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March 7, 2013

Bridal In this Issue • The latest in wedding registries • Rings and things • Bridal glamour • Invitation etiquette • Wedding menu trends • Reception style …and much more

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hat would a wedding day be without flowers? The beauty and the aroma of fresh-cut flowers can create a welcoming atmosphere and complement the beauty and the style of a wedding wardrobe.

Flowers are often the first things that guests see upon arriving for the ceremony, and they may even be something guests take home at the end of the night. Flowers create an air of romance, and most couples want to make flowers – whether fresh or silk or both – an integral part of their wedding day. As with any decision when planning a wedding, choosing the right flowers requires some research and a basic knowledge of which flowers will convey the message and the theme of your wedding. The number of colors, textures and combinations that can be created are so numerous that couples may feel the decision on the floral arrangements is best left to the florist. But it doesn't take a lot of expertise to know what you want, and it is important for couples to convey their feelings to the florist. Experts advise that a couple start looking for a florist at least six months before the wedding, especially if the wedding will take place during the peak season of May through September. Get recommendations from friends as to which florist they used or find out if your wedding planner or banquet hall manager recommends a particular florist. Some catering halls have agreements with florists, and they work together. Browse magazines to get ideas of what you like. You also may be able to find a florist through an advertisement or if he or she has been featured in publications. Keep a scrapbook of the colors, types of flowers and arrangements and any other ideas that attract you so you will be able to present this information to the florist. Establish your flower budget prior to sitting down with the florist. You should expect to pay at least 8 percent of the total wedding cost on flowers. Get an estimate on

the floral arrangement and then tweak your needs according to your budget. Many florists can modify arrangements and find a middle ground with regard to cost. Selecting flowers that are in-season will result in more affordable rates than if you desire exotic or out-of-season blooms. Once you've hired the florist, you can come up with a wedding flower worksheet that establishes all of your needs. The florist may ask for specific information, such as photos of the bride's gown as well as the colors and styles that the wedding party will be wearing. A good florist knows that a bouquet should not overpower or detract from the beauty of the bride. The florist may want to mimic textures from the dress, such as beading, with smaller flowers or berries within the arrangement. The groom's boutonniere is traditionally one of the flowers from the bride's bouquet so that the look is cohesive. Ceremony flowers may be traditional, and some houses of worship have strict guidelines as to what can and cannot be used. However, reception flowers can be where you show off your creativity and whimsy. After all, this is a party and it should be fun. You may want to give the florist more freedom of expression with regard to reception centerpieces and flowers that adorn other areas of the room. Because receptions tend to take place in the evening hours and are often indoor affairs, experts say that added lighting may be needed to put emphasis on the floral centerpieces and help present them in their best light. You may want to think about hiring a lighting designer to spotlight some Continued on page S3

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Bridal In this Issue • The latest in wedding

registries

• Rings and things • Bridal glamour • Invitation etiquette • Wedding menu trends • Reception style …and much more

Cover Design JEFFREY A. NEGRIN


Wedding registries

The registry that makes S3 dreams come true

By Kristen Castillo

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gourmet cooking set? Check. A new digital camera? Check. Hiking gear? Check.

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Give guests options on a registry to allow them to find something that fits their budget.

Modern wedding registries have a mix of the traditional and the not-so-traditional. It's not like it was when your parents got married and they received a toaster, a slow cooker or a blanket. These days, couples want their wedding registries to reflect their wants and their needs. "People want to get you things you want to use," says Nancy Lee of MyRegistry.com, a universal wedding registry, who finds couples registering for gifts such as hiking boots, his-and-her mountain bikes, sleeping bags, dishes, lawn mowers and his-andher iPads. "People are going to buy you a gift," says Lee. "You may as well make sure they buy you something you need."

Making a List According to a 2011 Brides magazine American Wedding Survey, 93 percent of couples register for wedding and shower gifts, with 82 percent registering with in-store and online retailers. The same study found the average couple joins about two registries and start registering about seven months before the wedding. "Registering far enough in advance allows family and friends to consult your registry for other milestones in the months leading up to your wedding, including wedding showers, birthdays and holidays," says bridal registry manager Vicki Shamion. Be sure to register for a variety of gifts, available in a range of price points. "Give people a lot of choices," says Lee. "Have things in every price. Make it something guests are comfortable giving you."

Shamion agrees, saying, "It is important to give guests options on a registry to allow them the opportunity to pick out something special regardless of their budget."

Where are You Registered? It's a popular question every bride and groom is asked: Where are you registered? Family and friends want to get you a gift to celebrate your wedding, but what about etiquette? While you don't want to look like you're begging for gifts, fielding this question is pretty common. Simply have your bridesmaids or family members spread the word about your registry. For a bolder approach, some couples even post their registry information on their wedding website or on their social media pages, like Facebook and Twitter.

Cash, Please! Many couples want money so they can save for big-ticket items like a house or car, and others want to pay off loans and other debts. Still, asking for cash can be a tough request. Sites such as MyRegistry.com help soften the request, however, by letting you to set up a "Cash Gift Service," allowing you to label the fund to tell guests how the money will be used, such as "Honeymoon to Paris" or "First Home Fund." Whether you register for kitchen towels, a new TV or camping gear, don't forget to send a handwritten thank-you note to all your guests showing your gratitude for their wedding gift.

Selecting wedding day flowers Continued from page S2

areas of the room or at the very least incorporate candlelight into your centerpiece arrangements. To give the impression that there are more flowers than there really are, use fragrance and filler as your tools. Fragrant flowers can fill up the room with a welcoming aroma. Look for frangipani, lilies, hyacinths, jasmine, and sweet peas for a big impact. Florists know how to stretch arrangements by using greenery and other filler to lend bulk without too much extra cost.

Experienced florists will know how long it takes certain buds to open and show off their maximum beauty.Therefore, expect a florist to be working on your floral arrangements as much as a week before the wedding date -- purchasing containers, cleaning flowers and waiting for certain ones to open fully. Minimize changes close to your wedding date, as most things will already be started. It is possible to make your own centerpieces or bouquets if you so desire. Simplicity will work best for the novice.

Think about grouping similar-hued calla lilies together for a bridal bouquet. Hydrangea and peonies are larger flowers that can easily fill up a vessel on a table as a centerpiece. White flowers will coordinate with any color scheme and could be the easiest to mix and match. White blooms include sweet pea, rose, camellia, stephanotis, narcissus, gardenia, orchid, lily of the valley, jasmine, and gypsophila.

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he marriage between lifestyle and design has a new look for brides and grooms. As their needs change so, too, do their wish lists and homes. Often uniting after launching careers, some couples are waiting to exchange their vows. Others opt to combine their belongings, pets and style preferences under one roof before the wedding. Whatever the individual choice, the result is a trend toward a more savvy and casual approach to creating their home. Brides and grooms are still interested in silver, porcelain and crystal. However, these traditional materials can now be found on items other than stemware, serving pieces and chaffing dishes. Crystals adorn light fixtures, custom headboards or window treatments. Porcelain can be the new bathroom or kitchen floor and silver may be the metal finish that adds a shine or bling to furnishings, custom picture frames or accessories. Whatever the wish list, the concept of a bridal registry has evolved from what it was in your mother’s day. P.S. Micaza Interiors, Inc., a design group with showroom space in Bellmore, for example, is now offering the “soon to be married” couple the opportunity to create a registry for home furnishing items. Lead designer Patricia Salcedo says, “Often, what the modern bride wants is the ability to create a personal space and the home of her dreams. Budget sometimes prohibits that. With the P.S. Micaza Interiors Bridal Registry, the bride can choose the sofa, media unit or custom bedding she truly wants and invite family and friends to gift toward it. What’s more personal or gratifying than helping a new bride and groom create the home of their dreams?”

How It Works The couple will schedule an appointment for a Bridal Registry consultation. A design consultant will come to you or you can visit them and select from among an array of choices, styles and price points. Together, a wish list is created and the bride and groom invite family and friends to view their hearts’ desires online and gift toward an item or purchase it. Newly engaged P.S. Micaza Interiors client Danielle said, “How many vases or cake plates do I really need? What I really want are custom window treatments and bedding. They gave me great advice on paint selections and I even chose a specialty finish for my walls! I love the idea that my family’s gift to me will be something so personal and meaningful. “ For more information about the Bridal Registry, contact P.S. Micaza Interiors, Inc. at 516377-3440 or visit www.psmicaza.com.

HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS — BRIDAL— March 7, 2013

From essentials to extras, what's on your list?


March 7, 2013 — BRIDAL — HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

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Timing is everything: especially for a bride

Bridal season has sprung! Your invitation sets the tone for that special day By Ginny McClean

Begin wedding preparations with a save-the-date card ore and more couples planning to walk down the aisle are embracing save-the-date cards to give guests adequate notice that there is a party on the horizon.

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ave you heard? Most engagements occur between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day and most related events occur from the spring through the fall. You can never be too early to start planning for your upcoming event, be it an engagement party, shower or wedding. Once you have chosen your date you should search out that special place to hold your party. Do you need to have your guests reserve your wedding date on their calendar? Then by all means shop for “Save the Dates”. You can send a card or magnet as early as one year ahead but typically no closer than nine months to the date of your wedding.

March 30, 2013

Invitation Guidelines

Save-the-date cards inform guests that a wedding is on the horizon, making it easier for those on your guest list to plan accordingly.

Save-the-date cards do more than let guests know when you're getting hitched. The cards are a preliminary way to keep guests informed and let them know they are, in fact, on the guest list. These cards haven't always been so popular, but have risen in popularity due to longer engagement periods, a growing number of destination weddings and the growing number of couples with guests from all over the country, if not the world. Considering people often plan business trips, vacations and other excursions several months in advance, save-the-date cards help secure a greater number of attendees at your wedding. Save-the-date announcements can vary in many ways. They may be postcards or magnets that can be attached to a refrigerator door. If you desire a cohesive theme to your wedding stationery, select the save-the-date cards at the same time you choose your wedding invitations. This way you can ensure that the patterns, fonts, colors, or style of the cards will match. It will also help convey the tone of the wedding. Guests often take their cues regarding the level of formality of the wedding from the type of stationery couples choose. When to send out the save-the-date announcements is important as well. As a general rule of thumb, it is wise to mail out the cards six months in advance for a standard wedding. If the wedding requires travel or extended overnight accommodations, you may want to mail them out eight months to a year in advance to give guests the time to investigate flight costs and hotel arrangements. A wedding also may necessitate planning a vacation or personal time off from work. Therefore, ample advanced notice is advisable.

Be sure to make your guest list in advance of sending out save-the-date cards. Everyone who receives a card should also be sent an invitation prior to the wedding. Remember to include any members of your planned wedding party in the list of recipients. Just because a person has verbally confirmed attendance at your wedding doesn't mean they should be excluded from subsequent announcements. Guests may talk to one another and it is best to avoid hurt feelings and any added drama before the wedding by treating everyone equally. Keep the information brief and follow the appropriate rules of etiquette. Be sure to include the wedding date, your names and the location of the wedding on the save-the-date cards. You do not need to offer RSVP information or detailed specifics at this time. You may want to include a Web site URL on the card so guests can check it frequently for updates on wedding information. Be sure to also include that a formal invitation will follow at a later date. You do not want to cause confusion by having guests think that the save-the-date card is the actual invitation. Also, make sure you address the save-the-date cards correctly to show your intentions with respect to guest invites. For example, be clear about whether children will be invited and whether a boyfriend/girlfriend or another guest can tag along. Although save-the-date cards are not a necessity, they have become a popular part of wedding planning to eliminate confusion about invitations as well as help guests plan time off for your wedding.

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As far as those invitations go, six months prior to a wedding is the perfect time to look for invitations and three months is great for a shower or any other party. When shopping for your invitations remember that the invitation has a “job”. It is to let your guests know how to dress, how to gift, and create an air of excitement in anticipation of the time they will have at your affair. Etiquette matters! It very important in sending the right message so having the correct wording, spelling and placement of that wording on your invite is absolutely necessary. Shopping on the internet without the help of a professional could spell disaster for your special day. Know your budget. The budget should be practical as well as realistic. Keeping things simple will usually result in a lower price point, but having embellishments - such as bows, rhinestones and layers of paper - can just add the right touch to your invite so be sure to allow for their additional cost.

Don’t Forget the Favors There is no nicer way to say “Thank You” to your guests than with a favor! Most people appreciate something practical they can use over another dust collector. So be sure to choose something that is meaningful to you. And don’t forget that presentation means everything. How your favors are presented or wrapped will add that last bit of excitement that your guests take home with them reminding them of the wonderful time they had at your party. Ginny McClean is the owner of Have You Heard?®, Inc. in Bellmore. For more information, contact 516-409-0283 or visit www.haveyouheardinc.com.


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All the right tunes Test out wedding music vendors

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usic is an integral element of many of life's special events. The score of a movie can carry a film, and a tender song can bring tears to a person's eyes during a stage production.

Many couples spend lots of time choosing a song for their first dance at their wedding. While that song is significant, couples should devote lots of time to choosing a band or deejay for the reception as well. Bridal planners point out that roughly 80 percent of guests say the thing they remember most about a wedding is the entertainment. When asked, many couples admit they wish they spent more time and money choosing their wedding entertainment. Music helps make memories and gets guests on their feet. Those who enjoy themselves most at the wedding are often the people who are on the dance floor. It is important to note that price shouldn't be the deciding factor for wedding day entertainment. It is crucial to see the entertainment provider in action to judge for oneself just how good he or she is. One of the best ways to witness a deejay or band in action is to attend a wedding where they will be working. Find out if you can spend a little while peeking into a wedding and gauge guests' responses to the music and find out how the entertainment

engages the crowd. The entertainer may be able to arrange this with a couple from an upcoming wedding so that you don't necessarily have to crash the wedding. If a musical entertainment company is wary of letting you see players in action, it may be an indication to look elsewhere. Another good way to see for yourself if the entertainment factor is high is to pay attention to the bands and deejays used at weddings you attend. If you are planning nuptials in a year or the months to come, take the cards or information of the entertainers you come across at weddings and any special event parties. If there is someone who is doing an impeccable job, there should be no hesitation to hire that person for your own wedding. Don't be embarrassed to ask a friend or family member for the name and number of their deejay. If you have specific music requirements, such as cultural music or certain versions of songs you prefer to be played, it is key to discuss this with the deejay or band ahead of time and confirm they can meet your needs. Certain wedding vendors may promise you

Spending time selecting the right band or deejay can help ensure your wedding is a fun-filled event.

the world but fail to deliver. Ask the deejay for a playlist to see his or her selections for the wedding. Find out if the band has a compilation they can send to you so you can see how they sound performing some of the more popular songs typically played at wedding receptions. If you like a particular band or deejay, double-check that the people you see playing are actually the ones who will be performing at your wedding. Many times performers are part of larger companies that

have many people working under one name. If you're not careful, you may not get the same performer you had hoped for. Request specific individuals if you want to guarantee that the music will be what you heard at a previous wedding or during a trial performance. Music can make or break a wedding reception. Invest ample time into selecting and trying out vendors to ensure fun is to be had by all.

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In style

March 7, 2013 — BRIDAL — HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

Top spring 2013 wedding gown trends By Sharon Naylor

Lace Duchess Kate is still the reigning influence on wedding gowns, with her iconic lace wedding dress ushering in a variety of lace uses. Kate opted to cover her arms and shoulders with lace, and the look continues with a variety of lace styles used for sleeves, for the entire length of the skirt, and for coverage of the chest and shoulders alone in sleeveless dress styles. Bridal gown designers have innovated a look called "nouveau lace," in which the art is in the patterns of lace, from delicate, small lace patterning to larger, more graphic florals made of lace that may cover the bride's shoulder blades in the back, or festoon the dress itself. Conservative brides who wish to cover up, or whose houses of worship do not allow bare arms and shoulders, adore the

lace-covering look, which ties into the 2013 trend of romantic, feminine, with an Old World feel.

Color Color on the bridal gown runways is bold and chic, with the Vera Wang red wedding dresses that received so much attention during fall's runway shows still a top trend with brides. Blue is the vibrant color of choice this spring, in a range of hues from sapphire to Caribbean blue, and blush-colored pinks and greens are also top choices. Maggie Sottero is one designer showing an eye-catching blush pink dress made even more special with a rhinestone belt for sparkle and a pink ruffled mermaid skirt. Gowns in color are more popular now, since many brides find that their skin tone works better in colored dresses than in white, which can wash out paler brides.

Portrait Backs The bride is seen from all angles during

her wedding day, especially during the ceremony when she's walking down the aisle and during her first dance, so the design of the dress's back has become just as important as the front. Top styles in designer dresses include backs entirely covered in lace, as a more subtle and romantic look than the sexier all bare backs of last season's dresses. To add just a flash of skin, the lace back may incorporate a "keyhole" effect exposing just a small section of the bride's back, and the cut of the dress back may create a lace frame effect.

A wedding dress by Ines DiSanto.

Peplums If you're not familiar with this term, a peplum is a skirt effect beginning at the waist and extended out over the hips, defining the waist and creating a couture, sculptured effect. The peplum may extend down for a draped effect, and may be a softer fall or a more structured, stand-up effect.

2-in-1 With celebrity brides wearing one dazzling designer dress for their ceremonies and another (or two or three) for their receptions, brides have become interested in having a "second look" for their own receptions. This trend has given rise to a new world of dress designs with removable elements, such as a lace jacket that can be "peeled off" to create a second, sophisticated look for the celebration. Designers have turned their dresses into Transformer-like creations, with long skirts

that can be unfastened at the waist and removed to reveal a chic shorter skirt underneath that allows for more comfortable movement and dancing, yet still in highfashion style. Also in the second look category is the addition of a sparkly, rhinestone belt, as Duchess Kate wore for her post-ceremony celebration. The bride simply affixes it for an easy and inexpensive second look and is in top trend with her new, sparkly accessory. Or the bride can put on a cashmere jacket coordinating with her dress for a comfortable wear at an outdoor wedding in the cooler evening hours. And brides also slip into more colorful, sparkling shoes to add a dash of color to even the most traditional, white wedding dress.

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and the overarching trend is soft, romantic and more demure than sexy. To help you find your dream dress, here are the top five trends for spring wedding gowns:

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uring Bridal Fashion Week in New York City, a number of the top bridal gown designers, including Monique L'Huillier, Anne Barge, Ramona Keveza and many other revered trendsetters created runway displays of their top wedding gown looks for Spring 2013,


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Inspired palette

HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS â&#x20AC;&#x201D; BRIDALâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; March 7, 2013

The top wedding colors for 2013 By Sharon Naylor

The palette's mix of vibrant brights and soothing neutrals work together to create what the company calls "a harmonious balance."

Among the brights are the following colors: â&#x20AC;˘ Poppy red. A deeper, richer red brings a radiant bold burst of color to wedding style, whether for fashion or decor color palettes, and lets the bride make a statement in spring. Pantone calls this shade seductive, sensual and celebratory." â&#x20AC;˘ Emerald. Green is a hot color for spring, in this jewel-toned shade that has taken over for past seasons' preferences for soft, pale sage greens. Deeper greens provide a vivid backdrop to other bridal colors, and evokes a sense of spring -- yet in an eye-catching way. Color expert Leatrice Eiseman, spokeswoman for Pantone, says, "The big look for spring weddings will be in the interesting pastels, like the lightly minted greens." Greens are especially popular, says Eiseman, "Because, just as in nature, green goes with

everything!" Wedding bloggers and journalists are raving about mint shades on the bridal fashion runways, giving you a slightly different shade of blue-green to consider. â&#x20AC;˘ Lemon zest. Yellow is one of the leading colors this season, with a stronger, more vibrant shade than last spring's softer buttercup yellows. â&#x20AC;˘ Monaco blue. More of a sapphire blue in a deep shade, blue is being shown on the fashion runways as the new black. â&#x20AC;˘ Nectarine. Oranges remain hot this spring, with last season's "in" color, tangerine tango, softening a bit for a bright orange with more coral undertones.

Among the pastels are the following colors: â&#x20AC;˘ Dusk blue. A softer shade of blue that some designers refer to as "beach glass," this soft shade paired with Monaco blue and lighter neutrals, such as ivory or linen shades, creates one of the most popular

Spring 2013 wedding colors mix brights and neutrals.

palettes today. It's a deeper blush blue, departing from sunnier Caribbean blues, for more romantic appeal. â&#x20AC;˘ Tender shoots. This yellow-green shade coordinates with emerald and again pairs

with other hot spring colors in a more traditional spring-like shade. â&#x20AC;˘ African violet. A softer purple, this shade is Continued on page S10

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he new wedding color palette has been announced in the Pantone Fashion Color Report Spring 2013, a comprehensive overview of fashion designers' use of color in their upcoming collections.


The top wedding colors for 2013

Planning a Wedding or Special Occasion?

Continued from page S9

either mixed with soft neutrals or boldly paired with a bright. Pantone calls this shade an "exotic statement color." • Grayed jade. A subtle green with gray undertones, this shade plays a part in green's position as a top color for spring weddings. • Linen. A light and lovely neutral, linen will play a part in wedding palettes as the shade that allows other shades to pop or blend together more beautifully. Pantone calls this color "airy" and offers a pairing of this shade with grayed jade or dusk blue as a possibility for a softer color blend.

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How the top spring colors are being used These colors are not just being utilized in florals and decor. More brides are looking at them for their wedding dress shades, with the nontraditional trends in wedding leading brides to wear, say, a dress in tender shoots as a romantic, feminine alternative to traditional bridal white. These colors also factor heavily into shades worn by bridesmaids, mothers and flower girls, and colors like Monaco blue and dusk blue factor into the groom's choice of wardrobe and accessories, such as ties or even trendy pinstripes in a navy suit. These colors may enter into a bride's planning for her flowers, with her dress being colored, linen-shaded or white, with the pop of poppy red, nectarine, lemon zest and other shades in her bouquet creating a stunning and on-trend look. Even the bride's jewelry may bring the top Pantone shades into play, whether vividly or in pastel form. Invitations certainly will bring in the top

shades of the season, in sensational shades of brights or mixes of the top pastels and neutrals, although invitation designers say vivid is the current top trend in invitations and print items. There's not a place in weddings where color isn't a factor, even if it is that skin tone of linen. The bride is the artist of her day, using color to "paint" her personalized vision in so many aspects of her wedding day details, as well as her dream wedding gown.

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in Iowa and Nebraska are the biggest, averaging 200 guests. • The average engagement ring costs more than $5,800. • Most brides have one do-it-yourself element, such as favors or escort cards. • "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" and "Lady in Red" are the two most popular first dance songs (even though 87 percent of brides wear white). • Only 19 percent of couples rely on a wedding planner. • Ancient Romans broke a cake over the bride's head to symbolize fertility. Today, brides must be fortunate to have only a little cake smashed in their faces!


S11

HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS — BRIDAL— March 7, 2013

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If the shoe ďŹ ts Buying shoes first, dress second By Sharon Naylor

B

rides love their shoes. So much so that many of them are shopping for their wedding day shoes ďŹ rst and then using their chosen shoe style to help determine which wedding dress is The One.

When Megan Stec got engaged, it was her shoes she focused on first. Specifically, she was looking for a pair of Christian Louboutin ruby red shoes that she had seen months prior and that fit her love of "The Wizard of Oz." She spent two months looking for the pair, even searching internationally. During her search, she found and fell in love with a different pair of Louboutins. "It was like the 'Horse of a Different Color,'" says Stec, referring to the differently hued sparkly shoes. "Buying my shoes was just as special as buying my wedding dress. When I tried them on, I knew they were The One." Fashion merchandising expert Stec spent just one month, half the time of her shoe search, looking for and choosing her wedding dress. The trend is picking up, with more brides dreaming about their wedding shoes, in addition to their wedding dresses. They're creating Pinterest boards devoted to their shoe inspirations, and they're talking with their engaged friends about shoes as well as dresses, cakes and other wedding topics.

Years ago, bridal shoes were commonly plain and white. Now, they're sparkly, brightly colored, designer named and fabulous. According to The Wedding Report, the top trends in brides' shoes are colors (especially green and blue), lace, and rhinestones. In addition to the designer high heels worn during the ceremony, brides are also opting to slip into comfortable, stylish flats for the reception hours. It is, however, the ornate ceremony shoe that brides appear to be fantasizing about for their wedding days. Here are reasons more brides are shopping for shoes first and dresses second: â&#x20AC;˘ Gorgeous images, on Pinterest and in bridal blogs, of brides and bridesmaids wearing amazing, colorful or glittery shoes resonate with them. It's the look they want for their big day. When buying a gown first, the style and length of dress might limit the subsequent shoe selection. â&#x20AC;˘ Some brides are willing to devote a larger amount of money to their shoes, to enjoy that celebrity feeling of wearing something designer. If they can't afford a design-

Many brides are buying er dress in the thoutheir shoes before they sands of dollars-range, buy their dress. then designer shoes for a few hundred dollars are readily available. Before other wedding plans and purchases chip away at their available funds, they can devote some time and money to their highpriority footwear. Then, they may be very happy wearing a dress handy takes the guesswork out of the in a more moderate price range. equation. The bride gets a better look at â&#x20AC;˘ Unlike their once-in-a-lifetime gowns, the whole picture. brides can plan to wear their wedding â&#x20AC;˘ Trying on shoes is often a purely enjoyable shoes in the future, dazzling with the task. Shoe size is nowhere near as much of designer style. an emotionally loaded, self-esteem chalâ&#x20AC;˘ If a bride wants to show off her shoes on lenging issue, as trying on wedding gowns. the wedding day, trendy knee-length Some brides with concerns about body dresses and 'high-low' dresses, with the size or self-esteem would rather begin this front hem reaching knee length, then magical process with a relaxing shopping extending down like a curtain on each side trip. This eliminates some discomfort they to a longer length in the back, afford her may have with trying on dresses, releasing the opportunity. The result is a "frame" of them from discouragement over how a her legs and shoes. dress makes them look. Of course, the reasons vary with each bride, â&#x20AC;˘ Wearing wedding shoes has long been a tenet of gown shopping, specifically for but the fact remains: Going shoe shopping is alterations. Instead of wearing different fun, and this may be the bride's one time to shoes during alterations, hoping for the truly splurge on a dream designer style. perfect height, having the chosen pair

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S13

In your own voice

A

what marriage means to you and how you feel about your spouse. Try to avoid trite sayings and think from your heart and personal experiences. Think about what is the most important thing you want to promise to your future partner. These notes can serve as the starting points. Read inspirational writings. Perhaps there is an author or a poet who inspires you? You can quote certain writers in your vows or let the tone of their works help shape the words of your vows. Decide on a tone. Although the day is based on love and affection, you may not feel comfortable spouting words of adoration in front of friends and family. Feel free to tap into your unique personality. Humor can be used if it aligns with the way you normally express your affections. Be sure to weave this tone into more traditional passages to create a cohesive expression of your feelings. Establish an outline. Put together all of the words and phrases you've jotted down into an outline to help you orga-

nize the flow of the vows, using these words as a blueprint and building upon them. Make sure the vows will be concise. Aim for your entire speech to be around 1 minute in length to keep everyone engaged and the ceremony moving along. Put everything together. Draft your vows and then practice them by reading out loud. You want to avoid long sentences or anything that trips you up. Although large words may sound impressive, they could make the vows seem too academic and not necessarily heartfelt. 615086

wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event for many couples, so brides and grooms wish for it to be momentous and memorable. As such, couples are increasingly integrating personal nuances into their ceremonies and receptions to tailor weddings to their unique visions. If you are considering personalized wedding vows, first realize that it may not be a simple task. That's because you want the message conveyed to be dear to your heart, and that can be challenging. Here are some guidelines for personalizing your ceremony with your own sentiments. Schedule time for writing. Amid the bustle of dress fittings and interviews with photographers, it can be easy to put off the important task of writing vows for another day. But as any great writer can attest, it takes writing â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and rewriting â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to achieve a finished product you can be proud of. Give the task of writing your vows your undivided attention. Jot down your feelings. Answer some questions about

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nce the date is set, the band is booked and the dress is on order, it’s time to think about the moment that you and your beloved will be in the spotlight for your first dance as husband and wife.

If the two of you have only danced together with your arms locked around each other’s neck, rocking back and forth in a waddling fashion, you may consider taking a few ballroom dance lessons to give you a more sophisticated look. Choosing a first dance song does not always have to be a timeless classic like Etta James’ At Last. Many couples are thinking outside of the box step and going for creative dances like the Tango, Salsa or Swing for their first dance, much to the delight of their guests. Choose a song with a vision in mind as to how you would like to present yourselves at the reception and let the dance studio professionals put together the steps for you that will best represent the two of you. You

may also want to talk to your dance instructor about the kind of music that you will have played at your event so the instructor can give you a few more ‘cool’ moves other than your first dance. It’s advisable to start your dance lessons approximately three to four months before the big day to make sure that you look natural and have time to practice what you have learned. Taking dance lessons together can be a wonderful way to relieve the stress of planning a wedding and also an opportunity for the two of you to spend some quality time together in each other’s arms. Learn to dance once and for all and make your first dance one that the guests will not soon forget!

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March 7, 2013

Bridal In this Issue • The latest in wedding registries • Rings and things • Bridal glamour • Invitation etiquette • Wedding menu trends • Reception style …and much more

E/N


S2

March 7, 2013 — BRIDAL — HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

Beautiful blooms Selecting wedding day flowers

Flowers help achieve the magic and atmosphere couples desire.

W

hat would a wedding day be without flowers? The beauty and the aroma of fresh-cut flowers can create a welcoming atmosphere and complement the beauty and the style of a wedding wardrobe.

Flowers are often the first things that guests see upon arriving for the ceremony, and they may even be something guests take home at the end of the night. Flowers create an air of romance, and most couples want to make flowers – whether fresh or silk or both – an integral part of their wedding day. As with any decision when planning a wedding, choosing the right flowers requires some research and a basic knowledge of which flowers will convey the message and the theme of your wedding. The number of colors, textures and combinations that can be created are so numerous that couples may feel the decision on the floral arrangements is best left to the florist. But it doesn't take a lot of expertise to know what you want, and it is important for couples to convey their feelings to the florist. Experts advise that a couple start looking for a florist at least six months before the wedding, especially if the wedding will take place during the peak season of May through September. Get recommendations from friends as to which florist they used or find out if your wedding planner or banquet hall manager recommends a particular florist. Some catering halls have agreements with florists, and they work together. Browse magazines to get ideas of what you like. You also may be able to find a florist through an advertisement or if he or she has been featured in publications. Keep a scrapbook of the colors, types of flowers and arrangements and any other ideas that attract you so you will be able to present this information to the florist. Establish your flower budget prior to sitting down with the florist. You should expect to pay at least 8 percent of the total wedding cost on flowers. Get an estimate on

the floral arrangement and then tweak your needs according to your budget. Many florists can modify arrangements and find a middle ground with regard to cost. Selecting flowers that are in-season will result in more affordable rates than if you desire exotic or out-of-season blooms. Once you've hired the florist, you can come up with a wedding flower worksheet that establishes all of your needs. The florist may ask for specific information, such as photos of the bride's gown as well as the colors and styles that the wedding party will be wearing. A good florist knows that a bouquet should not overpower or detract from the beauty of the bride. The florist may want to mimic textures from the dress, such as beading, with smaller flowers or berries within the arrangement. The groom's boutonniere is traditionally one of the flowers from the bride's bouquet so that the look is cohesive. Ceremony flowers may be traditional, and some houses of worship have strict guidelines as to what can and cannot be used. However, reception flowers can be where you show off your creativity and whimsy. After all, this is a party and it should be fun. You may want to give the florist more freedom of expression with regard to reception centerpieces and flowers that adorn other areas of the room. Because receptions tend to take place in the evening hours and are often indoor affairs, experts say that added lighting may be needed to put emphasis on the floral centerpieces and help present them in their best light. You may want to think about hiring a lighting designer to spotlight some Continued on page S3

614769

March 7, 2013

Publishers CLIFFORD RICHNER STUART RICHNER Executive Editor JOHN C. O’CONNELL Section Editor KAREN BLOOM

Editorial Designer JEFFREY A. NEGRIN Vice President of Sales RHONDA GLICKMAN Account Executives AUDREY COHEN SUSANNE COLTEN

ROBERT CUMMINGS JANE FAIELLA NANCY FRIEDMAN ELLEN FRISCH JILL KAPLAN JOAN KURKOMELIS KAREN RESNICK

BRIDAL is an advertising supplement to the HERALD Community Newspapers. Copyright © 2013 Richner Communications, Inc. Published by Richner Communications, Inc. 2 Endo Blvd., Garden City, NY 11530 (516) 569-4000 • www.liherald.com

Bridal In this Issue • The latest in wedding

registries

• Rings and things • Bridal glamour • Invitation etiquette • Wedding menu trends • Reception style …and much more

Cover Design JEFFREY A. NEGRIN


Wedding registries

The registry that makes S3 dreams come true

By Kristen Castillo

A

gourmet cooking set? Check. A new digital camera? Check. Hiking gear? Check.

T

Give guests options on a registry to allow them to find something that fits their budget.

Modern wedding registries have a mix of the traditional and the not-so-traditional. It's not like it was when your parents got married and they received a toaster, a slow cooker or a blanket. These days, couples want their wedding registries to reflect their wants and their needs. "People want to get you things you want to use," says Nancy Lee of MyRegistry.com, a universal wedding registry, who finds couples registering for gifts such as hiking boots, his-and-her mountain bikes, sleeping bags, dishes, lawn mowers and his-andher iPads. "People are going to buy you a gift," says Lee. "You may as well make sure they buy you something you need."

Making a List According to a 2011 Brides magazine American Wedding Survey, 93 percent of couples register for wedding and shower gifts, with 82 percent registering with in-store and online retailers. The same study found the average couple joins about two registries and start registering about seven months before the wedding. "Registering far enough in advance allows family and friends to consult your registry for other milestones in the months leading up to your wedding, including wedding showers, birthdays and holidays," says bridal registry manager Vicki Shamion. Be sure to register for a variety of gifts, available in a range of price points. "Give people a lot of choices," says Lee. "Have things in every price. Make it something guests are comfortable giving you."

Shamion agrees, saying, "It is important to give guests options on a registry to allow them the opportunity to pick out something special regardless of their budget."

Where are You Registered? It's a popular question every bride and groom is asked: Where are you registered? Family and friends want to get you a gift to celebrate your wedding, but what about etiquette? While you don't want to look like you're begging for gifts, fielding this question is pretty common. Simply have your bridesmaids or family members spread the word about your registry. For a bolder approach, some couples even post their registry information on their wedding website or on their social media pages, like Facebook and Twitter.

Cash, Please! Many couples want money so they can save for big-ticket items like a house or car, and others want to pay off loans and other debts. Still, asking for cash can be a tough request. Sites such as MyRegistry.com help soften the request, however, by letting you to set up a "Cash Gift Service," allowing you to label the fund to tell guests how the money will be used, such as "Honeymoon to Paris" or "First Home Fund." Whether you register for kitchen towels, a new TV or camping gear, don't forget to send a handwritten thank-you note to all your guests showing your gratitude for their wedding gift.

Selecting wedding day flowers Continued from page S2

areas of the room or at the very least incorporate candlelight into your centerpiece arrangements. To give the impression that there are more flowers than there really are, use fragrance and filler as your tools. Fragrant flowers can fill up the room with a welcoming aroma. Look for frangipani, lilies, hyacinths, jasmine, and sweet peas for a big impact. Florists know how to stretch arrangements by using greenery and other filler to lend bulk without too much extra cost.

Experienced florists will know how long it takes certain buds to open and show off their maximum beauty.Therefore, expect a florist to be working on your floral arrangements as much as a week before the wedding date -- purchasing containers, cleaning flowers and waiting for certain ones to open fully. Minimize changes close to your wedding date, as most things will already be started. It is possible to make your own centerpieces or bouquets if you so desire. Simplicity will work best for the novice.

Think about grouping similar-hued calla lilies together for a bridal bouquet. Hydrangea and peonies are larger flowers that can easily fill up a vessel on a table as a centerpiece. White flowers will coordinate with any color scheme and could be the easiest to mix and match. White blooms include sweet pea, rose, camellia, stephanotis, narcissus, gardenia, orchid, lily of the valley, jasmine, and gypsophila.

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he marriage between lifestyle and design has a new look for brides and grooms. As their needs change so, too, do their wish lists and homes. Often uniting after launching careers, some couples are waiting to exchange their vows. Others opt to combine their belongings, pets and style preferences under one roof before the wedding. Whatever the individual choice, the result is a trend toward a more savvy and casual approach to creating their home. Brides and grooms are still interested in silver, porcelain and crystal. However, these traditional materials can now be found on items other than stemware, serving pieces and chaffing dishes. Crystals adorn light fixtures, custom headboards or window treatments. Porcelain can be the new bathroom or kitchen floor and silver may be the metal finish that adds a shine or bling to furnishings, custom picture frames or accessories. Whatever the wish list, the concept of a bridal registry has evolved from what it was in your mother’s day. P.S. Micaza Interiors, Inc., a design group with showroom space in Bellmore, for example, is now offering the “soon to be married” couple the opportunity to create a registry for home furnishing items. Lead designer Patricia Salcedo says, “Often, what the modern bride wants is the ability to create a personal space and the home of her dreams. Budget sometimes prohibits that. With the P.S. Micaza Interiors Bridal Registry, the bride can choose the sofa, media unit or custom bedding she truly wants and invite family and friends to gift toward it. What’s more personal or gratifying than helping a new bride and groom create the home of their dreams?”

How It Works The couple will schedule an appointment for a Bridal Registry consultation. A design consultant will come to you or you can visit them and select from among an array of choices, styles and price points. Together, a wish list is created and the bride and groom invite family and friends to view their hearts’ desires online and gift toward an item or purchase it. Newly engaged P.S. Micaza Interiors client Danielle said, “How many vases or cake plates do I really need? What I really want are custom window treatments and bedding. They gave me great advice on paint selections and I even chose a specialty finish for my walls! I love the idea that my family’s gift to me will be something so personal and meaningful. “ For more information about the Bridal Registry, contact P.S. Micaza Interiors, Inc. at 516377-3440 or visit www.psmicaza.com.

HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS — BRIDAL— March 7, 2013

From essentials to extras, what's on your list?


All the right tunes Test out wedding music vendors

M

usic is an integral element of many of life's special events. The score of a movie can carry a film, and a tender song can bring tears to a person's eyes during a stage production.

Many couples spend lots of time choosing a song for their first dance at their wedding. While that song is significant, couples should devote lots of time to choosing a band or deejay for the reception as well. Bridal planners point out that roughly 80 percent of guests say the thing they remember most about a wedding is the entertainment. When asked, many couples admit they wish they spent more time and money choosing their wedding entertainment. Music helps make memories and gets guests on their feet. Those who enjoy themselves most at the wedding are often the people who are on the dance floor. It is important to note that price shouldn't be the deciding factor for wedding day entertainment. It is crucial to see the entertainment provider in action to judge for oneself just how good he or she is. One of the best ways to witness a deejay or band in action is to attend a wedding where they will be working. Find out if you can spend a little while peeking into a wedding and gauge guests' responses to the music and find out how the entertainment

engages the crowd. The entertainer may be able to arrange this with a couple from an upcoming wedding so that you don't necessarily have to crash the wedding. If a musical entertainment company is wary of letting you see players in action, it may be an indication to look elsewhere. Another good way to see for yourself if the entertainment factor is high is to pay attention to the bands and deejays used at weddings you attend. If you are planning nuptials in a year or the months to come, take the cards or information of the entertainers you come across at weddings and any special event parties. If there is someone who is doing an impeccable job, there should be no hesitation to hire that person for your own wedding. Don't be embarrassed to ask a friend or family member for the name and number of their deejay. If you have specific music requirements, such as cultural music or certain versions of songs you prefer to be played, it is key to discuss this with the deejay or band ahead of time and confirm they can meet your needs. Certain wedding vendors may promise you

Spending time selecting the right band or deejay can help ensure your wedding is a fun-filled event.

the world but fail to deliver. Ask the deejay for a playlist to see his or her selections for the wedding. Find out if the band has a compilation they can send to you so you can see how they sound performing some of the more popular songs typically played at wedding receptions. If you like a particular band or deejay, double-check that the people you see playing are actually the ones who will be performing at your wedding. Many times performers are part of larger companies that

have many people working under one name. If you're not careful, you may not get the same performer you had hoped for. Request specific individuals if you want to guarantee that the music will be what you heard at a previous wedding or during a trial performance. Music can make or break a wedding reception. Invest ample time into selecting and trying out vendors to ensure fun is to be had by all.

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In style

Top spring 2013 wedding gown trends

By Sharon Naylor

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uring Bridal Fashion Week in New York City, a number of the top bridal gown designers, including Monique L'Huillier, Anne Barge, Ramona Keveza and many other revered trendsetters created runway displays of their top wedding gown looks for Spring 2013,

and the overarching trend is soft, romantic and more demure than sexy. To help you find your dream dress, here are the top five trends for spring wedding gowns:

Lace Duchess Kate is still the reigning influence on wedding gowns, with her iconic lace wedding dress ushering in a variety of lace uses. Kate opted to cover her arms and shoulders with lace, and the look continues with a variety of lace styles used for sleeves, for the entire length of the skirt, and for coverage of the chest and shoulders alone in sleeveless dress styles. Bridal gown designers have innovated a look called "nouveau lace," in which the art is in the patterns of lace, from delicate, small lace patterning to larger, more graphic florals made of lace that may cover the bride's shoulder blades in the back, or festoon the dress itself. Conservative brides who wish to cover up, or whose houses of worship do not allow bare arms and shoulders, adore the lace-covering look, which ties into the 2013 trend of romantic, feminine, with an Old World feel.

Color Color on the bridal gown runways is bold and chic, with the Vera Wang red wedding dresses that received so much attention during fall's runway shows still a top trend with brides. Blue is the vibrant color of choice this spring, in a range of hues from sapphire to Caribbean blue, and blush-colored pinks and greens are also top choices. Maggie Sottero is one designer showing an eye-catching blush pink dress made even more special with a rhinestone belt for sparkle and a pink ruffled mermaid skirt. Gowns in color are more popular now, since many brides find that their skin tone works better in colored dresses than in white, which can wash out paler brides.

Portrait Backs The bride is seen from all angles during her wedding day, especially during the ceremony when she's walking down the aisle and during her first dance, so the design of the dress's back has become just as important as the front. Top styles in designer dresses include backs entirely covered in lace, as a more

subtle and romantic look than the sexier all bare backs of last season's dresses. To add just a flash of skin, the lace back may incorporate a "keyhole" effect exposing just a small section of the bride's back, and the cut of the dress back may create a lace frame effect. A wedding dress by Ines DiSanto.

Peplums If you're not familiar with this term, a peplum is a skirt effect beginning at the waist and extended out over the hips, defining the waist and creating a couture, sculptured effect. The peplum may extend down for a draped effect, and may be a softer fall or a more structured, stand-up effect.

2-in-1 With celebrity brides wearing one dazzling designer dress for their ceremonies and another (or two or three) for their receptions, brides have become interested in having a "second look" for their own receptions. This trend has given rise to a new world of dress designs with removable elements, such as a lace jacket that can be "peeled off" to create a second, sophisticated look for the celebration. Designers have turned their dresses into

Transformer-like creations, with long skirts that can be unfastened at the waist and removed to reveal a chic shorter skirt underneath that allows for more comfortable movement and dancing, yet still in highfashion style. Also in the second look category is the addition of a sparkly, rhinestone belt, as Duchess Kate wore for her post-ceremony celebration. The bride simply affixes it for an easy and inexpensive second look and is in top trend with her new, sparkly accessory. Or the bride can put on a cashmere jacket coordinating with her dress for a comfortable wear at an outdoor wedding in the cooler evening hours. And brides also slip into more colorful, sparkling shoes to add a dash of color to even the most traditional, white wedding dress.

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Inspired palette

HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS â&#x20AC;&#x201D; BRIDALâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; March 7, 2013

The top wedding colors for 2013 By Sharon Naylor

The palette's mix of vibrant brights and soothing neutrals work together to create what the company calls "a harmonious balance."

Among the brights are the following colors: â&#x20AC;˘ Poppy red. A deeper, richer red brings a radiant bold burst of color to wedding style, whether for fashion or decor color palettes, and lets the bride make a statement in spring. Pantone calls this shade seductive, sensual and celebratory." â&#x20AC;˘ Emerald. Green is a hot color for spring, in this jewel-toned shade that has taken over for past seasons' preferences for soft, pale sage greens. Deeper greens provide a vivid backdrop to other bridal colors, and evokes a sense of spring -- yet in an eye-catching way. Color expert Leatrice Eiseman, spokeswoman for Pantone, says, "The big look for spring weddings will be in the interesting pastels, like the lightly minted greens." Greens are especially popular, says Eiseman, "Because, just as in nature, green goes with

everything!" Wedding bloggers and journalists are raving about mint shades on the bridal fashion runways, giving you a slightly different shade of blue-green to consider. â&#x20AC;˘ Lemon zest. Yellow is one of the leading colors this season, with a stronger, more vibrant shade than last spring's softer buttercup yellows. â&#x20AC;˘ Monaco blue. More of a sapphire blue in a deep shade, blue is being shown on the fashion runways as the new black. â&#x20AC;˘ Nectarine. Oranges remain hot this spring, with last season's "in" color, tangerine tango, softening a bit for a bright orange with more coral undertones.

Among the pastels are the following colors: â&#x20AC;˘ Dusk blue. A softer shade of blue that some designers refer to as "beach glass," this soft shade paired with Monaco blue and lighter neutrals, such as ivory or linen shades, creates one of the most popular

Spring 2013 wedding colors mix brights and neutrals.

palettes today. It's a deeper blush blue, departing from sunnier Caribbean blues, for more romantic appeal. â&#x20AC;˘ Tender shoots. This yellow-green shade coordinates with emerald and again pairs

with other hot spring colors in a more traditional spring-like shade. â&#x20AC;˘ African violet. A softer purple, this shade is Continued on page S10

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he new wedding color palette has been announced in the Pantone Fashion Color Report Spring 2013, a comprehensive overview of fashion designers' use of color in their upcoming collections.


The top wedding colors for 2013

Planning a Wedding or Special Occasion?

Continued from page S9

either mixed with soft neutrals or boldly paired with a bright. Pantone calls this shade an "exotic statement color." • Grayed jade. A subtle green with gray undertones, this shade plays a part in green's position as a top color for spring weddings. • Linen. A light and lovely neutral, linen will play a part in wedding palettes as the shade that allows other shades to pop or blend together more beautifully. Pantone calls this color "airy" and offers a pairing of this shade with grayed jade or dusk blue as a possibility for a softer color blend.

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How the top spring colors are being used These colors are not just being utilized in florals and decor. More brides are looking at them for their wedding dress shades, with the nontraditional trends in wedding leading brides to wear, say, a dress in tender shoots as a romantic, feminine alternative to traditional bridal white. These colors also factor heavily into shades worn by bridesmaids, mothers and flower girls, and colors like Monaco blue and dusk blue factor into the groom's choice of wardrobe and accessories, such as ties or even trendy pinstripes in a navy suit. These colors may enter into a bride's planning for her flowers, with her dress being colored, linen-shaded or white, with the pop of poppy red, nectarine, lemon zest and other shades in her bouquet creating a stunning and on-trend look. Even the bride's jewelry may bring the top Pantone shades into play, whether vividly or in pastel form. Invitations certainly will bring in the top

shades of the season, in sensational shades of brights or mixes of the top pastels and neutrals, although invitation designers say vivid is the current top trend in invitations and print items. There's not a place in weddings where color isn't a factor, even if it is that skin tone of linen. The bride is the artist of her day, using color to "paint" her personalized vision in so many aspects of her wedding day details, as well as her dream wedding gown.

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in Iowa and Nebraska are the biggest, averaging 200 guests. • The average engagement ring costs more than $5,800. • Most brides have one do-it-yourself element, such as favors or escort cards. • "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" and "Lady in Red" are the two most popular first dance songs (even though 87 percent of brides wear white). • Only 19 percent of couples rely on a wedding planner. • Ancient Romans broke a cake over the bride's head to symbolize fertility. Today, brides must be fortunate to have only a little cake smashed in their faces!


HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS â&#x20AC;&#x201D; BRIDALâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; March 7, 2013



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March 7, 2013 — BRIDAL — HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

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Timing is everything: especially for a bride

Bridal season has sprung! Your invitation sets the tone for that special day By Ginny McClean

Begin wedding preparations with a save-the-date card ore and more couples planning to walk down the aisle are embracing save-the-date cards to give guests adequate notice that there is a party on the horizon.

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ave you heard? Most engagements occur between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day and most related events occur from the spring through the fall. You can never be too early to start planning for your upcoming event, be it an engagement party, shower or wedding. Once you have chosen your date you should search out that special place to hold your party. Do you need to have your guests reserve your wedding date on their calendar? Then by all means shop for “Save the Dates”. You can send a card or magnet as early as one year ahead but typically no closer than nine months to the date of your wedding.

March 30, 2013

Invitation Guidelines

Save-the-date cards inform guests that a wedding is on the horizon, making it easier for those on your guest list to plan accordingly.

Save-the-date cards do more than let guests know when you're getting hitched. The cards are a preliminary way to keep guests informed and let them know they are, in fact, on the guest list. These cards haven't always been so popular, but have risen in popularity due to longer engagement periods, a growing number of destination weddings and the growing number of couples with guests from all over the country, if not the world. Considering people often plan business trips, vacations and other excursions several months in advance, save-the-date cards help secure a greater number of attendees at your wedding. Save-the-date announcements can vary in many ways. They may be postcards or magnets that can be attached to a refrigerator door. If you desire a cohesive theme to your wedding stationery, select the save-the-date cards at the same time you choose your wedding invitations. This way you can ensure that the patterns, fonts, colors, or style of the cards will match. It will also help convey the tone of the wedding. Guests often take their cues regarding the level of formality of the wedding from the type of stationery couples choose. When to send out the save-the-date announcements is important as well. As a general rule of thumb, it is wise to mail out the cards six months in advance for a standard wedding. If the wedding requires travel or extended overnight accommodations, you may want to mail them out eight months to a year in advance to give guests the time to investigate flight costs and hotel arrangements. A wedding also may necessitate planning a vacation or personal time off from work. Therefore, ample advanced notice is advisable.

Be sure to make your guest list in advance of sending out save-the-date cards. Everyone who receives a card should also be sent an invitation prior to the wedding. Remember to include any members of your planned wedding party in the list of recipients. Just because a person has verbally confirmed attendance at your wedding doesn't mean they should be excluded from subsequent announcements. Guests may talk to one another and it is best to avoid hurt feelings and any added drama before the wedding by treating everyone equally. Keep the information brief and follow the appropriate rules of etiquette. Be sure to include the wedding date, your names and the location of the wedding on the save-the-date cards. You do not need to offer RSVP information or detailed specifics at this time. You may want to include a Web site URL on the card so guests can check it frequently for updates on wedding information. Be sure to also include that a formal invitation will follow at a later date. You do not want to cause confusion by having guests think that the save-the-date card is the actual invitation. Also, make sure you address the save-the-date cards correctly to show your intentions with respect to guest invites. For example, be clear about whether children will be invited and whether a boyfriend/girlfriend or another guest can tag along. Although save-the-date cards are not a necessity, they have become a popular part of wedding planning to eliminate confusion about invitations as well as help guests plan time off for your wedding.

****

As far as those invitations go, six months prior to a wedding is the perfect time to look for invitations and three months is great for a shower or any other party. When shopping for your invitations remember that the invitation has a “job”. It is to let your guests know how to dress, how to gift, and create an air of excitement in anticipation of the time they will have at your affair. Etiquette matters! It very important in sending the right message so having the correct wording, spelling and placement of that wording on your invite is absolutely necessary. Shopping on the internet without the help of a professional could spell disaster for your special day. Know your budget. The budget should be practical as well as realistic. Keeping things simple will usually result in a lower price point, but having embellishments - such as bows, rhinestones and layers of paper - can just add the right touch to your invite so be sure to allow for their additional cost.

Don’t Forget the Favors There is no nicer way to say “Thank You” to your guests than with a favor! Most people appreciate something practical they can use over another dust collector. So be sure to choose something that is meaningful to you. And don’t forget that presentation means everything. How your favors are presented or wrapped will add that last bit of excitement that your guests take home with them reminding them of the wonderful time they had at your party. Ginny McClean is the owner of Have You Heard?®, Inc. in Bellmore. For more information, contact 516-409-0283 or visit www.haveyouheardinc.com.


S13

Unique reception

O

ver the course of their lifetimes, many people will be wedding guests on several occasions.

During the height of wedding season, weddings can run into one another, as the format and the festivities are similar at various ceremonies. Couples interested in setting their nuptials apart may want to enhance the wedding reception with a few unique ideas. Who hasn't attended a wedding that seems formulaic? The couple enters, they do their spotlight dance, there's food, a bouquet toss and then the cake cutting. Guests may actually be able to predict what's coming next. While it is often customary and easy to follow tradition, that doesn't mean you cannot buck with tradition and offer a few creative ideas to make your event stand out. Here are several ideas you can introduce into your wedding to add something special to the reception. Skip the big entrance. Those who were kind enough to attend the ceremony have already been introduced to the newly minted happy couple. Instead of spending the cocktail hour in the isolation of the wedding suite, mingle with your guests from start to finish. So much time is spent posing for pictures or being out of touch with guests, the

cocktail hour can be a great time to sit and chat. Being with guests during the cocktail hour means you don't have to make that big entrance from behind closed doors. Guests will have all eyes on you when you step on the dance floor for your first dance together. Dance to an upbeat number. Guests are expecting a slow, sappy tune. What they may not expect is an upbeat song that shows you are willing to have a little fun. If you haven't mastered the waltz but enjoy a little quick step now and again, feel free to choose a tune that shows your excitement and love for each other. Encourage couples to dance together. It's often customary for the bridal party to join the bride and groom on the dance floor midway through the first dance. However, that leaves spouses or significant others waiting in the wings while their dates tango with groomsmen or bridesmaids. Instead, don't have assigned partners. Rather, encourage your bridal party members to dance with whomever they choose. Swap the garter/bouquet toss for something more meaningful. If you're part of a couple who feels the garter and bouquet

Use the bouquets of the bridal party as the centerpieces of some of the

toss has become trite, reception tables as one way to bring something different to your wedding. there are other ways to create special moments in However, a live band adds a certain level of your celebration â&#x20AC;&#x201C; ones that don't single out excitement that a disk jockey may not be the singletons who haven't yet found their able to provide. Those who are adding a culspecial someones. Use this time to present a tural or ethnic component to their wedding small gift or token of your affection to some- may want to hire a dance troupe or another one on the guest list who has served as a type of performer, like a bagpiper, as an mentor or source of inspiration. added measure of entertainment for guests. Choose one special component as an Let them eat ... cookies? Some people extra goodie for guests. Some couples feel just don't like cake. Therefore, why should a the more they offer the better guests will couple have to cut a seven-tiered white conview their wedding. Spending more money fection? Towers of different types of treats doesn't necessarily mean guests will have a can be created from just about anything and better time. If you want to go above and serve as the perfect backdrop for that classic beyond the ordinary, find one thing that you cake-cutting photo. A pyramid of cream absolutely love and offer that at the party. It puffs, stacks of brownies, a cookie castle, or could be a flambĂŠ presentation, a chocolate cereal-cake concoctions can work. Some bakor candy bar, a carving station with your all- eries will decorate a "dummy" Styrofoam time favorite food (even if that's PB&J), or a cake, and then you can serve apple pie a la carnival-inspired automatic photo booth. mode, if you desire. Hire a live performer. Although it's hard Stage a costume switch. Let's face it, to beat the performance quality of your wed- dancing all night in a long gown takes some ding song being performed by the original stamina. As the bride, have a more comfortartist, unless you're cousins with Celine Dion, able cocktail dress available to switch into for chances are she won't be available to sing the latter part of the reception. It will also add "My Heart Will Go On" at your reception. some variety to your wedding photos.

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HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS â&#x20AC;&#x201D; BRIDALâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; March 7, 2013

Bend the â&#x20AC;&#x153;rulesâ&#x20AC;? and enhance your personal style


Happy endings The wedding cake isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t what it used to be

In recent years, wedding cakes have become more of an artistic centerpiece than just a confectionary treat. Couples often seek out renowned wedding cake bakers for a cake that will amaze the crowd and complete the theme of the wedding. The average couple will spend between $700 to $800 for their wedding cake. Although many catering halls or reception sites will include the wedding cake in a package deal, many couples choose to order their cake from a specialty bakery who creates culinary masterpieces. If television trends are any indication, many people are opting to spend several hundred to thousands of dollars on a customized wedding cake. These fondant and buttercream creations may be elaborate in nature, so much so they'll likely need to be ordered several months in advance. Couples looking for something a bit different for their upcoming nuptials, many want to consider these trends in wedding cakes. â&#x20AC;˘ 3-D accents on the cake, such as graphic appliques. â&#x20AC;˘ A black-and-white motif that gives the cake a simplistic, yet trendy appeal. â&#x20AC;˘ A lot of bold color in the cake, instead of just white or ivory.

â&#x20AC;˘ Dramatic monograms that can add class to the cake.

â&#x20AC;˘ Painted cakes with edible food coloring paint that feature beautiful landscapes or a portrait. A work of art, they're both delicious to eat and fun to admire. â&#x20AC;˘ Cakes that mirror the style of the wedding gown, including fondant ruffles and appliques. Many couples still opt for the traditional, and that is always in style. Instead of experimenting with the outside of the cake, couples can be creative with cake flavor and fillings. Imagine cutting open the cake to find red velvet or a chocolate ganache filling!

Black-and-white wedding cakes are one theme that couples routinely turn to for their dramatic flair and aesthetic appeal.

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he multi-tiered cake is a favorite wedding tradition that's often presented at the end of the night. The happy couple takes a slice and enjoys the ďŹ rst piece.



March 7, 2013 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; BRIDAL â&#x20AC;&#x201D; HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

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In step

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HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS — BRIDAL— March 7, 2013

Mastering the First Dance

The First Dance The professionals at Arthur Murray Dance Center will help create your special “first dance” for your wedding. We’ll make your dance look natural and personalize it to your favorite song. We’ll make you and your fiancee shine on the dance floor!

If the two of you have only danced together with your arms locked around each other’s neck, rocking back and forth in a waddling fashion, you may consider taking a few ballroom dance lessons to give you a more sophisticated look. Choosing a first dance song does not always have to be a timeless classic like Etta James’ At Last. Many couples are thinking outside of the box step and going for creative dances like the Tango, Salsa or Swing for their first dance, much to the delight of their guests. Choose a song with a vision in mind as to how you would like to present yourselves at the reception and let the dance studio professionals put together the steps for you that will best represent the two of you. You

may also want to talk to your dance instructor about the kind of music that you will have played at your event so the instructor can give you a few more ‘cool’ moves other than your first dance. It’s advisable to start your dance lessons approximately three to four months before the big day to make sure that you look natural and have time to practice what you have learned. Taking dance lessons together can be a wonderful way to relieve the stress of planning a wedding and also an opportunity for the two of you to spend some quality time together in each other’s arms. Learn to dance once and for all and make your first dance one that the guests will not soon forget!

****

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rides love their shoes. So much so that many of them are shopping for their wedding day shoes ďŹ rst and then using their chosen shoe style to help determine which wedding dress is The One.

When Megan Stec got engaged, it was her shoes she focused on first. Specifically, she was looking for a pair of Christian Louboutin ruby red shoes that she had seen months prior and that fit her love of "The Wizard of Oz." She spent two months looking for the pair, even searching internationally. During her search, she found and fell in love with a different pair of Louboutins. "It was like the 'Horse of a Different Color,'" says Stec, referring to the differently hued sparkly shoes. "Buying my shoes was just as special as buying my wedding dress. When I tried them on, I knew they were The One." Fashion merchandising expert Stec spent just one month, half the time of her shoe search, looking for and choosing her wedding dress. The trend is picking up, with more brides dreaming about their wedding shoes, in addition to their wedding dresses. They're creating Pinterest boards devoted to their shoe inspirations, and they're talking with their engaged friends about shoes as well as dresses, cakes and other wedding topics. Years ago, bridal shoes were commonly plain and white. Now, they're sparkly, brightly colored, designer named and fabulous. According to The Wedding Report, the top trends in brides' shoes are colors (especially green and blue), lace, and rhinestones. In addition to the designer high heels worn during the ceremony, brides are also opting to slip into comfortable, stylish flats for the reception hours. It is, however, the ornate ceremony shoe that brides appear to be fantasizing about for their wedding days. Here are reasons more brides are shopping for shoes first and dresses second: â&#x20AC;˘ Gorgeous images, on Pinterest and in bridal blogs, of brides and bridesmaids wearing amazing, colorful or glittery shoes resonate with them. It's the look they want for their big day. When buying a gown first, the style and length of dress might limit the subsequent shoe selection. â&#x20AC;˘ Some brides are willing to devote a larger amount of money to their shoes, to enjoy

that celebrity feeling of wearing something designer. If they can't afford a designer dress in the thousands of dollars-range, then designer shoes for a few hundred dollars are readily available. Before other wedding plans and purchases chip away at their available funds, they can devote some time and money to their high-priority footwear. Then, they may be very happy wearing a dress in a more moderate price range. â&#x20AC;˘ Unlike their once-in-a-lifetime gowns, brides can plan to wear their wedding shoes in the future, dazzling with the designer style. â&#x20AC;˘ If a bride wants to show off her shoes on the wedding day, trendy knee-length dresses and 'high-low' dresses, with the front hem reaching knee length, then extending down like a curtain on each side to a longer length in the back, afford her the opportunity. The result is a "frame" of her legs and shoes. â&#x20AC;˘ Wearing wedding shoes has long been a tenet of gown shopping, specifically for alterations. Instead of wearing different shoes during alterations, hoping for the perfect height, having the chosen pair handy takes the guesswork out of the equation. The bride gets a better look at the whole picture. â&#x20AC;˘ Trying on shoes is often a purely enjoyable task. Shoe size is nowhere near as much of an emotionally loaded, self-esteem challenging issue, as trying on wedding gowns. Some brides with concerns about body size or self-esteem would rather begin this magical process with a relaxing shopping trip. This eliminates some discomfort they may have with trying on dresses, releasing them from discouragement over how a dress makes them look. Of course, the reasons vary with each bride, but the fact remains: Going shoe shopping is fun, and this may be the bride's one time to truly splurge on a dream designer style.

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In your own voice

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what marriage means to you and how you feel about your spouse. Try to avoid trite sayings and think from your heart and personal experiences. Think about what is the most important thing you want to promise to your future partner. These notes can serve as the starting points. Read inspirational writings. Perhaps there is an author or a poet who inspires you? You can quote certain writers in your vows or let the tone of their works help shape the words of your vows. Decide on a tone. Although the day is based on love and affection, you may not feel comfortable spouting words of adoration in front of friends and family. Feel free to tap into your unique personality. Humor can be used if it aligns with the way you normally express your affections. Be sure to weave this tone into more traditional passages to create a cohesive expression of your feelings. Establish an outline. Put together all of the words and phrases you've jotted down into an outline to help you orga-

nize the flow of the vows, using these words as a blueprint and building upon them. Make sure the vows will be concise. Aim for your entire speech to be around 1 minute in length to keep everyone engaged and the ceremony moving along. Put everything together. Draft your vows and then practice them by reading out loud. You want to avoid long sentences or anything that trips you up. Although large words may sound impressive, they could make the vows seem too academic and not necessarily heartfelt. 615086

wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event for many couples, so brides and grooms wish for it to be momentous and memorable. As such, couples are increasingly integrating personal nuances into their ceremonies and receptions to tailor weddings to their unique visions. If you are considering personalized wedding vows, first realize that it may not be a simple task. That's because you want the message conveyed to be dear to your heart, and that can be challenging. Here are some guidelines for personalizing your ceremony with your own sentiments. Schedule time for writing. Amid the bustle of dress fittings and interviews with photographers, it can be easy to put off the important task of writing vows for another day. But as any great writer can attest, it takes writing â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and rewriting â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to achieve a finished product you can be proud of. Give the task of writing your vows your undivided attention. Jot down your feelings. Answer some questions about

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eddings are a celebration wherein guests look forward to the reception as much as the actual ceremony, and the food served at the wedding is often hotly anticipated.

Wedding receptions feature a bevy of different foods to tempt the palates of those in attendance. From appetizers served during the cocktail hour to the last crumb of cake, food plays a big role in your event. Choosing foods for a reception can take a little forethought, especially if the wedding party is especially large. The following are a few suggestions to ensure most guests are happy with the menu selections. The first rule of thumb is variety. As much as budget allows, give guests the choice over what they dine on. During the cocktail hour – if there is one – couples can play with many different tastes and offerings. For those who want to be creative, this is the time to do so. Exotic flavors can be served alongside more traditional offerings that guests recognize. For example, offer Asian fusion appetizers that may have spice alongside more traditional items, like miniature quiches. During the main course of the meal, give guests a few options. Most catering facilities will offer suggestions in their meal packages. Couples can typically choose to offer a meat dish, a poultry and a seafood. This caters to a wide variety of diners. Recognize that many people have food allergies or are on restricted diets. While it may not be possible to provide for everyone's specific requirements, it is possible to make some accommodations First, ask the catering manager how his company provides for guests who are vegetarians or vegans. Ensure that the meal will not be simply a bunch of garnishes and vegetable side dishes lumped together. In addition, couples should recognize that many people have now adopted glu-

ten-free lifestyles. More and more restaurants and establishments have expanded their offerings to include gluten-free items, so it is important for the bride and groom to confirm. People who are diabetic and must limit their consumption of sugars and carbohydrates may appreciate a selection of sugar-free desserts or lower carbohydrate foods. When couples focus on meeting the needs of their guests, it shows they have put in the effort to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable at the wedding. Couples who have the environment in mind can choose to serve organic foods and look to catering facilities that purchase foods from local vendors and farms. If a banquet hall does not make such concessions, ask if specialty items that benefit organic and local food producers can be brought in. Some caterers will be happy to make the change, but it will likely affect the cost of the wedding package to do so. Food and drink will be some of the most costly portions of a wedding. Couples who are interested in keeping costs down can still offer quality foods if they make some changes. Varying the time of day that the wedding is held can enable a brunch or luncheon wedding to take place. These foods are often less expensive and labor-intensive to prepare, and therefore the cost savings are passed down to the bride and groom. Some couples opt for a cocktail and hors d'oeuvreonly reception – which should clearly be indicated on the invitation so that guests can plan accordingly. An informal wedding may feature only a selection of desserts and specialty liquors. This may be the least expensive option.

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Herald Community Newspapers - Bridal 2013