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2012 – Wedding Guide 1


GUIDE January 2012



Imagine your big day in the heart of the 20th century Cariboo gold fields


Choosing the right hue for bridesmaid gowns





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Table of

contents {06} {PAGE 04} Wedding Gown golds, reds... and white {PAGE 05} From white gold to titanium


{PAGE 06} Old time weddings at Barkerville {PAGE 08} Do-it-yourself wedding


{PAGE 12} What is a Jack & Jill or stag & doe party?


{PAGE 18} Choosing a hue for the bridesmaid gowns

{PAGE 14} Wedding themes can add up to extra fun {PAGE 16} Origins of bridal customs {PAGE 20} Flavourful wedding cakes {PAGE 22} Unique reception touches {PAGE 24} What not to serve at a wedding {PAGE 26} Love coupons

{18} {16}

{PAGE 28} Honeymoon how-to {PAGE 30} Secrets to a long & happy marriage

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Wedding gown

golds, reds... and white

Christine HINZMANN-SKOREPA Citizen staff

Personal style dominates over the latest fashion trends when it comes to choosing the all-important wedding gown. Wedding gown shop owner Kim Croft is finding women are letting their own style speak for them as they walk down the aisle, not the latest celebrity wedding dress. “We’re seeing everything from the traditional royal look that came out when Kate and William got married in April,” said Croft of Image in White. “There is also the traditional ball gown look that Kim Kardashion did in August and there’s the dropped waist -- what some people would consider the

mermaid style -- so the personal style is kicking in with people choosing sexy but classy. Girls really want to envelop their curves. It doesn’t seem to matter what size we are - we all see the size 2 model in the magazines but now plus size brides are wearing mermaid style and loving it. I’m seeing everything.” Fascinators, a new version of the personalized headband, are becoming a big thing with people putting their own tweak on it with feathers and flowers and birdcage veils that are almost vintage Hollywood, Croft said. “I find it refreshing that clients aren’t just saying ‘I want to look like Kim Kardashion’ they’re taking what they like and tweaking it,” she added. Colour has certainly come in strong this season. There are beautiful golds available now, antique blush, ivory, white and full red wedding gowns. “I just had a client who just bought a full black gown for her wedding,” Croft said. “Anything goes to make it their own.”

From white gold to titanium, bling is still the thing Christine HINZMANN-SKOREPA Citizen staff

From yellow to white, gold is not the only metal that tops the trendy choice made when choosing bridal jewelry. White gold is the most popular for engagement rings, while titanium and tungsten carbide is top choice for the groom’s wedding band. “About 80 to 90 percent of the wedding sets sold at Ken’s Goldsmithing are set in white gold,” said manager Curtis MacLeod. “Six or seven years ago it was the opposite. It’s a trend manufacturers thought would slow but the longer it lasts it seems the longer it will last because those people who have white gold wedding jewelry are now coming back for necklaces and earrings in white gold to complement their

wedding set, so it’s really going to change jewelry forever.” Solitaires are always popular but multi-diamonds sets where there are diamonds on the sides, and shoulders are growing in popularity, MacLeod added. “Diamonds are now set everywhere on the band and Canadian diamonds are almost a must for most costumers,” he said. “I’m happy to say it’s very important for Canadian consumers to have Canadian diamonds.” A lot of people are looking for lower settings in their engagements rings, especially for those who wear their rings to work - like

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teachers and nurses, MacLeod said. “I think Prince George is a pretty active town where getting dirty and getting your hands into what you’re doing is what happens. We’re doing a lot of low settings for that reason for sure.” For guys, gold has really slipped and titanium and tungsten carbide are big, MacLeod said. “They are more durable and less expensive but they do have draw backs -- they can’t be sized,” he explained. “So if a person is sentimental and they have their ring blessed at a church -- and knuckles grow your whole life they say -- then it’s a real shame when you have to get a new ring. You’re much better off with a gold ring, that way you can size

them, polish them or melt them down. A lot of people come in with grandpa’s wedding band and they have it melted to create something new from it.” If people have tungsten carbide or titanium they won’t have that option for future generations, he added. “But the titanium and tungsten carbide are still hugely, hugely popular,” MacLeod said. “If they’re not very sentimental, a lot of guys thoughts are that they can get three titanium rings and it still won’t come up to what a gold ring costs. Me, I like the idea of being able to work with the gold as the years go by and then pass them on to children and their children’s children.”

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Barkerville Historic Town

old time weddings offers

Christine HINZMANN-SKOREPA Citizen staff

Imagine being in an early 20th century setting in the heart of the Cariboo gold fields for one of the most important days in your life. Take a step back in time to make those all-important wedding vows that harken to a time when those promises made during the ceremony meant a life-long commitment. Generations of Canadians and international visitors have experienced Barkerville’s authentic town-site, where stories of British Columbia’s golden beginnings are related by costumed tour guides. Barkerville is an ideal location for weddings, conferences or private functions. The town offers a variety of creative cuisine, historical elegance and innovative venues. Catering for groups of five to 200 is available year round. Menus can be personally tailored to meet  individual needs and staff will ensure a successful event. Barkerville offers distinctive historical settings to celebrate a wedding, including two 1860s churches, the world-famous Theatre Royal and Richfield’s Courthouse -- the oldest surviving

wooden court of law in North America. Outdoor weddings along Williams Creek are also popular. A fashionable horse-drawn carriage is available to transport bride and groom to and from the ceremony with all the grandeur of times gone by. The driver and vehicle are also available for photographs, as are a number of Barkerville’s costumed interpreters. Barkerville and its merchants can also provide a marriage commissioner, special wedding dinners at several notable Barkerville restaurants, such as Wake Up Jake Coffee Saloon, the Lung Duck Tong Chinese Restaurant and the House Hotel Saloon.  Accommodations are available onsite, from the seven-room boutique Saint George Hotel to the four-room Kelly and King Houses, ideal for small weddings or special wedding party lodgings.   Wells, BC is the nearest town and has 50 rooms to help accommodate guests, should wedding plans be larger. Period costumes and old time photos are available from Barkerville’s L.A. Blanc Photo Studio, while wedding cakes can be had from the famous Goldfield Bakery. For more information or to book a wedding in Barkerville, call Judy Mooring at 1-888-994-3332, ext. 29, or email 

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8 Wedding Guide – 2012

do-it-yourself wedding

Those thinking about tying the knot in the months to come may be discouraged by how expensive weddings can be. But with a little ingenuity and a hands-on approach, couples can have a wedding that is inexpensive and memorable at the same time.

These amounts do not include the cost for an engagement ring or wedding bands. With such a high price tag, some couples may wonder if they can afford their dream wedding or if there are ways to cut costs. Having a backyard, DIY wedding can be the answer.

According to, on average, U.S. couples spend $26,542 for their weddings. Weddingbells magazine states that the average cost for a wedding in Canada is $23,330, up from $20,129 in 2010.

Although some may envision a backyard wedding with picnic benches and Dad at the grill, it can be a much classier affair than that. Smart couples are realizing that the money they would normally spend on a big wedding at an outside venue can be put to better use, either through buying a new home or fixing up one they may already own.

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getting started A DIY wedding is one that will take much more work than simply hiring vendors and leaving the details to them. But the money saved with sweat equity can be substantial. A well-planned wedding is the best start. Grab a notebook and start making lists of all the things you will need: • location • tables and chairs • linens • food • silverware and glassware • invitations • photography • music • officiant • music • centerpieces and other decor • cake or dessert • lighting • attire • flowers

work in advance Many items necessary for a wedding can be bought in advance. Some couples find that purchasing low-cost items at discount stores turns out to be less expensive than renting. For example, inexpensive glasses and silverware can be bought at dollar stores or chains like Ikea. Later on these items can be kept, sold or even donated to shelters. Tablecloths don’t have to be the traditional kind. It may be less expensive to purchase pieces of fabric from a fabric store and dressing them up oneself. Candles can be stockpiled relatively easy and provide a very affordable means of ambient light. Plan out centerpiece ideas and figure out which components can be bought and stored. Then items can be assembled at leisure. Wedding stationery is one thing that will have to be bought well in advance so there will be time enough to printout

save-the-dates, invitations and response cards, as well as mail them. An informal wedding may mean couples can get simple attire. Buying off the rack may mean a smaller price tag for gowns. Gentleman may be able to fare with sportcoats and slacks. Purchase wardrobe essentials several months in advance to be sure there will be time for alterations, if necessary. Enlist the help of family and friends to get many of the tasks completed. Upon asking, many couples find there are members of the family who have skills in certain areas, which can be tapped for the wedding. There may be a gourmet chef, a disc jockey, a photographer or even someone who can officiate the vows. Having these people on board means a great reduction in costs.

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reading the venue Because couples will be doing the work themselves, it’s best to start several days in advance of the wedding (weather permitting). Be sure the grounds are well groomed and landscaped. Ensure there are no tripping hazards and that there is a sturdy surface for placing tables or creating a dance floor. It may pay to ask an electrician or someone who dabbles in electric work to help string some lights to better illuminate the area, especially for when the sun goes down.

Set up the tables and chairs to finalize placement the day before. Figure out where the ceremony will take place. A small arbor can mark the area and make a nice photo backdrop. Dress the tables with linens and settings the morning of the wedding. One splurge couples may want to make is hiring a waitstaff to help set up food service areas, serve as bartenders and clear away dishes and other messes. This way the bride and groom can mingle with guests.

other tips & tricks Here are some other ways to save money on DIY weddings. • Fruit is less expensive than flowers for centerpieces. • Include postcard response cards in wedding invites. The postage is less, and you don’t have to spend money on an extra envelope. • Be sure to check with your town if you need a permit or variance for having so many cars parked by the house in the event of a backyard wedding. Otherwise you could be facing a fine. • Many different foods can

be cooked in advance and frozen instead of hiring a catering service. • Consider favors that also double as table centerpieces. • Bouquets can easily be made with store-bought flowers, some floral tape and decorative ribbon. • Restrict the bar to wine and beer, and you’ll save money on expensive liquors. A DIY wedding can be a fun, memorable event that costs a couple a fraction of what it would be to have it held at an expensive location.

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What is Jack & Jill or Stag & Doe Party?

Content taken from a Recent article from the Bridal Basics Website. See the full article here: bridalbasics/ In Canada, a stag and doe, or buck and doe, is a wedding tradition popular in Southern Ontario. The event is usually organized by the bridal party, but in some circumstances may also be held by the bride and groom before they are married, similar to a combined bachelor party and bachelorette party, or a ‘Jack & Jill.’ It acts as a fundraiser for the wedding. Guests purchase entrance tickets and are entertained by draws, food and drink, music and funny games. Stag and Doe Party Ideas Beer Cap Count: You fill a jar with beer caps. People pay $1 to guess how many caps are in there. The winner is the one who guesses exactly. In case no one guesses the exact number, the winner is the one coming closest without going over. Blackjack Fish Insurance: Fish insurance is a great way to make some extra cash. Get a bowl of little cheap minnows from the pet store. Then offer fish insurance. Every time a person wins a prize they have to

swallow a live fish unless they have purchased the insurance. Charge $1 or $2. Grapefruit Race: Another hip motion game, contestants must swing a grapefruit that is dangling inside a pair of nylons from their waist. They are trying to hit another grapefruit towards the finish line (source Great Canadian Whack Off: Get a couple of stumps of wood. A softer wood for the women and a harder one for the guys. Tap six inch spikes an inch into the top of the boy’s stump and the girl’s stump. Contestants pay $2.00 to whack the spike all the way into the stump. The event is not timed so they are counted by the amount of strikes it takes to sink it. The person that sinks the nail in the least amount of swings at the end of the night wins an allotted prize. Remember a miss counts as a swing and if the nail is bent the amount of taps to straighten it out also counts. This is a good game to play with a lot of ego’s in the room. If there is a tie at the end of the

night, you will have to have a whack off to determine the winner. This can be a timed event. Remember always provide safety glasses (source Jail: Assign someone to be the warden or police person. Have a makeshift jail at the stag and doe. Announce to the audience that they are now allowed to place anyone in the jail for the low price of $1 per minute. While in jail there is no talking and no drinking. You may make up other rules as well for the jailed people. Do not forget the timers or stop watches (source Jail or Bail: Similar to ‘Jail’ except the jailed person can be bailed out for a preset amount of “bail” e.g. $10 or higher, by anyone after a preset amount of time is spent collecting bail. Pie Auctions: We have seen this raise over $600 before. You need to purchase some tin trays and spray cans of whipped cream as well as some large garbage bags. The Auction is called by the DJ and introduced as follows. “Ladies and Gentlemen we are now going to commence with the pie auction. We know that many of you are here tonight and have not spent a cent because you were saving your money to buy the pie that will land in this future brides face. The

bidding will be simple and painless this evening, it will only cost you 2 dollars to hit the bride with this pie, however it will depend on who has the 2 dollar bid when I say sold. The best man will stand here and collect the money as we bid”. The bidding will proceed with one person bidding 2 dollars. The DJ will say “Jim has paid 2 dollars to buy the pie, he owns the pie for two bucks who wants to take it away from him for 2 dollars, going once..... going twice....Mary just paid 2 dollars and owns the pie”. After some time passes with people donating 2 bucks someone will raise it to 5 or 10 ten dollars and so on until the DJ finally says sold (source www. Strokin’: Guys must place the long, hand bicycle pumps between there legs and either have a partner or themselves blow up a beach ball or other item to the music (source To Sing Or Not To Sing: Place bowls or jars on the drink counter. One jar will be labeled To sing and the other Not to Sing. The object for your guests is to fill the jar with change to a certain line. If the line is passed with the to sing then the Groom or Bride will have to sing. You can also substitute the singing with some other embarrassing event (source

Stomp The Balloon: Tie balloons to the legs of all participants then send them to the dance floor to dance with a partner or alone. When the music starts the contestants must start dancing and at the same time attempt to pop all opponents balloons. When your balloon is popped you must leave the dance area. Last ones standing win the prize. This can be done by admission of $2 per person (source Walla Balla: Contestants must flip a ball on a string into one of three baskets that are strapped to their hips using only their hip motion. Each basket has a point value and the first person to get a certain

2012 – Wedding Guide 13 amount goes to the finals (source Weight Times Two: The bride and groom write down their combined weight on a peice of paper and seal it in an envelope. Be sure to give the envelope to the master of ceremonies or dj for safe keeping. During the evening, people pay a dollar or two, to guess the combined weight of the bride and groom. Someone would have to act as secretary and write down each persons name and what they have guessed. Near the end of the evening, the couple reveal their combined weight and announce the winner - who then receives a small prize.

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can add up to

extra fun Every couple wants their wedding to be memorable. The goal of planning a wedding is to create an experience that everyone will remember for years to come. For some couples, a theme wedding is the best way to accomplish just that. When it comes time to select a theme, the day the wedding takes place may dictate the theme. For example, if the wedding takes place on Halloween, the ideas for the theme are easy. Many other couples choose a theme that highlights a specific interest

or hobby or something that is dear to them. Here are some popular wedding themes. • Holiday: The Christmas season lends itself well to wedding planning. The colors (red, green, gold) are already established, and most churches and buildings are already decked out in holiday finery, cutting down on the amount of flowers and embellishments couples need. Because the holiday season is so busy and a popular time for socializing, couples who want to tie the knot during this time of year should send save-the-

date cards well in advance. Another option is to have a “Christmas in July” wedding, featuring the same holiday themes but without the hectic nature of the holiday season. • Vegas: Couples who want to tie the knot in Las Vegas but want to ensure all their loved ones can attend can recreate the magic of Vegas wherever they may be. Casino-inspired games and big buffet meals can make guests feel like they have stepped into a casino on the famed Vegas strip. In addition, an Elvis impersonator is essential to a Vegas wedding. • TV show: Some couples elevate certain television shows to cult status. Whether it’s “Friends” or “Star Trek,” popular television shows have been transformed into festive wedding themes. Whether the idea is to go daring and exchange vows in costume or simply name reception tables according to characters or show locations, couples can include a little television fun into the event.

• Fairytale: Many men and women envision a fairytale wedding complete with horse-drawn carriage and the “happily ever after.” This is what makes Disney properties as well as the various castles around the world popular backdrops for wedding events. Those planning a fairytale wedding need only look to favorite stories or movies for their inspiration.

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• Interest or passion: Love to climb mountains? Avid about scuba diving? Couples who share a particular interest can include elements of this sport or hobby into their wedding. Invitations and décor can hint at the theme, and then special activities can further enhance it. Fish bowls as centerpieces may call to mind underwater adventures, while surfboard-shaped invites may set the scene for a beachside party. Theme weddings can add an extra spice to the festivities and incorporate couples’ interests into the event — making it even more special.

A masquerade theme might be an entertaining theme for a couple’s nuptials.

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Origins of bridal customs Chances are those who have attended a wedding have witnessed some popular traditions take place. The bride wears a veil, a court of wedding attendants accompanies the bride and groom, and birdseed, rice or flower petals are tossed. But have you ever wondered why? The wedding customs are ripe with tradition and harken back to days when superstition and myth often ruled the day.

Wedding rings: Wearing of wedding rings dates back to ancient Egypt. The round shape of a ring symbolizes eternal love. The ring is worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because it is believed this finger has a blood vessel that goes directly to the heart.

Father accompanying the bride: This tradition symbolizes that the bride’s father endorses the choice in husbands and is presenting his daughter as a pure bride to that man. Kissing the bride: In older times, a kiss symbolized a legal bond. Therefore, the bride and groom kissed to seal the deal on their betrothal.

Bouquet: Nowadays, the bride carries a beautiful bouquet of flowers. But the purpose of the bouquet held different meanings in the past. Saracen brides carried orange blossoms for fertility. Others carried a combination of herbs and flowers to ward off evil spirits with their aroma. Bouquets of dill were often carried, again for fertility reasons, and after the ceremony, the dill was eaten to encourage lust. Bridesmaids: There may be arguments over dresses and how many bridesmaids to have in a wedding party now, but in ancient times it was “the more the merrier.” That’s because bridesmaids were another measure to keep the bride safe against evil spirits. Essentially the bridesmaids were decoys for the spirits — dressing like the bride to confuse the spirits or maybe help deter them to leave the bride be.

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Wedding cake: The traditional wedding cake evolved from Roman times when the cake was originally made from wheat. It was broken over the bride’s head to ensure fertility. All of the guests eat a piece for good luck. Single women used to place a piece of wedding cake under their pillows in the hopes of finding their own husbands.

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Choosing a hue for the

bridesmaid gowns Every well-planned wedding carries a color scheme throughout. This includes the color a bride selects for her bridesmaids to wear. But not every color accentuates everyone’s features.

Bridesmaids are an important part of the wedding party, and most brides opt to have a handful of close friends and family members play a special role in the wedding. Choosing a gown and a color that will flatter all of the bridesmaids typically takes a little work. An overwhelming majority of couples choose to have a formal wedding. The average number of bridesmaids for these formal weddings is four. Considering around two million weddings take place in North America every year, that’s a lot of bridesmaids for whom gowns and other attire must be planned. Many bridesmaids worry about the gowns they will wear come the big day. Horrible bridesmaid dresses have been the butt of jokes for years, and many people have their own stories of garish gowns they’ve been asked to don for a wedding. Some have said that brides intentionally choose ugly gowns for their bridesmaids

to ensure they’re not outshined come the wedding day. Although this may be the case for some, most brides aspire to select gowns that will be flattering for all. And color scheme is integral in the choice of gown. Every well-planned wedding carries a color scheme throughout. This includes the color a bride selects for her bridesmaids to wear. But not every color accentuates everyone’s features. Therefore, some experimentation might be necessary to find a color that is flattering to all and fits with the color scheme. Depending on hair color and skin shade, there are many flattering hues available for gowns. When making this decision, consider bridesmaids’ ethnicity and skin tone. African-American: Women with dark skin and hair may really shine in jewel-colored gowns, including silver, gold, purple and salmon. Very pale colors may be daring

and conspicuous. Asian and olive-skinned women: Those with a slight yellow tone to their skin will look good in many colors, including red, navy, peach, and fuchsia. However, avoid colors in light yellow, aqua, gray, taupe, or mint, which may make the bridesmaid look washed out. Fair skin: Ladies with pale skin will benefit from richly colored gowns in jewel tones. Pastels may work, but be careful about those depending on hair color. Pink or red-hued gowns may clash with someone with auburn hair. Yellow and green may not work with a fair brunette. Gray and silver may wash out someone who is pale and blonde. Once a color is chosen, brides also need to consider the season. Certain colors may look out of place depending on the season. For example, an evergreen or deep blue may seem wintry during a summer wedding. Similarly, russet or brown may work for the

2012 – Wedding Guide 19 autumn but not for a spring wedding. Many brides gravitate toward mid-level blues, greens, pinks and purples for their weddings, simply because those colors transcend the seasons.

After colors are worked out, the style of the gown deserves consideration. Because not every bridesmaid has the same physical attributes, many brides are now open to selecting a color and length and allowing the bridesmaid herself to choose the exact style. This way someone who is busty won’t feel uncomfortable in strapless, and someone who is thin won’t be overwhelmed by a lot of ruffles. The intent is to have bridesmaids feel beautiful and comfortable, and different styles can help achieve this. Making the effort to choose a gown color and style that is flattering to all in the bridal party will help the ladies feel they are truly a special part of the wedding.

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wedding cakes A tiered wedding cake is often a fitting conclusion to a wedding reception. Today’s brides and grooms are experimenting with cake flavors and designs so their cake is a unique representation of their persona as a couple.

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It’s no longer necessary to stick with a white cake with buttercream frosting for your wedding day. Think about exploring other flavor and filling combinations that will tempt the guests’ taste buds. For those who can’t settle on just one flavor, how about having a different flavor for each layer? Couples getting married in the fall may want to think about a spice cake that evokes the feelings of sipping a mug of spiced cider. Cream cheese frosting is often a pairing with spice cake, or think about a layer of caramel that will make it taste like you’re enjoying a candied Halloween apple. A hummingbird cake may fit the bill for a spring wedding. This is made with mashed bananas, pineapples and chopped pecans. This cake is perfect when paired with cream cheese frosting. Yellow or white cake are universal favorites for weddings. Some pizzazz can be added through the use of creative fillings. Consider something citrusy and summery for a summer wedding. Raspberry preserves or lemon curd are tart and sweet. For a tropical flair, mangoes or passion fruit can be mixed with touches of coconut. A winter wedding can be accented with rich flavors, like a decadent chocolate cake filled with chocolate ganache and black cherries — in a black forest style. Those toasting to the good life may want an almond cake enhanced with some fine liqueur and simple

chocolate buttercream. Couples should sit down with their baker and sample a number of flavor combinations to determine a recipe that works for them. Pastry companies also may be able to develop a cake that encompasses a couple’s favorite flavors or symbolizes a special moment in their lives. A Boston Cream Pie-inspired cake may liven up the wedding of a couple who became engaged in Boston. Maybe a cannoli cream filled cake will usher in memories of a trip to Italy. Kids at heart can enjoy candy confection cakes filled with gooey chocolate, nuts and marshmallows. Whatever the case, couples can use their cake as a centerpiece that wows the senses of taste as well as vision. Consider displaying this culinary masterpiece on a table with the seating cards placed around it so that it can be enjoyed the entire night.

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reception touches

Over the course of their lifetimes, many people will be wedding guests on several occasions. During the height of wedding season, weddings can run into one another, as the format and the festivities are similar at various ceremonies. Couples interested in setting their nuptials apart may want to enhance the wedding reception with a few unique ideas. Who hasn’t attended a wedding that seems formulaic? The couple enters, they do their spotlight dance, there’s food, a bouquet toss and then the cake cutting. Guests may actually be able to predict what’s coming next. While it is often customary and easy to follow tradition, that doesn’t mean you cannot buck with tradition and offer a few creative ideas to make your event stand out. Here are several ideas you can introduce into your wedding to add something special to the reception. • Skip the big entrance. Those who were kind

enough to attend the ceremony have already been introduced to the newly minted happy couple. Instead of spending the cocktail hour in the isolation of the wedding suite, mingle with your guests from start to finish. So much time is spent posing for pictures or being out of touch with guests, the cocktail hour can be a great time to sit and chat. Being with guests during the cocktail hour means you don’t have to make that big entrance from behind closed doors. Guests will have all eyes on you when you step on the dance floor for your first dance together. • Dance to an upbeat number. Guests are expecting a slow, sappy tune. What they may not expect is an upbeat song that shows you are willing to have a little fun. If you haven’t mastered the waltz but enjoy a little quick step now and again, feel free to choose a tune that shows your excitement and love for each other. • Encourage couples to

dance together. It’s often customary for the bridal party to join the bride and groom on the dance floor midway through the first dance. However, that leaves spouses or significant others waiting in the wings while their dates tango with groomsmen or bridesmaids. Instead, don’t have assigned partners. Rather, encourage your bridal party members to dance with whomever they choose. • Swap the garter/bouquet toss for something more meaningful. If you’re part of a couple who feels the garter and bouquet toss has become trite, there are other ways to create special moments in your celebration — ones that don’t single out the singletons who haven’t yet found their special someones. Use this time to present a small gift or token of your affection to someone on the guest list who has served as a mentor or source of inspiration. • Choose one special component as an extra goodie for guests. Some couples feel the more they offer the better guests will

view their wedding. Spending more money doesn’t necessarily mean guests will have a better time. If you want to go above and beyond the ordinary, find one thing that you absolutely love and offer that at the party. It could be a flambé presentation, a chocolate or candy bar, a carving station with your all-time favorite food (even if that’s PB&J), or a carnival-inspired automatic photo booth. • Hire a live performer. Although it’s hard to beat the performance quality of your wedding song being performed by the original artist, unless you’re cousins with Celine Dion, chances are she won’t be available to sing “My Heart Will Go On” at your reception. However, a live band adds a certain level of excitement that a disk jockey may not be able to provide. Those who are adding a cultural or ethnic component to their wedding may want to hire a dance troupe or another type of performer, like a bagpiper, as an added measure of entertainment for guests.

• Let them eat … cookies? Some people just don’t like cake. Therefore, why should a couple have to cut a seventiered white confection? Towers of different types of treats can be created from just about anything and serve as the perfect backdrop for that classic cake-cutting photo. A pyramid of cream puffs, stacks of brownies, a cookie castle, or cerealcake concoctions can work.

2012 – Wedding Guide 23 Some bakeries will decorate a “dummy” styrofoam cake, and then you can serve apple pie a la mode, if you desire. • Stage a costume switch. Let’s face it, dancing all night in a long gown takes some stamina. As the bride, have a more comfortable cocktail dress available to switch into for the latter part of the reception. It will also add some variety to your wedding photos.

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What not to serve at a wedding

Couples often fret over what to serve their guests at the reception, and rightfully so. Reception costs can comprise a majority of the wedding-day budget. When spending $100 or more per guest, you want to ensure you’re getting what you paid for and that guests enjoy what they’re eating. Filet mignon may be a good choice, but steak tartare is probably best avoided. Find out which foods to avoid serving your wedding guests. Exotic cuisine: You may be a risk taker when it comes to cuisine, but others may not share your zeal for exotic foods. Now is not the time to introduce guests to the wild and wacky. If you’ve seen an exotic dish on the Food Network or the Travel Channel, give it a try another time. Anything on fire: Why risk an accident for a spectacle? Baked alaska, cherries jubilee, apples flambé … these are foods that might provide a show, but the cost of that show may not be worth it in the end. Raw food: Clams on the halfshell or sushigrade tuna may seem like good ideas, but keep in mind that it is hard to ensure quality when feeding 200 people at the same time. Foods that require special refrigeration or immediate service for freshness are best left for other occasions. Don’t risk food poisoning on a room full of people unless you want your wedding to be remembered for stomach cramps. A long, sit-down meal: Two or three courses is fine, but if guests have to sit through a

never-ending parade of courses, that limits their ability to mingle and have a good time. Anything too elaborate: The faster servers can get food out to guests the better. If they have to sit there piping mashed potato roses on dishes or assemble intricate canapes, the delay might not be worth the presentation. And remember, the more bells and whistles, the higher the price tag. Fast food: This is your wedding, and you want the food to fit with the scale of the day. A formal wedding generally includes a formal meal. Although it may be alright to include some fast food inspired dishes at the cocktail buffet, steer clear of burgers and fries for the main meal. Themed food: Don’t dye that baked potato purple because you want the wedding to be a plum-colored affair. Also, it’s best to avoid themed food, unless it is part of a cultural wedding or can be pulled off with class. It’s much easier to pass off crepes and croissants for a Parisian wedding than giant turkey legs and tankards of ale for a Renaissance-themed one. No food at all: Whether your wedding is small or grand in scale, guests will expect some sort of food. Be sure to have some butler-passed hors d’oeuvres or some wellplaced pickings for guests to grab while mingling. After all, they will need something to provide the energy to mingle and dance, and food can help buffer the effects of too many cocktails.

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LOVECoupons Want to spice things up a bit? Simply clip the coupons below and keep them in your repertoire for when the mood strikes. Redeem them with your fiance, and enjoy these romantic treats together.

LOVECoupon Mother In-Law Void Visit The Bearer of this coupon is entitled to skip a visit to the mother-in-law’s home (or to field off a visit from the mother-in-law). THE PRINCE GEORGE


LOVECoupon Home Cooked Meal The Bearer of this coupon is entitled to a home cooked meal complete with all the fixings, and dessert!







LOVECoupon Movie Night for Two

The Bearer of this coupon is entitled to one romantic movie night for two - complete with popcorn, cuddling, treats & more. THE PRINCE GEORGE


LOVECoupon Night of Pampering

The Bearer of this coupon is entitled to one night of pampering including cuddles, massages and tons of kisses! THE PRINCE GEORGE




Love Coupon Courtesy of PRINCE GEORGE



Love Coupon Courtesy of PRINCE GEORGE

LOVECoupon 20 Minute Full Body Massage

The Bearer of this coupon is entitled to one 20 minute fully body massage session - complete with scented CITIZENoils or lotion and romantic candles. THE THE PRINCE GEORGE



Love Coupon Courtesy of PRINCE GEORGE

LOVECoupon Foot Massage

The Bearer of this coupon is entitled to one complete foot massage lasting at least 20 minutes. THE PRINCE GEORGE




Love Coupon Courtesy of PRINCE GEORGE

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honeymoon how-to

After the thrill of wedding festivities dies down, couples often jet off to a honeymoon retreat and begin an entirely different adventure. The honeymoon may create mixed feelings, some concerning the chance to spend time alone after months of planning and a few feelings of anxiety over spending the first night together as a married couple.

For many couples, the honeymoon wedding night is the first time they are intimate together or it holds a special meaning of being intimate for the first time after being married. Such significance can put pressure on a happy and natural experience. Wedding jitters are normal, as are honeymoon and wedding night jitters. But just as wedding trends have changed through the years, so, too, have beliefs about the wedding night. Knowing about shifting trends can alleviate some of the nervousness. According to a recent survey from Brides magazine, one in three brides plan to get into bed on the wedding night and … sleep. After all of the hoopla of planning and enjoying the wedding, most people are exhausted. Others say they plan to stay up and relive moments of the day. Only about half

of all couples think they will consummate the marriage on their wedding night. Taking the pressure off of the wedding night means that the rest of the honeymoon may be filled with opportunities to be amorous. But couples may still be filled with expectations for the perfect romantic retreat. Here are some things to think about. • Accept the fact that some wedding nights and honeymoons aren’t exactly what’s pictured in the movies. Don’t try to live up to a Hollywood-inspired ideal or you may be let down when things don’t go your way. In other words, it may rain on your beachside liaison. • A wedding requires a lot of work. Many people find themselves to be physically exhausted afterward. Others find they are so wound up that they cannot relax. When the mind or

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body is on adrenaline overload or completely wiped out, it’s not the ideal situation for romantic endeavors.

• Pack some candles and mood music, or ask the resort to handle these details for you. These items can help set the scene.

• Try to make the honeymoon stand apart from other nights by packing nice lingerie or nighttime attire so that the memories will be special. There will be plenty of other times down the road when you’re an old, married couple to hop between the sheets in a ratty college T-shirt.

• Make sure your packing list includes special toiletries and birth control methods if you’re not ready to start a family so soon after being married. The brands you prefer may be hard to acquire while at some honeymoon locations.

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Secrets to a long & happy marriage Some might say a long celebrity marriage is one that endures the duration of the newly betrothed’s trip down the aisle. We’ve seen Britney Spears dissolve a marriage after 55 hours and Kim Kardashian call it quits after 72 days. It seems even money can’t buy

matrimonial happiness. But some couples have been together for 50, 60 years and say they’re still as much in love as they were the day they spoke their “I dos.” What do they know that others do not? According to clinical psychologist and

relationship guru Dr. Phil McGraw, “We all need to be flexible and to compromise in marriage, but you’ve got to be true to your core traits and characteristics, what I call your authentic self.” Some couples enter a relationship projecting a persona they believe the other person wants — one that really isn’t what they’re all about. This could be a woman trying to fill the role of her husband’s nurturing mom or a guy playing the

protector to his wife. In reality, marriage is more of a partnership, and truth and trust are often at the basis of good marriages. There are many other “secrets” that marriage experts will offer to couples seeking the magic formula. Whether you’re pondering marriage or have already tied the knot, consider the following advice to make a marriage endure for the long haul.

• There’s no such thing as the perfect marriage. Some couples create an image of what they think marriage is supposed to be, and that image that often goes “poof” once reality sets in. Even soulmates are bound to frustrate or irritate one another from time to time. • Couples should express their frustrations. Bottling up frustrations can eat at a person and eventually destroy a marriage. Talking about the things that are bothering you with your partner opens up a discussion and can help you work through things. • Divorce should not be seen as a viable option. Couples who want to bail on the marriage at every turn could be directing their energy toward divorce as the only solution instead of discovering ways to remove the cause of strife. Divorce can sometimes be the easy way out when you think about the work that goes into keeping a marriage

working. Experts say that there are a few issues, like adultery, abuse and drug/ alcohol addiction, that may be reasonable catalysts for divorce if personal safety and sanity is being compromised. • Make time for romance. It’s easily said but not so easily done. Too often married couples forget what it was like to date when all of their attention was spent on each other instead of the house, kids, work, etc. Today there seems to be even more distractions, from e-mails to texts to pressure and obligations at the office. Happy couples find the time to spend quality time with their spouses — even if that’s only 10 minutes of alone time a day. • Put “we” first. Many people operate on a “me” mentality. When you’re part of a couple, give more to your spouse than you take. If he or she is doing the same, you’re working collectively for the benefit

of the marriage instead of yourselves. • Respect each other. Often couples having troubles realize they treat strangers better than they treat each other. Would use the insults or unflattering terms that you sometimes throw at your spouse with a complete stranger? Probably not.

2012 – Wedding Guide 31 Good marriages are based on a foundation of respect and love. It’s easy to lose feelings of love if the respect is gone.

Couples can realize that there are some thorns that come with the roses of marriage, and staying happy together does take work for it to all be worth it.

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Prince George Wedding Guide