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Charlotte FROM THE PUBLISHER Dear Bride & Groom Congratulations on your engagement. This is one of the most exciting times in your life, and our wish for you is to enjoy every moment. Planning a wedding is not an easy task. With time, budget, and family pulling you in every direction it is hard to stay focused. Adding to this pressure, it’s probably the first time you have planned an event of this scale. Getting married involves a lot more than just your wedding day – it is a wedding experience! Planning your wedding will take a lot of time from picking out your wedding gown, meeting with wedding professionals, selecting the reception location, choosing the music, flowers and cake and so on. You should enjoy each other and this time of celebration. Premier Bride Magazine is here to help you with all your planning needs. Read the articles, get advice, and find ideas. You can find more helpful information, worksheets and the rest of the articles from this magazine online at www. pbcharlotte.com. Planning your wedding is probably something you have thought about many times, and now it is your turn. Use Premier Bride Magazine to locate dedicated and talented wedding professionals who truly want to help you with your wedding plans.

President Fred Jacob

As you will quickly learn there are lots of options. You should consider enlisting the services of a professional wedding planner. At the very least, consider hiring a day-of planner, to help coordinate the many details of the wedding day. How can a wedding planner help you? They are familiar with the wedding professionals in the market, they have worked at many of the reception facilities and directed in many of the local churches. This knowledge is part of what you need to help plan your wedding and to make the right decisions. Your engagement and wedding will be one of the most exciting times in your life. With all the time and money involved with your wedding, a professional wedding planner can guide you through the decisions and details with grace and ease. And with all this planning and expectations for your wedding day, having someone else to make sure it runs smoothly will help you enjoy the day stress free. As you make contact with the wedding professionals listed throughout this magazine make sure you mention that you saw them in Premier Bride Magazine. If you have suggestions or ideas for future issues please let me know. My goal is that through this magazine your wedding experience will be the best! Enjoy many happy years together.

Published by Jacob Marketing Inc. P.O. Box 31568 Knoxville, TN 37930 865-531-3941 President Fred Jacob | Fred@JMI.me Vice President Allison Jacob Contracts Manager Donna Jacob Production Manager Karen Tobias Design Team Sara Hoeing Charlotte Advertising Director Renee Scott | Renee@JMI.me ©2010 KAI Publishing LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic content in any manner without written permission of KAI Publishing LLC is strictly prohibited. Some images created by Ross Whitaker are reprinted with permission from Harper Collins, 1997 The Perfect Wedding. All articles are property of Jacob Marketing, Inc. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission from Jacob Marketing, Inc is strictly prohibited. Photographs used in Premier Bride are provided and copyrighted by their respective owners and may not be reproduced without the owner’s permission. Jacob Marketing, Inc., dba Premier Bride, is not responsible for any errors, misprints, misquotes, or omissions. All rights reserved.


Table of Contents SPECIAL ONLINE SECTION Wedding Planners Gowns Jewelry CAKES Beauty Invitations Photography Catering Reception Venue Guide Venue Chart Bridal Shows Registry Music Rentals Directory

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ngrs Wpledandine for your sanity

Recently married brides were asked, “If you had to do it again, what would you do differently?” Some of their answers were; Plan more, delegate more, ask more questions, get written contracts, and simply enjoy the day more. Yes, your wedding day is a big day in your life and in many ways it will be the largest gathering you will ever plan. So you can imagine there will be lots of decisions. While you may be very good with details, and you may have all the plans made in advance, there will be some glitches on your day— guaranteed—and they may have the potential to get you very upset and affect the celebration. Your friends have told you stories about when they got married and how much planning it took. Believe their stories; they are all true! We recommend you purchase a wedding organizer, like The Pink Book, to help you stay organized. It is devoted to making your planning processes a bit easier. The big overview for your wedding looks like this: becoming engaged, setting the date, choosing the ceremony location, booking the reception location, and planning the honeymoon. And of course selecting: your dress, bridesmaid dresses, flower girl dress, your florist, your photographer, and on and on. As you consider all that needs to happen before your wedding day and on your wedding day, you may want to consider hiring a professional wedding consultant/coordinator to assist you. The wedding consultant will help create a stress-free wedding experience that you will remember the rest of your life. Not to mention that you and the groom are already very busy — adding to your life the total planning of your wedding can be overwhelming. As you will have hundreds of choices and decisions to make, having someone on the outside to help can give you a perspective that no one else will have. A wedding professional has worked with the wedding vendors and understands what they do, what they deliver and how much they charge. After consulting with you, the consultant can hand pick the right candidates to be interviewed for each of your needs and help guide you to a wonderful wedding.

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Gowns

Of all the plans, preparations and purchases that you’ll make for the wedding celebration, nothing will more dramatically affect how you look and feel on your special day than your dress. Many brides find the purchase of their wedding gown to be an emotional experience, so it is essential to find someone you trust completely to assist you with this important selection. Gown styles have come along way ranging from beaded extravagance to tailored suits. When selecting your gown, consider the activities of the day and choose a style that is well suited. Comfort and convenience will allow you to enjoy your wedding day to its fullest. For example, a princess dress may look beautiful in the salon, but might not serve the purpose for a beach wedding. The professionals at your bridal salon will be able to help you decide on the style and fabric that best suits your needs, but remember, the determining factor is what makes you feel comfortable – and beautiful.

ABOUT BRIDAL SALONS

Unlike other fashion retailers, bridal salons require a more formal approach to shopping. You’ll want to schedule an appointment with the salon of your choice to ensure that a dressing room and personal consultant will be available to help you try on gowns. An experienced bridal fashion consultant will be invaluable in helping you select styles that flatter your best features.

WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU SHOP

Be prepared to tell your consultant the important details of your ceremony: whether the wedding is formal or informal, traditional or modern, afternoon or evening, and the time of year. This information will give your consultant a starting point and enable her to suggest appropriate styles. Also be prepared to discuss your budget, as it will save time and frustration for both you and your consultant. The more information you give your bridal consultants, the better able they will be in assisting you in your decision. Bridal salons usually offer a wide selection of gown styles; however, they are often all in only one size. Limiting the number of dresses to one size per style allows them to carry a larger range of choices for brides-to-be. Because the salon has one gown from each style, they must take special care to keep the dress in good condition. To minimize damage from wear and tear, salon consultants always assist brides in trying on dresses. After selecting several styles you will be taken to your private dressing room. These rooms are normally large enough to fit you, a guest, and the consultant. A seamstress may be present as well to help fit the sample-sized gown to your measurements. Most salons will suggest that brides invite no more than one or two people when selecting their gown. The more people you invite, the more opinions there are to consider, creating inevitable frustration for yourself. On the other hand, the dress that you loved on the rack may not be the perfect style to flatter your figure and the honest appraisal of a good friend and the bridal consultant can keep you from making the wrong gown selection.

here this article To continue A WORD ONclick PRICE While it is only natural to want the best price possible, keep in mind that the gown cost not only covers the


Stacy Ellis & Jason Ingle

Naomi Rouse & Mark Wyche

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t the Lily Rose, we make finding your wedding attire a pure delight because each bride and her entourage are considered our special and honored guests. Choose from a vast selection of the finest quality designer bridal gowns, couture and accessories that will stand the test of time to become treasured keepsakes and heirlooms. Carolina Herrera Brides Kelly Chase Couture Watters & Watters Cassandra Stone Jade Couture L’ezu Atelier Bill Levkoff Casablanca Tara Keely Pronovias Lazaro Belsoie Jade B2

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Jewelry


Show me the bling You may already have some idea of what you like, but once you start shopping for your engagement ring you still may find the choices overwhelming. Solitaire, gold, platinum. Matte finish, satin finish. There are so many options, each beautiful in its own way, which means you’re faced with the difficult task of finding the perfect ring that feels and looks just right for you. After your selection then comes the often difficult task of also paying for it. Many people are aware of the two-month rule, which suggests the value of an engagement ring should equal two months of the groom’s salary. Therefore this makes your purchase a considerable investment. The groom will also be purchasing the bride’s wedding ring, and although tradition indicates that the bride purchase the groom’s wedding ring, some grooms purchase this as well. With such a great deal of money involved, it is imperative to get what you pay for, so here’s a quick guide.

THE STONE: DIAMOND BASICS The most important element to consider when shopping for a diamond is cut, color, clarity and carat--the four Cs. Contrary to popular belief, cut and not carat is the number one factor in determining the value of a diamond.

CUT A well-cut diamond beautifully directs rays of white light to the diamond’s facets, the small planes on the surface of the stone. The reflected light emanating from the facets defines a stone’s fire and brilliance. Fire is the intensity of the rainbow of colors cast outward in a prism-like effect, while brilliance indicates the amount of sparkle generated. Cut should not be confused with the shape of a diamond, which includes brilliant (round), oval, pear, marquis, emerald, square, heart and triangle.

COLOR The color of a diamond is the next quality to consider. The best color is no color at all, since an absolutely colorless diamond reflects light most beautifully. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) ranks diamonds on a standard 23-grade scale, from D through Z. D, the highest rating, indicates a perfectly colorless stone, while Z, the lowest rating, indicates a light yellow stone. The color ranges within this scale are colorless, near colorless, very light yellow, and light yellow.

CLARITY Next to consider is the clarity of a diamond, which is defined by the number, color, nature, size and position of natural marks (called inclusions) contained in the gem. Inclusions occur naturally during the process of crystallization, when minute traces of minerals are trapped in the diamond. To determine clarity, an appraiser examines a diamond through a jeweler’s loupe, which magnifies the stone 10 times. The fewer and smaller the inclusions a diamond contains, the greater its clarity and thus its value. Excellent clarity means light is able to pass unimpeded through the stone. The GIA judges clarity based on a standard 11-part grading scale, as follows:

CARAT The carat weight of a diamond is the final consideration. In ancient times, gem size was measured against carob seeds, which are remarkably consistent in weight. One carat equaled the weight of a single carob seed. In today’s terms, a carat is the standard metric weight of 0.2 grams, or 1/142 of an ounce.

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&

heather pitts michael johnson September 5, 2010

Photographed by Lisa Crates Photography

Q: How did he propose?

He took me to a Bed and Breakfast in Augusta, GA – the city where I was born, but only lived for a year, so I didn’t remember anything from there. He proposed on our balcony overlooking Augusta. He said that he wanted me to have some good memories from the city I was born in.

Q: Did you do any DIY projects? I am a graphic designer, so I designed our giant playing card invitations and playing card decks of cards that we gave out as wedding favors. My brother is an event/ floral designer, so he did all of the flowers.

Q: Why did you choose your photographer?

I knew Lisa from when I worked at a professional photo lab out of college. She is so fun and I knew she would fit in great with the Vegas crowd.

Q: What were you thinking as you walked down the aisle? It was so surreal. You dream of the moment for so long and then you can’t believe that it is actually happening. Plus, Elvis was singing to me at the end of the aisle, which was pretty awesome.

Q: What flavor was your cake? We had a Vegas inspired cupcake tower with many different flavors. I loved giving our guests options. The top of the cupcake tower was a small red velvet cake – my favorite!

Photographed by Lisa Crates Photography Caterer House of Blues • Cake Freed’s Bakery • Bridal Shop Affordable Bridal • Ceremony Location Vegas Weddings Chapel • Reception Location House of Blues, Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino • Transportation Double Decker Bus of Las Vegas • Ceremony Music Eddie Powers as Elvis • Formalwear Westport and Men’s Warehouse & Tux • Rings Karat Patch Bridal Headpiece Etsy.com • Bridal Earrings E.G. Couture


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Cakes

CREATING YOUR MASTERPIECE

Designing your wedding cake is perhaps the most fun and relaxed task you will encounter when planning your wedding. First, you want to schedule an appointment with a professional pastry chef. This meeting should take place 6-8 months in advance of your wedding date. As with all top professionals in the wedding business, the best ones book up first. When it’s time for your meeting, take with you a list of ideas you want to discuss with the chef. Include pictures you have found in magazines and on the Internet. Prepare a brief description of yourself, because the better the chef knows you, the better he/she will be able to incorporate your personality into the ultimate creation. Most importantly, take your fiancée. The groom gets excluded from many of the wedding choices such as flowers and obviously the dress. So make it a date! The two of you go together and meet the pastry chef. It will be a fun, light-hearted experience that both of you will remember for a long time.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO BE CREATIVE! When you meet with the pastry chef chances are you will sample many different flavors of wedding cake. However, before you and your fiancée start fighting over chocolate or vanilla, consider a new or even exotic flavor such as amaretto, mocha butter cream, Bavarian cream, white chocolate truffle, almond praline, or even espresso for the coffee lovers. You can be just as creative with the icing. Chantilly cream, white chocolate, cream cheese, rolled fondant, or marzipan, are just a few examples. And who says the icing has to be white? Many brides are incorporating their color scheme into the color of their wedding cake. For example, the entire cake is a pastel pink with darker pink roses for a bride who is using a pink theme. This technique works just as well with darker colors. If your wedding is in January and your color is blue, you may choose a dark blue wedding cake decorated with white snowflakes. A February wedding cake may be red and decorated with fresh pink roses. The choices are endless! Fresh flowers are becoming very popular decorations as well as fresh fruit. You will need to put your pastry chef in touch with your florist if you choose fresh flowers. You will also need to check with the florist and see if the flowers you wish to use will be in season for your wedding date. Once you have reviewed all of the options for designing your dream wedding cake, what happens when you choose a favorite flavor and your fiancée chooses another? That’s easy. For a multi-tiered cake, choose both flavors and alternate the layers. It is possible to have a four-tiered wedding cake and choose four different flavors. There are no restrictions to your creativity. Discuss all your desires with your pastry chef and together you will design a beautiful creation that will captivate the eyes of all your guests and leave such an impression on their taste buds that they will savor every bite and remember the experience for a long time.

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throwingpost-wedding a reception

Whether you are having a destination wedding or you’re just keeping the wedding small, a great idea is to have a post-wedding reception. You can have the party as soon as you want after the event, but it’s best to have it sooner, rather than later, so that the excitement of your big day is still in the air. This reception can be formal or casual, it’s all up to you! There are no real “rules” to having a post-wedding reception, so you can make the day really reflect you and your new spouse. For location, a good idea is to use a traditional wedding reception facility for the party, but have it on a Friday night or Sunday afternoon to cut down on costs. If you plan on sending out wedding announcements, you can send out the invitation for the post-nuptial bash. If not, send out invites of your own! Your invitations, location facility, or even food can reflect the look and feel of your wedding day. A nice touch would be to show a slideshow of photos, or a video of your actual ceremony, so that guests can see how wonderful your big day was!


Beauty get the look BRING ON THE PROS

There are many benefits of hiring a professional makeup artist and hair stylist for your wedding. From the convenience of on-location service to the reassurance that you and all your bridal attendants will look the very best, enlisting the help of a makeup and hair stylist is one simple way to shorten the list of wedding-day worries. A true makeup artist will know trade secrets not only for fashioning a longer-lasting look, but also for accentuating your finer features. The end result is a picture-perfect bride. As for your hair, ever had a bad hair day? A hair stylist can help diminish your worries. An initial consultation with the stylist is generally recommended -- one to two months prior to the wedding. This gives the stylist an opportunity to discern what you’re envisioning and to create a look that complements your facial features, headpiece and veil. Bring a Polaroid camera, and take photos from several angles to assist the stylist in recreating a look you love for your special occasion.

DO-IT-YOURSELF TIPS If you don’t feel comfortable with someone else creating your wedding day look, use these tips to assure your hair and makeup last throughout your special day. You’re going to be kissing a lot, so choose a long-lasting lipstick. For precise lipstick application, use a lip liner, matching or only slightly darker than your lipstick, to outline the lips. Do not use a lipstick that contrasts too much; the effect tends to be unflattering. As an alternative use natural shades you feel comfortable wearing. A tip for longer lasting lipstick: once the liner and color have been applied, pull apart a two-ply tissue and place one layer over your lips. With a soft, fluffy makeup brush dust over the tissue with face powder. This helps set your lipstick for extended wear. If you want a shinny look, finish off with a gloss. When it comes to eyes, practice makes perfect, so start early. Try the following tips to create eyes with impact. If you’re using eyeliner, be sure to gently smudge it for a softer more refined look. Gently dust face powder over the applied liner to set the color for longer lasting, smear-resistant wear. Use an eyelash curler if needed and several applications of non-clumping mascara, remember to allow your lashes to dry between each application. When choosing waterproof mascara, look for a non-drying formula, as waterproofs tend to dry out lashes. Also be sure to gently separate eyelashes between each application.

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accessorize yourself

You have found the perfect dress, now it is time to accessorize! It is important to remember to not over accessorize, you don’t want your accessories to take away from you or from the gown.

SHOES

When selecting your shoes it is important to choose a comfortable shoe. You will spend a lot of time on your feet, and now is not the time to experiment with four-inch-heels when you usually wear flats! You should also practice walking in your shoes during the weeks leading up to the wedding. This will help break in your shoes ahead of time. A recent trend in wedding shoes is having a little fun with the style, fabric or color. Many brides still choose a traditional white shoe to wear under their gown, but don’t be afraid to have fun and try something different such as a metallic silver or gold shoe. For the more adventurous consider having your shoes be your something blue; or wearing cowboy boots or a pair of funky flats!

VEIL

Whether you plan to wear a veil or not, you should still try one on with your gown. Veils come in a variety of sizes, styles and fabrics; ranging from simple to elaborate, and many brides choose to wear a long veil during the ceremony, and remove it or change into a shorter veil for the reception. You can choose a variety of finished for your veil including lace appliqués, pearls or crystals, ask your wedding consultant to show you a variety of styles to try. Be sure to bring a fabric sample of the dress to match the veil color to. Although the veil does not need to match your dress exactly, it should compliment it.

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Fit to be wed.

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Casey Cunningham Photography Dress provided by Noble Brides


Invitations the first impression

The first impression your guests will have of your wedding is when they open the heavy, starched envelope containing your invitation. They will immediately form an impression of the ceremony to come, so selecting the invitation—the paper, the style, the wording—is an important first step in your wedding plans. Experienced stationers are your best advisors on wedding invitations and their knowledge is available at no charge when you purchase your invitations in their store. Stationers can also provide helpful hints on when to order and mail the invitations, how to determine proper postage budgeting and a myriad of other details. Take time to select your invitations. Feel the paper samples. What impression do they give? Understated elegance? Fun? Whimsical? Romantic?

THE ENVELOPE PLEASE… Wedding invitations do much more than simply request the presence of the addressee. The stationery is typically comprised of several components, each with a different purpose. There is the ceremony card, the reception card (if applicable), the response card with its stamped return envelope, the map (if one is to be included) and the inner and outer envelopes. Formal invitations are typically engraved on the first page of a double sheet of heavy paper, folded once or on card stock. The paper color is typically ivory or white with black ink, although charcoal gray ink is also acceptable. Paper size is either 5-1/2 x 7-1/2 (folded once, as described) for the embassy size, or 4-1/2 x 6-1/4 (also folded once) for the classic size. The paper is usually devoid of design: the rare exception when the bride’s father’s family has a coat of arms. One subtle way to distinguish your invitations is to select an unusual paper stock such as rice, linen or parchment and textures such as weave and moiré. You can even choose an unusual handmade paper with pressed flower petals or small leaves.

ETIQUETTE ADVICE Order your invitations three to six months prior to the wedding date, allowing ample time for reading and correcting the proofs, printing, addressing and mailing. Order enough invitations for each couple, family, or individual on your final list, each attendant and their guests, and the clergy. Then add at least 25 percent to the total number. Unless your budget is unlimited, you probably won’t be able to have absolutely everyone you’d like to invite however, you do want to have as many as you can. Start by making an “A” list, composed of family and friends you must invite, and a “B” list of those you would like to invite, but whose absence you can accept. Usually about 25 percent of invitees will be unable to attend, giving you some leeway. When you receive a regret from someone on the “A” list, send an invitation to someone on the “B” list. It’s acceptable to send invitations as late as two weeks prior to the wedding, but it’s best to send the last ones no later than three weeks in advance. This will help you handle any oversights and allow you to invite people from your “B” list as you receive regrets. If you’re pressed for time, have the stationer give you the envelopes early for addressing, and request an extra 50 or so of these to account for inevitable mistakes.

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Photography your best angle

A professional photographer has the experience, equipment and know-how to make your photographs sensational. They understand the different moods created by lighting and posing. They use reliable techniques and equipment to create quality images that are likely to live up to your expectations. A novice—like a friend or acquaintance who dabbles in photography—won’t.

YOUR STYLE As you begin your search for a photographer, you will find a number of fine ones to choose from. Just because someone is well known or has a good reputation does not necessarily mean they are right for you. Experienced photographers develop their own unique style over time. One may specialize in elegant and traditional wedding images, while another may have an excellent photojournalistic approach or a flare for black and white. Your most important task will be to decide what style best suits you and your fiancé. Begin by viewing the albums of several friends, and try to determine what catches your eye, and why. Once you have a clear idea of what you like, schedule appointments with several photographers. Take this opportunity not only to view the photographer’s work but to establish your comfort level with their personality and style. Ask to see entire wedding albums, not just highlights of a number of different weddings. Pay close attention to the consistency of style and quality throughout the course of the entire wedding. If you do not see evidence of the style of photography you want, this photographer is not for you.

THE COMPLETE PACKAGE Once you like a photographer’s style, find out what wedding packages are available. Packages will vary, but most generally include an engagement photo, a bridal portrait, photographer’s fee, proofs, a wedding album, parents’ albums, and numerous enlargements for display. If proofs are not part of the package, and you cannot imagine not owning each and every photo from your wedding, ask the photographer if they can be purchased after you have seen them. Many photographers now offer a la carte pricing. This allows couples to customize their wedding package to include only the items and services they want.

A HELPING HAND One of the best tools a photographer can possess, in addition to the proper equipment, is an experienced, well-trained assistant. This person usually poses subjects, adjusting a hand position here, a facial posture there, creating the ideal look. While the photographer concentrates on lighting and equipment, the assistant is already setting up the next shot, arranging the wedding party and families with a smile. Although hiring a photographer with a qualified assistant may cost more, it will be worth the investment, especially if they will be dealing with a large family and bridal party. If you find a photographer whose style you love but who does not use an assistant, confirm that the photographs you admire were taken without one. Some photographers simply prefer to work on their own.

DIGITAL IMAGING After your wedding, some photographers will use digital imaging to correct any flaws in your photos, using computer scanning and retouching to produce photographic prints. Digital imaging offers more options than conventional photography, such as instant imaging and retouching and the ability to combine images. Digital images can be shown on your computer or TV screen, emailed to friends and kept in perfect condition for untold years on your hard drive.

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Lisa Crates Photography www.LisaCrates.com 980.253.1102

videographer

don't forget about the

If there's one thing newly married women today, agree on, it's that

future brides should have their wedding professionally videotaped. Is it enough to just have a photo of you and your groom standing at the altar - or would you like to hear the vows your said to one another and share that with your future children? Is it enough to have a photo of your first dance as a married couple or would you like to hear the song you danced to and see the results of your ballroom dance lessons. Your wedding video is not "just a video" but a family heirloom that will be cherished for generations to come. Video is not expensive, it's priceless!


Catering a flavorful feast

reception. Some locations Your search for a caterer begins once you have selected the site for your makes your choice fairly which nt, departme banquet or caterer in-house their use you that require and some of the more clubs country hotels, include nt simple. Locations that may have this requireme asked to select an be also may You homes. historical or boats museums, as such unusual facilities independent caterer from a pre-approved list. list to no more than three; If you are in a position to select your own caterer, try to narrow down your have as much information caterer, otherwise, you will be tasting food for a month. When you call each of guests and the number ate approxim day, of time date, ready as possible such as your wedding es, let the caterer know preferenc or ideas menu general any have you If style. and formality of degree send you some sample so they can be better prepared for your initial meeting. If possible, have them nd. beforeha review to s reference and menus wedding in detail. Your choices will At the initial meeting, caterers will want to discuss your tastes and budget hors d’oeuvres or food passed buffet, a meal, sit-down a options: most likely include the following teness for the appropria their and stations. Your caterer will be able to describe all of these options style. time of day, number of guests and arrange a time for you and When you finally narrow down your service style, most caterers will ask to place at the caterer’s takes usually it and tasting, a your fiancé to sample their cuisine. This is called simply prepare two will they and catering they’re event another with coincide may establishment. It may prepare some they however, ordinary, extra meals. If you’ve indicated a preference for the less . approval your for of their more unusual items

MONEY BUSINESS Most caterers base their Once you’ve selected a caterer, it’s time to get down to business. Money. cost. n prices on a per-perso or set-up fee, while an offFacilities with in-house catering departments may have a minimum charge budget. pon agreed-u le, reasonab any within work premises caterer will usually of guests multiplied by the It’s relatively easy to calculate the overall food cost, which equals the number and the cost of dinner party, bridal the including guests, cost per person. For example, if you have 150 offer lower prices or caterers Some $5,250. is cost food total your person, per $35 is s and beverage ce. Mentally attendan in children of number the special menus for children, so be sure to let them know appropriate. if gratuity, a for percent 20 to 15 and overage, for percent 10 add an additional cost. meal the Remember, typically the wedding cake is not included in will be the minimum number Your final guest count is usually required one week before the event. This on the addition of a few plan will caterers Most charged. be actually will you which for people of wedding. the after bill the to last-minute guests and will add the meals related personnel, such as Although it is not required, you may consider including meals for weddingask your caterer about issue, an is cost If t. the DJ, musicians, photographer and wedding consultan at a lower cost offered are and menu guest the than casual more are “vendor meals.” These meals per person.

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catering


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Reception set your style

The secret to planning a fabulous, stress-free wedding reception is finding the right venue. By addressing several issues before you book your location, you can avoid costly mistakes and unwanted surprises, and have the reception you’ve always dreamed of.

FINDING THE RIGHT LOCATION

The first step for any wedding is to begin by setting the wedding date, size, budget and style. Once these particulars have been established your next major decision will be the reception location. If you already have a place in mind contact the facility manager and confirm availability of the date you’ve selected. This is also a good time to schedule an appointment for you and your fiancé to view the site. Don’t procrastinate! Choice locations are often booked one to two years in advance and prime dates go fast. If you have no idea where to hold your reception, try hotels, banquet halls, restaurants, community centers and country clubs. Other less obvious options are country inns, historic homes or mansions, city parks, college or university facilities, art galleries, museums and boats. Each location offers its own unique style and ambiance.

TYPES OF FACILITIES There are two basic types of reception facilities: on-site and off-site. Most on-site locations provide the majority of services you will need for your reception: catering, beverages, tables, chairs, tableware, linens and serving staff, making this a very convenient option. The facilities normally charge on a per person basis, and have a minimum guest requirement. Such locations include hotels, private clubs and restaurants. Off-site locations offer the use of the facility only, providing no other services. You supply nearly everything yourself, paying a flat fee for the use of the site. The nice thing about off-site locations is the freedom to do everything your own way. Increasingly popular for outdoor receptions is the use of party tents. Tents offer the ideal solution for couples who want to hold their celebration in a natural setting, but would prefer not to have their guests wilting under the hot sun or melting under a drizzle. Amenities range from beautiful archways and parquet floors to air conditioning and emergency generators. In your search for the ideal site, keep in mind the convenience and comfort of your guests. The traveling distance from the ceremony to reception should be no more than half an hour by car. Depending on the season in which you will wed, you might want to inquire about air conditioning or heating. Also check on available parking or valet service.

SPACE ISSUES While it may seem obvious to say so, the venue you choose for your wedding must have enough space to accommodate all your guests. There should be enough room in the dining area to allow for comfortably arranged seating and a reasonable view of the newlyweds for everyone. There should also be enough space between tables for you to move around the room and mingle with your guests. The facility coordinator will know the maximum number of people who can fit in the space, as well as the best table arrangements for the number in attendance.

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3247 Weddington Road Concord, NC 28027

(704) 786-3104 www.cabarruscc.org

Cabarrus Country Club.....where dreams come true.

WE REALIZE THAT DETAILS MAKE THE DIFFERENCE. PLAN THE PERFECT WEDDING, CONTACT OUR WEDDING SPECIALIST TODAY!

RehearsalDinner

Themes for your

One way to inject just a little more fun into your wedding weekend is throw a themed rehearsal dinner. The theme should be something that your guest will enjoy, as well as something that is personal to you. So, for example, if you all love the 50s aesthetic, you could have your guests wear poodle skirts and eat Elvis’s favorite Peanut Butter and Banana sandwiches. The options are unlimited, but here are a couple ideas to get your started.

1. City Specific Theme

3. Italian Feast

Many of you all live in great cities and towns with signature foods. If your town is like this, plan a dinner around your city featuring your local cuisine. You can name the tables all the main streets in your town or major landmarks. If you invite your out-of-town guests too, they may find that this is a fun way to get to know your city!

If your reception is going to be huge, and you want a more intimate affair for your rehearsal dinner, you might try an Italian family-style dinner. Nothing says good food and good times like a big bowl of pasta and a couple bottles of wine. And in an intimate setting, your guests will have plenty of opportunity to get to know each other.

2. Island Luau

4. Backyard Barbeque

When you welcome your guests with leis, you know it’s going to be a good time. Not only can you have fruity drinks, but many caterers offer great island cuisine, even whole roasted pigs on a spit. If you hire a fun island band, your guest will be dancing all night long!

Whether or not you actually host this in your backyard, you can host a party that’s just as casual. Be sure to have plenty of burgers and all the sides, as well as coolers of cold beer and wine coolers.


Inspirational Setting… Unforgettable Memories!

Minutes from Uptown

Fort Mill Photography

Chuch Eaton photo

Aphrodite Photography

Thomas Geist photo

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden • 6500 South New Hope Road • Belmont, NC 28012 • 704.829.1258 www.DSBG.o r g


Visionary

A

Dining Experience

Bentley’s on 27 Reservations 704.343.9201

27th floor charlotte plaza | 201 South College | Charlotte, NC 28244

www.BentleysOn27.com Monday - Friday Lunch & Dinner . Saturday Dinner . Valet Parking


Designed to impress, this historic 1930s building has recently been restored by The Charlotte Fire Fighters Association as an elegant reception and special events venue.

Offering expert wedding planning and catering services at the bride’s request.


Venue Guide

This section was created to help you choose a reception site for your big day. When you are trying to decide what place is best for your event, keep in mind that every facility has different advantages. You can use the following pages to compare and contrast the benefits of different venues. Once you have narrowed the facilities down make sure you visit them. Take time to sample some of their food and take a tour of the facility. Make sure the place you choose fits all your needs. Many of these facilities can also accommodate your rehearsal dinner or other party needs


Place new char marriott south park

CHARLOTTE MARRIOTT CITY CENTER 100 West Trade Street, Charlotte, NC 28202 704-333-9000 www.marriottcitycenter.com

FACILITY TYPE................................................................. Hotel EVENT OPTIONS..................... Ceremony & Reception LOCATION OPTIONS.............................................. Indoor CAPACITY............................................................... up to 650 CATERING $ RANGE................................................Varies FACILITY FEE.........................................................................No PARKING..................Valet and Self Parking Available Elegant. Stylish. Sophisticated. Your dream wedding is within reach at the Charlotte Marriott City Center. Located in the premier uptown district of Charlotte, you’ll experience Southern charm and hospitality at its finest. And with our elegant Grand Ballroom the possibilities for your wedding are as big as your imagination. Sumptuous guest rooms with stylish amenities combined with the renowned expertise of our certified wedding planners will make your special day a distinguished affair that people will remember for years to come.


ELIZABETH MANOR 206 South Broad Street 704-810-0538 www.elizabethmanornc.com

FACILITY TYPE................................Special Event Facility EVENT OPTIONS..................... Ceremony & Reception LOCATION OPTIONS..................... Indoor & Outdoor CAPACITY............................................................... up to 130 CATERING $ RANGE................................................Varies FACILITY FEE........................................................................ Yes PARKING.......................................................Private Parking At Elizabeth Manor, our mission to be the premier special events facility in the Charlotte Metropolitan area. We compliment ourselves on being a “full service� event complex by providing a complete range of products & services that meet the specific desires of each client. By offering a ceremonial facility, floral design, styling are, banquet hall and catering services, our clients are insured a complete and synergistic event with the convenience from a single provider.


RENAISSANCE CHARLOTTE SOUTHPARK 5501 Carnegie Boulevard 704.501.2510 www.renaissancecharlottesouthpark.com FACILITY TYPE................................................................. Hotel EVENT OPTIONS..................... Ceremony & Reception LOCATION OPTIONS..................... Indoor & Outdoor CAPACITY............................................................... up to 225 CATERING $ RANGE................................................Varies FACILITY FEE.........................................................................No PARKING..................Valet and Self Parking Available You deserve a wedding that’s second to none. So why not trust it to a partner whose very essence is to be as unique as possible? Weddings are our specialty at the Renaissance Charlotte SouthPark Hotel. Offering all of the genuine world-class southern hospitality and charm, you’ll discover luxurious amenities, accommodations and worldclass service. Our ballrooms provide an idyllic setting for the fairy tale wedding of your dreams. Stimulate your guests’ sense of taste with our gourmet award-winning chefs who will work with you to create a wonderful menu that is uniquely distinctive and appetizing. Call one of our wedding professionals today.


THE PALMER BUILDING 2601 East Seventh Street, Charlotte 704.331.4737 www.thepalmerbuilding.com FACILITY TYPE........................................... Banquet Facility EVENT OPTIONS..................... Ceremony & Reception LOCATION OPTIONS.......................... Indoor/Outdoor CAPACITY............................................................................250 CATERING $ RANGE..................................................... NA FACILITY FEE............................................. $1500 - $3000 PARKING.......................... 90 spaces & Valet available The Palmer Building exemplifies pure elegance and is the perfect location for your next special event. History comes alive in this 1930’s stone building recently restored by the Charlotte Fire Fighters Association. The Palmer Building is a one stop shop for individuals and businesses alike offering special event coordinating from weddings to sitdown gourmet meals and anything in between. The facility also boasts a state-of-the-art audio visual system for any event. Whether planning a full-scale wedding ceremony and reception, a rehearsal dinner, or bridal luncheon, The Palmer Building will provide personalized attention and promises to leave you with unforgettable memories.


Armin’s Catering at Beaver Dam Historical Home

Armin’s Catering at BLYTHE LANDING

19600 Davidson Concord Road, Davidson, NC 704-992-2303 or 704-947-1670 www.beaverdamdavidson.com

15901 NC Hwy 73, Huntersville, NC 704.947.1670 www.arminscatering.com

FACILITY TYPE................................................. Event Facility EVENT OPTIONS.......................... Ceremony/Reception LOCATION OPTIONS.......................... Indoor/Outdoor CAPACITY....................................................................12-250 CATERING $ RANGE................................................Varies FACILITY FEE...................................................................Varies PARKING.................................... Complimentary or Valet

FACILITY TYPE................................................. Event Facility EVENT OPTIONS.......................... Ceremony/Reception LOCATION OPTIONS......................................... Outdoor CAPACITY..................................................................30-400+ CATERING $ RANGE................................................Varies FACILITY FEE........................................................................ Yes PARKING.......................................................Complimentary

Built in 1829, The Federal Style home was built by Major Lee Davidson and his wife Betsy Lee Davidson. The Home was renovated in 1975 and possesses a quaint air of nostalgia. The spacious green yard and large Magnolias creates a romantic setting for your Wedding Ceremony and Reception. A rustic barn built in the 1800’s is the perfect place for your ceremony. The covered front porch and downstairs offers room for food and seated gatherings. The first floor is handicap accessible as well as the restrooms. The upstairs accommodates a private bridal suite with a chandelier, tables, chairs, and a private restroom. This luxurious dressing room will accommodate you and your bridesmaids giving you time to relax and enjoy your wedding day.

Located on Lake Norman just a few miles from downtown Charlotte, Armin’s Catering at Blythe Landing offers stunning panoramic views in an elegant setting. This is the perfect back drop for wedding and engagement portraits. Our unique picturesque lake front veranda is available for small intimate affairs, such as bridal showers, luncheons and rehearsal dinners. Banquet seating for up to 65 can transform a casual family style buffet to an elegant Bombay inspired dinner. The sky is the limit for the wedding of your dreams. Armin and his event staff can take care of everything from rentals, tenting, linens, floral design, cake and of course the perfect menu for any theme. Our staff and relaxed stress free setting will make your experience truly memorable. Call today to schedule an appointment to see this and many of our other exclusive venues.


CABARRUS COUNTRY CLUB

DANIEL STOWE BOTANICAL GARDEN

3247 Weddington Rd. Concord, NC 704.786.3104 www.cabarruscc.org

6500 South New Hope Road, Belmont 704.829.1268 www.DSBG.org

FACILITY TYPE................................................Country Club EVENT OPTIONS..................... Ceremony & Reception LOCATION OPTIONS..................... Indoor & Outdoor CAPACITY...............................................................up to 450 CATERING $ RANGE................................................Varies FACILITY FEE........................................................................ Yes PARKING........................................................Parking on-site

FACILITY TYPE...................................... Botanical Garden EVENT OPTIONS..................... Ceremony & Reception LOCATION OPTIONS.......................... Indoor/Outdoor CAPACITY....................................................................18-700 CATERING $ RANGE..................................................... NA FACILITY FEE...................................................$550-$5,000 PARKING.................... Parking on site/Complementary

At Cabarrus Country Club, we recognize that “details make the difference” and hold ourselves to the highest quality standards. Our banquet facilities offer seating capacity from ten to four-hundred and fifty. The Atrium room features a beautiful hardwood floor and a gorgeous fireplace with elegant living room settings. The Pine, Cardinal, and Dogwood rooms can be opened to one large room to accommodate larger events. The Banquet rooms open to a brick and wrought iron Veranda that over looks the gorgeous greens of the Club’s golf course and offers a view of Charlotte’s skyline. We have the ability to host indoor and outdoor ceremonies. Spend the day getting ready in our Bridal Suite and enjoy our on site spa packages. Call today to schedule an appointment with our Banquet and Catering Professional.

One of the Charlotte region’s finest and most unique settings for weddings and other celebrations, in any season, is Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. With 110 acres of themed gardens, a dozen sparkling fountains and ever-changing displays of the best of Southern horticulture, it’s easy to see why DSBG was recently named one of the nation’s “20 Great Gardens” by HGTV. DSBG offers turnkey service and a wide variety of outdoor and indoor settings for: • Weddings and Receptions • Rehearsal Dinners • Showers • Bridal / Engagement Portraiture • Ceremony only


DENNIS VINEYARD - A Place in the Vineyard

THE PENINSULA YACHT CLUB

24043 Endy Rd 704-982-6090 www.dennisvineyards.com

18501 Harbor Light Blvd. 704.765.4080 www.peninsulayacht.com

FACILITY TYPE..........................................................Vineyard EVENT OPTIONS.......................... Ceremony/Reception LOCATION OPTIONS.......................... Indoor/Outdoor CAPACITY............................................................................200 CATERING $ RANGE....................................................N/A FACILITY FEE........................................................................ Yes PARKING............................................................................... Yes

FACILITY TYPE................................................Country Club EVENT OPTIONS..................... Ceremony & Reception LOCATION OPTIONS..................... Indoor & Outdoor CAPACITY..............................................................250 - 350 CATERING $ RANGE................................... $30 - $150 FACILITY FEE........................................................................ Yes PARKING................................................................. Onsite Lot

A Place In The Vineyard is the perfect location for both weddings and receptions. Consider our charming gazebo that overlooks a serene pond with lush, green vineyards across the way for your wedding site or our large covered patio. Our magnificent ballroom, that is warmly reminiscent of a rustic Italian Villa, can seat up to 200 guests for a sit-down dinner at tables with elegant, to the floor linens with your choice of linen toppers included. We allow you to choose your vendors so your day is truly as you dreamed it would be. Call us for an appointment today.

Located on the shores of Lake Norman, The Peninsula Yacht Club is the perfect setting for your wedding reception, rehearsal dinner or bridal shower. Our facility can host everything from an intimate 10 person bridal brunch to a grand 350 person celebratory gala. A picturesque sunset, beautiful event grounds and the sparkling water of Lake Norman make The Yacht Club an ideal scene for your event. Your guests will dine on gourmet cuisine, enjoy the lakeside ambiance and be treated with impeccable service while attending your dream wedding. Let us plan the most memorable moments for your waterfront celebration.


Venue �hart

Now that you’ve read a bit about each facility, use the chart on the following page to compare and contrast the benefits of each venue. In our chart you can find information about the room capacity, an average price per person, whether outside catering is permitted, if the facility offers a reception area, guest rooms, or ceremony site, what the facility fee is if any, and whether valet parking is available or not. The answers to all of these questions and more to help you narrow down your options quickly.

check out the venue chart >


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aci cap roo m Armin’s Catering at Blythe Landing 15901 NC Hwy 73 704.947.1670 www.arminscatering.com

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30400+

Varies

NO

YES

NO

YES

YES

NO

12250

Varies

NO

YES

NO

YES

YES

YES

Cabarrus Country Club 3247 Weddington Rd. 704.786.3104 www.cabarruscc.org

Up to 450

Varies

NO

YES

NO

YES

YES

YES

Charlotte Marriott City Center 100 West Trade Center St. 704.333.9000 www.marriottcitycenter.com

up to 650

Varies

NO

NO

YES

NO

YES

YES

Charlotte Marriott SouthPark 2200 Rexford Rd 704.364.8220 www.charlottemarriottsouthpark.com

up to 225

Varies

NO

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden 6500 S. New Hope Road 704.829.1258 www.DSBG.org

18 to 300

N/A

YES

YES

N/A

$1250 to $4250

YES

YES

Armin’s Catering at Beaver Dam Historical Home 19600 Davidson Concord Road 704.992.2303 or 704.947.1670 www.beaverdamdavidsoncom


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Dennis Vineyard - A Place in the Vineyard 24043 Endy Rd 704.982.6090 www.dennisvineyards.com

200

N/A

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

Elizabeth Manor 206 South Broad Street 704.810.0538 www.elizabethmanor.com

up to 130

Varies

YES

YES

NO

YES

YES

NO

Renaissance Charlotte SouthPark 5501 Carnegie Boulevard 704.501.2510 www.renaissancecharlottesouthpark.com

up to 225

Varies

NO

YES

YES

NO

YES

YES

The Palmer Building 2601 East 7th Street 704.331.4737 www.thepalmerbuilding.com

250 to 500

N/A

YES

YES

NO

$1500 to $4000

YES

YES

The Peninsula Yacht Club 18501 Harbor Light Blvd. 704.765.4080 www.peninsulayacht.com

250 to 350

$30 to $150

NO

YES

NO

YES

YES

YES


s how S al Bshoprid ping made easy PLAN IN ADVANCE

need most and First of all, you will need to have a budget planned. Make a list of what you first to those go there, get you When what your budget will allow for each item and service. most. the need you what have service providers who

VISIT HERE FIRST a day because Remember, some wedding service providers can only do one or two weddings up their date fill will who ones the be will they are one or two person operations. They decorators, balloon facilities, banquet DJs, phers, videogra include providers books first. These these kinds with day the half least at photographers and wedding consultants. Plan to spend plan. can you more the spend, can you of vendors. The more time

BE READY TO MAKE DECISIONS major decisionBring the major decision-makers to the bridal show with you. If you are the to bring are items important Other of. maker, bring someone you can bounce ideas off and many baker florist, the assist will This wedding. your of colors the in swatches of material date book are of the other professionals in helping you plan your event. A checkbook and going to need to also necessities. If you are going to book that perfect photographer, you are potential service give them a deposit. You’ll need a datebook to schedule appointments with providers.

DRESS FOR THE OCCASION be doing a lot of Remember to wear comfortable shoes. There is no doubt that you will walking.

FASHION FORWARD shows that will Bring a notepad with you to jot down any dresses you like during the fashion these shows to during ity opportun the have also may You there. you’re surely take place while see DJs and even bands perform.

GET READY TO WIN to win prizes. Often times, the exhibitors will have drawing boxes available for you to enter 50 times, it date wedding and number phone address, name, your write To avoid having to address do can shops print local is a good idea to have some address labels made up. Most there to is show the that is r remembe to thing important The vely. labels quickly and inexpensi e of a bridal assist you in every aspect of planning your wedding. When you take advantag show, you can plan major parts of your wedding in just a few hours.

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Registry gifting made easy

When you get married, you’re going to get gifts—whether you want them or not. Establishing your bridal registry early on will ensure that you get more gifts you want, and less that you don’t. It’s as simple as that. Taking the time to establish a bridal registry whether it’s for gifts or donations for charity and it will make your life much easier in the long run.

If you have a favorite retailer in mind, make an appointment with the store’s bridal registry consultant who will go over your wish list and help make specific gift suggestions. Don’t try registering for everything in a day. Try choosing tabletop items such as crystal, china and silver in one visit, domestic items such as sheets, towels and linens on another and kitchen items such as cookware and small appliances on the third day. When planning your registry, include a broad range of choices and prices so that all your guests will be able to purchase a gift they feel comfortable giving. Think carefully about your choices for your own benefit as well; these are items that will go together to make up your new home, and you want to make sure they’re what you really want.

THE CREATIVE REGISTRY Don’t feel bound to choose the traditional household items that are usually included in a bridal registry if you’ve already got the basics. Be creative. Call a travel agency and set up a honeymoon registry, or contact a mortgage company about establishing an account so friends and family can contribute to the down payment of your first home. While formal china, crystal and silver are still the cornerstone of most wedding registries, today’s couples can register for anything from hardware to luggage, stereo equipment to computers—even a new car! If you have your eye on something out of the ordinary, go for it. You might be surprised how many stores now offer this service, and how many guests are open to it.

THE HIGH-TECH REGISTRY Most stores today keep your registry in a computer database. This database will enable you to input your preferences with ease, usually with a hand-held scanner that will automatically update your list every time a gift is purchased, preventing duplicate purchases. Many retailers have a set length of time that they will keep your registry on file, sometimes up to two years. This feature simplifies gift giving for family and friends who will be buying you birthday, anniversary and holiday gifts over the next year or so. Once you’ve finalized your registry be sure to get a copy of your registry form and go over it to make sure there are no mistakes. Of course, nowadays you can also register over the Internet, though it might still be hard for some older guests to use this system. An online registry can, however, be a useful tool for many of your guests.

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A Stress Free Wedding 6 easy steps to making your day a little less stressful.

1. stay organized

•

Be sure to stay organized. Checklists are a great way to make this happen. They even have great wedding organizers, like The Pink Book, to help you stay organized and keep everything in one place. They have wonderful worksheets to help your process run a lot smoother.

2. be the bride

You have one task the day of your wedding and that is to be a beautiful happy bride. Remember you hired your vendors for a reason. They know what they are doing so let them do their job. You can be sure to tell them anything you are wanting before the wedding but when that day arrives let them do what they do best!

3. have a simple rehearsal dinner

Remember the big party is going to happen the next day. For the Rehearsal Dinner hand over the reigns to your fiancee and let him create a comfortable simple night for you and your guests. Simple things like barbecue and a backyard picnic are great ideas for a rehearsal dinner. Also be sure you don't stay out too late. You have a big day ahead of you and the last thing you need is to be tired the next day.

4. decisions for the day

Find someone who is not in the wedding but really wants to help you on your wedding day. Be sure it is someone you trust and let them deal with all the little things the day of the wedding. They can answer any calls that come your way and deal with making sure everyone knows where to go.

5. don't forget to eat!

The worst thing you can do on your wedding day is not eat. It is a long day and you need to be sure you can keep up. Eat a good breakfast and be sure to have lots of snack foods around all day. Also remember that by this point you aren't going to be able to change how you look in your dress so eat up!

6. stay relaxed

Be sure you are enjoying this time and don't forget to think about yourself. It should not be a stressful time in your life. Don't stop doing your everyday things like hanging out with your friends and doing yoga. You can even schedule a few extra things in your schedule like taking a day off work to just relax or scheduling a spa day for you and some of your friends.


M usic life of the party

If any one element is crucial to setting the appropriate tone and atmosphere for your wedding, it’s the music. Chamber music, classical guitar or perhaps a jazz ensemble can create a subtle background of entertainment without overpowering conversation. A well-seasoned pianist is another excellent choice, since he/she can supply a wide range of musical styles and perform your guest’s special requests.

Music for Your Ceremony

The music played during your wedding should do more than just entertain—it should evoke the deep emotion of your ceremony. The right music takes the right kind of planning, and by following a few guidelines you can ensure perfect harmony between your ceremony and the music you choose for it. Prior to selecting your music, it is best to decide if you want to use religious songs only or a combination of religious and popular tunes. Once you’ve decided, set an appointment with the director of music for your church or synagogue. This person will be able to make recommendations for music suitable for the acoustics (rarely a consideration) of the building and complement any of your wedding’s religious or cultural themes. Music for your ceremony should be divided into four parts: the prelude, the processional, interlude(s) and the recessional.

Music for the Reception Once the cocktail hour has ended and guests are seated at their tables, the main celebration begins. Whether you hire a band, small orchestra or disc jockey, your selection of musicians will be a guaranteed success as long as you provide a wide variety of music. From ‘50s doo-wop to disco, pop or rock, diversity is the key. When hiring live music, the size of the group needed is generally determined by the number of guests. For up to 150 guests, a five-piece band is generally recommended; 150 to 199 guests calls for a larger group of six to seven; and 200 or more demands full orchestra. Should your budget prohibit you from hiring live entertainment, consider hiring a DJ. DJ’s have the ability to play a wide variety of songs and are usually less expensive than live music. You’ll want to begin researching your reception musicians early in the planning process. You’ll need to hear prospective groups play to ensure that you like their sound, and that their talent is up to live performance standards. Never book entertainment without hearing the music live first. It is equally important to find out the range of their band’s musical repertoires. If you plan to keep all your guests in the party mood, you’ll need a little something for everyone. The type of entertainment you choose will ultimately depend on the size and style of your reception. For a large, formal dinner and dance reception, consider hiring a band or an orchestra; an outdoor garden wedding would be better suited to a string quartet or single performer.

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Spare Change energizes every function with their diverse selection of music. From rock, country, beach, funk, rap and classic rock, Spare Change is sure to play a favorite of all persons attending. They will definitely make your event one to remember!

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top 20 Wedding Songs

1. At Last�����������������������������������������������Etta James

11. I Do (Cherish You)������������������������98 Degrees

2. Amazed������������������������������������������������ Lonestar

12. Everything I Do��������������������������Bryan Adams

3. Because You Loved Me���������������� Celine Dion

13. I Cross My Heart��������������������� George Strait

4. The Way You Look Tonight���������� Frank Sinatra

14. It’s Your Love����������� Tim McGraw & Faith Hill

5. True Companion�����������������������������Marc Cohn

15. You Had Me From Hello���������Kenny Chesney

6. Come away with me��������������������� Norah Jones

16. Have I Told You Lately��������������� Rod Stewart

7. My Best Friend����������������������������Tim McGraw

17. Wonderful Tonight����������������������� Eric Clapton

8. Can’t Help Falling In Love���������������������������Elvis

18. When You Say Nothing At All.....Allison Krauss

9. Could I Have This Dance������������Anne Murray

19. I Could Not Ask For More����� Edwin McCain

10. Grow Old With You���������������� Adam Sandler

20. All My Life ����������������������������������� K-C & JoJo


R


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•


wedding trends wedding trends inspiration inspiration inspiration events events events events events wedding trends wedding trends inspiration inspiration inspiration events events events events events wedding trends wedding trends inspiration inspiration inspiration events events events events events wedding trends wedding trends inspiration inspiration inspiration events events events events events wedding trends wedding trends inspiration inspiration inspiration events events events events events wedding trends wedding trends inspiration inspiration inspiration events events events events events wedding trends wedding trends inspiration inspiration inspiration events events events events events Premier Ice Sculptures & Designs

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First Impressions Linen Rentals

Make a lasting first impression! Our vast selection of specialty table linen, chair covers, chair sashes, napkins and table runners are sure to dazzle your guests. From fashion-forward fabrics to fresh new prints, First Impressions Linen can create a look that is distinctly yours.

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Something Old, Something New ...

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Party is our middle name…. Congratulations on your recent engagement! Your event is as important to us as it is to you. Our experienced specialists have overseen thousands of events from start to finish. We listen carefully to clients’ needs and desires, and do whatever it takes to exceed their expectations. Weddings are not one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter events. Each bride is unique and her wedding should reflect her individuality. Is there a theme or color scheme for the wedding? How many guests will need seating? Will your event take place indoors at a hotel or resort or would you like an outdoor reception in a tent under the stars? What type of reception do you envision having – a full seated dinner or seating for some guests with food stations? Do you want a head table for the bride, groom and bridal party or just a sweetheart table? What type of entertainment will there be – a band or DJ? Will you need a stage or dance floor? All these questions and many more can be answered with a trained event professional as you begin to plan the wedding of your dreams. At Classic Party Rentals, our growing network of over 2,000 event professionals can turn any occasion, large or small, into a great occasion. With 35 locations nationwide, Classic offers a deep inventory of tables, chairs, fine china, high-end flatware, specialty linens, tents, tent accessories and more to our clientele. But we do more than just provide the tents and tableware. At Classic, our party professionals provide event consultation and location recommendations, detailed diagrams of the event layout, ontime delivery and pick-up, on-site staff and more. In other words, we sweat the small stuff, so you don’t have to. Every event is a big event at Classic Party Rentals. We’ve got you covered from tent top to tabletop. Come visit our stylish showroom and let us know what we can do to make your big day extra special. Your party is our passion.

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WEDDING CONNECTIONS contact any of our advertisers today


Associations/ Publications Premier Bride 865.531.3941 www.pbcharlotte.com

The Pink Book 865.531.3941 www.thepinkbook.com

Beauty/ Health

Fit to be Wed 704.236.6896 www.fittobewed.com Mary Kay Cosmetics 803.230.2665 www.marykay.com/hplyler

Bridal Shop

The Lily Rose 704.895.1007 www.lilyrosebridal.com

Bridal Shows

Carolina Weddings & Events 704.347.2900 www.thebridalshowcasenc.com

Cakes

Elizabethan Delights 704.806.1963 www.elizabethan-delights.com

Catering

Visions Catering 336.886.4900 www.visionscatering.com

Consultant/ Coordinator/ Planner CharlotteWedding.org 1.855.CWO.FORU (296.3678). www.charlottewedding.org Couture Events & Designs 704.488.4785 www.slsevents.net

Event Fantasies 704.322.4534. www.eventfantasies.com The Silk Veil 704.287.6073 www.thesilkveil.com

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Invitations

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Music

Charlotte DJ Service 888.623.5737 www.charlottedjservice.com Spare Change 704.724.8121 www.SpareChangeMusic.net

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Lisa Crates Photography 980.253.1102 www.lisacrates.com

Receptions/ Venues/ Weddings Armin’s Catering at Beaver Dam Historical Home 704.947.1670 www.beverdamdavidson.com Armin’s Catering at Blythe Landing 704.947.1670 www.arminscatering.com

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Charlotte Marriott City Center 704.333.9000 www.marriottcitycenter.com

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Charlotte Marriott South Park 704.364.8220 www.charlottemarriottsouthpark.com Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden 704.829.1258 www.dsbg.org Dennis Vineyards 704.982.6090 www.dennisvineyards.com Elizabeth Manor 704.810.0538 www.elizabethmanornc.com Renaissance Charlotte SouthPark Hotel 704-501-2510 www.renaissancecharlottesouthpark.com The Palmer Building 704.331.4737 www.thepalmerbuilding.com The Peninsula Yacht Club 704.765.4080 www.peninsulayacht.com

Registry

Belk 866.235.5443 www.belk.com

Rentals / DĂŠcor

Classic Party Rentals 704.523.9300 www.classicpartyrentals.com

Rings

Diamonds Direct 704.532.9041 www.ddusainc.com

Other Connections

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Special online section This is our special online section of the magazine. In this section we have included the continuation of all of the articles in our printed magazine, all of our fashion pages, our incredable honeymoon section, the premier bride planner and much more. Be sure to explore our magazine from start to finish so you don't miss anything.


Beginning of article

wedding planners continued... As you go through your wedding process there will be a lot of questions on how to do things and what is right or proper. A wedding consultant has dealt with all these questions and can be very reassuring in a time that could become very emotional for you. While there are different ways to work with a wedding consultant, let’s consider the consultant that helps you from start to finish. Of course there are wedding consultants that can do partial planning as well as direct the rehearsal and wedding day activities only. After first meeting with you the consultant will help you with your wedding budget. This will determine all the options and will guide the consultant as to advising you with future decisions. The consultant will assist with the timetables and checklists, starting with the selection and booking of the ceremony and reception venues. The consultant knows that all the wedding vendors first need to know you have a wedding date and a location booked. The consultant is now in a position to recommend vendors for each of your needs and will call to make the appointments and go with you to interview each. Ultimately, who you choose is your decision but be assured that the consultant has pre-selected those that fit your needs. Then after you make a decision, the consultant confirms all the information with the vendor and gets a contract for you to sign. The contract is necessary not because there is concern that the vendor will not do the job, but since each vendor probably has lots of weddings you want to make sure the details you have spoken about and agreed to are written down. Creating this paper trail will ensure a smooth wedding day. Throughout the entire process of planning, your wedding consultant is simply a phone call away. Your reaction to what kind of relationship you will have starts with how quickly she responds to your phone calls or emails. You must have a feeling of being very comfortable with the consultant. As your wedding day grows closer you will have more calls and meetings with the consultant confirming all the details. The consultant will be responsible to see that everyone knows what they will be doing and when. This may seem to be a minor point but there have been weddings where a vendor forgot because no one called them. As the family members come together for the first time the consultant can advise ways to make their meetings as warm and fuzzy as possible. The week of your wedding you want to be able to forget about all the details and let the consultant do her job. By this time all the pieces will be in place — they will simply need to be coordinated and directed at the right time. Typically the consultant will direct the rehearsal but will not attend the rehearsal dinner. If there are circumstances that would require her attendance you simply need to discuss this. There are so many details the consultant will handle for you on your wedding day that you just to need to know she will take care of them. The most important factor in having a great day will be not getting upset or emotional over any changes to the wedding plans. The consultant will be able to handle them and make decisions based on her understanding of what you want. And at the end of the day after you have left for your honeymoon the consultant will make sure all the obligations are taken care of and transport all your personal items and gifts. What might you expect to pay a consultant? You can estimate that you will probably spend 35-50 hours in interviews and meetings. The consultant will spend another 15-20 hours on follow-up details. Fees can be based on a flat agreed upon charge or based on a percentage of the budget. Before you make the decision of whether you want to hire a consultant talk with some of your friends who have recently married. Ask them about their experience and then make a decision. While spending money for a consultant is an additional expense, you will realize after the wedding it was money well spent. Remember your wedding day is one day - you can’t do it over.

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Beginning of article

gowns continued... A WORD ON PRICE While it is only natural to want the best price possible, keep in mind that the gown cost not only covers the material and labor involved in creating your wedding dress, it must also cover the time invested by your consultant. Looking for your wedding gown can be one of the most enjoyable aspects of planning a wedding as you try on beautiful gowns and are pampered and waited on by your own personal consultant. If you push too hard for a discounted price you may lose that special service and attention to detail that you would otherwise receive.

DOWN TO DETAILS Your gown may need to be specially ordered, shipped and altered, so begin shopping for a gown at a minimum of four to five months prior to the wedding day. While you should inquire about any and all salon policies before ordering, you can expect a full-service salon to require a 50 percent deposit when you place your order. This is usually non-cancelable due to the fact that the orders are being processed immediately in an effort to expedite the delivery date. Alterations, extra lengths, headpieces and veils involve additional charges, and many stores accept only cash as final payment. •

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gowns


Beginning of article

jewelry continued... Another way to indicate a diamond’s weight is in points, with one carat equaling 100 points. So a diamond of 50 points, for instance, equals 1/2 carat. Diamonds of more than one carat are extremely rare (one in a thousand), and therefore very valuable. But remember that carat weight is only one factor in determining value. Two diamonds of the same size can vary considerably in value depending on the other three factors cut, color and clarity.

APPRAISE IT Once the rings have been selected and purchased, request an appraisal. This is a written estimate of the value of your jewelry. Appraisals of diamonds should include specific indications of the four Cs. Immediately after the purchase, have your jewelry photographed for insurance purposes, and make sure your current policy has adequate coverage. If it does not, consult your insurance agent about amending your policy.

TAKE CARE Although diamonds are the hardest natural substance known to man (2,000 times harder than rubies or sapphires and 3,000 times harder than emeralds), you should not wear them when performing rough work. A hard blow can still chip a diamond. You should also avoid direct contact with chlorine bleach or chlorinated pool water, which could pit and discolor the mounting. On the rare occasions when you do not wear your diamonds, store them alone in a fabric-lined jewelry case or in a jewelry box with separate compartments. This precaution keeps your diamond ring from scratching against other jewelry, including other diamonds. Diamonds, like other gemstones, get smudged and dirty from natural oils, lotions, perfumes and hair spray. To keep your jewels clean, regularly soak them for about 30 minutes in either a commercial jewelry cleaner, or homemade solution comprised of equal parts cold water and ammonia, or a mixture of warm water and mild detergent. Brush the stones gently with an eyebrow brush, then rinse thoroughly under warm water and pat dry with a lint-free cloth. Have your rings checked annually by your jeweler for loose prongs or settings. You’ll be repaid for these small precautions, and the gentle care you give your ring, with years of enjoyment and pride in this precious symbol of your marriage

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jewelry


Beginning of article

cakes continued... TO TOP IT OFF The final step in designing your one of a kind wedding cake is choosing the cake topper. There are just as many choices in toppers as there are cake flavors. You want to first consider the design of your cake and the style of your wedding. It is very important to incorporate your personality into the topper. For example, a cowboy and cowgirl bride and groom rather than the traditional bride and groom may suit a country and western theme wedding. Other theme toppers are available in sports, hobbies, costumes, or holidays. If tradition with a new twist is what you had in mind, consider glass hearts, porcelain doves, your initials etched in glass, or fresh flowers. Please consider the weight of your cake when choosing your topper. This is a detail you will need to discuss with your pastry chef. He/ she will know if the cake you have chosen will hold a heavy topper or require a lighter one. Remember that it’s your wedding and your cake. Choose a topper that will best reflect the love you and your partner share with one another. Make it elegant, fun, and most importantly YOU!

THE CONTRACT As with all the wedding professionals you work with, you will want to have a written agreement with your pastry chef. All the important details need to be on paper to ensure your pastry chef and cake decorator understands all your needs and desires. Let them know how many guests you plan to have, the date and time of your wedding and detailed directions to the reception location. Ask for the total price including any extras, such as delivery and set-up charges. Ask for a deadline date for making any changes. Don’t be afraid to ask any questions that come to your mind regarding your cake. Open communication is the best way to guarantee your wedding cake is everything you wished for and more!

YOUR WEDDING DAY You and your groom put many hours of work into designing your wedding cake. Your big day is here, so enjoy it. Savor the moment when the two of you engage in the traditional cutting of the cake. Make sure the cake is served to the guests. That statement may sound silly, but too many times after the bride and groom cut the first slice, the cake sits for hours while the guests admire it and then leave never even tasting a bite. Have small cake boxes for the guests to take their piece home if they opt not to have it at the reception. Many places where you order wedding favors and novelties will have boxes that you can have your names and wedding date engraved on them. Don’t forget to save the top for your first anniversary. Your pastry chef will have the best advice for preserving the top for a year. The Back to wedding cake is very symbolic on a new bride and groom’s wedding day. Main May your cake be as sweet and beautiful as the life you plan to share.

Article


special online section

cakes


Beginning of article

beauty continued... For blush, use two complementing shades to create a warm, natural effect. First apply a neutral tawny or sand pink shade on the apple of the cheeks using a sponge or brush to blend the color up and out. Then, using the same motion, apply a second more vibrant shade that balances your skin tone at the hollows of your cheeks. This technique will help the color last longer and make your cheeks more defined in your photographs. Use a lighter and more natural application for a daytime wedding and a slightly heavier, more dramatic application for the evening. The key to both looks is to blend, blend, blend, avoiding harsh lines or edges. It’s worth the few dollars it costs to have your eyebrows professionally shaped, especially if you pluck your brows regularly. Eyebrows frame the eyes and the shape impacts the overall appearance of your face. Eyebrows should not extend beyond the inner corner of the eye (near the bridge of your nose), and the eyebrow arch looks best when it peeks just outside the center of the eye. Before or after applying eye shadow fill in your eyebrows with an eyebrow powder that matches brow or hair color.

GORGEOUS HAIR

The more elaborate your gown, the simpler your hair should be in order to avoid an overdone look. Try to avoid extremely trendy hairstyles because 15 years from now you won’t want your wedding photographs screaming “early 21st century.” A simple chignon is a good choice as it is classic and timeless. But if an up-do makes you feel like a librarian you won’t feel pretty or comfortable so go with a look that is right for you and your personality. Keep an open mind though, since you’ll want something a little different from your everyday look and a new hairstyle is a great start. This is not, however, the time to try a new haircut. If you do choose to cut your hair in a new style, do it at least two months before your wedding day to allow time for a bad cut to grow out.

PROBLEM SKIN

Estheticians are professionally trained and licensed to administer facial treatments to enhance the health and appearance of the skin. After proper analysis and treatment they can assist you in selecting skin care products that will enable you to maintain treatments in the privacy and convenience of your own home. Remember, though that healing and toning the skin takes time. If you have problem skin, begin seeing an esthetician at least eight to 12 months prior to your wedding day. The sooner you start the treatments, the better the results will be for the wedding.

PAMPER YOUR BODY

To take care of the skin and make your whole body beautiful, try a body wrap and waxing. Body wraps detoxify and soften the skin using minerals or other natural substances to help to heal acne problems on the back and chest. Body wraps may include a full body massage to encourage circulation, toning and relaxation. Body waxing is one of smoothest and longest lasting forms of hair removal. Your legs will be smooth and free of razor stubble and, you can even try bikini waxing to get rid of hair on a longer-term basis. Back to

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invitations continued... It’s acceptable to send invitations as late as two weeks prior to the wedding, but it’s best to send the last ones no later than three weeks in advance. This will help you handle any oversights and allow you to invite people from your “B” list as you receive regrets. If you’re pressed for time, have the stationer give you the envelopes early for addressing, and request an extra 50 or so of these to account for inevitable mistakes. Response cards help keep track of the number of expected guests for the reception. These cards, included with the invitations, ensure prompt confirmation or regrets. Be sure to include the matching postage-paid return envelope. If you don’t send a response card, the letters RSVP at the bottom left corner of the reception card will show that you expect confirmation or regret. A formal wedding invitation includes an inner and an outer envelope. The inner envelope holds the invitation itself and the enclosure(s), with the ceremony invitation on the bottom, the reception card in the middle, then the response card and the map, if any, on top. If your invitations are folded twice, the enclosures are inserted in the second fold. All of these items are then inserted into the inner envelope face up with the folded edge down. The inner envelope is addressed to the person, couple or family, using neither first names nor street address, just “Mr. and Mrs. Green.” However, if children are included in the invitation, write their first names on a second line, “Michael and Erinn.” Insert the addressed and stuffed inner envelope into the outer envelope with the addressee’s name facing the back flap so it will be visible upon opening. The outer envelope should have a return address engraved or printed on the back flap. Address the front of the envelope according to the following guidelines. To indicate both parties of a married couple, use “Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Green.” If every member of a family is invited, write “Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Green and Family.” If only the older children are included, their names are written below the parents’: “Miss Erinn Green.” When addressing an unmarried couple living together, use each of their full names: “Mr. Reginald Howard and Miss Angelica Thomson.” Street names, cities and states should be written out completely without abbreviations. When addressing envelopes by hand, use blue, blue-black, black or charcoal-gray ink. You may consider hiring a professional hand-calligrapher or paying for computer-generated calligraphy for your envelopes. Invitations should be mailed four to six weeks before the wedding. Mail them earlier if many of your guests are traveling a considerable distance or if the wedding is on a holiday to allow time for travel arrangements. Weigh the complete invitation to ensure correct postage, and confirm whether the envelope Back to is considered standard or oversized by the United States Post Office. Main

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photography continued... DOWN TO DETAILS You will want to secure your photographer eight to 12 months in advance. Provide the exact locations and times for the ceremony and reception and agree upon a time for pre-wedding photo sessions, such as those with the bride, bridesmaids and parents as well as the groom and groomsmen. Although there are certain requisite shots for most weddings, it still helps to provide your photographer with a punch list of these and other shots you absolutely must have and who should be in them. It is also a good idea to provide a general schedule of events. The arrival at the church, the receiving line, cake cutting and the first dance are very important. Be sure the photographer is in contact with your minister, rabbi or priest to avoid last-minute situations where his or her lighting is not allowed. If you have a large wedding party or family, you should designate a friend or family member who knows everyone to work with the photographer and ensure that no one is missing from large portraits. Remember to tell your photographer about sensitive situations in either partner’s family, such as recent deaths or divorce, to avoid any uncomfortable situations. Lastly, be sure you understand exactly what you are buying when you purchase this intricate service. The end product is a variety of poses and prints, which you will need to stipulate. Confirm when the proofs will be ready and how you will receive and pay for the finished work. Since clients don’t generally buy the negatives, it would be wise to find out how long they will be preserved in the photographer’s filing system.

JUST FOR FUN In addition to the formal photographs taken by your photographer, consider letting your guests join in the fun. Place one disposable wedding camera on each guest table and let your guests spontaneously capture the revelry of the affair from their point of view. Ask your DJ or master of ceremonies to announce several times throughout the reception what the cameras are for, and encourage their use. To collect them, place a decorated basket by the door for guests to deposit them as they leave. Have a friend or family member take the cameras to a photo shop for developing, and by the time you return from your honeymoon, you will have an entire collection of special memories just waiting to be enjoyed.

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catering continued... Remember to get specifics as to what extras are included in the caterer’s charges, such as table linens, plates, glasses, crystal, silverware and service pieces. You don’t want any surprises on your wedding day—at least not this kind. When selecting your menu items you might also want to bear in mind that these days many people are eating lighter and you may have a few vegetarians as well. Consider intriguing options such as an aromatic Moroccan couscous station or a Spanish tapas table laden with vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies. Additionally, an Asian stir-fry in a massive wok is definitely a great way to wow your guests.

SERVICE STAFF Once the menu is finalized, the next step is determining the number of wait staff you will need to serve your feast and keep your reception running smoothly. The general ratio is one server for every 10 to 12 guests for a sit-down dinner. When most of the food is butlered by wait staff (that is, personally passed to your guests for more than one hour,) you’ll need more staff at a ratio of one server to every eight guests. In addition, providing a full and open bar will require more staffing than a limited bar with wine, beer and soft drinks. Be sure to confirm the proper attire for the wait staff beforehand so it is in keeping with the degree of formality for your reception.

FINAL ARRANGEMENTS Ensure that your catering contract details all of the particulars of your reception. Specify the day, date and time; the address of the site; food items by course and the number of guests covered; provisions for special meals; the time of the cocktail hour; the time the meal will be served; contact people, including someone from your end with whom the caterers can consult; the number of servers and bartenders and their uniforms; linens; beverages to be served and bar guidelines; terms of payment; and liability insurance. Typically, an advance deposit is due when you sign the contract and remember to check on the cancellation policy for unforeseen events. Back to

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reception continued... PRIVACY ISSUES If your venue does multiple events, find out if there are other bookings at the same time or on the same day as yours. If so, ensure that there will be adequate privacy and separation for your celebration. There should also be ample time in between events to allow your caterer or other service people to set up or break down your party.

ENTERTAINMENT ISSUES Whether you intend to have a DJ or a band, inquire about possible restrictions regarding the type, volume or duration of music. Be sure to confirm that there is an adequate power supply for speakers, mixers and amplifiers, or good acoustics for string and wind instruments. Some sites have built-in public-address systems which can be used for introductions and toasts. If your site of choice doesn’t offer this equipment, make sure your DJ or musicians can provide it.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS Your guests will get their first impression of your reception as they enter the building. But first they have to be able to find it. Clear signage indicating the way to the reception or cocktail area is a must. Whether your party starts with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres outside on the terrace before moving indoors for the meal and dancing, or the entire celebration is held in one room, make sure there is adequate space to receive everyone and to serve your guests while they await your arrival. You don’t want a backlog at the entrance because the doorway is too narrow.

PEOPLE POWER As with any event, there should be a designated person to keep the event running on schedule. This key person may be a wedding coordinator, your caterer or the facility manager. They’ll be responsible for timing of the cocktail hour, prompting your guests for the meal, cueing the musicians for the first dance, and coordinating with the emcee for the champagne toast, cake cutting, bouquet and garter toss. If this person is affiliated with the facility, make sure you meet them and are comfortable with their style before you book.

COST CONSIDERATIONS Rates will vary significantly depending on the type of location, the number of guests to be accommodated and the time of year. Generally, the fee for a room rental is based on usage for a specific period of time, usually four to five hours. If you anticipate your reception running longer, confirm all additional charges. Typically, these charges will be based on half hour increments. All of the details for your reception should be delineated in a contract signed by you and the facility’s representative. To secure your date, a 50 percent deposit is usually required with the balance due on the day of the event. You may want to check on the refund policy in the case of a cancellation.

DOWN TO DETAILS As you’re find wedding locations that seem to suit your style, ask vendors about the following policies: catering, alcohol, bad weather, contingency plans, staffing availability, parking, decorating, deposits, refunds and insurance. Before signing the contract make sure Back to Main you’re comfortable with the answers they give.

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registry continued... THE LONG-DISTANCE REGISTRY If you and your fiancé are from different parts of the country, it may not be possible to find the same retailers in each other’s respective towns. While it is possible to order gifts by phone or over the Internet, many people prefer to shop in person. In this case you might want to split your registry among various stores. Start a registry specifically for crystal and silver at a department store in your groom’s hometown, and open a separate registry for china in your parent’s hometown. In the city where you and your groom live you can register for non-traditional registry items.

THE CHARITABLE REGISTRY As more and more couples are marrying later in life, it’s becoming popular to register for gifts not for themselves, but for the good of the world. Couples have asked guests to donate to charities, contribute to rain forest preservation or any number of other possible philanthropic ways of celebrating their marriage without the presents.

GETTING THE WORD OUT Once you have decided on where to register and what items will be included, the next step is getting the word out to your guests. Your family, maid of honor and bridesmaids are invaluable assets in spreading this information by word of mouth. While it is perfectly acceptable to include the stores where you are registered on your shower invitations with the simple statement, “Bride is registered at _____,” it is not appropriate to include such information on your wedding invitations, as it implies that a gift is required for attendance.

KEEPING TRACK The tradition of keeping a gift log to record the gift, the giver, and the store it came from was once exclusively the task of the bride. Now many retailers provide this service. Computerized registries can keep track of the items bought and the purchaser. This information will come in handy when you write the many thank-you notes you will undoubtedly be sending.

SAYING THANK YOU Gifts received before the wedding should be acknowledged in the form of a thank-you note within two weeks of the gift’s arrival. It is proper to send thank-you notes for gifts received on the wedding day no later than one month after the honeymoon. Gifts received after the wedding should be acknowledged within a month. All notes should be handwritten since typed or printed cards are considered too impersonal. Because gifts are usually sent to the bride, she customarily sends the thank you notes. It is appropriate for the groom to share in this responsibility, especially when the gifts are from his close friends or family members.

REGISTRY BASICS Traditional bridal registries usually include these items: • Fine china, Crystal stemware, Sterling silver flatware, Table linens, Bar accessories, Everyday china/ dishes, Stainless steel flatware, Everyday stemware, Kitchen cookware, Cutlery, Kitchen and bath linen, Dining room sets, Home accessories, Outdoor barbecue accessories, Small appliances, Gardening accessories

CARE FOR YOUR TREASURES If you receive gifts that are of notable worth, you might consider adding a rider to your home owner insurance policy to cover all of your wedding treasures. The policy is fairly inexpensive and will be well worth the peace of mind it will bring.

…AND ENJOY THEM!

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music continued... CHAMBER MUSIC Ensembles of violins, violas, cellos, harps and flutes produce some of the most divinely melodious sounds in the world. Playing classical and contemporary romantic numbers, these groups are appropriate for your ceremony, cocktail hour or a more intimate reception. These ensembles work extremely well at outdoor affairs, since they do not require access to electricity. Male members are usually attired in tuxedos, while female members wear elegant black dresses or gowns. Meet with these music professionals early in your planning process to guarantee their availability on your date and to tailor a repertoire suitable to your budget and taste.

CLASSICAL GUITAR Either alone or accompanied by a flautist, classical guitar performances are elegant and distinctive. A well-versed classical guitarist, outfitted with a single amplifier, meets the needs of the ceremony and/or cocktail hour, since their repertoire often extends beyond strictly classical music to include contemporary tunes as well. Their singular presence also works nicely for small, intimate receptions. Most classical guitarists will readily perform a preview of their music upon request to help in the decision-making process.

BANDS & ORCHESTRAS Bands are typically multi-member ensembles that include vocalists, guitarists, a bass player, a pianist or keyboard player and a drummer. The lead vocalist may also act as emcee for the evening. Bands usually charge based on the number of members in the group. The size of the band needed will greatly depend on the number of guests you intend to invite. To find a band, elicit the help of a booking agent who represents the kind of entertainment you’re looking for. The best groups will be booked well in advance, in fact, up to a year is not unusual so book your entertainment as early as possible. Two weeks to a month before the wedding, confirm the date, location, time of set up and when the performance should begin. Well in advance of the wedding day, provide your musicians with a list of songs you would like played at the reception. Be specific and include song titles and singers/composers. Make sure that your musicians can play the Back to song for your first dance, or that the DJ has a clean copy of the original Main recording. Article


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accessorize yourself continued...

You have found the perfect dress, now it is time to accessorize! It is important to remember to not over accessorize, you don’t want your accessories to take away from you or from the gown.

HAIRPIECE You can choose to wear a hairpiece regardless of whether or not you wear a veil. A hairpiece may be a crystal tiara, an embellished barrette or a family heirloom. Veils can be attached to your headpiece, or attached separately.

JEWELRY It is important to consider the type of wedding you are having when selecting your jewelry. Often brides chose to wear a family heirloom as their something borrowed or something old. Something new may be a wedding day gift from the groom. When choosing to wear a necklace be sure the necklace is flattering to the neckline of your gown. Timeless jewelry is always appropriate, and consists of diamond stud or drop earrings, or a strand of pearls.

UNDER THE GOWN There are many varieties of garments to wear under the gown, and it is important what you wear is comfortable! For strapless gowns one of the best options is a strapless, corset style bra. This style hooks low in the back, and stays up much better than your typical strapless bra. You don’t want to spend your wedding tugging at your bra to hold it up. If you can wear a bra with straps, look into wearing clear straps, or having loops sewn into the straps of your dress to hold your bra strap in place. If you need a little extra help squeezing into your dress, or are wearing a form fitting gown, invest in a pair of Spanx. These are miracle workers in holding everything wear it should be, while still allowing you to breathe. Be sure to wear for your final dress fitting what you will be wearing at the wedding, as it can affect the fit of the dress.

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Ginlosewconds

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Planning your

destination wedding or honeymoon has never been so easy!

A warm, sunny beach… A villa in Italy… A chalet in the Rocky Mountains… Finding the perfect location is the first step and where better to start than

d international Domestic, tropical an s and more! locations, travel tip

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domestic

maine

Story By norman Shonkwiler PhotoS CourteSy maine offiCe of touriSm

Take green mountains, rolling forested hills, rocky sea shores and sandy beaches with out crowds and warm genuine hospitality put it all together and you’ve found Maine. Scenic beauty and adventure for every season of the year waits from skiing to zip-lines along with the luxury and comfort of five star resorts. Find the romantic beginning of your life together in the corner of the country that has a little bit of everything. 4


Top MusT-see, MusT Do’s Aroostook County Known as the last frontier of the east it has a total territory larger than the states of Rhode Island and Connecticut. A paradise for the adventurous outdoors person “the County” as it is known, offers activities year round from downhill and Nordic skiing to snow boarding, and snow-shoeing and in the summer hiking, camping, canoeing and kayaking and biking. Maine has also been rated by the League of American Cyclists as one of the top 10 most bike-friendly states in the country.

Maine Highlands For the adventurous, the Maine Highlands has mountain biking with trails from moderate to challenging, three levels of white water rafting on the Penobscot, Kennebec, and Dead Rivers. Mount Katahdin has trails for various skill levels but is rugged and can be hazardous, at the end of the Appalachian Trail it is also the start of the International Appalachian Trail.

Kennebec and Moose River Valley and Maine’s Lakes and Mountains Both regions offer groomed hiking, snowmobile and ATV trails to experience Maine’s natural beauty and abundant wildlife, including deer, moose, bald eagles and many more species of wildlife living in Maine. Water released from hydrodams allows Maine’s rafting season to last from May to October. Winter sports are spectacular, providing incredible scenery especially the frozen water falls on the Kennebec and Moose Rivers.

The Coast Regions From the classic rocky coastline in the Downeast Acadia region to the warm sandy beaches of the southern most Maine Beaches region you will experience the classic maritime heritage that is Maine.


Seabasco Harbor Resort

Tubing at Sugarloaf Resort

Witness the wild life of the sea, seals, puffins, and whale watching off the coast. Experience the many towns and villages along the coast where fishermen have trolled the sea for generations bringing in their catches each day. If you are a sea food lover welcome to heaven. Hiking and biking along the inland and coastline gives you a panoramic view of the seaports and ocean and the many lighthouses. Check out what’s playing at the Ogunquit Playhouse where Broadway comes to Maine.

Where To sTay: Seabasco Harbor Resort

Harborside Hotel Spa and Marina

Located in the Midcoast Region, on the coast on 550 acres with breathtaking views of the ocean and rocky coast. A full service spa located ocean side, a nine hole golf coarse, tennis, a salt water pool and ocean view location for wedding ceremonies. The main lodge has views of the freshwater lake, the golf course or the beautiful gardens. At the edge of the harbor is the Lighthouse, which has 10 guest rooms boasting a view to Harbor Island and beyond to Casco Bay. Suites are available at the Harbor Village and Cottages are available throughout the resort’s extensive grounds.

Sugarloaf Resort

La Bella Vita Bar Terrace at the Harborside Hotel Spa and Marina

Located in the Lakes and Mountains region Sugarloaf Resort has full amenities for summer and winter, including an 18-hole golf course and golf school. The hotel’s classic mountain lodge has accommodations from small rooms to penthouse and 3-5 bedroom condos. Take a sunrise canoe excursion, wilderness hike or take a guided moose cruise into the mountains to view Maine’s favorite wildlife. See the scenery from on high with a ride in summer on the chair lift or if you are more daring take a breathtaking 1 ½ to 2 hour Zip line. Numerous mountain trails range


from 1.5 to 15 miles. Amenities for your destination wedding include optional dove and butterfly release, horse drawn carriage or in the winter sleigh.

Harborside Hotel Spa and Marina Located in downtown Bar Harbor and minutes away from Acadia National Park the Harborside Hotel over looks Frenchman’s Bay. Most Guest Rooms, Suites and Ocean Suites offer balconies with views of the ocean, beautifully decorated with all of the amenities you might need. Harborside can help you plan your biking and hiking at Acadia National Park with 55 miles of carriage roads, and Gorham Mountain which offers beautiful park and ocean views, horseback riding and in the winter cross country skiing is also available. Seakayaking is a great way to experience the ocean views up close with skill levels from novice to expert. Whale, seal and puffin watching excursions aboard the AtlantiCat luxury catamaran is available right from the Harborside pier. Your destination wedding is accommodated in one of three locations the Proctor Ballroom, the Regency Stone House, and the Bar Harbor Club.

Where To eaT: Maine offers the freshest seafood brought in daily. After over two hundred years of practice, Maine chefs receive national accolades for their art. You can’t stop at seafood; jams and breads, gourmet cheeses, needhams (potato candies), dillie beans (pickled green beans), wild blueberry jams, maple butter, and of course maple candy and syrups. The specialty food market is booming. Discover why vacationers are planning visits just to sample Maine’s gastronomic fair. Let’s face it long winters make for plenty of time to experiment and perfect culinary masterpieces.

B

fact sheet Harborside Hotel Spa and Marina Banquet Hall

Planning your TriP www.visitmaine.com

ClimaTe winter high temperatures usually average in the mid 20s in the south/coast, to around 20 central/north. snow is usually melted by mid-summer temperatures which can be hot, but usually stay in the 70s during June, and around 80 July and august. thunderstorms are common in the summer. in the fall, dry weather arrives and the leaves change beautifully, with a lot of sunshine during this period. average temperatures are in the 60s in september, 50s in october and 40s/30s in november with snow arriving in Late november everywhere except some coastal and southern communities. Where To STay • seabasco harbor resort: www.sebasco.com • sugarloaf resort: www.sugarloaf.com • harborside hotel spa and marina: www.theharborsidehotel.com maine marriage requiremenTS if neither of you are maine residents, then you need to apply in any maine town office. it need not be the same town where you plan to be married. Photo id such as a driver’s license may be required, bring a certified copy (raised seal) of the divorce from or death certificate of the last spouse. applicants must be over 18 years old, no blood test is required. you may want to check with the municipal clerk where you are filing before-hand to find out what that municipality’s policies are. marriage licenses are issued at the town or city level. Both the bride and groom must visit the town office in person to apply for the marriage license. your marriage license is valid for 90 days and can only be used within the state of maine. there is no longer a waiting period from the time your marriage license is issued until your wedding can take place. the person performing the ceremony is responsible for filing the marriage certificate with the town office that issued the marriage license.


tropical

BeLize Story By raChael Dragani PhotoS CourteSy tony rath, JC Cuellar anD the Belize touriSm BoarD

There are too many languages, cultures, people, foods and historic tales blended together in this tropical nation to make anyone feel like an outsider. Come for a relaxing honeymoon and leave with so much more – a taste of the beginning of civilization, the chance to have seen exotic species on land or underwater and some sun-kissed cheeks from lazy days on the picture-perfect coast. Economic failure in the past decade and a subsequent recovery made possible by the cooperation between labor, tourism officials and the government have made visitors essential to the nation’s success. So, anywhere you go, you’re guaranteed a smile with your service, making sure that your new spouse isn’t the only thing you’re in love with when you have to leave Belize. 4

Cool light sunrise in Ambergris Caye, Belize.


Lay of The LanD Settled by the Mayas thousands of years ago and trampled on by everyone else in between, the history of Belize is just as rich as its landscapes. The barrier reef along the coast is the second largest in the world and home to sandy beaches. The rest of the country is scattered with mountains, lagoons, flora-heavy marshes and a dense jungle that boasts many of the world’s most exotic species. There’s something for every type of adventure sport buff, nature-lover or beach bum in Belize, the trick is deciding what you want to do or finding the time to do it all.

Xunantunich ,a Maya archaeological site in western Belize, about 80 miles west of Belize City, in the Cayo District

Top MusT-see’s, MusT-Do’s Almost every tourist destination in Belize involves a beach, and if you’re stressed out from your big day and need a drink by the crystal blue water, you’re going to the right place. Take a step off the beach, though, and explore the other wonders Belize is hiding:

Explore the Rainforest About half of Belize is covered in a dense, well-protected tropical forest. The animals and birds the jungle houses are unparalleled in the rest of Latin America, and the kinds of orchids alone are over 250. Toledo, a district in the southern part of the country, is the best place to visit. A little off the beaten path, the adventurous couple can spend days here exploring the tropical forest and mountains, rivers, lagoons and Maya villages that go along with it.

Go Underwater! If you’re a certified diver, you probably already know what Belize has got to offer – the largest coral reef in the Caribbean teeming with hundreds of species of marine life and rare aquatic plants. It’s a diver’s dream. No worries if you’re not a pro – Belize is the perfect place for beginners. Whether you’d like to become certified

Experience the fresh water and rainforest surroundings with kayak packages thru many hotels and professional outfitters Rest and relaxation under a coconut palm as the waves gently caress the sand at your feet at San Pedro Beach

Experience 185 miles of the Belize Barrier Reef with countless dive locations year round


Coco Beach Resort

or try your hand at snorkeling, Belize dive groups offer a variety of options ranging from master dives to afternoon boat tours. Make sure to ask at your hotel or local tour office to get the best rates – there is plenty of competition so it’s also a great place to get a good deal.

Visit Ancient Maya Cities The beautiful water and bountiful tropical forests you may visit are perfect tourist destinations, but centuries ago they were what made Belize the perfect place for Maya tribes to build communities. Today, many temples are still well-preserved for visitors and a great way to marvel at the resourcefulness and intelligence these founders of civilization possessed. Tours range from day expeditions to week-long treks through some of the villages and jungles, so decide what you’d like to do and shop around for the best deal.

Top 5 Romantic Islands in Belize Idyllic south Water Caye is an amazing 15-acre coral island - one of the few places

that couples have the ability to literally swim off the beach and into the reef. The Pelican Beach Resort accommodations provide lovers with everything they need to experience ultimate “R&R.” Located a short 15 minutes from Belize’s mainland via plane or 30 minutes by water taxi, Caye Caulker’s swaying palms, white sandy beaches and warm waters entice travelers from around the world. The caye offers a range of accommodations, from budget friendly hotels to lavish boutiques, along with excursions for all types of couples. At 25 miles long, ambergris Caye is the largest of the cayes, and is surrounded by prominent dive and snorkel sites, including the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley. The largest town on Ambergris Caye is San Pedro, which is renowned for its barefoot lifestyle and features golf carts as opposed to cars as the primary mode of transportation. Although this area boasts some of Belize’s hippest restaurants, funkiest bars and a host of boutique hotels, San Pedro retains its relaxed atmosphere and remains far from the glitz and noise of a city.


st. George’s Caye boasts only a few homes, upscale accommodations and a range of dive shops. This spot now provides a quiet and restful vacation to couples wishing to enjoy some of the best swimming, snorkeling and diving in the Caribbean. Coco plum Caye sits a mere 10 minutes from the spectacular barrier reef, and a half-mile from Man-O-War Caye, a bird sanctuary home to pelicans and frigates. Sole accommodations consist of intimate cabanas at Coco Plum Island Resort, where guests can retreat while snorkeling exotic sites, kayaking or lounging on the beautiful beach.

Coco Beach Resort Casita Bedroom

Belizean Cove

WhaT To eaT The cuisine of Belize is as varied as its landscape. For a day of local flavor, start with a breakfast of tortillas with many types of cheeses and refried beans, munch on rice and beans with coconut milk or some tamales for lunch and dine on meat pies, escabeche (an onion soup), or a good stew for dinner. If you’d rather have a meal that tastes closer to home, most of the main towns have a wide variety of well-prepared international cuisine. The popular tourist destination Ambergris Caye offers everything from traditional Belize cuisine to pizza – and in between you can stop at Wine de Vine to sample some fine wines and cheeses. Hidden Treasure Restaurant & Bar is centrally located, popular for its delicious yet affordable selection and great atmosphere.

Where To sTay Think about what you want before you come to Belize – pool? Beachside? Great restaurants? Opportunity for organized day trips? It’s easy to find all of the above in a package set-up, especially in Ambergris Caye, the island getaway.

Belizean Cove Master Bedroom

Black Rock Lodge, Waterfall Deluxe Cabin interior


Black Rock Lodge - 242 acres along the Macal River (1 mile of riverfront on far side of river, including 2 peaks)

Coco Beach Resort, Ambergris Caye www.cocobeachbelize.com

Black Rock Lodge, Cayo www.blackrocklodge.com

Coco Beach Resort guests can expect a subtropical climate, palm trees, coconuts, hammocks and the most incredible swimming pool on the island. The resort offers luxurious accommodations in a quaint environment with activities including SCUBA diving, fishing, day tours, volleyball, sailing, kayaking and much more.

If you want to stay away from the resorts, try the cabanas or lodges in the Cayo District. Secluded, affordable cabanas at Black Rock Lodge offer a unique experience. This unique eco-lodge is nestled in the dense triopical forest above the Macal River in the Maya Mountains of Belize, 2.5 hours west of Belize City, south of San Ignacio. Experience the lodge’s environmental commitment to hydro and solar powered electricity, spring fed water and fresh organic fruits grown on site. Black Rock Lodge’s stunning forest surroundings offer abundant opportunity for exploration and adventure. Whether canoeing down the pristine Macal River, horseback riding to the Flour Camp caves, or hiking up the various Canyon trails, the abundant diversity of the local flora and fauna is inspiring. Kayak, tubing, horseback riding, birding, caving and Maya site trips run daily from the hotel. Wherever you go, make sure to mention you are honeymooners while you’re booking, most places offer special deals, secluded rooms or upgrades.

Belizean Cove Estates Villas, Ambergris Caye www.belizeancove.com Whether you’re are looking for a private beachfront ceremony for two or an extravagant affair with family and friends, Belizean Cove Estates offers an elegant setting for your special day. A quiet place that offers everything, and the option to personalize your experience, Belizean Cove Estates is a complex of eight luxurious beachfront villas individually decorated with fully equipped kitchens. Travel to and from the mainland for day activities can be coordinated thru the front desk.

B


fact sheet

loCaTion Belize sits on the eastern coast of the Central american coastline facing the Caribbean sea. it is the Caribbean gateway to Central america.

ClimaTe most tourists go to Belize in the dry season, which is december – may. But depending on the part of the country you are in, the rainy season can be just as enjoyable. all year round, the temperature is in the mid 70s – mid 80s, with high humidity during the months of august and september. CulTure the people of Belize have an array of traditions and customs that represent more than 10 diverse cultures, including maya, mestizo, Creole, garifuna, east indian, mennonite, arab and Chinese, as well as a number of european, american and other expatriates. language english remains the official language in Belize, but the most diverse language in Belize is Kriol (Belizean Creole), with other cultural languages spoken such as garifuna, mandarin and spanish. Belize is the only english speaking country in Central america. Time Zone UtC-6, or Central standard time (no daylight savings). eleCTriCiTy 110v at 60c – should be like the Us but you might want an adaptor since 220v is also accepted in Belize. CurrenCy the Belize dollar is 2:1 on the Us dollar. Us dollars and credit cards are widely accepted. don’t bother with traveler’s cheques. TiPPing Upscale hotels and resorts may add 10% to guests’ bills for bellhop, maid and porter services. additional tipping is not required. tipping should reflect your evaluation of services but generally diners are encouraged to tip servers between 10 and 15% of the total bill.

Getting married on the beach at Coco Beach Resort

geTTing married in BeliZe • a Belize marriage license is required from the registrar general’s office in Belize City or solicitor general’s office Belmopan. download a marriage license form from www.belizelaw.org

• Both parties must stay in the country for three days before submitting the wedding license application. the cost of the license is $100. Be sure to have photocopies of the first two pages of your passport showing the arrival date in Belize. this must accompany your application. • Proof of citizenship is required by the Belize government. you will need a valid passport and original or certified copies of applicant’s birth certificate. if either party has been divorced or widowed, you will also need a certified copy of the final divorce decree or death certificate. • Contact information for marriage Licenses: registrar general’s office solicitor general’s office Belize City Belmopan (501) 227-7377 (501) 822-2504 • a marriage license can also be obtained within 24 hours. applications for special License must be signed by both applicants, verified by an affidavit, and accompanied by the applicants’ identity documents (i.e. certified copies of applicants’ birth certificate, passport, etc.). you can apply from your place of residence through a Belize wedding planner. • there is no residency requirement and no blood test is required. Parental consent is needed if applicants are under 18 years • applications can be obtained through the general registry, supreme Court Building, Belize City. tel: +501227-7377, Fax: +501-227-0085, or the solicitor general’s office, east Block Building, Belmopan City at tel: +501822-2504, Fax: +501-822-3390 or download form from www.belizelaw.org • required documents can be either original or certified copies. divorced persons must present an original or certified copy of divorce certificate. if widow or widower, a certified copy of death certificate must be submitted. a fee of two hundred and fifty dollars (Us$250.00) must accompany the application Getting married at Coco Beach Resort


international

PhiLiPPines Story By norman Shonkwiler

One thing about the Philippines – it isn’t hiding anything from you. The cities are raw and vibrant, unafraid of exposing poverty or an underworld. The water is bursting with bustling ports and marine life waiting to be explored (or eaten!) Best of all, the people are so inviting that you get the feeling the street vendor really does want you to ‘Have a great day, ma’am!’ even after you declined his ware. If you’re looking for a tropical destination with a little flavor, the Philippines Islands are the honeymoon spot for you. 4


Lay of The LanD

Top MusT-see’s, MusT-Do’s

Hop from island to island to…island in this colorful maze of a tropical archipelago. Whether it’s the forested pines of the north or the white-sanded beaches of the south, the Philippines has never taken a bad picture. The struggle for independence occupied the minds and took the lives of these islands for centuries, and the country is left with visible reminders of the fight scattered across the land. Towering fortresses, occupied by forces such as the Spanish, Americans and Japanese litter the cities and towns, and countless statues and monuments can be found in even the most remote areas. When independence did come in 1946, the transition was wobbly and the nation saw their share of political unrest up until relatively recently. Now, however, the government is more stable and the tried and true spirit of the Filipino people will greet you around every corner.

If you’re a Spanish architecture buff or a city dweller, spend a day or two in Manila. The streets are whirring with the sounds of motorbikes and colorful, patch-worked jitneys, and the grime and visible poverty are paired with the smiles of families and young workers playing in the streets. Check out the impressive Spanish fortresses occupied by the various colonizers of the Philippines, and the many historical tributes scattered around the city to the man who led them to their independence, Jose Rizal. If cities aren’t your thing, though, you won’t be missing much –bypass Manila and head straight to one of these island or jungle destinations:

Tightly packed skyscrapers rise above the traffic in Makati City in Manila

Boracay Popular with both international and Filipino tourists, Boracay is truly a postcardperfect destination. Crystal clear water, white sand, smiling locals and plenty


Exploring the seabed next to ship wreck in Boracay

Boracay Beach

Exotic traditional seafood market on Boracay island

Rice terraces in Northern Luzon

of opportunities for entertainment or relaxation make this a one-stop shop for a perfect honeymoon. Boracay has the stunning scenery of a luxurious resort with a more laid-back attitude. Open restaurants, bars and stores with sand floors line the beach, and barefooted locals and tourists alike float in and out for meals or a cold San Miguel. Stick with fresh for the best food in Boracay – smoothies with mangos plucked straight from the tree or steamed and fried fish who just made it to shore. Other restaurants will serve standard Western fare – Nigi Nigi Nu Noos has the best sandwiches in town (warning: split the enormous burger with your new spouse if you’re worried about your bikini bod) and they serve breakfast all day. If you’re looking for some water sports to work off the food, Boracay has plenty of available options for windsurfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing and more. If you’re looking to avoid tourists, it’s best to go in the low season, which is around December – February.

Cebu This island near the center of the Philippines is a delightful mix of everything the Philippines has to offer – a bustling town full of colonial architecture and easily accessible tropical paradises. Take in Cebu City, an easy air or boat transfer from Manila, and see a blend of European and Asian architecture. Then head to the islands around Cebu – the most popular being Malapascua Island, Bantayan Island and Bohol. All three offer laid-back and less touristy options for relaxation or water activities. If you’re into scuba, the best dive around is the nearby Moalboal. Or, if wildlife and trekking is your thing, Tagbilaran is the Cebu destination for you.

Luzon Cebu and Boracay are the picturesque beach destinations of the Philippines, but if you want to take in rich jungle-like scenery, trek through mountains or explore bustling


local markets, book a trip to North or South Luzon. Baguio, the center of the more upscale North Luzon, is nestled between seas of pine. The city is a gateway to the more rugged areas of North Luzon that offer great trekking and sightseeing through the Cordillera Mountains, sometimes even hiking to watch native tribes in action. South Luzon offers more access to beach areas, since it is full of bays and inlets and also boasts incredible volcanoes. It’s a less touristy option that won’t disappoint.

Cebu

Where To sTay

Luzon

Boracay If you’re on a budget and want to be near the action, try Nigi Nigi Nu Noos for a delightfully beach tacky room with a waterfront view. If you’d like something more remote and away from the party scene on Boracay, book anywhere near Boat Station 3 like the Hotel Isla Boracay South, a rustic getaway where every room has an ocean view.

Diner by the water in Cebu

If you’re using Cebu City as a base, there are plenty of basic hotels like the Cebu Midtown Hotel that offer breakfast and assistance in jetting off to other islands. Each separate island has their own beach resorts, one of the nicer being Budyong Beach Resort on Bantayan Island, where you can relax in your own nipa hut. A great collection of the different options can be found at www.alltravelcebu.com.

In North Luzon, nothing could be more authentic than sleeping in your own romantic palm hut at places like TamAwan Village. For spacious rooms or huts at a luxurious resort in South Luzon, try the Estancia Resort Hotel. Keep in mind that resorts and hotels in Luzon are not as easy to come by as in other parts of the Philippines, so book ahead of time to ensure accommodation.

B


fact sheet

ClimaTe the Philippines has a tropical marine climate, with temperatures consistently in the 80s. rainy monsoon season lasts from may to october, with heavier storms sometimes coming from July – september, so if you’re planning a trip during that time look more into the specific area you want to go to see if they are generally hit with bad storms.

language english is one of the official languages of the Philippines. while not everyone can speak it perfectly, you should have no trouble getting around, and all signs and directions are in english. geTTing around even if you plan to stay out of manila, you will most likely have to get a connecting flight out of there to get to one of the more remote locations. make sure to do your research ahead of time – some of the island hoppers travel less frequently during monsoon season. For a chance at finding cheaper fare, try booking a flight to manila and then finding an inexpensive transfer at www.cebupacificair.com. Time Zone dst, 12 hours ahead of eastern time. CurrenCy the currency is the Filipino peso. Credit cards are not widely accepted, and atms can be unreliable, so make sure you exchange money before you go and carry enough cash with you. TiPPing tipping is not essential but you are almost guaranteed great service, and a 10%-15% tip is greatly appreciated.

Filipino Catholic wedding ceremony old style in Dumaguete's Cathedral, Negros Oriental, Philippines

eleCTriCiTy 220v at 60 hertz – you may need at adaptor with two round pin plugs. marriage requiremenTS the U.s. citizen applicant will need to present: • the affidavit from his/her embassy in Lieu of a Certificate of Legal Capacity to marry (required for any foreigner wishing to marry by the Philippine government); • divorce decree(s) or death certificate(s) required to verify civil status and capacity to marry; • U.s. passport; • documentation regarding paternal consent or advice, if applicable. a judge, a minister or any other person authorized by the government of the Philippines can perform the marriage. marriage applicants aged 18 to 21 must have written parental consent. applicants aged 22 to 24 must have received parental advice. Philippine law prohibits the marriage of individuals under the age of 18. there is a ten-day waiting period from the filing of the application to the issuance of the marriage license which is valid for 120 days and may be used anywhere in the Philippines. Civil ceremonies can be conducted by a judge or a mayor who can administer the solemnization of the marriage. a Catholic religious ceremony may be performed even without a civil ceremony and the marriage will still be considered legal in the Philippines. there are a number of requirements and pre-ceremony interviews and seminars for Catholic ceremonies. to be sure, inquire with the church in which you plan to be married for specific requirements.


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Charlotte Premier Bride Magazine 2011  

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