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2010

Inside

He gets cake, too Dress Mom right

Rings represent equality Put your stamp on gifts and more ‌

Meet brides and grooms, then and now

A NEW TIMES SPECIAL PUBLICATION


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OLD

NEW

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SoM EtHInG

ontEntS

SoM EtHInG

W

eddings are all about the blending of past and

future. Couples create a fresh start out of their

unique histories. Centuries-old traditions combine

in surprising ways with modern touches. Old friends

#



mingle with new family members.

Meet couples whose weddings were long ago



Create gifts for the happy couple

For this edition of Brides, we strove to capture that dichotomy

at the heart of the big day. We included some familiar features (such as do-it-yourself crafting), but branched out in some



new directions,

too (focusing, for

instance, on long-

married couples for our main feature).

Groom’s cakes are sweet and fun



Stay local for your honeymoon

Whether you’ve

already celebrated your 50th

anniversary or have

yet to say yes to the institution, you’ll

PHOTO BY STEV E E. MILLER

find something familiar and

something surprising in these pages. And so, the

moment we’re all waiting for:

By the power

vested in me by New

 

Learn the sordid secrets of wedding music

Moms get fancy fashion advice

 

Best men are great

Lower your nuptial stress levels

Times and the Santa Maria Sun, I now pronounce you ready to read our annual Brides publication. You may kiss the paper.

2YAN-ILLER editor

2010

1010 Marsh St.

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

(805) 546-8208

Brides © 2010

4 BR IDES 2 010

P ublishers Bob Rucker Alex Zuniga e ditor Ryan Miller e xecutive director of sales and M arketing Charles Neale Gerencser

a dvertising Anna Byrd Topher Cajas Colleen Garcia Rhonda O'Dell Katy Gray Anica Julien Lars Neshime Laura Reese Rene Rodriguez Tracey Joyner Scuri Georgia Shore

P roduction Christy Serpa Brendan Rowe Dora Mountain Hannah Finder Jason Cope e ditorial design Heather Walter Jeff Cannon



Lovebirds pledge to avoid marriage

P hotogr aPher Steve E. Miller c ontributors K. Reka Badger Andrea Rooks Amy Asman Helen Ann Thomas Ariel Waterman Ashley Schwellenbach



Listen up to these DJ tips

Please call (805) 546-8208 to make your reservation for the next issue of brides.

r eservation deadline: January 20, 2011 P ublished: February 10, 2011

Brides is published every February throughout San Luis Obispo County and Northern Santa Barbara County.


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)NDEX BR IDE S

AD V E RTISING A Heart’s Desires All That Glitters Aurora Denny Avila Bay Club & Spa Bill Gaines Audio Bradley S. Kurgis, D.O. Cambria Pines Lodge Cassie's Custom Cakes Castoro Cellars CB Hood Courtyard Marriott - SLO Cover Ups Cypress Ridge Pavilion D & D Floral Design Dallidet Adobe DB Specialty Farms Diaz Bridal Boutique Don Jose's Jewelers Down the Aisle Dr. Laleh Shaban Gina’s Piece of Cake B. Anthony Jewelers

 ƒ B R)I$D%E 2  0 1 0 ƒ N E W T I M E S  "2 3 S

12 24/25 27 38 20 11 9 19 16 20 19 11 41 16 12 28 30 5 32 29 35 16

Hamilton Estate Jewelers JB`s Jewelers Jack House & Gardens Jillian Marie Photography John Patrick Images K-Jon's Fine Jewelers Kevin Main Jewelry La Perla Del Mar Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa Lunalily Photography Madonna Inn Martin Resorts Matt Hatfield Trio Meridian Vineyards Moore Photography Morovino Vineyards Mortgage House, Inc. Nishimori Landscape & Design Park Street Ballroom Phoenix Fine Catering Pismo Beach Florist Pithy Little Wine Co.

47 40 42 27 9 9 27 2 35 36 6/31 48 19 32 31 44 39 30 3 45 41 37

Quail Lodge Resort and Golf Club

15

Rameeko

23

Rick Comstock

40

Robert Hall

35

Santa Barbara Chocolate Fountains

32

Rex Yannis, MD Ride-On

38 37

Rock Basin Vineyards & Guest House 12 Sarah Kathleen Photography

15

Sea Crest Resort

46

Serengeti West

45

Sea Venture Resort SESLOC Federal Credit Union Splash Cafe

Spyglass Inn Restaurant

43

36

28

20

Sustenance Cooking Studio

44

The Cliffs Resort

29

Tropical Chocolates

42

Sylvester Vineyards & Winery Trilogy Central Coast

39

43


S E V LO lonGtiMe

don’ t let t H e w eddi nG crow d ou t t H e M a r r i aGe PHo t o s a n d i n t e rV i e w s By s t e V e e . M i l l e r i n t ro a n d t e x t By rya n M i l l e r

Br ide s

L

isten: Your wedding is only the first day of your marriage. It’s easy to forget that. Amid the days, weeks, months, even years of nuptial planning—from picking the date and venue down to micromanaging napkin color and entrée side dishes—the reason you’re doing the “I do” can get lost. From ring shopping to the proposal to the ceremony to the honeymoon plans, the marriage itself—the long haul of love—is almost

an afterthought, the byproduct of all this activity. But it shouldn’t be. Taking a page from the past, we decided this year to skip the full-page portraits of dresses and f lowers and present, instead, the end goal. Meet five couples who’ve been married more than 50 years. May you enjoy the same—or more. ∆ Send comments to rmiller@newtimesslo.com.

S N O S L R A # 4HE

Ber n ice a n d Gle n n ca r l son M ay 2 , 1959

H

e worked in Alaska and regularly asked her to marry him in letters he sent. Eventually, she agreed. She had to drive 30 miles to get her hair blow dried on her wedding day, because no place in her hometown of Preston could do it. It rained, and his aunt told him that was good luck. They honeymooned in Europe from May to September (he has relatives in Sweden). They bought a Mercedes 190 sedan and drove it all over, then shipped the car back to the United States. He worked as a sanitation aid supervisor for the Territory of Alaska, she as a nursing educator. They have two children and four grandchildren.

SECRET

tHe ca r l sons’ to a lonG M a r r aiGe: They were raised to think marriage is forever. Couples have to learn to adjust.

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Ca rol a n d S au l G oldberG de C . 5, 1959

S G R E B D L O '

4HE

GOLDBERGS continued

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on page 10


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BR IDE S

H

e asked her and her mother over for dinner, then gave her a purse. She didn’t like the purse—but she was ecstatic about the ring inside. When the wedding day arrived, rain poured down from New Jersey to New York. He had to buy a shirt, tie, and cumberbund because he’d forgotten to buy them earlier. She told the bridesmaids to wear whatever they wanted. They went to the Catskills for their honeymoon. It was freezing, snowing, and raining—and now they can’t remember why they hadn’t gone to Florida instead. He worked as an engineering aid, she as a bookkeeper. They have two children and four grandchildren.

SECRET

THE GOLDBERGS’ TO A LONG M A R R AIGE: Her: Get married young, before you get set in your ways. Him: You have to be f lexible and enjoy each others’ company.

S G R E B D L O '

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BR IDE S

J e a n a n d Ge n e Sta r k e y F eb . 13, 195 3

S Y E 4HE 3TARK STARKEYS continued on page BR IDES 2 010

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BR IDE S

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he was nervous about the date, but everything seems to have worked out fine. Her mother made the white velvet dress she wore and the pink velvet dress her sister wore. Her father’s arm shook as he walked her down the aisle. They took a weekend honeymoon at Lake Geneva in Wisconsin, and then he had to go right back to school for his PhD. He worked as a graduate assistant, she worked for United Airlines. They have three children and three grandchildren.

SECRET

THE STA R K EYS’ TO A LONG M A R R AIGE: Him: Be willing to give and share. You can’t always have your way. Her: Faith, family, and friends.

4HE 14 B R I DE S 2 010

S Y E K R A T 3


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BR IDE S

E spEr a nz a n d M a n u El B a r r ag a n aug. 15, 1956 (ci v il) sEpt. 8, 1956 (church)

S N A G A R R A "

4HE

BARRAGANS continued on page BR IDES 2 010

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H

e was 19. She was 17. They had been talking about marriage, but in a grand romantic gesture, he sent his grandmother and a priest to ask her parents for her hand. They were married in Santiago Tangamandadio, Michoacan, Mexico—no formal dress, no honeymoon—but there was a memorable party afterward: food, tequila, beer, and 150 celebrants. He went on to work as a goatherder, she as a housewife. They have eight children, 26 grandchildren, and 17 greatgrandchildren.

SECRET

THE Ba R R aga nS’ TO a LOng M a R R aIgE: “We love each other and we accept each other— plus we made a promise.”

S N A G A R R "A 4HE

18 BR IDES 2 010


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BR IDE S

Va ler i e a n d lel a n d e n dr e s s a pr i l 18 , 1959

S E S S E R %ND

4HE

ENDRESS continued on page BR IDES 2 010

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BR IDE S

S

he said, “When are you going to ask me?” He said, “I guess right now.” They were married in New York (bridesmaids wore white dresses with bands of green and lilac) and f lew to Los Angeles for the honeymoon. Disneyland was only a few years old, so they visited the park, as well as Hollywood and San Juan Capistrano. He worked as a chemistry grad student assistant, she worked as a Spanish grad student assistant. They have four children and six grandchildren— and their daughter used Valerie’s dress (which cost $100) in her own wedding.

SECRET

THE ENDR E SSE S’ TO A LONG M A R R AIGE: Avoid irreconcilable differences. You have to feel the relationship is very important and understand that there is no argument you can win that is worth the relationship.

4HE 2 2 BR IDES 2 010

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SWEET BR IDE S

B

y nature a distaff display, formal weddings showcase the bride, her fabulous dress, and her color-coordinated retinue. As the words, “This is her special day!” repeatedly ring out, the overlooked groom may simply resolve to enjoy the proceedings, despite feeling a little lost in the shuff le. Sensing her beau’s distress, the thoughtful bride can surprise him with a groom’s cake, a 19th century tradition popularized in Victorian England and later embraced by high society in the American south. With this cake, she can acknowledge his taste and individuality, while offering a sweet token of her love and affection. “About 40 percent of my couples order groom’s cakes,” said Dawn E. Peters, proprietor of Decadence Fine Cakes and Confections in Buellton. “They are mostly decorated with team logos and favorite sports themes, and they completely ref lect the groom’s taste, both in f lavor and design. “Other biggies are the groom’s favorite musician or band,” she added, “and sometimes it’s just the groom’s favorite dessert, and not cake at all.” In the past, groom’s cakes were served along with the wedding cake or cut and given to the bridesmaids and groomsmen, either before or after the ceremony. Alternatively, slices were boxed and handed to guests leaving the reception as a gift to take home. “These days, groom’s cakes are usually served at the rehearsal dinner,” Peters explained, “so that it doesn’t take away from the display of the wedding cake.” Prior to the introduction of refined f lour and baking soda in the 1700s, and well after the Romans stopped breaking wheatcakes over brides’ heads, fruitcakes ruled the world of wedding edibles. Thus, bakers producing the first groom’s cakes likely made them from honey, whole wheat f lour, crushed nuts, and bits of preserved fruit.

SAtISf y h IS

toot h

GRoom’ S cA k E S R EpR E SE n t A u n Iqu E ISl A n D of Gu y I n t ER E St I n A SE A of BR I DA l DE cISIonS By k . R E k A B A D GE R

PHOTO COURTESY WINDY CITY CAKERY

HEa D In tHE

ga mE

Distinctly different from the wedding cake, the groom’s cake often features chocolate, nuts, and an eye-catching theme.

As wedding cakes—often called bride’s cakes—evolved, they morphed from simple loaves into multi-tiered extravaganzas layered with a rococo haze of buttercream swags, piping, and rosettes. Until recently, however, a single f lavor dominated the cake, its frosting, and its frilly embellishments.

GROOMªS

A tAStE of thE

tAStE

• Windy City Cakery is located at 4869 S. Bradley Road, suite 112, Orcutt, 937-CAKE (2253), WindyCityCakery.com. • Tan Top Bakery is at 4854 Bradley Road, suite D, Santa Maria, 937-5116. • Decadence Fine Cakes and Confections is at 201 “C” Industrial Way, Buellton, 686-2860, DecadenceWeddingCakes.com. • Carlock ’s Bakery is at 1024 Los Osos Valley Road, Los Osos, 528-1845, CarlocksBakery.com. 2 6 BR IDES 2 010

“When wedding cake was restricted to vanilla,” Peters explained, “groom’s cakes were ordered to add chocolate to the menu. Today, popular f lavors include Jack Daniels Chocolate Mousse Cake, as well as Captain Jack’s Rum Cake and Triple Vanilla Cream Cake.” Typically heavier and always markedly different from the bride’s cake, the groom’s cake may be chocolate, carrot, pound, or even cheesecake. At Santa Maria’s Tan Top Bakery, f lavors range from chocolate, marble, and carrot, to banana-nut and even chiffon, an option that’s rare in the area. Though generally smaller and less fussy than the bride’s cake, the ornamentation on the groom’s cake may be equally elaborate. Its theme, rendered in distinctly masculine hues and imagery, tends to ref lect the interests, abilities, and fantasies of the groom. A look at the website for Carlock’s

Bakery, located in Los Osos, reveals a dazzling variety of choices for the man of the hour’s special cake. Indeed, skilled confectioners can manipulate edible ingredients to create everything from fire engines and skyrocketing spacecraft to jet planes soaring through frosting clouds and King Kong atop a cake mountain sporting sugar paste trees and fondant waterfalls. On a more dignified note, a groom’s cake may take the form of a chessboard, alma mater, or frosted tuxedo. It can display a family crest, military emblem, or a handpainted monogram on a golden sugar plaque. “The groom doesn’t want a little foo-foo cake,” laughed Tony Samoska, who owns Windy City Cakery with his wife, Mary, “so it definitely should be a masculine cake, and chocolate is masculine. The f lavors we find to be favorites are chocolate and red velvet.” Recently, Samoska made a red velvet groom’s cake sheathed in blue fondant and topped with a smaller cake bearing a blazing orange replica of the Superman logo. “The groom’s cake is usually a gift from the bride to the groom,” he said, “and ref lects his interest. The bride is not going to have a Superman cake as her sole cake normally, traditionally.” At Santa Maria’s Windy City Cakery and Tan Top Bakery, as well as at Decadence Fine Cakes and Confections and most other better bakeries, the bride (and groom) can make an appointment to sample cake f lavors before placing an order. Bakers advise them to pick a date well ahead of the nuptials to insure that they get just what they want. “I think the groom’s cake got lost in the shuff le some years ago,” Samoska said, “but it’s making its way back. It’s all about the groom, to let the groom know the bride appreciates him.” ❧ K. Reka Badger is a super writer. Send comments to Executive Editor Ryan Miller at rmiller@santamariasun.com.


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27


BLIND

br idE s

i f l ov E is

ignor a ncE is bliss E at, dr i n k , a n d don’ t a sk w h at you’ r E list E n i ng to by a sh l E y s c h w E l l E n b ac h

I

f you’re the type of person who fantasizes about your wedding day, odds are that at least one of these visions has included a figure in a white dress—yourself or your beloved—gliding down the aisle, fresh bouquet in hand, to the strains of Richard Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus.” You’ve softly hummed “here comes the bride, here comes the bride,” without a clue as to what the rest of the lyrics might be. What you probably don’t know, and would prefer to remain ignorant of, is that the processional was written as the wedding march for a doomed fictional couple by an anti-Semitic com-

poser boycotted by the Jewish community. “The Bridal Chorus” first appeared in 1850 in the opera Lohengrin, written by German composer Wagner. Inspired by a German medieval romance, the opera tells the tale of Elsa and a mysterious knight who champions her when she’s falsely accused of murdering her brother. The tale ends, after Elsa and the knight have married, with the knight’s permanent departure and Elsa’s dramatic death from a broken heart. The chorus takes place at the beginning of Act 3, sung by the wedding party. The lyrics aren’t exactly in keeping with the sweetly generic “here comes the bride” either. “Faithfully

guided, draw near/ to where the blessings of love shall preserve you,” begins the piece. “Most people don’t know Lohengrin. It’s a nice processional. For the purpose of striding along with a sense of hopefulness, it’s perfect. But the moment you start looking at its context, that’s where the problems surface,” acknowledged Alyson McLamore, a music history and music education professor at Cal Poly. According to McLamore, given the processional’s musical qualities, it’s no surprise that it’s become a tradition for brides to walk down the aisle to the piece. The music has a regal quality, full of fanfare. It’s full of dotted rhythms with uneven notes that follow long, short, long, with added emphasis on certain notes. But, according to Rabbi Scott Corngold of Congregation Beth David, the processional’s musical virtues aren’t enough to overcome the composer’s bias against Jews. “The problem is that Richard Wagner was a notorious anti-Semite who in his own day did a lot of writing about how Jewish music was decadent because Jews are so decadent,” he explained. “Wagner became a favorite of the Nazi leadership. He has always had this strong Nazi connotation. It’s such an extreme connection that Wagner’s music wasn’t performed in the state of Israel.” Though Wagner died six years before Ad-

olf Hitler was even born, the composer was a favorite of the Nazi party. To complicate matters, a second popular wedding song, “Wedding March,” is also boycotted by many people of the Jewish faith because the composer, Felix Mendelssohn, was born to Jewish parents but his father renounced the religion. In lieu of these two songs, Jewish couples often select other classical pieces or turn to compositions created with the Jewish community in mind as an audience. Many of these songs are set to Biblical text. McLamore sees it differently. Among the composers she teaches in her music history series are several Nazi sympathizers and one musician from the Renaissance period who murdered his wife. A fellow music instructor teaches his band a movement from Symphonie Fantastique as a graduation march; the movement was originally written to represent a March to the Scaffold. “It’s good music, so what do you do?” she asked. “The more people know about an artwork, the more likely they are to judge it by external forces. As a musician, I think sometimes we should judge artwork in and of itself.” ❧ Arts Editor Ashley Schwellenbach has visions of herself flying. Send crisp, white wings to aschwellenbach@newtimesslo.com.

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MOTHER

BR IDE S

TH E

OF A LL FASHION

c OM pLE M E N T T H E BIg DAY w IT H MOM’ S cHOIcE OF wA R DROBE BY H E L E N A N N T HOM A S

soft gray, beige, mauve, or other muted tones or pastels—unless, of course, the bridesmaids are wearing claret or hunter green. But still, the moms want their dress colors to complement those of the bridal party. Like it or not, the moms are part of a big picture, literally, when it comes to the wedding photos. Those records of magic moments can be unforgiving—20 years later someone will wince and point and say, “Ouch, look at that awful dress your mother wore!” when the mom in question is a blob of black or brown amidst a sea of pastels. The Madonna Inn’s second floor shop, My Favorite Things Boutique, carries ap-

MOTHERS continued on page

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here was a time when dress codes for mothers of the bride and groom were rigid and narrowly defined by custom and the expectations of others. Dresses were generally bland in color and design and often heavily beaded. Now, in the anything goes, casual state of fashion we live in, standards are relaxed and the moms can choose whatever flatters and pleases them—with just a few lingering restrictions from yesteryear. First, it’s expected that the colors of the moms’ dresses will blend with the colors of the bridesmaids’ gowns. Dark colors like black, brown, and navy aren’t as desirable as

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BR IDE S

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parel for the grand occasion. “Today’s moms do not want frumpy,” emphasized Manager Cheri Humphrey. “They are looking for fun, non-traditional, stylish outfits.” She and Phyllis Madonna, who owns the Inn, frequently go to market in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York to find classic, elegant, unique items. One wedding consultant mentioned tealength dresses—not quite ankle length and well below the knee—are popular, as well as generally flattering and feminine. Cleo Estrada, who owns The Bridal Boutique in Atascadero, is adamant that moms start looking for the right dress well in advance of the wedding. “So many wedding dress shoppers are just not realistic,” Estrada said. “Wedding outfits for the mothers are special. They take some planning. You just don’t want to throw an outfit together at the last minute.” Down the Aisle, a bridal shop in Arroyo Grande, advises starting the dress search as soon as they can so moms can have all the options available. They won’t have to settle for a garment that isn’t that special. “We do a lot of special orders,” reported Madonna Inn sales staff member Lauren Chester. Clients order through catalogs and

faxes of the latest designs companies have available. In Santa Maria, Macy’s at the Santa Maria Town Center consistently carries frocks that are suitable for weddings. Macy’s can request other sizes and colors in a garment from other stores in their chain. Moms can also find dress possibilities at the Santa Maria Bridal Shop, which also recommends shopping way in advance of the wedding—and they can special order. “Silver and gold are popular colors in our store,” contributed sales consultant Brenda Garcia. Once the dress is selected, the moms can move on to bags and shoes. Most bridal shops can guide the selection of the appropriate footwear and complementary accessories. “Moms don’t have to go out of the area for just the right dress,” advised Humphrey of the Madonna Inn. “There is a lot to choose from on the Central Coast.” “Sometimes,” volunteered Estrada of Atascadero’s Bridal Boutique, “the prices on the Central Coast are a lot less than out of the area.” ❧ Helen Ann Thomas is always in fashion. Send comments to the executive editor at rmiller@newtimesslo.com.

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COMMITMENT BR IDE S

M A K I NG A

T H E Y WON’ T—U N T I L W E A LL CA N BY A SH L E Y S C H W E L L E N B AC H

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roclaiming “I do” in the presence of friends and family binds you to another person for the rest of your lives. Promising “I don’t” is a stance of solidarity with millions of Americans who have been barred from the privileges of marriage. The National Marriage Boycott began at Stanford University in the spring of 2009, and is spreading via a network of student activists on college campuses. The movement is about sacrifice and commitment—much like marriage—in the hopes that future couples will be able to partake in the same tradition. Participants sign a pledge stating that “stepping into the shoes of past conscientious objectors, boycotters, and civil rights activists, we deliberately forego this privilege until it is truly a right for all. We the undersigned vow to boycott marriage until the United States government repeals [the Defense of Marriage Act].” In a country where the average citizen typically doesn’t actively participate in protests—and when they do the protests are often comprised of sign waving and chanting—consenting to forego the privilege of marriage is a militant stance. Boycott founders point out that anyone can join a Facebook group indicating their support for a cause; making a sacrifice is another level of action altogether. The effort’s website shows nearly 1,500 signatures. And it doesn’t stop there. Pledges purchase National Marriage Boycott’s equality ring online for $10. The band is black with the word EQUALITY emblazoned in silver capital letters, an equal sign separating E from Y. The jewelry is worn on the ring finger, every day, just like a wedding ring. They’ve sold more than 2,000 of these rings, and hope to hit 10,000 by June. “Myself and a couple of founders were

PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER

WITH THIS R ING

The equality ring is National Marriage Boycott’s symbol of a person’s pledge not to marry until everyone can.

pretty heavily involved in running the No on 8 campaign,” said Chief Financial Officer Kenzie Seal, a San Luis Obispo native and second-year student at Stanford. “We ended up pulling together a really large campaign. When Prop. 8 passed, we were kind of left not knowing what to do. We decided that we were obligated to continue the fight.” Seal, at least, knew Prop. 8 was going to pass. The polls in the weeks leading up to the elections indicated it would. But knowing didn’t mitigate his disappointment when, waiting with a group of friends late into the night, he saw it finally happen. Prior to Proposition 8, Seal hadn’t really been involved in any political campaigns. He was aware, but never spurred to action. And he didn’t intend to spend his undergrad years at Stanford organizing For more information about, or to a civil rights campaign. But join, the National Marriage Boycott, for the past two years that’s visit marriageboycott.ning.com. exactly what he’s been doing. The decision to make the

PLEDGE

BECOM ING A

Defense of Marriage Act the focus of their campaign was deliberate. Reflecting on the struggles of interracial couples to achieve the right to marry, the students realized that fighting a state-by-state battle would simply take too long. In 1967, the Supreme Court declared that anti-miscegenation laws were illegal; before that decision, each state had its own law. Today’s activists intend to hold President Barack Obama to a campaign promise he made before his election, but now seems to have forgotten. “He outright stated that he would repeal it,” said Seal, regarding Obama’s stance on the Defense of Marriage Act. But within days of his inauguration, any mention of DOMA disappeared from his website, without explanation or comment. National Marriage Boycott Executive Director Laura Wadden called the discovery “a slap in the face.” Initially, the campaign’s founders anticipated the boycott would occur on a smaller scale, drumming up support solely among Stanford students. But they’ve garnered so much outside support that they

began to expand, establishing branches on college campuses and high schools across the country. Thus far, branches number between 30 and 40, and more are being established with each passing month. Cal Poly is among the universities they’re hoping to work with, though they’re still looking for students willing to captain the effort. Independently, a handful of SLO County residents have signed the pledge without the benefit of a local branch. Despite the fact that the boycott is a nonprofit, Seal thought it was important that they establish themselves as a financially sustainable organization. Toward this end, NMB entered to compete for a $10,000 ideablob grant. Founded by Advanta Bank Corporation, ideablob allowed small businesses and organizations to explain their business model and ideas on the site. Then, each month users would vote for their favorite idea and the winner would collect $10,000. Last October, National Marriage Boycott won. The win was a huge financial boost, allowing the group to begin outsourcing tasks like filling online orders for equality rings, which founders and supporters were doing in their own spare time. “In its own way it was precious, but that wasn’t very practical,” Seal said. “This allows us to be sustainable at a time when people aren’t donating as much as they normally would.” Estimates as to how long it will take to achieve their goal of toppling the Defense of Marriage Act vary. Wadden believes it can be accomplished during Obama’s first term, provided everyone rallies around the cause. Seal isn’t as optimistic, citing five years as a reasonable estimate. Until then, there will be no white gowns or “I do’s” for those who have signed the pledge. Wadden believes the sacrifice will be worthwhile in the end. “I think this is the movement of our generation,” she said. “And one thing I saw during the Prop. 8 campaign that really clued me in—young people are totally on board with what’s happening, but the activists that are working hard to make that change are mostly older. So there’s unlocked potential in the campaign.” ❧ Arts Editor Ashley Schwellenbach is a free thinker. Send free thoughts to aschwellenbach@newtimesslo.com.

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BLISS

BR IDE S

H A N DM A DE

PER SONA LLY CR A F T ED W EDDI NG GI F TS M A K E A L A ST I NG A N D USEF U L I M PR E S SION BY A N DR E A RO OK S

SPECIAL PRESENTATION

PHO T O S BY S T E V E E . M I L L E R

Send more marriage metaphors to freelancer Andrea Rooks at parker_pyne@hotmail.com

With one stamp, some rhinestone stickers, and ribbon, you can create gift bags and cards to hold your gifts and well wishes from this day forward.

STARTED GET T I NG

Here are a few places where you can find the necessary craft supplies:

• Paper Sky: 778 Higuera St. (in the Network), downtown SLO; 545-9940; papersky store.com. Here you’ll find a selection of deliciously colored papers and matching envelopes. • Michaels: 3880 Broad St., SLO; 2055 Theatre Dr., Paso Robles; 1943 S. Broadway, Santa Maria; 605 N. H St., Lompoc; michaels.com. • Beverly’s: 876 Higuera, SLO; 1637 S. Broadway, Santa Maria; beverlys.com. • Online stores: addictedtorubber stamps. com, stamps, inks, and other supplies; Stamp inUp.com, an extensive catalog of stamps, inks, and punches; Stampington.com, artsy, whimsical, and elegant stamps; Etsy.com, a marketplace for all things handmade. • Online inspiration: splitcoaststampers. com is a community of crafters sharing their creations. Click on “gallery” and enter the name of a rubber stamp in the search window—you’ll see the projects other people have made with the stamps you own.

DRESSED A LL

M AT ER I A L S

UP

Medallion stamp (Stampin’ Up!, stamp inup.com), black inkpad (StazOn), white inkpad (Stampin’ Up!), white and black cardstock, ribbon, glue, rhinestone stickers

SWA N K Y SATCH EL

1) Stamp the medallion on a scrap of white cardstock; cut to 5-by-5 2) Glue an 8-by-5 1/2 piece of black cardstock to an 8-by-10 white gift bag 3) Glue the white square to the black

HANDMADE continued on page 3 4 BR IDES 2 010

S

ince most of us see more weddings from the pews than from down the aisle, we’re called upon to give our share of gifts. While online and in-store registries make giving easy, ticking items off a barcoded Target list isn’t the most stimulating endeavor for us givers. To spice things up a bit, try creating or embellishing some handy household items, such as an apron, napkins, towels, or handkerchiefs. You can leave a lasting mark on the bride and groom’s new life with just one big rubber stamp and an inkpad or two. Don’t be intimidated—even if you’ve never inked a rubber stamp. In crafts, as in marriage, perfection is not the goal. In both endeavors, a new whole arises from pieces of life that wouldn’t fit together without hard work, creativity, and a love knot (sometimes a literal knot). The pieces don’t always fit perfectly, but step back a little, and you’ll see a work of art. At least, that’s what I tell myself after I’ve covered over an inky mistake with ribbon or scrapped my third attempt at stamping on a gift bag. Such mistakes—er, opportunities for creativity—do make for good marriage metaphors and great greetings for the inside of handmade wedding cards. ❧

36


Style, Elegance, &Grace

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BR IDE S

HANDMADE from page

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cardstock, centered and turned to make a diamond 4) Place rhinestone stickers in the center and edges of the medallion image as desired.

M EDA LLION CA R D

1) Cut an 8 1/2-by-11 piece of white cardstock to 5 1/4-by-10 1/2; fold in half to create a 5 1/4-by-5 1/4 card, set aside 2) Stamp the medallion on a scrap of white cardstock; cut to 5-by-5 3) Cut a piece of black cardstock to 5 1/8-by-5 1/8 4) Glue the stamped image to the center of the black cardstock; glue the black cardstock to the center of the card 5) Affix rhinestone stickers to the center and edges of the medallion image, as desired

5 1/8-by-2 5/8 white cardstock; glue the white stamped cardstock to a 5 1/8-by-2 5/8 piece of black cardstock; match up the halves (to make a black-and-white medallion) and tape together the backs of the two layered halves of cardstock 7) Glue a 5 1/4-by-2 3/4 piece of black cardstock to the top half of the front of the white card 8) Glue the medallion to the black-and-white cardâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; double check that all the black-and-white borders are aligned 9) Glue a piece of white ribbon along the seam of the medallion

HANDMADE continued on page

L OV E K NOT

1) Cut an 8 1/2-by-11 piece of white cardstock to 5 1/4by-11; fold in half to create a 5 1/4-by-5 1/2 card, set aside 2) Stamp the medallion in black ink on a scrap of white cardstock 3) Stamp medallion in white ink on a scrap of black cardstock, let dry 4) Cut the medallion images in half; choose one half of each; set aside the other halves 5) Trim the black-and-white pieces of stamped cardstock to measure 5 inches wide and 2 1/2 inches tall 6) Glue the black stamped cardstock to a piece of

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HEART

GIFTS FROM THE

Help the happy couple spice up their domestic life with handmade kitchen necessities. Look on their registry to find their kitchen colors, if you can, and use coordinating inks. I chose black and white for a classic look that will stand out in every kitchen.

M AT ER I A L S

Medallion stamp, black inkpad (I recommend StazOn or Versacraft, both available at Beverly’s and online), white apron (Target), white dinner napkins (Bed Bath and Beyond), white kitchen towels (Target)

T I PS

For best results, wash and iron any fabric items before stamping on them. Depending on the ink you choose, you may need to use an iron to heat set the stamped images—follow the ink pad’s instructions.

F I N E DI N I NG

1) Fold the napkin in half and in half again (to make a square) 2) Stamp the medallion in black ink in the center of the square; repeat to make a set of four or six napkins 3) Let dry; iron if your ink needs to be heat set

HANDMADE continued on page

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BR IDE S

HANDMADE

from page 39

K IS S T H E CH EF

1) Lay apron on a large, f lat surface; stamp medallion in black ink in the center of the pocket 2) Place a paper towel alongside the left edge of the pocket; stamp the medallion in black ink along the left edge of the pocket so half is on the pocket and half is on the paper towel; remove paper towel 3) Repeat step 2 along the right edge of the pocket 4) Place a paper towel along the top edge of the apron; stamp the medallion in black ink along the top edge so half is on the apron and half is on the paper towel; remove paper towel 5) Let dry; iron if your ink needs to be heat set

K ITCH E N BA SIC S

1) Lay towel on a large, f lat surface 2) Stamp medallion in black ink in the center of the towel 3) Stamp medallion in black ink at even intervals along the edges of the towel, as desired â?§

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HERE

Br Ide s

hon e y moon

A

PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER

newlyweds, stay on the Centr a l Coast By a m y a s m a n

fter dropping all that cash on creating the perfect wedding, the idea of financing an equally spectacular honeymoon can be pretty daunting. If your bank account can’t handle an exotic island escape or romantic European adventure, have no fear. There are still plenty of less-expensive options out there, including some right here on the Central Coast. Nestled in the golden hills of the Santa Ynez Valley, the Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort has all the qualities of a classic dude ranch, along with some modern luxuries. The ranch is the perfect hideaway for the more outdoorsy couple, featuring 50 miles of scenic horseback riding trails, a spring-fed lake for fishing and boating, and two 18-hole golf courses. After a day of playing under the sun, couples can come home to a gourmet meal by executive chef Pascal Godé. “We always try to make sure that honey-

mooners get our special studio,” said Sherrie FitzGerald, director of sales and marketing. For the complete experience, FitzGerald said, honeymooners often book the ranch’s special Wine and Roses Romance package for $1,850, which includes studio accommodations for three days and two nights; sparkling wine and roses on arrival; a welcome basket full of fresh fruit, cheese, and chocolate; breakfast and dinner daily, with wine at dinner; a picnic lunch for two with wine; activity fees; and a one-hour couple’s massage. If staying at a dude ranch isn’t your idea of a relaxing getaway, try heading north on scenic Highway 1 toward San Simeon, home of newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst’s spectacular castle. Hearst Castle offers a collection of guided tours for exploring the 165-room estate, including the new Gardens and Vistas selfguided tour beginning March 19.

Castle in the sky

Beginning in March, Hearst Castle will offer a new self-guided tour through which visitors can explore the estate’s many gardens and vistas.

The new tour will run mid-March through mid-June on most Friday and Saturday afternoons, and on a daily basis June 27 through Labor Day weekend. Reservations are strongly encouraged and can be made online at hearstcastle.org or by calling 1-800-444-4445. After sharing a romantic sunset overlooking the Pacific Ocean, head down the hill to one of the nearby towns. Located off Highway 1 in Cayucos, the Cass House Inn and Restaurant offers all the charm of a traditional bed and breakfast

with the added perk of a gourmet restaurant. The Cass House Restaurant menu features dishes from both surf and turf, a selection of local and international wines, and desserts prepared by an in-house pastry chef. For more information about the Cass House, other local accommodations, and more things to do, visit bedandbreakfast. com/central-coast-california.html. ❧ Contact Santa Maria Sun News Editor Amy Asman at aasman@santamariasun.com.

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BEST MAN

BR IDE S

BE T H E BE ST

YOU CA N

YOU’ V E G OT A L OT OF DU T I E S— GET A L OT OF H ELP BY K . R E K A B A D GE R

L

ong ago, the groom, his best man, and assorted others occasionally formed a “capture” party to invade a neighboring village and kidnap a bride-to-be. Fierce inter-community rivalry and the lack of local gals led these impromptu platoons to literally sweep the bride off her feet and away from her family. Today, standing side-by-side at the altar, the groom and his best man are (generally) portraits of propriety. They remain strong allies, yes, but have replaced their riding garb with elegant formalwear, their raiding cries with polite decorum. Often the groom’s closest friend, brother, or other male kin, the best man plays many

roles, including valet, chauffeur, emcee, and party planner. He lends sound advice and a sympathetic ear as the groom grapples with the snags and high emotions inevitably triggered by an impending wedding. The best man is responsible for getting the bride and groom from the reception to the hotel or airport, so prior to the big day, he must decide whether to round up a driver or book a professional. If he hires a stretch limo from Gold Coast Limousines, the newlyweds can ride in style while sipping crisp champagne. At Stardust Cruises Limousine Service, based in Orcutt, staffers will outfit the interior of the car with wedding décor, pipe

in romantic music, and even snap a photo of the happy couple. The best man may be asked to arrange hotel accommodations for groomsmen not living nearby. He can add a little extra by contacting the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau, whose hospitality program provides complimentary welcome bags for out-of-town wedding guests. According to the lore, members of medieval bridal parties dressed alike to confuse jealous spirits shadowing the newlyweds, which may explain why today’s bridesmaids wear matching dresses and groomsmen don similar—usually rented—tuxedoes. At Robinson’s Dry Cleaners in Lompoc, tuxedo rentals run from $99 for a basic style to $150 for a more elaborate one. The price includes jacket, trousers, vest, shirt, shoes, cummerbund, tie, and even a post-wedding cleaning. “We’ve been here 30 years and we’ve been handling tuxedos for 10,” said owner Susan Robinson. “We take all the measurements, and when the tuxedo comes in, I fit it, do the alterations, and then re-press it, so it’s nice and neat, like you’ve never had it on.” Among the best man’s most celebrated duties, hosting the bachelor party comes

BEST MAN continued on page

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BR IDE S

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fraught with decisions. Should it be held in a private home or restaurant or comprise a night on the town? Should it be funded by the groomsmen, a cover charge, no-host bar, or BYOB/potluck request? The tradition of the bachelor party likely began in 5th century Sparta, when military cohorts feasted on the eve of a friend’s wedding, and it remains an event where the groom and his attendants famously blow off steam before the impending nuptials. “Take the time to get to know who ‘should’ be at the bachelor party,” advised Adam Rebh, a clinical psychologist and former best man, “and reach out to those individuals, so the groom doesn’t have to organize his own party. “Really,” he added, “it’s about taking the initiative and working with the groom to make sure he is happy.” On the wedding day, the best man ferries gifts to the reception hall, oversees the other groomsmen, and carries the bride’s ring until it’s needed. He helps the groom dress, gets him to the ceremony on time, and stands beside him at the altar. At the reception, he proposes the allimportant first toast to the newlyweds, hopefully without mentioning ex-girlfriends or the bachelor party. Arguably the most

challenging part of the job, this short speech provides an opportunity to speak from the heart and set a warm, cheerful tone for the celebration to follow. Nervous types might want to enlist the aid of a local Toastmasters Club to gain a little public speaking experience. Others can simply practice in front of friends, taking time to introduce themselves, perhaps relate a few friendly anecdotes about the happy couple, and then close with a traditional toast or blessing. When a groom names his best man, he bestows a profound honor by asking the fellow to stand as his friend, guardian, and fellow warrior (despite the absence of military maneuvers). Most who accept the challenge find the experience satisfying and more enjoyable than they had imagined. “The thing I remember most about the wedding,” Rebh said, “is just how much fun I had, and how amazing it was to have nearly everyone that I loved and cared about in one place celebrating the same thing!” Which leads to what is likely the most helpful advice of all for the anxious best man: “Enjoy yourself! It’ll be over before you know it.” ❧ K. Reka Badger is the best. Send comments to the executive editor at rmiller@newtimesslo.com.

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eddings can be very dicey affairs, often gathering various family members who perhaps haven’t seen each for quite some time, and ex-spouses who haven’t spoken since the last court date coming to share their children’s joy. The whole thing can be a momentous day of unparalleled elation or can disintegrate into a melee the likes of which rivals the Battle of Hastings. Not all weddings are traditional affairs these days, and some are more non-traditional than others. No one had a more non-traditional wedding than I did when I married my British husband four years ago this March. We created a beautiful ceremony incorporating his Jewish faith

and my Christian beliefs with a local rabbi who was willing to marry us along with my cousin, who is a minister. Let’s face it; weddings are stressful for everyone, but especially for the bride. I mean, who can miss her in that poofy white dress as she walks down the aisle? Not everyone chooses to or can afford to employ a wedding planner, so consider me, the voice of experience, as your unofficial Fairy Godmother with some tips to help guide you down the aisle hopefully with a little less angst and a little more peace of mind. With the economy presently in such turmoil, big expensive dos are not always in the best interest of newlywed couples and their families, depending on who’s footing the bill. When marrying at a later

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stage in life, it’s especially advisable to pare down the idea of a large, extravagant wedding because you and your spouse are more likely to be picking up the tab. My Brit and I held our ceremony and reception in our neighborhood clubhouse, which was convenient and cost-effective. It was close to our home, which gave me a place to change, and it cost us nothing. A meaningful ceremony with family and friends followed by a simple reception can still create memories to treasure without putting a huge dent in your bank account. Before you say “charge it!” remember, those bills will arrive when the honeymoon is over. Focus your finances on a dream honeymoon to a place you both always wanted to visit, buying a new

home, or redecorating the one you both will share. Have a budget and keep to it. Take into account the costs for food, a cake, beverages (including alcohol), entertainment (such as a DJ), a wedding photographer and/or videographer, your attire and that of your wedding party, the location, and overnight accommodations and transportation for your guests, no matter who is paying for them. Weddings aren’t costume parties. Brides, please don’t ask family and friends to rent expensive tuxedos or to wear outlandish bridesmaids’ dresses, especially in these difficult economic times. They may be on a budget, too. Instead, go with a color and attire theme—for example, Hawaiian prints for a casual affair. For a more formal event, consider neutral suits for the men (you provide the ties, pocket handkerchiefs, and boutonnieres for a color motif). Specify a color theme for the ladies that will coordinate with your wedding dress, and if you expect your bridesmaids to purchase their wedding duds, make it something they can wear again, like a lovely print skirt and matching shawl, or a pretty neutral-tone pant set

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with a lace shell and cardigan. Stay off the beach! The wind will ruin hairdos and blow away toupees; the sand is difficult to walk on, especially for older guests; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard to hear the ceremony over the pounding waves; the weather can turn on a momentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s notice and become cold, foggy, or rainy; the water is too tempting for small children to ignore; and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll get your gown, shoes, tuxedo pants, limo interior, etc. wet and sandy. Have your photographer meet with you a few days after the wedding to take some beautiful shots on the beach for your wedding album. Explain very clearly what type of music you and your guests will enjoy. Make sure that special songs you want played, including any requests for anniversaries or birthdays, are the versions you desire. For example, crooner Paul Ankaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Stairway to Heavenâ&#x20AC;? is nothing like the same song by the O Jays, which is nowhere close to the same title by Led Zeppelin. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not sure your 70-year-old grandparents will want to get down to the sounds of Robert Plant. Oh, Lord, the rings. Spend time finding the right rings; you are marrying these, too. They should be comfortable, but meaningful to both of you, and should not break your budget. Look for quality

over quantity when it comes to selecting a gem. When looking at diamonds, remember the 4 Cs: carat, cut, color, and clarity. Peace of mind is a good policy. Some of the best advice I can share includes buying wedding insurance if you really intend to go the whole nine yards of wedding train. Wedding insurance is precisely thatâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;an insurance policy that covers your wedding and financially protects you against anything that could go wrong, whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bad weather, illness, or even last-minute cold feet. Wedding insurance policies are fairly inexpensive, costing anywhere from $125 to $500, depending on the type of wedding you are planning. My time (and space) grows short, so some final sound advice involves common etiquette and common sense. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ask for gifts or donations to a honeymoon fundâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just plain rude! Wear comfortable shoes to the ceremony and the reception. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get a facial peel, Botox, wax, or sprayon tan the day before the wedding. Never mind what others thinkâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your wedding, not theirs. Finally, breathe! â?§ Ariel Waterman still cries at weddings and loves to be called Mrs. Ian Waterman. Send invitations via her editor at rmiller@ newtimesslo.com

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f you’ve kicked up your heels at a wedding lately and danced the afternoon or evening away, chances are you were swinging and swaying, rockin’ and rollin’, or toe tapping to music provided by a professional disc jockey. Pro DJs provide background music and tunes for dancing at all kinds of events: corporate get-togethers, anniversaries, parties in general, quinceañeras, and, yes, weddings. The obvious advantage to hiring a DJ is the bride and groom can dance the most

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important dance—their first as a married couple—to their favorite artist singing their favorite song. The in-love couple doesn’t have to listen to a different version—they can choose the exact recording that was a milestone in their relationship. There are Central Coast DJ’s who have done it all before, hundreds and hundreds of times, so they come to you with a wealth of experience and knowledge. If Portuguese music is important to you and your guests, keep Grover Beachbased Lightning and Whispers in mind. Jim Creekmore reports that he has a large

repertoire available, and he advises booking DJs months in advance. Lightning and Whispers will travel from Buellton and Lompoc up to Paso Robles. Creekmore also said he keeps chatter to a minimum; he knows that wedding guests can get antsy while waiting for the next song. San Luis Obispo’s Kramer Entertainment travels from Monterey to Paso Robles and Cambria and down the coast as far as Santa Barbara. They can be reached at 544-9900 and also have a very informative website with references from satisfied clients. Paradise Mike is the head of Paradise DJ’s, based in Orcutt. Mike and his crew travel up and down the Central Coast with their high-quality amplifiers and equipment and library of music. This group has provided DJ services for several thousand weddings and events over the last 25 years. The company can also do video and light shows. Contact them at 937-9759. Party People Entertainment, another SLO DJ, can be reached at 466-8900. Central Coast Entertainment in Santa Maria is at 934-1620, while The Music Machine in Arroyo Grande, with Sonny Borja as DJ, can be reached at 489-2979. The guidelines for hiring a wedding DJ are pretty much the same as they are for

dealing with any vendor. Start the search as soon as the wedding date and venue are nailed down. Ask who your friends hired for weddings. If at all possible, visit a wedding reception where the DJ of interest to you is entertaining to be sure you are in sync with the DJ’s style and personality. Before you sign the contract, be sure you understand the terms. Is a deposit required? Is the deposit refundable in case the event must be cancelled or postponed? How many hours does the contract cover? Does the DJ have first-rate equipment and backup equipment? Will the providers dress suitably for the occasion and blend in with the guests? The type of music and quality of the provider can make or break a wedding reception. If you don’t want the group dances, make it clear to the DJ ahead of time. The key to a successful reception is communicating with your DJ about what you expect for your very special day. And be certain your DJ of choice will be available on your date. ❧ Helen Ann Thomas sounds great. Send comments to the executive editor at rmiller @newtimesslo.com.


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Brides 2010