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Sunday LOVELAND REPORTER-HERALD/I DO April 11, 2010 A3 I Do is produced by the Loveland Reporter-Herald. For advertising information, call 970-669-5050. For editorial information, e-mail editor Jade Cody at or call 970-635-3656. Contact reporter Rhema Muncy at or 970-635-3684.

On the cover: Nick and Rachel Betz, married on July 12, 2009. Photography by Van Pelt.

inside this issue Summer, 2010 a Spa Party 6 Host Prepare the bridal party for the big day with a relaxing spa day

Magic 10 Mountain Local couple marries on top of Loveland Pass

14 Create a Wedding Web Site

Get everyone involved with a personalized wedding Web page

16 Ways to Cut

Wedding Costs 15 tips on cutting down the price of a wedding


also inside A Little Inspiration: Ideas for your wedding 4 Wedding makeup hints and tips 8 Gift giving etiquette .................................................................................................. pg. 8 I Do: By the numbers ............................................................................................... pg. 9 Just Married ............................................................................................................. pg. 19 Down the Aisle: Rhema Muncy writes about planning her wedding..... pg. 21 Planning your wedding: A checklist.................................................................. pg. 22



A little inspiration Fresh designs for weddings • By Rhema Muncy, Special Sections Reporter

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hese 14 carat palladium white gold hammered wedding bands are hand made with three different hammers to create a granite look. Because they already have pock marks, these rings are great for people who work often with their hands. The rings are also available in sterling silver, white gold and yellow gold. Metal artist Beth Cyr works out of Athens, Georgia. She crafts other nature inspired jewelry, such as metals mimicking different bark patterns, leaves and water. For more information, log onto

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reate a charming decoration for the guest table or a gift for the bridal party with these inspiring prints. Using architecture or natural settings, photographers shot every letter of the alphabet. Type in a word and use their combination, or switch a letter out to create your own compilation of images. Then either order the prints separately and buy a frame, or order it pre matted and framed. Fore more information, log onto


Unexpected inspiration


he Dessy design group teamed up with Pantone to offer an online color inspiration board. Select potential wedding pairings and then pick out potential bridal party attire with those color pairings. Other tabs allow you to upload your own photos. Another tab offers photos of invitation, flowers, cakes, destinations, jewelry, people, food, venues, shoes and decor. Play around with textures and themes to see if those quirky design dreams might actually work. To start, log onto Screen shot from

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ring back the glamour of up town decor by incorporating peacock feathers into the wedding and reception. Headpieces, centerpieces, invitations, food tables ... the possibilities are endless. Metro photo

Photo by Becky Hawley

A bridal gift to remember


or the green bride, local mixed media artist Becky Hawley offers many unique up-cycled gift options. Made of recycled papers and ready to inspire a personal art journey, order journals for helpful wedding volunteers and the bridal party. For more, see

Marriage certificate rules


t is important to think ahead when obtaining a marriage certificate. In Larimer County, the bride and groom must both be present with an official identification, such as a birth certificate, passport or drivers license. The

ceremony must happen within 30 days of obtaining the license. Bring your social security number, 30 dollars in cash or check and the address and names of all parents. Call the Larimer County Clerk office at 970-498-7860 to get started.




Host a bridal spa party Pamper the girls to reduce stress RHEMA MUNCY SPECIAL SECTIONS REPORTER


he stress of a wedding can easily make a bride forget to care for her own health as her big day approaches. Relaxation, cleansing and beauty touch-ups can go a long way to ensure the wedding process will be a smooth ride, according to local Spa professionals in Loveland. According to Poudre Valley Hospital’s 23 Trees spa manager Kimberly Gray, one of the ways stress can imbalance the body is by creating conditions for acne. “A lot of people who stress out will end up breaking out,” Gray said. “When you build up all of that stress, take care of yourself by reducing it.” One of the best ways to reduce stress is to host a bridal spa party for the bridesmaids, mothers and perhaps even the groomsmen. These events can include a variety of services and each person can decide what services they want to include in their spa package. These parties can be a bonding experience, especially if members of the bridal party do not

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know each other. “A lot of these gals might be very close and some of the other ones are flying in from out of state,” said Linda King, a Loveland massage therapist and owner of Naturally Yours. “It is really a good chance for them to have a party atmosphere and they can share an experience with each other.” On the day of the wedding, some bridal parties will come into Vogue Laser Clinic and bring their hair stylists along to get ready. “We will have champagne and mimosas and set out chocolate covered strawberries,” said Stacy Dover, an aesthetician at Vogue Laser Clinic. “We had one wedding party where the limo dropped them off and their hair person came and they had makeup, hair and then boom, they were done and off to the church. We enjoy it because everyone is in a good mood and it is a happy day.” King offers customizable mini-spas and uses all organic products for her

facials. A typical mini-spa experience at Naturally Yours would feature a neck and shoulder massage, an aromatherapy facial sauna, foot bath, a paraffin dip and a relaxing chi treatment. She can also add in a make-up artist and nail technician to round off the day of pampering. At Vogue Laser Clinic in Loveland, owner Susan Kruse offers brides a wide variety of services, from waxing to permanent make-up and air brushed make-up for the wedding day. “Every bride is so different in the services she wants,” Kruse said. “One will have a mini facial, another will come in and do sunspots or laser removals.” A popular bridal package is laser hair removal for a bikini line or for the underarms, Davinici teeth whitening and sunspot removal. If laser hair removal is the aim, plan ahead 4-6 months because the complete laser hair process takes an average of six sessions to complete. “It depends on how coarse and thick the hair is, the areas, hormone level and age,” Kruse said about how long it can take to remove all hair. “The laser goes down into the follicle and breaks down the follicle. It permanently removes the hair that is in the growth phase. All the hair is doing different things at different times. Some is shedding and some is in regrowth.” Each treatment will remove about 20 percent of the hair. It all falls out in two to three weeks and then the 80 percent of the hair that is left begins to grow back. After four more weeks, the laser treatment is done


Create a cohesive look for the bridal party without asking them to do things on their own. again, removing another 20 percent of the hair. Preparing glowing skin for the wedding takes some forethought. Gray of 23 Trees spa starts brides with a consultation. “Bear in mind that you have plans to be married,” Gray said. “Then we can best put together a protocol to follow like chemical peels, microdermabrasion or possibly a laser facial that is non-invasive and will build and plump the collagen level up.” After the face is prepared to glow, make-up is essential to accentuate the features and prepare the bride for photos and close-ups all day long. Loveland’s Ten Aveda Salon and Spa freelance makeup artist Janine Schmenk teaches brides how to properly wear makeup to achieve the look they want. “Everyone wants to look like themselves but better on the wedding day,” Schmenk said. “It is important to our brides that they look natural so that their groom recognizes them with no drama going on on

their face.” This best natural look is achieved through glowing skin, rosy cheeks, definition of the eyes and covered up trouble spots. “Think really good Oscars makeup,” Schmenk said. Ten Aveda general manager Courtney Anderson also suggested airbrush tanning applied evenly by a technician. “This is especially for those who do not want to use a tanning booth,” Anderson said. “You don’t want some one-size-fits-all tan. You don’t need to look five shades darker than you are, but your shoulders will probably show.” Bridal spa days offer an opportunity for brides to

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Above, Vogue Laser Clinic owner Susan Kruse lasers aesthetician Stacy Dover’s chin to remove hair. Right, Vogue permanent makeup artist Abby Charpentier touches up the eye brows of Myndie Neece. — RH photos/Rhema Muncy

help create a cohesive look for the bridal party without asking them to do things on their own. “I really think a lot of brides would like to have a little more input on what their bridesmaids do,” Schmenk said. “But the

bride doesn’t want to seem like Bridezilla by telling them they need to tan and do different things. A package is a good idea because it will be fun, and you want to make sure the bridal party looks amazing.”



Wedding makeup is multi-faceted photography. “With photography, the way the shimmer looks on camera, or the kind of hile many brides shimmer that is in the want a natural makeup, can reflect from look for their wed- the skin and make the ding, makeup still plays an bride look green or washed essential role in shaping out.” she said. the bride’s look. With phoSunscreen shouldn’t be a tos constantly snapping part of any wedding day and many grandmothers to makeup, as it deflects the hug, the makeup needs to sun’s rays, causing the flash be versatile and long lastfrom a camera to white-out ing. These tips for crafting the face. the perfect wedding makeAnother thing to considup look are from Janine er is tears. Schmenk, an Aveda free“When you cry, your tears lance makeup artist at Ten come out of the center of Aveda Salon and Spa in your tear duct,” Schmenk Loveland. said. “Gather a handker“There are a lot of make- chief, hold the corner and up artists who will have cry straight into it. When their opinion of what you tears run down the face it should look like,” she said. will mess up the makeup.” Make sure to ask for a Longevity is another wedconsultation and find a ding makeup need. makeup artist who will lis“A lot of times you are ten to all of your wishes. getting ready in the morn“If a bride wears no ing and the reception goes makeup everyday, she won’t until late at night,” she have a really dramatic look said. “The last thing you for her wedding, because it want to worry about is won’t fit her,” Schmenk touching up makeup. So we said. make sure we apply for it to Makeup also needs to be last throughout the day, brighter for the sake of the which can be done by layerRHEMA MUNCY SPECIAL SECTIONS


Photo by Looking Glass Studio,

Above, Ten Aveda Salon and Spa beautician Cedar Bliven wanted a golden goddess look and long eyelashes for her February 2010 wedding. The look was created at the Ten Aveda Salon and Spa in Loveland. ing creams and powders. Then I usually teach the maid of honor, mom or planner how to look at her

face. I show them when the bride’s face is too shiny and she needs powder, and when the lips look dry.”

ment. Bestow a little more thanks on the maid of honor with a more lavish gift. Many couples choose to make a fiMETRO CREATIVE SERVICES at the rehearsal dinner. nancial donation to their house of Crafting personalized remarks is a worship. Additional tipping or monetary gifts for musicians, alter nice way to call attention to the t is customary for the bride-and unique tasks of each wedding partic- boys/girls, etc. can also be a groom-to-be to show their grati- ipant. thoughtful gesture. tude to all of the people who will When selecting gifts for groomsThe couple may choose to bestow make their wedding day special. It’s men, think about a gift they would a gift on their parents, which can be important to remember to thank ev- like but probably wouldn’t buy especially meaningful if the parents eryone who contributes to the cele- themselves. This can be cufflinks, a are taking care of the financial rebration. fine watch, money clip, or a highsponsibility of the wedding. ConsidThank-you gifts should be somequality wallet. Feel free to splurge a er engraved picture frames that can thing thoughtful and enduring. little more on the best man. house a wedding portrait down the Avoid fad or gag gifts. These gifts road. Readers, soloists, and ushers Traditional gifts for bridesmaids should be presented at a pre-wedare different types of jewelry, mono- can be given a small token of your ding occasion. It’s customarily done grammed stationery or a spa treatappreciation.

Gift giving etiquette



by the numbers Average age of the bride:


Average age of the groom:


2 million: 38,657:

Number of couples, according to the United States Census Bureau, that get married each year in the United States. Number of couples, according to the The Wedding Report, that got married in Colorado in 2009

June & August: $20,350: the average wedding budget in Colorado, down from $26,850 in 2007

$72 Billion: spent on weddings each year in U.S. $8 Billion: spent on honeymoons in U.S.


the most popular months for a wedding. July is the third most popular month to walk down the aisle, while September and October are becoming increasingly popular, according to the Association for Wedding Professionals International.



Bluebird Day Adventurous local couple takes a matrimonial run down Loveland Pass in the middle of January Story by Jade Cody • Photos courtesy Mr. and Mrs. West


hen they got married, they went to the top of a mountain in January. Their first date ended with a ride in an ambulance. They boldly fight wildland fires in their spare time. No, this is not a Chuck Norris joke, nor is it a commercial starring the most interesting man in the world for Dos Equis cervesas. This is a story about Lorra and Tyler West. On January 15, Lorra and Tyler performed their own ceremony, complete with written vows, wedding

attire and ... ski boots. After exchanging rings and kissing, the Wests hitched up their skis and treaded toward a hairpin turn below. The bride’s white strapless, A-line dress whipped behind her as she carved tele turns down the mountain — with white tights and a coat keeping her warm. The groom wore a black tuxedo jacket, ski pants and a giant smile. It’s safe to say the couple has found a mutual Lorra and Tyler shortly after joining in marriage. pastime in outdoor activities. “We do a lot of outdoors including rock climbing, day — no wind and not a trail running and skiing. stuff together,” she said, cloud in the sky,” he said. “We are both kinda chilLorra’s sister, Claire dren of winter,” Tyler said, Hawks, set the pair up. explaining why a mountain Hawks and Tyler work as top wedding on a bluebird emergency medical techday in January was the nicians for Poudre Valley perfect way for he and Lor- Ambulance. After spendra to tie the knot. ing a week working the — Tyler West “It was a picture perfect same shift as Tyler did,

“It was a picture perfect day — no wind and not a cloud in the sky.”

Sunday LOVELAND REPORTER-HERALD/I DO April 11, 2010 A11 Hawks was sure Tyler was a perfect match for her sister Lorra. The first time Hawks set up Lorra with another guy, it was a disaster, Lorra said. Understandably, she was skeptical. After seeing photos of each other and chatting through Facebook, Lorra and Tyler met up for dinner at Hawks’ house. The next day included a ridealong in an ambulance and by then, sparks were flying. “There was never any awkwardness,” Tyler said. “It has been perfectly smooth ever since we said ‘hi.’” Six weeks after they met, the pair was engaged. The Wests plan to take a honeymoon road trip in the fall. Lorra is currently going to school in Denver studying massage therapy, and the couple lives in Fort Collins. Lorra is the daughter of Claude Hedrick and Rosa Jones of Fort Collins, and Tyler is the son of Kirk West and Karen Yost of Loveland. After the ceremony, a reception was held at the Backcountry Brewery in Frisco.

Lorra and Tyler West tied the knot on top of Loveland Pass on January 15, 2010. Photos courtesy Tyler West




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Create a free wedding Web site Skip printing inserts for the invitation and direct people to a Web site

Carla & Tim



esigning a template Web site for a wedding is an easy process. Most bridal magazines that have an online component offer this service free of charge as well as other planning tools. Use the Web site to direct guests to wedding registries, provide accommodation information and even receive RSVPs. Read on for a review of a few of Screen shot of a personal wedding Web site from the services available. Above, a home page of a free wedding Web site provided by the Wedding Channel. THE WEDDING CHANNEL guest list. ning end, Wedding Channel customize the entire Web The Wedding Channel offers a budget calculator, a site. Wedding registries can There is also an online Web site offers several tem- guest list manager, an onalso be linked directly to notebook for clipping ideas plate wedding pages to be- line scrap book, a save-the- the page to lead guests to about gowns, vendors, acgin the process. After regis- date option and a fun name those expensive mixers and cessories, jewelry, tuxedos, tering, choose the best one game. spatulas on the gift list. honeymoons, invitations that fits the theme of the and registry selections. One great aspect of this THEKNOT.COM wedding. They also offer an option for Web site is the spell check This Web site created of- ability. Also, each page listsending a save-the-date via After completing an exfers a welcome page, about ed on the home page can tensive registration process, e-mail. us section, a place for the be renamed, so get those allows a bride For building the Web site, proposal story, ceremony and groom to begin createnter information for a welcreative juices flowing and information. For the planing the wedding Web site. come page, an about us secOn one of the registration tion, the proposal story, pages, they ask what type of ceremony and reception inwedding the event will be, formation, wedding party such as eco-friendly or DIY, bios a registry, a photo and the color scheme. That book album, a guest book, information can be applied a honeymoon site and an to other aspects of The RSVP tool. Knot site. The Knot also offers a After entering the portal place to build a wedding for designing the personal- profile to use on the Knot ized site, many tools are site and share ideas with available to the bride beother brides. The “My Real yond creating the wedding Wedding� section allows site. There is a monthly to brides to upload photos and Screen shot of a personal site at do list, reminders, a budget view other real weddings Above, a page about the bride and groom. and payment tracker and a from all around the


Carla & Tim

country. There was a large Colorado section. This Web site builder is not customizable. There are options for uploading pictures, etc, but there is no ability to nudge a photo over a bit or re-arrange the order of sections or information on a page. BRIDES.COM This magazine’s Web site offers the most bang for the design time. It was very easy to navigate around and it is a mean planning machine with lots of layout options. The wedding Web site can include a welcome, what’s new section, an RSVP online feature, a picture gallery, a guest book, a blog, an about us section, a meet the wedding party section and a story section. Unique to this site format is an option to build a section for bridesmaids and groomsmen only, a way to connect with everyone, especially if the wedding party is scattered all across the countr y. The Brides site also offers

Screen shot of a personal wedding Web site from

Above, an interactive customizable wedding event map for guests. a place to describe wedding events, the honeymoon down-low, directions, accommodations and local attractions. There are tabs for thank yous, dedications, vendors, gift registries and contact information. You can turn any of the pages on or off, re-arrange the site to your liking and add photos. Place a photo of you as a couple that will run throughout the entire Web site as an identifier. The option also offers a music player and a visitor counter. If you are an excited bride on the edge of technology looking to pour your life into a Web site for the guests of the wedding, look no further than the option. PROJECTWEDDING.COM The project wedding Web site offers many similar amenities as the sites above. It is customizable

A wedding Web site from

Above, one option for receiving guest RSVP’s without a postage stamp. and leaves room on a guest book page for people and guests to interact with the couple. The coolest feature about the site is the option to create an interactive map. The site pulls up a google map and then allows the bride and groom to add the reception and ceremony site

as well as local attractions, hotels, restaurants and anything else desired. You can include favorite hiking and boating destinations and write descriptions about them, information wedding guests most likely won’t find elsewhere, giving guests an inside look at Loveland.




ways to reduce wedding expenses Metro Creative Services photo



pring wedding madness has set in, but, as with the shrinking size of engagement-ring diamonds, wedding budgets have gone the way of the economy. It only makes sense that people are less willing to spend a fortune on a onetime party. The temptations to grow a small wedding into an extravaganza, however, can be hard to resist. For those tying the knot this year, consider the following 15 tips on how to not mortgage your future by serving 300 people a rubber-chicken meal.

1. Communication is paramount Sit down with your future spouse and talk about your expectations. You need to discuss compromises if he wants a tiny wedding and you want a giant blow out. Also, pow wow with anyone else involved in covering costs and set a realistic ceiling. Decide if pictures are more important than flowers, or if it is more important to have 250 guests with a sit-down meal.

2. Boring budgets Yes, you’ve heard it before, but once you’ve agreed upon the total amount you’re willing to spend, it’s vital to establish and stick to a budget. Several online budget calculators make this process much easier by allowing you to add and subtract costs as you go and have these changes reflected in the total figure. Examples include and

3. Check one, two, three Checklists for the groom, the bride and anyone else involved will help keep the planning on target and reduce the chance of unanticipated expenses.

4. Save a tree

and save on both paper and postage. You can save even more trees and postage by sending out postcards, but that’s an individual call.

4. Daylight savings Reception halls cost more in the evening, so consider having the wedding in the late morning or afternoon.

Why spend hundreds of dollars on a seven-piece, hand-engraved in5. Feeding the vite with that useless tissue paper masses liner? Separate enclosure cards aren’t mandatory. Consider keepAn appetizers-only reception is ing the invitation to a single sheet typically less expensive than a


Metro Creative Services photo

standard sit-down meal and a buffet may be less expensive than a served meal. As a bonus, you can avoid the rubber-chicken syndrome and paying for wait staff.

6. Shrink the list You want to be surrounded by those important to you, not your cousin’s bosses’ wife. Keep the guest list small. Estimates are that it costs $80 per guest (including invitations, food, drinks, cake and favors) so the more people, the bigger the required budget.

7. Wedding favors When did wedding favors become a must? Can you think of any other party that gives guests gifts simply for attending? But if you feel strongly about wedding favors, consider something you can make or that’s inexpensive and fun. I attended a memorable wedding where the bagged favors contained such kids’ toys as bubble bottles or a game of jacks. The toys kept guests entertained and didn’t cost the couple an arm and a leg.

8. Location, location, location

want to face a 25-percent surcharge to cover rising energy or food costs.

Look for ceremony and reception spaces that only need small accents, instead of a total transformation. That way, you’re not spending a large part of your budget on decor. Building features like fireplaces, fountains, gardens and even crown molding can reduce or eliminate the need for decoration. You also might want to consider an outdoor wedding and/or reception in an inexpensive or free location. Avoid spaces that don’t allow you to bring in your own food or liquor. Naturally, you’ll save even more by holding the wedding and reception in the same location. As a bonus, guests might appreciate not trekking from one place to another.

10. Haggle

9. Lock-in prices

11. Limit liquor

Ask vendors for guaranteed prices on food, cake and liquor, particularly if you’re signing a contract far in advance of the big day. Asking for a fixed price now ensures you won’t get hit harder at delivery. You don’t

Instead of an open bar with 10 different liquor selections, offer one signature cocktail or beer and wine. Guests are apt to drink more when

Don’t be afraid of negotiating with the vendors. It’s the rare bride these days who doesn’t have a tight budget and most vendors understand. Tell the vendor your bottom line and other quotes you’ve received — if these quotes are competitive — and ask what they can do to meet or beat this price. You also might negotiate a discount for paying in cash instead of by check or credit card. However, remember that paying with a credit card offers some protection should you postpone or cancel the wedding, or should you desire to withhold payment if there is a problem with the service or product.

I See 15 TIPS/Page 18


Sunday LOVELAND REPORTER-HERALD/I DO April 11, 2010 on new vases, shop thrift stores that overflow with second-hand vases. Another flower tip: Don’t fill the church with fresh flowers. You’re going to spend a lot more time at the reception anyway. If you really want to decorate the church, large bows or balloons fastened to the ends of pews look festive and are less expensive. One last floral thought: You might use the bride’s and/or attendants’ bouquets to decorate tables at the reception.

14. Cut the cake

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dreamed of dressing like a meringue on your wedding day, consider something a From Page 17 bit simpler or a non-standard wedding dress. You ofthere’s an unlimited selec- ten can get cut-rate prices tion, greatly increasing on gowns from thrift shops, costs if you’re paying for consignment stores, eBay opened and empty bottles. or Craigslist. Just as with Instead of buying individual new cars, the value of a bottles of beer, consider a wedding gown drops the keg and, while it might moment you take it out of sound a bit tacky, modern the store. Watch out, howboxed wines offer a better ever, for counterfeits sold selection than in the past as designer originals on the and tend to be less expenInternet. sive. While a bartender or two will cost more up-front 13. Flower than a self-serve bar, you’ll power save on total alcohol conUse in-season flowers sumed. with more greens and fewer blooms. Roses are always 12. Dress it available but brides should down steer clear of such floral-inThis is a no-brainer but tensive holidays as Mothprobably the most difficult er’s Day, when high deexpense to control. Wedmand drives up prices. You ding dress prices are out of also can save by arranging control, particularly since the flowers at home, rather you’ll only wear the dress than paying a florist. Inonce. Even if you’ve always stead of spending money

Don’t overspend on layers of cakes that will go uneaten. For smaller weddings, use a faux bottom for the lower tiers that will look good in pictures and cost less. For larger weddings, order a smaller version of your dream cake and a sheet cake in the same flavor for guests to eat (and put under their pillows).

15. Snap shots Interview several photographers to see what their package of services includes and if they’re flexible. Some photographers offer reduced coverage, i.e. just the ceremony and formal photos. For the reception, scattered disposable cameras not only provide you with inexpensive photos but can serve as a fun icebreaker. Because most photographers use digital cameras these days, they’ll present your proofs either via an online service or on CD, rather than as a print package. Ask if access to these electronic proofs (without a watermark) is included in their package. Brittany Sarconi is a student at the University of Northern Colorado where she is working on a B.A. in Journalism.


A look at some recent weddings in and around Loveland

Nikki Christensen and David Olson, married on September 5, 2009

Brianne Bostrom and AaronVisconti, married on January 2, 2010

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Meghan Baker and Gavin Campbell, married on July 25, 2009

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Cedar and Adam Bliven, married on February 20, 2010 Photo courtesy Looking Glass Studio

Photo courtesy Garland Photography

Cassie VonLinken and Brent Higgins, married on February 7, 2010

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Greeley Guest House 5401 W. 9th Street • Greeley, CO (970)353-9373 • 1-800-314-3684




he bad wedding dreams started almost immediately after the ring was on my finger. A great uncle spiking the punch and giving it to the kids and the reception hall decorator using tiedyed tablecloths have both been common dreamscapes filling my nighttime rests. Just this week I woke up from a dream about the day after the wedding. In the dream, I couldn’t remember the wedding at all. What did we serve? What did we dance to? Did anything disastrous happen? To compound my dreaming amnesia, my fiance Matthew told me in the dream that the only honeymoon he could afford for us to go on was to a healthcare conference in Denver and in the dream I immediately started crying. Any other time in my life I would love to go to a healthcare conference, but a honeymoon is supposed

In December of 2009, I launched a series of wedding craft nights, which really translates into voluntary slave labor on the dime of my family and friends. I didn’t realize how excited to be about beaches, fancy almost all women are about dinners and relaxing. After weddings until I started entering reality again, I eharnessing that excitement mailed Matthew to let him and channeling it towards know that I refused to atpractical ends such as crafttend any conferences during 150 tissue paper puff ing our honeymoon. He as- balls for the reception. sured me there are no such Because I am a person events in the honeymoon who wants to save money forecast. and create a lot of my own decorations and crafts, the Setting all crazy dreams wedding craft nights have aside, the year of planning been a life saver. Have evmy wedding has been deeryone bring food, throw on lightful. After our engagement last June, I was finally a sappy romantic movie or able to put into motion the crank up the big band plans I had been slyly form- tunes and whittle away at ing since the December be- those home designed invitafore our engagement. Well, tions. actually, the plans I had The best way to save monbeen making since I was ey on a wedding is to priorifive years old. tize what to splurge on and what to save on. My maid of We secured a venue for honor and I hit Hobby Lobthe ceremony and reception after hours of scouring by at Christmas time to design wild flower centerWeb sites of places along pieces when all of the flowthe Front Range and price ers were half off. Check $20 comparing. Seeing several reception table decor off of of the reception places in person really helped us de- the list. cide what kind of wedding My future mother in law we wanted. Go to any bridal enthusiastically agreed to open house you can find be- make bridesmaid dresses fore signing that reception and help me restyle my venue contract — that way dress — a $65 snag from you won’t end up marrying eBay. Her team of friends in a haunted mansion (un- also agreed to take care of less a Halloween wedding is the catering. They are a your aim, of course). well-oiled machine I have

seen in action a few times at their kids’ weddings, so I am confident the food will flow smoothly, especially because we are keeping things simple with a huge soup and salad bar. Other ways we are saving money include baking pies instead of a large wedding cake, receiving free photography from friends who are professionals and embracing nearly everyone who wants to help. It is amazing how many people there are in our community who have a knack for making corsages, singing with beautiful soprano voices, wearing ready smiles for the guest book table or making delicious peach pies. Honestly, I feel the purpose of a wedding is to honor those who have supported both me and my fiance. Despite all of my strange wedding planning dreams, I am happy with how everything is turning out. I’m prioritizing making the wedding a stress free celebration. There is no better way to walk down the aisle into a new life than surrounded by the people you love and who love you in return. Rhema Muncy can be reached at rmuncy@

Wedding gowns, bridesmaids, flower girl, tuxedos, formal attire, veils, jewelry, accessories, and invitations!

424 Main Street • Windsor • 970-686-9709


Stop wedding nightmares





Plan to shop for the wedding dress in the first stages of your wedding planning.


o get things started, discuss finances with everyone contributing to the event and set a budget. Then set the date and the ceremony and reception locations, establish a guest list and start gown shopping. Start thinking about the style and theme of your wedding. GETTING STARTED J Share the news of your engagement with your family and friends, and announce it in the Reporter-Herald. J Discuss finances with everyone contributing to the event and set a budget. J Set the date and ceremony/reception locations. If you’re set on getting married at a certain time of year, choose the date first, then the location. If you have your heart set on a specific venue, let that drive your decision. J Meet with the officiant or the clergy at your church/temple/mosque. J Establish a guest list. J Start interviewing wedding planners/events designers, if you’re thinking of enlisting the help of one. J Start thinking about the style and theme of your wedding. J Start shopping for a gown. J Oh yeah ... If your parents haven’t met, now would be a good time for that. 6-9 MONTHS BEFORE J Mail out Save-the-Dates J Interview and book your vendors; don’t forget to get a signed contract. J Choose your attendants; shop for their dresses. J Caterer J Baker J Florist J Photographer/videographer J Musicians/DJ J Transportation J Order your stationary — invites, envelopes, thank-yous, etc. J Start looking into honeymoon locales. J Register for gifts. J Get your wedding Web site up and

Metro Creative photo

running, if you’re having one. J Schedule any beauty treatments you’re planning on having leading up to the wedding.

printed. J Write vows.

2-4 WEEKS BEFORE J Submit a shot list to your photog4-6 MONTHS BEFORE rapher and setlist to your DJ. J Book your hair/makeup help. J Finalize the seating chart and preJ Plan the rehearsal and the repare escort/place cards. hearsal dinner. J Help the moms shop for their wed- J Update registry. ding day attire. J Call anyone who hasn’t RSVP’d J Shop for wedding bands with your J Confirm details with your vendors. fiance. J Get your final dress fitting. J Reserve a block of hotel rooms for J Write a toast for the rehearsal. your guests. J Finalize your honeymoon plans. 1 WEEK BEFORE 2-4 MONTHS BEFORE J Give your caterer the final headJ Start addressing invitations. count. J Buy attendants’ gifts. J Pick up your dress; break in your J Get the men’s fashions in order. shoes. J Choose readings/music for the J Give scripts to your readers. ceremony. J Pack for your honeymoon. J Check marriage-license requireJ Find someone to transport heirments. looms (candles, glasses, cake knife) J Meet with your caterer to discuss to and from the reception site. menu and drinks, make sure contracts are complete. J Organize your payments and deJ Order the cake. cide who will distribute them. J Pick out favors. 1 DAY BEFORE J Plan and shop for welcome bags. J Arrange party rentals, if necessary. J Get a mani-pedi. J Book your wedding night room. J Enjoy the rehearsal and dinner. J Get plenty of sleep. 4-8 WEEKS BEFORE J Mail out your invites. THE BIG DAY J Do a hair/makeup run-through. J Keep your meals small and light. J Discuss insurance/bank account changes you’ll need to make. J Give yourself plenty of time for hair/makeup before the photograJ Send ceremony programs, receppher arrives. tion menu and place cards to be

I Do  

Wedding guide to Northern Colorado

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