets will be soft and wispy with more greenery and texture. Rather than wiring each flower into place for a symmetrical arrangement, deBruyn says she now aims for a more natural look. Whether you go big, small, bright or neutral, spend time using flowers to show off a piece of who you are. Says DeBruyn: “They should bring out the joy for your whole event.”

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-Melanie Wanzek © CTW Features


NORFOLK DAILY NEWS, Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Shoot With


After hours upon days upon months of planning (and spending), your most momentous of days deserves to be documented. These are images you’ll cherish for the rest of your life, so choosing a photographer and videographer who understand your personality and tastes is crucial.


As with any artist, each wedding photographer comes with his or her


unique perspective and style. Research and communication are key to finding the right fit. “Make sure that you and your photographer have a good line of communication. Make sure that you click. You will be spending your whole wedding day with this person,” says Lisa Marie O’Quinn, owner of Sweet Tea Photography, Old Town Alexandria, Va. The

NORFOLK DAILY NEWS, Tuesday, January 4, 2011


PHOTO & VIDEO best way to start researching is to first identify a photography style that’s right for you. O’Quinn says there are three major wedding photography styles:

Traditional: The least expensive photographers will likely take a traditional approach, says O’Quinn. Most shots are posed. “These are the images that you would expect to see at every wedding,” she says. Think straight-on shots and big smiles - not much more, not much less. Photojournalistic:

“Photojournalistic photographers capture the emotion in every moment rather than poses,” O’Quinn says. These photographers will roam an event unobtrusively, capturing candid images.

Artistic: It’s all in the name.

Artistic photographers aim to create visually stimulating, highly edited, magazine-worthy photographs. However, artistic photographers’ styles vary greatly, so choose carefully. “Make sure that their style is not too trendy,” O’Quinn says. “You want your photos to look beautiful when you receive them and when you look at them 20 years from now.” Once you’ve identified your style, however, your work isn’t done. To ensure your photographer has what it takes, don’t be afraid to ask detailed questions regarding prior experience. Take a good look at past work. “Ask your photographer if you can see an entire wedding that they have photographed,” O’Quinn suggests. That way, you’ll have a clear idea of how many photos you’ll get and how much of your day will be captured on film. Also, when hiring a

photographer through a photography studio, be sure to ask precisely who will photograph your day. “Sometimes you think that you will be hiring one shooter, and then they throw someone else in,” O’Quinn says. If you have questions about digital photography, ask your photographer to explain some of it to you, such as what format they shoot in and why. Do you get a DVD with all the photo files and the rights to them after the wedding? Will they be available to proof online? As wedding photographers cost an average of $1,500 and up to $5,000 in large urban markets - couples may find that the photographer of their dreams is well outside of the budget. O’Quinn recommends perusing creative wedding blogs or asking friends for referrals in order to get lasting memories without leaving a lasting mark on your bank account.

image quality,” Satterfield says. “A black-and-white Super 8 camera creates a romantic, old-fashioned look.” The price range for videography can vary greatly. Traditional videography can start as low as $250, says Michelle Walker, owner of Layer Cake Films, which operates in L.A. and New York, with the most artful Super 8 films reaching upwards of $5,000. As Satterfield explains, “As with any service, quality will often cost you.” ©© CTW CTW Features Features

-Danielle -Danielle Robinson Robinson

Sweet Sweet Tea Tea Photography Photography


Videography, too, comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and price points. The same rules for choosing the right photographer apply to video, from looking at prior work to establishing a good connection, but there are a few key differences. While many videographers opt for a photojournalistic approach, inconspicuously shooting the day, others may take on a more handson approach, says Leslie Satterfield, owner of Kiss the Bride Films, San Francisco. “Some couples might want their videographer to take a more directorial role - interviewing the wedding party, for example,” she says. Camera choice can also greatly affect your video’s outcome. “The latest HD cameras give superb color and stunning


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NORFOLK DAILY NEWS, Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Let Them Eat Cake Today’s wedding cakes are in good taste

While a bride will always be the star of her big day, there’s no denying that the cake comes in close second. And with TV networks cranking out one cakecentric show after another, cake design has taken center stage. Right along with the rise of the shows like the Food Network’s “Ace of Cakes,” couples are becoming more aware of the endless array of wedding cake possibilities. Choosing a design has become a more challenging task.

Sweet Designs

“Design, is a compromise sometimes,” says JoAnn Moore, a Vail, Colo.-based wedding planner

and owner of Mountains and Meadows. Couples may desire a complex cake but not the price tag that comes with it. Moore says her customers are opting for understated, classic styles. “I believe it has something to do with the economy,” she says. “People are going very simple and elegant.”

Confection Costs

Even the simplest designs come at a price. Carrie Biggers, owner of Carrie’s Cakes in Sandy, Utah, says individual servings may run anywhere from $2.50 per person in a smaller area up to $15 per person in a larger city. Cake can cost up to $40 per serving for

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couples who want the best of the best. To get the cake of your dreams without blowing your budget, both experts suggest purchasing a smaller, three- or four-tiered cake and placing it on an elevated display for drama. In the kitchen of your reception hall, keep sheet cakes of the same flavor, which you can purchase for a fraction of the cost. “The cake still looks big and beautiful and elaborate, and none of the guests know,” Moore says. -Danielle Robinson © CTW Features

KEEP IT SIMPLE Classic wedding cakes still have a big impact. Baker Carrie Biggers says that high-contrast designs, such as a blackon-white damask pattern, are growing in popularity. Simple embellishments are also in. “A single sugar flower is very popular,” Biggers says.

NORFOLK DAILY NEWS, Tuesday, January 4, 2011



ROCKIN’ RECEPTION Get your guests grooving with the right reception rhythms With the knot officially tied and the reception underway, the right music is essential to keep guests’ spirits high and ensure a fun-filled night. Couples visit potential venues before committing to the perfect one. Likewise, they should do due musical diligence before deciding on a DJ. Consider the following: Does the DJ take the time to get to know you as a couple? How are requests made to the DJ? Is there an online song-management system or forms to fill out? If the songs you desire are not available, will the DJ obtain them? What grade of speakers/subwoofers do they have? Do they have backups? See how their system works.

Let’s Get It Started

For a couple with unconventional music tastes, what may seem like an excellent choice in tunes could have guests calling it an early night. “Some brides have specific songs that they don’t want played. I have to explain to them, it’s a song that all your guests will be guaranteed to dance to,”says Sinclair Ray III, a professional DJ and owner of the Music Maker DJ Services in North Charleston, S.C. To help get guests into the mood, kick off the reception with “special dances” to engage your guests, says Karle Coppenrath, a professional wedding planner and owner of Weddings By Design, Inc., Port Townsend, Wash. “This helps set the tone and encourages shyer guests to get out on the dance floor,” she says. These special dances could

Working With A Caterer wedding coordinator.) 7. Will you adjust the schedule according to guests’ needs (i.e., delay dinner if most guests are on the dance floor)? 8. Which accessories will you provide: tables, chairs, plates, linens, silverware, glassware, saltand-pepper shakers, etc.? Can I see what they look like? If not, will you arrange for rentals? 9. Are you my main contact, and will you be overseeing meal service on my wedding day? 10. Do you supervise table setting? Do you set out place cards and favors? 11. Do you provide servers? How many will I need for my wedding, and how will they be dressed? 12. How do you handle special dietary needs and last-minute requests? 13. Do you offer vegetarian options? 14. How do you handle extra lastminute guests? 15. What are my recourses after the wedding if I’m not satisfied? -Beverly Clark

Music Money

Music is one of the areas where couples increased spending in 2010, according to The Wedding Report. Expect DJ services to range from $500 to $2000, depending on the market.

“Jersey Shore” star DJ Pauly D’s picks for a great party “Lucky” - Jason Mraz “The Way You Look Tonight” Frank Sinatra “Faithfully” - Journey “Unforgettable” - Nat King Cole/ Natalie Cole “New York, New York” - Frank Sinatra “You’re Still The One” - Shania Twain “Making Memories of Us” - Keith Urban “Just Dance” - Lady Gaga “My Girl” - Temptations “Paradise By The Dashboard Light”- Meatloaf “You Dropped A Bomb On Me” Gap Band “Make A Memory” - Bon Jovi

-Danielle Robinson © CTW Features


When planning the reception part of your wedding, the caterer or banquet manager can either be your best friend or a thorn in your side. You’re essentially investing your trust in this person to provide you and your guests with delicious food, prepared exactly as you order it, in a timely, efficient and consistent manner. Have a written list of questions for the banquet manager. 1. Do you specialize in certain types of food or service? (Be sure to get a sample menu.) 2. Can you arrange for me to taste the foods I’m interested in serving prior to hiring you? 3. What is your average price range, and what does this cover? 4. Do you itemize costs depending on food choice, or is the price allinclusive? 5. Are there extra costs for linens, tax, gratuities, etc.? If so, what are they? 6. How involved will you get in my wedding? Do you play MC, cuing the cake-cutting, band, etc.? (If not, you may want to hire a

include an anniversary dance, where married couples are invited onto the dance floor, or a dance just for members of the wedding party. Coppenrath suggests sticking with songs that are proven crowd-pleasers. Google top wedding dance songs and view wedding-themed iMixes in iTunes to help pinpoint selections. “Guests love to be entertained and really enjoy watching other couples on the dance floor,” she says. Afterward, when you open up the dance floor to everyone, your night will be a swinging success.



NORFOLK DAILY NEWS, Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Let’s RIDE

Get everyone to the wedding in style Start It Up

Limousine companies tend to get booked quickly during the summer - peak wedding season and late spring - prom season. Begin looking for a limo as much as six months before these prime periods. If your wedding takes place in the off-season (fall or winter), look to book three or four months out.

your area. Don’t make your decision on price alone. Like every driver on the road, the company you go with should be licensed and insured (including liability and medical insurance for passengers). Look for companies with a fleet of recent model-year vehicles, and seek references from recent customers. When getting a quote, be sure to get the

Size It Up

The biggest factor in limo choice will be the size of the wedding party and any extra people who will be traveling in the limo. A smaller group may get by in, say, a stretched-out Lincoln limousine, while a group of a dozen may need a convertedSUV limo. Really large groups 20-some people - could even opt for a party bus limo. With the type of ride that would best accommodate you in mind, compare prices among like vehicles at different vendors in


Depending on the time of year, it may be possible to negotiate the hourly rate.


Drive Details

Be sure to read the rental contract thoroughly before signing. It should denote: • Make, model and year of the vehicle • Date of service • Pick-up times and locations

whole picture. The bulk of companies charge by the hour and probably will have a three- or four-hour minimum for a wedding, depending on the day. Prices can range anywhere from $250 to $500 for a stretch limo up to $1,000 for a converted SUV. Don’t forget to ask if the driver’s gratuity typically 20 percent - is included.

• All costs involved, including deposit and cancellation policies • If you don’t have a physical contract, be sure to keep a copy of the itinerary in your e-mail

© CTW Features

Worried about decorating the limo or that it will have enough libations for your ride? Many companies offer a wedding package, which may include alcohol, soft drinks, and décor like a “Just Married” sign. See what the options are, what you can change and what to leave out. They’ll take care of the work, and you can enjoy the ride.


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Calling All Guests Get revelers ready to go with a stylish invite that sets the tone for your event movable, raised type - can cost

A Well thought-out invitation will tell guests everything they need to know about what’s in store.

Stationery Solutions

With a world of colors, fonts, papers and print styles to choose from, pinning down the right design takes some thought.

To get started, hit the streets, says Ara Farnam, founder of Rock Paper Scissors Events, New York. “Pop into a stationery store to see and feel some different styles and get an understanding for the differences between printing processes.”

Print Prices

Letterpress invites - produced by pressing a sheet of paper onto

more than twice as much as flat, digitally printed cards. Get letterpress style while cutting costs by printing in just one color of ink, suggests Rachelle Schwartz, coowner of Irvine, Calif.-based Wiley Valentine. “It’s a great way to still get a fabulous letterpress invitation,” she says. While a great invite can make a wedding design more cohesive, remember that it won’t make or break your day. “If you end up making changes to your décor, don’t sweat it,” Farnam says. “At the end of the day, guests will remember the elements of your reception more.”

KEEP IT SIMPLE Keep the design simple!” says Ara Farnam of Rock Paper Scissors Events. Which is what today’s couples seem to be doing, as experts note the recent resurgence of letterpress invitations. The trend shows “a move towards a simpler invitation that is beautiful for its font or layout as opposed to intricate folded layers, vellum or ribbons,” Farnam says.

© CTW Features

Selecting the Right Invitation Invitations are usually your first line of communication regarding the upcoming celebration, and they typically set the tone of the affair and what guests should expect. Wedding etiquette experts also say that giftgiving is subject to influence by the type of invitation received. Guests also tend to determine what they will wear to the wedding depending upon the invitation. All of these perceptions about the wedding are made even before guests read the first line of sentiment on the invitation itself. With so much inferred meaning placed on invitations, it’s no wonder you may be nervous about choosing and sending out invitations. Here are some pointers so you’ll make the right decisions. There are many personalization options at your disposal with wedding invitations. You’ll be able to choose the texture, color and shape of the

paper, as well as the font and ink color in many cases. These selections can be combined with other embellishments, such as envelope linings, extra layers of paper, vellum accents, ribbons, and calligraphy styles. You may also be able to select a monogram or artwork to further embellish the invitation. If your wedding will be a formal affair, choose a classic style invitation that will reflect the formalness of the affair. If your wedding will be casual, choose a design and font that expresses that feeling. Here are some other tips to consider: * Wait until you have definite times and locations for the ceremony and reception before submitting any wording to the invitation company. * Type out the wording you prefer on your computer. Run a spell-check and print it out and

read it over several times. This will cut down on the chances for error once the wording is sent for printing. * To know how many invitations to order, take the forecasted number of guests and divide that number by two. Then add 25 to 30 additional invitations for any single guests you may be inviting as well as to have extras on hand in case you make a mistake addressing the invitation. So if you are inviting 150 people (assuming most will come as couples), order 100 invitations. * Many people opt to print out addresses on the invitation envelope themselves. While home printers and software packages have certainly advanced, it may be difficult to match the font and style of your invitation. Furthermore, while hand-

addressing invitations is more timeconsuming, it adds a personalized touch and shows you care about those invited. * Make sure you bring an invitation to the post office to be weighed so you can determine how much postage you will need. Mail them 4 to 6 weeks before the wedding to allow for response time. It’s customary to enclose a response card with postage already applied so guests can simply drop their RSVP in the mail.


NORFOLK DAILY NEWS, Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Bridal Beauty

Above all, both artists stress the importance of a radiant face. “Skin is really important. I love glowing, highlighted skin with nice cheek color,” Blaul says.

Beauty Budget

Wedding day beauty should show-off the most beautiful, radiant version of you Applying makeup is, for most women, nothing more than an everyday task. On your wedding day, however, hair and makeup decisions are no less important than the dress and shoes. “The photos that will be taken of you on your most important day will be of your face and how happy you are,” says Kristen Lober, a professional makeup artist in Newark, Del. “You want to be the most beautiful, radiant version of

Photography by Studio B, O’Neill

yourself.” The key to picture-perfect beauty is just that: being yourself. While some may get swept up in the idea of going all-out, the important thing is to look like you -not a face caked in product. “Sometimes less is more,” says Morgan Blaul, a professional hair stylist and makeup artist in Chicago. “It’s all about looking

• Hair Care • Nails • Airbrush Tanning • Facials/Skin Care

and feeling your best, and not about trying to be something you are not.” Both artists recommend choosing your best feature cheeks, eyes or lips - and highlighting it, keeping the rest of the face more natural. “What seems to be most popular this year so far is more of a dramatic eye and a natural lip,” Lober says.

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-Danielle Robinson © CTW Features

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There’s a stylist for every budget, but Lober warns that the best deals will likely come from nonprofessionals. “Research your artist and see examples of their work, and ask what products they use,” she says. Both experts stress the importance of staying true to your natural beauty. “Assess what you do on a normal basis and just enhance it a little bit more,” Lober says. “Never try something completely new for your wedding day.” Blaul agrees. “With the modern bride there are no rules anymore,” she says. “The best thing you can do is be creative and personalize your look.”



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NORFOLK DAILY NEWS, Tuesday, January 4, 2011



Look Your Best for the Big Day! Wedding weight loss tips

comfort zone for best results.

Getting married can be a huge motivating force for losing weight and shaping up. According to Janice Rassin, National Bridal Director at Meyer Corporation, U.S., “Today’s Brides begin a transformation process 8 months before their wedding day. Their first step is starting a healthy eating plan followed by a new exercise regimen. Making your own meals at home is the easiest way to balance nutrition, manage portions and cut calories.” Weddings tend to have a similar effect on members of the bridal party, parents of the engaged couple, and guests. It’s a joyous occasion when everyone dresses up and wants to make a great impression. So whether you’re the happy bride, the maid of honor, the bride’s mother or a dear friend, consider an upcoming wedding occasion a fabulous opportunity to look and feel your very best. “Losing a few pounds has benefits beyond reducing a size,” says Rassin. “Nutrients from fruits and vegetables improve the look of your skin and hair.” Here are some useful tips and strategies for wedding weight loss:

* If a personal trainer or gym membership isn’t right for you, consider options on the Internet. There’s a growing number of professionally designed Web diet and fitness programs geared to helping brides reach their fitness goals by their wedding day. Several dedicated sites provide a full range of useful tools you can tap with your fingers -- customized meal planner, customized fitness plan, recipe database, shopping list, food log, calorie calculator, activity calculator, journal, message boards, exercise DVDs, and more.

* Set a realistic timeframe to reach your weight goal, understanding that slow and steady is preferable to fast and drastic drops in pounds. For most people, that means a weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week to avoid the counter-productive result of losing lean muscle tissue. * Choose an eating plan that is nutritionally sound and will provide all the energy you need during this extraordinarily busy, and often stressful, period of planning a wedding. Avoid the temptation of fad diets, which tend to be unbalanced, restrictive and effective only in temporarily losing water weight, rather than excess fat.

* Focus your attention on all the wonderful foods you can eat on a healthy weight loss program, rather than obsessing about the foods that should be avoided. Fill up on nutrientdense, fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as fiber-rich legumes. * Sign up for a cooking class, ideally with your fiance, to hone your skills and knowledge about how to sear, saute, poach, steam, grill, roast, and bake a myriad of different sweet and savory foods with healthy and delicious results. You’ll have fun learning and mastering fundamental techniques and methods. * Register for high quality pots and pans. You’ll have more confidence in the kitchen using well made cookware -- the number one bridal registry gift. Home cooking is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, since you have complete control over a meal’s ingredients and portion sizes. Cooking with nonstick cookware is one of the easiest ways to reduce fat calories from your meals. Choose durable, heavy gauge nonstick cookware, such as Infinite Circulon, which heats up evenly and allows you to make even the stickiest dishes, like scrambled eggs, with little or no added oil or butter. Another one to try is new Circulon Contempo hardanodized nonstick cookware, featuring contemporary styling

and innovative storage solutions. For example, a hinged loop on the handle allows you to hang the cookware on a display rack, or tuck in when storing in cabinets. Also, the cookware’s welldesigned lids slide neatly over the handles for additional spacesaving convenience. Circulon, a long-established leader of high quality nonstick cookware, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. For more information on Circulon cookware collections, anniversary promotions, as well as recipes and tips for healthy cooking, visit * Enlist the help of a personal trainer to teach you how to exercise properly. Most personal trainers recommend a minimum of 2 one-hour long sessions a week, and sessions frequently combine core muscle strengthtraining, cardio and endurance exercises. It’s a great way to learn the right moves, overcome any hesitancy about lifting weights, and make sure you’re safely pushing yourself beyond your

* Get a good night’s sleep. Being tired makes it a lot harder to manage stress and focus on eating right. Health experts generally advise getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night. When you’re well rested, it’s much easier to exercise with gusto, and smartly choose an apple over a candy bar to power through the afternoon. * Be mindful at each meal. The latest buzz in weight loss advice is becoming more conscious of what you eat, which leads to greater satisfaction and reduces the likelihood of over-eating. Eating slowly is key, as well as removing all distractions and “multi-tasking” behavior, such as watching TV, reading, working on the computer, etc. * Find a reason to get physical. Unless your work involves a lot of physical action, you’ll likely need to get creative in sneaking more opportunities to get up and move. At the office, stroll over to a colleague’s desk to ask a question instead of e-mailing. Walk or bike to run errands in the neighborhood. Take the stairs instead of the elevator in buildings when feasible. Catch up with friends over a walk in the park. Clean out an attic or garage. Even bake a loaf of bread -- kneading by hand is a great work out for your arms!


NORFOLK DAILY NEWS, Tuesday, January 4, 2011



© CTW Features

Sometimes, fashion doesn’t say it all. Romantic couples often choose to personalize their rings by having a professional jeweler engrave the wedding date, their names and short words of endearment on the inside of the wedding bands. These engravings serve as hidden love notes, not meant for the world to see. Small flush-set diamonds or gemstones set on the inside of the band also are gaining in popularity.

The Wedding Bling

Anything but Basic Black Black diamonds are making their way into bridal jewelry, Gizzi says. Also, grooms can look to black titanium and tungsten for a unique look.

Chances are, you’ve already got the ring - you know, the sparkler that announces to the world that you’re engaged. In fact, you may have helped select the engagement ring yourself. According to a jewelry survey by, 36 percent of brides are involved in the selection of engagement rings. However, the bulk of couples - 69 percent,

A Perfect Pair The stacking trend continues in 2011 for women; two wedding bands are worn flanking the engagement ring. Wearing the two bands together creates a balanced look on the finger.

How to choose a wedding band that’s as unique as you are according to the same survey select wedding bands together. Here are some trends to keep in mind as you shop: Go for the Gold White has been the go-to metal color in recent years, with platinum and white gold maintaining popularity while palladium and titanium are

building a following. However, yellow gold is making its return to wedding jewelry, says Amanda Gizzi, director of communications for Jewelers of America. Classic yellow gold bands get an update with seemingly custom details like hammering, etching and engraving.

Diamonds Forever Simple, elegant diamond eternity bands remain popular into 2011.

The Daily News formally invites you to submit your anniversary, birthday, engagement and wedding announcements for our Living Page. For a nominal fee, you have more flexibility in what you want your announcement to say. (See below for important details.) Plus, your announcement will be posted for 14 days on our Web site, There is a charge to publish all anniversary, birthday, engagement and wedding information in the Daily News. Charges vary for each announcement. Please check our Web site at for pricing and package information or call the Daily News at 371-1020, ext. 236.



2001 Market Lane, Ste. 100 • Norfolk, NE • 371-9338 • 1-800-437-0889 71607


NORFOLK DAILY NEWS, Tuesday, January 4, 2011

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Careful spending and early planning will have couples flying to far-off locales while staying afloat financially



A honeymoon is the once-ina-lifetime trip that couples dream of, filled with candlelight dinners, long walks on the beach and nights in a luxe suite. But with a 2009 survey conducted by Web-based honeymoon registry site Traveler’s Joy showing that 62 percent of couples plan to cut their honeymoon budgets due to the recession, those dreams may begin to fade. Luckily, with the right planning and a little flexibility, that dream honeymoon can still be a reality.

Getting Started

If your honeymoon will take place during a high-volume travel season, plan ahead - between six and nine months in advance, says Howard Green, co-founder and CEO of Chicago-based honeymoon travel agency MoonRings. “If you’re traveling during a shoulder season or an off-season, you may not need to plan as far in advance,” he says. “We would recommend anywhere from five to seven months in advance, as a general rule.” To pick a destination, Brandon Warner, president and co-founder of Traveler’s Joy, advises couples to give serious thought to a few key questions: What’s our budget? “The average honeymoon cost $3,657 in 2009, so budgeting $4,000 is a good starting point,” he says. What’s most important to us? This means pinpointing your main objective: beach relaxation, cultural exploration or adrenaline-pumping adventure.

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How far are we willing to travel? Which also means considering how much time you have, says Green. “If you’ve only got five days and you live in Chicago, it’s probably not enough time to go to Australia or New Zealand,” he says. What destinations will offer the best weather while we’re there? Off-seasons are off-seasons for a reason: Research rainy periods and average temperatures for your dates before you book. Warner says once these questions are answered, couples should be able to narrow the options. “Once the couple has a short list, they should talk to friends who have been to those destinations and do their own research,” by reading newspapers, Web sites and travel magazines, he says.

NORFOLK DAILY NEWS, Tuesday, January 4, 2011

HONEYMOON Afford your voyage Any destination has the potential to be costly, so careful financial planning is key. “We’ve had couples honeymoon for a month or a week and spend the same amount,” Warner says. Play your cards right and you may be surprised how far your dollar can stretch. Warner says the simplest first steps a couple can take toward saving dough are booking early and taking advantage of any frequent flier miles or hotel points. “Most airlines start to release seats at about 330 days [in advance],” Green says. If you don’t have your heart set on one location, traveling where the dollar is strong lets couples live large on a shoestring budget, Green says. He recommends Costa Rica and other Central and South American locales. “In terms of activities and food and beverage, you tend to get a lot for your money there,” he says. But don’t book a trip to Argentina just yet. “In general, the farther you fly, the more expensive it is,” Green says. Stick to northerly South American spots; the flight will be cheaper and you’ll still get the warm



beaches and affordable eats. For lodging, ditch the pricey resort or hotel and consider renting a home, Warner says. You’ll be able to save money by cooking instead of dining out at each meal and gain the seclusion of a private residence. To really cut costs, both men suggest staying closer to home. “Airfare can cost almost 40 percent of a honeymoon, so by finding a place within a short flight or a daylong drive, there can be significant savings,” Warner says. If your dream destination is non-negotiable, however, fear not. “Consider delaying two or three months,” Green says. That way, you can get your dream spot at the lowest possible rates. Couples may also want to contemplate shortening their honeymoon by two or three days, to free up their food and lodging budget, Green says. Whatever the final decision, your honeymoon is sure to provide you and your spouse with lifelong memories. Whether in Paris, France or Paris, Texas, this is just the embarkment of a much greater voyage together.

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-Danielle Robinson © CTW Features



NORFOLK DAILY NEWS, Tuesday, January 4, 2011

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